The heat is turned up over at the News Chief newspaper. Yet another response (first here, second here) to our initial statement appears, this time in the form of a whole guest column.
Jonathan Smith (Sept. 24 letter to the editor) castigates those who believe in the Creator:
“Creationism (is) anti-science … a charade … a sham … a con game …”
He proselytizes for the religion of evolutionism. This religion believes, first, there was nothing at all; next, this nothingness exploded; then, some nonintelligence formed it into an awesome design. He calls this religion scientific and says “Creationism doesn’t fit in this framework.”
Mr. Smith further alleges: “There is no doubt about the theory of evolution in the scientific community. There is no controversy.”
The facts beg to differ, as does the scientific community, with Mr. Smith.
And from there the article delves into a long list of quotes strung together supposedly casting doubt on evolution.
We are currently working on a response attempting to respond to all three writers. Any input you may have would be appreciated. Leave your two cents in the comments.
(edit to add: if your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t stress. I’m still messing with the spam catcher and your comment might get thrown into the moderation que. I’ll get it approved as soon as possible. Thanks.)
Trust me. THere is no evidence for evolution.
PZ Myeres wrote:
“the local newspapers have published a series of replies that are stupefying in their ignorance”
I guess PZ likes employing the same rhetoric I used in his blog.
PZ Myeres wrote:
“Simultaneously claiming that there is no evidence for evolution while Intelligent Design creationism has lots is absurd: ID is not science, and the body of ID literature is negligible. .”
Actually what ID claims is that you need more faithto believe in evolution than you need to believe in God. The devastating truth is that PZ Myers cannot give one beneficial contribution that evolution has made to society. In fact theocentric science has done more for society than evolution.
The only thing evolution has contributed to society is given the skeptic an excuse to not acknowledge their Creator.
>>”He proselytizes for the religion of evolutionism. This religion believes, first, there was nothing at all; next, this nothingness exploded; then, some nonintelligence formed it into an awesome design.”
Every claim made in this sentence is wrong. Firstly, belief in the theory of evolution is not a religion. Although, it is rather amazing that when picking things to attack the theory as, the worst they can do is a religion.
Next, origins of the universe is cosmology, and the idea that “first there was nothing” — is based on an incorrect assumption of time. “Before there was something” is a meaningless idea. First there was space and time and matter, because before that there wasn’t time and thusly before is a meaningless idea (at least in the way we see the universe).
Next some nonintelligence seems like suggesting it was made by a really dumb baboon. Really it would be proper to say it formed in accordance with natural laws. Calling the universe an “awesome design” is to be coy with words, there is no design, just as there isn’t a intelligent mountain builder, stalactite maker, planet rounder, or crystal sculptor.
As for the comment about there being controversy, for every biologist PhD who doubts evolution proper, I’ll name a thousand who don’t. Which is an easy claim for me to make, because I’ll never have to name anybody.
On all the quotes, the failure to give citations is to make it hard to show the real context, but you can bet it all like the ones we can show. See
As to the Mayr snippet, I don’t know where it is from, but creationists quote him as anti-gradualism too (easy enough to do while quote mining):
I don’t have the Hoyle quote and the creationist doesn’t even quote Crick but here is what others have done to him:
The Eugenie Scott one is funny … paleontologists study fossils. They are dead things that don’t do anything, much less evolve. Glenn Branch from the NCSE may be able to help you with that one:
Who the heck is Columnist Paul Craig Roberts and what qualifications does he have?
As to the Patterson quote, a “script” of the talk was at the Linnean’s site for a while but was taken down. At the begining of the talk Patterson said:
Well, I’m not interested in the controversy over high school
teaching, and if any militant creationists have come here
looking for political ammunition, I hope they will be dis-
appointed. As an aside, I think the high school evolution-
creation controversy is easily solved – all you need is an
established religion, which is automatically taught in schools
as the Church of England is, and creationists have no ground
for complaint. But it’s 200 years too late for that solution
here. Anyway, I’m not talking about that controversy – this
is a systematics discussion group, and I shall talk about
evolutionism and creationism as they apply to systematics.
And since it’s a discussion group, I only want to be outrageous
enough to get a discussion going.
There is this explanation of the context by John Wilkins (PhD in the philosophy of science):
note that he is explicitly restricting the discussion to
systematics. This is the dispute:
1. “Evolutionary systematics” of around 1940- assumes that we can work
out from our knowledge of how organisms evolve what the ancestors must
have looked like, and so identify them in the fossil record.
2. In the 1960s, the fashion is all “theory-free classification” so a
school that attempts to classify species on the basis of any old
characters grouping together in a graph, called “phenetics” by its
detractors, is promoted. Because it uses computers a lot to process the
data, it gets called “numerical taxonomy”.
3. In 1966 an English edition of a work by Willi Hennig, an East German
entomologist, is published. Hennig argues that neither evolutionary
systematics nor phenetics tells us much about ancestors, and proposes
instead a formal method to reconstruct phylogenetic trees from modern
characters. This gets called “phylogenetic systematics”, or “cladism” by
its detractors. By about 1974, phenetics is dead and phylogenetics is
4. Ernst Mayr, a leading evolutionary systematist, begins a campaign
against cladistics because it conflicts with his intuitions about what
happens in evolution. He is joined by Peter Ashlock, and battle is
joined. Mayr uses his political and personal influence to attack
cladistics wherever he can.
5. A split in the cladistic camp arises between the ordinary variety
(known more recently as “process cladists”) and a variety that calls
themselves “transformed cladists”, who later become known as “pattern
cladists”. One of the originators of this view is Colin Patterson, who,
along with Donn Rosen, Gareth Nelson and Norman Platnick attempt to show
that the trees formed by cladistic techniques are not histories but
relationships between sets of characters, and hence are abstractions.
6. Process cladists, led mainly by the acid pen of Jamie Farris, attack
pattern cladists as being non-Darwinian and anti-evolutionary. Mayr
attacks them as being essentialists, typologists, and idealists, and
pre-Darwinian. Pattern cladists respond by referring to both schools as
the “Darwinians”, since both assume the mantle and authority of Darwin
to justify their own views.
7. The debate gets sidelined on matters of epistemology, with all sides
claiming they are being most Popperian. Process cladism gets taught
anyway, and pattern cladism falls by the wayside. Evolutionary, or as it
is sometimes called, “eclectic”, systematics is a strong but
increasingly less successful school of thought.
In this context, what Patterson had to say becomes obvious – he is not
denying evolution *happened*, only that we can know what happened in
systematics. Unfortunately both he and Nelson are very quick with a
phrase capable of being taken out of this complex context and misused.
And so it has been, just as similar problems with punctuated equilibrium
were taken out of context by creationists. Film at 11.
For the record I am highly sympathetic to pattern cladism and not merely
because Gary Nelson is my supervisor (and in recent years something of a
mentor), but because I was convinced by the logic of the arguments. gary
has actually never discussed it with me, although I am sure he would if
I asked (when the thesis is done…).
I think that assuming evolution *has* occurred but that we aren’t given
a chronicle before we start doing paleontology and all the other
disciplines that investigate the past of life, we can only say that some
sequence is more likely than some other, in a Bayesian sort of way, and
there’s the rub: what priors do we assume to make the likelihoods
useful? the obvious, and unhelpful, answer is, we use the best knowledge
we now have to assess new claims. Of course, if our priors are wrong, we
will assess new claims wrongly. Moreover, *how* do we test new claims of
ancestry and history? The pattern cladist account is – by using the
*known* data sets and the relations they evidence. In short, we test
phylogenies with well-attested cladograms. Hence, cladograms are not, in
So, in Patterson’s words, what do we *know* about the evolutionary
history of any group of organisms? In the most rigid sense of “to know”
we know very little indeed. He and the other pattern cladists overstated
this, I believe, but the point is firm. And to date, *nobody* of any
school has managed to resolve it.
Hoyle was a bit of a nut. His collaborator Dr. Wickramasinghe testified at McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education and did creationists no good
That’s all I can do for you at the moment.
“Every claim made in this sentence is wrong. Firstly, belief in the theory of evolution is not a religion.”
Yes it is. You have never experienced evolution. You have never seen an evolutionary process. For that mattter noone in recorded history has .
On the contrary, one can see intelligent design in everything.
Congratulations. You have more faith than me.
All you might want to do is direct the entire state of florida to the latest issue of Time magazine. It’s an easy to understand and thorough look at evolution.
What Makes us Different?
Not very much, when you look at our DNA. But those few tiny changes made all the difference in the world
Try to ignore Yamil. He’s a Kent Hovind troll.
>>The devastating truth is that PZ Myers cannot give one beneficial contribution that evolution has made to society.
Evolutionary clues are key in finding oil. Medicines in the 21st century made via principles of biology only understood through the looking glass of evolution, for example RNA interference for which the 2006 Nobel Prize in ‘Medicine or Physiology’ was given.
>>In fact theocentric science has done more for society than evolution.
Yeah, if we didn’t look to theology we wouldn’t know the Sun revolves around the Earth. How backwards would we be without the great contrabutions of magical skyfathers, unevidenced floods, non-extinction of animals, 6000 year history, flat Earth, and Heaven in space? We would be held hostage by a bronze age book filled with myths and nonsense (or something similar thereto).
A good example of Atheistic Mumble Jumble:
“Next, origins of the universe is cosmology, and the idea that â€œfirst there was nothingâ€ â€” is based on an incorrect assumption of time. â€œBefore there was somethingâ€ is a meaningless idea. First there was space and time and matter, because before that there wasnâ€™t time and thusly before is a meaningless idea (at least in the way we see the universe).
In the same breath he says there was something and that there was nothing. Go figure. I wonderwhat scientific evidence he can point to his comment above.
Sounds like a leap of faith to me.
Actually I never heard of Kent Hovind until you mentioned him. But we know that’s what you would like to believe. It’s easier to do that than face the devastating truth.
“Yeah, if we didnâ€™t look to theology we wouldnâ€™t know the Sun revolves around the Earth. ”
Actually the BIble states differently. You do better contributing faulty Science to atheism.
Christopher Columbus was firmly convicted of the earth being round based on a Bible verse. The scientific community of the day was not behind him.. Go figure.
But ,Tatarize, I assume you resorted to the strawman because you cannot think of one contribution that evolution has m made to society. Not very impressive.ade to society.
Some suggestions that may be useful.
Refer the editors of the paper to the quote mine project at talkorigins.org You should be able to provide specific URLs for every quote used in the ‘response’. If you fail to find one post to usenet talk.origins and it will be tracked down within 24 hours or less.
Ask the responders “which theory of ‘creation’ is correct and teachable as science”?
Ask the responders to cite even one peer-reviewed research paper on Intelligent Design OR Creationism.
Point out to the editors that Intelligent design has already failed judicial review and ruled not science but a religious agenda in the Dover Trial.
Point out to the editors that the whole of ID creationism is a religiously motivated political movement, refer them to the wedge document (also brought up in the Dover trial) and emphasize the objective of creating a theocracy in the U.S. Then ask exactly which “flavor” of religion will be the declared gospel of that theocracy.
Ask if the responders would be happy if “Scientology” were chosen as that gospel.
Point out to the editors that the responders focus only on the TOE and neglect to suggest that other equally supported scientific theories such as gravity, germ theory of disease, thermodynamics, plate tectonics, and cosmology should be reconsidered and revaluated according to religious criteria, ask which religious criteria should be applied thereto.
Point out to the editors that biologists and scientists in general do not stage propaganda rallies to promote a political/religious agenda.
Point out to the editors the talkorigins.org index to creationist claims, emphasize that many many of these claims are decades old and have been refuted soundly from when they first arose and by the growing body of evidence produced by real scientists doing real science.
Ask the responders if cancer is intelligently designed. Ask also exactly how ID or creationism can be applied in finding a ‘cure’ for this scourage. Ask how non-hereditary cancers arise and how many mutations occur in most such cancer’s development ( > 200 IIRC). Ask how ID explains this.
I hope this helps, good luck and stick to it.
Besides you need to know the difference between theology and theocentric science.. I assume PZ Myers teaches you how to play the Semantics game as well.
Much easier than face the devastating truth, I presume.
“Point out to the editors that Intelligent design has already failed judicial review and ruled not science but a religious agenda in the Dover Trial. ”
Judicial Review by a radical liberal. It’s the more convenient stragedy for liberals to go to the courts instead of going to the people. Studies show that most Americans are in favor of teaching ID in the public school system. I guess its one judicial review against the voice of Americans.
“Point out to the editors that the whole of ID creationism is a religiously motivated political movement,…”
Duh… You would think that he thought that we were hiding that fact.
Evolution is an atheistic movement.
So what’s your point.
“Point out to the editors that biologists and scientists in general do not stage propaganda rallies to promote a political/religious agenda.
Oh Well you might have to tell that to PZ Myers with his Al Franken push.
>>You have never experienced evolution. You have never seen an evolutionary process.
Actually I have. I have written a number of genetic algorithms as well as tinkering with such tools as Avida.
And if you’re just talking about an evolutionary process, everybody has seen one of those. Evolutionary algorithms are all around you, from guess-and-check algorithms in gradeschool to the proper spin to put on a political story. I have watched the evolution of computer OS’s to the evolution of Nigerian scams. You just need something, to be reproduced with a little bit of variance. Mutations, and other changes in gene frequency is trivial to observe in a number of species. Bacteria have a short enough lifespan to make this quite apparent. Such as the rise in antibiotic resistent bacteria. Evolution also helps us know which drugs to pursue. For example a new antibacterial which works with a similar method as previous bacterial drugs isn’t worth as much as a radical new drug, even if, right now, they are both as effective. Because one can predict (via evolution) that a few small changes will help shift the previous resistence to the new resistence, whereas the new drug will probably take 50 years for bacteria to become immune to.
The dirt on the bottom of my shoe is not the result of an intelligent design. It’s dirt.
>>Congratulations. You have more faith than me.
Again, it’s amazing to see Creationists poking fun at the theory of evolution as requiring faith or being a religion. Things which are reportedly suppose to be virtuous. Oh, the religion of evolution takes more faith than X, so it’s totally stupid. What kind of retard would believe in something on the grounds of faith? What kind of fool would accept a religion is true! Evolution doesn’t require faith, it just takes a good understanding and a quick look at the, literally, world of evidence supporting it.
“Point out to the editors the talkorigins.org index to creationist claims, emphasize that many many of these claims are decades old and have been refuted soundly from when they first arose and by the growing body of evidence produced by real scientists doing real science.
Yes of course. Real scientists are Atheist. Tell that to Albert Einstein.
No! A survey of scientists established Sir
Isaac Newton as the greatest scientist who
ever lived, and he believed in God, in Christ,
in the Bible, and in Creation. To the chagrin
of modern evolutionary scientists, Newton
wrote more books on theology than he did
on science. The revered â€œscientifi c methodâ€
was invented by a Christian. The inventor
of antiseptic surgery was Joseph Lister, a
Christian. In bacteriology, Louis Pasteur
was a Christian. Other Christians in science
In hydraulics, Leonardo da Vinci
In hydrostatics, Blaise Pascal
In energetics, Lord Kelvin
In physical astronomy, Johann Kepler
(who said that science was thinking
Godâ€™s thoughts after him)
In thermodynamics, Lord Kelvin
In systematic biology, Carolus Linnaeus
In chemistry, Robert Boyle
In comparative anatomy, Georges Cuvier
In computer science, Charles Babbage
In dimensional analysis, Lord Rayleigh
In electrodynamics, James Clerk Maxwell
In electronics, Ambrose Fleming
In fi eld theory, Michael Faraday
In fl uid mechanics, George Stokes
In galactic astronomy, William Herschel
In gas dynamics, Robert Boyle
In genetics, Gregor Mendel
In glacial geology, Louis Agassiz of Harvard
In gynecology, James Simpson
In isotopic chemistry, William Ramsay
In natural history, John Ray
In non-Euclidean geometry, Bernhard Riemann
In oceanography, Matthew Maury
In optical mineralogy, David Brewster
In stratigraphy, Nicholas Steno
In entomology of living insects, Henri Fabre
In optical mineralogy, David Brewster
In vertebrate paleontology, George Cuvier
“Ask the responders if cancer is intelligently designed. Ask also exactly how ID or creationism can be applied in finding a â€˜cureâ€™ for this scourage. Ask how non-hereditary cancers arise and how many mutations occur in most such cancerâ€™s development ( > 200 IIRC). Ask how ID explains this.”
Honestly. I do n ot think you would like the answer to that.
Yamil, I have a question for you. What kind of evidence or data would convince you to NOT believe in intelligent design?
“And if youâ€™re just talking about an evolutionary process, everybody has seen one of those. Evolutionary algorithms are all around you, from guess-and-check algorithms in gradeschool to the proper spin to put on a political story.”
Ha! that is laughable. You are playing the semantics game again. That would be like me asking you for paper and you giving me a tree.
FLorida is an odd state. But one with a beloved mascot. The manatee, whose evolution is well understood. Get them to ooh and aah about a manaatee then show them the manatees’s fingernails. Clearly this was once a land mammal.
>>Christopher Columbus was firmly convicted of the earth being round based on a Bible verse. The scientific community of the day was not behind him.. Go figure.
Actually that entire story is patently false. It’s filled with lies. The general idea was that the Earth was round at the time. Which, by the way, has very little to do with the heliocentricity (which was my point).
Christopher Columbus believed the Earth was smaller than it was. The general good scientific estimates at the time held that at Spain’s latitude the Earth would be about 19,000 miles around (pretty good guess). And that if you went west you would reach Japan after about 6,000 miles. Both really good estimates. So it would be 13,000 miles if you went east. This is why they laughed at Columbus’ idea, because it was laughable. No ship could sail that far and he would die of starvation long before he came close.
He ignored these ideas figured it would be about 14000 miles around at Spain’s latitude and 11,000 miles if you went east (both quite wrong). But thusly you would reach Japan or India in a bit over 3,000 miles. He sailed east hit land and declared himself right, and called the inhabitence Indians. He was ofcourse wrong, and when he got home everybody knew he was wrong.
Columbus firstly didn’t use any Biblical quote, that’s frankly another myth all together… and secondly used bad science to reach a bad conclusion. You cannot sail west from Europe and reach Asia in any non-trivial way, less so in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Oh and again, that has nothing to do with the Sun and the Earth, and which goes around which.
“The revered â€œscientifi c methodâ€
was invented by a Christian.”
An heretic christian.
But your point is well taken – science is secular, and so anyone can do it.
>>Other Christians in science include:
Anybody from say after Origin of the Species was published? The scientific community went from 0% belief in evolution (Darwin’s version) to 99% in a matter of years. I wonder if there was something compelling about it?
>>>>â€œPoint out to the editors that Intelligent design has already failed judicial review and ruled not science but a religious agenda in the Dover Trial. â€
>>Judicial Review by a radical liberal.
So right-wing Bush-appointed judges are now radical liberals? Dubya shouldn’t have appointed that guy! Decries activist judges and then appoints them… for shame.
>>An heretic christian.
It is odd that Newton didn’t get ordained (as was the policy at Oxford) because he thought Christ was an idol. But, he was still Christian.
Though I wouldn’t give him full credit for “inventing the scientific method” — or for being a biologist which my query required — or for being alive after Darwin put forward his theory.
The last post by tatarize is easily refuted by someone who is more qualified than me:
Professor Maciej Giertych, M.A.(Oxford), Ph.D.(Toronto), D.Sc.(Poznan), is head of the Genetics Department of the Polish Academy of Sciences at the Institute of Dendrology in Kornik, Poland. He is on the editorial board of two international periodicals: Silvae Genetics, published in Germany, and Annales ses sciences forestieres published in France. He is a member of the Polish Academy of Sciences Committee on Forest Sciences, and on the Forestry Council in the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry. He is the author of about 150 scientific papers in Polish and international periodicals.
As a forester, I study populations of trees and breed more productive ones. I have done much reviewing of forest genetic literature and writing of monographic volumes on various forest tree species for the Institute of Dendrology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, where I workâ€¦
However, being also an academic teacher in population genetics, I found it necessary to play down the evolutionary explanations given in textbooks, for the simple reason that I find no evidence to support themâ€¦
I had been taught that palaeontology gives the bulk of the evidence for evolution. To my surprise, I found that evidence is lacking not only in genetics but also in palaeontology, as well as in sedimentology, in dating techniques, and in fact in all sciencesâ€¦.
In microevolutionâ€¦ The misinformation lies in concealing the fact that select, adapted populations are genetically poorer (fewer alleles1) than the unselected natural populations from which they aroseâ€¦.
The same is true of breeding. Breeders eliminate unwanted genes making domesticated forms genetically poorer. These are usually helpless in nature and perish when left without human helpâ€¦.
Similarities are often used as arguments for evolution. But lack of similarities is never accepted as an argument against itâ€¦.
â€œMany hoped that molecular genetics would confirm evolution. It did not. It confirms taxonomic2 distances between organisms, but not the postulated phylogenetic3 sequences.* It confirmed Linnaeus,4 not Darwin.
Molecular genetics presented new problems. Genomes [all the genes in an organism] have multiple copies of genes or of noncoding sequences, very homogeneous within a species but heterogeneous between species. Such ‘repeats’ could not have been formed by random mutations acting on a common genome of a postulated ancestor. Some unexplained ‘molecular drive’ is postulated to account for these copies. It is simpler to assume there was no common ancestral genome.** .
â€¦ The teachers of evolution are beginning to speak in less convincing words. The offensive in support of evolution is so intensive and so well financed that it appears evolutionists are very worried.
They should be.
The last post was in response to Tatarize’s post on
October 6, 2006 | 5:42 pm
“Again, itâ€™s amazing to see Creationists poking fun at the theory of evolution as requiring faith or being a religion. Things which are reportedly suppose to be virtuous. Oh, the religion of evolution takes more faith than X, so itâ€™s totally stupid.”
The devastating truth is that an evolthe evolutionist cliams that species evolved whent they have never seen a species evolve. They point to mutations which can hardly be proof for evolution (or should say macroevolution for that is what they teach our kids).
It takes much faith to believe in evolution.
“Evolution doesnâ€™t require faith, it just takes a good understanding and a quick look at the, literally, world of evidence supporting it. ”
Ha! Such a world of evidence and you cannot find one. The best you can do is point to mutations. It’s like trying to prove that Santa Clause exist because you’ve seen reindeers.
A conservative politician from Poland and forester with a degree in trees?
Dendrology != biology.
I submit the heads of the biological departments of every accredited college and university in the United States.
Finally, quoting somebody who makes unqualified claims about a subject doesn’t make anything they say true.
>>It is simpler to assume there was no common ancestral genome.
Also, a number of his statements are clearly false. Firstly mutation does account for these extra genes. Trees and moreover plants in general quite often duplicate genes for one offspring. It’s not uncommon to find plants which are tetraploids. This is trivially explained by a mutuation. In fact, we have found species which are themselves hybrids of other distinct species, as well as species produced via polyploidal events. Without an ancestor you can’t even explain how all the trees have leaves, much less DNA.
Finally, Linnaeus is prefectly acceptable. We use taxonomy today, quite commonly. It’s not perfect, but it works perfectly fine even in the framework of Evolution. They are not mutally exclusive.
Your tree-guy is dumb as a stump.
>>Ha! Such a world of evidence and you cannot find one. The best you can do is point to mutations. Itâ€™s like trying to prove that Santa Clause exist because youâ€™ve seen reindeers.
No, it’s like proving reindeers (Family: Cervidae) evolved by pointing out the close relatives and tracking the fossil record of the animals back to the point where that species and it’s relative differ. The methodology for this change is explained by evolution via natural selection.
It’s like proving that the entire cat family come from a common ancestor due to the fact that they all have a mutated TAS1R gene. How about all primates having a corrupt gene needed to synthesis vitamin C? How about the pseudogene (same junk DNA in each species) that is almost identical to the function gene needed for such synthesis is other animals?
“He proselytizes for the religion of evolutionism. This religion believes, first, there was nothing at all; next, this nothingness exploded; then, some nonintelligence formed it into an awesome design.”
A sure sign of ignorance is when someone utters a few sentences that takes a long time to unravel, correct and answer. Such as here.
Science grows and changes by evidence, so it can obviously not be religious dogma. In fact, science is a method, a tool, and as all tools it is secular. Otherwise one could not teach it in public schools, which must stay secular so all religions are respected.
Evolution specifically, is the observed fact of common descent of life and the theories developed describing it. It is only applicable on already existing life, and doesn’t need to describe how life started to work. One can compare it with cosmology which describes how the universe looks like after the big bang, but doesn’t need to describe the big bang itself to work.
The rest of the attempt to description is about other sciences which is here conflated into a mess by an ignoramus.
“there was nothing at all”
This depends on which cosmology you choose. No final one is definitely decided by observation yet. The cosmology which describes our universe, the LambdaCDM cosmology, is an inflation cosmology which seems best explained by eternal inflation. Eternal inflation, which gives a multiverse cosmology, has theoretically a beginning, but that beginning can be pushed away to infinity. So one alternative is that the universe always was, and need no beginning.
First causes, or origin, doesn’t work in science, so other alternatives to universe or multiverse beginnings are proposed, for example spontaneous quantum tunneling or no-boundary proposals. They have no time as we know it before beginning. The later has no discernible beginning at all, that is what no-boundary means.
“this nothingness exploded”
Big bang is not an explosion, but a rapid expansion of spacetime. In eternal inflation, it was when inflation stopped for our specific pocket universe.
“some nonintelligence formed it”
A natural (and so far the only) idea in a multiverse cosmology is that since each universe gets its own parameters that sets the physical laws, the ones that are fit to live in gets life. Ie the anthropic principle picks the random universes. Some successful predictions of parameters supports this idea, and such finetuning neccessary for life strongly supports naturalism.
“into an awesome design”
Abiogenesis is the study of how life started, which evolution when can work on. Both of these areas have been found to have plenty of natural mechanisms that build and sustain life in a universe that is fit to live in.
“It is odd that Newton didnâ€™t get ordained (as was the policy at Oxford) because he thought Christ was an idol. But, he was still Christian.”
Hmm. I was perusing Wikipedia. “Newton may have rejected the church’s doctrine of the trinity. … In his own day, he was also accused of being a Rosicrucian (as were many in the Royal Society and in the court of Charles II).”
Tree guy thinks that polyploidy can’t be explained through mutation.
“Though I wouldnâ€™t give him full credit for â€œinventing the scientific methodâ€ â€” or for being a biologist which my query required â€” or for being alive after Darwin put forward his theory.”
Looking at comment order, I think you are confusing me with Yamil here.
>>A sure sign of ignorance is when someone utters a few sentences that takes a long time to unravel, correct and answer. Such as here.
This is true, but when it takes much longer to point out all the flaws it than it took to make them, it doesn’t quite fit into the soundbyte mentality.
I mean, you can say “Universe by Chance” twenty times before I can explain why just saying that makes you a moron. Creationism isn’t science, it’s a PR campaign, and as such, is pretty well waged. They don’t have any facts on their side, but facts are rather dry.
Never underestimate stupid people in large numbers.
I shifted contexts half way through the sentence. My reply was in part to you, and in part to him.
Never seen such a textbook troll before.
I can see now why it is recommanded not to feed them: it only teaches them to ask for more.
That’s the kind of thing that makes me realize thet French Science teachers have it really easy…
To answer Tatarize comment of Christopher Columbus and what he believed in the Bible, I will make the following points:
1. To say that Christianity was the cause for the belief that the earth was flat shows your ignorance of Christianity on two accounts. Firstly, the Bible explicitly states even before Christopher Columbus discovered the new world that the earth was round.
Isa 40:22 –
It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
Secondly, most of the prominent scientists were well aware by that time that the earth was round. There discord was not over this but on the size of the earth.
â€œOne of the famous lines written by the songwriter Ira Gershwin is “They all laughed at Christopher Columbus when he said the world was round.” You can call that poetic license for a musical comedy, but it’s important to know that that line is a lie, and it’s unfortunate that it appears in many school textbooks. Christopher Columbus and his contemporaries knew very well that the earth was round. Medieval science had been built on the precise studies of Greek scholars, and every educated person of Columbus’s time knew that the earth is round. Not only had the ancient Greeks discovered that the earth is round, but the philosopher Eratostenes accurately calculated the earth’s circumference in the third century before Christ. Medieval scholars debated such details as the earth’s size and how big are the oceans, but no serious scholar believed the earth to be flat.â€
Even the The New EncyclopÃ¦dia Britannica (1985), Colliers EncyclopÃ¦dia (1984), The Encyclopedia Americana (1987) and The World Book for Children (1989).
There is still a long way to go before the average student will know that Christianity did not invent or promote the myth of the flat Earth.
2. Firstly, it is well known that Christopher Columbus was religious. And it is highly improbable that he as a Christian was not aware of verses like that of Isaiah:
â€œWhile Columbus had always given the conversion of non-believers as one reason for his explorations, he grew increasingly religious in his later years. He claimed to hear divine voices, lobbied for a new crusade to capture Jerusalem, often wore Franciscan habit, and described his explorations to the “paradise” as part of God’s plan which would soon result in the Last Judgement and the end of the world. Columbus wrote of his journey, “God gave me the faith, and afterwards the courage.”
Sorry Tatarize, you will have to do much better than that. If you are going to say that Christianity believed that the earth was flat, then you will have to find a verse in the Bible that states that. Good luck.
The Bible has always been in line with science.
Definition of a troll: Anyone who does not have a radical hatred for God.
“Anybody from say after Origin of the Species was published? The scientific community went from 0% belief in evolution (Darwinâ€™s version) to 99% in a matter of years. I wonder if there was something compelling about it? ”
Yes. There was if you know anything about the history of the time. But I doubt I can spend the whole blog giving you a lesson.
“Your tree-guy is dumb as a stump. ”
Yes that’s why you cannot say something that refutes him.
The fact is that you believe what you want to believe. Your radical hatred towards God is what fuels you, not science.
“No, itâ€™s like proving reindeers (Family: Cervidae) evolved by pointing out the close relatives and tracking the fossil record of the animals back to the point where that species and itâ€™s relative differ. The methodology for this change is explained by evolution via natural selection.”
One big circular reasoning. Using evolutionary presupositions to prove evolution. Right?
The fact is that cats will always produce cats. You have never seen nor will ever see a cat produce a bird. And you will certainly never will seee a monkey produce a human.
But if you want to take that leap of faith than I guess its a free country.
“The devastating truth is that PZ Myers cannot give one beneficial contribution that evolution has made to society.” HUH???
That statement is just as ridiculous as stating that Isaac Newton could not give one beneficial contribution that gravity has made to society.
Evolution is a confirmed natural process, it is a scientific fact, it can not therefore have any intent whatsoever. However if you prefer; It doesn’t give a rodent’s anal orifice what any society may or may not need. Moron!! Go infect yourself with some antibiotic resistant micro organisms that evolved from previously non resitant strains.
“â€œEvolution specifically, is the observed fact of common descent of life and the theories developed describing it. It is only applicable on already existing life, and doesnâ€™t need to describe how life started to work.â€
Ha! Then why does evolution come up with the big bang to explain the origin of things.
And why do they have to go to prehistoric times where there is no written record of to purport their theories?
This hardly can be considered â€œobserved fact.â€
“I mean, you can say â€œUniverse by Chanceâ€ twenty times before I can explain why just saying that makes you a moron. Creationism isnâ€™t science, itâ€™s a PR campaign, and as such, is pretty well waged. They donâ€™t have any facts on their side, but facts are rather dry. ”
Actually this is called simplicity. I understand that you guys like to intimidate people into accepting evoolution by expressing it in scholastic mi\umble-jumble. If tit is that complicated, than it is probably a bit forced.
And that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
Point out the difference between direct and indirect observation, the distinction between and logical independence of methodological naturalism and ontological naturalism, as well as their double standards!
Keep fighting the good fight!
Bear in mind that the audience for these ID hustlers is not people who know anything about science. People who are into science are overwhelmingly on our side.
The IDers are perfectly aware of this–and they don’t care, because their agenda isn’t about science. It’s about inserting religious dogma into public schools.
Their audience–and consequently yours–are people who are bored spitless by science. So don’t bother attacking their methodology. The people you need to convince will tune it right out; what they’ll take away is the image of scientists arguing–thus legitimizing the IDers.
Stick to arguments that will fly with non-science people. E.g.:
– ID is not, in any way, shape or form, a controversy in the scientific community. The scientific community is pretty much together on this topic and, with very few exceptions, believes ID to be unmitigated horse hockey.
– Of the few scientists who support ID, almost to a one, they do so out of religious beliefs, not scientific ones; or they are paid to promote ID; or both. It affects their careers (as the IDers complain), in the same way a mathematician who insists that 2 + 2 = 53 would have career problems.
– ID has PR firms promoting it. For a scientific theory, this would be beyond bizarre. But for a public fraud, it’s de rigeur.
– Neither these PR firms nor anyone else is attempting to convince scientists that ID is valid. This is because they know it to be a waste of their time to try to convince people who actually know something about science.
– ID is based on religion, not science.
– Schools do not have unlimited resources or class time. Any time or money spent on ID will have to be taken away from real science.
Not to put more pressure on you folks, but if we lose this one, it’s not just science that’ll suffer. If they can stick something so egregiously false into science, what can they do to more touchy-feely subjects, like history classes or civics? All of public education is riding on this.
Luciano, how did you manage to mess up the entire page? Was that intentional?
Let’s see if this helps.
I’ve written a pretty long refutation of all three columns – mostly the first, because it’s the one that’s most specific and least shrill, but also the other two.
Some important issues on Intelligent Design and critical analysis that can be brought a bout is to question whether or not the proponents are so afraid of the means and methods of the science behind evoltution that they are willing to resort to moral relativism in order to fight it. In other words, since telling the truth is a moral absolute, and creationists preach moral absolutes, their denials of the facts of evoluton are cases of not telling the truth, in defense of a higher cause.
Barring that, their blanket denials of tjhe facts of evolution reveal the magnitude of their ignorance.
Science leads to inconvenient facts, and sometimes it shows that long held beliefs are completely incorrect. The age of the earth, long thought to be a few thousand years, was proven to be incorrect my orders of magnitude, and by the very people that were trying to prove a young earth whose age corresponded to the Ussher timeline.
Science has lead to the inconvenient truth that we are not a special creation, and that is what scares the creationists (ID included) – and so they want to suppress science in hopes that their cherished beliefs can stand strong.
The problem is that as our children fight through the lies of their parents, who claim that there is no evidence for religion , and those that learn to use the scientific method to discover inconvenient truths will suddenly question the other things that their parents taught them. And we can’t have that, now, can we.
Sorry, here’s a link to the specific post. I wonder if Luciano will show up.
ID is not science, but it is a very good business plan. The Discovery Institute’s Fellows are, for the most part, mediocre academics at second or third tier institutions. They each recognized early on that their careers were going nowhere and the DI gave these losers the opportunity to be more than their abilities would allow. By pandering to the ignorant and credulous these “scientists” were able to enhance their standing, if not in the scientific community, the religious community. It is one thing to preach to the choir, than to defend your ideas in the scientific literature.
A personal note to Yamil Luciano; there is no god. There are no UFO’s. Big Foot is a myth and the tooth fairy doesn’t exist. Get over it, grow up and let go of your irrational superstitions.
I’ll contribute two annecdotes that I feel sum up the state of ID and the state of evolution more completely than any array of facts.
I recently attended the convention of the largest organization of organismal biologists and physiologists in the US, which consisted of innumerable scientific talks on everything from plankton dispersal to snake digestion, and lots of time to
suck up toconverse with some of the most respected minds in modern biology. During that entire time, I heard ID mentioned about a dozen times, and every time it was followed by laughter. That’s the status of ID in the scientific community: a source of easy humor. It doesn’t even warrant derision, just a chuckle and rolled eyes before talking about something more worthwhile, like the quality of free stuff in the vendor’s area.
I’m currently taking a seminar course on the mechanisms of animal behavior, geared towards biomechanics, physiology, functional morphology, neurobiology, etc. The prof in charge is explicitly trying to minimize discussion of ‘the e word’ simply because every time it’s brough up, the discussion sidetracks and leaves mechanistic issues in the dust. In spite of the fact that we’re all attempting to deliberately focus on proximate issues of how animals actually engage in various behaviors, evolution crops up in every discussion. That is how pervasive evolution is: even when discussing what amounts to “muscle A pulls on limb X with force Y”, evolutionary context is absolutely unavoidable.
Henry, Master’s student in biomechanics
Thanks for all the helpful comments. We’re studiously ignoring the less helpful ones. We’re close to having a final product put together. Whew, it’s long! Hopefully, the paper is receptive. We are in contact with the editor and everything should be fine.
Make your main point the fact that the writer of the longer piece has faked evidence for a scientific “controversy” over evolution. Point out the out of context quotes, and suggest people google “quote mine project”. Also be sure to point out one of the quotes from the scientific community is actually from… a columnist. Specifically a columnist who writes on economic issues.
Make a point on how this is an attempt at deception.
Point out the non-sequiturs in the letters. For example, this line from George W. Siwinski’s letter: “Darwinâ€™s major premise was that given enough time, anything was possible. In Darwinâ€™s day, the consensus was that the age of the universe was infinite. We now know, with almost complete certainty, that the universe had a beginning, the Big Bang, at which point matter, space and time began (were created?).” This isn’t contradictory. Darwin didn’t argue that the universe was infinite. In fact he spurred consideration of the age of the earth. Then there’s “Also in Darwinâ€™s day, microbiology was virtually unknown, DNA was yet to be discovered.” Neither of which contradict the theory of evolution.
Point out similar non sequiturs in the longer op ed. For example the Werner Von Braun quote: “… The vast mystery of the universe should only confirm our belief in the certainty of its creator.” It doesn’t address evolution.
And again point out the religious quote at the end, but mainly harp on the deceptive parts.
Molly, I don’t think a purely political critique can work. When your audience thinks ID is a serious challenge to evolution, you can’t just say that there are political organizations behind it; you need to show that not only is ID false, but also there is no question about it in scientific circles.
Make a point about how if there truly was a scientific controversy, then making dishonest use of quotes would not be necessary.
“I mean, you can say â€œUniverse by Chanceâ€ twenty times before I can explain why just saying that makes you a moron. … I shifted contexts half way through the sentence. My reply was in part to you, and in part to him.”
Whew! I tried a nice parsing (using lazy yet successful tit-for-tat with forgiveness here), and I could barely make it fit.
But seriously: the discussion about disregarding or shooting for the undecided bystander is old. It is politics (ie hard to make theories on :-), so I think both ways must be tolerated.
If it is any comfort, I just read an interesting paper where someone did a reverse Sokal. A sociologist tried to pose as a physicist. It not only worked but showed that perhaps (one small group test so far) is that one should not use details, at least to experts. “The real expert threw in a lot more technical jargon, and the expert judges thought that it sounded like somebody trying too hard to impress people. This probably indicates that most experts are deluding themselves about the degree to which they avoid jargon in explaining things to each other and to the public. ( http://scienceblogs.com/principles/2006/10/an_enthusiastic_amateur_is_wor.php )
I’m not an expert here, merely entusiastic about the new cosmologies and observations and what they imply, but next time I will probably cut down the answer to a minimum instead. So now I wonder why I blathered so much here. 🙂
>>The fact is that cats will always produce cats. You have never seen nor will ever see a cat produce a bird. And you will certainly never will seee a monkey produce a human.
Okay. Argument over. You don’t understand evolution in the least. Done and done. As for the tree guy, he thinks mutation can’t explain polyploidy… that’s a pretty critical flaw.
>>Ha! Then why does evolution come up with the big bang to explain the origin of things.
It doesn’t. If you ask a cosmological question you get a cosmological answer.
>>I understand that you guys like to intimidate people into accepting evoolution by expressing it in scholastic mi\umble-jumble. If tit is that complicated, than it is probably a bit forced.
It’s actually very simple. Imperfect replicators conbined with non-random selection force can yield, over time, a lot of complexity.
“Ha! Then why does evolution come up with the big bang to explain the origin of things.”
I just tried to explain that that isnt evolution, that is cosmology. That science is more than biology and evolution can’t be too hard to grasp.
Cosmology describes the universe as we see it today: stars receading in all directions, cooling microwave background.
“And why do they have to go to prehistoric times where there is no written record of to purport their theories?”
Science is not based on written records, it is based on observations of events.
Take stars again. We look at the stars and see that stars lights are shifted towards red, larger redshifts the longer out we observe.
A theory that explains that would be that the universe expands. The observation would be to measure redshifts that follows from the theory, which are predicted to be larger the longer out we observe.
Since light takes time to travel, we also see back into the history of our universe. As one can understand from this, observations doesn’t care if the event that produce what will become the observation did it a while ago.
In fact, all observations are based on historical events, since what happened in an experiment always takes time to be recorded a bit away. It is a difference between nanoseconds and Gigaseconds, but it is the same thing.
That is the meaning of observed facts.
The logical conclusion of Intelligent Design is to teach that Satan is a creator in the classroom. See Using ID to Detect Malevolent Spiritual Agents and Man the Hunted. Not only is ID anti-science it’s also anti-Christian.
Go back to the Scope’s monkey trial and use Clarence Darrow. 25 years later, we’re still having the same fight.
You must confront these idots at every turn. Talk to the media. Have short sound bites already prepared. Dont go into long explanations and then give a conclusion. Give the conclusion first and then give the evidence for it. CALL the creationists on their bad science.
When you talk to the media you cant give long explanations of everything. They are looking for short soundbites. Give it to them. Thats the reason the creationists get TV time. They specifically pander to the media.
They also set up false options. For example they might say – ‘There is no explanation for the evolution of the flagellum and the 40 proteans required for it to evole. You should have a response ready which speaks exactly to that point. You might say ‘ Nonsense. Are you aware of the most recent study by——–‘
Then I am sure they will use the old time worn phrase ‘ materialism’. When they say it they really mean – anytrhing which relies on facts or evidence. You mjust call them on this one. Youe response might be ‘ Science is the realm of facts and evidence. If you dont want to deal in facts then stay out of science.
But it has to be something which will give the media a chance to put it in a TV piece. Thyey usually will only use a 20-30 second sound bite. So practice. maybe in front of a mirror.
One of the errors we made in Kansas was assuming these people would go away if we just laughed at them. They didnt.
It’s really very simple. Evolution can be proven by what has been discovered about it already. Creationism cannot. There is no proof whatsoever for it.
That does not mean that there is no God, but there is no one yet in the history of man who can tell you what he/she looks like. It’s all theory and faith.
Now personally, I belive that who or what ever the “creator” is, that he/she made it possible for us to evolve. But to think that we were put down here whole in a puff of magic smoke or somthing is ludicrous – unless we were put here by aliens.
Nope, for my money, all the things here on earth that tell me there is a God. But I think God had no hand in our evolution. If theat were true, he/she would have more control over what happens here. And with the stupidity of man, and the all the wars and destruciton he was wrought, if God could stop it, he/she would. But not having done so means that our greater lesson is to evolve as human beings until we get to where God wants us to be – loving, giving, sharing humans who take care of the earth as though it were a fine piece of crystal.
Two everyday examples that most people have heard of but never knew it was evolution :
– antibiotic resistance in bacteria
– immunity to disease
Evolution is not a process that depends on time, but on the number of generations. If a person could live 6,000 years, they would not physically change over that time. Let’s asume that at the beginning of those 6,000 years they bore a child, and that child bore a child, and so one and so forth, many generations later the offspring may not look to much different, but would have minor differences that would make it different than the original person.
I must say, as an idiot, even I can see that a â€œcircleâ€ is like a pizza (well, those made by an accomplished pizza maker, not someone like myself, who makes rather egg-shaped doughs) and a â€œsphereâ€ would be that which we nor understand the earth to be.
When I run around in circles looking for my car keys, I do not run around in the shape of the earth.
ooops *now understand the earth to be…
(my idiot -ness shines though…)
I would start at http://www.venganza.org/ the Church of the Flying Spagetti Monster, read their open letter to the Kanas school board .
The problem you are having with this issue is geographical. You are operating from within a state which is populated most densly of all the states by some of the most academically challenged individuals in America. The problem isn’t someone who writes a column that bears as much ignorance and stupidity as the articles above. The problem is that the people in Florida who are reading them are completely ignorant of scientific method. That will most likely never change. They will always view evolution as a “belief” because it’s how their brains are hardwired. They do not understand positive correlations and Spearmans or Pearsons values. They are not exposed to the simple science concepts of evidentiary observation, or carbon dating. Absent those critical understandings, they fill the vacuum of their knowledge with the only answers they know, that of scripture. Scripture, for these fact-challenged peopls, is the caulking with which they connect dots which do not connect except in imaginary story-telling. Unfortunately for them, the world will continue to study, and learn, and know – and 300 years from now, they will still be trying to prove unproveable myths. Nothing can stop knowledge, and it doesn’t require the “faith” of the faith-minded. Evolution marches on, free of the need of their acceptance, science moves forward, unencumbered by the demands of the religious right. Science will always be curious, and ask the right questions, and the religious fundamentalist will always be ignorant. My advice is to stop trying to win their confidence. It not only isn’t needed, as science will prevail whether it’s in the United States, or some other progressive country even if religious fundamentalism swallows societies and cultures whole in this one. But their approval and acceptance should not be wanted. The co-signature of the religious right means science has gone very wrong. The moment fundamentalism says, “Ok, I see … ” science has made a terrible mistake. Religious fundamentalists should the social barometer that tells science when it has veered off on the wrong path. Fortunately for science, this cultural ignorance breeds its own capitulation as a geographical vacuum which can be identified and controlled. Their children will either continue in their parents ignorance, attempt to export the ignorance to more educated communities and fail as laughing stocks, or leave the communities in search of evidence and scientific proof. Thus, their cultures will eventually experience the same evolutionary extinction that they so fear. The irony is that for them, evolution in fact does not exist – because they do not evolve! And the scientifically proven laws of survival of the fittest dictates that in time they will vanish just as sure as did the Dodo.
Yamil wrote above: “You have never experienced evolution. You have never seen an evolutionary process. For that mattter none in recorded history has.” Well I have never seen an electron either, not to mention protons or neutrons. So?
Anyway, one of your main points should be that we do experience evolutionary processes on a daily basis with bacteria. We see (as Tatarize has mentioned above) how bacteria develop antibiotics resistance. What is it if not an evolutionary process?! And without evolution we couldn’t understand this very important phenomenon, and this could lead to medical disaster. We can experience it because every generation of bacteria takes a much shorter time than generation more developed creatures, so the few years is human life that such a process takes, are equivalent to millions of “bacteria years”.
One thing that you must be careful of, is not to claim that science disproves the existence of God, or anything like that. Science can neither proves or disproves such a thing. If god exists it is just out of the scope of science. Science tries to expose the laws that govern our universe. But why those are the laws is out of the scope of science. It is a matter of philosophy, and here is where God might enter the picture (and if Einstein is mentioned â€“ this is the kind of God he was talking about). Personally, I am an atheist, and don’t believe in any form of God. But I cannot prove such a thing, and won’t even try to claim such a proof can be made.
Anyway, there are a lot of true believers that are also good scientists. But most of them take the position that “the Bible is not a science book” (as the noted philosopher, Jewish scholar, and scientist Yeshayahu Leibowitz used to say).
‘You have never seen nor will ever see a cat produce a bird”
In fact, if such an event occurred, it would go a long way to wards disproving evolution. Evolution posits no such silliness. Perhaps, you are tilting at windmills instead of trying to understand what evolution actually states.
Google Devolution by H Allen Orr – excellent New Yorker article on the subject
The truth about science and religion is that they are neither directly comparable nor are they mutually exclusive.
The goal of science is an understanding of natural phenomena that allows for predictions. The ability to predict is very important,i.e. you wouldn’t want to fly in an aircraft if Bournelli’s principle worked “sometimes”.
The scientific method supports this goal. It says that to be considered science a hypothesis must have certain characteristics, i.e. the hypothesis must be relevant to the observed phenomena, the phenomena must be repeatable, the hypothesis must make predictions which are testable and the hypothesis must be falsifiable.
No where does science or the scientific method say that hypothesis that do not meet these criteria are false, it only says that they are not Scientific.
Religion seeks to explain god and the spirit. The universe is one of gods creations. It is not unreasonable to propose that god created a universe that can be understood in part scientifically.
Science say hypothesis which refer to god’s will, spiritual planes, etc. because they are not repeatable, testable or, falsifiable are not scientific, it does not say they are false.
ID specifically is not scientific. It is set up to be that way. Reference to the will of a ‘creator’ can be used to answer any question, from stock prices to why water flows downhill, with out actually offering a useful explanation or mechanism for making predictions. The explanation is not relevent to the observed phenomena. ID is also not falsifiable. IDs proponents state that the creator changes the outcome of experiments to avoid proof of his existence. As it offers no explanations, makes no predictions, and is not falsifiable, it is not science.
IDs proponents have a big problem with trying to make ID scientific. You can address the shortcomings with ID by suggesting the creator say, set up genetics to work the way it does. Once you make all of the modifications needed though they wind up saying that the creator set up Natural Selection, this is ot where they want to gol. Arguing with ID proponents is like trying to nail jello to the wall.
Natural Selection incidently is the theory, not evolution. Natural Selection is a scientific theory. It is relevent, it makes predictions. It has been widely tested and verified.
You can believe in god and in science. You can believe in ID if you want to. If you suggest that ID is a scientific theory you are wrong.
The take away here is that science and religion have different domains. As an example you could jump off the edge of a cliff with a hang glider or expecting to be borne aloft by your faith in god. At the top of the cliff a hang glider based upon the laws of physics would probably be more useful. At the bottom of the cliff, your family will probably find the comfort provided by religion would probably be more useful if you attempted to fly based upon the laws of religion.
People who claim that science and religion are in competition are just silly. They demonstrate that they understand neither
There are two impossible-to-refute factoids that demonstrate why humans are not the pinnacle of God’s Creation:
1. Nearly all mammals produce their own vitamin C, hence do not require a dietary source. Primates (including humans) are among the few that cannot, and must find it to stay healthy– or else suffer the effects of scurvy.
2. The human eye has a design that is less-than-optimal– the optic nerve bundle comes off the retina in the exact center-of-vision, leaving a blind spot. On the other hand, the optic nerve bundle for the eye of the octopus comes off at the side of the retina– no blind spot.
Why would an intelligent designer do these things? And, by the way, why can’t it be more than one designer? Humans must have been designed by a committee!
The first thing the Creationist does to refute the theory of evolution is conflate it to a religion. By doing so they discredit it because as we already know religion is based on faith not fact. This discredits their own arguments. Belief in a diety is purely a matter of faith and by their own argument faith has no credability.
Intelligent Design assumes a diety, but offers us no proof of a diety, it relies on faith. The first action of the Design Institute should be to define the diety or intelligent designer. They are the “scientists” that have proposed this construct, therfore they need to proove their theory through the scientific method. Eliminate faith from their own theories would go along way towards gaining them credability. The current state of research carried out by the Design Institute consists of criticising the research carried out by others. This is an act of public relations not science. Disproving someone else does nothing toward proving their theory.
In short they need to do the science.
RElativity is also “on’y a theory”
but a powerful theory indeed. Kabooom http://z.about.com/d/inventors/1/0/Z/9/nuke2.jpg I am sorry I can’t see what I am typing on the form. It only shows after my post.
It would be better if you fixed your form so people can see what they are typing.
Ask the religious extremists this:
what TESTABLE prediction does your theory make? If none, not science.
What evidence can you come up with for the test?
HOw does it come out?
Evolution has been tested many mnay thousands andof times and been very robust.
On Another note: when confronted with the “how do you explain…?” nonsnese, point out that scinece is inherently about things athat aren’t yet explained. This question makes human brains the measure of all things. Imagine if we took dog brains instead. My dog does not understand how a microwave works. Therefore it must be divinely made. Therefor the fine folks who work at Panasonic must be gods.
Well, look. Every argument that is made against evolution by Creation Scientists can be made against Creation Science.
First: No one has ever observed a Creator create the universe, and there is no evidence for this in the fossil record. At best, if we are to believe Creation Scientists, there is evidence that evolution may not work as described. But how is this evidence for a Creator?
Second: The chances that an omnipotent Creator outside of nature, who has infinite choices in the type of universes He could create, would choose to create only this particular one, are by definition infinitesimal. If we begin with the premise of a Creator as described by Creation Science, the laws of probability exclude our existence.
Third: But perhaps the Creator has created infinite types of universes, with an infinite variety of physical properties. If the Creator has in fact done this, then there is a 100 percent probability that there exist an infinite number of universes in which evolution operates. And in a sub-set of these universes which is, itself, infinite in extent, there would exist a religious minority who refused to believe that this process had, in fact, occurred, and would raise precisely the types of objections that Creation-Scientists in this universe do, in fact, raise. How do we know that this universe is not one of those?
Fourth: there is no process that could account for the existence of the Creator Himself. We’re either left with the possibility that it is possible for something to exist uncreated — in which case, what is the objection to the claim that the physical universe is uncreated? Or else, we’re left with an infinite series of Creators creating other Creators, which negates the basic premise of Creation Science alltogether.
Does not matter if we believe in science or not. God certainly does because he gave the universe consistent rules to operate by we just call it physics. You can call them God’s rules or whatever but they are consistent or we would not be here. Seems like with all the evidence for evolution anyone questioning it that is religious is questioning God’s will.
Since information and evidence are absolutely meaningless to ID creationists, perhaps we should be approaching the discussion more from a psychological perspective by asking a few choice questions of religious belief.
1) What sort of person accepts notions as unquestionable and absolute truths without evidence, or denies the evidence that stands contrary to already accepted beliefs? This is analogous to a wife whose husband returns home with fresh lipstick on his collar while reeking of sex and perfume, yet denies that he could ever be unfaithful. In the same way, the â€˜lipstick and perfumeâ€™ of science is disregarded to protect an emotional urge.
2) What sort of mental state is required for a person to become so deeply entangled with an imaginary being? It seems that most religionists have some need for a â€˜personal relationshipâ€™ with this thing. This reminds me of the weirdoes that stalk celebrities, believing the actor or singer has been sending them â€˜signalsâ€™ in movies or through lyrics. â€œI know he loves me. I just know it! The words were about me!â€
3) What sort of mentality must have definitive or conclusive answer for everything to the point that asserting these â€˜answersâ€™, despite lack of corroborating evidence, becomes a moral crusade? These types of people remind me of my ex-wife. She would call me at work and ask me what time I would be home. I would reply to her â€œI didnâ€™t know.â€ Then she would harangue me about my indecisiveness in spite of the fact that I was being 100% honest. People with plans for others are always running around spouting moral absolutes and cannot handle ambiguities. I refer to them as â€˜control freaks.â€™
4) Why would religionists continue to believe in a deity that obviously causes or allows so much suffering in spite of promises to the contrary? They will answer in two ways. First, that man is inherently sinful and second, that this deity has a â€˜greaterâ€™ plan that we cannot fathom. This is like battered-spouse syndrome, where the abused woman blames herself, all the while faithful that things will finally get better if she performs as he demands. â€œIf only Iâ€™d prayed harder or had more faith, God wouldnâ€™t have given me cancer! Itâ€™s all my fault.â€
Before we even begin to address the facts and merits of methodological naturalism, we must carefully access the personas of those we are trying to reach. If this seems condescending, well then, thatâ€™s too bad. The time for being nice is over. We must never forget that they are on a moral crusade and will seek victory by any means necessary.
Point out that the decoding of the human and chimp genomes has identified the two primate chromosomes that fused together to reduce the 48 chromosomes in primates to the 46 chromosomes in humans. This finding completely supports the common origin of chimps and humans and is unexplainable by intelligent design.
For a terrific set of rebuttals to “Intelligent Design/creationism” read
Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion. Lively, well-written, irrefutable.
Difficult to respond not seeing the whole thing but from your short excerpt I would go with something like:
The guest column responding to Jonathan Smith shows that Mr/Mrs. ??? is profoundly confused as to what science is and what the theory of evolution is about. First of all, evolution is strictly concerned with common descent of life. How the original life form first came to be is not addressed by evolution. It certainly has nothing to do with cosmology and the origin of the universe itself. Second, science is not a belief system, not a philosophy, not a religion but quite simply science is a method. Science is a method whereby an explanation for a set of facts is formulated (hypothesis) which makes a prediction that can then be tested to potentially rule out that explanation (empirical falsification). Tests are continuously done to try and disprove these explanations and those that have withstood these tests over and over again for long periods of time rise to the high title of scientific theory. Evolution is one such theory on more solid standing than any current theory of gravitation. (NOTE: You can include examples of such tests from http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/ ). Mr./Mrs. ??? reply demonstrates they have no clue as to what they are even arguing against. If intelligent design (ID) proponents want to make ID scientific, they need to be able to apply the scientific method. So, they need to explain how we could test an ID hypothesis that would prove that ID was wrong.
What? You mean just because we can isolate a specific change and find all the species that had that genetic difference look closely related or find another difference which exists in a subset of these organisms, which themselves look closer, or a difference which includes those organisms and several more… and that you can use all these differences and subsets and create a tree which leads back to the earliest of animals (sponge).
I consider myself a Godly Evolutionist. There is no conflict between God and Evolution. All analysis from multiple sources of information are converging (as in the movie “What the Bleep do we know?) to show that there is most likely a “Supreme Consciosness”. The example from Quantum physics as that the nature and design of the universe most closely resembles pure “thought”.
What does this have to do with evolution? It has everything to do with evolution as well as the evolution of most peoples concept of “God”.
God is not “out there somewhere” behind it all and designing creation, He/She IS all of creaton. And just like Plato understanding, we all exist within the body or mind of God. Evolution isthe process of God’s consciousness that has descended into matter and has EVOLVED into what we are now.
The problem with Creationists is that they seem to have lost the ability to reason.
Evidence of evolution is discovered every day! Recent articles of the island of Golapogos where Darwin first noticed the evolutionary changes, have shown recent evloutionary changes in the species of finch.
Creationists are in denial of the facts and cannot “adjust” their understanding of God to accept the truth of what God is. They are stuck on an idea of a limited God that get’s angry, jealous, and throws tantrums. A child’s and egoists view of God.
For me, Einstein’s simple theory of relativity explains the nature of God. E = mc (2).
Which basically says that everything is made up of one thing. And isn’t that what God has said all along? That I am All there is?
Now just put a “Collective” consciousness behind that and all the prophets, all the holy men, of all the peoples of all the world become understood. We are one. And evolution is a fact that we may marvel at God’s creation.
Now we can examine in depth, with all of our combined skills and knowledge, in every discipline and every field of study… to do exactly as scriptures say, ” Come, let us reason together, sayeth the Lord.” because evoluion IS God’s path back home. Now… go evolve.
Molly, I donâ€™t think a purely political critique can work. When your audience thinks ID is a serious challenge to evolution, you canâ€™t just say that there are political organizations behind it; you need to show that not only is ID false, but also there is no question about it in scientific circles.
Alon Levy – You’re right, and obviously, some supporting information for the statement: “IDers are lying their sneaky, conniving @sses off when they try to con you that ID has any acceptance in the scientific community; don’t you fall for it” would be good.
And we already have that information. The thing is, it’s all we tend to trot out at these times.
Again: Anyone who thinks ID is a serious challenge to evolution isn’t into science. At all. They’re the kind of people whose eyes glaze over at any discussion with a number in it. Polysyllabic words don’t do so well either.
In a word, yokels.
The GOP has had endless luck grifting these rubes out of their time, money, votes, and sometimes, their kids’ lives, and now the Discovery Institute is taking its whacks at them. We want to do the decent thing and wise them up.
But if we talk to them like we talk to each other, we may as well save our breath. They won’t get it. Moreover, if they don’t understand our science, they’ll glom onto the “science” they can understand. Since ID requires no understanding (“Life suddenly happened! Abracadabra!”), they’ll go with ID if we aren’t careful.
Of course the IDers want to frame this as a science debate. But it’s not, and we know it. It’s about scamming non-scientists. That is the truth, and that’s how we should frame it.
The fundamental difference between sciences and philosophies, (including religious philosophies), are the abilities to independently observe, test and predict.
ID is a philosophy that, at it’s core, says “the universe is too complex for us to understand, therefore there must be a god.” God, of course, is neither predictable nor testable.
Evolution has been tested by innumerable people of faith hoping to discredit it, none have succeeded. There are an overwhelming number of studies and predictions that have demonstrated the veracity of evolution.
But to me personally, the most offensive component of this debate is the fact that there is nothing in science that asserts or refutes the existence of god. While there are certainly scientists who attack religion, the same is also true. Remember, religions have considered science a threat since day one – in fact the catholic church didn’t come clean about the fact that earth revolves around the sun and not vice versa until it cleared Galileo’s name in 1992!!!!!
Only people who desire to interpret the bible literally, (whichever of the thousands of different versions of the bible they deem correct), view science as a threat…because it can be used to directly refute claims made in the bible. Okay, but the bible can be used to do the same thing, consider:
God told Moses the Ten Commandments, which were then written in stone. Ten, remember that. Because if you read the old testament ou’ll see three different versions of the ten commandments, adding up to…not ten! If one of those versions is what God told Moses, two aren’t. This is one of thousands of examples of how men have changed, (and thereby implicity undermined), God’s guidance.
I studied political science, which isn’t very sciency, (no math thank heavens!) But it does allow reiable predictions. Here’s one: the closer the U. S. Gov’t aligns itself with fundamental christian beliefs, the more violent and repressive it will become.
Think about how U. S. leadership has changed under Bush, (a good christian if we’re to take his word for it); it has become less hopeful, less helpful, more violent, more respressive, and far, far less credible. Shameful.
I’m a fundamentalist American – I don’t care what you’re religion is and it’s none of my business. I only ask that you use your faith to improve the human condition rather than divide humanity into Us and Them, (as Bush has). Science has given us modern medicine, the benefits of which can be measured and quantified. Can the same be said for modern prayer?
Again: Anyone who thinks ID is a serious challenge to evolution isnâ€™t into science. At all. Theyâ€™re the kind of people whose eyes glaze over at any discussion with a number in it. Polysyllabic words donâ€™t do so well either.
No, but they are into “science.” When polled if they like science, Americans overwhelmingly answer yes; they just think ID is a serious challenge. It’s a combination of scientific ignorance and religious wishful thinking. Attacking religious wishful thinking isn’t really possible without a gigantic media establishment that should dwarf Rupert Murdoch’s stations, so the only way to proceed is to convince people that among scientists, there’s no controversy.
I find it funny that the troll couldn’t think of contributions evolution made to society. Aside from all the medical and technological stuff (Hello! Robotics!), there’s even entertainment usage.
He’s essentially expecting me to believe that a piece of data on my PS2 memory card doesn’t exist: My AI Armored Core, “Jackal” who’s pretty good with dual rifles.
On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God’s name on one’s behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in A, B, C, and D. Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of conservatism.’ ~Barry Goldwater
Yamil, if Creationism has superior explanatory abilities over Evolutionary Biology, then what does Creationism say about placoderms?
Placoderms were a group of enigmatic armored fish that had blade-like “toothplates” instead of teeth, and ranged in size from 10 centimeters to 8 meters in length. According to the distribution of their range, placoderms dominated virtually all aquatic environments, freshwater and marine, on all continents. Having said this, why is it that, if the world is less than 6000 years old, there has been no trace of any interaction between humans and placoderms, nor historical account, or even legendry, ever, save when people began digging up their fossils less than 120 years ago? Are there even any scientific articles about placoderms written by Scientific Creationists?
The problem with evolution deniers is the overall attack on the scientific method itself. More than a century of research and discovery has led to the current state of evolutionary biology. Theories that stand up to the rigors of science become generally accepted. Those that don’t are discarded or corrected. This is why strawman attacks such as Piltdown Man support science more than refute it. If there was some sort of religious aspect to evolution, than the response to the hoax would have been different.
So attacks on evolution are in fact attacks on science itself. The same process that built evolutionary theory has also built gravitational theory, aerodynamics, nuclear physics, and any other real, testable theory you can think of. If you have any academic honesty at all, then you must reject all scientific theory. You can’t cherry pick your favorites and throw out the rest. And the obvious problem with throwing out theories you don’t like is the mountain of evidence we see all around us(cars, computers, and all the other comforts of modern life).
The stupid thing is, when asked about creationism, the only thing Creationists talk about is evolution. That doesn’t do anything. How is your idea better? How does it explain dinosaurs, appendicies, wisdom teeth, gymnosperms, bacteria, HIV (retrovirus), reduced body hair amoung humans?
The only real things any of them talk about is how this that and the other in evolution doesn’t work. They are wrong on just about every attack they make, but they never address their own claims. How can you propose that everything needs a more complex creator, without your god thing needing a more complex creator… and his godgod a more complex one at that?
You don’t need the simple, well defined, easily accepted, highly predictive theory of evolution to look at creationism and say… that’s a bad answer.
â€œBear in mind that the audience for these ID hustlers is not people who know anything about science. People who are into science are overwhelmingly on our side.â€
Elitism I presume. I suppose that Molly has never seen a debate between an evolutionist and an ID scientist. I also suppose that she did not bother reading the quote I gave above. This is the type of crowd that would rather believe that their dad was a monkey. Go figure.
Even Kent Kovind, who does not have a degree in science, was able to stand his ground against leading evolutionists over 100 times! I do not think this says much about the crowd to which she belongs to.
I assume that this type of intellectual dishonesty and scholastic bigotry is the reason why ID is gaining more and more ground. It does not matter how qualified a person may be in his field the atheist ground will only scream out, â€œShut up, stupid! You are so ignorantâ€¦â€
Even, in a forum of this scale, the only rebuttal I receive is ad hominem attacks. Their has not been anything substantial made from the fanatical God haters. The best they can do is to shout defamations and cry of how ignorant one is who should dare to oppose them.
Funny. I presume that the only ones who are educated are those who would embrace evolution. And let me guess, everyone else are close-minded. Ha! The irony of it all.
Molly let me offer you some links where you can listen to some objective debate. It makes a better alternative to drinking the red coolaid to which you are accustomed to.
The C.S. Lewis Conference (named Oxbridge, because it meets at Oxford and Cambridge) featured a discussion between eminent philosophers Anthony Flew and Gary Habermas. Anthony Flew was one of the world’s most famous atheists because he has debated theist philosophers about the existence of God for decades and some of these debates were televised. For much of his life, Flew based his atheism upon science. His recent and celebrated conversion to theism was also based upon science.
Flew was invited to Oxbridge to join Habermas, his old debating partner and friend, for a discussion about Flew’s recollections of C.S. Lewis at Oxford and Flew’s conversion from atheism to theism. His conversion to theism came from reading the works of intelligent design scientists. He concluded that the weight of the scientific evidence points to the idea that the universe was designed, and therefore must have an intelligent designer. Habermas asked him about faith and Flew denied that faith had anything to do with his change of mind. He said he was logically following where the evidence led him. Flew obviously regards the research of the intelligent design scientists as science and not faith. What say you to this, Dr. Krauthammer?
If we can ban a scientific model, such as intelligent design, from the classroom simply because it has roots in a philosophy that has theistic implications, can we also throw out evolution if it is revealed to be a blend of science and a philosophy with cosmological implications? Of course not. It would be absurd to throw out either intelligent design or evolution on these grounds. Although the ultimate winner in the contest between these two scientific models will be determined by the evidence, it is helpful to understand that the two models represent two conflicting cosmologies and world views. It is extremely painful for a man to change a long-held world view. I stand in awe of the profound integrity of Anthony Flew to change his cosmology when the evidence required it, even though he had been a public advocate of a different cosmology for fifty years. The evolutionists’ long commitment to a particular cosmology might help us to understand their emotional reactions when they are contradicted with hard evidence.
Since evolutionists often claim, “We are of science, and intelligent design is of faith,” we are entitled to know if this is true. So far in our deliberations, it has become clear that intelligent design is a science with roots in a philosophy. Is the same thing true of evolution? Yes, indeed.
Prior to French Enlightenment science, there was no concept of a necessary link between science and the philosophy of materialism–which holds that nothing exists outside the realm of matter. (This was due in part to the fact that most of the founders and eminent names of early science were Christians.) During the 1750’s and 60’s, Denis Diderot (1731â€“1784), the leading editor of the Encyclopedia and other leading French “philosophies,” borrowed empirical ideas from Bacon, Locke, and Hume, and mechanistic ideas from Descartes, to create a hard-boiled new kind of materialism. The “philosophies” were either atheists or anti-clericalists and their new materialism excludes the possibility of the existence of God or the possibility that God intrudes into nature or intervenes in the affairs of men. The philosophies argued in the encyclopedia that materialism and science were of necessity linked and that traditional theism is necessarily excluded from science. They argued that matter is a closed system that excludes the supernatural, the paranormal and the spiritual. This philosophy of the cosmos came to be known as “scientific naturalism.” The philosophies were the first to maintain that science and materialism are bound together in an indivisible embrace.
Influential German scientist Hermann von Helmholtz (1821â€“1894) emphasized the “laws of classical mechanics” and that all science can be reduced to a closed system of matter, force, chemistry, and energy. His emphasis of the mechanics of nature intensified the passion for materialism and the conviction that science is necessarily materialistic. These ideas were passed down to Ernst Von Brucke who was a college professor of Sigmund Freud (1855â€“1939). Freud, who was a superlative writer and commanded a wide audience, popularized the idea of science as the study of the world as a closed mechanistic system.
Scientific naturalists from Diderot to Freud promoted the idea that science was linked of necessity to materialism and that any conclusions of research that allow for a realm outside of a closed system of material cause and effect must not be science. Evolutionists still make this claim today. But is it true? Not at all. Materialists have used the mechanisms of nature in an attempt to prove materialism, but that does not prove that the assumption of materialism is essential to science. Microbiologist Michael Behe, one of the most famous of the intelligent design scientists, uses the mechanical processes of microscopic creatures as an illustration of the irreducible complexity of nature. He says that irreducible complexity hints at an intelligent design and presents a difficulty for the evolution model.
Although many evolutionists are saying that intelligent design is not of science because it does not support materialistic assumptions, saying so does not make it so. Such an assertion is unnatural to science. It is prima facie evidence that the loyalty of the evolution establishment to a philosophy trumps their curiosity about where the facts lead and calls into question their integrity concerning the pursuit of truth. Not only is a materialist philosophy not essential to science, but the insistence that it is essential to science forces science to serve a philosophy. This fallacy is a potentially corrupting influence upon scientists.
Recurring statement of evolutionists: “We do not have to respond to criticism from intelligent design people because they are not of science.” Truth: It is a fallacy to say they are not of science because they do not subscribe to a philosophy of materialism. It is contrary to an essential principle of science that inconvenient criticism can be disregarded. One of the time-tested principles of science is that the science community must attempt to “falsify” the results of research. Only conclusions that cannot be falsified should be accepted as sound research. The refusal of evolutionists to answer serious criticisms might be an evidence that they have no answer and prefer to silence the conversation.
Recurring statement of evolutionists: “Intelligent designers do not publish their papers in academic journals so as to expose themselves to the criticism of their peers. Therefore, they are not of science.” Truth: This claim is based on the concealment of a false premise. The false assumption is that the journals would publish papers written by intelligent design scientists if the papers were of good quality. However, the biological science journals are controlled by the evolution establishment. Papers submitted by intelligent design scientists are automatically rejected. The prejudicial blackballing of a category of dissenting papers displays a lack of integrity by the evolution establishment and perhaps a fear of the truth. The claim that there is something wrong with intelligent designers because they do not publish is a cleverly deceptive statement. Actually, there is something wrong with the evolution establishment for refusing to allow intelligent design scientists to publish their papers. It is a question of integrity.
Recurring statement of evolutionists: “There is no evidence to support intelligent design and no evidence that challenges evolution.” Truth: Such a statement can only be made by a liar, or one who has never read what the intelligent design scientists are saying. Evolutionists get away with the big lie tactic by suppressing the works of intelligent design scientists.
Recurring statement of evolutionists: “Intelligent design is biblical creationism in fancy dress.” Truth: Biblical creationism starts with a biblical model and works outward from the model to the evidence. Intelligent design starts with observed facts and cautiously works upwards towards conclusions that it hopes will eventually be the foundation of a mature model. Evolutionists laugh at Intelligent designers because they lack a mature model. Intelligent design scientists are suspicious of evolutionists because of their agenda to find facts or reinterpret facts to fit their model and to sweep facts under the rug that do not fit the model.
Do evolutionists suppress facts?
Yes, evolutionists often suppress the facts when they are inconvenient to the evolution model and the philosophy of materialism.
Example 1: All nine phyla of complex animals appeared suddenly in the Cambrian rock in China. No complex animals appear in Pre-Cambrian rock. No transitional forms of simple creatures evolving into more complex creatures appear in Pre-Cambrian rocks. Some Chinese scientists have rejected Darwinism because of these findings. The American evolution establishment has suppressed the information, so that many American scientists and students of science have never heard of the “Cambrian explosion.” Scientists in Communist China have significant freedom of thought and publication. Biological science in democratic America is under the dictatorship of the evolution establishment. However, if President Bush has his way, high school children will be allowed to hear about the “Cambrian explosion.”
Example 2: After the discovery of DNA in 1953, evolutionists realized that natural selection is inadequate to explain “macro-evolution,” which is evolution from one species to another. Natural selection cannot add new information to the DNA during the evolution of a new species. Dogs cannot evolve into cats through natural selection, because there is a lot of information in cat DNA that is missing in dog DNA. Natural selection cannot make this data appear the DNA. However, evolutionists also recognized that “micro-evolution,” which is variation within a species, can occur by natural selection or selective breeding because no new information needs to be added to the DNA. A society of breeders can start with poodles and after thousands of generations of selective breeding wind up with a Saint Bernard. All the information in poodle DNA is also in Saint Bernard DNA.
Evolutionists decided to fix their evolutionary mechanism by claiming that gene mutations can supply new information to DNA. Hopefully, mutations plus natural selection can produce macro-evolution. Students are not told that no example has ever been found of one species evolving into a new species through mutations. Only minor variations within a species have been discovered that involve mutations, and most of these variations are harmful. Students are routinely given examples of micro-evolution as proof of the evolution of species. The fact that micro-evolution is not an evidence of macro-evolution is concealed. When intelligent designers protest this misinformation of students, evolutionists will sometimes say that there is no difference between micro-evolution and macro-evolution, and that creation scientists invented the concept of micro and macro-evolution. This is false, of course. The evolutionists, themselves, discovered the difference between micro-evolution and macro-evolution. That is why they added gene mutation to their model for macro-evolution. However, it is easy to fool students by palming off examples of micro-evolution as evidence for the evolution of new species. It is very easy to conceal the difference between micro-evolution and macro-evolution from students. The evolutionists do not play fair. If President Bush has his way, students will be allowed to hear about the difference between micro-evolution and macro-evolution.
Example 3. The late paleontologist Steven Jay Gould said that the fossil record demonstrates that “species stasis” is the norm. Species change is rare and sudden. It is not a continuous process as evolutionists had long thought. Gould called his theory “punctuated equilibrium,” because the long “equilibrium” period when species stay the same are “punctuated” by great change. Gould assumes the sudden change in species is the reason why evolutionists have never found the multitudes of intermediate forms that they have always been looking for–and which Darwin said they must find if evolution is true.
Gould was too famous and too widely published for his theory of punctuated equilibrium to be suppressed. However, the evolution establishment has enough clout to prevent school children from hearing about punctuated equilibrium.
Interestingly, Gould was an articulate defender of evolution all his life and thought that punctuated equilibrium is consistent with evolution. But consider the difficulties. Gould insisted that all evolution is random and without purpose and design. Yet, he also said evolution comes in great spurts in which hundreds of thousands of gene mutations occur in a relatively short period of time and perfectly synchronize with each other. At the same time, each individual mutation must give the creature an immediate advantage in survival–or it will die. After the evolution spurt, the combination of new mutations much give the altered creature an adaptive advantage. The new species must have an internal harmony of parts–as though it had been designed. Scientist William Dembski claims that the mathematical odds of this happening are remote. It is far more plausible that the rare but sudden species changes in the fossil record represent the intervention of an intelligent designer.
The theory of evolution is a blend of science and the philosophy of materialism. The evolution establishment has gradually corrupted the science so that it will serve their theoretical model of random evolution in order to support their philosophy of materialism. This corruption includes the concealment of inconvenient evidence, sheltering themselves from criticism, making sweeping generalities from fragments of evidence, and making false charges against intelligent design scientists.
Like the theory of evolution, intelligent design science has links to a philosophy, namely the philosophy of Deism and natural law. However, intelligent design science is protected from corruption by its careful adherence to the empirical disciplines of Francis Bacon.
In conclusion, whether one believes in evolution or intelligent design science, one is obliged to consider that at present, the intelligent designers are operating at a higher level of integrity than the evolution establishment.
As we begin discussing the scientific evidence, we must understand the positions of both the evolution supporters, and those who believe in an intelligent designer. Both side are looking at the same body of evidence, and interpreting them very differently. Both sides have view points that are vastly different than what most of us were taught in high school biology. Scientists who support the General Theory of Evolution (GTE) no longer believe in a slow gradual change from one species to the next. Scientists who support a model of an earth created by an intelligent designer are not simply religious zealots who are attempting to misread their religious texts as science handbooks. As I demonstrate an intelligent design position as vastly more scientifically feasible than one that relies upon evolution from common ancestry, I will begin with a description of modern evolutionary science, and will follow with how I believe the facts are more accurately interpreted.
When Charles Darwin wrote The Origin of Species in 1859, he wrote a very believable essay with several primary points:
Species undergo slow change over time. (Aka, â€œThe species are not immutableâ€ or â€œDecent with modificationâ€) Darwin demonstrated that species, over the course of generations, change.
This change process is primarily guided by natural selection (AKA, â€œSurvival of the fittestâ€) Darwin saw natural selection as â€œa guiding force so effective that it could accomplish prodigies of biological craftsmanship that people in previous times had thought to require the guiding hand of a creator.â€ (Source)
This change over time can be extended to account for all or nearly all the diversity of life. Darwin believed that all of the 60+ million species that had been discovered in his time could be traced back to a very small number of common ancestor life forms from which all the species emerged from.
Darwinâ€™s original paper follows scientific procedures and offered forth some predictions that he felt would come true to prove his theory correct. (Note: Scientific reasoning demands that theories have predictions that can be observed to help either further prove or disprove the theory. A theory that predicts nothing is not acceptable to scientific methods.) Darwin made two major predictions with his paper:
Natura Non Facit Saltum (Nature does not leap.) Darwin predicted that all of the speciation that we see before us could be explained by small, incremental changes without ever having to result to a saltation where a large jump would need to have happened to allow the speciation of our planet to have happened. In colloquial terms, Darwinâ€™s predictions said that if common ancestry required that a fish give birth to a rabbit (or any similar jump in the evolutionary chain), his theory would be proven false. Darwin adamantly insisted that only a series of minor changes would be required for species to develop into what we see before us today.
Transitional fossils will be found. (Aka, the â€œmissing linkâ€ theory) Originally, Darwinâ€™s primary opponents in the scientific community were the archeologists that were very aware that the fossil record clearly demonstrated a pattern where species rapidly emerge, long periods of stasis and extinction. Darwin wrote that â€œthe number of intermediate and transitional link, between all living and extinct species, must have been inconceivably great.â€ At the time when he wrote his original work, he was convinced that these numerous intermediates would eventually be found in the fossil record.
In the nearly 150 years since Darwinâ€™s paper, the scientific community has amassed vast quantities of scientific evidence related to these discussions of origins. Of his original points, his idea that species sometimes change over time has faired extremely well. Numerous instances of species adapting and changing over numerous generations have been observed. Horses have grown larger, and subgroups of animals have been shown to change to the extent where they no longer breed with other subgroups of the same root species, creating new species (albeit they have been species that are not radically different from their ancestors). This is not a fact that is disputed by creationists.
Darwinâ€™s premise that natural selection, plus random mutations have the ability to create life of increasing complexity has done less well in scientific observations. Surprisingly little effort has been put into scientific reinforcement of natural selectionâ€™s ability to encourage beneficial extremes of a species that lead to an advantage. Several well known studies, such as Kettlewellâ€™s famous observations of â€œindustrial melanismâ€ in peppered moths have been made that document simple adaptation, but research that shows true evolution where new genetic information emerges is non-existent at worst or dubious at best. Yet the majority of scientists continue to espouse this as the primary (but not exclusive) means by which evolution has been progressing.
Darwinâ€™s premise that this mutation of species can be expanded to account for all of the millions and millions of observed species has faired the worst under scientific observation. While some mutation and speciation has been observed in the world, the observed rate of evolution has fallen staggering below what would be the average speed that mutation/speciation should have happened over the last several million years.
Modern evolutionary theory is very different than what we learn in school
Modern evolutionary theory has changed vastly in the last 35 years. It is no longer similar to what is taught to children in school. Proponents of the GTE have removed ALL of Darwinâ€™s original predictions that made the theory falsifiable. They have addressed the falsifications of Darwinâ€™s original work with the deductive reasoning: Since evolution happened, modifications to the theory must be true.
There is disagreement among evolutionary scientist as to the mechanism that they chose to use to avoid the fact that Darwinâ€™s predictions were most certainly not true. The leading theory is one advanced by Stephen Jay Gould in 1980, called Punctuated Equilibrium or â€œPunk Eekâ€. The theory advances that repeatedly throughout time, under certain â€œpunctuatedâ€ circumstances, in small sub-groups of species, evolution speeds up to a speed far beyond what has ever been observed to create a new species very rapidly. The factual evidence is rather sparse, and many have accused it of being a theory to explain a lack of evidence, rather than a theory supported by evidence. (Gould did do some minimal evidence gathering to make his theory at least slightly presentable.) There has been a lack of agreement on what mechanism is supposedly used to produce this rapid speciation in sub groups, and the reason for the lack of agreement is simple: There is no valid evidence of any mechanism that even in a small isolated population can immensely speed up evolution to the speed demanded by a theory such a punctuated equilibrium.
Mutation, selection and DNA
Unfortunately, for proponents of the GTE, we have a great deal of scientific observation about a 1940â€™s discovery â€“ DNA. Darwin was never aware that all life transmits information about itself through the transmission of DNA. His theory heavily relied upon species having some unknown mechanism that allows the species to have a near infinite ability to gradually change from one species to another. For common ancestry to have a chance at being valid, species must have a way of recording to their offspring subtle changes over time with amazingly levels of detail.
To get an idea of the amazing level of information that must be passed generation to generation, let us use the example of the famous PBS documentary that has been linked by evolutionists here at Ars several times: Evolution of the Eye. (BTW, the science behind this â€œdocumentaryâ€ is absurd. However, since many people have seen it and thought â€œIt must be true! It was on the TV! OMGBBQ!â€, this video is a great example of evolutionary folly. It is sad when scientists — Evolutionists or Creationists — are so emotionally interested in solving a particular quandary that they greet pure garbage science with open arms.) For the scenario illustrated in this video to work, DNA or an alternate mechanism must be able to transmit staggering amounts of information to its descendants. For the initial stages that Nilsson proposes (Moving from a flat light sensitive patch to a cupped light sensitive patch) descendants must be given information of the precise positioning of both the depression, and the light sensitive cells so that they can reliably be reproduced from generation to generation. In the successive stage (Narrowing eye opening), millions of cells must be given precise instructions on assembling the light sensitive patch, the concave shape of the proto-eye, and the narrow opening. To understand why such intricate positioning information would be required, simply envision what would happen if the components did not reliably position themselves from generation to generation. The proto-eye would only be functional and confer an advantage upon the tiny amount of creatures whose eye assembled correctly, and that advantage would be immediately wiped away by their off spring whose random assembly was nonfunctional. Clearly evolution demands reproducible change and that mandates that DNA or some other mechanism to transmit this very precise information to descendants so that they will possess similar advantages. (I will stop my analysis of this video prior to the next stage where Nilsson posits that the next stage is that a complex lens appears complete with focusing mechanisms and mental abilities capable of driving the focusing mechanism. Such wishful saltationism is such bad science that it embarrasses me to even speak of it.)
DNA, quite simply is a woefully inadequate mechanism to accomplish such random gradual change. DNA molecules have massive storage density. And although it is a very large amount of storage, it is staggeringly less than infinite. DNA is not simply some empty flash memory thumb drive with its whole capacity just waiting for you to cram MP3s on it. It is already in use describing the various individualities of the creature it is in. Think for a moment, and try to figure out a data structure that could possibly allow information about random evolutions such as light sensitive patches, concave body openings with small openings, and lenses with a focusing ability to be described in enough detail to its descendants. For evolution to work, DNA would have to be so extensible that it could describe each proto-eye in enough detail in every single step of this mythical evolutionary development of the eye that the descendant can replicate the changes of their ancestors and (theoretically) add improvements of their own. Now, imagine that highly complex data structure that describes the proto eye somehow randomly and without guidance develops in a preexisting data structure that in no way had an intelligent designer who saved space in the data structure for this data. Now, imagine this data structure fitting into this previously filled data structure completely accidentally, with no intelligent designer to guide the process. The whole scenario is so patently absurd that it can be easily described as impossible.
There is, of course a way that such evolution could easily be obtained. The DNA of each improved generation could simply contain additional code rather than magically waiting for the existing DNA to incorporate the new information completely without intervention of a designer. Surely such addition must be far more probable than random processes magically adding new storage space to an already full DNA structure, shouldnâ€™t it? And, of course, if you believe in evolution a priori, than organisms have to continually add to their DNA structure as they evolve so that the larger DNA structures could have come about from simpler life, didnâ€™t they? Luckily, this is a very observable issue, and we do not have to guess whether or not organisms have the ability to pass on increasing genetic information often enough for evolutionary processes to be able to regularly and gradually evolve progressively to attain such massively complex organs such as an eye.
From scientific observation, they quite obviously do not. There are no undisputed cases of genetic information being added to DNA structures, and even if ALL such cases were accepted as true, they would demonstrate that alterations that add genetic complexity are sufficiently rare that they cannot be the method that caused massively complex organs and species to be created. The challenges that DNA poses to genetic theory do not end there. At some point evolutionary science must deal with the most damning aspect of DNA.
Unquestionably, DNA is a structured language that contains symbolic meaning. Just like our alphabet, and our language, DNA amino pairs have meaning that is far beyond their physical structure. To understand information, and symbolic language, think of what you are currently reading. You are most likely reading it on a computer screen where the information is currently being held by an organized pattern of screen pixels of colors ranging from black to color to white. The pixels form shapes and your (intelligent) mind interprets the meaning. Prior to you reading this essay, this exact same information has been in the form of signals on your internet connection, bits on my hard drive, thoughts in my head, etc. The information is most certainly a separate item from the method it is transported with. But, at the same time, you can identify the information simply because it is easily observed to have more meaning than just a simple physical or electrical pattern. DNA contains one of the most easily identified forms of information: Digital information. DNA only contains four possible values for each of its amino pairs, yet these four possible values can mean a variety of things based on what position they are in. Such information can NEVER be read without an interpreter. Once its information is translated by an interpreter (the host cell) the information in the DNA blossoms into living being. Very similar to how HTML text can be ran through an interpreter (your browser) and produce a functional web page.
The fact that DNA contains information that is capable of being processed by an interpreter is not only massive proof that life was intelligently designed, but a fatal blow for the concept that naturalistic evolution can ever be responsible for anything beyond mildly changing and differentiating various species. How is this such strong proof of intelligent design? Because matter, without intelligent design, can not produce a symbolic language. Albert Einstein, himself, pointed to the nature and origin of symbolic information as one of the profound questions about the world as we know it. (Source) It is clear that symbolic information represents a category of reality quite distinct from matter and energy. And the distinction is not subtle. Linguists today speak of this gap between matter and meaning bearing symbol sets as the â€œEinstein gulf.â€ An immediate conclusion of this observation is that materialism is patently and obviously false. Yet, it is this errant a priori assumption of materialism that causes evolutionists to believe against all odds that life sprung up by chance without a creator.
To understand just how fatal the concept of DNA being a symbolic language is to the possibility of evolution actually extending to account for all the diversity of life on earth, let us look at a familiar topic to many of us: web development. In 1995, the HTML 2.0 specification came out. (Interestingly, there never was an official HTML 1.0 standard) HTML code was written and designed for this new specification, and browsers were written to correctly interpret HTML 2.0 code to produce finished web pages. Then standards groups released HTML 3.2 in 1997, and due to the intelligent design of the standards groups, web programmers were able to write HTML 3.2 code, and browsers were developed to correctly interpret HTML 3.2 code. Computer users, however, discovered a critical truth: If they did not upgrade their browser (interpreter) to an HTML 3.2 browser, the HTML 3.2 code the found on newer sites would not produce a correct finished page in their HTML 2.0 browsers. They discovered that upgraded code was worthless unless they simultaneously upgraded their browsers. In fact, they discovered that upgraded code, without an upgraded interpreter was usually less beneficial than non-upgraded code. Who wants to stare at a broken web page that doesnâ€™t display as expected? The same issue happened with the upgrade to HTML 4.0 and 4.1. Web development is a great example to show that symbolic language and its interpreter MUST be tightly coupled, or the end product goes downhill fast. And, there are no â€œnatural,â€ non-intelligently designed systems that can simultaneously alter the code and the interpreter. Tight coordination between a symbolic language and its interpreter always indicates that the system is designed. Imagine the disaster if there was ZERO intelligently designed coordination between the web site coders and the writers of browsers. How could a finished web page ever be produced? Not even Einstein was able to envision a system of a language and interpreter developing without intelligent design.
In addition, the digital nature of DNA encoding does not allow infinitely small variations to be passed down to ancestors. Only DNA changes that can be read by their host cell get passed down. While a person can be drawn into believing that excruciatingly tiny mutations could sum up to a large â€œmacroâ€ mutation, DNA is not capable of supporting such tiny, believable jumps. When an extraordinarily rare offspring is created with a larger number of amino pairs in their DNA, that offspring firstly must face the challenge of finding a mate to procreate with and â€œsurvive.â€ (Not a trivial task for a life form with a different DNA structure than anything else around.) Additionally, it must be lucky enough that their new DNA structure is syntactically correct to allow their cells not to â€œthrow errorsâ€ and reject its new DNA structure entirely. (Again, not trivial.) And, of course, its end product must be naturally selected for conferring an advantage to the species. The whole process must be fast enough that it could happen again and again and again millions of times in the last few million years. All this must happen if life on earth has evolved from a few common ancestors through natural processes. The amazing lack of evidence of such massive information gaining evolutions is solid support that it, has not happened at a rate fast enough to support evolutionists claims.
At best, an evolutionist will cling to the concept that that irreducible complexity is somehow an argument from ignorance or that it is pseudoscience. While both of these criticisms are absolutely true, they both apply with equal accuracy to the GTE. Remember back in my introduction that I showed that pure science is not capable of providing 100% proof of events in the distant past? We are doing a feasibility study with scientific observations. There is no possibility of leaving the realm of pseudoscience when examining the distant past. Even Darwin himself was VERY aware of how damning irreducible complexity was to his theory. Darwin said, â€œif it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” (Origin of Species, 6th ed. (1988), p. 154)
Examples of irreducible complexity are all around us. I challenge anybody to explain how things like the combustion chamber of the Bombardier Beetle have evolved from intermediaries. This little guy requires an explosive mixture (hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinone), a combustion chamber to contain the chemicals, exhaust nozzles to eject the mixture into which two catalysts are also injected (the enzymes catalase and peroxidase), and such precise timing that everything combines to make a violent reaction that leaves the back end of the beetle. Against an opponent, the bombardier beetle can not just do this with ease, but can send four or five blasts in succession aimed at his opponents face. (From this paper) Many of the jet turbine designs I studied while attaining my Bachelors degree in aerospace engineering were not as complex and well designed as this little bug. Reducing the complexity of this bug is like a game of Jenga. You canâ€™t remove the various elements of this bugs inner workings without the tower collapsing. If the beetle had no suitable exhaust system, it would blow itself to smithereens. If it had no catalysts, its insides would erode. If it had no explosive mixture, it would be quickly eaten as predators were not dissuaded by being squirted with its catalysts. The examples go on and on: hummingbirds, dolphin sonar, insect flight, the eye, blood clotting, biodiversity in ecosystems, etc.
There is a key conclusion that one must come to when they grasp the reality that many things we see in nature are too complex to have evolved from random chance. Irreducibly complex systems must be rapidly created in complete or near complete form. A worker cannot buy a small part of a car and continue buying pieces gradually while using the car to commute to work until he acquires a whole car. A set of brakes without wheels is useless. Similarly, the complexity of the objects we see before us demands that they were created in a short period of time. And that they were assembled by a designer. Science has already developed many theories on the â€œDegree of informationâ€ (Yockey, 1992) that is needed in an object to determine if it was a product of nature, or if it was created.
â€œThe cycle theme in fact is everywhere from the movement of the electrons around the atomic nucleus to the rotation of the earth around the sun. Cycles do not have beginnings or ends. In order to bring them into existence, the forces responsible for the cycles have to be balanced, and if there are multiple steps required for the completion of a cycle, all of the components of the cycle have to be in place. Cycles speak of organization, of design, of rapid implementation and of a designer.â€ (Source)
Life was most obviously created. It did not simply evolve randomly through completely natural forces. While there have been evolutionary forces working on these created species since their creation, evolution is a far cry from a force that can be extended to account for all or nearly all the diversity of life.
Evolutionists actively suppress real science
Perhaps the most sinister aspect of the modern evolutionary movement is that they are currently actively working to stop real science. Research that does not hold strictly to evolutionary dogma is hushed, and quickly labeled as not â€œrealâ€ science. The courts of the United States have gone so absurdly far as to equate disputing evolutionary theory as â€œan unconstitutional endorsement of religionâ€ without even requiring the anti-evolutionary science to have any religious references what-so-ever. One needs to look no further than our very own soapbox to see example of evolutionists immediately shouting down any discussion of the shortcomings of the GTE. Geology, cosmology and archeology are fields where current observations are being kept quiet, simply because they are discovering increasing evidence that the earth and the universe are not as old as our science text books tell us they are. Evolutionists know full well that even the 14-19 billion year old estimate is smaller than what would likely be required for even a single protein to randomly be created by random chemical interactions. Evolutionists understand that, if the word got out that the earth and/or the universe were significantly younger than what they have claimed, their claims that evolution is responsible for the diversity of life around us will become quite obviously preposterous.
Geologists, for decades, have known that the assumption â€“ uniformism â€“ used in most every dating methodology, is highly inaccurate. There has been dramatic research into catastrophism, and how many, if not all, of the geological formations that we used to assume took millions and millions of years to form could have been forms substantially faster. Much data was learned form the 1980 Mount Saint Helens eruption on catastrophism. The Toutle River Canyon, a canyon nearly 1/40th the size of the Grand Canyon was formed in 5 days. This flew in the face of the conventional wisdom that the Grand Canyon must have taken tens or hundreds of thousands of years to have been created. Similar revelations have happened in Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico.
â€œA sign above the entrance until 1988 said the caverns were at least 260 million years old. In recent years, the age on the sign was reduced to 7â€“10 million years, then 2 million years, and now the sign is gone perhaps as a result of observations that stalactite growth rates of several inches a month are common.â€ (Source)
The examples go on and on, yet the evolutionary community absolutely refuses to enter into discourse over the age of our planet and our universe. God forbid that the scientific community might have to acknowledge that some of what they have put into childrenâ€™s text books might be fallible. (Note: The topic of dating was brought up to illustrate the evolutionary communityâ€™s resistance to addressing science that contradicts their theories. In this authorâ€™s view, the GTE has no possibility of actually accounting for all or nearly all the diversity of life we see before us, even if it was given 100 billion years to operate. The utter failure of the GTE to account for the diversity of life is not dependant on a limited time frame. The system simply does not work no matter how much time you would give it.)
In closing, Darwinian evolution was a plausible theory at the end of the 19th century, when little was known about cell structure, DNA, complexity and biodiversity. The evidence is in. Evolution, while it unquestionably had a roll in bringing about the diversity of life that we now observe, is not and was not a primary player in the creation of the species that we see before us. All life on earth did not come from a small group of common ancestors. It is obvious from the level of complexity that we see before us prove we were created by an intelligent designer.
Another major bad science tactic that evolutionists love to use is equating the taxonomic definition of species with genetic change. This fallacy is the root of many evolutionary arguments. Often you will hear the claim that â€œbecause we have observed population XYZ split into two separate and distinct (taxonomic) species, we have observed evolution in action.â€ Unfortunately, there are many instances of multiple taxonomic species whose genetic difference does not involve any change in the number of base pairs in their DNA. In fact, taxonomy considers dogs such as the St. Bernard to be a different species than, say, a miniature poodle, irregardless of the reality that they can interbreed with assistance. Running around and claiming that multiple species evolved from common ancestors when, in reality, they have the same genetic makeup does not provide evidence that evolution is capable of being responsible of the vast panoply of life we see before us.
Why is this important? Because the General Theory of Evolution (a term found 5,640 times on Google, and most certainly not used strictly or even mostly by creationists.) claims that almost all of the life you see before you descended from common ancestors. It does not limit itself to reasonable claims such as dogs descended from wolves or that Persian cats and Maine Coon cats have common ancestors. It claims that virtually every living thing (Plants, protozoa, Animals, Fish, Birds, etc.) descended from common ancestors. This extreme claim demands extreme evidence, and this evidence is sorely lacking. If such an extreme claim were true, it would leave far more evidence than it has.
A reader may wonder: â€œHow can taxonomy be wrong?â€ It isnâ€™t â€œwrongâ€ per se, but it simply does not follow along the strict path of modern genetic knowledge. And how could it? It was brought into its modern state in the 18th century, long before modern genetics was even conceived of. It is no slander to taxonomy to point out its faults that show that it does not work as well in modern times as it did more than a quarter of a millennium ago.
The fallacious logic that new taxonomic species are evidence of evolution, are very clearly seen in the example of cichlids from the previous post. Cichlids are often cited by evolutionists as proof of rapid speciation, but, when studied, do not show that they are changing species, but simply varying in various characteristics of their pre-existing kind. From the previous link: (Note: Although the previous link and several of my other links come from the http://www.answersingenesis.org site, I am not using that site as my primary material. They just so happen to host the majority of the paper texts I have been drawing from on their site, and it is simpler to link to what they are already hosting rather than scanning in my paper texts and hosting them myself.)
If there are created kinds, then they should be identifiable. I wanted to investigate the processes of variation within a kind, and gain some handle on the limits to that variation. I needed to be able to keep and breed large numbers of species. My background was in vertebrate studies, so that meant fish. My supervisor was a fan of the cichlid aquarium fish, so that was quickly settled! Those years of research were fascinating. For all the diversity of species, I found the cichlids to be an unmistakably natural group, a created kind. The more I worked with these fish the clearer my recognition of â€œcichlidnessâ€ became and the more distinct they seemed from all the â€œsimilarâ€ fishes I studied. Conversations at conferences and literature searches confirmed that this was the common experience of experts in every area of systematic biology. Distinct kinds really are there and the experts know it to be so. Developmental studies then showed that the enormous cichlid diversity (over 1,000 â€œspeciesâ€) was actually produced by the endless permutation of a relatively small number of character states: 4 colors, ten or so basic pigment patterns and so on. The same characters (or character patterns) appeared â€œrandomlyâ€ all over the cichlid distribution. The patterns of variation were â€œmodularâ€ or â€œmosaicâ€; evolutionary lines of descent were nowhere to be found. This kind of adaptive variation can occur quite rapidly (since it involves only what was already there) and some instances of cichlid â€œradiationâ€ (in geologically â€œrecentâ€ lakes) were indeed dateable (by evolutionists) to within time spans of no more than a few thousand years. On a wider canvas, fossils provided no comfort to evolutionists. All fish, living and fossil, belong to distinct kinds; â€œlinksâ€ are decidedly missing. Incidentally, creationists have no reason to be committed to any particular classification scheme, nor to any particular taxa above the kind level. â€œOrders,â€ â€œclasses,â€ and â€œphylaâ€ must not be allowed to become hallowed by tradition. They may be correctly identified (higher taxa are real), but there again they may not. Some â€œmissing linksâ€ have been artifacts of bad classification systems. Morphology (and now biochemistry) have dominated classification, but ecology may yet prove to be a better guide.
What is not in dispute is that life does â€œevolveâ€ within their kinds. Dogs can be bred into both St. Bernards and Chihuahuas. Horses can grow larger over the centuries. However, the ability of creatures to evolve into an entirely new kind (E.G. reptiles evolving into birds) is what the General Theory of Evolution claims, and that claim is not substantiated with evidence.
The problems with taxonomy do not end there. Just because two species appear to be similar in taxonomic classification, or even similar in molecular tests such as using cytochrome-c for evolutionary divergence, does not mean that they are even remotely similar to each other genetically. As an example, look at the â€œchimpanzees and humans share a common ancestorâ€ claim that evolutionists like to make: (From James S. Allen)
The fact that cytochrome-c has a fixed number of 112 amino acids is an indication of the importance of the three-dimensional structure of the molecule, i.e., there is a structural constraint on the total number of amino acids. On the other hand, only 19 of the 112 are identical in all organisms tested. Since the identity and positions of the remaining 93 amino acids differ among organisms except, for example, in the case of man and chimpanzee, it is reasonable to conclude that there are no functional constraints on the substitution of these remaining amino acids.
Apart from the single gene controlling the constitution of cytochrome-c, humans and chimpanzees differ in many thousands of other genes. As a conservative estimate, let us say 5,000. What the theory of evolution is saying is that while humans and chimpanzees have evolved independently from a common ancestor so as to now differ in these 5,000 genes, there has been no change in the 93 amino acids specified by the cytochrome-c gene, and this in spite of there being no functional constraint on change in any of the latter. I find this to be an unacceptable claim.
According to Weaver and Hedrick,2 however, the lack of differentiation in the constitution of cytochrome-c between humans and chimpanzees is due to the very slow (0.3 x 10â€“9) estimated rate of amino acid substitution in cytochrome-c. How is this rate determined? It is estimated on the basis of the assumed time since the species diverged, i.e., the claim is assumed proven on the assumption that it is true. Must I accept this kind of reasoning?
Small variations/big variations
The General Theory of Evolution makes the extremely bold claim that all life has come from a common single cell ancestor. One might liken this Herculean task of evolving from a single cell being to multi-cell beings as complex as human beings to a person in a wheelchair going from sea level to the top of a very tall mountain.
Now, a thinking person can instantly realize that such a task would be nearly impossible, and would demand massive proof if someone claimed it happened on a regular basis. (Analogous to the GTEâ€™s claim that all living things evolved from this first ancestor) To deal with this in middle school biology, students are customarily taught that things happen at a very slow pace over a long period of time. Continuing with our analogy, it would be like claiming that there existed a really long, gently inclined ramp going all the way from sea level to the mountain top, and that the person in the wheelchair had a really long time to make it to the top.
Quite obviously, this is a proposition that is much easier to stomach than the idea that the wheelchair would go up sheer cliffs to get to the top. And, quite obviously it is a much better proposition that organisms mutate very slowly over long periods of time rather than proposing that a snake give birth to a bird or similar nonsense.
At this point, middle school biology students contentedly accept the General Theory of Evolution hook, line and sinker.
The problem, however, is that the ramp analogy is faulty. Because heredity is not an analog (continuous) process, it cannot be thought of as a smooth ramp. Heredity is accomplished with DNA information, which we have already established as digital (discrete). (Note: I laughed out loud with the previous accusation that claimed I was trying â€œto confuse â€˜digitalâ€™ with â€˜dataâ€™â€ even though I clearly defined that I was using digital to mean discrete.) Our analogy would have to be changed from a ramp to stair steps. Now, if the reader knows any strong-willed wheel chair bound people, the reader knows that stairs are not always a complete barrier to wheel-chairs. A wheelchair can most certainly climb small steps, curbs, etc. (Ramps are, of course, easier)
Now, I am quite aware that this is not a perfect analogy. Reality tells us there are many parallels in our example to the concept of evolution.
Natura non facit saltum holds us to the reality that species are not highly mobile (like a wheelchair bound person). A bacteria cannot suddenly transform directly into an egg-laying chicken. No one disputes this. This is similar to the idea that a wheelchair bound person cannot climb a ten-foot vertical fence with their wheelchair.
On the other hand, species, most certainly do change. Horses get bigger. Cichlids develop new color patterns. Change most certainly happens over time. This is similar to the idea that a wheelchair bound person can certainly climb small, shallow steps and curbs.
Just from the above two realities, the question on whether or not to believe that non-guided evolution is the sole and primary method by which we supposedly developed all of the species we currently observe evolved from a single celled common ancestor becomes clear. The question is whether or not the steps required to go from a single celled organism to a highly complex organism, such as a human are all small steps that can be overcome by a species bound by the realities of natura non facit saltum, or are the steps required large enough to be insurmountable to non-guided evolution?
Continuing with this analogy, let us look at some other problems with our analogy.
There is no guarantee that the size of each step required to â€œevolveâ€ would be the same size. Most likely there are steps that are tiny and very easy to overcome. And most likely, there are steps that are larger and more difficulty and some even, I would propose, impossible to overcome.
A stairway is something that constantly and consistently moves towards a single pre-determined goal. Non-guided evolution, by definition, has no goal. There is no guiding force to keep it on the road towards developing beings of increasing complexity. Of the mutations science has observed in species, most certainly (and this is not controversial) the majority of the mutations are NOT beneficial. (A beneficial mutation would be analogous to going uphill; a harmful mutation would be analogous to going downhill. Beneficial, in this context refers to an increase in genetic information, harmful refers to a decrease in genetic information. Many (most) mutations are neither uphill nor downhill, but neutral.) Many observed mutations such as antibiotic resistance in bacteria, are actually harmful mutations, even though they do help the species survive. (See end of post for supporting information.) Many other mutations have no real net change in genetic information such as Industrial Melanism. Very, very few (if any) mutations produce additional genetic information. Bizarrely enough, Tenebrae has, thus far, been completely unable to produce a single documented example of a real world observation of a naturally occurring mutation that increases genetic information. This is fairly odd, because for evolution to be true, these mutations that increase genetic information must have happened routinely since the beginning of time to have allowed the currently observed species to evolve naturally from a common ancestor in the limited amount of time since the beginning of time. In terms of our wheelchair analogy, to be realistic, we would have to eliminate the stair case (the direct path) entirely and just expect the wheelchair bound person to make it randomly to the higher ground while he/she would have plenty of choices if he/she wanted to go uphill or downhill.
The question of the General Theory of Evolution is seen easily in the above illustration: is it reasonable that the massively complex organisms that we see before us developed entirely through naturalistic unguided evolution? Is the pathway to massively complex organisms a simple process of small steps that each and every one of those steps are reasonably climbed with mutations that do not violate natura non facit saltum? Or are their larger, unconquerable steps along the path that dictate that something beyond unguided evolution was involved in surpassing the barrier?
The path is unquestionably not a smooth ramp with infinitely small mutations building to larger mutations. The process is digital, and as I have previously demonstrated, there is no known way for DNA to add information in such a way that simultaneously both the base pairs can increase and the cellâ€™s interpretive mechanism can assign meaningful information to the new base pairs.
In other examples, changes do occur in the genes of individuals. Spetner (1997), in his book Not by Chance, discusses details of changes leading to antibiotic resistance in bacteria, and it would be useful to summarize the points here. One example of resistance to antibiotics that involves changes in the genes is that of the antibiotic streptomycin. The molecule works by interfering with the manufacture of protein within the bacterial cell. This happens when the streptomycin molecule attaches itself to the specific part of the cell where the reaction to form a protein is taking place. This does not stop protein being made, but the streptomycin interferes with the results. The bacterium is now unable to put the right amino acid in the chain at this point; the wrong amino acid is included, and so the wrong protein is made. This wrong product cannot fulfill its task in the bacterium; the cell cannot grow, divide, and multiply, and the infection disappears. When a bacterium becomes resistant to streptomycin, a mutation has occurred in the DNA so that streptomycin can no longer lock on to the site of protein manufacture and interfere with the process. The change could occur at a number of places in the gene, but will always have the same effect. What has actually happened to the bacterium is that there has been a loss of information in the genes. No longer does the DNA contain all the necessary information to make the manufacturing site the correct shape. The bacterium is not able to grow and multiply as effectively as before, but nonetheless has gained resistance to the antibiotic.
Similar changes have occurred in the example of sickle-cell anemia. This is a condition found in areas of the world where malaria is prevalent (Cavalli-Sforza and Bodmer, 1971). The mutation alters the composition of the hemoglobin that carries the oxygen in red blood cells and, as a consequence, the red blood cells change to become sickle-shaped. This means that the malarial parasite is no longer able to live and grow inside the red blood cells, and the individual with this altered gene does not suffer from the malaria. Again, this change has also occurred by a loss of information. The ability to put together the right combination of molecules to enable the red blood cells to function efficiently has been lost. Instead an inferior form is manufactured in its place (Ling, 1992).
These examples provide convincing evidence of changes without information being added to the genes of a living organism and in some cases the loss of information. In a recorded interview, Dawkins was asked to give examples of changes in organisms that have occurred by the addition of new information. He was unable to do so (Keziah, 1997). As Spetner points out, â€œThe failure to observe even one mutation that adds information is more than just a failure to find support for the theory. It is evidence against the theory.â€
Let us see where we stand:
There is no evolutionary response as to how evolution can produce offspring of increasing complexity on such a regular basis as to account for creatures like humans with roughly 3 billion base pairs in their DNA evolving in an undirected manner in only 4 or 5 billion years.
No evolutionary response to how â€“ if descendants were created with additional base pairs â€“ the remaining parts of their cells would be able to interpret the additional base pairs in a meaningful fashion.
Several diversionary examples of minor change within a species that do not show evidence of life evolving into entirely new kinds of creatures.
“Not to put more pressure on you folks, but if we lose this one, itâ€™s not just science thatâ€™ll suffer. If they can stick something so egregiously false into science, what can they do to more touchy-feely subjects, like history classes or civics? All of public education is riding on this. ”
Yes, God forbid that we should teach our kids that America was founded on religious principles.
Mike Haubrich wrote
The problem is that as our children fight through the lies of their parents, who claim that there is no evidence for religion , and those that learn to use the scientific method to discover inconvenient truths will suddenly question the other things that their parents taught them. And we canâ€™t have that, now, can we.
Yes. And its up to you to turn the kids against their parents.
Paul T. Wrote:
“The Discovery Instituteâ€™s Fellows are, for the most part, mediocre academics at second or third tier institutions. They each recognized early on that their careers were going nowhere and the DI gave these losers the opportunity to be more than their abilities would allow. By pandering to the ignorant and credulous these â€œscientistsâ€ were able to enhance their standing, if not in the scientific community, the religious community. It is one thing to preach to the choir, than to defend your ideas in the scientific literature.
A personal note to Yamil Luciano; there is no god. There are no UFOâ€™s. Big Foot is a myth and the tooth fairy doesnâ€™t exist. Get over it, grow up and let go of your irrational superstitions. ”
Actually I found more evolutionists that believe in UFO’s than Christians.
Any more ad hominems?
TorbjÃ¶rn Larsson wrote:
â€œAnd why do they have to go to prehistoric times where there is no written record of to purport their theories?â€
Science is not based on written records, it is based on observations of events.
Ha! You’ve never seen a monkey produce a man but you are willing to assert it. You’ve never seen the big bang but you are willing to urport such a lie.
“Itâ€™s really very simple. Evolution can be proven by what has been discovered about it already. Creationism cannot. There is no proof whatsoever for it.”
The devastating truth is that just because I have an eyeball and a chimpanzee has an eyebal does not make us cousins. You have never seen a species evolve into another species. What gnereates suyour faith is a fanatical hatred towards God.
And that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
“Two everyday examples that most people have heard of but never knew it was evolution :
– antibiotic resistance in bacteria
– immunity to disease”
Indeed this is a jungle statement. This is called genetic mutationn. Noone denies this. . This does not prove evolution anymore than growing a wart proves evolution. You will never have bacteria turn into a bug nor any other species. This is what GET teaches.
“I must say, as an idiot, even I can see that a â€œcircleâ€ is like a pizza (well, those made by an accomplished pizza maker, not someone like myself, who makes rather egg-shaped doughs) and a â€œsphereâ€ would be that which we nor understand the earth to be.
When I run around in circles looking for my car keys, I do not run around in the shape of the earth. ”
Well, I must agree with you on that point. You are an idiot. I notice a lot of you evolutionists like to play the semantics game. Well, maybe you can tell me what the Isaih passage was suppose to be signifying.
“The problem is that the people in Florida who are reading them are completely ignorant of scientific method. ”
Heregoes the ignorant smokescreen again. You believe that you came from a monkey. I believe that I am a product of Intelligent Design. Hmmmm….
I rather stay where I am at.
Are you sure about this? Even the ID’ots acknowledge speciation. Heck even the creationists acknowledge speciation. I’m beginning to think you are a troll. Speciation is observed repeatedly in the present day. Evidence for macroevolution is also obervable and testable. Why do you insist on tilting at windmlls? Do you disagree with Michael Behe? He argues accepts macroevolution.
Yamil, two things. First it’s Paleontologists, archeologists study ancient civilizations, not extinct species. Second of all, everyone knows it’s impossible to pass on your genetic structure to your ancestors, the word you were looking for is “descendants”.
In additions your comments about the evolution supporters suppressing research, like the Cambrian Explosion and differences between micro-evolution and macro is false. The reason these aren’t always taught has more to do with time constraints on teachers than it does with people actively trying to suppress knowledge (most schools, for example, do not talk about how missionaries handed out small-pox infected blankets to Native Americans with the sole purpose of wiping them out, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen or that the churches are trying to surpress how evil their missionaries really are).
You make the point that until 50 years ago we did not know about DNA, however people did know that there was some way in which a trait was passed on from one generation to the next. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that we know all the pieces to the puzzle, and no others will appear. You also make a good point that none of us have seen macro-evolution, which means that either it takes so long that even the lifetime of our species up till now would be insufficiant to record it or that there is some unknown force behind rapid evolution (even if this force is nothing more than a physical manefestation of the desire to survive, sort of like a poltergeist). However once again you are claiming that because no one has observed something it cannot possibly be true, yet people believe in a divine being creating the universe, something that no one has observed. I just think that’s rather funny. One theory believes there are no “supernatural” forces to influence the path of evolution, and the other believes that this path is determined by such forces.
You obviously don’t know a hell of a lot about paleontology. 1. From the number of skeletons currently discovered it can be concluded that a body surviving to be fossilized is uncommon at best. 2. Some species fossilize better than others, snakes for example are rare because their bodies are fragile and often decay or are simply crushed before they are fossilized. 3. There are whole areas where we haven’t been able to hunt, such as areas locked in ice (such as Antarctica) and also the bottom of the sea, since the bottom of the sea in the Atlantic is where one would expect to find the oldest fossils this is quite a problem.
You know, you’re obviously assuming that all people who support evolution are god-haters, and what’s not to hate, I mean this guy appears and suddenly the world is filled with strife. But seriously a lot of people who belive in evolution are also religious, the two are not exclusive to each other. You say that we are god haters, but isn’t it also true that you’re generalizing us and discriminating against us based on your perception of us as athiests? You are right that sometimes scientists don’t like to talk to people like you, but it’s partly that half the time when you talk to an IDer or a creationist they just want to berate you for not believing in god or call you a god-hater and treat you like an idiot. Who wouldn’t just rather ignore people like that?
As for your assertion that the US was founded based on religion, you are half right, many of the original colonists came to the US to escape religious persecution. The founding fathers remembered this and founded a country with the ideal that the government would never embrace any one religion so that no religion could have governmental power to discriminate against any other. That’s the truth, although it seems to have failed right off the bat.
Some holes in ID: Where did this intelligence come from that created life? If something cannot come from nothing than there must be some reason why this disembodied inteligence exists in the first place. Why do you assume this inteligence created humans specifically and not that it created apes and we evolved from there (since that’s micro-evolution: evolution within a family of obviously related species). What’s the motive of the main character in this story, is it search for knowledge about why it exists, general curiosity about the permutations of life, or are we at the mercy of the intergalactic version of a bored gamer playing Spore? Why, if we are the result of inteligent design, do prions exist, with evolution there are explanations why a species with no obvious genetic material would exist, but with ID you’d expect this inteligence to just skip to the DNA stage (and for that matter skip the RNA stage, since RNA is less stable than DNA).
The creationists, so buisily attacking evolution, don’t even know what evolution is. They want to include the big bang theory, and anything else in science that they don’t like. Their broad inclusion of astrophysics and other branches of science reveals them for what they are—anti-science, not just anti-evolution.
The evolutionary theory they purport to attack is a biological theory, and, to a biologist, evolution is a change in the genetic make-up of a population. That is all. Nothing more, and nothing less. If you look at the frequency of a gene in a population, and that frequency changes, that is evolution. Do the creationists want to argue that gene frequencies never change in populations? I don’t think they will have much success in that endeavor. Thus, they must admit that evolution happens.
Not only do the creationists not know what evolution is, they also do not understand the mechanism that Charles Darwin proposed as the principal cause of evolution—natural selection, or survival of the most fit. Darwin found that there was a lot of individual variation among the members of a population. He also found that there was a struggle for existence in all populations, with many individuals not making it and not passing on their traits because they did not reproduce. Darwin proposed that some varities could have a reproductive advantage over others and pass more of their traits into the next generation. Those varieties would become more numerous in the next generation, and, thus, evolution would have occurred. Do the creationists want to claim that individual variation does not exist in populations? Do they want to claim that there is no struggle for existance in populations and that all varieties have equal reproductive success? I don’t think so.
The creationists are reduced to arguing, “Since evolutionary theory can’t account for everything (and here they insert something that they think the theory–which they don’t understand—can’t cover) therefore, it must be thrown out of the textbooks and replaced with creation. And they can’t provide a shred of evidence that creation by an “intelligent designer” has ever happened.
The creationists see science, itself, as a threat. Actually it is the logical thinking necessary for science that they see as a threat. They want to dominate other people’s thinking, and they can’t do that if other people seek, as scientists do, reality.
“Are you sure about this? Even the IDâ€™ots acknowledge speciation. Heck even the creationists acknowledge speciation. Iâ€™m beginning to think you are a troll. Speciation is observed repeatedly in the present day. Evidence for macroevolution is also obervable and testable. Why do you insist on tilting at windmlls? Do you disagree with Michael Behe? He argues accepts macroevolution. ”
Yes I am sure. You can interbreeed within species but you cannot create any new species. If that were the case then we probably would not be having this arguments.
“In additions your comments about the evolution supporters suppressing research, like the Cambrian Explosion and differences between micro-evolution and macro is false. The reason these arenâ€™t always taught has more to do with time constraints on teachers than it does with people actively trying to suppress knowledge (most schools, for example, do not talk about how missionaries handed out small-pox infected blankets to Native Americans with the sole purpose of wiping them out, but that doesnâ€™t mean it didnâ€™t happen or that the churches are trying to surpress how evil their missionaries really are). ”
You are ridiculous. I assume that these are the same people that told you that you came from a monkey. I dare say that you will believe anything that is nti-god for the mere pleasure of staying in your rebellion.
“However once again you are claiming that because no one has observed something it cannot possibly be true, yet people believe in a divine being creating the universe, something that no one has observed. I just think thatâ€™s rather funny. One theory believes there are no â€œsupernaturalâ€ forces to influence the path of evolution, and the other believes that this path is determined by such forces.”
Finally we agree in something.
Which serves the point I have been making: it takes faith to believe in evolution just like it takes to believe in ID. We both start from different presupositions. It is my opinion that it takes more faith to believe that everything came as a result of a freak of nature than it does to believe that it was a product of intelligent design.
“You know, youâ€™re obviously assuming that all people who support evolution are god-haters, and whatâ€™s not to hate, I mean this guy appears and suddenly the world is filled with strife. But seriously a lot of people who belive in evolution are also religious, the two are not exclusive to each other. You say that we are god haters, but isnâ€™t it also true that youâ€™re generalizing us and discriminating against us based on your perception of us as athiests? You are right that sometimes scientists donâ€™t like to talk to people like you, but itâ€™s partly that half the time when you talk to an IDer or a creationist they just want to berate you for not believing in god or call you a god-hater and treat you like an idiot. Who wouldnâ€™t just rather ignore people like that?”
You do have a point. I mhave met some descent atheist.THere are always exceptions to the rule.
Unlike you, the vast majority of atheist, including PZ Myers, are content to sit back and call everyone ignorant who would dare oppose them. I just came from another site where one was making perverted comments about Jesus. Somehow these vulgarities do not get censored, but somehow opposing views do. You may be the exception to the rule, but the fact is that people do not believe in God because they CAN NOT believe in God, they do not believe in him because they WILL NOT believe in him.
” Where did this intelligence come from that created life? If something cannot come from nothing than there must be some reason why this disembodied inteligence exists in the first place”
Cathy, if deity had a cause, then he would not be deity.
“Why do you assume this inteligence created humans specifically and not that it created apes and we evolved from there (since thatâ€™s micro-evolution: evolution within a family of obviously related species)”
I do not assume. I take the Bible as an accurate record of the origins of life. The same God that created the world has revealed himself to us.If he cares enough for your physical needs in providing the sun everymorning. One random shift in degrees will either burn us up or freeze us to death. If he cares enough to kgive us the air we breath,(One random change in the air would cause an explosina)… if hecares enough for our physical needs, will he not care more for our spiritual need. Just like the painter or artist desires to be known, the Great Architect of the universe desires to be known.
You may scoff at such a notion, but the fact is that I have a written record while you do not. In this regard my position is more tenable.
“Whatâ€™s the motive of the main character in this story, is it search for knowledge about why it exists, general curiosity about the permutations of life, or are we at the mercy of the intergalactic version of a bored gamer playing Spore?”
Well, as you know there is a battle between good and evil: concepts that evolution cannot explain. The fact is that the God which you stubbornly deny died on the cross for you so that you do not have to go to hell. He did this for mere love of you.
“Why, if we are the result of inteligent design, do prions exist, with evolution there are explanations why a species with no obvious genetic material would exist, but with ID youâ€™d expect this inteligence to just skip to the DNA stage (and for that matter skip the RNA stage, since RNA is less stable than DNA). ”
Just because science has not found a purpose does not mean that a purpose does not exist. If scientists new the purpose of every single thing in this universethan they would all be unemployed.
Science has always progressed when scientist recognized the intelligent design of things and saw their role, not as the creator, but as one discovering the vast laws that has been in place by its Creator.
“The evolutionary theory they purport to attack is a biological theory, and, to a biologist, evolution is a change in the genetic make-up of a population. That is all. Nothing more, and nothing less. If you look at the frequency of a gene in a population, and that frequency changes, that is evolution. Do the creationists want to argue that gene frequencies never change in populations? I donâ€™t think they will have much success in that endeavor. Thus, they must admit that evolution happens. ”
When we refer to evolution we are reffering to the General Theory of Evolution (GET) . We do recognize the word exist. In fact it is used in many different contexts outside of GED.
“The creationists are reduced to arguing, â€œSince evolutionary theory canâ€™t account for everything (and here they insert something that they think the theoryâ€“which they donâ€™t understandâ€”canâ€™t cover) therefore, it must be thrown out of the textbooks and replaced with creation. And they canâ€™t provide a shred of evidence that creation by an â€œintelligent designerâ€ has ever happened. ”
Actually, the argument is to teach it side by side with evolution.
“The creationists see science, itself, as a threat. Actually it is the logical thinking necessary for science that they see as a threat. They want to dominate other peopleâ€™s thinking, and they canâ€™t do that if other people seek, as scientists do, reality. ”
Actually, science has done very well without evolution. In fact their has not been one contribution to society that has been a direct result of evolutionary thought. And that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
Let’s give a single, simple example of what Intelligent Design gets wrong:
The operation of a major city (Detroit, L.A., New York, whatever) is a veritable model of irreducibly complex design– just stop garbage collection for a little while one summer and see what I mean– but we know from history that no one Designer laid the cornerstone from which all structure derived. Pesky things, facts; they show up when least convenient, sometimes. The ID kerfluffle (I wish!) is one of those times.
ID is pure Dominionist politics, a very-carefully-crafted (but very thin) tissue of lies, conflation, and misdirection– with the sole purpose of driving a wedge into science (Google these phrases together: “wedge strategy” “intelligent design”) and promoting a religious agenda that clearly violates the separation of Church and State– a “God of the gaps” for the 21st century, but the wedge is being used to create the gaps.
This is no game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. If we allow these partisan hacks to wrap the rock of science with the tissue of Intelligent Design, an opportunity to teach real science may be lost. The United States is already lagging in science education. In my opinion, fighting ID is sapping resources that would be better spent learning and teaching– not to mention the wasted classroom time if it does sneak in. There’s a lot of money being spent to promote ID as well, so the waste of resources is doubled.
“The United States is already lagging in science education. In my opinion, fighting ID is sapping resources that would be better spent learning and teachingâ€“ not to mention the wasted classroom time if it does sneak in. ”
You will be stunned to find this decline in education compared with when God was kicked out of public education and evolution took its place.
Michael Rudas wrote:
“know from history that no one Designer laid the cornerstone from which all structure derived”
An appeal to history, that’s a refreshing change from the theoritical mumble-jumble. But your anology betrays you, because it admits that the product of the structure was an intelligent designer. The evolutionistic alternative would be a result of some accidental explosian.
Your anology also fails because it fails to properly describe ID. ID is not one structure being the foundation for all other designs. This would be some other take from evolution: where everything has a common ancestor.
That’s why you should not base your faith on anology.
Further evidence that Yamil has never, ever read anything about evolution.
The “You are ignorant” smokescreen again. I presume.
Yamil states that no new species have been observed to arise. This is a shock and makes me certain that Yamil is a troll since creationists, evolutionsts and ID’ers are all quite aware that numerous new species have appeared in a fairly short amount of time. So, what is the point of discussion if Yamil is simply unaware of what science has already confirmed as uncontroversial?. Very strange Yamil, very strange.Discussions are so much more fruitful if you argue facts Yamil and not some invented fantasies. Speciation happnes quite a bit whether or not you acare to admit it.
The ususal ad hominem attacks. Well maybe you can share with us what new species you have witnessed to be a direct result of evolution.
Yamil You have managed to regurgitate most of the tired old rhetoric from the IDiots camp, (you forgot the Mount Rushmore analogy) if you could managed a independent thought of your own I don’t think you would know what to do with it.All your ramblings apparently lead you to think the mountains of evidence for evolution are wrong because the method of investigation is wrong, but seem quite unable to offer any alternative method of investigation.If ID is a valid science please tell us how you would falsify this,using ANY method of investigation that you like, please explain the evidence that seems to be against creationism.
The truth is that the historical reality of fables that you have embraced, have been rendered entirely fictional by evolution,however, to your great satisfaction, you believe that the fault must necessarily lie with science, since your belief cannot possibly be wrong.I donâ€™t think there is anything anyone here needs to discuss regarding the limits of science. Science is inherently limited to finding natural causes of natural phenomena therefore, raising â€œthe supernaturalâ€ means we are no longer discussing science at all, â€œSupernaturalâ€ is a keyword that indicates this is a religious discussion. All that remains to talk about is your religious beliefs,and they hold no more authority than mine or the person in the window at McDonalds.
Here ya go little fella:
While studying the genetics of the evening primrose, Oenothera lamarckiana, de Vries (1905) found an unusual variant among his plants. O. lamarckiana has a chromosome number of 2N = 14. The variant had a chromosome number of 2N = 28. He found that he was unable to breed this variant with O. lamarckiana. He named this new species O. gigas.
Digby (1912) crossed the primrose species Primula verticillata and P. floribunda to produce a sterile hybrid. Polyploidization occurred in a few of these plants to produce fertile offspring. The new species was named P. kewensis. Newton and Pellew (1929) note that spontaneous hybrids of P. verticillata and P. floribunda set tetraploid seed on at least three occasions. These happened in 1905, 1923 and 1926
Digby (1912) crossed the primrose species Primula verticillata and P. floribunda to produce a sterile hybrid. Polyploidization occurred in a few of these plants to produce fertile offspring. The new species was named P. kewensis. Newton and Pellew (1929) note that spontaneous hybrids of P. verticillata and P. floribunda set tetraploid seed on at least three occasions. These happened in 1905, 1923 and 1926
My personal favorite is the speciation event (macroevolution) that led to HeLa cells.
There are hundreds more, will you deny them or will you agree like most creationists and ID’er’s that speciation is real and observed? As a matter of fact, you have yet to explain why you disagree with creationists, evolutionists and ID’er’s on the matter of speciation. Seems you are somewhat of a lone wolf on this argument
I don’t mean to interrupt this nonsense debate you’ve got going, but I was wondering if you have anything actually positive to contribute to science or society. Seriously. Stop your useless flailings against evolution and science and instead concentrate on some good things that intelligent design has done. Name a few experiments that will help our understanding of life in some way.
Need some examples? View a few of my recent posts. Take a good, hard look at all the wonderful science being done. Look at how hard the scientists are working. They’re out there in the field doing experiments, getting their hands dirty and advancing humankind’s knowledge. Give me some equivalent examples from intelligent design.
Tell you what: your posting here on this blog’s comments is the prize of a bet. Stop all the angry bashing temporarily. List for me five positive contributions that intelligent design has made to science and mankind. Link to some positive examples just as I’ve linked to stories in my most recent blog posts.
Give me those five examples and then you may continue on your little rampage. If you instead choose to continue your rantings or fail to cough up five examples, then I will ban you.
Say something positive. I dare you.
“Actually, the argument is to teach it side by side with evolution.”
I will be glad to teach it (intelligent design) when there is evidence that it has happened. Presently there is none. It is not science.
Yamil wrote: “Actually, science has done very well without evolution. In fact their has not been one contribution to society that has been a direct result of evolutionary thought. And thatâ€™s the way the cookie crumbles.”
There have been many contributions to society of evolutionary thought. Perhaps the greatest is towards the improvement of domesticated varieties of animals and plants by selective breeding. Evolutionary theory has also led to an understanding of why and how diseases get more or less severe—an understanding of vital importance to epidemiologists. Parasite-host relationships, of vital importance to doctors, can only be understood in light of evolutionary theory. The study of animal behavior and human behavior has been greatly advanced by evolutionary theory. There is a large branch of psychology, now, called evolutionary psychology. Evolutionary theory is used heavily in wildlife management. Evolutionary theory has provided the explanation of why some species die of old age much sooner than others—why, for example, mice die of old age in two or three years, whereas humans live up to 100 years. Evolutionary theory has been necessary for the control of rabbits in Australia by the release of a disease, myxomatosis.
Somebody else said that Yamil said that no one has ever observed speciation. That is not true. The geneticist, Theodosius Dobzansky, working with the fruit fly, Drosophila paulistorum, set up a population of flies that differed in a single pair of alleles. Initially, members of the population interbred randomly with respect to this pair of alleles. In 60 generations, he got two populations—one with one allele, the other with the other allele— in the cage that did not interbreed at all by providing strong selection against flies that did interbreed. In 60 generations he had created a behavioral barrier to interbreeding between the two populations. This meets the biological criterion for two different species. See Dobzhansky, Th., and O. Pavlovsky, 1971. “An experimentally created incipient species of Drosophila”, Nature 23:289-292. Dobzhansky made the often quoted statement: “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” Plant speciation has also been observed in historical times by the processes of autopolyploidy and allopolyploidy. Speciation has been documented in a fly, whose maggot is a pest of apples. Recently a sub-population formed where the maggots infest cherries. These two populations do not interbreed, and are already diverging rapidly in a multitude of other characteristics.
Johnathan Smith wrote:
“Yamil You have managed to regurgitate most of the tired old rhetoric from the IDiots camp…”
Apparently that’s the best the evolutionists can come up with as far as a rebuttal.
Reminds me of the kid that places his hands over his ears and starts singing a song.
The examples you gave are good examples of interbreeding. This could hardly be a case for evolution any more than I marrying my wife (who is a different nationality) produces a new “species” of humans.
The devastating truth is that you will not find a plant that will produce a frog.
Species:[n] (biology) taxonomic group whose members can interbreed
In fact you will not find any such thing (macroevolution) in recorded history.
Bee kay wrote:
“Give me those five examples and then you may continue on your little rampage. If you instead choose to continue your rantings or fail to cough up five examples, then I will ban you.”
Actually, everything I said was pretty positive. The only negatively that has been contributed to this debate has been from your side of the camp with all the ad hominem attacks. Of course you would not feel the need of censoring those comments will you? I suppose that your rules are the same as PZ Myers:
1. Mock and deride at all means anything that represents Christianity.
2. Do not mock or deride anything that represents atheistic views.
I tell you what you give me 5 contributions that evolution has contributed to society as a whole and then I will gleefully answer yours. I know that you are trying to find an excuse to monopolize the truth but its only fair that you answer my question first (since I asked it first) before you try to change the table on me.
And I am not talking about this mumble-jumble theory that only exists in the lab. I am talking about something the average person can understand.
“There have been many contributions to society of evolutionary thought. Perhaps the greatest is towards the improvement of domesticated varieties of animals and plants by selective breeding.”
Nice try Paul, but that existed way before evolution came along. You do not have to be an evolutionist to experiment with mix-breeding.
But if you are talking about breeding a dog and a cat or a horse and a cow, than trhat will be interesting.
“Parasite-host relationships, of vital importance to doctors, can only be understood in light of evolutionary theory. The study of animal behavior and human behavior has been greatly advanced by evolutionary theory. There is a large branch of psychology, now, called evolutionary psychology. Evolutionary theory is used heavily in wildlife management. Evolutionary theory has provided the explanation of why some species die of old age much sooner than othersâ€”why, for example, mice die of old age in two or three years, whereas humans live up to 100 years. Evolutionary theory has been necessary for the control of rabbits in Australia by the release of a disease, myxomatosis. ”
Again, interbreeding is hardly a case for evolution anymore than interracial marriage is.
Sorry to break it to you but that has nothing to do with evolution as defined by GTE. An ID scientist can easily do the same thing and they have. Interesting enough the results of the studies in question was not a result of random chance but on the laborious search of the design in question.
,b>What research topics does a design-theoretic research program explore?
â€¢ Methods of Design Detection. Methods of design detection are widely employed in various
special sciences (e.g., archeology, cryptography, and the Search for Extraterrestrial
Intelligence or SETI). Design theorists investigate the scope and validity of such methods.
â€¢ Biological Information. What is the nature of biological information? How do function and
fitness relate to it? What are the obstacles that face material mechanisms in attempting to
generate biological information? What are the theoretical and empirical grounds for thinking
that intelligence is indispensable to the origin of biological information?
â€¢ Evolvability. Evolutionary biologyâ€™s preferred research strategy consists in taking distinct
biological systems and finding similarities that might be the result of a common evolutionary
ancestor. Intelligent design, by contrast, focuses on a different strategy, namely, taking
individual biological systems and perturbing them (both intelligently and randomly) to see
how much the systems can evolve. Within this latter research strategy, limitations on
evolvability by material mechanisms constitute indirect confirmation of design.
â€¢ Evolutionary Computation. Organisms employ evolutionary computation to solve many of
the tasks of living (cf. the immune system in vertebrates). But does this show that organisms
originate through some form of evolutionary computation (as through a Darwinian
evolutionary process)? Are GPGAs (General Purpose Genetic Algorithms) like the immune
system designed or the result of evolutionary computation? Need these be mutually
exclusive? Evolutionary computation occurs in the behavioral repertoire of organisms but is
also used to account for the origination of certain features of organisms. Design theorists
explore the relationship between these two types of evolutionary computation as well as any
design intrinsic to them. One aspect of this research is writing and running computer
simulations that investigate the scope and limits of evolutionary computation. One such
simulation is the MESA program (Monotonic Evolutionary Simulation Algorithm) due to
Micah Sparacio, John Bracht, and William Dembski. It is available online at
â€¢ Technological Evolution (TRIZ). The only well-documented example we have of the
evolution of complex multipart integrated functional systems (as we see in biology) is the
technological evolution of human inventions. In the second half of the twentieth century,
Russian scientists and engineers studied hundreds of thousands of patents to determine how
technologies evolve. They codified their findings in a theory to which they gave the acronym
TRIZ, which in English translates to Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (see Semyon
Savransky, Engineering of Creativity: Introduction to TRIZ Methodology of Inventive
Problem Solving, CRC Publishers, 2000). The picture of technological evolution that emerges
out of TRIZ parallels remarkably the history of life as we see it in the fossil record and
includes the following:
(1) New technologies (cf. major groups like phyla and classes) emerge suddenly as solutions
to inventive problems. Such solutions require major conceptual leaps (i.e., design). As
soon as a useful new technology is developed, it is applied immediately and as widely as
possible (cf. convergent evolution).
(2) Existing technologies (cf. species and genera) can, by contrast, be modified by trial-anderror
tinkering (cf. Darwinian evolution), which amounts to solving routine problems
rather than inventive problems. (The distinction between routine and inventive problems
is central to TRIZ. In biology, irreducible complexity suggests one way of making the
analytic cut between these types of problems. Are there other ways?)
(3) Technologies approach ideality (cf. local optimization by means of natural selection) and
thereafter tend not change (cf. stasis).
(4) New technologies, by supplanting old technologies, can upset the ideality and stasis of
the old technologies, thus forcing them to evolve in new directions (requiring the solution
of new inventive problems, as in an arms race) or by driving them to extinction.
Mapping TRIZ onto biological evolution provides a especially promising avenue of designtheoretic
â€¢ Strong Irreducible Complexity of Molecular Machines and Metabolic Pathways. For
certain enzymes (which are themselves highly complicated molecular structures) and
metabolic pathways (i.e., systems of enzymes where one enzyme passes off its product to the
next, as in a production line), simplification leads not to different functions but to the
complete absence of all function. Systems with this feature exhibit a strengthened form of
irreducible complexity. Strong irreducible complexity, as it may be called, entails that no
Darwinian account can in principle be given for the emergence of such systems. Theodosius
Dobzhansky, one of the founders of the neo-Darwinian synthesis, once remarked that to talk
about prebiotic natural selection is a contradiction in termsâ€”the idea being that selection
could only select for things that are already functional. Research on strong irreducible
complexity finds and analyzes biological systems that cannot in principle be grist for natural
selectionâ€™s mill. For this research, which is only now beginning, to be completely successful
would imply the unraveling of molecular Darwinism.
â€¢ Natural and Artificial Biological Design (Bioterrorist Genetic Engineering). We are
on the cusp of a bioengineering revolution whose fallout is likely to include bioterrorism.
Thus we can expect to see bioterror forensics emerge as a practical scientific discipline. How
will such forensic experts distinguish the terroristsâ€™ biological designs from naturally
occurring biological designs?
â€¢ Design of the Environment and Ecological Fine-Tuning. The idea that ecosystems are
fine-tuned to support a harmonious balance of plant and animal life is old. How does this
balance come about. Is it the result of blind Darwinian forces competing with one another and
leading to a stable equilibrium? Or is there design built into such ecosystems? Can such
ecosystems be improved through conscious design or is â€œmonkeyingâ€ with such systems
invariably counterproductive? Design-theoretic research promises to become a significant
factor in scientific debates over the environment.
â€¢ Steganographic Layering of Biological Information. Steganography belongs to the field
of digital data embedding technologies (DDET), which also include information hiding,
steganalysis, watermarking, embedded data extraction, and digital data forensics.
Steganography seeks efficient (high data rate) and robust (insensitive to common distortions)
algorithms that can embed a high volume of hidden message bits within a cover message
(typically imagery, video, or audio) without their presence being detected. Conversely,
steganalysis seeks statistical tests that will detect the presence of steganography in a cover
message. Key research question: To what degree do biological systems incorporate
steganography, and if so, is biosteganography demonstrably designed?
â€¢ Cosmological Fine-Tuning and Anthropic Coincidences. Although this is a well worn
area of study, there are some new developments here. Guillermo Gonzalez, assistant
professor of physics and astronomy at Iowa State University, and Jay Richards, a senior
fellow with Seattleâ€™s Discovery Institute, have a forthcoming book titled The Privileged
Planet (along with a video based on the book) in which they make a case for planet earth as
intelligently designed not only for life but also for scientific discovery. In other words, they
argue that our world is designed to facilitate the scientific discovery of its own design.
Aspects of Gonzalezâ€™s work in this area have been featured on the cover story of the October
2001 Scientific American.
â€¢ Astrobiology, SETI, and the Search for a General Biology. What might life on other
planets look like? Is it realistic to think that there is life, and even conscious life, on other
planets? What are the defining features that any material system must possess to be alive?
How simple can a material system be and still be alive (John von Neumann posed this
question over half a century ago in the context of cellular automata)? Insofar as such systems
display intelligent behavior, must that intelligence be derived entirely from its material
constitution or can it transcend yet nevertheless guide its behavior (cf. the mechanism vs.
vitalism debate)? Is there a testable way to decide this last question? How, if at all, does
quantum mechanics challenge a purely mechanistic conception of life? Design theorists are
starting to investigate these questions.
â€¢ Consciousness, Free Will, and Mind-Brain Studies. Is conscious will an illusionâ€”we
think that we have acted freely and deliberately toward some end, but in fact our brain acted
on its own and then deceived us into thinking that we acted deliberately. This is the majority
position in the cognitive neuroscience community, and a recent book makes just that claim in
its title: The Illusion of Conscious Will by Harvard psychologist Daniel Wegner. But there is
now growing evidence that consciousness is not reducible to material processes of the brain
and that free will is in fact real. Jeffrey Schwartz at UCLA along with quantum physicist
Henry Stapp at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are two of the key researchers
presently providing experimental and theoretical support for the irreducibility of mind to
brain (see Schwartzâ€™s book The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of
â€¢ Autonomy vs. Guidance. Many scientists worry that intelligent design attempts to usurp
natureâ€™s autonomy. But that is not the case. Intelligent design is attempting to restore a proper
balance between natureâ€™s autonomy and teleologic guidance. Prior to the rise of modern
science all the emphasis was on teleologic guidance (typically in the form of divine design).
Now the pendulum has swung to the opposite extreme, and all the emphasis is on natureâ€™s
autonomy (an absolute autonomy that excludes design). Where is the point of balance that
properly respects both, and in which design becomes empirically evident? The search for that
balance-point underlies all design-theoretic research. Itâ€™s not all design or all nature but a
synergy of the two. Unpacking that synergy is the intelligent design research program in a
Yamil claims “The examples you gave are good examples of interbreeding”
Yamil is wrong. Those are some of the many instances of speciation. I also note that you have yet to explain why you disagree with yyoung earth creationists (who accept speciation), ID’ers (who accept speciation) and evolutionary biologists (who accept speciation). What papers have you written that disprove speciation, or are you just spitballing as a troll? Frankly, I am amazed that you stand alone in the world with this denial.
Yamil Luciano said “Reminds me of the kid that places his hands over his ears and starts singing a song.”
Everyone has a song to sing my friend and yours is as shrill and tunless as your missplaced logic.
As you conveniently avoided answering any of my questions (nothing to copy from the IDiots file uh?)
I will have a stab at yours. You said to Joe M “I tell you what you give me 5 contributions that evolution has contributed to society as a whole and then I will gleefully answer yours”.
Environment and conservation. Evolutionary insights are important in both conservation and management of renewable resources. Population genetic methods are frequently used to assess the genetic structure of rare or endangered species as a means of determining appropriate conservation measures. Studies of the genetic composition of wild relatives of crop species can be used to discover potentially useful new genes that might be transferred into cultivated species. Studies of wild plants’ adaptations to polluted or degraded soils contribute to the reclamation of damaged land.
Agriculture and natural resources. The principles of plant and animal breeding strongly parallel natural evolutionary mechanisms, and there is a rich history of interplay between evolutionary biology and agricultural science. Evolutionary insights play a clear role in understanding the ongoing evolution of various crop pathogens and insect pests, including the evolution of resistance to pest-control measures. The methods of evolutionary genetics can be used to identify different gene pools of commercially important fish and other organisms, their migration routes, and differences in their physiology, growth, and reproduction.
Finding useful natural products. Many thousands of natural products are used in medicine, food production and processing, cosmetics, biotechnology, pest control, and industry, but millions of other potentially useful natural products have yet to be screened or even discovered. Evolutionary principles allow a targeted search by predicting adaptations to environmental selection pressures and by identifying organisms related to those that have already yielded useful natural products. Exploration of related species has also made it possible to develop natural products from more accessible relatives of rare species in which natural products have been found, as occurred when the rare and endangered Pacific yew was found to contain a substance (taxol) useful in treating breast cancer.
Human health and medicine. Methods and principles from evolutionary biology have contributed to understanding the links between genes and human genetic diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Evolutionary methods help to trace the origins and epidemiology of infectious diseases, and to analyze the evolution of antibiotic resistance in pathogenic microorganisms. Evolutionary principles are used to interpret human physiological functions and dietary needs. Methods developed by evolutionary geneticists are playing an important role in mapping defective human genes, in genetic counseling, and in identifying genetic variants that alter risks for common systemic diseases and responses to medical treatments.
Biotechnology. The interplay between biotechnology and evolutionary biology holds great promise for application to important societal needs. As genetic engineering has reached the field implementation stage, evolutionary biologists have been prominently involved in risk assessment as well as interpretation of phenotypic consequences of transgene insertion. Finally, the automation of DNA sequencing has made it possible to reconstruct the precise genealogical relationship among specific genes, such as those of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Understanding humanity. Evolutionary biology has contributed greatly to human understanding of ourselves by describing our origins, our relationships to other living things, and the history and significance of variation within and among different groups of people. Evolutionary anthropologists, psychologists, and biologists have advanced hypotheses on the biological bases of human culture and behavior. In addition, the evolutionary framework for understanding humanity has had a profound impact on literature, the arts, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities.
Ok pal get gleefull.
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