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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Darwin is Dead-The Carnival!!!

Boy, have we got a carnival for you! Each entry will be linked on this page. I will publish an exerpt and also give you that link to go to the author's blog so you can read the remainder of the article. Click each title to read the whole thing!

So, in order of submission.....drum roll....

Mark of Mark My Words is our first submitter with Yes, there is a God.

"Because the universe is either eternal or came from nothing.

I hope no one seriously considers something from nothing in this day and age.

An eternal universe is not possible either. You cannot count to infinity. No matter how long you count you will always have a finite set of numbers. Likewise, you cannot have an infinite series of events into the past. You would never reach a beginning, because no matter how long you traveled, you would only traverse a finite set of events. Even worse though, for the universe to reach the present. There being no beginning at all, there is no hope of reaching the present as it is preceded by an infinite series of events and there is no starting point to begin to try and cross this series."


Next in line is Ohio Board Of Education Eliminates Critical Thinking Standard In Science Classes submitted by Greg of Rhymes with Right:

"No more will students in Ohio science classes be taught to think critically or use the scientific method to examine evidence for and against scientific theories. instead, they are to be presented only evidence in support of scientific theories, but not any evidence that may call such theories into doubt.

Why the change from good science education to indoctrination? because some fear that teaching kids to think might lead them to draw conclusions that contradict scientific orthodoxy."


Next up is Tim from Christ Matters (we think so, too) in Creation Vs. Evolution :

"I'm always up for a good debate in regards to evolution and its veracity. But the real debate is not between Creation and evolution, its Creationism and cosmology, or origins. The age of the earth is the crux of the matter. Now I for one, do not care how long it took God to create the Earth. It could have been a literal 24/7 day progression, or it could have taken millenia. I just don't care. But what I do care about is the public education system shoving an equally unprovable theory down my throat with the demand that I accept it.

So here goes. To the evolutionists: First, evolution claims that humans and apes have a common ancestor. But since apes are not still evolving into man that notion is debunked without performing a single experiment. Science is the study of things obervable, and man evolving from apes has not been observed. Since both creatures still co-exist, something such as this WOULD be obervable if it were true."


Rod Martin of Answers in Genesis gave me permission to pick an article from the site to publish. It was like being a kid in a candy store, but I finally chose Shining light on the evolution of photosynthesis by Rick Swindell:

"If we define science as the assumption of naturalism, that matter and energy are all that ever has been or will be, then photosynthesis must of course have evolved, since the only reasonable alternative, that it was designed by intelligence, falls outside our definition of ‘science’. So, by definition, the fabulously complex systems of photosynthesis have arisen by accident. But man’s way of defining words has no jurisdiction in the dominion of objective reality. Truth is sublimely indifferent to our definition of words, even to our definition of science. The thesis of this paper is that evolution would not have been capable of generating the process of photosynthesis as it exists in cyanobacteria, green algae and higher plants, and that it must therefore have been intelligently designed."

Hawkeye (Jim) in his Testimonium blog also got in on the carnival with an appropriately named entry; Darwin Is Dead:

"Indeed, "Darwin is Dead". His spirit ("breath" in the Hebrew) passed from his mortal flesh on April 19,1882. Various accounts of his death can be found Here. But Darwin's legacy -- the religion known as Evolution -- lives on. You may scoff at my choice of words, but Evolution is in fact nothing more than a "religion". It could hardly be called a "science", except perhaps in the most oblique of fashions. For starters, let us consider the definition of "science" as put forth by Merriam-Webster..."

I am truly grateful to all who participated and I urge you to read each of these submissons. I will announce the winner of the Carnival soon, but if any commenters wish to vote I will consider their opinion when I make the decision.

Remember, Darwin is dead but our God is alive!!!

182 comments:

cranky old fart said...

Penguins marching in the desert. I just love you people. I really do.

radar said...

Okay, don't know about the penguins in the desert, but maybe you can explain the shellfish fossils on mountaintops and tropical plant fossils in Antarctica?

Penguins in the desert...how about explaining how photosynthesis could by any possible stretch of the imagination have evolved. Go ahead, try.

highboy said...

He'll just keep harping on the same line because that's all he has in his arsenal. He has yet to explain also how the universe can explode from nothing when science teaches us nothing can't explode.

radar said...

Yes, so true. I have heard some say that more-than-nothing and less-than-nothing separated and then came back together in a giant bang. But math tells us +1 added to -1 is nothing so that would still produce....nothing.

cranky old fart said...

Radar,

"photosynthesis originated in bacteria, with some bacteria possessing photosystems that produced oxygen similar to how green plants do today. However, there are conflicting theories on which species of bacteria contained the most ancient photosystem and how photosynthesis in green plants evolved from bacteria".

http://www.howstuffworks.com/
news-item215.htm

Got research showing these theories are wrong? Have alternative hypothothses that can be tested? Feel free to submit your work. Science welcomes it. It's what science does.

As for the shellfish on high, the obvious reason for this is clouded for you by your belief that the world was created "as is". This is how the rational, er, scientific world views mountain making:

http://www.geolor.com/geoteach/
Formation_of_Mountains_
Earth_Science_Lesson_geoteach.htm

Again, your young earth view causes great problems for you in understanding the changes to the earth that occur over millions of years. Plant fossils in Antarctica?

Two hundred million years ago, all of the continents on Earth were joined in one large supercontinent scientists call Pangaea, and the climate was much different. Therefore, you find fossils from plants and animals you wouldn't find today.

As you may recall, Creationists use Pangea to explain how it was "easy" for the animals of the world to walk to Noah. Of course, Creationists overlook what it would take for the land masses to move from Pangea to their current positions in the space of a scant 4-5,000 years.

Highboy,

I do not know how the universe began. Big Bang, God snapping his fingers, all the same to me.

highboy said...

"Got research showing these theories are wrong?"

Key word: Theory

By the way, most credible Creationists do not use Pangea for anything, they actually claim it is false. Scientists claim they use to fit together but that is just judging by the water level. Some places are deeper than others, the water level gives the continent their shape as we see it. Take the water out and their still connected. Also, you'll notice that in order to fit the continents together they shrunk Africa by about 40% and eliminated Central America completely.

radar said...

Cranky, from your first source:

"No one disputes the fact that photosynthesis originated in bacteria, with some bacteria possessing photosystems that produced oxygen similar to how green plants do today."

That is a lie. I am guessing you didn't read the AIG article posted in the carnival. Plenty of scientists believe otherwise and plenty would refute the statement above.

The reason shellfish fossils are found on mountaintops is easily explained by the logical aftermath of the Noahic flood.

Pangea would be the pre-flood world and the current continents were formed during the flood events. That is the creationist view and not even thousands of years would be necessary to explain the deepening ocean floors, the upthrusting of new mountains, the separation of the continents and the subsequent ice age. All of these things would be logical based upon a world-wide totally submerging flood.

Scientists with doctorates from places like MIT and Brown, hundreds of them, ascribe to the same view (basically) as myself. So it is no less scientific or rational that that of Indiana University's hunt-for-photosynthesis-ancestor

cranky old fart said...

"Scientists with doctorates from places like MIT and Brown, hundreds of them, ascribe to the same view (basically) as myself".

OK, I'll bite. Point me to the hundreds of Ivy League scientists who subscribe to your young earth, Noah's ark thing. I'd be happy to read some peer reviewed research on these subjects. Really.

radar said...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Are there scientists alive today who accept the biblical account of creation?
Note: Individuals on this list must possess a doctorate in a science-related field.

Dr Paul Ackerman, Psychologist
Dr E. Theo Agard, Medical Physics
Dr James Allan, Geneticist
Dr Steve Austin, Geologist
Dr S.E. Aw, Biochemist
Dr Thomas Barnes, Physicist
Dr Geoff Barnard, Immunologist
Dr Don Batten, Plant physiologist, tropical fruit expert
Dr John Baumgardner, Electrical Engineering, Space Physicist, Geophysicist, expert in supercomputer modeling of plate tectonics
Dr Jerry Bergman, Psychologist
Dr Kimberly Berrine, Microbiology & Immunology
Prof. Vladimir Betina, Microbiology, Biochemistry & Biology
Dr Raymond G. Bohlin, Biologist
Dr Andrew Bosanquet, Biology, Microbiology
Edward A. Boudreaux, Theoretical Chemistry
Dr David R. Boylan, Chemical Engineer
Prof. Linn E. Carothers, Associate Professor of Statistics
Dr David Catchpoole, Plant Physiologist (read his testimony)
Prof. Sung-Do Cha, Physics
Dr Eugene F. Chaffin, Professor of Physics
Dr Choong-Kuk Chang, Genetic Engineering
Prof. Jeun-Sik Chang, Aeronautical Engineering
Dr Donald Chittick, Physical Chemist
Prof. Chung-Il Cho, Biology Education
Dr John M. Cimbala, Mechanical Engineering
Dr Harold Coffin, Palaeontologist
Dr Bob Compton, DVM
Dr Ken Cumming, Biologist
Dr Jack W. Cuozzo, Dentist
Dr William M. Curtis III, Th.D., Th.M., M.S., Aeronautics & Nuclear Physics
Dr Malcolm Cutchins, Aerospace Engineering
Dr Lionel Dahmer, Analytical Chemist
Dr Raymond V. Damadian, M.D., Pioneer of magnetic resonance imaging
Dr Chris Darnbrough, Biochemist
Dr Nancy M. Darrall, Botany
Dr Bryan Dawson, Mathematics
Dr Douglas Dean, Biological Chemistry
Prof. Stephen W. Deckard, Assistant Professor of Education
Dr David A. DeWitt, Biology, Biochemistry, Neuroscience
Dr Don DeYoung, Astronomy, atmospheric physics, M.Div
Dr Geoff Downes, Creationist Plant Physiologist
Dr Ted Driggers, Operations research
Robert H. Eckel, Medical Research
Dr André Eggen, Geneticist
Prof. Dennis L. Englin, Professor of Geophysics
Prof. Danny Faulkner, Astronomy
Prof. Carl B. Fliermans, Professor of Biology
Prof. Dwain L. Ford, Organic Chemistry
Prof. Robert H. Franks, Associate Professor of Biology
Dr Alan Galbraith, Watershed Science
Dr Paul Giem, Medical Research
Dr Maciej Giertych, Geneticist
Dr Duane Gish, Biochemist
Dr Werner Gitt, Information Scientist
Dr D.B. Gower, Biochemistry
Dr Dianne Grocott, Psychiatrist
Dr Stephen Grocott, Industrial Chemist
Dr Donald Hamann, Food Scientist
Dr Barry Harker, Philosopher
Dr Charles W. Harrison, Applied Physicist, Electromagnetics
Dr John Hartnett, Physicist and Cosmologist
Dr Mark Harwood, Satellite Communications
Dr George Hawke, Environmental Scientist
Dr Margaret Helder, Science Editor, Botanist
Dr Harold R. Henry, Engineer
Dr Jonathan Henry, Astronomy
Dr Joseph Henson, Entomologist
Dr Robert A. Herrmann, Professor of Mathematics, US Naval Academy
Dr Andrew Hodge, Head of the Cardiothoracic Surgical Service
Dr Kelly Hollowell, Molecular and Cellular Pharmacologist
Dr Ed Holroyd, III, Atmospheric Science
Dr Bob Hosken, Biochemistry
Dr George F. Howe, Botany
Dr Neil Huber, Physical Anthropologist
Dr Russell Humphreys, Physicist
Dr James A. Huggins, Professor and Chair, Department of Biology
Evan Jamieson, Hydrometallurgy
George T. Javor, Biochemistry
Dr Pierre Jerlström, Creationist Molecular Biologist
Dr Arthur Jones, Biology
Dr Jonathan W. Jones, Plastic Surgeon
Dr Raymond Jones, Agricultural Scientist
Prof. Leonid Korochkin, Molecular Biology
Dr Valery Karpounin, Mathematical Sciences, Logics, Formal Logics
Dr Dean Kenyon, Biologist
Prof. Gi-Tai Kim, Biology
Prof. Harriet Kim, Biochemistry
Prof. Jong-Bai Kim, Biochemistry
Prof. Jung-Han Kim, Biochemistry
Prof. Jung-Wook Kim, Environmental Science
Prof. Kyoung-Rai Kim, Analytical Chemistry
Prof. Kyoung-Tai Kim, Genetic Engineering
Prof. Young-Gil Kim, Materials Science
Prof. Young In Kim, Engineering
Dr John W. Klotz, Biologist
Dr Vladimir F. Kondalenko, Cytology/Cell Pathology
Dr Leonid Korochkin, M.D., Genetics, Molecular Biology, Neurobiology
Dr John K.G. Kramer, Biochemistry
Prof. Jin-Hyouk Kwon, Physics
Prof. Myung-Sang Kwon, Immunology
Dr John Leslie, Biochemist
Prof. Lane P. Lester, Biologist, Genetics
Dr Jason Lisle, Astrophysicist
Dr Alan Love, Chemist
Dr Ian Macreadie, molecular biologist and microbiologist:
Dr John Marcus, Molecular Biologist
Dr George Marshall, Eye Disease Researcher
Dr Ralph Matthews, Radiation Chemist
Dr John McEwan, Chemist
Prof. Andy McIntosh, Combustion theory, aerodynamics
Dr David Menton, Anatomist
Dr Angela Meyer, Creationist Plant Physiologist
Dr John Meyer, Physiologist
Colin W. Mitchell, Geography
Dr John N. Moore, Science Educator
Dr John W. Moreland, Mechanical engineer and Dentist
Dr Henry M. Morris, Hydrologist
Dr John D. Morris, Geologist
Dr Len Morris, Physiologist
Dr Graeme Mortimer, Geologist
Stanley A. Mumma, Architectural Engineering
Prof. Hee-Choon No, Nuclear Engineering
Dr Eric Norman, Biomedical researcher
Dr David Oderberg, Philosopher
Prof. John Oller, Linguistics
Prof. Chris D. Osborne, Assistant Professor of Biology
Dr John Osgood, Medical Practitioner
Dr Charles Pallaghy, Botanist
Dr Gary E. Parker, Biologist, Cognate in Geology (Paleontology)
Dr David Pennington, Plastic Surgeon
Prof. Richard Porter
Dr Georgia Purdom, Molecular Genetics
Dr John Rankin, Cosmologist
Dr A.S. Reece, M.D.
Prof. J. Rendle-Short, Pediatrics
Dr Jung-Goo Roe, Biology
Dr David Rosevear, Chemist
Dr Ariel A. Roth, Biology
Dr Jonathan D. Sarfati, Physical chemist / spectroscopist
Dr Joachim Scheven Palaeontologist:
Dr Ian Scott, Educator
Dr Saami Shaibani, Forensic physicist
Dr Young-Gi Shim, Chemistry
Prof. Hyun-Kil Shin, Food Science
Dr Mikhail Shulgin, Physics
Dr Emil Silvestru, Geologist/karstologist
Dr Roger Simpson, Engineer
Dr Harold Slusher, Geophysicist
Dr E. Norbert Smith, Zoologist
Dr Andrew Snelling, Geologist
Prof. Man-Suk Song, Computer Science
Dr Timothy G. Standish, Biology
Prof. James Stark, Assistant Professor of Science Education
Prof. Brian Stone, Engineer
Dr Esther Su, Biochemistry
Dr Charles Taylor, Linguistics
Dr Stephen Taylor, Electrical Engineering
Dr Ker C. Thomson, Geophysics
Dr Michael Todhunter, Forest Genetics
Dr Lyudmila Tonkonog, Chemistry/Biochemistry
Dr Royal Truman, Organic Chemist:
Dr Larry Vardiman, Atmospheric Science
Prof. Walter Veith, Zoologist
Dr Joachim Vetter, Biologist
Dr Tas Walker, Mechanical Engineer and Geologist
Dr Jeremy Walter, Mechanical Engineer
Dr Keith Wanser, Physicist
Dr Noel Weeks, Ancient Historian (also has B.Sc. in Zoology)
Dr A.J. Monty White, Chemistry/Gas Kinetics
Dr John Whitmore, Geologist/Paleontologist
Dr Carl Wieland, Medical doctor
Dr Lara Wieland, Medical doctor
Dr Clifford Wilson, Psycholinguist and archaeologist
Dr Kurt Wise, Palaeontologist
Dr Bryant Wood, Creationist Archaeologist
Prof. Seoung-Hoon Yang, Physics
Dr Thomas (Tong Y.) Yi, Ph.D., Creationist Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering
Dr Ick-Dong Yoo, Genetics
Dr Sung-Hee Yoon, Biology
Dr Patrick Young, Chemist and Materials Scientist
Prof. Keun Bae Yu, Geography
Dr Henry Zuill, Biology

radar said...

Here are some additional lists:

Which scientists of the past believed in a Creator?
Note: These scientists are sorted by birth year.

Early

Francis Bacon (1561–1626)
Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) (WOH) Physics, Astronomy (see also The Galileo ‘twist’ and The Galileo affair: history or heroic hagiography?
Johann Kepler (1571–1630) (WOH) Scientific astronomy
Athanasius Kircher (1601–1680) Inventor
John Wilkins (1614–1672)
Walter Charleton (1619–1707) President of the Royal College of Physicians
Blaise Pascal (biography page) and article from Creation magazine (1623–1662) Hydrostatics; Barometer
Sir William Petty (1623 –1687) Statistics; Scientific economics
Robert Boyle (1627–1691) (WOH) Chemistry; Gas dynamics
John Ray (1627–1705) Natural history
Isaac Barrow (1630–1677) Professor of Mathematics
Nicolas Steno (1631–1686) Stratigraphy
Thomas Burnet (1635–1715) Geology
Increase Mather (1639–1723) Astronomy
Nehemiah Grew (1641–1712) Medical Doctor, Botany

The Age of Newton

Isaac Newton (1642–1727) (WOH) Dynamics; Calculus; Gravitation law; Reflecting telescope; Spectrum of light (wrote more about the Bible than science, and emphatically affirmed a Creator. Some have accused him of Arianism, but it’s likely he held to a heterodox form of the Trinity—See Pfizenmaier, T.C., Was Isaac Newton an Arian? Journal of the History of Ideas 68(1):57–80, 1997)
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz (1646–1716) Mathematician
John Flamsteed (1646–1719) Greenwich Observatory Founder; Astronomy
William Derham (1657–1735) Ecology
Cotton Mather (1662–1727) Physician
John Harris (1666–1719) Mathematician
John Woodward (1665–1728) Paleontology
William Whiston (1667–1752) Physics, Geology
John Hutchinson (1674–1737) Paleontology
Johathan Edwards (1703–1758) Physics, Meteorology
Carolus Linneaus (1707–1778) Taxonomy; Biological classification system
Jean Deluc (1727–1817) Geology
Richard Kirwan (1733–1812) Mineralogy
William Herschel (1738–1822) Galactic astronomy; Uranus (probably believed in an old-earth)
James Parkinson (1755–1824) Physician (old-earth compromiser*)
John Dalton (1766–1844) Atomic theory; Gas law
John Kidd, M.D. (1775–1851) Chemical synthetics (old-earth compromiser*)

Just Before Darwin

The 19th Century Scriptural Geologists, by Dr Terry Mortenson
Timothy Dwight (1752–1817) Educator
William Kirby (1759–1850) Entomologist
Jedidiah Morse (1761–1826) Geographer
Benjamin Barton (1766–1815) Botanist; Zoologist
John Dalton (1766–1844) Father of the Modern Atomic Theory; Chemistry
Georges Cuvier (1769–1832) Comparative anatomy, paleontology (old-earth compromiser*)
Samuel Miller (1770–1840) Clergy
Charles Bell (1774–1842) Anatomist
John Kidd (1775–1851) Chemistry
Humphrey Davy (1778–1829) Thermokinetics; Safety lamp
Benjamin Silliman (1779–1864) Mineralogist (old-earth compromiser*)
Peter Mark Roget (1779–1869) Physician; Physiologist
Thomas Chalmers (1780–1847) Professor (old-earth compromiser*)
David Brewster (1781–1868) Optical mineralogy, Kaleidoscope (probably believed in an old-earth)
William Buckland (1784–1856) Geologist (old-earth compromiser*)
William Prout (1785–1850) Food chemistry (probably believed in an old-earth)
Adam Sedgwick (1785–1873) Geology (old-earth compromiser*)
Michael Faraday (1791–1867) (WOH) Electro magnetics; Field theory, Generator
Samuel F.B. Morse (1791–1872) Telegraph
John Herschel (1792–1871) Astronomy (old-earth compromiser*)
Edward Hitchcock (1793–1864) Geology (old-earth compromiser*)
William Whewell (1794–1866) Anemometer (old-earth compromiser*)
Joseph Henry (1797–1878) Electric motor; Galvanometer

Just After Darwin

Richard Owen (1804–1892) Zoology; Paleontology (old-earth compromiser*)
Matthew Maury (1806–1873) Oceanography, Hydrography (probably believed in an old-earth*)
Louis Agassiz (1807–1873) Glaciology, Ichthyology (old-earth compromiser, polygenist*)
Henry Rogers (1808–1866) Geology
James Glaisher (1809–1903) Meteorology
Philip H. Gosse (1810–1888) Ornithologist; Zoology
Sir Henry Rawlinson (1810–1895) Archeologist
James Simpson (1811–1870) Gynecology, Anesthesiology
James Dana (1813–1895) Geology (old-earth compromiser*)
Sir Joseph Henry Gilbert (1817–1901) Agricultural Chemist
James Joule (1818–1889) Thermodynamics
Thomas Anderson (1819–1874) Chemist
Charles Piazzi Smyth (1819–1900) Astronomy
George Stokes (1819–1903) Fluid Mechanics
John William Dawson (1820–1899) Geology (probably believed in an old-earth*)
Rudolph Virchow (1821–1902) Pathology
Gregor Mendel (1822–1884) (WOH) Genetics
Louis Pasteur (1822–1895) (WOH) Bacteriology, Biochemistry; Sterilization; Immunization
Henri Fabre (1823–1915) Entomology of living insects
William Thompson, Lord Kelvin (1824–1907) Energetics; Absolute temperatures; Atlantic cable (believed in an older earth than the Bible indicates, but far younger than the evolutionists wanted*)
William Huggins (1824–1910) Astral spectrometry
Bernhard Riemann (1826–1866) Non-Euclidean geometries
Joseph Lister (1827–1912) Antiseptic surgery
Balfour Stewart (1828–1887) Ionospheric electricity
James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1879) (WOH) Electrodynamics; Statistical thermodynamics
P.G. Tait (1831–1901) Vector analysis
John Bell Pettigrew (1834–1908) Anatomist; Physiologist
John Strutt, Lord Rayleigh (1842–1919) Similitude; Model Analysis; Inert Gases
Sir William Abney (1843–1920) Astronomy
Alexander MacAlister (1844–1919) Anatomy
A.H. Sayce (1845–1933) Archeologist
John Ambrose Fleming (1849–1945) Electronics; Electron tube; Thermionic valve

The Modern Period

Dr Clifford Burdick, Geologist
George Washington Carver (1864–1943) Inventor
L. Merson Davies (1890–1960) Geology; Paleontology
Douglas Dewar (1875–1957) Ornithologist
Howard A. Kelly (1858–1943) Gynecology
Paul Lemoine (1878–1940) Geology
Dr Frank Marsh, Biology
Dr John Mann, Agriculturist, biological control pioneer
Edward H. Maunder (1851–1928) Astronomy
William Mitchell Ramsay (1851–1939) Archeologist
William Ramsay (1852–1916) Isotopic chemistry, Element transmutation
Charles Stine (1882–1954) Organic Chemist
Dr Arthur Rendle-Short (1885–1955) Surgeon
Sir Cecil P. G. Wakeley (1892–1979) Surgeon
Dr Larry Butler, Biochemist
Prof. Verna Wright, Rheumatologist (deceased 1997)
Arthur E. Wilder-Smith (1915–1995) Three science doctorates; a creation science pioneer

radar said...

Are there other biographies and interviews of interest?

David Aikman, journalist
Basil of Caesarea
Hillmon Buckingham, Salvation Army Commissioner
Calvin says: Genesis means what it says
Steve Cardno, Creation Magazine art director
Betty Cuthbert, Olympic champion
Buddy Davis, sculptor, singer
Ralph DiCosimo, police officer
Pete Dobré, creationist photographer
Carol Drew, Creation photographer
Chang-Sha Fang, plant scientist
Jim Farquhar, geologist
Sergei Golovin, geophysicist
Russell Grigg
David and Doreen Hart
Johnny Hart, cartoonist
Robert Jensen, photographer
Dr Douglas Kelly, academic theologian
Dan Lietha, cartoonist
Dr George Lindsey, associate professor of science education
Martin Lloyd-Jones, evangelist
Prof. Marvin Lubenow, anthropology
Luther on Evolution, and What was Martin Luther’s stand on Creation/Evolution? (Christian Answers Network)
Lou Moss, photographer
Michael Oard, atmospheric scientist
Jules H Poirier, design engineer
Gary Raymond, law enforcement
Peter and Cathy Sparrow, Creation Bus
Prof. Hannington Enoch, zoologist, ‘The man who got me hunting down evolution!’ by David C.C. Watson, author of Myths and Miracles
Dr John Whitcomb, theologian
John Woodmorappe, geologist

cranky old fart said...

First of all, what does "biblical account of creation" mean? Evolution and your God are not mutually exclusive. Lots of scientists believe in god.

What's that got to do with peer reviewed scientific papers supporting young earth and Noah?

cranky old fart said...

Highboy,

You and radar gotta get on the same page. Remember, there is only one God, and he gave you only one historical truth.

radar said...

Cranky, there are lots of peer-reviewed materials at Answers in Genesis, at the Institute for Creation Research and at ID the Future. These three sites are listed on my blogroll.

Tim and I both can read the Bible and in Genesis we read the narrative God has given to us concerning the beginning of things. It is not a scientific textbook. It does not go into great detail. I believe Tim and I both agree what the Genesis account says.

He and I sometimes disagree as to the details that have been left out. In no way does that make God wrong. No matter what explanation one believes is most logical to describe Earth's beginnings, one has to speculate to fill in some blanks. I can see a Pangea-like continent having been in place before the Noahic flood. But neither Tim nor I can be certain as to whether that was so. As more evidence is compiled the answer may become more obvious. That is only a side issue when one considers origins.

highboy said...

Actually, I agree with Radar for the most part. All I'm illustrating is that neither side, be they evolutionist or creationist, has all the answers. The difference is, we Christians can admit the problems in our theories while evolutionists cannot. Genesis is not an account of when creation was accomplished, but rather WHAT was accomplished. However I can believe in a young earth quicker than I can believe a scientist whose only evidence to support an old earth is a machine that goes "bing!"

Anonymous said...

"The difference is, we Christians can admit the problems in our theories while evolutionists cannot. "

Please don't speak for all Christians on the planet - believe it or not some Christians, who are professional scientists, are not creationists, and find evolution compatible with Christianity. The above quoted statement is so full of problems in itself, by assuming to speak for for all Christians and scientists who study evolution (who can also be Christian), it makes me shudder.

Anonymous said...

"The difference is, we Christians can admit the problems in our theories while evolutionists cannot. "

Please don't speak for all Christians on the planet - believe it or not some Christians, who are professional scientists, are not creationists, and find evolution compatible with Christianity. The above quoted statement is so full of problems in itself, by assuming to speak for for all Christians and scientists who study evolution (who can also be Christian), it makes me shudder.

Anonymous said...

Radar,

So, where are their degrees from? Places like MIT and Brown?

All of them, please.

Then, please explain how each of the degrees are supposed to confer authority in the matter of studying mechanisms of evolution.

Highboy, as a Christian, I find your claim of a dichotomy between evolutionists and Christians to be a lie, something real Christians are supposed to avoid.

radar said...

"Please don't speak for all Christians on the planet - believe it or not some Christians, who are professional scientists, are not creationists, and find evolution compatible with Christianity. The above quoted statement is so full of problems in itself, by assuming to speak for for all Christians and scientists who study evolution (who can also be Christian), it makes me shudder."

Heehee, makes you shudder!!! How do you feel about abortion?!

It is quite true that all Christians do believe in evolution to some extent, some even to a great extent. Being a Christian makes you more likely to believe the Bible and more likely to be a creationist, but none of that is guaranteed. There are also some unbelievers that prefer ID to evolution although they don't believe in God.

radar said...

Anonymous, if you go to the last post I made on radaractive, you will see the list of 514 scientists who have signed off as being against Darwinism and for creationism or ID. Their degrees and currently held positions are all listed on that downloadable pdf found at the linked website. Peruse to your heart's content. Over half of them hold doctorates in fields specific to the study of evolution/not evolution.

Most of them are well-known enough to be able to google them where the source of the degree is not listed. The scientists listed in this comment thread, feel free to google them as well. They are from all over, including Brown and MIT.

radar said...

BTW, some of the scientists listed have won the Nobel and other prestigious awards. This is no laundry list of dorks, it is a listing that includes many of the great minds in science.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous, if you go to the last post I made on radaractive, you will see the list of 514 scientists who have signed off as being against Darwinism and for creationism or ID"


radar, this sentence is inaccurate -to put it mildly.
I think you should post the actual statement as it was submitted to those scientists and admit it says nothing about supporting creationism or ID. It should be above us to mislead people.

Anonymous said...

Radar, I think you miss my point, (as is not uncommon in Internet discussions - http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/02/13/1324242 it's fine that there are several hundred scientists you have on that list who have issues with evolution. There are hundreds of thousands of scientists in the world, and many are Christians, and believe it or not, find what evolutionary science is discovering to be immensely
rewarding and not devastating to their faith. I'm one of them, and there are others. My point was don't try to talk for all Christians in such wide ranging statements. I find science, including evolution, to be rewarding and not cause problems with Christianity. I use science in my job everyday, science that a strict Creatonist view dismisses, and guess what - it works, makes sense, and it provides solutions to real world problems.

Please don't state Creationsim=Christianity.... The rhetoric of conforming to Creationism in order to be a Christian is really frustrating, and to be honest, at times downright embarassing, damaging, and insulting.

Anonymous said...

To the evolutionists: First, evolution claims that humans and apes have a common ancestor. But since apes are not still evolving into man that notion is debunked without performing a single experiment.

Oh my God you people are stupid.

I don't even need to explain why. If you don't see it already, you're completely hopeless. Holy Christ on a Cracker.

Anonymous said...

Your creationist theory only seems to make sense if you have a Judeo/Christian/Muslim belief. I do not. While I am a very spiritual person, I do no have a religion based on the above mentioned beliefs. That means, no Flood, no 7 days, and no god as you know him/her. And no, I am not a devil worshiper,a pagan or anything like that.

If I don't accept the biblical account, what evidence can you provide me that doesn't directly relate to a biblical account. If I don't believe in the bible, or the events depicted therein or if I don't believe in your god, why should I accept Creationism?

It is my understanding that Science seeks answers by testing. How can "because God made it that way" be tested. How can this hypothesis add anything to our understanding of how things work. If the answer to all our questions about our existence, or the creation of the world can be answered with "Because my God willed it, or desired it" we may as well stop our scientific research.

Lets take it a step further, If I were to agree with this argument, then I must come to the conclusion that obviously god wants diseases, viruses, cancers, to kill us, why try to find a cure them. It was his intent to create them, to kill us, and we are interfering.

highboy said...

"Lets take it a step further, If I were to agree with this argument, then I must come to the conclusion that obviously god wants diseases, viruses, cancers, to kill us, why try to find a cure them."

My God your stupid. I don't even have to explain why. Either that, or your drawing assumptions without having done any theological research on Christianity.

"Highboy, as a Christian, I find your claim of a dichotomy between evolutionists and Christians to be a lie, something real Christians are supposed to avoid."

Feel free to explain, and furthermore prove.

"Please don't state Creationsim=Christianity"

No one did. You seem to assert this on my site as well, which leads me to believe you ignore what everyone has been saying.

"If the answer to all our questions about our existence, or the creation of the world can be answered with "Because my God willed it, or desired it" we may as well stop our scientific research."

That was dumb. Truly dumb. We know God created the wind but that doesn't mean we should try to predict hurricanes to avoid being blown away.

"Lets take it a step further, If I were to agree with this argument, then I must come to the conclusion that obviously god wants diseases, viruses, cancers, to kill us, why try to find a cure them. It was his intent to create them, to kill us, and we are interfering."

Actually, there was no such thing until man screwed it up. There was no disease, viruses, cancers. Most of what kills man was brought about by his own folly. Please try harder.

Anonymous said...

Actually, there was no such thing until man screwed it up. There was no disease, viruses, cancers. Most of what kills man was brought about by his own folly. Please try harder.

You just broke the needle in my stupidity-meter. :(

You're so stupid you have to have seen signs of it all your life. Low grades. Difficulty with really basic mental tasks. Your spell-check software deleting itself to end the pain. Why do you still try to match wits even with average people on such grand issues, let alone intelligent people? Why not just accept your limitations rather than flaunting your stupidity?

radar said...

anonymous, you have been having a conversation with highboy and bravely (ha ha, since you are unidentified) giving him a hard time. Go ahead and bring that attitude to me....I tested out 99th percentile on both act and sat and I can go with you intellectually so....

You are a Christian but deny the Genesis account? Then tell me why the Bible is accurate enough to secure your salvation but unreliable when it comes to the beginning of things. I am interested in how you deal with the dichotomy.

cranky old fart said...

Radar,

I hate to step into this lovely spat, but you're saying if you don't believe in the literal truth of Genesis you can't be Christian????

cranky old fart said...

And radar, when I say peer reviewed, I don't mean a circle jerk with like minded crazies.

radar said...

Cranky, if you think the list of 514 names is a bunch of crazies then there is simply no hope. You are willingly ignorant. These are well-qualified scientists, some of them award winners, who believe Darwinism is not supported by the evidence and creationism or ID makes more sense.

Obviously, scientific papers that are submitted to groups such as AIG are getting peer-reviewed. Or do you absolutely have to be a Darwinist to be a peer, in your opinion?

You can be a Christian without believing the account in Genesis, but it takes a corrolary step away from the straightforward logic of belief in God.

Belief in God of the Bible=belief in the veracity of the Bible. If this is not true then you have a corrolary belief that is not the first expected belief and you would explain that position. I am waiting for his explanation.

Jay said...

Radar et. al. Congrats on possessing the ability to copy and paste from Answers in Genesis! (http://www.answersingenesis.org/Home/Area/bios/default.asp)

As a Christian myself, you are truly an embarassment to the very cause you wish to defend.

Having indicated that I wouldn't meet your defenition of a Christian, I'm not sure if there's much hope of a fruitful conversation.

As a Christian who regularly talks with people who seek answers in the areas of science and faith, you have no idea how much damage your message does.

The next time you need to go on a binge for Jesus, why don't you confine your efforts to sharing what he's done in your life, instead of entering into discussions you know nothing about.

Just a thought...

radar said...

Ocellated

#1 - I said earlier I was using AIG as a source so you are not paying attention.

#2 - Am I to take it that you are the famous anonymous? If so, I asked you a question and nowhere do I say you are not a Christian. Talk about a straw man!

# 3 - Nothing you have posted indicates that you have even half the knowledge of science that I do, and I pursue it as a hobby rather than a vocation.

#4 - What possible damage am I doing by promoting creation as the means by which the universe and life came into existence? Other than helping to spotlight the problems with Darwinism and therefore making atheists uncomfortable.

#5 - I suppose it is fair to ask what cause you seek to defend or promote? Your groundless accusations are perhaps an embarrassment to the, what, Christians for Evolution organization??? Unless you believe that ill-informed denigrations comprise an argument?

cranky old fart said...

Dude I'm not arguing against you on the Bible=God thing. I think it's all a crock anyway. I enjoy your take that most Christians are not Christians, but I'll leave the disenfranchised to argue those issues....

And your mis-characterization of what your list of scientists is as I've pointed out earlier.

Show me the papers supporting young earth and Noah, not some list of folks who make a vanilla statement that "Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged". Hell, who wouldn't agree with that? It's what science does. What scientists also do is present data in papers for review by the entire scientific community, to be poked and probed. It's how science and knowledge advances.

If you have no real evidence to present however, you pass papers around with your buddies and complement each other on how brilliant you are. Put the evidence out there, for review by the 99% of scientists who are more than a little sceptical about Noah and the 6k world. That is real test. That is science.

Darwin's Greyhound said...

most credible Creationists do not use Pangea for anything

"credible" and "Creationist" should not be used in conjunction with one another

514 people is a pretty poor effort consider there are tens of thousands of scientist in the world

I'd also have to point out some additional things, tho: most of your scientists listed were not biologists - you even include a linguist! Getting a linguist to sign on with his opinions about evolution is like claiming an electrician is qualified to weigh in against an economics professor in a discussion about the history of economics - they're even related subjects.

And perhaps most hilariously, you try to make a case against evolution by listing scientists throughout history who have believed in God, which is not only entirely irrelevant, since evolution doens't have to argue that there is no God (or Spaghetti Monster either) but that God wasn't necessary to create life.

And to cap it off, you name a slew of people who DIED BEFORE Darwin in making your case - many of whom are not scientists or biologists either.

If anything you've made an effective case for the fact that it's very difficult to find many people qualified to discuss the subject who actually find evolution even questionable.

Better luck next time.

Darwin's Greyhound said...

PS:

Dr Jonathan W. Jones, Plastic Surgeon

ROTFL!!!

Anonymous said...

Just so you know, Anonymous can be different people (some comments have already gotten mixed up here, highboy has quoted different Anonymous sources as the same person and attributed me (one of the anonomi) to having said something similar on his site before, when I don't even know what his site is)...that's just a limitation of how blogger works...it's a pain having to register on every site out on the Net to post a comment. If that means an end to posting in what has turned into yet another circular discussion c'est la vie. Keep smiling.

radar said...

Cranky, I have long suspected that we serve to amuse each other. I enjoy the dialogue, for I can be sure that whatever I think you will probably think the opposite and tell me so! That is why you have earned a spot on my blogroll.

As previously noted, a Christian is a Christian entirely apart from whether one believes in evolution or creation. I simply said that, logically, a Christian would believe what is stated in the Bible and for him not to do so requires a secondary or corrolary train of thought. I invited the commenter to share that train of thought, which he has so far neglected to do.

Of course the scientists listed have submitted papers for peer review. I already said as much.

You have pulled a figure of 99% of scientists out of thin air. I have seen polls that show the figure to be very elusive, somewhere between 95% and 48% believe in evolution over creation depending on your source. I believe personally that the vast majority still believe in evolution and that the tide-turning will take another twenty years.

radar said...

Some of the scientists derided by darwin's greyhound include:

Arno Penzias (Nobel prize in physics): "Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, one with the very delicate balance needed to provide exactly the conditions required to permit life, and one which has an underlying (one might say 'supernatural') plan."

"The statistical probability that organic structures and the most precisely harmonized reactions that typify living organisms would be generated by accident, is zero." - Ilya Prigogine (Chemist-Physicist) Recipient of two Nobel Prizes in chemistry.

Alan Sandage (winner of the Crawford prize in astronomy): "I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing."

Arthur L. Schawlow (Professor of Physics at Stanford University, 1981 Nobel Prize in physics): "It seems to me that when confronted with the marvels of life and the universe, one must ask why and not just how. The only possible answers are religious. . . . I find a need for God in the universe and in my own life."

Les said...

Wow, that had to be one of the more laughable sets of anti-evolution essays I've ever read. Thanks, I needed a good chuckle.

radar said...

So, do we believe Les and darwin's greyhound, or rather pay attention to nobel prize and crawford prize winners? Who would have more credibility, I wonder?

radar said...

It is also an old and stupid ploy, to laugh at an argument without refuting it. One does this when one has nothing worthwhile to say...

Mark K. Sprengel said...

Darwin's Greyhound,

I'm not a young earth creationist but your argument is interesting. Since there are plenty of non-scientists that believe in evolution by natural means alone, can we completely dismiss that proposition now? Behe is a qualified biologist and there are others, but since you want to wallow in the argumentum ad numerum fallacy, I suppose you'll just say that they are not real scientists. Defining away your opposition is convenient isnt it?

Anonymous said...

but maybe you can explain the shellfish fossils on mountaintops

Are you familiar with how mountains form?

and tropical plant fossils in Antarctica?

Continental drift. This is 4th grade science.

....I tested out 99th percentile on both act and sat and I can go with you intellectually so....

Why do so many Christians fabricate high test scores? We all know you're making them up. That's a sign that what I said about Highboy's stellar level of stupidity applies equally to you.

You're like a 4'6" skinny 13-year-old trying to convince a crowd of strangers that you really are an offensive lineman for the Chicago Bears. You're making claims about yourself that are so comically impossible nobody with eyes could believe them, and you're completely blind to the joke. Just be aware that most people see through it.

radar said...

anonymous, 99th percentile is accurate. So you think my language usage indicates stupidity? Ad hominem arguments may sway the uninformed but you won't succeed in making any points that way.

What is impossible about the 99th percentile? It means on average in a room of 100 average people I would have tested out highest. But in a room of 1,000 people I would only be in the top ten and possibly the other nine would test out higher than I. It is no big claim to make. It is also true. Deal with it or ignore it, I don't care. But you are the one who began with the epithets. I see nothing in what you write that indicates anything more than average intelligence and blind faith in evolution.

radar said...

Mark, nice to see you. You and I don't agree on everything about the Genesis account or the age of the earth, but I bet if I asked you to explain your thinking on why you, a Christian, believe in an old earth you wouldn't take that as an accusation from me and you could present a reasonable case. Am I right?

Is presenting a case for what you defend so difficult for evolutionists that they are left with nothing but to call names? Amazing!

Darwin's Greyhound said...

mark sprengel - if you're making the argument that just because the mass of qualified scientist agree with evolution doesn't mean it's true, you have a valid point; but one that certainly does nothing to validate or enhance radar's floundering point.

However, it's the reason that majority of scientists agree with evolution that is important: the preponderance of evidence for it. The fact that folks posting to this blog have religious beliefs, which create filter, which prevent them from objectively considering that evidence does nothing to undermine it.

If the Bible stated that gravity was caused by God's breath pushing down on the earth, they'd be arguing that "gravity is just a theory" and scraping up 500 scientists who agreed that Newton and Newtonists were wrong.

As for Behe, I'm sure I could find "qualified" historians - probably 500 of them - who would deny the Holocaust, too - despite the preponderance of evidence for that.

Darwin's Greyhound said...

Is presenting a case for what you defend so difficult for evolutionists that they are left with nothing but to call names?

I haven't indugled in any name-calling, radar and yet you haven't answered my responses. So who's having the difficulty here exactly?

I'm sure there are thousands upon thousands of evolutionary biolgists who could answer your questions in great detail without name-calling, too - though I'm not sure you'd listen, as it appears your mind is already made up.

That's OK, I suppose there's no universal mandate that we all seek the truth, though it certainly is an admirable quality when you do find it.

radar said...

one poster identifying himself as "anonymous" posted the following, aimed at highboy:

"You just broke the needle in my stupidity-meter. :(

You're so stupid you have to have seen signs of it all your life. Low grades. Difficulty with really basic mental tasks. Your spell-check software deleting itself to end the pain. Why do you still try to match wits even with average people on such grand issues, let alone intelligent people? Why not just accept your limitations rather than flaunting your stupidity?"

Sounds like name-calling to me.

As for truth-seeking, funny that the guys who agree with the status quo and the entrenched evolutionists are patting themselves on the back for being "truth-seekers!" Pretty hard to do, going with the flow, eh?

A truth-seeker looks for truth in the face of opposition. Galileo was a truth-seeker even at the risk of death. Newton was a truth-seeker, and although his findings have now proven to be approximations rather than laws he was to be commended.

Darwin was a truth-seeker, and his admonitions concerning problems with his suppositions tell us that if he had today's knowledge at hand, he would not have presented his hypotheses because of problems inherent in them. But at that time the knowledge was not at hand and he presented what at the time was a logical set of deductions based on his observations and the level of his information.

Good for Galileo, for Newton and for Darwin. Galileo was vindicated by further discoveries and observations. Newton was eventually dethroned in favor of quantum theories and Darwin will eventually be overturned as well. But completely right, partially right or largely wrong they sought to advance science, not hinder advancement. Hindering advancement is what is done by those who fear truth rather than welcome it.

I am a truth-seeker and this is how I have come to believe that all things were created. It isn't popular right now but I am working for change.

mantis said...

So, do we believe Les and darwin's greyhound, or rather pay attention to nobel prize and crawford prize winners? Who would have more credibility, I wonder?

Well, if you're talking about the origins of the universe, I don't think anyone has any credibility of certainty. However, if we're talking about evolution, let's ask the biology chairs at the top US research universities. Oh, Robert Camp has done it for us.

158 department heads were asked this question:

Q: Regarding the issue of “Intelligent Design theory” vs. current biological consensus on the mechanisms of evolution - is there a difference of professional opinion within your department that you feel could be accurately described as a scientific controversy?

and of the 73 who responded, 72 said no. The one who said yes teaches at a theological medical university (and remained anonymous).
I wonder why 98.7 percent of biology heads say there is no scientific controversy. Possibly because no one with another theory has been able to present any evidence?

(One can only assume that the answer would be the same if you replace "intelligent design" with whatever brand of young-earth creationism you're peddling here.)

Darwin's Greyhound said...

I am a truth-seeker and this is how I have come to believe that all things were created. It isn't popular right now but I am working for change.

This sounds like Christian persecution complex to me. Actually, much of the country agree with you. The figures are rather dpressing. Creationism is all too popular - again, despite the preponderance of evidence to the contrary.

Arguing on the behalf of creationism really is akin to arguing on behalf of the flat earth. You can probably find 500 people who still believe the earth is flat, too, or that we never really went to the moon.

And, sorry, but embracing ancient texts and believing their content in toto and without question is quite the opposite of seeking the truth.

Anonymous said...

Typical cherry picking:

Alan Sandage (winner of the Crawford prize in astronomy): "I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing."

Alan Sandage at least believed in an old universe. he also seems to believe in ID or similar (his page does not make that clear), but after all he is an astronomer, not a biologist, so hardly an authority on the subject of evolution.

A quick google search seems to suggest that you get your quotes from here. Searching for 'biologist' I can find only one (Carl Woese), who talks about the anthropic principle, not creationism or ID. I am sure it would be on that page if he did favor any of the two.

radar said...

Persecution complex? I don't consider debate to be persecution.

Finding a few hundred people that believe in creation is nothing compared to finding a few hundred accredited scientists who do.

No book has been questioned and examined more than the Bible. The narratives in that book have stood the test of time. The peoples and places listed in the Old Testament have been detected although in some cases not until the last century. No one has been able to find a faked character or story or location in the Bible in all these years.

radar said...

anonymous, what I posted was true and calling it "cherry picking" is a lame response indeed.

The quotes were from my article of February 4th and the sources credited there.

Evolutionists certainly take their scientists where they find them, and so do I. If you don't think a top astronomer has anything to say about origins then I assume you would say that someone like Stephen Hawking had no right to discuss the same subject, eh?

Creationists do not all believe in a young earth. ID proponents do not all agree on the intelligent source. All reject evolution, however.

Mark K. Sprengel said...

radar,

Yeppers, you are correct.

radar said...

By the way, let me "cherry-pick" a portion of one of these posts on the Carnival which were derided as old news already debunked-

"Problem areas for evolution
The assembly of complex molecules involves a series of enzymes that must react in a proper sequence, very often producing intermediates that are useless to the cell until the final product is formed. Evolutionists imagine that these enzymes evolve randomly, often from a duplicate gene, and that the succession of steps in the synthesis, at least often, represents the succession of steps in the historical evolution of the process (the Granick hypothesis). But forces of natural selection could not operate to favour an organism which had ‘evolved’ a series of enzymes which merely produced useless intermediates until it somehow got around to making the end product. The Calvin cycle requires eleven different enzymes, all of which are coded by nuclear DNA and targeted precisely to the chloroplast, where the coding sequence is clipped off at just the right place by a nuclear-encoded protease. In reality, as described in the preceding paragraph, none of the enzymes can be missing if the Calvin cycle is to function. It is true that many of these enzymes are ubiquitous in living systems because every living cell needs to generate ribulose phosphates for the production of RNA, but evolutionists cannot solve the problem by merely pushing it back in time.

The assembly of chlorophyll takes seventeen enzymes.21 Natural selection could not operate to favour a system with anything less than all seventeen being present and functioning. What evolutionary process could possibly produce complex sophisticated enzymes that generate nothing useful until the whole process is complete? Some evolutionists argue that the assumed primeval organic soup had many of the simpler chemicals, and that only as they were used up did it become necessary to generate the earlier enzymes in the pathway. In The Mystery of Life’s Origin: Reassessing Current Theories, the authors set forth the good basic chemistry that demonstrates that there could never have been an organic soup, and present some of the evidence out there in the world indicating that there never was.22 Denton23 and Overman24 also cite a number of experts who suggest that there is no evidence for such a primitive soup but rather considerable evidence against it.

Chlorophyll itself, and many of the intermediates along its pathway of synthesis can form triplet states, which would destroy surrounding lipids by a free radical cascade apart from the context of the enzymes that manufacture them and the apoproteins into which they are inserted at the conclusion of their synthesis.25 According to Asada26 ‘triplet excited pigments are physiologically equivalent to the active oxygens’, and according to Sandmann and Scheer, chlorophyll triplets ‘are already highly toxic by themselves … .’27 The entire process of chlorophyll synthesis from δ–aminolevulinic acid to protoporphyrin IX is apparently tightly coupled to avoid leakage of intermediates.28 Almost all of the enzymes of chlorophyll biosynthesis are involved in handling phototoxic material.29 For many of these enzymes, if they are not there when their substrate is manufactured, the cell will be destroyed by their substrate on the loose in the wrong place at the wrong time. Apel30 has cited four of the enzymes of chlorophyll biosynthesis for which this has been proven to be the case. This is a significant problem for evolutionists, who need time for these enzymes to evolve successively. Each time a new enzyme evolved it would have produced a new phototoxin until the next enzyme evolved.

Triplet state chlorophyll, generated in the reaction centres when singlet (excited state) chlorophyll cannot get rid of its energy quickly enough, as may be the case when excess photon energy is coming in, lasts long enough to generate very damaging singlet oxygen (1O2), which attacks lipids, proteins, chlorophyll and DNA.31 Evolutionists maintain that ground-state oxygen (3O2, a triplet state biradical) was not around when photosynthesis evolved. There is, however, considerable evidence that there has never been a time in Earth’s history when there was not significant free oxygen in the atmosphere (see Dimroth and Kimberley,32 Thaxton, Bradley and Olsen,33 Overman and Pannenberg,34 Denton35). The evolutionists’ own analyses suggest that the last common ancestor for the bacteria and archaea already had sophisticated enzyme systems for using O2 and for disarming its reactive by-products.36 Since these organisms had already evolved by 3.5 Ga, on the evolutionists’ timescale,37 this also suggests something rather ominous for the absence of oxygen theory.

In the system that presently exists, a sophisticated complex of enzymes and pigments quenches the excess energy and scavenges the dangerous oxygen species generated by excess light. CuZn superoxide dismutase (in most higher plants) converts superoxide (O2–), the primary product of photoreduction of dioxygen in PSI,38 to H2O2 in the highest-known diffusion-controlled rate among enzymatic reactions.39 It appears that about one molecule of superoxide dismutase attaches to the surface of the membrane in the vicinity of the PSI complex, along with ascorbate peroxidase (APX). Ascorbate reduces the H2O2 generated, in a reaction catalyzed by APX. The product of this reaction, the monodehydroascorbate radical, is reduced again to ascorbate by photoreduced ferredoxin (Fd) in PSI.40 The enzymes and other reducing species of this system could not evolve gradually and then microcompartmentalize over time because nothing works unless everything is in place. This means that the first appearance of oxygen would have been lethal to the cell, whether the source of oxygen was biological or non-biological. Enzymes such as superoxide dismutase would not have been able to evolve at all. APX, for example, has only about 31–33% homology with cytochrome c peroxidase, from which it is thought to have evolved.41 Cells without these enzymes exposed to ground-state oxygen would simply have been destroyed before hundreds of base pair changes generated the enzymes from something else.

Natural selection is not evolution’s friend. In answer to the question, ‘Why would evolution produce a series of enzymes that only generate useless intermediates until all of the enzymes needed for the end product have evolved?’ the evolutionist might respond, ‘Why not?’ The ‘why not’ is in the maths.

The probability of fixation when selection and genetic drift* interact (based on Futyuma42)
The coefficient of selection(s) measures the intensity of selection against less fit genotypes or in favour of more fit genotypes.

If the fitness of genotypes A1A1, A1A2 and A2A2 are 1, 1+ s, and 1+ 2s respectively, where s is positive if A2 is advantageous and negative if it is deleterious, and the initial frequency of A2 is q, the probability of fixation (the new gene replacing the old) of A2 is



where:
N = effective population size
e = the base of natural logarithms = 2.718

If A2 is a new mutation represented by a single copy in the population, q = 1/(2N), and the fixation probability becomes

P = 1/(2N) if s = 0,

which is to say that the probability of fixation is equal to the frequency of the gene in the population if the mutation is neutral. A neutral mutation arising in a (breeding) population of 1,000 individuals would have a probability of 1 in 2,000 (0.0005) of replacing the original gene.

If A2 arises in a population of N = 1,000 individuals, and A2 has a selective advantage of 0.01, the probability of eventual fixation, that is, of A2 replacing A1 in the population, is 0.02 or 1 in 50. A slightly advantageous gene might survive random effects, but probably will not.

If A2 is deleterious, bad, and the selection coefficient against it is only –0.001, the probability of fixation becomes 0.00004 or 1 in 25,000.43 But if s = – 0.01, and N = 1,000, the probability of fixation for this very slightly deleterious gene appearing in a given cell is a little less than one in ten quintillion. Cells producing useless proteins would certainly have been weeded out of existence.

So the answer to the question ‘Why not?’ when we ask the question ‘Why would evolution produce cells or plants with useless proteins until it finally got to the last one and made something useful?’ is that natural selection would have become the ruthless enemy of, rather than the explanation for, the series of events required.

This argument goes in addition to the argument already well known among creationists, that the statistical probability of even 1,000 base pairs aligning correctly to produce a small protein, about 10–600, could not be faced if groups of 1,000 recombined at a rate of a billion per second (109 tries) for 30 billion years (1018 seconds), with the number of bases being equal to the number of electrons that could fit with no space between them into a universe of 5-billion-year radius (10130). This would yield 10157 total tries, an inconceivably huge number, utterly and absolutely trivial in comparison with the number of tries needed to have any chance of generating one small gene.44

The question, ‘Why and how would evolution go about trying to produce a protein for binding pigment molecules before pigment molecules existed?’ is another major challenge for evolutionists.

If chlorophyll evolved before the antenna proteins that bind it, it would in all likelihood destroy the cell, so the proteins had to evolve first. But natural selection could not favour a ‘newly evolved’ protein which could bind chlorophyll and other pigment molecules before those crucial pigments had themselves come into existence! Each binding site must be engineered to bind chlorophyll a or chlorophyll b only or carotene only. The carotene molecules must be present in just the right places for quenching triplet states in the chlorophylls. Even if the pigment molecules were already around, producing just the right protein would be an extremely difficult task. It would not only have to bind pigment molecules only, but it would need to bind just the right pigments in just the right places in just the right orientation so that energy could be transferred perfectly between them, with a little lower energy at each step. Anything else would do nothing, or would transfer energy at random, and the complex would accomplish nothing at best and burn up the cell at worst.

And there is another problem for evolution. The insertion of the pigment molecules changes the conformation of the apoprotein from about 20% to about 60% α-helical content.45 So evolution would have to produce a protein with a wrong shape that would assume just the right shape by the insertion of pigment molecules in just the right positions and orientations when those pigment molecules had not yet evolved.

The energy transfer timeframe between pigment molecules in the antenna complex is between 10–15 and 10–9 seconds. The system that God engineered captures 95–99% of the photon energy for photochemistry, even though there are four other ways the energy can be lost during the slightly less than a billionth of a second the system has for capturing it.46 Humans certainly cannot begin to design systems with such efficiency, but the evolutionists are determined that chance, what Cairns-Smith47 calls ‘old fumble fingers’, can.

Our understanding of the assembly of apoproteins with their pigments is very poor, but we do know that the chloroplast encoded chlorophyll a binding proteins of PSI and PSII core complexes are inserted cotranslationally into the thylakoid. Protein intermediates of the D1 protein have been observed due to ribosome pausing. It may be that this ribosome pausing permits cotranslational binding of chlorophyll a to the protein.48 This kind of controlled insertion, with synthesis of otherwise phototoxic material, is precisely what we would expect from intelligent planning and forethought, but how might ‘old fumble fingers’47 hit on such a scheme?

ATP synthase is an irreducibly complex motor—a proton-driven motor divided into rotor and stator portions as described and illustrated earlier in this paper (Figure 8). Protons can flow freely through the CF0 complex without the CF1 complex, so that if it evolved first, a pH gradient could not have been established within the thylakoids. The δ and critical χ protein subunits of the CF1 complex are synthesized in the cytosol and imported into the chloroplast in everything from Chlorella to Eugenia in the plant kingdom.49 All of the parts must be shipped to the right location, and all must be the right size and shape, down to the very tiniest detail. Using a factory assembly line as an analogy, after all the otherwise useless and meaningless parts have been manufactured in different locations and shipped in to a central location, they are then assembled, and, if all goes as intended, they fit together perfectly to produce something useful. But the whole process has been carefully designed to function in that way. The whole complex must be manufactured and assembled in just one certain way, or nothing works at all. Since nothing works until everything works, there is no series of intermediates that natural selection could have followed gently up the back slope of mount impossible. The little proton-driven motor known as ATP synthase consists of eight different subunits, totalling more than 20 polypeptide* chains, and is an order of magnitude smaller than the bacterial flagellar motor,50 which is equally impossible for evolutionists to explain.

Evolution cannot account for the assembly and activation of rubisco. All attempts to reconstitute a 16-unit rubisco from any source have failed, so the assembly of rubisco must be studied in the chloroplast extracts.51 The eight large (L) subunits of rubisco are coded by the chloroplast DNA, and the eight small (S) subunits by nuclear DNA. The S subunit of rubisco is synthesized on free cytosolic polyribosomes* and maintained even during synthesis in an unfolded state by chaperones* of the Hsp70 class and their protein partners.52 When the small unit is brought to the import complex of the chloroplast, the fourteen-polypeptide chloroplast Cpn60 chaperonin protein associates with IAP100 (protein) of the import complex and can also associate with mature imported small subunits. The chloroplast Cpn60 chaperone is similar to the E. coli GroEl protein.53 After the unfolded precursor protein enters the stromal space, it binds briefly to a stromal Hsp70 chaperone protein and the N terminal targeting sequence is cleaved.54

The large subunits of the rubisco enzyme are produced by the DNA and machinery of the chloroplast itself and stored complexed to a Cpn60 chaperonin.55,56 This chaperone protein keeps the large subunit protein from folding incorrectly, and therefore becoming useless,57 and is also necessary for the proper binding of the eight large subunits; without it they will form a useless clump.58 In many plants, the large subunits are chemically modified by specialized enzymes59 before they bind to the chaperonin protein. There is strong evidence that chloroplast Cpn60, Cpn21 and Hsp70 also participate in the assembly of the sixteen-unit rubisco complex.60 After a soluble L8 core is formed with the assistance of the chaperonin proteins, tetramers (four-part complexes) of small subunits bind to the top and bottom of the complex to form the complete enzyme.61 There are almost certainly other chaperones and chaperone-like polypeptides or lipo-proteins involved that are not yet characterized.

How do evolutionists explain how natural selection would have favoured a protein complex the function of which was to prevent a still-useless rubisco small subunit from folding outside the chloroplast? Before it evolved a way to get the protein inside, there would be no benefit from keeping it unfolded outside. How could blind chance ‘know’ it needed to cause large subunit polypeptides to fold ‘correctly’ and to keep them from clumping? It could not ‘anticipate’ the ‘correct’ conformation before the protein became useful. And evolution would need to be clever indeed to chemically modify something not yet useful so that it could be folded ‘correctly’ when even the ‘correctly’ folded polypeptide would not yet become useful.

Only a designer would know why it would be necessary to produce a specialized protease, target it to the chloroplast, and program it to clip off the targeting sequence of the small subunit at just the right place. And what about the assembly of a collection of meaningless rubisco parts in just one certain way? In order to design a sophisticated set of tools to make something else useful in the future that had, as yet, no function, evolution (as ‘designer’) would have had to have detailed knowledge of the future usefulness of the protein it was so cleverly engineering. If evolution managed to generate any one of these chaperone protein complexes (and it would not), it would still be useless for generating rubisco unless all the other chaperones were also present. Without any one of them, the sixteen-unit complex could not be generated.

But let us assume the impossible, that evolution succeeded in producing the rubisco enzyme complex, and that random chance happened to generate a new, otherwise useless, enzyme to create its substrate, RUBP. The perfect and complete rubisco sixteen-unit protein complex would then bind tightly to RUBP and do nothing.

In the real world, far away from the never-never land of evolution, another enzyme is needed to separate rubisco from RUBP. Once the rubisco complex is produced, a protein activase uses ATP energy to separate it from RUBP, to which it is tightly bound in its inactive (dark conditions) form. Apparently, the hydrolysis of ATP changes the configuration of the activase protein so that it can bind to rubisco and cause it to release its RUBP. The rubisco must then be carbamylated on the ε-NH2 group of just a certain lysine amino acid residue, and then it must pick up a Mg2+ ion on that carbamyl group* to form the active rubisco site.62 The amide group starts out as NH3+, which must become NH2 before the CO2 can be added, and another proton is lost when the COO– actually attaches, so that these steps are stimulated by low H+ concentration and high Mg2+. Light lowers the H+ concentration of the stroma by a process we have discussed, and raises the Mg2+ also. However, no RUBP can be detected in photosynthetic tissue at night, signifying that it is actually phosphoribulokinase that disrupts the cycle at night.63 What all of this implies is that even if evolution managed the impossible task of generating the rubisco enzyme, the entire system as it presently stands would be needed to turn it on in the light and off in the dark."

Okay, evolution guys, have anything to say???

Mark K. Sprengel said...

Darwin's Greyhound,

Notice that I said evolution by natural means alone. I havent referenced any scriptures, so what's your purpose in implying that's the only way to argue for a theistic proposition regarding origins?

Nice to see you missed my point and in the process emphasized what I said by using the dimissal quotes regarding Behe.

Davis said...

This seems to have fallen by the wayside, but in case there's any questions regarding what exactly the aforementioned 514 science-y people signed, here is the relevant statement:

We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.

Note that this is an incredibly mild statement, that even modern evolutionary biologists would probably agree to (at least those not savvy enough to realize how their names would likely be used). Modern evolutionary theory posits that there are indeed important factors in evolution in addition to natural selection and random mutation.

As for the second sentence, you could replace "Darwinian" with "quantum," "relativity," or any other scientific theory and pretty much every scientist would agree.

So as far as this discussion goes, it's disingenous at best to claim that the given list is a group of scientists supporting creationism.

radar said...

Davis, sadly when the rubber meets the road Darwinists (like those who rushed to keep Ohio schoolkids from learning about problems with evolution and the possibility of ID) adhere strictly to the my-evolution-cannot-withstand-scrutiny camp.

Man, you would think that I had drawn a cartoon with a picture of Darwin eating a cheese Danish the way the evolutionists go on attack. Har har!

By the way, the 514-and-counting list is a voluntary sign-up of scientists skeptical of evolution and it is publicized as just that both at discovery.org and those who point the way to the list like ID the Future.

From discovery.org this press release excerpt:

"SEATTLE — Over 500 doctoral scientists have now signed a statement publicly expressing their skepticism about the contemporary theory of Darwinian evolution.

The statement reads: “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

The list of 514 signatories includes member scientists from the prestigious US and Russian National Academy of Sciences. Signers include 154 biologists, the largest single scientific discipline represented on the list, as well as 76 chemists and 63 physicists. Signers hold doctorates in biological sciences, physics, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, computer science, and related disciplines. Many are professors or researchers at major universities and research institutions such as MIT, The Smithsonian, Cambridge University, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, the Ohio State University, the University of Georgia, and the University of Washington.

Discovery Institute first published its Scientific Dissent From Darwinism list in 2001 to challenge false statements about Darwinian evolution made in promoting PBS’s “Evolution” series. At the time it was claimed that “virtually every scientist in the world believes the theory to be true.”

“Darwinists continue to claim that no serious scientists doubt the theory and yet here are 500 scientists who are willing to make public their skepticism about the theory,” said Dr. John G. West, associate director of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture. “Darwinist efforts to use the courts, the media and academic tenure committees to suppress dissent and stifle discussion are in fact fueling even more dissent and inspiring more scientists to ask to be added to the list.”

According to West, it was the fast growing number of scientific dissenters which encouraged the Institute to launch a website -- www.dissentfromdarwin.org -- to give the list a permanent home. The website is the Institute’s response to the demand for information and access to the list both by the public, and by scientists who want to add their name to list."

Davis said...

Okay, evolution guys, have anything to say???

Yes. Arguing that we don't yet have an explanation giving the precise steps leading up to a given result doesn't really support your position. I'm sure I could find large numbers of phenomena that science has not yet explained, and that seem equally puzzling. That's why there are still scientists -- there's a lot more to figure out. Pick your favorite phenomenon, and I wouldn't be willing to bet money that science will never come up with a naturalistic explanation for it. Maybe not even in my lifetime.

However, it takes quite a leap of faith (or lack of imagination, take your pick) to go from "we don't understand it completely" to "it's impossible." And it's quite irksome to see folks throw around probabilities of such events as if they can be computed meaningfully. There are far too many assumptions (and too many unknowns) that typically underlie such computations, and this case seems no exception.

And while we're on the topic of probability, I always like to paraphrase Feynman -- "On my way here I saw a car with the license plate ARQ 719 -- what are the chances of that?" Ponder that for a minute any time you're thinking of computing probabilities of past events.

Davis said...

Radar, read my post again -- more importantly, look more closely at modern evolutionary theory. It's possible to completely accept the modern theory and still sign that statement in good faith. Current theory entails more than just random mutation and natural selection (look up sexual selection, for a start). And every scientific theory should undergo continual careful examination of its evidence.

My point is that adding one's name to that list does not automatically imply dissent from evolutionary theory. I'm sure at least some of the signers really are dissenters, and no one is claiming otherwise.

However, based on the actual statement these folks signed, you risk misrepresenting the views of the folks on the list if you put them all forward as evolution skeptics.

creeper said...

radar,

So the 500+ undersigned merely agreed with the statement that davis posted in the interest of honesty:

“We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

You earlier presented this list as being "scientists alive today who accept the biblical account of creation" (with doctorates in a science-related field). If one were extremely charitable, one might give you the benefit of the doubt and conclude you had been misled by some intermediate source; if one were not so charitable, one might conclude that you were being purposely deceptive, i.e. lying.

Either way, a retraction of your earlier claim is certainly in order. Perhaps an explanation of your mistake, too, and while you're at it, perhaps an actual list of "scientists alive today who accept the biblical account of creation" (with doctorates in a science-related field).

Anonymous said...

I'll second the demand for a retraction of your false representation of the DI's little list, lest you would have us believe that someone who scored in the 99th percentile on basic tests would get a logic question like the following wrong:

All blips are not blops.
A blup is not a blop.
Therefore, a blup is a blip.

Look familiar? Or did you get those ones wrong?

(By the way, I'm a new "anonymous".)

cranky old fart said...

Radar,

Davis' comment bears repeating, "You earlier presented this list as being "scientists alive today who accept the biblical account of creation".

Why the need for deception? This is not a list of scientists who believe in young earth and Noah.

Any scientist who actually believed in such nonsense, and actually had evidence for it, would present his findings to the community for peer review. If his theory actually stood up, he'd be a lock for the Nobel!

Anonymous said...

Okay, evolution guys, have anything to say???

You do realize that the irreducible complexity argument is completely bogus, right?

PZ Myers has a really good, generalized explanation of how it works. It can be found here:

http://pharyngula.org/index/weblog/comments/hang_your_head_in_shame_grauniad/

It's really simple, actually. U

creeper said...

To the anonymous posters - here's a suggestion - instead of logging in, why not at least post a handle at the end of your comment, so it's possible to tell who's who. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

[This anonymous being Dan S.]
"My God your stupid. I don't even have to explain why. Either that, or your drawing assumptions without having done any theological research on Christianity," said highboy, in response to the question of why God would have made diseasess, etc.

Oh good - I was having trouble coming up with an example. Ok, remember this response? Remember how you felt? Remember what you thought of the commentor?

That is how you guys sound.

I'm not trying to attack or insult you - I'm just trying to be honest. I have no reason to believe you or radar are 'stupid,' but you guys are ignorant - at least in regard to those parts of modern science that YEC creationism denies (we're all of us incredibly ignorant in general, of course). Can either of you describe the varied lines of evidence that led essentially all earth scientists to accept plate tectonics within the last few decades (I'm assuming 99%+, but ah, don't at the moment have actual proof)? Do either of you know why the 'theory' or 'why are there still monkeys?' comments are making numerous readers here and elsewhere (Pharyngula, etc.) groan and shake their heads? As y'all probably believe that your faith depends on a literal reading of Genesis,* I don't see any useful reason to try to change your mind about it or engage in a long debate (if by some miracle I succeed, it's conceivable that you would lose faith, having built it on such a foundation, and that would be sucky). But if you're going to talk about this, please, go to TalkOrigins and read, or better yet, to your local library and check out one of the several recent and well-written books on evolution (or geology) and at least learn what the scientists are saying!!

Just one quote, one link, and one comment (not as good as one bourbon, one scotch, and one beer, but it'll have to do - oh darn, now I have that song stuck in my head . . .):

quote: Here's what Augustine of Hippo (354-430 CE) had to say on this issue in De Genesi ad litteram libri duodecim (The Literal Meaning of Genesis):
Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.

link:Intro plate tectonics.

comment:Why are there still monkeys? Ok, let me tell you a story. I know almost nothing about sports. Nevertheless, I try - I make an effort. When there's a sports-related conversation going in, I'll attempt to make a relevent contribution, like "Hey, what about those Yankees? Great football team, eh?" At which point there's the kind of response that's usually symbolized in movies and tv by a sudden record-stratchy noise.
Ok, I'm exaggerating. But this is the effect that the infamous monkey question has - marking out the questioner as someone who lacks basic knowledge of modern evolutionary biology. In short, someone who is ignorant in this regard.
As I mentioned, there's nothing wrong with that. We're all amazingly ignorant. Indeed to recognize and admit ou rignorance is a virtue. Indeed, honest questioning can be an intellectually courageous act.
So, monkeys? Look at it this way:
* Simple version: My cousin M. and I have a common ancestor (two, really). Neither my cousin or I are those common ancestors, who are unfortunately deceased. The existence of my cousin is not in any way unexpected, nor am I surprised that he and his wife have not produced a little me.
Ok?
* More relevent version. Take me and M. We're definitely not identical, but do show a certain resemblance, to each other, more so than we do to random people in general. Our paper version of a fossil record (birth certificates, etc.) suggest that we share a common ancestor (that is, couple). Genetic testing would (assuming no surprises - something that such studies turn up with embarrassing frequently: the 'milkman effect') show that we are indeed closely related. And so on (follow with simple version).

Alrighty.

* If one assumes that the Bible is an infailable communique from God, it's not certain why He/She/It would have decided to give a small group of ancient people a biology textbook - of seriously questionable relevence - rather than lay out obligations, morals, etc, in a rich metaphorical narrative. Of course, as an atheist, I don't think that's what happened either, but I have no proof either way . . .

Oh and cranky - re: penguins in the desert - just wait until drifting plates and changing ocean currents turn Antarctica green again, and on this vast, isolated island countinent the great adaptive radiation of the Spheniscidae begins!! [trails off into crazed laughter . . .]
: )

-Dan S.

Anonymous said...

Mark Sprengel states "I hope no one seriously considers something from nothing in this day and age.

But nonetheless, something does indeed, measurably, come from nothing, from the vacuum energy and resultant virtual particles, and is a solid part of modern physics:the Casimir Effect.

radar said...

Get your stories straight....

You people are not paying attention! I posted a total of three lists. The list from the AIG site, which is also in this comments thread, is headed by the verbiage you are all repeating ("scientists alive today who accept the biblical account of creation".) Go to the AIG site and read that language verbatim posted at the head of the several-part list.

There were two other lists. The 514 name list was never listed as above, but was headed by the quote you are all giving back to me. It was accompanied by the press release excerpt:

"SEATTLE — Over 500 doctoral scientists have now signed a statement publicly expressing their skepticism about the contemporary theory of Darwinian evolution.

The statement reads: “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

The list of 514 signatories includes member scientists from the prestigious US and Russian National Academy of Sciences. Signers include 154 biologists, the largest single scientific discipline represented on the list, as well as 76 chemists and 63 physicists. Signers hold doctorates in biological sciences, physics, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, computer science, and related disciplines. Many are professors or researchers at major universities and research institutions such as MIT, The Smithsonian, Cambridge University, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, the Ohio State University, the University of Georgia, and the University of Washington.

Discovery Institute first published its Scientific Dissent From Darwinism list in 2001 to challenge false statements about Darwinian evolution made in promoting PBS’s “Evolution” series. At the time it was claimed that “virtually every scientist in the world believes the theory to be true.”

“Darwinists continue to claim that no serious scientists doubt the theory and yet here are 500 scientists who are willing to make public their skepticism about the theory,” said Dr. John G. West, associate director of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture. “Darwinist efforts to use the courts, the media and academic tenure committees to suppress dissent and stifle discussion are in fact fueling even more dissent and inspiring more scientists to ask to be added to the list.”

According to West, it was the fast growing number of scientific dissenters which encouraged the Institute to launch a website -- www.dissentfromdarwin.org -- to give the list a permanent home. The website is the Institute’s response to the demand for information and access to the list both by the public, and by scientists who want to add their name to list."

Apologies accepted in advance.

radar said...

Second point- Talk Origins is behind the curve concerning science. I tried having a dialogue with them about things they had posted which were outdated and disproven and they had no interest in correcting their story so I had no interest in them. If you believe in evolution and want to remain safe in your ignorance, go there often!

radar said...

Third-If you are going to talk about the Bible, refer to the Bible rather than some story from another source.

radar said...

For the phyrangula comment from one of the anonymous people, I am thankful. It didn't have what was claimed (wrong link, I guess) but it did have this statement:

"Faith is a cop-out. It is intellectual bankruptcy. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it can't be taken on its own merits." -Dan Barker

Irreducible complexity (anybody read Michael Behe's book, DARWIN'S BLACK BOX?) has been a thorn in evolutionist's sides that they cannot remove. The math involved says that systems such as those involved in photosynthesis CANNOT HAVE EVOLVED, period. But Darwinists take it on faith. They have to take it on faith because reason fails. Yes, another post will be in order on this subject, for sure!

radar said...

Oh, and Dan S? God did give us a book that lays out obligations, morals, etc, in a rich narrative. It includes a great deal of history, none of which is metaphorical. Part of that history is a narrative describing things such as the beginning of things, the Flood, Abraham's journey, Daniel's rich and varied experiences and of course the life of Christ.

Creationists take the narrative account as a guidebook to understanding the evidence found in the world. I believe the evidence found in the world fits the Genesis account much better than the Darwin supposition. But I don't call the Bible a scientific textbook. Another straw man there.

A. L. C. said...

OK, some of this people won Nobel prize or some, but... What's the point? Remember the Einstein mistake about spherical universe. And he's the father of the Relativity Theory!

And, you can write an extremely long list of people who believe that war is good (about 15000000 only in USA); Ratzinger rejects the idea of glbt rights (he's right? i don't think so). Hitler, Mengele, Fulgencio Battista, Videla, Bismarck, Bush, Berlusconi, Francisco Franco, Mussolini. All of this people are famous, but this doesn't mean that all of them were right!!!!

Anonymous said...

You claim to be in the 99th Percentile. Interesting that you cite "evidence" like
So here goes. To the evolutionists: First, evolution claims that humans and apes have a common ancestor. But since apes are not still evolving into man that notion is debunked without performing a single experiment.

A statement as stupid as "Genetics claims that my sister and I have a common ancestor. But since my sister is not becoming more like me..."

And you fail to recognise exactly what the people signing up to the Discovery Institute list were signing up to (a statement that few could disagree with).

And Irreducible Complexity is the bollocks it has always been. Behe even had his maths worked through at the Dover trial and using the most conservative (i.e. favourable to him) assumptions he could find, you can get irreducible complexity becoming pervasive in 20,000 years in less than a gram of earth. Never mind the fact that very little of what is claimed to be irreducibly complex actually is.

If you're in the 99th percentile, all I can say is that you've wasted your brain.

(F - to distinguish me from other anonymous commenters).

Anonymous said...

And should we get into Project Steve if you want lists?

The reason there's an attempt to have this debate shut down is because debates with liars, deceivers, or the ignorant serve little purpose.

- F

radar said...

"You claim to be in the 99th Percentile. Interesting that you cite "evidence" like
So here goes. To the evolutionists: First, evolution claims that humans and apes have a common ancestor. But since apes are not still evolving into man that notion is debunked without performing a single experiment."

I am not the one who said that, anonymous. In this posting were five articles from sources other than myself. In this comment thread are many commenters other than myself. Figure out who you are talking to first???

highboy said...

evolutionists: the list if valid, whether you admit it or not. I think its hilarious that you accuse Creationists of getting all their information from uncredible sources, and when we do you do your best to try to defame them. Nice try. Bottom line, if evolution was so completley factual then it wouldn't be contested all over the world, and not just by Creationists. Evolutionist scientist themselves can never agree on anything, so why should I listen to them? I've witnessed this on my own site. You guys are rather defensive and insecure about the whole evolution thing, as I have noticed how quickly you flock to the blog to mouth off. You guys are just as close minded as any Christian in the church, and even most KKK members. Good luck with all of that "objectivity."

radar said...

"And, you can write an extremely long list of people who believe that war is good (about 15000000 only in USA); Ratzinger rejects the idea of glbt rights (he's right? i don't think so). Hitler, Mengele, Fulgencio Battista, Videla, Bismarck, Bush, Berlusconi, Francisco Franco, Mussolini. All of this people are famous, but this doesn't mean that all of them were right!!!! "

Thanks, Teophobus. So much for all those Steves, eh?

A list of people doesn't prove whether what they assert is right or wrong. It simply illustrates agreement. Hundreds of scientists are in agreement with ID and/or creation. And hundreds of others will at least say that Darwinism needs to be more thoroughly considered before is is an "accepted concept" (taken as fact by the uninformed) in the scientific community.

Anonymous said...

Radar wrote:
I am not the one who said that, anonymous. In this posting were five articles from sources other than myself. In this comment thread are many commenters other than myself. Figure out who you are talking to first???

I am talking to you. You are the one who quoted it as supposedly good evidence. It was from your OP - and had you not agreed with it I doubt that you would have posted it.

Do you genuinely believe it is a good argument or did you simply post it to be mocked as it deserves?

- F

radar said...

"The reason there's an attempt to have this debate shut down is because debates with liars, deceivers, or the ignorant serve little purpose." Says F.

Hey, I am the one who has to debate with liars, deceivers and the ignorant and I don't mind....no, really, I am sure most of you posting are sincere. Wrong, but sincere.

Anonymous said...

[Dan S.]

radar said: "Second point- Talk Origins is behind the curve concerning science."

Agreed. They need to do a lot of updating, It's a bit annoying because some of their major chunks don't refer to cool new-ish findings that - entirely unsurprisingly - continue to support evolution.

"Third-If you are going to talk about the Bible, refer to the Bible rather than some story from another source."

Huh? I'm not sure what you mean?

"Oh, and Dan S? God did give us a book that lays out obligations, morals, etc, in a rich narrative. It includes a great deal of history, none of which is metaphorical."

And that's the question I'm asking - why would one assume that none of it is metaphorical? Why would one assume God intended to provide an accurate historical account, as opposed to one that grabs the imagination and was easily comprehensible for the time and place?

What causes rainbows?

One of the problems with irreducible complexity is that various things identified as being irreducibly complex then turn out to have simpler working versions. But whatever . . .

Here's a bit by (of-cited) Kenneth Miller, a evangelical Christian and a biologist, about IC: The Flagullum Unspun - more of his stuff here . .

But yes, that was highboy monkeying around, not radar.


-Dan S.

Anonymous said...

[Dan S.]

"Bottom line, if evolution was so completley factual then it wouldn't be contested all over the world, and not just by Creationists."

"Bottom line, if religion was so completley factual then it wouldn't be contested all over the world, and not just by evolutionists."

But by posing the quasi-equivalance here for a cheap laugh (or not), I make a little trap, sort of, since science and religion aren't simply mirror images. Take highboy's next bit:

" Evolutionist scientist themselves can never agree on anything, so why should I listen to them?"
Here's the thing. Science is a process of discovering things about the natural world based on the empirical study of observable reality (which can in turn tell us about things that are not directly observable, much like it works in Law and Order, CSI, or Crossing Jordan); it works by posing hypotheses to explain such observations, testing them, and so on, without any intrinisic sacred cows (note: cruddy definition, possibly one or more words used inexactly or worse. Sorry). It's not a process of studying, interpreting or following divine revelation. There are guarenteed to be disagreements, mistakes, etc. It's one of the great achievements of the human mind, has provided us with astonishing material improvements (from antibiotics to weapons), and it's really sad how our much of our national culture is basically ignoring it. . .

-Dan S.

Anonymous said...

Highboy wrote:
Evolutionist scientist themselves can never agree on anything, so why should I listen to them?

Because on the few things that they agree on, almost all perspectives have been exhaustively explored and rigorously defended.

The fact that within the evolutionary scientific community there is consensus on something is a pretty strong indication that it is right.

You guys are rather defensive and insecure about the whole evolution thing, as I have noticed how quickly you flock to the blog to mouth off.

Nah, we're just worried about the Wedge Strategy and people trying to return to the Middle Ages. Also it's a reasonable form of stress relief.

You guys are just as close minded as any Christian in the church, and even most KKK members. Good luck with all of that "objectivity."

Wait a second. First you say there is dissention in the ranks and regular arguments are a problem and now you say that a group you have criticised for dissension is closed minded.

- F

creeper said...

Radar,

"Apologies accepted in advance."

Not so fast - you did post this:

"if you go to the last post I made on radaractive, you will see the list of 514 scientists who have signed off as being against Darwinism and for creationism or ID."

(emphasis mine)

It clearly refers to the 500+ who signed the statement that does not support your claim.

Retraction accepted in advance.

creeper said...

radar,

"I am not the one who said that, anonymous. In this posting were five articles from sources other than myself. In this comment thread are many commenters other than myself. Figure out who you are talking to first?"

You selected all five of those sources for your carnival, and you selected the representative quotes from each. Perhaps you did this mockingly or in the interest of parody, but the tone of your post doesn't really support such an interpretation. So it's entirely accurate for 'F' to say that you are "citing" this "evidence".

creeper said...

radar,

do you believe God is incapable of metaphor?

Have some humility, and do not presume to be able to constrict God's abilities.

Jeff Fecke said...

Radar, your list of 514 scientists would be more impressive if the NCSE didn't have a list of 614 scientists who support evolution--named Steve.

Anonymous said...

Can't believe a fellow IT worker would be such an ignorant fool. That's usually reserved for the end users.

radar said...

Creeper-

"Apologies accepted in advance."

Not so fast - you did post this:

"if you go to the last post I made on radaractive, you will see the list of 514 scientists who have signed off as being against Darwinism and for creationism or ID."

(emphasis mine)

It clearly refers to the 500+ who signed the statement that does not support your claim.

Retraction accepted in advance."

No retraction given. The scientists are those who are willingly going to this Intelligent Design website to sign this petition knowing it is anti-Darwinism. It takes courage, since they will face ostracism from the majority of evolution-believing contemporaries.

Furthermore, I did not limit God's ability for metaphor but simply stated that the Genesis account is an historical narrative. Have some humility and don't limit God's ability to tell the truth!

Jeff, I already answered the Steve thing, but a majority opinion in science does not equal truth. New truth is always held by a minority first before it eventually wins over the masses. I am confident that in time the scientists willing to sign off on ID/creation versus Darwinism will be a majority.

creeper said...

highboy,

"I have noticed how quickly you flock to the blog to mouth off."

I'm guessing most of the traffic coming this way was due to a link from Pharyngula and - credit where it's due - your own hilariously confused and mis-informed "argument" about "if we evolved from monkeys, how come there are still monkeys?".

"Bottom line, if evolution was so completley factual then it wouldn't be contested all over the world, and not just by Creationists."

Depends on what you mean by "contested". Scientific work routinely confirms the theory of evolution, and there is no significant controversy about the basic validity of the theory of evolution. If by "contested" you mean people like you bringing up ill-informed, easily debunked arguments like "evolution is disproven by the Second Law of Thermodynamics", well that doesn't get you very far.

It's not just people contesting the theory of evolution that matters, it's people contesting the theory successfully. There's fortune, glory and a Nobel prize or two in it for those who succeed, yet no takers - that should tell you something about the robustness of the theory.

radar said...

Dan S- We disagree, but at least you make sense. The Bible is a difficult book unless you are willing to put a great deal of time into study. The simple concepts of faith are readily apparent, don't get me wrong, but further study takes you into further study, etc and etc.

Metaphor is a part of the Bible, absolutely, and Jesus was no stranger to analogies. One can identify when the Bible is a statement of historical fact and when it is speaking metaphorically by looking at context, speaker, audience and other factors.

Most Bible scholars believe that Genesis is a factual historical document rather than metaphorical. It presents itself as history and is referred to elsewhere in the Bible as being historical fact, so scholars without an agenda agree on its historicity. It then falls on the reader to believe or disbelieve.

Anonymous said...

radar: "Third-If you are going to talk about the Bible, refer to the Bible rather than some story from another source."

Interesting. If you want to talk about evolution, refer to the primary (PEER-REVIEWED in REAL journals) literature, not some inane popular misconceptions, lists, blogged rants, etc.

Which brings us back to the "why are there still monkeys" argument, which you DID cite in your originally posted carnival. Another commenter offers his analogies above for why this makes you look ignorant. In response to your quoted statement, here's another.

Would you be willing to engage me in a "debate" regarding the finer points of Christian theology if I proudly trumpeted someone else's rejection of it with the following citation:

"Christianity posits that an old man in white robes sits on a cloud, and we know by observation (without a single experiment!) that NO ONE can sit on a cloud?!"

I rather suspect you'd consider me an ignorant fool, wouldn't you?

Anonymous C.

Anonymous said...

As I try, yet again, to wrap my head around creationist arguments, I find myself at the same basic question.

Why believe the biblical account? It's just one old book out of many.

Even theists know the history. This is just one creation story, guys, that people created somewhere in the great flow of history. There are older and younger accounts, some with many gods, some with one.

C'mon, acceptors of evolution. Engagement is a waste of time with people so arbitrarily committed.

radar said...

Back to work, all....I will look in this evening to view the further outpouring of wrath!

creeper said...

radar,

"No retraction given. The scientists are those who are willingly going to this Intelligent Design website to sign this petition knowing it is anti-Darwinism. It takes courage, since they will face ostracism from the majority of evolution-believing contemporaries."

They agree with a statement that, as Davis pointed out earlier, is so incredibly mild that even someone who fully accepts modern evolutionary theory could subscribe to it. And yet you want to count them all as supporting creationism or ID.

Weren't humility and honesty Christian virtues at some point? You're not coming across as a good ambassador, I'm sorry to say.

"Furthermore, I did not limit God's ability for metaphor but simply stated that the Genesis account is an historical narrative. Have some humility and don't limit God's ability to tell the truth!"

You exclude the possibility that it is metaphor when you insist that it is to be taken literally. I'm not limiting God's ability to do anything (least of all telling the truth) when I allow the possibility that Genesis can be read metaphorically.

Anonymous said...

radar:
"No retraction given. The scientists are those who are willingly going to this Intelligent Design website to sign this petition knowing it is anti-Darwinism. It takes courage, since they will face ostracism from the majority of evolution-believing contemporaries."

Keep moving those goalposts, trying to turn a rejection of one thing into a positive claim for something else entirely. But this last-ditch attempt to get the egg off your face won't work, either.

First, we have the case of Robert Davidson, a scientist in the Discovery Institute's hometown, who bailed out on the list after he realized what it really was:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002450329_danny24.html

Next we have the recent NY Times article, linked here for example:
http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/02/few_biologists.html

From that article we have the story of at least one individual on the list who (1) DOES NOT support either biblical creationism OR ID, and (2) did not actively seek out the Discovery Institute, as you infer. Furthermore, he is a prominently referenced signatory by the DI, seeing as how he's one of two identified atheists on the list.

"Dr. Salthe, who describes himself as an atheist, said that when he signed the petition he had no idea what the Discovery Institute was. Rather, he said, "I signed it in irritation."

He said evolutionary biologists were unfairly suppressing any competing ideas. "They deserve to be prodded, as it were," Dr. Salthe said. "It was my way of thumbing my nose at them."

Dr. Salthe said he did not find intelligent design to be a compelling theory, either. "From my point of view," he said, "it's a plague on both your houses."

Face it -- you are tap-dancing to stand by a false claim. Keep spinning or retract.

Anonymous C.

Anonymous said...

Sorry..those links are here and here.

C.

Davis said...

Get your stories straight....

Radar, here are your own words regarding the 514-name list:

Anonymous, if you go to the last post I made on radaractive, you will see the list of 514 scientists who have signed off as being against Darwinism and for creationism or ID.

So yes, you did claim that the signers to the list in question are creationists/IDers. I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and say you misspoke, though this statement from the blog post in question makes me wonder if you really did misunderstand what they signed on to:


The next time someone tells you that there are hundreds of scientists who don't believe in Darwinism, you will know they are telling the truth.

Phila said...

Newton was eventually dethroned in favor of quantum theories

See, with all due respect, this is the kind of thing that makes people laugh at you.

Newton wasn't "dethroned" just because classical mechanics doesn't deal with quantum tunneling or what have you.

You seriously - seriously - need to consider the possibility that you don't know what you're talking about. What sort of creator do you worship, who can be "glorified" by pretense and ignorance of this sort?

I also like how you prattle about quantum "theories" dethroning Newton, while pointing out that evolution is just a theory. It's odd how the huge lacunae in our understanding of quantum effects - and the heated scientific debates over them - haven't led to a "science" of, say, "intelligent local realism."

Irreducible complexity (anybody read Michael Behe's book, DARWIN'S BLACK BOX?) has been a thorn in evolutionist's sides that they cannot remove. The math involved says that systems such as those involved in photosynthesis CANNOT HAVE EVOLVED, period.

You want to have it both ways. You want to appeal to the authority of the scientific method on the one hand, and reject it on the other. This is the antinomy at the heart of creationism. Personally, I think you ought to be willing to make a few simple logical accomodations to a world you think was designed especially for you.

As for DBB, I've read it DBB twice, and irreducible complexity isn't a thorn in anyone's side. And you're confusing it with statistical arguments against abiogenesis in any case. Irreducible complexity isn't a mathematical argument; it's a mechanical argument. You don't even understand the theories you claim to accept!

I'm going to do you a favor. Here's a Christian site that tells you how not to debunk evolution. It doesn't cover every ignorant thing you and your friends have said here, but it's a start.

radar said...

I checked in briefly but have to get back to work, however...

I understand, Davis, and agree. Whereas the other lists were for Creationism, I now understand that some of these scientists were not agreeing to either ID or creationism but simply saying that evolution needs more study before everyone agrees to the concept.

Therefore, I retract that portion of my previous assertation!

(being right is a bit more fun than being wrong, eh?)

radar said...

Phila,

If you think Newtonian physics has not been displaced by quantum theory (since Newtonian physics typifies "macro" actions only) and if you think that mathematics doesn't enter into the discussion of irreducible complexity, then...

"You seriously - seriously - need to consider the possibility that you don't know what you're talking about."

creeper said...

"Here's a Christian site that tells you how not to debunk evolution. It doesn't cover every ignorant thing you and your friends have said here, but it's a start."

It's funny how highboy in his contribution to this carnival has hit 3 out of 4 on this one though - monkeys not evolving, radiometric dating and the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

... though even this relatively sober Christian site talks about humans evolving from "monkeys".

Anonymous said...

[Dan S.]

radar said: "We disagree, but at least you make sense"
Why thank you!

"but further study takes you into further study, etc and etc"
Hey, my religious tradition is Judaism. Believe me, we know about that! In the tractate Avodah Zarah, where it is said that God spends three hours a day studying Talmud . . .

But anyway . . .
"Most Bible scholars believe that Genesis is a factual historical document rather than metaphorical. It presents itself as history and is referred to elsewhere in the Bible as being historical fact, so scholars without an agenda agree on its historicity"

I'm not sure I follow you here. Are you saying that scholars generally agree that Genesis presents itself as a historical document, or that they agree that it is an accurate historical account? I'm clueless about the first, while the second seems wildly off base as I understand the words . . . (ie, Bible scholars including mainstream academics working in a secular* tradition - if not, well . . .)

". . . a majority opinion in science does not equal truth. New truth is always held by a minority first before it eventually wins over the masses."

You are entirely correct. However, we have to look at the context of the two lists - the Discovery Institute's one and the NCSE's "Project Steve" response. The DI has pushed directly and indirectly to weaken the teaching of evolution (and for the inclusion of ID/'alternatives/'critical analysis') as part of their grandiose scheme to overthrow materialistic science and replace it with a socially and theologically acceptable 'theistic science' (goggle 'Wedge strategy, blah, blah, blah). This attempt involved the claim that there was an major ongoing controversy in the scientific community over evolution. Clearly - since we don't get the answers in advance, and scientific expertise is a rare commodity - schools can't teach *every* crackpot claim or alleged controversy (Chariots of the Gods? Sun people and Ice people? The Holocaust a big scam? - and so on) on the grounds that maybe it just might be worth knowing about. But if there was clearly a big debate waging within the scientifc community, than including this ID etc. in the science curriculum would make more sense (also has the bonus of making people imagine the case for evolution is weak and increasingly debatable). This is the context for the DI's list, and the NCSE's response - 'look, there is a controversy,' followed by 'we can put together a bigger list just by picking guys named Steve: even if that statement wasn't vague and completely unobjectionable, your list represents just a teeny tiny fraction of the scientific community, and does not provide evidence of a real controversy.'

More outpourings of wrath later.

-Dan S.

creeper said...

Radar,

"Therefore, I retract that portion of my previous assertation!

(being right is a bit more fun than being wrong, eh?)"


Hey, it's an important lesson in life, and honesty and integrity bring their own rewards. Well done, Radar.

Phila said...

If you think Newtonian physics has not been displaced by quantum theory (since Newtonian physics typifies "macro" actions only)

In that case, I guess "macro actions" have been "displaced" by quantum events?

Of course they haven't. Both are subfields of physics, and it's ignorant to say that Newton has been "dethroned" or his physics "displaced." If that were true, there'd be no need to reconcile quantum theory and classical physics.

But in fact, "A leading current paradigm of physics is that the fundamental laws of nature are the laws of quantum physics, and that classical theory is the by-product of quantum rules applied to the macroscopic realm. At present, this conjecture is more easily assumed than proven, however, one of the most vigorous on-going fields of research in physics is classical-quantum correspondence. This field of research is concerned with the discovery of how the laws of quantum physics give rise to classical physics in the limit of the large scales of the classical level." (Link.)

and if you think that mathematics doesn't enter into the discussion of irreducible complexity, then...

Mathematics enters into the discussion of everything. Regardless, irreducible complexity is based primarily on a mechanical objection, not a mathematical one; it argues that certain functional structures can't be broken into less complex ones without losing their functionality (cf. Behe's mousetrap).

Again: What sort of god is glorified by the ignorance - and the personal vanity - you're displaying here?

Anonymous said...

What a stunning display of willful idiocy.

creeper said...

Radar,

"If you think Newtonian physics has not been displaced by quantum theory"

How does quantum theory displace this?

1. Newton's First law (also known as the Law of Inertia) states that an object at rest tends to stay at rest and that an object that is in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by a net external force.
2. Newton's Second law states that F=ma, or force equals mass (in kilograms) times acceleration (in metres per second squared (m/s²)). In other words, the acceleration produced by a net force on an object is directly proportional to the magnitude of the net force and inversely proportional to the mass.
3. Newton's Third law states that whenever one body exerts a force on another, the second body exerts the same amount of force, in the opposite direction.

Looks pretty valid to me.

radar said...

Creeper, take time to look into Heisenberg's uncertainty principle and the behavior of subatomic particles. Newtonian science now must include corrolaries not previously needed.

Oh, yes, I noticed that when I went to that recommended evolutionist site, there was a link to see the top ten places to find extra-terrestrials. Hahahaha! There is rational thinking for you.

Dan S takes the time to discuss. Good on him! Those of you who call names and so on, why bother? There are brilliant scientists who are saying the same things, gonna call them idiots?

Darwinism has a lot of big problems and sticking your collective heads in the sand and trying to pretend they don't exist won't change that. Sticking out your tongues and calling names won't change it. If Darwinism is valid, try to find the answers to those problems.

Phila said...

It's funny how highboy in his contribution to this carnival has hit 3 out of 4 on this one though - monkeys not evolving, radiometric dating and the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

Yeah, that's what brought it to mind.

... though even this relatively sober Christian site talks about humans evolving from "monkeys".

Well, it is an anti-evolution site. But still, I'm grateful for it. If every creationist stopped off there before picking fights on the Internet, this debate would be somewhat less stultifying. And I love his opening quote from Augustine:

“it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense [about natural science]; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn.

Amen!

Phila said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Phila said...

Creeper, take time to look into Heisenberg's uncertainty principle and the behavior of subatomic particles. Newtonian science now must include corrolaries not previously needed.

(sigh)

OK, we've gone from "Newton was dethroned," to "Newtonian physics were displaced," to "Newtonian physics fails at the subatomic scale, and has been tweaked here and there." That's progress, I guess.

Oh, yes, I noticed that when I went to that recommended evolutionist site, there was a link to see the top ten places to find extra-terrestrials. Hahahaha! There is rational thinking for you.

Hmmm. So because there was a link on a site to something "irrational," that means...what, exactly? That a specific argument - or all the arguments - on that site can be dismissed out of hand? Or what? Surely, someone as smart as you can see the logical fallacy here, yes?

Or do we get to ignore logical arguments and demonstrable facts on the basis of guilt by association?

creeper said...

"Creeper, take time to look into Heisenberg's uncertainty principle and the behavior of subatomic particles. Newtonian science now must include corrolaries not previously needed."

Big difference between being displaced or, as you put it, dethroned... and needing to "include corrolaries".

"Oh, yes, I noticed that when I went to that recommended evolutionist site, there was a link to see the top ten places to find extra-terrestrials. Hahahaha! There is rational thinking for you."

Which site was that? If it was the Christian one that phila pointed to, that was an anti-evolution site.

"Dan S takes the time to discuss. Good on him! Those of you who call names and so on, why bother? There are brilliant scientists who are saying the same things, gonna call them idiots?"

Who are saying what things?

"Darwinism has a lot of big problems and sticking your collective heads in the sand and trying to pretend they don't exist won't change that. Sticking out your tongues and calling names won't change it. "

If there are such "a lot of big problems", then why does your carnival include so many debunked and ill-considered arguments? (Can't count to infinity, why are there still monkeys, 2nd law of thermodynamics misunderstanding etc.) Why not go for those big problems instead of trotting out the weak cases?

"If Darwinism is valid, try to find the answers to those problems."

That's what scientists do on an ongoing basis, and the sum of the best explanations they have to date is what is known as the modern theory of evolution.

Mainline Protestant said...

Oh yeah - the 500 scientists who have signed the petition saying they are against Darwinism. Nice try.

"Darwinism" was a term used by science - oh - about 100 years ago to describe a certain set of observations. It's very old hat now and most of the scientific community views it as a curiosity.

You folks use it for whatever political purpose you have but never really define what it means.

Even with this bit of dishonesty on your part - you've only been able to get 500 signatures - most of them engineers BTW - in like 10 years.

Pathetic.

And the stupid point about apes and humans is so incredibly lame that even Answers in Genesis tells people not to use it.

For the record - there is no reason to expect apes to be evolving toward human form - the point of evolution is that you adapt to what is best for your environment. Apes are very well suited to their environments and thus there is no reason for them to become human.

Why don't you losers read a book or something?

mantis said...

Radar,

All this talk about 500+ PhDs who think critical analysis is a good thing (as if not all do), and you have entirely ignored my post regarding the presence of a scientific controversy in biology departments of major US universities. How do you respond to that?

Phila said...

"Darwinism has a lot of big problems and sticking your collective heads in the sand and trying to pretend they don't exist won't change that.

If anyone's sticking his head in the sand, it's a guy like Behe, who's arbitrarily tried to set up an epistemological barrier to research via the unproven dogma of irreducible complexity. If science teaches us anything, it's that there's always another "big problem" to be solved. I'm sure there are limits to human knowledge, but we don't know where they are, so we're obliged to keep studying the world around us while we live.

Regardless of whether or not God exists, there's a mechanical aspect to biological life, and that's what evolutionary biologists study and will continue to study. If your faith isn't strong enough to reconcile itself with the things we've learned about nature, it deserves to die, or to be replaced with some less intransigent form of theism or deism, Christian or otherwise.

creeper said...

radar, highboy et al.

Perhaps you would do well to take a look at what Answers In Genesis has to say about some of your arguments:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/dont_use.asp

I take it you won't try to argue that this is an evolutionist site.

FWIW.

Anonymous said...

radar and highboy,

Have you bothered to read the Bible closely enough to recognize that Jesus Christ Himself derided His Disciples for confusing metaphor with a literal statement?

How can any Christian claim that everything in the Bible must be taken literally, when so much of it is metaphor?

Doesn't every competent Christian minister deliver multiple sermons on the parable of the talents, pointing out that it is metaphorical?

Anonymous said...

Radar,

I hope you take this in the positive way that it is intended:

You are a moron.

Really.

creeper said...

I second cranky old fart's request for peer reviewed scientific papers on (1) a young earth, (2) Noah's Ark, and I'll throw in (3) a literal interpretation of Genesis (creation in 7 literal days).

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the single thing that most leads scientists to view creationists and ID advocates as intellectually dishonest is their tendency to recycle old arguments without any acknowledgment of or attempt to address subsequent refutations of those arguments. This sort of unbalanced treatment of the literature is regarded as a major sin in the scientific community.

If you are in fact serious and honest, there is a simple way that you can avoid this pitfall: before using an argument, look it up in the Index of Creationist Claims. If it is listed, that means that you are using an old argument, and you are obliged to rebut the refutations found on that site. Simply ignoring them makes you look deceptive.

radar said...

I have to work late tonight and just stopped by for a moment. A few notes...

The Carnival consists of articles sent by other blogs. I don't edit them, I post them. None of them are by me. If you don't like the content, post an entry for yourself on the next Carnival in about 5-6 weeks.

You guys seem to have difficulty discerning between what I say, what the Carnival posts said and what other people have said in this comment thread. Check the source before addressing the comment, please!

I am a moron, and that is positive? Gee, thanks!!!!

Metaphors in the Bible? Yep, lots of places, I agree. In the first few chapters of Genesis? No, I disagree. Strongly.

Back to work...

Anonymous said...

Come on, Radar. You hosted this carnival. You "urged" us to read each post. You have suggested that you, the carnival submitters, and even your God are all on the same side of the fence. THAT is an endorsement, whether or not you want to stand by the witless arguments of others this late in the game. Don't play dumb.

creeper said...

"The Carnival consists of articles sent by other blogs. I don't edit them, I post them."

You selected them; you went to other people's blogs and solicited them; you picked representative quotes and posted them with your approval.

Now you don't want to stand by them? Suit yourself.

"Metaphors in the Bible? Yep, lots of places, I agree. In the first few chapters of Genesis? No, I disagree. Strongly."

So Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden for literally eating an apple? You serious?

radar said...

Honestly, you guys don't listen! First, I am saying that you need to address the authors of the posts to have a dialogue with them. I am not saying I disagree with the authors, but don't quote one of them, attribute it to me and then ask me about it. Don't be afraid to go to their individual blogs and post there, they would like that I think.

I also invited Darwinists to post last time, but they all declined. I know a couple of them were on vacation and probably will send in something next time. I will post any reasonable article, even those I disagree with.

Apple? In Genesis? You ever even read it? Not there, creeper. You get an "F" on that post.

It seems to me most posters simply deride the creationists as either stupid or hilarious, but rarely address any of the issues at all.

For instance, math is definitely involved in Behe's concept of the black box/irreducible complexity because one must take into account the mathematical likelihood of various systems or components having evolved by chance. This makes the argument even stronger for ID proponents.

Fact-the rock layers of the earth are more consistent with catastrophic rather than uniformitarianistic thought. The layers on the earth line up with the so-called standard geologic column in less than 0.5% of observed layers. Refute it!

Fact-life on earth appears to have been designed. DNA is incredibly complex, as are numerous systems within our own bodies let alone those of other animals and plants. Darwinists are making huge, gigantic leaps of logic and faith to suggest otherwise. Refute it!

You evolutionists have only one thing on your side, the idea that the supernatural cannot be correct and that a natural causation must be found for every thing, every system, every creature. But you sure do have to bring in corrolary after corrolary to try to justify that way of thinking.

God created. It's simple, it fits all the evidence found on earth, and I am one of many who believe. Some of us are amateur scientists, some of us are good scientists, some of us are great scientists and some of us are no scientists at all. One thing we have in common is that our belief makes more sense than yours.

radar said...

Honestly, you guys don't listen! First, I am saying that you need to address the authors of the posts to have a dialogue with them. I am not saying I disagree with the authors, but don't quote one of them, attribute it to me and then ask me about it. Don't be afraid to go to their individual blogs and post there, they would like that I think.

I also invited Darwinists to post last time, but they all declined. I know a couple of them were on vacation and probably will send in something next time. I will post any reasonable article, even those I disagree with.

Apple? In Genesis? You ever even read it? Not there, creeper. You get an "F" on that post.

It seems to me most posters simply deride the creationists as either stupid or hilarious, but rarely address any of the issues at all.

For instance, math is definitely involved in Behe's concept of the black box/irreducible complexity because one must take into account the mathematical likelihood of various systems or components having evolved by chance. This makes the argument even stronger for ID proponents.

Fact-the rock layers of the earth are more consistent with catastrophic rather than uniformitarianistic thought. The layers on the earth line up with the so-called standard geologic column in less than 0.5% of observed layers. Refute it!

Fact-life on earth appears to have been designed. DNA is incredibly complex, as are numerous systems within our own bodies let alone those of other animals and plants. Darwinists are making huge, gigantic leaps of logic and faith to suggest otherwise. Refute it!

You evolutionists have only one thing on your side, the idea that the supernatural cannot be correct and that a natural causation must be found for every thing, every system, every creature. But you sure do have to bring in corrolary after corrolary to try to justify that way of thinking.

God created. It's simple, it fits all the evidence found on earth, and I am one of many who believe. Some of us are amateur scientists, some of us are good scientists, some of us are great scientists and some of us are no scientists at all. One thing we have in common is that our belief makes more sense than yours.

creeper said...

"Apple? In Genesis? You ever even read it? Not there, creeper. You get an "F" on that post."

All right then, fruit, not apple.

So Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden for literally eating a fruit? Seems a bit over the top, don't you think? For eating a measly fruit?

radar said...

Creeper

They were sent out of the Garden for disobeying the only commandment they had been given. It is a pretty simple concept.

mantis said...

It seems to me most posters simply deride the creationists as either stupid or hilarious, but rarely address any of the issues at all.

Ok, issues. I'll bite.

For instance, math is definitely involved in Behe's concept of the black box/irreducible complexity because one must take into account the mathematical likelihood of various systems or components having evolved by chance. This makes the argument even stronger for ID proponents.

It is also easy to rig equations to arrive at an outcome you predetermine. Demski's math refuted here.

Fact-the rock layers of the earth are more consistent with catastrophic rather than uniformitarianistic thought. The layers on the earth line up with the so-called standard geologic column in less than 0.5% of observed layers. Refute it!

Refuted!

Fact-life on earth appears to have been designed. DNA is incredibly complex, as are numerous systems within our own bodies let alone those of other animals and plants. Darwinists are making huge, gigantic leaps of logic and faith to suggest otherwise. Refute it!

No they're not! Irreducible complexity is anything but. Behe is fully dealt with here. Refute it! Try having some evidence and actually propose a mechanism!

You evolutionists have only one thing on your side

Evidence?

the idea that the supernatural cannot be correct and that a natural causation must be found for every thing, every system, every creature.

No, the only things science can measure and explain have natural causes. The supernatural is impossible to explain with science. That belongs to religion. Keep it, we don't need it.

God created. It's simple, it fits all the evidence found on earth, and I am one of many who believe. Some of us are amateur scientists, some of us are good scientists, some of us are great scientists and some of us are no scientists at all. One thing we have in common is that our belief makes more sense than yours.

No, the only thing you have in common is you believe the words in a book centuries old were written by a supernatural entity. Your attempted perversions of science that contradicts those words merely follow. Your attempts will fail.

creeper said...

mantis,

"It is also easy to rig equations to arrive at an outcome you predetermine. Demski's math refuted here."

This appears to be the wrong link - it refers to the blog thread you're looking at right now.

mantis said...

Oops, Here's the link

Coralius said...

I suggest you try the Pharyngula link again. It works just fine when I copy and paste it into my browser. And please read the entire entry. It does have a simple explanation.

Link is here: http://pharyngula.org/index/weblog/comments/hang_your_head_in_shame_grauniad/

Coralius said...

As to irreducible complexity, it's a crock.

It's akin to seeing a slow-moving ferry in the middle of the ocean and assuming the cars on it had to have been put there by God, since there's no other way they could have gotten on a boat in the middle of the ocean.

The irreducible complexity argument relies on the false idea that there was a straight-line progression from point A to point B in the evolution of some process. But this is ludicrous, since processes get co-opted for other things all the time. There are numerous examples of this throughout all of biology. I can provide some if you like, but it'd be better for you if you looked 'em up yourself.

And please stop waving the photosynthesis argument around. That argument assumes the same straight-line progression, but it's patently false.

I like to point to Monster Garage as an example of this. They take a car, well designed by some car company, and alter it to do something totally bizarre, like be a jet-ski. That's exactly how evolution works. It takes existing material and modifies it. That's often messy, just like Monster Garage, also. But it usually works out okay. Usually not great, but okay, and that's evolution in a nutshell.

Does that clear up how irreducible complexity is NOT a "thorn in evolution's side"? True biologists laugh at people who try to use it as a serious argument, including Michael Behe's fellow Lehigh University Biology Department members.

See: http://www.lehigh.edu/~inbios/news/evolution.htm

Anonymous said...

Honestly, you guys don't listen! First, I am saying that you need to address the authors of the posts to have a dialogue with them. I am not saying I disagree with the authors, but don't quote one of them, attribute it to me and then ask me about it. Don't be afraid to go to their individual blogs and post there, they would like that I think.

My apologies. I assumed that because you were posting on your site and obviously with approval you agreed with them.

For instance, math is definitely involved in Behe's concept of the black box/irreducible complexity because one must take into account the mathematical likelihood of various systems or components having evolved by chance. This makes the argument even stronger for ID proponents.

Behe's (and Dembski's) maths is complete crap. It assumes that because something happens it is the only way it could have happened.

I have two packs of cards that I've played 104 card pickup with and has otherwise been incredibly well shuffled together to a point where the order is completely random. The probability that it is in the exact order that it is in by pure chance is around 10^-150 - i.e. incredibly unlikely. To listen to Dembski, the fact that this is the probability of the arrangement (or any other possible arrangement) happening at random somehow means that it is not at random.

There are good reasons that you pick your null hypothesis before you do your experiment - but why should I listen to the scientific ramblings of Behe when he thinks that astrology is a scientific theory?

And Irreducible Complexity wouldn't be a thorn in the side of evolution even if almost all the examples hadn't been debunked and Behe had at the trial shown that his own maths implies that it happens extremely regularly. There's a good reason the conservative republican judge at the dover trial referred to Breathtaking Inanity.

- F

radar said...

The math has not been debunked. Behe and Dembski show that a very complex system is in place and challenge any possibility that such systems could occur by chance. Chance must be part of natural selection, because natural selection must use mutations (which occur by chance) to bring about change in the genetic code. Otherwise, you will simply have micro-evolution, change within the gene pool which helps the organism survive but will not change the organism into anything else.

The so-called debunkers can't go at the math head-on. Behe and Dembski already rebutted the first attempts to do so. It is quite simple, really. If I want to throw a coin and get heads, I can statistically expect it to happen 50% of the time.

Complex systems like those involved in photosynthesis would require millions of mutations-that-became-common-in-in-the-gene-pool in order to have evolved. Mutations are almost without exception fatal to the organism. But even given a 50% chance of success for every mutation, such systems are the equivalent of flipping "heads" 200,000 times in a row.

So I have heard an evolutionist say, "but each step is one coin flip with a 50% chance. So it could have happened." That is willful ignorance, isn't it?

Back to work, have a good one!

Anonymous said...

The math has not been debunked. Behe and Dembski show that a very complex system is in place and challenge any possibility that such systems could occur by chance.

And, as I have shown above, their methodology was rubbish. If you knew the field, you would know that specified complexity is a fallacy because it's trying to analyse the probabilities of what has already occurred. (hint: that double pack of cards I mentioned earlier comes in at under the universal probability bound - there is therefore no way that anything more complex than a double pack of cards can be in a random order - either it is designed, or if it is genuinely random, the order it comes out as is less likely than the Uniform Probability Bound). It's about the oldest probabilistic fallacy in the book.

And as for Behe, his maths proves that so-called irreducible complexity is a common phenomenon.

- F

Anonymous said...

[Dan S.]

Radar said:

"Mutations are almost without exception fatal to the organism."

No.

The link is to the Index to Creationist Claims, Claim CB101: Most mutations harmful? It starts:

"Most mutations are neutral. Nachman and Crowell estimate around 3 deleterious mutations out of 175 per generation in humans (2000). Of those that have significant effect, most are harmful, but a significant fraction are beneficial. The harmful mutations do not survive long, and the beneficial mutations survive much longer, so when you consider only surviving mutations, most are beneficial."
and goes to give some examples of beneficial mutations and other factors. (Does anyone remember the freaky German muscle baby, who has a mutation that effects muscle development, so he looks like a teeny body-builder?) Many mutations recognized in humans are just kind of weird - two pairs of eyebrows, anyone? - although many are harmful and tragic.
And don't forget we're - ah, well, modern science is - talking about a vast time span, large numbers of organisms, etc., etc.

Checking with the Index of Creationist Claims is a good idea - if you're writing creationist stuff, you get a quick and easy look at some common rebuttals.

This is tiring. Here's a link discussing real, fascinating research -read what actual, working scientists are finding out about the astonishing complexity of life and how it may have come about - whether the product of a benevolent God or the lucky offspring of the union of chance and order . .

Anonymous said...

radar, the factor that both Dembski and Behe (deliberately, in my opinion) seem to leave out is NATURAL SELECTION. Sure, the probability of a complete bacterial flagellum emerging as a feature in a cell that didn't have anything like it before is minimal- yes, perhaps the same as a tornado assembling a Jumbo 747 blah blah. The thing is, however, that it has been clearly demonstrated how the structures involved in the flagellum already exist in many other bacterial species, serving analogous (if somewhat different functions: Secretion,grasping and digesting food, even creating microcurrents that bring food close. That is the field RM+NS work: And bearing in mind the amazing asset autonomous movement in their microscopic world is, The flagellum (or something like it) would appear eventually. What IDsts fail to mention is that, under natural selection, the toss of every single coin in your example would have an effect, and that effect would be put to the test of survival in a competitive world. And if that world favored "heads", pretty soon you'd be flipping weighed-out coins that come heads up most of the time... and later perhaps coins that have heads on both sides.
OK, not the best example, since it has the coins transforming over time but, well, that IS how life works: Not by the random zillion-to-one chance, but by small changes that accumulate, each a viable asset in its way, providing the material chance modifies towards a pattern favored by the enviroment.
~sf

Michael Wells said...

The three posts above have said quite nicely some things I was going to.

What's really weird about this whole discussion of mutation and probabilities is this: creationists agree quite happily that random mutations can accumulate to result in small adaptations in an organism, and in a fairly short space of time (finch beaks, peppered moth color, etc.). But you (collective "you") apparently think there's some barrier that stops these mutations from accumulating beyond a certain number. What is this barrier? Why does the mutation/adaptation buddy act cease to work on a scale of millions and billions of years when it works fine on a smaller scale? Once you accept *any* evolution, it actually defies common sense, which you love to invoke, to say that it will never result in radical alterations in form over a vast space of time. That you can't see the inconsistency here is amazing to me.

It's also worth summarizing a little anecdote about Behe from the Dover trial: He was shown a stack of peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals, plus a few textbooks and popular press books, that discussed the rapid progress being made in explaining how his favorite example, the bacterial flagellum, evolved - explanations that Behe has long claimed can't and won't be found. Asked if he were aware of this research or had read any of these sources,he replied: No, but he was sure their explanations were inadequate. This is how much Behe knows, and wants to know, about the cutting edge in the field that he's supposedly revolutionizing.

creeper said...

Michael, well said. I suspect the reason creationists propose such a barrier without reason is because it would impinge on the Biblical claim that all creatures were created by kind, and did not evolve.

Incidentally, Radar, how was man's attempt to domesticate the dog coming along at the time of the dinosaurs?

Anonymous said...

[Dan S.]

"You evolutionists have only one thing on your side, the idea that the supernatural cannot be correct and that a natural causation must be found for every thing, every system, every creature."

Well, no - science has the idea that its job is to find natural explanations for the natural world. Way back, all sorts of different jobs were mixed up, so that 'physics' and metaphysics were part of the same thing, and - going back even earlier - (a) explaining lightning, rainbows, crops growing, origins, etc., and (b) setting morality, providing community bonds, responding to our sense of something beyond the world and our need for ultimate meaning were part of the same thing.

And in terms of (b), science hasn't really contributed anything. (Lucky that isn't its job, or it would have been sacked)

The one thing science has going for it is that - within its limits - it has been wildly sucessful. Aspects of human life and knowledge that hadn't changed more than a bit over millenia have been transformed almost beyond recognition. Not without problems - sometimes serious ones - but our ability to enjoy anything like what we recognize as life in an industrialized society - to say nothing of expecting to - on average - survive past infancy and beyond early middle age is based on the accomplishments of science.

Which is why folks generally don't say - I'm taking Genesis as a literal account, and that's that! I don't care what your science says. The evolution of creationism over the last century testifies to the prestige and status that science has earned due largely to its real accomplishments.

The necessity of accepting microevolution vs. the refusal to take that next step - to be fair, wee little changes are easier - in fact, very easy - to imagine. We have the results right at hand - at least, anyone who keeps pets, eats or even grows domesticated food plants, etc, does. Major ones are much harder - we have no experience here and the time, etc. involved is way beyond our usual frame of reference. My little hypothesis is that some of this imaginative stalling is a result of lack of information about genetics and development - especially in regard to findings over the last few decades. The popular mind tends, I suspect, towards thinking about genes as 'being' specific, discrete traits - eye color, nose shape, cancer - whatever - and seeing development as a fairly simple, fixed, step by step thing - like building a car or building. The awesome reality - of this whole crazy interactive feed-backy process - is only seeping in slowly, for many reasons, granted, but the constant assault on science education by this or that flavor of creationist isn't helping.

-Dan S.

Dstopak said...

Perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects of this debate is the confusion about evolution and the mechanism of evolution. It is a misunderstanding which you perpetuate. That organisms have evolved is a fact. It is a scientific fact as certain as any other, like gravity, the speed of light or the atomic elements, etc.

The fact of evolution permeates all of biology--from genetics to physiology from anatomy to embryology. There is no specialized study of biology where the fact that organisms have evolved over time is not in harmony with the observed results. I think it difficult for the layman to understand how pervasive evolution is. It is the universal biological constant; it is the context within which all organisms exist. It is confirmed and over again and makes a rational framework for the study of the life sciences.

If scientists get defensive, it is not because there is something to hide. It is because folks outside the scientific community are trying to impose a narrow religious dogma on how biology is performed and taught. That is terribly harmful and will be opposed intensely.

The mechanism of evolution is a distinct problem from the fact of evolution. We can infer that something has happened and not have a clue as to how it operates. Biologists argue everyday about the mechanism(s) of evolution. When Newton discovered gravity, he described it as an attraction between two bodies in inverse proportion to their distance and in proportion to their mass. But that is only a description. How does it really work? 250 years later there is still no definitive answer and yet with the theories of electromagnetism, relativity and quantum mechanics the understanding of gravity has deepened.

What we don’t understand is so vast compared to what we do understand, that pointing out the holes is a meaningless exercise. The holes are vast, but what we do understand has strength and resiliency because it is based on empirical evidence that has been tested and confirmed and further has predictive value which can be tested in the future.

In this limited space one example will have to make due. When Darwin posited his theory, the structure of DNA was unknown, in fact genetics and how hereditary characteristics were passed from generations was unknown. At that time evolution was based on observations in comparative anatomy and paleontology. Yet now that we can unlock the genome, it has only confirmed, deepened and strengthened the evolutionary relationships revealed around 150 years ago.

It did not have to be so. Evolutionary theory predicts that our genetic distance from apes must be close, closer than our genetic distance from rabbits, dogs or frogs. If it were different than the prediction, that would be a powerful argument against evolution. But do the math on the probability concerning our actual close kinship to chimps and you will find it is vanishingly improbable that it happened by chance. When done over and over again against all the phyla that have been tested, the evidence is ironclad. One of the fallacies about evolution is that it is all random. The pattern of evolutionary descent is the opposite of random. It is specific and that specificity confirmed by multiple avenues of research is what gives evolutionary theory such a powerful predictive value.

The last paragraphs telescope in a few sentences 150 years of scientific study and the works of thousands upon thousands of biologists in many different fields. Against that why is it credible that 500 or so scientists (of whom a handful have worked on an organism in the lab or in the field) express some reservation about evolution?

In the end what any particular scientists thinks or believes doesn’t matter. The activity of science, unlike religion is not about faith, but prediction and how that prediction can be used in understanding the material and natural world. So you can believe it or not, think it implausible, but evolution is here to stay as long as it continues to provide verifiable predictions and insights into the natural world.
.

radar said...

"Perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects of this debate is the confusion about evolution and the mechanism of evolution. It is a misunderstanding which you perpetuate. That organisms have evolved is a fact. It is a scientific fact as certain as any other, like gravity, the speed of light or the atomic elements, etc."

Statements like the one above are why I post things like this. Macroevolution is not only not a fact, it isn't even a theory. It has not been successfully tested or observed to occur in nature. It is a supposition/hypothesis which is accepted by the majority of scientists. But that makes it neither fact nor law.

Darwinism adds nothing to the prediction of occurences in nature. The operations of systems and organisms are studied without the application of either Darwinism or ID. It is only when you speculate on the origin of things that the subject comes up. ID is, to me, a more reasonable explanation apart from any religious teaching.

Creeper, didn't you watch the Flinstones? We began with dinosaurs first and settled on dogs after Dino passed away.

Michael, microevolution is observable. It is variation within kind. Macroevolution has not been observed. It is the transition from one kind to another. Microevolution occurs within the gene pool of the organism because the organism has that information already available. Natural selection favors the "brand", shall we say, of organism that works best in the particular environment.

Macroevolution requires a change in the information within the gene pool. Not a variance within the kind but the change to something else. 3,000 or so generations of fruit flies died in vain in the attempt to see macroevolution occur.

Dan S, I meant to say that most significant mutations are deadly. Small mutations are commonplace but also make no appreciable change in the organism.

SF - You are assigning design skills and creative powers to natural selection. You are not understanding the math involved. I think a lot of Darwinists misunderstand that. I will have to do a post on that soon to discuss just that issue.

Some of you guys, I wish we could just sit down over a nice cold Bass and get our terms and definitions worked out between us so we were talking on the same plane. But frankly, since macroevolution has not been observed to occur, it takes faith on your part to believe in it just as it takes faith on my part to believe in designed creatures. Faith in the non-observed.

radar said...

Almost forgot..

F- I have given up on the talkorigins site/ As to the last link, the person interviewing Behe actually got him to make some concessions favorable to a faster time cycle on the mutations. I disagree with the assumptions. But...even if it were so that it would only take 20,000 years to make this one mutation occur, how many steps like this would it take to go from the supposed simple organism that was the first life-form to an organism as complex as a horse? One of your favorite Darwinists, Julian Huxley, understood the math and stated that statistically a simple organism evolving to the level of a horse was impossible with a probability of 1/10 to the 3,000,000. But, hilariously, he then says..."The figure 1 with three million naughts after it: and that would take three large volumes of about 500 pages each, just to print! ... no one would bet on anything so improbable happening; and yet it has happened." Evolution in Action pg 46.


Now that is faith! In fact, he summed up the faith aspect of Darwinism: "To sum up, natural selection converts randomness into direction, and blind chance into apparent purpose. It operates with the aid of time to produce improvements in the machinery of living, and in the process generates results of a more than astronomical improbability which could have been achieved in no other way." From Evolution in Action pp 54-5.

That is faith.

Going Ape For Jesus! said...

If we don't stop the apes from evolving, they will eventually evolve into the entire human species, at which point our Traditional American Values will be deeply threatened.

Anonymous said...

Radar wrote:
But...even if it were so that it would only take 20,000 years to make this one mutation occur, how many steps like this would it take to go from the supposed simple organism that was the first life-form to an organism as complex as a horse?

*sigh*

It would take 20,000 years for this one specific mutation to occur in a volume of soil somewhat smaller than a pea. This given Behe and Snokes' unrealistic assumptions keeping the mutation rate down. Also mutation happens in parallel rather than in series - meaning that you can have quite a lot of mutations happening at once (and, unless you're Dembski, there is no reason why any one specific mutation has to happen).

As for a simple life form to a life form as complex as a horse, hundreds of millions of years? The real hurdle on the way (I believe) is forming multi-cellular organisms - although Slime Mould may show how this happens.

- F

Anonymous said...

Um, no, radar, it is not faith.

Read again what you just wrote.

Read it with a clear mind; don't think in religious terms beforehand.
Can't you see it's an explanation (a much better one than the one I tried to give)of the way natural selection beats the odds, without having a purposeful design? Because it's NOT random? Can't you see it's the conclusion in explaining the previous "paradox"? But of course, the quote-mining site from which you cited it, ommited the rest and made it look like a) He is forced to admit that evolution shouldn't happen, because it's improbable and b)He seems to say "well I believe in it anyway". At least to those who know little about evolution, and would fail to recognise the correlation- but then, those are the ones they're pout to get.
If you think I'm wrong, do a test for me: A scientific test, if you like. Find and read the actual text, the way it was published. THEN tell me if those people who selectively cite tiny phrases and paragraphs from whole books are being dishonest or not.

~sf

Anonymous said...

[let anonymous = Dan S.]

Dstopak, very nice post.

Bouncing off what you said: thinking about this thread made me start musing about an alternate world, one where all major scientific discoveries confirmed a literal biblical or near-biblical account of creation, earth history, etc. You know - what would they have found, etc.

Of course, the reality is that this isn't what
happened, beginning with geology (geocentrism wasn't a biblical doctrine so much as a piece of early astronomy that became fossilized within church doctrine). And that's significant. All scientific fields touching on this question have come back with another set of answers, ones that match up pretty well (ie, you don't have evidence confirming evolution but the oldest known rocks being dated at no more than 6000 years old, etc.)

But whatever. My intention isn't to attack creationism, but to defend real science. I just get distracted real easy . . .

"Darwinism adds nothing to the prediction of occurences in nature."
What?

" The operations of systems and organisms are studied without the application of either Darwinism . . ."
No. They're not! This is just ridiculous. Does every single piece of biological research explicitly refer to evolution? (Darwinism is a bit silly and inaccurate, like calling the study of falling objects Newtonism.) No, but it's all within an evolutionary framework, and more and more of it - especially in such useful fields as medicine - does do so.

" Macroevolution is not only not a fact, it isn't even a theory."

Radar, you missed the point. Evolution is a fact (as much as any big idea in science can be). The idea that life on earth has descended, through a process of change, from a common ancestor is a fact. The exact mechanisms, their relative importance and all are still a bit fuzzy.
Has 'macroevolution' (evolution at the species level) been observed and recognized as happening in the present day? It's a tough question, really.

We're sort of like mayflies arguing over whether humans really age, or whether they were all created a few minutes ago in their present forms - some little and bawling, some big, etc. There are certainly various examples of what appears to be speciation-in-process.

The notion of kinds is remarkably flexible, in that it seems to expand as much as needed to deny evolution. Are all dogs one kind? Dogs and wolves? Dogs and wolves and various wild dogs? Dogs and wolves and wild dogs and foxes? Dogs and wolves and wild dogs and foxes and bears? Dogs and wolves and wild dogs and foxes and bears and skunks and etc. . . (or {house cats{wild cats{various small cat species{lions, tigers, etc.{civets{etc.}}}}}?

Evolution seems to be pretty conservative - all sorts of junk gets kept lying around, things just keep getting reused, and there's a lot of little tinkering going on (the post I linked to in my previous comment suggests one reason why this might be the case).

Creationists sometimes talk as if evolution means a cat will suddenly give birth to a dog. That's ridiculous (although the cat family has produced some relatively dog-like members, and, IIRC, vice versa). Things just aren't happening very fast. Even for mammals, who have a reputation of living fast and dying young, species-wise, we're talking hundreds of thousands/millions of years, and that in reference to changes that aren't all that much to write home about. In the well documented lineage that I know best - ours - the degree of change isn't that impressive, really - one species tends to look a good bit like the next, with the differences tending to involve a lot of little minor changes. However, I have to admit that the effect over a few million years is pretty impressive.

Actually, as I was surfing about to doublecheck some details of carnivore classification (I always forget where the weasels go) I just stumbled across a page with a very nice discussion of this stuff - Taxonomy, Transitional Forms, and the Fossil Record.: "Interestingly, some critics of evolution view the record of fossil horses from "Eohippus" (Hyracotherium) to Equus as trivial (Denton, 1985). However, that is only because the intermediate forms are known (Fig. 5, 6). Without them, the morphologic distance would appear great. "Eohippus" was a very small (some species only 18 inches long) and generalized herbivore (probably a browser). Besides the well-known difference in toe number (four toes at front, three at back), "Eohippus" had a narrow elongate skull with a relatively small brain and eyes forward in the skull. It possessed small canine teeth, premolars, and low-crowned simple molars. Over geologic time and within several lineages, the skull became much deeper, the eyes moved back, and the brain became larger. The incisors were widened, premolars were altered to molars, and the molars became very high-crowned with a highly complex folding of the enamel (Evander, 1989; McFadden, 1988)." Click through for pictures.

Amusingly, the page is on the website of the American Scientific Affiliation, which as truly wonky religion-and-science-issues people know, "is a fellowship of men and women in science and disciplines that relate to science who share a common fidelity to the Word of God and a commitment to integrity in the practice of science." Their creation/evolution page is here.

". But frankly, since macroevolution has not been observed to occur, it takes faith on your part to believe in it"
Ah, forget about today! Of course we know macroevolution happens- through the fossil record, through genetics, etc. Look at it this way. You come home and your house has been robbed. You didn't see it happen. However, you have some clues - ie, broken window, stuff strewn around wildly, valuable items missing. Imagine if when you called the police they interrupted your account with "But did you observe the robber breaking in and stealing things?" "No, but . . ." "Oh, so you didn't actually see them do it, did you?" "No, but officer, look . .." "You can't even say it was a robbery at all, can you? You're just taking it on faith! Come on, Lenny, this guy is wasting our time . . . "

After all, we've never observed a lot of things. For all I know, 747s are routinely assembled by hurricanes in junkyards . .

" I meant to say that most significant mutations are deadly. Small mutations are commonplace but also make no appreciable change in the organism."

OK. Most large leaps are deadly (especially true near edges). Small steps are commonplace, but also make no appreciable change in your location.

And now, for your viewing pleasure:
Creationist Claim CB901: No case of macroevolution has ever been documented.
and
the one, the only, the bloody gigantic 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution The Scientific Case for Common Descent. Read the whole thing, if you dare! (and have the time/patience/attention span . . .)

"Some of you guys, I wish we could just sit down over a nice cold Bass and get our terms and definitions worked out between us so we were talking on the same plane."
I know what you mean. But honestly, there's no point. Siting down and talking over a nice cold Bass, sure, but you know the discussion - as entertaining as it might be- isn't going to go anywhere. It's sad, but there are worse things.

[Dan S.]

Anonymous said...

[Dan S.]

Ah, slime molds. So cool!

Apes 'r us.

I agree - that Huxley quote is a wonderful description. Radar - the idea is that by chance alone the outcomes we have are astonishingly unlikely. But evolution doesn't work by chance alone. You see . . .

Oh, you give it a try. Explain what you see as the role of natural selection within evolutionary theory - regardless of whether you believe this theory is correct or not, what is being claimed?
(Of course, if you can't do this, you're going to look a little silly, but I've been in that kind of situation before. There are plenty of online resources to help you out . . . and hey, why did you give up on TalkOrigins?)

Sadly, we are well on the way towards stopping the other apes from evolving (ie, by wiping them out). That sucks.

-Dan S. and the Slime Mold Collective

Coralius said...

Radar, you say that so-called macroevolution hasn't been observed, but you're wrong. It has indeed been observed. In "ring species", the evolution that would normally be seen over time can actually be seen through space instead. It's pretty nifty.

We'll look at the Ensatina salamanders of the Pacific coast as an example, since I happen to have a handy link.

These salamanders live all along the San Joaquin Valley. At the head of the valley, all the salamanders can interbreed. As you move down the coastal side of the valley, the salamanders can interbreed with both those at the head of the valley and those further south of them. The same applies on the mountain side of the valley.

So, in any given five-mile stretch of valley rim on a given side, all the salamanders can interbreed. This applies all the way up and down the valley. But if you take a salamander from the head of the valley and try to breed it to a salamander from the foot of the valley, it doesn't work. Even more importantly, though, the salamanders from the coastal side of the foot and the salamanders from the mountain side of the foot live in the same area and can't successfully interbreed. They have, in effect, speciated.

That's evolution, mate.

The same happened to humans and our ancestors, only through time. If you grabbed a human off the street, hopped in your time machine and went back 1000 years, that human would easily be able to breed with living humans of the time. Grab a person from 1006 AD and go back another 1000 years, and the same thing would happen. They'd easily be able to interbreed. Of course, if you make enough hops back in time, the species you're breeding would stop being what we would call human. You could take a second person from our modern streets, and they just couldn't interbreed.

Do you see how the "time axis" of the second example is replaced by the "space axis" of the salamanders? It's exactly the same. And the salamanders aren't the only ring species, by far.

Here's a link with basic Ensatina info:
http://tinyurl.com/eedo

Coralius said...

And before you say that's just more microevolution, or changes within a "kind", please remember that the definition of a species is: "A fundamental category of taxonomic classification, ranking below a genus or subgenus and consisting of related organisms capable of interbreeding."

creeper said...

"Creeper, didn't you watch the Flinstones? We began with dinosaurs first and settled on dogs after Dino passed away."

I did watch the Flintstones, but didn't exactly see it as science class.

creeper said...

highboy,

(I'm crossposting this here from highboy's blog because he's got some kinda weird random moderation policy where comments disappear without rhyme or reason. In any case this pertains to his excerpt in the carnival above.)

"Evolutionists say one thing, creationists say another."

This particular case is not a simple matter of "he said, she said". Evolutionists don't claim that humans descended from apes. If some creationists claim that evolutionists claim that humans descended from apes, it is a simple fact that those creationists are wrong, as you can easily find out by broadening your sources of information a little. Take a look at the Index of Creationist Claims (http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html) to see what has already been said about particular topics, so you don't have to run in circles. The particular arguments you made are all mentioned there, complete with rebuttals. If you think the rebuttals aren't valid, then rebut them. Simply repeating rebutted arguments makes you look ignorant, and you don't want that, do you?

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC150.html
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CF/CF001.html
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB000.html
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CD/CD011.html

"But apparently evolutionists find me dumb because I don't accept the word of one source over another, when all I have to go by is websites and text books."

I suspect people find you dumb because you mindlessly repeat basic propaganda instead of thinking for yourself - the "why are there still monkeys" idiocy being a prime example - and not even subsequently, after the mistake is pointed out to you, take the acquired knowledge on board. Have you thought about this in the meantime, and understood, with the aid of several people here explaining the mistake to you, why your argument was wrong? Or will you simply not think about it and repeat the same point in some other venue shortly? If you are, then you are rightly thought of as dumb.

How hard is it to find out what the theory of evolution actually is? The resources are easily found if you only look around a little. Start with Wikipedia.

"I'm a biological accident and any emotions I have are completley natural. Blame my ape-like ancestors. I was created in their image."

You were not created in anyone's image except for your parents. Yes, your emotions are completely natural, but that is not to say that anger is a productive emotion either for you, an intelligent being, or the people you come into contact with.

Anonymous said...

[Dan S.]

You know, I feel kinda stupid, but I didn't read highboy's ape comment closely enough. Now I just don't understand it at all.

I get the reiterated talking point about how we didn't observe it so you can't say it's true (Creationist Claim CA221: Were you there?). Now, you don't you think that apes of any sort should be evolving into humans - this was just a way to set up the observation issue, right?

Note: humans did evolve from apes, just not modern apes. In other words, humans, bonobos, reguilar chimps, and gorillas all evolved from an ape ancestor.

"Evolutionists say one thing, creationists say another." (re: human evolution)

Have you read any of the evidence re: human evolution? I have, since middle school (up to and including, though sadly no further than, undergrad seminars in paleoanthropology). I'm not saying I'm an expert (heck no!) or that you're dumb (I hope not!). I'm asking if you're familiar with the actual evidence scientists have found re: human evolution - not creationist takes on same. Secondary/popular sources are fine.

highboy said, back on his site:
"If you wish to believe the "all-intelligent" theory that you are a descendant of a primate that digs in its own behind then smells it to see if [it's] good be my guest . . . Depends on if their parents hate them enough to let them be taught that they are biological accidents, or love them enough to tell them what beautiful creations they are. . . .

I simply can't understand this point of view. It's like hearing about the miracle of birth and going "ewww! that's icky! Or people going "ewww! We're eating dead plants and dead animals!" What is this horror of being considered part of the animal kingdom? And "hate them enough to let them be taught they are biological accidents?" Evolution is a scientific finding, and as such is in itself value-neutral, neither good nor bad, but if anything, understanding the amazing chain of events that resulted in our existence in general, and one precious individual child specifically (whether you believe this occured under divine guidance or simply nature) - well, it just doesn't mesh with this imagined corrollary of accepting evolution.

It's like going: Depends on if their parents hate them enough to let them be taught that they were grown inside a person like an icky parasite, and then dumped out like poop, or love them enough to tell them how a beautiful pure-white stork* elegantly flapped by and gently left them with their loving parents. . .

* not comparing belief in God with belief that the stork brings babies: comparing the belief that a God must have directly created people (out of dirt?) to stork-belief.

Anyway, of course, "I don't like it" or " I do like it" is an appropriate criteria for matters of taste, or political outcomes, etc. - not for accepting or dismissing scientific findings. Just because one might think it really sucks doesn't make (extinction rate/global warming/tragic medical prognosis/etc.) not true. The error here is not recognizing what category evolution falls into.

Look - maybe we're the result of billions of years of evolution unguided by any conscious intent (what I think). Maybe we're the result of billions of years of evolution guided by a benevolent God (science can't comment on that last bit). Maybe we -and everything else -is the result of direct creation a few thousand years ago by God, who happened to make everything look as if life had evolved over billions of years on an old earth because hey, He likes a joke as much as the next deity . . . (and maybe I'm just a brain in a vat, being fed stimuli to make me think I'm sitting here typing, etc.) What does it matter? Look around. Think about yourself - good things and bad things. Look at someone you love. Does it matter how we got here? Look at your spouse/s.o./child/parent/friend. Say that you suddenly were convinced that they had indeed evolved. So what? Eww, I don't like you any more, your ancestor was a poo-sniffing ape? C'mon. I've had friends that fit that description. Probably everyone's felt ashamed of their parents once or twice (it's amazing - they suddenly become so ridiculous and unreasonable and uncool just as one hits adolescence, but then become wiser and wiser as the years go on. It's a mystery) - so?

Dan S. not engaging in olfactory analysis of excreted material (not that's there's anything wrong with that . . . what do you mean, speciest? I'm not a speciest, some of my best friends are simian-americans . . .)

Michael Wells said...

Radar: "microevolution is observable. It is variation within kind." No. Microevolution is evolution within species. "Macroevolution has not been observed. It is the transition from one kind to another." No. Macroevolution is the development of new species (speciation) or taxa above that. (And it has been observed in our time and is attested to in the past by overwhelming evidence, but that's a little outside the point I want to make here.) "Kind" means nothing in biology - it's a term taken from the book of Genesis.

The little clarification above leads me to cogitate on your statement, "I wish we could just sit down over a nice cold Bass and get our terms and definitions worked out between us so we were talking on the same plane."

Utterly unnecessary (and besides, I don't drink and would probably take a cherry Coke or gingerale if we were to do this). As I point out in the paragraph above, the scientific terms in question are defined quite adequately, but you, like evolution deniers in general, just keep mangling or ignoring those definitions in making your arguments. And yet y'all seem mystified and/or outraged that science ignores those arguments.

Another prime example from not far above: "Macroevolution is not only not a fact, it isn't even a theory." You at least seem to have a handle on the difference between a theory and a hypothesis, Radar, unlike most of your brethren. But for the 457 billionth time, a scientific theory never becomes a scientific fact. A theory *explains* facts. It is an explanatory framework for a particular set of observed facts. A really well-tested theory that has stood the test of time earns the right to be called a "robust theory." And a theory can only get more robust (or less), it can never "become a fact."

To apply the fact/theory relationship to the specific topic at hand: The *occurrence* of evolution - or common descent with modification of all existing organisms - is a fact. This means empirical evidence has accumulated that is sufficient to make it clear that it has happened. The explanation that random mutation, acted upon by natural selection and other factors like genetic drift, has caused it to happen is a theory - and one of the most robust in all of science.

As I just observed to your pal Hawkeye/Jim over on Testimonium, if you want to take down the massive edifice of evolutionary theory, you've gotta start by understanding what it says. But you creationists aren't even at that starting point. You constantly misunderstand, misrepresent or ignore basic and solidly established terms and concepts, sometimes blithely substituting terms drawn from your religious text, like "kind." Then you go on about "closed-mindedness" and "dogmatism" when scientifically literate people don't take you seriously.

Like I also told Hawkeye, I'm not writing in the expectation I'll convert any of you true believers. I'm writing for the hypothetical handful of wavering lurkers who might be reading this and actually trying to figure out which side they ought to listen to. I hope I and other evolution defenders here can demonstrate to them that, more than being wrong, you actually don't even know a lot of the time what you're saying.

creeper said...

I'll drink a Bass to that.

Phila said...

For instance, math is definitely involved in Behe's concept of the black box/irreducible complexity because one must take into account the mathematical likelihood of various systems or components having evolved by chance. This makes the argument even stronger for ID proponents.

OK. I'm nothing if not a patient man, so I'll try again.

The mathematical side of the IC argument is a separate issue from that of irreducibly integrated function, and Behe doesn't do much to address it. He simply says that "indirect" routes to IC over huge amounts of time - while possible - are statistically unlikely. Of course, this begs the question: statistically unlikely compared to what?

Behe offers no concrete, testable mathematical argument that I've ever seen. He certainly doesn't in DBB. As Behe himself says: "Now Bill [Dembski] does it with statistics, I do it with a, a much more intuitive approach."

See, when I say IC isn't a mathematical argument, I'm not saying that it has nothing to do with math. Instead, I'm hewing to the scientific notion that for an argument to be mathematical in nature, it actually has to present and justify the math on which it's based. Simply saying "math enters into IC" doesn't mean anything. So yes, I maintain that IC is not a mathematical hypothesis, but an intuitive one about functionality.

Also, I find it interesting that so many YECs admire Behe, who rejects YEC completely. I suspect it's because they apply the same approach to science that they do to the Bible...cherrypicking quotes and using selective interpretations.

Biblical literalists, in my experience, might insist - as you do - that Adam and Eve were chased from Eden for eating an apple. But they tend to take a far more "nuanced" approach to straightforward Biblical commands like "Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor." Why is that?

The ultimate problem with ID, as I see it, is that it has no scientific and no moral implications. Even if it were found to be true tomorrow, every religious tradition on earth would simply say that it justified their own faith, and go right back to arguing over dogmas that they already believed. It's not like the world would turn Christian overnight. Hell, it wouldn't even turn religious overnight. As Behe himself says, ID leaves "escape clauses" for committed materialists," like directed panspermia.

And since evolutionary biology is the study of mechanism, the issue of origin has no real implications for how research is conducted and evidence is assessed. The nitrogen cycle may have been intelligently designed, too, but that has nothing to do with how it works, or how you investigate how it works. ID is empty of content, scientifically and theologically. It's just a blank slate for people who feel they need to justify their faith with something other than...well, faith.

And then, there's the larger problem of using science to shore up faith...a delicate and dangerous operation with a tendency to boomerang on those who attempt it. Your attempt to bolster your specific theology with science bestows on science an authority that, as the Catholic Church learned several centuries ago, can do serious damage religious authority. And to paraphrase Augustine, "When you use faulty arguments for God, you undermine faith in God." So ultimately, you folks are your own worst enemies to the extent that you dabble inexpertly in biology.

I wonder if you'll answer each of the points I've made here, or simply avoid them?

Coralius said...

Bravo, Michael Wells!

radar said...

I am posting a two-part answer to this and other comments beginning this evening....

this is a waste of the internets said...

It's quite hilarious to me that you're citing scores on the SAT as evidence for your purported intelligence. Because, as we all know, a standardized test on algebra and vocabulary administered to high school seniors is totally a measure of one's ability to think critically and effectively evaluate complex theories that require years of specialized post-college education to truly understand. I am perfectly willing to suspend belief and accept "you're" claim that you did well on those tests. However, thinking that it somehow qualifies you to hold court over this ridiculous debate is, well, ridiculous.

Your list is equally laughable. It's entirely possible to get a doctorate from an Ivy League university and still be a complete dumbass. Trust me, I've seen it happen.

It also irks me to my very core that antievolutionists think that cramming an argument (and I use the term "argument" loosely) full of scientific terms and dubious equations somehow gives their point of view credibility. You can yam on about cytochrome c and reactive oxygen species until the cows come home, but it certainly doesn't mean anything. Evidence is not a stand-alone concept; raw data about pathway components is just that - the important bit is to put them in context, in a coherent schema. All of these old chestnuts about photosynthesis and bacteria flagella &c. completely fail to take demonstrated phenomena like gene duplication and coevolution of gene groups into account.

Nobody really believes in Darwinian Evolution, as such, anymore. To consider the gene the fundamental target of evolution is a fallacy - of course it's the SMALLEST target (nonwithstanding internal gene structure) - but claiming that is sort of like saying that changing a sentence letter by letter is the best way to yield a new meaning.

This shit is probably falling on deaf ears; I love how you say that scientists are unwilling to consider that they might be wrong. For a soi-disante science hobbyist, you seem to be pretty fucking oblivious to the underlying structure of science - the entire point is always taking the possibility of being wrong into account. As far as I can tell, it's religious dogma, and not scientific testimony, that takes itself far, far too seriously.

Every day, I decide that I won't get mad about this anymore; it's too much like railing against moles in your yard - pointless, until you can poison the lot of 'em. And then I run into pages upon pages of utter crap that literally hurts my brain to read, and I get irritated again. Just, please, take a moment to reflect upon the idiocy of not only what you're saying but how you're trying to support it. For every wackjob who thinks he is making a valid point regarding a topic far beyond his "Hey, I read Darwin's Black Box" level of comprehension, there are ten "Ivy League scientists" ripping at their hair in frustration, then going back into lab to do something useful with what they actually do understand about biology. Which is what I'll summarily do.

radar said...

Dear waste,

You consider the above diatribe to be a hallmark of YOUR intelligence? It seems you not only may be lacking in that area, but your manners are wanting as well. Those of us in the blogworld call a person such as yourself a "troll."

Good day to you.

creeper said...

Radar,

his manners may be wanting, yes, but if he is a working biologist doing scientific lab work, I look forward to what else he has to say.

Also looking forward to your two-parter. Triple points if you can avoid previously rebutted arguments.

Anonymous said...

so.. let me see if I got all of this straight. If you're not a Christian, you're going to hell. If you're gay, you're going to hell. If you have your own belief system (and I happen to think P.Z. Meyers is a bit deranged personally) you're going to hell.
This is EXACTLY the type of thing that turned me off religion, which is quite different from spirituality BTW.
And in the end, who is right and who is wrong.. does it even matter?? If it does, then you're way too concerned about this issue instead of living, whether that be a Christian life, an aetheist life, a Buddhist life, or a life based only on science. In my opinion you're ALL wasting good time arguing and seem more than a bit obsessed with trying to get your points across. What a waste of energy.

this is a waste of the internets said...

You're completely correct about the manners, and I do apologize for being a bit uncouth & colloquial. That said, strip the above "diatribe" of its ire and questionable vocabulary, and please attempt to respond to the underlying points. It's easy to lambast someone for their use of "fuck", more difficult to discount the meat of the statement. Which was (if you don't want to re-read my ranting, for which I don't blame you) that the essential problem of many people who attempt to argue against evolution is their tendency to construct straw man arguments that can be easily knocked down. You (collective) can't gloss over a very complex scientific theory and then argue with your own incorrect oversimplifications and expect to be taken seriously.

The reasons I believe in evolution (not as a Fact, a Dictum of Truth, but as a good starting point for further exploration and tweaking) are as follows:

1) It's falsifiable. Popper may be slightly passe, but his general idea is very worthwhile. Correct me if I'm wrong, but there is really no way to rigorously disprove ID. At the very least, it can theoretically coexist with almost anything - [evidence] is [so and such] AND God made it.

2) It has not yet been falsified by any real scientific research. Sure, there are inconsistencies - you can't expect to be able to take some brief Rule and have it apply universally - but these are just avenues to walk down, details to be addressed (and that's great, because otherwise I'd be out of a job). In fact, new research is continually bolstering & adding to it, while addressing what previously seemed at odds. Complex structures in which a missing part would collapse the whole? Synteny! (a tendency for groups of functionally related genes to duplicate, move, and evolve together.) Coevolution! (you can imagine a rectangle with a lovely job of its own that encounters another rectangle. They fit together, and over time end up as two triangles that require eachother for structural support, because the two-triangle structure confers some advantage - maybe the pointy bits can recruit other shapes, or carve useful holes in stuff. Silly analogy, but that's generally how it works.) "Macroscopic" evolution hasn't yet been demonstrated? Speciation! Biologists have actually created Drosophila that, after being grown up in different environments over many generations, will not breed with each other.

Perhaps science is never going to be able to explain the metaphysical questions that plague us about Life as We Know It. Yet, so many things that were previously only attributable to myths, vague presences, are now explainable in reproducible, physical terms. I tend to put more trust into things I can see, hold in my hands, question, rather than diaphanous ideas that I must stuff full of the observable in order to keep those observations safe and explained. But now *I'm* getting metaphysical.

Jake said...

Unfortunately, I think that was way above the heads of the cretinists here.

Anonymous said...

[Anonymous being in this case Dan S.]

"Speciation! Biologists have actually created Drosophilathat, after being grown up in different environments over many generations, will not breed with each other. "

Pre-emptive strike! Creationist Claim CB910.1: ('still fruit flies').

Doesn't matter, though. No matter how many examples of speciation we create, observe or infer on our small patches of well-explored earth, among a fraction of familiar organisms - from Drosophila to apple maggot flies to chiclids to any number of ring species - they will all be lumped under the stretchy expandable umbrella of "kind," serving to protect essentialist preceptions and the primacy of the Genesis account. In the case of large changes documented through fossils or genes, "kind" becomes a common-sense absurdity, but that's ok because we weren't there to observe it.

After all, you're thinking in terms of science and evidence and suchlike. Linnaean classification and nomenclature originated in a pre-evolutionary environment, of course, but was enormously revamped first with increasing knowledge and more significantly with the development of evolutionary theory, which gives it actual meaning. It's been famously said (all together now) that "nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution" (props to my man Dobzhansky!), and classification is one excellent example of that. Take the order Carnivora (I'm cutting and pasting from Wikipedia, but what you have to do after reading this - ah, forget reading this, it's not worth it - go over to the Tree of Life web project, which is amazing and awesome . . . but anyway: on the Wikipedia page you can click through and drop down into family, genus, and species, which is fun - the Tree of Life site isn't there yet:)
Order Carnivora
Suborder Feliformia ("Cat-like")
Family Felidae: cats; 37 species in 18
genera
Family Herpestidae: mongooses and
allies; 35 species in 17 genera
Family Hyaenidae: hyenas and aardwolf; 4
species in 4 genera
Family Nandiniidae: African palm civets; 1
species in 1 genus
Family Nimravidae: false sabre-tooths
(extinct)
Family Viverridae: civets and allies; 35
species in 20 genera

Suborder Caniformia ("Dog-like")
Family Ailuridae: red panda; 1 species in 1
genus.
Family Amphicyonidae: beardogs (extinct)
Family Canidae: dogs and allies; 35
species in 10 genera
Family Mephitidae: skunks and
stinkbadgers; 10 species in 3 genera
Family Mustelidae: weasels, martens,
badgers, and otters; 55 species in 24
genera
Family Odobenidae: Walruses; 1 species in
1 genus
Family Otariidae: sea lions, eared seals,
fur seals; 14 species in 7 genera
Family Phocidae: true seals; 19 species in
9 genera
Family Procyonidae: raccoons and allies;
19 species in 6 genera
Family Ursidae: bears; 8 species in 4
genera

This is a bit cumbersome, so one could try to demonstrate it graphically (no, I'm not doing that here - I don't have that much free time!). Odd, that - it ends up looking like a bush or tree, sort of . . . Hmm . . ..

Why should organisms be classified in this sort of manner, in a widely-expanding (or collapsing) set of nested relationships, one confirmed and supported (sometimes with the details clarified and such) by genetics, the fossil record, etc.?? Modern science has a fascinating answer: because they are related in this fashion! The various classificatory schemes people historically sketched out, with varied and diverse purposes and mindsets, have in fact glimpsed, however dimly, real biological relationships reaching back into the unimaginable depths of time and forward to encompass the globe. (Indeed, the places where people went wrong, to the best of our knowledge, is itself informative, both about people's values, customs, and ways of thinking, and of the forces that drive evolution. (Good books on the first bit: Harriet Ritvo's The platypus and the mermaid: and other figments of the classifying imagination, and Steven Feld's Sound and sentiment: birds, weeping, poetics, and song in Kahluli expression specifically chapter 2: "To you they are birds, to me they are voices in the forest" and a ton of other ethnotaxonomy stuff that I don't have on hand, sorry, but it's neat.)) None of this - at our current state of knowledge - makes sense without evolution.

Which isn't to say you can't try. Apropros of radar's comment above about not using evolution in day-to-day science, one could go back decades and decades and decades and try to classify organisms without reference to evolution - without any higher organising principle at all, even, just relying on 'observation' (which of course hides a great deal of interpretation and folk-biology and etc.) Problem is, you'll quickly get stuck, mired in endless disputes. How will you know what characteristics deserve the most weight? What makes one scheme superior to another? Genetics can't help, because - absent the recognition of biological relatedness - there's no reason it should tell you anything.

For creationists (at least any who don't go with Behe's former?current? view, which accepts evolution up to that first bit of life everything evolved from, which was designed, and prepacked full of adaptive goodness), presumably relationships represent God's designs - in other words, He'd take body plan 2675C, fiddle around a bit, and you have a dog, which looks a lot like a fox, but not because they're actually related. Except at some point there is a real relationship - so maybe body plan 2675C was a kind, doggykind, and all the doggy-things on earth today are the result of microevolution - working out the possibilities prepacked into plan 2675C, but never going beyond it - how could they? "Species" is a famously vague concept (in part due to the fact that evolution is a process; that's why reproduction plays such a role in the definition) - but kind is far worse. What are the borders of kind 2675C? How do we tell? Using kind as an approximation for genus 0 for convenience's sake, a creationist classification - reflecting 'microevolution' could work like this:
Dog-kind (body plan 2675C, copyright 4004BC)
|
/\
/ \
/ \
/ \
/ \
/____ \
/ \ \
/|\ \ \
/ ?\ \ \
/_ \ \ \
/ | \ | /|\
/\ | \ | / | \
A A' B C D E F' G'
(A=Gray Wolf, A' = Domestic Dog, B = Red Wolf, C = Ethiopian Wolf, D= Coyote, E, F, G = Jackal species. I know almost nothing about canine evolution, so I'm just guessing here).

Or maybe dog-kind extends to all the wild dogs and dog like foxes, but not true foxes. Or maybe dog-kind is synomymous with the family Canidae. (Who knows? How could you tell? Am I going to type that out? Heck no!!) But beyond that, we have:
[Dog-kind, body plan 2675C] [Skunk-kind] [Weasel-kind] [Racoon-kind] [Bear-kind] . . . [Monkey-kind] . . [Beetle-kind] . . . [Fungus-kind]

All at the same level, so to speak, with any resemblances reflecting- maybe modifications of body plans, so that what looks like nested series of relationships in fact reflects that what we call the Carnivora is really the body plan 2675 series. One could to explain (and salvage) genetics by saying that they're God's blueprints, etc.: since he designed them by tinkering around, of coure they're similar-looking with similar animals! (although why the same little mutations show up in ways that match evolutionary trees, I dunno. I guess He wasn't paying attention, and given the speed, it must have been somewhat of a rush job, so He might have been tossing designs off not realizing that, say, the cat models had a flaw in the sweet-taste receptor gene, and it's just never been a problem. Or maybe he busted it on purpose, so the cats would eat meat like he wanted them to, instead of fruits and chocolate bars (note: do not feed your cat or dog chocolate! It's poisonous to them, and with cats being so small you have a lot less leeway with dose size!). Or maybe it was the result of the Fall, and that's why the lion doesn't lie down with the lamb - except to dine - nowadays. Or maybe all the cats are one kind. Or . . .

Anyway - our ideas of "species," "speciation," etc. are based in the context discussed above, and have developed through decades and decades of real working scientists wrestling, so to speak, with the world. "Kind" is a weird hybrid derived from ancient middle-eastern ethnotaxonomy, plucked out of Genesis by modern creationists,* mushed together uncomfortably and illogically with selected bits of modern science that intellectual honesty and/or need for credibility forced them to recognize ("microevolution"), and of dubious use in either explaining or making predictions about the natural world. Wrestling very half-heartedly with the word, you might say.
Creation-science/ID as a whole has this kind of weird, parasitic relationship to real science - hey, it's not necessarily an insult, parasites are highly specialized creatures . . It's sad, though that people are forced into this not in order to justify belief in God - for if it was the case that evolution conclusively disproved religion, if it was merely a stalking-horse for an empty atheism** as in the starkly dualistic scenarios foolishly belived by so many, it would be a kind of bold idealism for believers to say, as in a similar scenario that C.S. Lewis proposed, and which shows up in allegorical form in The Silver Chair, nevertheless, if it was all make-believe, my make-believe, my way of living, is better and nobler than your stupid reality anyday! But it isn't. All this - neglecting so much of the wonder and glory of the world (or as one might see it, Creation) in order to stick to one specific and literal interpretation . .

Whatever. Please excuse the countless errors, misinterpretations, and ruthless simplifications above. My degrees are only in anth and education, too many of my books are packed up, my memory is like a, a, um, one of those things you drain vegtables in? . . .

* I don't know of the history of 'kind' in classification before it was reinvigorated by 20thC. creationists.
** I don't think that atheism is empty or meaningless, but that's another story, for another time.

-Dan S., who you should imagine collapsing - *whoosh* - to the floor after reciting the above in one ridiculously, impossibly long breath . . .

Anonymous said...

[Dan S.]

um, "preceptions" should read "perceptions." Or "preconceptions," maybe. Hey, it wasn't a typo, is was an exciting new portmanteau word! Really . . .

And the fishies are spelled "cichlids." Always get that wrong . . .

I like rousing intellectual sport as much as the next guy, but it's awfully hard to our team to get a goal when the other side keeps moving the goalposts . . .

-Dan S. with a portmanteau full of cichlids . . .

Coralius said...

Hurray, Dan S.! That was extremely well-argued, and without one insulting comment. I must say, I couldn't have done it.

Anonymous said...

These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.

--Matthew 15:8

Something for you to think about, Radar.

radar said...

"These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.

--Matthew 15:8

Something for you to think about, Radar."

Something for every one of us to think about! Usually, the anonymous posters to this site don't quote scripture. Since you posted that, you may also be familiar with this one?

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." (Matthew 7:3-5)

Since I am posting to defend what God says in scripture, using primarily evidence found in nature to have discussions with those who value the natural, I fail to understand why the first scripture was given to me. My heart is first of all for the condition of the souls of people. I consider Darwinism to be a hindrance to faith in the case of thousands, no, millions of individuals. Therefore I, who have taken the journey from Darwinism to creationism just as I took the journey from lost to faith in God, seek to help others along that path.

It is for those who don't do something about what they believe who need that admonition stressed to them, anonymous. People like Dan S, with whom I almost completely disagree, is probably posting in here because he is following his heart. I respect that, especially if his heart and head are both open to change brought about by the discovery of truth. I hope we are all able to remain in such an attitude.

I admitted when I had made a mistake in one posting and apologized. One or two of my commenters have apologized for rude remarks. (Although Cranky will not get me to retract words that he wrote, not me.) This discussion is supposed to be about the seeking of truth. I do read what you guys post and when I am busy like this week I remind myself to check out the links I skipped over the weekend. I wonder how many commenters even read everything that is posted, let alone linked?

In the end, God knows our hearts. I ask God to show me when my heart is leading me astray and boy, he sure does do it! I hope that you do as well, anonymous. We will all be better for such an attitude.

So much for my break, back to work...

birdchaser said...

Wow, its hard to believe, with all our technology and understanding of the world, that people still want to believe that an ancient book has more to say about how the earth was formed than hundreds of years of observation and testing of hypotheses. You do a disservice to religion by holding to such an antiquated view of scripture, and dismissal of completely supportable scientific descriptions of the formation of the earth and the evolution of life.

You need a new religion--one that can handle all the truth in the world, not just the stories handed down to you in a couple hundred pages from an old Middle Eastern book.

God is ashamed of your small mindedness.

creeper said...

radar,

"I consider Darwinism to be a hindrance to faith in the case of thousands, no, millions of individuals."

Please define exactly what you understand by the term Darwinism. There is nothing that prevents someone who believes in God from also accepting the theory of evolution as valid, and vice versa.

"(Although Cranky will not get me to retract words that he wrote, not me.)"

cranky old fart: "Shall I repeat? Where are those peer reviewed papers supporting the young earth Noah thing."

you: "I posted sites where such papers are available for your perusal, have you checked them out?"

That was you writing that second comment, wasn't it? And it was in response to the first comment, wasn't it?

Knowingly unspeaking the truth is frowned on in your faith, is it not?

"You need a new religion--one that can handle all the truth in the world, not just the stories handed down to you in a couple hundred pages from an old Middle Eastern book."

Millions of Christians can accommodate exactly that.

creeper said...

"knowingly unspeaking the truth" = "knowingly speaking the untruth" - d'oh!

Anonymous said...

[Dan S.]
"Hurray, Dan S.!"

*bows*

Genes or Genesis? It's more complicated than that.
As Jennifer Ackerman points out (in her marvelous book Chance in the house of fate: a natural history of heredity): "The word "gene" goes back to an Indo-European root word [*gen-] that meant beginning or birth. This gave rise to the Old English gecynd, meaning family, in, or kind. The Greek and Latin varients blossomed into a bunch of gen words with a multitude of jobs: genus, genius, gender, gentle, generous, generation, genealogy, genesis. One Latin stem became gnatus, unfurling into innate, native, natural."

This points out a counterpoint to the debate: the evolution of language [note: the following argument and quoted example is from Robert Pennock's book Tower of Babel: the evidence against the new creationism. Wish I'd thought of it myself. Wish I had a wiffler . . .] Where does all the linguistic diversity around today come from? (It's rapidly vanishing, I have to add: the number of languages represented only by a handful of aged speakers is tragic)
An account strictly following Genesis would locate their origin at the Tower of Babel, where God broke the original human tongue into confused fragments as a reaction to/judgement on human ambition and overeaching.* But this doesn't make sense. After all, English isn't in the Bible (at least originally!), nor French, nor Spanish, nor German, nor . . . Studying documents - literary fossils, so to speak - it's unavoidably obvious that language changes
("Oure fadir that art in heuenes, halewid be thi name: thi kingdoom come to; be thi will don in erthe as in heuene" - Wycliffte Bible, c. 1395 - and if you go back further, you get ([] for letters I can't reproduce): "Fader ure []u []e ert on heofene. sye []in name ehalged. to-becume []in rice. gewur[dt] e []in hewille. on eor[dt] an swa swa heofenan." - Late West Saxon, after 1150 -and hey, hear the Lord's Prayer in Old English here!

And not only do individual languages change over time - looking at languages, one starts finding similarities. Historical linguistics got off to a bit of late start, with early European attempts being derailed by valient attempts to trace all known languages back to Hebrew, as the biblical account could be seen as suggesting. But time passed, trade, travel, and colonization increased, and finally Sir William Jones stood up one day in 1789 in front of his Asiatic Society and declared that the resemblances between Sanskrit, Greek and Latin were so strong that they must indeed be related, having sprung from a single ancient and unknown root (Indo- European). His hypothesis has been abundantly supported, if modified in some particulars, and spawned an entire field of study. Other languages were found to fit in the Indo-European language family - including some not discovered by linguists until over a century after this initial realization, and other language families were identified. Languages, it turned out, evolved. Not like life does, of course. In fact, we're still extremely fuzzy on how languages evolve. What's clear is that they do. And here we have one of the mysteries of language, for though it's a obvious part of human intelligence, and its use the product of intent (mostly), language change is clearly not a product of intentional design! It's weird.

Granted, the record is patchy, with big gaps, and some vanished languages are recorded only as a single inscription, or collections of manuscript fragments (Tocharian A and B). And the pace of language change is slow, right at the edge of human perception (Generally, in a single lifetime, one might see a change of perhaps 2 complaints (cp) - that being my inexact and entirely facetious base unit of linguistic change, as in "young people today can't talk properly! They. . ." 5 cps is one puzzledlook (pl) or in Anglophilic contexts, one shakespeare (sr), and 2 shakespeares are 1 huh, or 1 chaucer . . . (and now that I've amused myself sufficiently, back to our regularly scheduled programming . . ) It changes slowly, but even on a human scale, it starts adding up. My wife's grandparents, second-generation Czech-Americans (or whichever one mean born here of immigrant parents), in the fullness of time and after retirement, went to visit the country of their parents, at that time Czechoslovakia. They had a great time, met distant relatives known only by correspondence, etc. - but my wife's grandmother, her Babi (or Bubbe, which is how my Eastern European Jewish family would say it) noticed that she was getting odd looks. Beginning to worry (and she's a worrier, a quirk of temperment that skipped over her daughter but is reflected, though to a lesser degree, in her granddaughter), she finally asked someone if her Czech - learned in childhood, in America - was poor in some way. No, the answer came back, it's fine. In fact, they said, it was more than fine - it was very well spoken Victorian Czech - of a kind one heard many, many years ago, with phrases and distinctions and vocabulary that had been dropped or changed in the decades since. Once over in America, the language had largely fossilized, in a way, while back in Europe it continued to change.

But take - instead of Slavic, Germanic languages, which, leaving out a lot, could be classified thusly:
Germanic (part of the Indo-European language family)
East Germanic (extinct)
Gothic
Vandalic
Burgundian
Crimean Gothic
North Germanic/Nordic/Scandinavian
Icelandic
Faeroese
Norn
Norwegian
Danish
Swedish
West Germanic
**Anglo-Frisian
Frisian
English
Scots
**High Germanic
Standard German
Yiddish
Etc., etc., etc.,
**Low Germanic
Dutch
Afrikaans
Etc., etc., etc.

Now, one could admit microevolutionary linguistic change, but only within a language: English might go from Beowulf's [anonymous author's] English to Chaucer's English to Shakespeare's English to modern English - but always stay English. But why would this be? Well, it isn't, as one have to admits if confronted with the evidence. Beside the pattern of resemblances, trace German, Dutch, English (etc.) back far enough, and they become more and more similar (English being a special case due to 1066 and all that). The Romance languages, same thing- and we have written accounts of people complaining how nowadays people can't even speak Latin (or what we would call, in that instance, proto-French, or Fratin) correctly - this example is from the very fun book The power of Babel: a natural history of language by John McWhorter. So maybe language groups - Germanic, Italic (containing the Romance language bunch), etc. can evolve, but only within the group? But why would this be? And indeed, linguists trace all these groups back - as hypothesized back in 1789 - to an ancient, vanished language called Proto-Indo-European. No one living has ever heard this language. It has no written record. It's been reconstructed based on what we know of the Indo-European languages and how they changed, with a ton of best-guessing and uncertainities. Crazy, right? An act of faith, right? Just a theory! Nobody's ever observed a language evolve! (linguistic macroevolution!) Were you there?
Note however, this bit from the link above:
"One real triumph of this method of reconstruction was the Laryngeal Hypothesis [Based on weird sound changes that didn't eem make sense] Ferdinand de Saussure in the late 19th century said that there had to be a set of three segments in the proto-language that had not survived in any of the daughter languages . . he called them laryngeals and pointed out the precise locations where they must have occurred. Many years later, when a bunch of texts in Turkey were finally decoded and we knew we were looking at the ancient Anatolian language Hittite, the oldest attested Indo-European language -- voila: there were the laryngeals, exactly where Saussure had predicted they must be just on the basis of careful reconstruction."
Neat,eh?

And of course, Indo-European's only one language family out of a bunch, so of course folks have taken all the proto-languages that have been reconstructed, and tried to do the same, again. The creationist linguist will be comforted to hear that 'conservative' opinion is that - given the lack of a written record, the extent of changes, and the multiplying uncertainties - we can't reach back much more than 10,000 years (although that's still 4000 years too much . . . ), and the original true mother tongue is lost beyond any hope of reconstruction. But we will see . . . (I'm not a linguist of any sort so I don't really know the status of this issue).

*A rather odd account, with God both strangely disturbed that humans are building a tower that will reach into the heavens - with who knows what next - , and refering to himself into the (Divine) third person (come, let us go down and confuse their language . . .)

-Dan S.

Jake said...

Don't be such a heathen, Dan. Everyone knows languages don't evolve. It's all about wrathful dispersion now.

Anonymous said...

[Dan S.]

Wow. Impressive. Wish I could be that creative . . . .

"In lieu of offering any evidence for their own proposal, most Wrathful Dispersionists prefer to devote their energy to attacking the evolutionary approach to historical linguistics, which they generally refer to as Grimmism. Much of their animus is directed against the lone figure of Jakob Grimm, whom they depict as having made up the idea of linguistic evolution off the top of his head, and they delight in pointing out novel "exceptions" to Grimm's Law, such as the fact that English has the word paternal where Grimm's Law obviously predicts fathernal.The evolutionists respond that paternal was a later borrowing into English from Latin, to which the Wrathful Dispersionists reply triumphantly, "So your trees and waves can't explain everything!" ([/parody])

Grimmism . . . .ha! : )

So, radar - do you ""consider [Grimmism] to be a hindrance to faith in the case of thousands, no, millions of individuals"? If not, why not?

And have you read any of Ken Miller's stuff?
"Like it or not, the values that any of us apply to our daily lives have been affected by the work of Charles Darwin. Religious people, however, have a special question to put to the reclusive naturalist of Down House. Did his work ultimately contribute to the greater glory of God, or did he deliver human nature and destiny into the hands of a professional scientific class, one profoundly hostile to religion? Does Darwin's work strengthen or weaken the idea of God?"
The answer he comes up with may surprise you . . . (or not, I suppose . . . )

-Dan S.

radar said...

I posted Behe's Box and Huxley's Horse part one, a post in which I think you will easily see the answer to your question (not about Miller, who thinks differently than I but writes well.)

Jake said...

So radar, so you think that all languages that exist today are a result of the wrathful dispersion of your god? How do you explain the existing language families, if that's the case?

Anonymous said...

Wow, it's fantastic to see so many knowledgable people show up to smash these tired old creationist fallacies. I have very little to add that Dan S and others haven't already illustrated, in many cases brilliantly. Regretably there was some name-calling, but it appears that the people making the good points were not responsible for those attacks.

One thing I would like to respond to:

highboy said:
"Bottom line, if evolution was so completley factual then it wouldn't be contested all over the world, and not just by Creationists."

It's being contested worldwide? Certainly not among mainstream scientists doing serious work in life science fields. Perhaps you mean the political and media debate? Highly politicized attempts to treat biblical creation as science are an American phenomenon, as are these attacks on evolution using bad science crafted to influence laypeople. This controversy is spearheaded mainly by people in certain Protestant sects which insist on biblical literalism. This just isn't a popular controversy in other first world countries (heck, the Vatican even says evolution is good science that's compatible with faith). The DI is certainly trying to spread the issue to anyone that will listen, and it appears that they might be starting to inject their FUD into the UK.

- Eisnel

Eight Tons of Geese said...

This is certainly turning into a carnival. Of evolution.

Keep it coming, radar and highboy. You are very useful idiots. Useful to scientists, that is.

You give them all the opportunity they need to patiently explain what evolution is, how it works, why it's the only game in town and why creationism explains nothing.

Anonymous said...

Dan S said
"Doesn't matter, though. No matter how many examples of speciation we create, observe or infer on our small patches of well-explored earth, among a fraction of familiar organisms - from Drosophila to apple maggot flies to chiclids to any number of ring species - they will all be lumped under the stretchy expandable umbrella of 'kind',"
I would be curious to see how anyone could group humans and Helacyton (a free-living single-celled organism derived from human cancer) into the same 'kind'.

I think a major problem is that critics of the theory of evolution have not the slightest idea of how strongly the evidence supports it. Every month several thousand research papers are published, every one of which could potentially refute the theory of evolution - but none ever has.

Although the basic concept is simple, to carry any weight any serious refutation needs to tackle evidence from paleontology, biochemistry, microbiology, physics, genetics, physiology, animal behaviour, biogeography, pathology, plant breeding, archaeology and other areas that all fits together. In particular, it needs to explain why life fits into a nested hierarchy, something no creationist has seriously considered.

RGS

Anesha said...

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