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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Change of Pace: Women and War Against Terror

I am not going to do the last Darwin piece right now. I believe I have made the central point, that Darwin decided idealogically what he wanted to conclude first before making the attempt to piece together evidence to prove it. I would maintain that Darwin-leaning scientists have been doing so ever since.

So a one day break from science. First, Amy says, look at the numbers!

"I took a trip to our local military museum here on post a few days ago. I came across a newspaper article dated August 15, 1945. During World War II on July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine and sunk in the Philippine Sea. 300 men went down with the ship and almost 580 drowned or were eaten by sharks in the shark infested waters. After 4 days, only 316 men survived. It is known as the worst Naval disaster in US history.

Obviously initial reports that reported a 100% casualty rate in this disaster were wrong, but we now know that out of a total of 1,196 men, 880 were killed. The USS Indianapolis suffered almost a 75% loss of life.

This was in one incident. One day of war. Compare that one disaster with Operation Iraqi Freedom:

2,458 over 3 years

The total US military deaths in Operation Iraqi Freedom (March 19, 2003-May 26, 2006) is now at 2,458.

These are other wars involving the United States:

WARS:

Revolutionary War (1775-1783): 25,324
Civil War, North (1861-1865): 363,020
Civil War, South (1861-1865): 199,110
Spanish American War (1898 ): 2,893
World War I (1917-1918 ) : 116,708
World War II (1941-1945): 408,306
Korean War (1950-1953): 54,246
Vietnam War (1957-1975): 58,219
Gulf War (1990-1991): 363


SHORT BATTLES & TERRORIST ATTACKS:

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (Dec. 7, 1941): 2,388 (1 Day)
D-Day (June 6, 1944): 2,000-2500 (1 Day)
Battle of the Bulge (12/1944-1/45) 81,000 (5 & 1/2 weeks)
Iwo Jima (Feb.19,1945-March 25 ‘45): 6,503 (36 Days)
World Trade Center (Feb. 26, 1993): 6 (1 Day)
Oklahoma City Bombing (1995): 168 (1 Day)
USS Cole, Yemen (2000): 17 (1 Day)
September 11 (2001): (approx.) 3,000 (1 Day)

-American War Library.
-Department of Veterans Affairs

Reality makes the mantra “2245 Dead—How Many More?” look pretty ignorant and uninformed."


There are some brilliant women out there! Pam, for instance, first takes us to 1948.

"Not that it's about truth, history or right and wrong. It's about Jew hatred plain and simple. Even so, know the truth.

Who Caused the Arab Refugee Problem? Refugee: Arab Leaders Told Us to Flee in 1948 - Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook

In another corroboration by an Arab refugee that it was Arab leaders who were responsible for the flight of Arabs from the new State of Israel in 1948, an elderly woman, Asmaa Jabir Balasimah Um Hasan, told the PA newspaper Al-Ayyam on May 16, 2006, that it was Arab leaders and not Israel who told her and her neighbors to flee, for tactical military reasons. "They told us: 'The Jews attacked our region and it is better to evacuate the village and return after the battle is over.'"

This confirms earlier statements that have appeared in the PA press. On April 30, 1999, an Arab viewer called PA TV and quoted his father and grandfather, complaining that in 1948 the Arab District Officer ordered all Arabs to leave Palestine or be labeled traitors. On March 19, 2001, columnist Fuad Abu Higla wrote in the official PA daily Al Hayat Al Jadida of Arab leaders "in the year of 1948, who forced us to leave, on the pretext of clearing the battlefields of civilians." It is well-known among Palestinians that Arab leaders bear responsibility for the mass flight of Arabs from Israel in 1948, and were the cause of the "refugee" problem. (Palestinian Media Watch)"


Pam then sheds light on the terrorist states that are Syria & Iran:

"Verbal fisticuffs as the forces of good and evil went at it at the United Nations yesterday. The groundwork is being laid for the coming bloodshed. If the papers and networks ignore it, it won't make it go away. This is war;

New York Sun (Paid Only):A verbal brawl erupted at the Security Council yesterday as it debated the subject of terrorism. During the skirmish, Syria accused Israel of starting World Wars I and II, as well as “contemplating” a third world war.

The anti-Semitic outburst by the Syrian representative, Ahmad Alhariri, as well as allegations by his Iranian colleague, Ahmad Sadeghi, countered comments from Israel’s U.N. ambassador, Dan Gillerman, who said both Syria and Iran are part of an “axis of terror” that would pit them against a group of anti-terrorism “allies” in a “World War III.”

Secretary-General Annan released a statement on the exchange after Lebanon requested a cease-fire. Diplomats considered the statement even-handed, but it failed to mention a Security Council resolution that called on all Lebanese militias, including the most well-organized, Hezbollah, to be disarmed by the Lebanese government.

Spineless Annan

“Iran uses Hezbollah to fight its war by proxy,” Mr. Gillerman told the council yesterday, speaking during a speech at a periodic session evaluating international counterterrorism efforts. “We hold not only the government of Lebanon fully responsible for all terrorist activity initiated from its territory,but also hold responsible the governments of Iran and Syria for harboring and supporting Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations.”

truth teller

The “axis of terror is alive and active,” Mr. Gillerman said. “Leaders of Hamas meet regularly with, and have been offered financial assistance by, the president of Iran. The very same president who calls for the annihilation of another member state denies the Holocaust and is attempting to develop the nuclear capabilities to perpetrate the next one.”

The world “is no longer divided between rich and poor and north and south,” Mr. Gillerman added. “It is divided between those who join in this fight and those who do not.”

Mr. Gillerman [...] said, the council was able to “hear lectures about terrorism from two of the greatest experts on that subject.”

UPDATE: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad discussing the Holocaust with Der Spiegel, a German news magazine.;

"One group of scholars or persons, most of them politically motivated, say the Holocaust occurred. Then there is the group of scholars who represent the opposite position and have therefore been imprisoned for the most part. Hence, an impartial group has to come together to investigate and to render an opinion on this very important subject, because the clarification of this issue will contribute to the solution of global problems. Under the pretext of the Holocaust, a very strong polarization has taken place in the world and fronts have been formed. It would therefore be very good if an international and impartial group looked into the matter in order to clarify it once and for all. Normally, governments promote and support the work of researchers on historical events and do not put them in prison"

There's more on the whole vile interview here.

The Jerusalem Post has an excellent piece on the UN dogfight (actually, make that man-fights-dogfight) here."


One more Atlas Shrugs piece: Iran Rapes and Tortures Dissident Women

"Do you think the jihadi organ, The New York Times, had rape and torture in mind in their Sunday puff piece where they repeatedly trumpeted Ahmadinejad as “a proponent of women’s rights,” and claimed Ahmadinejad “challenged high-ranking clerics on the treatment of women,”or that he has “defended women in a way that put him outside the mainstream of conservative Islamic discourse.” Of course, the “mainstream of conservative Islamic discourse” takes a rather dim view of “women’s rights.”

The jihadi New York Times painted Ahmadinejad as an “ideologically flexible” leader who seeks a “dialogue.” and also described Ahmadinejad’s “consistent theme” as “the concept of seeking justice.” More here

Iran Rapes and Tortures Dissident Women From the Telegraph:

A leading Iranian pro-democracy and women's activist, who was jailed on trumped-up charges last year, has revealed how the clerical regime cynically deploys systemic sexual violence against female dissidents in the name of Islam.

Roya Tolouee, 40, was beaten up by Iranian intelligence agents and subjected to a horrific sexual assault when she refused to sign forced confessions. It was only when they threatened to burn her two children to death in front of her that she agreed to put her name to the documents.

Perhaps just as shocking as the physical abuse were the chilling words of the man who led the attack. "When I asked how he could do this to me, he said that he believed in only two things - Islam and the rule of the clerics," Miss Tolouee told The Sunday Telegraph last week in an interview in Washington after she fled Iran.

"But I know of no religious morality that can justify what they did to me, or other women. For these people, religion is only a tool for dictatorship and abuse. It is a regime of prejudice against women, against other regimes, against other ethnic groups, against anybody who thinks differently from them."

Miss Tolouee's account of her ordeal confirms recent reports from opposition groups that Iranian intelligence officials use sexual abuse against female prisoners as an interrogation technique and even rape young women before execution so that they cannot reach heaven as virgins.

Few women from the Islamic world are willing to discuss such matters, even with each other, but Miss Tolouee said that the regime routinely committed sexual attacks against female detainees....

"Four armed men and three armed women barged into my house at night and took me away," she said. "My kids were terrified and crying. I was questioned all night by different interrogators and then thrown alone into a cell."

She was held in solitary confinement in the prison of the feared internal intelligence service, with only a blanket and a cup that often had to serve as a lavatory.

For the first six nights, she was taken to a basement where interrogators demanded that she admit to organising the protests, and also that she identify co-conspirators on a list of names they put to her.

"When I wouldn't do what they wanted, they slapped me. But after the sixth night, the routine changed. I was left alone in a small dark room with two men. One was the assistant prosecutor and called himself Amiri. The other had a filthy mouth and said terrible things. They started slapping me again. For the rest of the night they did to me what no woman should ever experience. Amiri said, 'I'm going to hang you, but before I hang you, I will make an example of you so that no woman will dare to open her mouth here again'." He then sexually assaulted her.

When she asked Amiri how he could act like that, he told her that only Islam and clerical rule were important to him. The attack left her badly bruised and bleeding internally, but she refused to sign the papers they put before her. To her assailants' fury, she demanded to see a lawyer and cited international treaties on human rights.

The following night they did not sexually molest her again as she was still bleeding - and hence "unclean". Instead, they told her that they would kill her children by setting them on fire before her eyes.

Meanwhile, the world may be saved from a nuclear holocaust by a popular uprising now occuring across Iran and essentially unreported in the mainstream news media. More over at The IRIS blog

These women, these heros, take their life in their own hands when they dissent by speaking out, by marching, by talking to other women but they do it anyway. During a conversation I had with Phyllis Chesler, she told me of the phone calls she had gotten back in March from women in the international community and from Iran asking what Phyllis thought should they go to the annual march -- Women of Iran for the commemoration of International Women's Day in Tehran to fight for our freedom from under the rule of the misogynist Mullahs Date: March 8th, 2006 Time: 16:30 p.m. Place: Laleh Park, Tehran -- Phyllis said NO, they shouldn't go. And while Chesler is a huge proponent of freeing women of the brutality of Islamic life, she advised them not to go because she feared for their lives. And Phyllis is a warrior in the a war on Islam - she is in the pantheon of truth tellers, along with Bat Ye'or, Nidra Poller, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Melanie Phillips, Brigitte Gabriel ......

Despite the danger, despite the threats, the women in Iran went. . They went and got beaten, stomped, harassed. "We have reached a level where women on the streets are being killed," Amiri said. That story here."


Angel reveals that Islamofascism is alive and well in Pakistan, too! Once again, women bear the brunt.

"Pakistani Torture of Women

“KARACHI, Pakistan - Ayesha Baloch was dragged to a field, her brother-in-law held the 18-year-old down, her husband sat astride her legs and slit her upper lip and nostril with a knife.

They call such assaults on women a matter of “honor” in some Pakistani communities, but for the majority it is a source of national shame.

Married less than two months ago in Pakistan’s central district of Dera Ghazi Khan, Baloch was accused of having sexual relations with another man before marriage.

“First they tortured me and beat me. I started screaming. Akbar then caught my hands and pulled me to the ground. Essa sat on my legs and cut my nose and lips,” Baloch mumbled through her bandages at hospital in the city of Multan.

“I was bleeding and started screaming after they fled on a motorcycle. People heard me and rescued me and took me to my mother’s home.”

At least she wasn’t killed.

More than 1,000 women are slain by their husbands or relatives, and that is just the reported, not actual, number of “honor killings” in Pakistan each year.
Pakistanis try confronting shame of honor killing continues…
Many killings are planned rather than done in rage, and the motive often has more to do with money or settling scores..

Honor killings are known as “karo-kari” killings.

A woman is deemed a “black woman,” a “kari,” once she is accused of having sex outside of marriage and is liable to be killed..
The custom is rooted in tribalism, although a strict interpretation of Is-lam’s hudood penal code also rules that adulterers should be stoned to death.

Wer’e talking about Family killing their girls and women.
Did you get that?
Family.
Fathers, brothers, son-in-laws, uncles, cousins, brother-in-laws…torturing , mutilating and killing their female daughters, wives, daughters, sister- in laws and sisters.

Kicking, cutting flesh, biting, choking, strangling, hitting, pushing,and assaults with weapons are behaviors most often associated with hard core criminals, not with ones father or brother.

Torture is used to hurt, degrade, dominate, humiliate and gain power over the victim. Are all women thus viewed by their own flesh and blood as potential victims?

The causes and roots of this familial violence are embedded in attitudes toward women which have existed for thousands of years.
In Muzlim societies, women are treated as the property of their husbands and he is seen, according to some, as having the right to use physical force in relating to her, if necessary.

I guess in the case of 18 year old Ayesha Baloch ..the male sadists “deemed it necessary.”

Does the “PC Machine” acknowledge this horror publicly or is that part of Izlam just another form of cultural “expression”?
The torture and murder of women has, for far too long, gone unnoticed, been tolerated, or been given attention sporadically if at all.

Why haven’t we put an end to this barbarism?
Is it due to:
a lack of understanding?
a lack of recognition?
Denial of the severity of the problem with many still believing it is a private religious matter within the Muzlim faith instead of a violent, criminal issue and, therefore, best left alone?

To those whom this does not matter…….
I have four words.
What About the Victim?"


Thank you ladies, I couldn't have said it better myself! Those who wish to withdraw from the region of Islamofascists are short-sighted in the least. This kind of behavior is "coming to a country near you" unless you get behind those of us who understand the danger and support the efforts to 1) Help Afghanistan get settled, 2) Allow Iraq time to get their act together, 3) Support Israel against the sea of surrounding enemies and, 4)Come against outlaw nations like Iran and Syria at every turn. The John Murthas are willing to be safe at home now and let the wolf come right to the door twenty years from now. Why should he care, he'll be dead? But I care and if you have any sense and/or any children, you should too!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Is Darwinism Atheistic? Is it Science?

I am sharing in two parts an examination of the beliefs and practices of Charles Darwin. The beginning of this post is from an article by Bill Johnson which is unavailable, to my knowledge, on the internet.

~

Synopsis: During the nineteenth century Charles Darwin introduced his theory of evolution by natural selection. His goal was to show that life was not the result of divine intervention, but the work of blind naturalistic processes. Darwin claimed to have arrived at this truth by working strictly from the facts without having any preconceived ideas., and this is exactly how most people today perceive Darwinism. Dissenters have argued that Darwinism is not science, but that Darwin superimposed an atheistic/materialistic world-view on nature, then searched for the facts to support his theory. Darwinians responded that Darwin's own writings show that he was not an atheist, but always believed in some form of deity. A careful study of Darwin's writings, especially his posthumously published private notebooks and personal communication, reveals that Darwin was indeed an atheist and his theory of natural selection was formulated to replace a creator with naturalistic processes.

The concept of biological evolution is almost as old as life itself

Many men through the centuries expressed the belief that all living things evolved from a common ancestor. Some attributed this evolutionary process to God, and others to nature, but until the nineteenth century, no one had posited a mechanism by which it could have occurred that was remotely plausible.

In 1859, however, Charles Darwin published what is commonly called The Origin of Species, or Origin. His theory of natural selection working on chance variations revolutionized the world.

Today Darwinism is accepted by many people as genuine scientific theory. The popularity of his theory is such that anyone who questions it is suspect and "inevitably attracts the speculative psychiatric eye to himself." (Garrett Hardin). Dissenters, such as Adam Sedgwick, have argued from the beginning, however, that Darwinism is not science, but is founded on a philosophy of atheism and materialism.

Many Darwinians have denied this assertion, believing that Darwinism is not atheistic. They claim that Darwin was always a believer in God, or that he became an unbeliever many years after he developed his natural selection theory. They argue that religion and evolution can be reconciled and that neither atheism nor naturalism influence belief in evolution.

The truth is that natural selection was Darwin's attempt to provide atheism with its much-needed "creation story". Scientist Richard Dawkins maintains that because evolution made God unnecessary, "Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist." The first step in connecting Darwinism with atheism is to examine the evidence that the theory's founder was an atheist and that the theory was formulated to make God unnecessary.

~

Father, Son and the Universities (from Robert E. Kofal, Ph.D.)

Charles' father envisioned for his son a career in medicine, and he sent him off with his older brother, Erasmus, to the University of Edinburgh in October, 1825, at the age of sixteen. This was the university open to religious Dissenters, Independents and freethinkers. It was a hotbed of anti-religious, social and political radicalism. Evolutionary theories were in the air and embraced by many. Young Darwin had read and admired his grandfather's book in which a theory of evolution similar to Lamarck's was described a decade before the French zoologist published his own more famous theory. Charles saw that the advocates of evolution were usually violently anti-Christian, politically radical, and opposed to the established Church and the conservative Tory government. This is one reason that he did not publish his theory until he was forced to when another naturalist, Alfred Russell Wallace, conceived the same theory.

At Edinburgh Charles came to hate medicine and grew in his devotion to natural history. His closest and most influential friend in Edinburgh was Robert Edmund Grant. Grant was an atheistic evolutionist and a leading authority in invertebrate zoology. Young Charles went on field trips with Grant, collecting marine specimens and absorbing the older man's materialistic philosophy of science. Grant believed in the original spontaneous (chance) origin of life and the grand evolutionary history from single cells to man. Young Darwin listened and kept his own counsel. He learned a great deal about zoology, geology and other fields of science at Edinburgh, but he came to abhor medicine. He also took valuable instruction in such practical arts as taxidermy and the preservation of specimens. In April, 1827, he left Edinburgh without a degree and headed for home, forever turning his back on the medical profession.

What was a wealthy English father to do with a son who was devoted to horsemanship and the hunt, a dabbler in insects, geology and barnacles, and seemingly without direction or a future? He could send him to Cambridge to prepare for a tax-funded "living" as a minister in the Anglican Church! So Charles signed the required paper affirming acceptance of the 39 Articles of the Church of England and entered Christ's College, Cambridge University. There Charles managed to cover the requirements for a degree in theology, but his real love was geology, entomology, botany and zoology. He became a protege of Adam Sedgwick, professor of geology, an orthodox Anglican opponent of evolution. Though studying for a theology degree, Charles devoted his major energy to geology and other sciences. Sedgwick took him on a geological field trip to the hill country of southern England. The Professor was impressed with the young man and predicted that he would make his mark in science. Charles learned how to make long-lasting friendships with men of science, such as Adam Sedgwick, who would help him in his career. He saw that among the university professors, many of them ordained clergy and all of them church members, virtually all devoted to their Christian faith, not a single one was committed to the traditional grammatical-historical-literal understanding of the Scriptures. They accommodated the Scriptures to fit the reigning secular scientific conclusions. Some even accepted theistic evolution (the idea that God somehow used evolution to accomplish His work of creation). Darwin observed that among the ostensibly theologically orthodox scientists on the university faculties, not one upheld the literal biblical doctrine of creation or the Genesis flood. For the plain meaning of Genesis many substituted the compromise idea of a series of special creations interleaved with a series of extinctions.

While at Cambridge Darwin also learned that if one engaged openly in political radicalism or exposed his belief in a materialistic form of evolution, his career could be endangered. Du ties by engaging in a riot against the school authorities. Charles observed from a distance was careful not to become implicated in the disorders. Furthermore, Darwin pretty much kept his liberal Whig political ideals and sympathy for social reform private within his family immediate social circle. He was careful never to make public his religious views, and he concealed his materialistic evolutionary ideas from public view until the publication of his book in 1859. In particular, he kept his idea of evolution from apes to humans under cover for over thirty years until the publication of his book. The Descent of Man, in 1871.

Charles read the required theology texts by Arch-deacon William Paley and others. On his own he read Paley's classic book on natural theology, the argument for God based on the evidence for intelligent, purposeful design in the structures and relationships of living things. Impressed, he nevertheless devoted his entire professional career to the difficult task of over- throwing Paley's case. As graduation drew nearer, confronted by the prospect of examination for ordination to the Anglican ministry, Charles read a standard text on theology. He concluded that he could give intellectual assent to the arguments for Christianity. Some time later, however, in a frank and intimate discussion with a fellow student, he agreed with his friend that he, too, could not affirm an inner calling to the Christian ministry. As biographers Desmond and Morris suggest, Darwin's interactions with theology characteristically were limited to the intellectual level. He finally opted out of the ministerial gravy train. His father had co-operated by paying for his education, concerned not at all with his religion or irreligion. The son without question recognized the hypocrisy in an atheist father's financing the fitting of his son for a career in the Church. It was merely a convenience arranged with a view to assuring a comfortable, government-sponsored career for the son.

Charles had read with great interest the books by Alexander von Humboldt, the famous German naturalist, and other naturalists who traveled to the far corners of the earth collecting new data for geology, zoology and other sciences. He yearned to follow their example and to experience for himself the spectacular green mysteries of the tropics. So his future after graduation was uncertain. He reasoned about the advantages of a "living" in the Church to en- able him to carry on with his scientific studies with tax funding as a country clergyman. Upon graduation he was looking for some opportunity to travel and do science. While planning with a friend for an overseas expedition, he was surprised by the arrival of an invitation from the British Admiralty. He had been chosen to serve as the official naturalist for the voyage around the world of the Royal Navy's ship, the Beagle. After some negotiations with the government and with his father, Charles accepted. His appointment with destiny was sealed.

When he embarked on the Beagle Darwin had with him the first volume of Charles Lyell's new three volume set. Principles of Geology, given to him by Captain FitzRoy. He devoured the book and within five months was sold on Lyell's uniformitarian view of geology. It became the lynch pin of his interpretation of all geological and fossil observations. Lyell's theory of earth history provided Darwin with the time needed to make any theory of evolution at all plausible. Lyell worked from the a priori assumption that the biblical young-earth chronology was false and that the Genesis flood never occurred. Lyell was determined completely to discredit the biblical record of earth history. This was his agenda for science. But he cannily refused publicly to espouse evolution until after Darwin's Origin had conquered the scientific world. Then Lyell went public with his acceptance of evolutionary theory, after such a step no longer seemed dangerous to his reputation.

Charles Darwin was never a Christian. The influences which made him what he became-- family, religious, educational, social--combined to turn him against biblical Christian faith and to open his mind to the secular materialistic understanding of the world. Brought up as a gentleman of the well-to-do upper middle class, trained to value reputation and respectability, naturally a likeable person with an innate ability for making friends, and possessed of a keen mind and natural curiosity, Charles had the attributes needed for success in the scientific establishment of 19th century England. Naturally bent toward skepticism by two generations of family practice and belief, and for the most part experiencing only the formal religiosity of a degenerating Anglican Church, he was repelled by the gospel of Christ. The principal counter- influence was that of his pious sisters and later on his wife, but these sincere women apparently did not comprehend the biblical faith. Young Darwin with his college diploma realized that to argue against the gospel required the discrediting of the God of creation who is sovereign Lord over all His creatures. Aware of the force of the evidence for an intelligent, purposeful God to be found in the complex designs of living things, Darwin had to find another explanation for those designs. Evolution was the means for disposing of the evidence and for making the God of creation either non-existent or an irrelevant cosmic wimp in the "real world" that science investigates.


Darwin's Faith (Bill Johnson)

It appears that Darwin had a deep and abiding faith in atheistic materialism. The controversial question I now wish to address is, Did Darwin's atheistic and materialistic beliefs play any part in the development of his theory, or was Darwin led strictly by the facts? Darwin would have us believe that the facts alone led him to his theory: "My first notebook was opened in July 1837. I worked on true Baconian principles, and without any theory collected facts on a wholesale scale, more especially with respect to domesticated productions , by printed enquiries, by conversation with skillful breeders and gardeners, and by extensive reading."

Darwin's writings also demonstrate, however, that the facts played a very small part in the formulation of his theory. His early notebooks show that he entertained two other theories of evolution before finally arriving at his final theory. George Grinnell, in his study of Darwin's first theory of evolution, asks this question: "Were these three theories complementary or were they mutually exclusive? If they were complementary, then the implication is clearly in favor of the importance of empirical data in shaping Darwin's thought, but if they were mutually exclusive, the implication is that Darwin approached the data with a prior world view which he attempted to superimpose on the data by means of various hypothetical models and mechanisms."

Grinnell has come to believe that Darwin's three models were indeed mutually exclusive. Darwin rejected theory number one (variation by isolation) because it contained too many anomalies. Darwin then turned to theory number two (variation by habit), but soon abandoned it for a third model ( variation by domestic breeding) which turned out to be the most fruitful. "The extent to which he was willing to push one model," argues Grinnell, "and after its collapse, to entertain new models suggests that he was philosophically inclined to transmutation theories for reasons that transcend the empirical data with which he originally worked."

That Darwin had a philosophical inclination toward evolutionary thinking is further supported by his response to evidence that contradicted his theory, including: (1) lack of transitional forms, (2) sudden appearance of Cambrian fossils, (3) the problem of coordinated development, (4) persistent types (i.e. species that do not change), and (5) the existence of nonadaptive structures. Rather than allowing contrary evidence to falsify the theory, as a good scientist would, Darwin offered a plethora of ad hoc hypotheses to save the theory from falsification. (for example, imperfect fossil record, functional shift {today it is called preadaption}, less severe competition, correlations of growth, and sexual selection -i.e., female choice.) Later, he even embraced theories he once ridiculed, such as Lamarckism (the theory that evolution occurs through the inheritance of traits acquired through the use or disuse of body parts) and group selectionism, to solve special problems that natural selection could not solve.

Further, when pressed on why there are persistent types, Darwin admitted that his theory must be based entirely on general considerations (i.e., the struggle for survival) and when it gets right down to it, the theory requires faith: "When we descend to details, we can prove that no one species has changed...nor can we prove that the supposed changes are beneficial, which is the groundwork of the theory. Now can we explain why some species have changed and others have not." Darwin's theory was not scientific, as he claimed it to be. He had such a blind faith in materialism that he was willing to ignore or bend observations, and resort to ad hoc reasoning on an unprecedented level.

Why did Darwin lie about how his theory was formulated? The advice he gave to John Scott in 1863 may provide the answer: "I would suggest to you the advantage, at present, of being very sparing in introducing theory in your papers...let theory guide your observations, but until your reputation is well established be sparing in publishing theory. It makes people doubt your observations." (emphasis in original). Darwin recognized that people are more apt to accept a new theory if it arose from the facts rather than from a preconceived idea, especially one that is inherently atheistic.

"I have done a great deal of work on Darwin and can say with some assurance that Darwin also did not derive his theory from nature but rather superimposed a certain philosophical world-view on nature and then spent 20 years trying to gather the facts to make it stick." - George Grinnell

(Bill Johnson's entire article is found in the Christian Research Journal, volume 29, number 2, 2006.)

Much like Darwin, modern macroevolutionary scientists continue to try to find facts to support their beliefs. The belief came first and the evidence is being sought to support it. Meanwhile, fruit flies remain fruit flies, bacteria remains bacteria, and a host of monumental questions go unanswered. Where did life come from? How did so many complex systems simply come from nothing? Explain with some form of rationality the idea of convergence? The questions far outnumber the answers.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Taking a closer look at macroevolution

I would like to make the point that macroevolution, or Darwinism, or Neo-Darwinism, or whatever you call it, did not begin in a scientific manner. I truly do not believe that scientists with no idealogical point of view would ever have conceived of macroevolution at all. They would have accepted that God, whoever or whatever He is, Created and unless a way was found to prove or disprove the existence of said God, gone on their way.

I believe a great deal of effort to prove macroevolution and study same is terribly wasted. Great talent is misused. Science could be spending more time on, say, trying to figure out how to use the lizard's ability to reform a tail to help humans re-grow limbs and organs. More time trying to find a genetic solution to ending cancer. The possibilities are limited by the imagination.

However, armies of scientific minds spend time trying to find evidences of evolution in the macro sense.

My position is that life is far too complex and far too obviously designed to support the idea of macroevolution. It takes remarkable faith for a man to swallow such a concept and go on in pursuit of same if he knows much of anything about biology. I wonder that actual experts in the field can continue to ignore such evidences, and yet they do. I know many do so from an idealogical motive but still....

One can search this blog using the word "evolution" or "creation" or "huxley" or "behe" and find all sorts of posts and comment threads that concern the scientific evidences associated with both macroevolution and creation. We have covered a lot of ground and many common questions in the last months.

But let us begin to study the advent of macroevolutionary thought, the hypothesis of macroevolution which often carries the misnomer: The theory of evolution. Let's see where it came from in this modern era.

Darwin before Darwin

Sure, there have been scientists and philosophers who have abandoned God and creation and that is nothing new. But today's modern macroevolutionary bent is credited to Charles Darwin. Yet that is actually not quite true.

"Charles Darwin's grandfather, Erasmus Darwin(1731-1802), was a prominent and wealthy English medical doctor. An author and poet, his most famous publication was the book, Zoo-nomia (Latin for "law of life"). In this book he proposed (1) the spontaneous (chance) origin of life and (2) the gradual evolution of original simple plants and animals into more complex ones. Religiously, he was a pantheist (believing that God is everything and everything is God).

Josiah Wedgwood 1 (1730-1795) was Erasmus Darwin's closest friend. He founded the famous Wedgwood pottery industry and was a leader in the English industrial revolution Josiah's favorite minister was a Unitarian (Unitarians believe there is one God but deny the doctrine of the Trinity. Therefore, they do not believe that Jesus is God). Thus the Wedgwood family was strongly influenced by Unitarian religious views. Wedgwood hired a Unitarian minister to teach in his school at Etruria where his pottery manufacturing plant was located. In this school Erasmus's son Robert (Charles's father) and also Charles's mother, Susannah Wedgwood, were educated. It is easy to see why Unitarian theology spread through the Wedgwood and Darwin families and why the Darwin men were generally freethinkers.

Erasmus Darwin's son, Robert Waring Darwin(l 766-1848), was also a successful and wealthy physician. He married Susannah Wedgwood (1765-1817). Thus the Darwin and Wedgwood families became intimately connected. The Darwin and Wedgwood men were generally freethinkers (They wanted to be free from the orthodox faith in the God of the Bible). Robert Waring Darwin was probably an atheist. However, he made sure that his family maintained public connections with the Church of England (Anglican Church). This was the century of the Victorian Era (Queen Victoria reigned from 1837 to 1901). In Victorian England professional men and other leaders of society generally protected their reputations for respectability by being members of or publicly associated with the Anglican Church. And that is what the Darwin family did, even though father Robert was really an unbeliever.

Robert told his son, Charles, that he knew scarcely any intelligent men who were orthodox Christian believers. He also said that religious faith resided mainly in the women, but that he knew a few of the more intelligent women who were skeptics (rejected the Bible faith). The father advised his son, Charles, that it was well for a husband to conceal his unorthodox be-liefs from his wife, because if he died first, she would suffer undue pain knowing that he died in unbelief."
- Charles Darwin: Influences On the Man, His Science, And His Theory by Robert E. Kofal, Ph.D.

Erasmus Darwin???

No one hears much about Erasmus Darwin, the grandfather of Charles. Yet he was a proponent of macroevolution before Charles was born and in fact passed away before Charles was born. But his writings and family influences lived on.

Russell Grigg writes this article:

"Darwinism: it was all in the family
Erasmus Darwin’s famous grandson learned early about evolution.

Many people erroneously think that Charles Darwin (who earned a degree in theology) was once blissfully content with the biblical explanation of origins—until, that is, as an unbiased naturalist, he stumbled across the idea of evolution by observing the ‘facts of nature’ in the Galápagos Islands in 1835. The truth is significantly otherwise. The concept of evolution had, in fact, been ‘in his family’ ever since his grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, first suggested it in 1770.1

As we have often pointed out, evolutionists do not have any facts that are unavailable to creationists—it is how these facts are interpreted that is significant, and it is ideology which largely determines the interpretation. Charles Darwin himself said, ‘How odd it is that anyone should not see that all observation must be for or against some view if it is to be of any service!’2

So we need to carefully consider the influences on Darwin’s mindset before he set out aboard the Beagle on his round-the-world trip in 1831. The key to understanding how he was predisposed to interpreting facts in favour of an evolutionary ideology goes back to the beliefs, writings and role model of his grandfather, Erasmus.

Scientist, inventor and doctor

Erasmus Darwin (1731–1802) was one of the most erudite, enthusiastic and dedicated scientists/inventors of his day. He completed a major translation from Latin to English of the works of Carl Linnaeus (1707–1778), who devised the plant classification that forms the basis of modern botany. His many inventions included a speaking machine, a copying machine, and a carriage steering mechanism later used in cars. Indeed, ‘There is scarcely an idea or invention in the modern world that Erasmus Darwin did not originate or foresee, from evolution to eugenics, from airplanes to submarines, from antiseptics to psychoanalysis, from talking-machines to telephones.’3

He began his chosen profession of medicine at Lichfield in 1756. His reputation as a physician was established when he saved the life of a young man from a prominent local family, whom other doctors had declared to be incurable. Because his cures were ‘unfashionably frequent’ his practice gradually became the largest in the English Midlands. King George III asked him to become his personal physician in London, but Erasmus declined.

In about 1766, he co-founded the Lunar Society—a social club for the great scientists, industrialists and natural philosophers of his day. It has been called ‘the think tank of the Industrial Revolution’ and was the most famous English scientific society of the eighteenth century, after the Royal Society. Members included James Watt (of steam-engine fame), Joseph Priestley (the discoverer of oxygen), William Murdoch (the inventor of gas-lighting), Josiah Wedgwood (the great potter) and Samuel Galton (a wealthy industrialist). Others in America linked to the Society included Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.

Epicure, free-thinker and poet

His love of food (particularly fruits, sugar, cream and butter)4 was matched by his dislike of exercise, and by the age of 46 he had grown so corpulent that a semi-circle had to be cut out of his dining table to accommodate his girth at meal times. Married twice, he sired 12 Darwin offspring and, in between marriages, a further two (known) illegitimate daughters by a Miss Parker. These girls were raised in his home with his other children, and later were the inspiration for a lengthy tract by Erasmus on female education.5

Erasmus was anti-Christianity, anti-slavery, and pro the American and French Revolutions. An outstanding poet, he often wrote his opinions and scientific ideas in verse, the most notable of which were The Botanic Garden (published in two parts, 1789, 1791), which consisted of 4,384 lines of perfectly rhyming couplets, and The Temple of Nature (published posthumously in 1803).

Sample:

‘Cold gills aquatic form respiring lungs,
And sounds aërial flow from slimy tongues.’6,7

Evolution à la Erasmus

Erasmus first tentatively suggested the idea of evolution in 1770. His family coat of arms featured three scallop shells, and to these he added the Latin words E Conchis omnia (‘everything from shells’). He had this motto painted on his carriage to publicize his theory ‘without anyone noticing’. However, notice they did. Canon Seward of Lichfield Cathedral wrote some satirical verses of his own, complaining that Darwin …


‘… renounces his Creator
And forms all sense from senseless matter.
Great wizard he! by magic spells
Can all things raise from cockle shells.’8

To avoid offending his rich patients, Erasmus painted over the motto on his carriage, and instead put it on his bookplate (1771).

In the next two decades, Erasmus was emboldened to state more and more of his evolutionary ideas. In The Economy of Vegetation (1792), he proclaimed that the earth was formed from a cosmological explosion:

‘When high in ether, with explosion dire
From the deep craters of his realms of fire,
The Whirling Sun this ponderous planet hurl’d,
And gave the astonish’d void another world.’9

In The Botanic Garden, he said that life began in the sea and progressively developed from there:

‘ORGANIC Life beneath the shoreless waves
Was born and nurs’d in Ocean’s pearly caves;
First forms minute, unseen by spheric glass,
Move on the mud, or pierce the watery mass;
These, as successive generations bloom,
New powers acquire and larger limbs assume;
Whence countless groups of vegetation spring,
And, breathing realms of fin, and feet, and wing.’10

His major work, Zoonomia or the Laws of Organic Life (two volumes, 1794 and 1796), was a huge medical treatise in prose, which included a comprehensive classification of diseases and treatments. Within 10 years, four British and two American editions appeared, and it was translated into German, French and Italian. It has been called ‘the first consistent all-embracing hypothesis of evolution’, and was published some 65 years before Charles published his version of evolution in On the Origin of Species in 1859.

Erasmus said that ‘millions of ages [i.e. thousands of millions of years] before the commencement of the history of mankind … all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament, which THE GREAT FIRST CAUSE endued with animality, with the power of acquiring new parts … and thus possessing the faculty of continuing to improve by its own inherent activity, and of delivering down those improvements by generation to its posterity, world without end!’ (I:505)11 Later, in The Temple of Nature, Erasmus extends this to read: ‘“all vegetables and animals now existing were originally derived from the smallest microscopic ones, formed by spontaneous vitality” in primeval oceans.’11 And he says:

‘man …
Should eye with tenderness all living forms,
His brother-emmets [i.e. ants], and his sister-worms.’12

Erasmus tried to appease the church-going culture of his day by referring to ‘THE GREAT FIRST CAUSE’, highlighted in capitals, but quickly affirmed that, once started, evolution needs no divine help, but proceeds ‘by its own inherent ability’. He was strongly anti-Christian, and included ‘Credulity, Superstitious Hope, and the Fear of Hell in his catalogue of diseases.’13

These ideas were widely denounced by writers such as the great poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who coined the term ‘darwinizing’, meaning speculating wildly, in reference to Erasmus’s evolutionary ideas.14 The Temple of Nature was generally condemned for its ‘total denial of any interference of a Deity’ and he was further assailed for trying ‘to substitute the religion of nature for the religion of the Bible’.15

Erasmus’s influence on Charles

Although Erasmus died seven years before Charles was born, Charles grew up in a household where his father, Robert, had imbibed Erasmus’s ‘free-thinking’ (materialist), anti-Christian ideas. So disbelief was an acceptable trait within the Darwin family—perceived not as ‘a moral crisis or rebellion’, but perhaps even as ‘a filial duty’.16

Charles read and ‘greatly admired’ Zoonomia when he was 18. Years later, when faced with the same sort of censure as Erasmus had faced, Charles tried to disown his grandfather’s book,17 claiming that, ‘on reading it a second time after an interval of ten or fifteen years, I was much disappointed; the proportion of speculation being so large to the facts given’.18 Nevertheless, in 1837, when Charles began writing his ideas in a notebook, he inscribed the word Zoonomia on the title page ‘to signal that he was treading the same path as his grandfather’.19

One of Charles’s chief arguments for evolution is based on the shape of the beaks of finches in response to the types of food available that he saw in the Galápagos Islands in 1835. Is it credible to think that he had not been influenced by what Erasmus had written on the subject? Namely: ‘Some birds have acquired harder beaks to crack nuts, as the parrot. Others have acquired beaks adapted to break the harder seeds, as sparrows. Others for the softer seeds of flowers, or the buds of trees, as the finches. Other birds have acquired long beaks … and others broad ones … . All … gradually produced during many generations by the perpetual endeavour of the creatures to supply the want of food (I:504).’20

Almost every topic discussed, and example given, in Zoonomia reappears in Charles’s Origin. In fact, all but one of Charles’s books have their counterpart in a chapter of Zoonomia or an essay-note to one of Erasmus’s poems.21 And Charles’s own copies of Zoonomia and The Botanic Garden are extensively marked and annotated.

So, Erasmus cast a long shadow which, via his grandson, has made atheism intellectually respectable and changed the worldview of Western mankind from belief in the Creator God to the worship of humanistic hedonism, free from any sense of accountability to the God who is ‘Judge of all the earth’ (Genesis 18:25).

The message for us today is to consider what we pass on to our children and grandchildren. We have the responsibility to teach them the true biblical worldview, which is foundational, not only to our need for salvation, but also to the way of it—through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, in His death and Resurrection. This will give meaning to their lives, so that they need not flounder in the sea of uncertainty of a man-made anti-God theory, which is now ‘the big lie’ of 21st-century thinking."


Funny thing, that the beaks of finches would supposedly inspire Charles to "tune-up" his grandfather's ideas and promote macroevolutionary thought. Yet the idea that the beaks of finches represent macroevolution has since been falsified! Ironic. You don't think so?


Finches No Macroevolutionary Rosetta Stone!


Finches: no net change!

After all the ‘hype’ about watching ‘evolution’, one reads with amazement that the selection events observed actually turned out to have no net long-term effect. For example, for a while selection drove the finch populations towards larger birds, then when the environment changed, it headed them in the opposite direction. The author says concerning this sort of effect (also seen in sparrows) that ‘Summed over years, the effects of natural selection were invisible’ (p. 108). So that when Darwin looked at the fossil record and found it ‘static and frozen for long stretches’ (p. 109), this was the reason. Consider, he says:

‘how much less visible these [natural selection] events will be in the strata of rock beneath our feet, in which the generations have been summed for many millions of generations.’

Evolutionists have long argued the opposite—that evolution is invisible in the short term, but would become visible if we had enough time. Yet according to Weiner, we can see evolution happening in the (very) short term, but any longer and it becomes ‘invisible’! The mind boggles at how evolutionists can be blind to this inconsistency.

Weiner quotes a researcher as saying that:

‘A species looks steady when you look at it over the years—but when you actually get out the magnifying glass you see that it’s wobbling constantly.’

Obviously, since macroevolution is supposed to be about long-term, directional change (even the creation/Flood model requires more directional change than the Grants documented) such ‘wobbling back and forth’ (fluctuation around a mean) over short time-spans, with no net change over longer time periods, is hardly supportive of the case for evolution. Yet instead of acknowledging this, the researcher goes on to say, ‘So I guess that’s evolution in action.’


I will, in the next few days, pursue the concept that Charles Darwin was not driven by evidence to conceive of his so-called "theory of evolution" but rather by idealogical bent. In fact, his real message is presented nicely by Dr. Carl Wieland.

Here is an excerpt from Darwin’s real message: have you missed it?

"...Harvard’s renowned Professor Stephen Jay Gould1 is a vigorous anticreationist (and Marxist), and perhaps the most knowledgeable student of the history of evolutionary thought and all things Darwinian.

I’m glad he and I are on the same side about one thing at least — the real meaning of ‘Darwin’s revolution’. And we both agree that it’s a meaning that the vast majority of people in the world today, nearly a century and a half after Darwin, don’t really want to face up to. Gould argues that Darwin’s theory is inherently anti-plan, anti-purpose, anti-meaning (in other words, is pure philosophical materialism). Also, that Darwin himself knew this very well and meant it to be so.

By ‘materialism’ he does not mean the drive to possess more and more material things, but the philosophical belief that matter is the only reality. In this belief system, matter, left to itself, produced all things, including the human brain. This brain then invented the idea of the supernatural, of God, of eternal life, and so forth.

It seems obvious why Christians who wish to compromise with evolution, and especially those who encourage others to do this, would not want to face this as the true meaning of Darwinism. Such ‘theistic evolutionists’ believe they can accept the ‘baby’ of evolution (thus saving face with the world) while throwing out the ‘bathwater’ of materialism. I will not here go into the many reasons why the evolution/long geological ages idea is so corrosive to the biblical Gospel2 (even if evolution could be seen as the plan and purpose of some ‘god’).

My purpose is (like Gould’s, but with a different motive) to make people aware of this very common philosophical blind spot, this refusal to wake up to what Darwin was really on about. Why is it true, as Gould also points out, that even among non-Christians who believe in evolution the vast majority don’t wish to face the utter planlessness of Darwin’s theory? Because they would then no longer be able to console themselves with the feeling that there is some sort of plan or purpose to our existence.3

The usual thing vaguely believed in by this majority of people (at the same time as they accept evolution) is some sort of fuzzy, ethereal, oozing god-essence — more like the Star Wars ‘force be with you’ than the personal God of Scripture. They usually obtain some comfort from a vague belief in at least the possibility of some sort of afterlife, which helps explain the success of recent movies like Flatliners and Ghost.4

Gould appears to deplore these popular notions as unfortunate, illogical and unnecessary cultural hangups. He, of course, starts from the proposition that evolution is true. He knows the real message of Darwin to be that ‘there’s nothing else going on out there — just organisms struggling to pass their genes on to the next generation. That’s it.’ In which case it is time for people to abandon comforting fairytales and wake up to this materialistic implication of evolution..."


If you are like Darwin and Gould, you actually believe that "...there’s nothing else going on out there — just organisms struggling to pass their genes on to the next generation. That’s it..." How terribly sad.

Stay tuned, there will be much more to come in the week ahead.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Creation makes sense

If there was no macroevolution hypothesis, the evidence being found in the world today would simply fit in nicely with creation. Here are three examples:

Spiral Wonder of the Spider Web (#200605)by Frank Sherwin, M.S.


Abstract

Evolutionists, true to their worldview, call this amazing ability of the cheliceriforms nothing more than a unique adaptation.


Spider WebHere's an easy recipe: take food, metabolically convert it into sticky glue. Then, allow air to contact it while rapidly stretching it into an impossibly narrow, nimble thread as strong as steel. There you have it—spider silk. We tend to take for granted the incredible detail and beauty of a typical spider web. The Creator designed most species of spider to secrete a special thread (web) that scientists have long appreciated and have attempted to emulate. They have found that web strands are comparable in strength to fused quartz fibers. Zoologists discovered that spiders have anywhere from one to four pairs of spinnerets located in the opisthosoma (abdomen) of the spider (the normal number are three pairs). In addition, there are along with the spinnerets seven silk glands, each making a strand for a unique purpose. Many dozens of tiny tubes lead to these specially designed abdominal glands. In a process not completely understood, a special scleroprotein-based substance is released as a liquid which then seems to harden as it is pulled from the spinneret.

One silk gland produces thread for cocoons and another for encapsulation of prey. The two seem to be the same, but they require different especially designed silk. Other glands make the walking thread so the spider doesn't encumber herself, while another makes the sticky material that captures prey. We are unable to see some of the finer threads unless the light is reflected just right. In fact, during World War II, only spider silk was fine enough to be used for cross hairs in some bomb sights. However, spider silk is also robust with a tensile strength fives times that of steel and elasticity, able to stop a lumbering bumblebee at full speed. Some scientists describe the web patterns much like those mirrored by many flowers in sunlight (UV light). Insects that are searching for nectar see the "flower" patterned web in the UV spectrum and fly unwittingly into the sticky trap.

Some spiders even use a long trailing thread for a process called "ballooning." The creature secretes a line and allows the wind to carry it—and the spider—aloft for places unknown. Spiders have landed on ships far out at sea.

Evolutionists, true to their worldview, call this amazing ability of the cheliceriforms nothing more than a unique adaptation. Two secular authors state,

Each spider engineers a style of web characteristic of its species and builds it perfectly on the first try. This complex behavior is apparently inherited.1

Earliest evidence of a spider's silk-spinning activity is a fossil discovered from "380 million-year-old" sedimentary rocks near Gilboa, New York.2 It is clear that spiders—along with their silk-producing parts—have always been spiders according to the fossil record and the creation model.

1. Campbell & Reece, Biology, Benjamin Cummings, 2005, p. 658.
2.
See also here


So spiders have a process to make their webbing material that we cannot duplicate and fully understand. It is something they were doing when dinosaurs are acknowledged to walk the globe. We see nothing to indicate any kind of macroevolution here. The next two articles will be portions and a link will take you to read the rest:

Amazing Abalone Armour

by Jonathan Sarfati

Abalones are a shellfish famous both for edible flesh and the brilliant colours of its inner shell. The Maori people of New Zealand call it paua (pronounced PAH wa), and make beautiful jewellery from the shells. But materials scientists are interested in its great strength, and hope to learn how to make body armour using its techniques. Technology copying the designs of life is called biomimetics.

Other shells, such as the conch, also use intricately structured composite materials to produce great strength.1 They are mainly made out of calcium carbonate (CaCO3), with a tiny amount of protein, but it’s the way this is arranged that makes the shells so much tougher than pure calcium carbonate could ever be. The abalone has a different but equally ingenious structure of protein and calcium carbonate.


Read the rest - "...…even the simplest bio-induced structures are currently impossible to synthesize"

Another design in nature we cannot reproduce, yet macroevolutionists believe it happened largely by chance - the operation of natural selection on mutation. But we, with thousands of years of knowledge, sentinent creatures, are unable to duplicate the design.


Comparative similarities: homology

by Dr. Gary Parker

First published in
Creation: Facts of Life
Chapter 1: Evidence of creation

Look at your arm for a moment and try to picture the bones inside. There’s one bone attached to the body, two bones in the forearm, a little group of wrist bones, and bones that radiate out into the fingers. As it turns out, there are many other living things that have forelimbs with a similar pattern: the foreleg of a horse or dog, the wing of a bat, and the flipper of a penguin, for example, as shown in Fig. 6. Biologists use the term “homology” for such similarities in basic structure.
Figure 6

Figure 6. Bones in the human arm, the forelimbs of horses and dogs, a bat’s wing, and a penguin’s flipper all share a similarity in basic structural pattern called homology. What does this similarity (homology) mean: descent from a common ancestor (evolution), or creation according to a common plan (creation)?

Why should there be that kind of similarity? Why should a person’s arm have the same kind of bone pattern as the leg of a dog and the wing of a bat? There are two basic ideas. One of these is the evolutionary idea of descent from a common ancestor. That idea seems to make sense, since that’s the way we explain such similarities as brothers and sisters looking more alike than cousins do. They have parents closer in common.

Using descent from a common ancestor to explain similarities is probably the most logical and appealing idea that evolutionists have. Isaac Asimov, well-known science fiction writer, was so pleased with the idea that he said our ability to classify plants and animals on a groups-within-groups hierarchical basis virtually forces scientists to treat evolution as a “fact.” In his enthusiasm, Asimov apparently forgot that we can classify kitchen utensils on a groups-within-groups basis, but that hardly forces anyone to believe that knives evolved into spoons, spoons into forks, or saucers into cups and plates.

After all, there’s another reason in our common experience why things look alike. It’s creation according to a common plan. That’s why Fords and Chevrolets have more in common than Fords and sailboats. They share more design features in common.

What’s the more logical inference from our observation of bone patterns and other examples of homology: descent from a common ancestor, or creation according to a common plan? In many cases, either explanation will work, and we can’t really tell which is more reasonable. But there seem to be times when the only thing that works is creation according to a common design.

I get support for my claim again from Denton,16 in his chapter titled “The Failure of Homology.” Dr. Denton is not only a research scientist with a Ph.D. in molecular biology, but also an M.D. with an intimate knowledge of comparative anatomy and embryology. He admits his desire to find naturalistic explanations for patterns of similarity among organisms (homology), but he also admits the failure of evolutionary explanations.


Don't be afraid, read the rest - "...In fact, when it comes to many of the similarities among molecules, the theory of evolution is not only weak, it has been falsified."

I saw something interesting this afternoon, and if you are anywhere out in the country and somewhat observant, you have seen the same: A large raptor (in this case, a Turkey Buzzard) being chased away from the nesting area of a much, much smaller bird (too far to tell, likely a sparrow). The bigger bird cannot manuever in midair as can the smaller, and therefore runs away while being hounded by the smaller. The smaller finally peels off and zooms back to the territory it has defended. It occurred to me that perhaps the bombers and fighter planes of WWII had evolved from raptors and sparrows, respectively? Why not?

You laugh, or snort, or take offense? Well, if you read the last of the three linked articles, you see another example of something I intend to assert this week: Macroevolution was not based on evidence! The concept of macroevolution came first, and then comes the attempt to squeeze the evidence into the hypothesis. I will expand on this after the holidays. Cheers!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Democrats and Abramoff???

For those who still believe it is a "Republican scandal."

Democrats Don't Know Jack???

“It’s very odd that Democrats at the national and state levels have sought to exploit the Abramoff matter for political gain, while in the process throwing countless congressional Democrats under the bus,’ said Brian Nick, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).” (Charles Hurt, “Dorgan Returns Abramoff Money,” The Washington Times, December 14, 2005)

An NRSC Report Shows That Nearly 90 Percent Of Senate “Democrats Have Taken Abramoff-Related Money.” “The NRSC has begun circulating among fellow Republicans new reports showing that all but five of the chamber’s 44 Democrats have taken Abramoff-related money. In addition, the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have taken more than $1.2 million, according to records provided to The Washington Times.” (Charles Hurt, “Dorgan Returns Abramoff Money,” The Washington Times, December 14, 2005)

“The NRSC Report Is Part Of A New Counteroffensive By Republicans To Neutralize An Issue That Democrats See As Central To Electoral Gains In 2006.” (Charles Hurt, “Dorgan Returns Abramoff Money,” The Washington Times, December 14, 2005)

“If The Democrats Are Alleging That Republicans Are Guilty Of Any Wrongdoing, They’re Sitting In The Same Boat.” “Democrats have run two television advertisements in Montana, castigating Burns for his activities on behalf of Abramoff, but as the lobbyist’s taint spreads, its political impact may dissipate, said Brian Nick, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. ‘If the Democrats are alleging that Republicans are guilty of any wrongdoing, they’re sitting in the same boat,’ he said. ‘It just becomes a nonstarter.’” (Jonathan Weisman and Derek Willis “Democrat On Panel Probing Abramoff To Return Tribal Donations,” The Washington Post, December 14, 2005)

Tribal Clients And Associates Of Jack Abramoff Have Contributed Over $3.1 Million To Democrat Party Interests Between 1997 And 2004. (Campaign Finance Analysis Project Website, www.campaignfinanceanalysisproject.com, Accessed December 2005; Political Money Line Website, www.tray.com, Accessed December 2005)

National Democrat Party Affiliated Committees Received Over $1.2 Million From Indian Tribe Clients And Lobbying Associates Of Jack Abramoff. (Campaign Finance Analysis Project Website, www.campaignfinanceanalysisproject.com, Accessed December 7, 2005; Political Money Line Website, www.tray.com, Accessed December 7, 2005; Internal Revenue Service Website, www.irs.gov, Accessed April 21, 2005)

* The Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) Received Over – $430,000
* The Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Received Over – $629,000
* The Democrat National Committee (DNC) Received Over – $177,000

Incumbent Senate Democrat-Affiliated Campaign And Leadership Committees Received Over $729,000 From Indian Tribe Clients And Lobbying Associates Of Jack Abramoff*. (Campaign Finance Analysis Project Website, www.campaignfinanceanalysisproject.com, Accessed December 7, 2005; Political Money Line Website, www.tray.com, Accessed December 7, 2005; Internal Revenue Service Website, www.irs.gov, Accessed April 21, 2005)

40 Of The 45 Members Of The Senate Democrat Caucus:

* Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) Received At Least – $22,500
* Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) Received At Least – $6,500
* Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) Received At Least – $1,250
* Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) Received At Least – $2,000
* Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) Received At Least – $20,250
* Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) Received At Least – $21,765
* Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) Received At Least – $7,500
* Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) Received At Least – $12,950
* Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) Received At Least – $8,000
* Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ) Received At Least – $7,500
* Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) Received At Least – $14,792
* Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) Received At Least – $79,300
* Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) Received At Least – $14,000
* Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Received At Least – $2,000
* Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) Received At Least – $1,250
* Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) Received At Least – $45,750
* Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) Received At Least – $9,000
* Senator Jim Jeffords (I-VT) Received At Least – $2,000
* Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) Received At Least – $14,250
* Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) Received At Least – $3,300
* Senator John Kerry (D-MA) Received At Least – $98,550
* Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) Received At Least – $28,000
* Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT) Received At Least – $4,000
* Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) Received At Least – $6,000
* Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) Received At Least – $29,830
* Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) Received At Least – $14,891
* Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) Received At Least – $10,550
* Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) Received At Least – $78,991
* Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) Received At Least – $20,168
* Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) Received At Least – $5,200
* Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) Received At Least – $7,500
* Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) Received At Least – $2,300
* Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) Received At Least – $3,500
* Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) Received At Least – $68,941
* Senator John Rockefeller (D-WV) Received At Least – $4,000
* Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO) Received At Least – $4,500
* Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) Received At Least – $4,300
* Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Received At Least – $29,550
* Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) Received At Least – $6,250
* Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) Received At Least – $6,250

Hat tip to loboinok who tried to link to this story at another link that would not work = NRSC

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DIRTY HARRY REID: NOW AND THEN by Michelle Malkin

Guess I can get back to creation/macroevolution tomorrow............

But first...these commmercial messages

My wife and I were talking over a few things today, and the subject of the blog and things relating to the blog came up. My wife is so great that she has probably ruined me for other women forever. One of the many reasons is that we can enjoy just sitting around and talking about all sorts of things and not get bored. We both find life fascinating and like to research topics that catch our attention. Anyway, during that part of the discussion we agreed on the following:

The commenters on this blog are great!

YO, you guys? I think most of you are just awesome! I am now going to give out some thanks.

Thanks to the guys who disagree with me and make reasoned arguments to present their side of the discussion. I think that if this were a one-sided blog it would be rather boring. Yeah, sometimes you say something I think is whack. Mostly you present evidence and make arguments that add tremendously to the subject under discussion. Thanks very much! (And a nod to s cohen, who is indeed the one who pointed me towards The Mars Volta.)

Thanks also to the people who agree with me and bring in more evidence, or yet another viewpoint, or just an 'atta boy' now and then. I do participate in the comment thread but it works best when the comment thread itself is a back-and-forth discussion. Sometimes it gets heated but that is because we are talking about stuff that really matters to us.

Thanks even to the occasional bonehead who writes something really stupid so the rest of us can hoot at it! It's all good.

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Thanks to any and every one of you who has taken the time to serve his country in any branch of the Armed Forces. No nation is great, or even good, if it is not peopled with those who will serve others for the greater good. Whether you schlepped cargo or shot rifles or simply sat at a desk keeping records, you are part of the reason your country is standing free. Thank you Americans and British and Canadians and Australians and even Kiwis who have stepped up to the task! (I realize some of the commenters here are not from the States.)

It is Memorial Day weekend here in the states, when we remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of our nation. God bless them, every one!

God bless my oldest son, Rob, now a sergeant, for serving with honor. We will be so glad when you can finally come home!!!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Liberals and Hendrix

I recently wrote a post in which I said, "...you will see the normal interplay between conservatives who know what they are talking about and liberals who do not = business as usual." This stirred things up a bit in the comment threads, but I want to clear a few things up.

Liberals are often very intelligent. Dan S, IAMB and Creeper are examples of liberal posters to this blog who are obviously intelligent and have a good amount of education under their belts. There is no lack of brainpower available on the left.

Yet, I still say that more often than not they do not seem to know what they are talking about, often because they refuse to see facts right before their eyes, or to let a dead idea go. I drive by on the highway of the blogosphere and see liberal after liberal by the side of the road beating dead horses.

I am beginning to think there is some kind of "get it" quotient involved that precludes a typical liberal from breaking free from the indoctrination of CBS/NBC/ABC/BBC/CNN/NYTimes/LATimes/Associated Press. The drumbeat of the left-leaning major news media have been indoctrinating people ardently for at least fifty years. The result is a generation of liberals who can think critically and brilliantly about almost any subject as long as the discussion stays on their side of the political line. Any facts that seem to agree with conservative positions are effectively filtered out so only liberal ideas remain.

It is kind of like listening to Jimi Hendrix. Jimi is Jimi, a shooting star on the popular music scene who died an untimely drug-and-alcohol related death in 1970 when he was at the zenith of his career. Some people believe that he is the greatest or at least the most creative guitarist of his generation or beyond.

The music of Jimi Hendrix is based in rock and blues and soul and lots of drugs. He was something of a neon-electric Bob Dylan, a psychedelic pioneer following up on the British Invasion with something a bit different.

But to some, he is a loud, cacophonous drug-addled purveyor of meaningless lyrics and music that was neither rock nor blues. Some just consider him loud and annoying noise. Those people undoubtably included many of the parents of my generation. My generation raced to the music store to get the latest Hendrix or Clapton offering and sat insulated in our rooms, often with friends, grooving to the newest thing while being buffeted by adults pounding on the door telling us to "turn that stuff down!"

Ah, the good old days!

In any event, I am certainly not going to say that conservatives love Hendrix and liberals hate him. The love or hate or even the bored dismissal of Hendrix cuts across political lines. So no one miss the point. No, I am just saying something that some of you may even dislike more: That liberals just don't get it!

In the world of the American liberal, Bush lied even though we know that he did not. Liberal politicians now turn 180 degrees from warlike statements they made before the Iraqi conflict and pretend they were never said. They conveniently forget the intelligence reports that proclaimed that Saddam definitely had weapons of mass destruction.

WMD's have been found in abundance in Iraq, plus the plans and facilities to begin manufacturing more once the UN got tired of rattling it's chains. We have pictures of all sorts of large trucks carrying big cargoes across the Syrian border before the Coalition forces arrived and probably Syria still has a good amount of the WMD's Saddam once owned. But liberals say that there were no WMD's.

Saddam provided training, monies and support for many terrorist groups, including Al Queda. Al Queda has a huge presence in Iraq today (the better to kill them, my dear) but liberals claim that 9/11 has no link to the War Against Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Liberals see Iraq and say "quagmire!" Conservatives see Iraq as a terrible price to pay for a democracy in the middle of our avowed enemies and yet the key to freedom not only for that region in the near future but for us down the road. Liberals want to duck their heads and their enemies until those enemies hit us here on our own soil. I for one don't want to be one of the last 2-3 countries standing that has not been conquered by Islamofascists. Why do you think terrorists from all parts of the world are congregating in Iraq? They realize that this particular front on the War Against Terror could be the most crucial of all. If 9/11 was the Pearl Harbor, then Iraq is the Midway, the El Alamein, the Stalingrad, the D-Day of the War Against Terror. If Iraq stands, then Islamofascism has failed on the big stage and the momentum towards freedom, begun in Afghanistan may then bring Iran and others out of the medieval, repressive rule of Sharia law and into a new world of democracy.

Liberals decry the NSA wiretapping that has helped us avoid another 9/11. They are angry about a conversation being monitored when one side is with a terrorist!

Liberals decry the "Republican scandal" involving people like Jack Abramoff. Yet right now the score of politicos being booted for intransigencies is Democrats 3, Republicans 2. Harry Reid, one of the biggest of big mouths, is one of the biggest beneficiaries of monies from Abramoff clients!

Liberals just love macroevolution and are unwilling to admit that it is an unproven hypothesis. They want it to be "accepted truth" and turn a blind eye to any evidences that point a different direction.

Liberals try to rip the Bible to pieces or add strange texts that were rejected back in the days of the early church fathers. They look to discount the Bible by calling into question authorships that were accepted back in the days the actual texts were available for perusal. Yeah, they are going to be pretty accurate 2,000 years or so later, with no originals or even copies of originals available to them.

Liberals deny the Biblical influences involved in the making of the United States. They try diligently to remove religion from society, which is not the intent of the framers of the Constitution.

Liberals try to destroy the mores of our society by pushing the murder of babies but protesting the execution of serial killers. They work hard to change the nature of marriage by including homosexuals and in doing so bring about the marriage of children to adults and who knows what else.

Liberals want illegal aliens to pour into our country unchecked and make full use of all social services and facilities at taxpayer expense. They even want to change the country to be more like the country or countries the aliens have come from.

Liberals, in fact, seem to hate the USA and want to turn us into Sweden, or The Netherlands or a similar society. They want lots of expensive social programs, the breakdown of sexual barriers, preeminence of a World Court and of course, the dominance of the UN (Ungodly Nitwits).

Liberals love the UN. This is one of the most unbelievable of stances to me. The UN was exposed in the "Oil For Food Scandal" as an inept and corrupt organization. Saddam was using the UN to help him pay off UN officials, the officials of other countries and the other countries as an entity to avoid being invaded and keep on keeping on with his oppressive regime. The UN establishes a committee to watch over Human Rights and puts some of the worst violators in charge. They put wacko countries arming themselves to the teeth in charge of disarmament. The UN rattles their collective saber at countries like Iraq and then accomplish absolutely nothing. Notice how much good they are doing in Darfur? Wonder how much money Sudan is lining people's pockets with right now?

To me, it seems as if liberals are unable to understand the realities of today's world. They just don't get it! Conversely, I just don't get them. I consider it my duty to come against the things they believe and defend the things I believe in, for I fear that my society and my nation will be destroyed if all good men and women do not work hard to preserve it, just as so many liberals truly believe they must work just as hard in the attempt to change it.

That's how I see it, this day in 2006. If you are going away for a long weekend, have a great time and remember those who have served and died to keep you free and safe!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Catholics and Evolution (the macro kind)

During the time I am under the weather I am taking advantage of the wisdom of others. This is from Amy Proctor, copied here on my blog with her blessing.

If you read the NSA: Democrats and Aljazeera United you will see the normal interplay between conservatives who know what they are talking about and liberals who do not = business as usual. Within the comments, Amy addresses the concept that Catholics have agreed with the concept of Theistic evolution and does so quite thoroughly.

And now...........Amy Proctor!


"...you have no idea what you're talking about when it comes to Catholics and evolution. I have sitting in front of me a book by Pope Benedict called 'IN THE BEGINNING...a Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall' and the Pope denounces evolution and modern relativeism that has crept into the Church. I don't deny that many Catholics believe in theistic evolution, but 1) they're wrong and 2) it does not support the beliefs of Christ laid out in the Gospels. I think we've had this discussion at length in other threads....

Pius XII wrote in his encyclical identifying the tie between rationalism, modernism and communism, the form of human government founded on atheistic evolution:

“Some imprudently and indiscreetly hold that evolution, which has not been fully proved even in the domain of natural sciences, explains the origin of all things, and audaciously support the monistic and pantheistic opinion that the world is in continual evolution. Communists gladly subscribe to this opinion so that, when the souls of men have been deprived of every idea of a personal God, they may the more efficaciously defend and propagate their dialectical materialism.”

An encyclical is a reiteration based on necessity of Catholic teaching and belief. This is why Pope John Paul II, who believed in theistic evolution, never wrote an encyclical supporting theistic evolution. He COULDN'T. It is not supported by the Church, even if it is supported by many Catholics.


And, a Godly belief in evolution requires a huge disconnect from Holy Scripture and the Jewish religion. The earliest recorded history comes from the Israelites. The Jewish calendar says it is the year AM 5766. These are the people closest to creation, or certainly to man's recorded history. What most if not all theistic evolutionists do is reject Jewish and Scriptural accounts of Genesis saying, "They were primitive", "Error in translation", "We know more now than they did". Oh, really? Without the cloudiness of sin and confusion that we have today, they knew less then? They may not have been as technologically advanced, perhaps, but how would one explain the Tower of Babel or the Egyptian pyramids if man was so inferior and limited?

Theistic evolutionists butcher the Scriptures and Judaism to sustain their beliefs. I know, I have been discussing this issue with peers and clergy alike. They must dispute things like a literal Adam, literal creation, inspiration of the Scripture, genealogies, history and miracles. I asked my priest last week, who is a theistic evolutionist, when he said, "There is never be a conflict between science and Christianity": "Clearly there is, and why do you insist as a Christian clergy on giving the benefit to the doubt to theoretic science rather than the teachings of the Church?" The Church's teachings are very clear on Scripture:

102 Through all the words of Sacred Scripture, God speaks only one single Word, his one Utterance in whom he expresses himself completely:64


You recall that one and the same Word of God extends throughout Scripture, that it is one and the same Utterance that resounds in the mouths of all the sacred writers, since he who was in the beginning God with God has no need of separate syllables; for he is not subject to time.65

103 For this reason, the Church has always venerated the Scriptures as she venerates the Lord's Body. She never ceases to present to the faithful the bread of life, taken from the one table of God's Word and Christ's Body.66

104 In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, "but as what it really is, the word of God".67

"In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them."68

II. INSPIRATION AND TRUTH OF SACRED SCRIPTURE

105 God is the author of Sacred Scripture. "The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit."69

"For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts, on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author, and have been handed on as such to the Church herself."70

106 God inspired the human authors of the sacred books. "To compose the sacred books, God chose certain men who, all the while he employed them in this task, made full use of their own faculties and powers so that, though he acted in them and by them, it was as true authors that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written, and no more."71

107 The inspired books teach the truth. "Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures."72

Theistic evolutionists, such as my priest, deny the inspiration of Scripture EXCEPT for in circumstances that they wish (like John 6, which is where the Church derives her doctrine of the Holy Eucharist being literal with the real presence of Jesus in the wine and bread). Again, this is hypocritical and a big problem. WHAT OTHER RELIGIONS IN THE WORLD DISHONOR THEIR OWN HOLY BOOK TO ERR ON THE SIDE OF SCIENCE WHEN THERE IS A CONFLICT?

Evolution is different than gravity or electricity in implication because it involves issues of life, origins of humanity, the human soul, the human being and God. True science can never contradict truth, yet there is undoubtedly a movement (the majority of scientists combined are secularists, atheists or agnostics, I understand)

The Catechism says this about Creation:

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I. CATECHESIS ON CREATION

282 Catechesis on creation is of major importance. It concerns the very foundations of human and Christian life: for it makes explicit the response of the Christian faith to the basic question that men of all times have asked themselves:120

"Where do we come from?" "Where are we going?" "What is our origin?" "What is our end?" "Where does everything that exists come from and where is it going?" The two questions, the first about the origin and the second about the end, are inseparable. They are decisive for the meaning and orientation of our life and actions.

283 The question about the origins of the world and of man has been the object of many scientific studies which have splendidly enriched our knowledge of the age and dimensions of the cosmos, the development of life-forms and the appearance of man. These discoveries invite us to even greater admiration for the greatness of the Creator, prompting us to give him thanks for all his works and for the understanding and wisdom he gives to scholars and researchers. With Solomon they can say: "It is he who gave me unerring knowledge of what exists, to know the structure of the world and the activity of the elements. . . for wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me."121

284 The great interest accorded to these studies is strongly stimulated by a question of another order, which goes beyond the proper domain of the natural sciences. It is not only a question of knowing when and how the universe arose physically, or when man appeared, but rather of discovering the meaning of such an origin: is the universe governed by chance, blind fate, anonymous necessity, or by a transcendent, intelligent and good Being called "God"? And if the world does come from God's wisdom and goodness, why is there evil? Where does it come from? Who is responsible for it? Is there any liberation from it?

285 Since the beginning the Christian faith has been challenged by responses to the question of origins that differ from its own. Ancient religions and cultures produced many myths concerning origins. Some philosophers have said that everything is God, that the world is God, or that the development of the world is the development of God (Pantheism). Others have said that the world is a necessary emanation arising from God and returning to him. Still others have affirmed the existence of two eternal principles, Good and Evil, Light and Darkness, locked, in permanent conflict (Dualism, Manichaeism). According to some of these conceptions, the world (at least the physical world) is evil, the product of a fall, and is thus to be rejected or left behind (Gnosticism). Some admit that the world was made by God, but as by a watch-maker who, once he has made a watch, abandons it to itself (Deism). Finally, others reject any transcendent origin for the world, but see it as merely the interplay of matter that has always existed (Materialism). All these attempts bear witness to the permanence and universality of the question of origins. This inquiry is distinctively human.

286 Human intelligence is surely already capable of finding a response to the question of origins. The existence of God the Creator can be known with certainty through his works, by the light of human reason,122

even if this knowledge is often obscured and disfigured by error. This is why faith comes to confirm and enlighten reason in the correct understanding of this truth: "By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear."123

287 The truth about creation is so important for all of human life that God in his tenderness wanted to reveal to his People everything that is salutary to know on the subject. Beyond the natural knowledge that every man can have of the Creator,124

God progressively revealed to Israel the mystery of creation. He who chose the patriarchs, who brought Israel out of Egypt, and who by choosing Israel created and formed it, this same God reveals himself as the One to whom belong all the peoples of the earth, and the whole earth itself; he is the One who alone "made heaven and earth".125

288 Thus the revelation of creation is inseparable from the revelation and forging of the covenant of the one God with his People. Creation is revealed as the first step towards this covenant, the first and universal witness to God's all-powerful love.126

And so, the truth of creation is also expressed with growing vigor in the message of the prophets, the prayer of the psalms and the liturgy, and in the wisdom sayings of the Chosen People.127

289 Among all the Scriptural texts about creation, the first three chapters of Genesis occupy a unique place. From a literary standpoint these texts may have had diverse sources. The inspired authors have placed them at the beginning of Scripture to express in their solemn language the truths of creation - its origin and its end in God, its order and goodness, the vocation of man, and finally the drama of sin and the hope of salvation. Read in the light of Christ, within the unity of Sacred Scripture and in the living Tradition of the Church, these texts remain the principal source for catechesis on the mysteries of the "beginning": creation, fall, and promise of salvation.

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and

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296 We believe that God needs no pre-existent thing or any help in order to create, nor is creation any sort of necessary emanation from the divine substance.144

God creates freely "out of nothing":145

297 Scripture bears witness to faith in creation "out of nothing" as a truth full of promise and hope.

301 With creation, God does not abandon his creatures to themselves. He not only gives them being and existence, but also, and at every moment, upholds and sustains them in being, enables them to act and brings them to their final end. Recognizing this utter dependence with respect to the Creator is a source of wisdom and freedom, of joy and confidence:

For you love all things that exist, and detest none of the things that you have made; for you would not have made anything if you had hated it. How would anything have endured, if you had not willed it? Or how would anything not called forth by you have been preserved? You spare all things, for they are yours, O Lord, you who love the living.160

317 God alone created the universe, freely, directly and without any help.

318 No creature has the infinite power necessary to "create" in the proper sense of the word, that is, to produce and give being to that which had in no way possessed it (to call into existence "out of nothing")"

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You rock, Amy!