A very non-boring blog! Although I don't think it's true that all atheists are so boring, I've noticed that some of the ones that Dr. Craig has debated were pretty depressing to listen to: e.g. Theodore Drange and Gerd Ludemann. Especially the latter; despite being an apparently brilliant New Testament scholar, his case against the Resurrection of Jesus was pathetically weak, consisting mostly of just-so propositions that modern people cannot believe in conceptions like Christ's being the "Son of God" anymore, and that Dr. Craig's position must be wrong because the majority of scholars believe that it is wrong, etc. It drives me nuts that apparently brilliant people who possess master's degrees and doctorates seem unable to come up with better objections to Dr. Craig's evidence than, "The scholars to whom Dr. Craig is appealing for his 4 historical facts related to Jesus' Resurrection do not themselves believe in the historicity of the Resurrection; therefore, Dr. Craig must be wrong in his conclusions." Even I, a knucklehead undergraduate student, realize that this is a weak, non-substantive objection, on so many levels. Do these atheists actually think they are making some profound philosophical prounouncements when they utter such bald claims?
I hope not!
I have encountered (and counteracted) the ravings of atheism against Christianity for some time, both in the newspapers and on various blogs on the internet, and I find nothing new. Usually,they employ the same old boring and disparaging techniques: pathetic and redundant straw dummy arguments that have long since been refuted; ridiculing and labelling negativately the characters and abilities of all who are able to show that atheism is not intellectually respectable today; appealing to the majority in the face of solid evidence against naturalistic evolution (their god), notwithstanding the unscriptural and unscientific arguments for theistic evolution (God plus evolution); extrapolating arguments based on data from operational science (that can be observed, repeated and tested) supposedly to answer ultimate questions of historical or origins science (i.e. origin of universe and first life, meaning of life, etc.), which cannot be observed, tested and repeated today; critiquing scripture in such a way that one would think he/she were giving the reader/student of the Bible some new revelation that we poor "dumb" believers simply have not considered before--and usually which violates every major hermeneutical principle in sound biblical, grammatical and historical exegesis (i.e. eisegesis or reading ones's own meaning into scripture to make it say what you want it to say, quoting and interpreting biblical texts out of context in isolation from the rest of scripture, distorting and reducing the plain meaning of scripture to make it culturally relative and politically correct, etc.); citing as authority either the radical-fringe writings of liberal 'scholars' (i.e. the Jesus Seminar)--which by no means represent the cream of New Testament scholarship--or myth-riddled, non-canonical documents and books filled with incredible improbabilities (i.e. the Gospel of Thomas, the Jesus scroll, the gospel of Judas, The Da Vinci Code, etc.); contending with considerable difficulty and obvious inconsistency for an unplanned, unintended,undesigned, meaningless naturalistic universe, all the while denying the exquisite order, beauty, and intricate design and precision found everywhere in nature and life on planet earth and throughout the cosmos or universe at large; trying to rationalize (make sense out of) human moral (both for good and evil), aesthetic and religious nature/capacity or consciousness without any reference to a transcendent moral, rational and spiritual Source or Being Who is the ultimate reality and standard of all moral goodness(holiness), truth, justice, order and rationality in our world, because He created us uniquely in His own image according to His own divine plan and purpose (Genesis 1:26).
On the last note, I know such former atheists as Professor Ralph Muncaster, Anthony Flew, A.N. Wilson, and many other great intellects and scholars would, on the basis of the evidence alone, not try to "expel" God from the "very good" (Genesis 1:31) moral universe or world He created but fallen humanity freely, willingly and rebelliously ruined due to sin (Genesis 3; Romans 5:12).
I believe that to classify all atheists as boring is a little naive. I for one am passionate about life's big questions and I take time to consider the views of person's from all stripes. I was an evangelical for 13 years and have a lot of love and respect for my theistic friends. I simply studied and reflected on a wide range of issues and concluded that the Christian worldview was an unsatisfactory explanation on a number of levels.
If I wear a silly hat and shoes when I debated would it make me less boring? :-)
Contrary to Robaylesbury, I also reflected and studied on a wide range of issues before I became a Christian and I found the Christian worldview to be the only satisfactory explanation on various levels. In all honesty, from what I have heard from atheists and observed over the years, a silly hat and shoes would be very appropriate for some to wear. I pray for my friends who are atheists, however, because, although the Christian faith is a very intelligent and rational faith, it is by the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit (divine revelation) that one is convinced of the truth of the saving Gospel of Christ and brought to faith in Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Saviour (Romans 1:16-17; John 6:44).
We, in Canada, had better be careful, that we do not follow the example of our powerful neighbour to the south in its zeal to erase all trace of God and His Law (the Ten Commandments) from all areas (social, political, religious) of the national life of its citizens because one day (maybe sooner than we think) God may give us what we want, just as He did with Israel and Judah when they went whoring after false gods and He used their old enemies, Assyria and Babylon, as instruments of His righteous justice and wrath to conquer Israel and deliver Judah into the wicked hands of the Babylonians for 70 years of exile and captivity.
Let atheists and skeptics mock all they want; the great empires of Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome all disappeared from the world scene (remember your history in high school), but Israel is still here. Undoubtedly, it will survive all future attacks from its enemies today surrounding it on all sides because the redemptive history of God's people, both Jew and Gentile, is indelibly linked to the survival of Israel as a nation. Just read your Bible (Romans 11.
God's Word clearly reveals there is a future time coming when He will once again intervene in human history There were unbelievers then (call them scoffers, skeptics, or atheists, be they however respectable), just as there will be same when Christ returns: "For this they willfully forget:that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth (see Rev. 21) in which righteousness dwells" (2 Peter 3:5-7, 13). You skeptics and respectable atheists can tell God then that the Genesis account of a cataclysmic global flood (Noah's Flood) is just a myth and the majority of the scientific community believe there is no evidence for such).
Yes, the future is exceptionally bright and glorious for the believer in Jesus Christ, both Jew and Gentile. Unfortunately, I cannot believe for you unbelievers (atheists) out there. If I could, I would. I can (and will) pray for you because I, too, before my conversion to Christ, was an unbeliever and "practical atheist" in all intents and purpioses in so far as my life (lifestyle) was concerned. God bless.
In a sense I see the resurgence in secular thought to provide an excellent forum for the big ideas to be discussed. Its ironic that it has taken the likes of Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens, and Harris to give the subject of God fresh vibrancy. People are talking about these things now. What an opportunity for Christians to partake in the exchange of ideas? I for one love having my way of thinking challenged. To see the world in a fresh way, to be open to ideas and concepts I was previously ignorant of. We should all be diving head first into the fray. If we can be decent and courteous to each other in the process that would be a bonus.
Robaylesbury, that reminds me of a dialogue between an atheist and a Christian:
Atheist: "Imagine an Englishman,a Frenchman, a Chinese and an Indonesian all looking at a cup. The Englishman says, "That is a cup." The Frenchman answers, "No it's not. It's a tasse." The Chinese comments, "You are both wrong. It's a pei." And the Indonesian laughs at the others and says, "What a fool you are. It's a cawan." The Englishman gets a dictionary and shows it to the others, saying, "I can prove that it is a cup. My dictionary says so." "Then your dictionary is wrong," says the Frenchman "because my dictionary clearly says it is a tasse." The Chinese scoffs at them. "My dictionary is thousands of years older than yours, so my dictionary must be right. And besides, more people speak Chinese than any other language, so it must be pei." While they are squabbling and arguing with each other, a Buddhist comes up and drinks from the cup. After he has drunk, he says to the others, "Whether you call it a cup, a tasse, a pei or a cawan, the purpose of the cup is to be used. Stop arguing and drink, stop squabbling and refresh your thirst." This is the Buddhist attitude to other religions.
Christian: An atheist comes in, looks at the cup and says, "There is no cup."
Of course, I do not agree with the analogy that the atheist above gives, from which one could deduce from the different names for the cup that we all serve the same god, to whom we ascribe different names---that there is no absolute truth, and that we are all have different beliefs and are on different paths that lead to the same end---neither of which is true from the standpoint of logic and the the law of contradiction (non-contradiction)nor from the perspective of Judaeo-Christianity and other major religions, all of which have non-negotiable (and often contradictory) truth claims. But, it illustrates why the atheist is like a fish out of water when it comes to his view of the world in this exchange of ideas. I agree with Robaylesbury that we should be decent and courteous in discussing these important issues in an open forum and I hope he will rethink his position.
I have a very good friend, a former prayer partner, whom I catch up with from time to time. We often challenge each other regarding what it might take to change our respective views. Having sat on both sides of the fence, I can honestly say that I haven't got a clear answer to that question.
Re: "Its ironic that it has taken the likes of Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens, and Harris to give the subject of God fresh vibrancy". I am not as enthusiastic and optmistic about their contribution supposedly giving the subject of God fresh vibrancy. I feel that if it was anyone who gave the subject of God "fresh vibrancy" it was scientists and philosophers like Dr. John Lennox, Dr. William Lane Craig, A.N. Wilson, Anthony Flew, etc., especially the latter two because of their former prominence and identification with atheism.
As for mutual respect and courtesy for all who disagree with atheism and with naturalistic evolution (their god), you will not find same in Richard Dawkins. He would have us believe that Dr. John Lennox, Dr. William Lane Craig, Anthony Flew, A. N. Wilson,etc., not to mention thousands of other reputable scientists, scholars and philosophers who are dissenters from Darwinism, are "insane, stupid, or wicked", though he would hesitate to call them "wicked." But then Dawkins has been devolving from naturalistic evolution for some time, having conceded that aliens (panspermia) is a reasonable explanation for the origin of life. So, in the beginning there was intelligence after all, Richard. Be as it may, I was never impressed with Richard Dawkins, who has no sympathy for those scientists and scholars who have lost both tenure and research grants (and at great cost to their careers and family),simply for their refusal to toe the party line when it comes to the freedom of academic inquiry and challenging mainstream Darwinian Evolution.
What many moderate/open thinkers question I think is not the existence of God but rather the accuracy and inerrancy of Christianity or any man made religion. One common mistake that Christians make when dealing wtih non believers or skeptics is that of quoting scripture from the Christian Bible. Follow me here if you will....Only God can claim perfection. Man is inherently flawed, man wrote and translated the stories in the Bible, therefore the Bible is likely to be flawed in the same manner as the men who wrote it. Writings in the Bible are not the absolute truth because they are written in the Bible. Only God knows the truth. I find anyone who claims to know the nature and will of God with absolute certainty to be presumptuous and best. I have always looked upon mans attempts to put God into a book or box to be silly and somewhat pathetic. Open your heart and let God in is my philosophy. God will choose the path to each of our hearts in his own way...not in the way some mullah, pope, preacher or rabbi says he will. Just my opinion.
First of all,BillW, whether or not Christianity is a man-made religion, as you claim, depends entirely upon whether or not the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, authoritative Word of God. If it is the inspired, inerrant and authoritative Word of God, as millions believe, then it is not presumptuous for Christians to claim they know the will of God, because God has clearly revealed His will in His divine written revelation to humanity.
Yes, God disclosed His divine revelation to humanity through finite men, but this does not mean that the Bible is flawed. God did not dictate His message to the 40 or more writers of His revelation (they did not act like machines) but rather He sovereignly guided or superintended the various writers in the whole process of transcription and transmission of His divine Word to convey under the influence or power of the Holy Spirit exactly what He wanted them to convey concerning His divine will, so that in truth, the Bible is not man's word, but God's Word. If God could not convey through human instruments His divine revelation and will for humanity in written form without error, then He would not be God.
What evidence is there that the Bible is indeed the divinely inspired, inerrant written Word .
First, the Bible has no equal in terms of its formative influence in the evolution of our legal systems, our morals, our concept of human rights, and our educational institutions. It answers questions as old as time itself: Where did I come from? Where am I going? Where can I find personal meaning, fulfillment and transformation in life? Archaeologists, when in Israel, still rely on the Bible to determine the location of tell sites which reliance has proved to be remarkably accurate. Historians have long acknowledged the accuracy of place names and events recorded in the Bible despite so-called “higher criticism” and skepticism. In fact, the Bible is now a standard historical text for archaeologists in the Middle East, Asia Minor (modern Turkey) and Macedonia.
Second,no classical scholar would doubt the authenticity and general integrity of Caesar’s history of the Gallic wars (58-50 B.C.), although its manuscript authority rests on nine or ten copies dating 1,000 years after his death; yet over 4,000 copies of the original Hebrew Old Testament and about 24,000 copies (Greek, Armenian, Latin, Slavic, Ethiopic, etc.) of the original autographs of the New Testament alone exists today.
Third, there are over 300 prophecies concerning the Messiah that were precisely fulfilled and could only be fulfilled by the life of Jesus Christ, many made hundreds of years before His birth. For example, Psalm 22:16-18: “A band of evil doers has encompassed me; they pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all of my bones. They look, they stare at me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots” can be recited to virtually anyone on earth and they will conclude it speaks of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (Jews notwithstanding); yet amazingly, Psalm 22, a messianic psalm, was written by King David a thousand years before the birth of Jesus Christ at a time when the Jews had never heard of death by crucifixion (their chief means of capital punishment was stoning) and it would be many centuries before a country which utilized death by crucifixion (Rome) would conquer Israel and historically enable the prophecy to be fulfilled. I could give many more but for space.
Fourth, changing any Old Testament prophecies would have involved an impossible task of changing many scrolls and the memories of tens of thousands of the Hebrew people. The odds of any one person fulfilling the messianic prophecies in the Old Testament are beyond statistical probability without divine intervention. Biblical historians and palaeographers (who study ancient writings) have long refuted any notion that these incredible prophecies were written after the first advent of Christ and thus, recorded history after the fact. For example, the Dead Sea Scrolls, consisting of some 900 manuscripts and including a complete scroll of the entire book of Isaiah that is 1000 years older than any other surviving manuscript, as well as all books of the Tanakh (Jewish or Hebrew Scriptures) except Ester (with multiple copies of most books), were written more than 200 years before the first advent of Christ–as indicated by both radiometric dating and palaeography (the study of ancient writing)–thus precluding such arguments.
Sir William Ramsey, one of the greatest archaeologists of all time, spent 30 years of his life trying to disprove the New Testament, especially Luke’s writings. After much intensive research with many expecting a thorough refutation of Christianity, Ramsey concluded that Luke was one of the greatest historians of all time and became a Christian based on his archaeological findings. Finally, no other than Simon Greenleaf himself, the famous Royall Professor of Law at Harvard University and one of the greatest legal minds in America, upon intensive legal examination of the testimony of the apostles to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, concluded that the resurrection of Christ was one of the best supported events in history according to the laws of legal evidence administered in courts of justice. After examining the evidence from a judicial perspective, Lord Darling, a former Chief Justice of England, concluded that “there exists such overwhelming evidence , positive and negative, factual and circumstantial, that no intelligent jury in the world would fail to bring in a verdict that the resurrection story is true. Tom Anderson, former president of the California Trial Lawyers Association and co-author of the Basic Advocacy Manual of the Association of Trial Lawyers in America, wrote, ” It is irresistibly noteworthy that nowhere in the historical account of the trial, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, or in any “ancient documents’ are any witnesses, documents, or accounts set forth which question the historical fact that Jesus Christ was crucified and the historical fact that He was Resurrected from the dead. Therefore, I, as a trial lawyer, would have to advise my clients who retained me to prove the truth or hoax of the trial, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus that all witnesses and all documents and all historians reveal it to be the truth.”
Your comment designed to ridicule and mock the Bible and the God of the Bible reminds me of a line from Bobby Burns poetry about “the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind.” Usually I find that such comments come from people who, for the most part, know very little about the Bible except what they hear from popular sceptics .God will ultimately have the last laugh not because he takes any delight in the destruction of the wicked (He desires that the wicked turn form his evil way and live) but because He will show the futility and folly of man’s efforts to mock and defy the coming Messiah and His kingdom which He will establish at His Second Coming: “The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying ’Let us brake their bonds in pieces and cast away their chords from us. He who sits in the heavens shall laugh…The Lord has said to Me, You are My Son, You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel” (Psalm 2:2-4, 7, 9). Please read this entire Messianic Psalm.
And, BillW, the above comment was not my opinion, but God's--the only opinion that matters based on His divine Word (2 Timothy 3:16; Heb. 4:12) and His Word clearly and unequivocally states that God Himself has explicitly disclosed His revealed will concerning the one and only way to God; namely, through faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12; John 1: 12-13; John 14:6; 1 John 5:11-13; Romans 10:9-10; etc.).
Whether or not you, or millions like you, believe it or not, does not change anything. The objective divine revelation or truth of God's Word does not depend upon who or how many believe it. God bless.
Hello Rayburne. I'll keep my reply short and crisp.
When Dawkins leaves the door open for Panspermia it in no way implies design. Why would it? He in fact makes clear that however life came about he favours a Darwinian mechanism as its driving force.
Re evolution. The majority of practising scientists accept that it happened. For the scientists who do not; they need only come up with a testable, falsifiable alternative hypothesis. If the facts support it they will have won the day.
I note your reply to BillW. I think we've read a lot of the same apologetics down the years. Out of interest, what books have you read that directly challenge your convictions?
Richard Dawkins stated in “The Blind Watchmaker, 1996, p.1: “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” He enlarges on this thought: “We may say that a living body or organ is well designed if it has attributes that an intelligent and knowledgeable engineer might have built into it in order to achieve some sensible purpose… any engineer can recognize an object that has been designed, even poorly designed, for a purpose, and he can usually work out what that purpose is just by looking at the structure of the object.” (Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, 1996, p. 21). In other words, when normal people see clear evidence for design, they conclude that evidence for design indicates design, even those who attribute origins to panspermia.
Of course, Richard Dawkins, though he acknowledges the appearance of design in nature and living things, naturally does not infer design in his argument for panspermia. Why would he? Like many evolutionists today, he is merely using his platform to expouse philosophy. As to the Dawkins’ contention that only naturalistic evidence (what about true evidence?) constitutes a scientific explanation for design in living things, Dr. Wernher von Brawn, the leading post-WW11 German Rocket scientist who developed the American NASA program that ultimately developed the Saturn V moon rocket, wrote the following in a letter to the California State Board of Education on September 14, 1972:
“While the admission of a design for the universe ultimately raises the question of a Designer (a subject outside of science) , the scientific method does not allow us to exclude data which lead to the conclusion that that the universe, life and man are based on design. To be forced to believe only one conclusion–that everything in the universe happened by chance–would violate the very objectivity of science itself…Certainly there are those who argue that the universe evolved out of a random process, but what random process could produce the brain of a man or the system of the human eye?. …I have discussed the aspect of a Designer at some length because it might be that the primary resistance to acknowledging the “Case for design” as a viable scientific alternative to the current “Case for Chance” lies in the inconceivability of some ultimate issue (which will always lie outside scientific resolution) should not be allowed to rule out any theory that explains the interrelationships of observed data and is useful for prediction.”
He concludes his long letter by attributing the amazing string of successes of the Apollo flights to the moon to the fact that they tried to never overlook anything: ‘It is in the same sense of scientific honesty that I endorse the presentation of alternative theories for the origin of the universe, life and man in the science classroom. It would be an error to overlook the possibility that the universe was planned rather than happened by chance.”
Appealing to the scientific masses is fallacious. Truth does not depend upon numbers.
You, like many, have bought into what you have been taught traditions.
Since evolution "from the goo, through the zoo, is an hypothesis at best, not a proven fact, the burden of proof lies with the many who expouse this philosophy (not science) to produce an observable, testable, falsifiable experiment to prove their hypothesis. So far they have not done so. Therefore, if anyone should be asking what books you have read that challenge your convictions, it should be me. I doubt if we have read the "same apologetics" down through the years, according to your comments.
P.S. I would love to discuss why evolution "from the goo, through the zoo, to you" is not a scientific fact, according to the evidence--but that is not the focus of this blog. OR haven't you noticed?
You might check out this blog, which is more in line with our discussion re "from the goo, through the zoo, to you" evolution.--obviously not related to the topic at hand:"Why Are Atheists So Boring"?
We have a body of peer reviewed evidence covering multiple disciplines ranging from biogeography, comparitive anatomy, mitochondrial DNA, to name but three. Incidentally, we also have somewhere between 40-60 models of how the human eye evolved, and in relatively short space of time.
Evolution is not a random process. Whilst the initial means by which it started are undetermined, natural selection is the very antithesis of chance.
By all means continue to pursue your cause. If you can demonstrate a testable, falsifiable, empirical, peer reviewed alternative hypothesis I would be genuinely interested. You also might just win yourself the Nobel prize. I wish you well.
You are correct. Evolution is not the subject of this blog. Neither is the historical Jesus, or the infallibility of scripture, or archealogy, or the other tangents on which you have wheeled off on.
A bit of consistency please.
If you will check back and re-read the comments, you will find that it was BillW who first went of topic. BillW says on Jun 3, 2009 @ 02:05 PM:
"What many moderate/open thinkers question I think is not the existence of God but rather the accuracy and inerrancy of Christianity or any man made religion. One common mistake that Christians make when dealing with non- believers or skeptics is that of quoting scripture from the Christian Bible. Follow me here if you will....Only God can claim perfection. Man is inherently flawed, man wrote and translated the stories in the Bible, therefore the Bible is likely to be flawed in the same manner as the men who wrote it. Writings in the Bible are not the absolute truth because they are written in the Bible. Only God knows the truth."
I was simply giving a rebuttal to BillW's assertion that the Bible is flawed) with good solid evidence (i.e. manuscript evidence, the historical Jesus, archaeology, etc.) to support my rebuttal---something that I have not seen you (or most atheists) do on this blog. All I’ve seen is assertions; yet you want me to believe that your faith is reasonable (and atheism requires a lot of faith).
Your comment: "We have a body of peer reviewed evidence covering multiple disciplines ranging from biogeography, comparitive anatomy, mitochondrial DNA, to name but three. Incidentally, we also have somewhere between 40-60 models of how the human eye evolved, and in relatively short space of time," just serves to illustrate perfectly my point about just giving me assertions.
You have not given me any evidence from these multiple disciplines you named or from any supposed model of the evolution of the eye to prove macroevolution "from the goo, through the zoo, to you" evolution.
Indeed, there is no repeatable,observable, falsifiable test or proof for historical or origins science and when you jump from operational science (which can be observed, repeated, tested and falisfied) to origins science (which cannor be observed, tested and falisfied) you have gone from science to philosophy.
I have no cause to prove. As I said, the burden of proof is for you to show that vertical evolution "from the goo, through the zoo, to you" is a fact--something you have not done; except to give me more assertions without evidence.
Accordingly, natural selection (which no non-evolutionist doubts, not even six-day creationists or progressive creationists) is not proof of macroevolution "from the goo, through the zoo, to you,". (If you want to find out more, go to the blog I gave you:
http://christiannews.co.nz/2009/nice-quote-about-human-evolution/#comments Now please get back on topic.
That last comment was mine and it should read:
"Indeed, there is no repeatable,observable, falsifiable test or proof for historical or origins science and when you jump from operational science (which can be observed, repeated, tested and falsified) to origins science (which cannot be observed, tested and falsified) you have gone from science to philosophy."
Rayburne. When it comes to evolution, I prefer to trust scientific, peer reviewed literature. As I said previously, if your evidence is good enough, and if it survives the rigours of peer review further and rigourous empirical testing, then you have nothing to worry about. You win the day, you collect a nobel prize and reveal a hitherto unknown mechanism in nature. I genuinely wish you well.
Back on topic. Are atheists boring? I expect there are some boring one's out there, just as there are boring Christians, boring Muslims, boring Hindu's. I for one think all people have the capacity to be amazing and I try to avoid generalisations.
Peer reviewed literature or papers. Yeah, right! The ID guys tried that one---and watched as the scientific priesthood closed ranks on them.
New “facts” or interpretations of science, even of the majority of scientists, are discovered everyday, while old “facts” are just as often discarded. The history of science is littered with the wrecks of ideas that were considered to be “true,” but have long since fallen out of favour. For example, before 1986, researchers and texts had asserted for 20 years that RNA had been synthesized in the lab. It was even in college textbooks. Finally, Dr. Robert Shapiro checked it out and found it to be a rumour spread entirely from a single ambiguous paper drafted in 1967. His announcement was a bombshell at the 1986 conference of the International Institute for the Study of the Origin of Life at Berkeley, California. Random development of RNA in the environment of early earth has been shown to be impossible (Robert Shapiro, “Prebiotic Ribose Synthesis,” A Critical Analysis of the Origin of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere 18, 1988, pp. 71-85; and Shapiro, “Protomabolism: A Scenario for the Origin of Life,” The American Scientist. The evidence is more than good enough, my friend. The problem is that the evidence is never good enough for some people, who will believe want they want to believe. I wish you well, too.
Let's give you the benefit of the doubt for a moment, just as a thought experiment. Evolution is cast aside, and the decks are clear.
Please can I have your hypothesis. A testable, repeatable, falsifiable, empirical means by which you can validate your assertion?
I'm bending over backwards here. You don't need to concern yourelf with what evolution doesn't do. You just need to present your case, and do so in a way that will pursuade the vast body of trained scientists across a myriad disciplines that do not presently share your views.
This isn't a trick question. It's an open invitation.
Look mate, since this is not the topic for discussion for this blog, I am not going to fall for your "bait and switch" tactic in order to put me on the defensive. I have nothing to defend. Indeed, I find such last "pathetic" effort really amusing and ironic considering that you are the one who has been continually making assertions without evidence to validate them and, as I have already made perfectly clear, that since the general theory of evolution or Thesis of Common Ancestry ( "from the goo, through the zoo, to you") as a possible explanation of the origin of all life, comes under origins' science, not operational science; the burden is yours, not mine, to provide a testable, repeatable, falsifiable, empirical means by which you can validate your assertion or hypothesis. As I (and others) have pointed out before: "Truth is not determined by numbers, not even the scientific masses, and I (and many others) are not impressed by their extraordionary faith in what one museum curator called "a fairy tale for grown-ups". I would have to agree with Nobel Prize winner Sir Ernest Chain ( since you obviously place great stock and faith in Nobel Prize winners), who once said of the theory of evolution, “I would rather believe in fairy tales than in such wild speculation” (Ronald W. Clark, The Life of Ernest Chain, pp. 147-148). And yes, I find many Christians, Muslims, Hindus, atheists boring--and frankly, I find you boring. Take it for what you will.
Thank you for your willingness to engage with me. I wish you good health and happiness.
just for general info, and not aimed at any one individual, the www.talkorigins.com website is a useful website for discussions regarding evolution and creationism. Nice links to peer reviewed journals etc. It is also respectful and even handed.
More accurately, it is you who failed to engage my invitation to provide a testable, repeatable, falsifiable, empirical means by which you can validate your assertion or hypothesis of evolution "from the goo, through the zoo, to you" as a possible explanation of the origin of life. If you can, please do so. I would be very interested, especially when the following eminent scientists, both evolutionists and non-evolutionists, have this to say about the fossil record and macroevolution, quote:
Dr. John K.G. Kramer, formerly associate editor of the scientific journal LIPIDS (Ph.D. in biochemistry), who completed three years of post-doctoral studies as a Hormel fellow at the Hormel Institute and as an NRC fellow at the university of Ottawa. He has identified, characterized, and synthesized the structure of numerous food, bacterial, and biological components and has published 128 refereed papers and numerous abstracts and book chapters. He states, “No one has ever demonstrated macro evolutionary changes on a molecular level, yet, many people readily speculate evolutionary links between bacteria, plants, animals, and man. If macroevolution is unlikely on a molecular level, how can the whole be changed? Endless DNA sequence comparisons do not explain evolutionary development. Furthermore, the changes (mutations) observed on a molecular level, such as DNA, are predominately disruptive, and always with loss of, not gain in, information and complexity.”
Renowned evolutionist James Shapiro: “There are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations. It is remarkable that Darwinism is accepted as a satisfactory explanation for such a vast subject–evolution–with so little rigorous examination of how well its basic theses work in illuminating specific instances of biological adaptation or diversity” (Molecular biologist James Shapiro, “In the Details…What?” National Review, 19 September 1996, pp. 62-65.
Stephen J. Gould, considered the world's foremost evolutionist, conceding that "The fossil record with its abrupt appearance of complete forms offers no support for gradual change...All palaeontologists know that the fossil record contains precious little in the way of intermediate forms; transitions between major groups (kinds) are characteristically abrupt".
Dr. Robert Barnes is an authority of invertebrate zoology. In his book "Invertebrate Beginnings," he writes, "The fossil record tells us nothing about the evolutionary origin of phyla and classes. Intermediate forms are non-existent, undiscovered, or not recognized."
Remember Ernest Mayr. Many have considered him the greatest evolutionist since Gould. This is what he had to say about the fossil record: "Palaeontologists had long been aware of a 'seeming contradiction' between Darwin's postulate of gradualism ...and the actual findings of palaeontology. Following phyletic lines through time seemed to reveal only minimal changes but no clear evidence for any change of a species into a different genus or for the gradual origin of an evolutionary novelty. Anything truly novel always seemed to appear quite abruptly in the fossil record" (Mayr. E. Our Long Argument: Charles Darwin and the Genesis of Modern Evolutionary Thought, 1991, p. 138).
Of course, not even six day creationists, not to speak of progressive creationists, limit microevolutionary change to variation within species and certainly creation allows for speciation (different species) and adaptation within a biblical kind ( a biblical kind is far more than a modern specie). Microevolutionary change is simply change within certain vague limits, limits which fall far short of the wholesale development envisioned by the Thesis of Common Ancestry. Nevertheless, evolutionists will extrapolate evidence from operational science or microevolution (I.e. natural selection, random mutation) to juxtapose their argument for macroevolution or vertical evolution ( fish-to-philosopher) from the primordial soup, which really comes from origins science, all the while ignoring the key point that speciation (variation) due to natural selection and mutation results in loss of genetic information in the genome, not an increase as vertical evolution from simple to complex requires, so that it does not matter how much time you allow for the evolutionary process to take place (millions or billions of years), it will never produce anything other than a variety of the animals own basic kind ( I.e. over 200 different species of dogs from the little Chihuahua to the Great Dane in the dog family or kind.) or else eventual extinction over time. It will not produce anything new in the way of a new, basically distinct kind demanded by vertical (fish-to-philosopher) macroevolution. Microevolutionary change, in other words, is simply change within certain vague limits, limits which fall far short of the wholesale development envisioned by the Thesis of Common Ancestry. Which is why Felix Konotey-Ahula, M.D. (Lond.), FRCP, DTMH, one of the world’s leading experts in sickle-cell anemia, a serious chronic and painful blood disorder, states, “Demonstrating natural selection does not demonstrate that ‘upward evolution’ (fish to philosopher) is a fact, yet many schoolchildren are taught this as “proof” of evolution.” He points out that “the sickle-cell gene is still a defect (an inherited random change or mutation), not an increase in complexity or an improvement in function which is being selected for.. and having more carriers of the sickle-cell genes results in more people suffering from this terrible disease. He concludes that science would be far better served by scientists working on “factual lines rather than theoretical evolutionary concepts”
There are many more I could list
I believe I have more than adequately engaged your arguments on this blog (actually assertions without evidence), especially when I have had to get off topic to do so, and I thank you for your well wishes. God bless.
Once again, let us assume evolution is cast aside.
Can I have your hypothesis. A testable, repeatable, falsifiable, empirical means by which you can validate your assertion?
Again, you don't need to concern yourelf with what evolution doesn't do. You just need to present your case, and do so in a way that will pursuade the vast body of trained scientists across a myriad disciplines that do not presently share your views.
No bait and switch. No tricks. You have the floor.
You must be joking. Now, you are being redundant as well. I am finished playing your little game and have no need to sound redundant. But before I go, I might as well give you my delightful poem that says it all about the extraordinary faith required for anyone to believe in "from the goo, through the zoo, to you" evolution. I hope you will not find it boring.
Once I was an amoeba in a stinking bog,
then I became a croaking frog (after eons of transitional or intermediate forms that we don’t see in the fossil record)
Next I became a monkey in a coconut tree (after millions of years of gradual evolution-by-creeps [too slow to see], evolution-by-peaks [too fast to see] and evolution-by-freaks (genetic mutations still result in loss of genetic information--produces nothing new by way of transmutations: snails remain snails, clams clams, trilobites trilobites, jellyfish jellyfish, birds birds, fish fish, apes apes, man man).
Now, I’m a professor with a Ph.D .(in Palaeontology would you believe).
It takes a lot more faith to believe that than “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth …and every herb yielding seed… fruit tree yielding fruit…and every living creature..after their kind… And God said, “Let us make man in our image.” God bless.
Of the scientists and engineers in the United States, only about 5% are creationists, according to a 1991 Gallup poll (Robinson 1995, Witham 1997). However, this number includes those working in fields not related to life origins (such as computer scientists, mechanical engineers, etc.). Taking into account only those working in the relevant fields of earth and life sciences, there are about 480,000 scientists, but only about 700 believe in "creation-science" or consider it a valid theory (Robinson 1995). This means that less than 0.15 percent of relevant scientists believe in creationism. And that is just in the United States, which has more creationists than any other industrialized country. In other countries, the number of relevant scientists who accept creationism drops to less than one tenth of 1 percent.
I wish you well in your effort to pursuade them.
Additionally, many scientific organizations believe the evidence so strongly that they have issued public statements to that effect (NCSE n.d.). The National Academy of Sciences, one of the most prestigious science organizations, devotes a Web site to the topic (NAS 1999). A panel of seventy-two Nobel Laureates, seventeen state academies of science, and seven other scientific organizations created an amicus curiae brief which they submitted to the Supreme Court (Edwards v. Aguillard 1986). This report clarified what makes science different from religion and why creationism is not science.
One needs to examine not how many scientists and professors believe something, but what their conviction is based upon. Most of those who reject evolution do so because of personal religious conviction, not because of evidence. The evidence supports evolution. And the evidence, not personal authority, is what objective conclusions should be based on.
Often, claims that scientists reject evolution or support creationism are exaggerated or fraudulent. Many scientists doubt some aspects of evolution, especially recent hypotheses about it. All good scientists are skeptical about evolution (and everything else) and open to the possibility, however remote, that serious challenges to it may appear. Creationists frequently seize such expressions of healthy skepticism to imply that evolution is highly questionable. They fail to understand that the fact that evolution has withstood many years of such questioning really means it is about as certain as facts can get.
Again, this link is for those with a general interest in the subject.
For the layman, I would suggest this particular book as a strarting point.
Here's an amusing post from the Talk Origins website.
See, according to the creationists, all humans alive today are descended from 8 people who got off a Really Big Boat. Anyone who understands junior high genetics will know that 8 people have between them a maximum possible of 16 different alleles for each genetic locus (in reality, the 8 people on the Big Boat would have had even FEWER, since some of them were descended from others and thus shared alleles, but for the sake of argument we will give the creationists every possible benefit of the doubt and assume that they were ALL heterozygous and shared no alleles at all in common). That means, if the creationists are correct that "most mutations are deleterious" and that "no new genetic information can appear through mutation", there can not be any human genetic locus anywhere today with more than 16 alleles, since that is the MAXIMUM that could have gotten off the Big Boat.
But wait. today we find human genetic loci (such as hemoglobin or the HLA complex) that have well over *400* different alleles (indeed some have over *700* different alleles). Hmmmm. Since there could have only been 16 possible on the Big Boat, and since there are over 400 now, and since 400 is more than 16, that means that somehow the GENETIC INFORMATION INCREASED from the time they got off the Big Boat until now.
That raises a few questions. If genetic mutations always produce a LOSS in information, like the creationists keep telling us, then how did we go from 16 alleles to over 400 alleles (perhaps in creationist mathematics, 400 is not larger than 16)? if these new alleles did not appear through mutations, then how DID they get here?
But wait, there's more: Not only, according to creationists, must these new alleles have appeared after the Big Boat, but, according to their, uh, "theory", all of these mutations must have appeared in the space of just *4,000 years* -- the period of time since the Big Flood. That gives a rate of BENEFICIAL MUTATIONS, which add NEW GENETIC INFORMATION, of one every 10 years, or roughly two every generation ------- a much higher rate of beneficial mutation than has ever been recorded anywhere in nature. Nowhere today do we see such a rate anywhere near so high. So not only would I like to know
what produced this extraordinarily high rate of non-deleterious mutations, but what stopped it (indeed, what stopped it conveniently right before the very time when we first developed the technological means to study it)?
But wait --- we're not done YET . . . . . .
Since less than 1% of observed mutations are beneficial (the vast majority of mutations are indeed deleterious or neutral and have no effect), that means for every beneficial mutation which added a new allele, there should have been roughly 99 others which did not. So to give us roughly 400 beneficial mutations would require somewhere around 40,000 total mutations, a rate of approximately 100 mutations in each locus EVERY YEAR, or 2,000 mutations per locus for EACH GENERATION. Do you know what we call people who experience mutation rates that high? We call them "cancer victims".
But wait, we're STILL not finished . . . . . .
In order for any of those mutations to be passed on to the next generation to produce new alleles, they MUST occur in the germ cells -- sperm or egg. And since any such high rate of mutation in a somatic cell (non-sperm or egg) would have quickly produced a fatal case of cancer, if the creationists are right this mutation rate could ONLY have occurred in the germ cells and could NOT have occurred in any of the somatic cells.
If one of our resident creationists can propose a mechanism for me which produces a hugely high rate of mutation in the germ cells while excluding it from any other cells, a Nobel Prize in medicine surely awaits --- such information would be critically valuable to cancer researchers. But alas, no such mechanism exists. The rate of mutations made necessary by creationist "arguments" would certainly have killed all of Noah's children before they even had time to have any kids of their own. In order to produce 400 beneficial alleles in just 4,000 years, humanity would have been beset with cancers at a rate that would have wiped them all out millenia ago.
The reader may be interested in knowing that the following excerpts are taken from this book ("New Scientist") that Robaylesbury, not surprisingly, recommends, to the average layman:
"Why Evolution is True" by Jerry Coyne.
"I loved reading how Raymond Dart was literally handed the greatest fossil find of the twentieth century--the "missing link" between apes and modern man--while dressing for a wedding.
My comment: Not enough that evolutionists have been proclaiming that they have found the "missing link" for 150 years since Darwin, including the famous Piltown man fraud, Nebraska Man that turned out to be the tooth of an extinct pig; Neanderthal Man, Cro-Magnon Man now classified as fully human "homo sapiens"; Peking Man originally based on a single tooth, later revealed to be a battered monkey skull when the braincase was found, the famous Lucy---a small skeleton with no head, hands or feet (the head and feet were later reconstructed out of plaster paris out of some artist's imagination, as were most of the so-called hierarchy of man's so-called hominid (ape-like) ancestors today). Never mind that there should be millions/billions of transitional (intermediate) fossils if gradual evolution from simple to complex "from the goo, through the zoo, to you" were true.
"Other highlights include a section on the remant signs of evolution, such as the vestigial tail at the end of the spines and a fascinating account of how evolution and speciation can be seen before our very eyes in the lab."
The “tailbone” has nothing to do with a tail, or the vestige of a tail left over from our monkey-like ancestors, as evolutionists claim. It is the base of the spine, and is called the coccyx vertebrate. The human coccyx , or “tailbone” is a group of four or five small vertebrae fused into one bone at the lower end of the vertebral column. The coccyx has some very important functions. Among other things, it serves as a shock absorber when the person sits down. Several muscles converge from the ring-like arrangement of the pelvic (hip) bones to anchor on the coccyx, forming a bowl-shaped muscular floor of the pelvis called the pelvic diagram. The incurved coccyx with its attached pelvic diagram keeps the many organs in our abdominal cavity from literally falling through between our legs. Some of the pelvic diagram muscles are also important in controlling the elimination of waste from our body through the rectum.“ (David N. Menton, Ph.D., “The Human Tail, and Other Tales of Evolution” ).
The human coccyx is one example of what evolutionists call a “vestigial organ.” As recently as 1971, the Encyclopedia Britannica claimed that there were more than 100 vestigial organs in man. Even critically important organs such as the thymus and parathyroid glands were once considered to be vestigial simply because their functions were not understood. As biochemical science has progressed, there are fewer and fewer claims of functionless organs. Despite their diminishing numbers, vestigial organs are still mentioned in textbooks as one of the strongest evidences for evolution and against intelligent design by a Creator.
As for speciation, neither six-day creationists nor progressive creationists have a problem with speciation (different species) and adaptation within a kind ( a biblical kind is far more than a modern specie) which creation predicts. Speciation is not proof of microbes to man, “from the goo, through the zoo, to you” evolution.
Under “Faith and Fact:
“Faith does not require physical evidence, whereas science does. You cannot convince a faith based person with facts anymore than a scientist can be convinced without facts..
That is sheer nonsense. God did not give us the gift of stupidity, as evolutionists would like many to believe (see Isaiah 1:18: “Come now, and let us reason together says the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21: “Test all things, hold fast what is good.” There are thousands of reputable scientists (I.e. Dr. John Lennox who debated Richard Dawkins; Dr. John Sarfati, Ph.D in physical chemistry, Dr. John Baumgardner, Geophysicist and world-class plate tectonics researcher, etc ) who will tell you that they are men/women of faith because of the evidence, which is not opposed to scientific truth.
“As long as people trust in the historical truth of the Old Testament, there will be a basis for belief in creationism. Just because I don’t believe in Santa or Jesus as literal individuals doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the traditions based on them.”
Mainstream orthodox scholarship (including manuscript evidence, archaeological evidence, secular extant documents outside the Bible, etc.) has long established the historicity of Jesus, as well as the legal, historical proof for His resurrection, as opposed to the fictional character Santa Claus, who many glamorize and idolize at Christmas. The scientific evidence (I.e. design of universe and living things, fine tuning of the universe, the absence of transitional/ intermediate forms in the fossil record, etc.) collaborates the truth of the Old testament; therefore Christians have a good reason to trust the historical truth of the Old testament, especially the Genesis account of creation.
“Darwin enlightened the world with his (now proved) theory of evolution”.
My comment: Yeah , sure. Evolution is a fact because it is a fact. If it were true they would not be so frantically trying to defend it and suppressing every freedom of academic inquiry to challenge their precious long-age paradigm of uniformitarian “from the goo, through the zoo, to you” evolution.
Mostly false statements or assertions (the usual straw dummy, ridiculous arguments that skeptics use), no real scientific arguments, no real scientific evidence; indeed, what evidence is given is false and has been long refuted (I.e. the one about the vestigial tail at the end of the spine proving evolution, equating observable speciation (different species) within a family or kind (I.e. over 200 different species of dogs within the dog family or kind) with macroevolution “from the goo, through the zoo, to you.”
If you are going to read the book “Why Evolution is True” by Jerry Coyne, then make sure you also read “Refuting Evolution (A creatiopnist response to the National Academy of Science’s “Teaching about Evolution and the Nature of Science) and “Refuting Evolution “ ( an excellent rebuttal to PBS’s television series “Evolution”) by Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D. Otherwise, to the average layman who has not learned to think critically about the evidence, you are just giving him more of the same evolutionary indoctrination so popularized on TV (I.e Discovery Channel, Dinosaur Park, etc. ) and in the media today.
I am not impressed by your so-called amusing post from the Talk Origins website. I am not a geneticist, so I can't answer your question, but I'm sure there are qualified geneticists who also believe the Bible who can (i.e. Dr. Michael Denton, Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, etc.) who can. Or are you afraid a creationist scientist might be able to provide a satisfactory answer based on scientific evidence?
Now, I have a question for you, Robaylesbury, one basic biochemistry question that has been studied for years: “What evidence is there to overcome the high statistical improbability of the optical purity (left-handedness or right-handedness) necessary for the development of the first living cell? Just one single hard experiment or journal article that clearly demonstrates a method of satisfying the origin-of-life chirality problem will suffice.
I will give an explanation below: “Chiral” is the term used to describe molecules that are “handed” --that is, they come in “right-handed” and “left-handed” versions (technically , dextroform and levoform). The chirality of certain molecules used in the building blocks of life is a critical factor. Why? Because every single nucleotide (essentially, basic section) in the DNA chain must be of one orientation--right-handed.---in order for the entire chain to work. One mistake cannot be tolerated. Likewise, virtually all amino acids in proteins must also be of one orientation--left-handed--for a protein to work. These orientations of both nucleotides (in DNA and RNA) and amino acids (in proteins) are absolutely necessary. Otherwise, the entire basic process of the cell--the sequence of manufacture from DNA and RNA to working protein--fails. For first life to be properly assembled, a perfect mix of both proper nucleotide orientation (all right-handed) and amino-acid orientation (all left-handed) have to occur. Furthermore, keep in mind that the chains of both DNA and protein are extremely long. In startling opposition to what is needed for life, all amino acids occur naturally in “equal” proportions of right-versus left-handed (a racemic mixture). Researchers, after years of study, have not found one single means of “purifying” such a mixture--or substantially increasing the proportion of left-handed amino acids to right-handed ones. (the same problem, though more complex to explain, exists for nucleotides).
To create the first cell, not only would all of the hundred of thousands of the right kinds of amino acids in the hundred-plus functional proteins required for the first cell have to suddenly show up at exactly the right place, at exactly the right time, but they would all have to be left-handed. The same would hold true for the first DNA and RNA chains, except the components would all need to be right-handed-. The vastness of the problem is staggering.
You see, anyone can ask difficult questions of one unqualified to answer them. Take your time,you may come up with an answer, even though this question of the origin of life chirality has baffled scientists for years.
Well done. You have combined both the God of the gaps and the argument from personal credulity into one neat package.
For anything we do not understand, posit God.
You give up just when things get interesting.
The late, great Douglas Adams provided the following Gem.
"Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for."
I couldn't agree more.
Robaylesbury, as I said, I'm not impressed by your little mind games. Neither are the readers on this blog. So far you have given me nothing but assertions without evidence,appeals to majority, conspiracy theories, bait and switch tactics, straw dummy arguments (i.e. those who reject evolution do so because of religious convictions, not evidence; claims of evolutionists rejecting evolution being exaggerated or fraulent [see http://www.dissentfromdarwin.org/---a PDF copy of the Scientific Dissent From Darwinism list can be downloaded) and stupid little quirks (call them "Gems", if you will]that prove nothing), all of which I have addressed so many times before on different blogs that they are redundant and boring. Which brings me back to this topic and answers the question "Why are atheists so boring? I will let the viewer and readers of this blog decide as to who understands what and has provided evidence (not just assertions).
Now, I have better things to do with my time. Fill up the blog if you will, I am out of here. Take care.
Well done Rayburne. Enjoyed reading your comments.
I have been reading your comments. As to that question, you asked Rayburne, arguing that creationists cannot explain that the original created kinds could not have given rise to the many varities we have today. That is not so. All (sexually reproducing ) organisms contain their genetic information in paired form. Each offspring inherits half its genetic information from its mother, and half from its father. So there are two genes at a given position (locus, plural loci)coding for a particular characteristic. An organism can be heterozygous at a given locus, meaning it carries different forms (alleles) of this gene. For example, one allele can code for blue eyes, while the other can code for brown eyes; or one can code for A blood type and the other for B blood type. Sometimes two alleles have a combined effect, while at other times only one allele (called dominant) has any effect on the organism, while the other does not (recessive).
With humans, both the mother's and father's halves have 35,000 genes. The information in our DNA is equivalent to a thousand 500-page books worth (3 billion base pairs). The ardent neo-Darwinist Francisco Ayala points out that humans today have an "average heterozygosity of 6.7 percent." This means that for every thousand gene pairs coding for any trait, 67 of the pairs have different alleles, meaning 6,700 heterozygous loci overall. Thus, any single human could produce a vast number of different possible sperm or egg cella--2 to the 6700th power, or 10 to the 2017th power. The number of atoms in the whole universe is "only" 10 to the 80th power, extremely tiny by comparison. So there is no problem for creationists explaining that the original created kinds could give rise to many different varities. In fact, the original created kinds would have had much more heterozygosity than their modern, more specialized descendents.
What was true of the original created kind (Adam and Eve) was certainly true of Noah and his family and their descendents after the Flood, as far as the above argument for the original descendents giving rise to all of the varities we have today.
Perhaps one day Creation Science will indeed conquer all. It just seems peculiar that so many scientists, from so many disciplines, for so many years, have weighed, measured, and found it wanting.
I would just like to close by challenging the illusion that Scientists are pressured not to challenge the established dogma.
The pressures that science imposes do not weaken the validity of evolution -- quite the contrary. Scientists are rewarded more for finding new things, not for supporting established principles. Thus, they tend to look more for novelties and for results that would overturn common beliefs. If a scientist found evidence that falsified evolution, he or she would be guaranteed world prestige and fame.
Creationists are under far more pressure than scientists. Since their entire world view is threatened by finding disconfirming evidence, they are very highly motivated not to admit it. Many creationists have taken oaths saying that no evidence could change their dogma (AIG n.d.). At least one admits that he became a scientist not to find the truth, but to destroy Darwinism (Wells n.d.). The commitment to established dogma is pretty well monopolized by creationists.
Ultimately Creationism, rather than spending its time telling the Scientific community what it's against, should set about the earnest and admirable goal of proving what its alternative thesis is and winning over the hearts and minds of others.
I have been trying to figure out why this blog has caused so much frustration. Could it be the appeal to authority? It seems to me that when we appeal to authority we kill the debate. The authority’s ideas may convince us, but not his professional position. For example, we may grant the position that the majority of scientists in the world do believe in some form of evolution; however, it is also true that the majority of scientists in the world also believe in God. Does this mean that atheists - boring or otherwise - will now throw in the towel, give up the fight, and agree with the majority of scientists? Of course not! The appeal has no power when it contradicts a person’s worldview. The question then is not how many people are opposed to our worldview; rather, the question is about the truth, or falseness, of our worldview. Two hundred years ago the majority worldview was theist, and so we could appeal to the majority of scientists of that day to support a theist view of the world. However, the majority worldview of today is naturalism, so it is no surprise to find that the majority of scientists now support that position. Just as in times when theism ruled, scientists would not challenge the status quo (until Darwin), so in today’s world, it is not in the interest of the scientist to challenge the naturalist worldview (just look what happens to the ID scientists). By all means, let’s discuss scientific ideas, but let us leave the scientist out of it. “Trust the tale, not the teller.”
I think your points are fair and reasonable. Well said.
Robaylesbury says: "Creationists are under far more pressure than scientists. Since their entire world view is threatened by finding disconfirming evidence, they are very highly motivated not to admit it. Many creationists have taken oaths saying that no evidence could change their dogma (AIG n.d.). At least one admits that he became a scientist not to find the truth, but to destroy Darwinism (Wells n.d.). The commitment to established dogma is pretty well monopolized by creationists.
If creationists are under any pressure, it is because the evidence they are finding confirms their world view--which the scientific cmmunity do not share.
Provide evidence (names and full statements in their whole context) that "Many creationists have taken oaths saying that no evidence could change their dogma (AIG n.d.)."
Give us that exact quote or statement from Wells in its proper context "that he became a scientist not to find the truth, but to destroy Darwinism (Wells n.d.). As if to imply that scientists who believe in creation/ID did not become scientists to find the truth, but to destroy Darwinism. You are forgetting that that there are reputable scientists, both creationists and ID theorists, who were committed evolutionists before they were convinced by the evidence that mainstream Darwiniansim is not true (i.e. Dr. Gary Parker, who formerly taught evolution; Dr. Kurt P. Wise, Ph.D. in geology from Harvard University, who studied under Professor Stephen Jay Gould; Dr. dean Kenyon, Ph. D. in biophysics, co-author of "Biochemical Predestination, a standard text on biochemical evolution used for years, just to name a few).
You have got to be kidding. It is clearly the majority of the scientific community (evolutionists) who are committed to established dogma (mainstream Darwinism),not the creationists. Darwinian Evolution dominates the media. Just turn on your TV or read any science magazine.
Robaylesbury, you are so obvious and transparent when it comes to your false and misleading assertions (How about giving us some evidence) that I think it is time you started to get honest, both with yourself and with others, and end this charade. Informed and intelligent people can see right through it. God bless.
The problem why so many scientists, from so many disciplines, for so many years, have weighed, measured, and found it (Creation Science/ID) wanting, is not intellectual, but spiritual or moral: "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal powerand Godhead, so that they are without excuse. Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as god, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools" Romans 1:20-22). "knowing this first, that scoffers will come in the last days...and saying, For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning [of creation]. "For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water" (2 Peter 3:3-6).
You see God's divine revelation clearly predicts a widespread rise in uniformitarian evolutionary dogma (v. 4: "and saying...all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation. Remember, the main uniformitariam premise that "the present is the key to the past" (which, of course, is not true). Only now many have even replaced the beginning [of creation] with gradual, "uniformitarian "microbes-to-man" evolution. "For this they willfully (that is, not because of evidence, but because they deliberately want to) forget" (v. 5); namely, God's past intervention into human affairs (the global flood, "by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water" (v. 6) Sure doesn't sound like a local flood, as most theistic evolutionists claim, does it? If it were a local flood, all Noah and his family had to do to escape was take a walk up the Babylonian Creek. Paul, in his letter to the Esphesians expresses very the spiritually blind condition of fallen humanity, thus: "Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart" (Ephesians 4:18). Now, because some will naturally say there are many evolutionists who believe in God (that is, they have a Christian belief), Paul is not talking about religion here per se, or simply "belief in God", but rather spiritual life (" being alienated from the life of God; that is to say, a saving relationship with the living God through repentance [from sin] fand faith in Jesus Christ (John 14:6). You see, there is a world of difference between someone who has had a personal saving encounter with the living God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and someone who simply says,quote, "I bel;ieve in God" but whose life offers no evidence that his life has indeed been transformed from the inside out by the power of God, through faith in Jesus Christ (Read John's Gospel, chapters 3 and 8, especially verses 44 in chapter 8).God bless.
I marvel at Creationists. Among yourselves you basque in how effortlessly you can rebuke, rebut and defeat evil Darwinians and the imoral concepts they posit. Yet you make no progress. The scientific community continues to look upon you with a wry smile. You then quote your Holy Book and subject me to what can only be a "Theology Dump"
By all means continue your crusade to cleanse the world of us fallen, immoral, hell bound skeptics. Believe whatever befits your cognitve bias.
I've been reflecting on your continual demands for evidence. I'm apt to think that the best source is probably the www.talkorigins.org website. There is a vast section devoted to the standard creationist objections. It would seem prudent to refer you to this. I visit the AIG website whenever I can and also the Uncommon Descent website to challenge my way of thinking. It's something I consider very important. Please don't think I'm doing this to duck the questions. I'm simply honest enough to admit that this site would do a more articulate job of expressing things.
One last point. Can I just gently challenge you on some of your more personal attacks. I recognise your passions run high, but it would be good if we could avoid ad hominems. I've been a little surprised by the absence of the fruits of the spirit, and if we can be decent to one another that would be good.
I didn't ask for responses (most of them opinions) on some website to standard creationists objections, just evidence to support your assertions. I think that is a reasonable request, especially when, as I've carefully shown, such assertions are misleading and false. See, my friend, you may be convinced in your own mind that what you believe and say about creationists, the Bible, etc. is true, but that doesn't prove it is. First of all, you have to think critically and fairly about such "standard creationist objections." Have they (evolutionists) understood and expounded accurately such "creationist objections" according to AIG and the Uncommon Descent website that you claim you check out. In all honesty, your misleading and false statements show that you accept face value what www.talkorgins.org purport to be standard creationists objections. If you have not understood such "objections" and arguments sufficiently to support them with credible evidence (we are not dealing with rocket science here), then don't make misleading statements about what you believe are "standard creationists objections." You don't impress me, judging by your comments, as one who has difficulty expressing yourself or articulating, with evidence, the things discussed on this blog.
Oh, I totally disagree. I (and many others)believe creationists/ID theorists are making considerable progress. What else do you expect the scientific community to do but "smile"; that is, when they have to resort to censorship and suppression of academic freedom whenever mainstream Darwinianism is challenged? When one of the greatest thinkers and scholars of modern times, Mortimer J. Adler of the University of Chicago, referred to evolution as a "popular myth" the well known materialist and critic Martin Gardner actually included him in his study of quaks and frauds in "Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science".
Dean Kenyon (Ph.D. in biophysics, Stanford University), formerly one of America's leading evolutionists and co-author of "Biochemical Predestination," a standard text on biochemical evolution, did postdoctoral work at the University of Southern California, at Berkeley, Oxford University in England, and NASA. A committed evolutionist throughout most of his life, he added three lectures on the subject of biological origins in his introductory biology course at San Francisco State University, in which he presented data which gave credibility to the theory of intelligent design. He was simply presenting to students the logical implications of the results of his research, but because of his cardinal sin of questioning evolutionary dogma, he was removed from teaching the introductory biology course. This was despite the ruling of the San Francisco State University's Academic freedom Committee in his favour and an extensive well-documented 16-page report strongly in his favour signed by five fellow professors at his university. Check out the facts yourself. And please, no nonsense about "conspiracy theories", which originated first with the "prestigious" members of the scientific community, as you must know, who would have us "expel" any idea of any unjustified bias, religious and academic bigotry, by the evolutionary establishment. There are thousands of documented examples, but then, the skeptics and evolutionary establishment would have us believe that they are all part of some "creationist conspiracy", to debunk evolution. Which is ironic, indeed, that they would be so intimidated, even hostile, to any challenge to their faith in mainstream Darwinian evolution, if, as evolutionists, maintain, there is so much evidence to convince them that Darwinian Evolution is a fact. Richard Dawkins (and other evolutionists) may find it funny that highly qualified science professors have been denied tenure (see Dr. Gary Bergman, "The Criterion," 1984) because of their refusal to declare their faith in evolution, but I don't.
Finally, you insinuate that I lack the fruit of the Spirit in my life [because I tell you the truth), all the while referring to the contents of my "Holy Book," (as you call it) as a "Theology Dump" and my efforts to share God's Word with you as my personal "crusade to cleanse the world of us fallen, immoral, hell bound skeptics."
I tried to give you God's take, not mine (divine revelation) on why "so many scientists, from so many disciplines, for so many years, have weighed, measured, and found it (Creation Science/ID) wanting," because I firmly believe that one day you will stand before Him and give account (we all will) whether or not you believe God exists--and yes, that outside of the grace, truth and mercy found in Jesus Christ, you are without hope. I can share that with you out of genuine love and concern for your soul, but I cannot believe for you.
Yes, my passions run high (because there is everything at stake here--and don't kid yourself into believing otherwise), just as those skeptics I have encountered over the years (you are no exception) are passionate about defending their "faith" position--and atheism is a belief system or religion, make no doubt about it, but we can be descent to one another and respect one's right to believe what he/she will (that doesn't mean it is true, of course).
I do wish you well. I have prayed and will continue to pray for God's blessings on your life (whether or not you believe He exists) and that He, by His grace and Holy Spirit, will reveal Himself to you through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. God bless.
Who exactly is the "Scientific Establishment?"
Ok then, let us assume that there is an army of Darwinian enforcers crushing the life out Creationists. Surely in non scientific circles, perhaps the courts of law, you should be getting a better deal?
No. It would appear that when you have taken your case to the courts your ideas have also been dismissed as non-scientific.
Dover v Kitzmiller anyone? Oh, and wasn't Judge Jones a Christian. He must be one of those fallen, pesky one's. I thank you for your concern for my eternal wellbeing. And I know we've crossed swords abut I've enjoyed hearing what you have to say. I hope for your highest good in your journey through this remarkable journey we call life. May yours be long, healthy, and joyful.
That the majority of the scientific community (the evolutionary establishment), as you have rightly pointed out (majority not determinant of truth) believe in Darwinian Evolution today, does not change the fact that evolution is being rejected today largely on scientific grounds, not social or moral grounds, and the main thrust of this criticism comes from within the halls of naturalistic science, not creationism. A few recent examples, are science journalist and engineer Richard Milton’s “Shattering the Myth of Darwinism (1997) and biophysicist Lee M. Spetner’s “Not by Chance: Shattering the Modern theory of Evolution (1997). Many other examples could be cited but for space. Professor Harry Rubin, Professor of Molecular Biology and Research Virologist to the Virus Laboratory, University of California Berkeley and recipient of numerous prestigious awards, accepts non-Darwinian Evolution but still remarks: “Life, even in bacteria, is too complex to have occurred by chance.” Nobelist and evolutionist Dr. Robert A. Millikan comments, ”The pathetic thing is that we have scientists who are trying to prove evolution, which no scientist can ever prove.” Obviously, there is a serious inconsistencey in most evolutionists who are trying to prove evolution (which Dr. Millikan says cannot be proved); yet, at the same time are claiming that evolution is a proven fact.
If evolution is such a proven scientific fact and creation only a religion, why do evolutionists themselves acknowledge that creationists (I.e. Dr. Duane Gish, Ph.D. in biochemistry) from 1970 to the present have consistently won in public debates with evolutionists in the U.S and in other countries --and that on the basis of the evidence alone (see Wall Street Journal, June 15, 1979; Bioscience, Jan. 30th , 1980; Dr. Duane Gish, “Creation Science Answer, p. 6)?
As for legal experts in a law court, why, if evolution were an undeniable fact, do legal experts trained in evaluating evidence openly declare that a case for evolution would not stand under cross-examination in a modern law court? Roger Haines, Jr.., J.D.., research attorney for the California Thord District Court of Appeals, Sacramento, writes that, “The arguments for macroevolution fail at every significant level when confronted by the facts.” W.R. Bird, Yale lawyer, a member of The American Law Institute and listed in the most selective directory, “Who’s Who in the World,” argued the major case on origins before the U.S. Supreme Court. His definitive critique of evolution, “The Origin of Species Revisited,” utilizing thousands of pages of information gathered from hundreds of evolutionary scientists for the 1981 Supreme Court case is a masterful analysis of evidential reasoning showing that evolution is without significant evidence and that the theory of abrupt appearance(roughly parallel to creationism) is the better scientific theory.
You mentioned that, quote, " A panel of seventy-two Nobel Laureates, seventeen state academies of science, and seven other scientific organizations created an amicus curiae brief which they submitted to the Supreme Court (Edwards v. Aguillard 1986). This report clarified what makes science different from religion and why creationism is not science."
In view of the evaluation and conclusions of our two distinguished lawyers above, I (and many others) have no problem understanding why such a prestigious panel of scientists, not suprisingly backed by the National Academy of Sciences, felt it necessary to submit "an amicus curiae brief" (Edwards v. Aguillard 1986)clarifying that there is a difference between science and religion (as if the Supreme Court and average layman didn't know that) and that "creationism is not science." (in their opinion).
Of course, this does not change the evaluation and conclusions of the very prestigious lawyers I cited; namely, Roger Haines, Jr.., J.D.., research attorney for the California Third District Court of Appeals, Sacramento; and W.R. Bird, Yale lawyer, a member of The American Law Institute and listed in the most selective directory, “Who’s Who in the World,” who argued the major case on origins before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1981.
Here are their conclusions again after meticulous and vigorous examination of the evidence:
First Roger Haines, Jr.., J.D.., research attorney for the California Third District Court of Appeals, Sacramento: "The argument for macroevolution fail at every significant level when confronted by the facts."
Second, W.R. Bird, Yale lawyer, a member of The American Law Institute and listed in the most selective directory, “Who’s Who in the World,” who argued the major case on origins before the U.S. Supreme Courtin 1981. His definitive critique of evolution, “The Origin of Species Revisited,” utilizing thousands of pages of information gathered from hundreds of evolutionary scientists for the 1981 Supreme Court case is a masterful analysis of evidential reasoning showing that evolution is without significant evidence and that the theory of abrupt appearance(roughly parallel to creationism) is the better scientific theory.
Obviously, the evidence has not changed that much since 1981; except new challenges to mainstream Darwinian evolution (i.e. ID theorists); so if creationist/ID ideas "have been dismissed as non-scientific," as you claim, then there is a serious inconsistency in the Supreme Court's legal evaluation and determination of the evidence since the prestigious Yale lawyer W. R. Bird presented his case in 1981.
Thanks also for your kind words and wishes. I enjoy and value what you have to say, too. God bless.
You mentioned the 1987 Supreme Court case, Edwards v. Aguillard.
In view of the fact that legal experts (I.e Roger Haines, Jr., J.D., research attorney for the California Third District Court of Appeals, Sacramento and W.R. Bird, Yale lawyer, a member of The American Law Institute , who argued the major case on origins before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1981,openly declare that a case for evolution would not stand under cross-examination in a modern law court (You have read their statements and conclusions), we cannot help but wonder why, in the 1987 Supreme Court case, “Edwards v. Aguillard, the high court ruled unconstitutional, by a seven to two vote, the 1981 Louisiana statute that required creation science to be taught in public schools alongside evolution science.
As I have already mentioned, the evidence had not changed since the 1981 case; indeed, if anything there have been more challenges to Darwin (i.e.ID theorists). So what happened? I believe legal expert and Berkeley law professor Phillip Johnson can help us to understand. Phillip Johnson, as a Berkeley law professor, has studied the “Edwards v. Aguillard case in detail, including the brief presented by the National Academy of Sciences to the Supreme Court. As a Berkeley law professor, he is trained in the ways that words are used in arguments, and his training as a rhetorician has equipped him for critique. He capably contended point for point with Stephen J. Gould, considered the world’s foremost evolutionist, in a furiously paced seesaw debate that lasted for nearly an hour before a spellbound audience, even stepping in with strong rebuttals of a number of Gould’s points.
To balance things out, by way of background information, Johnson points out the vehement denial of the legitimacy of creationism, “Mainstream science does not agree that there are two sides to the controversy, and regards creation science as a fraud. Equal time for creation science in biology classes, the Darwinists like to say, is like equal time for the theory that it is the stork that brings babies.”
He further explains that a federal judge blocked the Louisiana statute, holding it to be an “establishment of religion.” When the Supreme Court upheld the decision, the majority opinion written by Justice William Brennan stressed the purpose of the Louisiana law “was clearly to advance the religious viewpoint that a supernatural being created humankind.” In the dissenting opinion, judge Scalia said the people “are entitled , as a secular matter, to have whatever scientific evidence there may be against evolution presented in the schools, just as Mr. Scopes was entitled to present whatever evidence there was for it.”
In the course of discussing the Supreme Court case (get his book “Darwin on Trial“), Johnson first speaks as a legal-rhetorical scholar and observes the persuasive advantage obtained by the way key terms like “science” and “religion” are used in the brief presented by “the Academy,” Thus, he (johnson) points out: “If we say that naturalistic evolution is “science”, and supernatural creation is “religion”, the effect is not very different from saying that the former is true and the latter is fantasy. When the doctrines of science are taught as fact, then whatever those doctrines exclude cannot be true. By use of labels, objections to naturalistic evolution can be dismissed without a fair hearing.”
Next, and most significantly, Johnson quotes from the brief to show how the Academy rejects the creationists’ tactic of “negative argumentation,” saying that it is a “dilution” of science that is “antithetical to the scientific method.” In this way, he exposes the illogic of the brief in focusing on manipulation of terminology to protect Darwinism from questioning. His reply is worth quoting:
“The Academy thus defined “science” in such a way that advocates of supernatural creation may neither argue for their own position nor dispute the claims of the scientific establishment. That may be one way to win an argument but it is not satisfying to anyone who thinks it possible that God really did have something to do with creating mankind, or that some of the claims that scientists make under the heading of “evolution” may be false. I approach the creation-evolution dispute not as a scientist but as a professor of law, which means among other things that I know something about the ways that words are used in arguments. What first drew my attention to the question was the way the rules of argument seemed to be structured to make it impossible to question whether what we are being told about evolution is really true. For example, the Academy’s rule against negative argument automatically eliminates the possibility that science has not discovered how complex organisms could have developed. However wrong the current answer may be, it stands until a better answer arrives. It is as if a criminal defendant were not allowed to present an alibi unless he could also show who did commit the crime.”
So when we understand how the rules of argument were framed or structured in the 1987 Louisiana Supreme Court case (Edwards v. Aguillard) in such a way (what legal expert Johnson calls “protection by illogic), one can clearly understand why it would have been impossible for the Supreme Court not to rule, as they did, that the 1981 Louisiana stature that required creation science to be taught in public schools alongside evolution, was unconstitutional, even on the basis of the evidence that they deemed to be “admissible.” You can put whatever spin on the above you like, but you can read Johnson’s review of both the case and the brief submitted by the “prestigious” National Academy of Sciences to that 1987 Supreme Court case.
Of course, Phillip Johnson’s review of this case in “Darwin on Trial” has met with great controversy because of his great ability and speciality in analyzing the logic of arguments and identifying the assumptions that lie behind those arguments. Take care.
I am sorry that that Creationism has been rejected by mainstream science. I am sorry that it fares little better in your courts of law. I'm sorry that biotechs don't base research strategy on the teachings of Creation Science.
It doesn't matter how verbose you become, or how many times you evoke the argument from authority. Creation Science is not being used because is is not deemed fit for function.
I believe (and I believe the readers will agree)that I have just satisfactorily refuted that notion that "Creation Science is not being used because is is not deemed fit for function," both from the vantage point of mainstream science and the law, especially on the basis of the evidence I've presented. Have a great day.
"Rob," also mentioned,"Dover v Kitzmiller anyone? Oh, and wasn't Judge Jones a Christian. He must be one of those fallen, pesky one's."
Yeah, federal judge John E. Jones, his summing up document (after presiding over the case in 2005 which went against the Dover's High School's board's intention to teach creationism in the science classrooom) was apparently almost verbatim from the ACLU, including spelling mistakes.
Intersting that you should raise Dover v Kitzmiller again
Much of the trial was taken up with discussion of the reference book ‘Of Pandas and People’, a textbook that explained the theory of Intelligent Design. It was discovered throughout the course of the trial that the book had not only been written and published by a group with a distinctly religious agenda, but it was actually a rewrite of an older book, which admitted to being openly about Creationism. Words such as ‘God’ had been edited out and replaced with the word ‘designer’.
Talk about a smoking gun. Lying for Jesus anyone?
Robaylesbury says, "Intersting that you should raise Dover v Kitzmiller again. Much of the trial was taken up with discussion of the reference book ‘Of Pandas and People’, a textbook that explained the theory of Intelligent Design. It was discovered throughout the course of the trial that the book had not only been written and published by a group with a distinctly religious agenda, but it was actually a rewrite of an older book, which admitted to being openly about Creationism. Words such as ‘God’ had been edited out and replaced with the word ‘designer’.
My reply: "Your statement is categorically false." Anyone who is seriously interested in the truth should read my response dealing with the facts (not distortions) of Dover v Kitzmiller.
First, your false assertion:"Of Pandas and People’, a textbook that explained the theory of Intelligent Design."
Historically, it is clear that the research that generated the Pandas textbook came years before any of the litigation over “creation science"(The term “intelligent design” appears to have been coined in its contemporary usage by cosmologist Dr. Fred Hoyle and soon thereafter Dr. Charles Thaxton, a chemist and academic editor for the Pandas textbook, adopted the term after hearing it mentioned by a NASA engineer. Thaxton’s adoption of the term was not an attempt to evade a court decision, but rather to distinguish ID from creationism, because, in contrast to creationism, ID sought to stay solely within the empirical domain).
Conceptually, early drafts of "Pandas and People", although they used the word “creation,” did not advocate “creationism” as that term was defined by the Supreme Court (see the findings of the Supreme Court on creationism in Edwards v. Aguillard). That "Pandas and People" would dare attribute these common observations of the fossil record to “an intelligent agency” should not render ID the equivalent of “creationism” any more than Gould’s observations should render him or his evolutionary model of punctuated equilibrium “creationist.” The language used in the Pandas text is not out-of-step with the observations of mainstream paleontologists,and should raise no constitutional concerns.
Secondly, your assertion: "the book('Of Pandas and People’) had not only been written and published by a group with a distinctly religious agenda, but it was actually a rewrite of an older book, which admitted to being openly about Creationism."
In their effort to tie ID to creationism, the plaintiffs introduced as their “smoking gun” a comparison of the language in early pre-publication drafts of Pandas that used the term “creation” and later pre-publication drafts as well as published editions that used the term “intelligent design.” They alleged the terminology was switched merely in an effort to evade the Edwards v. Aguillard ruling, which found “creation science” unconstitutional. But the plaintiffs (and Judge Jones, who relied on them) were wrong both historically and conceptually (see above).
It is worth reiterating that in Edwards v. Aguillard, the Supreme Judge Jones also ignored—or misinterpreted—key passages from the Pandas textbook that addressed this issue. For example, the published version of Pandas used in Dover schools explained that ID merely seeks to infer “intelligent causes” and is compatible with a wide variety of religious viewpoints, including pantheism and agnosticism: The idea that life had an intelligent source is hardly unique to Christian fundamentalism. Advocates of design have included not only Christians and other religious theists, but pantheists, Greek and Enlightenment philosophers and now include many modern scientists who describe themselves as religiously agnostic.
Moreover, the concept of design implies absolutely nothing about beliefs normally associated with Christian fundamentalism, such as a young earth, a global flood, or even the existence of the Christian God. All it implies is that life had an intelligent source. One would think this passage would be highly relevant to the determination of the religious nature of ID, but Judge Jones did not even quote it in his ruling. Rather, he cited another passage from "Pandas" out of context in order to insist that ID requires supernatural causation:
[A]n explicit concession that the intelligent designer works outside the laws of nature and science and a direct reference to religion is Pandas’ rhetorical statement, “what kind of intelligent agent was it [the designer]” and answer: “On its own, science cannot answer this question; it must leave it to religion and philosophy.”
But an examination of the full passage cited by Judge Jones makes clear that he misused it. The passage does not state that an intelligent designer must be supernatural, but rather that science is unable to address this question.
Judge Jones’s inquiry into pre-publication drafts of Pandas presents a troubling development for those who support freedom of the press for textbook publishers. In his inquiry, pre-publication drafts, which never saw the light of day, were used against the final published version of the Pandas textbook. The judge construed language which was removed as relevant to the final published version.
But announcements of the demise of ID were greatly exaggerated. As even Judge Jones acknowledged, his opinion has “no precedential value outside the Middle District [of Pennsylvania]”; its influence will depend heavily upon its persuasive quality, and close inspection of the opinion reveals many fatal flaws.
1. Contra Judge Jones, ID Does Not Make Claims about the Supernatural. ID Does Not “Require Supernatural Causation”.
2. Contra Judge Jones, ID’s Scientific Criticisms of Darwinian Evolution Have Not “Been Refuted by the Scientific Community” . Criticisms of Darwinian Theory Are Made by Many Scientists, Including Scientists Who Are Not Proponents of ID.
3. Contra Judge Jones, the Level of Acceptance of ID in the Scientific Community Is Not an Appropriate Test of Whether ID Is Science. Scientific Disagreement Does Not Equal Scientific Refutation. Shortly after Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box161 came out in 1996, biochemist James Shapiro of the University of Chicago acknowledged that “there are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations.”. Five years later in a scientific monograph published by Oxford University Press, biochemist Franklin Harold, who rejects ID, admitted, in virtually the same language, “we must concede that there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations.”.
4.Contra Judge Jones, ID Proponents Have Produced Peer- Reviewed Publications. The Supreme Court has stated that peer-reviewed publication is not a necessary condition of admissibility for scientific evidence.Yet in no fewer than five places in his ruling, Judge Jones claimed that ID “has not generated peer-reviewed publications.” Not only was this claim of doubtful relevance, it was flatly wrong. Expert witnesses Scott Minnich and Barbara Forrest each discussed an explicitly pro-ID article by Stephen Meyer in the peer-reviewed biology journal, Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. Moreover, Behe testified about his article, co-authored with physicist David Snoke, in the peer-reviewed journal Protein Science reporting on computer calculations showing that implausibly large population sizes are required to evolve simple protein-protein interactions via the common method of gene duplication. Other peer-reviewed pro-ID articles published in mainstream scientific journals and books were documented in an amicus brief accepted by Judge Jones, and Scott Minnich testified at trial that between “seven and ten” peer-reviewed papers supporting ID exist. While Judge Jones briefly alluded to Behe’s Protein Science article in a footnote, he simply ignored the Meyer article as well as the other publications brought to his attention, insisting that there is a “complete absence of peer-reviewed publications supporting” ID, and that “ID is not supported by any peer-reviewed research, data or publications.” The factual record in the case absolutely refutes such claims.
As for the Discovery Institute, it had consistently opposed policies that would mandate the teaching of the theory of ID in public schools, even issuing a brief stating it was clearly opposed to the action of the Dover school board.
Note carefully, despite his listing of these briefs in a footnote,39 there is no evidence from the text of Judge Jones’s opinion that he ever considered the arguments made in either brief. By contrast, “90.9% (or 5,458 words) of Judge Jones’s 6,004-word section on intelligent design as science was taken virtually verbatim from the ACLU’s proposed ‘Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law’ submitted to Judge Jones nearly a month before his ruling.”
Judge Jones also found it “incumbent upon the Court to further address an additional issue raised by Plaintiffs, which is whether ID is science. A court judge cannot, and should not presume to settle a contested scientific issue for all other courts.
The opinion in Kitzmiller is a misguided attempt on the part of a federal judge to settle controversies over science and religion that properly belong to practicing scientists and religious groups,respectively. Beyond determining the right of the plaintiffs to the legal relief that they sought (an injunction against the policy adopted by the Dover school board), Judge Jones had no authority to displace other institutions wrestling with the questions about how to handle scientific and religious controversies. Instead of promoting a constructive conversation over the relative merits of competing viewpoints, Judge Jones attempted to substitute his own answers. His decision relies upon a highly selective recitation of the facts, an obviously inadequate understanding of the scientific issues involved, and a distorted understanding of the principle of religious neutrality. As a result, Judge Jones’s opinion will serve future judges only with an example of how not to analyze the issues that were presented to him.
In the end, the debate over ID in nature cannot be resolved through either coercion or court decisions. ID arose because of new scientific evidence in cosmology and the life sciences, and this scientific evidence cannot be ruled out of existence by court order. As biochemist Michael Behe has observed of Judge Jones’s ruling,[it] does not impact the realities of biology, which are not amenable to adjudication. On the day after the judge’s opinion, December 21, 2005, as before, the cell is run by amazingly complex, functional machinery that in any other context would immediately be recognized as designed. On December 21, 2005, as before, there are no nondesign explanations for the molecular machinery of life, only wishful speculations and Just-So stories.
ID will survive Kitzmiller not only because the ruling itself is unpersuasive and is owed no deference, but because the scientific evidence pointing to design in nature is just as powerful today as it was before Judge Jones ruled.
I agree that ID and Creationism will survive Dover. Isn't the new mantra "Teach the controversy" or "Strengths and Weaknesses"
I expect the bandwagon will soon be rolling again. It's an established meme now. It evolves.
Speaking of evolving, I was struck when I learned that during my time as an embryo I produced a tail, gill sacks and apelike hair.
Thankfully I've lost most of these charming accessories. Kept some of the hair, though.
Umm. I happened across the following over at The Pandas Thumb"
"The Discovery Institute has put out a press release that is flabbergasting even by their standards.
In it, they breathlessly announce that
“Judge John Jones copied verbatim or virtually verbatim 90.9% of his 6,004-word section on whether intelligent design is science from the ACLU’s proposed ‘Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law’ submitted to him nearly a month before his ruling,” said Dr. John West, Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture.”
Now, Vice President for Legal Affairs John West is not a lawyer, so he may not be familiar with the fact that this is exactly what proposed findings of fact are for. They are proposed findings which a judge, if he or she agrees, then incorporates as his or her own findings. Both the school district and the plaintiffs filed proposed findings, and the judge went with the findings he found most convincing. Incidentally, the school district doesn’t seem to have ever objected to the plaintiffs’ filing their proposed findings. The press release suggests that Judge Jones did something improper in adopting the plaintiffs’ proposed findings as his own—but that is just what a judge does when he finds that the party has proven its case. In re Las Colinas, Inc., 426 F.2d 1005, 1008. (1st Cir. 1970) (“The practice of inviting counsel to submit proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law is well established as a valuable aid to decision making.”) As the Supreme Court put it in a slightly different context,
There was a trial, and after oral argument the judge announced from the bench that judgment would be for appellees and that he would not write an opinion. He told counsel for appellees, ‘Prepare the findings and conclusions and judgment.’ They obeyed, submitting 130 findings of fact and one conclusion of law, all of which, we are advised, the District Court adopted verbatim. Those findings, though not the product of the workings of the district judge’s mind, are formally his; they are not to be rejected out-of-hand, and they will stand if supported by evidence.
United States v. El Paso Natural Gas Co., 376 U.S. 651, 656 (1964). Accord, Ramey Const. Co., Inc. v. Apache Tribe of Mescalero Reservation, 616 F.2d 464, 466 (9th Cir. 1980) (“Verbatim adoption of a party’s proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law may be acceptable under some circumstances.”); Norris Industries, Inc. v. Tappan Co., 599 F.2d 908, 909-10 (9th Cir. 1979). The only time a judge is not allowed to do this is when he or she fails to reveal the discerning line for his or her decision, which makes it difficult for an appellate court to determine the judge’s reasoning. Ramsey, 616 F.2d at 466. That was hardly the case in Kitzmiller.
The Discovery Institute is essentially complaining “Hey, the ID proponents failed to convince the judge of anything they were saying!” Sorry, but that ain’t a story.
Folks at The Thumb predicted this was coming after Michael Behe’s talk in Kansas not long ago, in which he spent his time claiming that Judge Jones was simply acting as a parrot for the ACLU. Now, remember, Judge Jones is a Republican Bush appointee, not exactly your biggest war-on-Christmas ACLU guy. What’s more, the DI’s claim that Jones’ opinion is “copied verbatim or virtually verbatim” is curious also. What does “virtually verbatim” mean? Either something is verbatim or it isn’t, and if it is only “virtually” verbatim, how do they count it in their 90.9% figure? If anything, the fact that these sections are not verbatim proves that Jones carefully went over each item of the proposed findings and deliberately chose to adopt those findings as his own—which he is supposed to do, when he finds that the plaintiffs have proven their case.
What’s hilarious about this complete non-story is what an obvious attempt this is at keeping alive a subject that has already been done to death. Like the wacky Larry and Richard, toting around the corpse of their boss, the Discovery Institute is trying hard to pretend that there is some life left in their portrayal of ID as a science unfairly persecuted by political schemers. They keep propping up the Dover case as proof of their status as censored visionaries. The press release claims that “A year after Dover, it’s the Darwinists who seem filled with gloom, not us,” but we still haven’t stopped partying over demolishing them in Kitzmiller. (You should see all the empty champagne bottles. Matzke’s gonna have a hell of a headache.) Meanwhile, ID creationism has been increasingly marginalized, and its defenders have grown increasingly desperate. Desperate enough to accuse Judge Jones of impropriety for following an obviously well-established legal procedure. Desperate enough to still be groaning over the licking they took a year ago. Desperate enough to portray a Republican Bush appointee as an “activist” pawn of ACLU lefties. Desperate enough to spend time figuring out percentages of similar-sounding words, rather than doing any, you know, research in biological science. Truly laughable."
With comments like "Speaking of evolving, I was struck when I learned that during my time as an embryo I produced a tail, gill sacks and apelike hair," I think it is about time for me to exit stage right. I would not be suprised if they are still using those fraudulent "gill slit" embryological drwaings of Ernst Haeckel in biology textbooks today.
Believe what you want about ID, it doesn't matter to me.
This blog has long since become boring and exhausted my time responding to your misleading and false assertions and petty arguments and pathetically dry humour, all of which sounds like a recording to me because I've have heard the same many times before from so-called atheist apologists (which you are not). I have better things to do with my time. I do wish you well in your studies and future goals.
All the best, my friend.
I nice example of how to evaluate claims.
I think you will find that that when evolutionists are required to apply the principles on how to evaluate claims listed by Michael Shermer in the "Baloney Detection kit", especially in a debate with scientists who do not believe in mainstream Darwinian evolution, they are inconsistent and come up short.
A good example of this is Richard Dawkins in his debate with John lennox since you don't have to know rocket science to detect the baloney coming from Dawkins. http://www.dawkinslennoxdebate.com/
Dawkins and Lennox are a good example of people who disagree strongly and yet still get along. I think they've debated several times, if memory serves. Lennox seems like a nice enough guy.
The best way to sharpen one's baloney detection is to read a wide range of material. Listen to those whom you agree and disagree with. And the biggest enemy is that old monster known as cognitive bias. I don't know anybody totally free of it. I know I'm not.
Here's a leter debate too.
This one is a monster. A fascination dialogue regarding the intersection between faith and science.
I agree with your previous comment about reading a wide range of material and "cognitive bias on both sides of the debate," which is why I recommend the reader also check the following websites and read the comments on it.
I did not find anything new in the dialogue between Phil and Sam, just the same old arguments you get tired of hearing.
Those are both sites with a Christian emphasis. Visit them by all means, but drop by www.infidels.org and www.richarddawkins.net as well.
Thanks for that later debate, Rob. I really enjopyed it.
I think both Dawkins and Lennox did a splendid job, but I find Lennox's argument to be more convincing from the standpoint of faith and reason.
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