Carl Jackson Fills In For Dennis Prager (Larry Elder Interview)

Carl Jackson fills in for Dennis Prager. I love this guy! First time hearing him. I will be uploading smaller snippets of this long show when I have time. You can find Carl’s stuff here:

This is the interview of Larry Elder from the above show, isolated. Enjoy.

Ghost In The Machine – Richard Milton

This is chapter 15 (The Ghost In The Machine) from Richard Milton excellent book entitled, “SHATTERING THE MYTHS OF DARWINISM,” as well as a bit from near the end of the book regarding a “spellchecking” program to shore up his ideas from chapter fifteen. It really has to do with responding to the idea that a computer program is shown to “evolve.” That in some way there is an increase in novel information in the program that is adding to the specificity of the program apart from the designers/software engineers.

I would be remiss to not link to an article that also goes through this example well:

Enjoy… mind you this book was read by me in 1998, but the ideas here have been sustained through today.


Ghost in the Machine
pp. 167-176


[167>] Russel and Seguin’s 1982 picture of a human-looking “evolved” version of a dinosaur was an impressive feat combining science and imagination in a constructive and entertaining way. Yet few in 1982 foresaw that in little more than a decade, over 100 million people around the world would pay to be scared by the even more impressive feat of the computer generated dinosaurs of “Jurassic Park”.

Nothing that has entered the evolution debate since Darwin’s time has promised to illuminate the subject so much as the modern computer and its apparently limitless ability to represent, on the monitor-screen, compelling visual solutions to the most abstruse mathematical questions.

The information handling capacity of electronic data processing, with its obvious analogy to DNA, has been enthusiastically enlisted by computer-literate Darwinists as offering powerful evidence for their theory; while genetic software systems, said to emulate the processes of genetic mutation and natural selection at speeds high enough to make the process visible, have become a feature of most up-to-date biology laboratories.

The computer has been put to many ingenious uses in the service of Darwinist theory. And it has changed the minds of not a few skeptics by its powerful visual imagery and uncanny ability to bring extinct creatures – or even creatures that never lived – to life in front [168>] of us. But, compelling though the visual images are, how much confidence should we put in the computer as a guide to the evolution of life?

In his book The Blind Watchmaker Richard Dawkins describes a computer program he wrote which randomly generates symmetrical figures from dots and lines. These figures, to a human eye, have a resemblance to a variety of objects. Dawkins gives some of them insect and animal names, such as bat, spider, fox or caddis fly. Others he gives names like lunar lander, precision balance, spitfire, lamp and crossed sabers.

Dawkins calls these creations “biomorphs”, meaning life shapes or living shapes, a term he borrows from fellow zoologist Desmond Morris. He also feels very strongly that in using a computer program to create them, he is in some way simulating evolution itself. His approach can be understood from this extract:

Nothing in my biologist’s intuition, nothing in my 20 years experience of programming computers, and nothing in my wildest dreams, prepared me for what actually emerged on the screen. I can’t remember exactly when in the sequence it first began to dawn on me that an evolved resemblance to something like an insect was possible. With a wild surmise, I began to breed generation after generation, from whichever child looked most like an insect. My incredulity grew in parallel with the evolving resemblance…. Admittedly they have eight legs like a spider, instead of six like an insect, but even so! I still cannot conceal from you my feeling of exultation as I first watched these exquisite creatures emerging before my eyes.[1]

Dawkins not only calls his computer drawings “biomorphs”, he gives some of them the names of living creatures. He also refers to them as “quasi-biological” forms and in a moment of excitement calls them “exquisite creatures”. He plainly believes that in some way they correspond to the real world of living animals and insects. But they do not correspond in any way at all with living things, except in the purely trivial way that he sees some resemblance in their shapes. The only thing about the “biomorphs” that is [169>] biological is Richard Dawkins, their creator. As far as the “spitfire” and the “lunar lander” are concerned there is not even a fancied biological resemblance.

The program he wrote and the computer he used have no analog at all in the real biological world. Indeed, if he set out to create an experiment that simulates evolution, he has only succeeded in making one that simulates special creation, with himself in the omnipotent role.

His program is not a true representation of random mutation coupled with natural selection. On the contrary it is dependent on artificial selection in which he controls he sees some resemblance in their shapes. The only thing about the “biomorphs” that is biological is Richard Dawkins, their creator. As far as the “spitfire” and the “lunar lander” are concerned there is not even a fancied biological resemblance.

The program he wrote and the computer he used have no analog at all in the real biological world. Indeed, if he set out to create an experiment that simulates evolution, he has only succeeded in making one that simulates special creation, with himself in the omnipotent role.

His program is not a true representation of random mutation coupled with natural selection. On the contrary it is dependent on artificial selection in which he controls the rate of occurrence of mutations. Despite Dawkins’s own imaginative interpretations, and even with the deck stacked in his favor, his biomorphs show no real novelty arising. There are no cases of bears turning into whales.

There is also no failure in his program: his biomorphs are not subject to fatal consequences of degenerate mutations like real living things. And, most important of all, he chooses which are the lucky individuals to receive the next mutation – it is not decided by fate – and of course he chooses the most promising ones (“I began to breed from whichever child looked most like an insect.”) That is why they have ended up looking like recognizable images from his memory. If his mutations really occurred randomly, as in the real world, Dawkins would still be sitting in front of his screen watching a small dot and waiting for it do something.

Above all, his computer experiment falsifies the most important central claim of mechanistic Darwinian thinking; that, through natural processes, living things could come into being without any precursor. What Dawkins has shown is that, if you want to start the evolutionary ball rolling, you need some form of design to take a hand in the proceedings, just as he himself had to sit down and program his computer.

In fact, his experiment shows very much the same sort of results that field work in biology and zoology has shown for the past hundred years: there is no evidence for beneficial spontaneous genetic mutation; there is no evidence for natural selection (except as an empty tautology); there is no evidence for either as significant evolutionary mechanisms. There is only evidence of an unquenchable optimism among Darwinists that given enough [170>] time, anything can happen – the argument from probability.

But although Dawkins’s program does not qualify as a simulation of random genetic mutation coupled with natural selection, it does highlight at least one very important way in which computer programs resemble genetic processes. Each instruction in a program must be carefully considered by the programmer as to both its immediate effect on the computer hardware and its effects on other parts of the program. The letters and numbers which the programmer uses to write the instructions have to be written down with absolute precision with regard to the vocabulary and syntax of the programming language he uses in order for the computer system to function at all. Even the most trivial error can lead to a complete malfunction. In 1977, for example, an attempt by NASA to launch a weather satellite from Cape Canaveral ended in disaster when the launch vehicle went off course shortly after takeoff and had to be destroyed. Subsequent investigation by NASA engineers found that the accident was caused by failure of the onboard computer guidance system – because a single comma had been misplaced in the guidance program.

Anyone who has programmed a computer to perform the simplest task in the simplest language – Basic for instance – will understand the problem. If you make the simplest error in syntax, misplacing a letter, a punctuation mark or even a space, the program will not run at all.

In just the same way, each nucleotide has to be “written” in precisely the correct order and in precisely the correct location in the DNA molecule for the offspring to remain viable, and, as described earlier, major functional disorders in humans, animals and plants are caused by the loss or displacement of a single DNA molecule, or even a single nucleotide within that molecule.

In order to simulate neo-Darwinist evolution on his computer, it is not necessary for Dawkins to devise complex programs that seek to simulate insect life. All he has to do is to write a program containing a large number of instructions (3000 million instructions if he wishes to simulate human DNA) that continually regenerates its own program code, but randomly interferes with the code in trivial ways, such as transposing, shifting or missing characters. (The system must be set to restart itself after each fatal “birth”.)

[171>] The result of this experiment would be positive if the system ever develops a novel function that was not present in the original programming. One way of defining “novelty” would be to design the program so that, initially, its sole function was to replicate itself (a computer virus). A novel function would then be anything other than mere reproduction. In practice, however, I do not expect the difficulty of defining what constitutes a novelty to pose any problem. It is extremely improbable that Dawkins’s program will ever work again after the first generation, just as in real life, mutations cause genetic defects, not improvements.

Outside of the academic world there are a number of important commercial applications based on computer simulations that deserve to be seriously examined. A good example of this is in the field of aircraft wing design where computers have been used by aircraft engineers to develop the optimum airfoil profile. In the past wing design has been based largely on repetitive trial and error methods. A hypothetical wing shape is drawn up; a physical model is made and is aerodynamically tested in the wind tunnel. Often the results of such an empirical design approach are predictable: lengthening the upper wing curve, in relation to the lower, generally increases the upward thrust obtained. But sometimes results are very unpredictable, as when complex patterns of turbulence combine at the trailing edge to produce drag, which lowers wing efficiency, and causes destructive vibration.

Engineers at Boeing Aircraft tried a new approach. They created a computer model which was able to “mutate” a primitive wing shape at random – to stretch it here or shrink it there. They also fed into the model rules that would enable the computer to simulate testing the resulting design in a computerized version of the “wind tunnel”- the rules of aerodynamics.

The engineers say this process has resulted in obtaining wing designs offering maximum thrust and minimum drag and turbulence, more quickly than before and without any human intervention once the process has been set in motion.

Designers have made great savings in time compared with previous methods and the success of the computer in this field has given rise to a new breed of application dubbed “genetic software”. Indeed, on the face of it, the system is acting in a Darwinian manner. The [172>] computer (an inanimate object) has produced an original and intelligent design (comparable, say, with a natural structure such as a bird’s wing) by random mutation of shape combined with selection according to rules that come from the natural world – the laws of aerodynamics. If the computer can do this in the laboratory in a few hours or days, what could nature not achieve in millions of years?

The fallacies on which this case is constructed are not very profound but they do need to be nailed down. In a recently published popular primer on molecular biology, Andrew Scott’s Vital Principles, this very example is given under the heading “the creativity of evolution”. The process itself is called “computer generated evolution” as though it were analogous to an established natural process of mutation and selection.[2]

The most important fallacy in this argument is the idea that somehow a result has occurred which is independent of, or in some way beyond the engineers, who merely started the machine by pressing a button. Of course, the fact is that a human agency has designed and built the computer and programmed it to perform the task in question. As with the previous experiment, this begs the only important question in evolution theory: could complex structures have arisen spontaneously by random natural processes without any precursor? Like all other computer simulation experiments, this one actually makes a reasonable case for special creation – or some form of vitalist-directed design – because it specifically requires a creator to build the computer and devise and implement the program in the first place.

However, there are other important fallacies too. The only reason that the Boeing engineers are able to take the design produced on paper by their computer and translate that design into an aircraft that flies, is because they are employing an immense body of knowledge – not possessed by the com put er – regarding the properties of materials from which the aircraft will be made and the manufacturing processes that will be used to make it. The computer’s wing is merely an outline on paper, an idea: it is of no more significance to aviation than a wave outline on the beach or a wind outline in the desert. The real wing has to actually fly in the air with real passengers. The decisive events that make that idea into a reality are a long, complex sequence of human operations [173>] and judgments that involve not only the shaping and fastening of metal for wings but also the design and manufacture of airframes and jet engines. These additional complexities are beyond the capacity of the computer, not merely in practice but in principle, because computers cannot even make a cup of coffee, let alone an airliner, without being instructed every step of the way.

In order for a physical structure like an aircraft wing to evolve by spontaneous random means, it is necessary for natural selection to do far more than select an optimum shape. It must also select the correct materials, the correct manufacturing methods (to avoid failure in service) and the correct method of integrating the new structure into its host creature. These operations involve genetic engineering principles which are presently unknown. And because they are unknown by us, they cannot be programmed into a computer.

There is also an important practical reason why the computer simulation is not relevant to synthetic evolution: because an aircraft wing differs from a natural wing in a fundamental way. The aircraft wing is passive, since the forward movement of the aircraft is derived from an engine. A natural wing like a bird’s, however, has to provide upthrust and the forward motion necessary to generate that lift making it a complex, articulated active mechanism. The engineering design problem of evolving a passive wing is merely a repetitive mechanical task – that is why it is suitable for computerization. So far, no-one has suggested programming a computer to design a bird’s wing by random mutation because the suggestion would be seen as ludicrous. Even if all of the world’s computers were harnessed together, they would be unable to take even the most elementary steps needed to design a bird’s wing unless they were told in advance what they were aiming at and how to get there.

If computers are no use to evolutionists as models of the hypothetical selection process, they are proving invaluable in another area of biology; one that seems to hold out much promise to Darwinists – the field of genetics. Since Watson and Crick elucidated the structure of the DNA molecule, and since geneticists began unraveling the meaning of the genetic code, the center of gravity of evolution theory has gradually shifted away from the earth sciences – geology and pale-ontology – toward molecular biology.

[174>] This shift in emphasis has occurred not only because of the attraction of the new biology as holding the answers to many puzzling questions, but also because the traditional sciences have proved ultimately sterile as a source of decisive evidence. The gaps in the fossil record, the incomplete-ness of the geological strata, and the ambiguity of the evidence from comparative anatomy, ultimately caused Darwinists to give up and look somewhere else for decisive evidence. Thanks to molecular biology and computer science they now have somewhere else to try.

Darwinists seem to have drawn immense comfort from their recent discoveries at the cellular level and beyond, behaving and speaking as though the new discoveries of biology represent a triumphant vindication of their long-held beliefs over the irrational ideas of vitalists. Yet the gulf between what Darwinists claim for molecular biological discoveries and what those discoveries actually show is only too apparent to any objective evaluation.

Consider these remarks by Francis Crick, justly famous as one of the biologists who cracked the genetic code, and equally well known as an ardent supporter of Darwinist evolution. In his 1966 book Molecules and Men, in which he set out to criticize vitalism, Crick asked which of the various molecular biological processes are likely to be the seat of the “vital principle”.[3] “It can hardly be the action of the enzymes,” he says, “because we can easily make this happen in a test tube. Moreover most enzymes act on rather simple organic molecules which we can easily synthesize.”

There is one slight difficulty but Crick easily deals with it; “It is true that at the moment nobody has synthesized an actual enzyme chemically, but we can see no difficulty in doing this in principle, and in fact I would predict quite confidently that it will be done within the next five or ten years.”

A little later, Crick says of mitochondria (important objects in the cell that also contain DNA):

It may be some time before we could easily synthesise such an object, but eventually we feel that there should be no gross difficulty in putting a mitochondrion together from its component parts.

This reservation aside, it looks as if any system of [175>] enzymes could be made to act without invoking any special principles, or without involving material that we could not synthesize in the laboratory. [4]

There is no question that Crick and Watson’s decoding of the DNA molecule is a brilliant achievement and one of the high points of twentieth-century science. But this success seems to me to have led many scientists to expect too much as a result.

Crick’s early confidence that an enzyme would be produced synthetically within five or ten years has not been borne out and biologists are further than ever from achieving such a synthesis. Indeed, reading and rereading the words above with the benefit of hindsight I cannot help but interpret them as saying “we are unable to synthesize any significant part of a cell at present, but this reservation aside, we are able to synthesize any part of the cell.”

Certainly great strides have been made. William Shrive, writing in the McGraw Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, says, “The complete amino acid sequence of several enzymes has been determined by chemical methods. By X-ray crystallographic methods it has even been possible to deduce the exact three-dimensional molecular structure of a few enzymes.”[5] But despite these advances no-one has so far synthesized anything remotely as complex as an enzyme or any other protein molecule.

Such a synthesis was impossible when Crick wrote in 1966 and remains impossible today. It is probably because there is a world of difference between having a neat table that shows the genetic code for all twenty amino acids (Alanine = GCA, Praline = CCA and so on) and knowing how to manufacture a protein. These complex molecules do not simply assemble themselves from a mixture of ingredients like a cup of tea. Something else is needed. What the something else is remains conjectural. If it is chemical it has not been discovered; if it is a process it is an unknown process; if it is a “vital principle” it has not yet been recognized. Whatever the something is, it is presently impossible to build a case either for Darwinism or against vitalism out of what we have learned of the cell and the molecules of which it is composed.

It is easy to see why evolutionists should be so excited about cellular discoveries because the mechanisms they have found appear to [176>] be very simple. But however simple they may seem, as of yet no-one has succeeded in synthesizing any significant original structure from raw materials. We know the code for the building blocks; we don’t know the instructions for building a house with them.

Indeed, the discoveries of biochemistry and molecular biology have raised some rather awkward questions for Darwinists, which they have yet to address satisfactorily. For example, the existence of genetically very simple biological entities, such as viruses, seems to support Darwinist ideas about the origin of life. One can imagine all sorts of primitive life forms and organisms coming into existence in the primeval ocean and it seems only natural that one should find entities that are part way between the living and the nonliving – stepping stones to life as it were. It is only to be expected, says Richard Dawkins, that the simplest form of self-replicating object would merely be that part of the DNA program which says only “copy me”, which is essentially what a virus is.

The problem here is that viruses lack the ability to replicate unless they inhabit a host cell – a fully functioning cell with its own genetic replication mechanisms. So the first virus must have come after the first cell, not before in a satisfyingly Darwinian processes.

But despite minor unresolved problems of this kind Darwinists still have one remaining card to play in support of their theory. It is the strongest card in their hand and the most powerful and decisive evidence in favor of Darwinian evolutionary processes.

[….]


pp. 223-227


[223>] Earlier on I referred to computers and their programs as a fruitful source of comparison with genetic processes since both are concerned with the storage and reliable transmission of large quantities of information. Arguing from analogy is a dangerous practice, but there is one phenome-non connected with computer systems that could be of some importance in understanding biological information processing strategies.

The phenomenon has to do with the computer’s ability to refer to a master list or template and to highlight any exceptions to this master list that it encounters during processing. This “exception reporting” is profoundly important in information processing. For instance, this book was prepared using a word-processing program that has a spelling checker. When invoked, the spell checker reads the typescript of the book and compares each word with its built-in dictionary, highlighting as potential mistakes those it does not recognize. Of course, it will encounter words that are spelled correctly but are not found in a normal dictionary – such as “deoxyribonucleic acid”. But the program is clever enough to allow me to add the novel word to the dictionary, so that the next time it is encountered it will be accepted as correct instead of reported as an exception – as long as I spell it correctly.

In other words, the spelling checker isn’t really a spelling checker. It has no conception of correct spelling. It is merely a mechanism [224>] for reporting exceptions. Using these methods, programmers can get computers to behave in an apparently intelligent or purposeful way when they are really only obeying simple mechanical rules. Not unnaturally, this gives Darwinists much encouragement to believe that life processes may at root be just as simple and mechanical.

In cell biology there are natural chemical properties of complex molecules that lend them-selves to automatic checking and excepting of this kind. For example many molecules are stereospecific – they will attach only to certain other specific molecules and only in special positions. There are also much more complex forms of exception reporting, for instance as part of the brain’s (of if you prefer, the mind’s) cognitive processes: as when we see and recognize a single face in the crowd or hear our name mentioned at a noisy cocktail party.

In the case of the spelling checker, the behavior of the system can be made to look more and more intelligent through a process of learning if, every time it highlights a new word, I add that word to its internal dictionary. If I continue for a long enough time, then eventually, in principle, the system will have recorded every word in the English language and will highlight only words that are indeed misspelled. It will have achieved the near-miraculous levels of efficiency and repeatability that we are used to seeing in molecular biological processes. But something strange has also been happening at the same time – or, rather, two strange things.

The first is that as its vocabulary grows, the spelling checker becomes less efficient at drawing to my attention possible mistakes. This unexpected result comes about in the fallowing way. Remember, the computer knows nothing of spelling, it merely reports exceptions to me. To begin with, it has only, say, 50,000 standard words in its dictionary. This size of dictionary really only covers the common everyday words plus a modest number of proper nouns (for capital cities, common surnames and the like) and doesn’t leave much room for unusual words. It would, for instance include a word like ‘great’ but not the less-frequently used word “grate”.

The result is that if I accidentally type “grate” when I really mean “great”, the spell checker will draw it to my attention. If however, I enlarge the dictionary and add the word “grate”, the spell [225>]checker will ignore it in future, even though the chances are that it will occur only as a typing mis take – except in the rare case where I am writing about coal fires or cookery.

One can generalize this case by saying that when the dictionary has an optimum size of vo-cabulary, I get the best of both worlds: it points out misspellings of the most common words and reports anything unusual which in most cases probably will be an error. (Obviously to work at optimum efficiency the size of dictionary should be matched to the vocabulary of the writer). As the dictionary grows in volume it becomes more efficient in one way, highlighting only real spelling errors, but less efficient in another: it becomes more probable that my typing errors will spell a real word – one that will not be reported – but not the word I mean to use. Paradoxically, although the spelling checker is more efficient, the resulting book is full of contextual errors: ‘pubic’ instead of ‘public’, ‘grate’ instead of ‘great’ and so on.

It requires a human intelligence -a real spelling checker, not a mechanical exception reporter to make sure that the intended result is produced.

I said two strange things have been happening while I have been adding words to the spelling checker. The second is the odd occasion when the system has highlighted a real spelling mistake to me- say, “problem” instead of “problem” – and I have mistakenly told the computer to add the word to its dictionary. This, of course, has the very unfortunate result that in future it will cease to highlight a real spelling mistake and will pass it as correct. The error is no longer an exception it is now a dictionary word.

Under what circumstances am I most likely to issue such a wrong instruction? It is most likely to happen with words that I type most frequently and that I habitually mistype. Anyone who uses a keyboard every day knows that there are many such ‘favorite’ misspelled words that get typed over and over. Once again, only a real spelling checker, a human brain, can spot the error and correct it.

The reason that the computer’s spellchecker breaks down under these circumstances is that the simple mechanisms put in place do not work from first principles. They do not work in what electronics engineers call ‘real time’ (they are not in touch with the real world) and do not employ any real intelligent understanding [226>] of the tasks they are being called on to perform. So although the computer continues to work perfectly as it was designed to, it becomes more and more corrupted from the standpoint of its original function.

I believe that this analogy may well have some relevance to Darwinists’ belief that biological processes can at root be as simple as the spelling checker. It is easy to think of any number of simple cell replication mechanisms that rely on exception reporting of this kind. I believe that if biological processes were so simple, they too would become functionally corrupt unless there is some underlying or overall design process to which the simple mechanisms answer globally, and which is capable of taking action to correct mistakes. This is the mechanism that we see in action in the case of the “eyeless fly”, Drosophila; in Driesch’s experiment with the sea urchin and Balinsky’s with the eyes of amphibians; the ‘field’ that governs the metamorphosis of the butterfly or the reconstitution of the cells of sponges and vertebrates.

Darwinists believe that the only overall control process is natural selection, but the natural selection mechanism could not account for the cases referred to above. Natural selection works on populations, not individuals. It is capable only of tending to make creatures with massively fatal genetic defects die in infancy, or to make populations that are geographically dispersed eventually produce sterile hybrid offspring. It is such a poor feedback mechanism in the sense of exercising an overall regulating effect that it has failed even to eliminate major congenital diseases. Natural selection offers only death or glory: there is no genetic engineering nor holistic supervision of the organism’s integrity. Yet we are asked to believe that a mechanism of such crudity can creatively supervise a program of gene mutation that will restore sight to the eyeless fly.

This is plainly wishful thinking. The key question remains: what is the location of the supervisory agency that oversees somatic development? How does it work? What is it’s connection with the cell structure of the body?


FOOTNOTES


  • Richard Milton, Shattering the Myths of Darwinism (Rochester, VT: Park Street Press, 1997), 167-176; 223-226.

(Editor’s Note. The author did not footnote what page he was quoting from, he only cited the work itself)

[1] Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker (London, England: Pearson Longman, 1986).

[2] Andrew Scott, Vital Principles: The Molecular Mechanisms of Life (Oxford, England: Blackwell Publishers, 1988).

[3] Francis Crick, Of Molecules and Men (Seattle, WA: Univ of Washington Press, 1966).

[4] Ibid.

[5] William Shrive, Enymes, in the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1982).

An Empty Attack On Faith: “Scientists Read More”

I was cruisin, the WWW (in this case, a group on Facebook)… and I came across this “blurb (picture to the right). Now, I do not post this to “brag,” but I post this as a confirmed bibliophile and someone who plans on an eternity of learning truth.

Here is a blurb from my bio:

I have interests, and most of them pertain to reading and learning as a hobby.  My home library is well over 5,000 books (politics, religions, philosophy, economics, environment, history, origins, apologetics, etc… all non-fiction stuff my wife h-a-t-e-s), and about 600 DVDs dealing with much of the same (a lot of formal debates are in this collection). (A partial tour is in the video below [low-rez 2005].)

  • This is a recovery from my Vimeo account and was made with a low-rez camera in 2005 as a package to help my admission into a seminary. One day I will run through my library with the high resolution of today. One day.

I also want to note that while I am posting pics just on two sections of my library, this is repeated in all my categories — like: history, philosophy, world religions, cults, occult, apologetics, politics, civics, current affairs, economics, etc., etc. This first example is of Islam, a sliver of my world religious section (you can click to enlarge if so inclined):




And this is my section related to the reason to this post… note that many works in the collection are textbooks and/or works countering creation and Intelligent design or books by evolutionists on various subject within said paradigm. And yes, that is a pallet of books to the right of my packed-up portion of my library:

— these are two rows of books deep on most shelves —


BOOKS


Here are some of the shelves and books of this section of my library from the picture above (take note as well that I own many of the often quoted and used National Geographic, Nature Journal, Scientific American, and other magazines/journals):













Also, here is some of the atheist/theist debates, creationist/evolutionist debates, etc in DVD:


DVDs






 

Stephen C. Meyer | The Ben Shapiro Show (Intelligent Design)

Stephen C. Meyer, geophysicist, Vice President of the Discovery Institute, and author of the New York Time’s best seller “Darwin’s Doubt,” joins Ben to discuss philosophy, the origins of life, the overlap of science and religion, and much more. (Hat-Tip to WINTERY KNIGHT). See also RPT:

More [hard work] from WINTERY:

  • 1:34 What is your scientific background? Science undergraduate degree, professional geologist, later did a PhD in philosophy of science from Cambridge University.
  • 2:39 What is the difference between intelligent design and creationism? Creationism starts from the Bible and posits a shorter history of the universe. ID starts from the data of the natural world and is neutral about the age of the Earth / universe. Meyer accepts the old-Earth.
  • 3:36 How is Intelligent Design a scientific theory? The discovery of DNA reveals that code is central to living systems. Intelligent design uses the method of “inference to the best explanation” in order to argue that the best explanation for the code is an intelligent agent.
  • 6:10 What evidence would have to arise to make Intelligent Design Falsifiable? If a naturalistic mechanism was discovered that could produce biological information using the probabilistic resources of the universe, and the time available, then intelligent design would be falsified.
  • 7:26 Is religion separate from science or intertwined within it? There are three views: science is totally separate from religion, science is in total conflict with religion, science and religion agree on some issues, e.g. – the origin of the universe and Genesis 1:1. There are areas where science and religion overlap.
  • 9:55 Why are the most prominent Darwinians also militant atheists? Evolution is a theory that tries to explain nature using naturalistic mechanisms, so it is compatible with atheism.
  • 10:45 What does the theory of evolution say? The term evolution has multiple meanings, and should be defined before discussions. It can refer to change over time. It can refer to animals changing slightly to adapt to enviromental changes. It can refer to the idea that all animals evolved from simpler life forms, and that there is a tree of life showing how different types of organisms share common ancestors. And it can refer to the idea that purely undirected processes can explain the history of life using purely materialistic forces. It’s that final view that intelligent design challenges.
  • 13:15 Where is the discontinuity in naturalistic processes in the development of life? The first discontinuity is the origin of simple life from non-living components. The second discontinuity is the sudden appearance of different body plans in a very narrow window of time in the Cambrian era.
  • 15:42 Why does information theory suggest that code requires some sort of designer? DNA is a true information-bearing system identical to the software in computers, e.g. – operating system, applications.
  • 19:45 Can information be created by random mutation, and favorable mutations preserved by natural selection? Just as in software code, instructions must be added in order to develop new functionality. Random additions of characters will almost always degrade biological function. The number of possible sequences that do nothing useful is vastly higher than the number of sequences that perform biological functions. Doug Axe did research on this at Cambridge University, and he found that the number of functional sequences of amino acids is 1 in 10 to the 77th power. Given the probabilistic resources (replicating organisms)and the time available, it is extremely unlikely to find sequences that have functional information by chance.
  • 25:05 What about Stephen Jay Gould’s model of punctuated equilibrium – doesn’t it explain the sudden jumps in information? Gould’s mechanism is accurate according to the fossil record, which shows a lot of jumps. But he did not have a naturalistic explanation for sudden jumps in biological function. Darwinian mechanisms work slowly and would (in theory) produce different body plans gradually. But this is not what the fossil record shows.
  • 27:22 What is the mechanism for injecting information in the theory of intelligent design? The information comes in from an intelligence when new major body plans appear, and minor variations within types could be explained by evolution.
  • 29:25 Does the Miller-Urey experiment provide a naturalistic explanation for the building blocks necessary for the origin of life? The MU experiment only produced a few types of amino acids, it doesn’t say anything about how to sequence the amino acids in order to form protein folds that can perform biological functions. The MU experiment also pre-supposes conditions on the early Earth (reducing gases) that do not match what was there (oxidyzing or neutral gases).
  • 32:00 Is the RNA world hypothesis is a good explanation for the origin of life? Evolution requires that replication already be in place, because evolution assumes that mutations appear during the replication. The RNA world hypothesis suggests that sequences contain information, but also catalyze origin of life chemistry. The problem with RNA world is that it starts with self-replicating systems. And those replicating systems require the scientist to inject information into the system to get even the simplest replication started.
  • 34:56 How do scientists respond to the critiques of Darwinism proposed by intelligent design advocates? By and large, they accept them. They think that mutation and selection works once living systems are in place, but they realize it has no explanation for the origin of life or the sudden origin of body plans. (Tells about the  conference of the Royal Society, where problems with Darwinian mechanisms were discussed, and the 2003 MIT Press book by Muller and Newman).
  • 37:16 Why do people hold to Darwinian evolution in the face of these problems? Many scientists presuppose methodological naturalism, which requires that any explanation for the origin of life and the origin of major body plans involve materialist explanations only. No intelligent agents are allowed. The problems occur when assumption of naturalism causes scientists to propose incorrect explanations for what we observe in nature. It’s also not clear how naturalistic mechanisms could produce organisms who are capable of reason and free will.
  • 40:43 Does naturalistic evolution have an answer for conscious minds, reasoning, free will? No, consider the work of atheist scholar Thomas Nagel, who argues in his book “Mind and Cosmos” (Oxford University Press 2012) that the existence of mind is a disproof of the neo-Darwinian explanation for life. Darwinism stops us from accepting the reality of minds.
  • 42:06 So do naturalistic evolutionists have to explain away the mind as an illusion? First, we humans have immediate experience of consciousness, reason and free will. Second, our whole legal system is based on the idea free will, because you can’t hold someone guilty unless they chose to do something they knew was wrong. Third, we have an epidemic of suicide among young people. This is caused by a crisis of meaning. Intelligent design opens up the possibility of their being a mind behind the universe, who we could have a relationships with.
  • 44:53 Why aren’t schools allowed to be honest about the problems with neo-Darwinian evolution? The intellignt design view is to that teachers should be allowed to teach all the vidence for Darwinian evolution, and also discuss some of the problems with the theory. Students learning science should not be told that everything is solved. Students learn science better when they are presented with peer-reviewed evidence for and against a theory, rather than being indoctrinated.
  • 47:37 Is intelligent design theory connected to God? Intelligent design infers from the information content in nature that a mind with capabilities like ours injected information into living systems. Intelligent design is agnostic about the designer, because in principle, embodied or unembodied agents could inject information into living systems. Intelligent design is friendly to theism, because theists will immediately identify the mind as God. Furthermore, the fine-tuning in the initial conditions of the universe is another intelligent design argument. In that case, since the design occurs at the beginning of the universe, the intelligent agent acting prior to the creation of the universe would have to be supernatural, i.e. – God.
  • 50:53 Can naturalists say that the imposition of “function” on a sequence is arbitrary, in the same way that the English language is arbitrary? This won’t work, because biological function is not arbitrary in the same way as language. Biological function is not arbitrary, because sequences can be tested for function objectively by observing whether sequences can perform functions necessary for life, e.g. – replication.
  • 52:43 Doesn’t the multiverse explain away the improbabilities of the fine-tuning, the origin of life, and the development of life? No, because all models of the multiverse require fine-tuning in the mechanism that generates the different universes.
  • 55:42 What about cosmological models that eliminate the beginning of the universe? The standard Big Bang model and the inflationary model both posit a beginning of the universe. There is also the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theory which proves that any universe that is expanding requires a beginning. The only chance for naturalists is quantum cosmologies, but this doesn’t work because 1) it requires an abstract reality of mathematics to actualize the physical universe, but this presupposes a mind. 2)  The model requires an earlier input of information, which can only have come from a mind.

The “Problem” of God and Science (Romans 1:20 + Psalm 19)

HAT-TIP to UNCOMMON DESCENT 

  • Stephen Meyer: The More Science Advances, The More Science Points To Design 

(Another MUST LISTEN TO piece can be found at WINTERY KNIGHT)

A clipping from a post of mine elsewhere on this “fine establishments” zeros and ones (RELIGIO-POLITICAL TALK):


✂ SNIP ✂


Lee Strobel does a great job in relaying the evidence that we live in a finite cosmos and not an infinite one in his discussion with Dr. William Lane Craig [I added J. Warner Wallace as well to this presentation]:

When Albert Einstein developed his general theory of relativity in 1915 and started applying it to the universe as a whole, he was shocked to discover it didn’t allow for a static universe. According to his equations, the universe should either be exploding or imploding. In order to make the universe static, he had to FUDGE his equations by putting in a factor that would hold the universe steady.

In the 1920’s, the Russian mathematician Alexander Friedman and the Belgium astronomer George Lemaitre were able to develop models based on Einstein’s theory. They predicted the universe was expanding. Of course, this meant that if you went backward in time, the universe would go back to a single origin before which it didn’t exist. Astronomer Fred Hoyle derisively called this the Big Bang — and the name stuck! [Later in his career, Fred Hoyle confirmed the expansion through work on the second most plentiful element in the universe, helium.]

Starting in the 1920’s, scientists began to find empirical evidence that supported these purely mathematical models.

LET US TAKE A QUICK BREAK from this excerpt to fill in some information from another excerpt, and then we will continue:

As mathematicians explored the theoretical evidence, astronomers began to make observations confirming the expansion of the universe. Vesto Slipher, an American astronomer working at the Lowell Observatory. in Flagstaff, Arizona, spent nearly ten years perfecting his understanding of spectrograph readings. His observations revealed something remarkable. If a distant object was moving toward Earth, its observable spectrograph colors shifted toward the blue end of the spectrum. If a distant object was moving away from Earth, its colors shifted toward the red end of the spectrum.

J. Warner Wallace -- Red Light Shift Big-Bang

Slipher identified several nebulae and observed a redshift in their spectrographic colors. If these nebulae were moving away from our galaxy (and one another), as Slipher observed, they must have once been tightly clustered together. In 1914, he offered these findings at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society, proposing them as evidence the universe was expanding.

A graduate student named Edwin Hubble seas in attendance and realized the implica­tions of Slipher’s work. Hubble later began working at the Mount Wilson Observatory in Los Angeles. Using the Hooker telescope, he eventually proved Slipher’s nebulae were actually galaxies beyond the Milky Way composed of billions of stars. By 1929, Hubble published find­ings of his own, verifying Slipher’s observations and demonstrating the speed at which a star or galaxy moves away from us increases with its distance from Earth. This once again confirmed the expansion of the universe.

CONTINUING

For instance, in 1929, the American astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered that the light coming to us from distant galaxies appears redder than it should be, and this is a universal feature of galaxies in all parts of the sky. Hubble explained this red shift as being due to the fact that the galaxies are moving away from us. He concluded that the universe is literally flying apart at enormous velocities. Hubble’s astronomical observations were the first empirical confirmation of the predictions by Friedman and Lemaitre.

Then in the 1940’s, George Gamow predicted that if the Big Bang really happened, then the background temperature of the universe should be just a few degrees above absolute zero. He said this would be a relic from a very early stage of the universe. Sure enough, in 1965, two scientists accidentally discovered the universe’s background radiation — and it was only about 3.7 degrees above absolute zero. There’s no explanation for this apart from the fact that it is a vestige of a very early and a very dense state of the universe, which was predicted by the Big Bang model.

The third main piece of the evidence for the Big Bang is the origin of light elements. Heavy elements, like carbon and iron, are synthesized in the interior of stars and then exploded through supernova into space. But the very, very light elements, like deuterium and helium, cannot have been synthesized in the interior of the stars, because you would need an even more powerful furnace to create them. These elements must have been forged in the furnace of the Big Bang itself at temperatures that were billions of degrees. There’s no other explanation.

So predictions about the Big Bang have been consistently verified by the scientific data. Moreover, they have been corroborated by the failure of every attempt to falsify them by alternative models. Unquestionably, the Big Bang model has impressive scientific credentials… Up to this time, it was taken for granted that the universe as a whole was a static, eternally existing object…. At the time an agnostic, American astronomer Robert Jastrow was forced to concede that although details may differ, “the essential element in the astronomical and Biblical accounts of Genesis is the same; the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply, at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy”…. Einstein admitted the idea of the expanding universe “irritates me” (presumably, said one prominent scientist, “because of its theological implications”)

  • Lee Strobel, The Case for a Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence that Points Towards God (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004), 105-106, 112;
  • J. Warner Wallace, God’s Crime Scene: A Cold-Case Detective Examines the Evidence for a Divinely Created Universe (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2015), 32-33.

This should be put in bullet points for easy memorization:

  • Albert Einstein developed his general theory of relativity in 1915;
  • Around the same time evidence of an expanding universe was being presented to the American Astronomical Society by Vesto Slipher;
  • In the 1920s using Einstein’s theory, a Russian mathematician (Alexander Friedman) and the Belgium astronomer (George Lemaitre)  predicted the universe was expanding;
  • In 1929, Hubble discovered evidence confirming earlier work on the Red-Light shift showing that galaxies are moving away from us;
  • In the 1940’s, George Gamow predicted a particular temperature to the universe if the Big Bang happened;
  • In 1965, two scientists (Arno Penzias and Robert Woodrow Wilson) discovered the universe’s background radiation — and it was only about 3.7 degrees above absolute zero.

One of My Very First “Debate Style” Responses (20-Years Ago)

Imported from my old blog, which was itself imported from a 1999 forum debate. 20-years ago. It is a little rudimentary, but the format then was limited. I link many names of the people referenced for those curious. Almost all are evolutionists.

Enjoy.

Question Posed To Me In A Previous Debate:

  • (Gene90 asked) “Do you deny that some mutations are beneficial? (Such as, antibiotic resistance in a bacterium).”

MY RESPONSE

What about this example of bacteria resisting antibiotics? Actually, some bacteria possess a natural genetic capacity to resist certain antibiotics; mutations are not involved in these. Mutations cause a structural defect in ribosomes – the cellular constituents that antibiotics like streptomycin attach to. Since the antibiotic doesn’t connect with the misshapen ribosome, the bacterium is resistant.

Spetner: “We see then that the mutation reduces the specificity of the ribosome protein, and that means losing genetic information… Rather than say the bacterium gained resistance to the antibiotic, we would be more correct to say it lost its sensitivity to it. It lost information. The NDT [neo-Darwinian theory] is suppose to explain how the information of life has been built up by evolution Information cannot be built up by mutations that lose it. A business can’t make money by losing it a little at a time.” (Dr. Spetner’s book was one of the first intelligent design oriented books I read [1997])

In other cases, some mutant bacteria, because they have defective membranes, don’t absorb nutrients well. Fortuitously for them, that inefficiency also prevents their absorbing antibiotics. And so, in this instance also, they survive better than their normal cousins. But the mutation did not make them stronger or create new information, or “evolve” to a higher state. Likewise, if the world’s light suddenly disappeared, blind people might have an advantage over others, since they were already accustomed to operating in darkness. Nevertheless, we cannot then interpret blindness as positive, or representing new information or evolutionary advance.

C.P. Martin, writing in American Scientist, made a similar point when he compared x-rays’ effects on the body to being kicked and beaten [nice family publication]:

“It is quite possible that violent knocking about might dislocate a man’s shoulder, and that continued knocking about might actually reduce the previous dislocationno sane person would cite such a case as this to prove that the results of knocking a man about are not injuries; nor would anyone refer to the result as evidence that knocking a man about can produce an improvement over the normal man. For a truly progressive or evolutionary-apt mutation must result in an improvement over the normal condition. The truth is that there is no clear evidence of the existence of such helpful mutations. In natural populations endless millions of small and great genic differences exist, but there is no evidence that any arose by mutation.”

A more recent — what would be a “sister post” of sorts — is this: Antibiotic Resistance Evidence of “Devolution”

Second Question Posed

  • (Gene90 asked) “Do you deny that parents pass traits to their offspring?”

SECOND RESPONSE

This statement and the evolutionary implications get into what Darwin himself believed while writing his original manifesto, that is – Lamarckism. Lets see what some evolutionary scientists had to say (excerpted from my vestigial organs post).

  • Two of the most powerful causes of mutation are mustard gas and x-rays. A moments reflection on the horror of Hiroshima children born with deformed limbs and bodies, or blood disorders condemning them to premature deaths, is enough to show that they were unlikely candidates, to say the least, to win the struggle for existence in a life-game where survival of the fittest is the governing rule.” (British science writer Francis Hitching)
  • To postulate, as the positivists of the end of the last century and their followers here have done, that the development and survival of the fittest is entirely a consequence of chance mutations, or even that nature carries out experiments by trial and error through mutations in order to create living systems better fitted to survive, seems to me a hypothesis based on no evidence and irreconcilable with the facts…These classical evolutionary theories are a gross oversimplification of an immensely complex and intricate mass of facts, and it amazes me that they were swallowed so uncritically and readily, and for such a long time, by so many scientists without a murmur of protest.” (Biochemist Ernst Chain, who shared a Nobel Prize for his work on penicillin)
  • Simultaneous appearance of several gene mutations in one individual has never been observed, so far as I know, and any theoretical assertion that this is an important factor in evolution can be dismissed… the probability that five simultaneous mutations would occur in any one individual would be about .0000000000000000000001. This means that if the population averaged 100,000,000 individuals with the average length of generations of only one day, such an event could be expected only once in about 274,000,000,000 years – a period about one hundred times as long as the age of the earth.” (George Gaylord Simpson [R.I.P.], Professor of vertebrate paleontology at Harvard, and, perhaps, the twentieth century’s foremost paleontologist)

(Referring to a previous statement about the Panda) – were you there to see the Panda’s thumb change? Is there fossil proof for it (that could pass the Smithsonian Institutes tests [referring to the virulent rejection by the Smithsonian of the recent “feathered dinosaur” published by Natural Geographic])? Do genetic mutations back up the hypothesis?

I could equally say that an alien race came to earth and “tinkered” with rat till they got a Panda. I would have just as much proof as do evolutionists for the Panda evolving from a lower species, or higher (i.e. fish left the water to eventually become a cow, who, eventually went back to the water to become a whale – this is what evolutionary textbooks teach). I see all this as crazy! I say that I came from a cause greater than the universe and myself. Evolutionists say I came from a rock.

  • It is easy to make up stories of how one form gave rise to another, and to find reasons why the stages should be favored by natural selection. But such stories are not part of science, for there is no way of putting them to the test.” (Colin Patterson of the British NaturalHistory Museum)
  • Paleontologists (and evolutionary biologists in general) are famous for their facility in devising plausible stories; but they often forget that plausible stories need not be true.” (Stephen Jay Gould, Harvard’s famed paleontologist and probably evolution’s leading spokesperson today)

Take the human body, as a total system, is irreducibly complex. It is difficult to change one part without influencing others. The liver for example: it manufactures bile; detoxifies poisons and wastes; regulates storage and use of glucose, proteins, fats and vitamins; synthesizes blood clotting and immune system factors; and processes breakdown products of old blood cells. Or take the kidneys: they remove wastes through urine production; regulate the body’s water content and electrolytes (sodium, calcium, etc.); and support the adrenal glands, which secrete hormones such as adrenaline. Or the human heart: blood is pumped to from the right side of the heart to the lungs, where it receives oxygen; then back to the heart’s left side, which propels it to the rest of the body through more than 60,000 miles of vessels. The heart has four chambers; a system of valves prevents backflow into any of these; electrical impulses from a pacemaker control the hearts rhythm.

Rarely, babies are born with congenital heart disorders, making blood shunt to the wrong place. There is no known case of mutations improving circulation!Hemoglobin – the blood’s oxygen-carrying component – has over 40 mutant variants. NOT ONE transports oxygen as well as normal hemoglobin! Theodosius Dobzhansky, one of the twentieth centuries leading Darwinists, acknowledged this:

  • “And yet, a majority of mutations, both those arising in laboratories and those stored in natural populations, produce deteriorations of viability, hereditary diseases, and monstrosities. Such changes, it would seem, can hardly serve as evolutionary building blocks.” 
  • British science writer Frances Hitching says this: “On the face of it, then, the prime function of the genetic system would seem to be to resist change: to perpetuate the species in a minimally adapted form of response to altered conditions, and if at all possible to get things back to normal. The role of natural selection is usually a negative one; to destroy the few mutant individuals that threaten the stability of the species.”
  • Richard Goldschmidt, well known American geneticist said this: “It is true that nobody thus far has produced a new species or genus, etc., by macromutation. It is equally true that nobody has ever produced even a species by selection of micromutaions.”

Dr. Goldschmidt would have known – he bread gypsy moths for twenty years and a million generations in various environments. All he ever got was more gypsy moths. Anyone who thinks that an accumulation of mutations (information-losing processes) can lead to Macroevolution (a massive net gain of information) “is like the merchant who lost a little money on every sale but thought he could make it up on volume.” (Spetner, 1997)

David Berlinski – Artistic Fraud in Evolution

David Berlinski discusses the fraudulent methods in which evolutionary theory is taught in our schools.

A recommended resource is a recent book entitled, “Haeckel’s Embryos: Images, Evolution, and Fraud” — here is Chicago University Press’ description:

Pictures from the past powerfully shape current views of the world. In books, television programs, and websites, new images appear alongside others that have survived from decades ago. Among the most famous are drawings of embryos by the Darwinist Ernst Haeckel in which humans and other vertebrates begin identical, then diverge toward their adult forms. But these icons of evolution are notorious, too: soon after their publication in 1868, a colleague alleged fraud, and Haeckel’s many enemies have repeated the charge ever since. His embryos nevertheless became a textbook staple until, in 1997, a biologist accused him again, and creationist advocates of intelligent design forced his figures out. How could the most controversial pictures in the history of science have become some of the most widely seen?
           
In Haeckel’s Embryos, Nick Hopwood tells this extraordinary story in full for the first time. He tracks the drawings and the charges against them from their genesis in the nineteenth century to their continuing involvement in innovation in the present day, and from Germany to Britain and the United States. Emphasizing the changes worked by circulation and copying, interpretation and debate, Hopwood uses the case to explore how pictures succeed and fail, gain acceptance and spark controversy. Along the way, he reveals how embryonic development was made a process that we can see, compare, and discuss, and how copying—usually dismissed as unoriginal—can be creative, contested, and consequential.
           
With a wealth of expertly contextualized illustrations, Haeckel’s Embryosrecaptures the shocking novelty of pictures that enthralled schoolchildren and outraged priests, and highlights the remarkable ways these images kept on shaping knowledge as they aged.

Another book with a more apolgetic verve is one by Jonathan Wells, “Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution Is Wrong,” especially chapter five, “Haeckel’s Embryo’s.” Here is the author speaking to it:

Other Examples of SO-SO-STORIES… but first… what is a so-so-story? Here is a quote, and really, a definition of the general theory of evolution (GTE) that G.A. Kerkut defines in his older text, Implication of Evolution (second quote). Here Spetner calls it the neo-Darwinian theory (NDT), it more common name today. Here is Spetner’s relevant quote:

Neo-Darwinian Theory (NDT) is counterintuitive, and is acknowledged as such even by its supporters. All present-day life is assumed to have evolved from some primitive cell, and that cell was supposed to have formed itself from simple chemicals. Nobody seems to know how that cell came to be, but almost all biologists think they understand fairly well how evolution proceeded from that cell to all the life we see today.

There appears to be a vast amount of information contained in trees, fish, elephants, and people. Where did this information come from? It is said to have come from random mutations and natural selection. How can that work? Natural selection is supposed to be the magic that makes evolution happen, but all natural selection does is eliminate the less adaptive organisms and allow the more adaptive ones to survive and proliferate. Where do those more adaptive ones come from? Ap­parently, that’s what random mutations are supposed to accomplish.

So the information buildup required by Common Descent can come only from random mutations. That means that the buildup of informa­tion is a matter of chance. At each step of the evolutionary process, a mutation has to have occurred that grants the organism an advan­tage. The big question is: Is that reasonable? To see if it is, some people (including me) have made calculations of the probability of mutations building information.

We really don’t have all the data we need to make this calculation. But even if we make some conservative assumptions and give the ben­efit of all doubts to the Darwinian side, such calculations demonstrate that Common Descent is not reasonable. The Darwin­ists, however, do not accept these calculations as conclusive — they suggest alternative scenarios that might make the probabilities larger.

In his book Darwin’s Black Box, Michael Behe addressed the un­reasonableness of Darwinian evolution. He described some biological systems as what he called “irreducibly complex.” By that he meant that these systems are composed of several critical components in such a way that the system cannot work unless all those components are in place. He then argued that the system could not evolve one small part at a time, because natural selection could not work on less than the whole system. Here, too, the Darwinians countered by suggesting scenarios in which natural selection might work, but again, the Dar­winian scenarios are purely hypothetical.

Because the Darwinians can invent scenarios to address any chal­lenge to their theory, they are not convinced by attempts to show that neo-Darwinian evolution cannot work. Therefore, I have concluded that it would be more productive to challenge them to show that it could work — challenge them to do more than just offer vague scenarios of how their theory might work, but to show by calculation that the prob­ability of it working is reasonably high. This is a challenge they must meet to establish their theory on a scientific basis. They have never met this challenge and they cannot. They cannot show that the events they claim to have produced Common Descent have a high enough prob­ability to justify their claim. Their inability to establish the theory of Common Descent means that Common Descent is not an established theory. This is one of the main points of this book.

I cannot overemphasize the importance of probability calculations. NDT is not like Newton’s theory of mechanics, whose equations de­scribe the motion of a physical body under a force. Nor is it like Max­well’s theory of electromagnetism, whose equations describe the effects of electric and magnetic fields on electric charges. These theories are checked against experiment by solving those equations. NDT describes evolution as the result of random mutations that may or may not yield an adaptive phenotype. These are chance events. The theory can be checked only by calculating the probabilities of the required events to see if they are reasonably large. The theory has not been shown to have passed this test and is therefore not a valid theory. Whatever evidence is given for Common Descent is circumstantial. Circumstantial evi­dence cannot stand alone. It needs to have a theory tying the evidence to the conclusion. But instead of a theory, imaginary scenarios are of­fered to suggest how evolution might work. No calculations of proba­bilities are made.

[….]

Common Descent is a key component of an agenda advocating a natural origin of life. The effort to demonstrate the possibility of such a natural origin is usually divided into two parts: (1) abiogenesis, the origin of a simple life form from naturally occurring chemicals, and (2) the evolution of all life from that single simple beginning. It turns out, however, there is no good evidence for either of these two parts.

Lee Spetner, The Evolution Revolution: Why Thinking People Are Rethinking the Theory of Evolution (Brooklyn, NY: Judaica Press, 2014), 7-9, 15.

(LINKS IN PICTURES)

EYE EVOLUTION IN DRAWINGS:

NEBRASKA MAN (Drawn from from a single — later to be known — pigs tooth)

WHALE EVOLUTION:

Etc., Etc., Etc….

 

Not Enough Evolutionary Time For Simple Life


OTHER EVIDENCES TO CONSIDER

Not Enough Time


It’s even in the title of Charles Darwin’s most popular book, On the Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection. But what Darwin didn’t know then was that natural selection can’t create brand-new genetic information. It’s never been observed to do this. In the case of the bacterium we looked at, it either LOST information or gained already existing information. Nothing brand-new was created! So, if natural selection can never create the brand-new information that evolution needs, how can it be considered the driving force of evolution? Just one more scientific reason that you shouldn’t believe in molecules-to-man evolution. It takes a LOT of faith.

Proof that God (a non-random process) exists and random chance evolutionary processes do not explain our origins.

Stephen C. Meyer appearing in Darwin’s Dilemma talks about Richard Dawkins’s “climbing Mt. Improbable.”

Biologist Ann Gauger discusses the challenge posed to Darwinian natural selection by the process of metamorphosis found in butterflies and other creatures. Gauger is featured in the science documentary “Metamorphosis,” which deals with butterflies, evolution, and intelligent design.

Does Science Make Faith Obsolete? (GRAPHENE UPDATE)

Here is a “graphene” UPDATE STORY on where the technology/advancement has come and is headed.

THE VERGE catches us up with the story, but, they also have a story on a device already using graphene:

….At the end of an event where two devices were already announced — the Huawei Mate 20and Mate 20 Pro — Huawei had another surprise up its sleeve. The Huawei Mate 20 X is the largest in the lineup with its 7.2-inch OLED display, which already consists of three phablet devices. The device is equipped with a massive 5,000mAh battery, and it’s compatible with styluses.

Huawei emphasized the device’s gaming performance and its vapor chamber cooling design that, combined with “graphene film cooling technology,” the company claims will keep its Kirin 980 SoC cool even under heavy loads. Other specs include 6GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage, and a dual speaker configuration….



(The below was originally posted in April of 2015)


 

[Editors note: Graphene is the future of tech (see videos below as well)… way less energy used, faster, stronger, plentiful supply] Here is Dr. Tour’s bio:

James M. Tour is a synthetic organic chemist, specializing in nanotechnology. Dr. Tour is the T. T. and W. F. Chao Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Materials Science and NanoEngineering, and Professor of Computer Science at Rice University in Houston, Texas, United States.

He is well known for his work in molecular electronics and molecular switching molecules. He has also been involved in other work, such as the creation of a nanocar and NanoKids, an interactive learning DVD to teach children fundamentals of chemistry and physics, SciRave, Dance Dance revolution and Guitar Hero packages to teach science concepts to middle-school students and SciRave-STEM for elementary school children, and much work on carbon nanotubes and graphene. Dr. Tour’s work on carbon materials chemistry is broad and encompasses fullerene purification, composites, conductive inks for radio frequencies identification tags, carbon nanoreporters for identifying oil downhole, graphene synthesis from cookies and insects, graphitic electronic devices, carbon particle drug delivery for treatment of traumatic brain injury, the merging of 2D graphene with 1D nanotubes to make a conjoined hybrid material, a new graphene-nanotube 2D material called rebar graphene, graphene quantum dots from coal, gas barrier composites, graphene nanoribbon deicing films, supercapacitors and battery device structures, and water splitting to H2 and O2 using metal chalcogenides. His work with the synthesis of graphene oxide, its mechanism of formation, and its use in capturing radionuclides from water is extensive. Dr. Tour has developed oxide based electronic memories that can also be transparent and built onto flexible substrates. More recently, he has been using porous metal structures to make renewable energy devices including batteries and supercapacitors, as well as electronic memories. Tour is also well known for his work on nanocars, single-molecule vehicles with four independently rotating wheels, axles, and light-activated motors. His early independent career focused upon the synthesis of conjugated polymers and precise oligomers. Dr. Tour was also a founder of the Molecular Electronics Corporation. He holds joint appointments in the departments of chemistry, computer science, and materials science and nanoengineering at Rice University. Dr. Tour received degrees from Syracuse University (BS, 1981), Purdue University (PhD, 1986) and completed postdoctoral work at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (1986–1987) and Stanford University (1987–1988).

Tour holds more than 60 United States patents plus many non-US patents. He has more than 500 research publications.

In the Scientific American article “Better Killing Through Chemistry”, which appeared a few months after the September 11 attacks, Tour is credited for highlighting the issue of the ease of obtaining chemical weapon precursors in the United States.

In 2001, Tour signed the Discovery Institute’s “A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism”, a controversial petition which the intelligent design movement uses to promote intelligent design by attempting to cast doubt on evolution. To those who “are disconcerted or even angered that I signed a statement back in 2001” he responded “I have been labeled as an Intelligent Design (ID) proponent. I am not. I do not know how to use science to prove intelligent design although some others might. I am sympathetic to the arguments on the matter and I find some of them intriguing, but the scientific proof is not there, in my opinion. So I prefer to be free of that ID label.”

He had also said that he felt the explanations offered by evolution are incomplete, and he found it hard to believe that nature can produce the machinery of cells through random processes. On his website, he writes that “From what I can see, microevolution is a fact” and “there is no argument regarding microevolution. The core of the debate for me, therefore, is the extrapolation of microevolution to macroevolution.”

In Lee Strobel’s book “The Case For Faith” – the following commentary is attributed to Tour: “I build molecules for a living, I can’t begin to tell you how difficult that job is. I stand in awe of God because of what he has done through his creation. Only a rookie who knows nothing about science would say science takes away from faith. If you really study science, it will bring you closer to God.”…

(Wiki)

Dr. Stephen Meyer and Dennis Prager Discuss Theistic Evolution

Dennis talks to Stephen Meyer, Director of the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute in Seattle, about his latest book (one of the editors) which is a collection of essays by two dozen highly credentialed scientists, philosophers, and theologians from Europe and North America, this volume contests this proposal, documenting evidential, logical, and theological problems with theistic evolution—making it the most comprehensive critique of theistic evolution yet produced. Here it is at AMAZON: “Theistic Evolution: A Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Critique.”

BTW, it seems Prager has not hear of the sciences detecting intelligence. One of the best examples is STILL the Golden Arm, by William Dembski: “Man With The Golden Arm ~ Eliminating Chance Statistically.”

For more information on Natural Selection and the neo-Darwinian model waning, see my posts here:

Evolution is “Evolving” ~ The Failure of Neo-Darwinism
Natural Selection ~ D.O.A.
Not Enough Evolutionary Time For Simple Life

DISCOVERY INSTITUTE – Twitter: @DiscoveryCSC

Major DNA Study Undermines Evolution “In A Big Way”

PJ MEDIA UPDATE:

Thanks to a new study, evolutionists and their disciples are having to reexamine some of their most revered dogma. Particularly, evolutionists are now having to make sense of conclusions stating that almost all animal species, as well as humans, showed up on the stage of human history at the same time.

One of the constants of science is that science is constantly revising as it is challenged by new data, new theories, and new ways of observing and measuring data, not to mention the changes in scientific ideology molded by larger worldview shifts. Thomas Kuhn’s landmark book THE STRUCTURE OF SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTIONS provides a compelling argument for how scientific paradigms evolve, shift, and even jump to completely different tracks. However, within the many disciplines of science, evolution and evolutionists have remained dogmatic about the necessity of remaining committed to certain a priori assumptions. Well, as it turns out, some of evolution’s most revered a priori assumptions are now crumbling in the face of new research.

study published in the JOURNAL HUMAN EVOLUTION is causing quite the stir. In the WORDS OF PHYS.ORG, “The study’s most startling result, perhaps, is that nine out of 10 species on Earth today, including humans, came into being 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.”

So startling, in fact, that according to David Thaler, one of the lead authors of the study, “This conclusion is very surprising, and I fought against it as hard as I could.”

The study’s very own author was so disturbed by how the conclusions challenged current scientific dogma that he “fought against it as hard as [he] could.” His “fight” gives credence to the study’s conclusions. His eventual acceptance, not to mention publication, of the conclusions speaks well of Thaler’s commitment to being a scientist first and an ideologue second.

[….]

This is no small matter for evolutionists because, as WORLD MAGAZINE helpfully summarizes:

According to traditional evolutionary thinking, all living things on Earth share common ancestry, with species evolving through a slow process of random mutation, natural selection, and adaptation over roughly 3.8 billion years. The idea that humans and most animals suddenly appeared at the same time a mere 200,000 years ago or less does not fit with that model.

[….]

Speaking of the study, World provides a concise explanation:

In the past, researchers studied DNA in the nucleus of cells, which differs markedly from one species to another. But the new study analyzed a gene sequence found in mitochondrial DNA. (Mitochondria, the powerhouses of cells, produce about 90 percent of a cell’s chemical energy.) Although mitochondrial DNA is similar across all humans and animals, it also contains tiny bits that are different enough to distinguish between species. This difference allows researchers to estimate the approximate age of a species.

The researchers analyzed these gene sequences in 100,000 species and concluded that the event—either the simultaneous appearance of humans and most animals, or a population crash—occurred about 100,000 to 200,000 years ago. That proposal challenges the bedrock of evolutionary theory.

An aside, this is how my mind works. As I was trying to figure out the title for this post, I went with the above. But then this reminded me of a skit by the Jerky Boys which I uploaded an excerpt from a while back that I have to share:


FOSSILS NEVER SUPPORTED


This is really old news… but with new DNA evidence to support the issue. I will post a paper I wrote many years ago in a debate with a friend. But here are a few quotes to peak curiosity:

  • the fossil record doesn’t show gradual change, and every paleontologist has known that since Cuvier.”  (Dr Gould, “Is a New and General Theory of Evolution Emerging?” Lecture at Hobart & William Smith Colleges; Feb 14, 1980.)

MORE:

Anthropologist EDMUND R. LEACH told the 1981 Annual Meeting of the British Association For The Advancement Of Science:

Missing links in the sequence of fossil evidence were a worry to Darwin.  He felt sure they would eventually turn up, but they are still missing and seem likely to remain so.”

DAVID RAUP, curator of geology at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago:

He [Darwin] was embarrassed by the fossil record because it didn’t look the way he predicted it would and, as a result, he devoted a long section of his Origin of Species to an attempt to explain and rationalize the differences….  Darwin’s general solution to the incompatibility of fossil evidence and his theory was to say that the fossil record is a very incomplete one…. Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin, and knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded.  We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn’t changed much.  The record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin’s time.  By this I mean that some of the classic cases of Darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information [archaeopteryx as well].”

Harvard paleontologist STEPHEN JAY GOULD, probably evolution’s leading spokesperson today, has acknowledged:

“The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology.  The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils.”

GEORGE GAYLORD SIMPSON, perhaps the twentieth century’s foremost paleontologist, said:

This regular absence of transitional forms is not confined to mammals, but is an almost universal phenomenon, as has long been noted by paleontologists.  It is true of almost all orders of all classes of animals, both vertebrate and invertebrate.”

DAVID B. KITTS of the school of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Oklahoma wrote:

Despite the bright promise that paleontology provides a means of ‘seeing’ evolution, it has presented some nasty difficulties for evolutionists, the most notorious of which is the presence of ‘gaps’ in the fossil record.  Evolution requires [key word, requires] intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them.”

DR. STEVEN STANLEY of the department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, John Hopkins University, says:

The known fossil record fails to document a single example of phyletic evolution accomplishing a major morphologic [structural] transition and hence offers no evidence that the gradualistic model can be valid.”

BEFORE the main article excerpt… here is how the researchers explained away the issue (GULF NEWS):

The study’s most startling result, perhaps, is that nine out of 10 species on Earth today including humans came into being 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.

“This conclusion is very surprising, and I fought against it as hard as I could,” Thaler told AFP.

That reaction is understandable: How does one explain the fact that 90 per cent of animal life, genetically speaking, is roughly the same age?

Was there some catastrophic event 200,000 years ago that nearly wiped the slate clean?

Here is TECH TIMES dealing with the issue:

Born Around The Same Time

In analyzing the COI of 100,000 species, Stoeckle and Thaler arrived at the conclusion that most animals appeared simultaneously. They found that the neutral mutation across species were not as varied as expected. Neutral mutation refers to the slight DNA changes that occur across generations. They can be compared to tree rings because they can tell how old a certain specie or individual is.

As to how that could have happened, it’s unclear. A likely possibility is the occurrence of a sudden event that caused large-scale environmental trauma and wiped out majority of the Earth’s species.

“Viruses, ice ages, successful new competitors, loss of prey — all these may cause periods when the population of an animal drops sharply,” explains Jesse Ausubel, director of the Program for the Human Environment.

Such times give rise to sweeping genetic changes across the planet, causing new species to appear. However, the last time such an occurrence took place was 65 million years ago, when an asteroid hit the Earth and killed off the dinosaurs and half of all other species on the planet.

The study is published in the journal Human Evolution.

So this article is an amazing confirmation in the growing body of new gene studies that have boomed in the last couple decades. It helps confirm a “creation event,” or what others would say is confirmation of a genetic bottleneck of the Great Flood, requiring new definitions and challenges to the status quo!

MY PREDICTION is you will here more about a flood caused by a meteor in an article from 2007:

Everything YEC’ers (young earth creationists) say happened in this mega flood has been derided for years… until recently. A Discover Magazine article entitled,

To explain this “early reporting,” see: Why Does Nearly Every Culture Have a Tradition of a Global Flood? (ICR)

This study of DNA just adds to the neo-Darwinian proposition being overturned and comes with thanks to BARBWIRE! All the emphasis is theirs:

An earth-shattering gene survey has confirmed that the best in science is perfectly consistent with the best in theology. This study, which should shake the theory of evolution to its roots, will probably get buried by the Talking Snake Media because it doesn’t fit their narrative. (Note, by the way, that evolution is a theory, not a fact. Don’t let them lie to you about this.)

In this seismic article on the WWW.PHYS.ORG website, sweeping gene survey reveals new facets of evolution, author Marlowe Hood reports on a study of five million gene snapshots – referred to as “DNA barcodes” – that are on deposit in the GenBank database, which is managed by the U.S. government.

These DNA barcodes have been taken from about 100,000 animal species by researchers all over the world. The findings were published last week by Mark Stoeckle of the Rockefeller University in New York and David Thaler of the University of Basel in Switzerland.  These findings are “sure to jostle, if not overturn, more than one settled idea about how evolution unfolds.” That’s the understatement of the year.

These findings are more like an atomic bomb going off under the hoax of Darwinian evolution. This study, interestingly enough, was prompted by a handheld genetic test which is used to bust sushi bars trying to pass off tilapia for tuna.

The first nuclear bombshell is – get ready for this – that virtually all living things came into being at about the same time.

“The study’s most startling result, perhaps, is that nine out of 10 species on Earth today, including humans, came into being 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.

‘This conclusion is very surprising, and I fought against it as hard as I could,’ Thaler told AFP.

That reaction is understandable: How does one explain the fact that 90 percent of animal life, genetically speaking, is roughly the same age?” (Emphasis mine throughout.)

“Surprising” indeed. More like volcanically explosive. And the question is absolutely penetrating: how can evolution possibly be true when the scientific evidence, based on the best in genetic research, reveals that all living things came into existence at about the same time?

[….]

Here is the pull quote of seismic proportions: “In analysing the barcodes across 100,000 species, the researchers found a telltale sign showing that almost all the animals emerged about the same time as humans.

How indeed do we explain the fact that all animal life is the same age? Well, creation scientists and students of the Bible have a perfectly coherent explanation. The reason that all living things, including human beings, are the same age is that the Creator created them all at the same time, just as Genesis 1 tells us.

The study reveals another jolting discovery, which likewise is fatal for the theory of evolution. While Darwinian evolution requires an untold number of transitional forms, forms that are somewhere between one life form and another, the fossil record has no transitional fossils for which a credible case can be made, not one.

Darwin himself recognized the problem of missing links in his own day, and optimistically believed that time would solve the problem – he figured as more and more fossils were discovered, missing links would finally be found. Alas for Darwin, we actually have fewermissing links today than in his day, as advances in science have revealed that forms once considered transitional aren’t transitional forms at all.

As Stephen Jay Gould, one of the preeminent paleontologists in the world, said, “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology.”

That sets the stage for the second utterly revolutionary pull quote from the article. “And yet—another unexpected finding from the study—species have very clear genetic boundaries, and there’s nothing much in between.” In other words, the reason that no transitional forms have ever been found is quite simple: there aren’t any.

Predictions Made About Fossils by Papa Giorgio on Scribd

Whale and Human Vestiges (Pelvic Bone | Appendix)

Shun the Non-Believer…

A CLIP FROM CHARLIE THE UNICORN

Before posting what I did on Facebook as part of a response to a conversation regarding the below graphic… I want to say that by showing vestiges…

  • a rudimentary structure in humans corresponding to a functional structureor organ in ancestral animals

…in no way undermines Intelligent Design, or somehow PROVES evolution. Let me explain.

Darwin said he didn’t see an issue with whales evolving from bears, or some bear like creature. In his first edition of Origin of Species, Darwin said this:

  • “I can see no difficulty in a race of bears being rendered, by natural selection, more and more aquatic in their structure and habits, with larger and larger mouths,” Darwin concluded, “till a creature was produced as monstrous as a whale.”

ARCHAEOPTERYX

This does not involve “devolution,” a loss of specificity which the below picture captures… but rather, evolution demands an increase in specificity in gene and DNA specificity in the creation of whole new organs and how they act. Similarly, the Archaeopteryx is proffered as an example of evolution, but evolutionists themselves would say that this is only an example of “devolution,” and not an increase of specificity in a species (a clipping from my post: “Was Archaeopteryx Devolving? Thus Losing It’s Ability to Fly?“):

Since other feathered “birds” have been found around the same time or earlier than Archaeopteryx, causing Alan Feduccia to quip, “You can’t be older than your grandfather” (Creation.com)… NATURE has published an article pointing out that Archaeopteryx is JUST LIKE modern flightless birds. And so it could have been losing its ability for flight (like modern birds have).

“We know Archaeopteryx was living on an archipelago during the Jurassic. And with its feathers and bones looking so much like modern flightless island birds, it just makes me wonder,” says…. Michael Habib, a biologist at the University of Southern California….

[….]

“Just because Archaeopteryx was the first feathered dinosaur found, doesn’t mean it has to play a central role in the actual history of the origins of birds,” says palaeontologist Thomas Holtz of the University of Maryland in College Park. “We have to remember it appears 10 million years or so after the oldest known bird-like dinosaurs and so our famous ‘first bird’ may really be a secondarily flightless one.”…

(Nature Journal)

There is just as much [at best] evidence for this proposition as the next. “Devolution” — a loss of specificity/use, may be a more reasonable position to take via observed evidence. We see this all the time (directly below is an example from Lee Spetner’s new book), and EVOLUTION NEWS says that “looks like Archaeopteryx may have to be reclassified as a different sort of icon — symbolizing evolution by loss of function.” Oops.

So these types of examples ACTUALLY COUNT AGAINST the main idea that neo-Darwinism proposed… that I came from a rock.

I find it interesting that people think this whale bone pictured above is a vestigial organ. Very similar to the list of a 180 vestigial structures said to be in the human body in the late 1800’s dwindling to effectively zero, and the damage and laziness such thinking cost lives and sciences advancement (see more here):

TONSILS

In the 1930’s over half of all children had their tonsils and adenoids removed.  In 1969, 19.5 out of every 1,000 children under the age of nine had undergone a tonsillectomy.  By 1971 the frequency had dropped to only 14.8 per 1,000, with the percentage continuing to decrease in subsequent years. Most medical authorities now actively discourage tonsillectomies.[1] Many agree with Wooley, chairman of the department of pediatrics at Wayne State University, who was quoted in Katz: “If there are one million tonsillectomies done in the United States, there are 999,000 that don’t need doing.”

Among the first medical doctors seriously to question the wisdom of tonsillectomies was Albert Kaiser.  For ten years he kept complete records of the illnesses of 5,000 children. They were divided into two groups – those who had tonsils removed and those who did not.  Kaiser found: “…no significant difference between the two groups in the number of colds, sore throats and other upper respiratory infections.”[2]

Tonsils are important to young people in helping to establish the body’s defense mechanism which produces disease-fighting antibodies.  Once these mechanisms are developed, the tonsils shrink to almost nothing in adults, and other organs take over this function.[3]  In the Medical World News,[4] a story stated that although removal of tonsils at a young age obviously eliminates tonsillitis (the inflammation of the tonsils) it may significantly increase the incidence of strep-throat and even Hodgkin’s disease.  In fact, according to the New York Department of Cancer Control: “…people who have had tonsillectomies are nearly three times as likely to develop Hodgkin’s Disease, a form of cancer that attacks the lymphoid tissue.”[5]

THE POINT

My point is this, the Tonsils were once included in a list of 180 vestigial (“useless, or nearly useless”) organs.[6]  And because the assumption was first made that these were organs left over from a previous genetic ancestor (ape, dog, early-man, whatever), that they were deemed useless – ad hoc – because science did not know at that time what their functions were.

So for many years, doctors and scientists that accepted the evolutionary paradigm did not investigate the possible functionality of these organs.  Many people suffered and died needlessly due to this philosophical assumption that evolution is true.  You will see this assumption play out again and again where medical science and the evolutionary issue intersect.  You see, if you come to the table with an understanding that we were created, then these structures serve a purpose, or are a neutral combination of the possible male/female outcome of the fertilized egg (for instance, male nipples[7]).  If the assumption is made that these structures are designed, then the medical world would strive to investigate and understand the organ in question, not simply state that it is useless.

[1] Robert P Bolande, “Ritualistic Surgery – circumcision and tonsillectomy,” New England Journal of Medicine, March 13 (1969) pp. 591-595; Alvin Eden, “When Should Tonsils and Adenoids be Removed?” Family Weekly, September 25 (1977), p. 24; Lawrence Galton, “All Those Tonsil Operations: Useless? Dangerous?” Parade, May 2 (1976), pp. 26ff; Dolras Katz, “Tonsillectomy: Boom or Boondoggle?” The Detroit Free Press, April 13 (1972), p. 1-C; Samuel Lipton, “On the Psychology of Childhood Tonsillectomy,”  found in: The Psychoanalysis Study of the Child (International Universities Press, New York: 1962).
[2] Galton, p. 26.
[3] Martin L. Gross, The Doctors (Random House, New York: 1966); Simpson Hall, Diseases of the Nose, Throat and Ear (E. and S. Livingston, New York: 1941).
[4] N. J. Vianna, Peter Greenwald, and U. N. Davies,  September 10, 1973, p.10
[5] Galton, p. 26-27.
[6] This is an important issue, for instance, during the famous Scopes trial in 1925 – which allowed evolution to be taught alongside creation – zoologist Horatio Hacket Newman, a defense witness, stated: “There are, according to Wiedersheim, no less than 180 vestigial structures in the human body, sufficient to make of a man a veritable walking museum of antiquities.”
[7] Also, if created by a personal God who has created sex to be pleasurable, then the nipples have a purpose other than the neutral canvas of the fertilized egg.

  • Jerry Bergman and George F. Howe, Vestigial Organs Are Fully Functional (Creation Research Society Books, Kansas City: MO: 1990). 

WHALE TALES

SIMILARLY, the laziness in neo-Darwinian evolutionary propositions in this “example” of a vestigial organ shows the laziness in thought, and, the stalling of advancing science in understanding nature. Now, we know, and even the secular world acknowledges this fact in “discovering” [yet again] that pronouncements made by the evolutionary community of scientists is woefully wrong. Here is an example via THE DAILY MAIL – take note how I and the researches end the article:

Whale Sex Revealed: ‘Useless’ Hips Bones Are Crucial To Reproduction – And Size Really Matters, Study Finds

  • Whales and dolphins have pelvic bones, which are evolutionary remnants from when their ancestors walked on land more than 40 million years ago
  • Scientists from the University of Southern California and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, analysed pelvic bones for four years
  • Muscles that control a cetacean’s penis attach directly to its pelvic bones
  • They found the bigger the animals’ testis, the bigger their pelvic bone
  • Males from more promiscuous species evolve larger penises, so larger pelvic bones are necessary to attach bigger muscles for penis control, they said
  • Study changes the way we think about vestigial structures

[…..]

They wrote in the journal Evolution, the muscles that control a cetacean’s highly flexible penis, attach directly to its pelvic bones.

The scientist theorised that the pelvic bones could affect the level of control over the penis that an individual cetacean has, perhaps offering an evolutionary advantage.

To test their idea, they examined hundreds of pelvic bones and used a 3D scanner to make digital models of the curved bones in order to gain an unprecedented level of detail about their shape and size, as well as to compare them.

They then gathered data about testis size relative to the mass of whales. In the natural world, more ‘promiscuous’ species where females mate with many males, create a more competitive mating environment and the males develop larger testes as a way of attracting females.

[…..]

The experts compared the size of pelvic bones to the size of an animal’s testes, relative its body size, and found that the bigger the testes, the bigger the cetacean’s pelvic bone.

Males from more promiscuous species also evolve larger penises, so larger pelvic bones appear necessary to attach larger muscles for penis control, they said.

‘Our research really changes the way we think about the evolution of whale pelvic bones in particular, but more generally about structures we call vestigial,’ Professor Dean said.

‘AS A PARALLEL, WE ARE NOW LEARNING THAT OUR APPENDIX IS ACTUALLY QUITE IMPORTANT IN SEVERAL IMMUNE PROCESSES, NOT A FUNCTIONALLY USELESS STRUCTURE,’ he added….

(emphasis added)

AMBULOCETUS NATANS

In conversation about the above, the person I was speaking with posted a series of evolution from creature-to-creature proving the evolution of the whale.

I have already refuted this clean progression, HERE, but I noted something that this person was not aware of. As most people are not. You see, when you bring your kid to the Natural History Museum, you see this picture of the RED OUTLINED creature in the evidence for whales evolving:

The problem with this evidence is that it is based primarily on an artists rendition. Here is the actual bones all this Ambulocetus Natans is based on — see #3:

I merely commented that his believing and passing along graphics showing full skulls by artists, or the above “skeletal” sequence, reminds me of the movie scene from the Matrix:

In similar fashion, this artistic rendition used in the Scopes “Monkey” Trial was used as evidence proving evolution:

However, this was based off a single tooth. NOT ONLY THAT, but the tooth put forward as hominid, ended up being an extinct pig’s tooth.

APPENDIX

In similar form, many people still think the APPENDIX is a vestigial organ. Here is my response (since updated) to one of my son’s teachers in high school dealing with what was being taught as FACT… that is, that the appendix had no known use:


FULL UPDATED PAPER


Context this short paper was written:

This paper evolved over many years.  It was one of the first subjects I debated at a science discussion board on the Internet many years ago prior to the NetZero days.  Then I updated it to respond in writing to a Discover magazine article (a much larger paper, of which this takes up two pages).

Finally, as my son has been studying science in seventh grade, his science textbook states many “facts” wrongly, this being only one of the many I have since written about (peppered moths, embryos going through stages of a fish, homology, and the like).

I like to think that the teacher’s role is to not just teach what the “state” requires – this reminds me of the novels 1984, or Animal Farm – but to allow updated information into the classroom that will best challenge these students to become that medical doctor, chemist, or physicist.  In other words, I want my son to have the best information that may spark the interest to become, say, a medical doctor.  This is all that I argue for.

As it so happened, the teacher merely regurgitated what the “state” wanted her to (even after reading such a cogent and well laid response to her saying “there is no use for the appendix in the human body”).  Much like when the dog cubs were taken and “educated” in the novel Animal Farm.

Much thought – and enjoy the read – SeanG!

THE APPENDIX

Dr. Kawanishi,[1] showed that human lymphoid cells in the appendix are immunologically functional as T helper cells and antibody-producing B cells, making IgA molecules in response to immunological challenges.  He noted that:

“The human appendix, long considered only an accessory rudimentary organ, could posses a similar antigen uptake role prior to replacement by fibrosed tissue after repeated subclinical infections, or at least in early childhood when it is most prominent.”[2]

The appendix is also rich in argentaffin cells, which can be identified with the use of silver salt staining.  The function of these cells has long been obscure, but the evidence suggests that they may be involved with endocrine gland function.[3]  Many sources (encyclopedias, textbooks, etc.) still erroneously state that the appendix is useless.  Interestingly, the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia states in one place: that “In humans the cecum and appendix have no important function,” and in another place that “the appendix is now thought to be one of the sites where immune responses are initiated.”

Dr. Howard R. Bierman… studied several hundred patients with leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, cancer of the colon and cancer of the ovaries.  He found that 84% [of his sample] had [their] appendix removed….  In a control group without cancer, only 25% had it removed.[4]

Bierman himself had concluded that the appendix may be an immunological organ whose premature removal during its functional period permits leukemia and other related forms of cancer to begin their development.[5]  Bierman and his associates realized that the lymphoid tissue located on the walls of the appendix may secrete antibodies which protect the body against various viral agents.

While high school and college textbooks today will mention the appendix as vestigial, specialists in their field have for many years stated the necessity of the appendix as useful.

  • “There is no longer any justification for regarding the vermiform appendix as a vestigial structure.”[6]
  • For at least 2,000 years, doctors have puzzled over the function of…  the thymus gland…. Modern physicians came to regard it, like the appendix, as a useless vestigial organ which had lost its original purpose, if indeed it ever had one.  In the last few years, however,…  men have proved that, far from being useless, the thymus is really the master gland that regulates the intricate immunity system which protects us against infectious diseases….  Recent experiments have led researchers to believe that the appendix, tonsils, and adenoids may also figure in the antibody responses.[7]
  • The appendix is not generally credited with significant function; however, current evidence tends to involve it in the immunologic mechanism.[8]
  • The mucosa and submucosa of the appendix are dominated by lymphoid nodules, and its primary function is as an organ of the lymphatic system.[9]

The appendix is in fact part of the G.A.L.T. (Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue) system.  The lymphoid follicles develop in the appendix at around two weeks after birth, which is the time when the large bowel begins to be colonized with the necessary bacteria.  It is likely that its major function peaks in this neonatal period.  Making it anything other than vestigial!

As Dr. Peter Faletra (Ph.D.), who is Senior Science Advisor Office of Science Department of Energy, says in response to a question on an online question-and-answer service for K-12 teachers run by the Argonne National Laboratories:

“As a histologist I see no reason to consider the v. appendix as having no function since it contains numerous lymphoid follicles that produce functional lymphocytes and a rich blood supply to communicate them. The general idea of vestigial organs is to me a measure of ignorance, arrogance and lack of imagination. Ignorance in that we label it as such because we do not know its function; arrogance in that we declare it of no value since we can see none; and lacking in imagination in so far as when we cannot see its function cannot imagine one. I call your attention to that other ‘vestigial organ’ the thymus without which, in early life, we would produce a severely compromised cell-mediated immune system as the ‘nude’ mouse and numerous thymectomized mammalian studies have shown. Although some general reference books still list the v. appendix as ‘vestigial’ most immunologists (I included) would strongly disagree!”[10] (emphises added)

UPDATE

Since the above was removed, I want to embolden the thinking by excerpting a SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN article:[11]

A study in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology finds that many more animals have appendixes than was thought, and that the appendix is not merely a remnant of a digestive organ called the cecum. All of which means that the appendix might not be so useless. Steve Mirsky reports.

Two years ago, Duke University Medical Center researchers said that the supposedly useless appendix is actually where good gut bacteria safely hide out during some unpleasant intestinal conditions. 

Now the research team has looked at the appendix over evolutionary history. They found that animals have had appendixes for about 80 million years. And the organ has evolved separately at least twice, once among the weird Australian marsupials and another time in the regular old mammal lineage that we belong to. 

Darwin thought that only a few animals have an appendix and that the human version was what was left of a digestive organ called the cecum. But the new study found that 70 percent of rodent and primate groups have species with an appendix….

While Scientific American still tries to relegate it to evolution, they do so by supposition. Almost by metaphysical statements. William Parker, Ph.D., assistant professor of experimental surgery, who conducted the analysis in collaboration with R. Randal Bollinger, M.D., Ph.D., Duke professor emeritus in general surgery – said this:

  • “While there is no smoking gun, the abundance of circumstantial evidence makes a strong case for the role of the appendix as a place where the good bacteria can live safe and undisturbed until they are needed”[12]

WIKIPEDIA has a decent section on the appendix’s function as well.[13]

PS – (from the original letter)
This P.S. was to the teacher after she responded to my e-mail, I corrected her on something that any science teacher who isn’t guided by a presupposed philosophy – namely Naturalism – would have correctly defined.

Oh, I forgot, as I was falling asleep last night and running through the day in my head, something occurred to me.  You mentioned that theories are, quote:

  • “Theories are well tested concepts scientists use to help explain something based on repeated findings.”

Yes, a great quick explanation of a proper theory.  However, when the appendix was placed on the vestigial organ list along with 180 other organs by Ernst Haekel in the late 1800‘s – where it has stayed since – no repeatable tests were ever done to confirm the hypothesis that it was useless.  In fact, every medical test done of the type of tissue found (argentaffin cells, and lymphoid cells) in the appendix shows that it has a use.

So I would say that the theory that it is useful is quite sound, where as the hypothesis that it is useless is waning and ill founded ~ un-scientific in other words.


FOOTNOTES


[1] H. Kawanishi, “Immunocompetence of Normal Appendiceal Lymphoid cells: in vitro studies,” Immunology, 60(1) (1987), 19-28.

[2] Ibid., 19.

[3] Marti-Ibanez (editor), “Tuber of Life,” M. D. Magazine (1970) #14, p. 240; William J. Banks, Applied Veterinary Histology (Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore: 1981), 390.

[4]  Richard G. Culp, Remember thy Creator (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids,; MI: 1975).

[5]  Howard R. Bierman, “Human Appendix and Neoplasia,” Cancer 21 (1) (1968), 109-118.

[6] William Straus, Quarterly Review of Biology (1947), 149.

[7] “The Useless Gland that Guards Our Health,” in Reader’s Digest, November (1966), 229, 235.

[8] Henry L. Bockus, Gastroenterology, 2:1134-1148 [chapter The Appendix, by Gordon McHardy], (W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia, Pennslyvania: 1976).

[9] Frederic H. Martini, Ph.D., Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology, (Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: 1995), 916

[10] (Since removed) From the site Newton, which is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators.  Argonne National Laboratory, Division of Educational Programs, Harold Myron, Ph.D., Division Director.  Quote: http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/mole00/mole00225.htm   Home page: http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/

[11] “That’s No Vestigial Organ, That’s My Appendix,” Scientific American (8-24-2009), found at: http://tinyurl.com/ycb9dcnv

[12] Duke University Medical Center, “Appendix isn’t useless at all: It’s a safe house for bacteria,” EurekaAlert! (AAAS | 10-08-2008); found at: http://tinyurl.com/yadgop2l

[13] Appendix, Functions – found at: http://tinyurl.com/k245vmb