Antibiotic Resistance Evidence of “Devolution”

Updated near the bottom.

The issue involved in the above video is not evolution, but in fact, DEVOLUTION. In other words, “no newly evolved complex information has been demonstrated,” EVOLUTION NEWS AND VIEWS continues with a quote and then some commentarry [I am working on getting the graphic mentioned]:

A key aspect of bacterial survival is the ability to evolve while migrating across spatially varying environmental challenges. Laboratory experiments, however, often study evolution in well-mixed systems. Here, we introduce an experimental device, the microbial evolution and growth arena (MEGA)-plate, in which bacteria spread and evolved on a large antibiotic landscape (120 × 60 centimeters) that allowed visual observation of mutation and selection in a migrating bacterial front. While resistance increased consistently, multiple coexisting lineages diversified both phenotypically and genotypically. Analyzing mutants at and behind the propagating front, we found that evolution is not always led by the most resistant mutants; highly resistant mutants may be trapped behind more sensitive lineages. The MEGA-plate provides a versatile platform for studying microbial adaption and directly visualizing evolutionary dynamics.

The key to understanding the paper is its Figure 3C. There it shows the genes that have undergone more than one mutation across tested bacteria. They break the mutations down into silent changes, changes of amino acids (point mutations), and insertion-deletion or nonsense mutations, which almost certainly are loss of function (LOF). Over half of genes contain such LOF mutations, along with some point mutations, which likely also degrade or destroy function. In other words, devolution….

In another post over at EVOLUTION NEWS AND VIEWS, it is mentioned that “Evolutionists often speak in generalities about beneficial mutations. They may be rare, we are assured, but they happen.” But is this the case? Continuing we read:

…when they do [happen], “natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinising, throughout the world, every variation, even the slightest; rejecting that which is bad, preserving and adding up all that is good; silently and insensibly working, whenever and wherever opportunity offers, at the improvement of each organic being in relation to its organic and inorganic conditions of life” (Darwin, Origin of Species). All right, we have some data to look at. We can put a number to the frequency of beneficial mutations in a large sample. The number is zero.

Genome sequencing technology has progressed very rapidly in only the last few years. NATURE just published results of the Exome Aggregation Consortium (ExAC), the largest survey of human genes to date. (An “exome” is the portion of the genome that codes for proteins.) The exomes from 60,706 individuals from a variety of ethnic groups have been collected and analyzed. If we multiply 60,000 people by the 20,000 genes in the human genome (the lowest estimate), we get a minimum of 1.2 billion genes that have been examined by ExAC for variants. That sounds like a pretty good sample size for scrutinizing some of those beneficial variations that Darwin said his law of natural selection could add up and preserve.

Large-scale reference data sets of human genetic variation are critical for the medical and functional interpretation of DNAsequence changes. Here we describe the aggregation and analysis of high-quality exome (protein-coding region) DNA sequence data for 60,706 individuals of diverse ancestries generated as part of the Exome Aggregation Consortium (ExAC). This catalogue of human genetic diversity contains an average of one variant every eight bases of the exome, and provides direct evidence for the presence of widespread mutational recurrence. We have used this catalogue to calculate objective metrics of pathogenicity for sequence variants, and to identify genes subject to strong selection against various classes of mutation; identifying 3,230 genes with near-complete depletion of predicted protein-truncating variants, with 72% of these genes having no currently established human disease phenotype. Finally, we demonstrate that these data can be used for the efficient filtering of candidate disease-causing variants, and for the discovery of human ‘knockout’ variants in protein-coding genes. [Emphasis added.]

Out of this high ratio of variants (one in eight bases shows variation, they said), there should be some proportion, even if small, that improves fitness. But we search the paper in vain for any mention of beneficial mutations. There’s plenty of talk about disease. The authors only mention “neutral” variants twice. But there are no mentions of beneficial mutations. You can’t find one instance of any of these words: benefit, beneficial, fitness, advantage (in terms of mutation),improvement, innovation, invention, or positive selection.

They mention all kinds of harmful effects from most variants: missense and nonsense variants, frameshift mutations, proteins that get truncated on translation, and a multitude of insertions and deletions. Quite a few are known to cause diseases. There are probably many more mutations that never survive to birth. As for natural selection, the authors do speak of “negative selection” and “purifying selection” weeding out the harmful mutations, but nowhere do they mention anything worthwhile that positive selection appears to be preserving…

Yep. I note this “devolution” in a conversation with a biology graduate student in regards to evidences for the GENERAL THEORY OF EVOLUTION (GTE).

▼ It has been proven that resistance to many modern antibiotics was present decades before their [the antibiotics] discovery. In 1845, sailors on an ill-fated Arctic expedition were buried in the permafrost and remained deeply frozen until their bodies were exhumed in 1986. Preservation was so complete that six strains of nineteenth-century bacteria found dormant in the contents of the sailors’ intestines were able to be revived! When tested, these bacteria were found to possess resistance to several modern-day antibiotics, including penicillin. Such traits were obviously present prior to penicillin’s discovery, and thus could not be an evolutionary development. (Medical Tribune, December 29, 1988, p. 1, 23.)

In 1998, the National Academy of Sciences published and distributed a book to public schools and other institutions entitled Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science. Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D., F.M., wrote a book, Refuting Evolution, which is a topic by topic rebuttal to this Academy of Sciences publication. Under the evidence for evolution in the evolutionist text is the following quote:

▼ Similar episodes of rapid evolution are occurring in many different organisms. Rats have developed resistance to the poison warfain. Many hundreds of insect species and other agricultural pests have evolved resistance to the pesticides used to combat them – even to chemical defenses genetically engineered into plants.

(Sarfati’s reply – any words in the [boxes] are mine):

▼ However, what has this to do with the evolution of new kinds with new genetic information? Precisely nothing. What has happened in many cases is that some bacteria already had the genes for resistance to the antibiotics. In fact, some bacteria obtained by thawing sources which had been frozen before man developed antibiotics have shown to be antibiotic-resistant [6 different antibiotics in fact, penicillin in modern doses – which is way beyond the strength of natural penicillin found in nature]. When antibiotics are applied to a population of bacteria, those lacking resistance are killed, and any genetic information they carry is eliminated. The survivors carry less information [or specificity], but they are all resistant. The same principle applies to rats and insects “evolving” resistance to pesticides. Again, the resistance was already there, and creatures without resistance are eliminated.

[Much like if we killed all dogs (including Canis Domesticus and Canis Lupus) except for Chihuahuas, we would permanently lose the information of the parent population. You could then breed Chihuahuas for a millennium and not get an Irish Wolfhound]

▼ …In other cases, antibiotic resistance is the result of a mutation, but in all known cases, this mutation has destroyed information. It may seem surprising that destruction of information can sometimes help. But one example is resistance to the antibiotic penicillin. Bacteria normally produce an enzyme, penicillinase, which destroys penicillin. The amount of penicillinase is controlled by a gene. There is normally enough produced to handle any penicillin encountered in the wild, but the bacterium is overwhelmed by the amount given to patients. A mutation disabling this controlling gene results in much more penicillinase being produced.

[Thus, the bacteria found frozen in 1845 already had the mutation to overcome modern medical doses of penicillin. So the mutation wasn’t the result of the penicillin in modern doses, thus seemingly becoming resistant… it already had the resistant mutation – informational or specificity losing – in the population. In other words, no new information was added to the parent population!]

(See more in this entire chapter discussing the issue: “VARIATION AND NATURAL SELECTION VERSUS EVOLUTION“)

Updated info with a h-t to ‎TOMI AALTO’S site‎ and it comes by way of PHYS.ORG:

Excerpt: “Pioneering work being carried out in a cave in New Mexico by researchers at McMaster University and The University of Akron, Ohio, is changing the understanding of how antibiotic resistance may have emerged and how doctors can combat it in the future.

In research published in Nature Communications today, the scientists examined one bacterium found 1,000 feet underground (called Paenibacillus) that demonstrated resistance to most antibiotics used today, including so-called ‘drugs of last resort’ such as daptomycin. These microorganisms have been isolated from the outside world for more than four million years within the cave.

The results show the bacterium is resistant to 18 different antibiotics and uses identical methods of defense as similar species found in soils.

Among the different ways that the bacteria could be resistant to antibiotics, the scientists identified five novel pathways that were of potential clinical concern. Finding these new pathways is particularly valuable, as it gives researchers time to develop new drugs to combat this type of resistance, potentially decades before it will become a problem for doctors and their patients.

“The diversity of antibiotic resistance and it’s its prevalence in microbes across the globe should be humbling to everyone who uses these lifesaving drugs,” said Gerry Wright, an author of the paper and scientific director of McMaster’s Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research.

“It reflects the fact that we must understand that antibiotic use and resistance go hand in hand.”

My [Tomi’s] comment: How could anyone talk about bacterium evolution after this finding? We can’t observe evolution, we can only observe reaction and adaptation. We can also see strong evolutionary stasis here. Bacteria have not experienced changes in assumed millions of years. They have not evolved the ability to rapidly adapt to modern medicines. Instead, they already have all necessary genomic information and capabilities for ecological adaptation. These features are built in by Intelligent source and the Creator. The evolutionary theory is a dangerous heresy.

Peter Enns Fall from Grace | Theistic Evolution

Here is an excerpt from a book that was a very enjoyable read. Part of the reason is due to some of the worldview points he John Otis makes. In fact, a book quoted from (footnote #319) is a favorite political read from many years ago. (As an aside, here is a CHRISTIANITY TODAY article on Peter Enns firing) Take note as well that I do not agree with everything Otis makes a career on or writes on. If one is looking for a SOUND work that is good as well on the subject, see Refuting Compromise, just keep in mind that while this touches on theistic evolutionary theology and science, it also deals with gap theory as proposed by Hugh Ross.

One should keep in mind, while maybe theologically standing against theistic evolution — adamantly — note that many fine Christians have been theistic evolutionists. See a short video under the debate excerpt in a supplement for a men’s group I was in, titled: An Ironman Supplement ~ Thin Nothing:

While theistic evolution is almost at complete odds with the Gospel message, we should understand that the union between man-and-God is the acceptance of Jesus, not these particulars.

There have been great men of God who have been theistic evolutionists… this does not mean we have to be. (See video to the right, and I wish to thank Darren for keeping the tendency to judge unrighteously in check).

 …. In any case, enjoy the chapter.


Peter Enns: Where Theistic Evolution Can Lead


Peter Enns is the last person that I will analyze simply because he probably best typifies what can happen once one begins the downward spiral on adopting an evolutionary view to Scripture. This does not mean that all theistic evolutionists will end up theologically where Enns has, but it does show how one can easily end up with views purported by Enns. I would say that Enns’ views are the logical outcome of an evolutionary perspective, and the result when one views science as the best interpreter of Scripture.

Peter Enns was professor of Old Testament for 14 years at Westminster Seminary, Philadelphia up to his dismissal in 2008. Controversy arose over his 2005 book titled Inspiration and Incarnation. And that book is not as abrasive in certain ways as this book written by Enns last year, 2012, titled The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Does not Say About Human Origins.

Westminster Seminary President Lillback told students about the board’s decision to dismiss him:

We have students who have read it say it has liberated them. We have other students that say it’s crushing their faith and removing them from their hope. We have churches that are considering it, and two Presbyteries have said they will not send students to study under Professor Enns here.296

It is most grievous to see such division in the visible church. Some hail Enns’ ideas as liberating and others as crushing. There is something very, very wrong with this picture. With Enns’ publication of The Evolution of Adam, some have argued that this book definitively shows that Westminster’s decision of dismissal was fully justified. I would concur with that sentiment for sure.

What’s so bad about Enns’ book is that it is the consistent and logical outcome of a theistic evolutionary perspective. Now this does not mean that everyone who adopts a theistic evolutionist interpretation of Genesis ends up where Enns has.

I will not give as many quotes as I did with Jack Collins even though Enns is far more explicit and open in his views. As one will see, Enns is very straight forward. For example, he says:

A literal reading of the Genesis creation stories does not fit with what we know of the past. The scientific data does not allow it, and modern biblical scholarship places Genesis in its ancient Near Eastern cultural context.297 (Emphasis mine)

If the following comment by Enns is any indication of his views of Biblical inspiration, then one can understand why he was dismissed from Westminster Seminary. In Part 2 of his book titled “Understanding Paul’s Adam,” we learn what he thinks.

Enns states:

The conversation between Christianity and evolution would be far less stressful for some if it were not for the prominent role that Adam plays in two of Paul’s Letters, specifically Romans 5:12-21 and I Corinthians 15:20-58.

In these passages, Paul seems to regard Adam as the first human being and ancestor of everyone who ever lived. This is a particularly vital point in Romans, where Paul regards Adam’s disobedience as the cause of universal sin and death from which humanity is redeemed through the obedience of Christ.298

Enns continues:

It is understandable why, for a good number of Christians, the matter of a historical Adam is absolutely settled, and the scientific and archaeological data- however convincing and significant they might be otherwise – are either dismissed or refrained to be compatible with Paul’s understanding of human origins.299

So, it is evident that for Enns science and archaeology are more convincing than us poor misguided people who think Paul got it right because the Holy Spirit inspired the apostle. I suppose the Holy Spirit needs to check in with the latest scientific data to be sure of things before the living God inspired men who were mistaken. I am being facetious of course.

While saying that Paul’s view of Adam and Christ is central to Christian theology, Enns is critical of those who insist that science and archaeology must “fall in line” for all those, “who look to Scripture as the final authority on theological matters…”300

Wow! Shame on us for wanting science and archaeology to fall in line with Scripture and shame on us who look to the Scripture as the final authority. I am being facetious again.

I do not want to go into specifics on the New Perspective on Paul Theology, but Enns has adopted this view. Enns states:

Paul is not doing “straight exegesis” of the Adam story. Rather, he subordinates that story to the present, higher reality of the risen Son of God, expressing himself with the hermeneutical conventions of the time.301

One of the dominant views of the New Perspective on Paul Theology is that Paul’s theology is not so much about explaining justification by faith alone like Martin Luther understood it, but Paul’s case is simply to show that Jews and Gentiles together make up the people of God.

While true in one sense about Jews and Gentiles being in the church, the New Perspective on Paul approach has a twist to it.

Enns goes on to say this about Paul’s view of Romans 5:

Adam read as “the first human,” supports Paul’s argument about the universal plight and remedy of humanity, but it is not a necessary component for that argument. In other words, attributing the cause of universal sin and death to a historical Adam is not necessary for the gospel of Jesus Christ to be a fully historical solution to that problem. (Italics is Enns)

Without question, evolution requires us to revisit how the bible thinks of human origins.302

One could ask Peter Enns, “Then why did God the Father send God the Son to be incarnated into this world? I suppose the apostle Matthew got it wrong also when in Matthew 1:21, Matthew records the angel instructing Joseph to call the virgin conceived son as “Jesus,” for He will save His people from their sins.

From Peter Enns’ perspective, the Apostle Paul got it wrong in I Corinthians 15:21-22 which says, “For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.”

In questioning the consequences of Adam’s sin in Genesis 2 and 3, Enns says:

If Adam’s disobedience lies at the root of universal sin and death, why does the OT never once refer to Adam in this way?

Adam in Chronicles seems to be a positive figure, the first of many, not the cause of sin and death, although I admit that is more an argument from silence in Chronicles.300 (Emphasis mine)

If one recalls from the chapter on Ron Choong, this is his view about Adam not being the source of sin and death.

What does Enns believe about Cain? He says:

The picture drawn for us is that Cain is fully capable of making a different choice, not that his sin is due to an inescapable sinful inheritance… Adam’s disobedience is not presented as having any causal link to Cain’s.304

What about Noah? Enns says that Noah, being called a righteous man, demonstrates that at least in Noah there was no original sin linked back to Adam. Enns says:

If Adam were the cause of universal sinfulness, the description of Noah is puzzling. If Adam’s disobedience is the ultimate cause of this near universal wickedness, one can only wonder why, at this crucial juncture in the story, that is not spelled out or at least hinted at.

If Adam’s causal role were such a central teaching of the OT, we wonder why the OT writers do not return to this point again and again.

Rather than attribute to Adam a causal role, however, the recurring focus in the OT is on Israel’s choice whether or not to obey God’s law — the very choice given to both Adam and Cain.305

It is quite clear that Peter Enns does not agree with the notion of original sin. In fact, much of Enns’ views here are outright the same as the heretic Pelagius with whom Augustine did battle in the 5″ Century. R.C. Sproul has an excellent book titled Willing To Believe: The Controversy over Free-will. In this book, Sproul identifies 18 premises of Pelagius’s views. Sadly, Enns’ views constitute several of these premises. Enns, sensitive that some think he is Pelagian, says, “I am not trying to advocate some form of Pelagianism…I read the Adam story not as a universal story to explain human sinfulness at all but as a proto-Israel story.”306

Regardless of what he says, Enns is a Pelagian. Enns views the story of Adam and Eve as simply a wisdom story that depicts Israel’s exile. Israel’s failure to follow Proverb’s path of wisdom is what the Adam story is all about, he says:

We get a glimpse at why certain men at Westminster Seminary were upset with Enns. Enns discusses the Apostle Paul’s views compared with ancient cosmology.

Enns states:

My aim is simply to observe that Paul (and other biblical writers) shared assumptions about physical reality with his fellow ancient Hellenistic Jews…

Many Christian readers will conclude, correctly that a doctrine of inspiration does not require “guarding” the biblical authors from saying things that reflect a faulty ancient cosmology.

But when we allow the Bible to lead us in our thinking on inspiration, we are compelled to leave room for the ancient writers to reflect and even incorporate their ancient, mistaken cosmologies into their scriptural reflections.307 (Emphasis mine)

Just when one thinks that it cannot get any worse, Enns says:

But does this mean that Paul’s assumption about this one aspect of physical reality- human origins- necessarily displays a unique level of scientific accuracy? Just as with any other of his assumptions and views of physical reality, the inspired status of Paul’s writings does not mean that his view on human origins determines what is allowable for contemporary Christians to conclude.

I do not grant, however, that the gospel is actually at stake in the question of whether what Paul assumed about Adam as the progenitor of humanity is scientifically true.308 (Emphasis mine)

Oh well, theistic evolutionist Peter Enns has Paul in error. Even inspired Paul must bow to the sacred altar of Darwinism.

Enns continues in his assault on inspired Paul:

When viewed in the context of the larger Jewish world of which Paul was a part, his interpretation is one among several, with nothing to commend it as being necessarily more faithful to the original.309

Peter Enns gives us his understanding of the federal headship of Adam as a theistic evolutionist. He says:

We do not reflect Paul’s thinking when we say, for example, that Adam need not be the first created human but can be understood as a representative “head” of humanity. Such a head could have been a hominid chosen by God somewhere in the evolutionary process, whose actions were taken by God as representative of all other hominids living at the time and would ever come to exist. In other words, the act of this “Adam” has affected the entire human race not because all humans are necessarily descended from him but because God chose to hold all humans as accountable for this one act.310

Enns may not see that there is a problem with this next statement, but I hope my listener does when he says:

Admitting the historical and scientific problems with Paul’s Adam does not mean in the least that the gospel message is therefore undermined. A literal Adam may not be the first man and cause of sin and death, as Paul understood it, but what remains of Paul’s theology are three core elements of the gospel.

Even without a first man, death and sin are still the universal realities that mark the human condition.311

In another swipe at the doctrine of original sin, Enns states:

…The notion of “original sin” where Adam’s disobedience is the cause of a universal state of sin, does not find clear – if any – biblical support.

The fact that Paul draws an analogy between Adam and Christ, however, does not mean that we are required to consider them as characters of equal historical standing.3I2

Imagine. Just because Paul believes something you’re not required to believe it, and Paul got it wrong about Adam being the first man, so you do not need to believe him either.

Peter Enns concludes his book by saying the following:

One cannot read Genesis literally- meaning as a literally accurate description of physical, historical reality- in view of the state of scientific knowledge today and our knowledge of ancient Near Eastern stories of origins.313 (Emphasis mine)

In his conclusion, we who hold to a traditional understanding of creation are the dangerous ones according to Enns:

Literalism is not just an outdated curiosity or an object of jesting. It can be dangerous. A responsible view of the biblical stories must account for the scientific and archaeological facts, not dismiss them, ignore them, or- as in some cases, manipulate them.314

So, when having our devotions, are we to be sure that we have beside us pagan origin stories and Darwin’s Origin of Species and his book Descent of Man to be sure we understand the Bible correctly?

I think it is appropriate to conclude a review of Enns’ book by demonstrating how Enns has logically arrived to his Thesis 9.

A true rapproachment between evolution and Christianity requires a synthesis, not simply adding evolution to existing theological formulations.

Evolution is a serious challenge to how Christians have traditionally understood at least three central issues of the faith: the origin of humanity, of sin, and of death… sin and death are universal realities, the Christian tradition has generally attributed the cause to Adam. But evolution removes that cause as Paul understood it and thus leaves open the questions of where sin and death have come from. More than that, the very nature of what sin is and why people die is turned on its head. Some characteristics that Christians have thought of as sinful – for example, in an evolutionary scheme the aggression and dominance associated with “survival of the fittest” and sexual promiscuity to perpetuate one’s gene pool – are understood as means of ensuring survival. Likewise, death is not the enemy to be defeated … death is not the unnatural state introduced by a disobedient couple in a primordial garden. Actually, it is the means that promotes the continued evolution of life on this planet and even ensures workable population numbers. Death may hurt, but it is evolution’s ally.315

… Evolution is not an add-on to Christianity; it demands synthesis because it forces serious intellectual engagement with some important issues. Such a synthesis requires a willingness to rethink one’s own convictions in light of new data.316 (Emphasis mine)

Right here is where it logically ends up. Peter Enns has understood the essence of evolutionary thought. Surely Enns is not advocating an amoral society where we can do whatever we want if it advances our perceived betterment, but that is what he actually said. Enns did say that we need to rethink our former convictions about sexual promiscuity. Part of the evolutionary process is to ensure the best gene pool. Does this mean we can practice immorality? This is what he implied.

Enns says that we should not view death as some sort of enemy. It’s a natural thing in the struggle for life. Death is a means by which workable populations are ensured.

Well, Peter Enns is in good company with some who have and are practicing various forms of eugenics (population control). Sir Julian Huxley, as I pointed out in an earlier chapter, was a great champion of Eugenics, and he had no qualms about being sexually promiscuous, even asking his wife to engage in “open marriage.”

Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was an avid evolutionist and advocate of Eugenics. She stressed the necessity of using birth control, even abortion, to control the numbers of the unfit in various populations. She boldly proclaimed that birth control was the only viable way to improve the human race.317 How much different is Sanger’s view on sexuality than what Enns has stated? Sanger once wrote:

The lower down in the scale of human development we go the less sexual control we find. It is said the aboriginal Australian, the lowest known species of the human family, just a step higher than the chimpanzee in brain development, has so little sexual control that police authority alone prevents him from obtaining sexual satisfaction on the streets. According to one writer, the rapist has just enough brain development to raise him above the animal, but like the animal, when in heat, knows no law except nature, which impels him to procreate, whatever the result.318

Sanger was a huge fan of Malthus on population, just like Darwin. Sanger advocated euthanasia, segregation in work camps, sterilization and abortion.319 As her organization grew, Sanger set up more clinics in the communities of other “dysgenic races” — such as Blacks and Hispanics. Sanger turned her attention to “Negroes” in 1929 and opened another clinic in Harlem in 1930. Sanger, “in alliance with eugenicists, and through initiatives such as the Negro Project… exploited black stereotypes in order to reduce the fertility of African Americans.” The all-white staff and the sign identifying the clinic as a “research bureau” raised the suspicions of the black community. They feared that the clinic’s actual goal was to “experiment on and sterilize black people.” Their fears were not unfounded: Sanger once addressed the women’s branch of the Klu Klux Klan in Silver Lake, New Jersey, and received a “dozen invitations to speak to similar groups.” Flynn claims that she was on good terms with other racist organizations.320

Margaret Sanger’s view of eugenics is most telling when she said:

I have no doubt that if natural checks were allowed to operate right through the human as they do in the animal world, a better result would follow. Among the brutes, the weaker are driven to the wall, the diseased fall out in the race of life. The old brutes, when feeble or sickly, are killed. If men insisted that those who were sickly should be allowed to die without help of medicine or science, if those who are weak were put upon one side and crushed, if those who were old and useless were killed, if those who were not capable of providing food for themselves were allowed to starve, if all this were done, the struggle for existence among men would be as real as it is among brutes and would doubtless result in the production of a higher race of men.321

Peter Enns’ view in his Thesis 9 may seem very radical to many of us, but it has been consistently practiced in the past by other avid evolutionists.

Peter Enns has a blogsite titled Peter Enns “Rethinking Biblical Christianity”. On April 5, 2012, he titled his blog – “You and I Have a Different God, I Think.”

I’ve been watching the Adam and evolution debates . . . on line, in social media, and in print. I think I am beginning to see more clearly what accounts for the deeply held, visceral, differences of opinion about whether Adam was the first man or whether Adam is a story.

The reason for the differences is not simply that people have different theological systems or different ways of reading the Bible. A more fundamental difference lies at the root of these (and other) differences.

I think we have a different God.

And the Gospel certainly does not teach me that God is up there, at a distance, guiding the production of a diverse and rich biblical canon that nevertheless contains a single finely-tuned system of theology that he expects his people to be obsessed with “getting right” (and lash out at those who do not agree).

Would it be safe to say that Peter Enns is a heretic? I think the answer is obvious. Enns’ views are part of the theological monstrosity that results when we open Pandora’s evolutionary box.


Footnotes


296 Taken from Sarah Pulliam. “Westminster Theological Suspension Christianity Today. April 1. 2008. Found at http://www.christianitytoday.comict/2008/aprilweb-only/114-24.0.html.

297 Peter Enns, The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Does not Say about Human Origins, (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2012), p. 79.

298 Ibid.

299 Enns, p. 80.

300 Ibid.

301 Ibid., p. 81.

302 Enns, p. 82.

303 Ibid., pp. 82-83.

304 Enns, pp. 85-86.

305 Ibid., pp. 86-87.

306 Ibid., p. 91.

307 Enns, pp. 94-95.

308 Ibid., p. 95.

309 Enns, p. 98.

310 Ibid., p. 120.

311 Ibid., pp. 123-124.

312 Enns, p. 125.

313 Ibid., p. 137.

314 Ibid.. p. 138.

315 Enns, p 147.

316 Ibid.

317 Jerry Bergman, “Birth control leader Margaret Sanger: Darwinist, racist and eugenicist” who cites Engelman, P., Foreword to Margaret Sanger’s The Pivot of Civilization, Humanity Books, Amherst, NY, pp. 9-29. 2003; p. 9.

318 Ibid., who cites M. H. Sanger, What Every Girl Should Know, Belvedere Publishers, New York, p. 40, 1980. A reprint of the original 1920 edition.

319 Ibid., who cites D. J. Flynn, Intellectual Morons: How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas, Crown Forum, New York, 2004, ref. 13, p. 150.

320 Ibid., quoting both Sanger and D.J. Flynn.

321 Bergman, who cites M. H. Sanger, Margaret Sanger: An Autobiography, Norton, New York, ref 14, p. 160.

The Beginning of Culture

The Forge of Vulcan by Diego Velazquez, (1630). While some commentators have connected

the name of the Roman metalworking god Vulcan with the biblical Tubal-cain, the link is tenuous.

The Genesis Account (Powder Springs, GA: Creation Book Publishers, 2015), 435.

Genesis 4:17-26, The Line of Cain:

(17) Cain was intimate with his wife, and she conceived and gave birth to Enoch. Then Cain became the builder of a city, and he named the city Enoch after his son. (18) Irad was born to Enoch, Irad fathered Mehujael, Mehujael fathered Methushael, and Methushael fathered Lamech. (19) Lamech took two wives for himself, one named Adah and the other named Zillah. (20) Adah bore Jabal; he was the father of the nomadic herdsmen. (21) His brother was named Jubal; he was the father of all who play the lyre and the flute. (22) Zillah bore Tubal-cain, who made all kinds of bronze and iron tools. Tubal-cain’s sister was Naamah.

(23) Lamech said to his wives:

Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
wives of Lamech, pay attention to my words.
For I killed a man for wounding me,
a young man for striking me.
(24) If Cain is to be avenged seven times over,
then for Lamech it will be seventy-seven times!

(25) Adam was intimate with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, for she said, “God has given me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.” (26) A son was born to Seth also, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to call on the name of Yahweh.

The following are a couple commentaries about these verses. The first commentary is sort-of an introduction to these verses that detail the culture emerging in our most ancient civilizations, after the video is a more detailed commentary on Tubal-Cain:

  • Victor Harold Matthews, Mark W. Chavalas, and John H. Walton, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament, electronic ed. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), Ge 4:15–22.

4:17-26 ~ The Line of Cain

4:17. city building. Because the founding of a city is tied so intimately to the founding of a nation or people in the ancient world, stories about the founder and the circumstances surrounding its founding are a part of the basic heritage of the inhabitants. These stories generally include a description of the natural resources which attracted the builder (water supply, grazing and crop land, natural defenses), the special attributes of the builder (unusual strength and/or wisdom) and the guidance of the patron god. Cities were constructed along or near rivers or springs. They served as focal points for trade, culture and religious activity for a much larger region and thus eventually became political centers or city states. The organization required to build them and then to keep their mud-brick and stone walls in repair helped generate the development of assemblies of elders and monarchies to rule them.

4:19. polygamy. The practice of a man marrying more than one wife is known as polygamy. This custom was based on several factors: (1) an imbalance in the number of males and females, (2) the need to produce large numbers of children to work herds and/or fields, (3) the desire to increase the prestige and wealth of a household through multiple marriage contracts and (4) the high rate of death of females in childbirth. Polygamy was most common among pastoral nomadic groups and in rural farming communities, where it was important that every female be attached to a household and be productive. Monarchs also practiced polygamy, primarily as a means of making alliances with powerful families or other nations. In such situations the wives might also end up as hostages if the political relationship soured.

4:20. animal domestication. Raising livestock is the first stage in animal domestication, which involves human control of breeding, food supply and territory. Sheep and goats were the first livestock to be domesticated, with the evidence extending back to the ninth millennium b.c. Larger cattle came a bit later, and evidence for pig domestication begins in the seventh millennium.

4:21. musical instruments. Musical instruments were among the first inventions of early humans. In Egypt the earliest end-blown flutes date to the fourth millennium b.c. A number of harps and lyres as well as a pair of silver flutes were found in the royal cemetery at Ur dating to the early part of the third millennium. Flutes made of bone or pottery date back at least to the fourth millennium. Musical instruments provided entertainment as well as background rhythm for dances and ritual performances, such as processions or cultic dramas. Other than simple percussion instruments (drums and rattles), the most common instruments used in the ancient Near East were harps and lyres. Examples have been found in excavated tombs and painted on the walls of temples and palaces. They are described in literature as a means of soothing the spirit, invoking the gods to speak and providing the cadence for a marching army. Musicians had their own guilds and were highly respected.

4:22. ancient metal technology. As part of the account of the emergence of crafts and technology in the genealogy of Cain, it is appropriate that the origin of metalworking would be mentioned. Assyrian texts mention Tabal and Musku as the early metalworking regions in the Taurus Mountains (of eastern Turkey). Copper tools, weapons and implements began to be smelted and forged in the fourth millennium b.c. Subsequently, alloys of copper, principally bronze, were introduced in the early third millennium as sources of tin were discovered outside the Near East and trade routes expanded to bring them to Egypt and Mesopotamia. Iron, a metal which requires much higher temperatures and skin bellows (portrayed in the Egyptian Beni Hasan tomb paintings) to refine and work, was the last to be introduced, toward the end of the second millennium b.c. Hittite smiths seem to have been the first to exploit it, and then the technology spread east and south. Meteorite iron was cold-forged for centuries prior to its smelting. That would not represent as large an industry as the forging of terrestrial deposits, but it would explain some of the early references to iron prior to the Iron Age.

The following presentation by Dr. Chittick details some advanced technology of ancient man. If man evolved up from an animal as evolutionism teaches, then ancient civilizations should be “primitive.” However, science/archaeology indicates that ancient cultures were technologically advanced, perhaps even rivaling or surpassing our own technical achievements. Here is a quick bio on him:

Dr. Donald E. Chittick received a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, and a Bachelor of Science from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. His resume includes the following: Chairman of the Division of Natural Sciences at George Fox University in Oregon, adjunct professor of chemistry at the Institute for Creation Research in California, and Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of Puget Sound in Washington, as well as being an active lecturer for thirty years. Chittick is also an active inventor and has received several patents for alternative fuels and “programmed instruction,” i.e. homeschooling. He has a member of the American Chemical Society, and the Creation Research Society.

Here is Jonathan Sarfati’s commentary on Tubal-Cain:

  • Jonathan D. Sarfati, The Genesis Account: A Theological, Historical, And Scientific Commentary On Genesis 1-11 (Powder Springs, GA: Creation Book Publishers, 2015), 429-430, 436-438.

THE LINE OF CAIN (4:17B-24)

4:17b-24—When he [Cain] built a city, he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch. To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad fathered Mehujael, and Mehujael fathered Methushael, and Methushael fathered Lamech.

And Lamech took two wives. The name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. Adah bore Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe. Zillah also bore Tubal-cain; he was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah

Lamech said to his wives:

“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;

you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say:

I have killed a man for wounding me,

a young man for striking me.

If Cain’s revenge is sevenfold,

then Lamech’s is seventy-sevenfold.”

This section of Genesis is quite brief. But this is a pattern in Genesis: God is working out His Messianic program throughout history, but Genesis first narrates the history of the ‘side branches’ before disposing of them in the narrative. This section disposes of the history of the Cainites before moving on to the Messianic line of Seth. Then in Chapter 10, Genesis explains the history of the Gentile nations before moving on to Terah then his son Abraham, with whom God made a covenant. After this, Genesis 25 provides a brief history of Ishmael’s line before moving on to the covenant line in Isaac. Genesis 36 does the same for Esau’s line before a detailed explanation of the descendants of Jacob, the ancestor of the Messianic nation of Israel.

We also see how this line is involved in worldly pursuits, trying to alleviate the effects of the Curse. In itself, this is not a bad thing, and consistent with the Dominion Mandate (1:28, see Ch. 10). As Kidner says:

A biased account would have ascribed nothing good to Cain. The truth is more complex: God was to make much use of Cainite techniques for his people, from the semi-nomadic discipline itself (20; cf. Heb. 11:9) to the civilized arts and crafts (e.g. Exod. 35:35).

But in this case, the improvements were made apart from God, and merely show that “the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light” (Jesus, Luke 16:8).

THE FIRST RECORDED CITY (4:17B)

The English translation implies that Cain built a city, which would entail that he could defy his punishment of perpetual wandering. However, the Hebrew provides a different impression.

First, the word for ‘city’ is ‘îr (עִ֔יר). In the Bible, this certainly doesn’t mean something like modem London or New York, but can refer to something as small as a protected encampment. Keil and Delitzsch explain that this word “does not necessarily presuppose a large town, but simply an enclosed space with fortified dwellings, in contradistinction to the isolated tents of shepherds.”

Second, the Hebrew verb, wayǝhi bōneh (some Hebrew that did not scan over), which is participial, “he was engaged in building.” So it seems that Cain started the city, but had to wander again, so left it for Enoch to finish. This could be why the city was named after Enoch.

[….]

Tubal-cain (4:22a)

The above two brothers had an equally inventive half-brother, via Lamech’s other wife, Zillah. This was Tubal-cain, Hebrew Tubal Qayin (תּוּבַל). He was “the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron.” Thus Keil and Delitzsch suggest a reason for the dual name, “Cain, from קָ֫יִן to forge, is probably to be regarded as the surname which Tubal received on account of his inventions.” However, Henry Morris suggests an alternative:

The meaning of his name is uncertain but does seem etymologically to be the progenitor of the Roman god Vulcan.

Indeed, this view has had eminent support. For instance, John Gill elaborated on this idea much more in his monumental commentary series:

And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, … Thought by many to be the same with Vulcan, his name and business agreeing; for the names are near in sound, Tubalcain may easily pass into Vulcan; and who, with the Heathens, was the god of the smiths, and the maker of Jupiter’s thunderbolts, as this was an artificer in iron and brass, as follows: his name is compounded of two words, the latter of which was no doubt put into his name in memory of Cain his great ancestor; [Josephus] says of him, that he exceeded all in strength, and had great skill in military affairs.

An instructor of every artificer in brass and iron; he taught men the way of melting metals, and of making armour and weapons of war, and other instruments, for various uses, out of them; and he seems to be the same with the Chrysor of Sanchoniatho; for he says (w) of them (Agreus and Halieus) were begotten two brothers, the inventors of iron, and of working of it: one of these, called Chrysor, is said to be Hephaestus or Vulcan; and Chrysor, as Bochartus (x) seems rightly to conjecture, is `Choresh-Ur, a worker in fire’; that, by means of fire, melted metals, and cast them into different forms, and for different uses; and one of these words is used in the text of Tubalcain; and so, according to Diodorus Siculus (y), Vulcan signifies fire, and was not only the inventor of fire, but he says he was the inventor of all works in iron, brass, gold, and silver, and of all other things wrought by fire, and of all other uses of fire, both by artificers and all other men, and therefore he was called by all ‘fire’. Clemens of Alexandria ascribes the invention of brass and iron to the Idaeans or priests of Cybele in Cyprus; and so Sophocles in Strabo.

Vulcan was indeed the Roman god of fire and metalwork, often depicted with a blacksmith’s hammering. However, I have my doubts. Latin and Hebrew are from different language families—Indo-European and Semitic. Vulcan was functionally the same as the Greek god of metalworking, ‘Hephaestus’ (Hēphaistos –  Ἥφαιστος), and linguistically similar to the Cretan nature and fire god Velchanos. Also, all this is prior to the Flood, so he could not have been the inventor of post-flood metal-working unless that technology was carried on the Ark and preserved through the first several generations. It is more likely that many things were re-invented by the descendants of Noah, even if through memory of the antediluvian world.

The word ‘all’, kol, in this case means ‘all kinds of’, so it means that Tubal-cain invented a wide variety of metal tools. So all these brothers produced useful technology that would make life easier and alleviate effects of the Curse. This is good in itself, and illustrates God’s grace even in the line of the murderer Cain.

But after a parenthetical statement about a sister, we see that the tools were not always used for good. Metal tools, like music, can have both God-honouring and God-defying applications.

Evolution Cannot Account for: Logic, Reasoning, Love, Truth, or Justice

One of the most deep thinkers of the Founding Fathers, John Adams, noted that even “liberty” ~you know, one of the ideals impregnating our Founding Documents~ would be groundless if naturalism were true [among other things]:

Atheism—pure, unadulterated atheism…. The universe was matter only, and eternal Spirit was a word without a meaning. Liberty was a word without a meaning. There was no liberty in the universe; liberty was a word void of sense. Every thought, word, passion, sentiment, feeling, all motion and action was necessary [determinism]. All beings and attributes were of eternal necessity; conscience, morality, were all nothing but fate. This was their creed, and this was to perfect human nature, and convert the earth into a paradise of pleasure… Why, then, should we abhor the word “God,” and fall in love with the word “fate”? We know there exists energy and intellect enough to produce such a world as this, which is a sublime and beautiful one, and a very benevolent one, notwithstanding all our snarling; and a happy one, if it is not made otherwise by our own fault.

(See more context)

Ever hear an atheist say he’s a freethinker? Well, if atheism is true, an atheist, cannot be free nor would his thinking make any real sense. Frank Turek explains.

  • ‘If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true…and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms.’ (J.B.S. Haldane)”

These are some of my favorite quotes and dealing with “naturalism” and their logical end-result, consequences, or logical conclusions. Merely a combining of MANY quotes and a “not-so-few” videos.

Why Atheism Cannot Account for Logic and Reasoning from shirley rose on Vimeo.

If you read the threads of several of the blog entries on this site, you will see both atheists and Christians charging one another with committing “logical fallacies.”  The assumption both sides are making is that there is this objective realm of reason out there that: 1) we all have access to; 2) tells us the truth about the real world; and 3) is something we ought to use correctly if we want to know the truth. I think those are good assumptions.  My question for the atheists is how do you justify these assumptions if there is no God?

If atheistic materialism is true, it seems to me that reason itself is impossible. For if mental processes are nothing but chemical reactions in the brain, then there is no reason to believe that anything is true (including the theory of materialism). Chemicals can’t evaluate whether or not a theory is true. Chemicals don’t reason, they react.

This is ironic because atheists– who often claim to be champions of truth and reason– have made truth and reason impossible by their theory of materialism. So even when atheists are right about something, their worldview gives us no reason to believe them because reason itself is impossible in a world governed only by chemical and physical forces.

Not only is reason impossible in an atheistic world, but the typical atheist assertion that we should rely on reason alone cannot be justified. Why not? Because reason actually requires faith. As J. Budziszewski points out in his book What We Can’t Not Know, “The motto ‘Reason Alone!’ is nonsense anyway. Reason itself presupposes faith. Why? Because a defense of reason by reason is circular, therefore worthless. Our only guarantee that human reason works is God who made it.“

Let’s unpack Budziszewski‘s point by considering the source of reason. Our ability to reason can come from one of only two sources: either our ability to reason arose from preexisting intelligence or it did not, in which case it arose from mindless matter. The atheists/Darwinists/materialists believe, by faith, that our minds arose from mindless matter without intelligent intervention. I say “by faith” because it contradicts all scientific observation, which demonstrates that an effect cannot be greater than its cause. You can’t give what you haven’t got, yet atheists believe that dead, unintelligent matter has produced itself into intelligent life. This is like believing that the Library of Congress resulted from an explosion in a printing shop.

I think it makes much more sense to believe that the human mind is made in the image of the Great Mind– God. In other words, our minds can apprehend truth and can reason about reality because they were built by the Architect of truth, reality, and reason itself.

So I have two questions for atheists:  1) What is the source of this immaterial reality known as reason that we are all presupposing, utilizing in our discussions, and accusing one other of violating on occasion?; and 2) If there is no God and we are nothing but chemicals, why should we trust anything we think, including the thought that there is no God?

(Cross Examined)

Let’s consider a basic question: Why does the natural world make any sense to begin with? Albert Einstein once remarked that the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible. Why should we be able to grasp the beauty, elegance, and complexity of our universe?

Einstein understood a basic truth about science, namely, that it relies upon certain philosophical assumptions about the natural world. These assumptions include the existence of an external world that is orderly and rational, and the trustworthiness of our minds to grasp that world. Science cannot proceed apart from these assumptions, even though they cannot be independently proven. Oxford professor John C. Lennox asks a penetrating question, “At the heart of all science lies the conviction that the universe is orderly. Without this deep conviction science would not be possible. So we are entitled to ask: Where does the conviction come from?”” Why is the world orderly? And why do our minds comprehend this order?

Toward the end of The God Delusion, Dawkins admits that since we are the product of natural selection, our senses cannot be fully trusted. After all, according to Darwinian evolution, our senses have been formed to aid survival, not necessarily to deliver true belief. Since a human being has been cobbled together through the blind process of natural selection acting on random mutation, says Dawkins, it’s unlikely that our views of the world are completely true. Outspoken philosopher of neuro-science Patricia Churchland agrees:

The principle chore of brains is to get the body parts where they should be in order that the organism may survive. Improvements in sensorimotor control confer an evolutionary advantage: a fancier style of representing [the world] is advantageous so long as it… enhances the organism’s chances for survival. Truth, whatever that is, takes the hindmost.

Dawkins is on the right track to suggest that naturalism should lead people to be skeptical about trusting their senses. Dawkins just doesn’t take his skepticism far enough. In Miracles, C. S. Lewis points out that knowledge depends upon the reliability of our mental faculties. If human reasoning is not trustworthy, then no scientific conclusions can be considered true or false. In fact, we couldn’t have any knowledge about the world, period. Our senses must be reliable to acquire knowledge of the world, and our reasoning faculties must be reliable to process the acquired knowledge. But this raises a particularly thorny dilemma for atheism. If the mind has developed through the blind, irrational, and material process of Darwinian evolution, then why should we trust it at all? Why should we believe that the human brain—the outcome of an accidental process—actually puts us in touch with reality? Science cannot be used as an answer to this question, because science itself relies upon these very assumptions.

Even Charles Darwin was aware of this problem: “The horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would anyone trust the conviction of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?” If Darwinian evolution is true, we should distrust the cognitive faculties that make science possible.

Sean McDowell and Jonathan Morrow, Is God Just a Human Invention? And Seventeen Other Questions Raised by the New Atheists (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2010), 37-38.

….Darwin thought that, had the circumstances for reproductive fitness been different, then the deliverances of conscience might have been radically different. “If… men were reared under precisely the same conditions as hive-bees, there can hardly be a doubt that our unmarried females would, like the worker-bees, think it a sacred duty to kill  their brothers, and mothers would strive to kill their fertile daughters, and no one would think of interfering” (Darwin, Descent, 82). As it happens, we weren’t “reared” after the manner of hive bees, and so we have widespread and strong beliefs about the sanctity of human life and its implications for how we should treat our siblings and our offspring.

But this strongly suggests that we would have had whatever beliefs were ultimately fitness producing given the circumstances of survival. Given the background belief of naturalism, there appears to be no plausible Darwinian reason for thinking that the fitness-producing predispositions that set the parameters for moral reflection have anything whatsoever to do with the truth of the resulting moral beliefs. One might be able to make a case for thinking that having true beliefs about, say, the predatory behaviors of tigers would, when combined with the understandable desire not to be eaten, be fitness producing. But the account would be far from straightforward in the case of moral beliefs.” And so the Darwinian explanation undercuts whatever reason the naturalist might have had for thinking that any of our moral beliefs is true. The result is moral skepticism.

If our pretheoretical moral convictions are largely the product of natural selection, as Darwin’s theory implies, then the moral theories we find plausible are an indirect result of that same evolutionary process. How, after all, do we come to settle upon a proposed moral theory and its principles as being true? What methodology is available to us?

Paul Copan and William Lane Craig, eds., Contending With Christianity’s Critics: Answering the New Atheists & Other Objections (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing, 2009), 70.

See also my post on logical conclusions in meta-ethics and evil (like rape), HERE:

…if evolution were true, then there would be selection only for survival advantage; and there would be no reason to suppose that this would necessarily include rationality. After a talk on the Christian roots of science in Canada, 2010, one atheopathic* philosophy professor argued that natural selection really would select for logic and rationality. I responded by pointing out that under his worldview, theistic religion is another thing that ‘evolved’, and this is something he regards as irrational. So under his own worldview he believes that natural selection can select powerfully for irrationality, after all. English doctor and insightful social commentator Theodore Dalrymple (who is a non-theist himself) shows up the problem in a refutation of New Atheist Daniel Dennett:

Dennett argues that religion is explicable in evolutionary terms—for example, by our inborn human propensity, at one time valuable for our survival on the African savannahs, to attribute animate agency to threatening events.

For Dennett, to prove the biological origin of belief in God is to show its irrationality, to break its spell. But of course it is a necessary part of the argument that all possible human beliefs, including belief in evolution, must be explicable in precisely the same way; or else why single out religion for this treatment? Either we test ideas according to arguments in their favour, independent of their origins, thus making the argument from evolution irrelevant, or all possible beliefs come under the same suspicion of being only evolutionary adaptations—and thus biologically contingent rather than true or false. We find ourselves facing a version of the paradox of the Cretan liar: all beliefs, including this one, are the products of evolution, and all beliefs that are products of evolution cannot be known to be true.

Jonathan D. Sarfati, The Genesis Account: A Theological, Historical, And Scientific Commentary On Genesis 1-11 (Powder Springs, GA: Creation Book Publishers, 2015), 259-259.

* Atheopath or Atheopathy: “Leading misotheist [“hatred of God” or “hatred of the gods”] Richard Dawkins [one can insert many names here] often calls theistic religion a ‘virus of the mind’, which would make it a kind of disease or pathology, and parents who teach it to their kids are, in Dawkins’ view, supposedly practising mental child abuse. But the sorts of criteria Dawkins applies makes one wonder whether his own fanatical antitheism itself could be a mental pathology—hence, ‘atheopath’.” (Taken from the Creation.com article, “The biblical roots of modern science,” by Jonathan Sarfati [published: 19 May 2012] ~ comments in the “[ ]” are mine.)

Even Darwin had some misgivings about the reliability of human beliefs. He wrote, “With me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?”

Given unguided evolution, “Darwin’s Doubt” is a reasonable one. Even given unguided or blind evolution, it’s difficult to say how probable it is that creatures—even creatures like us—would ever develop true beliefs. In other words, given the blindness of evolution, and that its ultimate “goal” is merely the survival of the organism (or simply the propagation of its genetic code), a good case can be made that atheists find themselves in a situation very similar to Hume’s.

The Nobel Laureate and physicist Eugene Wigner echoed this sentiment: “Certainly it is hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought, by Darwin’s process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.” That is, atheists have a reason to doubt whether evolution would result in cognitive faculties that produce mostly true beliefs. And if so, then they have reason to withhold judgment on the reliability of their cognitive faculties. Like before, as in the case of Humean agnostics, this ignorance would, if atheists are consistent, spread to all of their other beliefs, including atheism and evolution. That is, because there’s no telling whether unguided evolution would fashion our cognitive faculties to produce mostly true beliefs, atheists who believe the standard evolutionary story must reserve judgment about whether any of their beliefs produced by these faculties are true. This includes the belief in the evolutionary story. Believing in unguided evolution comes built in with its very own reason not to believe it.

This will be an unwelcome surprise for atheists. To make things worse, this news comes after the heady intellectual satisfaction that Dawkins claims evolution provided for thoughtful unbelievers. The very story that promised to save atheists from Hume’s agnostic predicament has the same depressing ending.

It’s obviously difficult for us to imagine what the world would be like in such a case where we have the beliefs that we do and yet very few of them are true. This is, in part, because we strongly believe that our beliefs are true (presumably not all of them are, since to err is human—if we knew which of our beliefs were false, they would no longer be our beliefs).

Suppose you’re not convinced that we could survive without reliable belief-forming capabilities, without mostly true beliefs. Then, according to Plantinga, you have all the fixins for a nice argument in favor of God’s existence For perhaps you also think that—given evolution plus atheism—the probability is pretty low that we’d have faculties that produced mostly true beliefs. In other words, your view isn’t “who knows?” On the contrary, you think it’s unlikely that blind evolution has the skill set for manufacturing reliable cognitive mechanisms. And perhaps, like most of us, you think that we actually have reliable cognitive faculties and so actually have mostly true beliefs. If so, then you would be reasonable to conclude that atheism is pretty unlikely. Your argument, then, would go something like this: if atheism is true, then it’s unlikely that most of our beliefs are true; but most of our beliefs are true, therefore atheism is probably false.

Notice something else. The atheist naturally thinks that our belief in God is false. That’s just what atheists do. Nevertheless, most human beings have believed in a god of some sort, or at least in a supernatural realm. But suppose, for argument’s sake, that this widespread belief really is false, and that it merely provides survival benefits for humans, a coping mechanism of sorts. If so, then we would have additional evidence—on the atheist’s own terms—that evolution is more interested in useful beliefs than in true ones. Or, alternatively, if evolution really is concerned with true beliefs, then maybe the widespread belief in God would be a kind of “evolutionary” evidence for his existence.

You’ve got to wonder.

Mitch Stokes, A Shot of Faith (to the Head): Be a Confident Believer in an Age of Cranky Atheists (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2012), 44-45.

  • “Relativists aren’t interested in finding truth but in preserving their own autonomy. This isn’t a logical argument against relativism, of course. I’m just trying to point out that the true(!) basis for relativism is ultimately rooted in its motivation rather than in any good reasons or persuasive arguments.” — Paul Copan

This childish rejection of God in light of the evidence provided through the Book of Nature comes way of True Free Thinker, and shows the juvenile manner in which evidence is rejected in lieu of the ego:

…Lewis Wolpert simplistic dismissal of any and all intelligent design and creationism discoveries as “There is no evidence for them at all” is no less than an intellectual embarrassment and that he insists that “They must be kept out of science lessons” shows why he is the vice-president of an Atheist activism group.

And his dismissal of God is just as unimpressive, “There is absolutely no evidence for the existence of God.”

But what scientific, evidence based, academic, scholarly reasons does Wolpert himself offer for having become an Atheist?:

I stopped believing in God when I was 15 or 16 because he didn’t give me what I asked for. [1]

Keith Ward asked Wolpert, “What sort of evidence would count for you? Would it have to be scientific evidence of some sort?” to which the reply was, “Well, no… I think I read somewhere: If he turned the pond on Hamstead Heath into good champagne, it would be quite impressive”[2]. And yet, the historical record is that Jesus turned water into wine and that is still not good enough, is it?

[My addition: no it isn’t, some people like champaigne and not wine]

Lewis Wolpert also stated, “I used to pray but I gave it up because when I asked God to help me find my cricket bat, he didn’t help.” Thus, Justin Brieley stated, “Right, and that was enough for you to prove that God did not exist” to which Wolpert replied, “Well, yes. I just gave it up completely.”[3]

[1] Lewis Wolpert, “The Hard Cell,” Third Way, March 2007 AD, p. 17

[2] Ibid., p. 16

[3] From an interview on the Unbelievable show titled, What Does Science Tell Us About God?

…read more…

(For the above audio) Well respected [in evolutionary circles] University College London Professor (Emeritus) of Cell and Developmental Biology answers this, and explains that most people want more. And indeed, the Judeo-Christian God is the only answer to this conundrum. You can see how the answer to the problem actually resonates and responds to the truth of human need.

In other words, if naturalistic evolution is true, reductionism is also in play. Then we are determined by the chemical make-up, firing of synapses, and whole of historical events leading up to us controlling our actions. So one could ask in all seriousness, “how much does love weigh?”

It is a cold world, unbelief.

What is love? Here are two possibilities:

1) chemical reactions in your brain perceived as feelings of loyalty toward a single co-parent for the purpose of rearing a child together, at least until it’s weaned
2) the ultimate good, a reflection of the image of God upon humanity

Arguments often arise by using the same words to mean different things. One worldview (Christianity) views love as the ultimate good in the material world and beyond.

Let’s look at how love is viewed by two different worldviews: Christianity and naturalism.

On Christianity, love is ultimately:

a) the state of affairs existing prior to the creation of the universe, flowing between the Father and the Son via the Holy Spirit, the vehicle of love
b) the highest good
c) the ultimate goal, an act of worship.

On naturalism, love is ultimately:

a) the evolutionary mechanism to ensure the survival of children and the propagation of our species
b) a nice concept, something to distract you from the depressing thought of a meaningless existence
c) an amusing illusion

Your worldview will shape how you understand the concept of love…

…read more…

I wish to start out with an excerpt from a chapter in my book where I use two scholarly works that use Darwinian naturalism as a guide to their ethic:

  • Dale Peterson and Richard Wrangham, Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence (New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing, 1997).
  • Randy Thornhill and Craig T. Palmer, A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2000).

My incorporation of these works into my book (quote):

“Lest one think this line of thinking is insane, that is: sexual acts are something from our evolutionary past and advantageous; rape is said to not be a pathology but an evolutionary adaptation – a strategy for maximizing reproductive success….. The first concept that one must understand is that these authors do not view nature alone as imposing a moral “oughtness” into the situation of survival of the fittest. They view rape, for instance, in its historical evolutionary context as neither right nor wrong ethically. Rape, is neither moral nor immoral vis-à-vis evolutionary lines of thought, even if ingrained in us from our evolutionary paths of survival. Did you catch that? Even if a rape occurs today, it is neither moral nor immoral, it is merely currently taboo. The biological, amoral, justification of rape is made often times as a survival mechanism bringing up the net “survival status” of a species, usually fraught with examples of homosexual worms, lesbian seagulls, and the like.”

(pp. 7-9 of  Roman-Epicurean-ism-Natural-Law-and-Homosexuality)

Now, hear from other atheist and evolutionary apologists themselves in regard to the matter:

Richard Dawkins

(h/t: Atheism Analyzed) – A Statement Made by an atheist at the Atheist and Agnostic Society:

Some atheists do believe in ethical absolutes, some don’t. My answer is a bit more complicated — I don’t believe that there are any axiological claims which are absolutely true, except within the context of one person’s opinion.

That is, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and so are ethics. So, why is Adolf Hitler wrong? Because he murdered millions, and his only justification, even if it were valid, was based on things which he should have known were factually wrong. Why is it wrong to do that? Because I said so. Unless you actually disagree with me — unless you want to say that Adolf Hitler was right — I’m not sure I have more to say.

[side note] You may also be aware that Richard Dawkins stated,

  • “What’s to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn’t right? I mean, that is a genuinely difficult question.”

Stated during an interview with Larry Taunton, “Richard Dawkins: The Atheist Evangelist,” by Faith Magazine, Issue Number 18, December 2007 (copyright; 2007-2008)

Lewis Wolpert

From the video description:

Atheists Trying to Have Their Cake and Eat It Too on Morality. This video shows that when an atheist denies objective morality they also affirm moral good and evil without the thought of any contradiction or inconsistency on their part.

Dan Barker

This is from the video Description for the Dan Barker video below:

The atheist’s animal-level view of “morality” is completely skewed by dint of its lack of objectivity. In fact, the atheist makes up his own personal version of “morals” as he goes along, and this video provides an eye-opening example of this bizarre phenomenon of the atheist’s crippled psyche:

During this debate, the atheist stated that he believed rape was morally acceptable, then he actually stated that he would rape a little girl and then kill himself — you have just got to hear his psychotic words with your own ears to believe it!

He then stammered and stumbled through a series of ridiculously lame excuses for his shameful lack of any type of moral compass.

To the utter amazement of his opponent and all present in the audience, the gruesomely amoral atheist even goes so far as to actually crack a sick little joke on the subject of SERIAL CHILD-RAPE!

:::shudders:::

Meanwhile, the Christian in the video gracefully and heroically realizes the clearly objective moral values that unquestionably come to humanity by God’s grace, and yet are far beyond the lower animal’s and the atheist’s tenuous mental grasp. Be sure to keep watching until the very end so that you can hear the Christian’s final word — it’s a real knuckle-duster!

Atheist dogma not only fails to provide a stable platform for objective human morality for its adherent — it precludes him even the possibility. It’s this very intellectual inability to apprehend any objective moral values that leads such believers in atheist dogma as Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Dahmer to commit their horrific atheistic atrocities.

Any believer in atheist dogma, given sufficient power, would take the exact same course of action that Hitler did, without a moment’s hesitation.

Note as well that evolutionary naturalism has very dogmatic implication, IF — that is — the honest atheist/evolutionist follow the matter to their logical conclusions, via the ineffable Dr. Provine:

William Provine

Atheist and staunch evolutionist Dr. William Provine (who is often quoted by Richard Dawkins) admits what life has in stored if Darwinism is true. The quote comes from his debate here with Dr. Phillip E. Johnson at Stanford University, April 30, 1994.

“We must ask first whether the theory of evolution by natural selection is scientific or pseudoscientific …. Taking the first part of the theory, that evolution has occurred, it says that the history of life is a single process of species-splitting and progression. This process must be unique and unrepeatable, like the history of England. This part of the theory is therefore a historical theory, about unique events, and unique events are, by definition, not part of science, for they are unrepeatable and so not subject to test.”

Colin Patterson [1978] (Dr. Patterson was Senior Principal Scientific Officer of the Paleontology Department of the British Museum of Natural History in London.)

People think evolution is “science proper.” It is not, it is both a historical science and a [philosophical] presupposition in its “neo-Darwinian” form. The presupposition that removes it from “science proper and moves it into “scientism” is explained by an atheist philosopher:

If science really is permanently committed to methodological naturalism – the philosophical position that restricts all explanations in science to naturalistic explanations – it follows that the aim of science is not generating true theories. Instead, the aim of science would be something like: generating the best theories that can be formulated subject to the restriction that the theories are naturalistic. More and more evidence could come in suggesting that a supernatural being exists, but scientific theories wouldn’t be allowed to acknowledge that possibility.

Bradley Monton, author of Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design ~ Apologetics315 h/t

In other words, the guy most credited in getting us to the moon used science to get us there, but was a young earth creationist. His view on “origins” (origin science) is separate from his working science. Two categories.

Likewise one of the most celebrated pediatric surgeons in the world, whom a movie was made after, “Gifted Hands,” is a young earth creationist. And the inventor of the MRI, a machine that diagnosed my M.S., is also a young earth creationist.

Evolutionary Darwinism is first and foremost an “historical science” that has many presuppositions that precede it, making it a metaphysical belief, a philosophy, as virulent anti-creationist philosopher of science, Michael Ruse explains:

Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. . . . Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.

Michael Ruse, “Saving Darwinism from the Darwinians,” National Post (May 13, 2000), p. B-3. (Via ICR)

The stronger must dominate and not mate with the weaker, which would signify the sacrifice of its own higher nature. Only the born weakling can look upon this principle as cruel, and if he does so it is merely because he is of a feebler nature and narrower mind; for if such a law [natural selection] did not direct the process of evolution then the higher development of organic life would not be conceivable at all…. If Nature does not wish that weaker individuals should mate with the stronger, she wishes even less that a superior race should intermingle with an inferior one; because in such a case all her efforts, throughout hundreds of thousands of years, to establish an evolutionary higher stage of being, may thus be rendered futile.

Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, translator/annotator, James Murphy [New York: Hurst and Blackett, 1942], pp. 161-162. Found in: Norman L. Geisler & Peter Bocchino, Unshakable Foundations: Contemporary Answers to Crucial Questions About the Christian Faith [Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2001], 206.

He thus acknowledged the need for any theory to allow that humans have genuine freedom to recognize the truth. He (again, correctly) saw that if all thought, belief, feeling, and choice are determined (i.e., forced on humans by outside conditions) then so is the determinists’ acceptance of the theory of determinism forced on them by those same conditions. In that case they could never claim to know their theory is true since the theory making that claim would be self-referentially incoherent. In other words, the theory requires that no belief is ever a free judgment made on the basis of experience or reason, but is always a compulsion over which the believer has no control.

Roy A. Clouser, The Myth of Religious Neutrality: An Essay on the Hidden Role of Religious Belief in Theories (Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame University Press, 2005), 174.

If what he says is true, he says it merely as the result of his heredity and environment, and nothing else. He does not hold his determinist views because they are true, but because he has such-and-such stimuli; that is, not because the structure of the structure of the universe is such-and-such but only because the configuration of only part of the universe, together with the structure of the determinist’s brain, is such as to produce that result…. They [determinists – I would posit any philosophical naturalist] want to be considered as rational agents arguing with other rational agents; they want their beliefs to be construed as beliefs, and subjected to rational assessment; and they want to secure the rational assent of those they argue with, not a brainwashed repetition of acquiescent pattern. Consistent determinists should regard it as all one whether they induce conformity to their doctrines by auditory stimuli or a suitable injection of hallucinogens: but in practice they show a welcome reluctance to get out their syringes, which does equal credit to their humanity and discredit to their views. Determinism, therefore, cannot be true, because if it was, we should not take the determinists’ arguments as being really arguments, but as being only conditioned reflexes. Their statements should not be regarded as really claiming to be true, but only as seeking to cause us to respond in some way desired by them.

J. R. Lucas, The Freedom of the Will (New York: NY: Oxford University Press, 1970), 114, 115.

One of the most intriguing aspects mentioned by Ravi Zacharias of a lecture he attended entitled Determinism – Is Man a Slave or the Master of His Fate, given by Stephen Hawking, who is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, Isaac Newton’s chair, was this admission by Dr. Hawking’s, was Hawking’s admission that if “we are the random products of chance, and hence, not free, or whether God had designed these laws within which we are free.”[1] In other words, do we have the ability to make choices, or do we simply follow a chemical reaction induced by millions of mutational collisions of free atoms?[2] Michael Polyni mentions that this “reduction of the world to its atomic elements acting blindly in terms of equilibrations of forces,” a belief that has prevailed “since the birth of modern science, has made any sort of teleological view of the cosmos seem unscientific…. [to] the contemporary mind.”[3]

[1] Ravi Zacharias, The Real Face of Atheism (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2004), 118, 119.
[2] My own summation.
[3] Michael Polanyi and Harry Prosch, Meaning (Chicago, IL: Chicago university Press, 1977), 162.

What merit would attach to moral virtue if the acts that form such habitual tendencies and dispositions were not acts of free choice on the part of the individual who was in the process of acquiring moral virtue? Persons of vicious moral character would have their characters formed in a manner no different from the way in which the character of a morally virtuous person was formed—by acts entirely determined, and that could not have been otherwise by freedom of choice.

Mortimer J. Adler, Ten Philosophical Mistakes (New York, NY: Touchstone, 1985), 154.

If we were free persons, with faculties which we might carelessly use or wilfully misuse, the fact might be explained; but the pre-established harmony excludes this supposition. And since our faculties lead us into error, when shall we trust them? Which of the many opinions they have produced is really true? By hypothesis, they all ought to be true, but, as they contradict one another, all cannot be true. How, then, distinguish between the true and the false? By taking a vote? That cannot be, for, as determined, we have not the power to take a vote. Shall we reach the truth by reasoning? This we might do, if reasoning were a self-poised, self verifying process; but this it cannot be in a deterministic system. Reasoning implies the power to control one’s thoughts, to resist the processes of association, to suspend judgment until the transparent order of reason has been readied. It implies freedom, therefore. In a mind which is controlled by its states, instead of controlling them, there is no reasoning, but only a succession of one state upon another. There is no deduction from grounds, but only production by causes. No belief has any logical advantage over any other, for logic is no longer possible.

Borden P Bowne, Metaphysics: A Study In First Principles (originally published in 1882; London: Sampson Low, Searle & Rivington, 2005), 105.

“Everything I have said and done in these last years is relativism by intuition…. If relativism signifies contempt for fixed categories and men who claim to be bearers of an objective, immortal truth… then there is nothing more relativistic than fascistic attitudes and activity…. From the fact that all ideologies are of equal value, that all ideologies are mere fictions, the modern relativist infers that everybody has the right to create for himself his own ideology and to attempt to enforce it with all the energy of which he is capable.”

Mussolini, Diuturna (1924) pp. 374-77, quoted in A Refutation of Moral Relativism: Interviews with an Absolutist (Ignatius Press; 1999), by Peter Kreeft, p. 18

Explanations, To Be True Need Also To Be Falsifiable

Even though I use the neo-Darwinian theory as my prime example, this applies just as readily to the conspiracy theories revolving around the New World Order, and the like. You can visit my “Conspiracy Mantras” page to go to some of my posts on the various topics, there.

“Darwinian explanations for such things are often too supple: Natural selection makes humans self-centered and aggressive—except when it makes them altruistic and peaceable. Or natural selection produces virile men who eagerly spread their seed—except when it prefers men who are faithful protectors and providers. When an explanation is so supple that it can explain any behavior, it is difficult to test it experimentally, much less use it as a catalyst for scientific discovery.”

Skell, P.S., Why do we invoke Darwin? Evolutionary theory contributes little to experimental biology, The Scientist 19(16):10, 2005; quoted by Jonathan Sarfati in Creation 36(4):1 September 2014.

Charles “The Hammer” Krauthammer makes this point in regards to the Climate Change frenzy:

The following is one of the reasons I reject Darwinian evolution (and, frankly, conspiracy theories like WTC-7 being a conspiracy), and any scientist would reject anything for.

“Insofar as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable: and insofar as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”

K.R. Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery (London, England: Hutchinson & Co, 1959), 316; found in, Werner Gitt, Did God Use Evolution? Observations from a Scientist of Faith (Portland, OR: Master Books, 2006), 11.

That is to say, if a theory explains everything it explains nothing:

“The underlying problem is that a key Darwinian term is not defined. Darwinism supposedly explains how organisms become more ‘fit,’ or better adapted to their environment. But fitness is not and cannot be defined except in terms of existence. If an animal exists, it is ‘fit’ (otherwise it wouldn’t exist). It is not possible to specify all the useful parts of that animal in order to give an exhaustive causal account of fitness. [I will add here that there is no way to quantify those unknowable animal parts in regards to the many aspects that nature could or would impose on all those parts.] If an organism possesses features that appears on the surface to be an inconvenient – such as the peacock’s tail or the top-heavy antlers of a stag – the existence of stags and peacocks proves that these animals are in fact fit.

So the Darwinian theory is not falsifiable by any observation. It ‘explains’ everything, and therefore nothing. It barely qualifies as a scientific theory for that reason….

The truth is that Darwinism is so shapeless that it can be enlisted is support of any cause whatsoever…. Darwinism has over the years been championed by eugenicists, social Darwinists, racialists, free-market economists, liberals galore, Wilsonian progressives, and National Socialists, to give only a partial list. Karl Marx and Herbert Spencer, Communists and libertarians, and almost anyone in between, have at times found Darwinism to their liking.”

The above is from an article by Tom Bethell in The American Spectator (magazine), July/August 2007, pp. 44-46.

Another Quote

DARWIN CONCEIVED OF EVOLUTION in terms of small variations among organisms, variations which by a process of accretion allow one species to change continuously into another. This suggests a view in which living creatures are spread out smoothly over the great manifold of biological possibilities, like colors merging imperceptibly in a color chart.

Life, however, is absolutely nothing like this. Wherever one looks there is singularity, quirkiness, oddness, defiant individuality, and just plain weirdness. The male redback spider (Latrodectus hasselti), for example, is often consumed during copulation. Such is sexual cannibalism the result, biologists have long assumed, of “predatory females overcoming the defenses of weaker males.” But it now appears that among Latrodectus hasselti, the male is complicit in his own consump­tion. Having achieved intromission, this schnook performs a character­isti somersault, placing his abdomen directly over his partner’s mouth. Such is sexual suicide—awfulness taken to a higher power.

It might seem that sexual suicide confers no advantage on the spider, the male passing from ecstasy to extinction in the course of one and the same act. But spiders willing to pay for love are apparently favored by female spiders (no surprise, there); and female spiders with whom they mate, entomologists claim, are less likely to mate again. The male spider perishes; his preposterous line persists.

This explanation resolves one question only at the cost of inviting another: why such bizarre behavior? In no other Latrodectus species does the male perform that obliging somersault, offering his partner the oblation of his life as well as his love. Are there general principles that specify sexual suicide among this species, but that forbid sexual suicide elsewhere? If so, what are they Once asked, such questions tend to multiply like party guests. If evolutionary theory cannot answer them, what, then, is its use? Why is the Pitcher plant carnivorous, but not the thorn bush, and why does the Pacific salmon require fresh water to spawn, but not the Chilean sea bass? Why has the British thrush learned to hammer snails upon rocks, but not the British blackbird, which often starves to death in the midst of plenty? Why did the firefly discover bioluminescence, but not the wasp or the warrior ant; why do the bees do their dance, but not the spider or the flies; and why are women, but not cats, born without the sleek tails that would make them even more alluring than they already are?

Why? Yes, why? The question, simple, clear, intellectually respect­able, was put to the Nobel laureate George Wald. “Various organisms try various things,” he finally answered, his words functioning as a verbal shrug, “they keep what works and discard the rest.”

But suppose the manifold of life were to be given a good solid yank, so that the Chilean sea bass but not the Pacific salmon required fresh water to spawn, or that ants but not fireflies flickered enticingly at twi­light, or that women but not cats were born with lush tails. What then? An inversion of life’s fundamental facts would, I suspect, present evo­lutionary biologists with few difficulties. Various organisms try various things. This idea is adapted to any contingency whatsoever, an interesting example of a Darwinian mechanism in the development of Darwinian thought itself.

A comparison with geology is instructive. No geological theory makes it possible to specify precisely a particular mountain’s shape; but the underlying process of upthrust and crumbling is well understood, and geologists can specify something like a mountain’s generic shape. This provides geological theory with a firm connection to reality. A mountain arranging itself in the shape of the letter “A” is not a physically possible object; it is excluded by geological theory.

The theory of evolution, by contrast, is incapable of ruling anything out of court. That job must be done by nature. But a theory that can confront any contingency with unflagging success cannot be falsified. Its control of the facts is an illusion.

David Berlinski, The Deniable Darwin & Other Essays (Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute Press, 2009), 45-47. 

So too is the conspiratorial view of history (Bilderbergers, Council of Foreign Relations, Banking Institutions, Rosicrucians, The Knights Templars, on-and-on). It is used as an over-arching meta-narrative by Marxists, libertarians, anarcho-leftists, conservatives, Republicans, Democrats, druggies (stoners), to Christian Evangelicals.

Illuminati - New World order

If someone or something disproves an aspect of this theory that person is branded a “shill” ~ or the fact has been “planted” by those in power who wish people to believe this “counter-point.” It explains everything and therefore nothing.

It becomes a metaphysical explanation… religious, so-to-speak. God, or theism, while having evidential aspects, IS ultimately a metaphysical program, and thus, outside of material explanations. So is evolutionary naturalism as well as the New World Order — taking into account the above.


Post-Script


Before getting to two fun videos, I want to give an example of the depth of people not self-reflecting on what they are saying… applying it to themselves to see if their sweeping statements are true or just platitudes. After explaining via another site’s excellent work refuting yet another convoluted “matrix” of conspiratorial shenanigans regarding World Trade Tower Seven (WTC-7),  I got this “challenge”?

  • Shaun your proof that Chemtrails are working!

Besides spelling my name wrong, here is my response (reformatted for ease of reading… but response 100% intact):

Jeffrey M.C., you believe in chem-trails?

As with other issues, like with an atheist saying Christianity is a crutch… not realizing that this argument cuts both ways and that atheism can be a crutch to escape judgement and wanting to live under an umbrella of full autonomy in the universe [being your own god]… this argument cuts both ways.

If chemtrails were a program to control one’s thinking in some way, why would it be proof if someone rejected “conspiracies”? Why couldn’t people who believe in whatever conspiracy theory be evidence for the program?

Like I point out in my “Alex Jones Section,” and elsewhere… conspiracy people think Jones is being controlled by the New World Order to spread misinformation — leading people away from the more important conspiracies.

And that is the point… small phrases like “pull-it” are taken [ripped] from their context, the evidence from the two parties involved in those [actual] conversations are ignored, and a matrix of unfounded and false evidence is then laid on top of this phrase… and then after this is distorted… people move on to the next myopic point to do the same.

MUCH LIKE when skeptics or the cults come in and rip a small portion of the text out of context, ignore the clear testimony of those involved in the verse itself, and lay a false history or hermeneutic over the text… moving on to do the same with another verse. [Like Jehovah’s Witnesses as an example with John 1:1]

In other words…

  • your contention,
  • or the person who says these programs are to obfuscate the “real conspiracies,”

…use the same amount of evidence [hint, inference only] and the competing contentions raised by conspiracy theorists are not provable of disprovable. BECAUSE there will always be another contention [twisted as discussed… inferred] to explain away the refutation.

For instance, I make good arguments against the main propositions used to support the deliberated destruction of WTC-7… and I am tricked by chemtrails. You see, there is no winning

…[and I linked to this post]…

And thus, no information [truth] is passed on.

I further explain for people who cannot pick-up what I am laying down:

In other words…

I could simply respond to Vytas S. when he said,

  • “Sean, I remember watching a CNN video of the countdown to when Building 7 came down,”

by saying:

  • Vytas, your proof that Chemtrails are working!

[“Proof” ~ as used above ~ should be in quotation marks signifying another intent for it.]

Here is M.C.’s response (try not to laugh):

On the same Note Sean how do you know your information is correct…think about it. Most media information is impregnated with NWO progressive Liberal Spinbull. Alex has dedicated his life exposing mainstream media no matter who is in White House. If he is only right 30% of the time we are screwed. I will say he is right about 83% of the time and have watched his truths come to the forefront. ChemTrails are real….and a threat to all of us. Weather Manipulation IS FOR REAL!. The Fight between Republicans and Democraps is a manipulated NWO Farce to keep us occupied and seperated….WAKE UP AMERICA!

There is no way to argue reasonably with such a person… so I tap out.


Movie Time


 

Distant Star Light and the Young Earth View of Creation (Dr Hartnett)

This is a quote found in Jonathan Sarfati’s commentary, The Genesis Account, I will post the link to the article Dr. Sarfati quoted from:

An experimentally verified prediction of Einstein’s General Relativity Theory is a phenomenon called gravitational time dilation. It has long been established that gravity affects the rate at which time flows in any particular location in the universe. A graphic example of this phenomenon is the GPS satellite navigation system which is becoming a standard feature in many motor vehicles today.

One’s position is determined by comparing the time taken for signals from a number of the satellites, which are visible at any one time, to reach the receiver so very high precision timing is needed. The constellation of satellites orbits the earth at an altitude of about 20,000km. At this height, the atomic clocks on board the satellites run faster than the same clocks on earth by 42 microseconds per day. The satellites are travelling at around 12,000 km per hour which produces an opposing relativistic effect of slowing the clocks down by about 5 microseconds per day. The combined effect is that the clocks on the GPS satellites run 38 microseconds per day faster than equivalent earth-bound clocks. Why does this matter? If this time difference was ignored and no compensation made, the position errors would build up at a rate of about 400m per hour which would render the system completely useless!

Another mechanism for time dilation is rapid acceleration of the fabric of space in an expanding universe. This is explained more fully in Hartnett’s book referenced above.

A friend responded somewhat skeptically,

  • Sean, I find myself in agreement with you on the vast majority of issues both religious and political. But on the age of the earth question, I strongly disagree….

To which another friend noted skeptically:

You’re right, of course, Jim. Russell Humphreys’ model, which is at the core of this discussion, is deeply flawed. It hypothesizes that Earth was created in a gravity well produced by a massive black hole so relavitivistic time dilation accounts for the slow passage of time on Earth, allowing distant starlight to reach us even though our planet’s age is claimed to be measured in thousands rather than billions of years. While there are technical problems with the model that have been ably discussed by Don Page and Samuel Conner, among others, there are three simpler observations that empirically confute it: (1) if we were in a gravity well, distant starlight should be blue-shifted, it’s not, it’s stretched to the red end of the spectrum by the universal expansion providing evidence for the Big Bang; (2) if we were in a gravity well, the periods of distant Cepheid variable stars and other periodic astronomical phenomena would appear vastly different from what we measure them to be; and (3) we observe stars forming when we look out into space we understand well the astrophysics of stellar formation, which informs us that the Sun is at least a second generation star due to the heavier elements in its composition (and that of our Solar System). In short, we are not in a gravity well and the model being proposed here is yet another YEC fabrication predicated on an unnecessary and flawed interpretation of Scripture, but offered with a patina of scientific sophistication sufficient to obscure the truth from the non-scientist.

I then respond:

Here you will note a part of this “evolving” model that is incorporated by Dr. Harwood in the OP that makes Dr. Humphreys say this:

…Through the years, theorists have offered other explanations for the cosmological redshift trend. For several decades, I explored such theories, trying without success to find one that satisfied me. But I lost interest in alternative redshift models after I noticed verses in the Bible that appear to support the idea that space has been expanded. Isaiah 40:22 is one example:

✦ “It is he … that stretches out the heavens as a curtain, and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in.”

There are seventeen such verses in the Old Testament, and they use four different Hebrew verbs to convey the idea of ‘stretching out’ or ‘spreading out’. As I clarify in Starlight and Time, in Scripture ‘the heavens’ appear to refer to space itself, not necessarily to the bodies occupying that space, namely the Sun, Moon and stars. So if we take these verses straightforwardly, then God is saying that He has stretched out or spread out the ‘fabric’ of space itself. That corresponds very closely to the general relativistic idea of expanding space. With a few small steps of logic, textbooks show that such an expansion produces redshifts. That is why I think expansion is the main cause. … (Creation.com)

If you look at the OP you will see this part:

“The satellites are travelling at around 12,000 km per hour which produces an opposing relativistic effect of slowing the clocks down by about 5 microseconds per day. The combined effect is that the clocks on the GPS satellites run 38 microseconds per day faster than equivalent earth-bound clocks. … time dilation is rapid acceleration of the fabric of space in an expanding universe…”

In other words, movement has shown to affect this time variable… and extremely fast movement is theorized to do so on a much larger scale. And the Bible clearly notes this type of creative action was under way.

The above article responds in part to the red-shift/blue-shift aspect a bit. But if Jonathan Sarfati wishes to message me another article dealing with this, I will post it.

An Extended Quote From Jonathan Sarfati’s Must Have Resource

This is an extended quote from a MUST HAVE resource, The Genesis Account ~  for the seminarian or creation enthusiast (maybe a graduated-seminary student continuing his or her studies? of which I am). Again, this is not an introduction to the topic of “creation,” but rather a serious in-depth review of history, science, language, culture, theology and the Scriptures. [Two videos added to deepen understanding of molecular machines.]:


DNA: INFORMATION STORAGE, RETRIEVAL, AND TRANSMISSION

Not only do living things constitute enormously complex machines, they also contain the ‘instruction manual’ to build them—a sort of ‘recipe book’ programmed on DNA, the famous ‘double helix’ molecule (deoxyribonucleic acid). The information is stored in four different chemical ‘letters’: A T, C, and G.33 Plants and microbes also use the same DNA coding system.

These ‘letters’, or bases, have remarkable chemical properties. They are flat molecules, which allows them to stack as ‘rungs’ on a spiral staircase. This provides some stability, although see below. The letters of DNA have another vital property due to their structure, which allows information to be transmitted: A pairs only with T, and C only with G, due to the chemical structures of the bases—the pair is like a rung or step on a spiral staircase. This means that the two strands of the double helix can be separated, and new strands can be formed that copy the information exactly. The new strand carries the same information as the old one, but instead of being like a photocopy, it is in a sense like a photographic negative.

The copying is far more precise than random or laboratory chemistry could manage, because there is editing (proof-reading and error-checking) machinery, again encoded in the DNA. This machinery keeps the error rate down to less than one error per l07-108 letters).34, But how would the information for editing machinery be transmitted accurately before the machinery was in place? Lest it be argued that the accuracy could be achieved stepwise through selection, note that a high degree of accuracy is needed to prevent ‘error catastrophe’—the accumulation of ‘noise’ in the form of junk proteins specified by the damaged DNA.

DNA is unstable

DNA is a very complicated molecule, and actually a very unstable one. DNA researchers often need to store it in liquid nitrogen, at about —200°C, and even that frigid temperature doesn’t entirely stop breakdown. A recent paper on DNA stability estimates that, even when preserved in bone, it would be completely disintegrated in 22,000 years at 25°C, 131,000 years at 15°C, 882,000 years at 5°C; and 6.83 million years at —5°C.35 One article reported:

There is a general belief that DNA is ‘rock solid’—extremely stable,” says Brandt Eichman, associate professor of biological sciences at Vanderbilt, who directed the project. “Actually DNA is highly reactive. On a good day about one million bases in the DNA in a human cell are damaged.36

Fortunately, in our cells, we have many elaborate repair machines to undo this chemical damage.37 But most skeptics believe that life evolved in a primordial soup,38 which would have lacked such machines (not to mention the lack of any evidence that it existed at all39). So even if DNA managed to form spontaneously somehow, it would not have survived long.40

Encyclopedic information store

But even more important than the chemistry is the enormous information content of the ‘recipe’ stored on this DNA. This is transmitted from one generation to the next, so that living things reproduce ‘after their kinds’ (cf. Genesis 1). Leading atheist Richard Dawkins himself admits:

[T]here is enough information capacity in a single human cell to store the Encyclopedia Britannica, all 30 volumes of it, three or four times over.41

Nowadays we would say that each of our cells—and there are about a hundred trillion in the human body—contains about three gigabytes of information. Even the simplest living creature, the tiny germ Mycoplasma, has about 600 kilobytes.42 And even this seems incredibly highly compressed. Some bioengineers, led by Stanford University’s Markus Covert, succeeded in modelling this ‘simple’ germ with computers.43 One report on trying to model the processes involved in one cell division for this cell stated:

What’s fascinating is how much horsepower they needed to partially simulate this simple organism. It took a cluster of 128 computers running for 9 to 10 hours to actually generate the data on the 25 categories of molecules that are involved in the cell’s lifecycle processes.44

To return to the Britannica, the information is in the form of ink molecules on paper. But nothing in the ink molecules themselves made them form into the letters, words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs of the Encyclopedia. It certainly wasn’t produced by an ink spill. Rather, the information was imposed on the ink by an outside intelligent source (or a program ultimately programmed by an intelligent mind).

But here is the connection with living things. There is likewise nothing in the chemistry of DNA’s letters themselves that would make them join up in predetermined ways, any more than forces between ink molecules make them join up into letters and words. Michael Polanyi (Hungarian: Polányi Mihaly, 1891-1976), a former chairman of physical chemistry at the University of Manchester (UK) who turned to philosophy, confirmed this:

As the arrangement of a printed page is extraneous to the chemistry of the printed page, so is the base sequence in a DNA molecule extraneous to the chemical forces at work in the DNA molecule. It is this physical indeterminacy of the sequence that produces the improbability of any particular sequence and thereby enables it to have a meaning—a meaning that has a mathematically determinate information content.45

Just as the Britannica had intelligent writers to produce its information, so it is scientific to believe that the information in the living world likewise had an original Writer.46

CELL MACHINES

Alex Williams, who was Australian representative to a research program coordinated by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, explained this further in applying this to the cell machinery:

Polanyi pointed to the machine-like structures that exist in living organisms. … Just as the structure and function of these common machine components cannot be explained in terms of the metal they are made of, so the structure and function of the parallel components in life cannot be reduced to the properties of the carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur and trace elements that they are made of. There are endless examples of such irreducible structures in living systems, but they all work under a unifying principle called `autopoiesis’. Autopoiesis literally means ‘self-making’ (from the Greek auto for self, and the verb poieo meaning ‘I make’ or ‘I do’) and it refers to the unique ability of a living organism to continually repair and maintain itself—ultimately to the point of reproducing itself—using energy and raw materials from its environment.47

For example, for creatures to live at all, they need energy. This energy is supplied by a molecule called ATP.48 In fact, the human body generates—and consumes—about its own weight of ATP every day. Nowadays we know that ATP is produced by the world’s tiniest motor, ATP synthase.49 [First Video Below] This is only 10 nm across by 8 nm high—so tiny that 1017 would fill the volume of a pinhead. Even the journal Nature called these motors “Real engines of creation”.50 Recent work shows that it’s also the most efficient motor in the world—in fact as efficient as the laws of physics allow-100%.51

But for ATP synthase to work as a builder of ATP, it must be in a membrane that provides an electric potential that drives a proton current to power it. Without this membrane, ATP synthase would operate in reverse, as an ATP destroyer (all enzymes are reversible).

There are many more nano-machines in living things, for example, the kinesin linear motor [Second Video Below] that ‘walks’ along miniature highways in the cell, called microtubules. In 8-nm steps (125,000 per millimetre), at a rate of 100 steps per second, it delivers protein packages to the right place in the cell. It knows where to go because of address labels on the packages! Kinesin is powered by ATP: one molecule per step.52

Above Video

(Creation.com) This animated sequence shows the ATP Synthase enzyme in operation. The animation is based on an incredible series of scientific discoveries. Only the colours show artistic licence.

ATP, or Adenosine Tri-Phosphate, is the energy currency of the cell. ATP is produced by a tiny molecular rotary motor, rotating at up to 7,000 rpm. These are so small that 100,000 would fit side-by-side in a millimetre. A current of protons drives the motor, unlike man-made electric motors, which use electrons.

This portion of the enzyme is where Adenosine Di-Phosphate is combined with a phosphate ion, in the presence of a catalyst to produce ATP which is then released, making way for the next cycle. A top view of the enzyme shows the sequential operation. Almost every bio-chemical process in your body requires ATP.

Such a nano-machine exhibits all the characteristics of super-intelligent design. ATP is vital for life and many of these motors were needed before the first living cell could exist. An evolutionary impossibility!

Related Articles:

Design in living organisms (motors: ATP synthase);
ATP synthase: majestic molecular machine made by a mastermind;
Is ATP synthase found in all life?

Above Video

(Creation.com) Inside a living cell is an amazing transportation system. Proteins have to be delivered to the correct part of the cell to perform their intended functions. This animation, based on a lot of clever research over a number of years, shows how it happens.

Highways, made of microtubules, are assembled by interlocking proteins, each manufactured in accordance with the coded instructions on the cell’s DNA. Marching along a microtubule is the kinesin motor, the hero of our story, carrying a huge sack of proteins to be delivered to a pre-determined place in the cell. Here the proteins will be released to fulfil their functions.

A kinesin linear motor uses one ATP to provide the energy for each step and takes 125,000 steps to cover one millimetre!

This amazing machine shows all the hallmarks of design!

Related Articles:

Incredible Kinesin;
Fantastic voyage;
DNA repair enzyme;
15 questions for evolutionists.

DECODING DNA’S INFORMATION

Information is meaningless unless we understand its language. The Britannica is little use unless we know English. For example, ‘gift’ in English means a present, but in German it means poison. The wrong convention can mean the wrong message. One German immigrant to New Zealand told me that in his first year, he thought that New Zealanders had macabre customs—at Christmas, they tried to poison their relatives and best friends!

The DNA code is also a language: three DNA ‘letters’ code for one protein `letter’. This language requires many different decoding machines to read it, including the ribosome.53 However, the instructions to build this decoding machinery are themselves stored on the DNA, thus producing a vicious circle, or chicken-and-egg problem.

Also, most of these processes use energy, supplied by ATP, produced by the nano-motor ATP synthase. But the ATP synthase motor can’t be produced without instructions in the DNA, read by decoding machinery using ATP… a three-way circle, or perhaps an egg-nymph-grasshopper problem.

Furthermore, DNA needs many machines for copying itself, but it also codes the instructions to build its own copying machines. But these instructions to build copying machines can’t be passed on without the copying machines already present … .

Multiple languages in DNA

In fact, there is more than one language involved. Recently, another code was discovered: the ‘splicing code’ that controls how different parts of the DNA are chopped out and spliced together; an editing process.54 This enables a single gene to encode multiple proteins, and explains why humans have only about 21,000 genes yet make up to a million proteins, which surprised those who decoded the human genome. For example, thanks to studies of the splicing code, researchers found that “three neurexin genes can generate over 3,000 genetic messages that help control the wiring of the brain,” according to co-discoverer Brendan Frey.55,56 This also involves a complex machine called a spliceosome. One paper was tellingly entitled, “Mechanical devices of the spliceosome: motors, clocks, springs, and things.”57

Multiple codes are an even bigger problem for evolution, as geneticist John Sanford (b. 1950), the inventor of the gene gun, pointed out:

Most DNA sequences are poly-functional and so must also be poly-constrained. This means that DNA sequences have meaning on several different levels (poly-functional) and each level of meaning limits possible future change (poly-constrained). For example, imagine a sentence which has a very specific message in its normal form but with an equally coherent message when read backwards. Now let’s suppose that it also has a third message when reading every other letter, and a fourth message when a simple encryption program is used to translate it. Such a message would be poly-functional and poly-constrained. We know that misspellings in a normal sentence will not normally improve the message, but at least this would be possible. However, a poly-constrained message is fascinating, in that it cannot be improved. It can only degenerate. Any misspellings which might possibly improve the normal sentence will be disruptive to the other levels of information. Any change at all will diminish total information with absolute certainty….

The poly-constrained nature of DNA serves as strong evidence that higher genomes cannot have evolved via mutation/selection except on a trivial level.58

The multiple languages are consistent with the almighty Creator God revealed in the Bible.

ATHEIST CONUNDRUM

The origin of the cell’s information, and its decoding machinery, is thus a huge problem for atheists. Astrophysicist and evolutionist Paul Davies (b. 1946) says:

We now know that the secret of life lies not with the chemical ingredients as such, but with the logical structure and organisational arrangement of the molecules. … Like a supercomputer, life is an information processing system. … It is the software of the living cell that is the real mystery, not the hardware.59

But he does nothing to solve this mystery. Instead he asks, “How did stupid atoms spontaneously write their own software?”, and answers, “Nobody knows …” and admits: “There is no known law of physics able to create information from nothing.”

However, this makes good sense if the information came from a Master Programmer, as revealed in the Bible.

Foot Notes

  1. Adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine. They are part of building blocks called nucleotides, which comprise the sugar deoxyribose, a phosphate and a base. In RNA, uracil (U) substitutes for thymine and ribose substitutes for deoxyribose.
  2. Kunkel, T.A., DNA Replication Fidelity, J. Biological Chemistry 279:16895-16898, 23 April 2004
  3. Allentoft, M.E. et aL, The half-life of DNA in bone: measuring decay kinetics in 158 dated fossils, Royal Society B 279(1748):4724-4733,7 December 2012.
  4. Salisbury, D.F., Newly discovered DNA repair mechanism, Science News, com, 5 October 2010.
  5. Sarfati, J., New DNA repair enzyme discovered, com/DNA-repair-enzyme, 13 January 2010.
  6. For problems with materialistic ideas that life evolved from non-living chemicals, see com/origin and Sarfati, J., By Design, ch. 11, 2008.
  7. Brooks, J., and Shaw, G. point out, “If there ever was a primitive soup, then we would expect to find at least somewhere on this planet either massive sediments containing enormous amounts of the various nitrogenous organic compounds, acids, purines, pyrimidines, and the like; or in much metamorphosed sediments we should find vast amounts of nitrogenous cokes. In fact no such materials have been found anywhere on earth.” Origins and Development of Living Systems, 359, 1973.
  8. Many skeptics believe that life started with a similar molecule called RNA (ribonucleic acid). But this is even less stable than DNA, and so are its building blocks such as the sugar ribose. John Horgan admits in ‘Scientists don’t have a clue how life began’ above, “But the ‘RNA-world’ hypothesis remains problematic. RNA and its components are difficult to synthesize under the best of circumstances, in a laboratory, let alone under plausible prebiotic conditions…. The RNA world is so dissatisfying that some frustrated scientists are resorting to much more far out—literally—speculation.” For those interested in chemistry, more chemical problems with ‘RNA World’ ideas can be found at creation.com/rna.
  9. Dawkins, C.R., The Blind Watchmaker: Why the evidence of evolution reveals a universe without design, 115, 1986.
  10. Fraser, C.M., et al., The minimal gene complement of Mycoplasma genitalium, Science 270(5235):397-403, 1995; perspective by Goffeau, A., Life with 482 Genes, same issue, pp. 445­446. They reported 582,000 DNA bases or ‘letters’. Other reports have a different number, but all within the same ball park. For simplicity, I am treating each DNA ‘letter’ as a ‘byte’ of information, which is ‘in the right ball park’.
  11. Karr, J.R. et al., A whole-cell computational model predicts phenotype from genotype, Cell 150(2):389-410, 20 July 2012.
  12. Madrigal, A.C., To model the simplest microbe in the world, you need 128 computers, com, 23 July 2012.
  13. Polanyi, M., Life’s irreducible structure, Science 160:1308-1312, 1968.
  14. See also Sarfati, J., DNA: marvellous messages or mostly mess? Creation 25(2):26-31, 2003.
  15. Williams, A., Life’s irreducible structure—Part 1: autopoiesis, J Creation 21(2):109-115, 2007.
  16. J.. ATP: The perfect energy currency for she cell. CRSQ 36(1):2-10, 1999.
  17. Updated from J. Sarfati, Design in living organisms (motors), Creation 12(1):3-5, 1998, written not long after the original discovery of the motor was published, and the Nobel Prize was awarded to the discoverers. A more up-to-date layman’s article is Thomas, B., ATP synthase: Majestic molecular machine made by a Mastermind, Creation 31(4):21-23, 2009; creation.com/atp-synthase links to an animation made by CMI.
  18. Block, S., Real engines of creation, Nature 386(6622):217-219, 1997; Comment on Hiroyuki Noji et al., Direct observation of the rotation of F1-ATPase, same issue, pp. 299-302.
  19. Shoichi Toyabea a , Thermodynamic efficiency and mechanochemical coupling of F1-ATPase, PNAS 13 October 2011.
  20. A lucid lay explanation is Calvin Smith, Incredible kinesin! Biological ‘robots’ will blow your mind!, com/incredible-kinesin, 26 June 2012. This contains animations of both kinesin and ATP synthase motors.
  21. Sarfati, J., com/message, 2003, links to animations of a number of DNA decoding machines, including RNA polymerase, the ribosome, the t-RNA ‘adaptor’ and the chaperonin folding machine; as well as the ATP synthase motor
  22. Barash, Y. et al., Deciphering the splicing code, Nature 465:53-59, 2010.
  23. Cantin, P., Researchers crack ‘Splicing Code’, solve a mystery underlying biological complexity, com, 5 May 2010.
  24. Geneticist Dr Robert Carter explains this lucidly in, Splicing and dicing the human genome: Scientists begin to unravel the splicing code, com/splicing, 1 July 2010.
  25. Staley, J.P. and Guthrie, C., Cell 92(3):315-326, 1998
  26. Sanford, J.C., Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome, FMS Publications, 3rd Ed., p. 131-133, 2008.
  27. Davies, P. Life force, New Scientist 163(2204):27-30, 18 September 1999.

Discussing Evidences for the General Theory of Evolution… Still Waiting

“Biochemists and biologists who adhere blindly to the Darwinism theory search for results that will be in agreement with their theories and consequently orient their research in a given direction, whether it be in the field of ecology, ethology, sociology, demography (dynamics of populations), genetics (so-called evolutionary genetics), or paleontology. This intrusion of theories has unfortunate results: it deprives observations and experiments of their objectivity, makes them biased, and, moreover, creates false problems.” ~ P. P. Grasse

I posted a response to the above video on YouTube and have a bit of engagement going on. The first conversation was with a layman. The second is with a person who says he is a degreed biologist. He has a Google account, Prototype Atheist. I have yet to see a degree (what level of a degree) Prototype Atheist has, but, I have engaged with doctoral holding professors of biology in the past. (And may I say, there are similarities to how these two wish to co-opt language.) So, below will be the “evolving” engagement from this post. Enjoy real conversation:

Here is my original post regarding the video:

@Bill Walton “I believe in science” = Dumb. As if science has anything to do with history. These scientists believe in science AND ARE young earth creationists… showing that origin science (historical sciences) has no bearing on working science (the nuclear weight of something or the chemical make-up of another):

▼ Professor Dr Bernard Brandstater—pioneer in anesthetics. Amongst many other achievements, he pioneered assisted breathing for premature babies with prolonged incubation and developed an improved catheter for epidural anesthesia, both adopted around the world.
▼ Prof. Stuart Burgess—a world expert in biomimetics (imitating design in nature). He is Professor of Engineering Design, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bristol (UK) and leads the Design Engineering Research Group at the university. Dr Burgess is the author of over 40 papers published in science journals, and another 50 conference proceedings. He has also registered 7 patents and has received various awards, the Wessex Institute Scientific Medal being the most recent.
▼ Professor Dr Ben Carson—pioneer pediatric neurosurgeon. He was long-term director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. He was the first surgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins joined at the head and also pioneered surgery to cure epilepsy in young children, and much else. He has been awarded 51 honorary doctorates, including from Yale and Columbia universities in recognition of his outstanding achievements. He is a member of the Alpha Honor Medical Society, the Horatio Alger Society of Distinguished Americans, and sits on numerous business and education boards. In 2001, CNN and Time magazine named Ben Carson as one of the nation’s 20 foremost physicians and scientists. In that same year, the Library of Congress selected him as one of 89 ‘Living Legends’. In February 2008, President Bush awarded Carson the Ford’s Theater Lincoln Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the USA’s highest civilian honors.
▼ Dr Raymond Damadian—largely responsible for developing medical imaging using magnetic resonance (MRI). He has been honored with the United States’ National Medal of Technology, the Lincoln-Edison Medal, and induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame alongside Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and the Wright brothers. In 2001 the Lemelson-MIT program bestowed its lifetime achievement award on Dr Damadian as “the man who invented the MRI scanner”. It is commonly recognized that he was discriminated against in not at least sharing a Nobel Prize for his work (two others shared the award), although Damadian was the discoverer that diseased tissue would have a different signal from healthy.’
▼ Dr John Hartnett—developed the world’s most precise atomic clocks, which are used in research and industry around the globe. He is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) fellow at the University of Adelaide, where he is an Associate Professor. In his relatively short career, he has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals, book chapters, and conference proceedings.
▼ Dr Raymond Jones—solved the major problem of the indigestibility of Leucaena (a tropical legume) for grazing cattle in Australia, among other achievements. This research has contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to the Australian beef industry. He was honored with the CSIRO Gold Medal for Research Excellence, and the Urrbrae Award.
▼ Dr Felix Konotey-Ahulu—many pioneering contributions, especially in sickle cell disease management. He is Kwegyir Aggrey Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics, University of Cape Coast, Ghana, and Consultant Physician Genetic Counsellor in Sickle Cell and Other Haemoglobinopathies, Phoenix Hospital Group, London, UK. Ironically, sickle cell disease is often incorrectly held up as a ‘proof of evolution’ in science textbooks. Dr Konotey-Ahulu has received many awards in recognition of his work.
▼ Dr John Sanford—has been granted over 30 patents arising from his research in plant breeding and genetics. His most significant scientific contributions involve three inventions, the biolistic (`gene gun’) process, pathogen-derived resistance, and genetic immunization. A large fraction of the transgenic crops (in terms of both numbers and area planted) grown in the world today were genetically engineered using the gene gun technology developed by John and his collaborators. Dr Sanford was honoured with the Distinguished Inventor Award by the Central New York Patent Law Association in 1990 and 1995)
▼ Dr Wally (Siang Hwa) Tow—groundbreaking research in ‘molar pregnancy’, a poverty-related disease. He was invited to lecture in some fourteen top Obstetrics-Gynaecology departments in America in 1962-3, including leading universities such as Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, New York, UCLA, Cornell, and Stanford. He was awarded the William Blair Bell Lectureship by the RCOG in recognition of the importance of this work. He served as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, National University of Singapore.

Here is the response TO ME by RoflMcCopter:

@PapaGiorgio So a handful of people (several in completely unrelated fields) believe fantasy over reality. Look up appeal to authority.

(You will note the “strong armed patriotic guy” will always stand for me) I respond:

@RoflMcCopter I am not concluding creation to be true because scientists believe in it. You miss the point, and I do not need to go to my home library to get a definition from my many philosophy dictionaries, philosophy textbooks, or books on logic. I will again post the above:

▼ “As if science has anything to do with history. These scientists believe in science AND ARE young earth creationists… showing that origin science (historical sciences) has no bearing on working science (the nuclear weight of something or the chemical make-up of another).”

Another example. Wernher von Braun, he is the guy who is most credited in getting us to the moon. He worked side-by-side with people at NASA who were ardent evolutionists. Both he and they could operate at high levels of science that is applicable to the real world. Evolution is not this. That is, it is not “science” but historical science. With historical science there are lots of presuppositions, guesses, interpretation, and the like. Most of which are based on a starting premise. I will give an example of one such starting (metaphysical) starting point:

▼ “…because we have a priori commitment, a commitment — a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” ~ Harvard biologist Richard Lewontin.

This is not a scientific starting point. It is a metaphysical one. I will allow the past senior paleontologist at the prestigious British Museum of Natural History (which houses the world’s largest fossil collection – sixty million specimens) make a point:

▼ “For almost 20 years I thought I was working on evolution…. But there was not one thing I knew about it…. So for the last few weeks I’ve tried putting a simple question to various people and groups of people. Question is: ‘Can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing, any one thing that is true?’ I tried that question on the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural History and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology Seminar in the University of Chicago, a very prestigious body of evolutionists, and all i got there was silence for a long time and eventually one person said, ‘Yes, I do know one thing -–it ought not to be taught in high school.’ … During the past few years… you have experienced a shift from evolution as knowledge to evolution as faith…. Evolution not only conveys no knowledge, but seems somehow to convey anti-knowledge.” ~ Colin Patterson

Much thought, SeanG [AKA, Papa Giorgio], author of the book, “Worldviews: A Click Away from Binary Collisions (Religio-Political Apologetics)

@PapaGiorgio Surely. Why else would you post a list of scientists who agree with you, if not for argument from authority?

Make up what points you wish, but it feels like thou doth protest too much.

@RoflMcCopter Why else”? I clearly explained why. Very clearly.

You see, when Bill Walton said he believes in “science,” so do all the Nobel winning scientists and current stack of thousands of young earth professors and research scientists and medical doctors; as well as the thousands of ID’ers (professors and scientists and medical doctors). They ALL believe in science. Darwinism is not science.

Come up with all the points y o u wish, wrong points at that: saying I am appealing to authority when in fact I am not. My appeal shows Walton’s category mistake between working and origin science. He may believe in both, science proper, and Darwinism. But he would still be driving a car and shaving with an electric razor if we — as a world/country — believed in any of the following:

a) Punctuationist
b) Macromutationist
c) Neutral Selectionist
d) Structuralist
e) Natural Order Systematics
f) Transformed Cladist
g) Panspermia
h) Discontinuitist
i) Special Creation
j) Theistic Evolutionism
k) Design Theorist
l) Darwinism
m) Neo-Darwinism

Science works independent of the above metaphysical positions.

This is where Prototype Atheist hops into the conversation. The “A” with the swirl is kinda the universal [one of them] symbol for atheism:

@PapaGiorgio No, this attempt to separate science into “observational” and “historical” is 100% bullshit creationist propaganda. There is no such differentiation. Or are you attempting to tell me that we should never convict murderers based upon the physical evidence, only if a witness was there and observed what occurred?

First of all, we can and do observe evolution all the time. Every day. Evolution is simply the change in allele frequencies in a population over time. What you call “macroevolution” is just the result of this process over longer periods of time, and the evidence from the fossil record and phylogenetics and molecular biology and many other fields confirm this. Asking us to observe “macroevolution” is like me telling you boil an egg in a nanosecond, and then when you can’t, telling you that it’s impossible to boil an egg. The process requires time. Period.

The fact that scientists can be religious is wholly irrelevant. I was still a Christian even after having earned an advanced degree in molecular biology and having studied evolution extensively. I simply never bothered to reconcile my beliefs with my knowledge. It’s very easy to compartmentalize or fail to scrutinize your beliefs, especially if they are comforting or have been with you since a young age. You just have to be honest with yourself. Besides, knowing how to put a rocket into space has little bearing on understanding why the god of the Bible doesn’t exist. However, understanding the cosmological timeline, evolution, genetics, etc. will definitely bring any Christian to the point of cognitive dissonance.

@PrototypeAtheist (Just to note… my original point stands, because, science is about the observable and repeatable… you just said [as Dawkins does], macro evolution is not observable in our lifetime. So by definition then, it is interpretive.)

No. Allele change is not macro-evolution. All creationists, intelligent design theorists, and the like believe in micro change. We are not talking about change in eye color, long, short, or medium hair in dogs, etc. We are talking about an odorless and colorless gas ending up with a B.O. ridden South East Asian man coming home from an engineering job.

In fact, Dr. Melendy proffered evidence of macro evolution early in a conversation. It ended up being a fish bred to be smaller in size (PART 1 of our discussion; PART 2). Dr. Melendy, like yourself, are making semantic errors. For the purposes of the above and below discussion, “evolution” is defined as the “General Theory of Evolution” (GTE): “the theory that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form.”

Maybe this mock conversation will help:

Creationist: Before we get started, we’ve got to clear up some terms. Words can be used a lot of different ways.
Evolutionist: That’s what we have dictionaries for.
Creationist: This is a little trickier than that. like, how would you define the word “adult?”
Evolutionist: Mature. Responsible. Grown up. Why?
Creationist: So, when you (as a mature, responsible grown-up) want something to read, do you shop at an adult bookstore?… I don’t think so. We have the same problem here. “Evolution” and “creationism” are both wagon words. “
Evolutionist: Wagon words?
Creationist: Yeah, you know, loaded with other stuff that comes along when you pull the handle [of a wagon].
Evolutionist: How do you mean?
Creationist: Well, take “evolution.” Some people talk as though all it means is “change over time.” If that were all it meant, I’d buy it.
Evolutionist: You mean I win already?
Creationist: No, of course not. All I’m saying is that nobody in their right mind questions that some animals have changed some through the course of their existence on earth. What I find, though, is that when I grab the [wagon] handle, all sorts of other things come along with it. Things like a belief that an unguided, purposeless process can cause the accumulation of minor changes and cascade them into major complex innovations.
Evolutionist: What about “creationism?”
Creationist: Well, I prefer to be called a design theorist. My major point is that some things in the natural world are so complex that it seems more likely that they were designed rather than arose by chance. Unfortunately, when I pull this handle… you find that you’re also stuck with defending a geologically young earth… and the idea that everything we see on earth was created in six calendar days.
Evolutionist: So you’re saying that the terms are too broad?
Creationist: Yeah. I’ve seen people use “evolution” to refer to something as simple as minor changes in bird beaks. I’ve also seen people use the term to mean the sponatanious appearance of life… its unguided creation of major innovations (like the birds themselves)… and its purposeless progression into incredible complexity (like the human brain).
Evolutionist: And I’ve seen people use the term “creationism” for everything from a strict literal reading of Genesis… all the way to the idea that God started the ball rolling and then let nature take its course. Yeah, I guess you’re right – the terms are too broad.
Creationist: May I suggest that we use these terms so that we don’t end up pulling more than we want?

  1. Creation or Creation-science: The belief that the earth is no more than 10,0000 years old, and that all biological life forms were created in six calendar days and have remained relatively stable throughout their existence.
  2. Intelligent Design or Design Theory: The belief that the earth and biological life owe their existence to a purposeful, intelligent creation.
  3. Darwinism: The belief that undirected mechanistic processes (primarily random mutation and natural selection) can account for all the diverse and complex living organisms that exist. Insists that there is no long range plan or purpose in the history of life (i.e., that changes happen without intent).
  4. Micro-evolution: Refers to minor variations that occur in populations over time. Examples include variation in moth population and finch beaks, and the emergence of different breeds of dogs.
  5. Macro-evolution: Refers to the emergence of major innovations or the unguided development of new structures (like wings), new organs (like lungs), and body plans (like the origin of insects and birds). Includes changes above the species level, especially new phyla or classes. [species and classes are a hot – debatable – topic.]
  6. Common Descent: The theory that all currently living organisms are descended from a common [or a few common] ancestor[s].

And, as already note:

General Theory of Evolution (GTE): “the theory that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form.”( See Below)

Even with Theodosius Dobzhansky increasing mutation rates in fruit flies by 15,000-percent. All he got were inferior fruit flies. Ernst Mayr described one such experiment which set out to increase the number of bristles in one group, but with both groups starting from the same stock with an average of 36 bristles. By selecting for lower-than-normal number of bristles over thirty generations, the experimenters were able to reduce the average carried by the offspring to 25 bristles. After thirty generations, however, the line became sterile and died out. The second group was selected for higher than average number of bristles and over twenty generations the average rose from 36 to 56. Again, however, sterility became so common that the experiment was wound up.

▼ “Obviously,” says Mayr, “any drastic improvement under selection must seriously deplete the store of genetic variability.”. “The most frequent correlated response of one-sided selection is a drop in general fitness. This plagues virtually every breeding experiment.”

This limit to the amount of genetic variability in species, Mayr termed “genetic homeostasis.” So stop the semantics. I am talking about the BIG theory… the “life coming from cooling rocks” scenario.

(To skip this aside, press here)


Extended Aside…


Here is the definition I used for the GTC above. I will dig out Kerkut’s book when I have the time to put into context HIS definition [here is Kerkut’s quote if you wish]:

...Evolution Discussed...

 A. Kerkut emphasizes that all seven basic assumptions on which evolu­tionary theory rests are “by their nature… not capable of experimental verification” (Implications of Evolution, p. 7). [1] The assumption that “non­living things gave rise to living material… is still just an assumption” (ibid., p. 150). [2] The assumption that “biogenesis occurred only once… is a matter of belief rather than proof” (op. cit.). [3] The assumption that “Vi­ruses, Bacteria, Protozoa and the higher animals were all interrelated” biologically as an evolutionary phenomenon lacks definite evidence (ibid., p. 151). [4] The assumption that “the Protozoa gave rise to the Metazoa” has no basis in definite knowledge (ibid., pp. 151 ff.). [5] The assumption that “the various invertebrate phyla are interrelated” depends on “tenuous and cir­cumstantial” evidence and not on evidence that allows “a verdict of definite relationships” (ibid., pp. 152 f.). [6] The assumption that “the invertebrates gave rise to the vertebrates” turns on evidence gained by prior belief (ibid., p. 153). Although he finds “somewhat stronger ground” for assuming that “fish, amphibia, reptiles, birds and mammals are interrelated,” [7] Kerkut con­cedes that many key fossil transitions are “not well documented and we have as yet to obtain a satisfactory objective method of dating the fossils” (ibid., p. 153). “In effect, much of the evolution of the major groups of animals has to be taken on trust” (ibid., p. 154); “there are many discrete groups of animals and… we do not know how they have evolved nor how they are interrelated” (ibid., p. vii). In short, the theory that “all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form,” says Kerkut, has insufficiently strong evi­dential supports “to consider it as anything more than a working hypothe­sis” (ibid., p. 157). He thinks “premature and not satisfactorily supported by present-day evidence,” therefore, “the attempt to explain all living forms in terms of an evolution from a unique source,” that is, from a common ancestor (ibid., pp. vii f.)

It is therefore understandable why commentators speak more and more of a crisis of evolutionary theory. Establishment science’s long regnant view that gradual development accounts for the solar system, earth, life and all else is in serious dispute. Not in many decades has so much doubt emerged among scientists about the so-called irrefutable evidence that evolution is what accounts for life on planet earth. Although it was still taught long thereafter in high schools, Ernst Haeckel’s “biogenetic law” that “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” had collapsed already in the late 1920s. The absence in recent texts of evolutionary charts depicting the common descent even of trees from a single form is noteworthy. Darwin’s insistence that nature makes no leaps, and that natural selection and chance adequately account for change in species, has lost credibility. Pa­leontologists and biologists are at odds over the significance of the fossil record, while gradualists and episodists disagree over the supposed tempo of evolution or whether the origin of species is consistent with microevolution or only with sudden gaps in the forms of life.

Gould, for example, opts for natural selection and, remarkably, combines it with saltation. He grants that “the fossil record does not support” the belief “in slow evolutionary change preached by most paleontologists” (and projected by Darwin); instead, “mass extinction and abrupt origination reign.. . . Gradualism is not exclusively valid (in fact, I regard it as rather rare). Natural selection contains no statement about rates. It can encompass rapid (geologically instantaneous) change by speciation in small popula­tions as well as the conventional and immeasurably slow transformation of entire lineages” (Ever Since Darwin, p. 271). Natural selection here becomes an elastic phrase that can accommodate to everything while re­quiring no significant empirical attestation.

University of Glasgow scientists Chris Darnbrough, John Goddard and William S. Stevely indicate problem areas that beset evolutionary theory: “The experiments demonstrating the formation of a variety of organic molecules from presumptive prebiotic soups,” they write, “fall far short of providing a pathway for chemical evolution. Again, it is self-evident that the fossil record leaves much to be desired and few biologists recognize the dependence of the geological column on radiometric dating methods based on questionable assumptions about initial conditions. The whole his­tory of evolutionary thought is littered with the debris of dubious assump­tions and misinterpretations, especially in the area of fossil ‘hominids.’ To come up to date, protein and DNA sequence data, generally viewed as consistent with an evolutionary explanation of diversity, are invariably interpreted using methods which presuppose, but do not demonstrate evolu­tionary relationships, and which use criteria that are essentially functional and teleological. Finally, there is a collection of isolated fragmentary pieces of evidence which are usually dismissed as anecdotal because they are irreconcilable with the evolutionary model” (“American Creation” [corre­spondence], by Chris Darnbrough, John Goddard and William S. Stevely, Nature, pp. 95 f.).

From ongoing conflicts and readjustments it is apparent that there never was nor is there now only one theory of evolution. Many nontheistic schol­ars, to be sure, insist that evolution is and has always been “a fact.” Laurie R. Godfrey affirms that “there is actually widespread agreement in scien­tific circles that the evidence overwhelmingly supports evolutionism” and quotes Gould as saying that “none of the current controversy within evolu­tionary theory should give any comfort, not the slightest iota, to any cre­ationists” (“The Flood of Antievolution,” pp. 5-10, p. 10). If, as Godfrey insists, even the most sweeping revisions and reversals of scientific theory ought to be viewed not as weaknesses in evolutionary claims but rather as reflections of ongoing differences that inhere in “doing science—posing, testing and debating alternative explanations,” then the emphasis is proper only if Godfrey refuses to attach finality and a universal validity-claim to anticreationist evolutionary theses.

The history of evolutionary theory is far from complete and its present status ambiguous. Hampton L. Carson notes the difficulty of integrating the dual lines of study pursued by biological evolutionists when on the one hand they project the course of evolution that is held to produce contem­porary organisms, and when on the other they analyze supposed evolution­ary causation. Carson notes, moreover, that presentation of new approaches even to student audiences now requires an understanding of sophisticated computer techniques and an awareness of complex and sometimes esoteric theory; he ventures the bold observation that “new mutations and recom­binations” of evolutionary theory will themselves “be subject to natural selection” (“Introduction to a Pivotal Subject” [review of Evolution by Theodosius Dobzhansky and others, and of Organismic Evolution by Verne Grant], pp. 1272 f.).

Yet most secular evolutionists continue to assume that evolution is a complex fact and therefore debate only its mechanism. Appealing to con­sensus rather than to demonstrative data, G. G. Simpson states that “no evolutionist since [Darwin has] seriously questioned that man did originate by evolution”; he insists, moreover, that “the problem [the origin of life] can be attacked scientifically” (“The World into Which Darwin Led Us.” pp. 966-974). Simpson’s advance confidence in naturalistic explanation ex­udes a strong bias against theistic premises.

But Thomas S. Kuhn considers the physical sciences to be grounded less on empirical facts that on academically defined assumptions about the nature of the universe, assumptions that are unprovable, questionable and reversible (The Structure of Scientific Revolutions). His approach differs somewhat from Michael Polanyi’s assault on the objectivity of human knowledge (Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy), a view that Christian theism disputes on its own ground. Yet both Kuhn’s emphasis and Polanyi’s tend to put a question mark after absolutist evolu­tionary claims.

Carl F. H. Henry, God, Revelation and Authority, Vol VI: God Who Stands and Stays (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1983), 182-184.

[back to text]

A couple other definitions to support my use:

This descent with modification might involve only a slight change in the proportion of different alleles (that is, different forms of a gene), or it might involve substantial changes in the genome that eventually cause the divergences that form the phylogenetic tree of life.

Robert T. Pennock, Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationists (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999), 98. (emphasis added)

Evolution by natural selection and the various other mechanisms mentioned above may lead, over time, to slight changes or very large changes in the descendants of the original organisms. Biologists sometimes divide evolution into two processes: micro-evolution, or change in gene frequency within a population, which may lead to the formation of new species; and macroevolution, which involves evolutionary change above the species level

Tim M. Berra, Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: A Basic Guide to the Facts in the Evolutionary Debate (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1990), 11-12. (emphasis added)

I just wish to note that American Heritage Science Dictionary defines macroevolution as evolution that results in the formation of a new taxonomic group above the level of a species. Philip Kitcher notes evolutionary bilogist’s, Stephen J. Gould, rejection of micromutational changes stacking up to equal a macro-change. (Side-note: knowing Dr. Gould’s worldview (Marxism), one can attribute a Hegelian dialectic involved in his metaphysical view of origins. Thus, this is another hint at how assumptions interpret the evidence.):

Some biologists, notably Gould, think that the further arguments can be given and that gradualists are wrong about both the tempo and the mode of evolution. Gould denies that the well-understood cases of allelic replacement in fruit flies or peppered moths provide a basis for extrapolation. He maintains that large-scale morphological shifts [macromutation/macroevolution] need not result from a succession of genetic changes, each producing a small phenotypic effect.

Philip Kitcher, Abusing Science: The Case Against Creationism (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1982), 148.

To better define Dr. Gould’s and other views on this gradual versus large leaps in evolution that lead to new taxonomic groups, here is the Oxford Dictionary of Biology’s definition of punctuated equilibrium:

A theory proposing that plant and animal species usually arise very quickly in terms of geological time (in less than 100 000 years) and seldom through a process of gradual change. It thus questions the traditional Darwinian theory of evolution, citing as evidence the discontinuities observed in the fossil records of certain animal groups (e.g. the ammonites).


Biotic-Message 300

For extended quotes, click books.

GA Kerkut 300

This is an issue, macro versus micro, species versus genus or order, and the like… are mixed up by some of the smartest people. For instance, Michael Shermer in his Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design, he notes as an example of macroevolutoin an inter-species adaptation that was already innate in the E. Coli baterium already (pp. 75-76). In fact, the founding scientist of this program at the University of Michigan grew so frustrated with the idea that he was getting nowhere, he turned to a computer simulation to get his desired data:

According to biology professor Dr Scott Minnich, the evolutionist researcher Dr Richard Lenski bred bacteria for more than 20,000 generations with all sorts of selective environments in the hope of getting a spontaneous increase in complexity—i.e. real evolution in the lab. He showed that they adapted to their environment, but the experiment failed to demonstrate the emergence of true novelty or spontaneous complexity. The bacteria were not only still bacteria, they were the same types of bacteria. So, says Minnich, he decided to work on digital organisms instead—computer simulations, which gave him the result he wanted in 15,000 generations. The lesson is clear: the real world of biology is very different from the carefully set up and manipulated world of electronic on-screen simulations. (Blast from the Past)

Similarly, in my discussion with Dr. Melendy, he as well mixes up this distinction. Early in the discussion Dr. Melendy says macroevolution is observable in the laboratory. I ask multiple times to give me an example: @TomMelendy, I missed the observation MACRO evolutionary proof. Please explain what this observation has been. Is there a peer reviewed article you can refer me to.” Here is the portion that triggered my interest in this strain (I will emphasize what caught my eye):

Tom Melendy Gravity is called a law and can be and has been observed. Macro-Evolution has never been observed…

Dr. Melendy responds, and I will emphasize the point that concerned me:

Jim, Macro evolution has been observed in the laboratory under controlled conditions – within just a few generations you can “breed” fish to be miniature fish, which reproduce and “grow” up while never getting bigger than the size they were bred for. And Jim, I NEVER said that belief in evolution in inconsistent with a belief in God. I am merely saying that the case for evolution is overwhelming and cannot be denied by any rational person who bothers to examine the evidence. Belief in God is based on faith, not evidence; and it would be entirely appropriate to believe that evolution, like the other laws of the universe, are merely the hands of God shaping the world we live in. As for referring to evolution as “intelligent design”, I would have to agree – there can be no more intelligent a design program than the evolution that created the amazing diversity of life on this planet including mankind himself.

After pressing the point, I prodded him some more…

@Dr.Melendy, you said:

1) Macro evolution has been observed in the laboratory under controlled conditions – within just a few generations you can “breed” fish to be miniature fish, which reproduce and “grow” up while never getting bigger than the size they were bred for.

Second Statement:

2) I pointed out how a macroevolutionary experiment cannot be done in the laboratory because of the time frame required for cytogenetic changes to occur.

Miniaturizing a fish is not macro-evolution!? You have a Ph.D. alright — in obfuscating terms.

American Heritage Science Dictionary: “Evolution that results in the formation of a new taxonomic group above the level of a species.”
★ From an old 1962 textbook (Holt, Rinehart, Winston, [1962]… probably when you were going through school?) Evolution and Genetics: “The Modern Theory of Evolution:Quantum evolution, also known as mega- and macroevolution, is the term applied to the rapid shift of a population to a new equilibrium distinctly unlike the ancestral condition, thus leading to the origin of higher taxonomic categories such as new orders and classes.”
What Is Evolution, Ernst Mayr: “Evolution above the species level; the evolution of higher taxa and the production of evolutionary novelties, such as new structures.”

Species is the key… you seem to be conflating it a bit.

So are you positing that this “smaller fish,” which in one breath you say is evidence of “Quantum evolution” a new taxonomy? Or is it [Quantum evolution] not able to be done in the laboratory because of the time frame required for cytogenetic changes to occur is not long enough in human terms?

So, Macroevolution is not observable, correct?

re-read!!! – I never said “macro” evolution could be observed. I was referring to the microevolutionary changes…

I didn’t take kind to this obfuscation of the conversation. I continued:

Let us get into the nitty-gritty later, I want to define terms first.

SPECIES and MACROEVOLUTION:

Species is not well defined. Example: Canis Domesticus (say, a, German Shepherd) and Canis Lupus (wolf) are classified as two separate species. But they can interbreed (i.e. a Wolf and a German Shepherd). But a Chihuahua and a Great Dane cannot breed, but they are both Canis Domesticus (the same species). The arctic hair cannot breed with the Florida hair, but both breed with the Dakota hair. Evolutionists recognize certain bowerbirds as distinct species even though they often interbreed.

Or consider the case of two different kinds of squirrels separated by the Grand Canyon. The Kaibab squirrel inhabits the north side of the canyon, while the Abert squirrel inhabits the south side. It seems evident the two descended from one original population. Rarely, however, can squirrels from both populations come together, and thus there is no interbreeding between them. And, for some time biologists have disagreed as to whether the squirrels had reached the level of two separate species.

Look, you could go to Galapagos Islands and get a pair of finches and bring them back to a laboratory and just let them have sex. After a few generations you will have small beaked, medium beaked, large beaked finches. The information is already in there genome, nothing new was created, specificity was lost if anything. Now if you simulate a drought, like on Galapagos, so that the seeds become hard and more beak strength is needed to open them, then of course the larger beaked finch will survive. A creationist came up with the survival of the fittest twenty-four years prior to Darwin. After all the other “parent” finches die off, you are left with only large beaked finches in the laboratory. This is not evolution; no new information was gained in the process. There are limits to its change, strep-throat may change into a flesh eating virus, but it loss specificity to get to that point or already had the information in its genome. It’s still strep-throat.

That finch didn’t turn into a dinosaur; that dog didn’t turn into a cat; that ape didn’t turn into a man, etc.. The genetic barriers wont and don’t allow it. You can post all the sites in the world, but you will never be able to find one proof of macroevolution in the fossil record or in the living world. All we have ever seen is what evolutionists’ call “subspeciation” (variation within a type), never “transpeciation” (change from one type to others). The primrose is a prime example of my point. The alleged new species of primrose that de Vries thought he had “discovered” were not new species at all but rather mere variations of the same species.

This “sport” (a certain primrose that de Vries created), with it’s doubled chromosome [no new information was added, it merely doubled the information that was already there], is still a primrose. Stickleback fish may diversify into fresh-water dwellers and salt–water dwellers, but both remain sticklebacks. One fruit fly may breed on apple trees and another on hawthorn trees, but both remain fruit flies. Speciation is a means of creating diversity within types of living things, but macroevolution is much more than diversity.

Macroevolution requires an increase of the gene pool, the addition of new genetic information, whereas the means to speciation discussed above represent the loss of genetic information (how so?). Both physical and ecological isolation produce varieties by cutting a small population off from its parent population and building a new group from the more limited genetic information contained in the small population. A large population carries genetic reserve, a wealth of concealed recessive genes. In a small group cut off from the parent population, some of these recessive traits may be expressed more often. This makes for interesting diversity, but it should not blind us to the fact that the total genetic variability in the small group is reduced!.

The appearance of reproductively isolated populations represents microevolution, not macro-evolution. Vertical change – to a new level of complexity – requires the input of additional genetic information. Can that information – the ensembles of new genes to make wrens, rabbits, and Hawthorne trees be gleaned from random mutations?

Thus far, there appears to be good evidence that the roles mutations are able to play are severely restricted by and within the existing higher-level blueprint of the organism’s whole genome.

To go from one-celled organisms to a human being means that information must be added to the genetic messages at each step of the way. Mechanisms for the loss of genetic information cannot be used as support for a theory requiring vast increases of genetic information.

Speciation is actually akin to what breeders do. They isolate a small group of plants or animals and force them to interbreed, cutting them off from the larger gene pool to which they belong. A century of breeding testifies to the fact that this produces limited change only. It does produce the open-ended change required by Darwinian evolution. Some think, as do I, that the extinction of the dinosaurs occurred because they didn’t have the genetic diversity to adapt to environmental changes.

Percival Davis & Dean H. Kenyon, with Charles B. Thaxton as Academic Editor, Of Pandas and People: The Central Question of Biological Origins, 2nd Edition (Dallas, TX: Haughton Publishing Co., 1993), 19-20.

After disagreeing with my point, he mentioned that, “Macroevolution does NOT require an “increase in the gene pool” – the gene pool of the horse and donkey are virtually identical, yet they are separate species (yet closely related enough to produce sterile offspring). The reason they are different species is due to the cytogenetic changes (note that does NOT involve additional genetic material or a greater gene pool).”

To which I again respond: 

You are telling me that a donkey and a horse are a donkey ARE proof of macroevolution? You are telling me as well that Cats (Felidae) are a diverse group of carnivores that includes domestic cats, lions, tigers, ocelots, jaguars, caracals, leopards, mountain lions, lynx and many other groups of cats are not the same kind?

Let me restate that, wolves and a few other dog kind (Canidae) have all the genetic information in them that breeders are then able to change through intelligent input. So a Chihuahuas is still a Canidae, but with much less specified complexity — the bottom of the gene pool so-to-speak. [Left to its own devices with no help from man, the wolf, coyote, etc would survive, but the Chihuahuas would probably die out.]

You seem to be conflating “species” with other classification titles (http://tinyurl.com/3npkel8) [*SEE YOUR OWN STATEMENT BELOW* ~ not capitalized to yell, merely to emphasize]. I want you to be clear and concise so a high school student from L.A. Unified can understand you: “are you saying small changes in specie level adaptation (centimeter beak change in birds, or Brussels sprouts to hit a bit closer to home to your point [http://creation.com/eat-your-brussels-sprouts]) are more than that, they are evidence of macroevolution?

…. I still think this statement by you @Tom Melendy is a bit of an overreach:

Jim, Macro evolution has been observed in the laboratory under controlled conditions – within just a few generations you can “breed” fish to be miniature fish, which reproduce and “grow” up while never getting bigger than the size they were bred for.

Please give me the name of the fish you referenced… and through observed “quantum evolution, also known as mega- and macroevolutionary” what other Order this fish became under observation. You see Tom, we are still at one of your opening statements, which you have not clearly, eruditely, and concisely explained. So you lied to Jim? Or you were mistaken in your wording? What.

Dr. Melendy walks back his previous statements a bit, as well as FINALLY giving the fish’s name in the discussion leading up to this point (I will note by emphasis some items that caught my eye. The most egregious being the admitted “bait-and-switch” of definitions regarding “macroevolution”):

My apologies for the lack of clarity on my part. When this thread first started we were talking about common evolution in the lab. This is commonly seen with microorganisms. Someone asked what about non-microorganisms. I responded that you could see macro evolution in the lab in fish (macro just to differentiate from micro-organisms). Once you began defining your terms as micro and macro evolution as being the small changes due to variation and selection, versus the larger changes that produce different species that of course made my previous point unclear – I was referring to micro-evolution (variation and selection) being studied in a macroorganism (fish). It wasn’t an over-reach, it was a miscommunication due to us not having established an accepted nomenclature prior to that statement. Often different branches of science will utilize the same term to mean different things in different fields. As to your question of which fish – Atlantic silversides. Here’s the website showing you the surprising result that within just a handful of generations the fish size could be decreased dramatically. (Berkeley, Evolution in the Lab)

I will jump to my response to the Baccacio rockfish example, via a creationist site:

…For some years now, many fisheries management authorities around the world have instituted legal minimum size requirements for various fish species. Thus anglers must return ‘undersized’ fish to the water unharmed. Similarly, commercial fishermen use large-meshed nets to spare the smaller fish—with the aim of ensuring the long-term viability of the fishery.

However, the fish that are genetically predisposed to mature at larger sizes are the ones most likely to be caught before they can reproduce. Thus there has been a strong selection pressure favouring scrawny fish that never reach the minimum legal size. Hence the genes for late-maturing larger-sized fish have been progressively lost from many fish populations, leaving early-maturing smaller-sized ones to dominate the gene pool. (So, ironically, by catching only the biggest fish and letting the others go, humans have unintentionally selected against that which they desire most!)

Note that this is not evolution because the selection pressure—which is essentially an artificially-imposed version of ‘natural selection’—simply favours certain genes over others; it cannot generate any new genetic information. Neither such ‘artificial’ nor ‘natural’ selection can turn plaice into people; it can only operate on (i.e. cull out) genetic information that already exists.

Fisheries scientists David Conover and Stephan Munch, of the State University of New York, observed that size-specific culling of Atlantic silversides rapidly changes the genetic makeup of the population.7 After just four generations, fish populations from which the largest 90% of silversides were removed before breeding averaged just half the size of fish in populations from which the smallest 90% had been culled. In other words, removing big fish soon results in a population of little fish (and vice versa).

This is not evolution, as the genes for big or little fish were already present in the population beforehand. Note that the limits to how big or little the fish can be in the final population are determined by the amount of pre-existing genetic variety. Conover and Munch wrote: ‘Management tools that preserve natural genetic variation [i.e. pre-existing variety] are necessary for long-term sustainable yield.’ In other words, we need to leave at least some of the big fish in the water, so that their desirable genes (from a human perspective) remain in the fish population.

Despite this anti-evolutionary insight, their research paper refers to fish demonstrating ‘evolutionary effects’ and having ‘evolved rapidly’. That last claim took many of their fellow evolutionists by surprise. David Conover reported: ‘Even some fisheries’ scientists have been unwilling to accept that evolution is happening within a few fish generations.’…

http://creation.com/smaller-fish-to-fry

I make this point in my earliest debate with a neo-Darwinist, in which I end with 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.”

Mr. Hitchings: “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.”

Goldschmidt said: “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.”

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)

(From one of my first debates on this subject.)

So the example of the fish is something that if defined properly doesn’t support the grand changes that Darwinism implies. Nor, if properly defined, no creationist finds anything wrong with it… other than someone takes this loss of information and applies it to the past spuriously [stepping out of science and using a meta-narrative to state something that is unobservable] to say, “see, I am related to a banana in the tree of life.”

THAT, is, well… bananas!

What you have here is similar to what Leftist do in politics, what anthropogenic global warming advocates do, as well as evolutionists. That is, co-opt language and offer an alternative definition to obfuscate the issue. Just fair warning to my fellow apologists. See my post Evolutionary Illusions for an in-depth look at how terminology is being misused.

…continuing with my aside.

@TomMelendy I still think you were passing false information on in this regard to Jim:

Jim, Macro evolution has been observed in the laboratory under controlled conditions – within just a few generations you can “breed” fish to be miniature fish, which reproduce and “grow” up while never getting bigger than the size they were bred for.

As well as continuing to do so with me:

Macroevolution does NOT require an “increase in the gene pool” – the gene pool of the horse and donkey are virtually identical, yet they are separate species (yet closely related enough to produce sterile offspring). The reason they are different species is due to the cytogenetic changes (note that does NOT involve additional genetic material or a greater gene pool). 

You should know what the other side believes before asking a question, its 101, you asked: “If God created all the SPECIES currently on the Earth either 6000 years ago, or through intelligent design, why is there so much evidence that supports Evolution?” He didn’t, God created the “Kinds,” which is more like Order (Felidae, Canidae, etc). You have a doctorate, right? Do you get it yet? Order… species… different.

In every Oxford dictionary and companion book to biology, physics, and the like, textbooks (I have many university level texts)… macroevolution has the same definition. I think you telling people on this site that special change is evidence of macro-evolution is deplorable. But maybe you thought no one would catch this because you were degreed. You did back away from this though… in many more words though than just saying “I was wrong.” I even had to throw in an elementary picture to make the point.

[I will now quote a creationists understanding of this that is more in line with the standard definitions]:

It is very important not to confuse the “created kind” with the modern use of the word species. Although animals like the fox and coyote might be considered different taxonomic species, they are still parts of the same “kind” of animal. The created kind is thought to be more often synonymous with the “Family” level of classification in the taxonomic hierarchy; at least in mammals; and occasionally it can extend as high as the order level. Here are some examples:

Felidae — Scientists from Creation Ministries International and the Institute for Creation Research have proposed that the original feline kind was comparable to the Liger and the Tigon.
Canidae — Including Wolves, Foxes, Jackals, Coyotes, and Domestic dogs.

Camelidae — Including both the Camel and the Llama, which are reproductively compatible, their hybrid offspring being known as “Camas.”
Bovidae — Including Cattle, Buffalo, Bison, and Yaks.
Equidae — Including Horses, Zebras, and Asses.
Caprinae — Including Sheep, Goats, and Ibex.
Crocodilia — Including all the varieties of Alligators, Crocodiles, and Gharials.
Elephantidae — Including African and Asian elephants, Mammoths, Mastodons, and Gomphotheres.

Thus the created kind corresponds roughly to the family level of taxonomic classification, and possibly even the order, with the notable exception of humanity wherein the genus is representative. Humanity — Dr. Sigrid Hartwig-Scherer of the University of Munich concluded that H. erectus/H. ergaster, Neanderthals and H. sapiens were members of the same basic type (which corresponds to a monobaramin) genus Homo.

 (Via Creation Wiki; see also, “Refuting Evolution 2,” by Dr. Jonathan Sarfati — free online.)


…Aside Over


Simple enough. Continuing now with Prototype.

@PapaGiorgio I’m not making semantical arguments, that’s what creationists do to falsely equivocate evolution as a “religion” which requires “faith” to believe.

I’m a molecular biologist. I can tell you that evolution is a fact. It is undeniable if you actually understand it and have studied the evidence. I can also tell you that the god of the Bible is irreconcilable with the historical and scientific evidence, and this is coming from a Christian of 30 years who is still married to a Christian. I have no reason to lie about this. I have no reason to be an atheist other than the fact that I can’t lie to myself. You, on the other hand, have been indoctrinated with all of this propaganda and will parrot back all of the fallacious arguments as you completely ignore the evidence and arguments against your position.

Yes, “macroevolution” is allele change over a longer period of time (along with other ways that genetic information can be added, removed, altered, etc.). Are you a biologist? Have you studied this subject at all from an objective standpoint, or do you just have a cursory understanding based upon what creationists have told you? Be honest with yourself.

I try to narrow the conversation:

@PrototypeAtheist Please, give an example of a genetic mutation or an evolutionary process which can be seen to increase the information in the genome.

@PapaGiorgio What do you mean “increase the information”? Mutations do “increase the information” because they are different configurations which can be passed on to future generations. Changes can occur to genetic sequences in a variety of ways…but I bet you’re going to try to argue that mutations are only deletions?

@PrototypeAtheist Since you did not choose one, and I asked for a specific example, I will give a few examples to try and get this [you] biologist to dive in and defend a position instead of being “vague” as you have so far. Rats have developed resistance to the poison warfain. Many hundreds of insect species and other agricultural pests have evolved resistance to the pesticides used to combat them – even to chemical defenses genetically engineered into plants. The continual evolution of human pathogens has come to pose one of the most serious health problems facing human societies. Many strains of bacteria have become increasingly resistant to antibiotics as natural selection has amplified resistant strains that arose through naturally occurring genetic variation. On-and-on.

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 (*postscript in fallowing comment after this one). 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 …[‘General Theory of Evolution’ (GTE)]… 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.”

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:

▼ “It is quite possible that violent knocking about might dislocate a man’s shoulder, and that continued knocking about might actually reduce the previous dislocation… no 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.”

Remember, if we are talking about “micro-evolution,” you should supply examples that can lead to MACRO changes. Even in “gene duplication” (pictured here: http://tinyurl.com/n9m4fwd) in every instance is a decrease in specificity: Down’s syndrome for example. Again, there is a copy of the same info… but nothing new. And this same info causes ALWAYS a detrimental (arm dislocating) event — a… loss of specificity (or a fit version/copy of itself) for survivability.

Another way to look at this is to say [assume] anthropogenic global warming predictions are true. Coupled with that a disease (or mankind) kills all the wild canines in the world. So all the exists are Chihuahuas. (I know, a stretch, but I have a point). You would never to selectively breed back to a wolf (Arctic, Red, Ethiopian, or the like). The genic information of the parent population is lost. AND, the “fitness” of this loss (specificity) is lost as well. So, if a new ice-age came upon us after the above fictitious event, and mankind did not shelter these “rodent dogs,” all canid population could feasibly disappear.

So, have I knocked your head enough for you to proffer an example and defend it?

[The promised postscript will follow]

This intro was geared at Prototype Atheist: This postscript comes from a previous debate I had — and you can see a bit of it in the above). I have written over 6,000 responses to items of politics, religion, science, history, philosophy, economics, and the like for a time-period expanding about 20-years. My home library includes many texts that are pro as well as con to all my views [well over 5,000 books and 600DVD documentary style subjects similar to the above list of topics… but much more formal debates at universities are in this DVD collection]. For my bio, you are welcome to see it here.

▼ It has been proven that resistance to many modern antibiotics was present decades before their [the antibiotics] discovery. In 1845, sailors on an ill-fated Arctic expedition were buried in the permafrost and remained deeply frozen until their bodies were exhumed in 1986. Preservation was so complete that six strains of nineteenth-century bacteria found dormant in the contents of the sailors’ intestines were able to be revived! When tested, these bacteria were found to possess resistance to several modern-day antibiotics, including penicillin. Such traits were obviously present prior to penicillin’s discovery, and thus could not be an evolutionary development. (Medical Tribune, December 29, 1988, p. 1, 23.)

In 1998, the National Academy of Sciences published and distributed a book to public schools and other institutions entitled Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science. Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D., F.M., wrote a book, Refuting Evolution, which is a topic by topic rebuttal to this Academy of Sciences publication. Under the evidence for evolution in the evolutionist text is the following quote:

▼ Similar episodes of rapid evolution are occurring in many different organisms. Rats have developed resistance to the poison warfain. Many hundreds of insect species and other agricultural pests have evolved resistance to the pesticides used to combat them – even to chemical defenses genetically engineered into plants.

(Sarfati’s reply – any words in the [boxes] are mine):

▼ However, what has this to do with the evolution of new kinds with new genetic information? Precisely nothing. What has happened in many cases is that some bacteria already had the genes for resistance to the antibiotics. In fact, some bacteria obtained by thawing sources which had been frozen before man developed antibiotics have shown to be antibiotic-resistant [6 different antibiotics in fact, penicillin in modern doses – which is way beyond the strength of natural penicillin found in nature]. When antibiotics are applied to a population of bacteria, those lacking resistance are killed, and any genetic information they carry is eliminated. The survivors carry less information [or specificity], but they are all resistant. The same principle applies to rats and insects “evolving” resistance to pesticides. Again, the resistance was already there, and creatures without resistance are eliminated.

[Much like if we killed all dogs (including Canis Domesticus and Canis Lupus) except for Chihuahuas, we would permanently lose the information of the parent population. You could then breed Chihuahuas for a millennium and not get an Irish Wolfhound]

▼ …In other cases, antibiotic resistance is the result of a mutation, but in all known cases, this mutation has destroyed information. It may seem surprising that destruction of information can sometimes help. But one example is resistance to the antibiotic penicillin. Bacteria normally produce an enzyme, penicillinase, which destroys penicillin. The amount of penicillinase is controlled by a gene. There is normally enough produced to handle any penicillin encountered in the wild, but the bacterium is overwhelmed by the amount given to patients. A mutation disabling this controlling gene results in much more penicillinase being produced.

[Thus, the bacteria found frozen in 1845 already had the mutation to overcome modern medical doses of penicillin. So the mutation wasn’t the result of the penicillin in modern doses, thus seemingly becoming resistant… it already had the resistant mutation – informational or specificity losing – in the population. In other words, no new information was added to the parent population!]

I wish to note he doesn’t respond with a) evidence, and b) with appeals to authority, as well as a response that has c) nothing to do with modern science… which is the drive of the conversation.

@PapaGiorgio You haven’t a clue what you’re talking about. You’re parroting back creationist arguments that you’re heard from some charlatan somewhere, probably a Ken Ham or Ray Comfort-type, if not those guys themselves, which is obvious by your reference to “observational” and “historical” science.

Do you really think that you know more about biology than a molecular biologist and the overwhelming consensus of biologists? Because a demonstrably false, unreliable, and contradictory tome of Bronze Age Middle Eastern mythology says otherwise?

You went to school to learn about an ancient superstition. I earned a degree which allows me to understand the evidence which makes evolution one of the most highly supported theories in all of science. It’s essential to biology. Our entire understanding of biology comes from evolution.

Your understanding of the universe comes from people trying to make up reasons behind natural phenomena they didn’t understand.

Remember, I am talking about modern science and not a mythological position from the Bronze Age. I wish to note as well that Prototype Atheist has his history woefully wrong. I will quote Building Old School Churches in regards to a response:

1) It’s Grossly Inaccurate: The vast majority of the Old Testament was written during the Iron Age (1200 BC – 500 BC) and the entire New Testament was written in the 1st Century AD and entirely postdates both the periods referred to as the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. If you want to use a snarky chronologically arrogant term to imply you are smarter than the people who preceded you merely because you were born after them, the correct term would be “Ancient Book.”

2) It’s Doesn’t Even Prove What it’s Supposed to Prove: Apart from the foolishness of asserting that people like Moses, Solomon and Aristotle were clearly idiots because they were around a long time ago and didn’t have things like Google, Microwaves, or Cup O’ Noodles, age doesn’t nullify truth or the factual nature of a record any more than the fact that something was generated recently makes it true.

For instance, “I, Rigoberta Menchu,” an autobiography that won Menchu the Nobel Prize, was written in the late 20th century, and became wildly popular and was considered by American academics to be “the gospel truth” about oppression in Central America. Subsequent investigations however revealed that Rigoberta Menchu had made up much of her life story.

In the case of the bible, if the events it records happened, the fact that they were written down a long time ago doesn’t change that factual nature of the record, and to date, every historical event the bible records that can be confirmed by archaeologyand other histories has been confirmed.

…read it all…

And for the more serious apologist, here is an excellent summation of two overlooked verses that SMACK of foundational apologetics (h/t to Poached Egg):

The Two Most Overlooked Apologetics Verses In the Bible

Hardly anybody ever mentions it, but two of the most well-known verses in the Old Testament have significant apologetic implications, lending support to the Bible’s supernatural origins. One of them I’m sure will be a surprise to many readers here; the other might also.

I will preview the argument before telling you which verses they are. In brief form it goes like this.

The ancient Hebrews’ conception of God and his relation to his creation was vastly different from that of others in the Ancient Near East. From a philosophical perspective it has been exceedingly successful for millennia since then: it was, in that sense, very highly advanced philosophy. Such uniquely prescient and enduringly successful thinking is not explained by any prior tradition, for there is no indication of advanced thought leading up to it either among the Hebrews or in any neighboring culture. Did it come from nowhere at all? Or did it come by revelation from God?

Or:

The ancient Hebrews were astonishingly advanced metaphysical thinkers. They produced a monotheism that stood in complete contrast to all other systems of thought at the time, that still works philosophically, and that today remains coherent within its own framework. How did these Bronze Age nomads and farmers accomplish that?

I have often heard it asked, “why should we look to ancient Bronze Age or Iron Age nomads/sheepherders/farmers for wisdom? What could they possibly say to us who have the advantage of so much more knowledge and science?” Good question. How could they have known anything at all that would stand the test of centuries of inquiry? But our two “overlooked apologetics verses” have done that. They are, as I said, very familiar:

Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

Exodus 3:13-14a “Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”

The creation account in Genesis is astonishingly different from all other creation stories. Quoting from page 32 and following of Paul Copan and William Lane Craig, Creation out of Nothing: A Biblical, Philosophical, and Scientific Exploration:

Genesis is quite unlike the Mesopotamian cosmogonies [accounts of the origin of the cosmos], for instance, which are intertwined with theogonies—accounts of the origins of the gods. In them, we are not told so much about how the universe came about—the origin of the worlds is really accidental or secondary in ANE [Ancient Near East] accounts—but how the gods emerged. And in addition to the fact that these Mesopotamian cosmogonies are really concerned with the ancestors of the gods and how they got themselves organized, they do not even identify these gods as creators. So when it comes to the elements of the universe (the waters/deep, darkness), a deity either controls one or is one….

Further, Yahweh simply speaks, thereby creating; in other ANE cosmogonies, deities struggle to divide the waters. Also in Genesis 1, the astral bodies are not gods (as in ANE accounts) but are creations.…

Gerhard von Rad makes the powerful point that Israel’s worldview, as reflected in Genesis, drew a sharp demarcating line between God and the world. The material world is purged of any quality of the divine or the demonic….

In Genesis, we read of something marvelously different than in [Ugaritic cosmogony], with its gods and hostile powers (darkness, the waters/the deep): “These cosmic monsters are no longer primordial forces opposed to the Israelite God at the beginning of creation. Instead, they are creatures like other creatures rendered in this story.” Genesis 1 depicts a “divine mastery” over these forces….

In contrast to ANE myths, there are no rivals to the Creator in Genesis [chapter] 1—let alone preexistent matter…. There is no cosmic dualism or struggle at all.

There is more but I think you can see the point: the Genesis view of God and creation is starkly different from all other views of cosmic origins and of deity…

…read it all…

 After all this, Prototype Atheist Tweeted this about lil’~ol’~me:

I am flattered. To think, me, sitting in a two bedroom condo… SeanG (AKA Papa Giorgio), has such an influence as to “hold back science” as well as “humanity.” Or.. Prototype Atheist (call me when the production model is shipped) got bested in an area where he has a degree in. In his Tweet he tries to make this a moral issue by saying I am holding back humanity. Who would want to even talk with such a person that is “holding back science and humanity… it is akin to the labels thrown around in the political world: sexist, intolerant, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, racist, bigoted (S.I.X.H.I.R.B.). Going to ad hominem attacks and mislabeling LARGE swaths of history (the Bronze Age thingy). That’s what he is really good at, that is, lashing out on via Twitter account.

My Discussion with Professor Tom Melendy (Part 2)

…This is continued from Part I

Nick DeM. again adds

i can’t get enough of this conversation!!! pbs needs to give you gentlemen a morning talk show.

ME

May I say I disagree that the data supports evolution, neo-Darwinian at least. The data is INTERPRETED a certain way, for instance, from my first chapter of my book (it is a refutation of sorts to a fellow classmate that produced the DVD, “The God Who Wasn’t There”).

And the main idea here is that one position is metaphysical, the other is more neutral… which will lead into my next comment, and a change of direction to the conversation if you do not mind Doc Melendy

….Let us see if we can ferret out Mr. Flemming’s starting premise with an interview with Dr. Dean Kenyon,[1] Assistant Professor of Biology at San Francisco State University (Emeritus), when he was asked this question: “What are the general presuppositions that scientists make who study the origin of life?” Dr. Kenyon responded:

“Well, I think there are two general kinds of presuppositions that people can make, one is that life, in fact, did arise naturalistically on the primitive earth by some kind of chemical evolutionary process. The second presupposition would be that life may or may not have arisen by a naturalistic, chemical process. Now, if you have the first presupposition, then the goal of your research is to work out plausible pathways of chemical development to go to the bio-polymers, then to the protocells; and what would be likely pathways that you could demonstrate in the laboratory by simulation experiment. If you have the second presupposition, your still going to be doing experiments, but you’re going to be more open to the possibility that the data, as they [or, it] come[s] in from those studies may actually be suggesting a different explanation of origins altogether.”[2]

The logical position, what I would say is the truly scientific way to look at these issues, is to say what Kenyon just did: “life may or may not have arisen by a naturalistic, chemical process.” He, in other words, did not beg the question. This embedded philosophy[3] is what the fervor was over in Kansas a few years back. The Kansas Board of Education caused a firestorm by hearing the drafting board’s proposal to change one word in the working definition of science. The original drafting commission defined science as:

  • “Science is the human activity of seeking natural explanations for what we observe in the world around us.”

The Kansas board of education drafting committee defined science as,

  • “Science is the human activity of seeking logical explanations for what we observe in the world around us.”[4]

This simple word change, and the subsequent fervor it caused, illustrates the embedded philosophy in current science.[5] So the first thing that Principle Sipus should have asked of Brian is for him to define what science is and the type of evidence his definition of science produces. After getting his definition he should have asked this:

Since the evidence you are asking for is excluded by your definition of empirical science, aren’t you “begging the question” Brian? Likewise I could ask of you to disprove by the scientific method God’s existence, and, by your definition of science — which excludes anything metaphysical — I would be setting you up for failure, because science (at least as you [Brian] define it) is incapable of proving or disproving God.”


[1] Kenyon received a B.Sc. in physics from the University of Chicago in 1961 and a Ph.D. in biophysics from Stanford University in 1965. In 1965-1966 he was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Chemical Biodynamics at the University of California, Berkeley, a Research Associate at Ames Research Center. In 1966, he became Assistant Professor of Biology at San Francisco State University. He has been Emeritus at San Francisco State University since 2000.

[2] Focus on Darwinism: An Interview with Dean H. Kenyon (Focus on Origin Series, Access Research Network, DVD, 2004).

[3] I will give yet another example that makes my point for me: “Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such an hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic.” Kansan State University immunologist, Scott Todd, correspondence to Nature, 410 [6752], 30 September, 1999.

[4] Phillip E. Johnson, The Wedge of Truth: Splitting the Foundations of Naturalism (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), 68 (emphasis added).

[5] i.e., scientism, materialism, empiricism, existentialism, naturalism, and humanism – whatever you want to call it… it is still a metaphysical position as it assumes or presumes certain things about the entire universe. D’Souza points this a priori commitment out:

Naturalism and materialism are not scientific conclusions; rather, they are scientific premises. They are not discovered in nature but imposed upon nature. In short, they are articles of faith. Here is Harvard biologist Richard Lewontin: “We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a priori commitment, a commitment — a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”

Dinesh D’Souza points to this in his recent book, What’s So Great about Christianity (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2007), 161 (emphasis added).

(http://www.scribd.com/collections/2649254/Worldviews-A-Click-Away-from-Binary-Collisions-Religio-Political-Apologetics)

(To buttress the above):

If science really is permanently committed to methodological naturalism – the philosophical position that restricts all explanations in science to naturalistic explanations – it follows that the aim of science is not generating true theories. Instead, the aim of science would be something like: generating the best theories that can be formulated subject to the restriction that the theories are naturalistic. More and more evidence could come in suggesting that a supernatural being exists, but scientific theories wouldn’t be allowed to acknowledge that possibility.

(Atheist) Bradley Monton, author of “Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design”

Tom, let’s leave your specialty for a bit, if you don’t mind, and enter into the above topic. “What is evidence.” Historically, in the Christian faith, there have been two books, one is “Book of Revelation,” and the other is the “Book of Nature.” The early Church Fathers (really apologists) said you can/could glean information from both — one of course being more complete, at least, for the Christian.

I am sure you would agree with most of what is below[?], it comes from a discussion I had a decade ago:

…The question then is: What evidence do you need? Or better yet: What kind of evidence? Can Science help? Lets see… the scientific method merely shows that if miracles did occur in the past, that science (as currently defined) could not prove, or disprove, their occurrence. You cannot find out what Napoleon did at the Battle of Austerlitz by asking him to come and fight it again in a laboratory with the same combatants, the same terrain, the same weather, and in the same age. You have to go to the records. We have not, in fact, proved that science excludes miracles: we have only proved that the question of miracles, like the innumerable other questions [of history], excludes laboratory treatment. And Christianity claims to be a historical belief. The resurrection of Jesus was an historical event, one that cannot be repeated in the laboratory. So how, then, do we deal with the historic claims of Christianity? Like any other historical event, we go to the records.

  • “What are the distinctive sources for our beliefs about the past? Most of the beliefs we have about the past come to us by the testimony of other people. I wasn’t present at the signing of the Declaration of Independence. I didn’t see my father fight in the [S]econd [W]orld [W]ar. I have been told about these events by sources that I take to be reliable. The testimony of others is generally the main source of our beliefs about the past…. So all our beliefs about the past depend on testimony, or memory, or both.” (Philosophy for Dummies, by Tom Morris, pp. 57-58)
  • “In advanced societies specialization in the gathering and production of knowledge and its wider dissemination through spoken and written testimony is a fundamental socio-epistemic fact, and a very large part of each persons body of knowledge and belief stems from testimony.” (The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, edited by Robert Audi[2nd ed.], p. 909)
  • “But it is clear that most of what any given individual knows comes from others; palpably with knowledge of history, geography, or science, more subtly with knowledge about every day facts such as when we were born..” (The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, edited by Ted Honderich, p. 869)

So when Shadow Warchief says, “I haven’t seen a single shred of evidence for the existence of God,” is he defining what evidence is and how we get knowledge about past events, and then going to the sources to see if they are credible or not? (http://www.scribd.com/doc/48848626/Apologetics-Evidence-Paper)

From this past conversation the point is made that evidence isn’t always empirical. Remember my mock discussion between the professor and his student? — not “mine,” but from the book I recommended to you).

So, how do you prove God? You can have fingerprints of His work (intelligent design, which predates Christ, and thus, is not “creationism” in disguise), you can combine the “Book of Revelation” with that of “Nature” (creationism), BUT… how do you prove God’s existence?

Only if God dealt with — miraculously — our world. Which the Christian faith says He did. Of course coming in human form as well. Yes, the Creator of the space-time-continuum, the BANG behind the “Big-Bang” came to our world. Whether you are an old earth creationist (OEC), a theistic-Christian, or a young earther (YEC)… the answer to the question of “who Jesus is/was” should be answered by our faith. And thus answer the idea that God’s existence can be proven.

Yeah?

Tom Melendy

Okay Sean, the quality of your posts is decreasing. You’re now citing an Assistant Professor (Emeritus just means retired) of physics/biophysics at San Francisco State University (note this is NOT the same as the University of California San Francisco – SFS is just one step above a community college for Pete’s sake) as a source on a question about biology. That’s an epic Fail. His NSF fellowship – no biggie – particularly when he got it, back in the 60s when grant funding rates were over 50%, and fellowship rates were even higher, it was a breeze to get those things (and yes, I got a more prestigious fellowship during much more competitive times – I was also a US Presidential Fellow if you know what that means).

I’m not here to argue the Big Bang, that’s not my area. Nor am I here to argue the origins of life on Earth. While I have read a few of the papers on that area, it is not my specialty, and I am ill equipped to ague for or against it – so I won’t. I take no position on these topics. What I am fairly well equipped to defend, is that from the early forms of life on this planet, there is a clear fossil, and in many cases genetic (I say “many” because we can’t extract useable genetic material from the earliest fossils) record that is phenomenally consistent with evolution (many would say “creating” but I’ll say) being the method by which current forms of life on this planet were created (again, if anyone wants to propose evolution as the way in which God created the animals and mankind, I have zero problem with that). I agree, Sean, science cannot disprove miracles – nor can science disprove things supernatural. I agree that some things cannot be tested in the laboratory because we cannot ‘be’ there and cannot reproduce it in the laboratory (your example about Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz), for these we have to rely on other evidence – but it is NOT JUST testimony Sean – we an go to old battlefields today and we can find evidence of the battles and how they occurred. People can even collect samples of DNA from items from battles fought hundreds of years ago and find out who was fighting – testimony is important, but so is other methods of evaluation. – back to the point I was making – I agree science cannot disprove miracles. Yet when you have something where there is clear evidence that it can be the result of a natural process – why invoke a supernatural process? The rule of Occams razor comes into effect here (yes, I can invoke a little philosophy too Sean) – the principle of parsimony states that when using logic or question/problem-solving, the simplest argument or the argument invoking the fewest gaps or unsupported steps is favored. Specifically – there is a great deal of evidence that supports evolution being the process by which complex forms of life, and mankind, arose from earlier forms of life. Even given miracles are possible, the rule of Occams razor states that the conclusion that current forms of life arose through evolution is far more favored over a second theory, that all current forms of life arose through a miracle(s). In other words, if a natural process can be used to explain this, one should not assume the miraculous theory. If I carry out an experiment and natural sciences cannot explain my result – I say so; I say the results cannot be explained. That is not the case for evolution, don’t invoke miracles when you don’t need to.

I wish to add here that Tom’s adding DNA to the example of Napoleons Battle of Austerlitz misses the point. The scientist grabbing some bones from the battlefield is still 100% relying on historical records/testimony that this is where the bone is coming from. A picture of Abraham Lincoln is considered authentic because of the historical testimony surround the picture in question and the many other testimonies surrounding other pictures. We come to knowledge that this isn’t a “carny” look alike for photo ops.

ME

Sean Giordano It is telling to me that you dismiss a point (the point is separate from the person) in an ad-hominem manner. Dr. Kenyon, when an evolutionist, had one of the most popular book in the cutting edge of where evolutionary theory was heading at that point (science corrects itself).

There are Nobel prize winning scientists that are I.D.’ers, and I noted before that the guy most credited in getting us to the moon, the co-founder of the MRI, and the most lauded pediatric surgeon are YEC. Not to mention Dr. Edgar Andrews would surely at least like to survey your positions above… as well as Dr. Jonathan Sarfati. Even if they do not get involved in the convo, there are very intelligent men who take positions that are rejected apriori to the dealing with the positions taken based on the evidence. in other words, you define, apriori, what evidence is… sometimes based on whether a person is an evolutionist or not. In fact, you are talking to a three time felon, high school drop out. I just happened to have read over 2,000 books cover-to-cover (I have over 5,000 in my home library) and finally went to seminary to get a non-scientific degree.

Ironic… the quote must have hit close to home for you to mention his position (I am only assuming based on your reaction… if we were playing poler, its called “a tell”).

The idea I clearly espoused via the quote from my book is the same the atheist Dr. Monton pointed out in regards to Newton’s position (arguably the greatest scientist):

FOLLOWING SUPERNATURALISM MAKES THE SCIENTIST’S TASK TOO EASY

Here’s the first of Pennock’s arguments against methodological naturalism that I’ll consider:

allowing appeal to supernatural powers in science would make the scientist’s task too easy, because one would always be able to call upon the gods for quick theoretical assistance…. Indeed, all empirical investigation beyond the purely descriptive could cease, for scientists would have a ready-made answer for everything.

This argument strikes me as unfair. Consider a particular empirical phenomenon, like a chemical reaction, and imagine that scientists are trying to figure out why the reaction happened. Pennock would say that scientists who allow appeal to supernatural powers would have a ready-made answer: God did it. While it may be that that’s the only true explanation that can be given, a good scientist-including a good theistic scientist—would wonder whether there’s more to be said. Even if God were ultimately the cause of the reaction, one would still wonder if the proximate cause is a result of the chemicals that went into the reaction, and a good scientist—even a good theistic scientist—would investigate whether such a naturalistic account could be given.

To drive the point home, an analogy might be helpful. With the advent of quantum mechanics, scientists have become comfortable with indeterministic events. For example, when asked why a particular radioactive atom decayed at the exact time that it did, most physicists would say that there’s no reason it decayed at that particular time; it was just an indeterministic event!’ One could imagine an opponent of indeterminism giving an argument that’s analogous to Pennock’s:

allowing appeal to indeterministic processes in science would make the scientist’s task too easy, because one would always be able to call upon chance for quick theoretical assistance…. Indeed, all empirical investigation beyond the purely descriptive could cease, for scientists would have a ready-made answer for everything.

It is certainly possible that, for every event that happens, scientists could simply say “that’s the result of an indeterministic chancy process; there’s no further explanation for why the event happened that way.” But this would clearly be doing bad science: just because the option of appealing to indeterminism is there, it doesn’t follow that the option should always be used. The same holds for the option of appealing to supernatural powers.

As further evidence against Pennock, it’s worth pointing out that prominent scientists in the past have appealed to supernatural powers, without using them as a ready-made answer for everything. Newton is a good example of this—he is a devout theist, in addition to being a great scientist, and he thinks that God sometimes intervenes in the world. Pennock falsely implies that this is not the case:

God may have underwritten the active principles that govern the world described in [Newton’s] Principia and the Opticks, but He did not interrupt any of the equations or regularities therein. Johnson and other creationists who want to dismiss methodological naturalism would do well to consult Newton’s own rules of reasoning….

But in fact, Newton does not endorse methodological naturalism. In his Opticks, Newton claims that God sometimes intervenes in the world. Specifically, Newton thinks that, according to his laws of motion, the orbits of planets in our solar system are not stable over long periods of time, and his solution to this problem is to postulate that God occasionally adjusts the motions of the planets so as to ensure the continued stability of their orbits. Here’s a relevant passage from Newton. (It’s not completely obvious that Newton is saying that God will intervene but my interpretation is the standard one.)

God in the Beginning form’d Matter in solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, moveable Particles … it became him who created them to set them in order. And if he did so, it’s unphilosophical to seek for any other Origin of the World, or to pretend that it might arise out of a Chaos by the mere Laws of Nature; though being once form’d, it may continue by those Laws for many Ages. For while Comets move in very excentrick Orbs in all manner of Positions, blind Fate could never make all the Planets move one and the same way in Orbs concentrick, some inconsiderable Irregularities excepted, which may have risen from the mutual Actions of Comets and Planets upon one another, and which will be apt to increase, till this System wants a Reformation…. [God is] able by his Will to move the Bodies within his boundless uniform Sensorium, and thereby to form and reform the Parts of the Universe….

A scientist who writes this way does not sound like a scientist who is following methodological naturalism.

It’s worth noting that some contemporaries of Newton took issue with his view of God occasionally intervening in the universe. For example, Leibniz writes:

Sir Isaac Newton and his followers also have a very odd opinion concerning the work of God. According to them, God Almighty needs to wind up his watch from time to time; otherwise it would cease to move. He had not, it seems, sufficient foresight to make it a perpetual motion.”

Note, though, that Leibniz also thought that God intervened in the world:

I hold that when God works miracles, he does not do it in order to supply the wants of nature, but those of grace.

Later investigation revealed that in fact planetary orbits are more stable than Newton thought, so Newton’s appeal to supernatural powers wasn’t needed. But the key point is that Newton is willing to appeal to supernatural powers, without using the appeal to supernatural powers as a ready-made answer for everything.

Pennock says that “Without the binding assumption of uninterruptible natural law there would be absolute chaos in the scientific worldview.” Newton’s own approach to physics provides a good counterexample to this—Newton is a leading contributor to the scientific worldview, and yet he does not bind himself by the assumption of uninterruptible natural law.

Bradley Monton, Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design (Buffalo, NY: Broadview Press, 2009), 62-64.

[….]

Haha… just thought of this. Next you will tell me his Ph.D. in biophysics from Stanford University is less important than you Ph.D. UCLA. Funny. I love the humorous positions that come from these discussions. the Bible says “a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18b).

It is ironic that Tom would not accept the simple premise that Dr. Kenyon gave because he is both ONLY an assistant professor AND has a doctorate in a field of science not related wholly to that of Tom’s… yet, here he is talking with a 3-time felon/high school drop out.

Tom Melendy

Who’s being haughty now Sean? You’ve stopped your “dialog” with me and now you’re just proselytizing. You’re complaining that I’m criticizing people’s degrees – it’s not where they are so much as what their background is! I’m sorry, biophysics is NOT biology – it’s physics (yes, applied to biological problems, but it’s PHYSICS!). Like I’ve posted above, reading the books does not make you a specialist, I don’t care if you’re a three-time felon college drop-out, OR a person with a biophysics PhD from Stanford.

[….]

And I will point out that you now refuse to engage my arguments – again, it looks like you’ve chickened out of the dialog and are just throwing quotes at the wall hoping something sticks. ANSWER MY POINTS IF YOU WANT A DIALOG! Could it be perhaps that you don’t know how to respond to a scientist who isn’t invested in discrediting the existence of God or miracles, but instead is just interesting in arguing the merits of evolution? You’ve replied to none of my points over the past day Sean. While I have criticized some of the “specialists” you cite, I have also responded to most of your points.

[….]

It seems almost as if you didn’t really want a dialog Sean, and that it was more like you were looking for a soap-box. Are you still unwilling to admit any credence for a role in evolution in the creation of mankind (whether God-driven or natual-laws driven)?

Here we come to the end of where Dr. Melendy participates. I answer a couple of his specific inquiries, but know that they are asked as if they cannot be answered. Enjoy the responses:

ME

(I will mention a book for each section for those reading this.)

YOU ASKED (I deal with two more in-depth below)

let me ask you a question. If God created all the species* currently on the Earth either 6000 years ago, or through intelligent design, why is there so much evidence that supports Evolution? Why Ancient species, why evidence for intermediate* species? If you believe in an all-powerful God, yet don’t believe in Evolution, then why are these fossils there, then why does the genetic code show evidence of intermediates and sequence-relatedness consistent with Evolution? Do you believe God put it all there just to try to confuse us? Seems like a lot of trouble just to play a little mind-game with mankind – ??

Have you ever sought out a book by a doctorate holding person to answer these? Or do you go around thinking they are unanswerable?

 


Correcting Some Bad Thinking


*MACROEVOLUTION-SPECIES

I still think you were passing false information on in this regard to Jim:

Jim, Macro evolution has been observed in the laboratory under controlled conditions – within just a few generations you can “breed” fish to be miniature fish, which reproduce and “grow” up while never getting bigger than the size they were bred for.

And to me:

Macroevolution does NOT require an “increase in the gene pool” – the gene pool of the horse and donkey are virtually identical, yet they are separate species (yet closely related enough to produce sterile offspring). The reason they are different species is due to the cytogenetic changes (note that does NOT involve additional genetic material or a greater gene pool).

You should know what the other side believes before asking a question, its 101, you asked: “If God created all the SPECIES currently on the Earth either 6000 years ago, or through intelligent design, why is there so much evidence that supports Evolution?” He didn’t, God created the “Kinds,” which is more like Order (Felidae, Canidae, etc). You have a doctorate, right? Do you get it yet? Order… species… different.

In every Oxford dictionary and companion book to biology, physics, and the like, textbooks (I have many university level texts)… macroevolution has the same definition. I think you telling people on this site that special change is evidence of macro-evolution is deplorable. But maybe you thought no one would catch this because you were degreed. You did back away from this though… in many more words though than just saying “I was wrong.” I even had to throw in an elementary picture to make the point (http://tinyurl.com/3npkel8).

It is very important not to confuse the “created kind” with the modern use of the word species. Although animals like the fox and coyote might be considered different taxonomic species, they are still parts of the same “kind” of animal. The created kind is thought to be more often synonymous with the “Family” level of classification in the taxonomic hierarchy; at least in mammals; and occasionally it can extend as high as the order level. Here are some examples:

Felidae — Scientists from Creation Ministries International and the Institute for Creation Research have proposed that the original feline kind was comparable to the Liger and the Tigon.

Canidae — Including Wolves, Foxes, Jackals, Coyotes, and Domestic dogs.

Camelidae — Including both the Camel and the Llama, which are reproductively compatible, their hybrid offspring being known as “Camas.”

Bovidae — Including Cattle, Buffalo, Bison, and Yaks.

Equidae — Including Horses, Zebras, and Asses.

Caprinae — Including Sheep, Goats, and Ibex.

Crocodilia — Including all the varieties of Alligators, Crocodiles, and Gharials.

Elephantidae — Including African and Asian elephants, Mammoths, Mastodons, and Gomphotheres.

Thus the created kind corresponds roughly to the family level of taxonomic classification, and possibly even the order, with the notable exception of humanity wherein the genus is representative.[10]

Humanity — Dr. Sigrid Hartwig-Scherer of the University of Munich concluded that H. erectus/H. ergaster, Neanderthals and H. sapiens were members of the same basic type (which corresponds to a monobaramin) genus Homo.

http://creationwiki.org/Created_kind

BOOK: “Refuting Evolution 2,” by Dr. Jonathan Sarfati. (Free online: http://creation.com/refuting-evolution-2-index)


*INTERMEDIATES (THIS DOESN’T MEAN THEY DON’T BELIEVE IN EVOLUTION, IT JUST MEANS THEY ARE HONEST):

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.”

Professor Heribert Nilsson, Director of the Botanical Institute at Lund University, Sweden, declared after forty years of study:

✔ “It may, therefore, be firmly maintained that it is not even possible to make a caricature of an evolution out of paleobiological facts. The fossil material is now so complete that it has been possible to construct new classes and the lack of transitional series cannot be explained as due to the scarcity of the material. The deficiencies are real, they will never be filled.”

Gareth J. Nelson, of the American Museum of Natural History:

✔ “It is a mistake to believe that even one fossil species or fossil ‘group’ can be demonstrated to have been ancestral to another. The ancestor-descendant relationship may only be assumed to have existed in the absence of evidence indicating otherwise.”

Moreover, Newsweek reported:

✔ “In the fossil record, missing links are the rule: the story of life is as disjointed as a silent newsreel, in which species succeed one another as abruptly as Balkan prime ministers. The more scientists have searched for the transitional forms between species, the more they have been frustrated.”

Moreover, one of my favorite quotes from an article entitled Paleontology and Uniformitarianism:

“Contrary to what most scientists write, the fossil record does not support the Darwinian theory of evolution because it is this theory (there are several) which we use to interpret the fossil record. By doing so, we are guilty of circular reasoning if we then say the fossil record supports this theory.”

BOOK: “Darwin’s Enigma,” by Luther Sunderland (free online: http://www.creationism.org/books/sunderland/DarwinsEnigma/)


PROSELYTIZING

I am merely continuing the conversation. You mentioned God is un-provable. However, God entered into creation, thus — giving us a verifiable way of proving the existence of Himself. You put the onus on someone (happened to be me) to explain a way that we can prove His existence as much as we can prove Augustus Caesar existed. If this is proselytizing, then so be it.

BOOK: “The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus,” by Gary R. Habermas and Michael Licona.


OCCAM’S RAZOR

Both Dr. William Lane Craig and Dr. J.P. Moreland use it to prove God. the earliest version is Aristotle, and Galileo Galilei and Albert Einstein used it. Remember, Einstein said, “I’m not an atheist and I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist,” this doesn’t leave too many options.

BOOK: “The Case for a Creator,” by Lee Strobel.


 

FISH STORIES

The actual change in the study was by artificial selection (man caused — intelligence), leading to this truism:

Note that this is not evolution because the selection pressure—which is essentially an artificially-imposed version of “natural selection”—simply favors certain genes over others; it cannot generate any new genetic information. Neither such ‘artificial’ nor ‘natural’ selection can turn plaice into people; it can only operate on (i.e. cull out) genetic information that already exists.

Stephen Jay Gould called them “just-so stories” (also called an ad hoc fallacy, is an unverifiable and unfalsifiable narrative). “How the Daffodil Got Its Trumpet;” “How the Rhinoceros Beetle Got Its Horns;” Etc… evolution has stories, you merely told one yourself: how silversides size proved macro-evolution.

BOOK: “Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity, and Other Fables of Evolution,” by David Stove.


DEGREES/BACKGROUND

You seem to reject positions taken because of the persons degree or teaching position, or whether they are religious or not. So, here is a short list of biologists who are mostly creationists and some I.D.’ers:

• Dr. Arthur Ernest Wilder-Smith (Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry at University of Reading, England; Dr.es.Sc. in pharmacological sciences from Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) in Zurich; D.Sc. in pharmacological sciences from University of Geneva)
• Dr. Jerry R. Bergman (Ph.D. student, department of chemistry Miami University, Oxford, Ohio; Ph.D. in human biology from Columbia Pacific University, San Rafael, California; Ph.D. in measurement and evaluation, minor in psychology, from Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan)
• Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson, Biology (Ph.D. in cell and developmental biology from Harvard Medical School)
• Dr. Kimberly Berrine, Microbiology & Immunology
• Prof. Vladimir Betina, Microbiology, Biochemistry & Biology
• Dr. Andrew Bosanquet, Biology, Microbiology
• Dr. Rob Carter, Marine Biology (Ph.D., University of Miami)
• Dr. David A. DeWitt, Biology, Biochemistry, Neuroscience (Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine)
• Dr. Andrew J. Fabich, Microbiology
• Prof. Carl B. Fliermans, Professor of Biology (Ph.D., Indiana University)
• Prof. Robert H. Franks, Associate Professor of Biology
• Dr. James A. Huggins, Professor and Chair, Department of Biology (Ph.D, University of Memphis)
• Dr. Arthur Jones, Biology (Ph.D., University of Birmingham)
• Prof. Gi-Tai Kim, Biology
• Dr. Leonid Korochkin, M.D., Genetics, Professor of genetics at Yale University, head of Molecular Biology laboratory of the Russian Academy of Sciences
• Prof. Chris D. Osborne, Assistant Professor of Biology
• Dr. Ariel A. Roth, Biology (Ph.D. in biology from the University of Michigan)
• Dr. Timothy G. Standish, Biology (Ph.D. in biology and public policy from George Mason University)
• Dr. Sung-Hee Yoon, Biology
• Dr. Henry Zuill, Biology (Ph.D. in biology from Loma Linda University)
• Dr. Frank Marsh, Biology
• Dr. Jonathan Wells, Biology (molecular and cell biology from the University of California at Berkeley)
• Dr. Lee Spencer, Biology
• Dr. Chris D. Osborne, Biology (Ph.D. in biology from Loma Linda University)
• Dr. David Menton, Biology (Ph.D .in Biology from Brown University)
• Dr. John W. Klotz, Genetics (Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Pittsburgh)
• Dr. Pierre Gunnar Jerlström, Molecular Biology (Ph.D. in molecular biology, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia)
• Dr. Karen E. Jensen, Biology (Ph.D. in biology from Loma Linda University)
• Dr. Wayne Frair, Biochemistry (Ph.D. in Biochemical Taxonomy from the Rutgers University)
• Dr. Daniel Criswell, Molecular Biology (Ph.D., University of Montana)
• Dr. Kenneth B. Cumming, Biology (Ph.D. [and M.S.] from Harvard)
• Dr. Art Chadwick, Biology (Ph.D., University of Miami)
• Dr. Michael E. Brown, Biology (Ph.D. in biology with an emphasis in molecular biology from Loma Linda University)
• Dr. Raymond G. Bohlin, Biology (Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology from the University of Texas)

BOOK: “In Six Days: Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation,” by John F. Ashton, ed.

My Discussion with Professor Tom Melendy (Part 1)

I was recently in a long discussion/debate with Tom Melendy, Ph.D. Molecular Biology, on the FaceBook page of a reporter. It is quite long and in-depth… I will include it all here as both a record for myself to reference in the future (for instance I lost the specified debate info I had with a professor of history at the University of Michigan about the Iraq war — many of my responses are encapsulated in my page entitled WMD); and to show others there are good responses to ideas many think are settled science ~ really settled “scientism.” I also post this here because Tom has taken positions and defended some things I think are questionable… but I am no scientist or specialist in the sciences. So this is posted here in order for others to access and dissect (hello Creation.com?!). A definition for scientism that exudes from the below conversation was made by an atheist, and it is apt here:

If science really is permanently committed to methodological naturalism – the philosophical position that restricts all explanations in science to naturalistic explanations – it follows that the aim of science is not generating true theories. Instead, the aim of science would be something like: generating the best theories that can be formulated subject to the restriction that the theories are naturalistic. More and more evidence could come in suggesting that a supernatural being exists, but scientific theories wouldn’t be allowed to acknowledge that possibility.

Bradley Monton, author of Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design ~ Apologetics315 h/t

This conversation started when a reporter, Virginia Heffernan, who has written for the New York Times, Slate, and currently writes for Yahoo News, came out as a creationist — of sorts. I say “of sorts” because even though she takes a creationist position, it is one taken on minimal understanding. I do not point this out as being a bad thing, people often get busy with schooling, careers, and family and lose the time to investigate the grounds and positions of ones own faith.  That being said, when someone is then challenged on a subject what often happens is they will abandon their previously held position in lieu of what they think is a more informed position. I touch on the “new medias” influence in this regards in the opening chapter of my book:

The importance of knowing, defining, and dissecting worldviews in our electronic age is more important today than ever.  The internet brings a myriad of religious and political opinions right into our living rooms daily. What we were able to confront, and if one so desired, to stop at their doorstep, is now with a touch of a button in our living rooms, children’s bedrooms, our cell phones, and the like, routing the old filter of that doorstep.  Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, all these words have entered our vocabulary in less than a decade and they offer a plethora of chances to encounter the world as never before.

Here is a little biographical background of Dr. Melendy:

Thomas Melendy, Ph.D., associate professor of microbiology and immunology… at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science. he among 450 scientists selected by their peers this year for their “meritorious efforts to advance science or its applications.”

This is what happens often times when children leave a low information cocoon of faith via their parents and their local church and sit in a classroom like that of Dr. Melendy’s. The onus is then, as I see it, on each person of faith to step up to the plate and learn their faith as well as a guy would learn about their favorite sports team or a woman would learn about a character in a novel. In other words, conversation about one’s faith should flow as easily as talking about — say, the Angels baseball team or a Jane Austen novel.

Dr. Adler…

who was Chairman and Cofounder with Max Weismann of the Center for the Study of The Great Ideas and Editor in Chief of its journal Philosophy is Everybody’s Business, Founder and Director of the Institute for Philosophical Research, Chairman of the Board of Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica, Editor in Chief of the Great Books of the Western World and The Syntopicon: An Index to the Great Ideas, Editor of The Great Ideas Today (all published by Encyclopedia Britannica), Co-Founder and Honorary Trustee of The Aspen Institute, past Instructor at Columbia University, Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago (1930-52)

… was no “dummy,” and said the following about our faith:

“I suspect that most of the individuals who have religious faith are content with blind faith. They feel no obligation to understand what they believe. They may even wish not to have their beliefs disturbed by thought. But if God in whom they believe created them with intellectual and rational powers that impose upon them the duty to try to understand the creed of their religion. Not to do so is to verge on superstition.”

Morimer J. Adler, “A Philosopher’s Religious Faith,” in, Kelly James Clark, ed., Philosophers Who Believe: The Spiritual Journeys of 11 Leading Thinkers (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 207

So I give kudos to Virginia Heffernan for having the tenacity to “keep the faith,” but this should be a lesson to all who read this that YOU should take the time to know how to defend, explain, and encapsulate your faith well to both inoculate yourself against being tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching; as well as showing others that faith is not blind, but in what we know.

…and other resources at:

So with this short admonition and the short list of books below to get the person who searches after truth thinking, and thinking well, I will document the professors and my debate/discussion. I start the discussion before I enter for clarity/reference:


Jim K. Starts out by saying

Tom Melendy Gravity is called a law and can be and has been observed. Macro-Evolution has never been observed. I believe in intelligent design This can include creation all the way to evolution by a God. If you want scientific proof on this watch “I do not have enough faith to be an atheist” by Frank Turek. Here are a few youtube websites for you http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFzJ8beUDvg

I will emphasize the point that concerned me:

Tom Melendy responds

Jim, Macro evolution has been observed in the laboratory under controlled conditions – within just a few generations you can “breed” fish to be miniature fish, which reproduce and “grow” up while never getting bigger than the size they were bred for. And Jim, I NEVER said that belief in evolution in inconsistent with a belief in God. I am merely saying that the case for evolution is overwhelming and cannot be denied by any rational person who bothers to examine the evidence. Belief in God is based on faith, not evidence; and it would be entirely appropriate to believe that evolution, like the other laws of the universe, are merely the hands of God shaping the world we live in. As for referring to evolution as “intelligent design”, I would have to agree – there can be no more intelligent a design program than the evolution that created the amazing diversity of life on this planet including mankind himself.

James P. hops in

Er Tom, as a biologist I would call what you’ve described as ‘artificial selection’ – not ‘evolution’. In the wild such a change might be called ‘speciation’ if the two varieties didn’t interbreed to produce fertile offspring, however that’s not ‘evolution’ either. There is no evidence for evolution whatsoever – and that’s coming from someone who has studied the subject in detail for 15 years.

Tom Melendy responds

“Er” I’m a PhD biologist myself James, and I’ve been studying evolution for 25 years. Evolution is a result of the combination natural selection (and yes, in the lab it would be artificial – same thing except in nature you have to wait until conditions change so selection is usually slower) AND speciation. Speciation is a much more complicated process that occurs on a much slower time scale. By definition (when two sub-species can no longer productively interbreed to create a group that can reproduce) – however, things are more complicated than that! As any biologist will tell you, the devil is in the details – some “speciation” can be a result of behavior – two subspecies may no longer ever mate due to changes in mating behavior and/or geographic separation. Others are due to cytogenetic changes – while a donkey and a horse are genetically 99+% identical at the gene sequence level, the cytogentic changes make their common hybrid (the mule) generally sterile (non-dysjunction during gamete formation), EXCEPT in a very rare cases where the chromosomes happen to align in just the right formation – there are a few documented and proven cases where mules were able to effectively cross-breed with horses or donkeys. Horses and donkeys are far down the speciation path so sexually reproductive hybrids are extraordinarily rare. Zebras show an intermediate cytogenetic phenotype/structure between those of horses and donkeys, and as such their progeny (zebroids) have much greater success at matings with either parental species. The “mules” for lion-tiger matings (ligers and tigons) are fairly functional reproductively and can fairly readily interbreed with their parent species (so much more like the zebroids), so these are less far down the speciation path, even though tigers and lions are still considered different species. There are examples of interspecies hybrids that can reproduce, thereby creating a hybrid species. This shows cases where the two species are even more closely related. One example is the American Red Wolf, which is a hybrid between the Gray Wolf and the Coyote. (There are other know cases too.) And finally there are sub-species which don’t generally mate, but can and when they do they produce offspring that can mate with either parental species or their own hybrid-type; examples of this would be Bengal and Siberian tigers mating or Kodiak bear or Grizzly bear matings with Polar Bears. The time-scale require for speciation is much greater than that for natural selection, but is the aspect of evolution that drives speciation (essentially ‘nails down’ the changes that build up over time in sub-species, and starts preventing backcrosses from homgenizing the two species). These cytogenetic changes are much like those that occur in all animals during the early stages of somatic cancers, but of course only the most conservative changes can be heritable (any gametes with the more significant cytogenetic changes would not survive development). So as you can see James, while it is not feasible to reproduce the ‘slow’ aspect of evolution (cytogenetic speciation) in the laboratory (because of the great time scales required), there is a wealth of evidence of how this process occurs in the natural world around us – showing species and sub-species at all levels of speciation. There is an extraordinary wealth of proof of evolution not only at the fossil level (which is dramatically greater than the state 20 years ago, the supposed “holes” creationists point to no longer exist), but also now at the genetic level (as many extinct species have had their genomes sequences with new high-throughput sequencing techniques, many within just the last couple of years), and this information complements and clarifies the fossil data wonderfully. And here I’ve told you about examples of speciation that are currently ongoing in the world today, and they are present in a wide range of levels. Anyone with a biology background who claims to see no evidence of evolution is being willfully blind!

Tom Melendy again responds

And Jon, you can put whichever “label” you want on it, model or theory, I don’t really care – either way it’s happened throughout the natural history of this world, and it continues to happen today.

This is where I wade in, and I concern myself with a single point that takes a while to get to. I keep this point alive throughout.

ME

Tom Melendy, I missed the observation MACRO evolutionary proof. Please explain what this observation has been. Is there a peer reviewed article you can refer me to.

Tom Melendy responds

read it again, there’s an extensive outline of the paleontological, genetic, cytogenetic evidence. If you can’t understand it, let me know the part you can’t understand and I can explain it to you.

Me

Is there a peer reviewed article on the Macro evolutionary evidence observed in the laboratory? I get every reasonably priced science mag (the Nature journal is too expensive for me). I have about 5,000 books in my home library, many are materialist — from Grecian times till today, neo-Darwinian topics (Mayr, Gould, Asimov, Miller, etc.), and other texts. About half of my library are views opposite of mine.

In other words, I have yet to meet, read, or watch proof of one species, say the Canis lupus, changing into a Felis silvestris catus. Centimeter changes in beaks of birds on an island is micro evolution (change within species).

Canis lupus being able to mate with the Canus domesticus, or Polar Bears with Grizzlies, or rabbits separated by a canyon [they are different species… but can mate… just cannot due to separation] … these are the same kind: in other words, a rabbit, is a rabbit, is a rabbit.

A Great Dane and a Chihuahua cannot mate, but they are still dogs.

Take note Tom refers to his education and position a lot. There is an ego, or, an emotion, involved here that drives his position more than the evidence. Although God is not mentioned yet, the topic is on “creationism,” so the below quote is perfect to set the stage for the “bias” behind the bias:

Naturalism and materialism are not scientific conclusions; rather, they are scientific premises. They are not discovered in nature but imposed upon nature. In short, they are articles of faith. Here is Harvard biologist Richard Lewontin: “We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a priori commitment, a commitment [a faith] — a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.

Dinesh D’Souza points to this in his recent book, What’s So Great about Christianity (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2007), 161 (emphasis added).

I wish to note I was corrected a bit on dogs, but this is the main point… “species” is not well-defined. A good questions and response is this one from Yahoo Answers:

QUESTION:

Can 2 same animals from different species mate and reproduce?

For example

  • Can a great horn owl mate with a snowy owl?
  • Can black crickets mate with brown crickets?

ANSWER:

Generally, animals within the same genus can breed – for example, that most famous of hybrids, the mule, is a cross between a male donkey and female horse, both of which belong to the genus Equus (the offspring of a male horse and female donkey is called a hinny, incidentally). Depending on how closely related they are, species in different genera but the same family can sometimes interbreed too – for example, the puma and the leopard both belong to the family Felidae, but the genera Puma and Panthera respectively, and can interbreed to produce a hybrid known as a pumapard.

Being closely related basically means that two species share a greater amount of genetic material with each other than with other animals. Beyond family level, two species cease to share enough genetic material for the egg and sperm to ‘recognise’ each other, which is why you can’t breed animals from different families like, say, a dog and a cat – a dog sperm simply wouldn’t be able to fertilise a cat egg, and vice versa.

In response to one of your answers, I’d just like to point out that it is not necessary for animals to have the same number of chromosomes in order to breed – horses and donkeys have different numbers of chromosomes, for example. The difference in chromosome number between the parent species is the reason many hybrids are sterile, as it means they cannot produce functional sex cells, but it does not prevent the existence of the hybrid itself.

Also, the definition of a species as a group of animals that can interbreed and produce fertile young is now recognised as being too simplistic. For example, all members of the genus Canis – wolves, dogs, dingoes, coyotes and jackals – can interbreed and produce fertile young. Under the old definition, this would mean that a grey wolf and a coyote, say, are the same species, and this is clearly not the case – physically, behaviourally and genetically, they are different species. They’re just very closely related. There’s a lot more to defining a species than just who can breed with whom.

Tom Melendy

I just explained to you “speciation”, which is the basis behind macro-evolution. I showed you how different species can sometimes mate (Canis lupus can mate with Canis latrans – two different species – and produce offspring that can reproduce with themselves), I explained as you move farther away evolutionarily the species can hybridize and hybrids show some, but decreasing ability, to successfully mate as the species are more distantly related (are you going to tell me lions are tigers, or zebras are horses or donkeys?) I pointed out how a macroevolutionary experiment cannot be done in the laboratory because of the time frame required for cytogenetic changes to occur (do you know what those are?). So unless you can provide a time machine, those experiments cannot be completed for many lifetimes. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t evaluate and measure the genetic and cytogenetic changes that are in the midst of occurring throughout the world in the many examples I’ve given of species, sub-species, and closely related species showing every step along the way toward speciation. In spite of your readings, you seem to lack some basic understanding of not only biology, but how to objectively evaluate biological data. But I guess that’s the case isn’t it – reading the Bible does not make one a minister, reading biology books does not make one a biologist, anymore than knowing an opera by heart makes one a opera performer. Reading something is different than the skill set to actually DO it. I am a biologist trained (and hired) at some of the best institutions in the world – I don’t write the textbooks, I do the research that ends up being written about by textbook authors.

ME

Yes, Lions are tigers. They are cats, whether they can breed or not. They are a kind.

First Statement by You:

1) Macro evolution has been observed in the laboratory under controlled conditions – within just a few generations you can “breed” fish to be miniature fish, which reproduce and “grow” up while never getting bigger than the size they were bred for.

Second Statement:

2) I pointed out how a macroevolutionary experiment cannot be done in the laboratory because of the time frame required for cytogenetic changes to occur.

Miniaturizing a fish is not macro-evolution!? You have a Ph.D. alright — in obfuscating terms.

MACROEVOLUTION

  1. American Heritage Science Dictionary: “Evolution that results in the formation of a new taxonomic group above the level of a species.”
  2. From an old 1962 textbook (Holt, Rinehart, Winston, [1962]… probably when you were going through school?) Evolution and Genetics: “The Modern Theory of Evolution:Quantum evolution, also known as mega- and macroevolution, is the term applied to the rapid shift of a population to a new equilibrium distinctly unlike the ancestral condition, thus leading to the origin of higher taxonomic categories such as new orders and classes.”
  3. What Is Evolution, Ernst Mayr: “Evolution above the species level; the evolution of higher taxa and the production of evolutionary novelties, such as new structures.”

Species is the key… you seem to be conflating it a bit.

So are you positing that this “smaller fish,” which in one breath you say is evidence of “Quantum evolution” a new taxonomy? Or is it [Quantum evolution] not able to be done in the laboratory because of the time frame required for cytogenetic changes to occur is not long enough in human terms?

So, Macroevolution is not observable, correct?

Tom Melendy

re-read!!! – I never said “macro” evolution could be observed. I was referring to the microevolutionary changes. When you brought up macro I started telling you about the cytogenetic changes required for speciation or macroevolution. Both steps, micro and macro, are required for evolution. Pay attention!

Man, you are not a very astute student are you?

Yes, according to your own citation above, lions and tigers are separate species. As I stated above. Very good Sean.

ME

Let us get into the nitty-gritty later, I want to define terms first.

SPECIES and MACROEVOLUTION:

Species is not well defined. Example: Canis Domesticus (say, a, German Shepherd) and Canis Lupus (wolf) are classified as two separate species. But they can interbreed (i.e. a Wolf and a German Shepherd). But a Chihuahua and a Great Dane cannot breed, but they are both Canis Domesticus (the same species). The arctic hair cannot breed with the Florida hair, but both breed with the Dakota hair. Evolutionists recognize certain bowerbirds as distinct species even though they often interbreed.

Or consider the case of two different kinds of squirrels separated by the Grand Canyon. The Kaibab squirrel inhabits the north side of the canyon, while the Abert squirrel inhabits the south side. It seems evident the two descended from one original population. Rarely, however, can squirrels from both populations come together, and thus there is no interbreeding between them. And, for some time biologists have disagreed as to whether the squirrels had reached the level of two separate species.

Look, you could go to Galapagos Islands and get a pair of finches and bring them back to a laboratory and just let them have sex. After a few generations you will have small beaked, medium beaked, large beaked finches. The information is already in there genome, nothing new was created, specificity was lost if anything. Now if you simulate a drought, like on Galapagos, so that the seeds become hard and more beak strength is needed to open them, then of course the larger beaked finch will survive. A creationist came up with the survival of the fittest twenty-four years prior to Darwin. After all the other “parent” finches die off, you are left with only large beaked finches in the laboratory. This is not evolution; no new information was gained in the process. There are limits to its change, strep-throat may change into a flesh eating virus, but it loss specificity to get to that point or already had the information in its genome. It’s still strep-throat.

That finch didn’t turn into a dinosaur; that dog didn’t turn into a cat; that ape didn’t turn into a man, etc.. The genetic barriers wont and don’t allow it. You can post all the sites in the world, but you will never be able to find one proof of macroevolution in the fossil record or in the living world. All we have ever seen is what evolutionists’ call “subspeciation” (variation within a type), never “transpeciation” (change from one type to others). The primrose is a prime example of my point. The alleged new species of primrose that de Vries thought he had “discovered” were not new species at all but rather mere variations of the same species.

This “sport” (a certain primrose that de Vries created), with it’s doubled chromosome [no new information was added, it merely doubled the information that was already there], is still a primrose. Stickleback fish may diversify into fresh-water dwellers and salt–water dwellers, but both remain sticklebacks. One fruit fly may breed on apple trees and another on hawthorn trees, but both remain fruit flies. Speciation is a means of creating diversity within types of living things, but macroevolution is much more than diversity.

Macroevolution requires an increase of the gene pool, the addition of new genetic information, whereas the means to speciation discussed above represent the loss of genetic information (how so?). Both physical and ecological isolation produce varieties by cutting a small population off from its parent population and building a new group from the more limited genetic information contained in the small population. A large population carries genetic reserve, a wealth of concealed recessive genes. In a small group cut off from the parent population, some of these recessive traits may be expressed more often. This makes for interesting diversity, but it should not blind us to the fact that the total genetic variability in the small group is reduced!.

The appearance of reproductively isolated populations represents microevolution, not macro-evolution. Vertical change – to a new level of complexity – requires the input of additional genetic information. Can that information – the ensembles of new genes to make wrens, rabbits, and Hawthorne trees be gleaned from random mutations?

Thus far, there appears to be good evidence that the roles mutations are able to play are severely restricted by and within the existing higher-level blueprint of the organism’s whole genome.

To go from one-celled organisms to a human being means that information must be added to the genetic messages at each step of the way. Mechanisms for the loss of genetic information cannot be used as support for a theory requiring vast increases of genetic information.

Speciation is actually akin to what breeders do. They isolate a small group of plants or animals and force them to interbreed, cutting them off from the larger gene pool to which they belong. A century of breeding testifies to the fact that this produces limited change only. It does produce the open-ended change required by Darwinian evolution. Some think, as do I, that the extinction of the dinosaurs occurred because they didn’t have the genetic diversity to adapt to environmental changes.

Percival Davis & Dean H. Kenyon, with Charles B. Thaxton as Academic Editor, Of Pandas and People: The Central Question of Biological Origins, 2nd Edition (Dallas, TX: Haughton Publishing Co., 1993), 19-20.

Tom Melendy

I disagree with the very opening aspect of this text. As I cited before while Great Danes and Chihuahuas cannot breed it is only due to physical limitations – artificial insemination would result in a perfectly viable mutt. This is no different than two sub-species which do not interbreed only because they’re on different canyon ridges and do not cross the canyon. This text is ‘popular’ science, it is not a text used by scientists. Some things are misleading.

Macroevolution does NOT require an “increase in the gene pool” – the gene pool of the horse and donkey are virtually identical, yet they are separate species (yet closely related enough to produce sterile offspring). The reason they are different species is due to the cytogenetic changes (note that does NOT involve additional genetic material or a greater gene pool).

ME

Tom, Evolutions say I came from a rock. In fact, it says — ultimately — that a South-East Asian Man [dark completion] who just got home from a hard days work [BO: body-odor] came from an odorless, colorless gas. This man can sit down and read Aristotle and learn about the laws of logic that precede any scientific adventure and that are not known to the senses (law of excluded middle, law of identity, law of non-contradiction, etc), and use these “mind” (I would say “Mind”) reasoning tools to critique a fallacious statement… that, this south-east Asian man would expect someone half-way around the world to be able to understand.

So information added to the gene pool is not the topic I wish to zero in on, yet.

You are telling me that a donkey and a horse are a donkey ARE proof of macroevolution? You are telling me as well that Cats (Felidae) are a diverse group of carnivores that includes domestic cats, lions, tigers, ocelots, jaguars, caracals, leopards, mountain lions, lynx and many other groups of cats are not the same kind?

Let me restate that, wolves and a few other dog kind (Canidae) have all the genetic information in them that breeders are then able to change through intelligent input. So a Chihuahuas is still a Canidae, but with much less specified complexity — the bottom of the gene pool so-to-speak. [Left to its own devices with no help from man, the wolf, coyote, etc would survive, but the Chihuahuas would probably die out.]

You seem to be conflating “species” with other classification titles (http://tinyurl.com/3npkel8) [*SEE YOUR OWN STATEMENT BELOW* ~ not capitalized to yell, merely to emphasize]. I want you to be clear and concise so a high school student from L.A. Unified can understand you: “are you saying small changes in specie level adaptation (centimeter beak change in birds, or Brussels sprouts to hit a bit closer to home to your point [http://creation.com/eat-your-brussels-sprouts]) are more than that, they are evidence of macroevolution?

…. I still think this statement by you @Tom Melendy is a bit of an overreach:

Jim, Macro evolution has been observed in the laboratory under controlled conditions – within just a few generations you can “breed” fish to be miniature fish, which reproduce and “grow” up while never getting bigger than the size they were bred for.

Please give me the name of the fish you referenced… and through observed “quantum evolution, also known as mega- and macroevolutionary” what other Order this fish became under observation. You see Tom, we are still at one of your opening statements, which you have not clearly, eruditely, and concisely explained. So you lied to Jim? Or you were mistaken in your wording? What.

Tom Melendy

My apologies for the lack of clarity on my part. When this thread first started we were talking about common evolution in the lab. This is commonly seen with microorganisms. Someone asked what about non-microorganisms. I responded that you could see macro evolution in the lab in fish (macro just to differentiate from micro-organisms). Once you began defining your terms as micro and macro evolution as being the small changes due to variation and selection, versus the larger changes that produce different species that of course made my previous point unclear – I was referring to micro-evolution (variation and selection) being studied in a macroorganism (fish). It wasn’t an over-reach, it was a miscommunication due to us not having established an accepted nomenclature prior to that statement. Often different branches of science will utilize the same term to mean different things in different fields. As to your question of which fish – Atlantic silversides. Here’s the website showing you the surprising result that within just a handful of generations the fish size could be decreased dramatically. http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/0_0_0/conover_04

Tom posts a few followups

….Once you defined what you were discussing through the terms of micro versus macro evolution, all of my other statements made still stand as written

….As to your longer question about evolution above and how it relates to species and higher orders. There are many elements you have of confusion there. One simple one that makes me concerned is that you state a chihuahua has “much less specified complexity” amongst the Canids. Not at all true! It’s complexity is just a great, but everything has just been bred to be on a smaller scale – larger doesn’t inherently mean more complexity Sean.

As for your comment about my conflating species with genus or family – that is exactly my point Sean! The very definition of evolution is the creation of new species. The formal definition of a species is that it cannot interbreed and create viable young with another species. Yet we know of several cases where that does indeed occur – you give some examples yourself Canis lupus and Canis familiaris. Whereas most species do follow the rule that they cannot interbreed with others at all. There are other genuses or even families of organisms where there is still some interbreeding that can occur, but their ability to produce offspring vary – and I gave you examples of different species of bear that can produce viable offspring, but different species and even genuses of the horse family that can produce offspring with varying degrees of ability to interbreed successfully. I have even given you some information on why these various equines produce progeny of differing ability to interbreed – their speciation is being driven by cytogentic changes – in the cases of this group horses, donkeys and zebras all have very similar genetics (about 99% of their genes are the same) yet those genes are divided up amongst a different number of chromosomes (donkeys have more smaller chromosomes, horses the fewest larger chromosomes, zebras are intermediate in number and size). These cytogenetic differences are what limits production of offspring with a full ability to reproduce (due to nondysjunction during meiosis, production of gametes). And these are the type of cytogenetic changes that, as I was describing earlier, over time begin to prevent back-crossing, which allows the microevolutionary changes (like those we see with the fish) to over time become more permanent, driving the diversity of the evolutionary tree. My point has been that all these examples show speciation at different stages: while wolves and dog, or wolves and coyotes, are different species (by most criteria), they can still produce viable offspring – they have not truly become fully independent species as per the formal criteria; bears are somewhat similar as polar bears can produce viable offspring with Kodiak bears and grizzly bears and North American brown bears, any offspring produced with European brown bears do not survive to adulthood – speciation was achieved between polar bears and European brown bears, but is incomplete between polar bears and North American brown bears; equines are a third example, where all three discussed, horses, donkeys and zebras – which belong to not just different species, but even different sub-genuses, can produce offspring, but those offspring cannot interbreed successful, and have varying ability to produce offspring with the parent species (donkey-horse, extraordinarily rarely, horse-zebra or donkey-zebra, much more often) – so the equines are much further down the speciation path than Canis or Ursid, yet not nearly as far as some species which cannot produce offspring at all. So THIS Sean, is macroevolution – no one would say a polar bear is the same species as a grizzly or a brown bear – yet they are only partway along the path to speciation. Similarly donkeys and zebras are clearly not the same species as horses, yet these are further along the way to speciation. These are the examples where I’m showing you that evolution is occurring in the here and now, and that we can see different groups of animals at different stages of speciation. This is the best we can do in describing the individual steps in macroevolution as we cannot carry out speciation/macroevolution in the laboratory because of the time frame required to generate stable cytogenetic changes in organisms – selection can occur over just a few generations, cytogenetic changes occur over generations upon generations.

Tom has FINALLY mentioned the specific experiment he mentioned, as well as backing away from his previous statement of macroevolution being observed. But if you notice he beats around the bush quite a bit to still try and “save face” at the same time of still trying to obfuscate the issue of species.

ME

Okay, that helps. The changes you mentioned were merely within a species and no new information was added to the genome, merely “rearranged” (layman terms) to get a specified output. In fact, this arrangement could be considered “less specified” from the parent population (like the Chihuahua). Examples of bacteria resisting anti-biotics exemplify this loss of information to the parent population/strain. Darwinism requires the opposite.

Thank you for the link to the fish, this helps. All creationists, intelligent design adherents, and the neo-Darwinian and cladists believe in change within species. If an evolutionists says evolution equals “change,” and then shows an experiment where no new information was added to the genome. nothing in that fish experiment disproves or challenges the creationist perspective:

…. For some years now, many fisheries management authorities around the world have instituted legal minimum size requirements for various fish species. Thus anglers must return ‘undersized’ fish to the water unharmed. Similarly, commercial fishermen use large-meshed nets to spare the smaller fish—with the aim of ensuring the long-term viability of the fishery.

However, the fish that are genetically predisposed to mature at larger sizes are the ones most likely to be caught before they can reproduce. Thus there has been a strong selection pressure favouring scrawny fish that never reach the minimum legal size. Hence the genes for late-maturing larger-sized fish have been progressively lost from many fish populations, leaving early-maturing smaller-sized ones to dominate the gene pool. (So, ironically, by catching only the biggest fish and letting the others go, humans have unintentionally selected against that which they desire most!)

Note that this is not evolution because the selection pressure—which is essentially an artificially-imposed version of ‘natural selection’—simply favours certain genes over others; it cannot generate any new genetic information. Neither such ‘artificial’ nor ‘natural’ selection can turn plaice into people; it can only operate on (i.e. cull out) genetic information that already exists.

Fisheries scientists David Conover and Stephan Munch, of the State University of New York, observed that size-specific culling of Atlantic silversides rapidly changes the genetic makeup of the population.7 After just four generations, fish populations from which the largest 90% of silversides were removed before breeding averaged just half the size of fish in populations from which the smallest 90% had been culled. In other words, removing big fish soon results in a population of little fish (and vice versa).

This is not evolution, as the genes for big or little fish were already present in the population beforehand. Note that the limits to how big or little the fish can be in the final population are determined by the amount of pre-existing genetic variety. Conover and Munch wrote: ‘Management tools that preserve natural genetic variation [i.e. pre-existing variety] are necessary for long-term sustainable yield.’ In other words, we need to leave at least some of the big fish in the water, so that their desirable genes (from a human perspective) remain in the fish population.

Despite this anti-evolutionary insight, their research paper refers to fish demonstrating ‘evolutionary effects’ and having ‘evolved rapidly’. That last claim took many of their fellow evolutionists by surprise. David Conover reported: ‘Even some fisheries’ scientists have been unwilling to accept that evolution is happening within a few fish generations.’ ….

http://creation.com/smaller-fish-to-fry

I make this point in my earliest debate with a neo-Darwinist, in which I end with:

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.”

Mr. Hitchings: “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.”

Goldschmidt said: “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.”

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)

(I have a .com now, this is my old blog: http://religiopoliticaltalk.blogspot.com/2007/11/one-of-my-first-debate-style-responses.html)

So the example of the fish is something that if defined properly doesn’t support the grand changes that Darwinism implies. Nor, if properly defined, no creationist finds anything wrong with it… other than someone takes this loss of information and applies it to the past spuriously [stepping out of science and using a meta-narrative to state something that is unobservable] to say, “see, I am related to a banana in the tree of life.” THAT is bananas.

About the author of the linked Creation.com article:

B.Ag.Sc. (Hons) [University of Adelaide, South Australia]—Honours thesis title: The effects of applied nitrate on nitrogen fixation by subterranean clover (1982)

Ph.D. [University of New England, New South Wales, Australia]—Thesis title: The contribution of tree legumes to the nitrogen economy and forage production in the humid tropics (1988)

Dr. David Catchpoole was once an ardent atheistic evolutionist, before being challenged to look critically at the problems of evolution, and the scientific evidence for creation and the Bible.

Tom Melendy

Dr. Catchpoole is an expert neither on evolution nor on genome integrity (one of my fields of expertise). He is not qualified.

ME

I am merely pointing out that others exist with advanced degrees (that you mentioned about yourself) who write on “change,” does it matter if a young earth creationist got us to the moon, invented the MRI, and is a leading pediatrician who had a movie made about him (“Gifted Hands”). Belief about origins (historical science) and science in the lab are thus — provably — two areas that are separate.

I merely argue that “Darwinism” is a historical science that IS THE MATRIX that must be placed on the Atlantic silversides [and the loss of specificity compared to the parent population] in order to church out of the hopper “evidence” for Darwinian evolution. Circular.

Tom Melendy

And you’re wrong again, resistance to antibiotics is due to a GAIN of genetic material, not a loss. You talk a good game Sean, but the fact is that you don’t know enough facts about basic biology to support your thoughts. This is what we need to explain to college students who figure that once they read a text and can pass an exam, they must be experts; and why can’t they just do whatever they want in life (being an expert on something) because they can always ‘find’ the answers they need online or in a book. The problem is that you need a solid basis upon which to build – if you don’t have the basic material you really can’t support your ideas and arguments. (kind of like needing to have a vocabulary of words before you can write a paper). You Sean have collected a great number of books and ideas, but you don’t REALLY know the science behind what you’re talking about – which leaves your theories and positions full of holes/flaws. It’s been an interesting discussion but I can’t continue this indefinitely – I have work to do. If you don’t understand the concept that evolution is a continuum of small changes and selections, punctuated by larger cytogenetic changes that prevent back-breeding, ultimately leading to speciation (different species). And if you can’t understand how all I’ve shown you supports both aspects of that – then I suggest you head back to school for a degree in Biological Sciences – you clearly have the interest.

ME

When I say “loss of specificity to the parent population,” what I mean is that if it were possible to kill all Canidae’s except the Chihuahua… wolves would be extinct. the information left in the Chihuahua is a loss that can never be regained. It is less specified.

Tom Melendy

No Sean, your last comment is very wrong. It wasn’t their advanced degrees in other areas that make them capable in other things. In each case those individuals had to study and learn a whole new area to become capable. Furthermore, development does not always come from an expert – some people do not full understand what they develop or contribute to. Invention does not always come from the greatest knowledge.

ME

I have to start work. This is a great example, bacteria, for the conversation. Will check in this evening. thank you for your patience and willingness to talk.

Tom Melendy

That’s actually not true either Sean – are you saying that the genetic information in a wolf contains that of the chihuahau, but not the reverse? That’s not true at ALL. You don’t understand basic genetics. Selective breeding over enough time can create either from the other.

ME

Okay, Home. I would love to get your thoughts on this.

DOGS

No, there is specificity lost from the parent population:

Artificial breeding/selection is a good analogy. The original mongrel dog/wolf population had more genetic variety than any of the many individual breeds of dog today, but because of continual mixing up of the genes/alleles due to free inter-breeding (out-breeding), the outward appearance of the dogs/wolves would not generally have shown extreme variety. But selecting rare dogs with Chihuahua-like features and breeding them together (inbreeding) for many generations results in the concentration of alleles that give Chihuahua-likeness and the elimination of a lot of the other alleles—ones for ‘large dog’ for example. So you could never breed a Great Dane from a Chihuahua; the genetic information required has been depleted by the very process that has generated the extreme features.

BACTERIAL RESISTANCE

Bacterium & Evolution II (This is part II of a debate I had)

It has been proven that resistance to many modern antibiotics was present decades before their [the antibiotics] discovery. In 1845, sailors on an ill-fated Arctic expedition were buried in the permafrost and remained deeply frozen until their bodies were exhumed in 1986. Preservation was so complete that six strains of nineteenth-century bacteria found dormant in the contents of the sailors’ intestines were able to be revived! When tested, these bacteria were found to possess resistance to several modern-day antibiotics, including penicillin. Such traits were obviously present prior to penicillin’s discovery, and thus could not be an evolutionary development. (Medical Tribune, December 29, 1988, p. 1, 23.)

In 1998, the National Academy of Sciences published and distributed a book to public schools and other institutions entitled Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science. Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D., F.M., wrote a book, Refuting Evolution, which is a topic by topic rebuttal to this Academy of Sciences publication. Under the evidence for evolution in the evolutionist text is the following quote:

The continual evolution of human pathogens has come to pose one of the most serious health problems facing human societies. Many strains of bacteria have become increasingly resistant to antibiotics as natural selection has amplified resistant strains that arose through naturally occurring genetic variation.

Similar episodes of rapid evolution are occurring in many different organisms. Rats have developed resistance to the poison warfain. Many hundreds of insect species and other agricultural pests have evolved resistance to the pesticides used to combat them – even to chemical defenses genetically engineered into plants.

(Sarfati’s reply – any words in the [boxes] are mine):

However, what has this to do with the evolution of new kinds with new genetic information? Precisely nothing. What has happened in many cases is that some bacteria already had the genes for resistance to the antibiotics. In fact, some bacteria obtained by thawing sources which had been frozen before man developed antibiotics have shown to be antibiotic-resistant [6 different antibiotics in fact, penicillin in modern doses – which is way beyond the strength of natural penicillin found in nature]. When antibiotics are applied to a population of bacteria, those lacking resistance are killed, and any genetic information they carry is eliminated. The survivors carry less information [or specificity], but they are all resistant. The same principle applies to rats and insects “evolving” resistance to pesticides. Again, the resistance was already there, and creatures without resistance are eliminated.

[Much like if we killed all dogs (including Canis Domesticus and Canis Lupus) except for Chihuahuas, we would permanently lose the information of the parent population. You could then breed Chihuahuas for a millennium and not get an Irish Wolfhound]

…In other cases, antibiotic resistance is the result of a mutation, but in all known cases, this mutation has destroyed information. It may seem surprising that destruction of information can sometimes help. But one example is resistance to the antibiotic penicillin. Bacteria normally produce an enzyme, penicillinase, which destroys penicillin. The amount of penicillinase is controlled by a gene. There is normally enough produced to handle any penicillin encountered in the wild, but the bacterium is overwhelmed by the amount given to patients. A mutation disabling this controlling gene results in much more penicillinase being produced.

[Thus, the bacteria found frozen in 1845 already had the mutation to overcome modern medical doses of penicillin. So the mutation wasn’t the result of the penicillin in modern doses, thus seemingly becoming resistant… it already had the resistant mutation – informational or specificity losing – in the population. In other words, no new information was added to the parent population!]

…This enables the bacterium to resist the antibiotics but normally, this mutant would be less fit, as it wastes resources by producing unnecessary penicillinase. Another example of acquired antibiotic resistance is the transfer of pieces of genetic material (called Plasmids) between bacteria, even between those of different species. But this is still using pre-existing information, and doesn’t explain its origin.

So the above [first quote] is an example of, as Dr. Lee Spetner would say, “the transfer of resistance genes already extant in bacteria.” I would say as well that the only other example is the building of resistance as a result of losing genetic data because of mutation.

from one of my favorite posts [not mine] on the topic:

The second type of immunity, which comes about as a result of mutation, is not an example of evolution either. Spetner writes:

… [A] microorganism can sometimes acquire resistance to an antibiotic through a random substitution of a single nucleotide… Streptomycin, which was discovered by Selman Waksman and Albert Schatz and first reported in 1944, is an antibiotic against which bacteria can acquire resistance in this way. But although the mutation they undergo in the process is beneficial to the microorganism in the presence of streptomycin, it cannot serve as a prototype for the kind of mutations needed by NDT [Neo-Darwinian Theory]. The type of mutation that grants resistance to streptomycin is manifest in the ribosome and degrades its molecular match with the antibiotic molecule.

In his book Not by Chance, Spetner likens this situation to the disturbance of the key-lock relationship. Streptomycin, just like a key that perfectly fits in a lock, clutches on to the ribosome of a bacterium and inactivates it. Mutation, on the other hand, decomposes the ribosome, thus preventing streptomycin from holding on to the ribosome. Although this is interpreted as “bacteria developing immunity against streptomycin,” this is not a benefit for the bacteria but rather a loss for it. Spetner writes:

This change in the surface of the microorganism’s ribosome prevents the streptomycin molecule from attaching and carrying out its antibiotic function. It turns out that this degradation is a loss of specificity and therefore a loss of information. The main point is that Evolution… cannot be achieved by mutations of this sort, no matter how many of them there are. Evolution cannot be built by accumulating mutations that only degrade specificity.

To sum up, a mutation impinging on a bacterium’s ribosome makes that bacterium resistant to streptomycin. The reason for this is the “decomposition” of the ribosome by mutation. That is, no new genetic information is added to the bacterium. On the contrary, the structure of the ribosome is decomposed, that is to say, the bacterium becomes “disabled.” (Also, it has been discovered that the ribosome of the mutated bacterium is less functional than that of a normal bacterium.) Since this “disability” prevents the antibiotic from attaching onto the ribosome, “antibiotic resistance” develops.

At this point another person chimes in to compliment the tenor of the conversation so-far. Let me say, that the entire discussion was calmly and very little emotional jabs were taken. In most conversations I post the below in order to put in peoples minds that often time — whne sitting behind a keyboard — one tends to apply feelings to the other persons statements that he or she never intended. Which is why this “legal statement,” so-to-speak, typically precedes conversation:

“By-the-by, for those reading this I will explain what is missing in this type of discussion due to the media used. Genuflecting, care, concern, one being upset (does not entail being “mad”), etc… are all not viewable because we are missing each other’s tone, facial expressions, and the like. I afford the other person I am dialoguing with the best of intentions and read his/her comments as if we were out having a talk over a beer at a bar or meeting a friend at Starbucks. (I say this because there seems to be a phenomenon of etiquette thrown out when talking through email or Face Book, lots more public cussing and gratuitous responses.) You will see that often times I USE CAPS — which in www lingo for YELLING. I am not using it this way, I use it to merely emphasize and often times say as much: *not said in yelling tone, but merely to emphasize*. So in all my discussions I afford the best of thought to the other person as I expect he or she would to me… even if dealing with tough subjects as the above. I have had more practice at this than most, and with half-hour pizza, one hour photo and email vs. ‘snail mail,’ know that important discussions take time to meditate on, inculcate, and to process. So be prepared for a good thought provoking discussion if you so choose one with me.”

Continuing

Nick DeM.

this is a remarkable discussion – it is civil!! what a mutation is observed having the ability to do, and what a mutation is observed lacking the ability to do are the strongest reasons to continue questioning macro-evolution(molecules to man). to GIORDANO and MELENDY – your info has been enlightening, and it’s refreshing to see that both of you have refrained from name calling or nasty sarcasm. i feel like I’ve just been through a college bio course.

Tom Melendy

Okay Sean, finally have a few. In response to your posts above about purebred dogs losing genetic diversity and bacteria – those statements you have reposted have elements of truth, but are written in a misleading fashion (whether purposeful or due to lack of understanding I have no way of knowing, so will not judge). It is true that purebred dogs have lost genetic diversity (variation) – but they have NOT lost genetic material. This is due to breeders continuing to backbreed to select for rare or desired traits. Note this also sometimes selects for genetic problems; as I’m sure you are aware many purebreeds have serious problems – just like humans have problems when backbred (why we have traditions and even laws against very close blood relatives marring and having children). But that loss in diversity is not due to a loss of genetic material (not due to a loss of genes). It is mutations, or slight changes in genes, that cause genetic diversity. This might alter their function, or might even turn the gene all the way off in some cases (Mexican hairless?). So yes, purebred dogs have lost genetic diversity, but all the genes required for them to be a wolf are still there! It would take probably hundreds of years of breeding to re-select for those wolf-characteristics, and some of the small mutations in genes that affect their function would have to re-arise, but it could and would happen. The genes ARE still there.

Bacterial selection for antibiotics: for bacteria the situation is a bit different. In addition to their bacterial chromosome, bacteria often also have extrachromosomal DNA that they can pick up from the environment or other bacteria, and that they can pass on to their progeny. Antibiotics generally act against basic physiological pathways that bacteria need to duplicate their DNA, make RNA, synthesize their bacterial proteins, or synthesize their cell walls, among others. As you can imagine stopping any of these processes will stop bacterial cell growth. Antibiotic resistance is not due to a loss of any bacterial genes. In some cases it may be due to some small mutation in a bacterial gene that leaves the protein encoded by that gene still functional, but changes the shape just enough that the antibiotic no longer binds effectively, so no longer works. More often bacteria pick up some DNA (whole genes) from the environment or other bacteria around (and these might be other types of bacteria that do not cause disease) that give the bacteria resistance to the antibiotic. Usually these antibiotic resistance genes act one of two ways: one is the gene may encode an enzyme that breaks down the antibiotic (common with penicillin-resistance); the second is that the gene may encode a molecular pump that pumps a variety of small molecules like antibiotics out of the bacteria. If the bacteria is continuously pumping the antibiotic out, the antibiotic is not effective. So in the case of bacterial antibiotic resistance, again there is no loss of genetic material, actually there is a gain of genetic material.

What these posts don’t recognize is that even when there is a mutation, this is NOT a loss of genetic information! It is a loss of diversity, and possibly function (or altered function). But the gene is still there – and it can be mutated back to full function just as easily as it mutated to lose function.

Also it is obvious why bacteria isolated from soil or from many years ago have these genes, penicillin was discovered in naturally occurring mold. This is in the environment, and some bacteria throughout natural history have had to deal with this as well as related molecules – so these enzymes and molecular pumps in some specific environments would be selected for over time. As we use antibiotics in healthcare (and sadly in animal feed), there is more selection for bacteria to pick up and hold onto these genes. That’s why they’re more prevalent in our environment than they were fifty years ago.

[….]

Oh, Sean, I forgot. As for how these antibiotics like beta-lactamase or antibiotic pumps arose though evolution. You can look at the amino acid sequence of these proteins and there are some very closely related proteins in some bacteria that are used for different purposes – they break down something other than beta-lactamase and pump other molecules into or out of bacteria. What has clearly happened is that these genes were duplicated and random mutations occurred. At some point in time, one or more of these mutations led to subtle changes in the protein which made it function in a new way – so that it could break down beta-lactamase (the ring in the penicillin structure). This then provided that bacterium with a selective advantage when it was in an environment with that family of mold. This idea of gene duplication is quite common – we humans also have gene duplications throughout our genomes. Most of these are not expressed and not currently “used” if you will – so don’t provide us any advantage now – but appear to be the place where new genes/functions can arise. There are cases where past pseudogenes have evolved to be used. There are several copies of human hemoglobin. In some other animals only a single hemoglobin is used, and the other copies remain as unused pseudogenes. In humans we still have some unexpressed hemoglobin pseudogenes, but we use more than one hemoglobin; at least one is only expressed and used in utero, and is developmentally turned down (to about 3%) as we are born and mature – then the standard hemoglobin is the primary hemoglobin. It is unclear what advantage the fetal hemoglobin provides in utero, but this is the way we have evolved. We guess there is some advantage to using it.

[….]

Okay. But even I would say that all by itself acquisition of antibiotic/pesticide resistance is not evidence for evolution. It’s just one very small brick in a very large wall. It’s consistent with evolution, but by itself it’s just one tiny piece of evidence. If it wasn’t for all the other evidence for evolution, then this by itself might be one little weird anomaly

[….]

“In his book Not by Chance, Spetner likens this situation to the disturbance of the key-lock relationship. Streptomycin, just like a key that perfectly fits in a lock, clutches on to the ribosome of a bacterium and inactivates it. Mutation, on the other hand, decomposes the ribosome, thus preventing streptomycin from holding on to the ribosome. Although this is interpreted as “bacteria developing immunity against streptomycin,” this is not a benefit for the bacteria but rather a loss for it. Spetner writes:

This change in the surface of the microorganism’s ribosome prevents the streptomycin molecule from attaching and carrying out its antibiotic function. It turns out that this degradation is a loss of specificity and therefore a loss of information. The main point is that Evolution… cannot be achieved by mutations of this sort, no matter how many of them there are. Evolution cannot be built by accumulating mutations that only degrade specificity.”

This is only partly correct Sean. These mutations that occur in the bacterial chromosomal genes that confer resistance to streptomycin (there are more than one that have been discovered) do indeed alter the structure of the ribosome (the enzyme complex that synthesizes proteins). But they do NOT “decompose the ribosome” as Spetner claims. If they did, the bacteria could not survive, as all bacteria (and larger life forms) require protein synthesis to survive! While these mutations alter the bacterial ribosome somewhat, so streptomycin does not bind, the mutant ribosomes still have enough structure to function. In the absence of streptomycin long-term bacteria with this mutation would be out-competed, as they’re not quite as efficient at protein synthesis – but they’d survive just fine in mixed populations without strong selective pressure. Also, as I said above, there is nothing to prevent these single point mutation from mutating back to the normal “wild-type” configuration in the absence of streptomycin. It doesn’t happen any more efficiently than the original mutation to streptomycin-resistance, but it doesn’t happen any less efficiently either. I’m actually shocked at Spetner’s statements you posted – it shows a clear lack of understanding of basic first year microbial biology! I’m kind of appalled.

ME

Having a few beers with the neighbors, Cost Plus World Market had a sale on some really good micro-brew. Spetner breaks the types of resistance into two categories (have you read his book out of curiosity? If you have not I would be curious to talk to you about when you do read it):

1) The transfer of resistance genes already extant in bacteria.

2) The building of resistance as a result of losing genetic data because of mutation.

So the transfer of antibiotic resistance in this manner (number 1) “… is not the kind that can serve as a prototype for the mutations needed to account for Evolution… The genetic changes that could illustrate the theory must not only add information to the bacterium’s genome, they must add new information to the biocosm. The horizontal transfer of genes only spreads around genes that are already in some species.”

Evolution is not happening here — at least the kind neo-Darwinism needs. No new genetic information is produced: genetic information that already exists is simply transferred between bacteria.

In a debate Dr. Spetner had he summed it up thus with Dr Edward Max (via Talk Origins and True Origins):

It turns out, however, that a microorganism can sometimes acquire resistance to an antibiotic through a random substitution of a single nucleotide, and this is the kind of example Max presented. Streptomycin, which was discovered by Selman Waksman and Albert Schatz and first reported in 1944, is an antibiotic against which bacteria can acquire resistance in this way. But although the mutation they undergo in the process is beneficial to the microorganism in the presence of streptomycin, it cannot serve as a prototype for the kind of mutations needed by NDT. The type of mutation that grants resistance to streptomycin is manifest in the ribosome and degrades its molecular match with the antibiotic molecule. This change in the surface of the microorganism’s ribosome prevents the streptomycin molecule from attaching and carrying out its antibiotic function. It turns out that this degradation is a loss of specificity and therefore a loss of information. The main point is that Evolution A cannot be achieved by mutations of this sort, no matter how many of them there are. Evolution cannot be built by accumulating mutations that only degrade specificity.

In the final paragraph of my original critique, I said the following:

The mutations needed for macroevolution have never been observed. No random mutations that could represent the mutations required by NDT that have been examined on the molecular level have added any information. The question I address is: Are the mutations that have been observed the kind the theory needs for support? The answer turns out to be NO! Many have lost information. To support NDT one would have to show many examples of random mutations that add information. Unless the aggregate results of the genetic experiments performed until now is a grossly biased sample, we can safely dismiss Neo-Darwinian theory as an explanation of how life developed from a single simple source. http://www.trueorigin.org/spetner2.asp

You are saying it is an example of a gain of new information? If all anti-biotics were removed from human application, would the parent population be again the dominant bacterium due to its superior health under less pressure?

Oh! Bacterium transferring resistance laterally also fits with the predictive powers of I.D. (You had said: “It’s consistent with evolution”)

Tom Melendy

Sean, the point I made above, about how some of the things Spetner states are just plain wrong, makes me question his deductive powers. There are similar things in the sections you’ve posted above. He’ll take one correct point, and then follow it up with a second statement about it or a conclusion about it which is patently wrong! Because he starts with a correct statement, you start giving him credence (and it sounds like he knows what he’s talking about. But then he screws it up completely. I can’t even bear to read the little pieces you’ve posted he because he’s made such a mashup of some correct facts, some incorrect statements, and completely fallacious reasoning – I sorry, I just can’t bear to read his work. His reasoning is just garbage – as I’ve pointed out in the example I gave above.

Point mutations, like the one he describes about Streptomycin, do not “degrade specificity”. They ALTER specificity – and might even bind other things BETTER than the original. Because he uses the words “degrade” and “loss of genetic information” (I pointed out above how that conclusion of his is wrong too), it SOUNDS like his conclusion makes sense – that this “loss of specificity” and “loss of genetic information” could not be a positive for evolution. The problem is his characterization of those mutations as being a “loss” of information is simply incorrect. This is what I was talking about above, where he makes a point that is correct – a mutation can caused decreased binding to streptomycin – but his descriptions after that are incorrect and misleading. Virtually everything you’ve posted by him is like this – he starts with one correct statement, then makes misleading or mischaracterizing statements about it, allowing him to build a fallacious argument. One of two things – either he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, or he’s trying to mislead you – I don’t know which.

ME

To be clear, less fitness is better?

….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.

So you teach your students that a harmful mutation in the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood (sickle-cell anemia) is “good” — or — or an upward mobility in fitness on the whole and a proof of evolution? Its like air leaking slowly from a tire… it may do well temporarily in sand, but it isn’t an improvement.

Again:

Rearranging the same information is a prediction of I.D. AND creation… small changes in “species” is expected in all of the evolutionary models and creation models.

It seemed like from an above statement you couldn’t bear to read Spetner. I would feel fulfilled if I got a promise from you to read ONE book, one book: “Unshakeable Foundation,” by Norman Geisler and Peter Bocchino. I will even buy it for you if you do not feel the need to spend money on it. Let me know.

You said:

Any scientist with an agenda is not a scientists but a poor philosopher with dangerous intent…. God is beyond being “proven” or “disproven”, which is of course inherent for a being all-powerful. It is beyond any man to prove or disprove God.

This is the same as saying, “God is indescribable,” which of course is a self-refuting [self-deleting] statement… e.g., incoherent. You mean, according to philosophical naturalism God is unprovable:

  • Professor: “Miracles are impossible Sean, don’t you know science has disproven them, how could you believe in them [i.e., answered prayer, a man being raised from the dead, etc.].”
  • Student: “for clarity purposes I wish to get some definitions straight. Would it be fair to say that science is generally defined as ‘the human activity of seeking natural explanations for what we observe in the world around us’?”
  • Professor: “Beautifully put, that is the basic definition of science in every text-book I read through my Doctoral journey.”
  • Student: “Wouldn’t you also say that a good definition of a miracle would be ‘and event in nature caused by something outside of nature’?”
  • Professor: “Yes, that would be an acceptable definition of ‘miracle.’”
  • Student: “But since you do not believe that anything outside of nature exists [materialism, dialectical materialism, empiricism, existentialism, naturalism, and humanism – whatever you wish to call it], you are ‘forced’ to conclude that miracles are impossible”

Unless, @Tom Melendy, God came into the world… a Christian is one who believes Jesus *IS* God incarnate. Do you believe this Tom?

Tom Melendy

It’s interesting Sean, I actually agree very much with that point made above “Any scientist with an agenda is not a scientists but a poor philosopher with dangerous intent…. God is beyond being “proven” or “disproven”, which is of course inherent for a being all-powerful. It is beyond any man to prove or disprove God.” – this is actually something I teach my students VERY hard – to not become wedded to a theory, to be willing to let that theory go WILLINGLY, if the data argues against it. I have no agenda here – I neither want to prove nor disprove God (such attempts are silly, if we accept God is all powerful, it is beyond the power of Man to prove or disprove). I only want to look at the data and see what they indicate. I would argue VERY STRONGLY that the scientists you have been posting have an AGENDA – and that agenda is to disprove evolution. Ergo, as per your post above – they are very poor scientists. And based on their writings that you’ve posted, I agree wholeheartedly – their writings are rife with errors and mis-conclusions. Conversely I do not believe that believing in Evolution precludes an all-powerful God. Much of the Bible is written as parable or allegory, and I believe that Genesis is written in much this way – written in a way so mankind at that time could comprehend what was written. So unlike most, I go into the Evolution question with an open mind, without any goal or either proving or disproving God. So if you put that question aside, and ask what the data supports, the data overwhelmingly supports Evolution – otherwise why would there be so many fossils of species showing intermediate forms between ancient life forms and current life forms, otherwise why would gene homologies across both current species as well as compared to ancient species show incremental changes consistent with Evolution. Instead of you probing my knowledge and ability to support Evolution with the biological systems in the world – let me ask you a question. If God created all the species currently on the Earth either 6000 years ago, or through intelligent design, why is there so much evidence that supports Evolution? Why Ancient species, why evidence for intermediate species? If you believe in an all-powerful God, yet don’t believe in Evolution, then why are these fossils there, then why does the genetic code show evidence of intermediates and sequence-relatedness consistent with Evolution? Do you believe God put it all there just to try to confuse us? Seems like a lot of trouble just to play a little mind-game with mankind – ??

…Continued in Part II