Stephen E. Jones

Creation/Evolution Quotes: Unclassified quotes: July 2008

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The following are quotes added to my Unclassified Quotes database in July 2008.
The date format is dd/mm/yy. See copyright conditions at end.

[Index: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec]


2/07/2008
"Unifying Theories of Biology Biogenesis Life comes only from life Louis Pasteur 1875" (Mader, S.S., 
"Biology," [1985], Wm. C. Brown Co: Dubuque IA, Third Edition, 1990, p.17) 

2/07/2008
"The German pathologist, anthropologist, and politician Rudolph Virchow conceived of illness as the 
sickness of individual cells, and in fact the microscopic examination of tissues added valuable new tools for 
diagnosis, with certain cell abnormalities being associated with specific diseases. His ideas and 
observations were brought together in the influential Die Cellular Pathologie in 1858, which was within 
two years published in translation in England. This book was mainly concerned with establishing 
microscopy as a branch of medicine, but is known in biology for its theory that all cells come from 
preexisting cells. The doctrine omnis cellula e cellula was eventually accepted, and accounted for a subtle 
shift of emphasis away from the idea that the whole organism directly controlled the minutest details of 
body functioning, including the controlled emergence of cells from diffuse materials, and toward the concept 
that there was an intermediate level of organization between the chemical and the whole- organism level, in 
which more or less autonomous cells were the significant unit."(Lanham, U., "Origins of Modern Biology," 
Columbia University Press: New York NY, 1968, Second printing, 1971, pp.198-199)

2/07/2008
"Virchow, Rudolph German medical microscopist (1821-1902) who did most to dispel the notion, current 
from the time of Hippocrates, that disease resulted from imbalance in body 'humours'. Replaced it by a cell- 
based theory, arguing that cells are derived only from other cells (omnis cellula a cellula), broadening and 
deepening CELL THEORY." (Thain, M. & Hickman, M., "The Penguin Dictionary of Biology," [1951], 
Penguin Books: London, Tenth Edition, 2000, p.664. Emphasis original)

3/07/2008
"This formation of molecules more and more heterogeneous during terrestrial evolution, has been 
accompanied by increasing heterogeneity in the aggregate of compounds of each kind, as well as an 
increasing number of kinds; and this increasing heterogeneity is exemplified in an extreme degree in the 
compounds, non-nitrogenous and nitrogenous, out of which organisms are built. So that the classes, orders, 
genera, and species of chemical substances, gradually increasing as the Earth has assumed its present form, 
increased in a transcendent degree during that stage which preceded the origin of life." (Spencer, H., "The 
Principles of Biology," [1864], D. Appleton & Co: New York NY, Vol. I, Revised, 1910, p.24)

3/07/2008
"Returning now from these partially-parenthetic observations, and summing up the contents of the 
preceding pages, we have to remark that in the substances of which organisms are composed, the 
conditions necessary to that re-distribution of Matter and Motion which constitutes Evolution, are fulfilled 
in a far higher degree than at first appears." (Spencer, H., "The Principles of Biology," [1864], D. Appleton & 
Co: New York NY, Vol. I, Revised, 1910, p.24)

3/07/2008
"In those most complex compounds that are instrumental to vital actions, there exists a kind and degree of 
molecular mobility which constitutes the plastic quality fitting them for organization. Instead of the extreme 
molecular mobility possessed by three out of the four organic elements in their separate states-instead of 
the diminished, but still great, molecular mobility possessed by their simpler combinations, the gaseous and 
liquid characters of which unfit them for showing to any extent the process of Evolution-instead of the 
physical properties of their less simple combinations, which, when not made unduly mobile by heat, assume 
the unduly rigid form of crystals; we have in these colloids, of which organisms are mainly composed, just 
the required compromise between fluidity and solidity." (Spencer, H., "The Principles of Biology," [1864], D. 
Appleton & Co: New York NY, Vol. I, Revised, 1910, p.24)

3/07/2008
"Herbert Spencer is often cited as having anticipated Darwin in propounding a theory of evolution, but 
there is little validity in this assertion. Evolution, for Spencer, was a metaphysical principle. The 
vacuousness of Spencer's theory is evident from his definition: `Evolution is an integration of matter and 
concomitant dissipation of motion; during which the matter passes from an indefinite, incoherent 
homogeneity to a definite, coherent heterogeneity; and during which the retained motion undergoes a 
parallel transformation' ([Spencer, H., "First Principles,"Williams & Norgate: London, Second edition, [1870: 
396). The stress on matter, movement, and forces in this and other discussions of evolution is a typical 
example of an inappropriate eighteenth-century-type physicalist interpretation of ultimate causations in 
biological systems, and has nothing to do with real biology." (Mayr, E.W., "The Growth of Biological 
Thought: Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance," Belknap Press: Cambridge MA, 1982, pp.385-386)

3/07/2008
"Our formula, therefore, needs an additional clause. To combine this satisfactorily with the clauses as they 
stand in the last chapter, is scarcely practicable; and for convenience of expression it will be best to change 
their order. Doing this, and making the requisite addition, the formula finally stands thus:-Evolution is an 
integration of matter and concomitant dissipation of motion; during which the matter passes from an 
indefinite, incoherent homogeneity to a definite, coherent heterogeneity; and during which the retained 
motion undergoes a parallel transformation." (Spencer, H., "First Principles," [1862], Watts & Co: London, 
Sixth edition, 1945, p.358. Emphasis original).

3/07/2008
"HERBERT SPENCER was born at Derby in the midlands, in the year 1820, the son of a schoolmaster. His 
parents were both Free Church people, but belonged to different sects, and this lack of harmony induced 
feelings of doubt in the son at an early age; in political radicalism, on the other hand. he was fully in accord 
with his home throughout his life. He received a good school education and especially distinguished himself 
in the exact sciences, the classical languages having no attraction for him. He chose engineering as his 
profession, distinguishing himself by a number of minor inventions. His restless and insatiable desire for 
knowledge, however, soon induced him to abandon that career, and he resolved to devote himself to 
working out a general scientific system. In order to carry out his purpose he studied many different 
sciences, chiefly those of an exact character, and during that period he earned a livelihood by writing for 
newspapers and journals. He never received any public appointment and he consistently declined the 
honours that were offered him, especially towards the close of his life, from many quarters. In a constant 
struggle with poverty he lived in solitude, being also during the latter part of his life a sufferer from a severe 
nervous affliction. He was ruthlessly radical, not only in his political views, but even in his personal 
behaviour; he always gave his opinion straight out, and if a conversation bored him, he put stoppers into 
his ears. In spite of his ill health he lived to a good old age. When he died, in 1903, his body was cremated 
without any funeral ceremony." (Nordenskiold, E., "The History of Biology: A Survey," [1920-24], Eyre, L.B., 
transl., Tudor Publishing Co: New York NY, 1928, pp.492-493. Emphasis original)

3/07/2008
"Spencer's idea of evolution HERBERT SPENCER was not a specialist in biology, and his speculations on 
biological problems have not advanced that science to any very great extent. He nevertheless deserves a 
place in the history of biology as a rare example of a consummate and typical representative of that 
evolutional mode of thought which was awakened to life by the general tendency of the times in the middle 
of last century and which was promoted by Darwinism. He is commonly called the most consistent 
philosopher of evolution which that period produced - evolution forms the very groundwork of his system. 
In its essential features this system was already pretty definite before the advent of Darwin; it was 
promulgated in a number of small articles in periodicals, often characterized by masterly penetration and 
lucidity, afterwards brought together to form an imposing work entitled A System of Synthetic 
Philosophy, which was the fruits of thirty years' work and which gives `a broad, often too broad, 
development of what is recorded in the short treatises' (Hoffding). When Darwin produced his theory, 
Spencer associated himself with it, although he interprets it after his own mind, and he became one of the 
most influential promoters of the new doctrine of evolution. Otherwise he is said not to have been in favour 
of extensive studies; he preferred to think for himself and was very jealous of his independence." 
(Nordenskiold, E., "The History of Biology: A Survey," [1920-24], Eyre, L.B., transl., Tudor Publishing Co: 
New York NY, 1928, p.493. Emphasis original)

3/07/2008
"Law of differentiation OF Spencer's shorter articles there is one dated 1852- `The Development 
Hypothesis,' in which he clearly and definitely dissociates himself from a belief in the immutability of 
species; a hypothesis of creation is unscientific because it is incomprehensible, and the probability is that 
the various forms of life on the earth have been modified in the course of the ages by the influence of 
different external conditions of life. In a couple of other similarly pro-Darwin essays, `Progress, its Law and 
Cause' and `Genesis of Science,' he gives a more general presentation of his evolutional theory, which was 
afterwards further developed, in view of the selection theory, into his great philosophical work. According 
to him, the function of philosophy is to combine under one common standpoint the results achieved by all 
other sciences: physics, chemistry, and biology, as also psychology and sociology. This unity common to 
all sciences exists in evolution. All existence is evolution; the heavenly bodies are undergoing change, the 
earth was once incandescent and has since then gone through a series of evolutional forms, and all things 
existing on it, both animate and inanimate, are doing the same; the separate plant and animal individual is 
being evolved, just as species and genera and humanity are being evolved, individual for individual and 
generation after generation." (Nordenskiold, E., "The History of Biology: A Survey," [1920-24], Eyre, L.B., 
transl., Tudor Publishing Co: New York NY, 1928, p.494 Emphasis original)

3/07/2008
"The question of what `evolution' is, Spencer has in such circumstances to try to get answered as 
exhaustively as possible. In the above-mentioned treatise on the law of progress he endeavours to formulate 
the answer from a biological standpoint; starting from the evolution theories of C. F. Wolff, Goethe, and von 
Baer, he finds in agreement with them that the development of the individual proceeds from the 
homogeneous to the heterogeneous; out of the egg, which is uniform throughout, both in structure and 
composition, is evolved an individual possessing various parts and organs, which are the more 
differentiated the further the development proceeds. This law Spencer believes holds good for everything; 
the earth was once uniformly incandescent, but after having cooled off, it acquired an increasingly different 
and varying surface; all living creatures were originally primitive and homogeneous, but out of these primal 
forms there has since been developed an ever greater multiplicity of life-forms; the life of the human society 
offers the same picture, and differences in language and other manifestations of intellectual life have 
similarly developed. But whence is this differentiation produced? Spencer answers this question with the 
contention that every cause invariably has more than one effect; if a candle is lighted, it is one simple 
chemical process, but it produces a number of different effects - heat, light, chemical products. Thus there 
are created on the earth an ever-increasing number of phenomena. The whole of this discussion on causality 
is, of course, a purely metaphysical problem; against the theory of evolution on which it is based it may be 
remarked from a biological point of view that Spencer deliberately threw himself into the arms of the 
Wolffian epigenesis theory. If the standpoint of the preformation theory is adopted, then the whole 
foundation of this doctrine of evolution is destroyed. Now, in modern times, the egg is certainly not 
regarded as nondifferentiated; rather, with its numerous hereditary factors and the orientation given it from 
the very beginning, it is a tremendously complex structure." (Nordenskiold, E., "The History of Biology: A 
Survey," [1920-24], Eyre, L.B., transl., Tudor Publishing Co: New York NY, 1928, pp.494-495)

3/07/2008
"Process of consolidation AT a later period Spencer tried also to expand his evolution theory. He sees in 
it a process of consolidation; the egg-cell absorbs nutriment from surrounding tissues, the embryo from the 
yolk of the egg, both under a process of increasing consolidation. In the same way the celestial bodies have 
been consolidated out of nebulous masses, and the human communities out of scattered groups. Further, 
evolution may be regarded as a transition from the indefinite to the definite, as indeed is demonstrated in the 
life of individuals, species, and communities. But, above all, in his later years Spencer began to realize that 
evolution does not always advance; it can also show the exact opposite phenomenon, that progression and 
retrogression succeed one another in evolution. This speculation suffers on the whole from the attempt to 
bring all phenomena on the earth without exception under one common definition, which in the 
circumstances becomes far too abstract: it says too little because it is meant to embrace too much. The same 
fault underlies the definition of life that is given in the biological section of Spencer's system. Various 
characteristics of life are examined, and finally the definitive characteristic is formulated thus: `Life is a 
continuous adjustment of internal conditions to external conditions.' The higher the life, the stronger is the 
connexion between the internal and the external; the intellectual life represents the highest degree of 
relationship between internal and external changes. His detailed application of this theory of life offers little 
in the way of interest; although controlled by Huxley and Hooker, it corresponds but little to modern ideas. 
As an instance may be quoted the assertion that life precedes organization in the matter in which it 
develops, whereas in reality life and organization are indissolubly bound up in one another." (Nordenskiold, 
E., "The History of Biology: A Survey," [1920-24], Eyre, L.B., transl., Tudor Publishing Co: New York NY, 
1928, p.495. Emphasis original)

3/07/2008
"Limitation of the capacity for knowledge A LIKING for abstract conclusions has often been held to 
constitute Spencer's chief weakness; it is in accord with the above-mentioned tendency to bring together 
the most dissimilar phenomena in existence under one viewpoint. He himself has defined knowledge as the 
bringing of every separate phenomenon within the compass of a more general and previously known one 
the operation of muscle, for instance, is explained if one has a chance of comparing it with the already 
known lever-mechanism - and he contends that in consequence hereof the ultimate and most general 
phenomena must remain incomprehensible because there is nothing more general with which to compare 
them. He repeatedly and with almost passionate emphasis affirms that our capacity for knowledge is limited: 
what matter, force, space, and time really are we shall never know, for our mind cannot grasp them; we can 
only investigate the phenomena that our personal experience of them educes. But for that reason Spencer 
also gives religion the right to hold its own views on this `unknowable.'" (Nordenskiold, E., "The History of 
Biology: A Survey," [1920-24], Eyre, L.B., transl., Tudor Publishing Co: New York NY, 1928, pp.495-496. 
Emphasis original)

3/07/2008
"Religious problems, however, have little interest for him. He is all the more occupied with social questions, 
and it is in this sphere that his evolution theory finds its most curious expression. His belief in the progress 
of humanity is boundless and he is prepared to apply to it unreservedly Darwin's theory of natural selection 
that is, as he himself says, that the fittest shall survive." (Nordenskiold, E., "The History of Biology: A 
Survey," [1920-24], Eyre, L.B., transl., Tudor Publishing Co: New York NY, 1928, p.496)

3/07/2008
"The freedom of the individual he places above all else: `Every man is free to do that which he wills, 
provided he infringes not the equal freedom of any other man.' The State is a survival from the primitive 
conditions of earlier ages, and its interference with the life of the individual is purely wrong and merely 
hinders the operation of free selection. All measures adopted by the Government are worse than if they were 
carried out by individuals; public poor-relief is expensive and badly administered compared with private 
charity; State schools are always inferior to private schools; in a word, the State should gradually be done 
away with, but for the present it is necessary to maintain a police force to ensure domestic security, and a 
military force to protect the country from invasion, though on no account should there be compulsory 
military service. So much the higher, then, must be the claims laid on private morality, and, in fact, Spencer 
claims much from it. He holds, in conformity with his belief in the heredity of acquired qualities, that the 
intellectual capacity of the individual becomes the common property of the race; the quality of the intellect 
corresponds to certain structural conditions in the brain; if the former is perfected, then the latter develop, 
are inherited by the descendants, and thus benefit humanity. The aim of morality is to create as much 
happiness as possible; happiness, however, must not be sought in material prosperity - the more so as the 
latter leads to dishonesty. To be allowed to contribute, in however small a way, towards the advancement of 
general evolution should be the highest happiness to which the individual can attain. Morality thus benefits 
the community more than the individual, according to Spencer, as indeed according to the positivism of the 
age as a whole. Both his and his contemporaries' limitation in this sphere lay in an insufficient sense of the 
purely personal; he had but little sympathy for the individual's longing for personal release from his 
confined and trying environment or from his inner qualms of conscience; he thought that one and all should 
take things calmly in the hope for better times to come which, indeed, seemed a far more likely prospect for 
the people of those days than for those of our own." (Nordenskiold, E., "The History of Biology: A Survey," 
[1920-24], Eyre, L.B., transl., Tudor Publishing Co: New York NY, 1928, p.496)

3/07/2008
"As a matter of fact, Herbert Spencer himself lived to see the future of the world darkened. The march of 
militarism, which he hated, went on apace towards the close of the century; the colonization of tropical 
countries, of which he also disapproved, was carried still further afield; while socialism, with its State 
production, must necessarily have been equally distasteful to him. And even philosophy began in his 
lifetime to strike along paths other than those he had marked out. But though his ideas are now for the most 
part out of date, he will always be remembered as one of the most persistent, disinterested, and courageous 
champions of the theory of evolution." (Nordenskiold, E., "The History of Biology: A Survey," [1920-24], 
Eyre, L.B., transl., Tudor Publishing Co: New York NY, 1928, p.497) 

4/07/2008
"The minimum number of protein-producing genes a single-celled organism needs to survive and reproduce 
in the laboratory is somewhere between 265 and 350, according to new research directed by a top 
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill scientist. Using a technique known as global transposon 
mutagenesis, Dr. Clyde A. Hutchison III, professor of microbiology at the UNC-CH School of Medicine, 
and colleagues at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) in Rockville, Md., found that roughly a third 
of the genes in the disease-causing Mycoplasma genitalium were unnecessary for the bacterium's survival. 
The technique -- a process of elimination -- involved randomly inserting bits of unrelated DNA into the 
middle of genes to disrupt their function and see if the organism thrived anyway. Such research is a 
significant step forward in creating minimal, tailor-made life forms that can be further altered for such 
purposes as making biologically active agents for treating illness, Hutchison said. More immediately, it 
boosts scientists' basic understanding of the question, `What is life?' `Cells that grow and divide after this 
procedure can have such disruptive insertions only in non-essential genes,' he said. `Surprisingly, the 
minimal set of genes we found included about 100 whose function we don't yet understand. This finding 
calls into question the prevailing assumption that the basic molecular mechanisms underlying cellular life 
are understood, at least broadly.' Further work will explain those functions and create a more exact number 
of the minimal genes required to create life in the laboratory, the scientist said. New organisms bearing only 
the fewest genes needed to survive could have major commercial, social and ethical implications. A report 
on the research appears in the Dec. 10 issue of the journal Science. ... A genome is the complete set of 
genes, or genetic blueprints, an organism contains in each of its cells. The human genome is about 5,000 
times larger than that of Mycoplasma genitalium, which causes gonorrhea- like symptoms in humans. 
Scientists study it in part because it contains only 517 cellular genes, the fewest known in single-celled 
organisms." ("Scientists Find Smallest Number Of Genes Needed For Organism's Survival," 
ScienceDaily, December 13, 1999)

4/07/2008
"Mycoplasma genitalium with 517 genes has the smallest gene complement of any independently 
replicating cell so far identified. Global transposon mutagenesis was used to identify nonessential genes in 
an effort to learn whether the naturally occurring gene complement is a true minimal genome under 
laboratory growth conditions. The positions of 2209 transposon insertions in the completely sequenced 
genomes of M. genitalium and its close relative M. pneumoniae were determined by sequencing across 
the junction of the transposon and the genomic DNA. These junctions defined 1354 distinct sites of 
insertion that were not lethal. The analysis suggests that 265 to 350 of the 480 protein-coding genes of M. 
genitalium are essential under laboratory growth conditions, including about 100 genes of unknown 
function." (Hutchison, C.A., III, et al., "Global Transposon Mutagenesis and a Minimal Mycoplasma 
Genome," Science, Vol. 286, 10 December 1999, pp.2165-2169)

8/07/2008
"We are so familiar with the fact that we can understand the world that, most of the time, we take it for 
granted. It is what makes science possible. Yet it could have been otherwise. The universe might have been 
a disorderly chaos, rather than an orderly cosmos. Or it might have had a rationality that was inaccessible to 
us. Suppose we were only able to conceive of things in geometrical terms so the analytic rationality of the 
calculus would have been forever beyond our grasp. Then the circle would have seemed the perfect mode of 
explanation, and our search for an understanding of the solar system would have been condemned to an 
endless proliferation of epicycle upon epicycle (whether Ptolemaic or Copernican in character), and the 
beautiful simplicity of the inverse square law would eternally have eluded us. It has not proved so. Our 
minds have shown themselves to be apt and adequate for the solution of all the problems that the physical 
world presents to us. ... There is a congruence between our minds and the universe, between the rationality 
experienced within and the rationality observed without. This extends not only to the mathematical 
articulation of fundamental theory but also to all those tacit acts of judgment, exercised with intuitive skill, 
that are equally indispensable to the scientific endeavor." (Polkinghorne, J.C., "Science and Creation: The 
Search for Understanding," [1988], Templeton Foundation Press: Philadelphia PA, Reprinted, 2006, p.29)

8/07/2008
"That is too profound a fact to yield to superficial discussion. `Evolution' can always facilely be invoked as 
the inexplicable explanation of what is found humanly to be the case. However, it seems incredible that, say, 
Einstein's ability to conceive of the General Theory of Relativity was just a spin-off from the struggle for 
survival. What survival value does such an ability possess? ... Certainly our powers of thought must be in 
such conformity with the everyday structure of the world that we are able to survive by making sense of our 
environment. But that does not begin to explain why highly abstract concepts of pure mathematics should 
fit perfectly with the patterns of the subatomic world of quantum theory or the cosmic world of relativity, 
both of which are regimes whose understanding is of no practical consequence whatsoever for humankind's 
ability to have held its own in the evolutionary struggle." (Polkinghorne, J.C., "Science and Creation: The 
Search for Understanding," [1988], Templeton Foundation Press: Philadelphia PA, Reprinted, 2006, pp.29-30)

8/07/2008
"Nor does the fact that we are made of the same stuff (quarks, gluons and electrons) as the universe serve 
to explain how microcosmic man is capable of understanding the macrocosm of the world. Some fairly 
desperate attempts have been made along these lines nevertheless, showing how pressing is the need to 
find an explanation for the significant fact of intelligibility." (Polkinghorne, J.C., "Science and Creation: The 
Search for Understanding," [1988], Templeton Foundation Press: Philadelphia PA, Reprinted, 2006, p.30)

8/07/2008
"If the deep-seated congruence of the rationality present in our minds with the rationality present in the 
world is to find a true explanation, it must surely lie in some more profound reason, which is the ground of 
both. Such a reason would be provided by the Rationality of the Creator." (Polkinghorne, J.C., "Science and 
Creation: The Search for Understanding," [1988], Templeton Foundation Press: Philadelphia PA, Reprinted, 
2006, p.31)

8/07/2008
"The second issue which modern science raises is what we might call the anthropic principle: the fact that a 
delicate balance seems necessary in the universe's character, similar to that actually found, if the unfolding 
of its process is to prove capable of evolving systems like ourselves of a complexity sufficient to sustain 
conscious life. In other words, if you played at Creator and prescribed a universe-twiddled at random the 
`cosmic knobs' specifying its nature and structure, so to speak-you would not discover in its subsequent 
history the fruitfulness actually found in our particular world. Fine-tuning of those cosmic knobs is 
necessary to make men." (Polkinghorne, J.C., "Science and Creation: The Search for Understanding," [1988], 
Templeton Foundation Press: Philadelphia PA, Reprinted, 2006, p.31)

10/07/2008
"For an irreducibly complex system, function is attained only when all components of the system are in 
place simultaneously. It follows that natural selection, if it is going to produce an irreducibly complex 
system, has to produce it all at once or not at all. This would not be a problem if the systems in question 
were simple. But they're not. The irreducibly complex biochemical systems Behe considers are protein 
machines consisting of numerous distinct proteins, each indispensable for function and together beyond 
what natural selection can muster in a single generation. One such irreducibly complex biochemical system 
that Behe considers is the bacterial flagellum. The flagellum is a whiplike rotary motor that enables a 
bacterium to navigate through its environment. The flagellum includes an acid-powered rotary engine, a 
stator, O-rings, bushings and a drive shaft. The intricate machinery of this molecular motor requires 
approximately fifty proteins. Yet the absence of any one of these proteins results in the complete loss of 
motor function. [Behe, M.J., "Darwin's Black Box," Free Press: New York, 1996, pp.69-72] The irreducible 
complexity of such biochemical systems counts powerfully against the Darwinian mechanism and indeed 
against any naturalistic evolutionary mechanism proposed to date. Moreover, because irreducible 
complexity occurs at the biochemical level, there is no more fundamental level of biological analysis to 
which the irreducible complexity of biochemical systems can be referred and at which a Darwinian analysis 
in terms of selection and mutation can still hope for success." (Dembski, W.A.*, "Intelligent Design: The 
Bridge Between Science and Theology," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1999, p.148)

10/07/2008
"Our question was, how much luck are we allowed to assume in a theory of the origin of life on Earth? I 
said that the answer depends upon whether life has arisen only once, or many times. Begin by giving a name 
to the probability, however low it is, that life will originate on any randomly designated planet of some 
particular type. Call this number the spontaneous generation probability or SGP. It is the SGP that we shall 
arrive at if we sit down with our chemistry textbooks, or strike sparks through plausible mixtures of 
atmospheric gases in our laboratory, and calculate the odds of replicating molecules springing 
spontaneously into existence in a typical planetary atmosphere. Suppose that our best guess of the SGP is 
some very very small number, say one in a billion. This is obviously such a small probability that we haven't 
the faintest hope of duplicating such a fantastically lucky, miraculous event as the origin of life in our 
laboratory experiments. Yet if we assume, as we are perfectly entitled to do for the sake of argument, that 
life has originated only once in the universe, it follows that we are allowed to postulate a very large amount 
of luck in a theory, because there are so many planets in the universe where life could have originated. If, 
as one estimate has it, there are 100 billion billion planets, this is 100 billion times greater than even the 
very low SGP that we postulated. To conclude this argument, the maximum amount of luck that we are 
allowed to assume, before we reject a particular theory of the origin of life, has odds of one in N, where 
N is the number of suitable planets in the universe. There is a lot hidden in that word 'suitable', but let us 
put an upper limit of 1 in 100 billion billion for the maximum amount of luck that this argument entitles us 
to assume." (Dawkins, R., "The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe 
Without Design," W.W. Norton & Co: New York NY, 1986, p.143. Emphasis original)

10/07/2008
"To generate a biological molecule like haemoglobin, the red pigment in blood, by simple sieving would be 
equivalent to taking all the amino-acid building blocks of haemoglobin, jumbling them up at random, and 
hoping that the haemoglobin molecule would reconstitute itself by sheer luck. The amount of luck that 
would be required for this feat is unthinkable, and has been used as a telling mind-boggler by Isaac Asimov 
[Asimov, I., "Only a Trillion," Abelard-Schuman: London, 1957] and others. A haemoglobin molecule 
consists of four chains of amino acids twisted together. Let us think about just one of these four chains. It 
consists of 146 amino acids. There are 20 different kinds of amino acids commonly found in living things. 
The number of possible ways of arranging 20 kinds of thing in chains 146 links long is an inconceivably 
large number, which Asimov calls the 'haemoglobin number'. It is easy to calculate, but impossible to 
visualize the answer. The first link in the 146-long chain could be any one of the 20 possible amino acids. 
The second link could also be any one of the 20, so the number of possible 2-link chains is 20 x 20, or 400. 
The number of possible 3-link chains is 20 x 20 x 20, or 8,000. The number of possible 146- link chains is 
20 times itself 146 times. This is a staggeringly large number. A million is a 1 with 6 noughts after it. A 
billion (1,000 million) is a 1 with 9 noughts after it. The number we seek, the 'haemoglobin number', is 
(near enough) a 1 with 190 noughts after it! This is the chance against happening to hit upon haemoglobin 
by luck. And a haemoglobin molecule has only a minute fraction of the complexity of a living body." 
(Dawkins, R., "The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without 
Design," W.W. Norton & Co: New York NY, 1986, pp.44-45)

11/07/2008
"Apocalyptic discourse ([Lk ]21:5-38). The temple that elicited the admiration of his disciples was 
beautiful indeed. ... Jesus, however, predicts that the temple will be completely demolished (21:5-6). The 
Romans fulfilled this prophecy in A.D. 70. ... Jesus now warns his disciples against eschatological 
enthusiasm and braces them for future persecution (21:7-19). The question of the disciples in verse 7 clearly 
refers to the date of the fall of Jerusalem, but it also seems to involve the date of the end of this age. The fall 
of Jerusalem becomes a type of the end times. .... Jesus specifically answers the question about the 
destruction of Jerusalem (21:20-24). One will know that Jerusalem's time of destruction has arrived when 
foreign armies surround it. This encirclement is a signal, not of the need for heroism, but the need to flee. 
God's avenging wrath will be poured out on the city, bringing distress to the entire populace. `The times of 
the Gentiles' (v. 24) refers not to the Gentile mission but to Gentile authority over Jerusalem. Josephus's 
Jewish War contains a graphic commentary on the Roman conquest of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. From the 
destruction of Jerusalem Luke moves to the coming of the Son of man (21:25-28). Luke does not specify the 
temporal relationship between these events, but the former clearly functions as a correspondence of the 
latter. ... The signs picture in dramatic terms the breakup of the natural world order, and the resulting terror 
and fear which seize the human race. The Son of man will return during these troubled times. The message 
for believers is: When the world begins to convulse, take hope! Your redemption is imminent." (Shreiner, 
T.R., "Luke," in Elwell, W.A., ed., "Evangelical Commentary on the Bible," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1989, 
Second printing, 1990, pp.834-835. Emphasis original).

11/07/2008
"...genea; gen. geneas, fem. coll. noun from ginomai (1096), to become. Originally meaning 
generation, i.e., a multitude of contemporaries. In NT Gr. genea literally means space of time, circle of time, 
which only in a derived sense signifies the meaning of a time, a race; then generally in the sense of affinity 
of communion based upon the sameness of stock. ... Metaphorically spoken of the people of any generation 
or age, those living in any one period, a race or class, e.g., `this generation' means the present generation 
(Matt. 11:16; 12:39, 41, 42, 45; 16:4; 17:17; 23:36; 24:34; Mark 8:12, 38; 9:19; 13:30; Luke 7:31; 9:41; 11:29-32, 50, 
51; 17:25; 21:32; Acts 2:40; Phil. 2:15). ... The word genea in Matt. 24:34 may have had reference to the 
kind of Jew with whom Jesus was conversing during that particular time (Matt. 21:23; 23:29). He was telling 
them that this generation or type, such as the Sadducees and Pharisees of that day, would not pass away 
until all these things occurred ... which has proven to be true. He was prophesying the destruction of their 
nation (Matt. 24:15-28). Others have understood Jesus to be saying that the generation present immediately 
preceding His return, who witness the events signaling His coming, will not pass away. Christ's return will 
not be thwarted." (Zodhiates, S., "The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament," AMG 
Publishers: Chattanooga TN, 1992, Reprinted, 1994, pp.362-363) 

11/07/2008
"... gevea, -as, e (< gignomai),. [in LXX chiefly for dowr, doe (Cremer, 148);] 1. race, stock, 
family (in NT, gennema, q.v.). 2. generation; (a) of the contemporary members of a family: pl., Mt 1:17 (cf. 
Ge 31:3, metaph., of those alike in character, in bad sense, Mt 17:17; Mk 9:19; Lk 9:41, 16:8; Ac 2:40; (b) of all 
the people of a given period: Mt 24:34, Mk 13:30, Lk 21:32, Phl 2:15; pl., Lk 1:48; esp. of the Jewish people, 
Mt 11:16; 12:39,41, 42, 45; 16:4; 23:36; Mk 8:12,38; Lk 7:31; 11:29,30-32,50,51; 17:25, Ac 13:36, He 3:10 (LXX); 
ton g. autou tis diegesetai, Ac 8:33 (LXX) . (c) the period covered by the life-time of a generation, used 
loosely in pl. of successive ages: Ac 14:16; 15:21, Eph 3:5, Col 1:20; eis geneas kai g. [...]. Is 34:17, al.), Lk 
1:50; eis pasas tas g. tou aionos ton aionon, Eph 3:21 (Ellic., in J.; DCG, l, 639 f.). [...] (Abbott-Smith, G., "A 
Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament," [1921], T. & T. Clark: Edinburgh, Third edition, 1937, 
Reprinted, 1956, p.89. My transliteration) 

11/07/2008
"[Lk 21:]32. This generation (he genea haute). Naturally people then living. Shall not pass away (ou 
me parelthei). Second aorist active subjunctive of parerchomai. Strongest possible negative with ou 
me. Till all things be accomplished (heos an panta genetai). Second aorist middle subjunctive of 
ginomai with heos, common idiom. The words give a great deal of trouble to critics. Some apply them to 
the whole discourse including the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem, the second coming and the end 
of the world. Some of these argue that Jesus was simply mistaken in his eschatology, some that he has not 
been properly reported in the Gospels. Others apply them only to the destruction of Jerusalem which did 
take place in A.D. 70 before that generation passed away. It must be said for this view that it is not easy in 
this great eschatological discourse to tell clearly when Jesus is discussing the destruction of Jerusalem and 
when the second coming. Plummer offers this solution: `The reference, therefore, is to the destruction of 
Jerusalem regarded as the type of the end of the world.'" (Robertson, A.T.*, "Word Pictures in the New 
Testament: Volume II: The Gospel According to Luke," Broadman Press, Nashville TN, 1930, pp.261-262. 
Emphasis original).

11/07/2008
"Gen-er-a'tion. 1. A begetting or producing, or the person or thing produced (Gen. ii. 4; v. 1) ; in Hebrew 
only plural Toledoth. 2. Each succession of persons from a common ancestor (Gen. i. 23; Ex. xx. 5 ; Deut. 
xxiii. 2) ; in Hebrew expressed by a modification of the proper numeral or by Dor with an ordinal number. 3. 
The age or period of a body of contemporaries, not in the modern sense of the average lifetime of all who 
survive infancy, but the average period of the activity of any body of contemporaries as determined by the 
normal span of life. The generation lasts as long as any of the members survive (Ex. i. 6; Num. xxxii. 13; Judg. 
ii. 10; Ecc. i. 4) ; in Hebrew Dor." (Davis, J.D.*, "A Dictionary of the Bible," [1898], Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 
Fourth edition, 1924, Fifteenth printing, 1966, p.253. Emphasis original)

12/07/2008
"[Lk ]21:32 this generation. If the reference is to the destruction of Jerusalem, which occurred about 40 years 
after Jesus spoke these words, `generation' is used in its ordinary sense of a normal life span. All these 
things were fulfilled in a preliminary sense in the A.D. 70 destruction of Jerusalem. If the reference is to the 
second coming of Christ, `generation' might indicate the Jewish people as a race ... who were promised 
existence to the very end. Or it might refer to the future generation alive at the beginning of these things. It 
does not mean that Jesus had a mistaken notion he was going to return immediately." (Barker, K.*, ed., "The 
NIV Study Bible," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1985, p.1581. Emphasis original)

12/07/2008
"Again, we must give attention to the allegation that the Olivet discourse contains two or more different 
prophecies. The NIV Study Bible contains this commentary on Matthew 24: `It appears that the 
description of the end of the age is discussed in vv. 4-14, the destruction of Jerusalem in vv. 15-22 (see Lk 
21:20) and Christ's coming in vv. 23-31.' ["NIV Study Bible," Zondervan: Grand Rapids, 1985, p.1477] The 
problem is that some of these verses appear to describe two different events. The possibility of a double 
reference is rejected, I think too quickly ... A very common attitude in conservative circles is to deny that 
there is any real contradiction between the sayings of Jesus and the happenings of history. ... The NIV 
Study Bible suggests, `if the term [generation] is understood as a normal life span, it may refer either to the 
generation in which Jesus lived while on earth or to the generation living when these signs begin to occur.' 
["NIV Study Bible," pp.1521, 1581]" (Bloesch, D.G.*, "The Last Things: Resurrection, Judgment, Glory," 
InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2004, pp.80-81. Emphasis original)

12/07/2008
"The position I endorse is not new ... I contend that biblical prophecy can have a double or even multiple 
fulfillment. A passage like the one we are exploring may have a preliminary fulfillment (such as the 
destruction of Jerusalem) and an ultimate fulfillment (the destruction and renewal of the world). ... Biblical 
prophecy is capable of multiple fulfillment. In the immediate context, the `abomination of desolation' (v. 15) 
[Mt 24] builds on the defilement of the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes, is repeated when the sacred temple 
in Jerusalem is destroyed by the Roman army in A.D. 70, and has yet a more complete fulfillment when the 
eschatological Antichrist exalts himself by taking his seat in the `temple of God' proclaiming himself to be 
God (2 Thess 2:3-4). In a similar way, the events of the immediate period leading up to the destruction of 
Jerusalem portend a greater and more universal catastrophe when Christ returns in judgment at the end of 
time. [Mounce, R. H., "Matthew," Hendrickson: Peabody MA, 1991, p.228]" (Bloesch, D.G.*, "The Last 
Things: Resurrection, Judgment, Glory," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2004, p.81. Emphasis 
original)-

12/07/2008
"Commenting on Luke's rendition of Jesus' eschatological discourse ... Joseph Fitzmyer contends that the 
`Lucan discourse looks back at the catastrophe in Jerusalem (A.D. 70) in a microcosmic view; it sees the 
crisis that the earthly coming of Jesus brought into the lives of his own generation, but sees it now as a 
harbinger of the crisis which Jesus and his message, and above all his coming as the Son of Man, will bring 
to 'all who dwell upon the entire face of the earth' (21:35).' [Fitzmyer, J.A., "The Gospel According to Luke, 
X-XXIV," Anchor Bible, Doubleday: New York, 1985, p.1329] The notes on Matthew in The New Jerusalem 
Bible reflect a similar stance: `This eschatological discourse of Matthew combines the announcement of 
the destruction of Jerusalem with that of the end of the world.... Though separated in time, these two 
[events] are inseparable in the sense that the first is the inevitable forerunner and prefiguration of the 
second. The destruction of Jerusalem marks the end of the old covenant-Christ has thus manifestly returned 
to inaugurate his kingly rule. Such a decisive intervention in the history of salvation will not occur again 
until the end of time when God will judge the whole human race, now chosen in Christ, with the same 
judgment he pronounced (in A.D. 70) upon the first chosen people.' ["New Jerusalem Bible," Doubleday: 
New York, 1985, p.1649]" (Bloesch, D.G.*, "The Last Things: Resurrection, Judgment, Glory," InterVarsity 
Press: Downers Grove IL, 2004, pp.81-82. Emphasis original) 

12/07/2008
"How, now, must the expression `and so all Israel will be saved' [Rom 11:25-26] be interpreted? Calvin, as we 
saw, thought these words referred to the salvation of the total number of the elect throughout history, not 
only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles. The difficulty with this interpretation, however, is this: in 
Romans 9-11 the term Israel occurs eleven times; in each of the ten instances other than 11:26 where the 
term is used, it points unmistakably to the Jews in distinction from the Gentiles. What reason is there for 
accepting a different meaning of the term here? Why should Paul suddenly shift from the natural meaning of 
the term Israel to a wider, figurative meaning? Is not the very point of Romans 11:25-26a to say something 
about both Jews and Gentiles?" (Hoekema, A.A.*, "The Bible and the Future," Paternoster Press: Exeter UK, 
1978, British edition, 1979, p.144. Emphasis original)

14/07/2008
"If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by 
numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no 
such case." (Darwin, C.R., "On the Origin of Species: A Facsimile of the First Edition," [1859], Harvard 
University Press: Cambridge MA, 1975, p.189) 

14/07/2008
"The argument that random variation and Darwinian gradualism may not be adequate to explain complex 
biological systems is hardly new. Behe quotes Darwin himself considering this possibility: `If it could be 
demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, 
slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.' Surely, then, contemporary Darwinists have 
answers to rebut critics like Professor Behe. In fact, there are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the 
evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations. It is 
remarkable that Darwinism is accepted as a satisfactory explanation for such a vast subject - evolution - 
with so little rigorous examination of how well its basic theses work in illuminating specific instances of 
biological adaptation or diversity." (Shapiro, J.A., "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to 
Evolution. book reviews," National Review, September 16, 1996. 
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_n17_v48/ai_18667140)

14/07/2008
"In The Origin of Species Darwin stated: `If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed 
which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory 
would absolutely break down.' [Darwin, C., "Origin of Species," Sixth edition, 1872, New York University 
Press: New York, Reprinted, 1988, p.154] A system which meets Darwin's criterion is one which exhibits 
irreducible complexity. By irreducible complexity I mean a single system which is composed of several 
interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, and where the removal of any one of the parts causes 
the system to effectively cease functioning. An irreducibly complex system cannot be produced gradually 
by slight, successive modifications of a precursor system, since any precursor to an irreducibly complex 
system is by definition nonfunctional. Since natural selection requires a function to select, an irreducibly 
complex biological system, if there is such a thing, would have to arise as an integrated unit for natural 
selection to have anything to act on. It is almost universally conceded that such a sudden event would be 
irreconcilable with the gradualism Darwin envisioned." (Behe, M.J.*, "Molecular Machines: Experimental 
Support for the Design Inference," Access Research Network, 1997. 
http://www.arn.org/docs/behe/mb_mm92496.htm)

14/07/2008
"A. [Behe] Yes. Now, what would make Darwinian explanations seem implausible? Well, Charles Darwin 
himself wrote how his argument could be refuted. In his writings in his book On the Origin of Species he 
wrote that, `If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been 
formed by numerous successive slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down,' adding, `but 
I can find out no such case.' In this passage Darwin was emphasizing that his was a gradual theory. Natural 
selection had to improve things slowly, in tiny steps over long periods of time. If it seemed that things were 
improving rapidly, in big leaps, then it would start to look suspiciously as if random mutation and natural 
selection were not the cause. Q. Have other scientists acknowledged that this is an argument against 
Darwin's theory of evolution? A. Yes. In his book Finding Darwin's God Kenneth Miller has written that, 
`If Darwinism cannot explain the interlocking complexity of biochemistry, then it is doomed.' Q. I believe we 
have a quote from another prominent scientist? A. Yes. Richard Dawkins in his recent book The Ancestor's 
Tale, from which I quoted recently, wrote `That it is perfectly legitimate to propose the argument from 
irreducible complexity, which is a phrase I use, as a possible explanation for the lack of something that 
doesn't exist, as I did, for the absence of wheeled mammals.' Let me take a second to explain Dawkins' 
reference. He's saying that this problem is a problem for biology, but nonetheless he thinks that everything 
in biology has a Darwinian explanation. So that whatever we do see in biology necessarily is not irreducibly 
complex, and I think in my opinion that's an example of begging the question. But he does recognize the 
concept of irreducible complexity. Q. Sir, I'd like at this point for you to define irreducible complexity, and we 
have a slide here. A. Yes, in my article from the journal Biology and Philosophy, I defined it this way. `By 
irreducibly complex, I mean a single system which is necessarily composed of several well matched 
interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, and where the removal of any one of the parts causes 
the system to effectively cease functioning." (Behe, M.J.*, "Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School 
District, et al.," Transcript, Day 10, October 17, Afternoon session, part 1. 
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/day10am2.html)

14/07/2008
"'IF,' DARWIN wrote, `it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly 
have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.' 
These are lapidary words. They suggest a man prepared to subject his ideas to the sternest possible test. 
And they issue in an exemplary challenge: show me that complex organ or organism. Darwin's challenge is 
as easy to state as it is difficult to meet--an example, perhaps, of the old boy's skill in adaptive self-
protection. How could the requisite demonstration be conducted? There is, on the one hand, the organ or 
organism as it now exists. And there is, on the other hand, its history, the path taking it from the past to the 
present. But the evolutionary history of a great many species has been lost, the butterfly, the beetle, and the 
bat all emerging from time's endless fog as butterfly, beetle, and bat. To show that these organisms `could 
not possibly have been formed' (emphasis added) by a Darwinian mechanism demands a complicated 
argument, one that begins with their observable properties and then strikes negatively at every possible 
path by which they might have been created by `numerous, successive, slight modifications.' In Darwin's 
Black Box, published in 1995, the biochemist Michael Behe identified such an observable property--what 
he called `irreducible complexity'--and proposed precisely such a negative argument. Darwin's challenge 
having been met to Behe's satisfaction, logic then played its familiar role: if there is no Darwinian path to 
certain biological structures, they must have emerged by design." (Berlinski, D., "Has Darwin met his 
match?," Commentary, December 1, 2002)

14/07/2008
"Darwin himself recognized difficulties because of the intricate and marvellous things which his natural 
selection theory would have to explain. Commenting on a communication he received about the structure of 
the cells in the honeycomb, Darwin wrote, `Your letter actually turned me sick with panic.' [Darwin, F., ed., 
"More Letters of Charles Darwin (D. Appleton and Co., 1903), Vol. 1, p.122] It had this effect upon him 
because he had to explain by natural selection the production of these cells in mathematical precision by 
neutral bees, while the reproducing bees do not make cells." (Davidheiser, B.*, "Evolution and the Christian 
Faith," Presbyterian & Reformed: Nutley NJ, 1969, Second printing, 1970, p.201)

14/07/2008
"As previously mentioned, Darwin wrote to Asa Gray, `I remember well the time when the thought of the eye 
made me cold all over...' It made him cold all over because he had committed himself to explain the evolution 
of life from simple forms by a process of natural selection, and he could not account for the evolution of the 
eye. This sentence in his letter to Gray continues, `...but I have got over this stage of the complaint, and 
now small trifling particulars of structure often make me very uncomfortable. The sight of a peacock's tail, 
whenever I gaze at it, makes me sick!' It made him sick because he could not explain it by his natural 
selection theory. But the thought of an eye no longer made him cold all over, and he wrote in his Origin of 
Species, `... the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, 
although insuperable to our imagination, should not be considered as subversive to our theory.' [Darwin, C., 
"The Origin of Species," D. Appleton Co., Reprinted 1923, Vol. 1, p.224] A little further on he says, `If it 
could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by 
numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.' His next sentence is: 
`But I can find no such case.' After reading what he said about the eye, it is understandable why he was able 
to say this. As he himself said, he `got over it.' He did not solve the problem. He just hardened himself so 
that the fact that he could not solve the problem did not bother him any more. It is very difficult, if it is 
possible at all, to prove that something could not happen. It has been postulated that the eye evolved from 
a pigment spot. Who can prove that it did not?" (Davidheiser, B.*, "Evolution and the Christian Faith," 
Presbyterian & Reformed: Nutley NJ, 1969, Second printing, 1970, p.202) 

14/07/2008
"For Darwin, any evolution that had to be helped over the jumps by God was not evolution at all. It made a 
nonsense of the central point of evolution. In the light of this, it is easy to see why Darwin constantly 
reiterated the gradualness of evolution. It is easy to see why he wrote ... : `If it could be demonstrated that 
any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight 
modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.' [Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species," First 
Edition, 1859, Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1985, p.219] There is another way of looking at the 
fundamental importance of gradualness for Darwin. His contemporaries, like many people still today, had a 
hard time believing that the human body and other such complex entities could conceivably have come into 
being through evolutionary means. If you think of the single-celled Amoeba as our remote ancestor-as, until 
quite recently, it was fashionable to do many people found it hard in their minds to bridge the gap between 
Amoeba and man. They found it inconceivable that from such simple beginnings something so complex 
could emerge. Darwin appealed to the idea of a gradual series of small steps as a means of overcoming this 
kind of incredulity. You may find it hard to imagine an Amoeba turning into a man, the argument runs; but 
you do not find it hard to imagine an Amoeba turning into a slightly different kind of Amoeba. From this it is 
not hard to imagine it turning into a slightly different kind of slightly different kind of..., and so on. ... this 
argument overcomes our incredulity only if we stress that there was an extremely large number of steps 
along the way, and only if each step is very tiny. Darwin was constantly battling against this source of 
incredulity, and he constantly made use of the same weapon: the emphasis on gradual, almost imperceptible 
change, spread out over countless generations." (Dawkins, R., "The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence 
of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design," W.W. Norton & Co: New York NY, 1986, p.249) 

14/07/2008
"If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by 
numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no 
such case." (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection: or The Preservation of 
Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life," First Edition, 1859, Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1985, p.219)

14/07/2008
"The preceding analysis gives new urgency to Darwin's (1859, p.189) famous challenge: `If it could be 
demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by 
numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.' .... A system is 
irreducibly complex if it consists of several interrelated components the removal of any one of which 
leads to the complete loss of function of the system. ... Irreducible complexity needs to be contrasted 
with reducible complexity. A system is reducibly complex if it contains a dispensable component, i.e., a 
component which can be removed without destroying functionality. An example of a reducibly complex 
system is a pocket watch. The glass face that covers and protects the dial is not necessary for the 
watch to keep time. It can be removed without destroying the watch's function (function may be 
diminished, but it is not lost). Besides being contrasted with reducible complexity, irreducible 
complexity needs also to be contrasted with cumulative complexity. A system is cumulatively complex if 
the components of the system can be arranged sequentially so that the successive removal of 
components never leads to the complete loss of function. An example of a cumulatively complex 
system is a city. It is possible successively to remove people and services from a city until one is down 
to a tiny village, all without losing the cohesiveness of the community, which in this case constitutes 
functionality. ..: A system is cumulatively complex if it is reducibly complex, and if after the removal of 
some component from the system, the system is again cumulatively complex. It follows that 
cumulatively complex systems are always reducibly complex. The converse, however, is not the case. 
Reducibly complex systems may contain an irreducibly complex core, and thus fail to be cumulatively 
complex. For instance, a pocket watch, though reducibly complex, contains certain ineliminable 
components without which the watch cannot function, e.g., hour and minute hands, certain gears and 
springs, and a base to keep all these elements together. Such ineliminable components form the 
irreducible core of the pocket watch." (Dembski, W.A.*, "Intelligent Design as a Theory of 
Information," Naturalism, Theism and the Scientific Enterprise: An Interdisciplinary Conference at the 
University of Texas - Austin, February, 20-23, 1997. 
http://www.utexas.edu/cola/depts/philosophy/faculty/koons/ntse/papers/Dembski.html)

14/07/2008
"If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by 
numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no 
such case." (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection," [1859], John Murray: 
London, Sixth Edition, 1872, Reprinted, 1882, p.146)

14/07/2008
"The avian lung and the feather bring us very close to answering Darwin's challenge: `If it could be 
demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, 
successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.' [Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of 
Species By Means of Natural Selection," John Murray: London, Sixth Edition, 1872, p.146] In addition to the 
feather and the avian lung there are many other unique features in the biology of the birds, in the design of 
the heart and cardiovascular system, in the gastrointestinal system and in the possession of a variety of 
other relatively minor adaptations such as, for example, the unique sound producing organ, the syrinx, 
which similarly defy plausible explanation in gradualistic terms. Altogether it adds up to an enormous 
conceptual difficulty in envisaging how a reptile could have been gradually converted into a bird. What we 
seem to have, then, is a very interesting coincidence - a great empirical discontinuity in nature between 
reptiles and birds which seems to coincide with a major conceptual discontinuity in our ability to conceive 
of functional intermediates through which the gap might have been closed. The difficulty of envisaging how 
evolutionary gaps were closed does not stop with birds: Take the case of the bats. The first known bat 
which appeared in the fossil record some sixty million years ago had as completely developed wings as 
modern forms." (Denton, M.J., "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis," Burnett: London, 1985, p.213) 

14/07/2008
"The avian lung brings us very close to answering Darwin's challenge: `If it could be demonstrated that any 
complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight 
modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.' [Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species By Means of 
Natural Selection," John Murray: London, Sixth Edition, 1872, p.146] The avian lung is more efficient than 
the mammalian because of a special countercurrent mechanism whereby the blood flows throughout the 
lung in the opposite direction to the flow of air. This allows the blood to take up more oxygen and deliver 
more carbon dioxide than is possible in, say, the lung of a mammal. As Knut Schmidt-Nielsen points out, it is 
because of the higher efficiency of the avian lung that `birds have been seen in the high Himalayas flying 
overhead at altitudes where mountain climbers can barely walk without breathing oxygen.' [Schmidt-Nielsen, 
K., "Animal Physiology," Cambridge University Press: New York, 1975, p.61] But while this adaptation is 
clearly advantageous to an eagle soaring in the mountains and to advanced modern birds capable of fast 
powered flight, it is difficult to believe that it would have been so advantageous in the last common ancestor 
of all modern birds which lived about 100 million years ago and which was presumably nothing like as 
accomplished a flier as its modern descendants. Here it is hard not to be inclined to see an element of 
foresight in the evolution of the avian lung, which may well have developed in primitive birds before its full 
utility could be exploited. The idea that an adaptation like the avian lung might evolve before its full utility 
can be exploited is perfectly consistent with a directed model of evolution." Denton, M.J., "Nature's Destiny: 
How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe," Free Press: New York NY, 1998, pp.361-362) 

14/07/2008
"The Evolution of the Human Brain There are many other cases of this phenomenon. Perhaps the most 
celebrated and well-known example is the case of human intelligence. Many have commented on the striking 
fact that our intellectual capabilities, especially our capacity for abstract mathematical thought, upon which 
the whole enterprise of science is intimately based, seems vastly in excess of any conceivable intellectual 
needs of the small tribe of huntergatherers who lived in Africa some 200,000 years ago and were the last 
common ancestors of all modern humans. What selection pressures on the ancient plains of Africa gifted 
mankind with musical ability, artistic competence, the capacity for profound abstraction, and ultimately the 
ability to comprehend the entire cosmos from which we sprang. Commenting on the evolutionary 
conundrum posed by our intellectual capabilities in his recent book The Mind of God, Paul Davies 
reminds us `that the success of the scientific enterprise can often blind us to the astonishing fact that 
science works,' and he continues: `What is remarkable is that human beings are actually able to carry out 
this code-breaking operation, that the human mind has the necessary intellectual equipment for us to 
`unlock the secrets of nature.' The mystery in all this is that human intellectual powers are presumably 
determined by biological evolution, and have absolutely no connection with doing science. Our brains have 
evolved in response to environmental pressures, such as the ability to hunt, avoid predators, dodge falling 
objects, etc.... John Barrow is also mystified: `Why should our cognitive processes have tuned themselves 
to such an extravagant quest as the understanding of the entire universe? ... None of the sophisticated ideas 
involved appear to offer any selective advantage to be exploited during the pre-conscious period of our 
evolution.... How fortuitous that our minds (or at least the minds of some) should be poised to fathom the 
depths of nature's secrets.' [Davies, P.C.W., "The Mind of God," Penguin: London, 1992), p.149]" (Denton, 
M.J., "Nature's Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe," Free Press: New York 
NY, 1998, pp.362-363)

14/07/2008
"We might add also, how fortunate it is that we are a terrestrial organism of about the size we are, breathing 
oxygen in a biosphere containing ample quantities of combustible carbon in the form of wood, which burns 
so gently and controllably. Only these unique conditions provide an intelligent life form with the ability to 
handle fire and hence provide access to chemistry and eventually to scientific knowledge. How fortunate 
also that the speed of nerve conduction is 120 meters per second, providing higher organisms like 
ourselves, despite our relatively large size, with the ability to carry out fine motor manipulation and hence 
the ability to handle fire and engage in an exploration of the world. How very fortunate indeed that evolution 
should have gifted a mind so fit for the scientific enterprise in a physical form so fit to that same unique end 
long before that enterprise was undertaken." (Denton, M.J., "Nature's Destiny: How the Laws of Biology 
Reveal Purpose in the Universe," Free Press: New York NY, 1998, p.363) 

14/07/2008
"There were a number of nature's wonders that gave Darwin the shudders. A feather in a peacock's tail was 
one. 'Small trifling particulars of structure often make me very uncomfortable,' he confessed not long after 
publication of Origin. But most worrying of all was that marvel of construction, the human eye. ... The eye 
either functions as a whole, or not at all. So how did it come to evolve by slow, steady, infinitesimally small 
Darwinian improvements? Is it really possible that thousands upon thousands of lucky chance mutations 
happened coincidentally so that the lens and the retina, which cannot work without each other, evolved in 
synchrony? What survival value can there be in an eye that doesn't see? Small wonder that it troubled 
Darwin. 'To this day the eye makes me shudder,' he wrote to his botanist friend Asa Gray in February 1860. 
The eye is, in fact, merely an extreme example of a large number of evolutionary novelties, as they have 
come to be termed - structures that, logically, have either to be perfect, or perfectly useless. Darwin himself 
called them 'organs of extreme perfection and complication'. With each of them, the difficulty for Darwinians 
is twofold. Theory demands that successive steps of a gradually improving nature build towards a final 
product perfectly adapted to its environment. But many of the proposed intermediate steps seem impractical 
or even harmful. What use would be half a jaw? Or half a lung? Natural selection would surely eliminate 
creatures with such oddities, not preserve them. Secondly, simultaneous advantageous mutations 
seemingly have to take place. Otherwise the organ, even half-formed would not work at all. In the eye, for 
instance, the pinhole opening (the pupil) and the lens have to work together. ... It is extremely difficult for 
two variables to function in harmony- and in the eye, as we have seen, there are many more than two. The 
problem is coordination. Indeed, calculations have been made about the odds against the eye having 
evolved by chance alone. They turned out to be of an astronomical order - at least ten billion to one against, 
and perhaps many orders of magnitude more improbable even than that." (Hitching, F., "The Neck of the 
Giraffe: Where Darwin Went Wrong," Pan: London, 1982, pp.85-87. Emphasis original) 

14/07/2008
"Darwin was aware that he had not yet provided support for his micromutation theory, so he continues in 
the next section dealing with Modes of Transition: `If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ 
existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, then my 
theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case. No doubt many organs exist of 
which we do not know the transitional grades, more especially if we look to much-isolated species, round 
which, according to the theory, there has been much extinction. Or again, if we take an organ common to 
all the members of a class, for in this latter case the organ must have been originally formed at a remote 
period, since which all the many members of the class have been developed; and in order to discover the 
early transitional grades through which the organ has passed, we should have to look to very ancient 
ancestral forms, long since become extinct. We should be extremely cautious in concluding that an 
organ could not have been formed by transitional gradations of some kind. (My italics) [Darwin, C.R., "The 
Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection," [1859], John Murray: London, Sixth Edition, 1872, 
Reprinted, 1882, pp.146-147]" (Løvtrup, S., "Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth," Croom Helm: London, 
1987, pp.130-131. Emphasis original)

14/07/2008
"The evolutionary changes which according to Darwin's critics cannot be accounted for by the 
accumulation of micromutations are of two kinds, some occurring in the very early development, and some 
happening during later developmental stages, even after hatching or birth. The former we shall neglect in the 
present case except by pointing out that they obviously cannot be explained by Darwin's accumulation 
theory. As far as the other modifications are concerned, it must be admitted that theoretically the transition 
from an insectivore's forelimb to a bat's wing may occur through `numerous, successive, slight 
modifications'. However, this can be done only if we refrain from the demand, inevitably dictated by the 
theory of natural selection, namely, that each stage in the succession must be useful to the organism. It was 
an easy match for Darwin's critics to see that this and other examples imply the breakdown of Darwin's 
theory, since at the intermediate stages the forelimbs can be used neither for walking nor for flying." 
(Løvtrup, S., "Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth," Croom Helm: London, 1987, p.131. Emphasis original)

14/07/2008
"Is evolution science? If we accept Popper's distinctions between science and nonscience we must ask 
first whether the theory of evolution by natural selection is scientific or pseudo-scientific (metaphysical). 
That question covers two quite separate aspects of evolutionary theory. The first is the general thesis that 
evolution has occurred - all animal and plant species are related by common ancestry - and the second is a 
special theory of mechanism, that the cause of evolution is natural selection (in fact Darwin accepted the 
first idea a couple of years before he thought of the second). The first, general, theory (that evolution has 
occurred) explains the history of life as a single process of species-splitting and progression. That process 
must be unique and unrepeatable, like the history of England. Before Darwin, species were generally 
thought to be fixed and immutable, each with some discoverable and universal essence, like the elements or 
chemical compounds. Darwin explained species as temporary, local things, each with a beginning and an 
end depending on contingencies of history. He converted biology from a study of universals, like chemistry, 
to a study of individuals, like history. So the general theory of evolution is a historical theory, about unique 
events - and unique events are, by some definitions, not part of science for they are unrepeatable and so not 
subject to test." (Patterson, C., "Evolution," [1978], Cornell University Press: Ithaca NY, Second edition, 
1999, p.117. Emphasis original) 

14/07/2008
"Darwin was quite forthright in identifying possible observations that, if shown to be true, would falsify his 
theory. In addition to admitting those mentioned earlier, he also noted that: `If it could be demonstrated that 
any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight 
modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.' [Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species," First 
edition, 1859, Oxford University Press, 1996, p.154] Of course, identifying such an organ would not 
necessarily undermine the common descent thesis, and other evolutionary hypotheses would remain 
unaffected as well, but it would be a devastating counterexample to the gradualist mechanism of natural 
selection." (Pennock, R.T., "Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationism," MIT Press: 
Cambridge MA, Fourth printing, 1999, pp.263-264) 

14/07/2008
"The authors mention only one ID proponent by name in the main text of their book: Michael Behe. They 
write: `Behe uses elaborate biochemical examples to intimidate us into believing that the complexity of living 
cells is beyond understanding.' But this misrepresents Behe's position, which is that complexity is 
understandable-as the result of intelligent design. In his 1996 book Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical 
Challenge to Evolution, Behe quotes Darwin: `If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed 
which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory 
would absolutely break down.' Behe then asks: `What type of biological system could not be formed by 
'numerous, successive, slight modifications'?' And he answers: `Well, for starters, a system that is 
irreducibly complex. By irreducibly complex, I mean a single system composed of several well-matched, 
interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes 
the system to effectively cease functioning.' As the title of Behe's book indicates, the inner workings of the 
cell were a mystery (a `black box') for Darwin. Modern biochemistry, however, has uncovered many 
irreducibly complex systems inside living cells. Not only do these pose a problem for Darwin's theory, but 
according to Behe they also point to design: `Inferring that biochemical systems were designed by an 
intelligent agent is a humdrum process that requires no new principles of logic or science. It comes simply 
from the hard work that biochemistry has done over the past forty years, combined with a consideration of 
the way in which we reach conclusions of design every day.' Behe describes several examples of irreducible 
complexity. One of these is the biochemistry of vision, which involves a series of specialized molecules that 
detect light and convert it to nerve impulses. This is the only one of Behe's examples that Kirschner and 
Gerhart take on. `In Behe's particular example,' they write, `we know that the signaling pathway from the 
visual pigment (which is itself conserved from bacteria to humans) to the electrical channel in the cell that 
receives the light impulses in the retina is, in fact, a concatenation of conserved processes common to 
eukaryotic cells. Furthermore, these processes all have a capacity for weak linkage so that they can be easily 
wired in different circuits . Behe sees the constraint in particular designs, but not the deconstraint these 
designs provide.' By acknowledging that Behe `sees the constraint in particular designs,' Kirschner and 
Gerhart implicitly concede Behe's main point, which concerns only the irreducible complexity of the 
conserved core processes. Behe's argument is untouched by the fact that the basic components may be 
wired together in a variety of ways. Yet Kirschner and Gerhart do not even attempt to explain the complexity 
in those components; they merely assert that intelligent design was unnecessary. `The great innovations of 
core processes were not magical moments of creation,' they write, `but periods of extensive modification of 
both protein structure and function.' Like Topsy in Uncle Tom's Cabin, the core processes just grow'd." 
(Wells, J.*, "Two biologists claim to close a `major gap in Darwin's theory' of evolution." Review of "The 
Plausibility of Life: Resolving Darwin's Dilemma," by Marc W. Kirschner and John C. Gerhart, Yale 
University Press, 2005. Books & Culture, September/October 2006, Vol. 12, No. 5, p45. 
http://www.christianitytoday.com/bc/2006/005/19.45.html)

14/07/2008
"Kirschner and Gerhart also criticize Phillip Johnson and me (without mentioning us by name, except in the 
notes). Darwin thought that `the embryos of the most distinct species belonging to the same class are 
closely similar, but become, when fully developed, widely dissimilar,' and that this provided `by far the 
strongest' evidence for his theory that all vertebrates are descended from a common ancestor. In the revised 
1993 edition of Darwin On Trial, however, Johnson pointed out that Darwin was mistaken: Vertebrate 
embryos actually start out very dissimilar, then they become similar midway through development before 
diverging again. Darwinists typically dismiss this inconvenient discrepancy by arguing that early 
development can evolve easily. In other words, they simply assume the truth of their theory, then use it to 
explain why early vertebrate embryos are so different. What had been the strongest evidence for the theory 
turns out to be false, but the theory is taken to be true anyway and the anomalous evidence is explained 
away. According to Kirschner and Gerhart, this somehow transforms dissimilarities in early vertebrate 
embryos `from a confounding paradox of evolution to one of its strongest arguments.'" (Wells, J.*, "Two 
biologists claim to close a `major gap in Darwin's theory' of evolution." Review of "The Plausibility of Life: 
Resolving Darwin's Dilemma," by Marc W. Kirschner and John C. Gerhart, Yale University Press, 2005. 
Books & Culture, September/October 2006, Vol. 12, No. 5, p45. 
http://www.christianitytoday.com/bc/2006/005/19.45.html)

14/07/2008
"In my book Icons of Evolution, I pointed out that using structural similarity ('homology') as evidence for 
Darwinian evolution is problematic. Without an unguided natural mechanism, it is impossible to establish 
that similarities are due to common ancestry rather than common design. Kirschner and Gerhart argue that 
their theory solves the problem. Maybe. Maybe not. It would help if they could provide good evidence for 
their theory, but the best they can do is promise us that such evidence will be forthcoming. In the meantime, 
they expect us to believe that `the modern molecular evidence for homology, its development, and its 
evolution, is unassailable.' So what are we to make of The Plausibility of Life? Its authors claim to 
complete Darwin's theory by closing its last remaining major gap, yet they concede that the completed 
theory has no explanation for the origin of core processes in the first cells, the first eukaryotes, the first 
multicellular organisms, animal body plans, or vertebrate limbs, heads and brains. There seem to be more 
gaps in evolutionary theory now than there were before Kirschner and Gerhart got started. Perhaps it would 
be fairer to overlook the authors' inflated rhetoric and judge them merely on the basis of their limited theory 
of facilitated variation. Even if we grant the existence of conserved core processes, have Kirschner and 
Gerhart succeeded in explaining how land vertebrates diversified into lizards, birds, mice, whales, bats, and 
humans? Although they assure us that evidence will be forthcoming, the mechanisms they propose-
exploratory behavior, weak linkages, and compartmentalization-have never been observed to produce 
anything like the novelties needed by evolution. If a century of embryology has taught us anything, it is 
that we can fiddle with these mechanisms all we want in a mouse embryo, and there are only three possible 
outcomes: a normal mouse, a deformed mouse, or a dead mouse." (Wells, J.*, "Two biologists claim to close a 
`major gap in Darwin's theory' of evolution." Review of "The Plausibility of Life: Resolving Darwin's 
Dilemma," by Marc W. Kirschner and John C. Gerhart, Yale University Press, 2005. Books & Culture, 
September/October 2006, Vol. 12, No. 5, p45. http://www.christianitytoday.com/bc/2006/005/19.45.html)

14/07/2008
"Despite the dubious nature of their theoretical proposal, Kirschner and Gerhart imply that anyone who 
continues to be skeptical of Darwinian evolution is close-minded. In particular, people who think that 
intelligent design might provide a better explanation for some features of living things are dismissed as 
ignorant, religiously motivated, and covertly seeking ways to evade the law. Like many of their fellow 
Darwinists, Kirschner and Gerhart ultimately resort to personal insults. Does the theory of facilitated 
variation make life plausible? Not at all, since it assumes the existence of life in the first place. Does the 
theory of facilitated variation rebut intelligent design? Not at all, since it assumes the existence of irreducibly 
complex core processes in the first place. The principal take-home lesson from The Plausibility of Life is 
that evolutionary theory still suffers from major weaknesses, but anyone who says so without reaffirming 
Darwinism and condemning ID is a close-minded, ignorant, Bible-thumping subverter of the Constitution. 
Where's the novelty in that?"(Wells, J.*, "Two biologists claim to close a `major gap in Darwin's theory' of 
evolution." Review of "The Plausibility of Life: Resolving Darwin's Dilemma," by Marc W. Kirschner and 
John C. Gerhart, Yale University Press, 2005. Books & Culture, September/October 2006, Vol. 12, No. 5, 
p45. http://www.christianitytoday.com/bc/2006/005/19.45.html)

14/07/2008
"How is the attack on Darwinian cosmology being carried out? Again, there is a remarkable consistency in 
strategy that has been shared by Denton, Johnson, and Behe. All three separate microevolution (which they 
grant as plausible) from macroevolution of new complex systems (which they radically question). The 
questioning process proceeds down two avenues: First, Denton and Johnson seek to show that there is no 
empirical (fossil) evidence that the morphological chasms were bridged, step-by-tiny-step, moving along the 
putative macroevolutionary lineages. Second, all three argue that the chasms between two different 
structures in the same lineage (or the path to Behe's irreducibly complex structures) cannot possibly be 
conceived in terms of hypothetical intermediates; the attempted thought experiments go nowhere. In 
connection with this second line of reasoning, all three also invoked in their books the crucial test of 
Darwin, saying that if one can find an organ that could not possibly have developed step-by-step, `my 
theory would absolutely break down.' At this point, a clever narrative argument is drawn out: Darwin 
proposed this falsification test in 1859, and now, applying that test, we should accept the results and 
conclude that Darwin's theory is falsified."(Woodward, T.E.*, "Doubts about Darwin: A History of 
Intelligent Design," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 2003, p.199)

15/07/2008
"The point is this, in order for there to be a Temple, there would have to be a repossession of the Temple 
site in ancient Jerusalem. In March and April of 1967 I was lecturing on this subject at many college 
campuses on the West coast. I said that if this was the time that I thought it was, then somehow the Jews 
were going to have to repossess old Jerusalem. Many chuckled about that statement. Then came the war of 
June, 1967 -the phenomenal Israeli six-day blitz. I was personally puzzled as to the significance of it all until 
the third day of fighting when Moshe Dayan, the ingenious Israeli general, marched to the wailing wall, the 
last remnant of the Old Temple, and said, `We have returned to our holiest of holy places, never to leave her 
again.' Needless to say, I received quite a few phone calls after that. Again, against incredible odds, the 
Jews had unwittingly further set up the stage for their final. hour of trial and conversion." (Lindsey, H., "The 
Late Great Planet Earth,"  S. John Bacon: Melbourne Vic, Australia, 1970, Reprinted, 1972, p.55)

15/07/2008
"Another interpretive consequence amillenarians must face is the fact that the nation of Israel presently 
exists in Palestine. Although there is no necessary connection between the birth of the modern nation-state 
of Israel and the truth or falsity of amillennialism-indeed some amillenarians see a future role for the nation of 
Israel while some do not-nevertheless, the birth of Israel is seen by many as a powerful argument against the 
amillennial interpretation. Part of the reason this is an issue is because two leading proponents of the 
`Dutch school' of amillennialism from a previous generation, Louis Berkhof and Herman Bavinck, both 
argued that one of the sure signs that dispensationalism was false was the dispensationalists' assertion that 
Israel would become a nation again.' When Louis Berkhof completed his venerable Systematic Theology 
in 1939, the restoration of Israel looked like an impossibility. Berkhof could not have foreseen the events of 
World War II, the Holocaust, and the formation of the state of Israel in 1948 and surely overstated his case. 
But according to dispensationalists, the return of Jews to their ancient homeland confirms the 
dispensational reading of biblical prophecy as well as refuting the amillennial view that the Abrahamic 
covenant is already fulfilled in Christ." (Riddlebarger, K., "A Case for Amillennialism: Understanding the 
End Times," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 2003, p.243)

15/07/2008
"In our exposition of Romans 11... we pointed out that some amillenarians believe that there is no future role 
for Israel in biblical prophecy. They feel that `all Israel' in Romans 11:26 refers to the full number of the elect 
or to the sum of the believing remnant throughout the age. Others believe there will be a mass conversion of 
ethnic Jews in the days before our Lord's return once the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. But in either 
case, amillenarians believe that the formation of the nation of Israel in 1948 is not related to the fulfillment of 
the Abrahamic covenant but to God's mysterious providential purposes for world history. Neither do 
amillenarians believe that Paul said anything about a millennial age in Romans 11, the only passage in the 
New Testament where Paul specifically addressed the subject as to whether the nation of Israel will play a 
role in the future of redemptive history." (Riddlebarger, K., "A Case for Amillennialism: Understanding the 
End Times," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 2003, p.243) 

15/07/2008
"But even if the land promise of the Abrahamic covenant has already been fulfilled, nevertheless it is quite 
remarkable that the Jews have returned en masse to their ancient homeland. This is a fact which cannot be 
easily dismissed by amillenarians. Israel is a nation again. The Jews as a people are largely gathered together 
in one place. Amillenarians need to offer a cogent explanation for this amazing historical development, 
although we must be careful not to allow current events to determine our interpretation of a given biblical 
text. The answer to this problem was supplied for us by Paul in Romans 11. In Romans 11, the apostle Paul 
did not teach that the birth of the modern nation of Israel is related to the fulfillment of the Abrahamic 
covenant or to an earthly millennial age. Instead, the birth of the nation of Israel must be seen in relationship 
to Paul's expectation regarding the conversion of the vast majority of ethnic Jews living in the last days to 
faith in Jesus Christ immediately before his return to earth. Israel's reconciliation to God, Paul said, is 
nothing less than a veritable resurrection from the dead (Rom. 11:15). Israel has stumbled, Paul said, but has 
not fallen beyond recovery (11:11). Indeed, if God can justify sinful Gentiles through faith in Jesus Christ, so 
he can do the same with those Jews who embrace the Messiah through faith alone (11: 17-24). This means 
that the rebirth of the nation of Israel is almost certainly connected to the desire and anguish which filled 
Paul's heart, namely, the salvation of his people, the Jews. With this in mind, there can be little doubt that 
any future mass conversion of Israel (ethnic Jews) would be greatly facilitated by the rebirth of the nation of 
Israel and the relocation of significant numbers of Jews to a single country. Although this is not connected 
to the fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant, it certainly falls within the mysterious providence of God, the 
full meaning of which cannot be understood until redemptive history unfolds beyond its present stages of 
development." (Riddlebarger, K., "A Case for Amillennialism: Understanding the End Times," Baker: Grand 
Rapids MI, 2003, p.244)

16/07/2008
"Composition An argument may claim that what is true of the parts is also true of the whole; this is the 
fallacy of composition. For example, consider this argument: `Subatomic particles are lifeless. Therefore 
anything made out of them is lifeless.' This argument is fallacious because a whole may be greater than the 
sum of its parts, that is, it may have properties not possessed by its parts. A property had by a whole but not 
by its parts is called an emergent property. Wetness, for example, is an emergent property. No individual 
water molecule is wet, but get enough of them together and wetness emerges. Just as what's true of a part 
may not be true of the whole, what's true of a member of a group may not be true of the group itself. For 
example, `Belief in the supernatural makes Joe happy. Therefore, universal belief in the supernatural would 
make the nation happy.' This doesn't follow because everybody's believing in the supernatural could have 
effects quite different from one person's believing in it. Not all arguments from part to whole are fallacious, 
for there are some properties that parts and wholes share. The fallacy lies in assuming that what's true of the 
parts is true of the whole." (Schick, T. & Vaughn, L., "How to Think About Weird Things: Critical 
Thinking for a New Age," Mayfield: Mountain View CA, Second edition, 1995, p.286. Emphasis original)

18/07/2008
"If a person cannot break a bundle of sticks, does that mean he or she cannot break any one of them 
individually? Of course not. What is true of the whole is not necessarily true of its parts. To think so is to 
commit the fallacy of division. It is to try to divide what is true of the whole among its parts." (Engel, 
S.M., "With Good Reason: An Introduction to Informal Fallacies," [1976], St. Martin's Press: New York NY, 
Fourth Edition, 1990, p.103. Emphasis original)

18/07/2008
"We can reverse the order of the argument and arrive at the opposite fallacy: If a person can break one stick, 
then another one, then still another one, does that mean that individual can break the bundle of sticks as a 
whole? Probably not. What is true of the part is not necessarily true of the whole. To think so is to commit 
the fallacy of composition. It is to compose the whole out of its parts. The whole, as the old saying has it, 
is more than the sum of its parts. What is true here of wholes and parts is also true of groups and their 
members. Thus the Chicago Symphony Orchestra may be the best orchestra in the country, but that does 
not necessarily mean that the first violinist in the orchestra is the best violinist in the country." (Engel, S.M., 
"With Good Reason: An Introduction to Informal Fallacies," [1976], St. Martin's Press: New York NY, Fourth 
Edition, 1990, p.103. Emphasis original)

18/07/2008
"A final word of caution. Logicians remind us that it is a fallacy to presume without further evidence that 
a whole will have the properties possessed by each of its parts, or that whatever is true of any member of a 
group is true of every member. This does not mean that we may not occasionally run across cases where 
what is true of the whole is indeed true of its parts, or vice versa. The rule states that we may not presume 
that it will always be so. Thus if the truck you bought recently is brand new, it is likely the parts are so too. 
(But even here manufacturers have been known who have used old parts when they ran out of new ones.) 
In addition we must remember that these remarks about the relations between wholes and parts and groups 
and members concern physical wholes and their parts. Where the wholes and parts or the groups and their 
members are other than physical, no fallacy may be involved." (Engel, S.M., "With Good Reason: An 
Introduction to Informal Fallacies," [1976], St. Martin's Press: New York NY, Fourth Edition, 1990, p.105. 
Emphasis original)

18/07/2008
"The Fallacy of Division is simply the reverse of the Fallacy of Composition. In it the same confusion is 
present but the inference proceeds in the opposite direction. As in the case of composition, two varieties of 
the Fallacy of Division may be distinguished. The first kind of division consists in arguing fallaciously that 
what is true of a whole must also be true of its parts. To argue that since a certain corporation is very 
important and Mr. Doe is an official of that corporation, therefore Mr. Doe is very important, is to commit the 
Fallacy of Division. This first variety of the Division Fallacy would be committed in any such argument, as in 
going from the premiss that a certain machine is heavy, or complicated, or valuable, to the conclusion that 
this or any other part of the machine must be heavy, or complicated, or valuable. To argue that a student 
must have a large room because it is located in a large dormitory would be still another instance of the first 
kind of Fallacy of Division. The second type of Division Fallacy is committed when one argues from the 
attributes of a collection of elements to the attributes of the elements themselves. To argue that since 
university students study medicine, law, engineering, dentistry, and architecture, therefore each, or even 
any, university student studies medicine, law, engineering, dentistry, and architecture, would be to commit 
the second kind of Division Fallacy. It is true that university students, collectively, study all these various 
subjects, but false that university students, distributively, do so. Instances of this variety of the Fallacy of 
Division often look like valid arguments, for what is true of a class distributively is certainly true of each and 
every member." (Copi, I.M., Introduction to Logic," [1953], Macmillan: New York NY, Seventh edition, 1986, 
p.119)

18/07/2008
"Fallacy of Composition. Some arguments assume that what is true of the parts (or the elements) must 
also be true of the whole (or group). "The all-star team must be better than the regional champions because 
it is made up of better players." "I don't need to see Buchart Gardens, it's just a lot of flowers." In the first 
instance, the whole will probably be found to be considerably less than the sum of its parts. In the second, 
the whole turns out to be more. Knowing what something is made of doesn't mean knowing how the parts fit 
together. There is not a single part on a car that will run by itself, but it runs great when you put them all 
together. Exception. Sometimes the whole does have the characteristics of the parts (for example, if each 
shingle on a roof is brown, then the whole roof is brown). In these cases the very nature of the characteristic 
demands that if the part has it, then the whole must also possess it. Hence, if all the parts of the universe are 
finite and created, then the whole must be finite and created. There is no fallacy here. (Geisler, N.L.* & 
Brooks, R.M.*, "Come, Let Us Reason: An Introduction to Logical Thinking," Baker Book House: Grand 
Rapids, Michigan, 1990, Fourth printing, 1996, pp.114-115. Emphasis original)

18/07/2008
"Fallacy of Division. Some arguments assume that what is true of the whole is true of the parts. "Since 
being is eternal, I must be eternal too." Here we have the fallacy of composition in reverse. This is a favorite 
New Age argument (though it has been around since at least the sixth century B.C.), but it wrongly assumes 
that all being is the same. "Being" here means the abstract category of all things. The Christian response is 
that some beings are dependent and finite. God's being is eternal, but there are finite beings that depend on 
God. Just because some being (i.e., God) is eternal, it does not follow that all beings are eternal. The part 
does not necessarily have all the attributes of the whole. A car may be able to go sixty miles an hour. But the 
carburator by itself will not sustain that speed, no matter how hard I throw it." (Geisler, N.L.* & Brooks, R.M.*, 
"Come, Let Us Reason: An Introduction to Logical Thinking," Baker Book House: Grand Rapids, Michigan, 
1990, Fourth printing, 1996, p.115. Emphasis original)

22/07/2008
"A complicated thing is one whose existence we do not feel inclined to take for granted, because it is 
too 'improbable'. It could not have come into existence in a single act of chance. We shall explain its 
coming into existence as a consequence of gradual, cumulative, step-by-step transformations from 
simpler things, from primordial objects sufficiently simple to have come into being by chance. Just as 
'big-step reductionism' cannot work as an explanation of mechanism, and must be replaced by a series 
of small step-by-step peelings down through the hierarchy, so we can't explain a complex thing as 
originating in a single step. We must again resort to a series of small steps, this time arranged 
sequentially in time." (Dawkins, R., "The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals 
a Universe Without Design," W.W. Norton & Co: New York NY, 1986, p.14)

22/07/2008
"We have seen that living things are too improbable and too beautifully 'designed' to have come into 
existence by chance. How, then, did they come into existence? The answer, Darwin's answer, is by gradual, 
stepby-step transformations from simple beginnings, from primordial entities sufficiently simple to have 
come into existence by chance. Each successive change in the gradual evolutionary process was simple 
enough, relative to its predecessor, to have arisen by chance. But the whole sequence of cumulative steps 
constitutes anything but a chance process, when you consider the complexity of the final end-product 
relative to the original starting point. The cumulative process is directed by nonrandom survival. The 
purpose of this chapter is to demonstrate the power of this cumulative selection as a fundamentally 
nonrandom process." (Dawkins, R., "The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a 
Universe Without Design," W.W. Norton & Co: New York NY, 1986, p.43. Emphasis original)

28/07/2008
"Democritus [...] (c. 460-371 BC) ancient Greek philosopher of Abdera, who developed atomism as a major 
philosophical theory. Apparently deriving his principles from Leucippus, about whom little is known, he 
wrote many works developing and applying atomism. .... In the infinite void an infinite number of everlasting 
microscopic particles, the atoms, move about. The atoms are solid and internally unchanging, possessing 
infinitely various shapes and perhaps having the property of weight. Their motion is everlasting and 
uncaused. Atoms combine to form macroscopic objects, and the changes of macroscopic objects result from 
rearrangements of their component atoms. Just as many different words are composed of a few letters, so 
many kinds of substances can be composed of a few kinds of atoms." (Graham, D., "Democritus," in 
Mautner, T., "The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy," [1996], Penguin: London, Revised, 2000, pp.128-129. 
Emphasis original)

28/07/2008
"In Democritus's cosmology, a chance concentration of atoms in empty space begins a circular motion 
impelled by collisions. The motion becomes a vortex surrounded by a spherical membrane, within which a 
cosmos, or world, is formed. Our cosmos consists of a flat Earth surrounded by heavenly bodies. There are 
innumerable worlds, each with its own arrangement, but we cannot see them because our own vision is 
limited by the membrane about our cosmos, within which the stars of our cosmos are located. In our cosmos, 
life arose from the seas and spread to land, where the human race arose and developed cultures and 
civilizations. Eventually our cosmos will perish like all other combinations of atoms." (Graham, D., 
"Democritus," in Mautner, T., "The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy," [1996], Penguin: London, Revised, 
2000, p.129)

28/07/2008
"Although Democritus uses human analogies to explain cosmic processes, he explains all natural events as 
the products of mechanical forces. Like substances combine in the cosmos as like sizes of pebbles are sifted 
out by the sea. Even the soul is a compound of atoms, in particular of fine, spherical atoms. Physical objects 
emit films of atoms from their surfaces, which strike the senses and are transmitted by atomic motions to the 
soul, accounting for sense-perception. Immoderate experiences cause imbalance in the soul, resulting in 
misery. Thus we should seek euthymia (equanimity, cheerfulness) by cultivating contentment and 
avoiding envy and emulation. This was the reason for his by-name `the laughing philosopher'. The person 
who has equanimity will live in a lawlike manner and have a harmonious life in the state. Hence Democritus 
is able to derive a detailed, if rather conventional, ethical theory from his physical principles." (Graham, D., 
"Democritus," in Mautner, T., "The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy," [1996], Penguin: London, Revised, 
2000, p.129)

28/07/2008
"Democritus recognizes a tension between his physics and his account of knowledge. Our knowledge 
comes from sense-experience, but sense-experience is not able to reveal the atoms to us. We know the 
sensible qualities such as sweet, bitter, hot, cold, coloured, only by `convention'. The real objects and their 
real qualities are not perceived. Moreover, our perception changes with our physical state. But if we reject 
the senses, we seem to have no knowledge at all. Consequently, Democritus distinguishes between 
`bastard' knowledge deriving from the senses, and legitimate knowledge deriving apparently from reasoning. 
Our knowledge of the atoms must be of the latter kind." (Graham, D., "Democritus," in Mautner, T., "The 
Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy," [1996], Penguin: London, Revised, 2000, p.129)

28/07/2008
"Although Democritus had no immediate successors, his theory was revived later by Epicurus, who put it to 
use as the basis of his philosophy of consolation. Through the Epicurean school atomist ideas were 
conveyed to the early modern period, when they became the basis of philosophical and scientific theories 
from which the present atomic theory of matter is descended." (Graham, D., "Democritus," in Mautner, T., 
"The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy," [1996], Penguin: London, Revised, 2000, p.129) 

28/07/2008
"Democritus (c.460-c.370 BC), of Abdera, a former Greek city on the coast of Thrace not far from the 
mouth of the Nestos River, was a pupil or associate of Leucippus. Leucippus (fl. c.440-435 BC), who was 
probably born in Miletus and may have visited Elea and Abdera, was creditited by ARISTOTLE ... with 
originating the theory of ATOMISM. But whereas Leucippus wrote only two books ... Democritus wrote 
well over 50, and it is with his name that 5th-century atomism is usually associated. By definition, an atom is 
something that is indivisible. ... The term `atomism' is used only of those who hold that there are many 
atoms. Nevertheless the atomism of LEUCIPPUS and Democritus has a lot in common with Eleaticism. 
Indeed it is more than likely that Melissus gave Leucippus the idea of atomism by remarking that if there 
were many things, each would have to be like the Eleatic One: ungenerated and imperishable, without any 
qualities, and indivisible. ... The atoms Leucippus postulated are sub-microscopic, but their shapes are such 
that some of them, when they collide because of their motion, attach themselves to one another and so give 
rise to sizable aggregates. Although they have no sensible qualities, the interaction of aggregates of atoms 
of certain shapes and sizes with those of sentient bodies is such that it appears to people that there is a 
world of things that are sweet or bitter, hot or cold, and so on. All this is mere appearance; it is on the side 
of belief, not of truth. In truth, all that exists is (a) the atoms, of which all that can be said is that they have 
certain shapes and sizes and that there is no void in them to permit divisibility (they are `full'); and (b) the 
void, empty space. ... There are also the theories of EMPEDOCLES and ANAXAGORAS. The atomists 
differed from Empedocles and Anaxagoras in recognising the need to allow the void, not-being, some sort of 
existence for there to be many things, but above all in trying to explain absolutely everything in terms of the 
coming together and separating of atoms. They did not invoke some extraneous moving cause, like the Love 
and Strife of Empedocles, or the NOUS of Anaxagoras. Even man's soul was to be explained atomically. 
Democritus held that some atoms are specially fine and round, so that they can easily penetrate the whole 
body and control its functions. PERCEPTION arises from the interaction of these soul-atoms with external 
aggregates of atoms. In visual perception, for example, the air between the eye and the object of sight is 
contracted and stamped by the object seen and the seer with an image which then enters the eye. 
(Democritus seems to have taken over the theory of `effluences' of Empedocles.) Thought, similarly, 
depends on the impact of an image. At death the soul-atoms disperse and are scattered." (Vesey, G. & 
Foulkes, P., "Collins Dictionary of Philosophy," HarperCollins: Glasgow UK, 1990, pp.76-78. Emphasis 
original)

28/07/2008
"Democritus of Abdera (c. 460-c. 370 BC) Along with *Leucippus, the founder of classical *atomism. He 
was known as very widely travelled, and was called the laughing philosopher. ... The atomism proposed by 
Democritus and Leucippus was a response to the *Eleatic arguments against motion. The Eleatics argued 
that what is real is both single and motionless, since motion is impossible without empty space ... By 
allowing empty space, the atomists could avoid the Eleatic conclusion, but the individual atoms retain the 
characteristics that *Parmenides attributed to the whole of unchanging reality. They are indivisible, 
homogeneous, solid, and unchanging, but they may differ from each other in shape and size. They are 
infinite in number, exist in empty space (the *void), and are in eternal motion. When enough atoms exist in a 
region of space they form a vortex, with a mass of heavier atoms at the centre attracting others; the speed of 
the motion ignites such masses and causes the celestial bodies. The arrangements and conglomerations of 
atoms produce the world we experience; this world is, however, only one of the infinite number of worlds 
that different arrangements of atoms produce. The soul is made of particularly fine atoms, but is a composite 
and hence as perishable as the body. Perception is the result of *eidola or thin films of atoms being shed 
from the surfaces of objects and interacting with the atoms of the soul. The magnificent vision of the 
universe that Democritus conjures up, with its mechanism and its total absence of purpose and design, was 
too much for *Plato and *Aristotle, and only wholeheartedly embraced by *Epicurus, until it was 
rediscovered in the 17th century and formed the basis of modern science." (Blackburn, S., "The Oxford 
Dictionary of Philosophy," Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, 1994, Reprinted, 1996, p.98. Emphasis 
original)

28/07/2008
"THE founders of atomism were two, Leucippus and Democritus. ... Leucippus, who seems to have 
flourished about 440 B.C., came from Miletus, and carried on the scientific rationalist philosophy associated 
with that city. ... Democritus is a much more definite figure. He was a native of Abdera in Thrace; as for his 
date, he stated that he was young when Anaxagoras was old, say about 432 B.C., and he is taken to have 
flourished about 420 B.C. He travelled widely in southern and eastern lands in search of knowledge; he 
perhaps spent a considerable time in Egypt, and he certainly visited Persia. He then returned to Abdera, 
where he remained. ... Democritus was a contemporary of Socrates and the Sophists ... part of his 
philosophy was intended as an answer to Protagoras, his fellow-townsman and the most eminent of the 
Sophists. ... Leucippus, if not Democritus, was led to atomism in the attempt to mediate between monism and 
pluralism, as represented by Parmenides and Empedocles respectively. Their point of view was remarkably 
like that of modern science, and avoided most of the faults to which Greek speculation was prone. They 
believed that everything is composed of atoms, which are physically, but not geometrically, indivisible; that 
between the atoms there is empty space; that atoms are indestructible; that they always have been, and 
always will be, in motion; that there are an infinite number of atoms, and even of kinds of atoms, the 
differences being as regards shape and size." (Russell, B., "History of Western Philosophy," [1946], George 
Allen & Unwin: London, Second edition, 1991, Reprinted, 1993, pp.82-83. Emphasis original)

28/07/2008
"The atoms were always in motion, but there is disagreement among commentators as to the character of the 
original motion. Some, especially Zeller, hold that the atoms were thought to be always falling, and that the 
heavier ones fell faster; they thus caught up the lighter ones, there were impacts, and the atoms were 
deflected like billiard balls. This was certainly the view of Epicurus, who in most respects based his theories 
on those of Democritus. while trying, rather unintelligently, to take account of Aristotle's criticisms. But 
there is considerable reason to think that weight was not an original property of the atoms of Leucippus and 
Democritus. It seems more probable that, on their view, atoms were originally moving at random, as in the 
modern kinetic theory of gases. Democritus said there was neither up nor down in the infinite void, and 
compared the movement of atoms in the soul to that of motes in a sunbeam when there is no wind. This is a 
much more intelligent view than that of Epicurus, and I think we may assume it to have been that of 
Leucippus and Democritus." (Russell, B., "History of Western Philosophy," [1946], George Allen & Unwin: 
London, Second edition, 1991, Reprinted, 1993, p.83)

28/07/2008
"In St. Luke's account of the Olivet discourse there is a short but profound statement regarding the future of 
Jerusalem, which is taking on tremendous meaning: `And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall 
be led away captive into all the nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times 
of the Gentiles be fulfilled' (21:24). ... Jerusalem would be in the hands of Gentile nations, as it has been for 
centuries, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. That Jerusalem, of which our Lord spoke, is now, since 
1967, for the first time in all these centuries, no longer under the rule of Gentile nations but in the absolute 
control of the Jews, in fact, in the control of the new nation, Israel! To me, this is one of the great prophetic 
factors of our generation. If the Jews can hold this city and maintain their sovereignty here, I cannot help 
but think that we are at the end of the age of the times of the Gentiles." (Smith, W.M.*, "Signs of the Second 
Advent of Christ," in Henry, C.F.H., ed., "Prophecy in the Making: The Jerusalem Conference on Biblical 
Prophecy," Creation House: Carol Stream IL, 1971, pp.207-208)

* Authors with an asterisk against their name are believed not to be evolutionists. However, lack of
an asterisk does not necessarily mean that an author is an evolutionist.

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Created: 29 June, 2008. Updated: 20 March, 2010.