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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," , 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," , 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," , 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," , 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," , 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," , 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 t hem 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," , 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," , 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," , 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," , 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," , 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," , 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," , 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," , 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," , 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," , 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," , 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," , 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," , 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," , 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," , 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," , 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," , 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," , 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," , 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," , 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," , 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," , 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.