[Home] [Updates] [Site map] [Quotes, Unclassified, Classified]
The following are unclassified quotes posted in my email messages in July-December, 2002.
The date format is dd/mm/yy. See copyright conditions at end.
[Index: January-June, July, August, September, October, November, December]
July 19/07/2002 "For most of their evolutionary history, fundamental aspects of the anatomy and way of life of these lineages do not change significantly. Very few intermediates between groups are known from the fossil record. This pattern is most conspicuous for the major groups of nonvertebrate metazoans ... over a very short time in the Early Cambrian, they underwent an explosive radiation. Over a period of approximately 5 million years, they gave rise to all the major groups alive today, as well as a smaller number of extinct groups (Bowring et al. 1993). By 525 million years ago, all of the living phyla and most of their constituent classes had diverged. Sponges, arthropods, primitive chordates, echinoderms, bryozoans, brachiopods, molluscs, annelids, and so on were all recognizable by this time. Among the molluscs, all the modern classes - scaphopods, gastropods, monoplacophorans, and pelecypods - were known by the end of the Lower Cambrian. ... In all the major lineages, the earliest known members had already achieved the basic body plan of their living descendants. ... Few fossils are yet known of plausible intermediates between the invertebrate phyla, and there is no evidence for the gradual evolution of the major features by which the individual phyla or classes are characterized." (Carroll, R.L., "Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1997, pp.2,4) 19/07/2002 "I call this experiment `replaying life's tape.' You press the rewind button and, making sure you thoroughly erase everything that actually happened, go back to any time and place in the past-say, to the seas of the Burgess Shale. Then let the tape run again and see if the repetition looks at all like the original. ... Run the tape again, and let the tiny twig of Homo sapiens expire in Africa. Other hominids may have stood on the threshold of what we know as human possibilities, but many sensible scenarios would never generate our level of mentality. Run the tape again, and this time Neanderthal perishes in Europe and Homo erectus in Asia (as they did in our world). The sole surviving human stock, Homo erectus in Africa, stumbles along for a while, even prospers, but does not speciate and therefore remains stable. A mutated virus then wipes Homo erectus out, or a change in climate reconverts Africa into inhospitable forest. One little twig on the mammalian branch, a lineage with interesting possibilities that were never realized, joins the vast majority of species in extinction. So what? Most possibilities are never realized, and who will ever know the difference?" (Gould, S.J., "Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History," , Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, pp.48, 320) 19/07/2002 "One of the creationist arguments has been that the concept of evolution is invalid because it cannot be reproduced in the laboratory and it cannot be tested experimentally. If true, this argument would be serious, because a scientific theory is valid only if it can be tested by experiments that might show it to be wrong. If the experiments are carried out and do not contradict it, the theory remains acceptable. But it is not true that the occurrence of evolution cannot be tested in the laboratory. We have just described some experiments with bacteria and fruitflies that have clearly demonstrated the occurrence of natural selection, adaptation, and speciation. Of course, the evolutionary events that took place over a period of many thousands of years cannot be reproduced in the laboratory." (Dulbecco, R., "The Design of Life," Yale University Press: New Haven CT, 1987, p.444) 20/07/2002 "Evolution in biology is a loose and comprehensive term applied to cover any and every change occurring in the constitution of systematic units of animals and plants, from the formation of a new subspecies or variety to the trends, continued through hundreds of millions of years, to be observed in large groups." (Huxley, J.S., "Evolution: The Modern Synthesis," , George Allen & Unwin: London, 1945, reprint, p.42) 21/07/2002 "The origin of life on the surface of the Earth is a unique historical event whose character cannot be established by experiments in contemporary laboratories ... Many scientists have taken this position on the origin of life. Jacques Monod, the distinguished French molecular biologist, said as much in 1970 in his elegant book Chance and Necessity. There is no way, he argued, that an event as improbable as the emergence of life on Earth could be analyzed by science, which is able to deal only `with events that form a class. ... A decade later, Francis H.C. Crick, co-originator of the structure of DNA, put the argument more specifically: the chances that the long polymer molecules that vitally sustain all living things, both proteins and DNA, could have been assembled by random processes from the chemical units of which they are made are so small as to be negligible, prompting the question whether the surface of the Earth was fertilized from elsewhere, perhaps from interstellar space. `Panspermia' is the name for that." (Maddox, J., "What Remains To Be Discovered:. Mapping the Secrets of the Universe, the Origins of Life, and the Future of the Human Race," , Touchstone: New York NY, 1999, reprint, p.131) 23/07/2002 "The basic structure of my argument is this. Scientists, historians, and detectives observe data and proceed thence to some theory about what best explains the occurrence of these data. We can analyse the criteria which they use in reaching a conclusion that a certain theory is better supported by the data than a different theory that is, is more likely, on the basis of those data, to be true. Using those same criteria, we find that the view that there is a God explains everything we observe, not just some narrow range of data. It explains the fact that there is a universe at all, that scientific laws operate within it, that it contains conscious animals and humans with very complex intricately organized bodies, that we have abundant opportunities for developing ourselves and the world, as well as the more particular data that humans report miracles and have religious experiences. In so far as scientific causes and laws explain some of these things (and in part they do), these very causes and laws need explaining, and God's action explains them. The very same criteria which scientists use to reach their own theories lead us to move beyond those theories to a creator God who sustains everything in existence." (Swinburne, R.G., "Is There a God?," Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, 1996, p.2. Emphasis original) 23/07/2002 "And yet the more we know about the universe, the more we come to see how little we know. When the cosmos was thought to be but a tidy garden, with the sky its ceiling and the earth its floor and its history coextensive with that of the human family tree, 'It was still possible to imagine that we might one day comprehend it in both plan and detail. That illusion can no longer be sustained. We might eventually obtain some sort of bedrock understanding of cosmic structure, but we will never understand the universe in detail; it is just too big and varied for that. If we possessed an atlas of our galaxy that devoted but a single page to each star system in the Milky Way (so that the sun and all its planets were crammed on one page), that atlas would run to more than ten million volumes of ten thousand pages each. It would take a library the size of Harvard's to house the atlas, and merely to flip through it, at the rate of a page per second, would require over ten thousand years. Add the details of planetary cartography, potential extraterrestrial biology, the subtleties of the scientific principles involved, and the historical dimensions of change, and it becomes clear that we are never going to learn more than a tiny fraction of the story of our galaxy alone-and there are a hundred billion more galaxies. As the physician Lewis Thomas writes, "The greatest of all the accomplishments of twentieth-century science has been the discovery of human ignorance." Our ignorance, of course, has always been with us, and always Will be. What is new is our awareness of it, our awakening to its fathomless dimensions, and it is this, more than anything else, that marks the coming of age of our species." (Ferris, T., "Coming of Age in the Milky Way," , Vintage: London, 1991, reprint, p.382-383) 25/07/2002 "But suppose we lay aside a priori prohibitions against design. In that case, what is wrong with explaining something as designed by an intelligent agent? Certainly there are many everyday occurrences which we explain by appealing to design. Moreover, in our workaday lives it is absolutely crucial to distinguish accident from design. We demand answers to such questions as, Did she fall or was she pushed? Did someone die accidentally or commit suicide? Was this song conceived independently or was it plagiarized? Did someone just get lucky on the stock market or was there insider trading? Not only do we demand answers to such questions, but entire industries are devoted to drawing the distinction between accident and design. Here we can include forensic science, intellectual property law, insurance claims investigation, cryptography, and random number generation-to name but a few. Science itself needs to draw this distinction to keep itself honest. As a January 1998 issue of Science made clear, plagiarism and data falsification are far more common in science than we would like to admit. What keeps these abuses in check is our ability to detect them." (Dembski, W.A.*, "No Free Lunch: Why Specified Complexity Cannot Be Purchased without Intelligence," Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham MD, 2002, p.5) 25/07/2002 "In its affirmative form, the Law of Biogenesis states that all living organisms are the progeny of living organisms that went be fore them. The familiar Latin tag is Omne vivum ex vivo-All that is alive came from something living; in other words, every organism has an unbroken genealogical pedigree extending back to the first living things. In its negative form, the law can be taken to deny the occurrence (or even the possibility) of spontaneous generation. Moreover, the progeny of mice are mice and of men, men- "homogenesis," or like begetting like. The Law of Biogenesis is arguably the most fundamental in biology, for evolution may be construed as a form of biogenesis that provides for the occasional begetting of a variant form." (Medawar P.B. & Medawar J.S., "Aristotle to Zoos: A Philosophical Dictionary of Biology," Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA, 1983, p.39) 25/07/2002 "I have been scanning the stars in search of extraterrestrial intelligence (an activity now abbreviated as SETI, and pronounced SETee) for more than thirty years. ... With the marvelous technological advances we have made in the intervening years, we could repeat the whole of Project Ozma today in a fraction of a second. We could scan for signals from a million stars or more at a time, at distances of at least a thousand light-years from Earth. ... Until the late 1980s, the fact that we had not yet found another civilization, despite continued global efforts and better equipment, simply meant we had not looked long enough or hard enough. No knowledgeable person was disappointed by our inability to detect alien intelligence, as this in no way proved that extraterrestrials did not exist. Rather, our failure simply confirmed that our efforts were puny in relation to the enormity of the task-somewhat like hunting for a needle in a cosmic haystack of inconceivable size ... I am telling my story because I see a pressing need to prepare thinking adults for the outcome of the present search activity-the imminent detection of signals from an extraterrestrial civilization. This discovery, which I fully expect to witness before the year 2000, will profoundly change the world." (Drake, F. & Sobel, D., "Is Anyone Out There?: The Scientific Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence," , Pocket Books: New York, 1994, pp.xi-xiii) 26/07/2002 "Because so much of medicine is applied biology, it might be judged a selfevident truth that biology has exercised a penetrating, wide-ranging, and wholly beneficent effect on medical education and on the physician's thinking. In reality this has not been so. Biology in an old-fashioned sense (that which would have been recognized by Charles Darwin) has imposed an almost intolerable pedagogic burden on medical education and has been deemed responsible, too, for such grave fallacies as the Panglossism we shall discuss below. It is indeed a profoundly important lesson that a human being is an animal, but it was not a biologist who taught it. Aristotle was aware of it, and it is implicit in Plato's great chain of being. In any event, it was a London physician, Edward Tyson, who in 1669 demonstrated for all to see the affinity between monkey, man, and a baby chimpanzee (a "pygmie")." (Medawar, P.B. & Medawar, J.S., "Aristotle to Zoos: A Philosophical Dictionary of Biology," Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA, 1983, pp.39-40) 29/07/2002 "The tough-minded scientist is a mechanist through and through. He usually denies that he has any metaphysical beliefs at all. Yet mechanism is as much a metaphysical belief as is panexperientalism or any other organismic philosophy." (Birch, L.C., "Biology and the Riddle of Life," University of New South Wales Press: Sydney, Australia, 1999, p.54) 29/07/2002 "But one of its premisses was shown by Darwin and his successors to be clearly false. Complex animals and plants can be produced through generation by less complex animals and plants- species are not eternally distinct; and simple animals and plants can be produced by natural processes from inorganic matter. This discovery led to the virtual disappearance of the argument from design from popular apologetic-mistakenly, I think, since it can easily be reconstructed in a form which does not rely on the premisses shown to be false by Darwin. This can be done even for the argument from spatial order. We can reconstruct the argument from spatial order as follows. We see around us animals and plants, intricate examples of spatial order in the ways which Paley set out, similar to machines of the kind which men make. We know that these animals and plants have evolved by natural processes from inorganic matter. But clearly this evolution can only have taken place, given certain special natural laws. These are first, the chemical laws stating how under certain circumstances inorganic molecules combine to make organic ones and organic ones combine to make organisms. And secondly, there are the biological laws of evolution stating how organisms have very many offspring, some of which vary in one or more characteristics from their parents, and how some of these characteristics are passed on to most offspring, from which it follows that, given shortage of food and other environmental needs, there will be competition for survival, in which the fittest will survive. Among organisms very well fitted for survival will be organisms of such complex and subtle construction as to allow easy adaptation to a changing environment. These organisms will evince great spatial order. So the laws of nature are such as, under certain circumstances, to give rise to striking examples of spatial order similar to the machines which men make. Nature, that is, is a machine-making machine. In the twentieth century men make not only machines, but machine making machines. They may therefore naturally infer from nature which produces animals and plants, to a creator of nature similar to men who make machine-making machines." (Swinburne, R.G., "The Existence of God," Clarendon Press: Oxford UK, Revised Edition, 1991, pp.135-136) 29/07/2002 "I conclude that the easy acceptance of neo-Darwinism as a complete and adequate explanation for all biological reality has indeed been based in the metaphysical needs of a dominant materialistic consensus. One can be a theistic `Darwinian,' but no one can be an atheistic `Creationist.'" (Wilcox D.L., "Tamed Tornadoes," in Buell J. & Hearn V., eds., "Darwinism: Science or Philosophy?" Foundation for Thought and Ethics: Richardson TX, 1994, p.215. http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/fte/darwinism/chapter13b.html) 31/07/2002 "The organic diversity becomes, however, reasonable and understandable if the Creator has created the living world not by caprice but by evolution propelled by natural selection. It is wrong to hold creation and evolution as mutually exclusive alternatives. I am a creationist and an evolutionist. Evolution is God's, or Nature's, method of Creation. Creation is not an event that happened in 4004 b.c.; it is a process that began some 10 billion years ago and is still under way." (Dobzhansky T.G., "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution," in Zetterberg J.P., ed., "Evolution Versus Creationism: The Public Education Controversy," Oryx Press: Phoenix AZ, 1983, p.22. Emphasis original) August [top] 1/08/2002 "Fossils of trilobites appeared suddenly in the geological record during the early part, but not quite at the base of the Cambrian period, perhaps 540 million years ago. If you are tempted by the word 'dramatic' then this is one occasion where you could be forgiven for weakening. When you visit a rock section spanning the right bit of the early Cambrian - and there are such profiles in Newfoundland, Mongolia and Siberia - there will be not a sniff of a trilobite as you work your way upwards from one bed to its successor: this is the most methodical way to trudge upwards through geological time. Then, quite suddenly, a whole Profallotaspis or an Olenellus as big as a crab will pop out into your waiting hands as you split the rock. These are trilobites with lots of segments and big eyes: striking things, not little squitty objects. It is an appearance as dramatic as that of the sorcerer in Swan Lake, who accompanied the first theatrical explosion I ever experienced. You are tempted to cry out: 'bang!'. And as you continue to collect a foot or so higher into younger strata, the first trilobite will be joined by others, maybe half a dozen or so different species, and all individually distinctive ones at that." (Fortey R.A., "Trilobite!: Eyewitness to Evolution," , Flamingo: London, 2001, reprint, p.115) 2/08/2002 "As a grace-note on this discovery, Riccardo noticed that the trilobite's design had been anticipated by the great seventeenth century Dutch scientist Christian Huygens (1629-95) and the French polymath Rene Descartes (1586-1650). They had sketched out an optical 'cure' for spherical aberration in a lens which proposed a compensating bowl designed almost exactly like that of the trilobite. This may indeed be a wonderful example of Art imitating Nature, or perhaps rather of Nature anticipating Science - by more than 400 million years. S. J. Gould commented in an article in Natural History in 1984 that 'the eyes of trilobites ... have never been exceeded for complexity and acuity by later arthropods ... I regard the failure to find a clear "vector of progress" in life's history as the most puzzling fact of the fossil record.' The point Gould makes is that it is hard to see how the trilobite could have achieved its optical design in a still more sophisticated fashion; there remains a feeling that arthropods ought to have learned some cleverer visual tricks since the Devonian." (Fortey R.A., "Trilobite!: Eyewitness to Evolution," , Flamingo: London, 2001, reprint, p.102) 2/08/2002 "But if we look at the individual elements of the trilobite eye, we find that the lens systems were very different from what we now have. Riccardo Levi-Setti (a Field Museum research associate in geology and professor of physics at the University of Chicago) has recently done some spectacular work on the optics of these lens systems. Figure 7 shows sketches of a common type of trilobite lens. Each lens is a doublet (that is, made up of two lenses. The lower lens is shaded in these sketches and the upper one is blank. The shape of the boundary between the two lenses is unlike any now in use either by humans or animals. But the shape is nearly identical to designs published independently by Descartes and Huygens in the seventeenth century. The Descartes and Huygens designs had the purpose of avoiding spherical aberration and were what is known as aplanatic lenses. The only significant difference between them and the trilobite lens is that the Descartes and Huygens lenses were not doublets - that is, they did not have the lower lens. But, as Levi-Setti has shown, for these designs to work underwater where the trilobite lived, the lower lens was necessary. Thus, the trilobites 450 million years ago used an optimal design which would require a well trained and imaginative optical engineer to develop today-or one who was familiar with the seventeenth century optical literature." (Raup D.M., "Conflicts Between Darwin and Paleontology," Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin, Field Museum of Natural History: Chicago IL, January 1979, Vol. 50, No. 1, pp.22-29, p.24). 2/08/2002 "The very fact that we have three great, independently established facts pointing to the resurrection of Jesus-namely, the empty tomb, the resurrection appearances, and the origin of the Christian faith is a powerful argument from coherence for the historicity of the resurrection. ... But does the resurrection of Jesus adequately explain this body of evidence? Is it any better an explanation than the implausible naturalistic explanations proferred in the past? ... The resurrection hypothesis, we have seen, exceeds counter-explanations like hallucinations or the wrong tomb theory precisely by explaining all three of the great facts at issue, whereas these rival hypotheses only explain one or two. ... This is perhaps the greatest strength of the resurrection hypothesis. The conspiracy theory or the apparent death theory just do not convincingly account for the empty tomb, resurrection appearances, or origin of the Christian faith: on these theories the data (for example, the transformation in the disciples, the historical credibility of the narratives) become very improbable. By contrast, on the hypothesis of the resurrection it seems extremely probable that the observable data with respect to the empty tomb, the appearances, and the disciples' coming to believe in Jesus' resurrection should be just as it is." (Craig W.L., "Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics," , Crossway Books: Wheaton IL, Revised Edition, 1994, pp.294-295) 2/08/2002 "Even more interesting, however, than the confession itself was what followed it: the admission [by Darwin in his Descent of Man] of a new factor in the variation of species, more momentous in its implications for his theory than even sexual selection, and which he did not afterward elaborate upon or so much as refer to again (except in the conclusion, where the point was repeated in almost exactly the same words). Falling under none of the other categories that he recognized as responsible for evolution-natural selection, sexual selection, the direct action of the environment, the effect of use and disuse, and correlation of structure- the variation induced by this new factor was of no service to the organism, either in its inception or in its later development. And the nature of its cause was unknown. Darwin could only assume that, whatever its cause, so long as it continued to act `uniformly and energetically' over a long period, the result would be the production not of `mere slight individual differences, but well-marked constant modifications.' (Darwin, C., "Descent of Man," 1st edition, 1871, Vol. I, p.153) Not only did these variations arise `spontaneously,' in the sense he had used the term in the Origin, but-and here he went far beyond the Origin-having so arisen, they were not subject to any selective process, natural or sexual, since they were in no way beneficial to the organism (although injurious variations would be eliminated by selection). And these variations would persist so long as either the original conditions producing them persisted or as the free crossing of individuals insured the normal operation of heredity. The latter, he suspected, was more important than the former: `They relate much more closely to the constitution of the varying organism, than to the nature of the conditions to which it has been subjected.' (p.154) Darwin had come far indeed from the doctrine of natural selection. As Mivart and others were quick to point out, this admission of an unknown cause as one of the means by which man attained his present state-"aided perhaps by others as yet undiscovered' dangerously undermined Darwin's enterprise. What before was said to be entirely explained was now, at a critical point, left unexplained. The admission that `strange and strongly-marked peculiarities of structured could arise from unknown causes, and could be perpetuated without reference to any principle of selection or adaptation, opened the way for those sudden leaps of nature-and of God-which had traditionally been invoked to explain the origin of species, and especially the origin of man." (Himmelfarb G., "Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution," , Elephant Paperbacks: Chicago IL, 1996, reprint, pp.368-370) 3/08/2002 "Piltdown Man became an anomaly after the discovery of `Peking Man' in China in the 1930s (in which Teilhard also played an important role) led the experts to hypothesize a different path of evolution for early man, and retesting eventually established in 1953 that the skull skilfully combined the jaw of an orangutan with the skull of a modern man. Until the Piltdown fossil became inconvenient, after the British scientists who received the credit for its discovery had passed from the scene, the skull was guarded from skeptical investigators in a safe in the British Natural History Museum. Considering that some knowledgeable scientists had expressed skepticism about Piltdown Man from the time of its discovery, this concealment of the evidence is a greater scandal than the original fraud." (Johnson P.E., "Darwin on Trial," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second Edition, 1993, p.203) 3/08/2002 "Although I am fully convinced of the truth of the views given in this volume under the form of an abstract, I by no means expect to convince experienced naturalists whose minds are stocked with a multitude of facts all viewed, during a long course of years, from a point of view directly opposite to mine. ... I look with confidence to the future,- to young and rising naturalists, who will be able to view both sides of the question with impartiality ... for thus only can the load of prejudice by which this subject is overwhelmed be removed." (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1928, reprint, p.456) 4/08/2002 "By the very standards scientists choose to limit what may properly fall under the purview of their discipline, the theory of evolution does not qualify. Even Theodosius Dobzhansky admits that theories of evolution evade the scientific process. Dobzhansky laments the fact that `evolutionary happenings are unique, unrepeatable, and irreversible. It is as impossible to turn a vertebrate into a fish as it is to effect the reverse transformation.' Dobzhansky is chagrined and reluctantly acknowledges that `the applicability of the experimental method to the study of such unique historical processes is severely restricted before all else by the time intervals involved, which far exceed the lifetime of any human experimenter.' Embarrassing, to say the least. Here is a body of thought, incapable of being scientifically tested, claiming to be scientific in nature. It can't be observed, it can't be reproduced, it can't be tested, and yet its proponents demand that it be regarded as the supreme, unimpeachable truth regarding the origin and development of life!" (Rifkin J., "Algeny," Viking Press: New York NY, 1983, p.118) 4/08/2002 "Somehow or other an extraordinary idea has arisen that the disbelievers in miracles consider them coldly and fairly, while believers in miracles accept them only in connection with some dogma. The fact is quite the other way. The believers in miracles accept them (rightly or wrongly) because they have evidence for them. The disbelievers in miracles deny them (rightly or wrongly) because they have a doctrine against them. The open, obvious, democratic thing is to believe an old applewoman when she bears testimony to a miracle, just as you believe an old apple-woman when she bears testimony to a murder. The plain, popular course is to trust the peasant's word about the ghost exactly as far as you trust the peasant's word about the landlord. Being a peasant he will probably have a great deal of healthy agnosticism about both. Still you could fill the British Museum with evidence uttered by the peasant, and given in favour of the ghost. If it comes to human testimony there is a choking cataract of human testimony in favour of the supernatural. If you reject it, you can only mean one of two things. You reject the peasant's story about the ghost either because the man is a peasant or because the story is a ghost story. That is, you either deny the main principle of democracy, or you affirm the main principle of materialism-the abstract impossibility of miracle. You have a perfect right to do so; but in that case you are the dogmatist." (Chesterton G.K., "Orthodoxy," , Fontana: London, 1961, reprint, p.149) 4/08/2002 "All argument against these plain facts is always argument in a circle. If I say, `Medieval documents attest certain miracles as much as they attest certain battles,' they answer, `But medievals were superstitious', if I want to know in what they were superstitious, the only ultimate answer is that they believed in miracles. If I say `a peasant saw a ghost,' I am told, `But peasants are so credulous.' If I ask, `Why credulous?' the only answer is- that they see ghosts. Iceland is impossible because only stupid sailors have seen it; and the sailors are only stupid because they say they have seen Iceland." (Chesterton G.K., "Orthodoxy," , Fontana: London, 1961, reprint, pp.149-150) 4/08/2002 "...the unbeliever ... may say that there has been in many miraculous stories a notion of spiritual preparation and acceptance; in short, that the miracle could only come to him who believed in it. It may be so, and if it is so how are we to test it? If we are inquiring whether certain results follow faith, it is useless to repeat wearily that (if they happen) they do follow faith. If faith is one of the conditions, those without faith have a most healthy right to laugh. But they have no right to judge. Being a believer may be, if you like, as bad as being drunk, still if we were extracting psychological facts from drunkards, it would be absurd to be always taunting them with having been drunk. Suppose we were investigating whether angry men really saw a red mist before their eyes. Suppose sixty excellent householders swore that when angry they had seen this crimson cloud: surely it would be absurd to answer `Oh, but you admit you were angry at the time.' They might reasonably rejoin (in a stentorian chorus), `How the blazes could we discover, without being angry, whether angry people see red?' So the saints and ascetics might rationally reply, ` Suppose that the question is whether believers can see visions-even then, if you are interested in visions it is no point to object to believers.' You are still arguing in a circle-in that old mad circle with which this book began." (Chesterton G.K., "Orthodoxy," , Fontana: London, 1961, reprint, p.150) 4/08/2002 "Atheism provides some valuable correctives to and modifications of theism. Many of its arguments either correct misconceptions some theists have of God or of his relation to the world or else they expose contradictory theistic concepts. ... However, as a total world view atheism does not measure up. First, its arguments are invalid and often self-defeating. Second, many atheistic arguments are really reversible into reasons for believing in God. Finally, atheism provides no solution to basic metaphysical questions regarding the existence of the universe or the origin of personality and the actualization of the world process." (Geisler N.L.*, "Christian Apologetics," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1976, pp.234-235) 5/08/2002 "The major problem with our current teaching of evolution is that it is being taught solely from the philosophic viewpoint of a closed system, a system which excludes God. If we teach our children that all that exists is a cosmic machine, and it is governed by pure chance, then how do we answer their questions about the meaning and purpose of human life? If all we teach is the closed system view of the world, our children tend to picture themselves and others as mere objects-cogs in the cosmic machine-the end- products of genetics plus environment. In the final analysis a human being becomes nothing more than a highly sophisticated computer, an object to be manipulated and reprogrammed at will. The alternative is to accept the open system view of the world. This system not only allows for an outside power in the forming of the Universe, it offers us a whole new perspective for our lives. Our minds are freed from the bondage of the closed cosmic machine to contemplate the God who created the universe-the God who made us-the power whom we can come to know and rely on in our personal daily lives. Thus, we can find meaning and significance in our lives." (Wiester J.L., "The Genesis Connection," Thomas Nelson: Nashville TN, 1983, pp.216-217. Emphasis original) 5/08/2002 "One may here surely dismiss that quite brainless piece of pedantry which talks about the need for `scientific conditions' in connection with alleged spiritual phenomena. If we are asking whether a dead soul can communicate with a living it is ludicrous to insist that it shall be under conditions in which no two living souls in their senses would seriously communicate with each other. The fact that ghosts prefer darkness no more disproves the existence of ghosts than the fact that lovers prefer darkness disproves the existence of love. If you choose to say, `I will believe that Miss Brown called her fiance a periwinkle or any other endearing term, if she will repeat the word before seventeen psychologists,' then I shall reply, `Very well, if those are your conditions, you will never get the truth, for she certainly will not say it.' It is just as unscientific as it is unphilosophical to be surprised that in an unsympathetic atmosphere certain extraordinary sympathies do not arise. It is as if I said that I could not tell if there was a fog because the air was not clear enough; or as if I insisted on perfect sunlight in order to see a solar eclipse." (Chesterton G.K.*, "Orthodoxy," , Fontana: London, 1961, reprint, pp.150-151) 5/08/2002 "There can be no response to the question of the meaning of life if we leave our own life out. Schopenhauer described materialism as the philosophy of the subject who forgets to take account of himself." (Birch L.C., "Biology and the Riddle of Life," University of New South Wales Press: Sydney, Australia, 1999, p.135) 7/08/2002 "A rash of books published over the last twenty years has claimed-directly or indirectly-that human selfishness is to be expected, given our evolutionary history. After pointing to examples of selfish behavior in a variety of animal species, the writers imply (as if describing the animal behaviors were sufficient) that because self-interested behavior is seen throughout nature perhaps humans need not feel so ashamed of their narcissism and greed. ... The flaws in this argument are obvious. Anyone with a modest knowledge of animal behavior and only minimal inferential skill can find examples of animal behavior to support almost any ethical message desired. Those who wish to sanctify the institution of marriage can point to the pair bonding of gibbons; those who think infidelity is more natural can point to chimpanzees. If you believe that people are naturally sociable, point to baboons; if you think they are solitary, point to orangutans. If you believe sex should replace fighting, point to bonobo chimpanzees. If you want mothers to care for infants, point to rhesus monkeys; if you prefer the father to be the primary caretaker, point to titi monkeys. If you believe that surrogate care is closer to nature, point to lionesses. If you are certain that men should dominate harems of beautiful women, point to elephant seals; if you believe women should be in positions of dominance, point to elephants. Nature has enough diversity to fit almost any ethical taste." (Kagan J., "Three Seductive Ideas," Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA, 1998, p.188) 8/08/2002 "Wracked by doubts and indecision, and fearful of the controversy his theories might unleash, Darwin nevertheless pushed forward to finish The Origin of Species. Published on November 24, 1859, the book forever demolished the premise that God had created the earth precisely at 9:00 AM on October 23, 4004 B.C.-and that all species of living creatures had been immutably produced during the following six days-as seventeenth-century churchmen had so carefully formulated." (Jones J.S. [Steve], "Introduction," Darwin, C.R., "The Voyage of the Beagle: Journal of Researches Into the Natural History and Geology of the Countries Visited During the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle Round the World," , Modern Library: New York NY, 2001, reprint, pp.iii.-iv) 12/08/2002 Darwin assumed the presence in nature of individual variations which were inherited. Modern experimental work has done much to clear up this situation. It is now known that many individual differences are due to the influence of the environment and are not passed on to descendants and that most other individual characters do not mark the appearance of new features but are merely the result of varied combinations of characters already present in the species. Under such circumstances, all selection could do would be to sort out the best of the existing factors. Beyond this the evolutionary process could not go, were it not that occasionally there occur mutations-definite changes in the germ cells which give rise to the next generation- produced seemingly without relation to the needs of the animal and making definite, although usually small, changes in the structure of the descendants. Though mainly injurious and hence quickly weeded out, an occasional favorable mutation would offer new material for the selective process to work upon; a "chance" mutation increasing the length of a giraffe's neck without other unfavorable accompanying features might tend to be bred into the race. Such an evolutionary process would obviously be slow in action." (Romer A.S., "Vertebrate Paleontology," , University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, Second Edition, 1945, Fifth Impression, 1953, p.4) 12/08/2002 "In many groups of fossils it would seem that there has been no such `indecision' as the theory just outlined would suggest; groups once started along an evolutionary line have seemingly kept straight on toward a `goal' without deviation. Because of this, there has been built up a theory of orthogenesis, or `straight-line' evolution. But the apparent absence of side branches may be due to the fact that they were nipped in the bud; selection alone might have resulted in an advance in the single direction of greatest adaptive value. Much seeming orthogenesis may thus be explained through mutation and selection. There are still, however, many puzzling facts; and we are far from a complete and satisfactory solution to all of our problems of vertebrate evolution." (Romer A.S., "Vertebrate Paleontology," , University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, Second Edition, 1945, Fifth Impression, 1953, p.4) 15/08/2002 "We know that evolution happened, and we know how much time it took, but we have little idea of how it worked. Were primitive forms of life made of primitive molecules, which evolution then perfected to build more complex forms? Molecular biologists have discovered that, on the contrary, the same kinds of protein molecule are used for similar chemical functions by all organisms alive today. "What holds for a coli bacterium is true for an elephant" was one of Monod's slogans. The protein molecules of even the most primitive organisms are unbelievably complex; they are made up of thousands of atoms woven into precisely ordered three-dimensional fabrics. I cannot describe them by analogy to any familiar image because nothing like them exists in the macroscopic world. How did they arise? Jacob compares today's molecular biologists to the Renaissance anatomists who first dissected the human body and described its intricate organs: "To rationalize the structures revealed by the scalpel, sixteenth-century anatomists had to invoke God's will. To rationalize the structures revealed by X-ray analysis of proteins, twentieth-century biologists have to invoke natural selection." In both instances we are faced by the end products of 3 billion years of evolution and cannot guess its beginnings." (Perutz M.F., "Is Science Necessary?: Essays on Science and Scientists," , Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, 1991, reprint, p.212) 15/08/2002 "According to the First Law of Thermodynamics, energy can neither be created nor destroyed. But since the order of negative entropy is essential to any information flow-since information is itself negative entropy- and entropy is always increasing according to the Second Law, it is obvious from the outset that unlike energy, information can all too easily be destroyed. Books can be burned, as Hitler showed, and a tape recording can be wiped clean by a magnet. The destruction of the great library of Alexandria during the siege of 639 to 640 A.D. is one of the tragedies of history. But can information also be created? In particular: how could information have been created from the random pro cesses of the inorganic universe? Thus the genesis of information is clearly defined as the fundamental problem in the genesis of Life." (Black S., "The Nature of Living Things: An Essay in Theoretical Biology," Martin Secker & Warburg: London, 1972, p.103) 16/08/2002 "Come and see the world as it once was through the crystal eyes of the trilobite. We shall find out how trilobites tell us the pattern of evolution, and how it can be read from the rocks. We shall discover how faith in trilobites not merely moves mountains but shifts whole continents." (Fortey R.A., "Trilobite!: Eyewitness to Evolution," , Flamingo: London, 2001, reprint, p.23) 16/08/2002 "The Astonishing Hypothesis is that `You,' your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll's Alice might have phrased it: `You're nothing but a pack of neurons.' This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people alive today that it can truly be called astonishing." (Crick F.H.C., "The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul," , Touchstone: New York NY, 1995, p.3) 16/08/2002 "It must be admitted, however, that it is a considerable strain on one's credulity to assume that finely balanced systems such as certain sense organs (the eye of vertebrates, or the bird's feather) could be improved by random mutations. This is even more true for some of the ecological chain relationships (the famous yucca moth case, and so forth). However, the objectors to random mutations have so far been unable to advance any alternative explanation that was supported by substantial evidence." (Mayr E., "Systematics and the Origin of Species," , Columbia University Press: New York NY, Reprinted, 1982, p.296) 19/08/2002 "Microevolution within the species proceeds by accumulation of micromutations and occupation of the available ecological niches by the preadapted mutants. Microevolution, especially geographic variation, adapts the species to the different conditions existing in the available range of distribution. Microevolution does not lead beyond the confines of the species, and the typical products of microevolution, the geographic races, are not incipient species. There is no such category as incipient species. Species and the higher categories originate in single macroevolutionary steps as completely new genetic systems. The genetical process which is involved consists of a repatterning of the chromosomes, which results in a new genetic system. The theory of the genes and of the accumulation of micromutants by selection has to be ruled out of this picture." (Goldschmidt R.B., "The Material Basis of Evolution," , Yale University Press: New Haven CT, Reprinted, 1982, p.296) 20/08/2002 "One must constantly ask oneself 'Is the present a long enough key to unlock the secrets of the past?' ... Even within the brief life of mankind (with 99% of it in the 'Stone Age') there were great geological events that are not recorded in our histories. ... Charles Lyell the arch-priest of uniformitarianism of course knew something about present-day violent happenings such as eruptions and earthquakes, but was not in a position to apply that knowledge properly to the past. To many it may seem that the arguments between 'catastrophism' and 'uniformitarianism' are long past, with the latter victorious. ... Things happen, that is to say the unusual happenings, the rare events, which I think are far more important than is generally, appreciated. ... In a phrase that has often been quoted since, I have summed up geological history as being like the life of a soldier: 'Long periods of boredom and short periods of terror' (Ager 1973, 1981a, 1993)". (Ager D.V., "The New Catastrophism: The Importance of the Rare Event in Geological History," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1993, pp.xviii-xix) 21/08/2002 "I think that all theories of evolution tend to reflect the scientific trends of their time. I have lived to see the purely morphological period of biology with its evolutionary corollary, the construction of phylogenetic trees, invention of missing ancestors, and a philosophical outlook variously termed mechanism, materialism, monism. The fol lowing period of experimental biology was skeptical of, if not actually hostile to, evolution, as it could not be attacked in laboratory experimentation. Mechanism became unpopular and vitalistic and teleological trends invaded evolutionary thought in the form of creative evolution, emergent evolution, psycho-Lamarckism. The rise of genetics brought back a mechanistic attitude ... But, just as has been the case in chemistry and physics, mechanistic analysis of evolution will sooner or later reach a point where an interpretation in terms of known processes will meet with difficulties." (Goldschmidt R.B., "The Material Basis of Evolution," , Yale University Press: New Haven CT, Reprinted, 1982, p.297) 21/08/2002 "I need only quote Schindewolf (1936), the most progressive investigator known to me, who showed that the material presented by paleontology leads to exactly the same conclusions as derived in my writings, to which he refers. He elaborates the thesis that macroevolution on a higher level takes place in an explosive way within a short geological time, followed by a slower series of orthogenetic perfections, as exemplified in the oft-quoted evolutionary series. He realizes that the conception of preadaptation accounts completely for this type of evolution. He shows by examples from fossil material that the major evolutionary advances must have taken place in single large steps, which affected early embryonic stages with the automatic consequence of reconstruction of all the later phases of development. He shows that the many missing links in the paleontological record are sought for in vain because they have never existed: `The first bird hatched from a reptilian egg.' .... It is gratifying that all the disciplines which furnish material for the understanding of evolution-taxonomy and morphology, descriptive and experimental embryology, static and dynamic (physiological) genetics, comparative anatomy and paleontology-supply ample and parallel evidence for a theory of evolution which is more plausible than the neo-Darwinian theory." (Goldschmidt R.B., "The Material Basis of Evolution," , Yale University Press: New Haven CT, Reprinted, 1982, p.395) 22/08/2002 "Among the remains of early life on earth, the fossil record we find buried in ancient sedimentary rocks bears evidence of an extraordinary group of marine creature, the trilobites. The position of these invertebrates in the evolution of the animal kingdom is extraordinary because of their early ascent to a high level of functional complexity, described in fascinating detail by their persistent and ubiquitous fossil remains. Trilobites could see their immediate environment with amazingly sophisticated optical devices in the form of large composite eyes, the first use of optics coupled with sensory perception in nature. As a unique feat in the history of life, their eye lenses were shaped to correct for optical aberrations, with design identical to that proposed (quite independently of any knowledge of trilobites) by Descartes and Huygens." (Levi-Setti R., "Trilobites," , The University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, 1993, Second Edition, p.1) 22/08/2002 "Trilobites share with many other invertebrates in the drama of the `Cambrian explosion': the rapid evolution of amazingly sophisticated and diverse life forms at the beginning of the Cambrian period, some 570 million years ago. In a sort of chain reaction triggered by plant life through a large-scale photosynthetic release of oxygen in the atmosphere, the pattern and rate of biological evolution was tremendously accelerated. Energy-releasing, oxygen-burning processes became available to the evolution of animal fife. The newly discovered powerhouse fostered experimentation with ever more demanding levels of body activity and multiplication of forms. During a relatively short (geologic) time, perhaps a few million years, different new schemes of bodybuilding emerged that involved the construction of internal and external skeletons or exoskeletons. These could support increasingly complex body structures and functions. The genetic radiation of new life forms found countless environments devoid of enemies in which to adapt and prosper." (Levi-Setti R., "Trilobites," , The University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, 1993, Second Edition, p.1) 23/08/2002 "On the other hand, we must beware, even while holding to the Biblical account, of putting into the original state of man more that the narrative warrants. The picture given us of the first man in the Bible is primitivein every way. The Adam of the book of Genesis is not a being of advanced intellectual attainments, or endowed with an intuitive knowledge of the various arts and sciences. If his state is far removed from that of the savage, it is equally far removed from that of the civilised man. The earliest steps in what we call civilization are of later date, and are duly recorded, though they belong, not to the race of Seth, but to that of Cain. It is presumed that man had high and noble faculties, a pure and harmonious nature, rectitude of will, capability of understanding his Creator's instructions, and power to obey them. Beyond that we need not go. The essence of the Biblical view is summed up in the words of the Preacher: `God made man upright; but they sought out many inventions.'" (Orr, J.*, "The Christian View of God and the World," , Kregel: Grand Rapids MI, 1989, pp.185-186) 24/08/2002 "Of course, the laws of physics existed prior to their discovery by man. And we shouldn't perhaps be too surprised that the drive to optimize biological function-one of the fundamental evolutionary forces in all biological organisms-caused trilobites to follow physical laws to the fullest possible extent in their development of visual systems. The real surprise should not be that they did construct eyes that work according to the laws of physics, but that they did it with such ingenuity. The basic lens designs recognized in the original studies by Clarkson are reproduced in figures 10b and 11b. These drawings schematize the eyes of two dalmanitid trilobites: on the left, Crozonaspis struvei (Henry), from the Middle Ordovician of Brittany; and on the right, Dalmanitina socialis (Barrande), a Middle Ordovician species from Bohemia. The thick biconvex lens shape of both results from the matching of two basic parts: an upper lens unit and an intralensar bowl. A wavy interface separates (and unites) the two components." (Levi-Setti R., "Trilobites," , The University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, 1993, Second Edition, p.45. Emphasis in original) 24/08/2002 "Scientists often display a human failing: whenever they get hold of some new bit of truth they are inclined to decide that it is the whole truth." (Simpson G.G., "The Meaning of Evolution: A Study of the History of Life and of its Significance for Man," , Yale University Press: New Haven CT, 1960, reprint, pp.276-277) 24/08/2002 "The resulting synthetic theory ... has often been called neo-Darwinian, even by those who have helped to develop it, because its first glimmerings arose from confrontation of the Darwinian idea of natural selection with the facts of genetics. The term is, however, a misnomer and doubly confusing in this application. The full-blown theory is quite different from Darwin's and has drawn its materials from a variety of sources largely non-Darwinian and partly anti-Darwinian. Even natural selection in this theory has a sense distinctly different, although largely developed from, the Darwinian concept of natural selection." (Simpson G.G., "The Meaning of Evolution: A Study of the History of Life and of its Significance for Man," , Yale University Press: New Haven CT, 1960, reprint, p.277) 25/08/2002 "Christianity is a religion and not a science. In science the principle of inter-subjectivity or objectivity prevails. What is true for one scientist must be true for all. But this is not true in religion, for if the pure in heart see God, then the impure do not, and what is true for the pure is not true for the impure. God draws near to those who draw near to Him, and He is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him. He is not known to those who do not draw close to Him or to those who refuse to seek Him. What is true for some is emphatically not true for all. In the Gospels a very wealthy young man refused to make the motions of faith. He was intrigued by Jesus Christ, but when the issue became sharply one of Christ or his possessions, the tug of his possessions was the stronger, and sorrowfully he left Jesus Christ. He wanted religion without the motions of faith. It is not a rash presumption to believe that many scientists and educated men wish for peace of mind, relief from a guilty conscience, hope for the life to come, and the blessedness of faith in God. But they find themselves caught between their science and their religious hopes, unable to move. Being possessed of great intellectual riches which manage to come first in their sentiments, they leave Jesus Christ. Just as Jesus refused to pursue the rich young man and make other terms, so today we cannot lessen or cheapen or alter the terms of the gospel for our men of science. There is no other Saviour than Jesus Christ, and there is no other means of having Him than by the motions of repentance and faith. Therefore, if a scientist comes to God he must come in the same way as any other person comes to God. He must make the appropriate spiritual motions. He must repent; he must confess his sin to God; he must believe in Jesus Christ with all his heart." (Ramm, B.L.*, "The Christian View of Science and Scripture," , Paternoster: London, Reprinted, 1960, p.245) 25/08/2002 "We might have expected that the animal phyla would have appeared at different times over the course of the fossil record. In fact at least some representatives of almost all of the animal phyla and many of the classes living today appeared by the end of the great Cambrian radiation (550 million years ago) at the beginning of the Paleozoic. This is the starting point for most of the animal fossil record." (Ruppert E.E. & Barnes R.D., "Invertebrate Zoology," , Harcourt Brace Jovanovich: Orlando FL, Sixth Edition, 1994, p.597) 26/08/2002 "There is nothing in the fossil record that reveals the evolutionary origins of major animal groups. Our speculations about those origins and the relationships of animal phyla and classes, therefore, continue to be based largely on comparative morphology and development. However, a new source of information is beginning to influence our investigations. This is the comparison of nucleotide, or amino acid, sequences in nucleic acids and proteins." (Ruppert E.E. & Barnes R.D., "Invertebrate Zoology," , Harcourt Brace Jovanovich: Orlando FL, Sixth Edition, 1994, p.597) 27/08/2002 "The realization that trilobites made recourse to a doublet lens structure to achieve the goal of improving their vision left me with the uncanny feeling that, if needed, nature could have equally well developed other multi-element optical instruments that are touted as unique creations of human ingenuity. In our case, a doublet structure is added to the already sophisticated aspheric correcting interface. The design of the trilobite's eye lens could well qualify for a patent disclosure. Prior art would mention the Schmidt plate of modern telescopes, a Cartesian surface performing function similar to that of the wavy interface of the trilobite's eye lens." (Levi-Setti R., "Trilobites," , The University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, 1993, Second Edition, p.57) 29/08/2002 "Christianity and scientific atheism, however, are both rivals and enemies, and the debate between them has been anything but honorable. Christianity is, or has been, the prevailing religion of most countries which permit free elections and attempt to guarantee basic human rights. Scientific atheism, on the other hand, is or has been the `religion' of those nations in which people have been `liquidated' on the basis of race or social class `for the good of the state.' Individual guilt or innocence - important to Christians and those whose outlook has been shaped by Christianity-is irrelevant in scientific atheism be cause `good' and `evil' are meaningless without some concept of God. In Stalinist Russia in the 1920s through the 1950s, in Nazi Germany in the 1930s through the 1940s, and in Pol Pot's Cambodia in the 1970s through the 1980s, to list three of the worst examples, millions of people, including children, were murdered because their race or social class made them `undesirables.' In Christianity, murder is an aberration. In political atheism, it is the norm." (Koster, J.P. Jr., `The Atheist Syndrome,' Wolgemuth & Hyatt: Brentwood TN, 1989, p.4) 29/08/2002 "Scientific atheism sustains itself as a `religion' by claiming to be based on factual evidence. Unlike most religions, which require the believer to accept some matters on faith, scientific atheism states flatly that faith is irrelevant and only facts matter. Atheism tolerates no rivals. You either believe in the `facts' of scientific atheism, or you are `wrong.' Even so, in countries where atheism is the official creed, a significant number of people - and in some cases a majority - continue to believe in God and to practice their faith despite economic and political discrimination against believers. Where fear and force are available, atheists have never been reluctant to use them." (Koster, J.P. Jr., "The Atheist Syndrome," Wolgemuth & Hyatt: Brentwood TN, 1989, p.4) 30/08/2002 "The idea of an unchanging world also corresponded to a literal reading of the powerfully poetic opening of the Book of Genesis, in which God is said to have created each species independently, simultaneously, and relatively recently-a little over six thousand years ago by reckonings based on Scripture." (Keeton W.T., Gould J.L. & Gould C.G., "Biological Science," , W.W. Norton & Co: New York NY, Fourth Edition, 1986, p.12) 30/08/2002 "Biblical Creationists accept on faith the literal Old Testament account of creation. Their beliefs include (1) a young earth, perhaps less than 10,000 years old; (2) catastrophes, especially a worldwide flood, as the origin of the earth's present form, including mountains, canyons, oceans, and continents; and (3) miraculous creation of all living things, including humans, in essentially their modern forms. If you are a Creationist, the Bible-not nature-dictates what you believe. Creationists subordinate observational evidence to doctrine based on their interpretation of sacred texts. The tenets of biblical Creationism are not testable, nor are they subject to dramatic change based on new data. In other words, Creationism is a form of religion." (Hazen R.M. & Trefil J., "Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy," , Anchor Books: New York NY, 1992, reprint, p.243) 30/08/2002 "There are a number of theories on the origin of life: 1. Steady state theory - This suggests that the earth and the species on it have always existed. Life therefore had no origin. 2. Creation theory - This is the belief that the earth and the species upon it were created by a single event initiated by a 'super-being' or 'God'. 3. Cosmozoan (Panspermian) theory - This theory states that life arose elsewhere in the universe and arrived on earth by some means, e.g. UFOs. 4. Spontaneous generation theory - This theory contends that life arose from non-living material on a number of separate occasions. 5. Biochemical evolution theory - This theory suggests that life arose from the combination of simple molecules into complex ones and their evolution, via coacervates, into cells. Of these theories, that of biochemical evolution is the most widely accepted by present-day scientists." (Toole G. & Toole S., "Understanding Biology for Advanced Level," Hutchinson: London, 1987, p.203) 30/08/2002 "For biologists, then, creationism connotes the teaching that the Lord created every single species of animal and plant found in the world today, whereas biological orthodoxy has it that existing species arose over hundreds of millions of years as a result of the differentiation and divergence of their several biogenetic lineages-a hypothesis compatible with all the empirical evidence." (Medawar P.B. & Medawar J.S., "Aristotle to Zoos: A Philosophical Dictionary of Biology," Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA, 1983, p.62) 30/08/2002 "This hypothesis of evolution, of course, cannot be reconciled with a literal reading of the book of Genesis. ... Anyone who believes in Genesis as a literal description of history must hold a world view that is entirely incompatible with the idea of evolution, not to speak of science itself. The literalist must believe that different forms of life were individually created and did not develop from common ancestors. Not only species but everything in the physical universe originated not by material, natural processes but by supernatural acts-miracles." (Futuyma D.J., "Science on Trial: The Case for Evolution," Pantheon: New York NY, 1982, pp.10,12) 30/08/2002 "Evolution The gradual process by which the present diversity of plant and animal life arose from the earliest and most primitive organisms, which is believed to have been continuing for at least the past 3000 million years. Until the middle of the 18th century it was generally believed that each species was divinely created and fixed in its form throughout its existence (see special creation). ... Special Creation. The belief, in accordance with the Book of Genesis, that every species was individually created by God in the form in which it exists today and is not capable of undergoing any change. It was the generally accepted explanation of the origin of life until the advent of Darwinism. The idea has recently enjoyed a revival, especially among members of the fundamentalist movement in the USA, partly because there still remain problems that cannot be explained entirely by Darwinian theory. However, special creation is contradicted by fossil evidence and genetic studies, and the pseudoscientific arguments of creation science cannot stand up to logical examination." (Isaacs A., Daintith J. & Martin E., eds., "Concise Science Dictionary," , Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, Second Edition, 1991, pp.251, 646-647) 30/08/2002 "EVOLUTION (1) Microevolution: changes in appearance of populations and species over generations. (2) Macroevolution or phyletic evolution; origins and EXTINCTIONS of species and grades (see SPECIATION). ... It is usually accepted that causes off evolutionary change include NATURAL SELECTION and GENETIC DRIFT, and that macroevolutionary change can be explained by the same factors that bring about microevolution. ... Opposed to evolutionary explanations of the composition of the Earth's fauna and flora is the group of views termed 'special creationism', which holds that there are no bonds of genetic relationship between species, past or present." (Abercrombie M., Hickman M., Johnson M.L. & Thain M., "The New Penguin Dictionary of Biology," , Penguin Books: London, Eighth Edition, 1990, pp.194-195) 30/08/2002 "evolution Change, with continuity in successive generations of organisms (i.e. 'descent with modification' as Darwin called it). The phenomenon is amply demonstrated by the fossil record, for the changes over geological time are sufficient to recognize distinct eras, for the most part with very different plants and animals." (Allaby M., ed., "A Dictionary of Zoology," , Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, Second Edition, 1999, p.198) 30/08/2002 "creationism A modern variant of special creation, in which it is maintained that all 'kinds' of organisms were created during one week, 6000-10000 years ago, exactly as is stated in the book of Genesis. Creationism involves a rejection not only of the concept of evolution but also of the whole of geology and radiometric dating. ... special creation The belief that the origin of life and the diversity of life result from acts of God whereby each species was created separately. Evolution is implicitly rejected as the explanation of these phenomena. See CREATIONISM; CREATION `SCIENCE'." (Allaby M., ed., "A Dictionary of Zoology," , Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, Second Edition, 1999, pp.139-140, 501) 30/08/2002 "Public misunderstanding of scientific principles as applied to the study of animal diversity was evident on March 19, 1981, when the governor of Arkansas signed into law the Balanced Treatment for Creation- Science and Evolution-Science Act (Act 590) of 1981). .... Enactment of this law led to a historic lawsuit tried in December 1981 in the court of Judge William. R. Overton, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas. .... On January 5, 1982, Judge Overton permanently prohibited the state of Arkansas from enforcing Act 590. Considerable testimony during the trial addressed the nature of science. On the basis of testimony by scientists, Judge Overton stated explicitly these essential characteristics of science: 1. It is guided by natural law. 2. It has to be explanatory by reference to natural law. 3. It is testable against the empirical world. 4. Its conclusions are tentative, that is, are not necessarily the final word. 5. It is falsifiable. The pursuit of scientific knowledge must be guided by the physical and chemical laws that govern the state of existence. Scientific knowledge must explain what is observed by reference to natural law without requiring the intervention of any supernatural being or force." (Hickman C.P., Jr., Roberts L.S. & Larson A., "Animal Diversity," , McGraw-Hill: Boston MA, Second Edition, 2000, p.2) 30/08/2002 "... laws and forces of nature of themselves explain nothing-apart, that is, from the way in which these laws and forces are combined, and co-operate to the production of special results. .... To borrow a phrase for which J.S. Mill acknowledges his indebtedness to Dr. Thomas Chalmers-in order to explain nature as we find it, we need to take account, not only of "laws," but of the "collocation" of laws. A machine-e.g., a printing- press-produces its results through the operation of laws. Yet the laws would accomplish nothing were it not that the machine is put together in a certain way, and that the forces at work in it are regulated and directed to a certain end. Laws alone, therefore, do not explain the universe; there is needed plan, direction, guidance; there is needed the mind and the hand behind the machine the combination of laws and forces- guiding it in the work it has to do." (Orr, J.*, "The Bible Under Trial: Apologetic Papers in View of Present- Day Assaults on Holy Scripture," 1907, p.151) 31/08/2002 "Perhaps most importantly, if the world and its creatures developed purely by material, physical forces, it could not have been designed and has no purpose or goal. The fundamentalist, in contrast, believes that everything in the world, every species and every characteristic of every species, was designed by an intelligent, purposeful artificer, and that it was made for a purpose. Nowhere does this contrast apply with more force than to the human species. Some shrink from the conclusion that the human species was not designed, has no purpose, and is the product of mere material mechanisms-but this seems to be the message of evolution." (Futuyma D.J., "Science on Trial: The Case for Evolution," Pantheon: New York, 1982, pp.12- 13) 31/08/2002 "Further analysis of the possible effects of the birefringence of calcite suggests that they were probably unimportant (Clarkson and Levi-Setti 1975). As to lens defects due to chromatic aberration, these also were considered unimportant, since even at moderate depths in sea water, the environment is essentially monochromatic. ... Why did the phacopid trilobite develop such a sophisticated optical system? Were the perfected images produced by the corrected lenses exploited in any way? Were there other advantages that favored the evolution and retention of these optimal lens structures? What we would like to hear, to appease our Darwinian upbringing, is that new visual structures were evolved in response to new environmental pressures as a means of survival." (Levi-Setti R., "Trilobites," , The University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, 1993, Second Edition, p.59) 31/08/2002 "Of course there were scientists who thought the evidence favouring DNA was inconclusive and preferred to believe that genes were protein molecules. Francis, however, did not worry about these sceptics. Many were cantankerous fools who unfailingly backed the wrong horses. One could not be a successful scientist without realizing that, in contrast to the popular conception supported by news papers and mothers of scientists, a goodly number of scientists are not only narrow-minded and dull, but also just stupid." (Watson J.D., "The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA," , Penguin: Harmondsworth, Middlesex UK, 1978, reprint, p.24) September [top] 1/09/2002 "(yom) day, time, year. ... It can denote 1. the period of light (as contrasted with the period of darkness), 2. the period of twenty-four hours, 3. a general vague "time," 4. a point of time. 5 a year (in the plural; 1 Sam 27:7; Ex 13: 10. etc.)" (Coppes L.J., "yom. day, time, year," in Harris R.L., Archer G.L. & Waltke B.K., eds, "Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament," , Moody Press: Chicago IL, 1992, Twelfth Printing, Vol. I, p.370) 1/09/2002 "The optical arrangement is clearly a very sophisticated structure which quite belies the antiquity of the animal. This may come as something of a surprise: we might expect an eye from half-way along optical history to have a slightly slung-together look, or at least broadly to resemble the eyes of many other lowly animals, as does the run-of-the-mill trilobite eye. But the eye of Phacops is something unexpected, a sports coupe in the age of the boneshaker." (Fortey R.A., "Trilobite!: Eyewitness to Evolution," , Flamingo: London, 2001, reprint, pp.98,100) 1/09/2002 "Euan noticed something else about the construction of the trilobite's eyes: the smaller lenses were concentrated at the top of many eyes. The eye surface - known as the corneal surface had to be moulted along with the rest of the animal's hard exoskeleton as it grew. The eye itself grew in size in harmony with the rest of the animal: more lenses were added after each moult as the new skeleton hardened. New crystals were added in from the top of the eye in a zone of generation. With successive moults these lenses were incorporated into the main body of the eye, passed downwards in a graded chain. These differences in lens size also helped to maintain the regularity of the design across the curved surface of the eye. It is fiendishly clever (as Hercule Poirot would to say) that these 'primitive' animals could play such games with the mineral world in the service of eye geometry." (Fortey R.A., "Trilobite!: Eyewitness to Evolution," , Flamingo: London, 2001, reprint, p.97) 7/09/2002 "Comparative studies of the reception of Darwinism in different European cultures indicate that the popularization of evolutionary science was rarely, if ever, a straightforward process in which the science of an elite simply diffused down ward to a mass audience. Darwin's science was actively seized. It was vulgarized in the promotion of particular political goals and these, in turn, often reflected local circumstances. ... Despite the variability of context, one message was put out loud and clear by leaders of secular movements in every European country. Taken to its logical conclusion, Darwin's theory was the apotheosis of a scientific naturalism that simply could not be squared with a historic Christianity. In Germany, Haeckel was adamant that there was no middle ground. It was either Darwinian evolution or miracles." (Brooke J.H., "Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives," , Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1995, Reprinted, pp.302-303) 7/09/2002 "The proposition that Darwin's description of natural selection and Christian images of divine activity were fundamentally incompatible was not the invention of secularists alone. In his book What is Darwinism? (1874), the Princeton theologian Charles Hodge reached the same conclusion. His was no diatribe against Darwin. He saw no reason in Scripture to reject evolution out of hand. Nor was there any intrinsic objection to the idea of theistic evolution, in which the development of new species was under divine control. In fairness to Darwin, he also acknowledged that neither the theory nor its author were atheistic in the sense that an original Creator was denied. In the last analysis, however, he could not see how a process in which natural selection worked on random variations could be said to be anything other than effectively atheistic, since the doctrine of an active providence working to specific designs was evacuated. ... It should not be difficult to see why intelligent people have often taken the view that Darwin's theory, properly understood, and Christian conceptions of an active providence are not merely incompatible but belong to two mutually exclusive worlds of thought. " (Brooke J.H., "Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives," , Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1995, Reprinted, pp.303-305. Emphasis in original) 7/09/2002 "Christians who agreed with Hodge [that Darwinism was effectively atheistic] could only have their suspicions confirmed by the eagerness with which Darwin's science was welded into a scientistic world- view. Back in 1838 Darwin had recognized that, in one vital respect at least, his theorizing coalesced with the positivist doctrines of Auguste Comte (1798-1857). In his schematic history, Comte had argued that human societies had passed through three stages, the theological, the metaphysical, and, finally, the positive scientific stage when what passed for knowledge had to be expressed in terms of natural laws. Final causes had no place in that final stage. In his metaphysical notebook, Darwin had written: "M. Le Comte argues against all contrivance ... it is what my views tend to." (Brooke J.H., "Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives," , Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1995, Reprinted, p.304. Emphasis in original) 7/09/2002 "In losing his beautiful daughter [Annie, in 1851] - the little girl who had meant so much to him with her perfect character, so charming and gentle, a child who had never knowingly upset anyone and who was bright and intelligent, funny and affectionate - he had also lost any remaining vestige of religious faith he may have had. From that moment on, Darwin was a total, uncompromising atheist: his only god was rationality, his only saviour, logic and science; to that end he would continue to dedicate his life. There was no meaning to existence other than a culmination of biological events. life was selfish and cruel, headless and heartless. Beyond biology there was nothing." (White M. & Gribbin J., "Darwin: A Life in Science", , Simon & Schuster London, 1996, p.156) 7/09/2002 "Clearly Darwin had outgrown what he must have perceived as the notions of religious idealists who were guided solely by emotion and a fatal cocktail of fear and faith. From somewhat unorthodox Christian he had swung through agnosticism (actually a term coined by Huxley to describe his own position some ten years later), atheism and on almost to a precursor of existentialism. In both the microcosm seen through the lens of his microscope and the macro-scale universe beginning to be revealed by the astronomers of the day, he could see only struggle, temporary victory and defeat; lying beneath it all, black and unmoving, there was a complete absence of meaning." (White M. & Gribbin J., "Darwin: A Life in Science", , Simon & Schuster London, 1996, p.224) 9/09/2002 "Not many years ago when I was an atheist, if anyone had asked me, `Why do you not believe in God?' my reply would have run something like this: ... If you ask me to believe that this is, the work of a benevolent and omnipotent spirit, I reply that all the evidence points in the opposite direction. Either there is no spirit behind the universe, or else a spirit indifferent to good and evil, or else an evil spirit.' There was one question which I never dreamed of raising. I never noticed that the very strength and facility of the pessimists' case at once poses us a problem. If the universe is so bad, or even half so bad, how on earth did human beings ever come to attribute it to the activity of a wise and good Creator? Men are fools, perhaps; but hardly so foolish as that. The direct inference from black to white, from evil flower to virtuous root, from senseless work to a workman infinitely wise, staggers belief. The spectacle of the universe as revealed by experience can never have been the ground of religion: it must always have been something in spite of which religion, acquired from a different source, was held." (Lewis C.S.*, "The Problem of Pain," , Fount: London, 1977, reprint, pp.11-13) 9/09/2002 "Like E.O. Wilson, I was brought up a Southern Baptist. Like him, I encountered the theory of evolution as a teenager. Like him, I was bowled over by its power and beauty. Like his religious faith, mine did not survive this encounter with science in good shape. But there is one difference between Wilson and me. He seems to have had no trouble filling the void. I, in contrast, regularly get wistful about the days when the question of purpose was settled once and for all, when I knew for certain why I was here and how I was supposed to behave. And somehow I find it hard to believe that he never does. So I ask him: Doesn't he long for the days when he believed there was a God up there watching over him? Doesn't he lose any sleep over life after death? He shakes his head firmly. "None," he says finally and proudly. I don't worry about my own immortality." Still, a funny thing happened a couple of years ago. Harvard was honoring Martin Luther King, Sr., and Reverend King, as part of the festivities, was preaching at the Harvard Memorial Chapel. Wilson, being a southerner, was invited to the service. There was a large turnout. The reverend preached fervently, and the congregation sang richly, and one of the hymns hit home with Wilson-"one of the good, old-timey ones that I hadn't heard since I was a kid." Partway through it, E.O. Wilson-scientific materialist, detached empiricist, confirmed Darwinian-started crying. As if in atonement, he has a perfectly rational explanation. It was tribal," he says. It was the feeling that I had been a long way away from the tribe." (Wright R., "Three Scientists and Their Gods: Looking for Meaning in an Age of Information," Times Books: New York NY, 1988, pp.191-192) 9/09/2002 "Our creationist detractors charge that evolution is an unproved and unprovable charade-a secular religion rnasquerading as science. They claim, above all, that evolution generates no predictions, never exposes itself to test, and therefore stands as dogma rather than disprovable science. This claim is nonsense. We make and test risky predictions all the time; our success is not dogma, but a highly probable indication of evolution's basic truth. As in any historical science, most predictions refer to an unknown past (technically called `postdictions' in the jargon). For example, every time I collect fossils in Paleozoic rocks (550 to 225 million years old), I predict that I will not find fossil mammals-for mammals evolved in the subsequent Triassic period (while young-earth creationists, claiming that God made life in six days of twenty-four hours, should expect to encounter mammals in all strata). If I find fossil mammals, particularly such late-evolving creatures as cows, cats, elephants, and humans, in Paleozoic strata, our evolutionary goose is cooked." (Gould, S.J., "Magnolias from Moscow," in "Dinosaur in a Haystack: Reflections in Natural History," Harmony Books: New York NY, 1995, p.409) 10/09/2002 "It is, as I call now see, probable that all organic beings, including man, possess peculiarities of structure, which neither are now, nor were formerly of any service to them, and which, therefore, are of no physiological importance. We know not what produces the numberless slight differences between the individuals of each species, for reversion only carries the problem a few stops backwards, but each peculiarity must have had its efficient cause. If these causes, whatever they may be, were to act more uniformly and energetically during a lengthened period (and against this no reason can be assigned), the result would probably be not a mere slight individual difference, but a well marked and constant modification, though one of no physiological importance. Changed structures, which are in no way beneficial, cannot be kept uniform through natural selection, though the injurious will be thus eliminated. Uniformity of character would, how ever, naturally follow from the assumed uniformity of the exciting causes, and likewise from the free intercrossing of many individuals. During successive periods, the same organism might in this manner acquire successive modifications, which would be transmitted in a nearly uniform state as long as the exciting causes remained the same and there was free inter crossing. With respect to the exciting causes we can only say, as when speaking of so-called spontaneous variations, that they relate much more closely to the constitution of the varying organism, than to the nature of the conditions to which it has been subjected." (Darwin, C.R., "The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex," , John Murray: London, Second Edition, 1922, reprint, pp.92-93) 13/09/2002 "First, it may be thought that, successful though naturalistic science is, it is spectacularly insufficient in explaining the origin of mind which is best accounted for by divine creative interventions. Second, one may be puzzled by the finely adjusted details of physical existence which seem just right for the evolution of conscious life - at least, in so far as they look like necessary conditions for that evolution - and a version of the design argument for a god's existence may be suggested. It is here that appeals to the so-called `anthropic principle' may be made. But, third, it can be argued that the facts of mental life support mind-body dualism, which holds that the mind is a substance distinct from the body; and inasmuch as this is a plausible view so the dualist theory of a god distinct from the world gains in plausibility." (Olding A., "Modern Biology and Natural Theology," Routledge: London, 1991, pp.xx-xxi) 13/09/2002 "It seems to me also that the line of your pursuits may have led you to view chiefly the difficulties on one side, and that you have not had time to consider and study the chain of difficulties on the other, but I believe you do not consider your opinion as formed. May not the habit in scientific pursuits of believing nothing till it is proved, influence your mind too much in other things which cannot be proved in the same way, and which if true are likely to be above our comprehension. I should say also there is a danger in giving up revelation which does not exist on the other side, that is the fear of ingratitude in casting off what has been done for your benefit as well as for that of all the world and which ought to make you still more careful, perhaps even fearful lest you should not have taken all the pains you could to judge truly." (Darwin, Emma, personal letter 1839 to her husband Charles, in Barlow N., ed., "The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809-1882: With Original Omissions Restored," , W.W. Norton & Co: New York NY, 1969, reprint, p.236) 13/09/2002 "But even the simplest of these substances represent extremely complex compounds, containing many thousands of atoms of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen arranged in absolutely definite patterns, which are specific for each separate substance. To the student of protein structure the spontaneous formation of such an atomic arrangement in the protein molecule would seem as improbable as would the accidental origin of the text of Virgil's `Aeneid' from scattered letter type." (Oparin A.I., "The Origin of Life," , Morgulis S., transl., Second Edition, 1965, pp.132-133). 14/09/2002 "Researchers have considered the 97% of the DNA in the human genome that does not encode protein as 'junk DNA.' ... Most of this enormous, silent genetic majority has long been thought to have no real function--hence it's name: `junk DNA.' But one researcher's trash is another researcher's treasure, and a growing number of scientists believe that hidden in the junk DNA are intellectual riches .... Rather than being considered a catalogue of useful genes interspersed with useless junk, each chromosome is beginning to be viewed as a complex `information organelle,' replete with sophisticated maintenance and control systems--some embedded in what was thought to be mere waste. ... when geneticists started studying complex, multicellular organisms, it was easy to dismiss the vast reaches of non-protein-coding DNA as a wasteland. Now, however, that notion is being overturned as researchers find that junk DNA is not a single midden heap ... but a complex mix of different types of DNA, many of which are vital to the life of the cell. ... now it seems that patches of really important regulatory elements can be buried among the junk DNA. ... These key regulatory elements can even occur in what many geneticists have considered the ultimate in genetic detritus: the repetitive sequences scattered throughout the genomes of higher organisms. These genetic stutters have come to epitomize junk because their structures are simple to the point of absurdity, sometimes including only two or three nucleotides repeated thousands of times. In addition, the lengths and compositions of these repetitions often vary wildly between species, between organisms of the same species, even between cells of the same organism. ... Now, however, it appears some repetitive sequences may contain stretches of DNA needed for gene regulation. ... in a dramatic reversal, the repetitive sequences, once thought to be the epitome of genetic debris, now seem to be needed to maintain the integrity of the chromosomes. ... the status of junk DNA ... is likely to keep on rising over the next couple of years. Enough gems have already been uncovered in the genetic midden to show that what was once thought to be waste is definitely being transmuted into scientific gold." (Nowak R., "Mining treasures from 'junk DNA'," Science, Vol. 263, No. 5147, p.608) 14/09/2002 "The greatest single achievement of nature to date was surely the invention of the molecule of DNA. We have had it from the very beginning, built into the first cell to emerge, membranes and all, somewhere in the soupy water of the cooling planet three thousand million years or so ago. All of today's DNA, strung through all the cells of the earth, is simply an extension and elaboration of that first molecule. In a fundamental sense we cannot claim to have made progress, since the method used for growth and replication is essentially unchanged. ... We have come a long way on that old molecule. We could never have done it with human intelligence, even if molecular biologists had been flown in by satellite at the beginning, laboratories and all, from some other solar system. We have evolved scientists, to be sure, and so we know a lot about DNA, but if our kind of mind had been confronted with the problem of designing a similar replicating molecule, starting from scratch, we'd never have succeeded. We would have made one fatal mistake: our molecule would have been perfect. Given enough time, we would have figured out how to do this, nucleotides, enzymes, and all, to make flawless, exact copies, but it would never have occurred to us, thinking as we do, that the thing had to be able to make errors." (Thomas L., "The Medusa and the Snail: More Notes of a Biology Watcher," . Bantam: New York NY, Reprinted, 1986, pp.22-23). 15/09/2002 "It is interesting to notice that a large part of the world has now adopted a negative creed, as little supported by the findings of science as is the positive creed of the religious. The attitude of science to spiritual matters has evidently been widely and profoundly misunderstood. The public seems to believe that a materialistic philosophy has been established by the findings of science. Science is materialistic inasmuch as all its data are material events and can therefore give no information about anything but matter. For Science to affirm or deny the existence of the soul would be as absurd, as for Religion to affirm or deny the Law of Conservation of Energy. If a man allows his whole existence to be guided by science, he will be a materialist, but if he chooses to be so guided, it is not the fault of Science. It would seem that the fallacy that materialism is a proven truth has infected a great part of the civilised world, and has probably gone far to contribute to the disintegration of moral values which is causing the present world-convulsion." (Sherwood Taylor F., "The Century of Science," Readers Union: London, Second Edition, 1942, p.256) 15/09/2002 "I suggest that all these paleoanthropological narratives approximate the structure of a hero tale, along the lines proposed by Vladimir Propp in his classic Morphology of the Folktale (1928). They feature a humble hero who departs on a journey, receives essential equipment from a helper or donor figure, goes through tests and transformations, and finally arrives at a higher state. But it is part of my argument that, as in Propp's tales, this narrative schema can accommodate widely varying sequences of events, heroes and donors corresponding to the underlying evolutionary beliefs of their authors. A main goal of this book is to show how widely the followers of Charles Darwin depart from Darwinian natural selection as the guiding force that helps the hero forward, and how their interpretations of the fossil record vary according to their convictions about this primary causal agent." (Landau M., "Narratives of Human Evolution," Yale University Press: New Haven CT, 1991, p.xi) 16/09/2002 "The course of evolution since his emergence is seen to be determined by new factors of a nonbiological kind: man himself began to produce a new set of causal factors and thereby initiated a new kind of evolution. Finally, it is believed that an understanding of these factors will enable modern man to direct his own evolution. Though these may be verifiable contentions, they far exceed what can be inferred from the study of fossils alone and in fact place a heavy burden of interpretation on the fossil record - a burden which is relieved by placing fossils into preexisting narrative structures. The fossil record itself may gain much of its aura of self-evidence from the incantatory authority of the ancient narrative structures it follows." (Landau M., "Narratives of Human Evolution," Yale University Press: New Haven CT, 1991, p.148) 17/09/2002 "Nevertheless, nagging thoughts remain. Can it really be true that Darwinism, which overturns all our former ideas about man and nature, has no unsettling consequences? Traditional morality is based, in part, on the idea that human life has a special value and worth. If we must give up our inflated conception of ourselves, and our picture of the world as made exclusively for our habitation, will we not have to give up, at the same time, those elements of our morality which depend on such conceptions? The feeling that Darwin's discovery undermines traditional religion, as well as some parts of traditional morality, will not go away, despite the nice logical points about what follows from what, and despite the fact that one might not want to side with evolution's enemies. I believe this feeling is justified. There is a connection between Darwin's theory and these larger matters, although the connection is more complicated than simple logical entailment. I shall argue that Darwin's theory does undermine traditional values. In particular, it undermines the traditional idea that human life has a special, unique worth." (Rachels J., "Created from Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism," , Oxford University Press: New York NY, 1999, reprint, pp.3-4) 19/09/2002 "The application of what I have been saying to the creationist controversy is straightforward. It seems to me that the attempts by creationists to foist their particular brand of dreadful science on public school curricula are pernicious. We should resist such attempts and resist them effectively in the political realm. But some of the creationists who are making such attempts are, to put it not too harshly, shysters. So there may well be circumstances in which only the bad effective argument will work against them in the political or legal arenas. If there are, then I think, though I come to this conclusion reluctantly, it is morally permissible for us to use the bad effective argument, provided we continue to have qualms of conscience about getting our hands soiled. But I also believe we must be very careful not to allow ourselves to slide all the way down the slippery slope to intellectual corruption. Perhaps, if we divide up the labor so that no one among us has to resort to the bad effective argument too frequently, we can succeed in resisting effectively without paying too high a price in terms of moral corruption." (Quinn P.L., "Creationism, Methodology, and Politics," in Ruse M., ed., "But is it Science?: The Philosophical Question in the Creation/Evolution Controversy," Prometheus Books: Amherst NY, 1996, pp.398-399) 18/09/2002 "Traditional morality depends on the idea that human beings are in a special moral category: from a moral point of view, human life has a special, unique value, while non-human life has relatively little value. Thus the purpose of morality is conceived to be, primarily, the protection of human beings and their rights and interests. This is commonly referred to as the idea of human dignity. But this idea does not exist in a logical vacuum. Traditionally it has been supported in two ways: first, by the notion that man is made in the image of God, and secondly, by the notion that man is a uniquely rational being. ... Darwin's theory does not entail that the idea of human dignity is false-to say that it does would violate the logical stricture against deriving 'ought' from 'is'. Darwinism does, however, undermine the traditional doctrine, in a sense that I will explain, by taking away its support. Darwinism undermines both the idea that man is made in the image of God and the idea that man is a uniquely rational being. Furthermore, if Darwinism is correct, it is unlikely that any other support for the idea of human dignity will be found. The idea of human dignity turns out, therefore, to be the moral effluvium of a discredited metaphysics." (Rachels J., "Created from Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism," , Oxford University Press: New York NY, 1999, reprint, pp.4-5) 19/09/2002 "If there is no God and no after-life, it is important that we should believe this because it will prevent us wasting our time in prayer and worship and vain pursuit of everlasting life; it will also prevent us disseminating false information on important matters. Nevertheless, it is, I think, difficult to avoid the view that it is more important to believe that there is a God, if in fact there is a God, than to believe that there is no God, if in fact there is no God. Thus failure to hold a true belief that there is a God could lead to us failing to worship a God to whom worship is due; whereas, if through a false belief that there is a God, we worship a God who does not exist, no-one is thereby wronged. Further, failure to hold a true belief that there is a God could lead to the loss of everlasting life, for if this belief is conjoined with a true belief that, if there is a God, he will give everlasting life after death to those who live a certain kind of life on Earth, a man who has these beliefs is in a position to gain that life. And even if the other religious belief is that if there is a God he will give everlasting life after death to any who try to live a good life on Earth, those beliefs together could encourage a man to persevere with a worthwhile life on Earth and so gain that everlasting life ..., whereas failure to hold a true atheistic belief could involve at most the waste of a short finite life. This seems to be one correct point in the argumentation of Pascal's Wager, in which there are a number of incorrect points ..." (Swinburne, R.G.*, "Faith and Reason," Clarendon Press: Oxford, 1981, p.81) 19/09/2002 "The `theory of evolution' is an overworked term, in its popular usage, and unfortunate besides, because it implies that, after all, there may be something dubious about it. Evolution is a fact, like digestion. I have never seen my own digestive processes, but I would not be so fatuous as to cast doubt on their existence by talking-about the `theory of digestion.' The phrase is doubtless the expression of a die-hard prejudice." (Howells, W.W., "Mankind So Far," Doubleday, Doran & Co: Garden City NY, 1946, p.5) 20/09/2002 "No one disputes the fact that modern humans and the living great apes had a common ancestor. We have enough characteristics in common for it to be clear that our lives diverged comparatively recently. We still share something like 98 percent of our genetic material with chimpanzees. The similarities between us and the apes are evident and easily understood. It is the differences that are perplexing. Why should our backs be straight, our skins bare, and our lives laced together with webs of words? Somewhere in the genetic 2 percent that makes us uniquely human lie reasons to account for the fact that our posture, our locomotion, and our intellect should be so different from theirs. We seem to have spent a large part of the last 10 million years rushing through a series of evolutionary adaptations while the apes changed relatively little. Why? What was it that made such changes necessary? Something must have happened to us that didn't happen to the chimps and gorillas. But what? Theories abound and range, according to your taste, from environmental factors that drove our ancestors out of the forest, to banishment from the Garden of Eden by divine decree. In other words, we became erect, naked, and intelligent either because of a change of climate or due to an act of God. Both theories are tenable. Scientists, of course, tend to favor the former, but it is important to understand that, in the absence of appropriate fossil evidence, it is actually no more susceptible to proof than any of the more traditional accounts of creation." (Watson L., "The Dreams of Dragons: Riddles of Natural History," William Morrow & Co: New York NY, 1987, p.127) 20/09/2002 "Thus a biologist of repute at Oxford, having been challenged for an actual case of Natural Selection in the second sense, gave the instance of black moths in a certain wood. The trees of the woods were dark pines; with the result that white moths had a bad time, being easily picked off, while the black moths flourished. But when the trees of the wood were gradually replaced by light coloured birch trees, it was the other way about; the white moths flourished and the black moths diminished. Surely it hardly needed great learning to expect such a result! But the scientist mixed up that obvious result with a totally different thing, to wit, the turning of the black moths into white moths through the new birch plantation." (Belloc H. "Essays of a Catholic Layman in England," Sheed & Ward: London, 1931, p.206) 20/09/2002 "Darwin's Missing Evidence. In his time certain species of moths were light in color. Today in many areas these species are largely dark. If he had noticed the change occurring, he would have observed evolution in action ... Charles Darwin's Origin of Species, the centenary of which we celebrate in 1959, was the fruit of 26 years of laborious accumulation of facts from nature. Others before Darwin had believed in evolution, but he alone produced a cataclysm of data in support of it. Yet there were two fundamental gaps in his chain of evidence. First, Darwin had no knowledge of the mechanism of heredity. Second, he had no visible example of evolution at work in nature. It is a curious fact that both of these gaps could have been filled during Darwin's lifetime. Although Gregor Mendel's laws of inheritance were not discovered by the community of biologists until 1900, they had first been published in 1866. And before Darwin died in 1882, the most striking evolutionary change ever witnessed by man was taking place around him in his own country. The change was simply this.- Less than a century ago moths of certain species were characterized by their light coloration, which matched such backgrounds as light tree trunks and lichen-covered rocks, on which the moths passed the daylight hours sitting motionless. Today in many areas the same species are predominantly dark! We now call this reversal `industrial melanism.'" (Kettlewell, H.B.D., "Darwin's Missing Evidence," Scientific American, Vol. 201, No. 3, March 1959, pp.48-53, p.48) 20/09/2002 "Obviously, I love and cherish Darwinian evolutionary theory, as one of the great intellectual achievements of all time. But my pleading is not just for Darwinism, or any kind of evolutionism. It is for all human inquiry, particularly all scientific inquiry. If Darwinism is beaten down by the Creationists, who falls next? ... In a sense, these are dark days. The threat will not vanish, unless we fight. But, the battle can be won. Darwinism has a great past. Let us work to see that it has an even greater future." (Ruse M., "Darwinism Defended: A Guide to the Evolution Controversies," , Addison-Wesley: Reading MA, 1983, Third Printing, p.329) 21/09/2002 What about observations of selection actually changing one form to another? Again we turn to Darwin's homeland, for the best-known sets of studies on natural selection in action are those by English evolutionists on the evolving melanic forms in moths. To take the most fully documented case, the moth Biston betularia, it has been recorded beyond doubt that in the past century the moth has evolved, from a uniformly mottled, light gray color to a dark "melanic" form. And, the reason is unequivocally a function of natural selection. The chief danger to the moths is predators, specifically birds that eat them. Against a clean, lichen-colored tree, the light mottled moths are well camouflaged, whereas the melanic moths are at a selective disadvantage. However, in the past 100 years, thanks to the rise of industry, the consequent air pollution and the soot-blackening of tree barks, the tables have turned. Now, it is the melanic forms that are camouflaged and at an adaptive advantage, and it is the gray forms that stand out and are picked off by predators. ... Not only has this process been actually seen to happen, but the conclusions been backed up by experiment. The late H.B.D. Kettlewell of Oxford University released hundreds of light and dark moths in polluted and unpolluted areas of England (Birmingham and Dorset, respectively). Expectedly, it was found that birds in Birmingham could spot gray forms more easily, and that birds in Dorset could spot melanic forms more easily. These differences were also dramatically underlined when moths were recaptured. Proportionately, far more melanic forms could be taken in Birmingham, and proportionately far more gray forms in Dorset. ... In short, everything points to the effectiveness of selection." (Ruse M., "Darwinism Defended: A Guide to the Evolution Controversies," , Addison-Wesley: Reading MA, 1983, Third Printing, pp.101,103) 21/09/2002 "Darwin realized that the vast majority of offspring produced by most organisms failed to survive to reproduce. What, then, he asked, determines who succeeds in reproducing and who does not? In an analog to the practices of animal breeders and plant propagators, he surmised that nature selects the offspring that are going to be the parents of the next generation. And which ones does nature select? Those that are best able to survive and reproduce. This somewhat tautological concept of natural selection-that the fittest survive and those that survive are the fittest-is, even today, the centerpiece of evolutionary theory." (Ehrlich P.R., "The Machinery of Nature," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, 1986, p.62) 21/09/2002 "Just as we see no reason to suppose that unusual processes were going on in the early universe, there is no reason to postulate special starting conditions for the Big Bang. For example, we saw that during the particle era electrons and positrons annihilated each other until only electrons were left. One to explain this would be to assume that there were more electrons than positrons at the moment of creation. But this is no explanation at all-it merely assumes what we want to prove. Therefore, rather than make such arbitrary assumptions, we will assume that equal numbers of positrons and electrons were present at creation and look to the laws of physics to tell us how there came to be more of one than the other at a later time. Thus we come to our second rule. Rule II: No special conditions may be postulated at the creation. ... One of the striking facts about the earthly environment is the noticeable scarcity of antimatter. Small amounts can be created in specialized laboratories, but all of the antimatter created in the history of science would not fill a thimble. Our satellites and planetary probes have landed on, or passed near, most other important bodies in our solar system and brought back the same verdict: no antimatter anywhere. ... The question of how to explain this apparent imbalance in nature is known as the antimatter problem. The antimatter problem can be resolved in only two ways: either there was a preponderance of matter over antimatter when the Big Bang entered the particle era, or the antimatter in the galaxy has somehow segregated itself from the matter, and some of the more distant galaxies are, in fact, antigalaxies. If indeed there was an imbalance at the one- millisecond point, then there are two ways in which it could have arisen: either the universe started out with more matter than antimatter, or there is some process in the period before the start of the particle era that produced more matter than antimatter. ... While we cannot prove that there are no regions of antimatter anywhere in the universe, there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that there are. In the face of this result, interest in this particular solution to the antimatter problem has waned considerably in recent years. THE BIG BANG STARTED WITH MORE MATTER THAN ANTIMATTER This solution cannot be ruled out either, since it is impossible to go backward in time and see the Big Bang. Perhaps, if no other solution can be found, we would be forced to fall back on this one, but it does constitute a violation of Rule 2. Besides, there is an inherent ugliness in assuming what should be proved, for it simply leads us to the obvious next question: Why should the universe have started this way? To a physicist, the only net particle number that does not need to be explained is zero." (Trefil J.S., "The Moment of Creation: Big Bang Physics From Before the First Millisecond to the Present Universe," Charles Scribner's Sons: New York NY, 1983, pp.32,38-40. Capitals in original) 22/09/2002 "Despite the fact that we have to push into regions of energy and temperature that we have not, and probably cannot, explore experimentally, we can still do so in a way that is in harmony with the traditional way science is done and that does not simply introduce special ad hoc assumptions to explain what we find. So important is this aspect of modern cosmology in this age of creation "science" that we will state it as a basic rule (Rule I). Rule I: The laws of nature that have operated at any time since the Big Bang still operate today and can be understood by theories which can be tested experimentally. The philosophically inclined reader will recognize this rule as a statement of the doctrine of uniformitarianism, which first arose during the debates on geological evolution during the nineteenth century. It is not a statement that can be proved in the way that a theorem in geometry can be proved, but it reflects an important frame of mind among scientists. It is always possible to "explain" any known fact by tailoring a theory to fit it. Such explanations abound among believers in UFOs and other paranormal phenomena. They have the same validity in physics as Kipling's Just So Stories do in biology. If conventional theories simply cannot explain a given phenomenon, of course, unconventional ideas may become necessary. Until that time we will abide by Rule I." (Trefil J.S., "The Moment of Creation: Big Bang Physics From Before the First Millisecond to the Present Universe," Charles Scribner's Sons: New York NY, 1983, pp.32-33) 22/09/2002 "Finally, we may whimsically observe that the virgin birth of Christ was even more miraculous than it has been presented, for it is very difficult to see how an all-female gamete could have developed into a viable fetus. This is a frivolous point, however. After all, many theologians argue that the virgin birth is not meant to be taken literally, while others might reasonably suggest that miracles occur when God chooses to suspend the natural laws; and if once the laws are suspended, then anything can happen." (Tudge C., "The Engineer in the Garden: Genetics: From the Idea of Heredity to the Creation of Life." , Pimlico: London, 1995, reprint, p.154) 22/09/2002 "Consider what is known about selection pressures in natural populations. In only a relative handful of cases has this been studied directly, the most famous example being that of the peppered moth, Biston betularia, in England. ... The question remains: How typical are the strong selection pressures uncovered in these and the handful of other studies? From the studies that have been done, one might conclude that evolution has been zig-zagging along under the influence of strong selection tracking an everchanging environment. In other words, strong selection operating in different directions at different times could, over long periods, produce products of evolution that (especially in groups without fossil records) are indistinguishable from those produced by constant weak selection operating in one direction. But the question cannot yet be answered because the sample of studies of selection in nature is clearly biased toward those in which the operation of strong selection has attracted the attention of investigators. To understand nature as a whole, we need to avoid such bias." (Ehrlich P.R., "The Machinery of Nature," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, 1986, pp.72-74) 23/09/2002 "Textbooks thus begin by truncating the scientist's sense of his discipline's history and then proceed to supply a substitute for what they have eliminated. Characteristically, textbooks of science contain just a bit of history, either in an introductory chapter or, more often in scattered references to the great heroes of an earlier age. From such references both students and professionals come to feel like participants in a long- standing historical tradition. Yet the textbook-derived tradition in which scientists come to sense their participation is one that, in fact, never existed. For reasons that are both obvious and highly functional, science textbooks (and too many of the older histories of science) refer only to that part of the work of past scientists that can easily be viewed as contributions to the state merit and solution of the texts' paradigm problems. Partly by selection and partly by distortion, the scientists of earlier ages are implicitly represented as having worked upon the same set of fixed problems and in accordance with the same set of fixed canons that the most recent revolution in scientific theory and method has made seem scientific. No wonder that textbooks and the historical tradition they imply have to be rewritten after each scientific revolution. And no wonder that, as they are rewritten, science once again comes to seem largely cumulative." (Kuhn T.S., "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions," , University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, Third edition, 1996, pp.137-138) 23/09/2002 "Scientists are not, of course the only group that tends to see its discipline's past developing linearly toward its present vantage. The temptation to write history backward is both omnipresent and perennial. But scientists are more affected by the temptation to rewrite history, partly because the results of scientific research show no obvious dependence upon the historical context of the inquiry, and partly because, except during crisis and revolution, the scientist's contemporary position seems so secure. More historical detail whether of science's present or of its past, or more responsibility to the historical details that are presented, could only give artificial status to human idiosyncrasy, error, and confusion. Why dignify what science's best and most persistent efforts have made it possible to discard? The depreciation of historical fact is deeply, and probably functionally, ingrained in the ideology of the scientific profession, the same profession that places the highest of all values upon factual details of other sorts." (Kuhn T.S., "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions," , University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, Third edition, 1996, p.138) 23/09/2002 "And so the two greatest scientists that England has produced came to lie side by side in the Abbey- Newton, who banished miracles from the physical world and reduced God to the role of a cosmic designer who on the day of creation had brought the clockwork mechanism of the universe into being to tick away according to the inevitable laws of its nature; and Darwin, who banished not only miracles but also creation and design from the world of life, robbed God of his role of creator of man, and man of his divine origin." (Huxley, J.S. & Kettlewell, H.B.D., "Charles Darwin and His World," , Book Club Associates: London, 1975, reprint, p.126) 23/09/2002 "There is an additional factor that needs to be taken into account here. The recent growth in the creationist movement has been matched by an increase in the number of popular science books on evolution, often written by authors who are openly hostile to religion. Some indeed have used their account of evolution to build an atheistic worldview at odds with any concept of creation or providence. Stephen Jay Gould, for example, has done this in his well-known books and essays (e.g. Wonderful Life, Dinosaur in a Haystack). He makes it clear that he believes humans are merely an accidental outcome of evolutionary history, the product of an uncaring Universe and not in any way created in God's image. This view is not put forward as a personal opinion but is presented as a definite conclusion that science compels us to accept. It may seem like a small point but Gould, in the name of science, is dismissing a concept that is central to the Jewish and Christian religions. Small wonder, then, that the creationists rise up in protest. For the growth of the creationist movement has been fuelled by a sense of outrage at the way atheist beliefs and secular values are often presented as if they were part of biological science. To put it in the vernacular: if someone says `my science shows that your religion is bunk', the natural reaction is `well then there must be something wrong with your science.'" (Young D., "The Evolution of Creationism," Australasian Science, Vol. 23, No. 3, April 2002, pp.20-21. http://www.control.com.au/233religion2.htm) 23/09/2002 "Natural Selection in Action. Natural Selection can be seen to be at work here and now in directing evolution. ... An example of this type of research is that of H.B.D. Kettlewell on 'industrial melanism' in moths.... Up to 1848 the British Peppered Moth existed in its typical grey form known as Biston betularia, which is remarkably well adapted to resemble the lichens on the bark of trees. From that date, a dark melanic variety appeared, known as carbonaria, which is extremely conspicuous against the natural bark of trees. It is controlled by a single dominant Mendelian gene and is slightly more vigorous than the normal grey type. Nevertheless, because of its conspicuous colour the carbonaria variety was constantly eliminated, and this variety only persisted in the populations of the Peppered Moth because the same mutation kept on occurring again and again. The Industrial Revolution brought about a marked change in the environment, since the pollution of the air by increasing quantities of carbon dust killed the lichens on the trees and rendered their trunks and branches black. Under these conditions it is the carbonaria variety which is favoured and the betularia penalized. This has been proved by direct observation of the feeding of birds, and by measurement of the survival rates of the different forms in the different environments. The dark carbonaria form survives 17% less well in an unpolluted area and 10% better in a polluted area. One hundred years ago the dark variety of the Peppered Moth formed less than 1% of the population; today in industrial areas it forms 99%, and selection has made it more intensively black than when it first appeared." (de Beer G., "A Handbook on Evolution", Trustees of the British Museum of Natural History: London, Fourth Edition, 1970, pp.21-22) 23/09/2002 "Equivocation is when the meaning of words is shifted. Many false arguments use equivocation to convince an audience. Equivocation makes natural selection slippery and provides its apparent scientific power. If natural selection were consistently either tautology [T], or special definition [SD], or metaphysics [M] or lame [L], then it would not have lasted so long in the scientific arena. ... The illusion is achieved by shifting between T, SD, M, and L. In this way natural selection can appear to have all the good qualities one could want in science: empirical, measurable, explanatory, general, testable, non-tautologous, and true. This shift can happen rapidly during a book or lecture. Once we understand the principle, watching natural selection in action is like watching the three-shell game at the carnival. One never knows which of the walnut shells the pea will be under next. Proponents of natural selection have many options during a debate. These options depend on which version (T,SD,M,L) they are using when challenged. ... In summary, the scientific stature of natural selection is an illusion. The illusion is created by shifting back and forth between various formulations tautology (T), special definitions (SD), metaphysics (M), and lame formulations (L)." (ReMine W.J.*, "The Biotic Message: Evolution Versus Message Theory," St. Paul Science: Saint Paul MN, 1993, pp.107-108) 24/09/2002 "For we shall find that since the time of Hume, the fashionable scientific philosophy has been such as to deny the rationality of science. ... Some variant of Hume's philosophy has generally prevailed among men of science. But scientific faith has risen to the occasion, and has tacitly removed the philosophic mountain. In view of this strange contradiction in scientific thought, it is of the first importance to consider the antecedents of a faith which is impervious to the demand for a consistent rationality. We have therefore to trace the rise of the instinctive faith that there is an Order of Nature which can be traced in every detailed occurrence. Of course we all share in this faith, and we therefore believe that the reason for the faith is our apprehension of its truth. .... How has this conviction been so vividly implanted in the European mind? When we compare this tone of thought in Europe with the attitude of other civilisations when left to themselves, there seems but one source for its origin. It must come from the medieval insistence on the rationality of God, conceived as with the personal energy of Jehovah and with the rationality of a Greek philosopher." (Whitehead A.N., "Science and the Modern World," , Penguin Books: Harmondsworth, Middlesex UK, 1938, reprint, pp.14-15, 24) 24/09/2002 "The melanism of moths occurs in many parts of the world that are not industrialized, and in environments that are quite different. ... In each case recurrent mutation has provided the source of the change, and natural selection, as postulated by Darwin, has decided its destiny. ... Had Darwin observed industrial melanism he would have seen evolution occurring not in thousands of years but in thousands of days-well within his lifetime. He would have witnessed the consummation and confirmation of his life's work." (Kettlewell, H.B.D., "Darwin's Missing Evidence," Scientific American, Vol. 201, No. 3, March 1959, pp.48-53, p.53) 25/09/2002 "Equally, it is why, before they can hope to communicate fully, one group or the other must experience the conversion that we have been calling a paradigm shift. Just because it is a transition between incommensurables, the transition between competing paradigms cannot be made a step at a time, forced by logic and neutral experience. Like the gestalt switch, it must occur all at once (though not necessarily in an instant) or not at all. How, then, are scientists brought to make this transposition? Part of the answer is that they are very often not. Copernicanism made few converts for almost a century after Copernicus' death. Newton's work was not generally accepted. particularly on the Continent, for more than half a century after the Principia appeared. Priestley never accepted the oxygen theory, nor Lord Kelvin the electromagnetic theory, and so on. The difficulties of conversion have often been noted by scientists themselves. Darwin, in a particularly perceptive passage at the end of his Origin of Species, wrote.. `Although I am fully convinced of the truth of the views given in this volume .... I by no means expect to convince experienced naturalists whose minds are stocked with a multitude of facts all viewed, during a long course of years, from a point of view directly opposite to mine. ... [B]ut I look with confidence to the future,-to young and rising naturalists, who will be able to view both sides of the question with impartiality.' And Max Planck, surveying his own career in his Scientific Autobiography, sadly remarked that `a new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.'" (Kuhn T.S., "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions," , University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, Third edition, 1996, pp.150-151) 25/09/2002 "'That is all very well,' you may say. 'It seems to be true that natural selection can turn moths black in industrial areas, can keep protective coloration up to the mark, can produce resistant strains of bacteria and insect pests But what about really elaborate improvements? Can it transform a reptile's leg into a bird's wing, or turn a monkey into a man? How can a blind and automatic sifting process like selection, operating on a blind and undirected process like mutation, produce organs like the eye or the brain, with their almost incredible complexity and delicacy of adjustment? How can chance produce elaborate design? In a word, are you not asking us to believe too much?' The answer is no: all this is not to much to believe, once one has grasped the way the process operates. .... The clue ... is time. The longer selection operates, the more improbable (in this sense) are its results; and in point of fact it has been operating for a very long time indeed. ... some 2,000 million years. With that length of time available, little adjustments can easily be made to add up to miraculous adaptations; and the slight shifts of gene-frequency between one generation and the next can be multiplied to produce radical improvements and totally new kinds of creatures." (Huxley, J.S., "Evolution in Action," , Penguin: Harmondsworth, Middlesex UK, 1963, reprint, pp.48-49) 26/09/2002 "THE FALLACY OF FALSE ANALOGY. Few techniques of reasoning are so potentially useful-or so potentially dangerous-as analogy. When we reason by analogy we attempt to advance our position by likening an obscure or difficult set of facts to one that is already known and understood and to which it bears a significant resemblance. The fallacy of false analogy arises when the comparison is an erroneous one that distorts the facts in the case being argued. Drawing attention to likenesses can be extremely useful so long as the two things being compared resemble each other in important respects and differ only in trifling ways. If, on the contrary, they are alike in unimportant ways and different in important ways, then there is no valid analogy between them and a fallacy of false analogy results. Merely to seize upon some slight similarity as a basis for concluding that what is true of one is also true of the other will usually lead one astray. ... To expose a false analogy-or an imperfect analogy, as it is sometimes called-it is necessary to establish that the two things being compared resemble each other in insignificant ways, while they differ in significant ways." (Engel S.M., "With Good Reason: An Introduction to Informal Fallacies," St. Martin's Press: New York NY, Fourth Edition, 1990, Pp.150-151) 26/09/2002 "One with three million noughts after it is the measure of the unlikeliness of a horse the odds against it happening at all. No one would bet on anything so improbable happening; and yet it has happened. It has happened, thanks to the workings of natural selection and the properties of living substance which make natural selection inevitable." (Huxley, J.S., "Evolution in Action," , Penguin: Harmondsworth, Middlesex UK, 1963, reprint, pp.50-51) 26/09/2002 "Kettlewell's work is a classic of modern biology, and his experiments and observations have become a standard reference in texts on evolution and population genetics. Such brief accounts, however, often leave the reader unaware of the numerous qualifications Kettlewell expressed in his original papers. The fact is that many aspects of industrial melanism are still far from understood. For example, the process of change in gene frequencies has usually not reached the point where moth populations in polluted areas are made up entirely of melanics even though the forces of natural selection have now been at work for at least a century. Instead the darker and lighter forms coexist in the state known to geneticists as polymorphism." (Bishop J.A. & Cook L.M., "Moths, Melanism and Clean Air," Scientific American, Vol. 232, No. 1, January 1975, pp.90-99, in Eisner T. & Wilson E.O., "The Insects: Readings from Scientific American," W.H. Freeman & Co: San Francisco CA, 1977, p.164) 26/09/2002 "Fraud in scientific research was the problem of concern to Congressman Albert Gore, Jr. As a member of the House Committee on Science and Technology, Gore was troubled by the rash of serious; cases that had recently come to light. As chairman of its investigations subcommittee, he was determined to do something about the problem. .... Gore and his fellow Congressmen were moved to visible amazement and then anger at the attitudes of the senior scientists they had called as witnesses. The first was Philip Handler, then president of the National Academy of Sciences and leading spokesman for the scientific community. ... Handler at once announced that it gave him `little pleasure and satisfaction' to testify on the subject of scientific fraud. The problem had been `grossly exaggerated' by the press, he said-as plain a way as any of telling the committee it was wasting its time. Scientific fraud happens rarely, and when it does, Handler declared, `it occurs in a system that operates in an effective, democratic and self-correcting mode' that makes detection inevitable. His underlying message came over loud and clear: fraud is a nonproblem, the existing mechanisms of science deal with it perfectly adequately, and Congress should mind its own business. .... As witness after witness followed Handler's lead in saying that existing scientific mechanisms were coping with the problem, the Congressmen became increasingly exasperated. ... but at every turn the scientists stonewalled them. Evident in the impasse was some fundamental disjunction of vision: the two sides were seeing the same situation in totally different ways. The Congressmen saw a fellow group of professionals who apparently preferred to deny a problem existed rather than face up to it. The scientists, confident that their existing self-correction mechanisms made fraud a no-win venture, could not acknowledge it as a problem that might go beyond the mental imbalance of a few individuals." (Broad W. & Wade N., "Betrayers of the Truth: Fraud and Deceit in the Halls of Science," Simon and Schuster: New York NY, 1982, pp.11-13) 27/09/2002 "But College of William and Mary biologist Bruce Grant rushed to the defense of the classical story. While acknowledging that things are more complicated than they appear in text books, Grant insists that "the evidence in support of the basic story is overwhelming." The evidence Grant cites, however, is surprisingly thin. He admits that "we still don't know the natural hiding places of peppered moths," he agrees that 91 the greatest weakness of Kettlewell's mark-release-recapture experiments is that he released the moths during daylight hours," and he repeats his own finding that most accounts of peppered moths "place too much attention on the importance of lichens." Yet Grant claims that Kettlewell's results are valid anyway. There is indisputable evidence for natural selection," he argues, because "even if all of the experiments relating to melanism in peppered moths were jettisoned, we would still possess the most massive data set on record" for a conspicuous evolutionary change. Grant concludes that "no other evolutionary force can explain the direction, velocity, and the magnitude of the changes except natural selection." (Grant B.S., "Fine Tuning the Peppered Moth Paradigm," Evolution 53 (3), 1999, pp. 980984. http://www.wm.edu/biology/melanism.pdf) Evidence for industrial melanism, however, is not necessarily evidence for natural selection, and it is certainly not evidence that the selective agents were predatory birds." (Wells J.*, "Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth?: Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution is Wrong," Regnery: Washington DC, 2000, p.154) 27/09/2002 "One of the most straightforward and widely known cases of a change in gene frequencies by natural selection is that in the peppered moth, Biston betularia, in Britain. ... In 1849 a dark-coloured melanic variety called `carbonaria' was reported for the first time in Manchester. ... During the second part of the 19th century the dominant allele increased rapidly in frequency and by 1895 the 'carbonaria' variety comprised over 95% of the population in the Manchester area. The causes of this rapid alteration in gene frequency which Sheppard once referred to as 'the most spectacular evolutionary change ever witnessed and recorded by man', were extensively studied by Bernard Kettlewell in the 1950s. Kettlewell's work showed that the spread of the 'carbonaria' form was associated with the Industrial Revolution and the parallel spread of pollution caused by the fall-out from factory chimneys. The carbon particles and the SO2 from atmospheric pollution killed the lichen on tree trunks and rocks and gradually changed the habitat of the moth (in the affected regions) from light-coloured lichen-covered surfaces to areas which were bare and blackened with soot. He showed a definite link between the pattern of spread of the 'carbonaria' and the presence of urban industrial pollution. .... This phenomenon ... became known as industrial melanism. Kettlewell also demonstrated that the change in gene frequencies was due to natural selection and that the mechanism of selection involved differential predation by birds. These field studies provided dramatic and convincing evidence of the 'force' of natural selection, in action .... Kettlewell has referred to this work on the peppered moth as "Darwin's Missing Evidence". (Jones R.N. & Karp A., "Introducing Genetics," John Murray: London, 1986, p.271-273. Emphasis original) 27/09/2002 "The Conferees recognize that a quality science education should prepare students to distinguish the data and testable theories of science from religious or philosophical claims that are made in the name of science. Where topics are taught that may generate controversy (such as biological evolution), the curriculum should help students to understand the full range of scientific views that exist, why such topics may generate controversy, and how scientific discoveries can profoundly affect society." ("Santorum Amendment," (SA 799). SenateConference Report on H.R. 1, No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 - (House of Representatives - December 12, 2001). Uniited States Senate, Congressional Record. http://santorum.senate.gov/conferencereport.html) 28/09/2002 "God is free to create through natural or supernatural means, and by rapid processes or over long periods of time; no single type of process can, in an a priori fashion, be identified as uniquely suited to the divine purpose. ... Rather than a two-fold distinction between `natural' and `supernatural' means, it is more biblically accurate to recognize a three-fold distinction among God's works of ordinary providence, special providence, and miracle. In ordinary providence, God works immanently through the regular laws of nature (e.g., causing the grass to grow through the processes of photosynthesis [Ps. 104:14]; creating animals through the normal processes of gestation [Ps. 104:24, 30]); in extraordinary providence, God redirects the forces and laws of nature (e.g., causing a wind to blow quail from the sea to feed the Israelites during the wilderness wanderings [Num. 11:31]); in miracles God transcends the laws of nature for a redemptive purpose (e.g., the floating axhead, [I Kings 6:6]; the feeding of the 5000; and the bodily resurrection of Jesus)." (Davis J.J.*, "Is `Progressive Creation' Still a Helpful Concept?: Reflections on Creation, Evolution, and Bernard Ramm's Christian View of Science and Scripture A Generation Later," American Scientific Affiliation, Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, Vol. 50, December 1998, p.250. http://www.asa3.org/ASA/topics/Evolution/PSCF12-98Davis.html) 28/09/2002 "Darwin was led to his theory of the origin of species largely by consideration of analogies between the activities of the breeder and the conditions under which animals and plants survive in the wild state, and this analogy is embodied in the term 'natural selection'. ... Even the most successful analogies in the history of science break down at some point. Analogies are a valuable guide as to what facts we may expect, but are never final evidence as to what we shall discover. A guide whose reliability is certain to give out at some point must obviously be accepted with caution. We can never feel certain of a conclusion which rests only on analogy, and we must always look for more direct proof." (Thouless R.H., "Straight and Crooked Thinking," , Pan: London, Revised Edition, 1953, 15th Printing, 1973, pp.142-143) 29/09/2002 "Charles Darwin was a decent man who hated slavery-and said so at the risk of controversy. He was a devoted husband and father. He was also a keen observer of animal life-when he limited his perspective to the lower animals. His defects lay in a strong and subjective antireligious bias which seems to have been rooted in his childhood but became increasingly powerful as he grew older. This bias destroyed his objectivity, his ability to make fair judgments based on facts. Prejudice injected an overwhelming negative inclination against religion into his scientific work, causing him to make serious mistakes later discovered by improved technology. Darwin was, in short, perhaps the single most important victim of the atheist syndrome. The atheist syndrome colored his legitimate observations with a subconscious bias against God. The syndrome ruined his health through an agonizing and otherwise unexplained collection of psychosomatic illnesses that turned him into an invalid for the second half of his life. Ultimately, the atheist syndrome destroyed not God, but Darwin." (Koster, J.P.*, Jr., "The Atheist Syndrome," Wolgemuth & Hyatt: Brentwood TN, 1989, p.25) 29/09/2002 "It is not merely that living with out God creates an enormous tension for morality, hope, and meaning; living without God is also making an absolute commitment to a philosophy of life's essence and destiny which, if wrong, affords absolutely no recourse should it be proven false. That is the degree of faith required of one who espouses an antitheistic lifestyle. Bertrand Russell and others, in their own maverick ways, bragged about what they would say to God should they happen to be surprised and meet Him after death. But those grandstanding words impress us more than I believe they will God, and they sound better before the final crossover than they will after. Can man live without God? Of course he can, in a physical sense. Can he live without God in a reasonable way? The answer to that is No! because such a person is compelled to deny a moral law, to abandon hope, to forfeit meaning, and to risk no recovery if he is wrong. Life just offers too much evidence to the contrary. Outside of Christ there is no law, no hope, and no meaning. You, and you alone, are the determiner and definer of these essentials of life; you, and you alone, are the architect of your own moral law; you, and you alone, craft meaning for your own life; you, and you alone, risk everything you have on the basis of hope you envisage. ... You have made life's greatest decision, taken the greatest gamble, and answered the greatest question of our time-if you choose to live without God." (Zacharias R.K.*, "Can Man Live Without God?," Word Publishing: Dallas TX, 1994, pp.60- 61. Emphasis original) 30/09/2002 "When Darwin first published his theory of evolution by natural selection in 1859, what most bothered many professionals was neither the notion of species change nor the possible descent of man from apes. The evidence pointing to evolution, including the evolution of man, had been accumulating for decades, and the idea of evolution had been suggested and widely disseminated before. Though evolution, as such, did encounter resistance, particularly from some religious groups, it was by no means the greatest of the difficulties the Darwinians faced. That difficulty stemmed from an idea that was more nearly Darwin's own. All the well-known preDarwinian evolutionary theories-those of Lamarck, Chambers, Spencer, and the German Naturphilosophen-had taken evolution to be a goaldirected process. The `idea' of man and of the contemporary flora and fauna was thought to have been present from the first creation of life, perhaps in the mind of God. That idea or plan had provided the direction and the guiding force to the entire evolutionary process. Each new stage of evolutionary, development was a more perfect realization of a plan that had been present from the start. For many men the abolition of that teleological kind of evolution was the most significant and least palatable of Darwin's suggestions." (Kuhn T.S., "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions," , University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, Third edition, 1996, pp.171-172) October [top] 1/10/2002 "'Well, now, if you really understand an argument you will be able to indicate to me not only the points in favour of the argument but also the most telling points against it.' 'I suppose so, sir.' 'Good. Please tell me, then, some of the evidence against the theory of Evolution.' 'Against what, sir?' `The theory of Evolution.' 'But there isn't any sir.' - Master-pupil dialogue quoted by Professor G.A. Kerkut, of the University of Southampton, in The Implications of Evolution" (Hitching F., "The Neck of the Giraffe: or Where Darwin Went Wrong," Pan: London, 1982, p.9) 1/10/2002 "Chomsky has opposed the orthodox view concerning the origin of language for many years. In 1972, for instance, he argued against Karl Popper's paraphrase of Darwin's idea that `the evolution of language passed through several stages, in particular a `lower stage' in which vocal gestures are used for expression of emotional - states, for example, and a `higher stage' in which articulated sound is used for expression of thought-in Popper's terms, for description and critical argument...but in fact he establishes no relation between the lower and higher stages and does not suggest a mechanism whereby transition can take place from one stage to the next.... There is no reason to suppose that the gaps are bridgeable. There is no more of a basis for assuming an evolutionary development of `higher' from `lower' stages, in this case, than there is from breathing to walking; the stages have no significant analogy." (Chomsky N.A., "Language and Mind," Harcourt: New York, 1972, p.68, in Oller J.W. & Omdahl J.L., "Origin of the Human Language Capacity: In Whose Image?," in Moreland J.P. ed., "The Creation Hypothesis: Scientific Evidence for an Intelligent Designer", InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1994, p.256) 1/10/2002 "As Dawkins sees it ... any appeal, whether direct or indirect to divine activity logically short-circuits the entire process. The argument goes as follows. The object is to explain the existence of organized complexity-life, the eye, echolocation and so forth. But `a deity capable of engineering all the organized complexity of the world...must already have been vastly complex in the first place.' (Dawkins R., `The Blind Watchmaker,' Norton: New York, 1987, p.316). Thus to appeal in any way to any deity presuppose the very thing-complexity-whose explanation is at issue. This, Dawkins thinks, gets us nowhere at all. As Dawkins sees it, `explanations' of complexity that appeal to a deity already possessing complexity will be completely vacuous unless we can take the next step and provide an explanation for the deity's complexity. ... Dawkins seems to be presupposing that if explanations are not ultimate they are vacuous. .... He seems to be assuming that no origin has been explained unless the ultimate origin of anything appealed to in the explanation has also been explained. In addition to being mistaken, that principle is surely as dangerous for the naturalist as for the theist. To take the parallel case, one could claim that to explain the origin of species by invoking natural processes is to explain precisely nothing, for it leaves unexplained the origin of natural processes. And, of course, attempts to explain natural processes by invoking the big bang or anything else- will generate an exactly similar problem with anything appealed to in that explanation. Any explanation has to begin somewhere, and the principle that no explanation is legitimate unless anything referred to in the explanation is itself explained immediately generates a regress that would effectively destroy any possibility of any explanation for anything." (Ratzsch D.L.*, "The Battle of Beginnings: Why Neither Side is Winning the Creation-Evolution Debate," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove, IL, 1996, pp.191-192. Emphasis original) 2/10/2002 "We may say that a living body or organ is well designed if it has attributes that an intelligent and knowledgeable engineer might have built into it in order to achieve some sensible purpose ..." (Dawkins R., "The Blind Watchmaker," , Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, p.21) 2/10/2002 "What could cause rectangular ridges on Mars? As data flows in from the two spacecraft currently orbiting Mars, surface structures are seen that are not immediately understood. These structures pose puzzles that planetary geologists are eager to solve, as they might provide clues to past processes that have shaped Mars over billions of years. On the right of the above image is an unusual array of ridges first spotted in Mariner 9 data in 1972. A ridge wall runs for about 5 kilometers. Two competing progenitor theories include hardened sand dunes and once-molten rock that seeped through surface cracks and cooled. Dubbed "Inca City" for their resemblance to stone walls of an ancient Earth civilization, the new Mars Global Surveyor images now show them to be part of a larger circular pattern, indicating an origin possibly related to the impact crater. (Non-natural origin hypotheses are not invoked by conservative scientists unless clear indications exist that natural processes could not work.)" (Nemiroff R. & Bonnell J., eds., "Rectangular Ridges on Mars," Astronomy Picture of the Day, October 1, 2002. http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap021001.html) 2/10/2002 "When we infer any particular cause from an effect, we must proportion the one to the other, and can never be allowed to ascribe to the cause any qualities, but what are exactly sufficient to produce the effect. A body of ten ounces raised in any scale may serve as a proof, that the counterbalancing weight exceeds ten ounces; but can never afford a reason that it exceeds a hundred. If the cause, assigned for any effect, be not sufficient to produce it, we must either reject that cause, or add to it such qualities as will give it a just proportion to the effect. But if we ascribe to it farther qualities, or affirm it capable of producing other effects, we can only indulge the licence of conjecture, and arbitrarily suppose the existence of qualities and energies, without reason or authority. The same rule holds, whether the cause assigned be brute unconscious matter, or a rational intelligent being. If the cause be known only by the effect, we never ought to ascribe to it any qualities, beyond what are precisely requisite to produce the effect: Nor can we, by any rules of just reasoning, return back from the cause, and infer other effects from it, beyond those by which alone it is known to us." (Hume D., "An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding," , Hackett Publishing Co: Indianapolis IN, 1977, Third Printing, 1980, pp.93-94) 3/10/2002 "For many men the abolition of that teleological kind of evolution was the most significant and least palatable of Darwin's suggestions. The Origin of Species recognized no goal set either by God or nature. Instead, natural selection, operating in the given environment and with the actual organisms presently at hand, was responsible for the gradual but steady emergence of more elaborate, further articulated, and vastly more specialized organisms. Even such marvelously adapted organs as the eye and hand of man- organs whose design had previously provided powerful arguments for the existence of a supreme artificer and an advance plan-were products of a process that moved steadily from primitive beginnings but toward no goal. The belief that natural selection, resulting from mere competition between organisms for survival, could have produced man together with the higher animals and plants was the most difficult and disturbing aspect of Darwin's theory. What could `evolution,' `development,' and 'progress' mean in the absence of a specified goal? To many people, such terms suddenly seemed self-contradictory." (Kuhn T.S., "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions," , University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, Third edition, 1996, p.172. Emphasis original) 3/10/2002 "A more obvious instance of polymorphism occurs in the peppered moth, Biston betularia, found in the British Isles. In the industrial regions of England there has been an increase in the frequency of a black, or melanic, mutant form of this moth. The black mutant was very rare when it was first observed in 1849, but by the end of the nineteenth century it had become the most common form in the heavily industrialized area around Manchester and Liverpool. The ordinary form is silvery-white, mottled with black, and had formerly been well camouflaged from its bird predators on the lichen-encrusted tree trunks where it rested during the day. With industrial pollution of the air the lichen was killed and the tree trunks blackened by soot, with the result that the melanic form was better camouflaged than the pale form. Heavier predation of the pale form than of the melanic resulted in a gradual increase in the mutant and a decrease in the original type. .... In Britain, with the introduction of anti-pollution laws, the melanic forms have become rather less common than they were, and the light forms have begun to make a comeback in some areas. The rise of the melanic form of the peppered moth is one of the best examples we have of evolution occurring by variation combined with natural selection in a changed environment. Ironically this instance of natural selection in action -just the evidence which Darwin needed - was going on while The Origin of Species went through its several editions, but no one was aware of it at the time." (Leakey R.E., "The Illustrated Origin of Species By Charles Darwin," Faber & Faber: London, 1979, pp.30,32) 3/10/2002 "The assumption that human language evolved from more primitive systems is developed in an interesting way by Karl Popper in his recently published Arthur Compton Lecture, `Clouds and Clocks.' He tries to show how problems of freedom of will and Cartesian dualism can be solved by the analysis of this `evolution.' I am not concerned now with the philosophical conclusions that he draws from this analysis, but with the basic assumption that there is an evolutionary development of language from simpler systems of the sort that one discovers in other organisms. Popper argues that the evolution of language passed through several stages, in particular a `lower stage' in which vocal gestures are used for expression of emotional state, for example, and a `higher stage' in which articulated sound is used for expression of thought-in Popper's terms, for description and critical argument. His discussion of stages of evolution of language suggests a kind of continuity, but in fact he establishes no relation between the lower and higher stages and does not suggest a mechanism whereby transition can take place from one stage to the next. In short, he gives no argument to show that the stages belong to a single evolutionary process. In fact, it is difficult to see what links these stages at all (except for the metaphorical use of the term `language"). There is no reason to suppose that the `gaps' are bridgeable. There is no more of a basis for assuming an evolutionary development of `higher' from `lower' stages, in this case, than there is for assuming an evolutionary development from breathing to walking; the stages have no significant analogy, it appears, and seem to involve entirely different processes and principles." (Chomsky N., "Language and Mind," , Harcourt Brace Jovanovich: New York, 1972, Enlarged Edition, pp.67-68) 3/10/2002 "It is quite natural to expect that a concern for language will remain central to the study of human nature, as it has been in the past. Anyone concerned with the study of human nature and human capacities must somehow come to grips with the fact that all normal humans acquire language, whereas acquisition of even its barest rudiments is quite beyond the capacities of an otherwise intelligent ape-a fact that was emphasized, quite correctly, in Cartesian philosophy. It is widely thought that the extensive modern studies of animal communication challenge this classical view; and it is almost universally taken for granted that there exists a problem of explaining the "evolution" of human language from systems of animal communication. However, a careful look at recent studies of animal communication seems to me to provide little support for these assumptions. Rather, these studies simply bring out even more clearly the extent to which human language appears to be a unique phenomenon, without significant analogue in the animal world." (Chomsky N., "Language and Mind," , Harcourt Brace Jovanovich: New York, 1972, Enlarged Edition, pp.66-67) 3/10/2002 "In the midst of social triumph, however, a note of discord appeared under the surface. For the year 1868 marked the end of Gray's long effort to prevent the complete demise of the doctrine of design in its new Darwinian setting. In 1860 a strong possibility had existed that Gray's adaptation of design to Darwinism, or at least the neutrality of Darwinism in its bearing on ultimate questions, might be the major answer put forth to counteract the onslaughts of Bishop Wilberforce. Darwin had, however, rejected Gray's argument privately. In 1868, Darwin took the final step not only of rejecting the design argument in a very conspicuous place but specifically of linking the rejection to Gray. On the last page of Variation of Plants and Animals under Domestication, he concluded, `However much we may wish it, we can hardly follow Professor Asa Gray in his belief' in lines of beneficent variation." (Darwin, C.R., "Animals and Plants under Domestication," New York, 1868, Vol. II, p.516, in Dupree A.H., "Asa Gray: American Botanist, Friend of Darwin," , The Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore MD, Reprinted, 1988, p.339) 5/10/2002 "If we eschew the currently fashionable relativism or scepticism about science then we must hold that science is about what is the case. And if we think the same of religion then we have no logical guarantee that propositions from these two areas cannot be brought into relation. In a backhanded sort of a way we can praise the creationists for having made this clear. Indeed, when it comes to the matter of education they have sometimes been more clear-headed than their opponents. Thus, in 1972 the National Academy of Sciences in America passed a resolution stating that 'Religion and science are ... separate and mutually exclusive realms of human thought' (Wade 1972:728) as if these matters are to be decided by vote. It is arguable that the separatist view of science and religion expressed in the above responses reflects, just as much as do the creationist's manoeuvres, the sharp distinction between church and state made by the American constitution. But admirable as that dogma is in lessening dissension among potentially warring factions, its value is purely pragmatic and, as with the sentiments expressed above, provides no argument for the logical or metaphysical doctrine of the complete separateness of science and religion. ... Compare 'Life began a few thousand years ago' with 'Life began over three thousand million years ago'. If the first proposition is true the second is false and vice versa. But the first proposition is religious and the second is scientific so here we do have a clash between science and religion." (Olding A., "Modern Biology and Natural Theology," Routledge: London, 1991, p.32) 5/10/2002 "The critical question is why, on Earth, the volume of water was sufficiently large to buffer global temperatures, but small enough so that shallow seas could be formed by the uplifting of continents. If Earth's ocean volume had been greater, even the formation of continents would not have produced shallow seas. To show that there can be great relative volumes of oceans planet, we need only look at Jupiter's moon Europa, where the planetcovering ocean (now frozen) is 100 kilometers thick. No Mt. Everest rising from the sea floor would ever poke through an ocean even half that deep. There would be none of the shallows necessary for limestone formation and no continental weathering. What about the situation where the oceans are lower in volume than they were on Earth? If the continents covered two-thirds of Earth's surface (rather than their present day one-third), would we have animal life? The great mass extinction of the late Permian almost ended animal life because of high temperatures. With greater continental area, we might expect temperature swings to have been even greater, and the prospects for continued existence of at land animals far lower, because large land areas create very high and very low seasonal temperatures. Large land areas also reduce CO2 drawdown, because carbonate formation takes place almost exclusively in oceans. On land dominated worlds, opportunities for life to thrive would thus be reduced. It appears that Earth got it just right." (Ward P.D. & Brownlee D., "Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe," Copernicus: New York NY, 2000, pp.264-265. Emphasis original) 6/10/2002 "Myers was the guy who put together Celera's genome map. Celera's sequencing machines had broken the 3 billion chemical letters in a strand of DNA into millions of fragments, each a few hundred letters each. His software put the fragments back in order just days before Celera and the leaders of the Human Genome Project shared a stage with former President Clinton, last June, to say that they knew the sequence of the genome from end to end. Talk about deadline pressure! Now, with the pressure off, this former University of Arizona professor waxed philosophical on the code his team had cracked. `What really astounds me is the architecture of life,' he said. `The system is extremely complex. It's like it was designed.' My ears perked up. Designed? Doesn't that imply a designer, an intelligence, something more than the fortuitous bumping together of chemicals in the primordial slime? Myers thought before he replied. `There's a huge intelligence there. I don't see that as being unscientific. Others may, but not me.'" (Abate T., "Human Genome Map Has Scientists Talking About the Divine: Surprisingly low number of genes raises big questions," San Francisco Chronicle, February 19, 2001. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi- bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/2002/19/BU141026.DTL) 9/10/2002 "Having offended both the fundamentalists and the postmodernists, I am going to annoy my scientific colleagues by admitting that the antievolutionists of left and right have a point nestled deep in their rhetoric. Science has nothing to tell us about moral values or the purpose of existence or the realm of the supernatural. That doesn't mean there is nothing to be said about these things. It just means that scientists don't have any expert opinions. Science looks exclusively at the finite facts of nature, and unfortunately, logical reasoning can't carry you from facts to values, or from the finite to the infinite. As the philosopher David Hume pointed out 250 years ago, you can't infer an infinite cause from a finite effect. But science's necessary silence on these questions doesn't prove that there isn't any infinite cause or that right and wrong are arbitrary conventions, or that there is no plan or purpose behind the world." (Cartmill M., "Oppressed by Evolution," Discover, Vol. 19, No. 3, March 1998. http://www.godlesshouston.com/library/darwin.htm) 9/10/2002 "And I'm afraid that a lot of scientists go around saying that science proves these things. Many scientists are atheists or agnostics who want to believe that the natural world they study is all there is, and being only human, they try to persuade themselves that science gives them grounds for that belief. It's an honorable belief, but it isn't a research finding. Evolutionists seem to be especially prone to this mistake. The claim that evolution is purposeless and undirected has become almost an article of faith among evolutionary biologists. For example, the official `Statement on Teaching Evolution' from the National Association of Biology Teachers describes evolution as `an unsupervised, impersonal, unpredictable, and natural process.' That pretty much rules God out of the picture." (Cartmill M., "Oppressed by Evolution," Discover, Vol. 19, No. 3, March 1998. http://www.godlesshouston.com/library/darwin.htm) 9/10/2002 "Even so, the long dispute over whether people lived in the Americas in pre-Clovis times is littered with sites that testify to nature's uncanny ability to flake and fracture stone (bone too, for that matter) in ways that mimic primitive human artefacts. These mimics are known as geofacts, and they don't just trap the unwary: in the 1960s, Louis Leakey was snared at the now infamous Calico site in California, a hillside of water-laid boulders and chert blocks thought to contain artefacts dating back to between 50 000 and 80 000 years ago. It didn't. ... In deciding whether humans rather than nature could have made them, Parenti used several criteria including the removal of more than three flakes, edge angles of less than 90 , a "logic" to the flake removal pattern and where they had been found - the theory being any specimen found in the rear of the shelter had to have been carried there by people. We lost faith in the final criterion when we saw the rearward slope of the natural strata: rocks in the back of the shelter would have tumbled there naturally. All the same, we were readily convinced that the specimens carefully laid out on tables at the conference could be stone tools made by humans. So much so we were scolded by members of the French contingent for paying too little attention to the specimens. And yet, we also saw that many of these pieces bore a disturbing resemblance to the naturally flaked quartzite cobbles that today litter the surface beneath the chutes at the site. There's the rub: it isn't enough to prove a specimen could be an artefact; one must also prove that it could not be a geofact. But this is easier said than done particularly with specimens as crude as these, and where nature has had such splendid opportunities for mischief." (Meltzer D., "Stones of contention," New Scientist, Vol. 146, 24 June 1995, pp.31-35. http://archive.newscientist.com/archive.jsp?id=19834000) 10/10/2002 "Not so for William Provine. His answer is clear: there is nothing out there, we die in the most definitive sense of the word, and there is no point in even asking the question of the ultimate meaning of life. Where does he get this conclusion? From the Darwinian theory of evolution by descent with modification, or so he maintains. According to Provine, not only there is no evidence for anything beyond matter, but the whole essence of evolutionary change should tell us that it is irrational to even look for it. After all, there is an uninterrupted, historical continuity between humans and the rest of the living world. ... Provine goes even further, by accusing scientists who cling to a dualistic view either of intellectual dishonesty or of intellectual schizophrenia. .... Where does the dishonesty come into play? The answer, according to Provine, lies at least in part in the federal funding of biological research. His thesis is that one of the fundamental reasons that compel most biologists to look the other way and not engage in disputes with religious overtones is simply the fact that the evolution = atheism equation is potentially very dangerous for their pockets (as well as their peace of mind). After all, most evolutionary biology research is funded through federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF). This is taxpayers' money. What would happen if the taxpayers found out that their money is going to foster atheistic beliefs? ... Regardless of repeated statements to the contrary, this is both a scientific and a political war, and the stakes are as high as the future of education in the most powerful country in the world, make no mistake about it. On the other hand, Provine's views are an example of philosophical, not methodological, materialism. Scott is correct when she says that you can infer, but not demonstrate, that there is no God, no afterlife, and no cosmic meaning to our existence. Therefore, the real question seems to me to be: what is the limit of science? Does science truly confine itself to methodological materialism, and it is therefore silent on everything else? Or, can we use scientific results to make inferences that go beyond a pragmatic approach and allow us to probe into ultimate questions? You can't have it both ways: methodological naturalism implies philosophical naturalism" (Pigliucci M., "Methodological vs. philosophical naturalism, or why we should be skeptical of religion," Free Inquiry (in press), 2002. http://fp.bio.utk.edu/skeptic/Essays/methodological_naturalism.htm) 11/10/2002 "As we have seen, Darwin's first work on evolution, going usually under the name of On the Origin of Species or The Origin, has repeatedly been compared to Newton's Principia Mathematica. In the present context it is unavoidable to subject this work to a very careful scrutiny in order to establish whether this claim can be substantiated. Several objections may be raised against this project. The most obvious is perhaps that Darwin is indeed the 'Newton of Biology' and hence his work is raised beyond the evaluation of self-appointed critics. Others may say: we know that Darwin was a muddled thinker, and that his main work is crammed with misunderstandings, contradictions, wild speculations and transparent ad hoc hypotheses, but his basic idea is correct, and therein lies his greatness. To this assertion two questions may be asked. First: would Newton be held in the same esteem if, although fundamentally correct, Principia Mathematica was known to be crammed with misunderstandings, contradictions, etc.? Second: is Darwin's basic idea correct, has his particular notion on the mechanism of evolution survived to the present day? If not, the above objection is invalid." (Lovtrup S., "Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth," Croom Helm: London, 1987, pp.102-103) 11/10/2002 "Micromutations do occur, but the theory that these alone can account for evolutionary change is either falsified, or else it is an unfalsifiable, hence metaphysical theory. I suppose that nobody will deny that it is a great misfortune if an entire branch of science becomes addicted to a false theory. But this is what has happened in biology: for a long time now people discuss evolutionary problems in a peculiar 'Darwinian' vocabulary - 'adaptation', 'selection pressure', 'natural selection', etc. - thereby believing that they contribute to the explanation of natural events. They do not, and the sooner this is discovered, the sooner we shall be able to make real progress in our understanding of evolution. I believe that one day the Darwinian myth will be ranked the greatest deceit in the history of science. When this happens many people will pose the question: How did this ever happen?" (Lovtrup S., "Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth," Croom Helm: London, 1987, p.422) 11/10/2002 "The noted atheistic philosopher Bertrand Russell was once asked, `If you meet God after you die, what will you say to Him to justify your unbelief?' `I will tell Him that He did not give me enough evidence,' Russell snapped. ... Interestingly enough, to those like Bertrand Russell who contend that there is a paucity of evidence, the Bible makes a staggering counterpoint. The Scriptures categorically state that the problem with such people is not the absence of evidence; it is, rather, the suppression of it. The message of Jesus Christ shifts the charge of insufficiency from the volume of evidence to the intent of one's will. Was Jesus implying that belief is nothing more than a blind commitment of the will? I think not. But He did say, in effect, that if you test His claims by the same measure that you legitimately substantiate other facts, you will find Him and His teaching thoroughly trustworthy. The evidence is already there. The denial of Christ has less to do with facts and more to do with the bent of what a person is prejudiced to conclude. After years of wrestling with such issues in academia, I have seen this proven time and again. Notice, for example, the words of Thomas Nagel, professor of philosophy at New York University. This is how he explains his deep- seated antipathy toward religion: `In speaking of the fear of religion, I don't mean to refer to the entirely reasonable hostility toward certain established religions...in virtue of their objectionable moral doctrines, social policies, and political influence. Nor am I referring to the association of many religious beliefs with superstition and the acceptance of evident empirical falsehoods. I am talking about something much deeper- namely the fear of religion itself... I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn't just that I don't believe in God and naturally, hope there is no God! I don't want there to be a God; I don't want the universe to he like that.' That is unabashed, committed unbelief ... While Bertrand Russell's skepticism may be represented as the honest search of reason, we had better be sure that it is not actually the wanton unbelief of Thomas Nagel that lurks beneath that intellectual quest. That kind of skepticism is the distortion of reason, masquerading as candor. To such a disposition, nothing would serve as sufficient evidence." (Zacharias, R.K.*, "Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Claims of the Christian Message," Word Publishing: Nashville TN, 2000, pp.47,50. Emphasis original) 12/10/2002 "But that is not all that is lost for the atheist. One other aspect must be stated: if the atheist is wrong, there is no recovery of that which he has lost. This was precisely Pascal's wager: `Should a man be in error in supposing the Christian religion to be true, he could not be a loser by mistake. But how irreparable is his loss, and how inescapable is his danger should he err in supposing it to be false.' ... Pascal ... had everything the Christian faith promised to him, including the climactic hope beyond the grave. Should, however, death be the end, he did not sense any loss, for contentment in life was still his. .... The atheist, on the other hand, having rejected God ... If, after death, he should find out that there is a God, his loss has been irreparable; for not only did contentment and peace elude him in this life, but death has opened the door to an ultimate and eternal lostness. All judgments bring with them a margin of error. But no judgment ought to carry with it the potential for so irretrievable a loss that every possible gain is unworthy of merit. The atheist makes precisely such a hazardous judgment. It is an all-or-nothing gamble of himself, thrust into the slot machine of life. It is a faith beyond the scope of reason. The atheist risks everything for the present and the future, on the basis of a belief that he is uncaused by any intelligent being. Man just happens to be here. He is willing to live and die in that belief-a very high price to pay for conjecture." (Zacharias, R.K.*, "A Shattered Visage: The Real Face of Atheism," , Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1994, Third Printing, pp.165-166) 13/10/2002 "I willingly believe that the damned are, in one sense, successful, rebels to the end; that the doors of hell are locked on the inside. .... They enjoy forever the horrible freedom they have demanded, and are therefore self-enslaved: just as the blessed, forever submitting to obedience, become through all eternity more and more free. In the long run the answer to all those who object to the doctrine of hell, is itself a question: `what are you asking God to do?' To wipe out their past sins and, at all costs, to give them a fresh start, smoothing every difficulty and offering every miraculous help? But He has done so, on Calvary. To forgive them? They will not be forgiven. To leave them alone? Alas, I am afraid that is what He does." (Lewis C.S.*, "The Problem of Pain," , Fount: London, 1977, reprint, pp.101-102. Emphasis original) 13/10/2002 "Of course there are some ... who like to hide behind a softer version of atheism ... because they know the philosophical decimation they would experience in trying to defend the absolute negative - There is no God. Their soft position that there is not sufficient evidence for theism commits ... logical blunders. ... it is purely an admission that atheism cannot be defended, even though they have tried, hence the softer version of agnosticism. Let us look at the words themselves. The word atheism comes from the Greek, which has two words conjoined. The alpha is the negative, and theos means "God." The atheistic position, whether you like it or not, posits the negation of God. Having quickly recognized the inherent contradiction of affirming God's non-existence, which absolutely would at the same time presuppose infinite knowledge on the part of the one doing the denying, a philosophically convenient switch was made to agnosticism. But agnostic has an even more embarrassing connotation. The alpha means the negative, and ginosko is from the Greek 'to know." An agnostic is one who doesn't know. It sounds quite congenial and sophisticated at the same time, but the Latin uncomplimentary equivalent is "ignoramus." That is why the agnostic does not feel lauded in this category either but dresses up the concept, manufacturing a certain aura not inherent in the word while smuggling in atheism for all functional purposes. So I say to you, the charge is not against the apologists; that is to dislocate the problem. The hat pin is in the heart of the atheistic position, which could not live with itself. Let me add that an honest agnostic should be open to the evidence." (Zacharias, R.K.*, "Can Man Live Without God," Word Publishing: Dallas TX, 1994, p.187) 13/10/2002 "... Blaise Pascal, the French mathematician and philosopher (1623-62) ... made a distinction between 'the heart' which he describes as 'the intuitive spirit' and 'the reason' or 'mind' which he describes as 'the geometric spirit': `The heart has its reasons which are unknown to reason ... It is the heart which is aware of God and not reason. This is what faith is: God perceived intuitively by the heart, not by reason. What he did was to erect a dualism of his own in which two realms existed: one of the heart and one of the mind. In religion, unlike Descartes, he applied the logic of the heart. In mathematics and physics, however, Pascal used the same geometry as did Descartes.' ... He put forward the idea of 'The Wager': Christianity cannot be proved conclusively by the reason, but neither can it be disproved. If it turns out that Christianity is true, we have everything to gain; but if it turns out to be false, we have nothing to lose. We should accept the inevitable risk of faith, and gamble on the truth of Christianity." (Chapman C., "Christianity on Trial," Lion: Tring, Hertfordshire UK, 1981, pp.162-163) 14/10/2002 "In my previous books, Epigenetics and The Phylogeny of Vertebrata, I tried to show that the currently accepted theory of evolution called 'neoDarwinism' or 'the modern synthesis' - is false. Taking an interest in the history of evolutionary thought in the course of subsequent work, I made a very remarkable and unsuspected discovery: nobody, not even Darwin and his closest friends, ever believed in Darwin's theory of natural selection: Darwinism was refuted from the moment it was conceived. Considering that it is difficult to open a biological treatise without finding a tribute to Darwin or natural selection we are indeed facing a very peculiar situation in the history of biology, of science in fact, a situation which demands an explanation." (Lovtrup S., "Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth," Croom Helm: London, 1987, p.ix. Emphasis original) 14/10/2002 "What if you could travel in time and visit with Darwin? What would you ask him? First, I'd be so overawed that I wouldn't know quite what to say. But I think maybe if I were really forced to ask him one question it would be, "Why did you wait so long after you had this brilliantly simple yet powerful idea? Didn't it seem to you so fantastically simple yet so fantastically powerful that if you didn't write it down quickly, somebody else would?" I'm genuinely baffled about that because it's as though Darwin thought he had all the time in the world, and pretty nearly he did. I mean Wallace did get there, but still Darwin had about 20 years before that. What I find remarkable is that Aristotle didn't get it and Plato didn't get it, nor did Pythagoras, Archimedes, Newton, even though you don't need any technical know-how to get the idea. Natural selection is a bewilderingly simple idea. And yet what it explains is the whole of life, the diversity of life, the complexity of life, the apparent design of life. It all flows from this one remarkably simple idea." (Dawkins R., "Mechanisms of Evolution," in Campbell N.A., Reece J.B. & Mitchell L.G., "Biology," , Benjamin/Cummings: Menlo Park CA, Fifth Edition, 1999, p.413) 14/10/2002 "We have dealt with all the alleged alternatives to the theory of natural selection except the oldest one. This is the theory that life was created, or its evolution master-minded, by a conscious designer. ... At first sight there is an important distinction to be made between what might be called 'instantaneous creation' and 'guided evolution'. Modern theologians of any sophistication have given up believing in instantaneous creation. ... But many theologians ... smuggle God in by the back door: they allow him some sort of supervisory role over the course that evolution has taken, either influencing key moments in evolutionary history (especially, of course, human evolutionary history), or even meddling more comprehensively in the day-to-day events that add up to evolutionary change. We cannot disprove beliefs like these ... " (Dawkins R., "The Blind Watchmaker," , Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, p.316) 14/10/2002 "It is evident that a creationist interpretation was, to those who believed in a personal god, as legitimate (in fact even more so) as a so-called scientific explanation. The battle about evolution (and particularly natural selection) was not a purely scientific controversy; rather it was a struggle between two ideologies, natural theology and objective science. ... However, since creationism, at least in England, was a dominant "scientific" school in the 1850s, Darwin had to adopt the bold strategy of showing for one natural phenomenon after another that it could be explained quite reasonably as the product of evolution but that it did not fit at all what one would expect from the action of a wise, benevolent, and all powerful creator ... Here and in about thirty other places in the Origin Darwin argues that a given phenomenon is consistent with evolution or with common descent but makes no sense when ascribed to `a special act of creation'" (Mayr E., "The Growth of Biological Thought: Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance," Belknap Press: Cambridge MA, 1982, p.504) 14/10/2002 "The source of Darwin's strong belief in gradualism is not entirely clear. In part it was evidently the result of observation, such as the gradual differences among Galapagos mockingbirds and finches or the historically documented continuity among the most aberrant races of dogs, pigeons, and other domestic animals. But as Gruber (1974) points out, there may have been a metaphysical component in Darwin's belief. As a result of studying the writings of the theologian Sumner (1824:20), Darwin had come to the conclusion that all natural things evolve gradually from their precursors, while discontinuities, such as sudden saltations, are indicative of a supernatural origin, that is, indicative of intervention by the creator. All of his life Darwin took great pains to reconstruct a gradual evolution of phenomena that at first sight seemed clearly the result of sudden origins." (Mayr E., "The Growth of Biological Thought: Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance," Belknap Press: Cambridge MA, 1982, p.509) 14/10/2002 "By explaining `design' in nature as the result of a purely nonteleological, materialistic process, the theory of natural selection eliminated the need for any global teleology. Darwin's theory provided a causal explanation of the seemingly perfect order in living nature, that is, of the adaptation of organisms to each other and to their environment. Clearly the theory of natural selection was the most revolutionary concept advanced by Darwin. By providing a purely materialistic explanation for all phenomena of living nature, it was said it "dethroned God." Rightly the theory of natural selection can be designated a second Darwinian revolution." (Mayr E., "The Growth of Biological Thought: Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance," Belknap Press: Cambridge MA, 1982, pp.509-510) 15/10/2002 "One popular book on evolution, Richard Dawkins's Blind Watchmaker, is subtitled Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design. In his book Wonderful Life, Stephen Jay Gould argues that the evolution of human beings was fantastically improbable and that a host of unlikely events had to fall out in just the right way for intelligent life to emerge on this planet. One might well take this as a sign of God's hand at work in the evolutionary process. Gould, however, bends his argument to the opposite conclusion that the universe is indifferent to our existence and that humans would never evolve a second time if we rewound time's videotape and started over. But to reach this conclusion, you have to assume the very thing that you are trying to prove: namely, that history isn't directed by God. If there is a God, whatever he wills happens by necessity. Because we can't really replay the same stretch of time to see if it always comes out the same way, science has no tests for the presence of God's will in history. Gould's conclusion is a profession of his religious beliefs, not a finding of science." (Cartmill M., "Oppressed by Evolution," Discover, Vol. 19, No. 3, March 1998. http://www.godlesshouston.com/library/darwin.htm) 15/10/2002 "The broad outlines of the story of human evolution are known beyond a reasonable doubt. However, science hasn't yet found satisfying, law-based natural explanations for most of the details of that story. All that we scientists can do is admit to our ignorance and keep looking. Our ignorance doesn't prove anything one way or the other about divine plans or purposes behind the flow of history. Anybody who says it does is pushing a religious doctrine. Both the religious creationists of the right and the secular creationists of the left object and say that a lot of evolutionists are doing just that in the name of science and to this extent they are unfortunately right. Fortunately, evolutionary biologists are starting to realize this. Last October, after considering several such objections, the National Association of Biology Teachers deleted the words unsupervised and impersonal from its description of the evolutionary process. To me, this seems like a step in the right direction. If biologists don't want to see the theory of evolution evicted from public schools because of its religious content, they need to accept the limitations of science and stop trying to draw vast, cosmic conclusions from the plain facts of evolution. Humility isn't just a cardinal virtue in Christian doctrine; it's also a virtue in the practice of science." (Cartmill M., "Oppressed by Evolution," Discover, Vol. 19, No. 3, March 1998. http://www.godlesshouston.com/library/darwin.htm) 17/10/2002 "IN ONE of his essays,' Sir Julian Huxley made a list of the characteristics which are unique to the species man: language and conceptual thought; the transmission of knowledge by written records; tools and machinery; biological dominance over all other species; individual variability; the use of the forelimb for manipulating purposes only; all-year-round fertility; art, humour, science, religion, and so on. But the most striking feature of man from the evolutionist's point of view is not included in the list ... It could be called 'the paradox of the unsolicited gift' ... the unsolicited gift is of course the human brain. .... Evolution, whatever the driving force behind it, caters for the species' immediate adaptive needs; and the emergence of novelties in anatomical structure and function is by and large guided by these needs. It is entirely unprecedented that evolution should provide a species with an organ which it does not know how to use; a luxury organ ... far exceeding its owner's immediate, primitive needs; an organ which will take the species millennia to learn to put to proper use-if it ever does. All the evidence indicates that the earliest representative of homo sapiens- Cro-Magnon man, who emerges on the scene fifty to a hundred thousand years ago-was already endowed with a brain which in size and shape was the same as ours. But he made hardly any use of it; he remained a cave-dweller, and never grew out of the Stone Age. From the point of view of his immediate needs, the explosive growth of the neocortex overshot the mark by a time factor of astronomic magnitude. For several tens of thousands of years, our ancestors went on manufacturing bows and arrows and spears, while the organ which tomorrow will take us to the moon was already there, ready for use inside their skulls." (Koestler A., "The Ghost in the Machine," , Arkana: London, Reprinted, 1989, pp.297-298) 17/10/2002 "That reminded me that the author of Genesis had said very specifically and in detail in Genesis 5 that the early patriarchs lived phenomenally long lives by our standards, and even fathered sons after having lived for centuries. Yet Moses knew very well that the lifespan in his own time was much shorter. ... Ancient peoples did not have to wait for modern science to determine the normal human lifespan; they knew it very well from observation, and yet they were confident that some people had once lived much longer. Interpreting the lifespans in Genesis 5 is not a problem for modernists, who readily assume that they know more about ancient times than the ancients did, and who can always apply modernist tools of biblical criticism-essentially, evolutionary naturalism applied to the Bible-to explain away any mysteries. .... The world has been taught to assume that the long lifespans specified in Genesis 5 are absurd, and if we agree with the world, we will hardly save the credibility of the author of Genesis by reinterpreting a few words. But suppose we are willing to brave the world's ridicule to insist that we be allowed to take seriously the possibility that the named early patriarchs really did live as long as Genesis 5 says they did. ... I would have hesitated to propose such daring questions for investigation until very recently, but I am encouraged to do so now by what I have learned about the blindness of modernist prejudices through my study of Darwinism and of the consistent unwillingness of Darwinists to consider evidence or reasoning that supports conclusions that they do not welcome. ... Viewed scientifically and without prejudice, the claims of Darwinism are more fantastic than anything stated in Genesis 5." (Johnson P.E., "The Right Questions: Truth, Meaning & Public Debate, InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2002, pp.144-146) 17/10/2002 "Much of the behavior of insects, however, is not a simple matter of orientation but involves a complex series of responses. A pair of tumble bugs, or dung beetles, chew off a bit of dung, roll it into a ball, and roll the ball laboriously to where they intend to bury it, after laying their eggs in it. ... A female potter wasp Eumenes scoops up clay into pellets, carries them one by one to her building site, and fashions them into dainty little narrow-necked clay pots, into each of which she lays an egg. Then she hunts and paralyzes a number of caterpillars, pokes them into the opening of a pot, and closes up the opening with clay. Each egg, in its own protective pot, hatches to find a well-stocked larder of food awaiting it. Some insects can memorize and perform in sequence tasks involving multiple signals in various sensory areas. Worker honeybees have been trained to walk through mazes that involved five turns in sequence, using such clues as the color of a marker, the distance between two spots, or the angle of a turn. The same is true of ants. Workers of one species of Formica learned a six-point maze at a rate only two or three times slower than that of laboratory rats. The foraging trips of ants and bees often wind and loop about in a circuitous route, but once the forager has found food, the return trip is relatively direct. One investigator suggested that the continuous series of calculations necessary to figure the angles, directions, distance, and speed of the trip and to convert it into a direct return could involve a stopwatch, a compass, and integral vector calculus. How the insect does it is unknown." (Hickman C.P., Jr., Roberts L.S. & Larson A., "Animal Diversity," , McGraw-Hill: Boston MA, Second Edition, 2000, p.224) 17/10/2002 "However, the most interesting discoveries were made when I began to delve into the history of evolutionary thought. ... I discovered that the history of evolutionary thought, as it is told today, contains a large number of mistakes and misrepresentations - to express it fairly mildly - all of them aimed at adulating Darwin and debunking his opponents. Today it is still commonly claimed that Darwin's natural selection is the evolutionary mechanism par excellence. However, this assertion is not based on any factual evidence, for nobody has ever demonstrated that natural selection can bring about anything but events that are trivial from an evolutionary perspective." (Lovtrup S., "Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth," Croom Helm: London, 1987, pp.3-4) 18/10/2002 "The general fact that the genealogies of Scripture were not constructed for a chronological purpose and lend themselves ill to employment as a basis for chronological calculations has been repeatedly shown very fully; but perhaps by no one more thoroughly than by Dr. William Henry Green in an illuminating article published in the Bibliotheca Sacra for April, 1890. These genealogies must be esteemed trustworthy for the purposes for which they are recorded; but they cannot safely be pressed into use for other purposes for which they were not intended, and for which they are not adapted. In particular, it is clear that the genealogical purposes for which the genealogies were given, did not require a complete record of all the generations through which the descent of the persons to whom they are assigned runs; but only an adequate indication of the particular line through which the descent in question comes. Accordingly it is found on examination that the genealogies of Scripture are freely compressed for all sorts of purposes; and that it can seldom be confidently affirmed that they contain a complete record of the whole series of generations, while it is often obvious that a very large number are omitted. There is no reason inherent in the nature of the Scriptural genealogies why a genealogy of ten recorded links, as each of those in Genesis v. and xi. is, may not represent an actual descent of a hundred or a thousand or ten thousand links. The point established by the table is not that these are all the links which intervened between the beginning and the closing names, but that this is the line of descent through which one traces back to or down to the other." (Warfield B.B., "On the Antiquity and the Unity of The Human Race," in "Studies in Theology," , Banner of Truth: Edinburgh, 1988, reprint, pp.237-238) 18/10/2002 "There is, in a word, much more information furnished with respect to each link in the chain than merely the age to which each father had attained when his son was begotten; and all this information is of the same order and obviously belongs together. It is clear that a single motive has determined the insertion of all of it; and we must seek a reason for its insertion which will account for all of it. This reason cannot have been a chronological one: for all the items of information furnished do not serve a chronological purpose. Only the first item in each case can be made to yield a chronological result; and therefore not even it was intended to yield a chronological result, since all these items of information are too closely bound together in their common character to be separated in their intention. They too readily explain themselves, moreover, as serving an obvious common end which was clearly in the mind of the writer, to justify the ascription of a different end to any one of them. When we are told of any man that he was a hundred and thirty years old when he begat his heir, and lived after that eight hundred years begetting sons and daughters, dying only at the age of nine hundred and thirty years, all these items cooperate to make a vivid impression upon us of the vigor and grandeur of humanity in those old days of the world's prime. In a sense different indeed from that which the words bear in Genesis vi., but full of meaning to us, we exclaim, "Surely there were giants in those days!" This is the impression which the items of information inevitably make on us; and it is the impression they were intended to make on us, as is proved by the simple fact that they are adapted in all their items to make this impression, while only a small portion of them can be utilized for the purpose of chronological calculation." (Warfield B.B., "On the Antiquity and the Unity of The Human Race," in "Studies in Theology," , Banner of Truth: Edinburgh, Reprinted, 1988, pp.240-241) 18/10/2002 "This extensive, fundamental research in physics is the subject of this book. What are the goals of such research? They can be stated in a myriad of ways. We will say that we must study the discrete and the continuous, and we must consider variance and invariance, or change and conservation. The consideration of these sets of antonyms leads us to the study of the character of elementary particles and fundamental fields or forces, and to the analysis of space and time, the structure of our universe, and the evolution and origin of that universe: indeed, to an understanding of the Grand Plan of the Master Architect." (Adair R.K., "The Great Design: Particles, Fields, and Creation," Oxford University Press: New York, 1987, p.12) 19/10/2002 "If we separate the concerns of man into that which has to do with man and the welfare of men and that which has to do with God, or Nature, or things of the spirit, and if we call the first set the province of humanism and the second, that of religion, then the inquiry into the character of nature described here is religious; and those who pursue that inquiry follow a religious vocation though they be clothed in secular garb. Einstein's references to God (`Der Alte') was, if sometimes light-hearted, not jocular. If his pantheistic `God of Spinoza' was not the God of the Jews or Christians or Moslems, his confidence in the rationality of nature was religious in kind. Then what lessons on the nature of God can we draw from the results of our `religious' studies of physical reality? I respond to my personal question with a personal answer. Excepting those who base their religious convictions upon literal interpretations of ancient metaphors, I find no compelling reason for anyone to emerge from the study of nature with a faith different from that he or she may have possessed upon entrance. Although the world is not flat and was not constructed 6000 years ago, physicists know nothing that contradicts the cores of various religious beliefs held by most people today, and some have found a deeper faith as a result of their inquiry. (The eminent English theoretical physicist J.C. Polkinghorne said in the epilogue of his fine book on elementary particles, The Particle Play, `The pursuit of science is an aspect of the imago dei. Therefore it does not seem strange that these words written while Professor of Mathematical Physics in the University of Cambridge will be published while I am an ordinand studying for the Anglican priesthood at Wescott House.')" (Adair R.K., "The Great Design: Particles, Fields, and Creation," Oxford University Press: New York, 1987, p.365) 19/10/2002 "But what is man's place in this universe of galaxy and flower? Do we hold a special position? Was the universe created for us? The long-held view of an anthropocentric universe was shaken by Copernicus and largely dispelled in the nineteenth century. `Melancholy, long, withdrawing roar of the sea of faith,' Matthew Arnold mourns in his poem `Dover Beach.' Curiously, it is now not unthinkable scientifically to muse over the possibility that an Anthropic Principle acts, and the universe might really be especially designed for man. It appears that the universe must be exquisitely fine-tuned to accommodate us-and we are here. If the universe were only a little different, life and the contemplation of that universe by intelligent beings-might not be possible. Starting with the small, it seems probable that only the chemistry of carbon compounds can support the complexity required for the astonishing organization of life, and no other kind of life is possible. Moreover, that unique complexity can develop only within a very small range of physical conditions, especially within a very small temperature range. The argument that with so many stars in our galaxy, and so many planets, intelligent life must abound, is interesting and appealing. But upon analysis, it seems that few planets can be expected to be fit for life. And if conditions obtain that are adequate for the formation of life, that formulation may be intrinsically highly improbable. Hence, the argument, also plausible within the bounds of our ignorance, that we may be alone is, to some, even more striking." (Adair R.K., "The Great Design: Particles, Fields, and Creation," Oxford University Press: New York, 1987, p.366. Emphasis in original) 19/10/2002 "If this universe as we know it is so constructed that life may be found only under rare and especially fortuitous circumstances, how precarious is the dependence of these circumstances on the precise form of the laws governing the universe? Considering for the moment only the strengths of the fundamental forces, how much could the value of the electric charge vary without changing chemistry so as to limit the complexity of organic compounds and change the improbability of life to an impossibility? The nuclei of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and other elements necessary for life were formed in supernovae explosions that took place billions of years ago. If the weak interaction force important in the generation of these explosions were a little different, would this seeding of space with the heavy nuclei necessary for life have occurred? If that weak force were different, if the strong color force were a little stronger or weaker, would the intricate set of nuclear reactions sensitively dependent on these forces still produce the energy of the sun and stars? Would the stars shine in a universe only slightly different from ours? Would the heat of the sun warm planets to the precise temperature required for the generation of life? It seems likely that the span of values of the strengths of forces that lead to this universe, hospitable to life as we know it, is small indeed." (Adair R.K., "The Great Design: Particles, Fields, and Creation," Oxford University Press: New York, 1987, pp.366-367) 19/10/2002 "If life may depend singularly on the detailed properties of the universe, how much more sensitive it must be to structural differences. We have discussed the attractive view that the original universe held ten dimensions, and six of these space dimensions "rolled" up, leaving the three space and one time dimension we know. If there were only two space dimensions the net of connections of neurons could not be sufficiently complex to power a brain able to contemplate the universe about it. If the universe were to hold more than three space dimensions, the gravitational force would not be such as to allow stable orbits of planets about a sun and the constant temperature required for life. Hence, aside from more subtle arguments (of which there are many) such structurally different universes could not support those who might dare inquire into the origin of their universe. If intelligent life can be expected to inhabit only a universe almost exactly like ours-and no truly firm answer to so complex a question has been established-does this indicate a motivation of nature? Or merely chance? Are we here as a consequence of a lucky cut of the cards? Or is there another, more singular explanation?" (Adair R.K., "The Great Design: Particles, Fields, and Creation," Oxford University Press: New York, 1987, pp.366-367) 19/10/2002 "If the expansion velocity is less than the escape velocity, the universe is closed in time as it collapses (time ends at the collapse), and it is also closed in space (and finite) with a positive curvature. If the expansion velocity is greater than the escape velocity and the universe expands forever without limit, the universe must be open and infinite, and the curvature must be negative. If the expansion is exactly at the escape velocity, the curvature must then be neither positive or negative, but zero; the universe must be flat. ... At the present time we can say only that space is very nearly flat and that the expansion velocity is very nearly the escape velocity. This is a most remarkable result; after 15 billion years of expansion, the rate is almost the escape velocity. ... For the flatness at that time to persist until now, the expansion velocity at that early time must have been equal to the escape velocity to an accuracy of better than one part in a billion billion (1012). If we believe, as some do, that we can sensibly consider times as short as 10- 35 seconds, the original velocity must have been accurate to about one part in 10-50! At any rate, it can hardly be an accident that the universe is almost flat. ... We have mentioned the remarkable flatness of the universe. Who ordered that?" (Adair R.K., "The Great Design: Particles, Fields, and Creation," Oxford University Press: New York, 1987, pp.317-318,321) 19/10/2002 "What is the most important event in recorded history? ... Christians should be able to give a confident answer to the ultimate question on the premise that the Gospels, summarized in the introductory verses of the Gospel of John, tell the truth. The incarnation and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us, is undoubtedly the most important event in the history of mankind if it actually happened as the Bible says. One may not know all sorts of things and be none the worse for it, but if God really lived on earth as a man and said and did the things that the Gospels report, then not to know these sayings and deeds, or to disregard them, is to be missing the one key that is capable of unlocking everything else. That is why it is of supreme importance that the good news must be made available to everyone, whether or not they choose to believe it. The most devastatingly negative judgment must be made of any educational system which insists, as the schools of most nations do now, that students should not be taught the information they need to give an informed answer to the question posed by Jesus: 'Who do you say that I am?'" (Johnson P.E., "The Right Questions: Truth, Meaning & Public Debate, InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2002, pp.172-173) 19/10/2002 "The warning was not heeded: men seemed to imagine that, if only time enough were given for it, effects, for which no adequate cause could be assigned, might be supposed to come gradually of themselves. Aimless movement was supposed, if time enough were allowed for it, to produce an ordered world. It might as well be supposed that if a box full of printers' types were stirred up long enough with a stick, they could be counted on to arrange themselves in time in the order in which they stand, say, in Kant's `Critique of Pure Reason.' They will never do so, though they be stirred to eternity. ... Nothing could be more certain than that what chance cannot begin the production of in a moment, chance cannot complete the production of in an eternity. The analysis of the complete effect into an infinite series of parts, and the distribution of these parts over an infinite series of years, leaves the effect as unaccounted for as ever. What is needed to account for it is not time in any extension, but an adequate cause. A mass of iron is made no more self- supporting by being forged into an illimitable chain formed of innumerable infinitesimal links. We may cast our dice to all eternity with no more likelihood than at the first throw of ever turning up double sevens." (Warfield B.B., "On the Antiquity and the Unity of The Human Race," in "Studies in Theology," , Banner of Truth: Edinburgh, Reprinted, 1988, pp.247-248) 20/10/2002 "The information that dictates error-checked homeostatic/homeorhytic phenomena must itself be error- checked and cybernetic. ... New "type" forms usually appear suddenly, with the characteristic morphological systems already "individuated"-as defined and error-checked entities ... where do the new control system norms come from? The appearance of new taxa seems to imply the sudden appearance of packages of individuated structural information, but how does closed, error-checked cybernetic feedback start? ... Genomes that contain a high level of encoded morphological diversity in the form of error-checked coherent entities seem to appear with regularity. Neo-Darwinism can explain the exploration of such packages, but it has not proved that it can explain their origin. Based on uniform human experience, the simplest explanation for the appearance of a novel, dense pattern of information is an information-dense source. If available DNA templates seem inadequate, the alternative is a source of order exterior to the genome." (Wilcox D.L. "A Blindfolded Watchmaker: The Arrival of the Fittest," in Buell J. & Hearn V., eds., "Darwinism: Science or Philosophy?," Foundation for Thought and Ethics: Richardson TX, 1994, pp.197,202,204. http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/fte/darwinism/chapter13.html) 20/10/2002 "In 1961, astronomers acknowledged just two characteristics of the universe as `fine-tuned' to make physical life possible. The more obvious one was the ratio of the gravitational force constant to the electromagnetic force constant. It cannot differ from its value by any more than one part in 1040 (one part in ten thousand trillion trillion trillion) without eliminating the possibility for life. Today, the number of known cosmic characteristics recognized as fine-tuned for life-any conceivable kind of physical life-stands at thirty- eight. Of these, the most sensitive is the space energy density (the self-stretching property of the universe). Its value cannot vary by more than one part in 10120 and still allow for the kinds of stars and planets physical life requires. Evidence of specific preparation for human existence shows up in the characteristics of the solar system, as well. In the early 1960s astronomers could identify just a few solar system characteristics that required fine-tuning for human life to be possible. By the end of 2001, astronomers had identified more than 150 finely-tuned characteristics. In the 1960s the odds that any given planet in the universe would possess the necessary conditions to support intelligent physical life were shown to be less than one in ten thousand. In 2001 those odds shrank to less than one in a number so large it might as well be infinity (10173). An account of scientific evidence in support of the anthropic principle fills several books. The authors' religious beliefs run the gamut from agnosticism to deism to theism, but virtually every research astronomer alive today agrees that the universe manifests exquisite fine-tuning for life." (Ross H.N., "A Precise Plan for Humanity," Facts for Faith, Issue 8, 2002. http://www.reasons.org/resources/fff/2002issue8/index.shtml#a_precise_plan) 20/10/2002 "A group of scientists decided that mankind had advanced far enough that they no longer needed God. So they drew straws, and the loser went to find God. When he found Him, he dithered a bit, made some small talk about the weather, and finally came out with it. `OK, look God,' he said, `We've mastered space exploration, we can cure any disease, we can talk instantaneously with people around the world, we can clone human beings; basically, we don't need you any more.' God listened patiently. Finally He spoke. `Tell you what,' He said. `We'll settle this with a man-making contest. Each of us will make a man, and the first one to finish wins.' `Sure,' said the man, who headed off to consult with his colleagues. `Wait a minute,' called God. The man turned. `We're going to do this the real way; the way I did it in the beginning.' `No problem,' responds the man, bending down to grab a handful of clay. `No, no, no,' says God. `You make your own dirt.'" ("Science v God," Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering UK. http://www.careybaptist.btinternet.co.uk/Jokes.htm) 21/10/2002 "The Cambrian then began with an assemblage of bits and pieces, frustratingly difficult to interpret, called the `small shelly fauna.' The subsequent main pulse, starting about 530 million years ago, constitutes the famous Cambrian explosion, during which all but one modern phylum of animal life made a first appearance in the fossil record. (Geologists had previously allowed up to 40 million years for this event, but an elegant study, published in 1993, clearly restricts this period of phyletic flowering to a mere five million years.) The Bryozoa, a group of sessile and colonial marine organisms, do not arise until the beginning of the subsequent, Ordovician period, but this apparent delay may be an artifact of failure to discover Cambrian representatives. Although interesting and portentous events have occurred since, from the flowering of dinosaurs to the origin of human consciousness, we do not exaggerate greatly in stating that the subsequent history of animal life amounts to little more than variations on anatomical themes established during the Cambrian explosion within five million years." (Gould, S.J., "The Evolution of Life on the Earth," Scientific American, Vol. 271, No. 4, October 1994, pp.63-69, p.67) 21/10/2002 "But what about evils that Christianity has produced, such as its persecution of unbelievers during the Crusades? .... On the one hand, the evils of atheism are a direct outgrowth of the teachings of atheism. This is a most awkward and painful reality for atheists to admit. ... I am not saying that all atheists are "evil." ... I am saying that violence is a logically deducible path from atheism... Where antitheism has been the reigning ideology, blood has flowed without restraint-China, Russia, and Nazi Germany provide the gruesome tale of the tape. On the other hand, it is plain to see that where Christianity has wielded the sword and ground out pain upon people or ridden the political horse in triumph, it has only steered abysmally away from the path that Christ laid before His followers. .... Jesus said, `My kingdom is not of this world else would my servants fight.' Jesus never commended the exploitation of people or the philosophy of violence. The use or abuse of Christianity in contradiction to the very message of the gospel reveals not the gospel for what it is, but the heart of man." (Zacharias, R.K.*, "Can Man Live Without God," Word Publishing: Dallas TX, 1994, pp.188- 189) 23/10/2002 "Science does contain enormously reliable knowledge, but it is not of the sort `The thing A exists' (a fact) or of the sort `B causes C to happen' (a theory); rather, scientific knowledge is of the sort `When one (anyone) does P, then Q happens' (almost all the time, under certain circumstances). Point a telescope at Jupiter and you see a large bright spot together with a variable number of smaller and less bright ones whose relative positions change (if the telescope is true enough, and if atmospheric conditions permit). That is the fact of the matter. ... Scientific knowledge is like the knowledge embodied in a map: `Follow this route, and you will pass a valley and then a river.' That maps work convinces us that the landscape exists outside our mind or imagination; that science works convinces scientists (even if not all philosophers, let alone social scientists) that there exists a real world that is not the creature of human imagination. But scientific knowledge is no more than a guide to reality; it is not the real thing itself." (Bauer H.H., "Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method," , University of Illinois Press: Urbana & Chicago IL, 1994, reprint, p.68. Emphasis original) 23/10/2002 "Society as a whole does prize science because of the truth that it is thought to bring, and with it the power to control human environment and circumstances. It is tempting to use that popular view as a basis for getting support for scientific activity, and as a basis for convincing people that one is right about any number of things; but that is essentially dishonest, and I do believe that in the long run honesty is actually the best policy. The honest truth is that science does not deal in absolute facts. It is very reliable-but with exceptions, and we cannot always be sure where or when we shall encounter the exceptional. Science is, sure enough, a better guide than folklore or mysticism-in most circumstances, that is to say, and assuming that what one wants to know has to do in some way with material things. It is undoubtedly perverse to express doubts indiscriminately or fundamentally about the corpus of contemporary scientific knowledge. But it is also unjustified to claim that any given scientific notion is unquestionably right, in all its current connotations, or even that it is necessarily right when it contradicts some popular piece of folklore. Each issue needs to be looked at in its own right; and a human right to believe improbable things ought to be respected." (Bauer H.H., "Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method," , University of Illinois Press: Urbana & Chicago IL, 1994, reprint, p.67) 24/10/2002 "Moreover, it was in a minority, even within the comparatively obscure people of Israel, that the stream which issued in Christianity had its rise and its early course. The prophetic monotheism which was the source of Christianity long commanded the undivided support of only a small proportion of Israel. The loyal minority were sufficiently numerous to cherish and hand down the writings of the prophets. Through them came the main contributions of Israel to the world. Within this minority we find the direct antecedents of Christianity. Yet the majority of Israel either rejected the prophets outright or devitalized their message by compromise. Even among the relatively insignificant people within which Christianity arose, only the numerically lesser part could be counted in the spiritual ancestry of the faith. Fully as significantly, it was largely those who believed themselves to be in the succession of that minority who so opposed Jesus that they brought him to the cross." (Latourette K.S., "A History of Christianity: Volume 1: to A.D. 1500," , Harper & Row: New York NY, 1975, reprint, pp.7-8) 25/10/2002 "... the invasion of land required modification in almost every system in the vertebrate body ... Vertebrate limbs also arose during the Devonian period. Although fish fins at first appear very different from the jointed limbs of tetrapods, an examination of the bony elements of the paired tins of the lobe-finned fishes shows that they broadly resemble the equivalent limbs of amphibians. In Eusthenopteron, a Devonian lobe- tin, we can recognize an upper arm bone (humerus) and two forearm bones (radius and ulna) as well as other elements that we can homologize with the wrist bones of tetrapods ... Eusthenopteron could walk more accurately flop-along the bottom mud of pools with its fins, since backward and forward movement of the fins was limited to about 20-25 degrees. Acanthostega, one of the earliest known Devonian tetrapods, had well-formed tetrapod legs with clearly formed digits on both fore- and hindlimbs, but the limbs were too weakly constructed to enable the animal to hoist its body off the surface for proper walking on land. Ichthyostega, however, with its fully developed shoulder girdle, bulky limb bones, well-developed muscles, and other adaptations for terrestrial life, must have been able to pull itself onto land, although it probably did not walk very well. Thus, the tetrapods evolved their legs underwater and only then, for reasons unknown, began to pull themselves onto land." (Hickman C.P., Jr., Roberts L.S. & Larson A., "Animal Diversity," , McGraw-Hill: Boston MA, Second Edition, 2000, p.311) 25/10/2002 "This is a time-like constraint, a rule against deferred success. It is a rule that appears often to be tacitly violated in evolutionary explanations. The historical development of a complex organ such as the mammalian ear involved obviously a very long sequence of precise changes. Comparative anatomy suggests that the reptilian jaw actually migrated earward over the course of evolution. It is very difficult to understand why each of a series of changes in the anatomy of the reptilian jaw should have resulted in a net increase in fitness. The rule against deferred success is violated when somehow the biologist points to the completed mammalian ear to provide a backward-looking explanation for changes in the reptilian jaw. This example may seem crude to the point of parody, but the rule against deferred success is often violated wholesale in theoretical biology when the examples become more sophisticated." (Berlinski D., "Black Mischief: Language, Life, Logic, Luck," Harcourt Brace Jovanovich: Boston MA, Second Edition, 1988, p.346) 26/10/2002 "Darwin's abysmal ignorance of what Genesis teaches is seen in that it was not until he was fifty-two years old, two years after he published the Origin, that he realized that the much ridiculed date of 4,004 B.C. for creation was not a part of the text of Genesis but was instead the work of Archbishop James Ussher, who lived from 1581 to 1656-3 (Creationists no longer accept Ussher's date for creation.)" (Lubenow M.L., "Bones of Contention: A Creationist Assessment of the Human Fossils," , Baker Books: Grand Rapids MI, 1994, Fourth Printing, p.95) 26/10/2002 "It has always been apparent that Matthew arranged his genealogy of Christ deliberately so as to create three groups of fourteen names, even though it meant dropping out some of the links given in the Old Testament. Obviously, he is following the literary conventions of Jewish historians of his day and makes good use of the possibilities they afford. Examples such as these create no real difficulty for readers of the Bible, because they do not grate upon their own literary presuppositions too harshly. We have become familiar with such things from our long use of the Bible and are happily resigned to them. However, it is not always clear sailing. Let me list some examples, and then reflect upon the problem. Conservatives are very `touchy' about the historicity of the fall of Adam, because of its importance to their soteriology and theodicy, and, therefore, about the status of the Genesis narratives on that event (Genesis 2-3). They are reluctant to admit that the literary genre in that case is figurative rather than strictly literal even though the hints are very strong that it is symbolic: Adam (which means `Mankind' ) marries Eve (which means `Life), and their son Cain (which means `Forger' ) becomes a wanderer in the land ofNod (which means `Wandering' )!" (Pinnock C.H., "The Scripture Principle," Hodder & Staughton: London, 1985, pp.116-117) 26/10/2002 "Most people would admit that in the sorts of cases cited, human or even alien intelligent design could function as a properly scientific explanatory concept. But theories of intelligent supernatural design are widely considered to be a can of worms of an entirely different color. Thus, for instance, Eugenic Scott: `To be dealt with scientifically, "intelligence" must also be natural, because all science is natural. [A]ppeal to ... SETI is fallacious. SETI is indeed a scientific project; it seeks natural intelligence. Any theory with a supernatural foundation is not scientific.' (Scott E., "Of Pandas and people." NCSE Reports 10, 1:2) So the theory that aliens did it (initiated life on this planet, say), even if wrong, is still in principle scientific. But on the view just quoted, the theory that God did exactly the same thing (initiated life on this planet), based on exactly the same evidence is, even if true, inherently not science (not merely bad science, but not science at all)." (Ratzsch D.L., "Nature, Design and Science: The Status of Design in Natural Science," State University of New York Press: Albany NY, 2001, p.24. Emphasis original) 26/10/2002 "Nature is as truly a revelation of God as the Bible, and we interpret the Word of God by the Word of God when we interpret the Bible by science. As this principle is undeniably true, it is admitted and acted on by those who, through inattention to the meaning of terms, in words deny it. When the Bible speaks of the foundations, or of the pillars of the earth, or of the solid heavens, or of the motion of the sun, do not you and every other sane man, interpret this language by the facts of science? For five thousand years the Church understood the Bible to teach that the earth stood still in space, and that the sun and stars revolved around it. Science has demonstrated that this is not true. Shall we go on to interpret the Bible so as to make it teach the falsehood that the sun moves around the earth, or shall we interpret it by science, and make the two harmonize? Of course, this rule works both ways. If the Bible cannot contradict science, neither can science contradict the Bible. ... There is a two-fold evil on this subject against which it would be well for Christians to guard. There are some good men who are much too ready to adopt the opinions and theories of scientific men, and to adopt forced and unnatural interpretations of the Bible, to bring it to accord with those opinions. There are others, who not only refuse to admit the opinions of men, but science itself, to have any voice in the interpretation of Scripture. Both of these errors should be avoided." (Hodge, C., "The Bible in Science," New York Observer, Mar, 26, 1863 pp.98-99; in Noll, M.A., "The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind," , Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, 1995, reprint, pp.183-184. Ellipses Noll's) 26/10/2002 "There are two ways, fundamentally antithetic, to account for the occurrence of life on our planet. It may be the creation of God or some other supernatural power, or it may have arisen spontaneously in some relatively simple form of matter, being subsequently perfected in a process of organic evolution." (Lovtrup, S., "Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth," Croom Helm: London, 1987, p.5) 26/10/2002 http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=materialism Main Entry: materialism ... Function: noun Date: 1748 1 a : a theory that physical matter is the only or fundamental reality and that all being and processes and phenomena can be explained as manifestations or results of matter b : a doctrine that the only or the highest values or objectives lie in material well-being and in the furtherance of material progress c : a doctrine that economic or social change is materially caused -- compare HISTORICAL MATERIALISM 2 : a preoccupation with or stress upon material rather than intellectual or spiritual things 27/10/2002 "It is argued that the picture of God working like a potter with wet earth, anthropomorphically breathing life into man, constructing woman from a rib, with an idyllic garden, trees with theological significance, and a talking serpent, is the language of theological symbolism and not of literal prose. The theological truth is there, and this symbolism is the instrument of inspiration. We are not to think in terms of scientific and anti- scientific, but in terms of scientific and pre-scientific. The account is then pre-scientific and in theological symbolism which is the garment divine inspiration chose to reveal these truths for their more ready comprehension by the masses of untutored Christians. This is the view of James Orr who wrote: `I do not enter into the question of how we are to interpret the third chapter of Genesis-whether as history or allegory or myth, or most probably of all, as old tradition clothed in oriental allegorical dress-but the truth embodied in that narrative, viz. the fall of man from an original state of purity, I take to be vital to the Christian view.' [Orr, J.*, "The Christian View of God and the World," 1897, p.185]" (Ramm, B.L.*, "The Christian View of Science and Scripture," , Paternoster: London, Reprinted, 1960, pp.223-224) 29/10/2002 "Although there had been other experiments demonstrating natural selection, most of these were flawed or missing something vital. 'Getting an experiment that showed natural selection in action, and one that was a very good example, was very hard to do,' explains Cornell biologist William. Provine, the pre-eminent chronicler of twentieth-century evolutionary biology. `If you think of all the other examples of natural selection between, say, 1890 and the 1960s, the truth is that there isn't much. You have Bumpus's experiments on sparrows. He doesn't know dingle about the genetics of sparrows, so that doesn't have any great persuasive power. You've got Weldon and his crabs - Gosh, I have a letter from Arthur Cain agreeing that it was a very flawed example. In the Forties we got Fisher and Ford's work on Panaxia. That was a wonderful experiment and Sewall Wright said it showed absolutely nothing. When Cain and Sheppard did their work on Cepaea, it was considered to be one of the best examples of natural selection. Then Camille Lamotte did the same stuff in France and didn't get their results at all. Cain and all these people came up with what they called 'area effects', which took away from what they did earlier. it wasn't clear at all. Allison's work on sickle cell anemia seemed so clear and obvious, but it turned out to be so much more complicated than it looked on the surface. it was a hornet's nest; it was awful. So Kettlewell's experiments had the makings of what everyone had been hoping for - the example of natural selection in action. And it completely captured all the textbooks. it's fun to look through all the textbooks and always this example - and I mean always - is hauled out.'" (Hooper J., "Of Moths and Men: An Evolutionary Tale," W.W Norton & Co: New York NY, 2002, pp.148-149. Emphasis original) 30/10/2002 "Anyone who has taught genetics for a number of years is tired of sickle-cell anemia and embarrassed by the fact that it is the only authenticated case of overdominance available. `If balancing selection is so common,' the neoclassicists say, `why do you always end up talking about sickle-cell anemia?;" (Lewontin R.C., "The Genetic Basis of Evolutionary Change," Columbia University Press: New York NY, 1974, p.199) 30/10/2002 "It is not hard to find writings in which the myth is stated that the Darwinian theory of evolution is well proven by the fossil record. But one finds that the higher the technical quality of the writing the weaker the claims that are made. The imperfections ... are blamed in even the best texts, however, on the incompleteness of the fossil record. Yet if one persists by consulting the geological literature the truth eventually emerges. The fossil record is highly imperfect from a Darwinian point of view, not because of the inadequacies of geologists, but because the slow evolutionary connections required by the theory did not happen. Although paleontologists have recognized this truth for a century or more, they have not been able, in spite of their status as the acknowledged experts in the field, to make much of an impression on consensus opinion." (Hoyle F. & Wickramasinghe C., "Evolution from Space," , Paladin: London, 1983, reprint, pp.163-164) 31/10/2002 "The `why' of tetrapod origin has been often debated. Many of the earliest amphibians appear to have been fairly large forms of carnivorous habits, still spending a large portion of their time in fresh-water pools. Alongside them lived their close relatives, the crossopterygians, similar in food habits and in many structural features and differing markedly only in the lesser development of the paired limbs. Why did the amphibians leave the water? Not to breathe air, for t