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The following are unclassified quotes posted in my email messages of January-March, 2003.
The date format is dd/mm/yy. See copyright conditions at end.
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January 3/01/2003 "Once forged, a major body plan becomes a limiting determinant of body form for descendants of that ancestral line. Molluscs beget only molluscs and birds beget only birds, nothing else. Despite the appearance of structural and functional adaptations for distinctive ways of life, the evolution of new forms always develops within the architectural constraints of the phylum's ancestral pattern. This is why we shall never see molluscs that fly or birds confined within a protective shell." (Hickman, C.P., Jr, Roberts, L.S. & Larson, A., "Animal Diversity," , McGraw-Hill: Boston MA, Second Edition, 2000, p.36) 3/01/2003 "A more important argument in the opinion of Darwin himself was the possibility of classifying organisms. All true classification, he said, is genealogical. Community of descent 'is the hidden bond which naturalists have been unconsciously seeking.' The arrangement of the groups within each class, 'in due subordination and relation to the other groups, must be strictly genealogical in order to be natural.' And again, 'the natural system is genealogical in its arrangement, like a pedigree; but the degrees of modification which the different groups have undergone have to be expressed by ranking them under so-called different genera, sub- families, sections, orders, and classes.' What we call the natural system of classification is a proof of evolution since it can only be explained as a result of evolution. The plausibility of this argument is obvious. Yet it is not so convincing as it may appear at first sight. On the Darwinian theory, evolution is essentially undirected, being the result of natural selection, acting on small fortuitous variations. The argument specifically implies that nothing is exempt from this evolutionary process. Therefore, the last thing we should expect on Darwinian principles is the persistence of a few common fundamental structural plans. Yet this is what we find." (Thompson, W.R.*, "Introduction," in Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1967, reprint, pp.xvi-xvii) 3/01/2003 "Evolution: At the Core of Molecular Change. The interplay of events played out over billions of years, in the historical process called evolution, dictates the form and structure of the living world today. Thus biology, which is the study of the results of these historical events, differs fundamentally from physics and chemistry, which deal with the essential and unchanging properties of matter. The great insights of Charles Darwin was that all organisms are related in a great chain of being extending from the distant past to the present. The Darwinian principle that organisms vary randomly and the fittest are then selected by the forces of their nment guides biological thinking to this day." (Lodish, H., et al., "Molecular Cell Biology," , W.H. Freeman & Co: New York, Fourth Edition, 2002, Fifth Printing, p.3. Emphasis original. [The term "natural selection" is not mentioned at all in a 1084 page book on the actual molecular and cellular machinery level of life!]) 4/01/2003 "In fact, as he averred himself on several occasions, Wallace differed from Darwin on various points. ... The most important topic upon which he differed from Darwin was the evolution of the human mind. Darwin envisaged a gradual advance in the mental and moral characteristics from the lower mammals over the primates and 'savages' to civilised man. Wallace, from his logical vantage point, could see that certain mathematical, musical, artistic and other mental faculties could not possibly have arisen through natural selection, for the simple reason that, as amply evidenced by history, their possession had at no time been an asset in the struggle for existence. And therefore he concluded: 'The special faculties we have been discussing clearly point to the existence in man of something which he has not derived from his animal progenitors - something which we may best refer to as being of a spiritual essence or nature, capable of progressive development under favourable conditions.'" (Wallace, A.R., "Darwinism: An Exposition of the Theory of Natural Selection with Some of its Applications," Macmillan: London, 1890, p.474, in Løvtrup, S., "Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth," Croom Helm: London, 1987, pp.224-225) 4/01/2003 "Wallace said: 'It seems to me that if we once admit the necessity of any action beyond "natural selection" in developing man, we have no reason whatever for confining that action to his brain. On the mere doctrine of chances, it seems to me in the highest degree improbable that so many points of structure all tending to favour his mental development should concur in man, and in man alone of all animals. If the erect posture, the freedom of the anterior limbs for purposes of locomotion, the powerful and opposable thumb, the naked skin, and the great symmetry of force, the perfect organs of speech, and his mental faculties, calculation of numbers, ideas of symmetry, of justice, of abstract reasoning, of the infinite, of a future state, and many others, cannot be shown to be each and all useful to man in the very lowest state of civilisation, how are we to explain their coexistence in him alone of the whole series of organized beings?'" (Wallace, A.R., Letter 1869 to Sir Charles Lyell, in "Life, Letters and Journals of Sir Charles Lyell," John Murray: London, 1881, Vol. 2, pp.442-443, in Løvtrup, S., "Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth," Croom Helm: London, 1987, pp.227-228) 4/01/2003 "Finally, the pervasive pattern of geologic succession is systematically backwards from that predicted by the theory. Darwinian theory predicts that the gradual accumulation of minor evolutionary change and the increasing diversity of the lower taxa should ultimately produce the profound differences among the major body plans and the disparity of the higher taxa. Diversity should precede disparity. Geologic succession reveals the opposite: disparity precedes diversity. The major themes or body plans appear suddenly in the history of life only to be followed by variations on these pre-existing themes. The natural history of life on earth is systematically top to bottom, not bottom to top as Darwinian theory predicts. ...The initial appearance of virtually all phyla occurs with very low species diversity. The origin of the major body plans is not the result of the increasing diversity of the lower taxa; the general pattern is not bottom to top. Rather, the dominant pattern is top to bottom, contrary to theory. As paleontologists Douglas Erwin, James Valentine, and John Sepkoski describe the situation: `The fossil record suggests that the major pulse of diversification of phyla occurs before that of classes, classes before that of orders, and orders before families. This is not to say that each higher taxon originated before species (each phylum, class, or order containedontained at least one species, genus, family, etc. upon appearance), but the higher taxa do not seem to have diverged through an accumulation of lower taxa (Erwin, Valentine, and Sepkoski, 1988). .... If large populations have gradually evolved there should be unmistakable evidence in the fossil record, yet it is simply not found. ... many of the large populations should have been preserved, yet we simply do not find them. Small populations are called for, then, but there are difficulties here also. The populations must remain small (and undetected) and evolve steadily and consistently toward the body plan that comprises the basis of a new phylum (or class). This is asking a lot. Deleterious mutations would tend to accumulate in small populations to form genetic loads that selection might not be able to handle. Stable intermediate adaptive modes cannot be invoked as a regular feature, since we are then again faced with the problem of just where their remains are. We might imagine vast arrays of such small populations fanning continually and incessantly into adaptive space. Vast arrays should have produced at least some fossil remains also. Perhaps an even greater difficulty is the requirement that these arrays of lineages change along a rather straight and true course - morphological side trips or detours of any frequency should lengthen the time of origin of higher taxa beyond what appears to be available. Why should an opportunistic, tinkering process set on such a course and hold it for so long successfully among so many lineages? We conclude that the extrapolation of microevolutionary rates to explain the origin of new body plans is possible, but does not accord with the primary evidence' (Valentine and Erwin, 1985, pp. 95, 96)'." (Battson, A.*, "On the Origin of Stasis," Access Research Network, Revised, February 9, 1998. http://www.arn.org/docs/abstasis.htm) 5/01/2003 "Let us now turn to the other side of the scales, and the greatest example of liberal vandalism, at the hands of the most brilliant of the offspring of Descartes and Newton, Charles Darwin. For Marx the world is ruled by economics and the iron logic of History. For Darwin it is Nature that rules, through the mechanism of natural selection. Biology replaces theology, and indeed it also replaces the Humanities. Once upon a time it was God who created the earth and the species that dwell upon it. Now it is evolution which is the creative agent. Its principle is functional: if it works, it will survive. The existence of things on earth has nothing to do with either their beauty or their goodness. It has to do simply with their power. It is the strongest within a given environment which survive. Weakness means extinction. If it is powerful it is good. The new god, Biology, recognizes only this one quality." (Carroll, J., "Humanism: The Wreck of Western Culture", Fontana: London, 1993, p.144) 5/01/2003 "Science is not a neutral or innocent commodity which can be employed as a convenience by people wishing to partake only of the West's material power. Rather it is spiritually corrosive, burning away ancient authorities and traditions. It cannot really co-exist with anything. Scientists inevitably take on the mantle of the wizards, sorcerers and witch-doctors. Their miracle cures are our spells, their experiments our rituals. ... For, as I said, science cannot co-exist. This is not just true when it is being exported from one nation to another, but also when it competes with other systems within a single nation. The science-based liberal democracies, therefore, tend towards a unity of unbelief." (Appleyard, B., "Understanding the Present: Science and the Soul of Modern Man," Picador: London, 1992, pp.9-10) 6/01/2003 "I note that Luther, although he believed in a recent creation, did not take this passage [Romans 8:19-22] to imply a re-creation of the universe at the Fall. Instead, in his commentary on Romans 8:20, he states that the `vanity' of the created order comes entirely from the change in man's attitude toward these things: `For all that God made "was very good" (Genesis 1:31) and is good to this day, as the apostle says in 1 Timothy 4, "Every creature of God is good," and in Titus 1:15, "To the pure all things are pure." It therefore becomes vain, evil and noxious, etc., without its fault and from the outside, namely, in this way: because man does not judge and evaluate it rightly and because he enjoys it in a wrong way.... It is to this vanity, therefore (i.e. to this wrong enjoyment), that the creature is subjected.' (Luther M., "Lectures on Romans," W. Pauck, trans., Westminster Press: Philadelphia PA, 1961). Luther clearly affirms here that even today all created things are `very good' in and of themselves, including carnivorous beasts. This is a far cry from the view that every dangerous animal and even the Second Law of thermodynamics is a warped, `bad' version of an earlier goodness. As Luther notes, 1 Timothy 4:4 says that the pronouncement by God of all things as `good' is still true; never in Scripture does God revoke this pronouncement." (Snoke, D.W.*, "A Biblical Case for an Old Earth," Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute: Hatfield PA, 1998, p.38) 7/01/2003 "Hitler and Stalin between them murdered more innocent victims than had died in all the religious wars in mankind's history. They murdered these victims not with the misguided intentions of saving their souls or punishing their sins, but because they were competitors for food and obstacles to `evolutionary progress.' Many humanitarians, Christian, Jewish, or agnostic, have understood the relationship between Nietzsche's ideas and Hitler's mass murder teams and crematoria. Few have traced the linkage back one step further to Darwin, the `scientist' who directly inspired Nietzsche's superman theory and the Nazi corollary that some people were subhuman. The evidence was all there-the term neo-Darwinism was openly used to describe Nazi racial theories. The expression `natural selection,' as applied to human beings, turns up at the Wannsee Conference in the prime document of the Holocaust." (Koster, J.P.*, "The Atheist Syndrome," Wolgemuth & Hyatt: Brentwood TN, 1989, p.187) 8/01/2003 "Luther Burbank who, though no theoretician, was the most competent breeder of all time, looked at this problem. He eloquently endorsed the limited charter: `There is a law ... of the Reversion to the Average. I know from my experience that I can develop a plum half an inch long or one 2 1/2 inches long, with every possible length in between, but I am willing to admit that it is hopeless to try to get a plum the size of a small pea, or one as big as a grapefruit. I have daisies on my farms little larger than my fingernail and some that measure six inches across, but I have none as big as a sunflower, and never expect to have. I have roses that bloom pretty steadily for six months in the year, but I have none that will bloom twelve, and I will not have. In short, there are limits to the development possible, and these limits follow a law. But what law, and why? It is the law that I have referred to above. Experiments carried on extensively have given us scientific proof of what we had already guessed by observation; namely, that plants and animals all tend to revert, in successive generations, toward a given mean or average. Men grow to be seven feet tall, and over, but never to ten; there are dwarfs not higher than 24 inches, but none that you can carry in your hand. ... In short, there is undoubtedly a pull toward the mean which keeps all living things within some more or less fixed limitations." (Burbank, L., in Hall, W., ed., "Partner of Nature," Appleton-Century, 1939, pp.98-99, in Macbeth, N., "Darwin Retried: An Appeal to Reason," Gambit: Boston MA, 1971, p.36. Ellipses Macbeth's) 8/01/2003 "All through the earlier portion of the nineteenth century, and indeed the latter portion of the eighteenth century as well, evolutionists had had recourse to domesticated animals and plants as suggesting the mutability of biological form. Special creationists, even, had had to recognize a certain degree of plasticity in life whether wild or tame, but they had regarded this plasticity as being confined and demarcated. ... The evolutionists, by contrast, had insisted that the species barrier was an illusioniven time and opportunity the species, in Wallace's convenient phrase, would `depart indefinitely' from its original appearance. ... Darw... Darwin used the whole process of artificial selection from which to develop, by analogy, his principle of natural selection. ... We come now, however, to a peculiar fact. It would appear that careful domestic breeding, whatever it may do to improve the quality of race horses and cabbages, is not actually in itself the road to the endless biological deviation which is evolution. There is great irony in this situation, for more than almost any other single factor, domestic breeding had been used as an argument for the reality of evolution. Its significance, however, is some what deceptive and capable of misinterpretation." (Eiseley, L.C., "Darwin's Century: Evolution and the Men Who Discovered It," , Anchor Books: Doubleday & Co: Garden City NY, 1961, reprint, p.221-223. Ellipses mine) 8/01/2003 "Here, as everywhere else, Darwin proceeds on the analogy between the work of the plant-and-animal breeder and the work of nature. The breeder selects the variations he wants, breeds only from them, and destroys the rest. So natural selection, personified as `the paramount power", `preserves' beneficial variations and ` rigorously destroys' those even slightly injurious, and so on. But `selection' is only a metaphor transferred from the conscious, purposive activity of the human breeder to the unconscious, purposeless activity of nature. It would be less misleading to describe nature's process as a sort of sieve which automatically sorts out the different constituents in a mixture. It does not justify Darwin's terminology. It does not justify the title of his chief work: The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. There are no favoured races and no selection. These phrases belong to the vocabulary of conscious design, which is precisely what Darwin wishes to exclude." (Farrington, B., "What Darwin Really Said," Macdonald: London, 1966, pp.99-100) 9/01/2003 "Evolutionary biologists have failed to realize that they work with two more or less incommensurable domains: that of information and that of matter. ... These two domains will never be brought together in any kind of the sense usually implied by the term `reductionism.' You can speak of galaxies and particles of dust in the same terms, because they both have mass and charge and length and width. You can't do that with information and matter. Information doesn't have mass or charge or length in millimeters. Likewise, matter doesn't have bytes. You can't measure so much gold in so many bytes. It doesn't have redundancy, or fidelity, or any of the other descriptors we apply to information. This dearth of shared descriptors makes matter and information two separate domains of existence, which have to be discussed separately, in their own terms. The gene is a package of information, not an object. The pattern of base pairs in a DNA molecule specifies the gene. But the DNA molecule is the medium, it's not the message. Maintaining this distinction between the medium and the message is absolutely indispensable to clarity of thought about evolution." (Williams, G.C., "A Package of Information," in Brockman, J., "The Third Culture," , Touchstone: New York, Reprinted, 1996, p.43. http://www.edge.org/documents/ThirdCulture/h-Ch.1.html) 9/01/2003 "B[rain]: You honestly believe that it was you who made me - and that it was not the other way round? M: Is that not self-evident to you? B: `In the beginning was the Word - the logos - and the Word was made flesh' - you really believe that? M: How else could it be? You yourself called me your inventor and master, and kept blaming me for your blemishes. B: That was just to stop you asking me silly questions. M: So you believe that the flesh was first and the Word came later? B: It stands to reason. You did not create me. I created you. I wish I hadn't. M: I would be interested to know how you achieved this remarkable feat. B: It was quite unintentional, believe me. You are a kind of side effect, an epiphenomenon, as we call it, the hot fumes given out by my chemical reactions. I get a headache whenever you breathe into my nostrils. M: If I did not create you, how do you think you came into being? B: It stands to reason. By pure chance, or accident, or rather a series of accidents. M: A remarkable theory. In the beginning was the Accident, and the Accident was made Flesh." (Koestler, A., "An Intimate Dialogue," in "Kaleidoscope: Essays from Drinkers of Infinity, and The Heel of Achilles and Later Pieces and Stories," The Danube Edition, Hutchinson: London, 1981, pp.359-360) 9/01/2003 "Evolution is to the social sciences as statues are to birds: a convenient platform upon which to deposit badly digested ideas. Humans are, of course, constrained by biological history, as pigs are limited in the ability to fly by their ancestors' lack of wings. We are all branches on a common tree and share descent with primates and, for that matter, with pigs. Biology tells us that we evolved, but when it comes to what makes us human is largely beside the point. There might be inborn drives for rape or for greed, but Homo sapiens, unique among animals, need not defer to them. This has not stopped those unable to explain society by other means from pressing evolution into service. Darwinism has been debased since it began by those who use it to support their own creed. It was not the first (and will probably not be the last) science to be abused for political ends. (Jones, S., "Almost Like a Whale: The Origin of Species Updated," Doubleday: London, 1999, pp.xxvii-xxviii) 9/01/2003 "Leibniz's argument ... transformed into what is called the argument from design. This argument contends that, on a survey of the known world, we find things which cannot plausibly be explained as the product of blind natural forces, but are much more reasonably to be regarded as evidences of a beneficent purpose. This argument has no formal logical defect; its premisses are empirical, and its conclusion professes to be reached in accordance with the usual canons of empirical inference. The question whether it is to be accepted or not turns, therefore, not on general metaphysical questions, but on comparatively detailed considerations. ... One of the most characteristic features of that philosophy is the doctrine of many possible worlds. A world is 'possible' if it does not contradict the laws of logic. There are an infinite number of possible worlds, all of which God contemplated before creating the actual world. Being good, God decided to create the best of the possible worlds, and He considered that one to be the best which had the greatest excess of good over evil. He could have created a world containing no evil, but it would not have been so good as the actual world. That is because some great goods are logically bound up with certain evils. ... Free will is a great good, but it was logically impossible for God bestow free will and at the same time decree that there should no sin. God therefore decided to make man free, although he foresaw that Adam would eat the apple, and although sin inevitability brought punishment. The world that resulted, although it contains evil, has a greater surplus of good over evil than any other possible world, it is therefore the best of all possible worlds, and the evil that it contains affords no argument against the goodness of God." (Russell, B., "History of Western Philosophy," , George Allen & Unwin: London, Second Edition, 1991, reprint, 1993, pp.570-571) 10/01/2003 "Finally, we have the sudden appearance of groups of allied species in the lowest known fossiliferous strata. This situation is a special case of the last, and one admitted by Darwin to be a serious difficulty for his theory. From the beginning of the Cambrian up through the rest of the geological sequence we have an abundant representation of animal life at every stage. even in Lower Cambrian formations marine invertebrates are numerous and varied. Below this, there are vast thicknesses of sediments in which the progenitors of the Cambrian forms would be expected. But we do not find them; these older beds are almost barren of evidence of life, and the general picture is reasonably consistent with the idea of a special creation at the beginning of Cambrian times." (Romer, A.S., "Darwin and the Fossil Record," in Barnett S.A., ed., "A Century of Darwin," , Mercury Books: London, 1962, p.148) 11/01/2003 "The modern scientific view of the universe can be described as naturalistic, using an adjective that has its historical roots far back in philosophy, explaining all phenomena by strictly natural processes-as distinct from explanations invoking supernatural forces. I could have just as easily used mechanistic as the adjective, but that is a harsh word, suggesting the actions of a machine and the work of an inventor. Another choice would have been materialistic, but for most persons that adjective carries a negative association in terms of moral and religious values. The naturalistic view is that the particular universe we observe came into existence and has operated through all time and in all its parts without the impetus or guidance of any supernatural agency. The naturalistic view is espoused by science as its fundamental assumption." (Strahler, A.N., "Understanding Science: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, 1992, p.3. Emphasis original) 11/01/2003 "Christian theology had an answer for every question about the physical universe: it was created by God, along with the natural laws that sustain it and govern all change. An omniscient and omnipotent God, acting with a divine purpose, designed everything that is or has been. ... investigation and description of nature was permitted and even encouraged to disclose the marvelous works of God, and in so doing, to glorify His name. Under the name of `natural theology,' this license to seek new knowledge of nature was precisely what was needed to permit a resurgence of science, budding during the Renaissance of learning in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and blossoming in the scientific revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. ... Theologians actually encouraged the pursuit of natural theology in the belief that it would assist in revealing the true nature of true nature of God ... They took their warrant from the Apostle Paul, who wrote that God has shown himself to humans through the creation of the world, being understood by the things that are made" (Romans 1:20)." (Strahler, A.N., "Understanding Science: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, 1992, pp.3-4) 12/01/2003 "August Comte argued a century and a half ago that science could give us the 'positive' knowledge which would allow us to displace the earlier more primitive and mythological attempts of religion and metaphysics to provide systems of thought for coping with experience. ... Rather, I want to suggest that far from having displaced mythology in our world, science itself has become a mythology, perhaps the prevailing mythology of our time." (O'Hear, A., "Introduction to the Philosophy of Science," Clarendon Press: Oxford UK, 1989, pp.202-203) 13/01/2003 "It is the consequences of Darwin that are grave. He joins the mockers with his reduction of man to a plaything of Nature. Within evolution man is merely a passing part of a continuum between the amoeba and some futuristic mutation. His ancestor is neither Adam nor Brutus, but the monkey. As much as Marx profaned his own Jewish ancestors, Darwin went further, laughing at mankind and its veneration of the past, saying if you really want to know where you come from, go to the zoo, and study that parody of yourself, the great ape. He is your true father. Darwin's mockery is the more devastating in that it is not grounded on personal prejudice, nor on a bogus science like dialectical materialism, but on the most powerful and enduring theory produced by modern Reason, one which millions of subsequent studies and experiments have only strengthened. It is a simple theory too." (Carroll, J., "Humanism: The Wreck of Western Culture", Fontana: London, 1993, p.145) 13/01/2003 "Several writers have misapprehended or objected to the term Natural Selection. Some have even imagined that natural selection induces variability, whereas it implies only the preservation of such variations as arise and are beneficial to the being under its conditions of life. No one objects to agriculturists speaking of the potent effects of man's selection; and in this case the individual differences given by nature, which man for some object selects, must of necessity first occur. Others have objected that the term selection implies conscious choice in the animals which become modified; and it has even been urged that, as plants have no volition, natural selection is not applicable to them! In the literal sense of the word, no doubt, natural selection is a false term ..." (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.81) 13/01/2003 "How has adaptation been brought about? Modern science must rule out special creation or divine guidance. It cannot well avoid frowning upon entelechies and purposive vital urges ... Modern biology, taken by and large, also repudiates lamarckism. ... Most biologists also look askance at orthogenesis ... This is too much akin to vitalism and mysticism for their liking ... There remains natural selection." (Huxley J.S., "Evolution: The Modern Synthesis," , George Allen & Unwin: London, 1945, reprint, pp.457-458, 465- 466) 13/01/2003 "Language is obviously as different from other animals' communication systems as the elephant's trunk is different from other animals' nostrils. Nonhuman communication systems are based on one of three designs: a finite repertory of calls ..., a continuous analog signal that registers the magnitude of some state ... or a series of random variations on a theme .... As we have seen, human language has a very different design. The discrete combinatorial system called `grammar' makes human language infinite ..., digital ..., and compositional ... "Even the seat of human language in the brain is special. The vocal calls of primates are controlled not by their cerebral cortex but by phylogenetically older neural structures in the brain stem and limbic system ... Human vocalizations other than language, like sobbing, laughing, moaning, and shouting in pain, are also controlled subcortically. ... Genuine language ... is seated in the cerebral cortex ..." (Pinker, S., "The Language Instinct: The New Science of Language and Mind," , Penguin: London, 2000, reprint, pp.365-366) 14/01/2003 "At the conclusion of his book A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking discusses the possibility of an end to physics. This end would be a complete theory which unified all of space and time - a Theory of Everything. ... 'Then,' Hawking writes, 'we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason - for then we should know the mind of God.' Hawking's tone and his conception of the significance of his work are typical of a certain way of presenting science. Almost all popularizers of science - notably, in recent years, Jacob Bronowski and Carl Sagan - say the same kind of things. They say that science is a spectacle of majestic progression, that, in spite of its apparent obscurity, it is a natural and inevitable product of the human imagination, it has fundamental human significance and it is ultimately capable of answering every question. God is often evoked. Sagan in his introduction to Hawking's book says: 'This is also a book about God ... or perhaps about the absence of God. The word God fills these pages." Bringing God into the equations suggests both the importance and virtue of the scientific enterprise - this, we are being told, is a continuation of the ancient religious quest to find Him and to do His will." (Appleyard, B., "Understanding the Present: Science and the Soul of Modern Man," Picador: London, 1992, pp.1-2) 14/01/2003 "The message is that science is the human project. It is what we are intended to do. It is the only adventure. Bronowski, in particular, presents science as that which has always made us distinctively human. Science and technology accompany all human societies and distinguish us from the beasts. They are continuous throughout history: relativity and microwave ovens are clearly the descendants of the first plough or the first wheel; they spring from the same impulse, the same inspiration. Most persuasive of all, ploughs and microwaves are unique in the known universe in that they are fashioned by reason. This is propaganda, dangerously seductive propaganda. It is all misleading, even offensive, to the lives we actually lead. We are diminished by this rhetoric. It is the rhetoric of what is sometimes called 'scientism' - the belief that science is or can be the complete and only explanation. An important part of any case is that, whether we or more modest scientists like it or not, science possesses an intrinsically domineering quality. This kind of triumphant scientism is built into all science. Opposition tends to be subdued and demoralized to the point where we can no longer identify the damage done by these popularizers." (Appleyard, B., "Understanding the Present: Science and the Soul of Modern Man," Picador: London, 1992, p.2. Emphasis in original) 15/01/2003 "As Dr. Kaplan has explained, the immediate cause of this conference is a pretty widespread sense of dissatisfaction about what has come to be thought of as the accepted evolutionary theory in the English- speaking world, the so-called neo-Darwinian Theory. ... These objections to current neo-Darwinian theory are very widely held among biologists generally; and we must on no account, I think, make light-of them. The very fact that we are having this conference is evidence that we are not making light of them." (Medawar, P.B., "Remarks by the Chairman," in Moorhead, P.S. & Kaplan, M.M., ed., "Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution: A Symposium Held at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, April 25 And 26, 1966," The Wistar Institute Symposium Monograph Number 5, The Wistar Institute Press: Philadelphia PA, 1967, p.xi) 15/01/2003 "One of the most significant scientific developments within twentieth-century physics is the emergence of irreducibly probabilistic laws-laws describing events whose occurrence is not the result of any deterministic processes. According to contemporary physics, on the quantum level there are gaps not just in our knowledge of causation but in the very causal fabric of the cosmos itself. ... those gaps provide space for intervention that would still be wholly within the boundaries of natural law. ... Suppose that whether or not some mutation arises depends on whether or not some radioactive atom incorporated into some organism's DNA decays at a specific moment. And suppose that the mutation is essential to the next step in the evolution of the species in question. The atom's decaying and not decaying are both consistent with physical law. Thus, were God deliberately to intervene and decree the decay of the atom for the very purpose of triggering the next evolutionary step, that purposeful intervention would be an instance of divine guiding intervention and also would involve no violation or suspension of any law of nature." (Ratzsch, D.L.*, "The Battle of Beginnings: Why Neither Side is Winning the Creation-Evolution Debate," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1996, pp.186-187) 16/01/2003 "It is therefore inaccurate to define a miracle as something that breaks the laws of Nature. It doesn't. If I knock out my pipe I alter the position of a great many atoms: in the long run, and to an infinitesimal degree, of all the atoms there are. Nature digests or assimilates this event with perfect ease and harmonises it in a twinkling with all other events. It is one more bit of raw material for the laws to apply to and they apply. I have simply thrown one event into the general cataract of events and it finds itself at home there and conforms to all other events. If God annihilates or creates or deflects a unit of matter He has created a new situation at that point. Immediately all Nature domiciles this new situation, makes it at home in her realm, adapts all other events to it. It finds itself conforming to all the laws. If God creates a miraculous spermatozoon in the body of a virgin, it does not proceed to break any laws. The laws at once take it over. Nature is ready. Pregnancy follows, according to all the normal laws, and nine months later a child is born. We see every day that physical nature is not in the least incommoded by the daily inrush of events from biological nature or from psychological nature. If events ever come from beyond Nature altogether, she will be no more incommoded by them. Be sure she will rush to the point where she is invaded, as the defensive forces rush to a cut in our finger, and there hasten to accommodate the newcomer. The moment it enters her realm it obeys all her laws. Miraculous wine will intoxicate, miraculous conception will lead to pregnancy, inspired books will suffer all the ordinary processes of textual corruption, miraculous bread win be digested. The divine art of miracle is not an art of suspending the pattern to which events conform but of feeding new events into that pattern. It does not violate the law's proviso, `If A, then B ': it says, `But this time instead of A, A2,' and Nature, speaking through all her laws, replies, `Then B2' and naturalises the immigrant, as she well knows how. She is an accomplished hostess." (Lewis, C.S.*, "Miracles: A Preliminary Study," , Fontana: London, 1960, Revised edition, Reprinted, 1963, pp.63-64) 16/01/2003 "In this book I explore a variant of panspermia which Leslie Orgel and I suggested a few years ago. To avoid damage, the microorganisms are supposed to have traveled in the head of an unmanned spaceship sent to earth by a higher civilization which had developed elsewhere some billions of years ago. The spaceship was unmanned so that its range would be as great as possible. Life started here when these organisms were dropped into the primitive ocean and began to multiply. We called our idea Directed Panspermia, and published it quietly in Icarus, a space journal edited by Carl Sagan (Crick, F. & Orgel, L., "Directed Panspermia," Icarus, Vol. 19, 1973, pp.341-346). It is not entirely new. J.B.S. Haldane had made a passing reference to it as early as 1954 and others have considered it since then, though not in as much detail as we did." (Crick, F.H.C., "Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, 1981, p.16) 16/01/2003 "Then, there are philosophical or methodological objections to evolutionary theory. They have been very well voiced by Professor Karl Popper - that the current neo-Darwinian Theory has the methodological defect of explaining too much. It is too difficult to imagine or envisage an evolutionary episode which could not be explained by the formulae of neo-Darwinism." (Medawar, P.B., "Remarks by the Chairman," in Moorhead, P.S. & Kaplan, M.M., ed., "Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution: A Symposium Held at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, April 25 And 26, 1966," The Wistar Institute Symposium Monograph Number 5, The Wistar Institute Press: Philadelphia PA, 1967, p.xi) 17/01/2003 "Hopping around their web world, one quickly gets the impression that there are two basic types of atheist. The first is the sincere, scholarly atheist, the type who walked away from the Unitarians when they got too evangelical. The Maine Atheists Union typifies this bunch. They want to `think freely' and `live free,' and one of their main precepts reads: `Nobody has all of the answers and nobody ever will. Take the time to get as close as possible to the truth.' The other group is like Orwell's embittered specimen from `Down and Out in Paris and London,' `the sort of atheist who does not so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike Him.' These shrill types can be found in places like MSN's God is a Lie! chat community and, of all places, high school. ... What do they all have in common? For one thing, a preoccupation with Christianity. Look around the precincts of atheism and you'll see lots of slogans like `The Religious Right is neither,' but you'll never see `Taoism is for dummies.' Or, for that matter, much anti-Judaism or anti-Islam sentiment ..." (Last, J.V., "You Gotta (Dis)Believe," Weekly Standard, 30 July 2002) 17/01/2003 "Concepts such as natural selection by the survival of the fittest are tautologous; that is, they simply restate the fact that only the properties of organisms which survive to produce offspring, or to produce more offspring than their cohorts, will appear in succeeding generations." (Eden, M., "Inadequacies of Neo- Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory," in Moorhead, P.S. & Kaplan, M.M., ed., "Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution: A Symposium Held at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, April 25 And 26, 1966," The Wistar Institute Symposium Monograph Number 5, The Wistar Institute Press: Philadelphia PA, 1967, p.5) 19/01/2003 "Tradition holds that Charles Darwin glimpsed the signature of natural selection quite early in his career, after observing the finches of the Galapagos Islands. He visited these teeming shores of the tropical East Pacific in 1835, during his famous circumnavigation of the globe. One passage in his Journal of Researches into the Geology and Natural History of the Various Countries Visited by H.M.S. Beagle (a work usually published under the more compact title The Voyage of the Beagle) describes his reaction to the markedly different beaks of the six species of Galapagos ground finches: `Seeing this gradation and diversity of structure in one small, intimately related group of birds, one might really fancy that from an original paucity of birds in this archipelago, one species had been taken and modified for different ends.' A woodcut showing four finch heads in profile appears next to this statement, further suggesting that these birds were key to the development of Darwin's ideas about biological evolution. But as Frank Sulloway of Harvard University has shown, the familiar story of `Darwin's finches' that many people learned in school is mostly just that-a story. In actuality Darwin gathered few examples of these supposedly crucial birds. He failed to recognize the importance of the specimens that he did collect and neglected to so much as tag each one with the name of the island from which it came. Indeed, Darwin did not even realize that some of these birds were finches until six years later, when John Gould, an eminent British ornithologist, set him straight. One reads gushing descriptions in The Voyage of the Beagle only because Darwin revised the text of his journal in 1845 to reflect what he had pieced together in the intervening years. His original account says very little about the finches, reflecting the minimal attention he paid to these birds when he first saw them." (Sanderson, J.G., "Testing Ecological Patterns," American Scientist, Vol. 88, No. 4, pp.332-339, July-August 2000, p.332) 19/01/2003 "The features that make the Earth uniquely suitable for the development of life are perhaps most dramatically demonstrated by comparing the Earth with our twin planet, Venus. In contrast to our oceans, lakes and rivers, there is only a trace of water in the atmosphere of Venus. While this atmosphere consists mainly of carbon dioxide, on the Earth carbon dioxide is mostly locked up in lime stones. On the surface of the Earth, the growth of great continental land masses allows for the development of mountains, broad plains, extensive forests, sweeping savannas and major rivers. Large short-lived lakes appear following episodes of continental glaciation. Continental drift provides many changing patterns, such as shifting climatic zones, formation and destruction of mountain ranges, and extensive shallow seas as continental shelves are flooded. All these produce a multitude of stimulating environments for land-based life. If the continental crust had not provided the setting for the development of this diversity, evolution, restricted to small islands, would have taken a different course." (Taylor ,S.R., "Destiny or Chance: Our Solar System and its Place in the Cosmos," , Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 2000, reprint, p.184) 19/01/2003 "The principal difference in the surface conditions on Earth and Venus appears to be related to the presence of abundant water on the Earth's surface. The operation of plate tectonics, continental drift and the formation of the continents themselves is mostly due to the presence of water. The Earth is thus a very dynamic planet. On the dry surface of Venus, as on Mars, Mercury and the Moon, plate tectonics does not occur, and barren basaltic plains, pocked with craters like a Great War battlefield, are the common landscape. So the surfaces of the other planets constitute a NoMan's-Land of planetary proportions, which is as equally unfriendly to life as was the Western Front. The Earth is about the right distance from the Sun to make this an agreeable and habitable planet. This question is often referred as the Goldilocks problem after the girl in the fable who tasted the porridge of the three bears. Venus is too hot, Mars is too cold, but the Earth, like Baby Bear's porridge, is just right. This, however, is a bit simplistic, since much more than distance is involved. The surface temperature of the Earth that we find so agreeable, is maintained by a 'greenhouse' effect, which traps heat. Without water and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the surface temperature would average 18 degrees below zero Centigrade, and the world would resemble Siberia in the depths of winter. Venus is too hot mainly because of the 'greenhouse' effect of its thick atmosphere of carbon dioxide, not because it is so much closer to the Sun. Were it not for the greenhouse effect that traps the heat, the surface of that roasted planet would be below freezing. Its clouds reflect so much of the energy coming from the Sun that Venus absorbs only a little more solar radiation than Mars. Even the thin atmosphere of Mars adds a few degrees to the surface temperature of that frozen desert. The width of the zone around the Sun in which a habitable planet can reside in our solar system is quite narrow. Various estimates range from about a tenth of an AU to about half an AU around the orbit of the Earth. But making a habitable planet depends on a complex set of factors, of which distance from the Sun is only one. The amount and composition of the atmosphere and the nature of the cloud cover are critical. So it's not just a matter of getting an earth-sized planet at the right distance from a star. A host of other factors are involved." (Taylor, S.R., "Destiny or Chance: Our Solar System and its Place in the Cosmos," , Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 2000, reprint, p.185) 20/01/2003 "Socrates, Sartre and Hume can be rendered consonant with Darwin. Kant, and most religious orthodoxies, cannot. But common sense is still largely religious and Kantian. The notion of an inbuilt and infallible conscience, which only a non-banal form of evil - a diabolical will - could ignore, is still pretty central to most Westerners' ideas of man and the universe. So is the notion that observation, experimentation and clear, precise, "logical" thinking will, sooner or later, lead us to what Kuhn calls "one full, objective, true account of nature." As Kuhn points out, however, such a notion, too, is hard to reconcile with Darwin. The idea that one species of organism is, unlike all the others, oriented not just toward its own increased prosperity but toward Truth, is as un-Darwinian as the idea that every human being has a built-in moral compass - a conscience that swings free of both social history and individual luck." (Rorty, R., "Untruth and Consequences," review of "Killing Time: The Autobiography of Paul Feyerabend," University of Chicago Press, in The New Republic, July 31, 1995, pp.32-36, p.35) 21/01/2003 "Job, for example, saw species as created imperfectly by a sovereign God. [Job 39:13-17: `The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully, but they cannot compare with the pinions and feathers of the stork. She lays her eggs on the ground and lets them warm in the sand, unmindful that a foot may crush them, that some wild animal may trample them. She treats her young harshly, as if they were not hers; she cares not that her labor was in vain, for God did not endow her with wisdom or give her a share of good sense.']" (Hunter, C.G.*, "Darwin's God Evolution and the Problem of Evil," Brazos Press: Grand Rapids MI, 2001, pp.93, 183n) 22/01/2003 "It has sometimes been said that the success of the Origin proved `that the subject was in the air,' or `that men's minds were prepared for it.' I do not think that this is strictly true, for I occasionally sounded not a few naturalists, and never happened to come across a single one who seemed to doubt about the permanence of species." (Darwin, C.R., in Barlow, N., ed., "The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809-1882: With Original Omissions Restored," , W.W. Norton & Co: New York NY, 1969, reprint, pp.123-124) 23/01/2003 "According to anthropologist Loren Eiseley, Darwin appropriated the work of Edward Blyth, a little-known British zoologist who wrote on natural selection and evolution in two papers published in 1835 and 1837. Eiseley points to similarities in phrasing, the use of rare words, and the choice of examples. While Darwin in his opus quotes Blyth on a few points, notes Eiseley, he does not cite the papers that deal directly with natural selection, even though it is clear he read them. The thesis has been disputed by paleontologist Stephen J. Gould. But Eiseley is not the only critic of Darwin's acknowledgment practices. He was accused by a contemporary, the acerbic man of letters Samuel Butler, of passing over in silence those who had developed similar ideas. Indeed, when Darwin's On the Origin of Species first appeared in 1859, he made little mention of predecessors. Later, in an 1861 "historical sketch" added to the third edition of the Origin, he delineated some of the previous work, but still gave few details. Under continued attack, he added to the historical sketch in three subsequent editions. It was still not enough to satisfy all his critics. In 1879, Butler published a book entitled Evolution Old and New in which he accused Darwin of slighting the evolutionary speculations of Buffon, Lamarck, and Darwin's own grandfather Erasmus." (Broad, W. & Wade, N., "Betrayers of the Truth: Fraud and Deceit in the Halls of Science," Simon and Schuster: New York NY, 1982, pp.30-31) 23/01/2003 "Darwin's theory of evolution dealt only with the laws governing the ongoing operation of the organic world; he had expunged the question of origins from his theory, which in its developed form said nothing about the origin of life or of matter and energy and the universe. Consequently, his theory could not be affected either favorably or adversely by the introduction of a supernatural Creator as First Cause. On the other hand, the idea of either a Planful or an Intervening Providence taking part in the day-to-day operations of the universe was in effect a competing theory. If one believed that there was a God who had originally designed the world exactly as it has come to be, the theory of evolution through natural selection could be seen as superfluous. Likewise, if one believed in a God who intervened from time to time to create some of the organisms, organs, or functions found in the living world, Darwin's theory could be seen as superfluous. Any introduction of intelligent planning or decision-making reduces natural selection from the position of a necessary and universal principle to a mere possibility." (Gruber, H.E., "Darwin on Man: A Psychological Study of Scientific Creativity," together with Barrett, P.H., "Darwin's Early and Unpublished Notebooks," Wildwood House: London, 1974, p.211) 23/01/2003 "As Claude Levi-Strauss pointed out with obvious satisfaction, the accounts that science ultimately resorts to are as removed from common sense as the products of mythological thought. When we think about the origin of life, we have to accept that, over the course of some eight or nine hundred million years, thousands of events, each highly improbable, followed one after the other to permit the transformation of an earth without life to life in an RNA world, and then to life in a DNA world. Clearly, such a history might appear as incomprehensible to noninitiates as do the stories of Creation in the Theogony of Hesiod, the Upanishads, or the Bible. Indeed, mythological tales seem closer to common sense than does the discourse of biochemists and molecular biologists." (Jacob, F., "Of Flies, Mice, and Men," , Weiss G., transl., Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA, 1998, pp.22-23) 24/01/2003 "Edward Blyth ... made many contributions to the natural history of Southeastern Asia; yet he could have been largely unknown today had he not been saved from oblivion by Loren Eiseley, who has suggested that Blyth was Darwin's main, but unquoted, source of inspiration with respect to the notion of 'natural selection'. Eiseley arrived at this conclusion through a literary investigation. The material thus brought forward is of varying credibility, but still I think one must be a very orthodox Darwinian to be left completely untouched by Eiseley's accusation." (Løvtrup, S., "Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth," Croom Helm: London, 1987, p.27) 25/01/2003 "Gnosticism ... a modern term generally used to describe the syncretistic theological and theosophical systems and movements which usually included many Christian motifs - in the Greco-Roman world in the 2nd century AD and attacked by leading early Christian theologians. Deriving its name from the Greek word gnosis (knowledge of an esoteric nature), Gnosticism received renewed scholarly interest as a result of a large Gnostic library discovered near Chenoboskion (Naj Hammadi) in Egypt in the mid-20th century, about the same time as the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which have been important in the study of biblical literature. Gnosticism has sometimes been referred to as the one heresy that continues to arise at various times in the history of Christianity." ("Gnosticism," Encyclopaedia Britannica, Benton: Chicago IL, 15th Edition, 1984, Vol. iv, pp.587-588) 25/01/2003 "The influence of Gnostic thought today is not often acknowledged or understood. It is, according to Harold Bloom, the most common thread of religious thought in America. He calls it the American Religion and finds it "pervasive and overwhelming, however it is masked, and even our secularists, indeed even our professed atheists, are more Gnostic than humanist in their ultimate presuppositions." (Bloom H., "The American Religion," Simon & Schuster: New York, 1992, p.22). It is perhaps one of the great ironies in religious thought that one can profess to be an agnostic, skeptic, or even atheist regarding belief in God yet still hold strong opinions about God. Evolution may breed skepticism, but its adherents have continued to make religious proclamations. And those proclamations are really no different from those made by Darwin and his fellow Victorians." (Hunter, C.G.*, "Darwin's God Evolution and the Problem of Evil," Brazos Press: Grand Rapids MI, 2001, pp.151, 187n) 25/01/2003 "In trying to explain the origin of life, biologists for their part must call on all their imaginative resources. It is obvious that, for the living world and its evolution, the role of history is of the utmost importance. Life seems to have appeared fairly quickly, probably less than a billion years after the formation of the earth, in the form of some thing we might call a `protobacterium.' Life means reproduction. But the apparatus of reproduction that we observe today in the simplest organism, the humblest bacterium, already features a formidable complexity. The duplication of DNA alone brings into play an enormous number of proteins, the synthesis of any one of which demands an even more considerable number and diversity of macromolecules. It is unthinkable that such a system would have emerged fully formed from Zeus's head, hence it is necessary to imagine more or less plausible scenarios that might account for a progressive buildup of complexity. According to one scenario, which has become fashionable over the past several years, the living world as we know it, dominated by DNA, was preceded by a world in which RNA functioned both as a catalyst and in replication. It goes without saying that the emergence of this RNA world and the transition to a DNA world imply an impressive number of stages, each more improbable than the previous one. Moreover, most of the hypotheses required for such scenarios lend themselves neither to reconstruction nor to experimental verification. In other words, although it seems clear that humans, animals, plants, fungi, and microbes-in short, we living beings-are, all descended from an initial protobacterium, we are not even close to knowing the true face of our common ancestor." (Jacob, F., "Of Flies, Mice, and Men," , Weiss G., transl., Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA, 1998, pp.20-21) 26/01/2003 "The molecular biologists, faced with a difficult problem they are unlikely to solve for a long time, have recourse to three possible solutions. Some biologists, including some of the greatest, consider the appearance of life on earth so improbable that they prefer, half jokingly, half seriously, to invoke a kind of panspermia. The seeds of life would have arrived on earth aboard a spaceship sent from a faraway planet by a civilization more evolved than our own! Which, of course, only reduces the problem a notch. .... Others consider that the appearance of life on earth was so improbable that almost certainly it happened only once. It resulted from such an unlikely series of events-any one of which might not have happened-that there might well never have been life on earth. These same scientists also tend to believe that very probably no other conscious life exists in the universe. A third group of scientists has an entirely different attitude. For them, the stages implied by the advent of an RNA world and passage to a DNA world were the result of ordinary chemical reactions that could not help but occur given sufficient opportunity, that is, time. These scientists reason that it would be impossible for life not to have formed on earth. ... they maintain that there must be many places in the universe that support life, probably even conscious life. ... Until now, however, no one has managed to detect a trace of a signal suggesting life and coming from the galaxy or beyond the galaxy. ... Everything we learn about even the most varied organisms living on earth shows that, in all likelihood, they are all descended from one and the same ancestor. Thus it does indeed seem to be the case that life appeared once and only once on earth; that it resulted from a series of events, each highly improbable; and that if any of these events had not occurred, life as we know it would not exist." (Jacob, F., "Of Flies, Mice, and Men," , Weiss G., transl., Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA, 1998, pp.22- 23) 27/01/2003 "The Creation Hypothesis received a remarkably respectful review in Creation/Evolution, a strongly anticreationist journal. Reviewer Arthur Shapiro, professor of zoology at the Davis campus of the University of California, concluded with this paragraph: `I can see Science in the year 2000 running a major feature article on the spread of theistic science as a parallel scientific culture. I can see interviews with the leading figures in history and philosophy of science about how and why this happened. For the moment, the authors of The Creation Hypothesis are realistically defensive. They know their way of looking at the world will not be generally accepted and that they will be restricted for a while to their own journals. They also know that they will be under intense pressure to demonstrate respectability by weeding out crackpots, kooks and purveyors of young- earth snake oil. If they are successful, the day will come when the editorial board of Science will convene in emergency session to decide what to do about a paper which is of the highest quality and utterly unexceptionable, of great and broad interest, and which proceeds from the prior assumption of intelligent design. For a preview of that crisis, you should read this book. Of course, if you are smug enough to think "theistic science" is an oxymoron, you won't.'" (Shapiro, A., Review of Moreland, J.P., ed., "The Creation Hypothesis," InterVarsity Press, 1994. Creation/Evolution, 1994, in Johnson, P.E.*, "Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law, and Education," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1995, p.239) 27/01/2003 "It is a feature of the known fossil record that most taxa appear abruptly. They are not, as a rule, led up to by a sequence of almost imperceptibly changing forerunners such as Darwin believed should be usual in evolution. A great many sequences of two or a few temporally intergrading species are known, but even at this level most species appear without known immediate ancestors, and really long, perfectly complete sequences of numerous species are exceedingly rare. Sequences of genera, immediately successive or nearly so at that level (not necessarily represented by the exact populations involved in the transition from one genus to the next), are more common and may be longer than known sequences of species. But the appearance of a new genus in the record is usually more abrupt than the appearance of a new species: the gaps involved are generally larger, that is, when a new genus appears in the record it is usually well separated morphologically from the most nearly similar other known genera. This phenomenon becomes more universal and more intense as the hierarchy of categories is ascended. Gaps among known species are sporadic and often small. Gaps among known orders, classes, and phyla are systematic and almost always large." (Simpson, G.G., "The History of Life," in Tax, S., ed., "Evolution After Darwin," Vol. I, "The Evolution of Life: Its Origin, History and Future," University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, 1960, p.117) 28/01/2003 "But, subliminally, our vague awareness of and gratitude for the ease and ubiquity of technology prepares us to accept the larger claim of science that it alone can lead us to God. For we can see all about us how much science can do; perhaps it can do this as well. It has solved so many of our little problems, maybe it can solve the big one. After all, both flying and electrically boiling water are miraculous in their different ways and our idea of God is usually accompanied by miracles. This unarguable and spectacular effectiveness is the ace up science's sleeve. Whatever else we may think of it, we have to accept that science works. Penicillin cures disease, aircraft fly, crops grow more intensively because of fertilizers, and so on. ... This is the heart of the matter. We know science is effective and we know that it tells us that it is in pursuit of the truth of a real world. But is it the Truth? Is it our Truth? Do its awesome powers mean that science must be far more than a way of doing things? Hawking, by invoking God, says it is. He says it is a potentially conclusive way of knowing everything - that it is the Truth." (Appleyard, B., "Understanding the Present: Science and the Soul of Modern Man," Picador: London, 1992, pp.3,16) 28/01/2003 "Similarly, without Einstein, there would still have been something like the theory of relativity; without Darwin, something close to the theory of evolution. But they wouldn't have been the same theories. They wouldn't have been formulated in the same way or presented with the same vigor, the same force of persuasion. They wouldn't have had the same influence or the same consequences." (Jacob, F., "Of Flies, Mice, and Men," , Weiss G., transl., Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA, 1998, pp.140-141) 29/01/2003 "We speak of the evolution of the stars, of the evolution of the horse, of the evolution of the steam engine, as though they were all part of the same process. What have they in common? Only this, that each concerns itself with the history of something. When the astronomer thinks of the evolution of the earth, the moon, the sun and the stars, he has a picture of diffuse matter that has slowly condensed. With condensation came heat; with heat, action and reaction within the mass until the chemical sub stances that we know today were produced. This is the nebular hypothesis of the astronomer. The astronomer explains, or tries to explain, how this evolution took place, by an appeal to the physical processes that have been worked out in the laboratory, processes which he thinks have existed through all the eons during which this evolution was going on and which were its immediate causes. When the biologist thinks of the evolution of animals and plants, a different picture presents itself. He thinks of series of animals that have lived in the past, whose bones and shells have been preserved in the rocks. He thinks of these animals as having in the past given birth, through an unbroken succession of individuals, to the living inhabitants of the earth today. He thinks that the old, simpler types of the past have in part changed over into the more complex forms of today. He is thinking as the historian thinks, but he sometimes gets confused and thinks that he is explaining evolution when he is only describing it." (Morgan, T.H., "A Critique of the Theory of Evolution," , Louis Clark Vanuxem Foundation Lectures, Columbia University, February 24- March 15, 1916, Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1917, Second Printing, pp.1-2. Emphasis original) 29/01/2003 "Evolution is now found to be capable of creating just about anything. We might say that evolution is a closed metaphysical system. It not only supplies its own creation story but also supplies its own source of morality. Both were products of the evolutionary process. Furthermore, having rejected divine creation and its Creator, evolution even becomes its own authority. This story is true for those who believe it, but it cannot be demonstrated by strictly scientific argument, for it requires metaphysical premises." (Hunter, C.G.*, "Darwin's God Evolution and the Problem of Evil," Brazos Press: Grand Rapids MI, 2001, p.155) 30/01/2003 "The most obvious alternative to this view is to hold that evolution has throughout been guided by divine power. There are two objections to this hypothesis. Most lines of descent end in extinction, and commonly the end is reached by a number of different lines evolving in parallel. This does not suggest the work of an intelligent designer, still less of an almighty one. But the moral objection is perhaps more serious. A very large number of originally free-living Crustacea, worms, and so on, have evolved into parasites. In so doing they have lost to a greater or less extent, their legs, eyes, and brains, and have become in many cases the source of considerable and prolonged pain to other animals and to man. If we are going to take an ethical point of view at all (and we must do so when discussing theological questions), we are, I think, bound to place this loss of faculties coupled with increased infliction of suffering in the same class as moral breakdown in a human being, which can often be traced to genetical causes. To put the matter in a more concrete way, Blake expressed some doubt as to whether God had made the tiger. But the tiger is in many ways an admirable animal. We have now to ask whether God made the tape-worm. And it is questionable whether an affirmative answer fits in either with what we know about the process of evolution or what many of us believe about the moral perfection of God. We can answer the question in three ways. We can regard the dark as well as the bright side of evolution as a manifestation of divine ingenuity. `I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things' (Isaiah). Secondly, we can go for our answer to Plato. Socrates in the `Republic' says, `God therefore, since He is good, cannot be responsible for all things, as the many say, but only for good things.' This answer, however, leads us into Manichaeanism, for the tapeworm presents just as much ingenuity in construction (if we regard it as designed) as does the rose. We should have to give the Devil credit for a large share in evolution. Or, finally, we can say that at present it does not seem necessary to postulate divine or diabolical intervention in the course of the evolutionary process. The question whether we can draw theological conclusions from the fact that the universe is such that evolution has occurred in it is quite different, and very interesting." (Haldane, J.B.S., "The Causes of Evolution," , Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1993, Second Printing, pp.85-86) 31/01/2003 "As physicists tell the tale, a thousand-billionth of a second after the big explosion, when the temperature of the universe "fell" to a million billion degrees, particles and antiparticles were rapidly created and annihilated. Then, with the expansion and cooling of the universe, annihilation began to outpace creation. Almost all the particles disappeared. And if there had not been a slight excess of electrons over electrons and of quarks over antiquarks, ordinary particles, those that form the very basis of matter, would today be absent from the universe. It was this slight excess of matter over antimatter-an excess estimated at one ten- billionth-that survived to form, three minutes later, the light atomic nuclei; then, after a million years, the atoms; much later, the heavy elements in the stars; and finally, the stuff out of which the living world arose. If there had not been that excess of a ten-billionth of some particles over other particles, our universe would not exist, at least not in the form in which we know it." (Jacob, F., "Of Flies, Mice, and Men," , Weiss G., transl., Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA, 1998, pp.19-20) [top] February 1/02/2003 "However, it is certain that Darwin listened to, and noted with care, the words of someone else who saw the force of natural selection: Edward Blyth, a south London chemist a year younger than Darwin, whose passion for natural history had led him to neglect his business, so that he had to sail for Calcutta at the age of thirty-one and take up a poorly paid position as curator of vertebrate collections in the local museum. Before leaving for India, Blyth spoke often at scientific meetings in London, some of them attended by Darwin. Darwin's early notebooks on 'transmutation' (for years he avoided using the word evolution) contain transcriptions of what Blyth said. In 1835 and 1837 Blyth's theories were published in the British Magazine of Natural History. Darwin, according to a cryptic reference in a letter, seems to have read these too." (Hitching, F., "The Neck of the Giraffe: Or Where Darwin Went Wrong," Pan: London, 1982, p.231) 2/02/2003 "Why do the cult leaders tell lies for God? A lie is a falsehood uttered or acted to deceive and, of course, a liar can choose not to lie and knows the difference between a lie and the truth." (Plimer, I.R., "Telling Lies for God: Reason vs Creationism," Random House: Sydney, Australia, 1994, pp.271-272) 2/02/2003 "Why isn't Edward Blyth's name a household word? Why isn't he buried in Westminster Abbey? Blyth (1810-73), a creationist, first published essays on natural selection in 1835, 1836 and 1837, over twenty years before Darwin published The Origin of Species. Loren Eiseley found evidences in Darwin's essays that, between 1842 and 1844, he had studied Blyth's work. Later, after Blyth went to Calcutta, Darwin corresponded with him, showing particular interest in his studies of animal variation. ... If Darwin did absorb Blyth's ideas, he made no reference to him." (Pitman, M., "Adam and Evolution," Rider & Co: London, 1984, pp.75-76) 3/02/2003 "Of special relevance to this note are two of Blyth's many papers. The papers in question appeared in 1835 and 1837, both in The Magazine of Natural History, a leading journal of the day. The references are vol. 3 (1935), pp. 40-53, and vol. 1 (1937), pp. 1-9; pp. 77-85; pp. 131-141, the second paper appearing in three parts. ... His paper of 1835 describes conservative natural selection, the process whereby a species clearly adapted to an environment does not lose that adaptation. ... So already in 1835-6, while Darwin is still away on the Beagle, the crucial question has been asked. ... It was into this situation that Darwin returned from the voyage of the Beagle. It is not only inconceivable in principle that Blyth's papers, published in a major journal, would have escaped Darwin's notice, but as Eiseley points out at length there is ample evidence from Darwin's essays of 1842 and 1844 that he had studied Blyth's work closely. ... Darwin by his own account was a voracious reader of other men's work, obviously of Blyth's papers ... It was not in his character, however, to make a return for what he received ... " (Hoyle, F. & Wickramasinghe, N.C., "Evolution from Space," , Paladin: London, 1983, reprint, pp.171-173,175) 4/02/2003 "Amid the flurry of preparations, a 22-year-old man picked his way. He moved awkwardly around the ship, not only because his 6-foot frame was oversized for the cramped quarters, but also because he felt profoundly out of place. He had no official position on the ship, having been invited to keep the captain company during the voyage and act as an unofficial naturalist. It was usually up to a ship's surgeon to act as the naturalist for a voyage, but this awkward young man had no such practical skill. He was a medical school dropout who, for want of any other respectable line of work, was considering a career as a country parson when the voyage was over. ... The name of this awkward young man was Charles Darwin." (Zimmer, C., "Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea," HarperCollins: New York, 2001, p.4) 4/02/2003 "No scientific revolution can match Darwin's discovery in degree of upset to our previous comforts and certainties. In the only conceivable challenge, Copernicus and Galileo moved our cosmic location from the center of the universe to a small and peripheral body circling a central sun. But this cosmic reorganization only fractured our concept of real estate; Darwinian evolution, on the other (and deeper) hand, revolutionized our view of our own meaning and essence (insofar as science can address such questions at all): Who are we? How did we get here? How are we related to other creatures, and in what manner? Evolution substituted a naturalistic explanation of cold comfort for our former conviction that a benevolent deity fashioned us directly in his own image, to have dominion over the entire earth and all other creatures- and that all but the first five days of earthly history have been graced by our ruling presence." (Gould, S.J., "Introduction," in Zimmer, C., "Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea," HarperCollins: New York, 2001, p.xi) 4/02/2003 "Why believe that there is a God at all? My answer is that to suppose that there is a God explains why there is a world at all; why there are the scientific laws there are; why animals and then human beings have evolved; why humans have the opportunity to mould their characters and those of their fellow humans for good or ill and to change the environment in which we live; why we have the well-authenticated account of Christ's life, death and resurrection; why throughout the centuries men have had the apparent experience of being in touch with and guided by God; and so much else. In fact, the hypothesis of the existence of God makes sense of the whole of our experience, and it does so better than any other explanation which can be put forward, and that is the grounds for believing it to be true." (Swinburne, R.G., "The Justification of Theism," Truth: An International, Inter-Disciplinary Journal of Christian Thought, Volume 3, 1991. http://www.leaderu.com/truth/3truth09.html) 5/02/2003 "Duplication in the human genome is more extensive than it is in other primates, says Eichler. About 5% of the human genome consists of copies longer than 1,000 bases. Some doublings are vast. Half of chromosome 20 recurs, rearranged, on chromosome 18. A large block of chromosome 2's short arm appears again as nearly three-quarters of chromosome 14, and a section of its long arm is also on chromosome 12. The gene-packed yet diminutive chromosome 22 sports eight huge duplications. "Ten percent of the chromosome is duplicated, and more than 90% of that is the same extremely large duplication. You don't have to be a statistician to realize that the distribution of duplications is highly nonrandom," says Eichler." (Lewis, R., "Genome Evolution: First, a Bang Then, a Shuffle," The Scientist, Vol. 17, No. 2, January 27, 2003) 5/02/2003 "Experiments showing there is self-recognition in mirrors by the great apes indicate that they have crossed the threshold to self-awareness-it is me! In The Pinnacle of Life we will examine brain-mind functions in the ascent of the evolutionary tree to this pinnacle. But it is obvious that there is a gaping void between an ape examining otherwise -visually- inaccessible parts of its body with a mirror, or, with the aid of a mirror, fingering a mark painted on its forehead while it was anaesthetised, and the soliloquy of Hamlet." (Denton, D.A., "The Pinnacle of Life: Consciousness and Self-Awareness in Humans and Animals," Allen & Unwin: St. Leonards NSW, Australia, 1993, p.xi) 6/02/2003 "In the event, CD's appointment was not official. Although CD lists himself on the title page of Journal of researches as 'Naturalist to the Beagle' and in the Zoology as 'Naturalist to the Expedition' this is not to he understood as an official title conferred by the Admiralty. The letters of the next month bear out the contention of J.W. Gruber 1969 and Burstyn 1975 that CD's situation was that of guest of Captain FitzRoy, who sought a 'well-educated and scientific person' as a companion (Narrative 2:18)." (Burkhardt, F. & Smith, S., eds., "The Correspondence of Charles Darwin: Volume 1, 1821-1836," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1985, p.130, n.4) 6/02/2003 "Eiseley, although a supporter of Darwinism, devotes a great deal of his essay to a discussion of why Darwin makes no reference in The Origin of Species to Blyth's critical papers of 1835 and 1837, although he references Blyth in other much less important respects. The evidence does not permit of any conclusion except that the omissions were deliberate. Eiseley also wonders why Blyth did not protest about the omissions, but on this there seems no mystery to us, since it was in 1860 that Blyth was desperately trying to secure his future. To have created a rumpus over priority with a man of Darwin's position would not have seemed the best way to obtain the pension of £150 per year. There is no law which compels a scientist to reference his sources. It is only protests from colleagues, and the fear of being treated similarly, which keep the record straight. ... The failure of biologists to insist on this matter being set right is somewhat surprising, especially as an attempt to plagiarize the work of Mendel at the beginning of the twentieth century did in fact set off a major scandal. Aside, however, from the gentle remonstrances of Geldart in 1879 and Vickers in 1911, there was nothing in a hundred years up to Eiseley's courageous essay of 1959. It would seem to us that a serious sin of omission remains to be redeemed by the world of professional biology." (Hoyle, F. & Wickramasinghe, N.C., "Evolution from Space," , Paladin: London, 1983, reprint, p.179) 7/02/2003 "After my return to England it appeared to me that by following the example of Lyell in Geology, and by collecting all facts which bore in any way on the variation of animals and plants under domestication and nature, some light might perhaps be thrown on the whole subject. My first note-book was opened in July 1837. I worked on true Baconian principles, and without any theory collected facts on a wholesale scale, more especially with respect to domesticated productions, by printed enquiries, by conversation with skilful breeders and gardeners, and by extensive reading. When I see the list of books of all kinds which I read and abstracted, including whole series of journals and Transactions, I am surprised at my industry." (Darwin, C.R., in Barlow, N., ed., "The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809-1882: With Original Omissions Restored," , W.W. Norton & Co: New York, 1969, reprint, p.119) 7/02/2003 "Darwin did not work in a vacuum, no scientist ever does. By the time of that memorable day when he journeyed down to Plymouth with his admired Captain Fitzroy to embark on the Beagle, there existed already a nucleus of belief that some form of evolution was the true explanation of the variety of life upon the earth. ... We come back to Charles Darwin. And the first thing we have to note is that though he asserted later that when he set out on the voyage he was still an orthodox believer in the permanence of species, yet it is pretty obvious that he had his contrary suspicions." (Mellersh H.E.L., "Appreciati Voyage of the 'Beagle'," , Edito-Service: Geneva, n.d., reprint, pp.512,516) 7/02/2003 "Many historians have commented that the most curiously revealing statement in Darwin's autobiography comes close to being an unconscious lie-his claim that he "worked on true Baconian principles, and without any theory collected facts on a wholesale scale." For Darwin did no such thing. He tested theories from the start and abandoned several of them before fixing on one that he derived by creative transference from such disparate sources as the Scottish economists, the French positivist Comte, the Belgian statistician Quetelet, and the grimly conservative parson Malthus, leavened by some turtles, toxodonts, birds and five years of contrary argument from the devout Captain FitzRoy (Schweber 1977)." (Gould, S.J., "The promise of paleobiology as a nomothetic, evolutionary discipline," Paleobiology, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 1980, pp.96-118, p.97) 8/02/2003 "The remaining land-birds form a most singular group of finches, related to each other in the structure of their beaks, short tails, form of body and plumage: there are thirteen species, which Mr. Gould has divided into four subgroups. All these species are peculiar to this archipelago; and so is the whole group, with the exception of one species of the sub-group Cactornis ... The most curious fact is the perfect gradation in the size of the beaks in the different species of Geospiza, from one as large as that of a hawfinch to that of a chaffinch, and (if Mr. Gould is right in including his sub-group, Certhidea, in the main group) even to that of a warbler. The largest beak in the genus Geospiza is shown in Fig. 1, and the smallest in Fig. 3; but instead of there being only one intermediate species, with a beak of the size shown in Fig. 2, there are no less than six species with insensibly graduated beaks. The beak of the sub group Certhidea, is shown in Fig. 4. The beak of Cactornis is somewhat like that of a starling; and that of the fourth sub-group, Camarhynchus, is slightly parrot-shaped. Seeing this gradation and diversity of structure in one small, intimately related group of birds, one might really fancy that from an original paucity of birds in this archipelago, one species had been taken and modified for different ends. " (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 HMS, Beagle Round the World," , Modern Library: New York NY, 2001, reprint, pp.339-339) 8/02/2003 "FitzRoy's bird skins, given to the British Museum in 1836, were essential to Darwin after his return to England when he discovered that the Galapagos Islands possessed different species of mockingbirds and finches: Darwin had mostly ignored the precise geographic locale when gathering his own specimens." (Browne, E.J., "Charles Darwin Voyaging: A Biography," , Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1996, reprint, p.225) 8/02/2003 "Darwin first questioned the mutability of species when actually in the Galapagos, through finding different forms of the mocking bird and tortoise on different islands (Barlow, 1935). The finches, with several species on each island, are more complex, and their influence was apparently retrospective. Thus, in Darwin's private diary of the voyage, the finches are not mentioned (Barlow, 1933), and even in the first published edition of the Journal, in 1839, they receive only brief notice, without particular comment. However, this paragraph was considerably amplified in the second edition of 1845: 'The remaining land-birds form a most singular group of finches, related to each other in the structure of their beaks, short tails, form of body and plumage. All these species are peculiar to this archipelago.' Darwin went on to describe 'the perfect gradation in the size of the beaks in the different species', and concluded: 'Seeing this gradation and diversity of structure in one small, intimately related group of birds, one might really fancy that from an original paucity of birds in this archipelago, one species had been taken and modified for different ends.' This last phrase is the most significant in the whole book, and is Darwin's first public pronouncement on a subject the elaboration and generalization of which was to occupy the next fifteen years of his life." (Lack, D., "Darwin's Finches: An Essay on the General Biological Theory of Evolution," , Harper Torchbooks: New York, 1961, pp.9-10) 8/02/2003 "Contrary to legend, Sulloway has shown, Darwin did not think the finches were very important. He did not even think they were all finches. The cactus finch looked to him like some kind of blackbird; other finches looked like wrens and warblers. Darwin assumed there were plenty more just like them on some part of the coast of South America where the Beagle had failed to stop. In other words, the very quality that makes the finches so interesting now made them look like nothing special to Darwin. Their diversity disguised their uniqueness. Much to his later regret, Darwin stored the finch specimens from his first two islands in the same bag, and he did not bother to label which bird came from where. Since conditions on the islands seemed more or less identical, he assumed the specimens were identical too. He did notice that the mockingbirds he shot on his second island were slightly different from the mockingbirds on the first. For that reason he took the trouble to label these specimens, and all of the other mockingbirds he caught, by place of origin. But when the vice governor of the islands told Darwin that the tortoises varied from island to island as well (claiming he could tell which island a tortoise came from by its shell), Darwin more or less ignored him. `I did not for some time pay sufficient attention to this statement,' he confessed later, `and I had already partially mingled together the collections from two of the islands. I never dreamed that islands, about fifty or sixty rules apart, and most of them in sight of each other, formed of precisely the same rocks, placed under a quite similar climate, rising to a nearly equal height, would have been differently tenanted.'" (Weiner, J., "The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time," Alfred A. Knopf: New York NY, 1994, pp.22-23). 9/02/2003 "When the term evolution is used it will refer to the general theory of organic evolution, or the molecules-to- man theory of evolution. According to this theory all living things have arisen by naturalistic, mechanistic, evolutionary processes from a single living sources which itself had arisen by similar processes from inanimate matter. These processes are attributable solely to properties inherent in matter and are therefore still operative today." (Gish, D.T., "Creation, Evolution, and the Historical Evidence," The American Biology Teacher, March 1973, Vol. 132, p.40, in Ruse, M.E., ed., "But is it Science?: The Philosophical Question in the Creation/Evolution Controversy," Prometheus Books: Amherst NY, 1996, p.266) 9/02/2003 "But Huxley's mortal fears had moved closer to home. ... Spring 1892 was divided between the fruit trees in his kitchen garden and devotions in his private chapel, his stained-glass study. Here he collected his polemics against Gladstone, Wace and Argyll into what the Times described as a 'fugitive' volume of daring opinions, Essays upon some Controverted Questions. Conscious of the last grains slipping through the timer he took great pains over the Prologue. It was eloquent on the continuing exorcism of the ghosts of medieval Christianity by a 'scientific Naturalism', and on the Victorian Reformation which illegitimated this old 'Supernature'." (Desmond A., "Huxley: From Devil's Disciples to Evolution's High Priest," , Perseus: Reading MA, 1999, reprint, pp.590-591) 9/02/2003 "Arguments that beg the question are circular arguments. They make use of the capacity of our language to say a thing in many different ways, ending where they began and beginning where they end. They are like the proverbial three morons, each of whom tied his horse to another's horse, thinking that he had in this way secured his own horse. Naturally, all three horses wandered away because they were anchored to nothing but each other. ... Circular arguments reason that A is so because of B. But B turns out to be true only if A is true. The question, Is A true? remains unanswered. The question is begged. ... We have seen that a sound argument provides reasons for a conclusion. Because of the very fact that the conclusion to be established is somehow in doubt, an attempt is made to support it by premises that are more certain. But if the supporting premises merely repeat what is stated in the conclusion, as in all cases of begging the question, the argument contains no premises and is therefore fallacious." (Engel S.M., "With Good Reason: An Introduction to Informal Fallacies," St. Martin's Press: New York, Fourth Edition, 1990, pp.135-136. Emphasis original) 9/02/2003 "Creationists travel all over the United States, visiting college campuses and staging `debates' with biologists, geologists, and anthropologists. The creationists nearly always win. The audience is frequently loaded with the already converted and the faithful. And scientists, until recently, have been showing up at the debates ill-prepared for what awaits them. Thinking the creationists are uneducated, Bible-thumping clods, they are soon routed by a steady onslaught of: direct attacks on a wide variety of scientific topics. No scientist has an expert's grasp of all the relevant points of astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, geology, and anthropology. Creationists today-at least the majority of their spokesmen-are highly educated, intelligent people. Skilled debaters, they have always done their homework. And they nearly always seem better informed than their opponents, who are reduced too often to a bewildered state of incoherence." (Eldredge, N., "The Monkey Business: A Scientist Looks at Creationism," Washington Square: New York, 1982, p.17) 10/02/2003 "Fifteen thousand million years ago, the Universe that we inhabit erupted, literally, out of nothing. It exploded in a titanic fireball called the big bang. Everything - all matter, energy, even space and time - came into being at that precise instant." (Chown M., "The Big Bang," in Fifield R., ed., "The New Scientist Inside Science," Penguin: London, 1992, p.3) 11/02/2003 "If it is always true that a biblical `day' with a number appended to it is 24 hours long, then the Genesis `days' must all be 24-hour periods. But if this generalization is not always true, then we will have to find another way to make this decision. In order to prove this generalization is false, we must find a number appended to the word `day' in a special scriptural context where we can be certain that the `day' in question lasted for more than 24 hours. Zechariah 14:7 contains the number `one' appended to `day' in a context which certainly refers to a daylight period of indefinite length: `But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night; but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.' - KJV, EMPHASIS ADDED. This is a description of the new Jerusalem in which there is no night. The special context of this verse makes it difficult to misunderstand; the same prophetic event is described in detail in Revelation 22:5. In this verse, the one single "day' (period of daylight) is understood to last for a very long (indefinite) period of time. The phrase `one day' (used here), and the phrase `the first day' (used in Genesis 1:5), are both translated from the exact same Hebrew phrase `yom echad,' literally `day one.' Because of the special context of Zechariah 14:7, we can be certain that the `one day' is longer than 24 hours in length. The theory that a number used with the word `day' always forces the 24-hour understanding is simply false." (Stoner D.W., "A New Look at an Old Earth," , Harvest House Publishers: Eugene OR, 1997, reprint, pp.46-47). 11/02/2003 "With regard to the question of whether God has intervened miraculously in the history of the universe, we now have a rather broad spectrum of views. At one end would be atheists who deny that God has intervened because there is no God. Next to them are liberal theologians who deny that God has intervened because their God is not the sort who would intervene. Then come the traditional deists, who admit that God intervened in creation, but deny that he intervened thereafter in history. Somewhere in this area is Van Till, who denies that God intervened in creation, but admits that he intervened in (redemptive) history. Then come many theistic evolutionists and both old earth and young earth creationists, who believe that God intervened miraculously both in creation and redemption, though they differ on the number of such interventions. Finally, we have some charismatic and Reformed theologians who see God intervening in everything, either by greatly multiplying the miraculous or by denying the distinction between providence and miracle." (Newman R.C., "Progressive Creationism (Old Earth Creationism)," in Moreland, J.P. & Reynolds J.M., eds., "Three Views on Creation and Evolution," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1999, pp.126- 127) 11/02/2003 "Public difficulty in grasping the Darwinian theory of natural selection cannot be attributed to any conceptual complexity-for no great theory ever boasted such a simple structure of three undeniable facts and an almost syllogistic inference therefrom. ... The difficulties lie not in this simple mechanism but in the far-reaching and radical philosophical consequences-as Darwin himself well under stood-of postulating a causal theory stripped of such conventional comforts as a guarantee of progress, a principle of natural harmony, or any notion of an inherent goal or purpose. Darwin's mechanism can only generate local adaptation to environments that change in a directionless way through time, thus imparting no goal or progressive vector to life's history." (Gould, S.J., "Introduction," in Zimmer, C., "Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea," HarperCollins: New York, 2001, pp.xii-xiii) 12/02/2003 "Progressive creationism accepts much of the scientific picture of the development of the universe, assuming that for the most part it developed according to natural laws. However, especially with regard to life on earth, PCs hold that God intervened supernaturally at strategic points along the way. On their view, Creation was not a single six-day event but occurred in stages over millions of years. ... The PC view tends to overlap with other views, particularly with old-earth creationism." (Pennock, R.T., "Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationism," MIT Press: Cambridge MA, 1999, Fourth Printing, pp.26-27. Emphasis original) 12/02/2003 "On one point Huxley is, if not original then at least brave ... he insists on the Lamarckian distinction between two kinds of evolution, which he calls progress and specialisation, respectively. The reason for Huxley's braveness in this context is that, ignoring vector mathematics, one cannot go forwards and sidewards at the same time, and analogously, the same force cannot drive evolution in two different directions. And although it is glaringly true that evolution has been both progressive and divergent, it may be logically correct to deny this fact when there is only one mechanism to propel the process. This was the situation facing Darwin, and when he had to decide whether natural selection should be made responsible for progressive or divergent (adaptive) evolution, he chose the latter. The same stand had been adopted by many of Darwin's followers, but Huxley knew too much about biology to accept this view. However, he might be braver than many other Darwinians, but perhaps less acute, for he did not resolve the dilemma, but rather put his trust in the omnipotence of natural selection: 'We have now dealt with the fact of evolutionary progress, and with the philosophical and biological difficulties inherent in the concept. What of its mechanism? It should be clear that if natural selection can account for adaptation and for long-range trends of specialization, it can account for progress too.'" (Huxley, J.S., "Evolution: The Modern Synthesis," Allen & Unwin: London, 1942, p. 568, in Løvtrup, S., "Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth," Croom Helm: London, 1987, p.324) 12/02/2003 "Man in his arrogance thinks himself a great work worthy the interposition of a deity. More humble & I believe truer to consider him created from animals." (Darwin, C.R., "C Notebook: Transmutation of Species," 1838, in Gruber H.E., "Darwin on Man: A Psychological Study of Scientific Creativity," together with Gruber H.E. & Barrett P.H., "Darwin's Early and Unpublished Notebooks," Wildwood House: London, 1974, p.452) 13/02/2003 "Gould also calls into question the adequacy of Darwin's theory to explain the observed data. While orthodox Darwinists believe that natural selection, operating slowly and steadily over time, can account for all the variations in living organisms from the earliest fossil records to the present, Gould denies that this is the case. `In the last 20 years, the bottom has fallen out of this idea,' he said. The most dramatic piece of evidence suggesting that other forces contribute to evolutionary change is the discovery that the extinction of the dinosaurs was caused by a giant meteor striking the Earth, resulting in global dust clouds that interrupted environmental cycles and caused many life forms to die out, Gould said. `If it weren't for that event, the dinosaurs would still be in charge.'" (Gewertz K., "Gould reads from latest opus: New book evolved steadily over two decades," Harvard University Gazette, April 04, 2002. http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2002/04.04/09-gould.html) 13/02/2003 "All I want to say is that most of this research dealt only with two factors, mutation and selection, in other words, the original Darwinian model. Popper is right; this model is so good that it can explain every thing, as Popper has rightly complained." (Mayr, E.W, "Evolutionary Challenges to the Mathematical Interpretation of Evolution," in Moorhead, P.S. & Kaplan, M.M., ed., "Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution: A Symposium Held at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, April 25 And 26, 1966," The Wistar Institute Symposium Monograph Number 5, The Wistar Institute Press: Philadelphia PA, 1967, p.47) 13/02/2003 'Today, one hundred years after the work of men like Darwin and Boucher de Perthes, we can identify three major groups in this category: first, there are creationists whom we have called hypertraditionalists, bound to certain rigid interpretations of Scripture, who are loath to accept any new facts which seem to contradict their interpretations, since these are seen not as interpretations but as the literal teachings of Scripture itself. Second, there are creationists, many of whom have specialized in one field of science or another, or else, as theologians, have either taken pains to keep abreast in some measure with scientific advance, or else have sought the council of those who have, who constantly allow their interpretations to be open to the acceptance of newly discovered facts, so that the reintegration of their position has been free from the contradiction of embracing one body of facts, whether from Scripture or from nature, and excluding the other. These creationists have been given different labels of varying degrees of consistency. Carnell has called the position `threshold evolution"; Ramm, `progressive creationism"; others, `micro-evolution' and even `theistic evolution.' Since it is not strictly an evolutionary position at all, perhaps a more appropriate name would be, simply, scientific creationism. As for the third supernaturalistic position, Roman Catholic theologians, although generally considered creationists, have with many Protestant scholars, found it necessary to accept more of evolutionary theory than the facts seem to demand. Thus, with theistic presuppositions postulated, their position is most accurately described as theistic evolution. In presenting to the secular world of science an alternative to the evolutionary explanation of origins, it would seem that the best position must be one which is equally objective and noncontradictory in facing the facts of the natural world, and the facts of biblical truth. Such an alternative is best found in a position of scientific creationism." (Buswell J.O., III., "A Creationist Interpretation of Prehistoric Man," in Mixter R.L., ed., "Evolution and Christian Thought Today," , Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, Second Edition, 1960, pp.188-189) 13/02/2003 "Future historians will perhaps take this Centennial week as epitomizing an important critical period in the history of this earth of ours the period when the process of evolution, in the person of inquiring man, began to be truly conscious of itself. ... This is one of the first public occasions on which it has been frankly faced that all aspects of reality are subject to evolution, from atoms and stars to fish and flowers, from fish and flowers to human societies and values-indeed, that all reality is a single process of evolution. And ours is the first period in which we have acquired sufficient knowledge to begin to see the outline of this vast process as a whole. Our evolutionary vision now includes the discovery that biological advance exists, and that it takes place in a series of steps or grades, each grade occupied by a successful group of animals or plants, each group sprung from a pre-existing one and characterized by a new and improved pattern of organization. ... In 1859, Darwin opened the passage leading to a new psycho-social level, with a new pattern of ideological organization-an evolution-centered organization of thought and belief. Through the telescope of our scientific imagination, we can discern the existence of this new and improved ideological organization; but its details are not clear, and we can also see that the necessary steps upward toward it are many and hard to take." (Huxley J.S., "The Evolutionary Vision," in Tax S. & Callender C., eds., "Evolution After Darwin: Issues in Evolution," University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, Vol. IL, 1960, pp.249,251) 13/02/2003 "Even before there was life there was natural selection. The biochemistry we see today is the outcome of those early struggles. ... Charles Darwin does not refer to the problem of the origins of life in the books he published during his lifetime, probably because he wanted to avoid unnecessary controversy. However we know that he gave serious thought to the problem from one of his letters. ... We do not yet understand even the general-features of the origin of the genetic code. ... The code we have today is probably the code that won an early Darwinian struggle between competing systems. ... Since the time of Louis Pasteur the origin of optical activity in biological systems has attracted a great deal of attention. Two very-different questions must be answered. First, why do all amino acids in proteins or all nucleotides in nucleic acids have the same handedness? Secondly, why are the amino acids all left-handed (L-) and the nucleotides all right-handed (D- )? ... The alternative view, ... which I favour, is that the success of the D-nucleotide, L-amino acid system was an accident. The first great biological struggle set the D-polynucleotides in an equal contest against the L-poly nucleotides, and the D-systems won. ... In fact, a major conceptual advance of the past several decades is the realisation that natural selection in the Darwinian sense must have begun at the period of molecular evolution, long before the appearance of the first "modern" organisms. " (Orgel, L.E., "Darwinism at the very beginning of life," New Scientist, Vol. 94, 15 April 1982, pp.149-151, pp.149,151) 13/02/2003 "Nearly all peoples have developed their own creation myth, and the Genesis story is just the one that happened to have been adopted by one particular tribe of Middle Eastern herders. It has no more special status than the belief of a particular West African tribe that the world was created from the excrement of ants. All these myths have in common that they depend upon the deliberate intentions of some kind of supernatural being." (Dawkins R., "The Blind Watchmaker," , Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, p.316) 13/02/2003 "A persistent problem in evolutionary biology has been the absence of intermediate forms in the fossil record. Long-term gradual transformations of single lineages are rare and generally involve simple size increase or trivial phenotypic effects. Typically, the record consists of successive ancestor-descendant lineages, morphologically invariant through time and unconnected by intermediates." (Williamson P.G., "Palaeontological documentation of speciation in Cenozoic molluscs from Turkana Basin," in Maynard Smith J., ed., "Evolution Now: A Century After Darwin," , W.H. Freeman & Co: San Francisco CA, 1983, reprint, p.163) 13/02/2003 "Quadrupedalism characterises the overwhelming majority of ground dwelling mammalian species. It affords stable equilibrium, is efficient in energy terms, lends itself readily to speed, and is easily learned by the young, often within hours of birth. It allows for emergencies: a quadruped with one injured leg walks on the other three while it heals. The gently arched and cantilevered spinal column has been perfected over millions of years to combine maximum strength with flexibility. No animal could afford to sacrifice all these assets without an overridingly powerful selective pressure. The cost of habitual plantigrade bipedalism is high. It is the most unstable method of mammalian progress known to zoology. Growing bipeds only perfect the art after years of practice and innumerable tumbles. Even in their prime, damage to one leg can cripple them; once past it, equilibrium again becomes a problem. The bipedal posture, with viscera and male sex organs exposed to attack, is ill designed for confronting an enemy or predator. In a biped the vertebrae and intervertebral discs are subjected to weights and stresses which the spines of quadrupeds do not have to sustain. The S-shaped curve of the human spine minimises direct downward pressure but creates an area of instability in the lumbar region. The modified angle of the pelvis means that in childbirth the foetus has a more tortuous exit path to negotiate than is the case in quadrupeds. In man, the change from a quadrupedal to a bipedal stance raises the heart roughly twice as high above the ground, and the resultant pooling of the blood in the lower limbs puts additional strain on the vascular system." (Morgan E., "Why a New Theory is Needed," in Roede M., Wind J., Patrick J.M. & Reynolds V., eds, "The Aquatic Ape: Fact or Fiction?: The First Scientific Evaluation of a Controversial Theory of Human Evolution," Souvenir Press: London, 1991, pp.9-10) 13/02/2003 "In all land mammals, with the exception of man, the trachea extends from the lungs via the larynx into the back of the nasal passages; they are known as obligatory nose breathers. The obligation is not absolute: the epiglottis in many animals can, at need, be detached from the palate to afford temporary mouth breathing for purposes of vocalisation or thermoregulatory panting. But as soon as these efforts are relaxed, nose breathing resumes. This near-universal system is highly efficient. It facilitates olfaction; it ensures that all air reaching the lungs has been filtered, warmed or cooled to near body temperature, and moistened by passing over the mildly bactericidal mucous linings of the nasal passages. It enables an animal to drink and breathe at the same time. It entirely rules out any possibility of an animal being inconvenienced by food and drink entering the airways. In an adult human being these advantages and safeguards have been lost. The larynx has lost contact with the palate and descended to a point well below the back of the tongue, adjacent to the opening of the gullet. It is a development which mystified Darwin and Negus, among others. No one has been able to suggest any advantage which this change would bestow on a terrestrial mammal. The effects seem uniformly deleterious." (Morgan E., "Why a New Theory is Needed," in Roede M., Wind J., Patrick J.M. & Reynolds V., eds, "The Aquatic Ape: Fact or Fiction?: The First Scientific Evaluation of a Controversial Theory of Human Evolution," Souvenir Press: London, 1991, pp.14-15) 13/02/2003 "But if we come to the conclusion that natural selection is probably the main cause of change in a population, we certainly need not go back completely to Darwin's point of view. In the first place, we have every reason to believe that new species may arise quite suddenly, sometimes by hybridisation, sometimes perhaps by other means. Such species do not arise, as Darwin thought, by natural selection. When they have arisen they must justify their existence before the tribunal of natural selection, but that is a very different matter." (Haldane, J.B.S., "The Causes of Evolution," , Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1993, Second Printing, p.75) 14/02/2003 "For in the Myth, 'Evolution' (as the Myth understands it) is the formula of all existence. To exist means to be moving from the status of 'almost zero' to the status of 'almost infinity'. To those brought up on the Myth nothing seems more normal, more natural, more plausible, than that chaos should turn into order, death into life, ignorance into knowledge. And with this we reach the full-blown Myth. It is one of the most moving and satisfying world dramas which have ever been imagined. ... I grew up believing in this Myth and I have felt-I still feel-its almost perfect grandeur. Let no one say we are an unimaginative age: neither the Greeks nor the Norsemen ever invented a better story. Even to the present day, in certain moods, I could almost find it in my heart to wish that it was not mythical, but true." (Lewis, C.S.*, "The Funeral of a Great Myth", in "Christian Reflections," , Fount: Glasgow UK, 1988, reprint, pp.115,117. Emphasis in original) 14/02/2003 "Writing in Science in 1992, the Grants noted that the superior fitness of hybrids among populations of Darwin's finches `calls into question their designation as species.' [Grant P.R. & Grant B.R, "Hybridization of Bird Species," Science, Vol. 256, 1992, pp. 193-197] The following year, Peter Grant acknowledged that if species were strictly defined by inability to interbreed then `we would recognize only two species of Darwin's finch on Daphne,' instead of the usual four [Grant P.R., "Hybridization of Darwin's finches on Isla Daphne Major, Galapagos," Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B, Vol. 340, 1993, pp.127-139]. `The three populations of ground finches on Genovesa would similarly be reduced to one species,' Grant continued. `At the extreme, six species would be recognized in place of the current 14, and additional study might necessitate yet further reduction.'" (Wells J.*, "Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth?: Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution is Wrong," Regnery: Washington DC, 2000, pp.172, 312n) 15/02/2003 "At any street corner we may meet a man who utters the frantic and blasphemous statement that he may be wrong. Every day one comes across somebody who says that of course his view may not be the right one. Of course his view must be the right one, or it is not his view." (Chesterton G.K., "Orthodoxy," , Fontana: London, 1961, reprint, p.32) 17/02/2003 "`The audiences that come to hear me are, I often feel, seeking a kind of reassurance,' states the distinguished paleontologist Richard Leakey in the prologue to his book Origins Reconsidered, referring to the question and answer sessions that close his public lectures. And he is right. They do need "reassurance' If the philosophical undercurrents of evolutionism are legitimate, this may be the escape clause freeing us from any demands of God, and, of course, any penalties. If we are really nothing more than clever, bipedal apes, a major premise of Leakey's books and lectures, then we can kick back and relax. As the temporary end product of a long string of fortunate accidents, this could be cause to rejoice. We have a `Get Out of Jail Free' card. We can sing `I Did It My Way' Sinatra-style without irritating repercussions. Shunning the `narrow gate' (Matt. 13,14), we can sashay through that `wide gate' doing a soft shoe, wearing a top hat, spats, and cane if the evolutare right. What if the evolutionists are wrong? The stakes are quite high. The Bible is replete with ominous warnings. If we choose the wrong path, we face `weeping,' `wailing,' and `gnashing of teeth' (Matt. 8:12; 13:42; 13:50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; Luke 13:28). And it only lasts for all eternity! On the positive side, life is in the offing - eternal life, and although there are some conditions, it is available to all." (Fischer D., "The Origins Solution: An Answer in the Creation-Evolution Debate," Fairway Press: Lima OH, 1996, pp.15-16) 18/02/2003 "Astronomy provides another example where contemporary scientists assume an intelligent primary cause of certain kinds of events. The search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) has raised the question as to how one would recognize a signal received on a radio telescope. The well-known astronomer Carl Sagan believes that even a single message from outer space would establish the existence of ETI. He wrote: `There are others who believe that our problems are soluble, that humanity is still in its childhood, that one day soon we will grow up. The receipt of single message from space would show that it is possible to live through such technological adolescence: the transmitting civilization, after all, has survived. Such knowledge, it seems to me, might be worth a great price.' (Sagan C., "Broca's Brain," 1979, p.275, emphasis added, in Geisler N.L. & Anderson J.K., "Origin Science: A Proposal for the Creation-Evolution Controversy," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1987, pp.143-144) 19/02/2003 "Although I did not think much about the existence of a personal God until a considerably later period of my life, I will here give the vague conclusions to which I have been driven. The old argument of design in nature, as given by Paley, which formerly seemed to me so conclusive, fails, now that the law of natural selection has been discovered. We can no longer argue that, for instance, the beautiful hinge of a bivalve shell must have been made by an intelligent being, like the hinge of a door by man. There seems to be no more design in the variability of organic beings and in the action of natural selection, than in the course which the wind blows. Everything in nature is the result of fixed laws." (Darwin, C.R., 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.87) 20/02/2003 "The abrupt appearance of the Cambrian fauna constituted a major biological problem. The various organisms found in the Cambrian are life forms with organs and characteristics as complex and developed as those of some found today. Furthermore, to compound the mystery, all phyla (divisions based on fundamental anatomical features) known today are present in the Cambrian fossils." (Day W., "Genesis on Planet Earth: The Search for Life's Beginning," , Yale University Press: New Haven CT, Second Edition, 1984, p.16) 20/02/2003 "An examination of the human DNA molecule, the genetic blueprint of man, shows that many of the same sorts of genes and gene sequences are found in lower animals. Some creationists would say this is not surprising. Since man has many of the same physiological functions as lower animals, our DNA naturally would carry comparable information. Thus the argument has been made that any resemblances in DNA mean only that God used similar gene sequences to order similar functions. Although there may be a commonality of design, as the argument goes, that does not prove common descent. ... The case for common design but no common descent becomes suspect when the entire human DNA sequence is analyzed, and copying errors are found in the same places in the DNA of non-humans. In addition to genes that function normally, we have nonfunctioning genes as well, called `pseudogenes.' Our DNA sequence is a complicated set of instructions that appears to have a long history of replications, and therefore contains an abundance of pseudogenes. Humans have pseudogenes incorporated along the entire DNA sequence that can also be found in other animals, i.e., the chimpanzee and gorilla. It is one thing to suggest that God may have modeled our DNA along the same lines as lower animals, such that similarities are due to like genes ordering a protein sequence serving a like function. It is quite another to assert that God also incorporated all the excess nonfunctioning baggage too." (Fischer D., "The Origins Solution: An Answer in the Creation-Evolution Debate," Fairway Press: Lima OH, 1996, pp.64-65) 20/02/2003 "According to his Autobiography Darwin read Malthus' work An Essay on the Principle of Population in October 1838, and this, he asserts, gave him the idea that if there is a struggle of existence, then natural selection may be responsible for evolutionary change. Eiseley ... finds it unnecessary that Darwin should resort to this author to hit upon the idea of 'the struggle for existence'. For besides the articles by Blyth ... this notion had been dealt with in the works of his grandfather Erasmus, in Paley's Natural Theology, in Lyell's Principles of Geology and even in Lamarck's Philosophie Zoologique - all works well known to Darwin. His own son, Francis, was surprised that he needed Malthus for inspiration, pointing out that Darwin had formulated the outlines of his theory in 1837 ... In fact Eiseley [Eiseley L.C., "Darwin and the Mysterious Mr. X," E.P. Dutton: New York NY, 1979, pp.67-68] pointed out that, considering the importance of Malthus conceded in the autobiography, it is remarkable how little this author is mentioned in the 'Sketch' of 1842 and the 'Essay' of 1844, and even in the early correspondence. For instance, in the letter to Gray in September 1857, read before the Linnean Society in July 1858, Darwin mentions De Candolle, Herbert, and Lyell as authors on the struggle for life, but not Malthus. Wallace later told how his inspiration came from reading Malthus' book, and this influence is evident in Wallace's small paper from 1858, even if the name of Malthus does not occur in the text. The passage from the 'Essay' of 1844, which was selected for the Darwin-Wallace contribution at the Linnean Society, is the only one in which Malthus is mentioned, and it is possible that is was chosen 'because of its correspondence with the subject matter of Wallace's essay'" (Løvtrup, S., "Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth," Croom Helm: London, 1987, pp.27-28) 21/02/2003 "[I JN. 2] 18 ... John refers to Antichrist and to many anti-Christs. You heard of him, John says: this was a favorite topic in early Christian teaching. Our Lord had prophesied that false Christs would arise (Mt. 24:24) and that they would be many in number, (Mt. 24:5), but the word which we have here does not mean a mock Christ, but an opponent of Christ, or a rival Christ. It denotes one great enemy of and rival to Christ, probably to be identified with the "man of sin" of 2 Thes. 2:3, who has yet to be revealed but who has many fore-runners. The fore-runners of John's day were heretics like Cerinthus and others who had wrong views of the Person of Christ, which is always the worst kind of heresy. They denied that He had come in the flesh (4:3). 19 John now describes the relation of these anti-Christian teachers to the Church. They did not arise in the heathen world; they were apostate Christians. They had at one time been members of the Church, but only nominal members. They are now not members in any sense. Note the fivefold repetition of "us," as indicating the Christian Church. It was God's will and purpose that these spurious members should be known as such, that it should be made clear that they are not, any of them, of us." (Ross A., "The Epistles of James and John,", Marshall, Morgan & Scott: London, 1954, Third Impression, 1964, pp.169-170) 22/02/2003 "2:18-19 `Many antichrists'. 18 There is no article with hour. John is saying 'this is last hour', by which he probably means 'this is a last hour'. Human history proceeds by periods of slow unfolding until a crisis is reached, an age is ended, a new age begins, and we say, 'It can never be the same again.' John is affirming that such a last hour has come. He sees evidence in the appearance not simply of `the antichrist', but of `many antichrists'. The early church clearly expected that a mighty figure of evil, the `antichrist', would appear at the end of time (cf 'the man of lawlessness', 2 Thes. 13). John uses the term four times (and once in 2 John) but he is not interested in the future evil individual. His concern is for his readers, and he stresses for them the fact that the spirit of antichrist is already abroad. The situation is the same today. 19 These many antichrists had been members of the church. They had belonged to the visible organization, but John is quick to say `they did not really belong to us'. Their membership had been purely outward. This surely implies the doctrine of 'the church invisible' though that terminology is centuries later." (Morris L.L, "1 John," in Carson D.A., et al., eds, "New Bible Commentary," , Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester UK, Fourth Edition, 1997, reprint, pp.1402-1403) 22/02/2003 "The idea that Darwinism's rapid triumph was solely scientific without regard to his and others' courting of public opinion, is a historical myth that assures us of the power of science and its victory on the merits of evidence regardless of ideology, religion, or social mores. It is the same with the myth of Huxley's triumph over Wilberforce. The culture of science and science historians have created a myth which fits very well a history that depicts the intellectual, even moral, superiority of science. ... Chapter 1 concerns the nature of Darwin's "victory," the first myth, which, I argue, was not due solely to its scientific merit. Darwin actually had quite a publicity machine at work, and the rapid triumph of his conception of the origin of species over the idea of special creation is indebted substantially to the avalanche of reviews and popular lectures loosed upon the public. When a small group of young scientists agreed in 1860 to help publish the Natural History Review, their purpose was to enlist scientists in the Darwinian cause and to assail the opposition.' The publication died after a only a few years, but a clique committed to Darwinism coalesced around it. Its members understood public opinion and how to manipulate it." (Caudill E., "Darwinian Myths: The Legends and Misuses of a Theory," The University of Tennessee Press: Knoxville TN, 1997, pp.xvi, 1) 22/02/2003 "Only nine per cent of Americans accept the central finding of modern biology that human beings (and all the other species) have slowly evolved by natural processes from a succession of more ancient beings with no divine intervention needed along the way." (Sagan C., "The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark," , Headline: London, 1997, reprint, p.305) 22/02/2003 "The public has remained anti-evolution to this day. Science has accepted Darwin without, at this time, respectable dissent. The more sophisticated churches no longer quarrel publicly with it. But the general public, in what is probably the majority opinion if a vote were to be taken, stubbornly adheres to the tenets of a lost and dead orthodoxy of a century and a quarter ago." (Asimov I., "The Role of the Heretic," in "The Roving Mind," , Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, 1987, reprint, p.50) 22/02/2003 "The fallacy of irrelevant thesis, therefore, is an argument in which an attempt is made to prove a conclusion that is not the one at issue. This fallacy assumes the form of an argument that, while seeming to refute another's argument, actually advances a conclusion different from the one at issue in the other's argument. Of all the fallacies studied thus far none is potentially more deceptive-or, for that matter, more interesting-than irrelevant thesis. This fallacy goes by a variety of names: irrelevant conclusion, ignoring the issue, befogging the issue, diversion, and red herring. Red herring may seem a puzzling name. It derives from the fact that escapees sometimes smear themselves with a herring (which turns brown or red when it spoils) in order to throw dogs off their track. To sway a red herring in an argument is to try to throw the audience off the right track onto something not relevant to the issue at hand. The fallacy of irrelevant thesis derives its persuasive power from the fact that it often does prove a conclusion or thesis (though not the one at issue)." (Engel S.M., "With Good Reason: An Introduction to Informal Fallacies," St. Martin's Press: New York NY, Fourth Edition, 1990, pp.162-163. Emphasis original) 22/02/2003 "This suggests that, in an argument, a man who maintains an extreme position (such as "All Xs are Y") is in a very unfavourable position for successful controversy. Many people consciously or unconsciously adopt a trick based on this principle. This is the trick of driving their opponents to defend a more extreme position than is really necessary for their purpose. Against an incautious opponent this can often be done simply by contradicting his more moderate assertions until in the heat of controversy he boldly puts forward more and more extreme ones. ... A person cautious in argument will not, however, be so easily led to court defeat. He will constantly reaffirm the moderate and defensible position with which he started, and the extreme statements of his opponent will be rebutted by evidence instead of leading him on to equally extreme statements on the other side. ... Let us call this device the 'extension' of one's opponent's proposition. It can be used either by luring him on to extend it himself in the heat of argument or, more impudently, by misrepresenting what he said. It is a very common trick, often done involuntarily. The remedy is always to refuse to accept any extension, but to reaffirm what one originally said." (Thouless R.H., "Straight and Crooked Thinking," , Pan: London, Revised Edition, 1973, 15th Printing, pp.35-36) 22/02/2003 "1 JOHN 2:18 ... `the antichrist ... many antichrists'. John assumed his readers knew that a great enemy of God and his people will arise before Christ's return. That person is called "antichrist" (v. 18), "the man of lawlessness" (2Th 2:3; but see note there) and "the beast" (Rev 13:1-10). But prior to him, there will be many antichrists. These are characterized by the following: (1) They deny the incarnation (4:2; 2Jn 7) and that Jesus is the divine Christ (v. 22); (2) they deny the Father (v. 22); (3) they do not have the Father (v. 23); (4) they are liars (v. 22) and deceivers (2Jn 7); (5) they are many (v. 18); (6) in John's day they left the church because they had nothing in common with believers (v. 19). The antichrists referred to in John's letter were the early Gnostics. The "anti" in antichrist means "against" (cf. 2Th 2:4; Rev 13:6-7)" (Barker K., ed., "The NIV Study Bible," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1985, pp.1909-1910) 23/02/2003 "The prestigious British journal Nature published this statement from physicist John Gribbin: `The biggest problem with the Big Bang theory of the origin of the Universe is philosophical-perhaps even theological-what was there before the bang? This problem alone was sufficient to give a great initial impetus to the Steady State theory; but with that theory now sadly in conflict with the observations, the best way round this initial difficulty is provided by a model in which the universe expands from a singularity [that is, a beginning], collapses back again, and repeats the cycle indefinitely.'" (Gribbin J., "Oscillating Universe Bounces Back," Nature, Vol. 259, 1976, pp.15-16, in Ross H.N., "The Creator and the Cosmos: How the Greatest Scientific Discoveries of the Century Reveal God," , NavPress: Colorado Springs CO., 1994, Third Printing, pp.55-56, 163n) 23/02/2003 "As Darwin remarked in the second edition of his Journal of Researches. `Seeing this gradation and diversity of structure in one small, intimately related group of birds, one might really fancy that from an original paucity of birds in this archipelago, one species had been taken and modified for different ends' (1845:380). ... Given the remarkable nature of these birds, it is (if considerable historical interest to reconstruct the role they played in Darwin's intellectual development. This problem really involves three separate questions. First, how did Darwin initially interpret the morphology and behavior of the various species of this unusual avian group while he was in the Galapagos Archipelago? Second, to what extent did he appreciate the striking correlation between geographic isolation and the diversity of endemic finch forms and thus take steps to separate his collections according to the different islands he visited? Third what aspects of Darwin's understanding of this avian group were retrospective, that is, developed after he had left the Galapagos and had returned to England? Given the fame of this episode in Darwin's life, there has been a surprising degree of misunderstanding and misinformation regarding these three questions. In fact, over the years Darwin's finches have become the focus for a considerable legend in the history of science, one that ranks alongside other famous stories that celebrate the great triumphs of modern science." (Sulloway F.J., "Darwin and His Finches: The Evolution of a Legend," Journal of the History of Biology, Vol. 15, No. 1, 1982, pp.1-53, pp.3,5) 25/02/2003 "The reason why the Bible teaches that the final judgment will be according to works, even though salvation comes through faith in Christ and is never earned by works, is the intimate connection between faith and works. Faith must reveal itself in works, and works, in turn, are the evidence of true faith. As John Calvin once put it, `It is ... faith alone which justifies, and yet the faith which justifies is not alone.' That this is so will be clear from a consideration of such Scripture passages as James 2:26 ("For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead") and Galatians 5:6 ("For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail, but faith working through love'). Note also Jesus' words in Matthew 7:21, `Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.' The judgment according to works, in other words, will really be a judgment about faith-that is, faith as revealed in its evidence. If the faith was genuine, the works will be there; if the works are not there, the faith was not real. James puts it very strikingly: `But someone will say, 'You have faith and I have works.' Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith' (2:18)." (Hoekema A.A., "The Bible and the Future," , Paternoster Press Exeter, Devon UK, 1979, p.261) 25/02/2003 "There is, however, a specific New Testament passage which points unambiguously to a final apostasy which will occur just before the Parousia. We turn now to Paul's second epistle to the Thessalonians: `Now concerning the coming (parousia) of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling to meet him, we beg you, brethren, not to be quickly shaken in mind or excited, either by spirit or by word, or by letter purporting to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion [or apostasy; Greek, apostasia] comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed.. ." (2:1-3). ... The word apostasia is derived from the verb aphistemi which when it is used intransitively means `to fall away' or `to become apostate.' As used in II Thessalonians 2:3, apostasia is preceded by a definite article: the apostasy or the rebellion. Both the definite article and the statement that this happening must precede the Parousia indicate that what is predicted here is a final, climactic apostasy just before the end-time. It should be noted, however, that this apostasy will be an intensification and culmination of a rebellion which has already begun, since in verse 7 Paul says, `For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work.' We may see a parallel, therefore, between this sign and the sign of tribulation: both are evident throughout the present age but come to a climactic and final form just before Christ returns. The fact that this sign is called a `falling away' or `apostasy' implies that this will be a rebellion against the Christian faith as it has been heard or professed. We may therefore assume that those who fall away will be at least outwardly associated with the people of God. The apostasy will occur within the ranks of the members of the visible church. Those who are true believers will not fall away (John 10:27-29; I Pet. 1:3-5); but many who have made an outward profession of the faith will do so." (Hoekema, A.A., "The Bible and the Future," , Paternoster Press: Exeter UK, British edition, 1979, p.153) 26/02/2003 "If the term "macro-evolution" is applied to the rise of taxonomic groups that are at or near the minimum level of genetic discontinuity (species and genera), the large-scale evolution studied by the paleontologist might be called "mega-evolution" (a hybrid word, but so is "macro-evolution"). The assumption, as in Goldschmidt's work, that mega-evolution and macroevolution are the same in all respects is no more justified than the assumption, so violently attacked by Goldschmidt and others, that microevolution and macro- evolution differ only in degree. As will be shown, the paleontologist has more reason to believe in a qualitative distinction between macro-evolution and mega-evolution than in one between microevolution and macro-evolution." (Simpson, G.G., "Tempo and Mode in Evolution," , Columbia University Press: New York, Third Printing, 1949, p.98) 26/02/2003 "The facts are that many species and genera, indeed the majority, do appear suddenly in the record, differing sharply and in many ways from any earlier group, and that this appearance of discontinuity becomes more common the higher the level, until it is virtually universal as regards orders and all higher steps in the taxonomic hierarchy. The face of the record thus does really suggest normal discontinuity at all levels, most particularly at high levels, and some paleontologists (e.g., Spath and Schindewolf) insist on taking the record at this face value. " (Simpson, G.G., "Tempo and Mode in Evolution," , Columbia University Press: New York, Third Printing, 1949, p.99) 26/02/2003 "From the facts already discussed, one notices that the `maneuvering space' of evolution has never stopped decreasing. The genesis of the phyla stopped in the Ordovician; of the classes, in the Jurassic; of the orders, in the Paleocene-Eocene. After the Eocene, the evolutionary `sap' still flowed through a few orders, since mammals and birds continued to specialize in various directions and invaded all the terrestrial and marine biotopes previously occupied by reptiles. The extent oextent of evolutionary novelties gradually changed. They no longer affected the structural plan but only involved details. The only form which evolution took was speciation: in insects since the Oligocene, in mollusks since the Miocene, in birds and simians since the Pliocene, and in some glirines and hominids since the Holocene; Homo sapiens, the last in line, is probably 100,000 years old. Evolution has not only slowed down, but with the aging of the biosphere, it has also decreased in scope and in extent. We are certain that it does not operate today as it did in the remote past. Something has changed. It is of the utmost importance to determine what has changed; this should shed light upon the internal mechanisms of the phenomena. The structural plans no longer undergo complete reorganization; novelties are no longer plentiful. Evolution, after its last enormous effort to form the mammalian orders and man, seems to be out of breath and drowsing off." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," Academic Press: New York, 1977, pp.70- 71) 27/02/2003 "We distinguish three possible theories of the history of life. In this chapter, we will be asking whether, according to the scientific evidence, one species has evolved into another in the past, or whether each species had a separate origin and has remained fixed in form ever since that origin. For purposes of argument, it is useful to have some articulate alternatives. We can discuss three theories (Figure 3.1): (a) evolution, (b) transformism, in which species change, but the number of origins of species matches the number of species, and (c) separate creation, in which species originate separately and remain fixed. We will, therefore, consider the evidence for two evolutionary claims: (1) that species have changed in Darwin's sense of "descent with modification," and (2) that all species share a common ancestor, and that change occurs through a tree like history." (Ridley, Mark, "Evolution," , Blackwell: Cambridge MA, Second Edition, 1996, Third Printing, 1999, p.40) 27/02/2003 "Creationism offers no explanation for adaptation. Another powerful reason why evolutionary biologists do not take creationism seriously is that creationism offers no explanation for adaptation. Living things are well designed, in innumerable respects, for life in their natural environments. They have sensory systems to find their way around, feeding systems to catch and digest food, and nervous systems to coordinate their actions. The theory of evolution offers a mechanical, scientific theory for adaptation: natural selection. Creationism, by contrast, provides no explanation for adaptation. When each species originated, it must have already been equipped with adaptations for life, because the theory holds that species are fixed in form after their origin. An unabashedly religious version of creationism would attribute the adaptiveness of living things to the genius of God. Even this theory does not actually explain the origin of the adaptation, but simply pushes the problem back one stage (section 13.1, p. 338). In the scientific version of creationism (Figure 3.1c), supernatural events do not take place, and we are left with no theory of adaptation at all. Without a theory of adaptation, as Darwin realized (section 1.3.2), any theory of the origin of living things fails." (Ridley, Mark, "Evolution," , Blackwell: Cambridge MA, Second Edition, 1996, Third Printing, 1999, p.65) 27/02/2003 "Dr. Gray endeavours to vindicate Darwin's theory from the charge of atheism. His arguments, however, only go to prove that the doctrine of development, or derivation of species, may be held in a forment with theism. This is no one denies. They do not prove that Mr. Darwin presents it in that form. Dr. Gray himself admits all that those who regard the Darwinian theory as atheistic contend for. He says, `The proposition that things and events in nature were not designed to be so, if logically- carried out, is doubtless tantamount to atheism.' Again, he says, `To us, a fortuitous Cosmos is simply inconceivable. The alternative is a designed Cosmos ... If Mr. Darwin believes that the events which he supposes to have occurred and the results we behold were undirected and undesigned, or if the physicist believes that the natural forces to which he refers phenomena are uncaused and undirected, no argument is needed to show that such belief is atheistic.' No argument, after what has been said above, can be needed to show that Mr. Darwin does teach that natural causes are `undirected,' and that they act without design or reference to an end. This is not only explicitly and repeatedly asserted, but argued for, and the opposite view ridiculed and rejected. His book was hailed as the death-blow of teleology. Darwin, therefore, does each precisely what Dr. Gray pronounces - atheism. A man, it seems, may believe-in God, and yet teach atheism." (Hodge, C., "Systematic Theology," , James Clark & Co: London, Vol. II, 1960, reprint, pp.18-19) [top] March 1/03/03 "On the botanical side of biology we are greatly mistaken if we think that a scientist of the calibre of Joseph Hooker was a fool not to recognize and accept evolution as an explanation of so many of his problems long before he did. It is not entirely wild to say even today that to accept a general theory of evolution by mutations with natural selection (a more or less orthodox position in 1962) requires as much faith as to accept some theory of special creation. There are still innumerable problems concerning the course of evolution, of how and when changes occurred in this and that group of plants (and, one supposes, of animals), that remain unsolved, and proposed solutions are sometimes absurd." (Turrill W.B., "Joseph Dalton Hooker: Botanist, Explorer, and Administrator," Thomas Nelson & Sons: London, 1963, p.91) 1/03/03 "PJ: Clearly if you have a question, the answer yes and the answer no to the question are still in the same subject area. So if the affirmation `Yes, natural selection can create as much as is needed,' is science, then the no answer -- `No, the evidence does not support that' -- is science, too. I vigorously assert that this is not two subjects but one subject: what does the evidence show and not show about natural processes? David Von Drehle: I think there are two subjects. There is a scientific debate about what the evidence shows or doesn't show. And there is a religious debate, with two different religions making claims about a topic they can't fully understand. PJ: I wouldn't fight you if you wanted to say that there is only one subject on both sides, and it is religion. They should either teach evolution in religion class and not in science, or teach it in science and present both sides. It can't be that the yes answer is science and the no answer is religion." (Johnson P.E.*, "Evolution and the Curriculum: A Conversation with Phillip Johnson and Gregg Easterbrook," Center Conversations No. 4, September 1999, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington DC. http://www.eppc.org/publications/xq/ASP/pubsID.25/qx/pubs_viewdetail.htm) 1/03/03 "This phenomenon the separate and independent acquisition of similar features-is known as 'convergence'. The claim of convergence is the most important objection to the bird-dinosaur link. Convergence is an extremely difficult problem. When confronted by two superficially similar organisms, it is not al ways easy to spot whether their similarity is a result of shared common ancestry, or an adaptive response to similar pressures in otherwise unrelated animals. Ornithologists are very sensitive to this problem, because many otherwise distantly related birds look deceptively similar because of a common response to the pressures of flight. In a sense, claims of convergence are unanswerable, as one can always make a case, based on adaptation, that any feature thought indicative of common ancestry really represents a common response to similar adaptive pressures in unrelated species. Cladistics has a way of addressing the problem: the invocation of the principle of parsimony. ... Of course, there is no law that says that evolution is always parsimonious." (Gee H., "In Search of Deep Time: Beyond the Fossil Record to a New History of Life," The Free Press: New York, 1999, pp.184-185) 2/03/03 "The role of chromosomal rearrangements in speciation has been considered in Chapters 3 and 6. More and more, it appears as if such rearrangements, of many different types, have played the primary role in the majority of speciation events. It by no means follows, however, that their significance in speciation is always of the same type. In fact, each chromosomal rearrangement-whether fusion or dissociation, translocation, inversion, gain or loss of heterochromatin-must be regarded as a unique event whose consequences will be almost impossible to predict in the present stage of our knowledge. It is thus extremely difficult to incorporate chromosomal rearrangements into mathematical models of speciation and phyletic evolution, which may be one reason why they have been relatively neglected by many evolutionary geneticists." (White M.J.D., "Modes of Speciation," W.H. Freeman & Co: San Francisco CA, 1978, p.336. Emphasis mine) 2/03/03 "But the precise sequence of ideas and arguments by which Darwin was persuaded to put evolution and natural selection together has not been clear. The finishing stroke has recently been accomplished by Loren Eiseley. It depends on Eiseley's discovery of the use Darwin made of another unacknowledged and hitherto almost unsuspected source. This is in the work of a young contemporary, the Londoner, Edward Blyth. What was the work of Blyth? This remarkable naturalist from his chemist's shop in Lower Tooting wrote three articles on heredity, variation and selection in nature and in domestication. They appeared in the Magazine of Natural History, between 1835 and 1837. His argument consists in an examination of the great ideas of selection, artificial, natural and sexual, and the struggle for existence, which he might have picked up from Erasmus Darwin or any of his successors, such as Lawrence and Prichard (whom he cites). Blyth attempts to show how these ideas can be used to explain, not the change of species which he was anxious to discredit, but the stability of species in which he ardently believed. In the course of his argument Blyth closely examines each of the problems which was to occupy Darwin's mind during the following forty years: blending inheritance as against mutation, the inheritance of acquired characters, geographical isolation, geological successions, island faunas, the origin of instinct and so on. In all these relations Blyth quotes a wealth of examples from his own observations of nature. These afterwards appear repeated, or indeed copied, by Darwin in his preliminary essays Of 1842 and 1844. The evidence quoted by Eiseley shows us that in the Origin Darwin is arguing against an invisible and absent opponent. Blyth, whom he does not cite, was employed far away in Calcutta from 1841 to 1862. Further it also shows us that when Darwin refers to Malthus as his inspiration in his essay of 1858 and later in his autobiography, he is choosing to avoid mentioning his significant inspiration which was Blyth." (Darlington C.D., "Darwin's Place in History," Basil Blackwell: Oxford UK, 1959, pp.34-35) 3/03/03 "In fact, Darwin [by his own account] did not become an evolutionist until many months after his return to England. Only years later did he look back at the finches and reinterpret them in the light of his new theory. In 1845 he wrote in the second edition of his journal of Researches: `The most curious fact is the perfect gradation in the size of the beaks of the different species of [finches]. Seeing this gradation and diversity of structure in one small, intimately related group of birds, one might really fancy that from an original paucity of birds in this archipelago, one species had been taken and modified for different ends.' But this was a speculative afterthought, not an inference from evidence he collected. Indeed, the confusion surrounding the geographical labeling of Darwin's specimens made it impossible for him to use them as evidence for his theory. Nor did Darwin have a clear idea of the finches' ancestry. We now know that the thirteen species resemble each other more than they resemble any birds in Central or South America, suggesting that they may be descendants of a common ancestor that colonized the islands in the distant past. But Darwin did not visit the western coast of South America north of Lima, Peru, so for all he knew the finches were identical to species still living on the mainland." (Wells J.*, "Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth?: Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution is Wrong," Regnery: Washington DC, 2000, p.162. Parenthesis mine) 3/03/03 "If Dawkins played the role of point man for late-twentieth-century naturalistic evolutionists, Daniel C. Dennett gladly served as their hatchet man. In a book called Darwin's Dangerous Idea (1995), which Dawkins warmly endorsed, Dennett portrayed Darwinism as `a universal solvent, capable of cutting right to the heart of everything in sight"-and particularly effective in dissolving religious beliefs. The most ardent creationist could not have said it with more conviction, but Dennett's agreement with them ended there. He despised creationists, arguing that `there are no forces on this planet more dangerous to us all than the fanaticisms of fundamentalism.' Displaying a degree of intolerance more characteristic of a fanatic Fundamentalist than an academic philosopher, he called for `caging' those who would deliberately misinform children about the natural world, just as one would cage a threatening wild animal. `The message is clear,' he wrote: `those who will not accommodate, who will not temper, who insist on keeping only the purest and wildest strain of their heritage alive, we will be obliged, reluctantly, to cage or disarm, and we will do our best to disable the memes [traditions] they fight for.' With the bravado of a man unmindful that only 11 percent of the public shared his enthusiasm for naturalistic evolution, he warned parents that if they insisted on teaching their children `falsehoods-that, the Earth is flat, that 'Man' is not a product of evolution by natural selection-then you must expect, at the very least, that those of us who have freedom of speech will feel free to describe your teachings as the spreading of false hoods, and will attempt to demonstrate this to your children at our earliest opportunity.' Those who resisted conversion to Dennett's scientific fundamentalism would be subject to `quarantine.'" (Numbers, R.L., "Darwinism Comes to America," Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA, 1998, p.13) 4/03/03 "If all the information possessed about the fossil record readily formed the kind of pattern that could have been produced by the operation of the mechanisms of evolutionary change that are well known and understood from living organisms, there would be no problem; the perceived pattern would be immediately compatible with the proposed process. If, for example, all fossils fell into finely graded sequences exhibiting gradual changes in characters up the stratigraphic column, and if simple neo-Darwinian natural selection was the only known cause of evolutionary change, then the explanatory theory that would no doubt emerge would be that these various lineages of species form a series of named groups, within each of which the members are evolutionarily related to one another, having been produced by natural selection. The groups would form an evolutionary classification that offered an explanation for the existence and nature of those particular fossils. Unfortunately the situation is not so simple, for the observed fossil pattern is invariably not compatible with a gradualistic evolutionary process. (Kemp T.S., "Fossils and Evolution," Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, 1999, pp.15-16) 4/03/03 "According to Darwin, his recognition of the principle of natural selection came in October of 1838 when he chanced to read Thomas Malthus on population and perceived that the geometric increase of living forms would create a struggle in nature which would in turn promote the survival of advantageous variations. Actually, however, this statement now appears open to some doubt. In the first place, it was not necessary for Darwin to read Malthus in order to realize the intensity of the struggle for existence. Leaving aside Blyth's contribution, mention of it occurs in the writings of Darwin's grandfather Erasmus, in Paley's Natural Theology, and in the Principles of Geology by Sir Charles Lyell. Even Lamarck mentions it in the Philosophie Zoologique. All of these were works Darwin had read when he was young and impressionable. His own son Francis expressed surprise that he should have had to turn to Malthus for inspiration. Furthermore, Francis pointed out what we know to be true, that in 1837 he had already given vent to the essential aspects of the principle." (Darwin F., ed., "Foundations of the Origin of Species," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1909, pp.xvi, 242n)". (Eiseley L.C., "Charles Darwin, Edward Blyth, and the Theory of Natural Selection," in "Darwin and the Mysterious Mr. X," E.P. Dutton: New York, 1979, p.67) 5/03/03 "As for David Hume himself, it is sometimes said that that great Scottish philosopher disposed of the Argument from Design a century before Darwin. But what Hume did was criticize the logic of using apparent design in nature as positive evidence for the existence of a God. He did not offer any alternative explanation for apparent design, but left the question open. An atheist before Darwin could have said, following Hume: 'I have no explanation for complex biological design. All I know is that God isn't a good explanation, so we must wait and hope that somebody comes up with a better one.' I can't help feeling that such a position, though logically sound, would have left one feeling pretty unsatisfied, and that although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist." (Dawkins R., "The Blind Watchmaker," , Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, p.6) 5/03/03 "My colleague and former student, Dr. Gerald Henderson of Brooklyn College, has raised an interesting point in this connection. He maintains that after Darwin had received Wallace's sketch of 1858 and preparations were made for the joint papers to be given before the Linnean Society, the passage from the essay of 1844 which was selected by Hooker, Lyell and Darwin to be incorporated into Darwin's announcement was the only one in which Malthus was mentioned. Dr. Henderson points out that the famous letter to Gray of 1857 contains no reference to Malthus. Instead, de Candolle, Lyell and Herbert are extolled as Darwin's authorities. It is Dr. Henderson's considered opinion that the passage referring to Malthus was deliberately chosen for presentation to the Linnean Society `because of its correspondence with the subject matter of Wallace's essay.' From the time of Wallace's appearance on the scene, Dr. Henderson contends, the significance of Malthus began to bulk larger in Darwin's public declarations about the origin of his views on species. As I have pointed out, to have referred to Lyell, for example, as the direct source of one's ideas upon evolutionary struggle in nature would have been to quote a man publicly opposed to evolution in support of that doctrine. Since Malthus was active in a quite different field, and was, in addition, the basic source of much of the thinking on the struggle for existence in early nineteenth- century England, it was convenient to have recourse to him as the `authority.' It is also possible that Darwin found it easy to fall in with Wallace's use of Malthus partly because a natural rivalry dictated his desire to show he was no less aware of Malthus than Wallace was. This curious chain of events had, in any event, the effect of obscuring ever more deeply the real origin of Darwin's evolutionary system. Some of Darwin's hesitations, long delays over publishing, and almost neurotic anxiety can now perhaps be better understood. He had his secrets, and, as I hope to show a little later, he had his justification for them." (Eiseley L.C., "Charles Darwin, Edward Blyth, and the Theory of Natural Selection," in "Darwin and the Mysterious Mr. X," E.P. Dutton: New York, 1979, pp.67-68) 6/03/03 "The final fallacy of this sort that we will consider is known as poisoning the well. In such arguments an attempt is made to place the opponent in a position from which he or she is unable to reply. This form of the fallacy received its name from John Henry Cardinal Newman, a nineteenth-century British churchman, in one of his frequent controversies with the clergyman and novelist Charles Kingsley. During the course of their dispute, Kingsley suggested that Newman, as a Roman Catholic priest, did not place the highest value on truth. Newman protested that such an accusation made it impossible for him, or for any other Catholic, to state his case. For how could he prove to Kingsley that he had more regard for truth than for anything else if Kingsley presupposed that he did not? Kingsley had automatically ruled out anything that Newman might offer in defense. Kingsley, in other words, had poisoned the well of discourse, making it impossible for anyone to partake of it. ... Anyone attempting to rebut these arguments would be hard pressed to do so, for so, for