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The following are unclassified quotes posted in my email messages in April-June, 2003.
The date format is dd/mm/yy. See copyright conditions at end.
[Index: January-March] [April, May, June] [July, August, September, October-December]
April 1/04/2003 "Experience has repeatedly shown that every time a doctrine acquires supporters enough to build up a power- wielding hierarchy, the demands on discipline increase and the doctrine hardens into orthodoxy. This is what happened with Neo-Mendelism [Neo-Darwinism] in the 1950s and 1960s ... fashion rules in biology. Dissenters are frozen out, without regard to their ... merits." (Løvtrup, S., "Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth," Croom Helm: London, 1987, p.314. Parenthesis mine) 3/04/2003 "Another class of fossil evidence comes in individual stratomorphic intermediates. These are fossils that stand intermediate between the group from which they are descendent and the one to which they are ancestral-both in stratigraphic position and in morphology. They have a structure that stands between the structure of their ancestors and that of their descendants. However, they are also found in the fossil record as younger than the oldest fossils of the ancestral group and older than the oldest fossils of the descendent group. ... And examples of stratomorphic intermediates do exist. Mammal-like reptiles stand between reptiles and mammals, both in the position of their fossils and in the structure of their bones. The same can be said of the anthracosaurs, which stand between amphibians and reptiles, and the phenacodontids, which stand between the horses and their claimed ancestors. In like manner, some fossil genera are stratomorphic intermediates in the group in which they are classified. They are the oldest fossils known in the group and most similar to the group from which they are supposedly descendent. Examples include Pikaia, among the chordates, Archaeopteryx among the birds, Baragwanathia among Lycopods, Ichthyostega among the amphibians, Purgatorius among the primates, Pakicetus among the whales and Proconsul among the hominoids." (Wise, K.P.*, "The Origin of Life's Major Groups," in Moreland, J.P., ed., "The Creation Hypothesis: Scientific Evidence for an Intelligent Designer," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1994, pp.226-227) 3/04/2003 "Stratomorphic intermediate species and organismal groups should be a common feature of the fossil record ... [but] the total list of claimed transitional forms is very small ... The frequency seems intuitively too low for evolutionary theory." (Wise, K.P.*, "The Origin of Life's Major Groups," in Moreland, J.P., ed., "The Creation Hypothesis: Scientific Evidence for an Intelligent Designer," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL., 1994, pp.227- 228) 3/04/2003 "A serious problem with this argument for evolution is that whereas vestigial organs are known, nascent organs are not. If evolution were true, one would expect to see not just organs "going out" but also organs "coming in." These new organs would be called nascent organs. The absence of such organs would seem to argue that although we have evidence of degeneration from an earlier, more optimal design, we lack evidence of a move toward a new optimal design. It would seem that if an intelligent Designer created optimal designs in the past and life's history has been a move away from that optimum, the presence of vestigial organs and the absence of nascent organs would be better explained by intelligent design than by evolutionary theory." (Wise, K.P.*, "The Origin of Life's Major Groups," in Moreland, J.P., ed., "The Creation Hypothesis: Scientific Evidence for an Intelligent Designer," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1994, pp.222-223) 3/04/2003 "BIOLOGISTS adduce as strong evidence in support of the evolution doctrine the existence in organisms of structures which they usually describe as rudimentary. If these were in reality rudimentary, that is to say, in a nascent condition, in the course of being developed, their presence would indeed afford strong support to the theory. Unfortunately for the doctrine, not one of these structures is rudimentary. Some of them are vestigial, that is to say, organs in a state of degeneration. If the evolution doctrine was merely that many types have degenerated since they were created or originated, then the presence of vestigial organs would afford strong support to it. What the doctrine demands is not vestigial, but nascent organs, and the latter appear to be non- existent. Such a state of affairs seems to strike at the root of the evolution doctrine. Better evidence of the assertion that for the last fifty years biological textbooks bring to light only that which is favourable to evolution and pass over unnoticed all that is unfavourable could scarcely be adduced than the fact that these volumes contain many references to vestigial organs, but none to nascent organs." (Dewar, D.*, "Difficulties of the Evolution Theory," Edward Arnold & Co: London, 1931, p.24) 3/04/2003 "I asserted (D. p. 24) that the theory of evolution requires for its proof, not vestigial, but nascent organs, because the existence of useless vestiges merely shows that animals may lose organs. I wrote: "although the anatomy of thousands of species has been carefully studied, it is impossible to adduce a single structure in any species which is indubitably or even probably in a nascent condition." This is clearly a very great difficulty of the evolution theory, I might almost say a fatal one. ... According to the evolution theory all multicellular animals are derived from one-celled ancestors, which exhibit nothing that can he called an organ in the strict sense. Consider now the vast number of organs and structures which are supposed to have evolved in the descendants of these organ-less ancestors; every differentiated cell, bone, cartilage, muscle, tendon, nerve, blood vessel, ganglion, hair, feather, scale, spine, shell, spur, antler, horn, hoof, claw, nail, tooth, tusk, antenna, appendage, every internal organ from the blood corpuscles to the stomach and liver. Every type of each of the above organs, according to the evolution theory, must have at one time existed in a nascent condition. Now consider the, million or so existing species of animals all of which are supposed to be in a state of flux, evolving. If these species be really evolving, the majority of them ought to exhibit nascent structures in all states of completion, from unrecognisable excrescences to structures almost ready for use. Not a single one seems to exist!" (Dewar, D.*, "More Difficulties of the Evolution Theory: And a reply to "Evolution and Its Modern Critics," Thynne & Co: London, 1938, pp.51- 52) 3/04/2003 "The specter of eugenics hovers over virtually all contemporary developments in human genetics. Eugenics was rooted in the social Darwinism of the late 19th century, a period in which notions of fitness, competition, and biological rationalizations of inequality were popular. At the time, a growing number of theorists introduced Darwinian analogies of `survival of the fittest' into social argument. Many social Darwinists insisted that biology was destiny, at least for the unfit, and that a broad spectrum of socially deleterious traits, ranging from `pauperism' to mental illness, resulted from heredity. The word `eugenics' was coined in 1883 by the English scientist Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, to promote the ideal of perfecting the human race by, as he put it, getting rid of its `undesirables' while multiplying its `desirables' -- that is, by encouraging the procreation of the social Darwinian fit and discouraging that of the unfit. In Galton's day, the science of genetics was not yet understood. Nevertheless, Darwin's theory of evolution taught that species did change as a result of natural selection, and it was well known that by artificial selection a farmer could obtain permanent breeds of plants and animals strong in particular characteristics. Galton wondered, `Could not the race of men be similarly improved?'" (Kevles, D., "In the Name of Darwin," PBS Evolution, 2001) 4/04/2003 "This volume is meant for three kinds of readers. First and foremost, it is written for anyone, biologist or not, who simply wants to know more about evolution. Such a reader is quite aware how important this process is but does not understand exactly how it works and how one can answer some of the attacks against the Darwinian interpretation. The second group of readers consists of those who accept evolution, but are in doubt whether the Darwinian explanation is the correct one. I hope to answer all the questions this kind of reader is apt to ask. And finally, my account is directed to those creationists who want to know more about the current paradigm of evolutionary science, if for no other reason than to be able to better argue against it. I do not expect to convert this kind of reader, but I want to show him or her how powerful the evidence is that induces the evolutionary biologist to disagree with the account presented in Genesis." (Mayr, E.W., "What Evolution Is," Basic Books: New York, 2001, p.xiii-xiv) 4/04/2003 "The Drosophila gene eyeless (ey) encodes a transcription factor With both a paired domain and a homeodomain. It is homologous to the mouse Small eye (Pax-6) gene and to Aniridia gene in humans. These genes share extensive sequence identity, the position of three intron splice sites is conserved, and these genes are expressed similarly in the developing nervous system and in the eye during morphogenesis. Loss-of-function mutations in both the insect and in the mammalian genes have been shown to lead to a reduction or absence of eye structures, which suggests that ey functions in eye morphogenesis. By targeted expression of the ey complementary DNA in various imaginal disc primordia of Drosophila, ectopic eye structures were induced on the wings, the legs, and on the antennae. The ectopic eyes appeared morphologically normal and consisted of groups of fully differentiated ommatidia with a complete set of photoreceptor cells. These results support the proposition that ey is the master control gene for eye morphogenesis. Because homologous genes are present in vertebrates, ascidians, insects, cephalopods, and nemerteans, ey may function as a master control gene throughout the metazoa." (Halder, G., Callaerts, P. & Gehring, W.J., "Induction of Ectopic Eyes by Targeted Expression of the eyeless Gene in Drosophila," Science, Vol. 267, 1988, pp.1788-1792, p.1788) 4/04/2003 "Pax6 is a perplexing gene with a fundamental role in eye development in a wide range of bilaterian animals. The puzzling thing is that the eyes of all of these animals are entirely different: the compound eyes of flies, eyespots of flatworms, and lens eyes of vertebrates cannot be considered homologous in the usual sense. Yet Pax6 is expressed in the early development of all of them, and the functional domains are so highly conserved that mouse Pax6 can induce eye formation in Drosophila - and not only in the usual place. Expression of Pax6 (either the fly gene or its mouse homolog) can turn on eye formation throughout a Drosophila embryo, resulting in flies with eyes on their wings, legs or antennae. Homeotic mutants such as these, where a whole structure is induced to develop in a novel location, have played a key role in the hypothesis that body plans in animals arose by discreet (and potentially very rapid) evolutionary processes, rather than by the slow plodding of classic darwinian gradualism." (Bromham, L., "Searching for Pax in hydromedusa," Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 17, No. 1, 1 January 2002, pp.11-12) 4/04/2003 "BECAUSE their construction is so different scientists have always assumed that the multifaceted compound eye of flies and the single lens eye of vertebrates evolved independently. However, this belief has now been challenged Rebecca Quiring and Uwe Walldorf at the University of Basel have found tantalising evidence that both types of eye evolved from a common organ. Over hundreds of millions of years, flies and vertebrates have retained the same genetic master switch for eye development. The gene in question is called Pax-6; one of a family that ensures that parts of the body emerge at the right time and place in growing embryos. ... The Swiss group has also found DNA sequences similar to Pax-6 in flatworms, which are among the most primitive of animals to have eyes. Flatworms are blessed with just two featureless patches of photosensitive cells, called eyespots. If Pax-6 tums out to be crucial in forming these simple organs that distinguish between light and shade, Walldorf and his colleagues say that scientists must rethink the dogma that eyes of invertebrates and vertebrates evolved completely independently." (Luck-Baker, A., "DNA Evidence of Ancestral Age," New Scientist, 10 September 1994, p.15) 4/04/2003 "Several years ago, Walter J. Gehring of the University of Basel in Switzerland was working on a zoology textbook. When it came time to write a section that dealt with the evolution of eyes, Gehring unhesitatingly recited the traditional view that eyes had evolved independently dozens of times. For the next edition, he'll pen a different scenario. The discovery of a gene shared by fruit flies, mice, squid, and humans and the creation of unusual fruit flies that sprout eyelike structures in places such as wings, legs, and antennae have persuaded Gehring that all modern animals with eyes evolved from a common ancestor that possessed a primitive image- forming organ. In essence, he contends that the eye probably evolved just once in life's evolutionary history--an assertion not everyone is willing to accept. ... While image-forming eyes are commonplace, no one design for eyes dominates. Scientists have described almost a dozen distinct blueprints, from the alien-seeming compound eyes of insects and many other species to the cameralike single eyes of vertebrates like us. The exotic appearance of the compound insect eye, with its hundreds of miniature eyes called ommatidia, helps explain why scientists have assumed that it evolved independently of the vertebrate eye. ... In 1977, L. Von Salvini-Plawen and Ernst Mayr, both of Harvard University, placed this conventional wisdom solidly on the record when they published a landmark paper concluding that eyes had arisen independently at least several dozen times. That's where the story of eye evolution stood until 1993. ... Gehring was surprised that the fly gene was so similar to the two vertebrate genes, but the real astonishment came when he realized that the insect gene also plays a role in eye development. ... Gehring likes to call eyeless a `master control gene' for eye development, one that sits at the top of the network of genes, estimated at more than 2,000, used to form eyes. `It's like the main electrical switch in a building. You turn on the main switch and all the lights can go on,' explains Gehring. ... Even more controversial than Gehring's calling eyeless the master control gene for eye development is his belief that its discovery in several disparate species shatters the dogma that eyes evolved independently on many occasions. `We now think that this event happened only once,' asserts Gehring. ... As for Gehring, he's already confident enough in his interpretation that eyes probably developed just once that he has begun to plan how he should revise his textbook's section on eye evolution." (Travis, J., "Eye-opening gene: how many times did eyes arise?," Science News, May 10, 1997) 4/04/2003 "The Pax-6 story tells us that there has been just one origin and one evolutionary line of progression, from the earliest patches of light-sensitive cells to the variety of advanced eye-forms around us. This unavoidable conclusion, Charles, goes against a hundred years of insistence that the widely different structures and operations of eyes (eye cup, pinhole, camera-type with single lens, mirror and compound) arose independently, at least forty and maybe up to sixty-five times." (Dover, G.A., "Dear Mr Darwin: Letters on the Evolution of Life and Human Nature," , University of California Press: Berkeley CA, 2000, reprint, p.172) 5/04/2003 "Photosensitive, eyelike organs have developed in the animal series independently at least 40 times, and all the steps from a light-sensitive spot to the elaborate eyes of vertebrates, cephalopods, and insects are still found in living species of various taxa. They include intermediate stages and refute the claim that the gradual evolution of a complex eye is unthinkable (Salvini-Plawen and Mayr 1977). Most photosensitive organs of the invertebrates lack the perfection of the eyes of vertebrates, cephalopods, and insects, but their origin and subsequent evolution were nevertheless helped by natural selection. As long as a variant was superior, it was favored, with multiple slight advantages reinforcing each other." (Mayr, E.W., "What Evolution Is," Basic Books: New York, 2001, p.205) 5/04/2003 "Consider Darwin's treatment of the evolution of vertebrate lungs and their relationship with the swim bladders of bony fishes-an example that Darwin obviously viewed as important to his general argument because he repeats the story half a dozen times in the Origin. Darwin begins by noting, correctly, that the lung and swim bladder are homologous organs-different versions of the same basic structure, just as a bat's wing and a horse's foreleg share a common origin indicated by the similar arrangement of bones in body parts that now work in such different ways. But Darwin then draws a false inference from the fact of homology. He claims, with increasing confidence ending in certainty, that lungs evolved from swim bladders: `All physiologists admit that the swim bladder is homologous...in position and structure with the lungs of the higher vertebrate animals; hence there seems to me to be no great difficulty in believing that natural selection has actually converted a swim bladder into a lung, or organ used exclusively for respiration. I can, indeed, hardly doubt that all vertebrate animals having true lungs have descended by ordinary generation from an ancient prototype, of which we know nothing, furnished with a floating apparatus or swim bladder.'" (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species," , 6th edition, Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, Reprinted, 1967, p171) Many readers will be puzzled at this point, as I have perplexed several generations of students by presenting the argument in this form. What can be wrong with Darwin's claim? The two organs are homologous, right? Right. Terrestrial vertebrates evolved from fishes, right? Yes again. So lungs must have evolved from swim bladders, right? Wrong, dead wrong. Swim bladders evolved from lungs." (Gould, S.J., "Full of Hot Air," in "Eight Little Piggies: Reflections in Natural History," Jonathan Cape: London, 1993, pp.111-112) 5/04/2003 "Some of the most astonishing fossil discoveries of recent years are not as old as scientists had thought, new research reveals. Many of the best fossil specimens have been unearthed in the Liaoning province in China. These include the 'feathered' dinosaurs Sinosauropteryx, Protarchaeopteryx, Caudipteryx and Beipiaosaurus, birds such as Confuciusornis, primitive mammals, what is thought to be the oldest flowering plant, and a wide range of other animals and plants. They were all pulled from ancient lake beds, from rocks in what is known as the Yixian Formation. Scientists had estimated the diverse fauna found in these sediments to be from the late Jurassic period - about 140 million years ago. Now, after the application of new dating methods, it appears the sediments are from the Cretaceous period, 20 million years later than the previous estimates. ... Accurate dating is important because it will help answer some of the big questions in evolutionary biology, such as the timing of the origin of birds and flowering plants, and the relationship of birds to dinosaurs. `Probably no other story has created so much attention in the last couple of years as the feathered dinosaurs or the world's oldest flowering plant or some other aspect of this fauna from China,' says Carl Swisher III, of the Berkeley Geochronology Center in California, and lead author of the new research published in the journal Nature. `Most people thought it was quite old but these dates directly associated with the fauna suggest it is not as old as originally thought.' Swisher and his colleagues worked out the new dates by measuring the ratio of isotopes - different versions of the same atom - in a mineral found in volcanic ash." ("Twenty million years out," BBC Sci/Tech, July 1, 1999) 5/04/2003 "Fossils of feathered dinosaurs and flowering plants, considered an extremely important discovery when they were unearthed in the Liaoning province in China, are not as old as scientists had thought, researchers said Wednesday. The discovery of fossil remains of species with distinctive feathers and dinosaur features and the world's oldest flowering plant in China were among the biggest finds in recent years. Scientists had estimated the diverse fauna found in ancient lake beds in Liaoning province were from the late Jurassic period - about 140 million years ago. But new dating methods, published in the science journal Nature, of sediment in which the fossils were found, puts them in the Cretaceous period, 20 million years later than previous estimates. `Probably no other story has created so much attention in the last couple of years as the feathered dinosaurs or the world's oldest flowering plant or some other aspect of this fauna from China,' Carl Swisher III, of the Berkeley Geochronology Center in California, said in a telephone interview. `Most people thought it was quite old but these dates directly associated with the fauna suggest it is not as old as originally thought.' Swisher and his colleagues based their dates on measurements taken from a mineral found in volcanic ash used in dating isotopic age. In addition to accurately dating Caudipteryx and Protarchaeopteryx, two species found in Liaoning that represent a link between dinosaurs and birds, the research sheds new light on plant and animal evolution." ("Research Suggests Feathered Dinosaurs Are Not So Old," The New York Times, July 1, 1999) 5/04/2003 "The ancient lake beds of the lower part of the Yixian Formation, Liaoning Province, northeastern China, have yielded a wide rangeof well-preserved fossils: the 'feathered' dinosaurs Sinosauropteryx, Protarchaeopteryx and Caudipteryx, the primitive birds Confuciusornis and Liaoningornis, the mammal Zhangheotherium and the reportedly oldest flowering plant, Archaefructus. Equally well preserved in the lake beds are a wide range of fossil plants, insects, bivalves, conchostracans, ostracods, gastropods, fish, salamanders, turtles, lizards, the frog Callobatrachus and the pterosaur Eosipterus. This uniquely preserved assemblage of fossils is providing newinsight into long-lived controversies over bird-dinosaur relationships,, the early diversification of birds,, and the origin and evolution of flowering plants. Despite the importance of this fossil assemblage, estimates of its geological age have varied widely from the Late Jurassic to the Early Cretaceous. Here we present the first 40Ar/39Ar dates unambiguously associated with the main fossil horizons of the lower part of the Yixian Formation, and thus, for the first time, provide accurate age calibration of this important fauna. The results of this dating study indicate that the lower Yixian fossil horizons are not Jurassic but rather are at least 20 Myr younger, placing them within middle Early Cretaceous time." (Swisher, C.C., et al., "Cretaceous age for the feathered dinosaurs of Liaoning, China," Nature, Vol. 400, 1 July 1999, pp.58 - 61) 5/04/2003 "A favorite example of those trying to find evidence of self-organization is the human eye. So exquisitely designed, with its adjustable lens and iris, with its retina capable of rendering images better than any camera-the eye surely could not have developed from the blind meanderings of evolution. Or so it seems to Darwin's critics. The eighteenth-century theologian William Paley considered the eye and other precisely engineered organs as proof of an intelligent creator. But, again, one doesn't have to be a creationist to have difficulty accepting that eyes arose purely from random variation and selection. As Brian Goodwin recalled at the conference in Santa Fe, even Darwin said that every time he looked at the vertebrate eye his blood ran cold. Imagining the millions of tiny experiments that led to the honing of animal vision taxed his credulity." (Johnson, G., "Fire in the Mind: Science, Faith, and the Search for Order," , Penguin Books: London, 1997, pp.267-268) 5/04/2003 "The Darwinists respond with the familiar reminder that our brains are simply not wired to conceive of vast, geological time. Accept that our own lives, and the brief lifespan of modern science, are but twinkles, barely discernible against the backdrop of the eons, and one can put together a plausible scenario. We find in the world today single-celled creatures with a light-sensitive patch that acts as a primitive eye. Shielded on one side by an opaque pigment, it allows the creature to orient itself toward light. Imagine that clusters of these light-sensitive cells joined to form a retina in a primitive organism. With this crude photodetector in place, evolution would hone it, increment by increment, into a fully functioning eye. Suppose that a random variation caused the light- sensitive cells to become slightly recessed; this might provide a limited amount of protection for the eye and allow for better directionality. Creatures with this mutation could tell not only whether a light was somewhere in front of them, but roughly where it was. Because of this slight survival advantage, they would spread themselves more widely than the others until most of the population had slightly recessed eyes. Now among some of these creatures, random variation might make the recession a little deeper, and so we pull this more visually acute subset from the pool and let it multiply. Again a random variation might cause an even deeper recession among these members, and so on, until we have creatures with light-sensitive cells at the bottom of a deep cup. Now imagine a variation, or series of variations, that causes the cup to narrow at the top, the smaller and smaller opening providing sharper and sharper focus, greater visual acuity. At this point, a random variation that led to a transparent covering over the pinhole would put the species on the road to making a lens. Still other variations would lead to the musculature allowing the creature to flex and change the focus of the lens for different distances; others would lead to the honing of the iris, allowing creatures to operate in different levels of light. There is, of course, little real evidence for this explanation it is an evolutionary Just so story. How persuasive it is depends on the taste of the listener and the rhetorical skills of the storyteller. As presented by one of Darwinism's most eloquent explicators, Richard Dawkins, in his book The Blind Watchmaker, the story of the eye sounds utterly compelling. Evolution is pulled toward making eyes through millions of incremental steps each offering a slight advantage. Without a way to test these hypotheses, however, they strike some biologists, like Brian Goodwin, as not very scientific. Even if you invoke vast geologic time, the series of fortuitous mutations leading to an eye, a kidney, or a brain seem too good to be true." (Johnson, G., "Fire in the Mind: Science, Faith, and the Search for Order," , Penguin Books: London, 1997, pp.268-269) 5/04/2003 "The history of most fossil species includes two features particularly inconsistent with gradualism: 1. Stasis. Most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear in the fossil record looking much the same as when they disappear; morphological change is usually limited and directionless. 2. Sudden appearance. In any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and `fully formed.'" (Gould, S.J., "Evolution's Erratic Pace," Natural History, Vol. 86, No. 5, May 1977, p.14). 9/04/2003 "SINCE THE PUBLICATION OF Darwin on Trial, friends have been sending me copies of a newsletter called BASIS, mainly because it often has something unfavorable to say about me. BASIS is published by an organization calling itself the San Francisco Bay Area Skeptics. As you can imagine, these Skeptics do not encourage people to be skeptical about doctrines of the rationalist faith like atheism, materialism, and Darwinian evolution." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Darwinism and Theism," in Buell, J. & Hearn, V., eds., "Darwinism: Science or Philosophy?," Foundation for Thought and Ethics: Richardson TX, 1994, p.42) 10/04/2003 "If evolutionary biologists can discover or construct detailed, testable, indirect Darwinian pathways that account for the emergence of irreducibly and minimally complex biological systems like the bacterial flagellum, then more power to them -- intelligent design will quickly pass into oblivion. But until that happens, the eliminative induction that attributes specified complexity to the bacterial flagellum constitutes a legitimate scientific inference. The only way to deny its legitimacy is by appealing to some form of apriorism. The apriorism of choice these days is, of course, naturalism. And that apriorism engenders an argument not just of ignorance but of invincible ignorance. Indeed, any specified complexity (and therefore design) that might actually be present in biological systems becomes invisible as soon as one consents to this apriorism. If biological systems actually are designed, not only won't Van Till see it but he can't see it. This is invincible ignorance." (Dembski, W.A.*, "Naturalism's Argument from Invincible Ignorance: A Response to Howard Van Till," International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design, September 7, 2002) 10/04/2003 "The most fit genotype in a population is, by definition, the one that on the average produces the most offspring in a given generation. Fitness in this technical sense, sometimes called Darwinian fitness, is a quite different thing from fitness as it is used in everyday language. It boils down to the proportional contribution of an individual's genes to posterity-that is, how well it reproduces relative to other individuals in the population. A six foot five inch, supremely healthy, sublimely hand some, childless twenty-two- year-old man who has had a vasectomy is not usually as fit in the Darwinian sense as a misshapen, diseased man who has sired a healthy child." (Ehrlich, P.R., "The Machinery of Nature," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, 1986, p.63). 10/04/2003 "Have we really answered all the questions; or is there something peculiarly attractive, almost like a Kipling `Just So' story, about natural selection? The range of ideas and the possibilities which they cover are so extensive that it is in a sense a bit deceptive. Perhaps, after all, there is still a veil of mist hanging over this seemingly sharp, clearly defined landscape." (Eiseley, L.C., "Introduction to the Conference," 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.3) 10/04/2003 "The reason for Darwin's apprehension was that many had pointed out that among all the 'adaptations' encountered in the animal kingdom there is one which less than any other lends itself to the micromutation interpretation: the vertebrate - and the cephalopod - eye. And therefore Darwin felt obliged to account for origination of the eye in this section: `To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances ... could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree. When it was first said that the sun stood still and the world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of Vox populi, vox Dei ... cannot be trusted in science. Reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a simple and imperfect eye to one complex and perfect can be shown to exist ... it is indispensable that the reason should conquer the imagination ..." (Darwin, C.R., "Origin of Species," 6th edition, pp.143-146). ... I do not think that his 'facts' ever convinced any of his opponents, which are dismissed as 'vox populi', as opposed to his own `vox Dei'." (Løvtrup, S., "Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth," Croom Helm: London, 1987, pp.129-130) 10/04/2003 "Pinker's approach is straightforwardly mechanistic. If you regard "the mind" as a machine, you can apply the technique used by engineers to discover how a rival firm has built its equipment- so-called reverse engineering. The trouble with reverse engineering `the mind' is that we have to agree what this ambiguous term means. Also- unlike with any human artefact-when we have constructed a story about how the mind might have arisen, we have no way of testing it out. Evolutionary stories are, almost by definition, Just So stories, like Rudyard Kipling's explanation of how the elephant got its trunk." (Rose, S., "Maybe I'm a machine," review of "How the Mind Works," by Steven Pinker, New Scientist, 24 January 1998, pp.42-43) 10/04/2003 "As organizer of a symposium in London on adaptation, I invited Lewontin, as a well-known critic of naive adaptationist arguments, to contribute. ... I ... suggested that he write a joint paper with Gould, which Gould would present. The result was the now-famous paper entitled `Spandrels. of San Marco.' Its thesis is that many structures in the animal world are not adapted for any function, but, like the spandrels of San Marco, are accidental and unselected consequences of something else. Further, they argued, many adaptive explanations are `Just So Stories,' unsupported by evidence. By and large, I think their paper had a healthy effect. There are plenty of bad adaptive stories: we can all laugh at the suggestion that flamingos are pink because it camouflages them against the sunset. Their critique forced us to clean up our act and to provide evidence for our stories." (Maynard Smith, J., "Genes, Memes, & Minds." Review of Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life by Daniel C. Dennett. Simon and Schuster. The New York Review of Books, Vol. XLII, No. 19, November 30, 1995, pp.46-48, p.47) 10/04/2003 "Yet Gould was perhaps at his best when on the attack. He warred relentlessly against what he viewed as bad science. ... The first was sociobiology and its stepchild evolutionary psychology, and their often soaring speculations on the evolutionary basis of human culture. Gould charged the champions of these creeds with both a vulgar hereditarianism (they were given to saying things like "Consider a gene for gathering behavior in women"-even when no such gene has ever been found) and an addiction to untestable Just So stories ("Gathering behavior is favorable because ..."). He went on to argue that all such `adaptationist' tales ignore the possibility that some features of animals and plants are simply by- products of how organisms are built, not the direct, designed products of natural selection." (Orr, H.A., "The Descent of Gould," The New Yorker, September 25, 2002) 11/04/2003 "The teleological argument moves from design to a Designer. Forms of the teleological argument can be found in early Greek philosophy. ... One of the most popular forms of the argument was given by William Paley (1743- 1805), the archdeacon of Carlisle. Paley insisted that if one found a watch in an empty field, one would rightly conclude that it had a watchmaker because of its obvious design. Likewise, when one looks at the even more complex design of the world in which we live, one cannot but conclude that there is a great Designer behind it. Let us put the argument in summary form (ibid.). 1. A watch shows that it was put together for an intelligent purpose (to keep time): (a) It has a spring to give it motion. (b) It has a series of wheels to transmit this motion. (c) The wheels are made of brass so that they do not rust. (d) The spring is made of steel because of the resilience of that metal. (e) The front cover is of glass so that one can see through it. 2. The world shows an even greater evidence of design than a watch: (a) The world is a greater work of art than a watch. (b) The world has more subtle and complex design than a watch. (c) The world has an endless variety of means adapted to ends. 3. Therefore, if the existence of a watch implies a watchmaker, the existence of the world implies an even greater intelligent Designer (God)." (Geisler, N.L.*, "Teleological Argument," in "Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics," Baker Books: Grand Rapids MI, 1999, pp.714-715) 12/04/2003 "Paley's arguments for God and for Christianity still provide the backbone for much of contemporary apologetics. The only major difference is that we now have much more `meat' to put on the skeleton. With the discovery of evidence for an origin of the universe (see BIG BANG), Hume's infinite time has been scientifically eliminated. With the discovery of the anthropic principle it is evident that there is only one supernatural Mind behind the universe from the moment of its inception. Microbiology, with the incredible complexity of the DNA molecule (see EVOLUTION, CHEMICAL) adds dimensions of specified complexity and intelligent contrivance to Paley's argument that he never could have imagined." (Geisler, N.L.*, "Paley, William," in "Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics," Baker Books: Grand Rapids MI, 1999, pp.575-576) 12/04/2003 "An updated version of Paley's argument might go something like this: In crossing a valley, suppose I come upon a round stratified stone and were asked how it came to be such. I might plausibly answer that it was once laid down by water in layers which later solidified by chemical action. One day it broke from a larger section of rock and was subsequently rounded by the natural erosion processes of tumbling in water. I come upon Mount Rushmore with its granite forms of four human faces. Here are obvious signs of intelligent production, not the result of natural processes. Yet why should a natural cause serve for the stone but not for the faces? When we inspect the faces on the mountain we perceive what we could not discover in the stone-that they manifest intelligent contrivance. They convey specifically complex information. The stone, on the other hand, has redundant patterns or strata easily explainable by the observed process of sedimentation. But the faces have sharply defined, complex features. Experience leads us to conclude that such shapes only occur when made by intelligent artisans (see Geisler, Origin Science, 159)." (Geisler, N.L.*, "Paley, William" in "Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics," Baker Books: Grand Rapids MI, 1999, p.575) 12/04/2003 "But exactly where, we may ask, was Paley refuted? Who has answered his argument? How was the watch produced without an intelligent designer? It is surprising but true that the main argument of the discredited Paley has actually never been refuted. Neither Darwin nor Dawkins, neither science nor philosophy, has explained how an irreducibly complex system such as a watch might be produced without designer. Instead Paley's argument has been sidetracked by attacks or its injudicious examples and off-the-point theological discussions. Paley, of course, is to blame for not framing his argument more tightly. But many of Paley's detractors are also to blame for refusing to engage his main point, playing dumb in order to reach a more palatable conclusion." (Behe, M.J.*, "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution," , Free Press: New York NY, 10th Anniversary Edition, 2006, p.213) 12/04/2003 "It may be that some things are so highly unusual and coincidental that, when viewed in connection with the moral or theological context in which they occurred, the label `miracle' is the most appropriate one for the happening. Let us call this kind of supernaturally guided event a second class miracle, that is, one whose natural process can be described scientifically (and perhaps even reduplicated by humanly controlled natural means) but whose end product in the total picture is best explained by invoking the supernatural. Providing that the theist can offer some good reasons (by virtue of the moral or theological context of the event) for not accepting a purely natural explanation, then there is no reason to rule out the evidential value of such unusual natural events." (Geisler, N.L.*, "Christian Apologetics," , Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Ninth Printing, 1995, p.277) 13/04/2003 "Several years ago I had my deposition taken by an ACLU lawyer in preparation for the trial dealing with the Louisiana law requiring balanced treatment of creation and evolution in public schools. ... The attorney's second question indicated that my belief that a supernatural cause is required to explain the origin of life cannot be scientific, since it is not falsifiable. I responded that one may easily falsify my hypothesis of a supernatural origin of life by running a successful prebiotic simulation experiment in which a simple living system is assembled, under conditions which meaningfully simulate the early earth's biosphere, without undue investigator interference. Although such an experiment would not prove this was the actual biochemical path taken originally it would demonstrate that natural processes can produce the required complexity for a simple living system. However, falsifying a belief in a naturalistic origin of life is far more difficult, I explained, because an unsuccessful experiment proves only that a given pathway would not work. But an infinite number of pathways could be proposed." (Bradley, W.L.*, "Foreword," in Geisler, N.L.* & Anderson, J.K.*, "Origin Science: A Proposal for the Creation-Evolution Controversy," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1987, pp.7-8). 13/04/2003 "I would like to add in this connection that I think we forget at times that even almost to the end, Charles Darwin was also troubled, I suspect, in the back of his mind by some of these very problems that still concern us. He used to say that the intricacies of the human eye gave him cold shudders. In connection with some of these obscure problems of related mutations, or variations that have to be related almost from the beginning in order to be effective, he was not as confident in some of his expressions as the neo- Darwinists." (Eiseley, L.C., "Introduction to the Conference," 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.3). 13/04/2003 "An alternative to assuming an ensemble of universes in time is to suppose that there is only one universe, which is infinite in spatial extent. Almost all of the cosmos would be close to equilibrium (no structure or organization) but, here and there, oases of order would appear spontaneously out of the chaos, by chance fluctuations. The distances between the oases would be inconceivably great, of course but life and conscious observers could only form within an oasis, so all observers of this universe would necessarily perceive order. ... This pattern of reasoning-that observers select a highly atypical universe from among a vast number of alternatives-is known as the weak anthropic principle. The idea has been attacked on a number of philosophical and physical grounds. First it is, in a sense, too successful. By allowing nature to realize all possibilities, anything at all might be 'explained'. Indeed, we might need no science at all. It is merely necessary to make a case that such-and-such a feature is indispensible to human existence and, hey presto, it is explained." (Davies, P.C.W., "God and the New Physics," , Penguin: London, 1990, reprint, pp.172-173). 14/04/2003 "Viruses are subcellular parasites that are incapable of a free living existence but that invade and infect cells and redirect their host's synthetic machinery toward the production of more viruses. Viruses cannot carry on all of the functions required for independent existence and must therefore depend for most of their needs on the cells they invade. ... Despite their morphological diversity, viruses are chemically quite simple. Most viruses consist of little more than a coat (or capsid) of protein surrounding a core that contains one or more molecules of either RNA or DNA, depending on the type of virus. ... The question is sometimes asked whether or not viruses are living. The answer depends crucially on what we mean by `living' ... The most fundamental properties of living things are metabolism (cellular reactions organized into coherent pathways), irritability (perception of, and response to, environmental stimuli), and the ability to reproduce. Viruses clearly do not satisfy the first two criteria. Outside their host cells, viruses are inert and inactive. They can, in fact, be isolated and crystallized almost like a chemical compound. It is only in an appropriate host cell that a virus becomes functional, undergoing a cycle of synthesis and assembly that gives rise to more viruses. Even the ability of viruses to reproduce has to be qualified carefully. A basic tenet of the cell theory is that cells arise only from preexisting cells, but this is not true of viruses. No virus can give rise to another virus by any sort of self-duplication process. Rather, the virus must subvert the metabolic and genetic machinery of the host cell, reprogramming it for synthesis of the proteins necessary to package the DNA or RNA molecules that arise by copying the genetic information of the parent virus. It is only in a genetic sense that one can think of viruses as living at all. Another fundamental property of living things is the capability of specifying and directing the genetic composition of progeny-an ability that viruses clearly possess. It is probably most helpful to think of viruses as `quasi-living,' satisfying part but not all of the basic definition of life." (Becker, W.M., Kleinsmith, L.J. & Hardin, J., , "The World of the Cell," Benjamin/Cummings: San Francisco CA, Fourth Edition, 2000, pp.102-103) 14/04/2003 "Darwin's argument certainly seems logical. Is there any evidence that Darwin was right? Can nature select as well as man? Answer: There is considerable evidence that Darwin was indeed correct about natural selection. Perhaps the best example of Darwinian selection is the one that's in all the biology textbooks: the peppered moths. ... Well, the peppered moths do seem to provide strong evidence of natural selection. But is that evidence of evolution? Notice I've changed the question. That's a key point. First I asked if there was any evidence that Darwin was correct about natural selection. The answer quite simply, is, `Yes, there is.' But now I'm asking a radically different question, `Is there any evidence for evolution?' Many people say, `Isn't that the same question? Aren't natural selection and evolution the same thing?' Answer: NO, absolutely not." (Morris, H.M.* & Parker, G.E.*, "What is Creation Science?," , Master Books: El Cajon CA, Revised, 1987, pp.78-81. Emphasis in original) 14/04/2003 "According to creationists, natural selection is just one of the processes that operate in our present world to insure that the created types can indeed spread throughout the earth in all its ecologic and geographic variety. As a matter of fact, 24 years before Darwin's publication, a scientist named Edward Blyth published the concept of natural selection in the context of creation. He saw it as a process that adapted varieties of the created types to changing environments. A book reviewer once asked, rather naively, if creationists could accept the concept of natural selection. The answer is, `Of course. We thought of it first' (See Leslie, 1984). But if natural selection is such a profound idea, and Blyth published it before Darwin, then why isn't Blyth's name a household word? Perhaps because he was a creationist. It was not principally the scientific applications of natural selection that attracted attention in 1859; it was its presumed philosophic and religious implications. Evolutionists were not content to treat natural selection as simply an observable ecological process." (Morris, H.M.* & Parker, G.E.*, "What is Creation Science?," , Master Books: El Cajon CA, Revised, 1987, p.82. Emphasis original) 14/04/2003 "Another weakness of the anthropic argument is that it seems the very antithesis of Occam's razor, according to which the most plausible of a possible set of explanations is that which contains the simplest ideas and least number of assumptions. To invoke an infinity of other universes just to explain one is surely carrying excess baggage to cosmic extremes, not to mention the fact that all but a minute proportion of these other universes go unobserved (except by God perhaps)." (Davies, P.C.W., "God and the New Physics," , Penguin: London, 1990, reprint, p.173)" (Davies, P.C.W., "God and the New Physics," , Penguin: London, 1990, reprint, p.173) 14/04/2003 "G.K. Chesterton once said that `behind every double standard lies a single hidden agenda'. Advocates of descent have used demarcation arguments to erect double standards against design, suggesting that the real methodological criterion they have in mind is naturalism. Of course for many the equation of science with the strictly materialistic or naturalistic is not at all a hidden agenda. Scientists generally treat `naturalistic' as perhaps the most important feature of their enterprise. Clearly, if naturalism is regarded as a necessary feature of all scientific hypotheses, then design will not be considered a scientific hypothesis. But must all scientific hypotheses be entirely naturalistic? Must scientific origins theories, in particular, limit themselves to materialistic causes? Thus far none of the arguments advanced in support of a naturalistic definition of science has provided a non-circular justification for such a limitation." (Meyer, S.C.*, "The Methodological Equivalence of Design & Descent: Can There be a Scientific `Theory of Creation'?" in Moreland, J.P.*, ed., "The Creation Hypothesis: Scientific Evidence for an Intelligent Designer," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1994, pp.100-101) 14/04/2003 "Nevertheless, the many-universe theorists concede that the 'other worlds' of their theory can never, even in principle, be inspected. Travel between quantum 'branches' is forbidden. Moreover, the ordered regions in the infinite or oscillating model universes are separated by such huge expanses of space or time that no observer can ever verify or refute empirically the existence of the many universes. It is hard to see how such a purely theoretical construct can ever be used as an explanation, in the scientific sense, of a feature of nature. Of course, one might find it easier to believe in an infinite array of universes than in an infinite Deity, but such a belief must rest on faith rather than observation." (Davies, P.C.W., "God and the New Physics," , Penguin: London, 1990, reprint, pp.173-174. Emphasis original) 15/04/2003 "Like ships passing in the night, creationists and evolutionists continue on their own separate courses, each believing the other is headed in the wrong direction. Evolutionists claim creationist views are not science but religion. Creationists respond in kind, calling evolution a myth or a religion. Evolutionists claim creation is not science because it interjects the supernatural into natural science. Creationists respond by claiming evolution is incurably and unjustifiably naturalistic. On and on the battle goes, with little common ground and, on the popular level, almost no understanding of what the opposing party believes. It is the thesis of this book that the misunderstanding arises in part because of the confusion of different kinds of science. Science as normally understood deals with regularities, that is, with regularly recurring patterns of events against which theories can be tested. Thus a theory can be falsified or proven wrong if it does not measure up against the regularly recurring patterns in nature. Usually these regular patterns are observable in the present (e.g., the law of gravity). At other times these patterns occurred in the past and must be assumed by way of the principle of uniformity (which says "the present is the key to the past"). Direct observation of the regular pattern is not necessary so long as there is such a pattern and so long as the theory can in some way be measured against it. But not all science deals with regular recurring patterns in the present or past. Some events of significance to scientists are singularities. These are unique events which so far as can be ascertained happened only once, or at least are not recurring." (Geisler, N.L.* & Anderson, J.K.*, "Origin Science: A Proposal for the Creation-Evolution Controversy," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1987, p.13) 15/04/2003 "The great events of origin were singularities. The origin of the universe is not recurring. Nor is the origin of life, or the origin of major new forms of life. These are past singularities over which creationists and evolutionists debate. Evolutionists posit a secondary natural cause for them; creationists argue for a supernatural primary cause. The proposal of this book is that both `evolutionist' and `creationist' views (see appendix 2) on origin should be brought into the domain of singularity science about the past and that each should be judged by the principles of that kind of science. Such a science about past singularities will be called `science of origin' (Geisler 1983a, 135), or `origin science' (Thaxton, Bradley, and Olsen 1984, 204). It will be differentiated from science about present regularities (called operation science) in that the latter focuses on a recurring pattern of events in the present against which its theories can be tested; the former does not." (Geisler, N.L.* & Anderson, J.K.*, "Origin Science: A Proposal for the Creation-Evolution Controversy," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1987, p.15) 15/04/2003 "So concluding design or intelligent activity after scientific examination of some object or process is not unscientific in the slightest. ... The real objection arises, however, when the design or intelligent activity postulated is divine. Appeals to divine intelligent activity are often pejoratively labeled `God of the gaps' explanation ... many argue that any reference to the supernatural in science is illegitimate in principle. ... But such objections do not seem compelling. If there are no gaps in the fabric of natural causation, then obviously appeal to divine activity will get us off track. On the other hand, if there are such gaps, refusing on principle to recognize them within science will equally get us off track. We should perhaps be wary of both ways of going wrong. If in our intellectual endeavors we are attempting to get at truth as best we can, then if we have rational reason-from whatever source-to believe that God has taken a hand in the origin or ongoing operation of the cosmos, arbitrarily excluding that belief needs some justification." (Ratzsch, D.L.*, "The Battle of Beginnings: Why Neither Side is Winning the Creation-Evolution Debate," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove, IL, 1996, pp.193-194. Emphasis original) 15/04/2003 "Whenever historical accounts of the Bible are called in question on the basis of alleged disagreement with the findings of archaeology or the testimony of ancient non-Hebrew documents, always remember that the Bible is itself an archaeological document of the highest caliber. It is simply crass bias for critics to hold that whenever a pagan record disagrees with the biblical account, it must be the Hebrew author that was in error. Pagan kings practiced self-laudatory propaganda, just as their modern counterparts do; and it is incredibly naive to suppose that simply because a statement was written in Assyrian cuneiform or Egyptian hieroglyphics it was more trustworthy and factual than the Word of God composed in Hebrew. No other ancient document in the B.C. period affords so many clear proofs of accuracy and integrity as does the Old Testament; so it is a violation of the rules of evidence to assume that the Bible statement is wrong every time it disagrees with a secular inscription or manuscript of some sort. Of all the documents known to man, only the Hebrew-Greek Scriptures have certified their accuracy and divine authority by a pattern of prediction and fulfillment completely beyond the capabilities of man and possible only for God." (Archer G.L.*, "Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1982, pp.16-17) 16/04/2003 "Ad Hominem Arguments. A person with the wrong motives may have the right answer. Be careful about ad hominem arguments, which attack the person making the argument instead of the argument itself. (Ad hominem is Latin for "to the man. ") Attacking somebody as a creationist, or an atheist, is often a way of distracting attention from valid arguments that person has to offer. On the other hand, it is not necessarily irrelevant or unfair to point out that a person has a bias. ... His bias is relevant, but it doesn't necessarily mean he is wrong. That depends on the evidence. In almost every disputed matter there is a problem of bias on both sides, and it's legitimate to bring this out. Bible believers may be reluctant to credit evidence that seems to contradict some passage in the Bible, and atheists may be reluctant to credit evidence that seems to suggest that natural selection can't do all Darwin claimed for it. ... Scientists may be biased in favor of theories that make their work important and hence tend to increase their funding. In this imperfect world an ad hominem argument sometimes performs the legitimate function of showing that a person has a bias and hence that his or her arguments should be examined carefully. The argument is misused if it does more than that, causing us to ignore worthwhile arguments because of what we think of the person making them. The point is to recognize and acknowledge bias, and then get beyond it to evaluate the evidence fairly." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1997, pp.40-41) 17/04/2003 "The first New York Times story on the Kansas decision quoted me as saying that this is the science educators' `Vietnam.' What I meant by this is that in the first place they have a determined adversary who is not going to surrender. They're not gaining ground. That's what the polls show, and that is why there is so much worry. If the enemy keeps on fighting, he wears you down. The second thing is that it is an adversary--that is, the anti- Darwinists--that can appeal to the liberal values of a lot of their opponents, just as the Viet Cong appealed to the anti-imperialist sentiments of the American public. The adversary can say, Let's hear both sides, let's have an open discussion, you don't know the majority position unless you have heard it effectively challenged, and so on. Already the polls show that two- thirds of the public favors something of the `teach both sides, teach the controversy' direction. The Kansas decision is certainly going to encourage other states and localities to do something like this." (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) 17/04/2003 "The known fossil record fails to document a single example of phyletic evolution accomplishing a major morphologic transition and hence offers no evidence that the gradualistic model can be valid. Evaluations of overall genetic distance, which ignore the fact that large evolutionary steps result from a very small number of regulatory changes, have little bearing on the distribution of morphologic changes within phylogeny." (Stanley, S.M., "Macroevolution: Pattern and Process," , The Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore MD, 1998, reprint, p.39) 17/04/2003 "How will all of this end? I suspect there will be an evolutionary ending. As future generations acquire more knowledge through education, simplistic answers based on belief will be come increasingly unsatisfying. Those religions that cannot reconcile their beliefs with advancing scientific knowledge and common sense will lose followers to the more flexible, less dogmatic religions. Religions, after all, are themselves subject to evolution. The religions that are unable to adapt will leave no offspring, so to speak, and eventually will become extinct. ... In 1859 Darwin completed the Copernican revolution by removing humans from center stage. By 1900, most of the scientific world was convinced of the validity of the theory of evolution. It is just a matter of time before this fruitful concept comes to be accepted by the public as wholeheartedly as it has accepted the spherical Earth and the Sun-centered solar system." (Berra, T.M., "Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: A Basic Guide to the Facts in the Evolution Debate," Stanford University Press: Stanford CA, 1990, pp.143-144) 17/04/2003 "I had spent the first part of our interview peppering Craig with objections and arguments challenging the empty tomb. But I suddenly realized that I hadn't given him the opportunity to spell. out his affirmative case. While he had already alluded to several reasons why he believes Jesus' tomb was unoccupied, I said, `Why don't you give me your best shot? Convince me with your top four or five reasons that the empty tomb is a historical fact.' Craig rose to the challenge. One by one he spelled out his arguments concisely and powerfully. `First,' he said, `the empty tomb is definitely implicit in the early tradition that is passed along by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15, which is a very old and reliable source of historical information about Jesus. `Second, the site of Jesus: tomb was known to Christian and Jew alike. So if it weren't empty, it would be impossible for a movement founded on belief in the Resurrection to have come into existence in the same city where this man had been publicly executed and buried `Third, we can tell from the language, grammar, and style that Mark got his empty tomb story-actually, his whole passion narrative-from an earlier source. In fact, there's evidence it was written before A.D. 37, which is much too early for legend to have seriously corrupted it. `A. N. Sherwin-White, the respected Greco-Roman classical historian from Oxford University, said it would have been without precedent anywhere in history for leg end to have grown up that fast and significantly distorted the gospels. `Fourth, there's the simplicity of the empty tomb story in Mark. Fictional apocryphal accounts from the second century contain all kinds of flowery narratives, in which Jesus comes out of the tomb in glory and power, with everybody seeing him, including the priests, Jewish authorities, and Roman guards. Those are the way leg ends read, but these don't come until generations after the events, which is after eyewitnesses have died off. By contrast, Mark's account of the story of the empty tomb is stark in its simplicity and unadorned by theological reflection. `Fifth, the unanimous testimony that the empty tomb was discovered by women argues for the authenticity of the story, because this would have been embarrassing for the disciples to admit and most certainly would have been covered up if this were a legend. `Sixth, the earliest Jewish polemic presupposes the historicity of the empty tomb. In other words, there was nobody who was claiming that the tomb still contained Jesus' body. The question always was, 'What happened to the body?' ... I would argue that the hypothesis that God raised Jesus from the dead is not at all improbable. In fact, based on the evidence, it's the best explanation for what happened." (Craig, W.L.*, "The Evidence of the Missing Body," in Strobel, L.P.*, "The Case For Christ: A Journalist's Personal Testimony of the Evidence for Jesus," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1998, pp.296-297, 299). 18/04/2003 "What do we mean by `natural selection' Darwin had a perfectly clear concept of it. He emphasized again and again that various individuals of a population differ from each other in countless ways and that the nature of these differences had a decisive influence on the evolutionary potential of their bearers. An individual that may `vary however slightly in any manner profitable to itself under the complex and sometimes varying conditions of life, will have a better chance of surviving, and thus be naturally selected.' Unfortunately, Darwin sometimes also used Spencer's slogan, `survival of the fittest,' and has therefore been accused of tautological (circular) reasoning: `What will survive? The fittest. What are the fittest? Those that survive.' To say that this is the essence of natural selection is nonsense! To be sure, those individuals that have the most offspring are by definition (Lerner 1959) the fittest ones." (Mayr, E.W., "Animal Species and Evolution," The Belknap Press: Cambridge MA, 1963, p.183). 18/04/2003 "The date was November 8, 1981. It was a Sunday. I locked myself in my home office and spent the afternoon replaying the spiritual journey I had been traveling for twenty-one months. My investigation into Jesus was similar to What you've just read, except that I primarily studied books and other historical research instead of personally interacting with scholars. I had asked questions and analyzed answers with as much of an open mind as I could muster. Now I had reached critical mass. The evidence was clear. The one remaining issue was what I would do with it. Pulling out a legal pad, I began listing the questions I had posed as I embarked on my investigation, and some of the key facts I had uncovered. In a similar way, I could sum up the substance of what we've learned in our own examination of the evidence. ... The atheism I had embraced for so long buckled under the weight of historical truth. It was a stunning and radical outcome, certainly not what I had anticipated when I embarked on this investigative process. But it was, in my opinion, a decision compelled by the facts. All of which led me to the `So what?' question. If this is true, what difference does it make? There were several obvious implications. ... I remember writing out these implications on my legal pad and then leaning back in my chair. I had reached the culmination of my nearly two-year journey. It was finally time to deal with the most pressing question of all: `Now what?' ... After a personal investigation that spanned more than six hundred days and countless hours, my own verdict in the case for Christ was clear. However, as I sat at my desk, I realized that I needed more than an intellectual decision. I wanted to take the experiential step .... Looking for a way to bring that about, I reached over to a Bible and opened it to John 1:12, a verse I had encountered during my investigation: `Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.' The key verbs in that verse spell out with mathematical precision what it takes to go beyond mere mental assent to Jesus' deity and enter into an ongoing relationship with him by becoming adopted into God's family: believe + receive = become.' ... All this I now believed. The evidence of history and of my own experience was too strong to ignore. ... So on November 8, 1981, I talked with God in a heartfelt and unedited prayer, admitting and turning from my wrongdoing, and receiving the gift of forgiveness and eternal life through Jesus. I told him that with his help I wanted to follow him and his ways from here on out. There were no lightning bolts, no audible replies, no tingly sensations. I know that some people feel a rush of emotion at such a moment; as for me, however, there was something else that was equally exhilarating: there was the rush of reason." (Strobel, L.P.*, "The Case For Christ: A Journalist's Personal Testimony of the Evidence for Jesus," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1998, p.349, 360-363) 18/04/2003 "In the remainder of this section, we describe the most widely favored scenario for the origin of life. Keep in mind, however, that there are valid scientific objections to this scenario as well as to the several others that have been seriously entertained so that we are far from certain as to how life arose." (Voet D. & Voet J.G., "Biochemistry," John Wiley & Sons: New York, Second Edition, 1995, p.21. Emphasis original) 19/04/2003 "Clamorous Insistence on Irrelevancies `red herring' One way of hiding the weakness of a position is to draw noisy and insistent attention to a side- issue. The side-issue may be the character of an opponent, who is damned vigorously while the argument gets lost in personalities (see #20). Or it may be some movement or group that serves as a whipping post. This, the red-herring technique, is the tactic of the familiar speaker who, instead of meeting the real question, turns his talk into an attack on international communism, or Wall Street, or whatever else will deflect the attention of the audience. Such speakers often lose all sense of proportion, they pettifog, they make much of little and little of much. They talk of anything except the issue, at great length, with much noise and sawing of the air. We all are addicted to this fallacy. It is, of necessity, the patron saint of those being overwhelmed in argument." (Fearnside, W.W. & Holther, W.B., "Fallacy: The Counterfeit of Argument," Prentice- Hall: Englewood Cliffs NJ, 1959, Eleventh printing, pp.124-125. Emphasis original) 21/04/2003 "Some single-celled animals have a light-sensitive spot with a little pigment screen behind it. The screen shields it from light coming from one direction, which gives it some 'idea' of where the light is coming from. Among many- celled animals, various types of worm and some shellfish have a similar arrangement, but the pigment-backed light- sensitive cells are set in a little cup. This gives slightly better direction-finding capability, since each cell is selectively shielded from light rays coming into the cup from its own side. In a continuous series from flat sheet of light-sensitive cells, through shallow cup to deep cup, each step in the series, however small (or large) the step, would be an optical improvement. Now, if you make a cup very deep and turn the sides over, you eventually make a lensless pinhole camera. There is a continuously graded series from shallow cup to pinhole camera ... A pinhole camera forms a definite image, the smaller the pinhole the sharper (but dimmer) the image, the larger the pinhole the brighter (but fuzzier) the image. ... When you have a cup for an eye, almost any vaguely convex, vaguely transparent or even translucent material over its opening will constitute an improvement, because of its slight lens-like properties. It collects light over its area and concentrates it on a smaller area of retina. Once such a crude proto-lens is there, there is a continuously graded series of improvements, thickening it and making it more transparent and less distorting, the trend culminating in what we would all recognize as a true lens." (Dawkins, R., "The Blind Watchmaker," , Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, pp.85-86) 21/04/2003 "One argument often raised against the kind of gradualism described by both Darwin and Dawkins is that a highly complex, integrated organ such as the human eye could not have evolved by a step-by-step process. Rather, it must have required the coordinated integration of all its parts, their evolving in synchrony, so as to produce the fully functioning organ. Dawkins dismisses such an objection as totally groundless:- `Vision that is 5% as good as yours or mine is very much worth having in comparison with no vision at all.' (Dawkins 1988, p. 81). and:- `A simple, rudimentary, half-cocked eye...is better than none at all. Without an eye you are totally blind.' (p. 41) The above two statements by Dawkins are, of course, correct. Few would disagree that a poor eye is better than no eye at all. But Dawkins is, I believe, confusing the real issue for he also says `...part of an eye is better than no eye at all.' (p. 85) and `An ancient animal with 5% of an eye ... used it for 5% vision.' (p. 81) Recalling that the issue is about trying to explain how to get an improved eye, then both of the last two statements by Dawkins are clearly incorrect. He fails to distinguish between a crude eye that actually sees (however crudely) and something that represents just part of an eye that of itself is incapable of seeing anything. Even the crudest or most primitive eye is an achieving system, i.e. it seesto some limited degree (hence we call it an eye). But part of an eye is not a going concern and therefore cannot be placed within a seamless continuum of increasing seeing function (i.e. as in both Dawkins' and Darwin's gradualism) which could be open to selection." (Broom, N.*, "What is Natural Selection?: A Plea for Clarification," International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design, 2003, pp.4-5) 21/04/2003 "Stephen Jay Gould asked himself `the excellent question, What good is 5 per cent of an eye?,' [Gould, S.J., "The Problem of Perfection," in "Ever Since Darwin," Penguin: London, 1991, p.107] and speculated that the first eye parts might have been useful for something other than sight. Richard Dawkins responded that: `An ancient animal with 5 per cent of an eye might indeed have used it for something other than sight, but it seems to me as likely that it used it for 5 per cent vision. And actually I don't think it is an excellent question. Vision that is 5 per cent as good as yours or mine is very much worth having in comparison with no vision at all. So is 1 per cent vision better than total blindness. And 6 per cent is better than 5, 7 per cent better than 6, and so on up the gradual, continuous series.' [Dawkins, R., "The Blind Watchmaker," Norton: New York, 1986, p.81] The fallacy in that argument is that `5 per cent of an eye' is not the same thing as `5 per cent of normal vision.' For an animal to have any useful vision at all, many complex parts must be working together. Even a complete eye is useless unless it belongs to a creature with the mental and neural capacity to make use of the information by doing something that furthers survival or reproduction. What we have to imagine is a chance mutation that provides this complex capacity all at once, at a level of utility sufficient to give the creature an advantage in producing offspring." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," , InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second edition, 1993, pp.34-35) 21/04/2003 "In a recent essay in COMMENTARY, `Has Darwin Met His Match?' (December 2002), I discussed, evaluated, and criticized theories of intelligent design, which have presented the latest challenge to Darwin's theory of evolution. In the course of the discussion I observed that the evolution of the mammalian eye has always seemed difficult to imagine. It is an issue that Darwin himself raised, and although he settled the matter to his own satisfaction, biologists have long wished for a direct demonstration that something like a functional eye could be formed in reasonable periods of time by means of the Darwinian principles of random variation and natural selection. Just such a demonstration, I noted in my essay, is what the biologists Dan-Erik Nilsson and Susanne Pelger seemed to provide in a 1994 paper. (1) Given nothing more than time and chance, a `light-sensitive patch,' they affirmed, can `gradually turn into a focused-lens eye,' and in the space of only a few hundred thousand years--a mere moment, as such things go. Nilsson and Pelger's paper has, for understandable reasons, been widely circulated and widely praised, and in the literature of evolutionary biology it is now regularly cited as definitive. Not the least of its remarkable authority is derived from the belief that it contains, in the words of one of its defenders, a `computer simulation of the eye's evolution.' If this were true, it would provide an extremely important defense of Darwin's theory. ... And not just scientific importance, I might add; so dramatic a confirmation of Darwinian theory carries large implications for our understanding of the human species and its origins. This is no doubt why the story of Nilsson and Pelger's computer simulation has spread throughout the world. Their study has been cited in essays, textbooks, and popular treatments of Darwinism like River Out of Eden by the famous Oxford evolutionist Richard Dawkins; accounts of it have made their way onto the Internet in several languages; it has been promoted to the status of a certainty and reported as fact in the press, where it is inevitably used to champion and vindicate Darwin's theory of evolution. In my essay, I suggested that Nilsson and Pelger's arguments are trivial and their conclusions unsubstantiated. I also claimed that representations of their paper by the scientific community have involved a serious, indeed a flagrant, distortion of their work. ... Still other questions suggest themselves. Although natural selection is mentioned by Nilsson and Pelger, it is a force that plays no role in their reasoning. Beyond saying that it `constantly favors an increase in the amount of detectable spatial information,' they say nothing at all. This is an ignominious omission in a paper defending Darwinian principles. ... FINALLY, THERE is the matter of Nilsson and Pelger's computer simulation, in many ways the gravamen of my complaints and the dessert of this discussion. ... Whatever the merits of computer simulation, however, they are beside the point in assessing Nilsson and Pelger's work. In its six pages, their paper contains no mention of the words `computer' or `simulation.' There are no footnotes indicating that a computer simulation of their work exists, and their bibliography makes no reference to any work containing such a simulation. ... ... and no computer simulation has been forthcoming from them in all the years since its initial publication. ... Dan-Erik Nilsson denies having based his work on any computer simulations ... Why, in the nine years since their work appeared, have Nilsson and Pelger never dissociated themselves from claims about their work that they know are unfounded? This may not exactly be dishonest, but it hardly elicits admiration. More seriously, what of the various masters of indignation, those who are usually so quick to denounce critics of Darwin's theory ... Why have they never found reason to bring up the matter of the mammalian eye and the computer simulation that does not exist? And what should we call such a state of affairs? I suggest that scientific fraud will do as well as any other term." (Berlinski, D.*, "A Scientific Scandal," Commentary, January 1, 2001) 21/04/2003 "Living systems have the ability to replicate themselves. The inherent complexity of such a process is such that no man made device has even approached having this capacity. Clearly there is but an infinitesimal probability that a collection of molecules can simply gather at random to form a living entity (the likelihood of a living cell forming spontaneously from simple organic chemicals has been said to be comparable to that of a modern jet aircraft being assembled by a tornado passing through a junkyard). How then did life arise? The answer, most probably, is that it was guided according to the Darwinian principle of the survival of the fittest as it applies at the molecular level." (Voet, D. & Voet, J.G., "Biochemistry," John Wiley & Sons: New York, Second Edition, 1995, p.22) 22/04/2003 "Darwin's prediction that the civilized races would soon exterminate not only the `lesser' races but also the higher apes is quoted from The Descent of Man (Princeton University Press ed., 1981), p. 201. Darwin was not a bloodthirsty imperialist but a scientist explaining that extinction by natural selection was responsible for the absence of intermediate forms and that the process could be expected to continue." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law, and Education," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1995, p.233) 22/04/2003 "Lastly I could show fight on natural selection having done and doing more for the progress of civilization than you seem inclined to admit. Remember what risk the nations of Europe ran, not so many centuries ago, of being overwhelmed by the Turks, and how ridiculous such an idea now is! The more civilized so-called Caucasian races have beaten the Turkish hollow in the struggle for existence. Looking to the world at no very distant date, what an endless number of the lower races will have been eliminated by the higher civilised races throughout the world." (Darwin, C.R., Letter to W. Graham, July 3rd, 1881, in Darwin F., ed., "The Life of Charles Darwin," , Senate: London, 1995, reprint, p.64) 22/04/2003 "Of course it would be idle to pretend that Darwin was not theologically heterodox as well. Determined to shield God from the pretensions of human science and the aspersions of the lower creation, he embraced a 'grander' theology which amounted to little more than deism. At length, having regarded nature for decades without 'a constant reference to a supreme intelligent Author', he could scarcely accept even this conception of God. All he could believe in was 'my deity, "Natural Selection"'. However, in committing himself thus to a causo-mechanical account of evolution, to 'material substance in nature' and 'empirical methods in natural science', Darwin revealed where his ultimate loyalties lay." (Moore, J.R., "The Post-Darwinian Controversies: A Study of the Protestant Struggle to Come to Terms with Darwin in Great Britain and America 1870-1900," , Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1981, reprint, pp.344) 22/04/2003 "There are, of course, difficulties in the theory of evolution. You raised a selection of the most serious ones. I agree with you that some processes, such as the evolution of the mammalian ear bones, probably occurred by sudden leaps. In most cases, for example those of hanging nests and aquatic spiders, we can find intermediates. It is never, however, necessary to postulate a leap which would imply prevision by a designer. That is why one finds no example of various mechanisms, such as the wheel and magnet, which would be useless till fairly perfect. Whereas structures half- way between a leg and a wing, for example the patagium of "flying squirrels," are useful." (Haldane, J.B.S., "Haldane to Dewar," in "Is Evolution A Myth?," C.A. Watts & Co. Ltd/The Paternoster Press: London, 1949 , p.90) 26/04/2003 "He then learned from his father and sisters that a letter (which they appear to have read) had arrived from Professor Henslow. Enclosed with it was another letter from George Peacock, a Cambridge mathematician and astronomer who was responsible for nominating naturalists to naval ships making surveys; in it he made that completely unexpected offer to young Darwin of the post of unpaid naturalist aboard HMS Beagle. Here was a bolt from the blue. He had never thought of himself as a serious naturalist, a professional naturalist, or indeed eligible for any scientific job; he was to be a clergy man." (Moorehead, A., "Darwin and the Beagle," , Penguin: Harmondsworth UK, 1971, p.30) 26/04/2003 "DR. C.H. WADDINGTON: I am a believer that some of the basic statements of neo-Darwinism are vacuous; and I think there is a confusion here, possibly, about whether we are talking about Darwinism or neoDarwinism. Dr. Medawar mentioned this phrase, `the survival of the fittest,' and it is a very elementary, old-fashioned, long outdated concept; but, of course, this is what Darwin was talking about. By `fittest,' he meant best able to carry out the functions of life, best adapted to some environmental situation and some way of life. By a fit horse, he meant a horse that could gallop fastest and escape best from wolves, or whatever it might be. That is a real theory which is perfectly capable of refutation. What has happened to it since, in the process of turning this into a lot of mathematics, is that `fitness' has been redefined, leaving out anything to do with way of life, simply in terms of leaving offspring. So the theory of neoDarwinism is a theory of the evolution of the changing of the population in respect to leaving offspring and not in respect to anything else. Nothing else is mentioned in the mathematical theory of neoDarwinism. It is smuggled in and everybody has in the back of his mind that the animals that leave the largest number of offspring are going to be those best adapted also for eating peculiar vegetation, or something of this sort; but this is not explicit in the theory. All that is explicit in the theory is hat they will leave more offspring. " (Waddington, C.H., "Discussion, Paper by Dr. Eden," 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, pp.13-14) 26/04/2003 "There, you do come to what is, in effect, a vacuous statement: Natural selection is that some things leave more offspring than others; and you ask, which leave more offspring than others; and it is those that leave more offspring; and there is nothing more to it than that. The whole real guts of evolution-which is, how do you come to have horses and tigers, and things- is outside the mathematical theory. So when people say that a thing is vacuous, I think they may be thinking of this part of it, this type of statement. The sheer mathematical statement is largely vacuous." (Waddington, C.H., "Discussion, Paper by Dr. Eden," 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.14) 27/04/2003 "And this was not the worst part. He embraced a terrifying materialism. Only months before he had concluded in his covert notebooks that the human mind, morality, and even belief in God were artefacts of the brain: 'love of the deity [is the] effect of organization, oh you Materialist!' he upbraided himself. Working through the implications gave him migraines, left him writhing on his sick bed, fearing persecution. ... He sat on his theory of evolution for twenty years, scarcely mooting his innermost thoughts about `monkey-men' and apes evolving morality, castigating himself as a 'Devil's Chaplain.'" (Desmond, A. & Moore, J., "Darwin," , Penguin: London, 1992, reprint, pp.xvi) 27/04/2003 "`What a book a Devil's Chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering low & horridly cruel works of nature!' [Darwin, C.R., letter 13 July 1856, to J.D. Hooker] Charles Darwin in 1856, about to start the Origin of Species" (Desmond, A. & Moore, J., "Darwin," , Penguin: London, 1992, reprint, pp.xiv, 716n) 28/04/2003 "I would also like to suggest that an opposite way to look at the genotype is as a generative algorithm and not as a blue-print; a sort of carefully spelled out and foolproof recipe for producing a living organism of the right kind if the environment in which it develops is a proper one. Assuming this to be so, the algorithm must be written in some abstract language. Molecular biology may well have provided us with the alphabet of this language, but it is a long step from the alphabet to understanding a language. Nevertheless a language has to have rules, and these are the strongest constraints on the set of possible messages. No currently existing formal language can tolerate random changes in the symbol sequences which express its sentences. Meaning is almost invariably destroyed. Any changes must be syntactically lawful ones. I would conjecture that what one might call "genetic grammaticality" has a deterministic explanation and does not owe its stability to selection pressure acting on random variation." (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.11. Emphasis original) 28/04/2003 "DR. WADDINGTON: Could I put your question upside down? You are asking, is there enough time for evolution to produce such complicated things as the eye? Let me put it the other way around: Evolution has produced such complicated things as the eye; can we deduce from this anything about the system by which it has been produced? One possible deduction would be that the thing worked by algorithms rather than by describing bits. Actually, we know something about the ways in which genes do make embryos and how the organs are put together. The genes do effectively act by means of instructions to carry out operations. But this means that in the whole of this sort of arithmetical question, you haven't begun to get numbers that have any meaning. I think you have got the question upside down. DR. ULAM: It is possible to fall here into pure teleology. If the idea of the code itself was invented by random mutations, one has our whole problem anew again. We have to watch out, as Dr. Eiseley pointed out, not to fall into infinite regress. The Chairman, DR. MEDAWAR: May I make a point here in support of what Waddington says? I think the way you have treated this is a curious inversion of what would normally be a scientific process of reasoning. It is, indeed, a fact that the eye has evolved. and, as Waddington says, the fact that it has done so shows that this formulation is, I think, a mistaken one. (Waddington, C.H., Medawar, P.B. & Ulam, S., "Discussion: Paper by Dr. Ulam," 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, pp.28-29) 28/04/2003 "What does all this mean to him who wants to simulate evolution with the help of the computer? I think it should mean one thing in particular, which is that the approach adopted should not be too simplistic. To be sure, one will have to start with a set of simplified assumptions and expand from them gradually; but in the end one would have to adopt for every set of factors a far greater range of extremes than was believed necessary or even possible only twenty years ago. Evolution, again and again, has resulted in unique phenomena and in startlingly unpredictable phenomena. If we set up our programs in too deterministic a manner, I am afraid we will never be able to arrive at a realistic interpretation of evolution." (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.54) 29/04/2003 ""I am in agreement with Mr. Gross when he refers to `new and astonishing evidence' about the origin of the eye. Herewith the facts. Halder, Callaerts, and Gehring's research group in Switzerland discovered that the ey gene in Drosophila is virtually identical to the genes controlling the development of the eye in mice and men. The doctrine of convergent evolution, long a Darwinian staple, may now be observed receding into the darkness. The same group's more recent paper, "Induction of Ectopic Eyes by Targeted Expression of the Eyeless Gene in Drosophila" (Science 267, 1988) is among the most remarkable in the history of biology, demonstrating as it does that the ey gene is related closely to the equivalent eye gene in Sea squirts (Ascidians), Cephalopods, and Nemerteans. This strongly suggests (the inference is almost irresistible) that ey function is universal (universal!) among multicellular organisms, the basic design of the eye having been their common property for over a half-billion years. The ey gene clearly is a master control mechanism, one capable of giving general instructions to very different organisms. No one in possession of these facts can imagine that they support the Darwinian theory. How could the mechanism of random variation and natural selection have produced an instrument capable of anticipating the course of morphological development and controlling its expression in widely different organisms?" (Berlinski, D.*, "Denying Darwin: David Berlinski and Critics" Commentary, September 1996, pp.28,30) 29/04/2003 "A second case in which Darwinians latched on to imperfections but underestimated costs was that of the eye. Far from being Panglossians, Darwinians were highly embarrassed by its apparent perfection; Darwin confessed that at one time the thought of it gave him a cold shudder (Darwin, F. 1887, ii, pp. 273, 296). And understandably. Its precision engineering seemed to support the utilitarian-creationist doctrine of a grand optic designer far better than the Darwinian assumption of ad hoc tinkering." (Cronin H., "The Ant and the Peacock: Altruism and Sexual Selection From Darwin To Today," , Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1993, reprint, p.69) 30/04/2003 "Matt Cartmill, president of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, weighs into the debate mostly on the side of humility in science. `Many scientists are atheists or agnostics who want to believe that the natural world they study is all there is, and being only human, they try to persuade themselves that science gives them the grounds for that belief,' he wrote in Discover magazine last year. `It's an honorable belief, but it isn't a research finding.' Some scientists try to make it so, however. At its 1997 annual symposium in New Orleans, the Society for Neuroscience heard about the `God module,' a spot in the brain that apparently produces religious feelings. The evidence came from the gold mine of brain research, the mentally damaged: patients with temporal lobe epilepsy have religious experiences in their seizures. Christian antievolutionist Johnson shot back: `You may be sure that scientific materialists will never discover a 'materialist module,' meaning a brain part that causes people to fantasize that they can explain the mind in strictly materialist terms." (Larson, E.J. & Witham, L., "Scientists and Religion in America," Scientific American, Vol. 281, No. 3, September 1999, pp.78-83, pp.81-82) 30/04/2003 "Faulty Dilemma. ... Here the opponent forces one into an either/or answer when the question has a third alternative. He says, `Accept this or that, both of which are contrary to your position,' but doesn't mention a third alternative. The key to avoiding the dilemma is simply to find the third alternative." (Geisler, N.L.* & Brooks R.M.* "Come, Let Us Reason: An Introduction to Logical Thinking," Baker Book House: Grand Rapids, MI, 1990, p.110) 30/04/2003 "Thus the peppered moth, Biston betularia, has evolved in the last hundred years from gray to black, but to the creationist Duane Gish, this is not really evolution: `These moths today not only are still moths, but they are still peppered moths, Biston betularia,' and no `real' evolutionary change occurred. " (Futuyma D.J., "Science on Trial: The Case for Evolution," Pantheon: New York NY, 1982, p.150) [top] May 1/05/03 "Evolution is a Fact and a Theory. Biologists consider evolution to be a fact in much the same way that physicists do so for gravity. However, the mechanisms of evolution are less well understood, and it is these mechanisms that are described by several theories of evolution." ("Biology and Evolutionary Theory," The Talk.Origins Archive: Evolution FAQs, 1999) 1/05/03 "The sequence of events came out quite clearly. In the Tertiary period, when flowering plaints had already become well established, a temperate flora covered much of northern extremities of all the continents, extending unbroken between Asia and North America in the Bering Strait region. With the advance of glaciers in the Northern hemisphere this homogeneous flora was driven southward and sundered into great branches, one in North America and one in Asia. After the glaciers receded, the temperate floras again moved northward mingling across the Bering Strait and with the cooling of the climate moved southward again to their present stations. Thus an unbroken series of causes and effects accounted for the striking disjunction of plants in eastern North America and eastern Asia. What had been an a priori case for the double creation of species was completely and convincingly destroyed. Common ancestry and a single center of creation was established as the more reasonable assumption." (Dupree, A.H., "Asa Gray: American Botanist, Friend of Darwin," , The Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore MD, 1988, reprint, p.250) 3/05/03 "Most educated people nowadays, I believe, think of themselves as Darwinians. If they do, however, it can only be from ignorance: from not knowing enough about what Darwinism says. For Darwinism says many things, especially about our species, which are too obviously false to be believed by any educated person; or at least by an educated person who retains any capacity at all for critical thought on the subject of Darwinism. Of course most educated people now are Darwinians, in the sense that they believe our species to have originated, not in a creative act of the Divine Will, but by evolution from other animals. But believing that proposition is not enough to make someone a Darwinian. It had been believed, as may be learnt from any history of biology, by very many people long before Darwinism, or Darwin, was born. What is needed to make someone an adherent of a certain school of thought is belief in all or most of the propositions which are peculiar to that school, and are believed either by all of its adherents, or at least by the more thoroughgoing ones. In any large school of thought, there is always a minority who adhere more exclusively than most to the characteristic beliefs of the school: they are the 'purists' or 'ultras' of that school. What is needed and sufficient, then, to make a person a Darwinian, is belief in all or most of the propositions which are peculiar to Darwinians, and believed either by all of them, or at least by ultra-Darwinians. I give below ten propositions which are all Darwinian beliefs in the sense just specified. Each of them is obviously false: either a direct falsity about our species or, where the proposition is a general one, obviously false in the case of our species, at least. Some of the ten propositions are quotations; all the others are paraphrases. The quotations are all from authors who are so well-known, at least in Darwinian circles, as spokesmen for Darwinism or ultra-Darwinism, that their names alone will be sufficient evidence that the proposition is a Darwinian one. Where the proposition is a paraphrase, I give quotations or other information which will, I think, suffice to establish its Darwinian credentials. My ten propositions are nearly in reverse historical order. Thus, I start from the present day, and from the inferno-scene - like something by Hieronymus Bosch - which the 'selfish gene' theory makes of all life. Then I go back a bit to some of the falsities which, beginning in the 1960s, were contributed to Darwinism by the theory of 'inclusive fitness'. And finally I get back to some of the falsities, more pedestrian though no less obvious, of the Darwinism of the 19th or early-20th century." (Stove, D.C., "So You Think You Are a Darwinian?," The Royal Institute of Philosophy," Philosophy, 69, 1994, pp.267-277) 3/05/03 "1. The truth is, 'the total prostitution of all animal life, including Man and all his airs and graces, to the blind purposiveness of these minute virus-like substances', genes. This is a thumbnail-sketch, and an accurate one, of the contents of The Selfish Gene (1976) by Richard Dawkins. It was not written by Dawkins, but he quoted it with manifest enthusiasm in a defence of The Selfish Gene which he wrote in this journal in 1981. Dawkins' status, as a widely admired spokesman for ultra-Darwinism, is too well- known to need evidence of it adduced here. His admirers even include some philosophers who have carried their airs and graces to the length of writing good books on such rarefied subjects as universals, or induction, or the mind. Dawkins can scarcely have gratified these admirers by telling them that, even when engaged in writing those books, they were 'totally prostituted to the blind purposiveness of their genes Still, you 'have to hand it' to genes which can write, even if only through their slaves, a good book on subjects like universals or induction. Those genes must have brains all right, as well as purposes. At least, they must, if genes can have brains and purposes. But in fact, of course, DNA molecules no more have such things than H2O molecules do." (Stove, D.C., "So You Think You Are a Darwinian?," The Royal Institute of Philosophy," Philosophy, 69, 1994, pp.267-277. Emphasis original) 3/05/03 "Creationism. General meaning: affirms that the universe is a creation of God, and hence that a world-view such as naturalism is untrue. Young earth creationism: the belief that the earth and universe are less than about 15,000 years old. This is commonly connected with the calendar day interpretation of Genesis 1. Some adherents of the Calendar Day view, however, do not take a position on the age of the earth; and some adherents of the other views do not require that the earth be "old." Old earth creationism: creationism that allows that the natural sciences accurately conclude that the universe is "old" (i.e. millions or even billions of years). Two sub- categories of old-earth creationism: - theistic evolution: belief that natural processes sustained by God's ordinary providence are God's means of bringing about life and humanity. - progressive creationism: belief that second causes sustained by God's providence are not the whole story, but that instead God has added supernatural, creative actions to the process, corresponding to the fiats of Genesis 1. Some confusion can arise because progressive creationists vary in the degree of biological change they are willing to countenance in between the creative events. The progressive creationists and the young earth creationists agree on a key point: namely that natural processes and ordinary providence are not adequate to explain the world. They both fall into the category of supernatural creationists or special creationists." ("Report of the Creation Study Committee," Presbyterian Church in America: Atlanta GA, 2000) 4/05/03 "Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day, 3 as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day. (Josephus, Flavius, "Jewish Antiquities," 18.3.3, in "The New Complete Works of Josephus," Whiston, W., transl., Kregel Publications: Grand Rapids MI, Revised Edition, 1999, p.590) 4/05/03 "In a disputed text, Josephus gives a brief description of Jesus and his mission: `Now there was about this, time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works,-a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him. For he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day, [Antiquities 18.3.3]' This passage was cited by Eusebius in its present form (Ecclesiastical History 1.11) and the manuscript evidence favors it. Yet it is widely considered to be an interpolation, since it is unlikely that Josephus, a Jew, would affirm that Jesus was the Messiah and had been proven so by fulfilled prophecy, miraculous deeds, and the resurrection from the dead. Even "Origin [sic] says that Josephus did not believe Jesus to be the Messiah, nor proclaim him as such" (Contra Celsus 2.47; 2.13; Bruce, 108). F.F. Bruce suggests that the phrase "if indeed we should call him a man" may indicate that the text is authentic but that Josephus is writing with tongue in cheek in sarcastic reference to Christian belief that Jesus is the Son of God (Bruce, 109). Other scholars have suggested amending the text in ways that preserve its authenticity without the implication that Josephus personally accepted that Christ was the Messiah (see Bruce, 110- 11). It may be that a tenth-century Arabic text (see McDowell, 85) reflects the original intent: `At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good and [he] was known to be virtuous. Many people from among the Jews and other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive; accordingly, he was perhaps the Messiah concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders. In this form it does not affirm that Josephus believed in the resurrection but only that his disciples `reported' it. This would at least reflect an honest report of what his immediate disciples believed. Bruce observes that there is good reason for believing that Josephus did refer to Jesus bearing witness to his date, reputation, family connections to James, crucifixion under Pilate at the instigation of the Jewish leaders, messianic claim, founding of the church, and the conviction among his followers of the resurrection." (Geisler, N.L.*, "Flavius Josephus," in "Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics," Baker Books: Grand Rapids MI, 1999, p.254) 4/05/03 "2. 'it is, after all, to [a mother's] advantage that her child should be adopted' by another woman.' This quotation is from Dawkins' The Selfish Gene, p. 110. Obviously false though this proposition is, from the point of view of Darwinism it is well-founded, for the reason which Dawkins gives on the same page: that another woman's adopting her baby 'releases a rival female from the burden of child-rearing, and frees her to have another child more quickly.' This, you will say, is a grotesque way of looking at human life; and so, of course, it is. But it is impossible to deny that it is the Darwinian way." (Stove, D.C., "So You Think You Are a Darwinian?," The Royal Institute of Philosophy," Philosophy, 69, 1994, pp.267-277) 4/05/03 "Scientists almost invariably overstate the case for evolution, and creationists have as much access to the critical literature as any one else. But when it comes to defending their own theory, creationists do not have a strong case in terms of biblical scholarship or for a recent creation of the earth. And yet the creationists are stronger in the 1980s than they have been in many decades, and their influence appears to be still on the increase. This puzzles, annoys, and frightens the evolutionists, who tend to think that science, logic, history, and truth are all on their side. They cannot understand why the creationists do not simply blow away. They have no better explanations than ignorance, irrationality, and dark conspiracies. The most peculiar aspect of the debate is that the creationists are sustained by events completely outside the question of evolution. The Bible of course does not end with Genesis. Scattered throughout the Old and New Testaments are a number of prophecies indicating that the nation of Israel would be reborn with Jerusalem as its capital and that there will eventually be a great, final, and dramatic last battle between Israel and an alliance of various nations, including one "from the uttermost parts of the north," (Ezekiel 39:2), a reference many see as pointing to Russia. As everyone knows, Israel has in fact been reborn. As recently as 1980, the Israelis proclaimed Jerusalem as their eternal, indivisible capital. And almost every week the political realities in the Middle East can be seen falling ever more precisely into the pattern required for consummation of the ancient prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled." (Fix W.R., "The Bone Peddlers: Selling Evolution," Macmillan: New York, 1984, pp.234-235) 5/05/03 "I started this line of inquiry by asking Habermas to describe the postResurrection appearances in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. `There are several different appearances to a lot of different people in the gospels and Acts-some individually, some in groups, sometimes indoors, sometimes outdoors, to sof thearted people like John and skeptical people like Thomas,' he began. `At times they touched Jesus or ate with him, with the texts teaching that he was physically present. The appearances occurred over several weeks. And there are good reasons to trust these accounts-for example, they're lacking in many typical mythical tendencies.' `Can you enumerate these appearances for me?" From memory, Habermas described them one at a time. Jesus appeared 1 to Mary Magdalene, in John 20:10- 18; * to the other women, in Matthew 28:8-10; * to Cleopas and another disciple on the road to Emmaus, in Luke 24:1332; to eleven disciples and others, in Luke 24:33-49; to ten apostles and others, with Thomas absent, in John 20:19-23; * to Thomas and the other apostles, in John 20:26 30; * to seven apostles, in John 21:1-14; * to the disciples, in Matthew 28:16-20. * And he was with the apostles at the Mount of Olives before his ascension, in Luke 24:50-52 and Acts 1:4-9." (Strobel L.P.*, "The Case For Christ: A Journalist's Personal Testimony of the Evidence for Jesus," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1998, pp.315-316) 5/05/03 "3. All communication is 'manipulation of signal-receiver by signal-sender.' This profound communication, though it might easily have come from any used-car salesman reflecting on life, was actually sent by Dawkins, (in The Extended Phenotype, (1982), p. 57), to the readers whom he was at that point engaged in manipulating. Much as the devil, in many medieval plays, advises the audience not to take his advice." (Stove, D.C., "So You Think You Are a Darwinian?," The Royal Institute of Philosophy," Philosophy, 69, 1994, pp.267-277) 5/05/03 "4. Homosexuality in social animals is a form of sibling-altruism: that is, your homosexuality is a way of helping your brothers and sisters to raise more children. This very-believable proposition is maintained by Robert Trivers in his book Social Evolution, (1985), pp. 198-9. Professor Trivers is a leading light among ultra-Darwinians, (who are nowadays usually called 'sociobiologists'). Whether he also believes that suicide, for example, and self- castration, are forms of sibling-altruism, I do not know; but I do not see what there is to stop him. What is there to stop anyone believing such propositions? Only common sense: a thing entirely out of the question among sociobiologists." (Stove, D.C., "So You Think You Are a Darwinian?," The Royal Institute of Philosophy," Philosophy, 69, 1994, pp.267-277) 6/05/03 "Conclusion. Proverbs 18:17 may well have been commenting on arguments concerning the Testimonium: "The first to plead his case seems right, until another comes and examines him." The present author was once firmly convinced that both references in the Antiquities were authentic. After reading the study of Ken Olson that shows the vocabulary of the Testimonium to be not Josephan but rather Eusebian, I was inclined to regard both references as spurious. But now that I have found evidence that the reference in 20.9.1 does not require an earlier reference to Jesus, I am presently persuaded to regard the shorter reference as authentic. Even if one is convinced that the passages are interpolated, there is a satisfactory explanation for the silence of Josephus on Jesus and Christianity. ... But assuming that at least the shorter reference is authentic, what can we conclude from this? It shows that Josephus accepted the historicity of Jesus. Simply by the standard practice of conducting history, a comment from Josephus about a fact of the first century constitutes prima facie evidence for that fact. It ought to be accepted as history unless there is good reason for disputing the fact. Moreover, it is reasonable to think that Josephus heard about the deposition of Ananus as soon as it happened. ... Josephus was close at hand when it happened, and was a man of some standing in the Jewish community. I can't imagine that he missed it when it was news, and didn't find out about it until he talked to some Christians about 30 years later." Thus, Josephus' information about the identity of James brings us back to the period prior to the First Jewish Revolt. If Josephus referred to James as the brother of Jesus in the Antiquities, in all likelihood the historical James identified himself as the brother of Jesus, and this identification would secure the place of Jesus as a figure in history." (Kirby P., "Testimonium Flavianum," 2001) 7/05/03 "In one way the eye is eminently understandable. It is so like a camera that you wonder why there is not a law suit going on somewhere for breach of patent. The dark box, the lens, the iris diaphragm, the light-sensitive surface - each of these components is there in each case. At deeper levels there are certainly patentable differences in design. The light-sensitive area at the back of the eye is not actually much like a film. It, and many other things about the eye, are not by any means fully understood. But what is eminently understandable about the eye is that it should consist of rather definite components working in collaboration: as remarked in chapter 6 (point two, to which we are now returning) this is what really efficient pieces of machinery are usually like. The bit that is not so clear about the eye -and a favourite challenge to Darwin - is how its components evolved when the whole machine will only work when all the components are there in place and working. Not that this problem is peculiar to the eye. Organisms are full of such machinery, and it is a widely held view that this appearance of having been designed is the key feature of living things." (Cairns-Smith A.G., "Seven Clues to the Origin of Life: A Scientific Detective Story," , Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1993, reprint, p.58) 8/05/03 "Political events too have been urged as the fulfillment of some of the prerequisites laid down by Scripture for the return of Christ. There are many prophecies about the return of the Jews to their homeland. Frequently, it was expected that these events would be inaugurated by the Messiah him self, but it was also held that they would precede his return. At just about the time we have proposed for the end of the Chalcedonian era in theology, the fifteen-hundredth jubilee of 1951, the Jews finally did return to political power in the Holy Land. The state of Israel was established in 1948. Even more recently, in 1967, the Jewish people gained full possession of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War. One prophecy of Jesus, unrealized for 1897 years, seems to have been fulfilled: `Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled' (Luke 21:24). Between 1948, when Israel was established, and 1967, when Jerusalem was recaptured, the `times of the Gentiles' were brought to an end-at least for the present-in the Holy Land. ... Does the reconquest of Jerusalem by the new state of Israel have immediate bearing on the end of the present age? Is it a sign of the imminent return of Christ? Christians have been warned by Jesus himself to be cautious about trying to discover the time of his return, yet he also advised them to `watch.' It is in the light of this admonition that we must consider the apparent collapse of Chalcedonian theology. Is this also a sign? Can it be the beginning of the `falling away' foretold by Paul? ... The geographical city of Jerusalem had already endured many shocks before the Six-Day War transferred it into Jewish hands once again in 1967. ... When the calendar stood at one thousand years since the birth of Christ, hundreds of thousands of Christians took it for a sign of the end, but it was not. Neither were the calendar dates 1200 and 1260. But Jerusalem is more important in the timetable of history than calendar dates. And so is Chalcedon." (Brown H.O.J.*, "Heresies: The Image of Christ in the Mirror of Heresy and Orthodoxy from the Apostles to the Present," Doubleday & Co: New York, 1984, pp.448-450) 8/05/03 "On the basis of data drawn from comparative anatomy, embryology, and the experience of breeders, classical Darwinism asserted that the progression from the early species to the later ones, as observed in the rocks, was a process of actual physical descent governed by natural selection through such agencies as the struggle for existence, survival of the fittest, sexual selection, and adaptation, all of which worked in small cumulative steps through vast periods of relatively undisturbed time. This had two logical corollaries: first, in the evolution of any structure or function, every intermediate stage must be of advantage to the species; second, natural selection tends to make each being only as perfect as, or slightly more perfect than, the other inhabitants of the same area, and does not produce absolute perfection. ... Thus both corollaries have been tried and found wanting. The predictions have been falsified. This may be why moderate evolutionists admit that Darwinism has no predictive power. Mayr, for example, says: `The theory of natural selection can describe and explain phenomena with considerable precision but it cannot make reliable predictions.' (Mayr, E.W., "Cause and effect in biology", Science, Vol. 134, 1961, 1504)." (Macbeth N., "Darwin Retried: An Appeal to Reason", Gambit: Boston MA, 1971, pp.4,103) 8/05/03 "There are two definitions of science at work in the scientific culture, and a concealed contradiction between them is beginning to come out into public view. On the one hand, science is dedicated to empirical evidence and to following that evidence wherever it leads. That is why science had to be free of the Bible, because the Bible was seen to constrain the possibilities scientists were allowed to consider. On the other hand, science also means `applied materialist philosophy.' Scientists who are materialists always look for strictly materialist explanations or every phenomenon, and they want to believe that such explanations always exist." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1997, p.80) 9/05/03 "Darwin, however, laid just one stricture on his theory: it could, he maintained, `render each organized being only as perfect or a little more perfect than other inhabitants of the same country.' It could allow any animal only a relative superiority, never an absolute perfection-otherwise selection and the struggle for existence would cease to operate. To explain the rise of man through the slow, incremental gains of natural selection, Darwin had to assume a long struggle of man with man and tribe with tribe. He had to make this assumption because man had far outpaced his animal associates. Since Darwin's theory of the evolutionary process is based upon the practical value of all physical and mental characters in the life struggle, to ignore the human struggle of man with man would have left no explanation as to how humanity by natural selection alone managed to attain an intellectual status so far beyond that of any of the animals with which it had begun its competition for survival. To most of the thinkers of Darwin's day this seemed a reasonable explanation. It was a time of colonial expansion and ruthless business competition. Peoples of primitive cultures, small societies lost on the world's margins, seemed destined to be destroyed. It was thought that Victorian civilization was the apex of human achievement and that other races with different customs and ways of life must be biologically inferior to Western man. Some of them were even described as only slightly superior to apes. The Darwinians, in a time when there were no satisfactory fossils by which to demonstrate human evolution, were unconsciously minimizing the abyss which yawned between man and ape. In their anxiety to demonstrate our lowly origins they were throwing modern natives into the gap as representing living `missing links' in the chain of human ascent." (Eiseley, L.C., "The Real Secret of Piltdown," in "The Immense Journey," , Vintage: New York NY, 1957, reprint, pp.82-83) 10/05/03 "Argumentum ad Ignorantiam (argument from ignorance). This type of thinking assumes that something should be believed until it is shown to be false. One who uses this fallacy says, `Accept this because you can't prove it isn't true.' In other words, if you don't know something is wrong, you should embrace it. But what would happen if someone approached a snake with the attitude of, `Well, I can't prove that it is poisonous, so I guess it's safe to pick it up'? There is a place for closed-mindedness. Propositions, unlike defendants in a court of law, are not presumed true (innocent) until proven false (guilty). Ignorance proves nothing, and all that can be concluded from nothing is nothing. ... That is no way to find truth! Let positive evidence be presented and evaluated for both sides, and the truth can be known. As Aquinas said, `the contrary of a truth can never be demonstrated.'" (Geisler, N.L*. & Brooks R.M.*, "Come, Let Us Reason: An Introduction to Logical Thinking," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1990, pp.95-96) 10/05/03 "Yet before examining this criterion, I want briefly to clarify the word design. I'm using design in three distinct senses. First I use it to denote the scientific theory that distinguishes intelligent agency from natural causes, a theory that increasingly is being referred to as design theory or intelligent design (ID). Second, I use design to denote what it is about intelligently produced objects that enables us to tell that they are intelligently produced and not simply the result of natural causes. When intelligent agents act, they leave behind a characteristic trademark or signature. The scholastics used to refer to the '"vestiges in creation." The Latin vestigium means footprint. It was thought that God, though not directly present to our senses, had nonetheless left his "footprints" throughout creation. Hugh Ross has referred to the "fingerprint of God." It is design in this sense as a trademark, signatures vestige or fingerprint-that this criterion for discriminating intelligently from unintelligently caused objects is meant to identify. Lastly, I use design to denote intelligent agency itself. Thus to say that something is designed is to say that an intelligent agent caused it. But note, to say that an intelligent agent caused something is not to prescribe how an intelligent agent caused it. In particular, design in this last sense is separate from miracle." (Dembski, W.A., "Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1999, p.127. Emphasis original) 10/05/03 "Evolution is a controversial topic, so it is necessary to address a few basic questions at the beginning of the book. Many people think that questioning Darwinian evolution must be equivalent to espousing creationism. As commonly understood, creationism involves belief in an earth formed only about ten thousand years ago, an interpretation of the Bible that is still very popular. For the record, I have no reason to doubt that the universe is the billions of years old that physicists say it is. Further, I find the idea of common descent (that all organisms share a common ancestor) fairly convincing, and have no particular reason to doubt it. I greatly respect the work of my colleagues who study the development and behavior of organisms within an evolutionary framework, and I think that evolutionary biologists have contributed enormously to our understanding of the world. Although Darwin's mechanism-natural selection working on variation-might explain many things, however, I do not believe it explains molecular life. I also do not think it surprising that the new science of the very small might change the way we view the less small." (Behe M.J.*, "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution," , Free Press: New York NY, 10th Anniversary Edition, 2006, pp.5-6) 10/05/03 "It was just at this time that Wallace lifted a voice of lonely protest. The episode is a strange one in the history of science, for Wallace had, independently of Darwin, originally arrived at the same general conclusion as to the nature of the evolutionary process. Nevertheless, only a few years after the publication of Darwin's work, The Origin of Species, Wallace had come to entertain a point of view which astounded and troubled Darwin. Wallace, who had had years of experience with natives of the tropical archipelagoes, abandoned the idea that they were of mentally inferior cast. He did more. He committed the Darwinian heresy of maintaining that their mental powers were far in excess of what they really needed to carry on the simple food-gathering techniques by which they survived. `How, then,' Wallace insisted, `was an organ developed so far beyond the needs of its possessor? Natural selection could only have endowed the savage with a brain a little superior to that of an ape, whereas he actually possesses one but little inferior to that of the average member of our learned societies.' At a time when many primitive peoples were erroneously assumed to speak only in grunts or to chatter like monkeys, Wallace maintained his view of the high intellectual powers of natives by insisting that `the capacity of uttering a variety of distinct articulate sounds and of applying to them an almost infinite amount of modulation...is not in any way inferior to that of the higher races. An instrument has been developed in advance of the needs of its possessor.' Finally, Wallace challenged the whole Darwinian position on man by insisting that artistic, mathematical, and musical abilities could not be explained on the basis of natural selection and the struggle for existence. Something else, he contended, some unknown spiritual element, must have been at work in the elaboration of the human brain. Why else would men of simple cultures possess the same basic intellectual powers which the Darwinists maintained could be elaborated only by competitive struggle? `If you had not told me you had made these remarks,' Darwin said, `I should have thought they had been added by someone else. I differ grievously from you and am very sorry for it.' He did not, however, supply a valid answer to Wallace's queries. Outside of murmuring about the inherited effects of habit-a contention without scientific validity today- Darwin clung to his original position. Slowly Wallace's challenge was forgotten and a great complacency settled down upon the scientific world." (Eiseley, L.C., "The Real Secret of Piltdown," in "The Immense Journey," , Vintage: New York NY, 1957, reprint, pp.83-85) 11/05/03 "The cell is thus a minute factory, bustling with rapid, organized chemical activity. Under suitable molecular controls, enzymes busily synthesize lengths of messenger RNA. A ribosome will jump onto each messenger RNA molecule, moving along it, reading off its base-sequence and stringing together amino acids (carried to it by tRNA molecules) to make a polypeptide chain which, when finished, will fold on itself and become a protein. Nature invented the assembly line some billions of years before Henry Ford. Moreover, this assembly line produces many different highly specific proteins, the machine tools of the cell, which themselves shape and reshape the organic chemical molecules in order to provide raw material for the assembly lines and also all the molecules needed to build the structure of the factory, provide it with energy, dispose of the garbage and a host of other functions. " (Crick F.H.C., "Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature," Simon & Schuster: New York, 1981, pp.70- 71). 11/05/03 "Now the science which deals with singularities, such as a single coded message from space, is obviously different from one which deals with a recurring pattern of events. In fact, such an event as a message from space demands positing a primary (intelligent) cause as opposed to a secondary (natural) cause which is laid down for a regularly recurring pattern of events in nature. A similar situation arises when a geologist is confronted with a singularity on a mountainside, such as the faces on Mount Rushmore. Since this phenomenon is not recurring, the scientist must have a way of positing a cause for it without being able to observe a recurring series of Mount Rushmores. This is true whether the singularity happens in the present (such as a message from an extraterrestrial) or whether it occurred in the past (such as Mount Rushmore). If it occurs in the present, then observation is a key factor. If it happened in the unobserved past, then the scientific approach to it will be more like a forensic science than an empirical science." (Geisler, N.L*. & Anderson, J.K.*, "Origin Science: A Proposal for the Creation-Evolution Controversy," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1987, p.14) 12/05/03 "5. In all social mammals, the altruism (or apparent altruism) of siblings towards one another is about as strong and common as the altruism (or apparent altruism) of parents towards their offspring. This proposition is an immediate consequence, and an admitted one, of the theory of inclusive fitness, which says that the degree of altruism depends on the proportion of genes shared. This theory was first put forward by W. D. Hamilton in The Journal of Theoretical Biology in 1964. Since then it has been accepted by Darwinians almost as one man and has revolutionized evolutionary theory. This acceptance has made Professor Hamilton the most influential Darwinian author of the last thirty years. 6. 'no one is prepared to sacrifice his life for any single person, but everyone will sacrifice it for more than two brothers [or offspring], or four half-brothers, or eight first-cousins.' This is a quotation from the epoch-making article by Professor Hamilton to which I referred a moment ago. The italics are not in the text. Nor are the two words which I have put in square brackets; but their insertion is certainly authorized by the theory of inclusive fitness." (Stove, D.C., "So You Think You Are a Darwinian?," The Royal Institute of Philosophy" Philosophy, 69, 1994, pp.267-277. Emphasis original) 12/05/03 "`Theistic' or `guided' evolution has to be excluded as a possibility because Darwinists identify science with a philosophical doctrine known as naturalism. Naturalism assumes the entire realm of nature to be a closed system of material causes and effects, which cannot be influenced by anything from `outside.' Naturalism does not explicitly deny the mere existence of God, but it does deny that a supernatural being could in any way influence natural events, such as evolution, or communicate with natural creatures like ourselves." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," , InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second Edition, 1993, pp.116-117. Emphasis original) 12/05/03 "The great events of origin were singularities. The origin of the universe is not recurring. Nor is the origin of life, or the origin of major new forms of life. These are past singularities over which creationists and evolutionists debate. Evolutionists posit a secondary natural cause for them; creationists argue for a supernatural primary cause. The proposal of this book is that both "evolutionist" and "creationist" views on origin should be brought into the domain of singularity science about the past and that each should be judged by the principles of that kind of science. Such a science about past singularities will be called `science of origin' (Geisler 1983a, 135), or `origin science' (Thaxton, Bradley, and Olsen 1984, 204). It will be differentiated from science about present regularities (called operation science) in that the latter focuses on a recurring pattern of events in the present against which its theories can be tested; the former does not." (Geisler, N.L.* & Anderson, J.K.*, "Origin Science: A Proposal for the Creation-Evolution Controversy," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1987, p.15) 12/05/03 "The peppered moths provide a beautiful case of small-scale evolution. It comes as no surprise, then, to find these English moths well represented in creationist literature, too. And it was only a minor departure from their usual course to see that, rather than trying to debunk the example, creationists such as Gary Parker and Duane Gish accept the facts of the moth story-of course, claiming that it somehow supports the creation model. But I was not prepared to find creationists-particularly Parker and Gish, perhaps the two most eloquent creation `biologists'-actually accepting the moths as examples of small-scale evolution by natural selection! Modern creationists readily accept small-scale evolutionary change and the origin of new species from old." (Eldredge N., "The Triumph of Evolution: And the Failure of Creationism," , Henry Holt & Co: New York, 2001, reprint, pp.118-119. Emphasis original) 13/05/03 "7. Every organism has as many descendants as it can. Compare Darwin, in The Origin of Species, p. 66: 'every single organic being around us may be said to be striving to the utmost to increase in numbers'; and again, pp. 78- 9, 'each organic being is striving to increase at a geometrical ratio'. These page references are to the first edition of the Origin, (1859), but both of the passages just quoted are repeated in all of the five later editions of the book which were published in Darwin's lifetime. He also says the same thing in other places. But it would not have mattered if he had not happened to say in print such things as I have just quoted. For it was always obvious, to everyone who understood his theory, that a universal striving-to-the- utmost-to-increase is an essential part of that theory: in fact it is the very 'motor' of evolution, according to the theory. It is the thing which, by creating pressure of population on the supply of food, is supposed to bring about the struggle for life among con-specifics, hence natural selection, and hence evolution. As is well known, and as Darwin himself stated, he had got the idea of population permanently pressing on food, because of the constant tendency to increase, from T. R. Malthus's Essay on Population (1798). Still, that every organism has as many descendants as it can, while it is or may be true of most species of organisms, is obviously not true of ours. Do you know of even one human being who ever had as many descendants as he or she could have had? And yet Darwinism says that every single one of us does. For there can clearly be no question of Darwinism making an exception of man, without openly contradicting itself. 'Every single organic being', or 'each organic being': this means you." (Stove, D.C., "So You Think You Are a Darwinian?," The Royal Institute of Philosophy," Philosophy, 69, 1994, pp.267-277. Emphasis original) 13/05/03 "There are four opinions, basically, about the seven days. The first is the literalist hypothesis which maintains that what we are reading about is twenty-four-hour days by our clocks; what we are being told in Genesis 1 is that the whole world came to be formed within what we would recognize as a working week. The hypothesis assumes that what we have in Genesis is descriptive prose, of newspaper type. The second view is that each of the days of the creation is an allegorical figure. What each of the references to the evening and the morning represent is a geological epoch, a very, very long period of time, hundreds of thousands of years at least. There has been much effort in this century by those who have understood the days this way to try and show that the order of things in Genesis 1 corresponds to the best scientific account that can be given of how specific items emerged and took their place in the order of the world. A witty Roman Catholic writer described this method of understanding as an attempt to raise Moses' credit by giving him a B.Sc. Those who take this 'concordist' view, as it is called, assume that part of the purpose of Genesis 1 was to give us scientific information about the stages by which things came to be. Third is what is called the revelation day theory, which takes the six evenings and mornings as signifying that creation was revealed in a story with six instalments, each instalment being given to the inspired writer on a separate day. After the first instalment had been given, the writer said there was evening and there was morning. That is a way of saying that God gave him the next bit of the story the next day. Fourth there is the so-called framework view, sometimes called the literary hypothesis. This view says that the six days, evening and morning, are part of what we may call a prose poem, that is a total pictorial presentation of the fact of creation in the form of a story of a week's work. Without going into the details of argument about these different views, let me tell you straightaway that in my judgement this fourth view is the only viable one. Why? Because in this account light appears on the first day while God only makes the sun and the moon and the stars on the fourth day. That fact alone, it seems to me, shows that what we have here is not anything that can be called science, but rather an imaginative pattern of order replacing chaos ..." (Packer J.I.*, "Honouring the Written Word of God: The Collected Shorter Writings of James I. Packer," Vol. 3, Paternoster Press: Carlisle UK, 1999, p.179) 13/05/03 "8. In every species, child-mortality - that is, the proportion of live births which die before reproductive age - is extremely high. Compare Darwin in the Origin, p. 61: 'of the many individuals of any species which are periodically born, but a small number can survive'; or p. 5, 'many more individuals of each species are born than can possibly survive'. Again, these passages, from the first edition, are both repeated unchanged in all the later editions of the Origin. Proposition 8 is not a peripheral or negotiable part of Darwinism. On the contrary it is ... a central part, and one which Darwinians are logically locked-into. For in order to explain evolution, Darwin had adopted (as I have said) Malthus's principle of population: that population always presses on the supply of food, and tends to increase beyond it. And this principle does require child-mortality to be extremely high in all species. ... It was undoubtedly reasoning of this kind from Malthus's principle which led Darwin to believe that in every species 'but a small number' of those born can survive, or that 'many more' are born than can survive. What did Darwin mean by these phrases, in percentage, or at least minimumpercentage, terms? Well, we have just seen that Malthus's principle, in a typical case, delivers a child-mortality of at least 70%. And no one, either in 1859 or now, would dream of calling 30 or more, surviving out of 100, 'but a small number' surviving. It would be already stretching language violently, to call even 23 (say), surviving out of 100, 'but a small number' surviving. To use this phrase of 30-or-more surviving, would be absolutely out of the question. So Darwin must have meant, by the statements I quoted above, that child-mortality in all species is more than 70%. Which is obviously false in the case of our species. No doubt human childmortality has often enough been as high as 70%, and often enough higher still. But I do not think that, at any rate within historical times, this can ever have been usual. For under a child-mortality of 70%, a woman would have to give birth 10 times, on the average, to get 3 of her children to puberty, and 30 times to get 9 of them there. Yet a woman's getting 9 of her children to puberty has never at any time been anything to write home about; whereas a woman who gives birth 30 times has always been a demographic prodigy. ... As for the last 100 years, in any advanced country, to suppose child-mortality 70% or anywhere near it, would be nothing but an outlandish joke. ... In any case, as I said earlier, Darwinians cannot without contradicting themselves make an exception of man, or of any particular part of human history. Their theory, like Malthus's principle, is one which generalizes about all species, and all places and times, indifferently; while man is a species, the last 350 years are times, and European countries are places. And Darwin's assertion, that child-mortality is extremely high, is quite explicitly universal. For he said (as we saw) that 'of the many individuals of any species which are periodically born, but a small number can survive', and that 'many more individuals of each species are born than can possibly survive'. Again, this means us." (So You Think You Are a Darwinian?," The Royal Institute of Philosophy," Philosophy, 69, 1994, pp.267-277. Emphasis original) 14/05/03 "As to science, its view of the universe can be described as naturalistic, using an adjective that has its historical roots far back in philosophy as explaining all phenomena by strictly natural categories-as opposed to 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 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., "Science and Earth History: The Evolution/Creation Controversy," , Prometheus Books: Amherst NY, 1999, Second Edition, p.1. Emphasis in original) 15/05/03 "This year, we closely imitated the second phase of Leuba's 1914 survey to gauge belief among `greater' scientists, and find the rate of belief lower than ever - a mere 7% of respondents. ... Our chosen group of `greater' scientists were members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Our survey found near universal rejection of the transcendent by NAS natural scientists. Disbelief in God and immortality among NAS biological scientists was 65.2% and 69.0%, respectively, and among NAS physical scientists it was 79.0% and 76.3%. Most of the rest were agnostics on both issues, with few believers. We found the highest percentage of belief among NAS mathematicians (14.3% in God, 15.0% in immortality). Biological scientists had the lowest rate of belief (5.5% in God, 7.1% in immortality), with physicists and astronomers slightly higher (7.5% in God, 7.5% in immortality). ... As we compiled our findings, the NAS issued a booklet encouraging the teaching of evolution in public schools, an ongoing source of friction between the scientific community and some conservative Christians in the United States. The booklet assures readers, "Whether God exists or not is a question about which science is neutral" (National Academy of Sciences, "Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science," National Academy Press: Washington DC, 1998). NAS president Bruce Alberts said: `There are many very outstanding members of this academy who are very religious people, people who believe in evolution, many of them biologists.' Our survey suggests otherwise." (Larson, E.J. & Witham, L., "Leading scientists still reject God," Nature, Vol. 394, 23 July 1998, p.313) 15/05/03 "Not all creationists share the young-earth view. Another large group, the progressive creationists, accept an old earth. The successive-appearance feature of the fossil record is taken by them as the order of introduction of creatures into the biosphere. Each major group was created in the sequence just as we see them in the fossil record. First invertebrates appeared; then a long period of stasis or time to equilibrate and fill out the ecosystem. Next to suddenly appear were fishes, then amphibia. After each burst of creation there was a period of calmness to let the disturbed ecosystem reequilibrate. Later still the ruling reptiles were introduced, then birds and mammals, and eventually man was created. The progressive-creation view does agree substantially with the fossil record. ... Regardless of the way creationists resolve the questions of fossil distribution and the age of the earth, creationists agree that the sudden appearance of fully formed and functional creatures was the result of a primary cause. Thus the fossil record has provided circumstantial evidence for creation." (Geisler, N.L.* & Anderson, J.K.*, "Origin Science: A Proposal for the Creation-Evolution Controversy," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1987, p.154) 15/05/03 "In the early part of the twentieth century, Joseph McCabe, one of the most outspoken atheists of his day, published several works, including The Myth of the Resurrection (1925), Did Jesus Ever Live? (1926), and How Christianity `Triumphed' (1926). In 1993, Prometheus Publishing Company (note that the title of this secular publishing organization is the name of one of the Greek gods supposedly similar to Jesus) republished these works in a book titled The Myth of the Resurrection and Other Essays. McCabe painstakingly documented the similarities between the story of Jesus and pagan stories such as those of Osiris, Adonis, Tammuz, and Attis, yet specifically noted: `It is a most important feature of our story that this legend of a slain and resurrected god arose in quite different parts of the old civilized world. Tammuz, Attis, and Osiris are three separate and independent creations of the myth-making imagination' (1993, p. 45, emp. added). McCabe thus acknowledged that these pagan stories with similar themes did not copy either one another or some earlier, predominant story. Rather, they arose separately-and even independently-of each other. McCabe admitted: `For some reason...the mind of man came in most parts of the world to conceive a legend of death and resurrection.... In fact, in one form or other there was almost a worldwide belief that the god, or a representative [king, prisoner, effigy, etc.] of the god, died, or had to die every year' (pp. 52,53 ... bracketed material in orig.). In his conclusion, McCabe wrote: `In sum, I should say that the universal belief in a slain and resurrected god throws light upon the Christian belief by showing us a universal frame of mind which quite easily, in many places, made a resurrection myth' (p. 63, emp. added). McCabe-even as an infidel-willingly acknowledged that numerous (but different) resurrection myths arose from various regions around the globe, each similar in its facts yet original in its derivation. These stories apparently arose because of what he referred to as a `universal frame of mind.' And yet in spite of such evidence, on page 69 of his book, McCabe concluded: `Man has no religious instinct.'" (Butt K.* & Thompson B.*, "Jesus Christ-Unique Savior or Average Fraud? [Part I]," Reason & Revelation, February 2001, 21:9-15) 16/05/03 "9. The more privileged people are the more prolific: if one class in a society is less exposed than another to the misery due to food-shortage, disease, and war, then the members of the more fortunate class will have (on the average) more children than the members of the other class. That this proposition is false, or rather, is the exact reverse of the truth, is not just obvious. It is notorious, and even proverbial. ... The rule should be stated, not in terms of wealth, but in terms of privilege, thus: that the more privileged class is the less prolific. To this rule, as far as I know, there is not a single exception. And yet the exact inverse of it, proposition 9, is an inevitable consequence of Darwinism. ... Darwin ... wrote (in The Descent of Man, second edition, 1874), that `the primary or fundamental check to the continued increase of man is the difficulty of gaining subsistence', and that if food were doubled in Britain, for example, population would quickly be doubled. But now, a more-privileged class always suffers less from deficiency of food than a less-privileged class does. Therefore, if food- supply is indeed the fundamental determinant of population-size, a more- privileged class would always be a more prolific one; just as proposition 9 says. William Godwin, as early as 1820, pointed out that Malthus had managed to get the relationship between privilege and fertility exactly upside-down. In the 1860s and `70s W. R. Greg, Alfred Russel Wallace, and others, pointed out that Darwin, by depending on Malthus for his explanation of evolution, had saddled himself with Malthus's mistake about population and privilege. It is perfectly obvious that all these critics were right. But Darwin never took any notice of the criticism. ... A later Darwinian and eugenist, R.A. Fisher ... acknowledges the fact that there has always been, in all civilized countries an inversion (as he calls it) of fertility-rates: that is, that the more privileged have always and everywhere been the less fertile. ... Fisher's constant description of the fertility-rates in civilized countries as `inverted', deserves a word to itself. It is a perfect example of an amazingly-arrogant habit of Darwinians ... when some biological fact inconsistent with Darwinism comes to light, of blaming the fact, instead of blaming their theory. ... Of course this `problem' is no problem at all, for anyone except ultra-Darwinians..... Who, except an ultra-Darwinian, would expect the highly- privileged to be great breeders? .... For ultra-Darwinians, on the other hand, the infertility of the privileged is a good deal more than a problem. It is a refutation." (So You Think You Are a Darwinian?," The Royal Institute of Philosophy," Philosophy, 69, 1994, pp.267-277. Emphasis original) 16/05/03 "Contrary to creationist claims that such a transition cannot occur in principle because hapless in-betweens would be left without a jaw hinge, the principle of redundancy suggests an obvious solution. Modern mammals hinge their jaws between squamosal upper jaw) and dentary (lower jaw) bones; other vertebrates between quadrate (upper jaw) and articular (lower jaw) bones destined to become the incus and malleus of the mammalian ear. Suppose that mammalian ancestors developed a dentary- squamosal joint while the old quadrate-articular connection still functionedproducing an intermediary form with a double jaw joint. The old quadrate-articular joint could then be abandoned, as its elements moved to the ear, while the jaw continued to function perfectly well with the new linkage already in place. ... The abstract predictions of the last paragraph (actually advanced by paleontologists before the discoveries, so I am not just making a rhetorical point here) have been brilliantly verified in abundant fossil bone. The cynodont therapsids, our ancestral group among the so-called mammal-like reptiles, show numerous trends to reduction and loosening of both quadrate and articular bones in the old reptilian jaw joint. Meanwhile, the dentary of the lower jaw enlarges and extends back to contact the upper jaw. (In mammals, the dentary forms the entire lower jaw; reptilian jaws contain several postdentary elements, all reduced and then sup- pressed or dispersed in mammals.) Many cynodonts develop a second articulation between the squamosal and a postdentary element of the lower jaw called the surangular. (This joint is not the later mammalian dentary-squamosal link, but its formation illustrates a multiple evolution of the intermediacy proclaimed; impossible by creationists.) Finally, two or three genera of advanced cynodonts develop a second articulation of truly mammalian character between the dentary and squamosal. One such genus (although the evidence has been disputed) bears the lovely and distinctive name Diarthrognathus, or two-jointed jaw." (Gould S.J., "An Earful of Jaw," in "Eight Little Piggies: Reflections in Natural History," Jonathan Cape: London, 1993, pp.105-106) 16/05/03 "Thus, every mammal records in its own embryonic growth the developmental pathway that led from jawbones to ear bones in its evolutionary history. In placental mammals, the process is complete at birth, but marsupials play history postnatally, for a tiny kangaroo or opossum enters its mother's pouch with future ear bones still attached to, and articulating, the jaws. The bones detach, move into the ear, and the new jaw joint forms-all during early life within the maternal pouch." (Gould, S.J., "An Earful of Jaw," in "Eight Little Piggies: Reflections in Natural History," Jonathan Cape: London, 1993, p.105) 16/05/03 "The important point to notice in these changes is the perfect morphological correspondence between the conditions in reptiles and in mammals. All the elements that are cartilage-bones in the former are so also in the latter: the same is true of the membrane bones and their relative positions correspond exactly. This correspondence also extends to minute details. The columella in reptiles is frequently pierced by a hole through which the stapedial artery passes; this is constant for the stapes of mammals, and is the reason why it is called the 'stirrup'. The lateral head vein runs back medially to the quadrate in reptiles and to the incus in mammals. The facial nerve passes out of the brain case and runs backwards on the median side of the quadrate in reptiles and of the incus in mammals. The nerve passes above the tympanic cavity on the outer side of the stapedial artery and gives off a branch, the chorda tympany which runs forwards above the tympanic cavity and then down on the median side of the lower jaw elements, articular or malleus, in exactly the same way in reptiles and in mammals. ... What makes this study even more significant is that the results of comparative anatomy are confirmed by those of palaeontology, for there are fossil reptiles that show advances towards the mammalian condition, and the superseding of the quadrate-articular hinge of the lower jaw by the squamosal-dentary articulation." (de Beer G., "Homology: an unsolved problem," , in Ridley M., ed., "Evolution," Oxford Readers, Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, 1997, p.217) 16/05/03 "10. If variations which are useful to their possessors in the struggle for life `do occur, can we doubt (remembering that many more individuals are born than can possibly survive), that individuals having any advantage, however slight, over others, would have the best chance of surviving and of procreating their kind? On the other hand, we may feel sure that any variation in the least degree injurious would be rigidly destroyed.' This is from The Origin of Species, pp. 80-81. Exactly the same words occur in all the editions. Since this passage expresses the essential idea of natural selection, no further evidence is needed to show that proposition 10 is a Darwinian one. But is it true? In particular, may we really feel sure that every attribute in the least degree injurious to its possessors would be rigidly destroyed by natural selection? On the contrary, the proposition is (saving Darwin's reverence) ridiculous. Any educated person can easily think of a hundred characteristics, commonly occurring in our species, which are not only `in the least degree' injurious to their possessors, but seriously or even extremely injurious to them, which have not been `rigidly destroyed', and concerning which there is not the smallest evidence that they are in the process of being destroyed. Here are ten such characteristics, without even going past the first letter of the alphabet. Abortion; adoption; fondness for alcohol; altruism; anal intercourse; respect for ancestors; susceptibility to aneurism; the love of animals; the importance attached to art; asceticism, whether sexual, dietary, or whatever. Each of these characteristics tends, more or less strongly, to shorten our lives, or to lessen the number of children we have, or both. All of them are of extreme antiquity. Some of them are probably older than our species itself. Adoption, for example is practised by some species of chimpanzees: another adult female taking over the care of a baby whose mother has died. Why has not this ancient and gross `biological error' been rigidly destroyed? `There has not been enough time', replies the Darwinian. Well, that could be so: perhaps there has not been enough time. And then again, perhaps there has been enough time: perhaps even twenty times over. How long does it take for natural selection to destroy an injurious attribute, such as adoption or fondness for alcohol? ... So how come the Darwinian is so confident that there has not been enough time? What evidence can he point to, for thinking that there has not? Why, nothing but this, that adoption has not been destroyed, despite its being an injurious attribute! But this is palpably arguing in a circle, and taking for granted the very point which is in dispute. The Darwinian has no positive evidence whatever, that there has not been enough time. ... The cream of the jest, concerning proposition 10, is that Darwinians themselves do not really believe it. Ask a Darwinian whether he actually believes that the fondness for alcoholic drinks is being destroyed now, or that abortion is, or adoption - and watch his face. Well, of course he does not believe it! Why would he? There is not a particle of evidence in its favour, and there is a great mountain of evidence against it. Absolutely the only thing it has in its favour is that Darwinism says it must be so. But (as Descartes said in another connection) `this reasoning cannot be presented to infidels, who might consider that it proceeded in a circle'" (Stove, D.C., "So You Think You Are a Darwinian?," The Royal Institute of Philosophy," Philosophy, 69, 1994, pp.267-277. Emphasis original) 16/05/03 "What becomes, then, of the terrifying giant named Natural Selection, which can never sleep, can never fail to detect an attribute which is, even in the least degree, injurious to its possessors in the struggle for life, and can never fail to punish such an attribute with rigid destruction? Why, just that, like so much else in Darwinism, it is an obvious fairytale, at least as far as our species is concerned. It would not be difficult to compile another list of ten obvious Darwinian falsities; or another one after that, either. But on that scale, the thing would be tiresome both to read and to write. Anyway it ought not to be necessary: ten obvious Darwinian falsities should be enough to make the point. The point, namely, that if most educated people now think they are Darwinians, it is only because they have no idea of the multiplied absurdities which belief in Darwinism requires." (So You Think You Are a Darwinian?," The Royal Institute of Philosophy," Philosophy, 69, 1994, pp.267-277. Emphasis original) 16/05/03 "But can't we be Christian evolutionists, they say. Yes, no doubt it is possible to be a Christian and an evolutionist. Likewise, one can be a Christian thief, or a Christian adulterer, or a Christian liar! Christians can be inconsistent and illogical about many things, but that doesn't make them right." (Morris, H.M.*, "King of Creation," CLP Publishers: San Diego CA, 1980, pp.83-84. Emphasis original) 17/05/03 "State the several principles which should always be borne in mind in considering questions involving an apparent conflict of science and revelation. 1st. God's works and God's word are equally revelations from him. They are consequently both alike true, and both alike sacred, and to be treated with reverence. It is absolutely impossible that when they are both adequately interpreted they can come into conflict. Jealousy on either part, is treason to the Author and Lord of both. 2d. Science, or the interpretation of God's works, is therefore a legitimate and obligatory department of human study. It has its rights which must be respected, and its duties which it must observe. It is the right of every science to pursue the investigation of its own branch according to its own legitimate methods. We can not require of the chemist that he should pursue the methods of the philologist, nor of the geologist that he should go to history, either profane or sacred, for his facts. It is the duty of the students of every science to keep within its province, to recognize the fact that it is only one department of the vast empire of truth, and to respect alike all orders of truth, historical and inspired as well as scientific; mental and spiritual, as well as material. 3d. It follows as a practical consequence from the narrowness of the human faculties, that men confined to particular branches of inquiry acquire special habits of thought, and associations of ideas peculiar to their line, by which they are apt to measure and judge the whole world of truth. Thus the man of science misinterprets and then becomes jealous of the theologian, and the theologian misinterprets and becomes jealous of the man of science. This is narrowness, not superior knowledge; weakness, not strength. 4th. Science is only the human interpretation of God's works, it is always imperfect and makes many mistakes. Biblical interpreters are also liable to mistakes and should never assert the absolute identity of their interpretations of the Bible with the mind of God. 5th. All sciences in their crude condition have been thought be in conflict with Scripture. But as they have approached perfection, they have been all found to be perfectly consistent with it. Sometimes it is the science which is amended into harmony with the views of the theologian. Sometimes it is the views of the theologian which are amended into harmony with perfected and demonstrated science, e.g., the instance of the universal and now grateful acceptance by the church of the once abhorred Copernican system." (Hodge A.A.*, "Outlines of Theology," , Banner of Truth: Edinburgh, Second Edition, 1983, reprint, pp.246-247) 17/05/03 "The facts which are certain are:- (1.) The record in Genesis has been given by divine revelation, and therefore is infallibly true. (2.) The book of revelation and the book of nature are both from God, and will be found, when both are adequately interpreted, to coincide perfectly. (3.) The facts upon which the science of geology is based are as yet very imperfectly collected and much more imperfectly understood. The time has not come yet in which a profitable comparison and adjustment of the two records can be attempted. (4.) The record in Genesis, brief and general as it is, was designed and is admirably adapted to lay the foundation of an intelligent faith in Jehovah as the absolute creator and the immediate former and providential ruler of all things. But it was not designed either to prevent or to take the place of a scientific interpretation of all existing phenomena, and of all traces of the past history of the world which God allows men to discover. Apparent discrepancies in established truths can have their ground only in imperfect knowledge. God requires us both to believe and to learn. He imposes upon us at present the necessity of humility and patience." (Hodge A.A.*, "The Confession of Faith: A Handbook Of Christian Doctrine Expounding The Westminster Confession," , Banner of Truth: Edinburgh, 1983, reprint, p.83) 17/05/03 "At the same time, Stove maintains that `Darwinism says many things, especially about our species, which are too obviously false to be believed by any educated person; or at least by an educated person who retains any capacity at all for critical thought.' Some examples: that `every single organic being around us may he said to be striving to the utmost to increase its numbers'; that `of the many individuals, of any species which are born, but a small number can survive'; that it is to a mother's `advantage' that her child should be adopted by another woman; that `no one is prepared to sacrifice his life for any single person, but...everyone will sacrifice it for more than two brothers, or four half-brothers, or eight first cousins'; that `any variation in the least degree injurious [to a species] would be rigidly destroyed.' All of these quotations are from Darwin or his orthodox disciples. A moment's reflection shows that none is even remotely true, at least of human beings. Take the last named: that any thing in the least injurious to a species would be `rigidly destroyed' by natural selection. What about abortion, adoption, fondness for alcohol, or anal-intercourse, just to start with the `A's? As Stove notes, `each of these characteristics [tends] to shorten our lives, or to lessen the number of children we have, or both.' Are any on the way to being rigidly destroyed." (Stove, D.C. in Kimball R., ed., "Against the Idols of the Age," , Transaction Publishers: New Brunswick NJ, Second printing, 2000, pp.xxviii-xxix) 18/05/03 "The final assaults of the dragon (12:13-17). In this third symbolic picture, the dragon, having been hurled down to the earth, persecutes the woman because she was the one who gave birth to the male. This explains his attempt to destroy the woman and is in reality another phase of his wrath against her child. Let us be sure to notice this point. The woman received the two wings of the eagle (Ex. 19:5; Dt. 32:11; Is. 40:31) so that she flew to the wilderness. In that wilderness God had prepared a place for her (verse 6). Here she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, that is, for a thousand two hundred and sixty days (verse 6). Here she resides 'away from the face of the serpent'. The dragon, not yet willing to give up, tries to engulf the woman with a stream of water which he pours from his mouth; but the earth swallows up this stream. So the dragon is furious, filled with wrath against the woman. Yet, having failed, not only in his attempt to destroy the child but also in his assault upon the woman, he slinks away to do battle against the rest of her seed, those keeping the commandments of God and adhering to the testimony of Jesus. We interpret the picture as follows. Satan, having failed to defeat the Christ, continues his attack upon the Church. He directs his fury against the Church because the Church has brought forth the Christ. But the Lord protects His people: He bears them on eagles' wings. In the desert of affliction, this earthly sojourn, He has prepared a place for them and nourishes them with the manna of the Word. Here the Church resides 'away from the face of the serpent', that is, away from Satan's most direct and deadly attack. The devil cannot destroy her. This is the millennium of Revelation 20. True, the evil one tries to engulf the Church in a stream of lies, delusions, religious '-isms', philosophical falsehoods, political utopias, quasi-scientific dogmas, but the true Church is not fooled. Worldly people, on the other hand, are ready to swallow the entire river! This failure to deceive the Church makes the devil very angry. He is determined to direct his attack against 'the rest of the woman's seed', that is, against individual believers. This period of time during which the Church experiences both bad and good, the persecution of Satan and the special care of God which makes it impossible for the evil one to launch a direct attack on the Church and destroy it; this twilight period during which God's people are nourished with the manna of the Word and enjoy a certain degree of tolerance and security on earth, the Lord having prepared a place for them in the desert, is described as 'a time, and times, and half a time'. This is the period during which the witnesses (chapter 11) prophesy; the gospel is being proclaimed far and wide. It is followed by 'three days and a half' during which the witnesses are killed and their dead bodies lie in the High Street of the great city (Rev. 11:7ff.). This is the Battle of Harmagedon. These three days and a half are, in turn, followed by the judgment day. It is clear, therefore, that the period described as 'a time, and times, and half a time' begins at the moment of Christ's first coming-His birth, ministry, cross, coronation and extends to a point of time very near to His second coming in judgment. A careful study of Revelation 20 confirms our view. There, too, the long period during which the Church is nourished 'away from the serpent' so that Satan's influence is curbed is followed by a very brief span of time during which the devil marshals the armies of Gog and Magog against 'the camp of the saints'. There, too, this brief span is followed by the second coming of Christ to judge the world (20:11ff.)." (Hendriksen W.*, "More than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation," , Tyndale Press: London, 1966, reprint, pp.141-143) 18/05/03 "Again, if Darwin's theory of evolution were true, `there would be in every species a constant and ruthless competition to survive: a competition in which only a few in any generation can be winners. But it is perfectly obvious that human life is not like that, however it may be with other species.' Priests, hospitals, governments, old-age homes, charities, police: these are a few of the things whose existence contradicts Darwin's theory. Some of Darwinism's defenders respond by arguing that although human life may not now exhibit the brutal struggle for subsistence that Darwin's theory postulates, it once did. This is what Stove calls the `Cave Man' attempt to solve `Darwinism's Dilemma.' (The other attempts he calls the `Hard Man' and the `Soft Man' gambits.) But the problem is that Darwin's theory is not meant to be something that was true yesterday but not today. It claims to be, as Stove puts it, `a universal generalization about all terrestrial species at any time.' And this means that `if the theory says something which is not true now of our species (or another), then it is not true-finish.'" (Stove, D.C., in Kimball R., ed., "Against the Idols of the Age," , Transaction Publishers: New Brunswick NJ, Second printing, 2000, p.xxix. Emphasis original) 18/05/03 "`If Darwin's theory of evolution is true, no species can ever escape from the process of natural selection. His theory is that two universal and permanent tendencies of all species of organisms - the tendency to increase in numbers up to the limit that the food supply allows, and the tendency to vary in a heritable way are together sufficient to bring about in any species universal and permanent competition for survival, and therefore universal and permanent natural selection among the competitors.' But this is clearly not true of our species now. Nor, Stove points out, can it ever have been true of our species. `It may be possible, for all I know, that a population of pines or cod should exist with no cooperative as distinct from competitive relations among its members. But no tribe of humans could possibly exist on those terms. Such a tribe could not even raise a second generation: the helplessness of the human young is too extreme and prolonged.'" (Stove, D.C., in Kimball R., ed., "Against the Idols of the Age," , Transaction Publishers: New Brunswick NJ, Second printing, 2000, pp.xxix-xxx. Emphasis original) 18/05/03 "Stove shows in unanswerable detail that, despite its enormous explanatory power regarding `cods, pines, flies,' etc., Darwin's theory of evolution is `a ridiculous slander on human beings.' He is particularly good at exposing the `amazingly arrogant habit of Darwinians' of `blaming the fact, instead of blaming their theory' when they encounter contrary biological facts. Does it regularly happen that increasing prosperity leads to lower birth rates? And does this directly contradict Darwinian theory? No problem, just announce that the birth rates in such cases are somehow `inverted.'" (Stove, D.C., in Kimball R., ed., "Against the Idols of the Age," , Transaction Publishers: New Brunswick NJ, Second printing, 2000, p.xxx. Emphasis original) 19/05/03 "Mediate and Immediate Creation. But while it has ever been the doctrine of the Church that God created the universe out of nothing by the word of his power, which creation was instantaneous and immediate, i. e., without the intervention of any second causes; yet it has generally been admitted that this is to be understood only of the original call of matter into existence. Theologians have, therefore, distinguished between a first and second, or immediate and mediate creation. The one was instantaneous, the other gradual; the one precludes the idea of any preexisting substance, and of cooperation, the other admits and implies both. There is evident ground for this distinction in the Mosaic account of the creation. ... It thus appears that forming out of preexisting material comes within the Scriptural idea of creating. ... There is, therefore, according to the Scriptures, not only an immediate, instantaneous creation ex nihilo by the simple word of God, but a mediate, progressive creation; the power of God working in union with second causes." (Hodge C., "Systematic Theology," , James Clark & Co: London, Reprinted, 1960, Vol. I, pp.556-557. Emphasis original) 19/05/03 "Stove is also very good at exposing the mind-boggling claims of sociobiology, a school of neo-Darwinism whose fundamental tenet is that an organism is epiphenomenal to its genes: that a human being, for example, is nothing more than a puppet manipulated by his genetic makeup. If this seems like an exaggeration, consider the statement by the eminent sociobiologist E.O. Wilson that `an organism is only DNA'S way of making more DNA.' It is worth pausing to ponder the implications of that `only.' Or consider Richard Dawkins, another eminent sociobiologist and author of The Selfish Gene, a hugely popular book whose basic message is that `we are ... robot-vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes.' Of course, as Stove points out, `genes can no more be selfish than they can be (say) supercilious, or stupid.' The popularity of Dawkins's book lies in the powerful appeal that puppet-theories of human behavior always exercise on those who combine cynicism with credulousness; but genetic puppet theories are no more convincing than those propounded by Freudians, Marxists, or astrologers." (Stove, D.C., in Kimball R., ed., "Against the Idols of the Age," , Transaction Publishers: New Brunswick NJ, Second printing, 2000, p.xxx- xxxi. Ellipses in original) 20/05/03 "The last subject I should address before beginning is my personal religious outlook, because readers are bound to wonder and because I do not exempt myself from the general rule that bias must be acknowledged and examined. I am a philosophical theist and a Christian. I believe that a God exists who could create out of nothing if He wanted to do so, but who might have chosen to work through a natural evolutionary process instead. I am not a defender of creation-science, and in fact I am not concerned in this book with addressing any conflicts between the Biblical accounts and the scientific evidence. My purpose is to examine the scientific evidence on its own terms, being careful to distinguish the evidence itself from any religious or philosophical bias that might distort our interpretation of that evidence. I assume that the creation-scientists are biased by their precommitment to Biblical fundamentalism, and I will have very little to say about their position. The question I want to investigate is whether Darwinism is based upon a fair assessment of the scientific evidence, or whether it is another kind of fundamentalism." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," , InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second Edition, 1993, p.14) 20/05/03 "In the end, Stove's discussion of Darwinian theory shows that, when it comes to the species H. sapiens, Darwinism "is a mere festering mass of errors." It can tell you "lots of truths about plants, flies, fish, etc., and interesting truths, too.... [But] if it is human life that you would most like to know about and to understand, then a good library can be begun by leaving out Darwinism, from 1859 [when On the Origin of Species was published] to the present hour." It is not a pretty picture that Stove paints; but then the exhibition of gross error widely accepted is never a comely sight." (Stove, D.C., in Kimball R., ed., "Against the Idols of the Age," , Transaction Publishers: New Brunswick NJ, Second printing, 2000, p.xxxi. Emphasis original) 22/05/03 "The straw man fallacy is the tactic in argument of misrepresenting an opponent's position, making it appear more implausible, so that it can more easily be refuted, then going ahead and arguing against the imputed position as though it were really that of your opponent." (Walton D.N., "straw man fallacy," in Honderic T., ed., "The Oxford Companion to Philosophy," Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, 1995, p.176) 22/05/03 "The Duke of Argyll, for instance, accepted the evidence that evolution had happened, but he wanted to smuggle divine creation in by the back door. He wasn't alone. Instead of a single, once and for all creation in the Garden of Eden, many Victorians thought that the deity had intervened repeatedly, at crucial points in evolution. Complex organs like eyes, instead of evolving from simpler ones by slow degrees as Darwin had it, were thought to have sprung into existence in a single instant. Such people rightly perceived that such instant 'evolution', if it occurred, would imply supernatural intervention: that is what they believed in. .... Darwin perceived this too. He wrote in a letter to Sir Charles Lyell, the leading geologist of his day: `If I were convinced that I required such additions to the theory of natural selection, I would reject it as rubbish ... I would give nothing for the theory of Natural selection, if it requires miraculous additions at any one stage of descent.' (Darwin, C.R., in Darwin F., ed., "The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin", John Murray: London, 1888, Vol. II, p.210). This is no petty matter. In Darwin's view, the whole point of the theory of evolution by natural selection was that it provided a non-miraculous account of the existence of complex adaptations. For what it is worth, it is also the whole point of this book. For Darwin, any evolution that had to be helped over the jumps by God was not evolution at all." (Dawkins, R., "The Blind Watchmaker," , Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, pp.248-249. Emphasis Dawkins') 22/05/03 "New Testament literature commonly links the flood to the theme of final judgment and the return of Christ. In Matthew 24 36-39, Jesus' Olivet discourse on the `signs of the end of the age' provides one such link. ... As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man For in the days before the flood [kataklysmos], people were eating and drinking; marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. ... Luke 17:26-27 differs little ... In the context of divine condemnation, 2 Peter 2:5 speaks of God as one who `did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others.' The flood further serves as a type of the final judgment in 2 Peter 3:3-7: ... Both 2 Peter texts regard the flood as a historical event in which God's retribution was displayed. There is also a reference to the flood episode in 1 Peter 3:18b-21a: `... long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved .'... There are two other New Testament texts that refer to the flood- Luke 3:36 and Hebrews 11:7. In the former, Noah, `the son of Lamech,' is one member of the extended genealogy of Jesus' human father, Joseph. In the Hebrews passage, part of the listing of the heroes of faith, Noah is singled out as exemplary: `By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world ....' These New Testament writers clearly assumed the historical existence of Noah and the deluge, and they viewed the deluge as a unique event: they used different terminology to distinguish the Noachic flood (kataklysmos) from all other floods (potamos, `river')." (Young D.A.*, "The Biblical Flood: A Case Study of the Church's Response to Extrabiblical Evidence," Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, 1995, pp.13-15) 23/05/03 "One of the best examples of such correlated progression involves the formation of the vertebrate jaw and ear ossicles (see Could, 1990, for a review). .. The first branchial arch generates the jaw apparatus. In amphibians, reptiles, and birds, the posterior portion of this cartilage forms the quadrate bone of the upper jaw and the articular bone of the lower jaw. These bones connect to one another and are responsible for articulating the upper and lower jaws. However, in mammals, this articulation occurs at another region (the dentary and squamosal bones), thereby "freeing" these bony elements to acquire new functions. The quadrate bone of the reptilian upper jaw evolved into the mammalian incus bone, and the articular bone of the reptile's lower jaw has become our malleus. This latter process was first described by Reichert in 1837, when he observed in the pig embryo that the mandible (jawbone) ossifies on the side of Meckel's cartilage, while the posterior region of Meckel's cartilage ossifies, detaches from the rest of the cartilage, and enters into the region of the middle ear to become the malleus. These dramatic changes in bone arrangement from agnathans to jawed fish, from jawed fish to amphibians, and from reptiles to mammals were coordinated with changes in jaw structure, jaw musculature, tooth deposition and shape, and modifications of the cranial vault and ear (Kemp, 1982; Thomson, 1988). It therefore seems that one particular change may co-vary with several others." (Gilbert S.F., "Developmental Biology," Sinauer Associates: Sunderland MA, Fourth Edition, 1994, p.846) 24/05/03 "In explanation of this assertion, it needs to be pointed out that the Hebrew 'eres, translated consistently as `earth' in our English Bibles, is also the word for `land' (e.g., `the land of Israel,' `the land of Egypt'). There is another term tebel, which means the whole expanse of the earth, or the world as a whole. Nowhere does tebel occur in this account, but only 'eres, in all the statements which sound quite universal in the English Bible (e.g., 7:4, 10, 17, 18, 19). Thus, Genesis 6:17c can be rendered: `...everything that is in the land shall die'-that is, in whatever geographical region is involved in the context and situation." (Archer G.L.*, "A Survey of Old Testament Introduction," Moody Press: Chicago IL, 1964, p.194) 25/05/03 "Extent of the Flood. `All the high mountains that were under the whole heavens were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth' (7:19, 21). This, doubtless, is the very language in which Shem related, or wrote, the story of the Flood to his children and grandchildren. He told it as he saw it. Are we to interpret his language according to his own geography? or present day geography? The whole race, except Noah and his family, were destroyed. To destroy the race it was necessary for the Flood to cover only so much of the earth as was inhabited. Accepting the Bible account as it is, there had been only TEN generations from Adam, the first man. How could ONE family, in TEN generations, with primitive modes of travel, populate the whole earth? Most likely the race had not spread far outside the Euphrates basin." (Halley H.H.*, "Halley's Bible Handbook: An Abbreviated Bible Commentary," , Oliphants: London, Twenty- Fourth Edition, 1965, p.74. Emphasis in original) 25/05/03 "The Ark Preliminary to discussing the flood it will be appropriate to discuss the ark described in Gen. 6. The word ark signifies a box (Hebrew, tebah; Greek, kibotos), not a boat-like structure of classical or modern times. It was composed of gopher wood (Hebrew, 'atse gopher; Greek, kuparissos) which is usually taken to be cypress wood. This is a light, durable wood. Alexander built his fleet at Babylon of this wood, and the doors of the church of St. Peter at Rome were made of cypress wood and are a thousand years old. It was also the wood used by the Phoenicians for their ships. The ark had cabins (Hebrew kinnim) or nests of cells. Their size is not indicated. but their function was (i) to separate the animals, and (ii) to supply the function of a modern bulkheading for bracing the ship. The ark was pitched (Hebrew, kopher; Greek, asphaltos). It has been suggested that this material was either the pitch of the cypress tree or bitumen, deposits of which have been found at Hit in the Euphrates valley above Babylon. The function of the pitch was to supply a flexible waterproofing. The ark was pitched inside and out and this served as modern caulking does. Being of a flexible nature it would yield to pressure without cracking and would stretch without pulling away from the wood. The dimensions of the ark were 300 x 50 x 30 cubits. Perhaps this was originally some Babylonian measurement of which the Hebrew cubit was the closest analogue. The actual length of the cubit varies from 18 inches to 25 inches. There were long cubits and short cubits and royal cubits and Egyptian cubits and Talmudic cubits; 22 inches was the legal cubit of the Talmudists. We can know the actual side only within limits. The dimensions of the ship are large and a vessel of such size was not built till modern times. The ratio of the dimensions of the ark are also modern, and modern ships have been built approximating the dimensions and the ratios (Celtic of the White Star Line, 1901, 700 x 75 x 49 ½; Great Eastern, 1858, 629 x 83, x 58). ... The ark had a door and three stories. The stories functioned similarly to the cabins in providing a division of animals and a bracing of the structure. The shape of the ark was boxy or angular, and not streamlined nor curved. With this shape it increased its carrying capacity by one-third. It was a vessel designed for floating, not for sailing. A model was made by Peter Jansen of Holland, and Danish barges called Fleuten were modelled after the ark. These models proved that the ark had a greater capacity than curved or shaped vessels. They were very sea-worthy and almost impossible to capsize. ... Suffice it to say, the ark was a reasonable structure. For its specific purpose it was of credible shape, credible size, and credible proportions. It was made from a wood well adapted for such a barge and was divided into stories and state-rooms for proper bracing. It apparently had some system of lighting and ventilation. All in all, the record of the ark bears witness to the credibility of the construction of such a ship, and we believe its features were matters of revelation to Noah who, living in the plains of Babylon, was a `North Dakota' sailor." (Ramm, B.L.*, "The Christian View of Science and Scripture," Paternoster: Exeter UK, 1955, Reprinted, 1967, p.156-158. Emphasis original) 25/05/03 "The final problem with the universal flood belief is the multitude of improbabilities connected with the animals. Again, it is not what God could do, but what seems most consistent with the record. How did the animals get from distant lands to the ark? ... Once in the ark the problem of feeding and caring for them would be enormous. The task of carrying away manure and bringing food would completely overtax the few people in the ark. ... There is the problem of the special diets required for the animals, and the problem of special conditions for the animals. Some animals need a moist environment, and others a very dry one; some need it very cold and others very warm. Again, there is no question what Omnipotence can do, but the simplicity of the flood record prohibits the endless supplying of miracles to make a universal flood feasible." (Ramm B.L.*, "The Christian View of Science and Scripture," Paternoster: Exeter UK, 1955, Reprinted, 1967, p.167) 25/05/03 "Undoubtedly, the Old Testament writers had no concept of the earth as a round globe with a circumference of 25,000 miles. What we can visualize as the earth today is entirely different from what they could have pictured as a definition of the word. Could the Hebrews or Egyptians or any other Near Eastern cultures have en visioned the world then as we know it exists today, with polar ice caps and oceans covering three-fourths of the surface, massive land continents, and numerous oceanic islands burgeoning with unique faunal populations? The notion of a global flood, based solely on the Genesis narrative, fails on two counts: (1) the word translated `earth' in Genesis can mean `land,' and (2) any word which might have defined `earth' would not mean then what it means today." (Fischer D.*, "The Origins Solution: An Answer in the Creation-Evolution Debate," Fairway Press: Lima OH, 1996, p.260) 26/05/03 "Genesis 7:19,20: `And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.' Some Genesis commentators have seized on these passages to assert that the high mountains of the whole earth were covered to a depth of fifteen cubits (about 22 feet). Where the water would have come from is problematical, as well as what became of it. Measuring any depth at all raises a question. How would the passengers from inside the ark have any idea what the depths were? ... Again, the word for `mountains' and `hills' is the same in Hebrew. If the flooding was restricted to the region of the Mesopotamian valley, then the `mountains' submerged by the flood could have been the lower mountains of the region surrounding the valley, or it may signify the lower foothills at the beginning of a mountain range. As to the language used to describe the flood, it would make no difference whether the flood, in fact, was global or local. From the standpoint of the passengers on the ark, the description is entirely true and accurate in either case. These verses do not oblige us to ponder whether the Rockies, or the Andes, or the Urals, or the Himalayas were under water. Considering that mountains were not inundated by the flood, as the evidence indicates, in no way should that impugn the accuracy or inerrancy of Scripture. From Noah's and Shem's view point, the text describes their situation and surroundings in terms we might have used had we been passengers on the ark ourselves." (Fischer D.*, "The Origins Solution: An Answer in the Creation-Evolution Debate," Fairway Press: Lima OH, 1996, pp.283-284) 27/05/03 "First of all, in criticism of the universal flood interpretation, this theory ... cannot demonstrate that totality of language necessitates a universal flood. Fifteen minutes with a Bible concordance will reveal many instances in which universality of language is used but only a partial quantity is meant. All does not mean every last one in all of its usages. Psa. 22:17 reads: `I may tell all my bones,' and hardly means that every single bone of the skeleton stood out prominently. John 4:39 cannot mean that Jesus completely recited the woman's biography. Matt. 3:5 cannot mean that every single individual from Judea and Jordan came to John the Baptist. There are cases where all means all, and every means every, but the context tells us where this is intended. ... The universality of the flood simply means the universality of the experience of the man who reported it. When God tells the Israelites He will put the fear of them upon the people under the whole heaven, it refers to all the peoples known to the Israelites (Deut. 2:25). When Gen. 41:57 states that all countries came to Egypt to buy grain, it can only mean all peoples known to the Egyptians. Ahab certainly did not look for Elijah in every country of the earth even though the text says he looked for Elijah so thoroughly that he skipped no nation or kingdom (1 Kings 18:10). From the vantage point of the observer of the flood all mountains were covered, and all flesh died. We must concur that: `The language of the sacred historian by no means necessarily implies that the flood overspread the whole earth. Universal terms are frequently used in a partial and restricted sense in Scripture.' ("JFB Bible Commentary," 1870, Vol. I, p.98)." (Ramm, B.L.*, "The Christian View of Science and Scripture," , Paternoster: Exeter UK, Reprinted, 1960, p.164. Emphasis original) 27/05/03 "The options concerning the extent of the Flood are not just `universal' and `local.' It is preferable to identify four alternatives as follows: 1 . Global. This position is the most extreme. Some believe that the waters of the Flood covered the entire globe to a height that was higher than the highest mountains. 2. Known world. This position believes that the Flood was universal relative to the world known to the audience of the Old Testament. This is a massive flood, but did not include other continents or areas of the world, such as China. 3. Regional. This position holds to an extensive regional flood. It may have centered in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley, the Mediterranean basin or the area of the Black Sea. 4. Local. In this view the Flood wiped out several towns along the river." (Walton J.H.*, "Genesis," The NIV Application Commentary, Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 2001, p.322) 27/05/03 "The main questions, however, concern what is demanded by the language of the text. Four textual issues contribute to the discussion and require investigation: universal scope of the language (7:21-23), covering the mountains (7:19), fifteen cubits above (7:20), and the tops of the mountains becoming visible (8:5). If an interpreter maintains the support of the authority of the text but does not believe in a global flood, how can these four issues be handled? Universal language. It may sound strange to say, but the word `all' is not always absolute in biblical usage. Look, for instance, at Deuteronomy 2:25 where the Lord says, `This very day I will begin to put the terror and fear of you on all the nations under heaven.' This verse even uses `under heaven' in the same way that Genesis 7:19 does. Yet in context, few would contend that this refers to more than the nations of Canaan and perhaps a few others. In Genesis 41:57, Joseph opens the storehouses of Egypt and `all the countries came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe all the world.' I do not know of anyone who contends that therefore the Eskimos must have been included. Similar use of language can be seen in Akkadian texts. Most instructional is a text called the Sargon Geography, which names the lands of the known world one by one and concludes that `Sargon, King of the Universe, conquered the totality of the land under heaven.' Based on such examples, it becomes clear that it was perfectly acceptable, and not at all deceptive, to use the word `all' to encompass all those of a more regionally delineated area. Such usage does not violate biblical authority because the Bible does not intend to claim more than regional impact." (Walton J.H.*, "Genesis," The NIV Application Commentary, Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 2001, pp.324-325) 28/05/03 "... objections are often raised in an attempt to show that creation science is a religion and not a science. ... Creation science is a theory derived from the Bible and is therefore not a scientific theory. This objection is an example of the logical fallacy known as the genetic fallacy. The genetic fallacy is the mistake of confusing the origin of a claim with its evidential warrant and undermining the claim by calling attention to its origin. What is relevant to the rationality of a claim is the evidence for that claim. The medieval practice of alchemy was the basis for the modern discipline of chemistry, but that would hardly be a good objection to raise against the rationality of chemical theory. It makes no difference whether a scientific theory comes from a dream, the Bible, or bathroom graffiti. The issue is whether independent scientific reasons are given for the theory. Creation scientists clearly offer reasons for creation science. Whether these reasons are adequate is another matter. But scientific reasons are offered and that is all creation science needs to count as science." (Moreland, J.P.*, "Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity," , Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1994, Ninth printing, pp.209,211. Ellipses mine) 28/05/03 "Covering the mountains. When 7:19 refers to the mountains being covered, it uses the Pual form of the verb ksh. This verb is used for a wide variety of `covering' possibilities. A people or weeds can be so vast that it covers the land (Num. 22:11; Prov. 24:31); a blanket or clothing covers someone (Ex. 28:42; 1 Kings 1:1). Something can be covered in the sense of being overshadowed (cherubim wings covering the ark, 2 Chron. 5:8i clouds covering the sky, Ps. 147:8). What about being covered with water? Aside from the two occurrences in 7:19-20, thirteen references have water as the explicit or implicit subject of this verb. Of those thirteen, five refer to the Red Sea covering the Egyptian army at the time of the Exodus (Ex. 14:28; 15:5, 10; PS. 78:53; 106:11): four refer to the waters in creation and nature (Ps. 104:6, 91 Isa. 11:9, Hab. 2:14 ; one is metaphorical for judgment (Job 22:11). It is the remaining three that are of most significance to this discussion: Job 38:34; Jeremiah 46:8; Malachi 2:13. In these three passages it appears that water does not cover by submerging as much as by drenching. Even today when someone walks in from a downpour we might say, `You're covered with water!' If Genesis 7:19 is taken the same way, it suggests that the mountains were drenched with water or coursing with flash floods, but it does not demand it they were totally submerged under water. One can certainly argue that the context does not favor this latter usage, and I am not inclined to adopt it. The point is that it is not as easy as sometimes imagined to claim that the Bible demands that all the mountains were submerged." (Walton J.H.*, "Genesis," The NIV Application Commentary, Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 2001, p.325. Emphasis original) 28/05/03 "The tradition of a flood is widespread among the nations of the world, and the geological evidence has been held by Sir Henry Howorth and other eminent scientists to indicate that the flood was universal. On the other hand, the evidence for a flood of quite exceptional magnitude in the valley of the Euphrates, at a later period, may point to a judgment falling only upon that central area of the world's early inhabitants. It is to be noted that the two words translated 'earth' in the A.V. (adamah and erets) are elsewhere translated 'ground' (e.g. Gn. ii. 6, 7) and 'land' (Gn. ii. 11) and by no means imply universality; nor need the stocks of animals be interpreted to mean more than those which would suffice for a new beginning." (Manley G.T.*, ed., "The New Bible Handbook," , Inter-Varsity Fellowship London, Third Edition, 1965, reprint, p.128) 28/05/03 "Fifteen cubits above. In 7:20 this phrase is difficult to decipher, largely because of the word that the NIV renders `depth.' The Hebrew text says, `Fifteen cubits from above [milmacla] rose the waters, and the mountains were covered.' It is therefore not at all clear that it is suggesting the waters rose fifteen cubits higher than the mountains.' The word under discussion occurs twenty-three times in a number of different syntactical situations. Its most common use is to delineate the position of one object relative to another. In this kind of context the preposition cal is consistently attached to the one noun with milmacla connected to the object that is being located. It can also mean `above' when it is used as an adjective Jer. 31:37, `heavens above'). When it is used as an adverb without a preposition to relate it to another noun, translations such as `upward' (Ezek. 1:11, `spread upward') or `upstream' Josh. 3:13, 16) are better choices. It is this last category to which Genesis 7:20 belongs. As an adverb modifying the verb `rose,' it suggests that the water reached fifteen cubits upward from the plain, covering at least some part of the mountains." (Walton J.H., "Genesis," The NIV Application Commentary, Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 2001, pp.325-326) 28/05/03 "Tops of the mountains visible. This is the most difficult statement to explain for those arguing that the text does not require a global flood. In saying that the tops of the mountains became visible, this verse conveys that the tops, not just the flanks of the mountains, had been obscured. ... If it were not for 8:3-5, an interpreter can easily claim that the face value of the text does not demand a geographically global flood. All of the other statements are compatible with a flood of the known populated world. ... We must still consider whether 8:3-5 strikes us the way it does because we are thinking in terms of our understanding of the world. Would this text have meant something different if we could read it with an ancient Near Eastern mindset? ... In the Mesopotamian worldview the known world was comprised of a single continent fringed with mountains (such as the Zagros mountains in the east and the mountains of Ararat in the north) and ringed by the cosmic sea. The fringe mountains were believed to hold up the heavens and have roots in the netherworld. In the east, the mountain primarily associated with this role is Mount Masu. ... What happens if we try to read the Flood narrative against the background of this sort of worldview? ... Is it possible that the ancient writers did not count the mountains at the fringes of the world among the `high mountains' that the water covered? Cosmic mountains were places of the gods and would be impervious to flood waters sent by the gods. In this scenario, the ark drifts to the edge of the known world and rests against the mountains of Ararat (or perhaps on the foothills of Ararat). Noah views this as the edge of the world, just as some before Columbus's day believed they could reach the edge of the world. There the ark sits while the water recedes and the tops of the mountains in the occupied portion of the continent become visible. This means that when the waters totally dissipate, the ark is at the foot of the Ararat chain. The logic of not including the fringe mountains is that they were believed to support the heavens, and the waters are not seen as encroaching on or encountering the heavens. This way of thinking yields a flood of the then-known world (with boundaries as described, for instance, in the Sargon Geography and in the list of Noah's descendants in Gen. 10); it covered all the elevated places that were within eyesight of the occupants of the ark. Though this would be a geographically limited flood, it could still be anthropologically universal if people had not yet spread beyond this region. One of the advantages of seeking out views such as this is that they allow us to affirm the truth of the text without getting tied up in complicated logistical and scientific discussions." (Walton J.H.*, "Genesis," The NIV Application Commentary, Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 2001, pp.326-328) 29/05/03 "Let us consider, then, the case that can be made against a global flood: `According to the conventional interpretation of the Genesis version of Noah's story, the sea level rose for 150 days until it covered the tops of the mountains and then subsided for another 150 days. It is easy to prove that this is physically impossible. ... The oceans would have to triple in volume in only 150 days and then quickly shrink back to normal. Where would the 630 million cubic miles of water go during the second 150 days? There is nowhere an ocean can drain to, because the oceans already fill the lowest places. ... The excess water could not evaporate into the air because it would still be there and it is not. ...' (Best R.M., "Noah's Ark and the Ziusudra Epic," Enlil: FL, 1999, pp.39-40) Another researcher focuses on the problems concerning the care of the animals: `Assuming that the 21,000 species of amphibian, reptile, bird, and mammal had to be represented on the ark, it would require around 42,000 individuals. Assuming that each of the eight people on the ark had to take care of their share of the animals, each person would have 2,637 cages to visit each day for feeding and cleaning. If each person worked a 12-hour shift, then each cage would only get three and two thirds minutes of attention per day ... A straightforward reading of the chronology outlined in Gen. 7:1-10 indicates that Noah and his family had only one week during which to load all the animals. If the eight people were required to lead the 35,000 animals from the ark's door to its cage, the work load would have been crushing. ... Even the time constraints are imposing; two pairs of animals per minute must be loaded. ...' (Morton G.R., "The Mediterranean Flood," Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, 49:4, 1997, p.242) ... Any solution must take the text seriously, yet be willing to see the text in ways that the original author and audience may have seen it. It likewise needs to take logistical problems seriously. It is a weak interpretation that has to invent all sorts of miracles that the text says nothing about in order to compensate for the logistical problems." (Walton J.H.*, "Genesis," The NIV Application Commentary, Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 2001, pp.328-329) 29/05/03 "Bearing in mind the purpose of the narrator, the 'universalist' language ('all the high mountains under the whole heaven', 'every living thing...man and animals ... and birds of the air died') is no insuperable obstacle-compare the similar universalism of Gen. 41:57; Luke 2:1; Acts 2:5; Col. 1:23." (Spanner D.C.*, "Biblical Creation and the Theory of Evolution," Paternoster: Exeter, Devon UK, 1987, p.145. Emphasis original) 29/05/03 "The major argument of the local-flood theory is that there is a sort of metonymy commonly employed by the ancient Near Eastern Culture to speak of a considerable part as a whole. This seems to be evident it numerous biblical passages (Gen. 41:57; Deut. 2:25; 1 Kings 18:10; Ps 22:17; Matt. 3:5; John 4:39; Acts 2:5). These are cases when `all' means `all' and `every' means `every,' but the context tells us where this is intended. Therefore, the universality of the flood may simply mean the universality of the experience of the one who reported it. There was no knowledge concerning the scope of the earth, not to mention the New Continents, at Moses' time. It is difficult to conceive how Moses would visualize the universal flood without knowing the entire scope of the earth." (Pun P.P.T.*, "Evolution: Nature and Scripture in Conflict?," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1982, p.269) 29/05/03 "Nelson and Reynolds hold the universal flood view, which of course has a long and honorable history in Christian thought. They do not, however, give serious exegetical attention to texts such as Genesis 41:57 ('All the countries came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the world'); Deuteronomy 2:25; 1 Kings 18:10; 2 Chronicles 9:23 `All the kings of the earth sought ... Solomon to hear [his] wisdom'); Acts 2:5 ('from every nation under heaven' [China?]) Colossians 1:23 ('the gospel ... proclaimed to every creature under heaven'); and so forth, which apparently indicate that global language in some contexts of Scripture can have limited reference, or it can be global from the perspective and purposes of the writer." (Davis J.J.*, "Response to Paul Nelson and John Mark Reynolds," in Moreland, J.P. & Reynolds J.M., eds., "Three Views on Creation and Evolution," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1999, p.83-84. Emphasis original) 29/05/03 "Arguments can be adduced to suggest that the flood was a gigantic local deluge; other arguments suggest the universality of the flood. Whatever view is ultimately adopted, it must be kept in mind that the flood was a genuine historical event. The flood story is not a myth or legend. It is history. The flood was fundamentally a judgment of God and not a major geological event, certainly not an event which reshaped the globe. The Christian may believe the full historicity of the flood without committing himself to a theory of the flood which runs counter to parts of Scriptural revelation and to the general tenor of natural revelation. ... Only an approach that is faithful to all of God's works has any real hope of resolving any problems in the fascinating area of the relationship between geology and the Bible." (Young D.A.*, "Creation and the Flood: An Alternative to Flood Geology and Theistic Evolution," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1977, pp.213-214) 29/05/03 "Unfortunately, this idea of natural interpretation fails to distinguish two quite different approaches: grammatical- historical interpretation, in which one attends closely to the Bible's actual meanings within the Ancient Near East; and naive-modern interpretation, in which one reads the text only against the background of one's own modern world and life. ... Consider next the Bible's account of the Flood in Genesis 7:17-24. Sound interpretation shows that the text is describing real events and a real person, Noah. It is not myth. But the text describes things as they would appear to a human observer like Noah. Everything within range of human observation was covered with water, and all the animals within range died. `All the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered' (Gen. 7:19). The reader bent on naive-modern interpretation rushes to conclude that the water must have covered the entire globe. ... So what does the passage actually teach? The ... universality of the divine judgment, within the scope of what Noah could see. The Bible simply does not say whether the Flood covered the entire globe." (Poythress V.S.*, "Response to Paul Nelson and John Mark Reynolds," in Moreland, J.P. & Reynolds J.M., eds., "Three Views on Creation and Evolution," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1999, pp.90-92) 30/05/03 "One possible explanation is that the flood was local in geographic scope. Noah in that case would only have to repopulate the local area and have animals to eat and sacrifice. As evidence that the flood was not universal, it is noted that the same "universal" language of Genesis 6 through 9 is used elsewhere when something less than the whole world is meant. The people on the Day of Pentecost were said to be "from every nation under heaven" (Acts 15) yet the nations listed are restricted to the Roman world. Paul said in Colossians 1:23 that "this is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven." Paul's itinerary in Acts 13 to 28 shows that he went only to the Mediterranean area. Also, the silt deposits a flood like Noah's would have left are found only in the Mesopotamian Valley, not over the entire world. There is not enough water in the world to cover the highest mountains (7:20). Some mountains are several miles high. Waters that high would have caused problems with the rotation of the earth. The mountains in the Mesopotamian area are not nearly so high. Finally, the size of the ark would restrict the number of species. Those from a localized region would have been more manageably housed." (Geisler, N.L.*, "Flood, Noah's," in "Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics," Baker Books: Grand Rapids MI, 1999, p.258) 30/05/03 "How plausible is it that the ancestor to language first appeared after the branch leading to humans split off from the branch leading to chimps? Not very, says Philip Lieberman, one of the scientists who believe that vocal tract anatomy and speech control are the only things that were modified in evolution, not a grammar module: `Since Darwinian natural selection involves small incremental steps that enhance the present function of the specialized module, the evolution of a "new" module is logically impossible.' Now, something has gone seriously awry in this argument. Humans evolved from single-celled ancestors. Single-celled ancestors had no arms, legs, heart, eyes, liver, and so on. Therefore eyes and livers are logically impossible. The point that the argument misses is that although natural selection involves incremental steps that enhance functioning, the enhancements do not have to be to an existing module. They can slowly build a module out of some previously nondescript stretch of anatomy, or out of the nooks and crannies between existing modules, which the biologists Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Lewontin call `spandrels,' from the architectural term for the space between two arches. ... Language could have arisen, and probably did arise, in a similar way: by a revamping of primate brain circuits that originally had no role in vocal communication, and by the addition of some new ones." (Pinker S., "The Language Instinct: The New Science of Language and Mind," , Penguin: London, 2000, reprint, pp.383-384. My emphasis) 31/05/03 "If we possessed no physical clues to the early history of the earth and the primitive distribution of mankind, it would have to be left an open question whether such expressions in the Flood story as 'the earth', 'all the high mountains under the whole heaven', and 'all flesh', in Genesis 7:19,21, were to be understood in their modern or their ancient sense. ... As examples of the latter, Cf. 'all the face of the earth ... all countries all the earth', in 41:56,57, and Paul's words in Col. 1:23: 'the gospel has been preached to every creature under heaven.' Cf. also Acts 2:5 ('every nation under heaven') in relation to the list in Acts 2:9-11. (Kidner D.*, "Genesis: An Introduction and Commentary," Tyndale Press: London, 1967, pp.93-94) [top] June 1/06/03 "The Two-Platoon Strategy for Marginalizing Religion ... The National Academy's way of dealing with the religious implications of evolution is akin to the two-platoon system in American football. When the leading figures of evolutionary science feel free to say what they really believe, writers such as Edward O. Wilson, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Carl Sagan, Steven Pinker, Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Lewontin and others state the `God is dead' thesis aggressively, invoking the authority of science to silence any theistic protest. That is the offensive platoon, and the National Academy never raises any objection to its promoting this worldview. At other times, however, the scientific elite has to protect the teaching of the `fact of evolution' from objections by religious conservatives who know what the offensive platoon is saying and who argue that the science educators are insinuating a worldview that goes far beyond the data. When the objectors are too numerous or influential to be ignored, the defensive platoon takes the field. That is when we read those spin-doctored reassurances saying that many scientists are religious (in some sense), that science does not claim to have proved that God does not exist (but merely that he does not affect the natural world), and that science and religion are separate realms which should never be mixed (unless it is the materialists who are doing the mixing). Once the defensive platoon has done its job it leaves the field, and the offensive platoon goes right back to telling the public that science has shown that `God' is permanently out of business." (Johnson, P.E.*, "The Wedge of Truth: Splitting the Foundations of Naturalism," Intervarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2000, pp.87-89) 2/06/03 "The island of Madagascar, to cite one example, with its populations of lemurs found no place else on earth, puts a damper on any notion of a massive worldwide flood after the advent of hominids. Madagascar drifted away from the mainland of Africa about 165 million years ago, even before monkeys and apes had come into existence. Today, Madagascar is inhabited by 28 species and 40 subspecies of lemurs that are totally unique to that island. The present day lemur populations, dramatically different from other animal populations found elsewhere in the world, denies the possibility of a global flood with the termination of all animal populations during the last 100 million years. A survey of other island populations, each with its own unique animal life, weighs against any global catastrophe taking place during the time of human history. The existence of kiwis in New Zealand, kangaroos and koala bears native to the continent of Australia, to point out just a few examples, precludes a global destruction after the advent of hominids whenever and however they arrived, not to mention Noah who was a veritable `Johnny-come lately.'" (Fischer D.*, "The Origins Solution: An Answer in the Creation-Evolution Debate," Fairway Press: Lima OH, 1996, pp.257-258) 2/06/03 "Even with regard to the `days' - the duration of time involved-there is no insuperable difficulty. The writer may very well have intended symbolically or pictorially to represent the Creation as a great Week of work, ending with the Creator's Sabbath rest. It seems to me, however, more probable, in view of the fact that days of twenty-four hours do not begin to run till the appointment of the sun on the fourth day (Gen. i. 14), that he did not intend to affix a precise length to his Creation `days.' These, therefore, may be allowed to represent long periods of duration. This view was taken, on exegetical grounds alone, by Christian writers long before geology was heard of. ... E.g. by Augustine, De Civitate Dei, XI., 6-7; `Of what fashion these days were, it is exceedingly hard or altogether impossible to think, much more to speak,' &c." (Orr, J.*, "The Bible Under Trial: Apologetic Papers in View of Present-Day Assaults on Holy Scripture," 1907, p.156) 2/06/03 "Ever since I became a Christian I have thought that the best, perhaps the only, service I could do for my unbelieving neighbours was to explain and defend the belief that has been common to nearly all Christians at all times. ... what Baxter calls 'mere' Christianity." (Lewis, C.S.*, "Mere Christianity," , Fount: London, 1977, Reprinted, 1997, p.vi.) 3/06/03 "The extent of the Flood. That everything (vi. 17), including man (vi. 7 vii. 21) and beast (vi. 7, 13, 17, vii. 21, 22), was to be blotted out by the Flood is clearly stated but it can be argued that these categories are qualified by the statements of locality: upon the earth ('eres; vi. 17, vii. 17, 23); under heaven (samayim; vi. 17, vii. 19); and upon the ground ('adama; vii. 4, 23). 'Eres can mean 'land' (e.g. Gn. x. 10), samayim can mean 'sky', or the visible part of heaven within the horizon (e.g. I Ki. xviii. 45), and the extent of 'adama would be determined by these other two words; thus it is possible that a flood of unexampled severity might meet these conditions without covering the entire surface of the globe. The argument that such a flood would make the preservation of animals unnecessary might be countered with the suggestion that if a whole environmental zone with its own individual fauna were involved, such a measure would be necessary. The statement that all the high mountains (har) under the whole heaven were covered (vii. 19, 20) and that near the end of the Flood they began to be seen (viii. 5) is interpreted in this scheme as a phenomenon due to the cloud and mist that must have accompanied the cataclysm. This interpretation favours a limited Flood, but the text is also capable of bearing the interpretation of a universal Flood, and dogmatism is not reasonable, either way." (Manley, T.C.*, "Flood," in Douglas J.D., et al., eds., "The New Bible Dictionary," , Inter-Varsity Fellowship: London, Reprinted, 1967, pp.427-428) 4/06/03 "Our proposal, then, is that there are two basic kinds of scientific explanations: primary causes and secondary causes. Likewise, there are two basic kinds of events: regularities and singularities, either of which may occur in the past or the present. It is clear that natural (secondary) causes are the only legitimate kinds of causes to posit for a regular recurring pattern of events. However, singularities, whether past or present, can have a primary or supernatural cause. But whether they have a supernatural or a natural cause, past singularities come within the province of origin science." (Geisler, N.L.* & Anderson, J.K.*, "Origin Science: A Proposal for the Creation- Evolution Controversy," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1987, p.17) 4/06/03 "So our perceptions, theorizing and evaluations of theories all seem to have an inescapable human tinge to them. And given the significant interflow among those various components, human tinges in any one of the areas have at least the potential to seep into the other areas as well. Thus we cannot eliminate humanness from science (as inductivists wanted to do), nor can we quarantine that humanness in one small corner of science (as hypothetico-deductivists wanted to do). Science is done by humans, and it cannot escape what is inescapably human. Our science is limited to humanly available concepts, humanly available data, humanly available patterns of reasoning, humanly shaped notions of understanding and explanation, and humanly structured pictures of what the world must be like. How could it be otherwise? Science seems to have a serious and incurable case of the humans." (Ratzsch, D.L.*, "The Battle of Beginnings: Why Neither Side is Winning the Creation-Evolution Debate," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1996, p.129) 4/06/03 "Thus we come to another powerful winning technique: knowing your stuff. If you listen to many arguments you will quickly notice how many people have very little grasp of the facts. They depend mainly on their own prejudices and inclinations. To these they will add selectively from bits and pieces they have read, or television and radio programmes they have listened to. However, you can safely bet that their knowledge of the facts is sketchy at best, and probably most of their so-called facts are downright wrong. Someone who has the patience to commit facts, figures, names and dates to memory is in a very powerful position to win arguments. ... Nothing, but nothing, is more destructive to your case than to be caught out in an error of fact. If you want to be taken seriously you must have the facts straight. What is more, you must be able to quote the source of your facts." (Allen, R., "How To Win Arguments: The Complete Guide To Coming Out On Top," Thorsons: London, 1996, pp.49-50) 4/06/03 "The Sumerian King List mentions the flood as taking place immediately before the early dynastic period, which could suggest the flood occurred about 3000 BC. Certainly, archaeologists have found plenty of evidence of local floods in Mesopotamia in this period but none suggesting the inundation of the whole area. Another possibility is that the flood coincided with the end of the last ice age (c. 10,000 BC). This involved heavy rain over normally dry regions, and the melting ice led to ocean levels rising 300 ft (100m) and swamping previously habitable land. ... With our modern geographical knowledge, we automatically understand the story to be describing a total inundation of the globe, but if the story was being told from Noah's perspective (whose geographical horizons were limited), a somewhat smaller flood might have appeared universal." (Wenham G.J.*, "Genesis," in Carson D.A., et al., eds, "New Bible Commentary," , Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester UK, Fourth Edition, 1997, reprint, pp.66-67) 5/06/03 "The third section, `Darwinian Fairytales,' consists of four chapters from Stove's book of that title. The first essay (`Darwinism's Dilemma') anatomizes the common ways in which Darwinians have sought to overcome the central contradictions that accepting Darwinism involves. The second, `Where Darwin First Went Wrong about Man,' shows how Darwin's embrace of Thomas Malthus's principle of population as the motor for natural selection involved him in hopeless difficulties when it came to the higher mammals, especially man; the third essay, `Genetic Calvinism, or Demons and Dawkins,' subjects Richard Dawkins's `selfish gene' theory to the withering criticism it deserves; and the long fourth essay, `'He Ain't Heavy, He's my Brother,' or Altruism and Shared Genes,' shows how some modern refinements of Darwinism (the so-called `Inclusive fitness' theory) are just as impotent as classical Darwinism when it comes to explaining the reality of altruism. This anthology could easily have been twice as long. But reading David Stove is one of those heady pleasures to which it is best to acclimatize oneself gradually." (Kimball, R., ed., "Against the Idols of the Age," , Transaction Publishers: New Brunswick NJ, Second printing, 2000, p.xxxii) 5/06/03 "Another of Einstein's famous remarks is that the only incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible. The success of the scientific enterprise can often blind us to the astonishing fact that science works. Though it is usually taken for granted, it is both incredibly fortunate and deeply mysterious that we are able to fathom the workings of nature by use of the scientific method. The purpose of science is to uncover patterns and regularities in nature, but the raw data of observation rarely exhibit explicit regularities. Nature's order is hidden from us: the book of nature is written in a sort of code. To make progress in science we need to crack the cosmic code, to dig beneath the raw data, and uncover the hidden order. To return to the crossword analogy, the clues are highly cryptic, and require some considerable ingenuity to solve. What is so remarkable is that human beings can actually perform this code-breaking operation. Why has the human mind the capacity to "unlock the secrets of nature" and make a reasonable success at completing nature's cryptic crossword"? It is easy to imagine worlds in which the regularities of nature are transparent at a glance or impenetrably complicated or subtle, requiring far more brainpower than humans possess to decode them. In fact, the cosmic code seems almost attuned to human capabilities. This is all the more mysterious on account of the fact that human intellectual powers are presumably determined by biological evolution, and have absolutely no connection with doing science. Our brains have evolved to cope with survival in the jungle," a far cry from describing the laws of electromagnetism or the structure of the atom." (Davies, P.C.W., "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Science," in Templeton J.M., ed., "Evidence of Purpose: Scientists Discover the Creator," Continuum: New York, 1994, p.54) 7/06/03 "In its treatment of design, this book focuses not so much on whether the universe as a whole is designed but on whether we are able to detect design within an already given universe. The universe provides a well-defined causal backdrop (physicists these days think of it as a field characterized by field equations). Although one can ask whether that causal backdrop is itself designed, one can as well ask whether events and objects occurring within that backdrop are designed. At issue here are two types of design: (1) the design of the universe as a whole and (2) instances of design within the universe. An analogy illustrates the difference. Consider an oil painting. An oil painting is typically painted on a canvas. One can therefore ask whether the canvas is designed. Alternatively one can ask whether some configuration of paint on the canvas is designed. The design of the canvas corresponds to the design of the universe as a whole. The design of some configuration of paint corresponds to an instance of design within the universe. Though not perfect, this analogy is useful. The universe is a canvas on which is depicted natural history. One can ask whether that canvas itself is designed. On the other hand, one can ask whether features of natural history depicted on that canvas are designed. In biology, for instance, one can ask whether Michael Behe's irreducibly complex biochemical machines are designed. Although design remains an important issue in cosmology, the focus of the intelligent design movement is on biology. That's where the action is. It was Darwin's expulsion of design from biology that made possible the triumph of naturalism in Western culture. So, too, it will be intelligent design's reinstatement of design within biology that will be the undoing of naturalism in Western culture." (Dembski, W.A.*, "Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1999, pp.13-14) 8/06/03 "However, and again in retrospect, we can easily see why Buckland's theory quickly failed the test. He attributed his cave deposits and external gravels to a single flood; they were, in fact, produced by several episodes of glaciation. Throughout the 1820s, Buckland's theory was a subject of lively debate within the Geological Society of London. The greatest geologists of Britain lined up on opposite sides. As his chief ally, Buckland could depend upon his Cambridge counterpart and fellow divine, the Reverend Adam Sedgwick. Leading the opposition were Charles Lyell, the great apostle of gradualism, and the aristocratic Roderick Impey Murchison. The debate surged with all the vigor of Buckland's floodwaters but within ten years both Buckland and Sedgwick had thrown in the towel. Two primary discoveries forced Buckland's retreat. First, he eventually had to admit that his deposits of loam and gravel were not distributed throughout the world (as "an universal deluge" would require) but only over lands in northern latitudes (reflecting-though Buckland did not yet know the reason-the limited extent of glaciers spreading from polar regions). Second, and more importantly, the everyday dog work of geology proved that Buckland's caves and gravels did not all correlate, or "match up," as products of a single event in time and also that several deposits recorded more than one episode of flooding (or glaciation, as we would now say). "Correlation" is the basic activity of field geologists. We walk from outcrop to outcrop; we try to trace the beds of one location to the strata of another; we ascertain which beds at our first location match (or correlate in time with) sets of strata in other places. As this basic work proceeded, geologists recognized that Buckland's cave deposits and gravels represented many events, not a single universal flood. This discovery did not require that floods be abandoned as causal agents, but it did rob Noah of any special status. If numerous floods had occurred, then Buckland's striking evidence could not be ascribed to any particular biblical event. Moreover, since Buckland found no human bones in any of his deposits (whereas Noah's deluge occurred to extirpate rapacious humanity), he eventually concluded that all the many floods he now recognized had antedated the Noachian deluge." (Gould, S.J., "The Freezing of Noah," in "The Flamingo's Smile: Reflections in Natural History," , Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, pp.121-122) 8/06/03 "Now let us suppose for the sake of argument that the 'Flood geologists' are right, and practically all the earth's fossils were formed by the Flood. In that case, the Flood must have killed many times more underwater creatures than land creatures. And it must have caused many tens of thousands of underwater species to become extinct. But there is not a hint of this in Genesis, which emphasises repeatedly that it was the land animals that died: `And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, birds, cattle, beasts all swarming creatures that swarm upon the earth, and every man everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the air; they were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those that were with him in the ark. (Genesis 7:21-23.) If the 'Flood geologists' are right, then why does Genesis give such a misleading picture? If the Flood really did turn the earth's oceans into a gigantic mud-bath, where most species of fish life would have been wiped out, why was God only concerned to save the land animals and birds from extinction? Why was Noah not told to include an aquarium in the ark? There seems only one possible answer for a reverent Bible reader. Genesis does not give a misleading impression. Most of the casualties in the Flood were land-dwelling creatures. The marine species were well able to survive the Flood and so were not in danger of being made extinct by it. And that means that 'Flood geology' is not only in a head-on collision with science. It is also in conflict with the Genesis account of the Flood." (Hayward, A.*, "Creation and Evolution: Rethinking the Evidence from Science and the Bible," Bethany House Publishers: Minneapolis MN, 1995, reprint, pp.186-187) 8/06/03 "An examination of the Table of Nations of Gen. 10 discloses that no mention of the Mongoloid or Negroid races is made. Some anthropologists believe that it is impossible to make any racial distinctions among humans, others make two main divisions, but most accept with modifications and qualifications and exceptions the triadic division of Negroid, Mongoloid, and Caucasoid. As far as can be determined the early chapters of Genesis centre around that stream of humanity (part of the Caucasoid race) which produced the Semitic family of nations of which the Hebrews were a member. The sons of Noah were all Caucasian as far as can be determined, and so were all of their descendants. The Table of Nations gives no hint of any Negroid or Mongoloid peoples." (Ramm B.L.*, "The Christian View of Science and Scripture," Paternoster: Exeter UK, 1955, Reprinted, 1967, p.234) 8/06/2003 "The purpose of the flood was to blot out the wicked civilization of Mesopotamia, and being a local flood of a short duration we would not expect to find any specific evidence for it, especially after the minimum of another six thousand years of weathering. There are three views of the local flood: (i) Some assert that man never spread beyond the Mesopotamian valley. This is impossible to defend in that it is so well proven that men were to be found outside the Mesopotamian area long before the flood. (ii) G.F. Wright believes that the ice-age drove man into the Mesopotamian valley. (iii) A third view, and the one which we hold, is that the entire record must be interpreted phenomenally. If the flood is local though spoken of in universal terms, so the destruction of man is local though spoken of in universal terms. The record neither affirms nor denies that man existed beyond the Mesopotamian valley. Noah certainly was not a preacher of righteousness to the peoples of Africa, of India, of China or of America-places where there is evidence for the existence of man many thousands of years before the flood (10,000 to 15,000 years in America). The emphasis in Genesis is upon that group of cultures from which Abraham eventually came." (Ramm, B.L.*, "The Christian View of Science and Scripture," Paternoster: Exeter UK, 1955, Reprinted, 1960, p.163) 9/06/2003 "God's Grief (6:7) THE TEXT DOES not portray God as responding in a fit of anger. There is no indication of wrath here or a depiction of God's hurling thunderbolts and thrashing up hurricane gales. Though a picture of God's grieving may be more palatable than one of his raging, it is nevertheless the source of much difficulty. In some translations, it is rendered that he was sorry he made human beings (e.g., NKJV). If we are sorry we have done something, we logically refrain from doing it again. Through such sorrow we are usually expressing the wish that we never did the action in question. Thus, passages using terminology such as God's being sorry, repenting, or changing his mind have been the source of theological confusion, consternation, and debate. There are ... ways to seek resolution. ... I propose that this word can be best understood in accounting terms. In bookkeeping, the ledgers must always be kept in balance; debits equal credits. If the books get out of balance, something must be adjusted. Whenever transactions are made, entries must be made accordingly. The Niphal of nhm can be viewed in terms of acting to keep personal, national, or cosmic `ledgers' in balance. ... When God has set a course for punishment, it can at times be counterbalanced by an act of grace that revokes that punishment and brings the ledger back into balance (Jer. 26:13; Jonah 1:9-10). God is disturbed when people have sinned and been warned of the coming consequences of the imbalance represented by their wickedness, but they refuse to balance their ledgers with repentance (Jer. 8:6). God is known as a God who does not allow evil to stand on the books but balances it with either grace and mercy (Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2) or with punishment (Jer. 18: 10). ... We are now in a position to suggest that nhm in Genesis 6:6-7 has nothing to do with regrets, grief, or being sorry. Yahweh is seeking to redress the situation. He is auditing the accounts [Israel would be inclined to think of balancing a scale rather than balancing books] because (Heb. ki) he had made humankind. His course of action entails wiping almost the entire population from the earth. This action of auditing the accounts is the first part of his ultimate intention to `balance the ledger' that has been put out of balance by the wickedness of humankind. We can say, then, that God is enforcing a system of checks and balances as part of the equilibrium that he is maintaining in the world." (Walton J.H.*, "Genesis," The NIV Application Commentary, Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 2001, pp.308-310) 9/06/03 "When we look at the Bible, it is clear that it is not radically mythical. The influence of myth is there in the Old Testament. The stories of creation and fall, of flood and the tower of Babel, are there in pagan texts and are worked over in Genesis from the angle of Israel's knowledge of God, but the framework is no longer mythical. God is described as sovereign over history and every power and breaks down the suppositions of myth. What we find of this sort are `broken myths,' allusions to ancient myths but now translated into different terms. They occur now as symbols of the realm of transcendence and no longer as events and literal references." (Pinnock C.H.*, "The Scripture Principle," Hodder & Staughton: London, 1985, pp.123-124) 9/06/03 "The seismic shock of out-and-out atheism sent tidal waves across Europe and beyond, accounting directly for the annihilation and butchering of more than one hundred million people this past century alone. Humanity has paid a steep, gruesome price for the awful experiments in deliberate antitheism carried out by Lenin, Hitler. Stalin, Mao Tse-tung and others-each of whom was profoundly influenced by the writings of the apostles of atheism." (Palau, L., "God Is Relevant," Doubleday: New York, 1997, p.23, in Strobel, L.P.*, "The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 2000, pp.216-217) 9/06/03 "I am not implying that scientific naturalists do any of this with an intent to deceive. On the contrary, they are as a rule so steeped in naturalistic assumptions that they are blind to the arbitrary elements in their thinking. For example, examine carefully the following passage fromThe Dreams of Reason, a book about scientific reasoning, by Heinz Pagels: `So powerful is [the scientific-experimental] method that virtually everything scientists know about the natural world comes from it. What they find is that the architecture of the universe is indeed built according to invisible universal rules, what I call the cosmic code-the building code of the Demiurge. Examples of this universal building code are the quantum and relativity theory, the laws of chemical combination and molecular structure, the rules that govern protein synthesis and how organisms are made, to name but a few. Scientists in discovering this code are deciphering the Demiurge's hidden message, the tricks he used in creating the universe. No human mind could have arranged for any message so flawlessly coherent, so strangely imaginative, and sometimes downright bizarre. It must be the work of an Alien Intelligence! ... Whether God is the message, wrote the message, or whether it wrote itself is unimportant in our lives. We can safely drop the traditional idea of the Demiurge, for there is no scientific evidence for a Creator of the natural world, no evidence for a will or purpose that goes beyond the known laws of nature. Even the evidence of life on earth, which promoted the compelling `argument from design' for a Creator, can be accounted for by evolution. [Pagels refers his readers to books by Dawkins and Gould for the evidence.] So we have a message without a sender.' [Pagels, H.R., "The Dreams of Reason," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, 1988, pp.156-58] The first paragraph of that passage tells us that the presence of intelligent design in the cosmos is so obvious that even an atheist like Pagels cannot help noticing it, and rhapsodizing about it, dubbing the Creator `the Demiurge.' The second paragraph offhandedly remarks that there is no scientific evidence for a Creator. What makes the passage a good illustration of the scientific naturalist mentality is that Pagels assumes all the critical points. What seemed to be evidence of a Creator turned out to be no evidence at all, because scientific evidence for something that goes beyond the laws of nature would be a contradiction in terms. On the other hand, evidence of `evolution' (which may mean no more than microevolution plus the existence of natural relationships) automatically excludes the possibility of design. Naturalistic philosophy controls his mind so completely that Pagels can stare straight at evidence of intelligent design, describe it as such, and still not see it." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," , InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second Edition, 1993, pp.118-119, 202. Ellipses Johnson's) 12/06/03 "Recent [young-Earth]-creationists usually ignore this historical fact. Their literature abounds with incorrect statements like this: `Why, then, do geologists say the rocks are hundreds of millions of years old, when they may only be thousands of years old? The answer is that they are trying to agree with the theory of evolution that needs enormous lengths of time to explain all the forms of life we know today." (Andrews E.H., "From Nothing to Nature", Evangelical Press, Welwyn, 1978, p.63) Such unfounded accusations are grossly unfair to all the early geologists. Not only did they reach their conclusions many years before Darwin launched his theory of evolution, but many of them were Bible-believing Christians and creationists. Among them were William Buckland and Adam Sedgwick. Buckland held the chair of geology at Oxford in the early nineteenth century, while Sedgwick was his counterpart at Cambridge. Both were leading churchmen, and both preached the plenary inspiration of Scripture and argued in favour of special creation. In their early years they held that some geological features, and especially the fossil-rich deposits found in caves, were relics of the Biblical Flood. After a while Sedgwick came to see that even this limited version of 'Flood geology' did not fit the facts, and strongly denounced it. Eventually Buckland abandoned it, too." (Hayward, A.*, "Creation and Evolution: Rethinking the Evidence from Science and the Bible," Bethany House: Minneapolis MN, 1995, pp.72-73. Emphasis original) 12/06/03 "Professor Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard University, a vigorous supporter of Darwin but an opponent of many cherished evolutionary dogmas that have grown up around him, calls fossil gaps 'the trade secret of palaeontology'. Reading popular or even textbook introductions to evolution, one sees what he means: you might hardly guess that they exist, so glibly and confidently do most authors slide through them. In the absence of fossil evidence, they write what have been termed 'just so' stories. A suitable mutation just happened to take place at the crucial moment, and hey presto, a new stage of evolution was reached. ... Such accounts are really not much more helpful than a line of plausible patter before a conjurer says abracadabra and produces a rabbit (or in the above case, a fish) from his hat." (Hitching, F., "The Neck of the Giraffe: Or Where Darwin Went Wrong," Pan: London, 1982, pp.23-24) 13/06/2003 "Accordingly the present writer feels justified in following Wiseman [Wiseman P.J., "New Discoveries in Babylonia About Genesis," 1958, pp.53ff] in the assertion that Genesis contains in the first thirty-six chapters a series of tablets whose contents were linked together to form a roughly chronological account of primeval and patriarchal life written from the standpoint of a Mesopotamian cultural milieu. ... The tablets that may be isolated will be seen to have a title, a residuum of textual matter, and a colophon, along with certain additional features .... The sources can be described briefly as follows: Tablet 1: Gen. 1:1-2:4. The origins of the cosmos Tablet 2: Gen. 2 :5-5:2. The origins of mankind Tablet 3: Gen. 5: 3-6:9a. The histories of Noah Tablet 4: Gen. 6:9b-10:1. The histories of the sons of Noah Tablet 5: Gen. 10:2-11:10a. The histories of Shem Tablet 6: Gen. 11:10b-11:27a. The histories of Terah Tablet 7: Gen. 11 :27b-25:12. The histories of Ishmael Tablet 8: Gen. 25:13-25:19a. The histories of Isaac Tablet 9: Gen. 25:19b-36:1. The histories of Esau Tablet 10: Gen. 36:2-36:9. The histories of Esau Tablet 11: Gen. 36:10-37:2. The histories of Jacob .... The present writer is of the opinion that the foregoing classification of material represents the genuine literary sources underlying the first thirty- six chapters of Genesis." (Harrison, R.K., "Introduction to the Old Testament," , Tyndale Press: London, 1970, p.548) 13/06/2003 "By 1830, many geologists were having second thoughts about a single universal deluge and were taking another look at the physical evidence. Authorities began to issue public recantations. Cambridge's Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873), like his friends Buckland and Conybeare ... had also been an early advocate of diluvial catastrophism. Yet, upon retiring from the presidency of the Geological Society of London in 1831, Sedgwick announced his abandonment of the deluge theory: `There is, I think, one great negative conclusion now incontestably established - that the vast masses of diluvial gravel, scattered al most over the surface of the earth, do not belong to one violent and transitory period. It was indeed a most unwarranted conclusion, when we assumed the contemporaneity of all the superficial gravel on the earth. We saw the clearest traces of diluvial action, and we had, in our sacred histories, the record of a general deluge. On this double testimony it was, that we gave a unity to a vast succession of phaenomena, not one of which we perfectly comprehended, and under the name diluvium, classed them all together... Our errors were, however, natural, and of the same kind which led many excellent observers of a former century to refer all the secondary formations of geology to the Noachian deluge. Having been myself a believer, and, to the best of my power, a propagator of what I now regard as a philosophic heresy, and having more than once been quoted for opinions I do not now maintain, I think it right, as one of my last acts before I quit this Chair, thus publicly to read my recantation.'" (Sedgwick, A.*, "Address to the Geological Society" Proceedings of the Geological Society of London 1, 1831, pp.313-14, in Young, D.A.*, "The Biblical Flood: A Case Study of the Church's Response to Extrabiblical Evidence," Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, 1995, pp.113-114) 14/06/2003 "The book of Genesis, therefore, contains the following series of tablets possessed by the persons whose names are stated. All of these tablets could have come into the possession of Moses, who compiled the book as we now have it, in the way that family records were normally handed down. Tablet Contents series 1 1:1-2:4 This is the book of the origins of the heavens and the earth. 2 2:5-5:2 This is the book of the origins of Adam. 3 5:3-6:9a These are the origins (or histories) of Noah. 4 6:9b-10:1 These are the origins (or histories) of the sons of Noah. 5 10:2-11:10a These are the origins (or histories) of Shem. 6 11:10b-11:27a These are the origins (or histories) of Terah. 7-8 11:27b-25:19a These are the origins (or histories) of Ishmael and Isaac. 9-11 25:19b-37:2a These are the origins (or histories) of Esau and Jacob. In this way Moses clearly indicates the source of the information available to him and names the persons who originally possessed the tablets from which he gained his knowledge. These are not arbitrarily invented divisions; they are stated by the author to be the framework of the book." (Wiseman, P.J.*, "Ancient Records and the Structure of Genesis: A Case for Literary Unity,"  Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nashville TN, pp.68-69) 15/06/2003 "If we believe that the God of creation is the God of redemption, and that the God of redemption is the God of creation, then we are committed to some very positive theory of harmonization between science and evangelicalism. God cannot contradict His speech in Nature by His speech in Scripture. If the Author of Nature and Scripture are the same God, then the two books of God must eventually recite the same story." (Ramm, B.L., "The Christian View of Science and Scripture," , Paternoster: London, Reprinted, 1960, p.25) 13/06/03 "Accordingly the present writer feels justified in following Wiseman in the assertion that Genesis contains in the first thirty-six chapters a series of tablets whose contents were linked together to form a roughly chronological account of primeval and patriarchal life written from the standpoint of a Mesopotamian cultural milieu. ... The tablets that may be isolated will be seen to have a title, a residuum of textual matter, and a colophon, along with certain additional features .... The sources can be described briefly as follows: Tablet 1: Gen. 1:1-2:4. The origins of the cosmos Tablet 2: Gen. 2 :5-5:2. The origins of mankind Tablet 3: Gen. 5: 3-6:9a. The histories of Noah Tablet 4: Gen. 6:9b-10:1. The histories of the sons of Noah Tablet 5: Gen. 10:2-11:10a. The histories of Shem Tablet 6: Gen. 11:10b-11:27a. The histories of Terah Tablet 7: Gen. 11 :27b-25:12. The histories of Ishmael Tablet 8: Gen. 25:13-25:19a. The histories of Isaac Tablet 9: Gen. 25:19b-36:1. The histories of Esau Tablet 10: Gen. 36:2-36:9. The histories of Esau Tablet 11: Gen. 36:10-37:2. The histories of Jacob .... The present writer is of the opinion that the foregoing classification of material represents the genuine literary sources underlying the first thirty- six chapters of Genesis." (Harrison, R.K., "Introduction to the Old Testament," , Tyndale Press: London, 1970, p.548) 13/06/03 "By 1830, many geologists were having second thoughts about a single universal deluge and were taking another look at the physical evidence. Authorities began to issue public recantations. Cambridge's Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873), like his friends Buckland and Conybeare ... had also been an early advocate of diluvial catastrophism. Yet, upon retiring from the presidency of the Geological Society of London in 1831, Sedgwick announced his abandonment of the deluge theory: `There is, I think, one great negative conclusion now incontestably established - that the vast masses of diluvial gravel, scattered al most over the surface of the earth, do not belong to one violent and transitory period. It was indeed a most unwarranted conclusion, when we assumed the contemporaneity of all the superficial gravel on the earth. We saw the clearest traces of diluvial action, and we had, in our sacred histories, the record of a general deluge. On this double testimony it was, that we gave a unity to a vast succession of phaenomena, not one of which we perfectly comprehended, and under the name diluvium, classed them all together... Our errors were, however, natural, and of the same kind which led many excellent observers of a former century to refer all the secondary formations of geology to the Noachian deluge. Having been myself a believer, and, to the best of my power, a propagator of what I now regard as a philosophic heresy, and having more than once been quoted for opinions I do not now maintain, I think it right, as one of my last acts before I quit this Chair, thus publicly to read my recantation.'" (Sedgwick, A.*, "Address to the Geological Society" Proceedings of the Geological Society of London 1, 1831, pp.313-14, in Young D.A.*, "The Biblical Flood: A Case Study of the Church's Response to Extrabiblical Evidence," Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, 1995, pp.113-114) 14/06/2003 "The book of Genesis, therefore, contains the following series of tablets possessed by the persons whose names are stated. All of these tablets could have come into the possession of Moses, who compiled the book as we now have it, in the way that family records were normally handed down. Tablet Contents series 1 1:1-2:4 This is the book of the origins of the heavens and the earth. 2 2:5-5:2 This is the book of the origins of Adam. 3 5:3-6:9a These are the origins (or histories) of Noah. 4 6:9b-10:1 These are the origins (or histories) of the sons of Noah. 5 10:2-11:10a These are the origins (or histories) of Shem. 6 11:10b-11:27a These are the origins (or histories) of Terah. 7-8 11:27b-25:19a These are the origins (or histories) of Ishmael and Isaac. 9-11 25:19b-37:2a These are the origins (or histories) of Esau and Jacob. In this way Moses clearly indicates the source of the information available to him and names the persons who originally possessed the tablets from which he gained his knowledge. These are not arbitrarily invented divisions; they are stated by the author to be the framework of the book." (Wiseman, P.J.*, "Ancient Records and the Structure of Genesis: A Case for Literary Unity,"  Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nashville TN, Revised, 1985, pp.68-69) 14/06/03 "In short, then, the covalent compounds of carbon, and especially those containing oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen, the substances of life, possess just those characteristics of complexity, diversity, and metastability essential if any sort of complex chemical system is to manipulate its atomic and molecular components in complex and intricate ways. Moreover, this plenitude is of maximum utility in the same temperature range that water, the ideal matrix for life based on carbon chemistry, is a liquid, and where the weak bonds can he utilized to maintain the delicate three-dimensional molecular conformations upon which the functions of the cell's molecular machinery depend. Carbon is so uniquely fit for its biological role, its various compounds so vital to the existence of life, that we may repeat the aphorism, `If carbon did not exist. it would have to be invented.'"(Denton, M.J., "Nature's Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe," Free Press: New York, 1998, p.116. Emphasis original) 15/06/03 "Chapter 5. The Fitness of Carbon. In which evidence is presented for believing that the chemical properties of the carbon atom are uniquely fit to form the complex molecules required for life. Silicon, which is carbon's sister atom in the periodic table, falls far short of carbon in the diversity and complexity of its compounds. The fitness of carbon compounds for life is maximal in the same temperature range that water is a fluid. Both the strong covalent and the weak bonds are of maximal utility in this same temperature range. Such coincidences are precisely what one might expect to see in a cosmos specially adapted for carbon-based life." (Denton, M.J., "Nature's Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe," Free Press: New York, 1998, p.101) 15/06/03 "If we believe that the God of creation is the God of redemption, and that the God of redemption is the God of creation, then we are committed to some very positive theory of harmonization between science and evangelicalism. God cannot contradict His speech in Nature by His speech in Scripture. If the Author of Nature and Scripture are the same God, then the two books of God must eventually recite the same story." (Ramm, B.L.*, "The Christian View of Science and Scripture," , Paternoster: Exeter UK, Reprinted, 1967, p.25) 15/06/03 "There does remain, nonetheless, a cast of mind which seems peculiarly closed to evidence. When confronted with such a mind, one feels helpless, for no amount of evidence seems to be clinching. Frequently the facts are simply ignored or brushed aside as somehow deceptive, and the principles are reaffirmed in unshakable conviction. One seems confronted with what has been called `invincible ignorance.'" (Fearnside, W.W. & Holther, W.B., "Fallacy: The Counterfeit of Argument," Prentice-Hall: Englewood Cliffs NJ, 1959, Eleventh printing, p.113). 17/06/03 "An almost uncharted area remains open to skilled chemical investigation: undirected prebiotic experiments. Some aspects of a study of this type have been anticipated. Isolated individuals have called for experiments that accurately simulate the complexity of a primitive earth environment. ... The virtue of such elaborate devices is not only that they would simulate an authentic environment, but that they would be less susceptible to the bias of the experimenter. Ideally, a study would start with the introduction of a realistic and simple mixture of chemicals into the machine. The apparatus would be turned on and let to run indefinitely without further interference by the scientists, except perhaps for the removal of a small sample from time to time for analysis. ... The first efforts could be carried out on small scale. The most important point would be that the scientist not interfere until the end point is reached; the size of the endeavor is a less critical feature. Early experiments would most likely produce numerous ignoble failures, and test the patience of the investigators. But perhaps one day, a mixture would not grind to a halt or turn to tar. Cycles of chemical reactions would be set up which would persist and slowly gain in complexity. Even if they damped out after some time, we would have learned from the experience. A revised attempt could then be made. One day, with the right mixture and conditions, the process might not end. The chemical system would slowly organize itself and continue to evolve." (Shapiro, R., "Origins: A Skeptic's Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth," Summit Books: New York NY, 1986, pp.301-302) 19/06/03 "For while natural selection is often touted as a force of almost arbitrary power, I have increasingly come to believe that in fact its power is remarkably limited. And indeed, what I suspect is that in the end natural selection can only operate in a meaningful way on systems or parts of systems whose behavior is in some sense quite simple. If a particular part of an organism always grows, say, in a simple straight line, then it is fairly easy to imagine that natural selection could succeed in picking out the optimal length for any given environment. But what if an organism can grow in a more complex way, say like in the pictures on the previous page? My strong suspicion is that in such a case natural selection will normally be able to achieve very little." (Wolfram, S., "A New Kind of Science," Wolfram Media: Champaign IL, 2002, First edition. Third printing, pp.391-392) 19/06/03 "But there is barely beginning to emerge a new generation of creationists with legitimate and relevant credentials who are undertaking to actually do some of the painstaking, detailed drudgery that underlies any genuinely live scientific program. This emergence has begun to produce a separation in the creationist movement-an upper and lower tier, so to speak. I think that what ultimately separates the two tiers is different levels of respect for accuracy and completeness of detail, and different levels of awareness that a theory's looking good in vague and general form is an enormously unreliable predictor of whether in the long run the theory will be disemboweled by recalcitrant technical details. ... Most of this group's present work seems to fall into three areas: (1) constructing a competent philosophy of science defense for the legitimacy in science of the hypothesis that life embodies design and structure not well accountable by purely natural means; (2) exploring detailed technical-and perhaps ultimately intractable-problems with attempts to explain relevant data, structures and events (like the origin of life) by purely natural means; and (3) attempting to construct rigorous, legitimately scientific positive cases for creationist positions (such as design theory) in various areas of conflict with mainstream theory." (Ratzsch, D.L.*, "The Battle of Beginnings: Why Neither Side is Winning the Creation-Evolution Debate," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1996, pp.82,84) 20/06/03 "Recent-creationists are convinced that geologists are guilty of circular reasoning in building up the geologic column. They make this accusation in nearly every book they publish. ... But these accusations do not fit the facts, which are quite simple. William Smith, the 'father of English geology', pioneered the technique and built up the first geologic column in 1799. Evolution did not enter into the matter. Darwin then was still unborn, and Smith remained a creationist all his life. All he did was to reason, 'How do I know a Type-A stratum when I see it? By the Type-A fossils it contains. The B strata contain B-type fossils, and so on.' ... The geologic column itself was built up in a thoroughly logical way, long before the theory of evolution was invented, and many of those who contributed to its building were creationists. And there is nothing illogical or 'circular' about the way that mainstream geology uses it today." (Hayward, A.*, "Creation and Evolution: Rethinking the Evidence from Science and the Bible," , Bethany House: Minneapolis MN, 1995, pp.117-119) 20/06/03 "The normal assessment of the nineteenth century criticisms of Darwin by the great scientists of the day is well illustrated in the following words of Sir Gavin de Beer, himself one of the twentieth century's great evolutionary theorists and also a biographer of Darwin. `If Kelvin was right, it meant that so little time was available for the pageant of evolution to have taken place that it could not have been achieved by natural selection of fortuitous variations. Instead, design and direction would have to be invoked, which was exactly what Darwin had always fought against. ... Darwin's uncanny dumb sagacity was well founded, for the discovery of radioactivity has made nonsense of Kelvin's arguments and has lengthened the estimated age of the earth to over 4000 million years, sufficient to allow evolution by natural selection of fortuitous variations to have done its work. There is therefore no reason to repudiate natural selection and to invoke design and direction on the score of the age of the earth.' (De Beer G., "Charles Darwin," 1964, pp.173-174). But ... de Beer misrepresents the actual time available for the evolution of complex organisms to occur. For the first half-billion years of the earth's history, no evolution would be possible, because no life was possible until the earth cooled sufficiently and a suitable climate developed. Moreover, approximately 85 percent of geologic time occurred in the Precambrian period where the comparatively few life forms fossilized were quite primitive. With the Cambrian period came the sudden appearance of a multitude of complex life forms, an `explosion' that occurred beginning, not four billion years ago, but approximately five hundred and fifty million years ago. Even more difficult to explain, the explosion itself actually did occur within a few million years, thereby reducing the evolution of all the major animal groups in biology to Kelvin's calculated time span (albeit for different reasons than Kelvin's)." (Wiker, B.D.*, "Moral Darwinism: How We Became Hedonists," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2002, pp.228-229) 20/06/03 "Biological systems are often cited as supreme examples of complexity in nature, and it is not uncommon for it to be assumed that their complexity must be somehow of a fundamentally higher order than other systems. And typically it is thought that this must be a consequence of the rather unique processes of adaptation and natural selection that operate in biological systems. But despite all sorts of discussion over the years, no clear understanding has ever emerged of just why such processes should in the end actually lead to much complexity at all. And in fact what I have come to believe is that many of the most obvious examples of complexity in biological systems actually have very little to do with adaptation or natural selection." (Wolfram, S., "A New Kind of Science," Wolfram Media: Champaign IL, 2002, First edition. Third printing, p.383) 29/06/03 "Insofar as traditional theists sense an underlying cause for the moral decline of Western culture, all roads lead to Epicurus and the train of thought he set in motion. Though hardly a household name, Epicurus is best remembered for making pleasure humanity's chief good. What is largely neglected these days is how he conceived of pleasure and why he gave pleasure such a high status. For Epicurus pleasure consisted in freedom from disturbance. Two forms of disturbance stood out for Epicurus: the disturbance of God intervening in nature and the disturbance of an afterlife. For Epicurus, to allow that God might intervene in the natural world and to take seriously the possibility of an afterlife (with the moral accountability and judgment it implies) were incompatible with the good life. Although religious believers tend to think of belief in God and the promise of an afterlife as a comfort, Epicurus and his disciples (ancient and contemporary) held precisely the opposite. A God who intervenes in the natural world and thus in human affairs is a God who can derail our plans and mess up our day. Moreover, an afterlife in which accounts from the present life get settled places undue restrictions on how we live this present life. Thus, for Epicurus belief in a God who is actively involved in the affairs of this world and who judges us in the next is a surefire way to destroy one's personal peace and happiness. To short-circuit belief in such a God, Epicurus proposed a mechanistic understanding of nature. Accordingly, Epicurus conceived of nature as an aggregate of material entities operating by blind, unbroken natural laws. God or the gods might exist, but they took no interest in the world, played no role in human affairs and indeed could play no role in human affairs, since a material world operating according to mechanistic principles leaves no place for meaningful divine interaction. Moreover, since humans belonged to nature and consisted entirely of material entities, death amounted to a dissolution of a material state and thus precluded any sort of ongoing conscious existence. All of this has, of course, a very modern ring to it. Typically we identify it with the `modern scientific worldview.' ... the materialism or naturalism of Epicurus is nothing other than an ideologically driven metaphysics that masquerades as science but in fact serves as a stick with which to beat religious believers and disenfranchise them in the square of public discourse. ... Epicurus's most prominent disciple is without question Charles Darwin. " (Dembski, W.A.*, "Foreword," in Wiker, B.D.*, "Moral Darwinism: How We Became Hedonists," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2002, pp.10-11) 30/06/03 "Moving on to their final arguments, creationists deal quickly with the age of the Earth. It is boiled down to around a millionth of what we learn from various radiometric dating techniques. (Think of it. The age of the Earth is a million times shorter than most believe.)" (Ruse, M.E., "Creation science: the ultimate fraud," New Scientist, 27 May 1982, p.590) 30/06/03 "Epicurus's most prominent disciple is without question Charles Darwin. Darwinism is not only the most recent incarnation of Epicurean philosophy but also the most potent formulation of that philosophy to date. Darwinism's significance consists in the purported scientific justification it brings to the Epicurean philosophy. But the science itself is weak and ad hoc. As Wiker shows, Darwinism is essentially a moral and metaphysical crusade that fuels our contemporary moral debates. Furthermore, Wiker argues that the motivation behind Darwinism today is its alternative moral and metaphysical vision rather than the promotion of science. ... Ultimately the problem is not Epicurus, Darwin or their contemporary disciples. Ultimately the problem is whether reality at its base is purposive and intelligent or mindless and material. This is the great divide. All the ancient creation stories come down on one or the other side of this question, making either blind natural forces or a transcendent purposive intelligence the fundamental reality. Wiker brilliantly traces this divide to its metaphysical foundations. In so doing, he shows how the challenge of intelligent design to the evolutionary naturalism of Darwin is not the latest flash in the pan of the culture war but in fact constitutes ground zero of the culture war." (Dembski, W.A.*, "Foreword," in Wiker, B.D.*, "Moral Darwinism: How We Became Hedonists," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2002, pp.11-12)
* Authors with an asterisk against their name are believed not to be evolutionists. However, lack of an
asterisk does not necessarily mean that an author is an evolutionist.
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Created: 1 April, 2003. Updated. Updated: 9 February, 2011.