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The following are unclassified quotes posted in my email messages in July, 2003.
The date format is dd/mm/yy. See copyright conditions at end.
2/07/2003 "The situation with the word 'science' is even worse. I would gladly do without this word if I could. 'Science' has become something of an honorific term, and all sorts of disciplines that are quite unlike physics and chemistry are eager to call themselves 'sciences'. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that anything that calls itself 'science' probably isn't - for example, Christian science, or military science, and possibly even cognitive science or social science. The word 'science' tends to suggest a lot of researchers in white coats waving test tubes and peering at instruments. To many minds it suggests an arcane infallibility. The rival picture I want to suggest is this: what we are all aiming at in intellectual disciplines is knowledge and understanding. There is only knowledge and understanding, whether we have it in mathematics, literary criticism, history, physics, or philosophy. Some disciplines are more systematic than others, and we might want to reserve the word 'science' for them." (Searle, J.R., "Minds, Brains and Science," , Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA, 1997, Eleventh printing, p.11) 2/07/2003 "It may be said that natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinising, throughout the world, every variation, even the slightest; rejecting that which is bad, preserving and adding up all that is good; silently and insensibly working, whenever and wherever opportunity offers, at the improvement of each organic being in relation to its organic and inorganic conditions of life. We see nothing of these slow changes in progress, until the hand of time has marked the long lapses of ages, and then so imperfect is our view into long past geological ages, that we only see that the forms of life are now different from what they formerly were." (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection: or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life," , First Edition, Penguin: London, 1985, reprint, p.133) 2/07/2003 "Lovelock tells how the realization came to him as a flash of insight in 1965, when he was working for NASA, designing instruments that would eventually be used by the Viking Mars probes to sniff the Martian air and look for traces of life products. He saw that there was no need to go to all the trouble and expense of sending a probe to Mars to make these subtle tests, because astronomers already knew that the atmosphere of Mars is inert and must therefore, he reasoned, signify a dead planet ... The fact that the Earth has an atmosphere rich in oxygen, full of chemical potential energy and highly reactive, is a sign that something out of the ordinary, in chemical terms, is happening on our planet. If the atmosphere of Mars resembles exhaust gases from an internal combustion engine, the atmosphere of the Earth resembles (in fact, in large measure it is) the mixture of gases that goes into such an engine. But this is only possible because plants can steal energy from the Sun. ... So a visitor from another star, entering our Solar System, could use a simple spectroscope to investigate the atmospheres of the planets, and conclude that while Venus and Mars, which both have carbon dioxide atmospheres, do not have life, Earth, with its oxygen-rich atmosphere, must have life. In the mid-1960s, Lovelock's view met with a cool response. If it had been taken seriously, it would have pulled the rug from under the whole Viking project. After all, the main purpose of the project was to look for life on Mars, and Lovelock confidently asserted that there was no life on Mars. ... In 1977 the Viking landers confirmed that Mars was indeed as lifeless as Lovelock had predicted more than ten years previously." (Gribbin, J., "In The Beginning: The Birth of the Living Universe," , Penguin, London, 1994, reprint, pp.118, 120-121) 2/07/2003 "Over the past century or so it has become almost universally believed that at some level these programs must end up being the ones that maximize the fitness of the organism, and the number of viable offspring it produces. The notion is that if a line of organisms with a particular program typically produce more offspring, then after a few generations there will inevitably be vastly more organisms with this program than with other programs. And if one assumes that the program for each new offspring involves small random mutations then this means that over the course of many generations biological evolution will in effect carry out a random search for programs that maximize the fitness of an organism. But how successful can one expect such a search to be? ... for sufficiently simple constraints-particularly continuous ones-iterative random searches can converge fairly quickly to an optimal solution. But as soon as the constraints are more complicated this is no longer the case. And indeed even when the optimal solution is comparatively simple it can require an astronomically large number of steps to get even anywhere close to it. ... even with a whole array of such tricks, it is still completely implausible that the trillion or so generations of organisms since the beginning of life on Earth would be sufficient to allow optimal solutions to be found to constraints of any significant complexity." (Wolfram, S., "A New Kind of Science," Wolfram Media: Champaign IL, 2002, First edition. Third printing, p.386) 3/07/2003 "It is now more than 40 years since Darwinism triumphed over Lamarckism. At that time most of us were either mere kids or were yet to come into being. So, although we delight in the victory, we cannot help regarding the battle itself as a matter of history. Unlike our embattled sires, we are in a position to take a relaxed view of the events that led to the triumph. Especially, we can perceive, with a measure of clarity, that the crucial argument which was employed to clinch the victory was, in fact, a falsehood. ... In 1943 two of the leading Darwinists, Max Delbruck and Salvador Luria (Luria & Delbruck, 1943), showed, by means of laboratory experiments, that some adaptive mutations occur purely by chance, in nature. But, unfortunately, the biological community, instead of pausing to ascertain whether all adaptive mutations in nature occur purely by chance (i.e. preadaptively), jumped to the conclusion that they do and stuck to it. The consequence of that hasty act was that a very damaging dogma came into being. The dogma that all favourable variations which natural selection preserves arise purely by chance. Then, as years passed by, this untested assumption acquired the status of absolute truth. So much so that any honest attempt to question its validity is looked upon, by the biological community, as heresy of the worst kind. The objective of this paper is to reason that, over the past few years, facts have come to light which indicate, quite strongly, that the heresy rests on a firmer ground than the orthodoxy. We shall show that although some favourable variations are caused by single mutational events and, hence, can be produced by chance alone the probability of this happening in bacteria is 1 in 10^7), others are caused by two or more mutational events occurring simultaneously at different gene loci and therefore, cannot be produced by chance (the probabilities of their being produced by chance are 1 in 10^14, 10^21, 10^28, etc.)." (Opadia- Kadima, G.Z., "How the Slot Machine Led Biologists Astray," Journal of Theoretical Biology, 1987, Vol. 124, pp.127-135, pp.127) 3/07/2003 "The main reason why the origin of life is such a puzzle is because the spontaneous appearance of such elaborate and organized complexity seems so improbable. In the previous chapter I described the Miller- Urey experiment, which succeeded in generating some of the building blocks of life. However, the level of complexity of a real organism is stupendously greater than that of mere amino acids. Furthermore, it is not just a matter of degree. Simply achieving a high level of complexity per se will not do. The complexity needed involves certain specific chemical forms and reactions: a random complex network of reactions is unlikely to yield life. The complexity problem is exacerbated by the mutual functional interplay between nucleic acids and proteins as they appear in Earthlife. Proteins have the job of catalyzing (greatly accelerating) key biochemical processes. Without this catalysis life would grind to a halt. Proteins perform their tasks under the instructions of nucleic acid, which contains the genetic information. But proteins are also made by nucleic acid. This suggests that nucleic acid came first. However, it is hard to see how a molecule like RNA or DNA, containing many thousands of carefully arranged atoms, could come into existence spontaneously if it was incapable, in the absence of proteins, of doing anything (in particular, of reproducing). But it is equally unlikely that nucleic acid and proteins came into existence by accident at the same time and fortuitously discovered an efficient symbiotic relationship. The high degree of improbability of the formation of life by accidental molecular shuffling has been compared by Fred Hoyle to a whirlwind passing through an aircraft factory and blowing scattered components into a functioning Boeing 747. It is easy to estimate the odds against random permutations of molecules assembling DNA. It is about 10^40,000 to one against! That is the same as tossing a coin and achieving heads roughly 130,000 times in a row." (Davies, P.C.W., "Are We Alone?: Philosophical Implications of the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life," Penguin: London, 1995, pp.18-19) 3/07/2003 "In spite of the fact that ET is now firmly in the domain of science, or at least science fiction, the religious dimension of SETI still lies just beneath the surface. Many people draw comfort from the belief that advanced beings in the sky are watching over us and may some day intervene in our affairs to save us from human folly. ... I am more concerned with is the extent to which the modern search for aliens is, at rock- bottom, part of an ancient religious quest. The interest in SETI among the general public stems in part, I maintain, from the need to find a wider context for our lives than this earthly existence provides. In an era when conventional religion is in sharp decline, the belief in super-advanced aliens out there somewhere in the universe can provide some measure of comfort and inspiration for people whose lives may otherwise appear to be boring and futile. This sense of a religious quest may well extend to the scientists themselves, even though most of them are self-professed atheists. One of the most vocal proponents of SETI is the astronomer Carl Sagan. In his novel Contact Sagan describes a successful outcome to a massive radio- telescope search for alien signals. Following the receipt of a message, the scientists build a spacecraft and travel to the centre of the galaxy to meet the aliens. As a result of this contact, mankind is made privy to some far-reaching secrets about the nature of the cosmos. But underlying the narrative is the sub-theme that the universe as a whole is a product of intelligent design, and the aliens hint at how the hallmark of this design is written into the very structure of the universe. Thus the aliens play the traditional role of angels, acting as intermediaries between mankind and God, cryptically indicating the way towards occult knowledge xistence." (Davies P.C.W., "Are We Alone?: Philosophical Implications of the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life," Penguin: London, 1995, pp.86,88) 4/07/2003 "But even if there was no oxygen, there are further difficulties. Without oxygen there would be no ozone layer in the upper atmosphere which today protects the Earth's surface from a lethal dose of ultraviolet radiation. In an oxygen-free scenario, the ultraviolet flux reaching the Earth's surface might be more than sufficient to break down organic compounds as quickly as they were produced. Significantly, the absence of organic compounds in the Martian soil has been widely attributed to just such a strong ultraviolet flux which today continuously bombards the planet's surface. What we have then is a sort of `Catch 22' situation. If we have oxygen we have no organic compounds, but if we don't have oxygen we have none either. There is another twist to the problem of the ultraviolet flux. Nucleic acid molecules, which form the genetic material of all modern organisms, happen to be strong absorbers of ultraviolet light and are consequently particularly sensitive to ultraviolet-induced radiation damage and mutation. As Sagan points out, typical contemporary organisms subjected to the same intense ultraviolet flux which would have reached the Earth's surface in an oxygen-free atmosphere acquire a mean lethal dose of radiation in 0.3 seconds." (Denton, M.J., "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis," Burnett Books: London, 1985, pp.261-262) 5/07/2003 "Despite the infrequency of any useful mutation, it can always be postulated that the appropriate mutations came along by accident and were selected, bringing about the adaptation in question. For example, it is hypothesized that natural selection has led the female sedge warbler to prefer full-throated males because they should make good foragers for the family. On the other hand, the female lyrebird supposedly has been selected to prefer the male who neglects his offspring and so avoids bringing the nest to the attention of predators (Alcock 1988, 80-81). The female spotted hyena, in the opinion of some, has a set of external genitals like those of the male in order the better to greet her friends (Kruuk 1972, 229). Some weaverbirds are monogamous because food is scarce, others because food is abundant (Crook 1972, 304). Marmot families say together longer at high altitudes because there is less vegetation (Barash 1982, 59); if the young ones dispersed sooner at high altitudes, it would probably be because where food is scarce they have to seek new pastures." (Wesson R.G., "Beyond Natural Selection," , MIT Press: Cambridge MA, 1994, reprint, p.17) 5/07/2003 "Biologists, under attack, do not want to admit doubts that might undermine their central theory. This defensiveness should not be necessary. The fact of evolution can hardly be doubted, unless one supposes that God so constructed the universe, with fossils in good order and receding galaxies, as to deceive His rational creatures into doubting the biblical account. There is confusion, however, between acceptance of common ancestries, implying the community of life on earth, and the analysis of how species diverged. One can and should question how a dinosaur gave rise to a bird without doubting that birds had dinosaur ancestors." (Wesson R.G., "Beyond Natural Selection," , MIT Press: Cambridge MA, 1994, reprint, p.20) 7/07/2003 "Salt is continually being washed into the sea. It has been calculated that, even allowing for the formation of rock salt by evaporation and making the unlikely assumption that no salt was there in the first place, an absolute maximum of 200 million years would give the amount now found. Again, this is far short of the 1,000 million years required by evolution. The Christian, of course, believes that God would have created the sea with the correct content of salt needed to support the marine life he intended it to contain. These lines of evidence show that the earth is very much younger than the 4,500 million years claimed by the evolutionist. The fact that the dates they provide still sometimes run into millions of years should not worry the Christian; as we have shown, they all depend on assuming that processes have been constant in the past and on unprovable assumptions concerning the original state of the earth. These processes, however, have not always been constant, and the Flood was a major catastrophe during which substantial physical changes happened very rapidly. Moreover, the earth - created complete and perfect by God - would after six days of existence already have achieved the form that the evolutionist imagines it would have acquired very gradually." (Baker S., "Bone of Contention," , Evangelical Press: Welwyn, Hertfordshire UK, Second Edition, 1986, p.26) 7/07/2003 "The Conflict Between Science and Scripture. Apologists never weary of trying to devise a perfect harmony between science and Scripture, but their efforts are never crowned with success. There are at least three reasons for this. First, Scripture speaks of ultimate causes, while science speaks of proximate causes. The Bible says that the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19:24). But this is not a scientific explanation, and a scientist would be impatient with anyone who said that it was. Secondly, Scripture uses optical language when viewing nature. Untrained observers judge appearances; they say, `The sun is setting in the west.' The judgment is true, but not as science. Thirdly, Scripture speaks of Providence and freedom as well as uniformity. Nature is regular, but it is regular because God decrees it to be regular. Science, on the other hand, speaks only of uniformity. ... Calvin suggests a rather happy compromise in his notes on creation: `For, to my mind, this is a certain principle, that nothing is here treated of but the visible form of the world. He who would learn astronomy, and other recondite arts, let him go elsewhere. ... For Moses here addresses himself to our senses, that the knowledge of the gifts of God which we enjoy may not glide away. ... By this method ... the dishonesty of those men is sufficiently rebuked, who censure Moses for not speaking with greater exactness. For as it became a theologian, he had respect to us rather than to the stars. ... Moses wrote in a popular style things which, without instruction, all ordinary persons, endued with common sense, are able to understand; but astronomers investigate with great labor whatever the sagacity of the human mind can comprehend. Nevertheless, this study is not to be reprobated, nor this science to be condemned, because some frantic persons are wont boldly to reject whatever is unknown to them. For astronomy is not only pleasant, but also very useful to be known." (Calvin J.*, "Commentary on Genesis," 1:6,15,16. Eerdmans, 1948)" (Carnell E.J.*, "The Case for Orthodox Theology," Westminster Press: Philadelphia PA, 1959, pp.93-94) 8/07/2003 It is fashionable nowadays to regard the biblical story of Adam and Eve as 'myth' (whose truth is theological but not historical), rather than 'significant event' (whose truth is both). Many people assume that evolution has disproved and discarded the Genesis story as having no basis in history. Since 'Adam' is the Hebrew word for 'man', they consider that the author of Genesis was deliberately giving a mythical account of human origins, evil and death. We should certainly be open to the probability that there are symbolical elements in the Bible's first three chapters. The narrative itself warrants no dogmatism about the six days of creation, since its form and style suggest that it is meant as literary art, not scientific description. As for the identity of the snake and the trees in the garden, since 'that old serpent' and 'the tree of life' reappear in the book of Revelation, where they are evidently symbolic, 78 (Rev. 12:9; 22:2ff) it seems likely that they are meant to be understood symbolically in Genesis as well." (Stott J.R.W.*, "The Message of Romans: God's Good News for the World," , Inter-Varsity Press: Leicester UK, 1999, pp.162-163) 8/07/2003 "Thanks to relentless pursuit, scientists have established the antiquity of man and his precursors. An acceptable solution must recognize ancient human ancestry. Also, any such theory should not crumble if a genetic link is ever proven conclusively between man and other higher primates. The solution tendered in the following pages recognizes the existence of prehistoric man. Those old fossils that have been unearthed are not part of some demonic plot to lead us astray. Early man not only existed, but was well established long before God introduced the first covenant human being, a man called Adam. ... It will be demonstrated from the words of Scripture and confirmed by the testimony from nature that Adam did not start our species, but was inserted into an already populated world. We can establish not only the place and time of Adam's appearance with a fair degree of certainty, but also there are clues concerning the surrounding culture." (Fischer D.*, "The Origins Solution: An Answer in the Creation-Evolution Debate," Fairway Press: Lima OH, 1996, pp.22-23) 8/07/2003 "A man and a woman, or men and women, brought into existence through either a creative act or an evolutionary process, have a definite niche in history somewhere in the neighborhood of 200,000 to 100,000 years ago. That early couple, or those couples, were the first modern Homo sapiens; ultimately from them came the great races covering the globe today. If this was an act of creation, it could have been accomplished simply through DNA modification of selected members or a selected member of a particular population of ancient hominids." (Fischer D.*, "The Origins Solution: An Answer in the Creation-Evolution Debate," Fairway Press: Lima OH, 1996, p.25) 8/07/2003 "Regardless of the creative method or evolutionary processes employed, from the first bipeds, or human forerunners, came beings whose bones keep popping up in various locations. Australopithicus africanus could have been a distant relative. A. boise and A. afarensis may have been offshoots. Homo habilis and later Homo erectus could have been their descendants leading to archaic Homo sapiens. It is assumed that modern Homo sapiens descended from archaic types. The Neanderthals, who began some 130,000 years ago and died out approximately 35,000 years ago, may have originated before modern Homo sapiens began to spread out about 110,000 to 50,000 years ago. Or Neanderthal may have been a descendant, an aberrant offshoot, that became extinct. It may be that the smaller Homo sapiens, in search of new worlds to conquer, helped push Neanderthal and others into extinction. Further research may clarify that in time. In any event, none of us appears to be descended directly from Neanderthals. Cro-Magnon man, whose remains have been found primarily in caves in France, dates to 35,000 years ago, and appears to be fully modern. Bear in mind that archaeological evidence is still sketchy. Dating methods are revised as new techniques are discovered and old ones improved. The point is this: modern Homo sapiens had precursors - that is a fact; and they may have been our ancestors - that is a theory. (Fischer D.*, "The Origins Solution: An Answer in the Creation-Evolution Debate," Fairway Press: Lima OH, 1996, p.27). 8/07/2003 "Closer to home, let us look at hominids. We could start with Homo habilis 2.5 million years ago, which is totally arbitrary due to the pre-existence of the Australopithicines. Although relegated to ape status, the Australopithicines are far more human-like than is any modern-day member of the genus Pongidae, and paleontologists universally assign them to the hominids, placing them as ancestral to the genus Homo. Homo erectus replaced Homo habilis in the fossil progression about 1.6 million years ago, who in turn gave way to Homo sapiens when archaic types emerged 300,000 years ago. Again, the picture with humans is much the same as with the horse; subtle changes, advanced anatomy, and the appearance of descent. Both archaic Homo sapiens and Neanderthals make their appearance earlier than what are considered to be truly modern Homo sapiens, and they continue to endure for tens of thousands of years after that. This overlapping implies ancestral relationships even though paleontologists may not agree as to who begat whom. Arguments on the specifics arise among paleoanthropologists. Most prefer straight line graphs of descendance with clear-cut dates and species identifications. Others choose a more complex, bushy pattern, where two or three different species of hominids may have co-existed at the same time. Whatever hominid descent scenario wins out eventually need not concern us. It is the general pattern of continuity and overlapping leading to modern humans that makes it exceedingly difficult to place an Adam who could be ancestral to us all, and yet have no genetic links to the past." (Fischer D.*, "The Origins Solution: An Answer in the Creation-Evolution Debate," Fairway Press: Lima OH, 1996, pp.113-114) 8/07/2003 "But the case with Adam and Eve is different. Scripture clearly intends us to accept their historicity as the original human pair. For the biblical genealogies trace the human race back to Adam; (Gn. 5:3ff; 1 Chr. 1:1ff. Lk. 3:38) Jesus himself taught that 'at the beginning the Creator "made them male and female"' and then instituted marriage; (Mt. 19:4ff, quoting Gn. 1:27) Paul told the Athenian philosophers that God had made every nation 'from one man'; (Acts 17:26) and in particular Paul's carefully constructed analogy between Adam and Christ depends for its validity on the equal historicity of both. He affirmed that Adam's disobedience led to condemnation foray as Christ's obedience led to justification for all (5:18).82 (cf. 1 Cor. 15:22,45ff) Moreover, nothing in modern science contradicts this. Rather the reverse. All human beings share the same anatomy, physiology and chemistry, and the same genes. Although we belong to different so-called 'races' (Caucasoid, Negroid, Mongoloid and Australoid), each of which has adjusted to its own physical environment, we nevertheless constitute a single species, and people of different races can intermarry and interbreed. This homogeneity of the human species is best explained by positing our descent from a common ancestor. 'Genetic evidence indicates', writes Dr Christopher Stringer of London's Natural History Museum, 'that all living people are closely related and share a recent common ancestor.' He goes on to express the view that this common ancestor 'probably lived in Africa' (though this is not proved) and that from this ancestral group 'all the living peoples of the world originated'. (Stringer C., in Jones S., Martin R. & Pilbeam D., "The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Evolution," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1992, p. 249)" (Stott J.R.W.*, "The Message of Romans: God's Good News for the World," , Inter- Varsity Press: Leicester UK, 1999, pp.162-163) 8/07/2003 "Progressive creationists equate the word `man' in Scripture with modern man, and assert that Adam must have started the line of Homo sapiens sometime in the distant past. The idea is to drive Adam far enough back into prehistory to be believable. Generally they avoid any specific date, since there is no date that can be rationally defended. But for purposes of illustration, Adam could be penciled in about 100,000 years ago to align with the beginning of the modern Homo sapiens. Placing Adam's time frame in the distant past implies the Genesis record omitted the names of hundreds of generations who supposedly lived between Adam and Abraham. The rationale is that the word `begat' does not mean `the immediate father of' in all cases, so the named patriarchs in Genesis 5 and 11 would be only a representative sampling. ... Progressive creationists call on the elasticity of Hebrew grammar to enable genealogical stretching. The Hebrew word ben for `son' can mean `grandson,' `children,' or even `descendant.' Conversely, `ancestor' can be derived from the Hebrew word 'ab, which normally means `father.' So the means for accommodation are in place, and some Bible scholars have taken this path. It is a tempting device, but like most temptations should be avoided. Occasional shortcuts are taken in Scripture; Jesus is called `the son of David,' for one example (Matt. 1:1). But does this confer license to drive the covenant family, Adam and Eve, back in time?" (Fischer D.*, "The Origins Solution: An Answer in the Creation-Evolution Debate," Fairway Press: Lima OH, 1996, pp.114-115). 8/07/2003 "The ploy in this case is to find inconsistencies in Bible genealogies by comparing Old Testament authors with New Testament authors, and saying, for example: Aha! Matthew dropped three relatives out of Jesus's lineage that are listed in II Kings: Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah. These seeming inconsistencies and allowances in Hebrew grammar somehow establish a precedent making the genealogies in Genesis 5 and 11, and Luke 3 fair game, and therefore, expandable at will. Like many other devices, it will not stand up to scrutiny. Seth has to be the immediate son of Adam (Gen. 4:25). The identical phraseology which sets Adam's age at the birth of his son, Seth, repeats from Seth to Noah (Gen. 5:3-29). If there are no intermediate generations from Adam to Seth, then that should indicate the same thing down the line. By comparing the number of years Methuselah lived (Gen. 5:27) with his age at the birth of Lamech (Gen. 5:25), with the age of Lamech at the birth of Noah (Gen. 5:28, 29), and with the age of Noah at the time of the flood (Gen. 7:6), it can be seen that Methuselah died near the year of the flood, presumably before the rain started. That ties in the age of the patriarch at his death with the approximate date of the flood, thereby precluding any additions of time between Methuselah and Noah." (Fischer D.*, "The Origins Solution: An Answer in the Creation- Evolution Debate," Fairway Press: Lima OH, 1996, p.115) 8/07/2003 "In Jude 1:14, Enoch is "the seventh from Adam," inhibiting additional unnamed patriarchs in the first seven generations. So if there is no space to stick in hundreds of generations from Adam to Enoch, and Enoch's son, Methuselah, died near the time of the flood, that is the coup de grace to the expanded genealogies method. Inserting additional time or generations is not a workable proposition from Adam to Noah. Could the narratives and conversations in the early chapters of Genesis have been handed down by word of mouth over an eon of time, and arrive at Moses's door intact, not to mention inerrant? If tens of thousands of years, and hundreds of generations stood between Adam and Noah, who knows what relationship Noah's or Shem's version passed down through the Semites would have had with the original? If the ten generations from Adam to Noah are strictly father and son relationships, as most scholars believe, then three of the patriarchs still alive at the time of Noah also lived during the time of Adam. The description of the relationship between Adam and God, and all of the poignant conversations, were only one step removed through the flood. Thus the narrative was safeguarded." (Fischer D.*, "The Origins Solution: An Answer in the Creation-Evolution Debate," Fairway Press: Lima OH, 1996, p.116) 8/07/2003 "When Ussher dated Adam at 4004 BC he assumed that the generations in this chapter were an unbroken chain: but the chapter neither adds its figures together nor gives the impression that the men it names overlapped each other's lives to any unusual extent (e.g. that Adam lived almost to the birth of Noah). If it has selected ten names (and in 11:10ff. another ten from Noah to Abraham) as separate landmarks rather than continuous links, it has genealogical custom both within and without the Bible to support it. Within Scripture, note the stylized scheme of three fourteens in Matthew 1 (involving the omission of three successive kings in Mt. 1:8). Outside it, anthropologists and others have drawn attention to similar genealogical methods in the Sudan, Arabia, and elsewhere. 1 On this understanding of the scheme, Seth, for example, produced at 105 either a forbear of Enosh or Enosh himself (cf. Mt. 1:8b, where Joram 'begat' his great-greatgrandson); and so on. This leaves the total period undetermined." (Kidner D.*, "Genesis: An Introduction and Commentary," Tyndale Press: London, 1967, pp.82-83) 8/07/2003 "If the strict-chronology interpretation of Genesis 11 is correct, all the postdiluvian patriarchs, including Noah, would still have been living when Abram was fifty years old; three of those who were born before the earth was divided (Shem, Shelah, and Eber) would have actually outlived Abram; and Eber, the father of Peleg, not only would have outlived Abram, but would have lived for two years after Jacob arrived in Mesopotamia to work for Laban! On the face of it, such a situation would seem astonishing, if not almost incredible. And the case is further strengthened by the clear and twice-repeated statement of Joshua that Abram's "fathers," including Terah, were idolaters when they dwelt "of old time beyond the River" (Joshua 24:2,14,15). If all the postdiluvian patriarchs including Noah and Shem, were still living in Abram's day, this statement implies that they had all fallen into idolatry by then. This conclusion is surely wrong, and therefore the premise on which it is based must be wrong. Consequently, it seems that the strict-chronology view must be set aside in order to allow for the death of these patriarchs long before the time of Abram." (Whitcomb, J.C.* & Morris, H.M.*, "The Genesis Flood: The Biblical Record and its Scientific Implications," , Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1993, Thirty-sixth Printing, pp.477-478) 8/07/2003 "Since Scripture quashes putting additional time between Adam and Noah, the only place left to put all that time is between the flood and Abraham. But here progressive creation fares no better. Due to an insistence that Adam has to be ancestral to every human on earth, the Genesis flood, which does not appear to be global, does have to be "universal" as applied to man. As the explanation goes, the direct descendants of Adam never ventured beyond the Mesopotamian valley, and so every human on earth was obliterated by a local flood except for Noah and his family. This means that the flood also has to be driven back into pre history, since all humans regardless of racial diversity must some how emanate from the eight flood survivors. Therefore, according to progressive creation theory, the flood is also relegated to ancient prehistory. Since Abraham's historical niche is fairly secure at about 2055 BC, all that is required is simply to stuff some 90,000 years in between Noah and Abraham. This presents a host of sticky problems. Parallel civilizations such as those in Sumer and Egypt have left records which tie into the same period from the flood to Abraham, and encompass only a few hundred years, certainly not tens of thousands. Noah curses Canaan in Genesis 9, and Abraham heads for the land of Canaan in Genesis 12. Could over 90,000 years have intervened between just three chapters? Where is all the history that would have transpired in the tens of thousands of years that supposedly lie between the flood and Abraham? Asshur is Noah's grandson. He set out to build Nineveh, Rehoboth, Callah, and Resen (Gen. 10:11, 12). Nineveh has been excavated to virgin soil, and shows no trace of civilization before 6000 BC. In fact no city in Mesopotamia shows a hint of civilization prior to 12,000 years ago. That leaves the theory of progressive creation with a lot of time to put somewhere, but no place to put it." (Fischer, D.*, "The Origins Solution: An Answer in the Creation- Evolution Debate," Fairway Press: Lima OH, 1996, p.117) 8/07/2003 "If it turns out that lesser creatures are part of our heritage, then where do Adam and Eve fit in? The short answer is that they fit in about 5000 BC. The long answer is what this entire book is about. We will see that ancient and shared ancestry, even if confirmed beyond doubt, will not preclude an entirely trustworthy Bible that can be taken literally - even Genesis." (Fischer, D.*, "The Origins Solution: An Answer in the Creation- Evolution Debate," Fairway Press: Lima OH, 1996, p.67) 8/07/2003 "Why force something that isn't there? If we believe paleontologists, anatomically modern humans go back some 100,000 years; archaic Horno sapiens first appeared about 300,000 years ago; and hominids of some description can be traced back over 2.5 million years with precursors to beyond 4 million years ago. And if we trust the biblical text, Adam fits best at about 5000 BC. ... For the Bible scholar, it is not an easy task to accept as reality that for the past 100,000 years there existed animals such as hominids and that the skeletons of these ancient animals are near replicas of those of modern man. But the fossil evidence is abundant and irrefutable. It is folly, no it is counterproductive, to close one's eyes to this fact." (Fischer, D.*, "The Origins Solution: An Answer in the Creation-Evolution Debate," Fairway Press: Lima OH, 1996, p.118) 8/07/2003 "Finally, the background information surrounding Adam and his generations to Noah, and from the flood to Abraham, is far too modern in description to have happened at such an early period in man's history. How would livestock raising and farming (Gen. 4:22) have come before hunting and gathering? Could sophisticated musical instruments (Gen. 4:21) predate simple bone flutes. How could metal working (Gen. 4:22) have preceded the Neolithic (late Stone Age) period? It serves no useful purpose to render the Genesis account incredible to bestow a relevance it already has without these good-intentioned efforts." (Fischer D.*, "The Origins Solution: An Answer in the Creation-Evolution Debate," Fairway Press: Lima OH, 1996, p.118) 8/07/2003 "It does matter when Adam was created, for there are phenomena in the description of his immediate descendants in Genesis 4 which are identifiable as Neolithic. As we correlate the biblical record of Adam and his descendants with the data of anthropology, there arise various issues which must be dealt with by the discipline of apologetics. ... an additional problem, to which we have already alluded, still remains: the problem of the Neolithic elements in Genesis 4. If Adam was created 30,000 years ago, if Cain and Abel were his immediate descendants, if we find genuinely Neolithic practices (e.g., agriculture) in Genesis 4, and if the Neolithic period began about 10,000 to 8,000 years ago, then we have the problem of a gap of at least 20,000 years between generations, the ultimate in generation gaps. ... Perhaps Cain and Abel were not really domesticators of plants and animals but rather in the language of Moses, and particularly of our translations, would only appear to be such. Their [Cain's and Abel's] respective concerns with vegetable and animal provisions might have been vastly more primitive." (Erickson, M.J.*, "Christian Theology", Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1985, ppp.485-486) 8/07/2003 "When we move to the question of how all this took place, it is the neo-Darwinian position of evolutionist orthodoxy that the critics attack. Armed with material from the science of genetics, the critics emphasize that the mutations observed until now are on a very small scale, are nearly always lethal or deleterious, and are incapable of giving rise to complex organs. Darwin himself had written: 'When I think of the eye I become feverish', but recent discoveries show that the eye is not the only subtly composed mechanism: the tiniest cell constitutes an automated factory of unimagined functional complexity, which requires, to use Paul A. Zimmerman's fine expression, 'an exquisite symphony of co-operation' (SSt, p.320). The DNA code contained within a cell carries as much information as a library. As for adaptive behaviour (Jean Piaget's adaptations), the idea that such perfect arrangements could be the fruit of an accumulation of chance events is simply unthinkable. You might as well say that Concorde assembled itself all on its own thanks to a succession of chance events, starting from minerals dissolved in the sea (see Pearce, p. 104). The calculation of the probabilities can contribute to the case: a combination of one hundred elements (which is much simpler than a cell) could be formed by chance at the odds of 10^158 to 1 (whilst the total number of electrons in the universe is 10^80); even with a billion attempts per second, it would need billions and billions times more time than the billions of years it took the cosmos to form (SC, pp.60f.). Mathematicians who gathered for a conference have taken this line of research further and concluded that neo-Darwinism is mathematically impossible (P.S. Moorhead and M.M. Kaplan, Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, Philadelphia: Wistar Institute, 1967 ... In the face of such work, other objections pale into insignificance, even the objection that a complex system is not advantageous until it is complete, for natural selection would have eliminated all the superfluous, disadvantageous stages, and a gradual transformation would never have been possible. ... the mathematical criticism of the role given to chance in the neo- Darwinian position seems to us unanswerable. Recent progress (i.e. since 1950) in molecular biology has brought out the precision and complexity of the 'simplest' organisms. If this progress had been made earlier, would neo-Darwinism ever have seen the light of day? The role of chance in causing small mutations cannot possibly be held responsible for the wonders that we observe. In these circumstances one of two things follow: either God intervened in a direct, special manner in order to make the branches of the tree of life grow, or else he used mechanisms that were open to scientific study but which are as yet unknown to the scientists." (Blocher H., "In The Beginning: The Opening Chapters of Genesis," InterVarsity Press: Leicester UK, 1984, pp.225-227. Emphasis in original) 9/07/2003 "The interpretation of the Bible must not be overshadowed by the hypotheses current amongst scientists today. Moses knew nothing about them and we must put them out of our minds if we are going to understand his meaning properly without any interference in the meaning of the divine Word. But after that it would he irresponsible to extend this methodical neglect. The universal reign of the one true God forbids such schizophrenic compartmentalization. The believer can avoid neither cautious critical examination of the theories nor the task of linking his conclusions to the teaching of divine revelation. Everybody, obviously, must do this within the limits of his own calling." (Blocher H., "In The Beginning: The Opening Chapters of Genesis," InterVarsity Press: Leicester UK, 1984, p.213) 9/07/2003 "It is equally certain that the text of Genesis is forced if it is treated as the answer to the scientists of our time. But distinguish is not the same as separate. We must expose the fallacies of the fideists. The Bible, they say, is not a handbook of science. Agreed. But that does not mean it will have nothing to say which touches the realm of the scientist. The fact that the primary purpose of Genesis is not to instruct us in geology does not exclude the possibility that it says something of relevance to the subject. In the last analysis one cannot make an absolute separation between physics and metaphysics, and religion has to do with everything, precisely because all realms are created by God and continue to depend on him. To oppose 'doctrine' and (factual) 'history' is to forget that biblical doctrine is first of all history. Faith rests on facts, objectively asserted. Noel Weeks is not wrong when he discovers in 'fideist' separation the influence of a philosophy that is foreign to the Bible, that of Kant with his division between knowledge and belief." (Blocher H., "In The Beginning: The Opening Chapters of Genesis," InterVarsity Press: Leicester UK, 1984, p.24. Emphasis in original) 9/07/2003 "The argument of this book, then, is that the ancient materialist Epicurus provided an approach to the study of nature-a paradigm, as the historian of science Thomas Kuhn called it-which purposely and systematically excluded the divine from nature, not only in regard to the creation and design of nature, but also in regard to divine control of, and intervention in, nature. This approach was not discovered in nature; it was not read from nature. It was, instead, purposely imposed on nature as a filter to screen out the divine. How did the views of an ancient Greek form the materialist paradigm of modern science? To be brief, Epicurus's approach to nature was revived in the Renaissance, and became the foundation of modern materialist science. The Western view of science was secularized, not (I shall argue) out of some inner historical necessity, but because it accepted the view of nature designed by Epicurus to exclude the divine. This secularization culminated in Darwinism because it was with Darwin that materialism, which had been slowly but surely permeating and re-forming the predecessor Christian culture, finally reached and devoured God the creator and the immortal human soul, leaving behind a completely Godless, soulless universe." (Wiker, B.*, "Moral Darwinism: How We Became Hedonists," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2002, p.20. Emphasis in original) 9/07/2003 "In regard to Epicurus's motivations for clinging to materialism, we need not make an abstruse and tenuous argument to prove that his goal was the exclusion of the divine from the universe. As we shall see, he himself confessed it boldly. The entire aim of the study of nature, asserted Epicurus, should be to liberate us from the belief in gods, in the immortal soul, and in the afterlife, and so make it easier for us to live in this life. ... Epicurus ... realized that .... A universe without gods (or at least, without gods who interfere in human affairs) and without immortal souls (which can suffer in the afterlife) is a universe with much less anxiety. A godless, soulless universe is one without judgment, one without peril, one in which, rather than our every thought and movement being watched by an omniscient deity whose claims for absolute justice are unremitting (although Christians believe his mercy is unfathomable), we are instead free of any such brooding, unblinking divine eye. Epicurus's goal was to close that divine eye, so that we could make the most of this world without the anxiety brought on by its imperious stare." (Wiker, B.*, "Moral Darwinism: How We Became Hedonists," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2002, pp.21-22. Emphasis in original) 9/07/2003 To turn again to the arguments of Epicurus, it might seem, from what has been said so far, that he would have been an atheist. There was some debate about this in antiquity, 24 but if we take Epicurus at his word, then he was very pious-after his own fashion. His new form of piety is worth noting because it became all the fashion in the Enlightenment 2,100 years later. Even more important for the present purposes, his account of the gods provided a bridge to his account of morality. For Epicurus, the gods were rendered harmless because they were a part of nature, made of atoms just like everything else in the universe. The point of having them as corporeal was not to uphold the anthropomorphism of Greek and Roman religion but to undermine it and replace it with his new and innocuous form of piety." (Wiker, B.*, "Moral Darwinism: How We Became Hedonists," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2002, p.43. Emphasis in original) 9/07/2003 "A Concerned Cain. Cain's lament in Genesis 4:13-14 weights the issue heavily as to whether Adam had company or not. The covenant family was reduced by 25% when Abel was murdered; only Cain and his parents were left. Cain's first words upon hearing the Lord's punishment and upon God's banishing him from Eden were out of fear that someone would kill him. Is it likely that his immediate worry would have been of being sought after and killed by future unseen and unknown generations from Adam? Cain had a whole world in which to hide. In a human-free environment, the threat of isolation and being alone in the world would have been a natural fear. Cain might have been concerned about wild animals attacking and eating him, but he did not register any fear about that possibility. His only concern was that someone would end his life just as he had slain his own brotherGod answered Cain's plea by providing a sign for him (Gen. 4:15). Cain's anxieties were justified because the Lord took positive action to quiet his fears. We have no way of knowing what that sign or mark was, but evidently it was necessary. There must have been potentially hostile tribes of men in the vicinity. Cain was aware of it, and the Lord's action attested to his justifiable fear." (Fischer, D.*, "The Origins Solution: An Answer in the Creation-Evolution Debate," Fairway Press: Lima OH, 1996, pp.190-191). 9/07/2003 "Impact origin of the Moon as modeled by Cameron and Canup (1998). A body several times more massive than Mars impacts the edge of the half-grown Earth with spectacular effects. After a glancing blow, the two distorted bodies separate and then recombine. The metallic cores (light gray) of both bodies coalesce to form Earth's core, while portions of the mantles (black) of both bodies are ejected into orbit and accumulate to form the Moon. After its formation the Moon spiraled outward, a process that continues to the present time. To produce such a massive moon, the impacting body had to be the right size, it had to impact the right point on Earth, and the impact had to have occurred at just the right time in the Earth's growth process." (Ward, P.D. & Brownlee, D., "Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe," Copernicus: New York NY, 2000, p.231) 10/07/2003 "To put it in its most concise form, Epicurus was seeking a view of science and nature to fit the way of life he was advocating; that is, he needed a cosmology to support his morality. He very astutely realized that every way of life, every view of morality, is groundless unless it is grounded in the way things actually are, in nature. This is one half of a most fundamental law, which we might call the great law of uniformity. Every distinct view of the universe, every theory about nature, necessarily entails a view of morality; every distinct view of morality, every theory about human nature, necessarily entails a cosmology to support it. ... Epicurus did understand this necessary connection completely, and therefore, when he put forth his materialist view of human nature and morality, he knew that it had to rest on a universe that supported it. He therefore created a complete materialist universe, designed so that it would be entirely devoid of anything but material atoms and the void, completely exorcised of all immaterial entities, and absolutely free of all divine intervention." (Wiker, B.*, "Moral Darwinism: How We Became Hedonists," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2002, p.22. Emphasis in original) 10/07/2003 "So out of all the possible forms, which ones actually occur in real molluscs? The remarkable fact illustrated on the next page is that essentially all of them are found in some kind of mollusc or another. If one just saw a single mollusc shell, one might well think that its elaborate form must have been carefully crafted by some long process of natural selection. But what we now see is that in fact all the different forms that are observed are in effect just consequences of the application of three-dimensional geometry to very simple underlying rules of growth. And so once again therefore natural selection cannot reasonably be considered the source of the elaborate forms we see." (Wolfram S., "A New Kind of Science," Wolfram Media: Champaign IL, 2002, First edition. Third printing, pp.415,417) 11/07/2003 "General revelation is what we observe in nature. Anyone can see it, examine it, taste it, feel it, experience it, or test it. Available for all to scrutinize, the natural world around us should give us at least an inkling of the character of our Creator. Through science, we try to unravel the mysteries of His general revelation. We have nothing to fear in seeking the truth in nature. Our Creator allows us to make our own observations, and honest reporting on our part is all that is expected. ... Special revelation and general revelation should match up since God is the author of both the Book of Words, and the book of works. If the revelations of the Bible appear to contradict the revelations of science, it is due to error that has crept in someplace. A large part of the unnecessary tension that seems to exist between science and the Bible today has been caused by outdated interpretation. Some traditional Bible `truths' being taught from pulpits and in seminaries today are stuck hopelessly in the 17th century, whereas our society is careening rapidly into the 21st century. It is past time to free up our living Bible to be completely relevant to coming generations. We are not trapped on a flat, geocentric earth by an inflexible, outdated book. The inspired text is adaptable whether we are or not." (Fischer D.*, "The Origins Solution: An Answer in the Creation-Evolution Debate," Fairway Press: Lima OH, 1996, p.9) 11/07/2003 "[I John] Chapter 2:18-29. Antichrist. The word "Antichrist" is mentioned in 2:18 22; 4:3; II John 7. it occurs nowhere else in the Bible. It is commonly identified with the Man of Sin (II Thessalonians 2), and the Beast of Revelation 13. But the Bible itself does not make the identification. The language implies that John's readers had been taught to expect an Anti-Christ in connection with the closing days of the Christian Era (18). However, John applies the word, not to One Person, but to the whole group of Anti-Christian Teachers (2:18; 4:3). The New Testament idea seems to be that the Spirit of Antichrist would arise in Christendom, manifesting itself in many ways, both Within the Church and Without, finally culminating in One Person, or an Institution, or Both." (Halley H.H.*, "Halley's Bible Handbook: An Abbreviated Bible Commentary," , Oliphants: London, Twenty-Fourth Edition, 1965, p.673) 11/07/2003 "Traditional ideas might have suggested that each kind of mollusc would carefully optimize the pattern on its shell so as to avoid predators or to attract mates or prey. But what I think is much more likely is that these patterns are instead generated by rules that are in effect chosen at random from among a collection of the simplest possibilities. And what this means is that insofar as complexity occurs in such patterns it is in a sense a coincidence. It is not that some elaborate mechanism has specially developed to produce it. Rather, it just arises as an inevitable consequence of the basic phenomenon discovered in this book that simple rules will often yield complex behavior. And indeed it turns out that in many species of molluscs the patterns on their shells-both simple and complex-are completely hidden by an opaque skin throughout the life of e of the animal, and so presumably cannot possibly have been determined by any careful process of optimization or natural selection." (Wolfram S., "A New Kind of Science," Wolfram Media: Champaign IL, 2002, First edition. Third printing, p.425) 11/07/2003 "Continuing controversy about contradictions with religious accounts of creation caused most scientists to be adamant in assuming that every aspect of biological systems must be shaped purely by natural selection. And by the 1980s natural selection had become firmly enshrined as a force of practically unbounded power, assumed-though without specific evidence-to be capable of solving almost any problem and producing almost any degree of complexity." (Wolfram S., "A New Kind of Science," Wolfram Media: Champaign IL, 2002, First edition. Third printing, p.1001) 11/07/2003 "My own work on cellular automata in the early 1980s showed that great complexity could be generated just from simple programs, without any process like natural selection. But although I and others believed that my results should be relevant to biological systems there was still a pervasive belief that the level of complexity seen in biology must somehow be uniquely associated with natural selection. In the late 1980s the study of artificial life caused several detailed computer simulations of natural selection to be done, and these simulations reproduced various known features of biological evolution. But from looking at such simulations, as well as from my own experiments done from 1980 onwards, I increasingly came to believe that almost any complexity being generated had its origin in phenomena similar to those I had seen in cellular automata-and had essentially nothing to do with natural selection." (Wolfram S., "A New Kind of Science," Wolfram Media: Champaign IL, 2002, First edition. Third printing, p.1001) 13/07/2003 "Attitudes of biologists. Over the years, I have discussed versions of the ideas in this section with many biologists of different kinds. Most are quick to point out at least anecdotal cases in which features of organisms do not seem to have been shaped by natural selection. But if asked about complexity-either in specific examples or in general-the vast majority soon end up trying to give explanations based on natural selection. Those with a historical bent often recognize that the origins of complexity have always been somewhat mysterious in biology, and indeed sometimes state that this has laid the field open to many attacks. But generally my experience has been that the further one goes from those involved with specific molecular or other details of biological systems the more one encounters a fundamental conviction that natural selection must be the ultimate origin of any important feature of biological systems." (Wolfram, S., "A New Kind of Science," Wolfram Media: Champaign IL, 2002, First edition. Third printing, pp.1001-1002) 13/07/2003 "In a general sense, the term `atheism' refers to a failure to recognize the only true God. As such, it applies to all non-Christian religions. But in a more restricted sense, the term `atheism' applies to three distinct types: practical atheism, dogmatic atheism, and virtual atheism. Practical atheism is found among many people. Many have rashly decided that all religion is fake. People like this are usually not confirmed atheists; they merely are indifferent to God. While perhaps acknowledging a God somewhere, they live and act as if there is no God to whom they are responsible. They are practical atheists as far as their religious interests are concerned. Dogmatic atheism is the type that openly professes atheism. Most people do not boldly flaunt their atheism before men, for the term is one of reproach; but there are some who do not shrink from declaring themselves atheists. In recent years there has been a revival of this kind of atheism. Communism openly professes itself to be atheistic and religion to be the opiate of the people. Virtual atheism is the kind that holds principles that are inconsistent with belief in God or that define him in terms that do violence to the common usage of language. Most naturalists belong to the first of these varieties. Those who define God in such abstractions as `an active principle in nature,' `the social consciousness,' `the unknowable,' `personified reality,' or `energy' are atheists of the second of these varieties. They are, in reality, doing violence to the established meaning of the term `God'.'' (Thiessen, H.C.* & Doerksen V.D.*, "Lectures in Systematic Theology," , Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, Revised, 1977, pp.32-33) 13/07/2003 "The agnostic is gutless and prefers to keep one safe foot in the god camp." (O'Hair, M.M., "Agnostics," Internet Infidels, 1995) 14/07/2003 "OLD-AGE or PROGRESSIVE CREATION: God guided the process of development, injecting information at key stages in the development of the universe and life to design new forms of organization." (Pearcey, N.R.*, "We're Not in Kansas Anymore," Christianity Today, May 22, 2000, Vol. 44, No. 6, p.42) 14/07/2003 "The geologic column was established before 1840 by men in England and Scotland when most of the world had not yet been explored geologically. It was based primarily on the observation of rocks in those two countries, some in the Paris basin, some in New York State, and some in Russia. Rock formations have never actually been found anywhere in the world in the complete arrangement shown in the column. Neither has there been even a significant portion of the column found in one place. The Grand Canyon has only about half of the Paleozoic deposits, but is missing the remainder of the fossil-bearing column. Formulators of the column based it upon the assumption that the fossils in successive layers of rocks should show a progression from simple to complex. ... In originally formulating the column, its composers did not necessarily base it on the assumption of evolution because at that time, they apparently believed in creation. They just thought that God had created more and more complex organisms from time to time and they interpreted the Bible accordingly in support of this view. Later, some of the formulators of the column, like Charles Lyell, switched to full acceptance of the theory that all living organisms had evolved from a common ancestor." (Sunderland, L.D.*, "Darwin's Enigma: Fossils and Other Problems," , Master Book Publishers: El Cajon CA, Fourth Edition, 1988, p.42) 15/07/2003 "The several difficulties here discussed, namely-that, though we find in our geological formations many links between the species which now exist and which formerly existed, we do not find infinitely numerous fine transitional forms closely joining them all together;-the sudden manner in which several groups of species first appear in our European formations;-the almost entire absence, as at present known, of formations rich in fossils beneath the Cambrian strata,-are all undoubtedly of the most serious nature. ... Those who believe that the geological record is in any degree perfect, will undoubtedly at once reject the theory. " (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1928, reprint, p.318) 15/07/2003 "The presence of phosphatic nodules and bituminous matter, even in some of the lowest azoic rocks, probably indicates life at these periods; and the existence of the Eozoon in the Laurentian formation of Canada is generally admitted. There are three great series of strata beneath the Silurian system in Canada, in the lowest of which the Eozoon is found. ... The Eozoon belongs to the most lowly organised of all classes of animals, but is highly organised for its class; it existed in countless numbers, and, as Dr. Dawson has remarked, certainly preyed on other minute organic beings, which must have lived in great numbers. Thus the words, which I wrote in 1859, about the existence of living beings long before the Cambrian period ... have proved true. Nevertheless, the difficulty of assigning any good reason for the absence of vast piles of strata rich in fossils beneath the Cambrian system is very great. It does not seem probable that the most ancient beds have been quite worn away by denudation, or that their fossils have been wholly obliterated by metamorphic action, for if this had been the case we should have found only small remnants of the formations next succeeding them in age, and these would always have existed in a partially metamorphosed condition. But the descriptions which we possess of the Silurian deposits over immense territories in Russia and in North America, do not support the view, that the older a formation is, the more invariably it has suffered extreme denudation and metamorphism. The case at present must remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained. " (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1928, reprint, p.316) 16/07/2003 "Certain issues must be clarified before we can proceed. For one thing, consider the following propositions: 1. By its very nature, NS [natural science] must adopt MN [methodological naturalism]. 2. Theistic science is religion and not science. It is important to remember that these claims are not first-order claims of science about some scientific phenomenon. Rather, they are second-order philosophical claims about science. They are metaclaims that take a vantage point outside science and have science itself as their subject of reference. Thus the field of philosophy, especially philosophy of science, will be the proper domain from which to assess these claims, not science. Scientists are not experts in these second- order questions, and when they comment on them, they do so qua philosophers, not qua scientists." (Moreland, J.P.*, "Theistic Science & Methodological Naturalism," in Moreland, J.P.*, ed., "The Creation Hypothesis: Scientific Evidence for an Intelligent Designer," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1994, p.43. Emphasis in original) 17/07/2003 "This is an anti-Darwinism book. It is written both against the Darwinism of Darwin and his 19th century disciples, and against the Darwinism of such influential 20th century Darwinians as G.C. Williams and W.D. Hamilton and their disciples. My object is to show that Darwinism is not true: not true, at any rate, of our species. If it is true, or near enough true, of sponges, snakes, flies, or whatever, I do not mind that. What I do mind is, its being supposed to be true of man. But having said that, I had better add at once that I am not a 'creationist', or even a Christian. In fact I am of no religion." (Stove D.C., "Darwinian Fairytales," Avebury: Aldershot UK, 1995, p.vii) 17/07/2003 "Dr. Orgel, seems at first to have wavered somewhat in his own faith. He and Dr. Francis Crick, co- discoverer of the remarkably complex DNA molecule, now known to be a basic component of life and of the genetic code which controls the reproduction of all living systems, have acknowledged that life was too complex to have arisen naturalistically in the few billion years of earth history. In actuality, however, their faith is still strong, perhaps even stronger than that of other evolutionists. They believe in `directed panspermia,' the amazing notion that lifeseeds were planted on earth by an unknown civilization from some other world in outer space! The mere statement of this concept is itself adequate testimony to the grand credulity of the faith of these fine evolutionists, since there exists not one iota of scientific evidence for such ethereal civilizations." (Morris, H.M.*, "The Splendid Faith of the Evolutionist," Impact No. 111) 19/07/2003 "It is often said that all the conditions for the first production of a living organism are now present, which could ever have been present. But if (and oh! what a big if!) we could conceive in some warm little pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, light, heat, electricity, &c., present, that a proteine compound was chemically formed ready to undergo still more complex changes, at the present day such matter would be instantly devoured or absorbed, which would not have been the case before living creatures were formed." (Darwin, C.R., letter to J.D. Hooker, [1 February] 1871, in Darwin F., ed., "The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," , Basic Books: New York NY, Vol. II, 1959, reprint, pp.202-203) 21/07/2003 "While the hierarchic order may not be jewel-like in its perfection, it is not easy to see how a random evolutionary process could have generated such a highly ordered pattern. ... if the pattern is to be ordered, one condition that must be met is that character traits once acquired during the course of evolution can never subsequently be lost or transformed in any radical sense and that the acquisition of new character traits must leave, therefore, previously acquired character traits essentially unchanged - to presume, in other words, that evolution is a conservative process such that each phylogenetic lineage gains a succession of what are essentially immutable character traits. Only if diagnostic character traits remain essentially immutable in all the members of the group they define is it possible to conceive of a hierarchic pattern emerging as the result of an evolutionary process. ... It is surely a matter of debate as to what extent the existence of invariant character traits is really compatible with the notion of evolution as a random radical process of change. For if it is true, as the Darwinian model of evolution implies, that all the character traits of living things were gained in the first place as a result of a gradual random evolutionary process, then why should they have remained subsequently so fundamentally immune to that same process of change, especially considering that many diagnostic character traits are only of dubious adaptive significance? It was precisely this fundamental constancy of the unique character traits, or homologies, of every defined taxon which led nineteenth century biology to the theory of types!" (Denton, M.J., "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis," Burnett Books: London, 1985, pp.134-135) 21/07/2003 "Talk of the theory of evolution often conjures up mental images of something like a big dinosaur eating a smaller, less fit one. But evolution is taking place here and now. A marvellous illustration of this is provided by the peppered moth, Biston betularia. As the result of chance mutations accumulated over the years, there are two varieties of this moth, a dark type and a light type. During the Industrial Revolution, moth fanciers noticed that the lighter type once far more common than its darker relative - seemed to be disappearing in industrial areas. Out in the country, however, it was doing as well as ever. The reason was that the pollution in townswas killing lichens on trees, leaving the tree trunks bare and blackened. But mutations had given some moths a light coloration excellent camouflaging against predators when sitting on lichen, yet worse than useless on the soot covered trees of towns. The lightcoloured moths were easily seen by birds, and were being eaten. However, its darker cousin was very well suited to the new environment and, unlike the light moth, survived long enough to breed - thus passing on its dark-coloration genes to its progeny. Natural selection therefore boosted the numbers of darker moths in the industrial areas. The story has a happy ending for the lightcoloured moths, how ever. In the last few years, as a direct result of the clean-air policy now widely adopted in towns, their numbers have been on the increase again. Exactly the same processes - the transmission of beneficial mutations to our progeny - has enabled humans to become rulers of the planet." (Matthews, R.A.J., "Unravelling the Mind of God: Mysteries at the Frontier of Science," , Virgin Books: London, 1993, pp.30-31) 21/07/2003 "Why not begin by setting up an experiment which mimics conditions on the early Earth, and see how long it takes for some interesting chemical to emerge? This is precisely what Stanley Miller, a graduate student at Chicago University, did in 1952. He exposed a scaled flask of boiling water to a combination of gases that his supervisor, the Nobel prizewinning chemist Professor Harold Urey, reckoned would have existed in the early Earth's atmosphere: methane, hydrogen and ammonia. To help boost the chances of getting something interesting out of the mix, Miller passed the rising steam over electrodes which produced an electric spark, a crude simulation of primordial lightning. ... among the residues left over from the experiment were amino acids. These are the building blocks of proteins, a key ingredient of living things. Miller's experiment was instantly hailed as a major breakthrough. ... it is still held to be more or less the answer to the mystery of the origin of life. If so simple an experiment can produce something as important as amino acids, runs the argument, then a bit more experimental sophistication should produce the rest of the ingredients needed to produce a living creature. Such statements are a triumph of hope over experience. It is the biochemical equivalent of thinking that because we have found a mixture that produces steel, just a bit of tweaking will enable a Porsche to emerge. ... But amino acids are not DNA, or anything like it. They have no ability to replicate - the central requirement for the chemical basis of life. Miller's experiment didn't even produce many of the amino acids needed for life. Worse still, many researchers now believe that Miller's basic ingredients were wrong. Using lab experiments and computer simulations of the Earth's early atmosphere, it has been found that ultraviolet radiation from the sun may have destroyed any methane and ammonia in the atmosphere. Take these gases out of Miller's experiment and replace them with the more likely combination of nitrogen, carbon dioxide and hydrogen gases, and the amount of amino acids produced drops radically - in some cases to zero." (Matthews, R.A.J., "Unravelling the Mind of God: Mysteries at the Frontier of Science," , Virgin Books: London, 1993, pp.59-60) 21/07/2003 "But most damning of all is that no uncontrived simulation of primordial conditions has succeeded in producing the sort of compounds needed to build replicating molecules such as RNA and DNA. This is not surprising water, a chemical virtually certain to have existed on the early Earth, tears apart many complex compounds. To sum up, the Miller experiment did produce a handful of amino acids, but it was far less impressive than many people - scientists included - commonly believe." (Matthews, R.A.J., "Unravelling the Mind of God: Mysteries at the Frontier of Science," , Virgin Books: London, 1993, p.60) 22/07/2003 "The neo-Darwinian theory of evolution claims to be able to explain this type of evolution in terms of random mutations, Mendelian genetics, and natural selection. But even within the mechanistic framework of thought, it is by no means agreed that this type of small-scale or micro-evolution within a species can account for the origin of species themselves, or genera, families and higher taxonomic divisions. One school of thought holds that all large scale or macro-evolution can be explained in terms of long-continued processes of micro-evolution; the other school denies this, and postulates that major jumps occur suddenly in the course of evolution. But while opinions within mechanistic biology differ as to the relative importance of many small mutations or a few large ones in macroevolution, there is general agreement that these mutations are random, and that evolution can be explained by a combination of random mutation and natural selection. However, this theory can never be more than speculative. The evidence for evolution, primarily provided by the Fossil Record, will always be open to a variety of interpretations. For example, opponents of the mechanistic theory can argue that evolutionary innovations are not entirely explicable in terms of chance events, but are due to the activity of a creative principle unrecognized by mechanistic science. Moreover, the selection pressures which arise from the behaviour and properties of living organisms themselves can be considered to depend on an inner organizing factor which is essentially non-mechanistic. Thus the problem of evolution cannot be solved conclusively." (Sheldrake, R., "A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Morphic Resonance," , Park Street Press: Rochester VT, 1995, reprint, p.24) 22/07/2003 "Modern apes seem to have sprung out of nowhere. Molecular evidence suggests that they are surprisingly close relatives of ours, but they have no established yesterday, no clear fossil record. And the true origins of modern humans-of upright, naked, talking, big-brained beings-is, if we are to be honest with and about our selves, equally mysterious. No one disputes the fact that modern humans and the living great apes had a common ancestor. We have enough characteristics in common for it to be clear that our lives diverged comparatively recently. We still share something like 98 percent of our genetic material with chimpanzees. The similarities between us and the apes are evident and easily understood. It is the differences that are perplexing. Why should our backs be straight, our skins bare, and our lives laced together with webs of words? Somewhere in the genetic 2 percent that makes us uniquely human lie reasons to account for the fact that our posture, our locomotion, and our intellect should be so different from theirs. We seem to have spent a large part of the last 10 million years rushing through a series of evolutionary adaptations while the apes changed relatively little. Why? What was it that made such changes necessary? Something must have happened to us that didn't happen to the chimps and gorillas. But what? Theories abound and range, according to your taste, from environmental factors that drove our ancestors out of the forest, to banishment from the Garden of Eden by divine decree. In other words, we became erect, naked, and intelligent either because of a change of climate or due to an act of God. Both theories are tenable. Scientists, of course, tend to favor the former, but it is important to understand that, in the absence of appropriate fossil evidence, it is actually no more susceptible to proof than any of the more traditional accounts of creation." (Watson, L., "The Dreams of Dragons: Riddles of Natural History," William Morrow & Co: New York NY, 1987, p.127) 23/07/2003 "Thus the problem of evolution cannot be solved conclusively. Vitalist and organismic theories necessarily involve an extrapolation of vitalist and organismic ideas, just as the neo-Darwinian theory involves an extrapolation of mechanistic ideas. This is unavoidable; evolution will always have to be interpreted in terms of ideas which have already been formed on other grounds." (Sheldrake, R., "A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Morphic Resonance," , Park Street Press: Rochester VT, 1995, reprint, pp.24-25) 23/07/2003 "The Origin of Life. This problem is just as insoluble as that of evolution, for the same reasons. First, what happened in the distant past can never be known for certain; there will probably always be a plethora of speculations on the circumstances of the origin of life on earth. Current ones include the terrestrial origin of life within a Primaeval Broth; the infection of the earth by micro-organisms deliberately sent on a space ship by intelligent beings on a planet in another solar system; and the evolution of life on comets containing organic materials derived from interstellar dust. Secondly, even if the conditions under which life originated could be known, this information would shed no light on the nature of life. Assuming it could be demonstrated, for example, that the first living organisms arose from non-living chemical aggregates, or 'hypercycles' of chemical processes, in a Primaeval Broth, this would not prove that they were entirely mechanistic. Organicists would always be able to argue that new organismic properties emerged, and vitalists that the vital factor entered into the first living system precisely when it first came to life. The same arguments would apply even if living organisms were ever to be synthesized artificially from chemicals in a test tube." (Sheldrake, R., "A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Morphic Resonance," , Park Street Press: Rochester VT, 1995, reprint, p.25) 24/07/2003 "The common feature of all living organisms is the DNA code. As there is only one language used in it, the instructions must come from one source, and as the instructions for the simplest viable unit of life are complex, that source must be an adequate one with an intelligence equal to that required to invent a computer-automated factory." (Pearce, E.K.V., "Who Was Adam?," Paternoster: Exeter: Devon UK, 1969, pp.127-128) 25/07/2003 "POLONIUM HALOS Tiny rings in certain rocks from the Precambrian con caused by the radioactive decay of polonium isotopes. ... For several years polonium halos have been promoted by creationist physicist Robert V. Gentry (1986) as evidence of divine CREATION. The halos have become known as "Gentry's tiny mystery," geologist G. Brent Dalrymple having described them in testimony during the Arkansas CREATIONISM trial (see McLEAN v. ARKANSAS) as "a tiny mystery" that SCIENCE has yet to solve (Schadewald 1987). The mystery of the polonium halos lies in the fact that polonium is a product of uranium decay, yet there are no inner uranium halos to indicate that any significant amount of uranium was present in the rocks. ... It seems likely that Gentry's tiny mystery will someday be solved. Indeed, various natural explanations for the phenomenon have already been suggested (see Brush 1983, 71; Wakefield 1987, 31). In the meantime Gentry's case is fatally flawed anyway. Gentry wants to associate the halos with creation, but he is wrong in claiming that the rocks in which the halos are found are among the earth's earliest Precambrian rocks. J. Richard Wakefield (1987) has explained in detail how the rocks containing the polonium halos do not represent the oldest rocks in the region (Ontario, Canada) from which the samples came, but are younger igneous material intruding into older rock units. In short, Gentry's tiny mystery has nothing to do with the origin of the earth's first rocks, unless one is willing to believe that the entire geologically complex area from which the rocks with the halos came was created all at once with an APPEARANCE OF AGE, rather than formed over geologic time (Wakefield 1987)." (Ecker R.L., "Dictionary of Science & Creationism," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, 1990, p.153) 27/07/2003 "The process resembled a brutal biological competition, and in the end, only a single body survived to become Earth. In the final assembly stages, however, many large bodies orbited within the feeding zone, some as large as the planet Mars. The dramatic collision of these large bodies with the young Earth played a role in determining the initial tilt values of Earth's spin axis, the length of the planet's day, the direction of its spin, and the thermal state of its interior. It is widely believed that the impact of a Mars-sized body was responsible for formation of the Moon, an oddly large satellite relative to the size of its mother planet. The final composition of Earth had several crucial structural effects. First, enough metal was present in the early Earth to allow formation of an iron- and nickel-rich innermost region, or core, that is partially liquid. This enables Earth to maintain a magnetic field, a valuable property for a planet sustaining life. Second, there were enough radioactive metals such as uranium to make for a long period of radioactive heating of the inner regions of the planet. This endowed Earth with a long-lived inner furnace, which has made possible a long history of mountain building and plate tectonics-also necessary, we believe, to maintaining a suitable habitat for animals. Finally, the early Earth was compositionally able to produce a very thin outer crust of low-density material, a property that allows plate tectonics to operate. The thicknesses and stability of Earth's core, mantle, and crust, could have come about only through the fortuitous assemblage of the correct elemental building blocks." (Ward, P.D. & Brownlee, D., "Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe," Copernicus: New York, 2000, pp.50-51) 27/07/2003 "Canup described the day the Moon was made: A dark, lifeless object less than half as massive as Earth careens around a newborn Sun. It is one of many planet-sized bodies hoping for a long career. But its orbit is shaky. It's future grim. It is a character actor on the grand stage of the solar system, a player of great ultimate consequence but one destined to never see its name in lights. This doomed `protoplanet' travels a path that crosses the orbits of similar objects and, ultimately, cannot last. Eventually, the nameless protoplanet meets up with a fledgling Earth. It is not a head-on collision, but rather a glancing blow. The impact imparts what astronomers call angular momentum into the system. It sets Earth to spinning on its axis and creates a Moon that would go round and round the host planet for billions of years. The shock of the impact strips material from the outer layers of Earth and the impacting object. The mostly iron cores of both bodies meld into Earth's core. It is like a compact car merging onto the highway and colliding with an S.U.V. - - glass, trim and hubcaps fly, but the two chassis remain hopelessly tangled. All told, about 2 percent of the combined mass of the objects -- mostly rocky stuff that's largely bereft of iron -- begins to orbit the Earth. About half of this eventually becomes the Moon. Some of the stripped material is heated so fantastically that it vaporizes and expands into the surrounding vacuum of space. `The material that was vaporized expands into a cloud that envelops the whole planet,' Canup explained. Meanwhile, a long arm of solid matter is winging its way around Earth. Some of it develops into a clump that slams back into the planet. The rest is flung into orbit, all pretty much along a plane that mimics the path of the incoming object. This plane slices through what is now Earth's equator, and it is roughly the same plane along which the Moon orbits. `The object came in and hit, and that's what set the Earth's rotation and what its equator would be,' Canup said. ... `For the first time, we demonstrated with simulations that a single impact can give you an iron- depleted Moon of the right mass, and the current mass of the Earth, and the current angular momentum of the Earth-Moon system,' Canup said. Though the model covers only a day's time, Canup said shortly thereafter the material in outer regions began to cool. Gradually, small clumps would have formed, collided with one another, and grown. Based on other models, she said it would have taken between 1 and 100 years to make a Moon after the impact." (Britt, R.R., "24 Hours of Chaos: The Day The Moon Was Made ," Space.com, 15 August 2001) 27/07/2003 "It used to be widely thought, and widely taught, that the original `primitive' atmosphere of the early Earth was a `reducing' atmosphere, that is with no oxygen but rich in hydrocarbons such as methane and ammonia, which can combine with oxygen. This would be similar to the atmospheres of the giant planets, such as Jupiter and Saturn today. The reasoning behind this assumption developed primarily from the belief that such an atmosphere would be ideal, and might be essential, for the development of the complex but non-living molecules that preceded life This idea, and by implication the idea that the Earth's first atmosphere was a reducing one, received a great boost in 1953, when Harold Urey and Stanley L. Miller at the University of Chicago carried out a simple experiment. They set up a closed system in which water vapour ammonia, carbon dioxide, methane and hydrogen circulated past an electric discharge. Chemical reactions stimulated by the input of energy produced a brown sludge at the bottom of the reaction vessel. The sludge contained amino acids: complex molecules regarded by many scientists as the building blocks of life, which are used in the construction of the body's proteins, for example. Similar results-can be obtained using ultraviolet light as the energy source, and ultraviolet (from the Sun) and electric discharges (lightning) must both have been around to energise chemical reactions in the terrestrial `primal soup'. This picture captured the popular imagination, and the story of life emerging in the seas or pools of a planet swathed in, an atmosphere of methane and ammonia soon became part of the scientific folklore that `every schoolchild knows'. ... But now, this particular card house seems to have been demolished, and a new scientific edifice is arising in its place. In order to convince people that the Earth started out with a reduced, not a reducing, atmosphere-that is one with oxygen already locked up in gases such as carbon dioxide, and which cannot take up more oxygenastronomers, geophysicists and, more recently, climatologists have had to explain how life could arise on a wet planet with a carbon-dioxide atmosphere laced with traces of ammonia. By such devious routes is scientific progress made." (Gribbin, J., "Carbon-dioxide, ammonia - and life," New Scientist, Vol. 94, 13 May 1982, pp.413-414) 27/07/2003 "Although our viewpoint is certainly biased, our planet's tilt axis seems to be `just right.' Constancy of the tilt angle is a factor that provides long-term stability of Earth's surface temperature. If the polar tilt axis had undergone wide deviations from its present value, Earth's climate would have been much less hospitable for the evolution of higher life forms. One of the worst possibilities is that excessive axis tilt could have led to the total freezing over of the oceans, a situation that might be very difficult to recover from. Extensive ice cover increases the reflectivity of the planet, and with less absorption of sunlight, the planet continues to cool. ... High obliquity has remarkable and seemingly counterintuitive effects on planets. Consider a planet that is tipped 90 degrees. Averaged over the year, the poles would receive exactly as much solar energy as the equator would with no tilt angle. The north pole would become the Sahara! For the 90-degree tilt, however, the equatorial regions would receive much less energy averaged over the year and would become colder. If a planet is tilted more than 54 degrees, its polar regions actually receive more energy input from sunlight than the equatorial regions. If the Earth were tilted more than this amount, the equatorial oceans might freeze and the polar regions would be warmer: a topsy-turvy world." (Ward, P.D. & Brownlee, D., "Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe," Copernicus: New York NY, 2000, p.224-225) 27/07/2003 "A quite remarkable aspect of the Moon is that its formation appears to have been highly unlikely, a rare chance happening. ... Impact origin of the Moon as modeled by Cameron and Canup (1998). A body several times more massive than Mars impacts the edge of the half-grown Earth with spectacular effects. After a glancing blow, the two distorted bodies separate and then recombine. The metallic cores ... of both bodies coalesce to form Earth's core, while portions of the mantles ... of both bodies are ejected into orbit and accumulate to form the Moon. After its formation the Moon spiraled outward, a process that continues to the present time. To produce such a massive moon, the impacting body had to be the right size, it had to impact the right point on Earth, and the impact had to have occurred at just the right time in the Earth's growth process." (Ward, P.D. & Brownlee, D., "Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe," Copernicus: New York, 2000, pp.229,231) 27/07/2003 "The early Universe must have been lifeless or at least empty of advanced life, and quite remarkably, there are also limits on the time during which the Universe can exhibit Earth-like planets that provide adequate life support for advanced life. The geological activity on Earth that is so important in controlling the atmospheric temperature via the CO2-rock cycle is driven by the heat liberated by the radioactive decay of uranium, thorium and potassium atoms. These elements are produced by supernovae explosions, and their rate of formation is declining with time. In our galaxy, stars that form at present have less of these radioisotopes than the sun did when it formed 4.6 billion years ago. It is entirely possible that any true Earth clones now forming around other stars would not have enough radioactive heat to drive plate tectonics, a key process that helps stabilize Earth's surface temperature." (Ward, P.D. & Brownlee, D., "Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe," Copernicus: New York, 2000, p.30) 28/07/2003 "Nucleotides and lipids have yet to be made under conditions that are realistic simulations of primitive Earth conditions. Nucleotides and lipids are much too complicated and particular for this to be surprising. They have all the appearance of molecules specially contrived for particular purposes. ... Perhaps you still feel that `time, and more time, and the resource of oceans' could have overcome the problems of how the more complex 'molecules of life' were originally made. I will now try to dispel such optimism by considering in more detail the most critical of all 'the molecules of life'. ... The Sigma Company is one of several that compete to supply biochemicals for research purposes. Looking through their catalogue I find that I can buy a gram of ATP - a primed ('wound-up') RNA nucleotide - for about £5. ATP is only as cheap as this because it is relatively easy to extract from bulk biological materials - horse meat to be more specific- The other three primed RNA nucleotides are about ten times the price, and the primed DNA nucleotides cost about £300 per gram. But even these are only as cheap as they are because they are derived from natural biological materials. As with postage stamps the price of nucleotides rises steeply with more abnormal types. The version of ATP with the sugar arabinose in the connector piece in place of ribose comes in at about £6000 a gram. But even such abnormal nucleotides, if they are synthetic (man-made) at all, are never wholly synthetic. Their manufacture will have started with components such as ribose obtained from biological sources. ... So £6000 a gram (or if you prefer £6M a kilogram) is a low estimate for the cost of a primed nucleotide 'in the open Universe' as it were. What would these materials cost if it were not for the horses (and others) that do most of the hard work? What would it actually cost to manufacture primed nucleotides from methane, ammonia and phosphate rock ? I hate to think. Contrast glycine and alanine, the two simplest amino acids. These really can be said to be easily made-they have been detected frequently in complex mixtures from sparking experiments, in meteorites, etc. Glycine comes in at about 1p a gram, and alanine (as a mixture of 'left-handed' and 'right-handed' forms) about 8p. (I may say that at these prices you get 99% pure material; thunderstorm simulations give you 99% impure material.) Not only are they difficult to make, but primed nucleotides are rather unstable. Sigma recommend that the DNA primed nucleotides should be shipped in dry ice to avoid decomposition in transit, and nucleotides generally should be stored at below freezing point. Expensive and fragile, primed nucleotides (or unprimed ones for that matter) are, I think, implausible as significant geochemical products - as minerals - at any time." (Cairns-Smith A.G., "Seven Clues to the Origin of Life: A Scientific Detective Story," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1993, reprint, pp.45-46. Emphasis in original) 29/07/2003 "The law of chance, as stated by Emile Borel, is that `events whose probability is extremely small never occur.' [Borel E., "Elements of the Theory of Probability," Prentice-Hall: Englewood Cliffs NJ, 1965, p.57]. He defined `extremely small' as, on the cosmic scale, a probability of 10^50 or smaller. .... In order to make this `single law of chance' more absolute in its certainty, Borel then did some interesting calculating, giving chance some inordinate concessions as we have done. The great French mathematician first considered matter as divided into the smallest possible atomic particles. To pack the universe, he said, would require no more than 10^120 of these. Next he divided time into the smallest intervals on the scale of atomic processes and said that 10^40 would be the total of these smallest intervals of time that could happen in billions of centuries, aiming at a generous approximation of the life span of the universe, including our solar system. Borel said that, if one considers collisions between these minuscule particles at the tremendous rapidity of such extremely short periods of time, then, by multiplying the two figures together, the total number of these infinitely small elementary phenomena does not exceed 10^160 in the entire universe and during the longest period of time we can assign to the duration of our solar system. It is thus impossible to imagine that the simplest event could recur more than 10^160 times ... This single law of chance, according to Borel, `carries with it a certainty of another nature than mathematical certainty... it is comparable even to the certainty which we attribute to the existence of the external world.' [Borel E., "Probabilities and Life," Dover: New York, 1962, p.6] (Coppedge, J.F.,"Evolution: Possible or Impossible?," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1973, p.231) 29/07/2003 "Science is a way of knowing about the natural world. It is limited to explaining the natural world through natural causes. Science can say nothing about the supernatural. 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 ," Chapter 5, "Frequently Asked Questions About Evolution and the Nature of Science," Working Group on Teaching Evolution, National Academy of Sciences, USA, 1998, pp.55-60, p.58) 29/07/2003 "Several eminent naturalists have of late published their belief that a multitude of reputed species in each genus are not real species; but that other species are real, that is, have been independently created. This seems to me a strange conclusion to arrive at. They admit that a multitude of forms, which till lately they themselves thought were special creations, and which are still thus looked at by the majority of naturalists, and which consequently have all the external characteristic features of true species,-they admit that these have been produced by variation, but they refuse to extend the same view to other and slightly different forms. Nevertheless they do not pretend that they can define, or even conjecture, which are the created forms of life, and which are those produced by secondary laws. They admit variation as a vera causa in one case, they arbitrarily reject it in another, without assigning any distinction in the two cases. The day will come when this will be given as a curious illustration of the blindness of preconceived opinion. These authors seem no more startled at a miraculous act of creation than at an ordinary birth. But do they really believe that at innumerable periods in the earth's history certain elemental atoms have been commanded suddenly to flash into living tissues? Do they believe that at each supposed act of creation one individual or many were produced? Were all the infinitely numerous kinds of animals and plants created as eggs or seed, or as full grown? and in the case of mammals, were they created bearing the false marks of nourishment from the mother's womb? Undoubtedly some of these same questions cannot be answered by those who believe in the appearance or creation of only a few forms of life, or of some one form alone. It has been maintained by several authors that it is as easy to believe in the creation of a million beings as of one; but Maupertuis's philosophical axiom "of least action" leads the mind more willingly to admit the smaller number, and certainly we ought not to believe that innumerable beings within each great class have been created with plain, but deceptive, marks of descent from a single parent." (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1928, reprint, pp.456-457) 30/07/2003 "The scientists who worked out the geologic column and time scale were challenged by the question of absolute time. They knew the relative time order in which strata of the geologic column had formed, but they also wished to know whether the sediments in the strata had accumulated during the same length of time. They sought answers to questions such as these: `How much time elapsed between the end of the Cambrian Period and the beginning of the Permian Period?' `How long was the Tertiary Period' Absolute ages must be determined in order to answer such questions as the age of the Earth, the age of the ocean, how fast mountain ranges rise, and how long humans have inhabited the Earth. The discovery of radioactivity in 1896 provided a reliable way to measure absolute geologic time. Radioactivity is a process that runs continuously, that is not reversible, that operates the same way and at the same speed everywhere, and that leaves a continuous record without any gaps." (Skinner, B.J. & Porter, S.C., "The Dynamic Earth: An Introduction to Physical Geology," , Wiley: New York, Third Edition, 1995, pp.161-162) 31/07/2003 "The Earth is the odd planet because nearly all of its carbon dioxide has been removed from the atmosphere and deposited as carbonate minerals or organic carbon in sedimentary rocks. If all of this carbon were in the atmosphere, the ratios of carbon to nitrogen would be similar in the atmospheres of all three planets. Why has the Earth's carbon dioxide been almost completely extracted from the atmosphere? Probably because the Earth has abundant water, which has made possible the weathering reactions that extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and the development of a biosphere which leads to the burial of organic carbon in sediments. The atmospheres of Mars and Venus are both very dry. As far as we know, the Earth, Mars, and Venus were assembled out of more or less the some material with more or less the some complements of water and other volatile compounds. Why, then, are these atmospheres so dry? Probably because Mars is too cold, Venus is too hot, and the Earth is just right. That's the Goldilocks problem." (Skinner, B.J. & Porter, S.C., The Dynamic Earth: An Introduction to Physical Geology," , Wiley: New York, Third Edition, 1995, pp.521-522)
* 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 August, 2003. Updated. Updated: 30 April, 2010.