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The following are unclassified quotes posted in my email messages in October-December, 2003
The date format is dd/mm/yy. See copyright conditions at end.
October 7/10/2003 "A number of years ago I was giving a brief talk about the evolution of the brain when someone asked a question I couldn't answer. It was not a complicated question. It didn't come from a colleague who had found a weakness in my theory or a graduate student who had read about a new experiment that contradicted my data. It came from a child in my son's elementary school class. I had given school talks on being a scientist before, and I thought I knew what to expect. I never expected an eight-year old to stump me. I was talking about brains and how they work, and how human brains are different, and how this difference is reflected in our unique and complex mode of communication: language. But when I explained that only humans communicate with language, I struck a dissonant chord. `But don't other animals have their own languages?' one child asked. This gave me the opportunity to outline some of the ways that language is special: how speech is far more rapid and precise than any other communication behavior, how the underlying rules for constructing sentences are so complicated and curious that it's hard to explain how they could ever be learned, and how no other form of animal communication has the logical structure and open-ended possibilities that all languages have. But this wasn't enough to satisfy a mind raised on Walt Disney animal stories. `Do animals just have SIMPLE languages?' my questioner continued. `No, apparently not,' I explained. `Although other animals communicate with one another, at least within the same species, this communication resembles language only in a very superficial way-for example, using sounds-but none that I know of has the equivalents of such things as words, much less nouns, verbs, and sentences. Not even simple ones.' 'Why not?' asked another child. At this I hesitated. And the more I thought about it, the more I recognized that I didn't really have an answer. As far as I could tell no other scientists had seriously considered the question in this form. Why are there no simple languages, with simple forms of nouns, verbs, and sentences? It is indeed a counterintuitive fact. Myths, fables, fairy tales, animated cartoons, and Disney movies portray what common sense suggests ought to be the case: that other animals with their simpler minds communicate and reason using simpler languages than ours. Why isn't it so? I'm not sure why I hadn't noticed this paradox before, or why other scientists hadn't. Most mammals aren't stupid. Many are capable of quite remarkable learning. Yet they don't communicate with simple languages, nor do they show much of a capacity to learn them-if our pets are any indication. Perhaps we have been too preoccupied with trying to explain our big brains, or too complacent with the metaphoric use of the term animal language, to notice this contradictory little fact. But the question may also have been unconsciously avoided because of the intellectual costs of considering it seriously. Indeed, the more deeply I have pursued this question, the more it seems like a Pandora's box that unleashes troubling doubts about many other questions that once seemed all but settled. This isn't the question we had been asking, but maybe it should have been. As Dewey suggests, the alternatives we pose in our scientific questions may not even address the most crucial issues." (Deacon, T.W., "The Symbolic Species: The Co-Evolution of Language and the Human Brain," , Penguin: London, 1998, reprint, pp.11-12. Emphasis original) 7/10/2003 "In the light of this, I suggest that the question that constitutes the title of this book is a misleading and presumptuous one. It presumes that there is a single category `science', and implies that various areas of knowledge, physics, biology, history, sociology and so on, either come under that category or do not. I do not know how such a general characterization of science can be established or defended. Philosophers do not have resources that enable them to legislate on the criteria that must be satisfied if an area of knowledge is to be deemed acceptable or `scientific'. Each area of knowledge can be analyzed for what it is. That is, we can investigate what its aims are, which may be different from what its aims are commonly thought to be or are presented as, and we can investigate the means used to accomplish those aims and the degree of success achieved. It does not follow from this that no area of knowledge can be criticized. We can attempt to criticize any area of knowledge by criticizing its aims, by criticizing the appropriateness of the methods used for attaining those aims, by confronting it with an alternative and superior means of attaining the same aims and so on. From this point of view we do not need a general category `science' with respect to which some area of knowledge can be acclaimed as science or denigrated as nonscience." (Chalmers, A.F., "What is this thing called Science?: An Assessment of the Nature and Status of Science and its Method," , University of Queensland Press: St Lucia, Queensland, Australia, Second Edition, 1994, reprint, p.166) 8/10/2003 "In close harmony with all these scriptural passages-and our exegesis must always be based upon the analogy of Scripture we conclude that here also in Revelation 20:1-3 the binding of Satan and the fact that he is hurled into the abyss to remain there for a thousand years indicates that throughout this present gospel age the devil's influence on earth is curtailed. He is unable to prevent the extension of the Church among the nations by means of an active missionary programme. During this entire period he is prevented from causing the nations-the world in general-to destroy the Church as a mighty, missionary institution. By means of the preaching of the Word as applied by the Holy Spirit, the elect, from all parts of the world, are brought from darkness to light. In that sense the Church conquers the nations, and the nations do not conquer the Church. Throughout this entire period churches are established. Not only individuals but institutions and ordinances are affected more or less by the gospel of God's grace. In regions where the devil had been allowed to exercise almost unlimited authority, during Old Testament times, he is now compelled to see the servants of Christ gaining territory little by little. Within a comparatively brief period Christianity spreads throughout southern Europe. Soon it conquers the entire continent. During the centuries which follow it is proclaimed everywhere so that the ends of the earth hear the gospel of the crucified One and many bend the knee before Him. The Church has become international. This international Church is very powerful: 'Like a mighty army moves the Church of God.' The maps of the World Missionary Atlas are full of little red lines underscoring the names of places where there are mission stations. The particularism of the old dispensation has made place for the universalism of the new. The Bible has been translated into more than 1,000 languages. The influence of the gospel upon the thought and life of man kind can scarcely be overestimated. In some countries the blessed truths of Christianity affect human life in all its phases: political, economic, social, and intellectual. Only the individual who lacks the historic sense and is, therefore, unable to see the present in the light of conditions which prevailed throughout the world before Christ's ascension, can fail to appreciate the glories of the millennial age in which we are now living. The prophecy found in Psalm 72 is being fulfilled before our eyes. Do not misunderstand our interpretation. We are not stating that the world is becoming better and better and that by and by nearly everyone will join the ranks of Christ's army. Many will hear the gospel, but will not heed it. Moreover, God's trumpets of judgment will not convert a world which is hardening itself in unbelief. The majority will always be on the side of the evil one. We most emphatically reject the dream of a man-made era of peace, prosperity, and universal righteousness on earth preceding the second coming of Christ. Just as definitely do we repudiate the related idea according to which the almighty 'law of evolution' will bring about an ever-upward trend in the course of civilization. We are not closing our eyes to the evils which surround us; nor are we ignorant of the fact that present day humanism, masquerading under the guise of a new and better interpretation of Christianity, is in reality the rat that is gnawing at the roots of the tree of true religion. Nevertheless, although we are fully aware of all these symptoms of evil and harbingers of woe, the facts which we have set out above remain true, and no amount of argument can cancel them. The Church, indeed, exerts a tremendous influence for good upon almost the entire complex of human life. In that sense-not in every sense-the devil is bound." (Hendriksen, W.*, "More than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation," , Tyndale Press: London, 1966, reprint, pp.189-191. Emphasis original) 10/10/2003 "So, what if, according to findings so recent that they are as yet far from assimilated, we now have grounds for believing the Bible to have been significantly more right in respect of the Flood than anyone bar Creationists and fundamentalists have been giving it credit for? What if, millennia earlier than Archbishop Ussher could have imagined (indeed, earlier than he believed the entire world to have been created), there actually was a Flood? A Flood that may not have risen anything like as high as the world's mountain tops, or so extensive as to cover the entire earth, but which certainly swept away a major heartland of civilisation as it existed at that time? In fact there is no need for such 'what ifs'. For this book is the story of just such a Flood event actually having happened. An event that though we may not be able to date it to a single year, certainly occurred in or about 5600 BC, give or take a few decades. From what we know about it so far, it was an event that occurred in a most unexpected location, the environs of what is today the Black Sea. And it was also so massive and devastating that it arguably spawned not only the 'Noah' Flood story as this became preserved in the folklore of the Hebrew peoples, but also the Flood stories that have been preserved in a number of other cultures besides. That such an event actually happened is now absolutely certain, accredited by scientists of international repute to the same degree of confidence with which, only a few years ago, the Noah story was being dismissed as nonsense." (Wilson, I., "Before the Flood: Understanding the Biblical Flood Story as Recalling a Real-Life Event," , Orion: London, 2002, pp.xiv-xv) 11/10/2003 "Sir-In the News story about scientists' response to creationists, the scientists `comment that the Bible says that PI is 3, not 3.14' (Nature 398, 453; 1999). The biblical verse quoted (1 Kings 7:23) reads in part: `...measuring 10 cubits from rim to rim... It took a line of 30 cubits to measure around it". Indeed, 30/10 equals 3, but further on in verse 26 it says: `It was a handbreadth in thicubit measured 18 inches and a hand breadth 3 inches, the inner diameter of the bowl would be 174 inches (10 x 18 - 2 x 3), and the inner circumference would be 540 inches (30 x 18). This yields a value for PI of 540/174 or 3.10. This is about a 1 per cent error from the typical value for PI of 3.14. Although we do not know the exact length of a cubit or a handbreadth, this result is very close to the actual value of PI." (Peil, K., "Biblical answer to cooking up pi," Nature, Vol 399, 10 June 1999, p.522) 11/10/2003 "Science makes claims about the world. Theology makes claims about the world. How do the claims of science and theology relate? At least four answers to this question are possible: (1) they don't relate at all; (2) they adopt different perspectives; (3) they conflict (4) they support each other. ... We can imagine theology and science as two windows on reality. To say that theology and science don't relate at all is then to say that the windows face completely opposite directions and view completely different scenes. ... Another possibility is that both windows are looking out at the same scene from pretty much the same vantage, but this time one of the windows is distorted. ... The final possibility is that the windows face the same scene and do so from perspectives, which, though not identical, are not so disparate that we can't meaningfully relate what we are seeing from both windows. Alternatively, what we learn from both windows can in many cases be meaningfully related. ... This windows analogy describes our principal options for relating science and theology. Science and theology are windows onto reality. How does what we learn from one window relate to what we learn from the other? It all depends on where the windows are placed and on the quality of the glass. If the windows are facing completely opposite directions, there can be no meaningful relation. This is the compartmentalization model of the relation between science and theology. On this view, science and theology are airtight compartments whose domains never overlap. The usual line here is that science studies the natural world, but theology studies morals and faith. Stephen Jay Gould is a great proponent of this view. So is the National Academy of Sciences. Close to this view is the complementarily model. Unlike the compartmentalization model, the complementarily model admits that science and theology can address the same aspects of reality. Nevertheless, when they do, the perspectives of science and theology differ so radically that what science tells us and what theology tells us cannot be correlated within a single coherent discourse. According to the complementarily model, theology and science speak to the same reality but in languages so different that no translation between the two, not even a partial translations is possible. To be sure, both are necessary to give a complete account of reality. But it is a completeness of aggregation, not integration. ... It's not for science to tell theology how to do its thing or vice versa. They are conceptually independent even if they depend on the same underlying reality. The American Scientific Affiliation has been the great proving ground for this view. Complementarity and compartmentalization maintain peace between science and theology. The conflict model does not. According to the conflict model, science and theology can't both be right-one or the other distorts our picture of reality. These days science is usually regarded as providing the undistorted view of reality. In an age that regards science as preeminent, theology therefore ends up the loser. ... Rationalists, skeptics, atheists and debunkers are the great purveyors of the conflict model. They regard theology, faith, religion and superstition as one cloth. The compartmentalization and complementarity models arose historically in reaction to the conflict model. Compartmentalization and complementarity are insulating strategies, designed to protect theology from the assaults of science. The compartmentalization model redraws the boundaries of theology so that it cannot conflict with science. The complementarily model reconceptualizes the nature of theological discourse so that, again, theology cannot conflict with science. In either case, these models avoid conflict but at the cost of removing theology from any productive conversation with science. None of these three models is adequate. ... In place of these models I want to propose a fourth alternative, one that recognizes what is correct in these models, yet without being swayed to their extremes. I call this fourth option the mutual support model. According to the mutual support model, theology and science overlap but are not coextensive. Where they overlap, one discipline can provide epistemic support for the other. Epistemic support is much more general than proof. Proof-as in decisive, once-and-for-all settlement of a question-if possible anywhere, is possible only in mathematics. The mutual support model has no stake in using theology to decisively prove or settle the claims of science, or vice versa. Nonetheless, according to the mutual support model, theology can lend credence, increase the conditional probability of, or render plausible certain scientific claims and not others. Likewise, science can do the same for theology. The Christian doctrine of creation supports a big-bang cosmology much better than it supports a steady-state cosmology. ... Within Christianity, God has traditionally been revealed in two books-the book of Scripture, which is the Bible, and the book of nature, which is creation. Both books testify to the God who is their common author. Not only do these books agree, but each helps us make sense of the other. Much of the confusion in science and theology these days results from severing these books." (Dembski, W.A.*, "Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology", InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1999, pp.187-192. Emphasis original) 12/10/2003 "The documentary theory seeks to identify four main documents as the sources behind the present text of the Pentateuch. It does this by studying blocks of text that can be set apart on the basis of the lack of close continuity and order in subject matter, the use of the divine names Yahweh and Elohim, and the duplications of material. On this basis it seeks to bring together larger textual corpora that are marked by similarity of vocabulary and style and by uniformity of theological outlook, and that, to a variable extent, present parallel accounts of the basic pentateuchal story. Thus, four "sources" are established. (1) The Yahwist's narrative (J, from German Jahweh) ... (2) The Elohist's narrative (E) ... (3) The Deuteronomist's document (D) ... Not concerned to analyze the text by grouping basic units into larger literary corpora or sources, this method isolates and studies the individual literary units themselves to determine what kind of literature they are and particularly to determine and study their Sitz im Leben, the "setting in life" which produced them and from which perspective they speak. ... Much of the old source criticism and of the hypotheses it produced remains conjectural and problematic. That there are sources is hard to doubt; that they can be extirpated so certainly from the closely-knit corpus that finally emerged is another matter. Of much more importance for interpretation is the final result of this long process, produced by the inspired authors, editors, and traditionalists of God's chosen people. ... Whatever the process of transmission and growth or the date at which it finally reached its present form, whoever the writer or writers who finally put it together as the grand historical narrative that it is, surely far more important is the final creation itself. The overarching unity so creatively and powerfully formed out of its component parts is surely far more important than the existence of whatever sources its complexities may require positing. The real danger of literary analysis and criticism is ... that, when such analysis becomes the concern of biblical scholarship to the exclusion of more comprehensive, overall considerations, it tends to reduce the Pentateuch to unrelated fragments and hence to result in the loss of any real grasp of the unity really present in it. Recent trends in Old Testament scholarship increasingly recognize this fact." (La Sor, W.S., Hubbard, D.A. & Bush, F.W., "Old Testament Survey: The Message, Form, and Background of the Old Testament," , Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, 1987, reprint, pp.64-65) 14/10/2003 "But the fact that the evolution model is inherently contrary to the creation model and that biological evolutionary theory is perhaps absolutely indispensable to the evolution model does not by itself suggest in the slightest that there is any logical tension between theism and the biological theory of evolution. That two worldviews are mutually inconsistent as wholes does not imply that every specific part of each must be inconsistent with the other. To argue so is to make the logical mistake known as the `fallacy of division.' Consider this simple example. A complete naturalistic worldview must contain some meteorological theories concerning the origin of thunder storms. Those theories, to fit into the naturalistic worldview, must be purely natural theories-theories that cite only natural laws and conditions such as fronts, hydrological cycles, temperatures and so forth and make no reference whatever to any sort of supernatural intervention or nonnatural processes. But such theories can also fit perfectly well into theistic worldviews. There is nothing atheistic about such theories. Accepting the theory that last week's storm was brought about by purely natural processes does not render one's Christian worldview internally inconsistent. Nor does that acceptance represent a compromise with naturalism. Or as an even simpler example, if your plumber gave you an explanation other than a purely natural one for why your water heater did not work, you would hire another plumber. But that would not represent a compromise of your Christian principles." (Ratzsch, D.L.* "The Battle of Beginnings: Why Neither Side is Winning the Creation-Evolution Debate," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1996, pp.182-183. Emphasis original). 14/10/2003 "To begin with a paradox: Darwin, Lamarck, and Haeckel-the greatest nineteenth-century evolutionists of England, France, and Germany, respectively-did not use the word evolution in the original editions of their great works. Darwin spoke of `descent with modification,' Lamarck of `transformisme.' Haeckel preferred `Transmutations-Theorie' or `Descendenz-Theorie.'" (Gould, S.J., "Darwin's Dilemma," in "Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History," , Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, p.34) 14/10/2003 "The fallacy of division is the converse of the fallacy of composition. It occurs when one assumes that what is true of a whole is also true of its parts. For example: `We are alive and we are made out of sub atomic particles. So they must be alive too.' To argue in this way is to ignore the very real difference between parts and wholes." (Schick, T. & Vaughn, L., "How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age," Mayfield: Mountain View CA, California, Second edition, 1995, p.287) 14/10/2003 "The fallacy of division lies in assuming that what holds true for all members of a class taken together is necessarily true for each alone. This assumption is the converse of composition. Of course, what is true of all is often true of each, but not necessarily so. For instance, a general may strive to preserve the fighting efficiency of his army as a whole by giving orders which will result in the fighting efficiency of some units being destroyed. Less melancholy examples can easily be adduced." (Fearnside, W.W. & Holther, W.B., "Fallacy: The Counterfeit of Argument," Prentice-Hall: Englewood Cliffs NJ, 1959, 25th printing, p.29) 14/10/2003 "The textbook detractors assume that Ussher's effort involved little more than adding up ages and dates given directly in the Old Testamentthus implying that his work was only an accountant's act of simple, thoughtless piety. Another text-book-we are now up to seven-states that Ussher's 4004 was `a date reconstructed from adding up the ages of people named in the lineages of the scripture.' But even a cursory look at the Bible clearly shows that no such easy solution is available, even under the assumption of inerrancy. You can add the early times, from creation up to the reign of Solomon-for the requisite information is provided by an unbroken male lineage supplying the key datum of father's age at the birth of a first son. But this easy route cannot be carried forward into the several hundred years of the kingdom, from Solomon's reign to the destruction of the Temple and the Babylonian captivity-for here we are only given the lengths of rule for kings, and several frustrating ambiguities (including overlaps or co-regencies of a king and his successor) were widely acknowledged but not easily resolved. Finally, how can you use the Old Testament to reach the crucial birthday of Christ and thus connect the older narrative to the present? For the Old Testament stops in the period of Ezra and Nehemiah, the fifth century B.C. in Ussher's Chronology." (Gould, S.J., "Fall in the House of Ussher," in "Eight Little Piggies: Reflections in Natural History," Jonathan Cape: London, 1993, pp.187-188) 14/10/2003 "The knowledge of God is the authentic map of the spiritual order. The spiritual order is the total number of relationships established by God between himself and his creation, and more particularly those relationships established by God between himself and man. It has been the philosophers who have metaphorically spoken of human knowledge as having the structure of a map. There is unusually happy feature to this analogy and one which particularly suits theology. A map first of all conveys certain knowledge. It is one of the many symbolic systems available to man by which he can present a certain number of facts and their relationships. But the purpose of the typical map is to enable a person to find his way around. Equipped with a set of maps (national, state, and county) a tourist is prepared to find his way to any place of national significance or scenic beauty in America. The "map" of the science of chemistry is thus not only a certain body of information about chemicals but it enables the chemist to "move about," to "find his way" in the subject matter of chemistry. And in theology, the knowledge of God as an authentic map not only conveys to man what he needs to know of the spiritual order, but also how he may "move about" and "find his way" in the spiritual order. The goal of scholarly research is knowledge and this is true whether we are investigating astrophysics or the buying habits rural consumers. The methods of procedure and the specialized techniques vary enormously from subject matter to subject matter but the goal of knowledge remains the same. And this knowledge may metaphorically be called the map of the subject matter. Certainly, maps are not photographs! Each type of map is schematized and involves certain specialized symbols and technical structures. The particular purpose which each map serves calls for a certain amount of distortion in the construction of the map to achieve this purpose. The oldest chestnut of them all in map-making is how to project a round globe on a flat surface with the minimum of distortion. Highway maps uniformly omit rail roads, and airline maps omit highways and railroads. Geologists must construct very unusual maps because they must not only look across a landscape but also underneath it. The carefully constructed map by a skilled cartographer is one of the finest achievements and one of the most serviceable products of an advanced culture. The knowledge of God is a map of the spiritual order. It is a product of scholarly research. But it is a research determined by the uniqueness of the subject matter, God. The theologian does not treat God in himself, but God in his revelation. The product of this very unique kind of research is the knowledge of God which we have metaphorically called a map of the spiritual order. The man who has this map and knows how to read it spiritually then knows how to move about in the spiritual order. (Ramm, B.L.*, "Special Revelation and the Word of God," , Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, 1968, Second Printing, pp.13-14. Emphasis original) 14/10/2003 "Despite its biological importance, positive selection is seldom observed at work in nature. A few well- known, and constantly cited examples are industrial melanism in moths (Kettlewell, 1955, 1956, 1958), DDT resistance in insects and antibiotic resistance in bacteria. As compared with these, examples of negative selection are abundant; it is popular to associate unfavourable effects and deformities with mutations, as so many textbook examples of mutants are of this nature. Furthermore, intensive studies of recessive lethals and detrimental mutants in Drosophila populations have shown beyond doubt that the majority of these mutant genes are unconditionally deleterious both in homozygous and heterozygous states (Mukai and Yamaguchi, 1974; Mukai et al., 1972). (Kimura, M., "The Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution," , Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1990, reprint, p.118) 14/10/2003 "The fallacy of the crucial experiment. In high-school physics classes, we all learned a heroically simplified version of scientific progress based upon a model that does work sometimes, but by no means always-the experimenum crucis, or crucial experiment. Newton or Einstein? Ptolemy or Copernicus? Special creation or Darwin? To find out, perform a single decisive experiment with a clearly measurable result full of power to decree yea or nay. Throw the accused witch in the pond; if she sinks, she was innocent (however dead by drowning). ... more generally, single `crucial' experiments rarely decide major issues in science-especially in natural history, in which nearly all theories require data about `relative frequencies' (or percentage of occurrences), not pristine single cases. Of course, for a person who believes that evolution never occurs at all, one good case can pack enormous punch, but this basic issue was adequately resolved more than one hundred years ago. Nearly every interesting question in evolutionary theory asks `how often' or `how dominant in setting the pattern of life'-not `does this phenomenon occur at all?' For example, on the most important issue of all-the role of Darwin's own favored mechanism of natural selection- single examples of selection's efficacy advance the argument very little. We already know, by abundant documentation and rigorous theorizing, that natural selection can and does operate in nature. We need to determine the relative strength of Darwin's mechanism among a set of alternative modes for evolutionary change-and single cases, however elegant, cannot establish a relative frequency." (Gould, S.J., "The Paradox of the Visibly Irrelevant," Natural History, December 1997/January 1998, Vol. 106, No. 11, p.60) 15/10/2003 "In the decades following the publishing of Darwin's works, Berkeley professor Joseph Le Conte argued that those who believe in evolution should not be referred to as evolutionists any more than those who believe in gravity should be referred to as gravitationalists [Le Conte J., "Evolution In Relation to Religious Thought," D. Appleton & Co., 1889, p.66]. Evolution, according to Le Conte, was not to be regarded as a mere theory, but as an unquestionable fact, a scientific law, on par with gravity. Today, evolutionist Ernst Mayr echoes Le Conte's message that evolution should no longer be called a theory. Professor emeritus of zoology at Harvard University and one of the twentieth century's foremost evolutionists, it would be difficult to find a more authoritative voice in Darwinism than Mayr. The fact of evolution is "so overwhelmingly established," says Mayr, "that it has become irrational to call it a theory." [Mayr. E.W., "What Evolution Is," Basic Books: New York, 2001, p.264] The idea that evolution is a fact beyond rational dispute is broadly popular among Darwinists. In the hundred years or so separating the comments of Le Conte and Mayr, many evolutionists have made a similar claim. It is now seen as accepted wisdom in biology textbooks and popular literature. ... This is a curious argument since the scientific evidence does not establish the fact of evolution. .... In every case the evidence is ambiguous or even argues against evolution. How then can evolution be a fact if even the positive evidence does not support it very well? The answer is that evolution is considered to be a fact because Darwinists believe they have disproven the alternative: divine creation." (Hunter, C.G.*, "Darwin's Proof: The Triumph of Religion Over Science," Brazos Press: Grand Rapids MI, 2003, p.10) 15/10/2003 "In I Kings 7:23, an altar font in Solomon's Temple was ten cubits across and thirty cubits around. This means that the mathematical constant PI (pi) is exactly 3. All school children know that PI is not 3 but 3.14159 and there is nothing to suggest that the Hebrew author was approximating. If PI is equal to exactly 3, then no machine, aeroplane, ship, motor vehicle etc. could be designed or would operate. The Bible's mathematics is consistent and in II Chronicles 4:2, we also read that PI is exactly 3. There are only two possible alternatives. Either the Bible is wrong and that PI is equal to 3.14159 or that the biblical PI is only approximate. Accordingly the Bible must be in error. Little wonder that many theologians argue that creationists who attempt to literally interpret the Bible mock the Bible, and by so mocking the Bible, they are anti-Christian. The creationist solution to the biblical approximation to the value of PI is to interpret only parts of the Bible as literal. A selective literal interpretation of the Bible is a common creationist contradiction." (Plimer, I.R., "Telling lies for God," Random House: Sydney, 1994, pp.17-18) 15/10/2003 "Doesn't 1 Kings 7:23 give an inaccurate value for pi? First Kings 7:23 says, `He [Hiram] made the sea of cast metal ten cubits from brim to brim, circular in form, and its height was five cubits, and thirty cubits in circumference' (NASB). Some critics have urged this approximate value of three to one as the relationship between the diameter and the circumference of the circle amounts to a geometrical inaccuracy, inconsistent with a truly errorless Scripture. They true value of pi is calculated to be 3.14159 rather than 3.0. This criticism is, however, devoid of merit. While it is true that the more exact calculation of pi is essential for, scientific purposes, or for the manufacture of precision parts in a factory, the use of approximate proportions or totals is a familiar practice in normal, speech, even today. ... It is perfectly proper to speak of the circumference of any circle as being three times its diameter if we are speaking approximately, just as one may legitimately state that the population of China is from 800 million to one billion. The Hebrew author here is obviously speaking in the approximate way that is normal practice even today. There is one interesting feature about this that might well be added. If the rod used to mark out a length of five cubits (approximately ninety inches) for the radius were used to measure the inside circumference of the same bowl-shaped vessel here described, then it would take exactly six of those five-cubit measures to complete the circumference. Let the skeptic try it and see!" (Archer, G.L.*, "Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1982, pp.198-199) 16/10/2003 "A little known verse of the Bible reads `And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it about. (I Kings 7, 23) The same verse can be found in II Chronicles 4, 2. It occurs in a list of specifications for the great temple of Solomon, built around 950 BC and its interest here is that it gives p = 3. Not a very accurate value of course and not even very accurate in its day, for the Egyptian and Mesopotamian values of 25/8 = 3.125 and 10 = 3.162 have been traced to much earlier dates: though in defence of Solomon's craftsmen it should be noted that the item being described seems to have been a very large brass casting, where a high degree of geometrical precision is neither possible nor necessary." (O'Connor, J. & Robertson, E.F., "A history of Pi," School of Mathematics and Statistics University of St Andrews, Scotland, August 2001) 16/10/2003 "There are some interpretations of this which lead to a much better value. An interesting suggestion from Bob Graf reads: `The brass tub in Solomon's temple was a thick-sided vessel, and the measurement of ten cubits referts referred to the outer diameter, while the measurement of thirty cubits referred to the inner circumference. The thickness of the annulus was recorded as a hand-breadth. If one considers a hand breadth to be 4 inches, and uses a figure of 17.75 for a cubit, the value of p in the equation: ((10 30/p)/2)17.75 = 4 is p = 355/113. I don't think the Hebrews calculated the values recorded, merely observed them.* The true value of would give slightly different values for a hand-breadth and a cubit. I think this fact is more interesting than the improper imputation of 3 as the 'Biblical' value of PI.' Comment by: Bob Graf, 29th October 1996." (O'Connor J. & Robertson E.F., "A history of Pi," School of Mathematics and Statistics University of St Andrews, Scotland, August 2001. *"At the time, I did not know that a handbreadth was actually one-sixth of a cubit by definition (or one-seventh of a royal cubit). With the additional information that a hand-breadth is one-sixth of a cubit, the dimensions of the tub can be adjusted within small limits of error, using Lagrange multipliers, for example, to accomodate this fact." (Bob Graf, personal communication, 1 May 2005) 16/10/2003 "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2Cor 10:3-5) 16/10/2003 "But while he pursues the truth, what do Stootman's instincts tell him? What is the gut feeling of the man in charge of Australia's search for intelligent life elsewhere in the universe? `I'd probably come down on the more negative side ... I think it's unlikely. But that doesn't stop the quest for something from being rigorously pursued and investigated. "The irony of the whole wretched thing is this: In the SETI quest we are looking for evidence of something that is artificial - a signal. Yet when we look at the natural world, we won't accept that the engineering that's there, and the information that's there in the universe, is artificial.'" (Linnell G., "Heaven Only Knows", The Bulletin, Vol. 117, No. 6181, July 6, 1999, p.34) 16/10/2003 "In this vast universe teeming with lonely hearts and hopeful souls, Frank Stootman, the director of SETI Australia, is one of the lucky ones. He found what he was looking for a long time ago. He had always been curious about how things worked; even as the son of Dutch immigrants growing up in the outer Sydney backblocks of Mount Pritchard and Cabramatta, he wanted to become a physicist. Science was the master plan behind all life. you could measure the world around you with it. It told you how everything worked; from why the Earth orbited the Sun to why the flavour in your bubble gum disappeared after a few minutes of chewing. But by the time he got to university, Stootman discovered science had let him down in one area. It could tell him how, but it couldn't tell him why. As the brightest minds of the century discovered sooner or later, physics could only explain so much. Yes, there was a Big Bang that started everything. But it was like the best magician's finest illusion. The audience could only deduce so much. Sooner or later you hit a wall. Just how did he do that? A friend of Stootman's at Sydney University, Heather Vaughan, suggested he read the Bible. He had always suspected the existence of some grand plan, and soon Stootman became a committed Christian. Here, at last, were answers that made real sense. For the past 30 years as a scientist - he married Heather, who has a doctorate in chemistry, and they have three children - he has seen nothing to shake his faith." (Linnell G., "Heaven Only Knows", The Bulletin, Vol. 117, No. 6181, July 6, 1999, p.33) 17/10/2003 "It is hardly necessary to speak of science and the Bible, because science as a whole touches the Bible very little. There are few places where chemistry, physics, mathematics, etc., bear upon the Scriptures, much less contradict them. It is true that much is sometimes made of these few places, but actually they are not of much significance. For instance, some ridicule the Bible, for they declare that it gives a value of 3 for pi, instead of 3.1416. It is true that in II Chronicles 4:2 and also in I Kings 7:23 the dimensions of Solomon's great brass laver are given as thirty cubits around and ten cubits across, but what does this really prove? Three is the value of pi to the first significant figure, and though the value of pi has been worked out to the 707th decimal place, its exact value is not yet known. We are not told the preciseness of the measurements given, nor are we sure that Solomon's laver was exactly round. There is nothing here to disturb the faith of any man, nor any grounds to say that the Scriptures are wrong in their mathematics. And so, it is with many other minor objections." (Harris R.L.*, "Inspiration and Canonicity of the Bible: An Historical and Exegetical Study," , Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1969, Revised, pp.30-31) 18/10/2003 "The central issue relating to the doctrine of creation which had to be debated in the first period of Christian theology was thus that of dualism. The classic example of this is found in some of the forms of Gnosticism, so forcefully opposed by Irenaeus, which argued for the existence of two gods - a supreme god, who was the source of the invisible spiritual world, and a lesser deity who created the world of material things. This approach is strongly dualist, in that it sets up fundamental tension between the spiritual realm (which is seen as being good) and the material realm (which is seen as being evil). The doctrine of creation affirmed that the material world was created good by God, despite its subsequent contamination by sin. A similar outlook is associated with Manichaeism, a gnostic worldview which Augustine found attractive as a young man. By the end of the fourth century, most Christian theologians had rejected the Platonist approach, even in the form associated with Origen, and argued for God being the creator of both the spiritual and material worlds. The Nicene Creed opens with a declaration of faith in God as "maker of heaven and earth," thus affirming the divine creation of both the spiritual and material realms. During the Middle Ages, forms of dualism once more made their appearance, particularly in the views of the Cathari and Albigenses, who taught that matter is evil, and was created ex nihilo by the devil. Against such views, the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) and the Council of Florence (1442) taught explicitly that God created a good creation out of nothing." (McGrath A.E.*, "Christian Theology: An Introduction,"  Blackwell: Cambridge MA, Second Edition, 1997, p.269) 19/10/2003 "'I cannot understand why you scientific people make such a fuss about Darwin. Why, it's all in Lucretius!' So wrote Matthew Arnold to John Judd in 1871. We must not go away with the idea that before Charles Darwin no one had ever thought of evolution. The concept dates back more than two millennia, to those first philosophers, the Greeks." (Blackmore V. & Page A.*, "Evolution: The Great Debate," Lion: Oxford UK, 1989, p.10) 19/10/2003 "In those days the earth attempted also to produce a host of monsters, grotesque in build and aspect - hermaphrodites, halfway between the sexes yet cut off from either, creatures bereft of feet or dispossessed of hands, dumb, mouthless brutes, or eyeless and blind, or disabled by the adhesion of their limbs to the body, so that they could neither do anything nor go anywhere nor keep out of harm's way nor take what they needed. These and other such monstrous and misshapen births were created. But all in vain. Nature debarred them from increase. They could not gain the coveted flower of maturity nor procure food nor be coupled by the arts of Venus. For it is evident that many contributory factors are essential to be able to forge the chain of a species in procreation. First, it must have a food supply. Then it must e channel by which the procreative seeds can travel outward through the body when the limbs are relaxed. Then, in order that male and female may couple, they must have some means of interchanging their mutual delight. In those days, again, many species must have died out altogether and failed to forge the chain of offspring. Every species that you now see drawing the breath of life has been protected and preserved from the beginning of the world either by cunning or by courage or by speed. In addition, there are many that survive under human protection because their usefulness has commended them to our care. The surly breed of lions, for instance, in their native ferocity have been preserved by courage, the fox by cunning and the stag by flight. The intelligent dog, loyal of heart and light of sleep, all beasts of burden of whatever breed, fleecy sheep and horned cattle, over all these, my Memmius, man has established his protectorate. They have gladly escaped from predatory beasts and sought peace and the lavish meals, procured by no effort of theirs, with which we recompense their service. But those that were gifted with none of these natural assets, unable either to live on their own resources or to make any contribution to human welfare, in return for which we might let their race feed in safety under our guardianship - all these, trapped in the toils of their own destiny, were fair game and an easy prey for others, till nature brought their race to extinction." (Lucretius, "On the Nature of the Universe," Latham R.E., transl., Penguin: London, 1994, Revised, pp.150-150. Emphasis original) 20/10/2003 "But I think he [H.G. Wells] thought that the object of opening the mind is simply opening the mind. Whereas I am incurably convinced that the object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid." (Chesterton G.K.*, "The Autobiography of G.K. Chesterton," The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton, , Ignatius Press: San Francisco CA, 1988, reprint, p.212) 21/10/2003 "I toyed with atheism from the age of about nine, originally because I worked out that, of all the hundreds of religions in the world, it was the sheerest accident that I was brought up Christian. They couldn't all be right, so maybe none of them was. I later reverted to a kind of pantheism when I realised the shattering complexity and beauty of the living world. Then, around the age of 16, I first understood that Darwinism provides an explanation big enough and elegant enough to replace gods. I have been an atheist ever since." (Dawkins, R., "You Ask The Questions," Independent, 23 February 2003) 21/10/2003 "Darwin's claims about what the Creator can and cannot do are at the heart of evolution. Darwin's writings on evolution remain seminal today because he set forth the manner in which nature is to be interpreted. Thus, in 1888 evolutionist Joseph Le Conte wrote extensively on how comparative anatomy reveals evolution because it refutes divine creation. ... Darwin provided the religious interpretation, and it is used virtually every time arguments are made for evolution. I have never seen a forceful exposition of evolution that did not rely on these sorts of personal religious beliefs. Today's evolutionists rely on them no less than did earlier Darwinists. As Stephen Jay Gould put it, "odd arrangements and funny solutions are the proof of evolution." (Gould, S.J., "The Panda's Thumb," in "The Panda's Thumb," W.W. Norton: New York, 1980, p.20) Gould's point is not that evolution predicts such things, but rather that God would not have created them. It is a religious argument." (Hunter, C.G.*, "Darwin's Proof: The Triumph of Religion Over Science," Brazos Press: Grand Rapids MI, 2003, pp.70-71) 21/10/2003 "Darwin's work was full of religious claims, and they remain crucial for today's evolutionists. The theory of evolution is true not because species obviously evolved from each other but because of the failure to reconcile God and nature. Darwin studied orchids in detail and again found underlying patterns. The orchids seemed to have been made of spare parts rather than individually created. For Darwin and modern evolutionists this argues for evolution because it argues against the possibility of divine creation. Gould sums up the argument as follows: `Orchids manufacture their intricate devices from the common components of ordinary flowers, parts usually fitted for very different functions. If God had designed a beautiful machine to reflect his wisdom and power, surely he would not have used a collection of parts generally fashioned for other purposes. Orchids were not made by an ideal engineer; they are jury-rigged from a limited set of available components. Thus, they must have evolved from ordinary flowers.' (Gould, S.J., "The Panda's Thumb," in "The Panda's Thumb," W.W. Norton: New York, 1980, p.20). Notice how easy it is to go from a religious premise to a scientific sounding conclusion. The theory of evolution is confirmed not by a successful prediction but by the argument that God would never do such a thing." (Hunter, C.G.*, "Darwin's Proof: The Triumph of Religion Over Science," Brazos Press: Grand Rapids MI, 2003, p.71) 23/10/2003 "Basically there are two different philosophical approaches to the debate. On the one hand, one can adopt the conservative position and view the difficulties as essentially trivial, merely puzzling anomalies, that will all be eventually reconciled somehow to the traditional framework. Alternatively, one can adopt a radical position and view the problems not as puzzles, but as counterinstances or paradoxes which will never be adequately explained within the orthodox framework, and indicative therefore of something fundamentally wrong with the currently accepted view of evolution. While most evolutionary biologists who have written recently about evolution concede that the problems are serious, nearly all take an ultimately conservative stand, believing that they can be explained away by making only minor adjustments to the Darwinian framework. In this book I have adopted the radical approach. By presenting a systematic critique of the current Darwinian model, ranging from paleontology to molecular biology, I have tried to show why I believe that the problems are too severe and too intractable to offer any hope of resolution in terms of the orthodox Darwinian framework, and that consequently the conservative view is no longer tenable." (Denton, M.J., "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis," Burnett Books: London, 1985, p.16) 23/10/2003 "This new metanarrative, part of the founding lore of Design, can be pictured imaginatively (in my own projection) as if the scientific world is trying to find its way out of a vast labyrinth. Darwinists have found a tunnel that they are positive is the way out. Denton inspects this tunnel with its twists and turns, its bulges and loops, but sees that it is a dead end. He tells the Darwinists so, urging them to recognize their error, move back, and start looking for a better tunnel. The Darwinists are indignant. They point out that Denton is a `nonexpert' in tunnel morphology and insist that their research is on track-they are making `so much progress in passageway research!' Denton replies, `No, your research is just mapping, in ever finer detail, the exact contours of a cul-de-sac.'" (Woodward T.E.*, "Doubts about Darwin: A History of Intelligent Design," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 2003, p.256. Emphasis original) 23/10/2003 "Darwinists claim that such adaptations are powerful evidence for their theory. Are new proteins and pesticide resistance not examples of evolution in progress? The problem is these adaptations are produced by a machine that appears to be set up to produce such changes. Rather than mutations aimlessly exploring new designs, we are apparently witnessing the actions of a complex and robust machine.... One study of the common fruit fly found that pesticide resistance arises from a gene that has been present all along. The gene serves to break down the pesticide. It used to be less active, but now it is more active in resistant flies. A special signal was inserted into the gene to lift production constraints. It appears that pesticide resistance is conferred by flipping a switch on the genetic production line rather than creating a new factory. These findings are awkward for evolution. Instead of single mutations leading to a new functionality one step at a time, we must believe that evolution produced this marvelous machine by which more complicated changes can occur." (Hunter, C.G.*, "Darwin's Proof: The Triumph of Religion Over Science," Brazos Press: Grand Rapids MI, 2003, pp.24-25) 24/10/2003 "The hypotheses respecting the origin of species which profess to stand upon a scientific basis, and, as such, alone demand serious attention, are of two kinds. The one, the `special creation' hypothesis, presumes every species to have originated from one or more stocks, these not being the result of the modification of any other form of living matter-or arising by natural agencies-but being produced, as such, by a supernatural creative act. The other, the so-called `transmutation' hypothesis, considers that all existing species are the result of the modification of pre-existing species, and those of their predecessors, by agencies similar to those which at the present day produce varieties and races, and therefore in an altogether natural way; and it is a probable, though not a necessary consequence of this hypothesis, that all living beings have arisen from a single stock." (Huxley T.H., "The Origin of Species," in "Darwiniana: Essays by Thomas H. Huxley," , AMS Press: New York NY, 1970, reprint, pp.53-54) 29/10/2003 "... in a recent book called The Probability of God by the Bishop of Birmingham, Hugh Montefiore ... He makes heavy use of what may be called the Argument from Personal Incredulity. ... The Argument from Personal Incredulity is an extremely weak argument, as Darwin himself noted. In some cases it is based upon simple ignorance. ... The Bishop quotes, with approval, G. Bennett on spider webs: `It is impossible for one who has watched the work for many hours to have any doubt that neither the present spiders of this species nor their ancestors were ever the architects of the web or that it could conceivably have been produced step by step through random variation; it would be as absurd to suppose that the intricate and exact proportions of the Parthenon were produced by piling together bits of marble.' It is not impossible at all. That is exactly what I firmly believe, and I have some experience of spiders and their webs." (Dawkins, R., "The Blind Watchmaker," , Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, pp.37-39) 29/10/2003 "With all this to cope with, it is small wonder that some researchers have ditched the idea of a 'dilute soup' of organic molecules and resorted to entirely different scenarios for life's origin. Most prominent amongst them are hypotheses that invoke the special conditions that exist around submarine hydrothermal vents. Proponents of vent theories for the origin of life say that here is everything one could need: water rich in minerals and simple carbon-containing compounds such as methane and carbon monoxide, as well as ammonia (which is not readily formed in other geological environments). There is also a source of energy to drive the chemical reactions: the hot waters of the vent, which can reach temperatures of around 380°C. There are other attractions to the 'vent hypothesis'. Some of the most primitive organisms on the planet today use hydrogen sulphide in their metabolism; and this compound is abundant in vent fluids. And the sulphur-rich water deposits sulphide minerals such as iron pyrite (fool's gold) in and around the vent's chimney structures. Iron pyrite can be converted to a different form of iron sulphide by chemical reactions that soak up electrons. These electrons can be used to forge links between relatively simple organic compounds, including amino acids. It has been suggested that iron pyrite at hydrothermal vents may have acted as a kind of battery to drive the chemistry involved in linking together monomers into compounds resembling proteins. But this idea remains very speculative, and it demands a chain of serendipity that is scarcely less optimistic than that required for polymerization in a conventional 'prebiotic' soup." (Ball, P., "H2O: A Biography of Water," , Phoenix: London, 2000, reprint, p.211) 30/10/2003 "Dawkins himself has maintained that those who do not believe a complex biological structure may be constructed in small steps are expressing merely their own sense of `personal incredulity.' But in countering their animadversions he appeals to his own ability to believe almost anything. Commenting on the (very plausible) claim that spiders could not have acquired their web-spinning behavior by a Darwinian mechanism, Dawkins writes: `It is not impossible at all. That is what I firmly believe and I have some experience of spiders and their webs.' It is painful to see this advanced as an argument." (Berlinski, D., "The Deniable Darwin," Commentary, June 1996, p.21) 31/10/2003 "The Supreme Court decision described in the second paragraph is Aguillard v. Edwards, 482 U.S. 578 (1987). The Justices probably did not mean to lay down a rule that the official theory of evolution may not be criticized or questioned in public school classrooms, but that was the effect of their decision. The Justices who signed the majority opinion seem to have been fooled by arguments from the science establishment that every claim made by the scientific elite about "evolution' is a matter of neutral fact and that all opposition to materialism comes from people who want to read the Bible to students instead of teaching them science. Perhaps a Justice who drives home in the evening from the Court will by now have noticed the `Darwin fish' bumper stickers on cars showing a fish with legs in mockery of the Christian fish symbol on other cars and will realize that the Supreme Court has been duped into taking sides in a religious debate." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1997, p.125) [top] November 1/11/2003 "Goldschmidt raised no objection to the standard accounts of microevolution; he devoted the first half of his major work, The Material Basis of Evolution (Yale University Press, 1940), to gradual and continuous change within species. He broke sharply with the synthetic theory, however, in arguing that new species arise abruptly by discontinuous variation, or macromutation. He admitted that the vast majority of macromutations could only be viewed as disastrous-these he called `monsters.' But, Goldschmidt continued, every once in a while a macromutation might, by sheer good fortune, adapt an organism to a new mode of life, a `hopeful monster' in his terminology. Macroevolution proceeds by the rare success of these hopeful monsters, not by an accumulation of small changes within populations. I want to argue that defenders of the synthetic theory made a caricature of Goldschmidt's ideas in establishing their whipping boy. I shall not defend everything Goldschmidt said; indeed, I disagree fundamentally with his claim that abrupt macroevolution discredits Darwinism. For Goldschmidt also failed to heed Huxley's warning that the essence of Darwinism-the control of evolution by natural selection-does not require a belief in gradual change. As a Darwinian, I wish to defend Goldschmidt's postulate that macroevolution is not simply microevolution extrapolated, and that major structural transitions can occur rapidly without a smooth series of intermediate stages." (Gould, S.J., "The Return of the Hopeful Monster," in "The Panda's Thumb: More Reflections in Natural History," , Penguin: London, 1990, reprint, pp.155-157) 2/11/2003 "This is a convenient moment to deal with the hypothesis of species selection, which is left over, in a sense, from the previous chapter. I shan't spend very much time on it, as I have spelled out in The Extended Phenotype my doubts about its alleged importance in evolution. It is true that the vast majority of species that have ever lived have gone extinct. It is also true that new species come into existence at a rate that at least balances the extinction rate, so that there is a kind of 'species pool' whose composition is changing all the time. Nonrandom recruitment to the species pool and nonrandom removal of species from it could, it is true, theoretically constitute a kind of higher-level natural selection. It is possible that certain characteristics of species bias their probability of going extinct, or of budding off new species. The species that we see in the world will tend to have whatever it takes to come into the world in the first place - to 'be speciated' - and whatever it takes not to go extinct. You can call that a form of natural selection if you wish, although I suspect that it is closer to single-step selection than to cumulative selection. What I am sceptical about is the suggestion that this kind of selection has any great importance in explaining evolution.This may just reflect my biased view of what is important. As I said at the beginning of this chapter, what I mainly want a theory of evolution to do is explain complex, well-designed mechanisms like hearts, hands, eyes and echolocation. Nobody, not even the most ardent species selectionist, thinks that species selection can do this." (Dawkins, R., "The Blind Watchmaker," , Penguin: London, 1991 reprint, p.265) 2/11/2003 "As with all interesting questions in natural history the solution requires an inquiry about relative frequency not an absolute yes or no. The logic of self-centered DNA seems sound. The question remains: how important is it? How much repetitive DNA is self-centered DNA? If the answer is "way less that one percent" because conventional selection on bodies almost always overwhelms selection among genes, then self-centered DNA is one more good and plausible idea scorned by nature." (Gould, S.J., "What Happens to Bodies?," in "Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes: Further Reflections in Natural History," , Penguin: London, 1986, reprint, p.176) 2/11/2003 "The prevailing mythology in legal circles is that the interpretation of the First Amendment's religious establishment clause by the Supreme Court in the second half of the twentieth century continues a constitutional tradition established by Thomas Jefferson's reference to a `wall of separation' between church and state. Any attempt to change these recent decisions is therefore reported in the press as if it were an attack on the Constitution itself." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law, and Education," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1995, p.221) 2/11/2003 "If rival models of evolution cannot even in principle explain complexity, Dawkins's blind watchmaker model deserves to be called the theory of evolution. That is exactly what his protege Helena Cronin did call it in her book The Ant and the Peacock, where she referred to the Dawkins model simply as `modern Darwinism.' ... By using that term Cronin implicitly relegated all other understandings of Darwinism to the trash can of history, and for that she drew a furious reaction from the most famous American advocate of evolution, Harvard professor Stephen Jay Gould. In his angry review of Cronin's book [Gould, S.J., "The Confusion About Evolution," The New York Review of Books, November 19, 1992]. Gould was reviewing Helena Cronin's The Ant and the Peacock: Altruism and Sexual Selection from Darwin to Today (Cambridge University Press, 1991). Gould denied that most evolutionary biologists accept the gene-selection model and declared ... that genes cannot possibly be the exclusive unit of selection. Gould asserted forcefully that most important bodily characteristics are `emergent properties' of organisms which are not produced in any direct way by individual genes or even combinations of genes. Instead, these properties are products of such complex interactions among genes that they cannot even in principle be adequately known or predicted at the genetic level. ... Gould .. went on to reject what he called the `uniformitarian vision of extrapolation,' which is the fundamental Darwinian principle illustrated by the finch-beak example ... To classical Darwinists, the entire story of evolution and extinction is basically an extrapolation from the examples of random variation and natural selection that can be observed in the living world. ... According to Gould, however, `the main excitement in evolutionary theory during the last twenty years has not been ... the shoring up of Darwinism in its limited realm (by gene selectionism or any other patching device), but rather the documentation of the reasons why Darwin's crucial requirement for extrapolation has failed.' Gould explained that for one thing, molecular studies have indicated that most variations at the molecular level are neutral as far as fitness goes, and so selection plays little part in molecular evolution. The most important evidence against extrapolation, however, concerns the frequency and importance of mass extinctions-which are increasingly attributed to sudden catastrophic accidents such as asteroid impacts. Such extraordinary events, which may account for a high percentage of extinctions, destroy the continuity of natural conditions assumed by Darwin and the extrapolationists of today. Environmental conditions in normal times may consistently encourage change of the Darwinian kind for a while, but even the fittest organisms are not necessarily protected from extinction in a catastrophe that changes all the conditions. Once a catastrophe occurs, the lucky survivors, which may have been only marginally fit under precatastrophic conditions, will inherit the earth in spite of their modest capabilities. After this review of his own version of `modern Darwinism,' Gould concluded, `The Darwinian struggle does not extrapolate to the tree of life.'" (Johnson, P.E.*, "Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law, and Education," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1995, pp.84-86) 3/11/2003 "The river of my title is a river of DNA, and it flows through time, not space. It is a river of information, not a river of bones and tissues: a river of abstract instructions for building bodies, not a river of solid bodies themselves. The information passes through bodies and affects them, but it is not affected by them on its way through. The river is not only uninfluenced by the experiences and achievements of the successive bodies through which it flows. It is also uninfluenced by a potential source of contamination that, on the face of it, is much more powerful: sex." (Dawkins, R., "River out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life," Phoenix: London, 1996, p.5) 3/11/2003 "In February of 1993, Ruse made some remarkable concessions in a talk at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The program was organized by Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), a privately funded group dedicated to protecting science education from the menace of creationism. In practice this project involves mounting a rhetorical attack on anyone who questions naturalistic evolution. The usual NCSE line is that all critics of naturalism are either overt or covert Biblical literalists, and so it was probably a step toward reality for the group to ask Ruse to speak on a topic labeled `Nonliteralist Anti-Evolutionism The Case of Phillip Johnson.' The object of this case study was not invited to defend himself, but the proceedings were officially tape recorded and I received a copy almost immediately. After indulging in a few moments of the ritual Johnson-bashing that the spirit of the occasion required, Ruse changed his tone dramatically and engaged in some profound public soul-searching. ... Ruse admitted to his AAAS audience, `In the ten years since I performed, or I appeared, in the creationism trial in Arkansas, I must say that I've been coming to this kind of position myself.' Although he is as much an evolutionist as ever, Ruse now acknowledges `that the science side has certain metaphysical assumptions built into doing science, which-it may not be a good thing to admit in a court of law-but I think that in all honesty that we should recognize' (Ruse, M.E., "The New Antievolutionism," Symposium at the Annual Meeting of the AAAS, February 13, 1993). I am told that the audience greeted these remarks with stunned silence, indicating that they sensed the political consequences that might follow from this line of reasoning." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second Edition, 1993, p.163) 5/11/2003 "Darwin's general solution to the incompatibility of fossil evidence and his theory was to say that the fossil record is a very incomplete one that it is full of gaps, and that we have much to learn. In effect, he was saying that if the record were complete and if we had better knowledge of it wee would see the finely graduated chain that he predicted. And this was his main argument for downgrading the evidence from the fossil record. Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn't changed much. The record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin's time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of darwinian change in the fossil rec ord, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information - what appeared to be a nice simple progression when relatively few data were available now appears to be much more complex and much less gradualistic. So Darwin's problem has not been alleviated in the last 120 years and we still have a record which does show change but one that can hardly be looked upon as the most reasonable consequence of natural selection. Also the major extinctions such as the dinosaurs and trilobites are still very puzzling." (Raup D.M., "Conflicts Between Darwin and Paleontology," Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin, Field Museum of Natural History: Chicago IL, January 1979, Vol. 50, No. 1, pp.22-29, pp.24-25) 6/11/2003 "Behe avoided this rhetorical ambush by presenting new data on biochemical systems, most of which had come to light in the course of the molecular biology revolution of the previous three decades (1960s through the early 1990s). Behe devoted a chapter in his book to each of six miniature biochemical systems, describing each in detail and showing the new mystery of origins that attended the elucidation of their mysterious workings. In Behe's hands, this information led to two fundamental factual-conceptual discoveries. First, as noted above, he realized that most of these systems possessed the quality of irreducible complexity. Second, Behe undertook a literature review in 1993-95 that confirmed his suspicion: His colleagues in biochemistry and evolutionary biology had not figured out plausible hypothetical pathways for the origin of any of these systems. During this review he researched a dozen of the most widely used biochemistry textbooks, as well as many technical journals on biochemical evolution, looking for proposed evolutionary scenarios. He was astonished, yet excited, to find in the literature a `thundering silence' [Behe, M.J.*, in Woodward T., "Meeting Darwin's Wager," Christianity Today, April 28, 1997, p.14] Not one biochemist in the past forty years had even attempted a testable explanation for the origin of any of the systems about which he was writing. Behe sensed he had the key discovery that would cap off his argument-he would use the silence of evolutionary biologists on this topic as his clincher." (Woodward, T.E.*, "Doubts about Darwin: A History of Intelligent Design," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 2003, p.158) 6/11/2003 "Denton also fires a cluster of radical rhetorical rockets, each of them powered by the recalcitrance of the empirical data. Most of these are dazzling test cases, or Darwinian conundrums, which appear impossible to solve under the glare of `deep common sense.' In his `Bridging the Gaps' chapter, Denton piles example upon example of complex organs, structures, or behaviors known to exist in nature that appear to defy any plausible step-by-step evolutionary scenario of development. One measure of the rhetorical strength of this chapter is the number of reviews (most of the published reviews, in fact) that cited this material as the most effective of Denton's book. These reviews often summarized Denton's discussion of the difficulty of envisaging the pathway by which reptilian scales evolved into the complex engineering design found in the bird feather. Yet Denton's most dazzling test case is the bird lung mystery. Birds are said to have evolved from reptiles, but this poses an embarrassing problem due to differences in lung structure. Reptiles have a bellows-type lung, similar to that of humans and all mammals-air enters a branching, dead-end system; the airflow is reversed with each breath. All birds, however, have a fundamentally different kind of system. Air flows in, then breaks out into thousands of tiny parallel passageways (parabronchi) for the oxygen exchange, and then continues flowing in one direction through these parabronchi, and finally exits the lung. The bird lung is, thus, entirely unique in structure; it is a circulatory system (like the cardiovascular system of vertebrates)." (Woodward, T.E.*, "Doubts about Darwin: A History of Intelligent Design," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 2003, pp.61-62. Emphasis original) 7/11/2003 "The key organ of the nervous system is the brain, and if there is one human organ that is particularly unusual it is the brain. The human brain is nothing short of monstrous in size. No other land creature the size of man approaches him in brain size. The elephant has a somewhat larger brain, but that brain must exert a control over a much larger body than man's must. We can conclude, then, that there are two aspects of the human body that are far, far out of line of the general mammalian pattern. One is his giant brain and the other is his long life. ... This book has concerned itself with the parts of the human body, the separate organs composing it. It would seem that what is left-the nervous system and other organs controlling intercellular organization-makes up the better half and, in fact, makes up that which is most peculiarly and particularly human." (Asimov, I., "The Human Body: Its Structure and Operation," Mentor: New York NY, 1963, p.309) 7/11/2003 "In early 1984, I spent several nights at the Vatican housed in a hotel built for itinerant priests. ... Our crowd (present in Rome for a meeting on nuclear winter sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences) shared the hotel with a group of French and Italian Jesuit priests who were also professional scientists. At lunch, the priests called me over to their table to pose a problem that had been troubling them. what, they wanted to know, was going on in America with all this talk about `scientific creationism'? One asked me: `Is evolution really in some kind of trouble; and if so, what could such trouble be? I have always been taught that no doctrinal conflict exists between evolution and Catholic faith, and the evidence for evolution seems both entirely satisfactory and utterly overwhelming. Have I missed something?' A lively pastiche of French, Italian, and English conversation then ensued for half an hour or so, but the priests all seemed reassured by my general answer: Evolution has encountered no intellectual trouble; no new arguments have been offered. Creationism is a homegrown phenomenon of American sociocultural history-a splinter movement (unfortunately rather more of a beam these days) of Protestant fundamentalists who believe that every word of the Bible must be literally true, whatever such a claim might mean." (Gould, S.J., "Nonoverlapping Magisteria," Natural History, March 1997, p.16) 7/11/2003 "Lewontin is brilliantly insightful, but too crankily honest to be as good a manipulator as his Harvard colleague Stephen Jay Gould. Gould displays both his talent and his unscrupulousness in an essay in the March 1997 issue of Natural History, entitled "Nonoverlapping Magisteria" and subtitled "Science and religion are not in conflict, for their teachings occupy distinctly different domains." With a subtitle like that, you can be sure that Gould is out to reassure the public that evolution leads to no alarming conclusions. True to form, Gould insists that the only dissenters from evolution are "Protestant fundamentalists who believe that every word of the Bible must be literally true." Gould also insists that evolution (he never defines the word) is "both true and entirely compatible with Christian belief." Gould is familiar with nonliteralist opposition to evolutionary naturalism, but he blandly denies that any such phenomenon exists. He even quotes a letter written to the New York Times in answer to an op-ed essay by Michael Behe, without revealing the context. You can do things like that when you know that the media won't call you to account." (Johnson, P.E.*, "The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism," First Things, No. 77, November 1997, pp.22-25) 7/11/2003 "Saying that the universe began in a Big Bang is one thing, but saying life was designed by an intelligence is another. The phrase Big Bang itself evokes only images of an explosion, not necessarily a person. The phrase intelligent design seems more urgent and quickly invites questions about who the designer might have been. Will persons with philosophical commitments against the supernatural be painted into a corner by the theory? No. The human imagination is too powerful. ... Francis Crick also thinks that life on earth may have begun when aliens from another planet sent a rocket ship containing spores to seed the earth. This is no idle thought; Crick first proposed it with chemist Leslie Orgel in 1973 in an article entitled `Directed Panspermia' in a professional science journal called Icarus. A decade later Crick wrote a book, Life Itself; reiterating the theory; in a 1992 interview in Scientific American on the eve of the publication of his latest book, Crick reaffirmed that he thinks the theory is reasonable. The primary reason Crick subscribes to this unorthodox view is that he judges the undirected origin of life to be a virtually insurmountable obstacle, but he wants a naturalistic explanation." (Behe, M.J.*, "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution," , Free Press: New York NY, 10th Anniversary Edition, 2006, p.248) 7/11/2003 "For our present purposes, the interesting part of Crick's idea is the role of the aliens, whom he has speculated sent space bacteria to earth. But he could with as much evidence say that the aliens actually designed the irreducibly complex biochemical systems of the life they sent here, and also designed the irreducibly complex systems that developed later. The only difference is a switch to the postulate that aliens constructed life, whereas Crick originally speculated that they just sent it here. It is not a very big leap, though, to say that a civilization capable of sending rocket ships to other planets is also likely to be capable of designing life-especially if the civilization has never been observed. Designing life, it could be pointed out, does not necessarily require supernatural abilities; rather, it requires a lot of intelligence. If a graduate student in an earthbound lab today can plan and make an artificial protein that can bind oxygen, then there is no logical barrier to thinking that an advanced civilization on another world might design an artificial cell from scratch. (Behe, M.J.*, "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution," , Free Press: New York NY, 10th Anniversary Edition, 2006, pp.248-249) 7/11/2003 "This scenario still leaves open the question of who designed the designer-how did life originally originate? Is a philosophical naturalist now trapped? Again, no. The question of the design of the designer can be put off in several ways. It could be deflected by invoking unobserved entities: perhaps the original life is totally unlike ourselves, consisting of fluctuating electrical fields or gases; perhaps it does not require irreducibly complex structures to sustain it. Another possibility is time travel, which has been seriously proposed by professional physicists in recent years. Scientific American informed the readers of its March 1994 issue that `far from being a logical absurdity...the theoretical possibility of taking such an excursion into one's earlier life is an inescapable consequence of fundamental physical principles.' Perhaps, then, biochemists in the future will send back cells to the early earth that contain the information for the irreducibly complex structures we observe today. In this scenario humans can be their own aliens, their own advanced civilization. Of course, time travel leads to apparent paradoxes (things like grandsons shooting grandfathers before their offspring are born), but at least some physicists are ready to accept them. Most people, like me, will find these scenarios entirely unsatisfactory, but they are available for those who wish to avoid unpleasant theological implications." (Behe, M.J.*, "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution," , Free Press: New York NY, 10th Anniversary Edition, 2006, p.249) 7/11/2003 "A `straw man' argument distorts somebody's position in order to make it easier to attack. Creationists are particularly vulnerable to this kind of attack. That is so in part because some creationists really have made crazy arguments and in part because of the Inherit the Wind stereotype. Many Darwinists want to pretend that the only people who doubt their theory are the most extreme religious fundamentalists. They know how to win a debate when the issue is framed as `science versus the Bible,' and so they want to keep the debate framed that way. Contrariwise, Darwinists are in trouble when they have to present positive evidence that natural selection can create new kinds of plants and animals from simple beginnings. Hence they are constantly trying to divert the discussion away from the scientific issues so that they can debate the straw man position that we should close our eyes to scientific evidence if it seems to contradict Genesis. One prominent science writer wrote to me for months, never engaging the scientific issues but constantly pestering me with questions about my interpretation of Genesis (`Did Adam have a navel?'). Obviously he was hoping to find a straw man to ridicule." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Tuning Up Your Baloney Detector: How to Get a Good Grasp on Logical Reasoning and Investigative Procedure," Cornerstone, Vol. 26, Issue 112 (1997), p. 12-16, 18) 8/11/2003 "Because this book presents a teleological interpretation of the cosmos which has obvious theological implications, it is important to emphasize at the outset that the argument presented here is entirely consistent with the basic naturalistic assumption of modern science-that the cosmos is a seamless unity which can be comprehended ultimately in its entirety by human reason and in which all phenomena, including life and evolution and the origin of man, are ultimately explicable in terms of natural processes. is an assumption which is entirely opposed to that of the so-called `special creationist school.' According to special creationism, living organisms are not natural forms, whose origin and design were built into the laws of nature from the beginning, but rather contingent forms analogous in essence to human artifacts, the result of a series of supernatural acts, involving God's direct intervention in the course of nature, each of which involved the suspension of natural law. Contrary to the creationist position, the whole argument presented here is critically dependent on the presumption of the unbroken continuity of the organic world- that is, on the reality of organic evolution and on the presumption that all living organisms on earth are natural forms in the profoundest sense of the word, no less natural than salt crystals, atoms, waterfalls, or galaxies. In large measure, therefore, the teleological argument presented here and the special creationist worldview are mutually exclusive accounts of the world. In the last analysis, evidence for one is evidence against the other. Put simply, the more convincing is the evidence for believing that the world is prefabricated to the end of life, that the design is built into the laws of nature, the less credible becomes the special creationist worldview." (Denton, M.J., "Nature's Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe," Free Press: New York NY, 1998, pp.xvii-xviii. Emphasis original) 8/11/2003 "In his rhetorical strategy to defend these points, Thaxton employed powerful weapons of analogy. For example, he argued that an observer beholding Mount Rushmore immediately perceives an `intelligent cause,' even if he does not know the details about how or by whom the presidential faces were sculpted. So also the scientific observer may legitimately infer some sort of `intelligent cause' when looking at features of nature like DNA, which bear telling marks of design. Thaxton noted that one does not have to know the exact identity of the designer in order to come to a positive conclusion of design. In another frequently presented analogy, Thaxton argued that just as SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) surveys radio emissions of stars looking for codelike sequences that would indicate intelligent origin, so scientists should have the academic freedom to be able to look at DNA and other information rich systems in nature and consider the possibility of intelligent causation. The SETI analogy, which quickly came to function as a favorite commonplace in the rhetorical repertory of Design, proved especially helpful since SETI is seen as a valid scientific research program. For a period of time in the 1990s, NASA even funded some projects that scanned the night skies for radio messages that might be produced by distant civilizations. In other words, the `detection of intelligent design' is not a wild or illegitimate (or inherently religious) idea in science. Rather, it is currently being carried out by astronomers who are sifting inflowing galactic static by means of radio telescopes and code-recognizing computers." (Woodward, T.E.*, "Doubts about Darwin: A History of Intelligent Design," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 2003, pp.87-88. Emphasis original) 8/11/2003 "The meaning of the term `rhetoric' has been distorted in our time by some unfortunate associations. When we dismiss some politician's speech as `mere rhetoric,' we mean that it contains nothing but bombast. People today need to be reminded that rhetoric is actually a noble art which has been the subject of serious study since the time of Aristotle and before. Put simply, rhetoric is the art of framing an argument so that it can be appreciated by an audience, even one which is relatively uneducated in the subject or predisposed not to appreciate it. My favorite example is that of a lawyer who has to persuade a biased jury to take seriously some evidence or argument that they do not at first understand or would much rather dismiss on the basis of prejudice." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Foreword," in Woodward, T.E., "Doubts about Darwin: A History of Intelligent Design," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 2003, p.7) 8/11/2003 "The fallacy of complex question is the interrogative form of the fallacy of begging the question. Like the latter, it begs the question by assuming the conclusion at issue. Complex question accomplishes this by leading one to believe that a particular answer to a prior question has been answered in a certain way when this may not be the case. This fallacy goes by many names, including loaded question, trick question, leading question, fallacy of the false question, and fallacy of many questions. It is told of King Charles II of England that he once asked members of the Royal Society to determine for him why it is that if you place a dead fish in a bowl of water it makes the water overflow, while a live one does not. Some of the members thought about this a very long time and offered ingenious but unconvincing explanations. Finally, one of them decided to test the question. He discovered, of course, that it did not make a bit of difference whether one placed a dead fish or a live one in the bowl of water. Whether the story is true or not, it holds an important lesson. Before rushing to answer a question, it is best to question the question. For every question necessarily brings with it a set of assumptions which determine the lines along which it is to be answered, and sometimes those assumptions may render the argument fallacious." (Engel S.M., "With Good Reason: An Introduction to Informal Fallacies," St. Martin's Press: New York, Fourth Edition, 1990, pp.141- 143) 12/11/2003 "Complex Question. It is obvious that there is something `funny' about questions like `Have you given up your evil ways?' or `Have you stopped cheating at cards?' These are not simple questions to which a straightforward `yes' or `no' answer is appropriate. Such questions presuppose that a definite answer has already been given to a prior question that was not even asked. Thus the first assumes that the answer `yes' has been given to the unasked question `Have you in the past followed evil ways?' And the second assumes an affirmative answer to the unasked question `Have you ever cheated at cards?' In either case, if a simple `yes' or `no' answer to the trick question is given, it has the effect of ratifying or affirming the implied answer to the unasked question. A question of this sort does not properly admit of a simple `yes' or `no' answer because it is not a simple or single question but a complex question consisting of several questions rolled into one. ... In all such cases the intelligent procedure is to point out the complexity of the complex question and to analyze it into its component parts. It may well be the case that when the implicit or implied prior question is correctly answered, the second or explicit one simply dissolves. If I did not hide any evidence, the question of where I hid it does not make sense." (Copi, I.M., "Introduction to Logic," , Macmillan: New York, Seventh Edition, 1986, pp.101-102) 12/11/2003 "At various key points in the Opinion, Creationism is charged with being untestable, dogmatic (and thus non-tentative), and unfalsifiable. All three charges are of dubious merit. For instance, to make the interlinked claims that Creationism is neither falsifiable nor testable is to assert that Creationism makes no empirical assertions whatever. That is surely false. Creationists make a wide range of testable assertions about empirical matters of fact. Thus, as Judge Overton himself grants (apparently without seeing its implications), the creationists say that the earth is of very recent origin (say 6,000 to 20,000 years old); they argue that most of the geological features of the earth's surface are diluvial in character (i.e., products of the postulated worldwide Noachian deluge); they are committed to a large number of factual historical claims with which the Old Testament is replete; they assert the limited variability of species. They are committed to the view that, since animals and man were created at the same time, the human fossil record must be paleontologically co-extensive with the record of lower animals. It is fair to say that no one has shown how to reconcile such claims with the available evidence-evidence which speaks persuasively to a long earth history, among other things. In brief, these claims are testable, they have been tested, and they have failed those tests. Unfortunately, the logic of the Opinion's analysis precludes saying any of the above. By arguing that the tenets of Creationism are neither testable nor falsifiable, Judge Overton (like those scientists who similarly charge Creationism, with being untestable) deprives science of its strongest argument against Creationism. Indeed, if any doctrine in the history of science has ever been falsified, it is the set of claims associated with "creation-science." Asserting that Creationism makes no empirical claims plays directly, if inadvertently, into the hands of the creationists by immunizing their ideology from empirical confrontation. The correct way to combat Creationism, is to confute the empirical claims it does make, not to pretend that it makes no such claims at all." (Laudan L., "Science at the Bar-Causes for Concern," in Ruse M., ed., "But is it Science?: The Philosophical Question in the Creation/Evolution Controversy," Prometheus Books: Amherst NY, 1996, p.351) 13/11/2003 "Panentheism is not to be confused with pantheism. Pantheism literally means all (`pan') is God (`theism'), but panentheism means `all in God.' it is also called process theology (since it views God as a changing Being), bipolar theism (since it believes God has two poles), organicism (since it views all that actually is as a gigantic organism), and neoclassical theism (because it believes God is finite and temporal, in contrast to classical theism). ... Rather than viewing God as the infinite unchanging sovereign Creator of the world who brought it into existence, panentheists think of God as a finite, changing, director of world affairs who works in cooperation with the world in order to achieve greater perfection in his nature. Theism views God's relation to the world as a painter to a painting. The painter exists independently of the painting; he brought the painting into existence, and yet his mind is expressed in the painting. By contrast, the panentheist views God's relation to the world the way a mind is related to a body. Indeed, they believe the world is God's `body' (one pole) and the `mind' is the other pole. This is why the term bipolar is used. However, like some modern materialists who believe the mind is dependent on the brain, panentheists believe God is dependent on the world." (Geisler N.L.*, "Panentheism," in "Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics," Baker Books: Grand Rapids MI, 1999, p.576) 13/11/2003 "Of all conceivable forms of enlightenment the worst is what these people call the Inner Light. Of all horrible religions the most horrible is the worship of the god within. Anyone who knows anybody knows how it would work; anyone who knows any one from the Higher Thought Centre knows how it does work. That Jones shall worship the god within him turns out ultimately to mean that Jones shall worship Jones." (Chesterton G.K., "Orthodoxy," , Fontana: London, 1961, reprint, p.75) 14/11/2003 "All my critics season their reviews to varying degrees with attacks on my character. At the high end of the ad hominem scale is Martin, who despite our disagreements treats me with relative decency. At the bottom of the scale are Padian and Gishlick. The title of Padian and Gishlick's review ("The Talented Mr. Wells") is taken from a 1999 film. The review begins: "When we first meet the protagonist of the film The Talented Mr. Ripley, he is playing piano at a rooftop party in New York City. As the song finishes, an older man approaches and, observing Ripley's Princeton blazer, remarks that Ripley must have been at school with his son, Dickie. Sensing an opportunity, Ripley does not mention that the blazer is borrowed from another guest, nor that he did not attend Princeton, but only worked there. He merely asks, 'how is Dickie?' This kind of distortion, misleading by the omission of important information, is the basis of Icons of Evolution. Its author, Jonathan Wells, appears to come from an unusually strong academic background, but the truth is more complex.' (Padian & Gishlick, pp. 33- 34) Throughout their review, Padian and Gishlick repeatedly compare me to Ripley. But Ripley isn't just a social climber who tells little white lies to get ahead. In the course of the film he commits all kinds of evil, including murder. In other words, he is a sociopath. A sociopath. Now that's moral corruption! Wells `appears' to have earned Ph.D.s from Yale and Berkeley, but the `more complex' truth is that he is no better than a lying, murderous sociopath. If Padian and Gishlick are right, I shouldn't just be stripped of my academic credentials--I should be arrested. But wait. On what grounds do they justify comparing me to a sociopath? First they quote my 1994 statement about devoting my life to destroying Darwinism (discussed above), and then they write that after obtaining a Berkeley Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology Wells `followed this with a 5-year postdoctoral position sponsored by a retired professor in the same department at Berkeley, during which time he seems to have performed no experiments . No peer-reviewed publications resulted from Wells's 5- year stint.' (Padian & Gishlick, p. 34) These statements are false. ... Since Padian is a Berkeley biology professor, he could easily have checked the facts about my Berkeley post-doc before publishing his false and defamatory statements. Maybe he did not bother to check carefully, or maybe he chose to lie. Maybe he was negligent, or maybe he was malicious. Personal attacks on me, however, merely expose the scientific and moral bankruptcy of Darwinism. If Darwinists could show that my criticisms of the icons of evolution were unwarranted, or if they would stop trying lamely to defend the icons and simply replace them with better evidence, I would drop my case. But Darwinists cannot defend the icons, and they cannot afford to abandon them, so they resort to insults and smears. Is this how science is supposed to work?" (Wells, J.*, "Critics Rave Over Icons of Evolution: A Response to Published Reviews," Discovery Institute: Seattle WA, June 12, 2002) 14/11/2003 "Ad Hominem Arguments. A person with the wrong motives may have the right answer. Be careful about ad hominem arguments, which attack the person making the argument instead of the argument itself. (Ad hominem is Latin for `to the man.') Attacking somebody as a creationist, or an atheist, is often a way of distracting attention from valid arguments that person has to offer. On the other hand, it is not necessarily irrelevant or unfair to point out that a person has a bias. Again, the problem is not so much that people might lie as that we all have a tendency to believe what we want to believe. If a man argues that secondhand cigarette smoke isn't hazardous to your health, nobody thinks it unfair to point out that he owns a cigarette company or that he has smoked heavily for years and doesn't want to think that he may have endangered the health of his family. His bias is relevant, but it doesn't necessarily mean he is wrong. That depends on the evidence. In almost every disputed matter there is a problem of bias on both sides, and it's legitimate to bring this out. Bible believers may be reluctant to credit evidence that seems to contradict some passage in the Bible, and atheists may be reluctant to credit evidence that seems to suggest that natural selection can't do all Darwin claimed for it. Business owners don't like to believe facts that may hurt their business, and zealots for consumer protection may exaggerate the conclusions of a single study that confirms their worst suspicions about business. Scientists may be biased in favor of theories that make their work important and hence tend to increase their funding. In this imperfect world an ad hominem argument sometimes performs the legitimate function of showing that a person has a bias and hence that his or her arguments should be examined carefully. The argument is misused if it does more than that, causing us to ignore worthwhile arguments because of what we think of the person making them. The point is to recognize and acknowledge bias, and then get beyond it to evaluate the evidence fairly." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1997, pp.40-41) 14/11/2003 "TOWARD the end of 1961 America's well-known painter of primitives, Grandma Moses, died. She had begun her career of painting rather late in life, when she was almost 80. Nevertheless, she enjoyed many years in this profession, for she died at the matriarchal age of 101. I mention this because in this book on the intricacies of the human body I have laid some emphasis on the numerous ailments and disorders that can afflict it. Perhaps I ought to emphasize the reverse for a moment. The automobile, despite its being one of mankind's most polished machines, is ancient if it lasts ten years. The human body, far more fragile, far less amenable to repair (a car's engine can be replaced; a human heart cannot), in capable of being shut down for an overhaul, and subject to far greater and more continuous difficulties, can last a hundred. Nor need we compare the human body to inanimate objects only. How many living things that greeted the day and responded to the changing environment at the moment of Grandma Moses' birth in 1860, were still doing so on the day of her death in 1961? The list is tiny. Some trees can live centuries, and even millennia. Some giant tortoises can live up to 200 years or so. No other creatures aside from man, however, are known to top the century mark. ... When Grandma Moses died, then, the world of life of 1860 had as its representative a few trees, a very few tortoises-and a few ancient men and women. Now consider that trees live slowly, remain rooted, and stolidly stand against the buffeting of the environment. They buy longevity at the price of passivity. The giant tortoise moves - but just barely. He too buys longevity at a price: that of cold- blooded slow motion. Man is warm blooded, however, and is as fast-moving and as deft as any creature alive. He races through life and yet manages to outlive all organisms that, like him, race, and almost all organisms that, unlike him, crawl or are motionless." (Asimov, I., "The Human Body: Its Structure and Operation," Mentor: New York NY, 1963, pp.304-305) 15/11/2003 "Let us restrict ourselves to the land representatives of the order to which man belongs, Mammalia. Here we can best make comparisons. for all its members are warm-blooded and all are built about the same body plan, differing only in rather minor variations. Here it turns out that longevity is strongly correlated with size: the larger the mammal, the longer-lived. Thus, the smallest mammal, the shrew, may live 1½ years and a rat may live 4 or 5 years. A rabbit may live up to 15 years, a dog up to 18, a pig up to 20, a horse up to 40, and an elephant up to 70. To be sure, the smaller the animal the more rapidly it lives-the faster its heartbeat and breathing rate, the quicker its motions relative to its size, the more it must eat, the higher its metabolism per unit mass. For that reason, longevity becomes a more constant thing when it is measured by heartbeat rather than by year. A shrew with a heartbeat of 1000 per minute can be matched against an elephant with a heartbeat of 20 per minute and it would seem that a day in the life of a shrew sees as many heartbeats as seven weeks in the life of the elephant. In fact, mammals in general seem to live, at best, as long as it takes their hearts to beat about one billion times. The rule is not absolute. There are exceptions, and the most astonishing exception is Man is considerably smaller than a horse and far smaller than an elephant, yet he lives (or can live) to be more than 100. Nor is this the effect of modern medicine; even in days when medicine was a collection of witch doctor's superstitions, an occasional human being attained great age. On the other hand, animals, receiving the best of domestic care and medicine, wear out much more quickly than man. Nor is this longevity the result of a metabolism that is unusually slow for a mammal. Man's heartbeat of about 72 per minute is just what is to be expected of a mammal of his size. It is faster than that of a horse and slower than that of a dog. In 70 years, which is the average life expectancy of man in the technologically advanced areas of the world, the human heart beats 2½ billion times. As for Grandma Moses' heart, that beat over 3½ billion times be fore she died. Considering that trees have no hearts and that tortoises (and cold-blooded creatures generally) have only very slowly beating ones, it is safe to say that the human heart outperforms all others. Certainly it outperforms other mammalian hearts by a ratio of 2% or even 3½ to 1. Nor can man's closest relatives, evolutionarily speaking, match him. The chimpanzee, somewhat smaller than a man, is a dotard in the late thirties. The gorilla, considerably larger than a man, is a dotard in the late forties. In terms of heartbeat they fit much more closely into the mammalian scheme than does man. The human body, therefore, in all modesty, and from a completely objective viewpoint, is the most marvelous structure we know of. It may not have the grace of a cat or the sleek power of a horse or the tremendous strength of an elephant. It may not have the swimming ability of the seal, or the racing ability of the cheetah, or the flying ability of the bat, but it is put together for endurance and it out lives and outproduces them all." (Asimov, I., "The Human Body: Its Structure and Operation," Mentor: New York NY, 1963, pp.305-306) 15/11/2003 "In 1953 Stanley Miller, a graduate student at the University of Chicago, took two flask s - one containing a little water to represent a primaeval ocean, the other holding a mixture of methane, ammonia and hydrogen sulphide gases to represent the Earth's early atmosphere - connected them with rubber tubes and introduced some electrical sparks as a stand-in for lightning. After a few days, the water in the flasks had turned green and yellow in a hearty broth of amino acids, fatty acids, sugars and other organic compounds. 'If God didn't do it this way,' observed Miller's delighted supervisor, the Nobel laureate Harold Urey, 'He missed a good bet.' Press reports of the time made it sound as if about all that was needed now was for somebody to give the flasks a good shake and life would crawl out. As time has shown, it wasn't nearly so simple. Despite half a century of further study, we are no nearer to synthesizing life than we were in 1953 - and much further away from thinking we can. Scientists are now pretty certain that the early atmosphere was nothing like as primed for development as Miller and Urey's gaseous stew, but rather was a much less reactive blend of nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Repeating Miller's experiments with these more challenging inputs has so far produced only one fairly primitive amino acid." (Bryson, B., "A Short History of Nearly Everything," Doubleday: London, 2003, p.253) 16/11/2003 "At all events, creating amino acids is not really the problem. The problem is proteins. Proteins are what you get when you string amino acids together, and we need a lot of them. No-one really knows, but there may be as many as a million types of protein in the human body, and each one is a little miracle. By all the laws of probability proteins shouldn't exist. To make a protein you need to assemble amino acids (which I am obliged by long tradition to refer to here as 'the building blocks of life') in a particular order, in much the same way that you assemble letters in a particular order to spell a word. The problem is that words in the amino-acid alphabet are often exceedingly long. To spell `collagen', the name of a common type of protein, you need to arrange eight letters in the right order. To make collagen, you need to arrange 1,055 amino acids in precisely the right sequence. But - and here's an obvious but crucial point - you don't make it. It makes itself, spontaneously, without direction, and this is where the unlikelihoods come in. The chances of a 1,055- sequence molecule like collagen spontaneously self-assembling are, frankly, nil. It just isn't going to happen. To grasp what a long shot its existence is, visualize a standard Las Vegas slot machine but broadened greatly - to about 27 metres, to be precise - to accommodate 1,055 spinning wheels instead of the usual three or four, and with twenty symbols on each wheel (one for each common amino acid). How long would you have to pull the handle before all 1,055 symbols came up in the right order? Effectively, for ever. Even if you reduced the number of spinning wheels to 200, which is actually a more typical number of amino acids for a protein, the odds against all 200 coming up in a prescribed sequence are 1 in 10260 (that is a 1 followed by 260 zeros). That in itself is a larger number than all the atoms in the universe. Proteins, in short, are complex entities. Haemoglobin is only 146 amino acids long, a runt by protein standards, yet even it offers 10190 possible amino-acid combinations, which is why it took the Cambridge University chemist Max Perutz twenty-three years - a career, more or less - to unravel it. For random events to produce even a single protein would seem a stunning improbability - like a whirlwind spinning through a junkyard and leaving behind a fully assembled jumbo Jet, in the colourful simile of the astronomer Fred Hoyle." (Bryson, B., "A Short History of Nearly Everything," Doubleday: London, 2003, pp.253-254) 16/11/2003 "The three easiest to understand methods for age-dating the universe involve the expansion of the universe, the burning of stars, and the abundances of radioactive elements. 1. Expansion of the universe. Astronomers have been able to measure the motion and speed of galaxies and the even older, more power- packed bodies called quasars. What they see is that the farther away the object, the faster it is moving away. This set of facts tells us that the universe is expanding outward from a starting point in space and time. In a universe that expands outward from an infinitesimally small volume, the distances between the galaxies result from the velocity of expansion multiplied by the time of the expansion. So with a measure of the distances to the galaxies and the velocity of expansion (correcting for the expected slight slowdown of expansion that results from the gravitational pull of the galaxies on one another) we can calculate how long the universe has been expanding (time = distance/velocity). .... 2. Stellar burning. Like flames from a burning log, the color and brightness of a star's flames tell us how long the star has been burning (provided we know the star's mass). ... Astronomers have observed the colors and measured the brightnesses of millions of stars. Through these measurements they have found the range of ages for stars from the youngest to the oldest. With straightforward determinations of how long the universe must have been expanding before stars could form, astronomers simply add the age of the oldest stars to the time necessary for star formation to begin (about 1.5 billion years) to discover the age of the universe. ... 3. Abundances of radioactive elements. The only entity in the universe (outside nuclear physics laboratories) that can produce radioactive elements heavier than iron is supernovae. ... Since radioactive decay proceeds according to well understood, measurable physical processes, we can use the abundances (that is, the relative quantities) of various radioactive elements to estimate how much time has passed since these elements were produced in that burst of supernova activity. ... We know the universe cannot be older than a certain age because some radioactive elements still exist. Uranium238 and thorium232, for example, with radioactive half-lives of several billion years, can still be found. Therefore, we know that the universe cannot be as old as a trillion years, for if it were, all the uranium and thorium would have decayed into lighter elements. On the other hand, the universe cannot be very young because most radioactive elements no longer exist at all. The radioactive elements with half-lives of millions of years or less (except the byproducts of other radioactive elements with longer half-lives and the products of local or cosmic radiation) are completely gone. Enough time has elapsed for every bit of these elements to decay away. Therefore, the universe and the earth must be at least a billion years old." (Ross H.N.*, "Creation and Time: A Biblical and Scientific Perspective on the Creation-Date Controversy," NavPress: Colorado Springs CO, 1994, pp.92-95) 17/11/2003 "What do the creationists believe should be taught? Some people are `theistic evolutionists,' who believe that evolution, as conceived and documented by biologists is the method God has used to achieve his aims. But fundamentalist creationists reject the concept of theistic evolution, which they find theologically repugnant; the Creator of whom they conceive could not have used such cruel, wasteful processes as natural selection and extinction to achieve his ends. Only the Genesis story or something very much like it fits the fundamentalists' concept of creation, because it turns out, according to the creationist literature, that religious views of origins that are not based on a literal interpretation of Genesis are actually evolution in disguise. `There are only two world views, evolution and creation. Each of these has many variants. Hinduism and Buddhism are variants of the typical evolutionary world views beginning as they do with an eternally self-existing universe (the same is true of Confucianism, Taoism, and all the other ancient pagan pantheistic religions).' [Morris, H.M.*, "The Anti-Creationists," Impact No. 97, Institute for Creation Research: El Cajon CA. ] Their `scientific' theory of creationism entails a personal, omnipotent, intelligent, purposeful Designer-the Creator as traditionally conceived in JudeoChristian religion. It is the particular concept of creation that the `scientific creationists' espouse that I shall deal with when I show that biology provides no evidence for omnipotence, intelligence, purpose, or design." (Futuyma, D.J., "Science on Trial: The Case for Evolution," Pantheon: New York, 1982, pp.12-13) 17/11/2003 "Old Testament Evidence for an Old Earth. Turning away from general revelation, let us look at special revelation. If an earth of great age is mandated by the evidence from nature, then the inspired Scriptures ought to agree. Rest assured, they do. In Job 15:7, Eliphaz asked Job, `Wast thou made before the hills?' Does it seem reasonable that Eliphaz would have used this question of digging sarcasm had he thought the age of the hills and the age of man were virtually the same, varying by a scant five days? The intent of Eliphaz in Job is confirmed by Habakkuk 3:6. The mountains are described as `everlasting,' the hills are `perpetual.' The Hebrew words 'ad and 'owlam mean `long duration' `ancient,' `forever,' and `continuous existence.' Does the Bible comment on the earth-age dispute? Consider Ecclesiastes 1:10: `Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.' Could `any thing' include an earth, for example?" (Fischer, D.*, "The Origins Solution: An Answer in the Creation-Evolution Debate," Fairway Press: Lima OH, 1996, pp.81-82) 17/11/2003 "Biblical figures of speech for the earth's age. In describing the eternity of God's existence, several Bible writers often compare it to the longevity of the mountains or the `foundations of the earth.' The figures of speech used in Psalm 90:2-6, Proverbs 8:22-31, Ecclesiastes 1:3-11, and Micah 6:2 all depict the immeasurable antiquity of God's presence and plans. The brief of a 3000-year terrestrial history (in the context of the wisdom literature) seems an inadequate metaphor for God's eternality. The fact that the Bible does consider the antiquity of the founding of the earth a suitable metaphor for God's eternality suggests the biblical view of a very ancient earth. ... Explicit statements of earth's antiquity. Habakkuk 3:6 directly declares that the mountains are `ancient' and the hills are 'age-old.' In 2 Peter 15, the heavens (the stars and the universe) are said to have existed `long ago.' " (Ross, H.N.*, "Creation and Time: A Biblical and Scientific Perspective on the Creation-Date Controversy," NavPress: Colorado Springs CO, 1994, p.52) 17/11/2003 "Darwin himself relied crucially on such an extrapolative vision: smoothly extend the adaptive struggles of generations across millions of years in geological time, and you will obtain the entire, wondrously ramified tree of life. ... If this uniformitarian vision of extrapolation fails, then we must conclude that while adaptationism may control immediate changes in the overt forms of organisms, it cannot render evolution at other scales. The main excitement in evolutionary theory during the past twenty years has not been-as Cronin would have us believe-the shoring up of Darwinism in its limited realm (by gene selectionism or any other patching device), but rather the documentation of the reasons why Darwin's crucial requirement for extrapolation has failed. Selectionism is not a general model for evolutionary change at most scales. ... But the ultimate failure of Cronin's adaptationism, as a general evolutionary model, appears most clearly when we consider the paleontological record. Darwin's vision may prevail in the here and now of immediate adaptive struggles. But if we cannot extend the small changes thereby produced into the grandeur of geological time to yield the full tree of life, then Darwin's domain is a limited corner of evolutionary explanation." (Gould, S.J., "The Confusion over Evolution," The New York Review of Books, Vol. 39, No. 19, November 19, 1992, pp.47-54, pp.52-53) 17/11/2003 "There are a few other theories that have been, and even occasionally still are, advanced as alternatives to Darwinian selection. Once again, I shall show that they are not really serious alternatives at all. I shall show (it is really obvious) that these 'alternatives"neutralism', `mutationism', and so on - may or may not be responsible for some proportion of observed evolutionary change, but they cannot be responsible for adaptive evolutionary change, that is for change in the direction of building up improved devices for survival like eyes, ears, elbow joints, and echo-ranging devices. Of course, large quantities of evolutionary change may be non-adaptive, in which case these alternative theories may well be important in parts of evolution, but only in the boring parts of evolution, not the parts concerned with what is special about life as opposed to non-life. " (Dawkins, R., "The Blind Watchmaker," , Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, p.303) 18/11/2003 "Every once in a while, some scientist who accepts the view that the universe, life, and human beings have developed slowly over billions of years through evolutionary processes is lured into a debate with a `creationist' who insists that the universe, life, and human beings have been brought into existence only a few thousand years ago, in just about its present form, by supernatural action. To serious students of science, it would seem that a scientist must win such a debate. After all, on the side of the scientist are vast numbers of all kinds of observations, to say nothing of careful argument and unassailable logic. On the side of the creationist there is, from the scientific point of view, exactly nothing. And yet, somehow, in such debates, the creationist often appears to have it all his own way, while the scientist is reduced to an ineffective defense. Why is that? No mystery! The scientist has generally spent his professional life in scientific debate with other scientists. The weapons in such debates are evidence and careful reasoning. Opposing points of view are maintained unemotionally, and all participants follow the rules of the scientific method. If one or all of those taking part in a scientific debate are not good speakers, that does not matter very much. It is the content that counts. The creationist, however, is often a showman, and usually a polished speaker. He has no concern for scientific evidence or careful reasoning and is on the stage in order to win debating points with the audience. He sounds much better than the scientist as a matter of course. What he says is worth nothing, but it invariably sounds good. The scientist usually is untrained in handling such showman-tactics and cannot respond effectively. The scientist, moreover, is conditioned to admit uncertainty and ignorance. That is an essential part of science. The creationist, therefore, attacks in that direction. He points out places in the evolutionary view where there are uncertainties and confusion, and the scientist must, perforce, admit it. He is forced to defend and explain endlessly. The scientist, in fact, once maneuvered into the defense, almost never thinks of shifting to the attack. He never demands the actual evidence-for the view that there was a universal creation a few thousand years ago. The creationist is never forced to state whether many men and women were then created, or only one pair; whether both sexes were created at once, or women after men; and whether serpents could at one time speak. What's more, there is almost always a built-in bias on the part of the audience. Almost invariably, the debate takes place before people who are only sketchily trained in science, if at all, and who have, in many cases, an automatic reverence for the literal words of the Bible. The creationist seems to be on the side of the Bible and religion (and Mom, and baseball, and apple pie, toots while the scientist is easily represented as being against these things. The audience, therefore, tends to place itself clearly behind the creationist, and that further confuses and demoralizes the scientist. What ought a scientist to do then? It seems to me he ought to decline to debate these showmen on their terms if he lacks the talent for the rough-and-tumble. And if he thinks he has the talent, he should not bother defending evolution; he should move to force his opponent to present the evidence for creationism. Since there isn't any, the results could be humorous." (Asimov, I., "Losing the Debate," in, "The Roving Mind," , Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, 1987, reprint, pp.29-30. Emphasis original) 18/11/2003 "First, Emilio has trivialized the conflict between evolution and creation portraying it as merely a dispute over whether the word day in the book of Genesis can be interpreted figuratively rather than literally. His logic is that if the `days' of Genesis are really a poetic way of describing long geological ages, then `evolution' is merely God's chosen method of creating, and one can without difficulty be both an evolutionist and a creationist. ... Unfortunately, this much-too-easy solution to the problem rests on a misunderstanding of what contemporary scientists mean by that word evolution. If they meant only a gradual process of God-guided creation, then Emilio might be on the right track. A God-guided process is not what modern science educators mean by "evolution," however. They are absolutely insistent that evolution is an unguided and mindless process, and that our existence is therefore a fluke rather than a planned outcome. For example, the 1995 official Position Statement of the American National Association of Biology Teachers (hereafter NABT) accurately states the general understanding of major science organizations and educators: `The diversity of life on earth is the outcome of evolution: an unsupervised, impersonal, unpredictable and natural process of temporal descent with genetic modification that is affected by natural selection, chance, historical contingencies and changing environments.' Or, in the words of the famous evolutionist George Gaylord Simpson, `Man is the result of a purposeless and natural process that did not have him in mind.'" (Johnson, P.E.*, "Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1997, pp.14-16. Emphasis original) 19/11/2003 "The basic outline of the traditional evolutionary scenario is well known. It has been expounded over and over again during the past twenty years on television, in the press, in popular scientific journals. The first stage on the road to life is presumed to have been the build up, by purely chemical synthetic processes occurring on the surface of the early Earth, of all the basic organic compounds necessary for the formation of a living cell. these are supposed to have accumulated in the primeval oceans, creating a nutrient broth, the so-called "prebiotic soup". In certain specialized environments these organic compounds were assembled into large macromolecules, proteins and nucleic acids. Eventually, over millions of years, combinations of these macromolecules occurred which were endowed with the property of self- reproduction. Then driven by natural selection ever more efficient and complex self-reproducing molecular systems evolved until finally the first simple cell system emerged. The existence of a prebiotic soup is crucial to the whole scheme. Without an abiotic accumulation of the building blocks of the cell no life could ever evolve. If the traditional story is true, therefore, there must have existed for many millions of years a rich mixture of organic compounds in the ancient oceans and some of this material would very likely have been trapped in the sedimentary rocks lain down in the seas of those remote times. Yet rocks of great antiquity have been examined over the past two decades and in none of them has any trace of abiotically produced organic compounds been found. Most notable of these rocks are the dawn rocks" of Western Greenland, the earliest dated rocks on Earth, considered to be approaching 3,900 million years old. So ancient are these rocks that they must have been lain down not long after the formation of the oceans themselves and perhaps only three hundred to four hundred million years after the actual formation of the Earth. And the Greenland rocks are not exceptional. Sediments from many other parts of the world dated variously between 3,900 million years old and 3,500 million years old also show no sign of any abiotically formed organic compounds. As on so many occasions, palaeontology has again failed to substantiate evolutionary presumptions. Considering the way the prebiotic soup is referred to in so many discussions of the origin of life as an already established reality, it comes as something of a shock to realize that there is absolutely no positive evidence for its existence." (Denton, M.J., "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis," Burnett Books: London, 1985, pp.260-261) 19/11/2003 "The word `dinosaur' was invented by Sir Richard Owen more than a century ago to designate certain large fossil reptiles that were then being recognized and described for the first time. The word is a combination of Greek roots meaning `terrible lizard,' a purely descriptive term, which, like so many scientific names, must not be taken literally. Many of the dinosaurs undoubtedly were terrible animals when they were alive, but they were not lizards, nor were they related to lizards except in a most general way. In the early days of paleontological science the Dinosauria were regarded as a natural group of reptiles, but as knowledge of these long extinct animals was expanded most authorities concluded that the term embraces two distinct reptilian orders. Consequently the word dinosaur is now a convenient name, but not necessarily a systematic term. The two orders of dinosaurs are designated as the Saurischia and the Ornithischia, these names being based upon the form of the pelvis-a basic character in the evolution of the dinosaurs. In the Saurischia the pubic bone of the pelvis extends down and forward from its juncture with the ilium and the ischium, the dorsal and the postero-ventral bones of the pelvis, respectively. In the Ornithischia the pubis has rotated so that it occupies a position ventral and parallel to the backwardly ex tending ischium. Of course there are numerous other characters by means of which the two orders of dinosaurs are distinguished, each from the other." (Colbert E.H. & Morales M., "Evolution of the Vertebrates: A History of the Backboned Animals Through Time," , John Wiley & Sons: New York NY, Fourth Edition, 1992, Second Printing, p.148) 19/11/2003 "Deeper Blue is running on a machine capable of evaluating 200 million nodes per second. A top grandmaster, at a very generous estimate, can visualize and evaluate perhaps as many as a hundred different possibilities in a minute of concentrated thought. This is a speed difference of eight orders of magnitude, greater than the relative speed gap between the most advanced tactical fighter jet and the average inchworm. Clearly, something is going on in the human grandmaster's mind that is not only radically different from what Deeper Blue's program does, but also inconceivably more efficient. In view of the incredible complexity of chess and the limited speed of the human mind, it is a kind of computational miracle that humans can play chess at all."(McGrew, T.*, "The Simulation of Expertise: Deeper Blue and the Riddle of Cognition," Origins & Design, Access Research Network, Vol. 19, No. 1, Summer 1998, pp.7-11) 20/11/2003 "Such terms as `begat' and `the son of,' which in English imply a father-son relationship, sometimes have a much wider connotation in the Bible. In Matthew 1:8, we read that `Joram begat Uzziah,' but three generations are omitted. In I Chronicles 26:24, we are told that `Shebuel the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, was ruler over the treasures' in the days of David. Here we have 400 years of generations skipped over between Shebuel and Gershom. But the most interesting case of all, in our opinion, is to be found in Exodus 6:20. Here we read that `Amram took him Jochebed his father's sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and the years of the life of Amram were a hundred and thirty and seven years.' Now anyone reading this statement as it stands by itself would be forced to conclude that Aaron and Moses were the actual sons of Amram and Jochebed; for the text clearly states that `she bare him Aaron and Moses,' and immediately following this we are given the number of the years that Amram lived, in a manner strikingly similar to that of the genealogy of Genesis 5. So it is with profound amazement that we turn to Numbers 3:17- 19, 27-28, and discover that in the days of Moses, `the family of the Amramites,' together with the families of Amram's three brothers (Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel), numbered 8,600! Unless we are willing to grant that the first cousins of Moses and Aaron had over 8,500 living male offspring, we must admit that Amram was an ancestor of Moses and Aaron, separated from them by a span of 300 years! In the light of this, it is significant that the names of the actual parents of Moses and Aaron are not recorded in the narrative of Exodus 2:1 -10.1)" (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.481-482) 20/11/2003 "People often ask how Genesis 11:10ff could not be a chronology with all the detail it contains for example, in verses 12-13: `And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah: And Arphaxed lived after he begat Salah four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.' In Matthew 1:8, as I have pointed out, there is a tremendous jump in the genealogy. There could have been no mistake involved in making this jump, because the people who recorded these things knew the genealogies very well. Matthew 1:8 reads: `And Asa begat Jehoshaphat; and Jehoshaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Uzziah' (ASV). But we saw, by comparing this to 1 Chronicles 3:11-12, that Uzziah's father, grandfather, and great-grandfather are omitted in Matthew's genealogy. So there is a lengthy break here. Therefore, what this passage in Matthew is really saying is: When Joram was a certain unnamed number of years old, be begat someone who led to Uzziah. And then, after Joram begat that unnamed individual, Joram lived a certain number of years and died. But for the sake of the illustration let's be a little more imaginative and read it like this: `When Joram was 30 years old, he begat someone who led to Uzziah, and then Joram lived a certain number of years, had other children, and died.' That is what this portion of Matthew 1:8 means. It does not state the number of years, but it does give us the form. And this is precisely the form we find throughout Genesis 11. In other words, the word `begat' in Genesis 11 does not require a first-generation father-son relationship. It can mean, fathered someone who led to. Adding this phrase to the genealogy in Genesis 11 would not change the situation at all. For example, if you added such a phrase to Genesis 11:14-15, then you would have exactly the same situation as in Matthew 1:8, because it would simply say that Salah begat someone who led to Eber. That is precisely what Matthew 1:8 says about Joram and Uzziah. Consequently there is no reason to let Genesis 11 change our conclusion that the genealogies do not constitute a chronology. People have asked why the details are added. The best answer that has been given, I think, is simply that they form a parallel with the prediluvians where the ending of the form was and he died. The present passage doesn't say `and he died', but it seems to involve the same mentality. The details are given, and he lived so many years, and then of course he died. The important names were the ones that were given, for they show the line." (Schaeffer F.A.*, "Genesis in Space and Time: the Flow of Biblical History," , InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1979, Seventh Printing, pp.154-155) 21/11/2003 "According to Raup, the Darwinian theory that extinctions result from the slow and steady effects of biological competition is `appealing, and has been learned by generations of biology students.' Nonetheless, `its verification from actual field data is negligible.' Raup goes on to say, without really arguing the point, that abandonment of the Darwinian explanation of extinctions does not discredit Darwin's theory that today's species evolved from earlier species through natural selection. ... that ... can't be accepted at face value ... Darwinian evolution is best known as a theory about the origin of species, but it is equally a theory about how species become extinct. ... creation by natural selection and extinction by natural selection are not two separate processes, but two aspects of the same process. ... If evolution has furthered the development of capabilities like strength, or vision, or intelligence, it is only because organisms possessing these (inheritable) qualities consistently left more descendants than competing organisms which lacked them. The more fit crowd out the less fit by definition, and there is no such thing as natural selection unless they do. ... It is therefore an essential element of Darwinism that species continually became extinct because they were less fit than their descendants or other rivals. And because superior fitness itself emerges very gradually, extinction of a competing species should also proceed gradually. ... If one wanted to subject Darwin's theory to empirical testing, one way to do it would be to examine the history of extinctions. Does the evidence confirm that biological competition was frequently the cause of extinctions? ... The K-T is not the biggest of the `Big 5' mass extinctions which mark the close of various geological ages, but it is the most recent ... There is no hard evidence that any observable extinctions were caused by competition from closely related species. Raup notes that evolutionary biologists long emphasized competition as a cause of extinctions because the explanation `seemed self-evident,' but when they actually tried to test the effect of competition the results were negative. The only reason for attributing extinctions to Darwinian competition remains the theory itself. Some groups survived mass extinctions while others did not, but this does not mean that the survivors were more fit in any Darwinian sense. Characteristics that would aid survival under normal circumstances would not necessarily be of any use under the extreme conditions of a catastrophe. ... But then what becomes of Darwinism? Raup answers that attributing extinctions to bad luck rather than bad genes does not discredit Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection ... The trouble with that disclaimer is that in Darwin's theory survival of the fittest and extinction of the less fit are the same thing, not two separable processes. .... A natural selection that only creates and never destroys is a logical impossibility, because it wouldn't be doing any selecting. ... Raup says that the study of extinctions was long neglected: perhaps the influence of Darwinism kept it off limits." (Johnson, P.E.*, "The Extinction of Darwinism." Review of Extinction: Bad Genes or Bad Luck?" by David M. Raup, Norton 1991, in The Atlantic, February, 1992. Emphasis original) 22/11/2003 "Extinctions are for real. They have had an exceedingly practical side effect: We can tell geological time because they have occurred. Creationists, who attribute life's history to the actions of a supernatural creator, are fond of accusing geologists of devising the geological time scale as a device to support the very idea of evolution. Nothing could be further from the truth: Cuvier and many of his early colleagues were creationists. Darwin was born three years before Cuvier's Revolutions was published; by the time The Origin of Species was published in 1859, nearly all the elements of our modern time scale were in place, thanks to the diligent efforts of these early creation-minded geologists who simply documented the sequence of Cuvierian life packages and thus revealed not only the general sequence of earth history but the history of life itself. And that history has been, as Cuvier first pointed out so long ago, shot through with revolutions-revolutions engendered by extinctions that periodically upset the status quo." (Eldredge, N., "The Miner's Canary: Unravelling the Mysteries of Extinction," , Virgin Books: London, 1992, reprint, pp.6-7) [top] December 2/12/2003 "An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going." (Crick, F.H.C., "Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, 1981, p.88) 4/12/2003 "Why do we suffer? Why is the world so unjust? What is the purpose of pain and tragedy? I would like to have answers to these questions, answers which are valid at our childish level of understanding even if they do not penetrate far into the mind of God. My answers are based on a hypothesis which is an extension both of the Anthropic Principle and of the argument from design. The hypothesis is that the universe is constructed according to a principle of maximum diversity. The principle of maximum diversity operates both at the physical and at the mental level. It says that the laws of nature and the initial conditions are such as to make the universe as interesting as possible. As a result, life is possible but not too easy. Always when things are dull, something new turns up to challenge us and to stop us from settling into a rut. Examples of things which make life difficult are all around us: comet impacts, ice ages, weapons, plagues, nuclear fission, computers, sex, sin and death. Not all challenges can be overcome, and so we have tragedy. Maximum diversity often leads to maximum stress. In the end we survive, but only by the skin of our teeth." (Dyson, F.J., "Infinite In All Directions: Gifford Lectures Given at Aberdeen, Scotland, April-November 1985," , Harper & Row: New York NY, 1989, reprint, p.298) 4/12/2003 "The essay by National Academy of Sciences President Bruce Alberts, `Evolution Versus Creationism: Don't Pit Science Against Religion,' was published in The Denver Post, September 10, 1996, p. B9. The essay is a compendium of the usual spin-doctor arguments that official science organizations rely on to stop any serious questioning of evolution or materialism before it can get started. I recommend that teachers look for essays of this kind and use them for critical-thinking exercises ... One thing to notice right away is the title: the debate is set up as pitting creationism (that is, an ideology) against evolution (no ism, therefore a fact). No matter what the evidence may be, an ideology (especially a religious ideology) can never beat a `fact' in a debate conducted under scientific rules. Scientific materialists actually see the issue that way and so they naturally frame the debate in those terms. I always insist that an ism be put on both words or neither. Let the debate be between the competing facts (creation and evolution) or the competing ideologies (creationism and evolutionism). Better still, let it be between theism and materialism. What was present and active in the beginning, God or matter? That frames the question correctly and levels the playing field." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1997, pp.124-125. Emphasis original) 4/12/2003 "Natural selection, the blind, unconscious, automatic process which Darwin discovered, and which we now know is the explanation for the existence and apparently purposeful form of all life, has no purpose in mind. It has no mind and no mind's eye. It does not plan for the future. It has no vision, no foresight, no sight at all. If it can be said to play the role of watchmaker in nature, it is the blind watchmaker." (Dawkins, R., "The Blind Watchmaker," , Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, p.5) 5/12/2003 "Yet underneath the mild exterior, Darwin's mind teemed with ideas daring and unusual proposals that he hesitated to put before the world. He had balked at disclosing his theories before they were ready, fretting anxiously over his work, doggedly probing every crevice of the evidence, building up a tightly packed argument that he hoped would protect his scheme from at least some of the intense criticism he knew it would provoke. Ever since returning from the Beagle voyage in 1836, some twenty two years before, he had believed that living beings were not created by divine fiat. From that time on, he had sought an alternative explanation that would depend on natural processes rather than on God's direct action. He had found it in Thomas Malthus's Essay on the principle of population, an economic principle of checks and balances that Darwin applied to the survival rates of animals and plants and called `natural selection.' Since then he had focused his energies on documenting the origin of species by these natural means, `slaving away' in private. ... As Darwin now conceived it, natural selection operated on living beings as if it were a statistical necessity, a law of nature stripped of any divine influences, invincible, predominant, and fierce, relentlessly honing animals, plants, and humans in the struggle for existence. His theories had no room for biblical teachings about Adam and Eve or the Garden of Eden." (Browne, E.J., "Charles Darwin: The Power of Place: Volume II of a Biography," , Pimlico: London, 2003, pp.6-7) 5/12/2003 "I need to emphasize at every opportunity that I am not taking advantage of any offhand statements by individual Darwinists when I make the point that Darwinism implies a naturalistic understanding of the development of life, with no room for a supernatural Creator. Every prominent neo-Darwinist authority has said this at one time or another, and they mean what they say. The most aggressive naturalistic metaphysicians of science, including Dawkins, Sagan and all the others, promote naturalism with the backing of the organized scientific enterprise-whatever reservations and qualifications individual scientists may express in private. When Carl Sagan received the National Academy of Science's `Public Welfare Medal' in 1994, the accompanying citations left no doubt that he was being honored for the Cosmos television series in particular, where he supposedly communicated `the wonder and importance of science.' What he communicated was the metaphysics of the naturalistic worldview, dressed up in the robes of science." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law, and Education," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1995, pp.227-228) 5/12/2003 "Miller made me want to leap to my feet with a resounding `yes!' slapping high fives all around--until I read the second half of the book and Miller's attempt to reconcile evolution with a personal God. Perhaps to sound evenhanded, Miller first criticizes science, faulting `the reflexive hostility of so many within the scientific community to the goals, achievements, and most especially the culture of religion' (p. 166). With barbs for Stephen Jay Gould, Edward O. Wilson, and others, Miller slams scientists for their atheism and materialism (are those creationists I see smiling?). But criticism isn't enough. Having poxed both camps, Miller has to solve the universe's big whodonit--he has to find a way to put God into the equation, and he does it through the indeterminacy of quantum mechanics. ... Wait! Is Ken Miller, irreducible complexity's worst nightmare, using the exact same arguments as Behe, except that instead of designing biochemical pathways, Miller's deity plays dice with quarks? And this impenetrable wall business sounds like an argument for ignorance. I get nervous when people talk about permanent barriers to understanding the natural world. Maybe we don't know what indeterminacy means today, but my great grandkids may peek over the wall in 2100. `Not now' doesn't mean `never.' To make matters worse, Miller flirts with the idea of purpose in the hard anthropic principle, another of neocreationism's pet rocks: God created the universe, just as it is, with us (or a species like us) in mind. Forget the high fives. If this is the fruit of compromise, I don't want any part of it. To accommodate the natural world and religion, Miller uses the same mental contortions as his adversaries, and he doesn't even realize it. He's conceded too much ground." (Palevitz, B.A., "Falling off a Tightrope: Compromise and Accommodation in the War Between Creationism and Evolution." Review of "Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution," by Kenneth R. Miller, Cliff Street Books, New York, 1999, "Rocks Of Ages," by Stephen Jay Gould,. Ballantine Books, New York, 1999, and "The Sacred Depths of Nature," by Ursula Goodenough, Oxford University Press, New York, 2000. Bioscience, No. 10, Vol. 50, October 1, 2000; p.926) 5/12/2003 "In one of the most existentially penetrating statements ever made by a scientist, Richard Dawkins concluded that `the universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.' Facing such a reality, perhaps we should not be surprised at the results of a 2001 Gallup poll confirming that 45 percent of Americans believe `God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so'; 37 percent prefer a blended belief that `human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process'; and a paltry 12 percent accept the standard scientific theory that `human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process.'" (Shermer, M.B., "The Gradual Illumination of the Mind," Scientific American, February 2002. My emphasis) 6/12/2003 "As over against all such speculations, gross and subtle alike, the Christian man is bound to maintain that God created the heavens and the earth that this great act by which He called into being all that is was in the strictest sense of the words a creation ... not a mere molding or ordering of a preexistent substance- not a mere evolution or modification of His own substance. ... In creation, therefore, the Christian man is bound to confess a frankly supernatural act-an act above nature, independent of nature, by which nature itself and all its laws were brought into existence. ... Nor can he confine himself to the confession of this one supernatural act. ... It is equally inconceivable that His activities with reference to it, or even within it, should be confined to the operation of the laws which He has ordained for the regulation of its activities and not of His. ... Certainly he who confesses the Christian's God has no ground for denying the supernatural act. Now nothing is further from the Christian's thought than to doubt the reality and the efficiency of second causes. ... Just because he believes that the universe was well made, he believes that the forces with which it was endowed are competent for its ordinary government ... The Christian man, then, is; frankly ready to accredit to second causes all that second causes are capable of producing. ... But let us not fancy, on the other hand, that the providence of God any more than the immanence of God is a formula adequate to sum up all His activities. God is the God of providence: but He is much more than the God of providence. The universe is but a speck in His sight: and its providential government is scarcely an incident in the infinite fullness of His life. It is certain that He acts in infinitely varied modes, otherwise and beyond providence, and there is no reason we can give why He should not act otherwise and beyond providence even in relation to the universe which He has made. In our conception of a supernatural God, we dare not erect His providential activity into an exclusive law of action for Him, and refuse to allow of any other mode of operation. Who can say, for example, whether creation itself, in the purity and absoluteness of that conception, may not be progressive, and may not correlate itself with and follow the process of the providential development of the world, in the plan of such a God-so that the works of creation and providence may interlace through all time in the production of this completed universe? What warrant, then, can there be to assume beforehand that some way must be found for "evolution" to spring the chasms in the creative process over which even divinely led second causes appear insufficient to build a bridge? And if for any reason-certainly not unforeseen by God, or in contradiction to His ordering-there should a "rift appear in the lute," who dare assert that the supernatural God may not directly intervene for its mending, but must needs beat out His music on the broken strings nor let their discord jar down the ages to all eternity? The laws of nature are not bonds by which God is tied so that He cannot move save within their limits: they are not in His sight such great and holy things that it would be sacrilege for Him not to honor them in all His activities. His real life is above and beyond them: there is no reason why He may not at will act independently of them even in dealing with nature itself: and if there be reason why He should act apart from them we may be sure that the supernatural God will so act. The frank recognition of the possibility of the supernatural act, and of its probable reality on adequate occasion, is in any event a part of the Christian man's heritage." (Warfield, B.B.*, "Christian Supernaturalism," Presbyterian and Reformed Review, viii. 1897, pp.58-74, in Craig S.G., ed., "Biblical and Theological Studies", Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing Co.: Philadelphia PA, 1968, pp.10- 13. Emphasis original) 6/12/2003 "Naturalism leads irresistibly to idolatry. As we read Scripture today, we often wonder at all the excitement about idols and graven images. Idolatry is uniformly condemned in the Old Testament, and yet we are less horrified than amused at the idol makers who fashion an idol from a piece of rock or wood and bow down before it. It all seems rather ludicrous to us enlightened Westerners. If we speak about idols at all these days, we speak of money, reputation and power. But these are not properly speaking idols. They can become idols, but in themselves they are not idols. Although in ancient times graven images were the most obvious sign of idolatry, idolatry is not so much a matter of investing any particular object with extraordinary significance. Rather it is a matter of investing the world with a significance it does not deserve. ... Idolatry is always a denial of the Creator, for it sets the creation above the Creator and thereby transforms creation into nature." (Dembski, W.A.*, "Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1999, pp.101-102) 6/12/2003 "The naturalists who contributed so much to the evolutionary synthesis showed how incomplete if not misleading was the reductionist definition of evolution, as a change in gene frequencies. As I have pointed out previously (Mayr 1977, 1982) this definition quite misses the point. Organic evolution is described far better as `a change in adaptation and in biological diversity.' Changes in gene frequencies are merely a byproduct of these more basic processes. Furthermore, it is questionable to what extent changes in the frequency of neutral genes can be designated as evolution. The now rejected definition is most nearly correct for prokaryotes, but it is singularly inappropriate for complex higher organisms." (Mayr, E.W., "Introduction: An Overview of Current Evolutionary Biology," Warren L. & Koprowski H., eds, "New Perspectives on Evolution," WileyLiss: New York NY, 1991, p.2) 7/12/2003 "It is characteristic of thoughtful people that they don't understand some things that to others are as plain as a pikestaff. Newton didn't understand gravity - which to everyone else was obvious. (Why is that apple moving towards the Earth?) Einstein didn't understand light. (What would happen if one rode on a light beam and looked in a mirror?) And of course Sherlock Holmes was always being puzzled by seemingly obvious or trivial things. Understanding is all very well, but not understanding can be much more interesting. Hence the concentration, so far in this book, on what is appallingly difficult about the problem of the origin of life. There are many thoughtful and knowledgeable people, nowadays, who don't understand the origin of life. This is in spite of a 'big picture' provided by a theory known as 'chemical evolution'. Like the phlogiston theory, 'chemical evolution' looks good from a distance, and there is a common-sense about it. But, to my mind, like the phlogiston theory. it fails to carry through an initial promise: it fails at the more detailed explanations." (Cairns-Smith, A.G., "Seven Clues to the Origin of Life: A Scientific Detective Story," , Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1993, reprint, p.34) 8/12/2003 "It is the original Darwinian assumption that, faced with environmental change, evolutionary change will keep pace with changing times. ... But there is a major problem with this imagery. The fossil record (and this has been known to paleontologists ever since Darwin's day) clearly shows that, once they first show up, species usually don't change much at all. Species vary a bit as they go through time, but rarely do they show the kind of protracted change that some evolutionists, from Darwin to the present time, seem to think they ought to show. Natural selection is indeed a strong force. But, for the most part, it is a conservative one: As organisms chase suitable habitats around as the environment changes, they survive just fine pretty much in the state their ancestors were in originally. It is not change or die, but rather find suitable habitat or die." (Eldredge, N., "The Miner's Canary: Unravelling the Mysteries of Extinction," , Virgin Books: London, 1992, reprint, pp.10-11. Emphasis original) 10/12/2003 "However, in the midst of editorial denunciation, two important pieces of dissent appeared in prominent newspapers: "The Church of Darwin" by Berkeley law professor Phillip E. Johnson in the Wall Street Journal and "Teach Evolutionand Ask Hard Questions" by Lehigh biochemist Michael Behe in the New York Times. These opinion pieces argued that there are legitimate concerns about the dogmatic teaching of evolution that motivated the Kansas Board. Johnson and Behe proposed a rhetorically clever but scientifically heretical solution: Instead of teaching less evolution, schools should teach "far more about evolution." That is, schools should continue teaching about macroevolution, but they should add a crucial new segment to such teaching-the legitimate scientific controversy over Darwinism. In his Wall Street Journal piece, Johnson wrote, "So one reason the science educators panic at the first sign of public rebellion is that they fear exposure of the implicit religious content in what they are teaching. An even more compelling reason for keeping the lid on public discussion is that the official neo-Darwinian theory is having serious trouble with the evidence." Johnson proceeded to cite a litany of evidentiary problems for the theory. Likewise, Behe's opinion column advised Kansas to "teach Darwin's elegant theory" but not stop there. He added, "Discuss where it also has real problems accounting for the data, where data are severely limited, where scientists might be engaged in wishful thinking, and where alternative - even `heretical' - explanations are possible." These closing words of Behe's column serve as the symbolic quintessence of the deepening rhetorical challenge which evolutionists now face. When presidential candidates sided with the Kansas Board, critics could easily attribute their words to ignorance, a failure of nerve, or careful posturing for political advantage. Yet it was a much more difficult task to neutralize the complex skepticism of macroevolution expressed by Behe, a biochemist in good standing at a major research university." (Woodward, T.E.*, "Doubts about Darwin: A History of Intelligent Design," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 2003, pp.14-15. Emphasis original) 12/12/2003 "Biologists find it hard to admit that, in their basic structure, present living beings differ at all from those of the past. To begin with, such a supposition seems contrary to the scientific spirit. But facts are facts; no new broad organizational plan has appeared for several hundred million years, and for an equally long time numerous species, animal as well as plant, have ceased evolving. We have said that evolution in the present is difficult, if not extremely difficult, to observe. Some biologists maintain that they can not only observe it but also describe it in action; the facts that they describe, however, either have nothing to do with evolution or are insignificant. At best, present evolutionary phenomena are simply slight changes of genotypes within populations, or substitution of an allele by a new one. For example, the mutant carbonaria of the birch moth, Biston betularia, replaces the regular butterfly in polluted industrial areas (Haldane, 1956; Ford, 1971)." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.84) 14/12/2003 "`All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.' George Orwell: Animal Farm. Orwell, for his satirical purposes, was parodying Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address of 1863 ('... a new nation ... dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal But one animal on Earth is significantly 'more equal' than all the others. All species are, by definition, unique, but there is one species whose uniqueness is so dramatic that it transcends simple definition and puts it quite clearly into a class of its own. That species is Homo sapiens, the human race. ... and this is the theme of our book, the human race is different. No other animal builds cathedrals, plays football, tells jokes, gets married, has prisons, writes symphonies, elects presidents or goes to the Moon; nor do they have anything remotely resembling what we would recognise as a moral code; nor do they endeavour to explain their own existence as part of some complex order, or record their own histories. If they did record their histories, most would be works of infinite boredom - 'migrated again', 'foraged for food', or whatever limited range of activity was involved, would recur forever. Having evolved, Homo sapiens is the only animal which has developed more than the most basic responses to changing environments. It makes sense to talk about 'primitive' man, our 'Agricultural Revolution', and our 'Age of Enlightenment', because our behaviour and its codes change in time as we create cultures, which are themselves subject to constant change. It makes no sense to talk about a 'primitive' gorilla. Gorilla behaviour is as primitive or sophisticated as it ever has been." (Dixon T. & Lucas M., "The Human Race," Methuen: London, 1982, p.13. Emphasis original) 14/12/2003 "Despite the adaptive value of bilaterality for free-moving animals, and the merits of radial symmetry for sessile animals, echinoderms confounded the rules by becoming free moving but radial. That they evolved from a bilateral ancestor there can be no doubt, for their larvae are bilateral. They undergo a bizarre metamorphosis to a radial adult in which there is a 90° reorientation in body axis, with a new mouth arising on the left side, and a new anus appearing on the right side. A compartment of the coelom has been transformed in echinoderms into a unique water-vascular system that uses hydraulic pressure to power a multitude of tiny tube feet used in food gathering and locomotion. ... This constellation of characteristics is unique in the animal kingdom. ... Despite the vast amount of research that has been devoted to them, we are still far from understanding many aspects of echinoderm biology." (Hickman C.P., Roberts L.S. & Larson A., "Animal Diversity," , McGraw-Hill: Boston MA, Second Edition, 2000, p.248) 14/12/2003 "As natural selection acts solely by accumulating slight, successive, favourable variations, it can produce no great or sudden modifications; it can act only by short and slow steps. Hence the canon of "Natura non facit saltum," [nature does not make leaps] which every fresh addition to our knowledge tends to confirm, is on this theory intelligible." (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.447) 15/12/2003 "The first point is that the enormous usefulness of mathematics in the natural sciences is something bordering on the mysterious and that there is no rational explanation for it. ... It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here, quite comparable in its striking nature to the miracle that the human mind can string a thousand arguments together without getting itself into contradictions, or to the two miracles of the existence of laws of nature and of the human mind's capacity to divine them. ... The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve." (Wigner, E., "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences," Communications in Pure and Applied Mathematics, Vol. 13, No. I, February 1960) 18/12/2003 "How Darwin and his theory of evolution by natural selection devastated all this! We, who are heritors of Darwin, who see the living world through the categories he taught us more than a century ago, even we have trouble with the implications: man as the result of a chain of accidental mutations, sifted by a law no more noble than survival of the fittest. Creation science is no accident in late-twentieth-century America. Its proponents adhere to it in an ardent effort to forestall the feared moral implications of humans as descendants of a haphazard lineage branching from some last common ancestor more remote in time than the Cambrian explosion some 500 million years ago. The science in creation science is no science at all, but is the moral anguish so foolish? Or should creationism be viewed rather more sympathetically-misguided, to be sure, but part of a broader quest to reinvent the sacred in our secular world?" (Kauffman, S.A., "At Home in the Universe: The Search for Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity," , Penguin: London, 1996, reprint, p.6) 18/12/2003 "If in one respect natural selection may be criticized for trying to explain too much; in another it may be thought to explain too little. Even at the time of its publication, a common charge brought against the Origin was its failure to establish a vera causa [true cause] for evolution. As Samuel Butler later put it: "The 'Origin of Variation,' whatever it is, is the only true 'Origin of Species.'" (Butler S., "Life and Habit," London, 1878, p.263). Natural selection, critics complained, might account for the persistence of some variations and the disappearance of others, but it did not account for the origin of the variations themselves. And only an explanation of the origin of the variations would constitute a vera causa. One critic compared Darwin unfavorably, in this respect, with his predecessors, Lamarck and the author of the Vestiges, who, however benighted, at least had the forthrightness to propose specific explanations for the origin of the variations. And even in his own camp Asa Gray and others confessed themselves troubled by this inadequacy in the theory." (Himmelfarb, G., "Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution," , Elephant Paperbacks: Chicago IL, 1996, reprint, pp.321-322) 18/12/2003 "What has emerged is a new program for scientific research known as intelligent design. Within biology intelligent design is a theory of biological origins and development. Its fundamental claim is that intelligent causes are necessary to explain the complex, information-rich structures of biology and that these causes are empirically detectable. To say intelligent causes are empirically detectable is to say there exist well- defined methods that, on the basis of observational features of the world, are capable of reliably distinguishing intelligent causes from undirected natural causes. Many special sciences have already developed such methods for drawing this distinction-notably forensic science, artificial intelligence (cf. the Turing test), cryptography, archeology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (cf. the movie Contact)." (Dembski, W.A.*, "Introduction: Mere Creation," in Dembski, W.A.*, ed., "Mere Creation: Science, Faith & Intelligent Design," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1998, pp.16-17) 18/12/2003 "The double standard of work here is breathtaking: a host of scientists, from Russell to Richard Dawkins to Carl Sagan, are free to use loose surmises based on Darwin's theory to buttress the public case for atheism; but the moment scientists begin marshalling rather considerable and persuasive evidence for the opposite case, their speculation risks being branded by colleagues as `unscientific.'" (Glynn, P.*, "Beyond the Death of God," National Review, May 6, 1996, pp.28-32) 18/12/2003 "However all these problems may be resolved, and whichever cosmological model proves correct, there is not much of comfort in any of this. It is almost irresistible for humans to believe that we have some special relation to the universe, that human life is not just a more-or-less farcical outcome of a chain of accidents reaching back to the first three minutes, but that we were somehow built in from the beginning. As I write this I happen to be in an aeroplane at 30,000 feet, flying over Wyoming en route home from San Francisco to Boston. Below, the earth looks very soft and comfortable-fluffy clouds here and there, snow turning pink as the sun sets, roads stretching straight across the country from one town to another. It is very hard to realize that this all is just a tiny part of an overwhelmingly hostile universe. It is even harder to realize that this present universe has evolved from an unspeakably unfamiliar early condition, and faces a future extinction of endless cold or intolerable heat. The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless. But if there is no solace in the fruits of our research, there is at least some consolation in the research itself. ... The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce, and gives it some of the grace of tragedy." (Weinberg S., "The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe," , Flamingo: London, 1983, reprint, pp.148-149) 18/12/2003 "The time of the Messiah. As a final example, let us consider a passage that appears to predict the time of the coming of the Messiah. That some such prophecy was thought to have expired in the first century A.D. is suggested by remarks to this effect by the Jewish historian Josephus and by the Roman historians Tacitus. For the sake of brevity, we quote only the first of these: But what more than all else incited them [the Jews] to the war [revolt against Rome, A.D. 66-73] was an ambiguous oracle, likewise found in their sacred scriptures, to the effect that at that time one from their country would become ruler of the world. This they understood to mean someone of their own race, and many of their own cause men went astray in their interpretation of it. ... If we search the Old Testament for a passage that gives some timed prophecy of this sort) the only good candidate is found in Daniel 9:24-26 ... There has been considerable argument about the interpretation of this passage. A very reasonable interpretation, however, notes the significance of a decree issued by the Persian king Artaxerxes I during his twentieth year (445 B.C.). This edict officially approved Nehemiah's return to Jerusalem to rebuild its walls (Neh 2:1-9) The `sevens' of Daniel 9 (often translated `weeks') most likely refer to the recurring seven-year sabbatical cycle for land use, since sixty-nine weeks of days would have run out before Daniel's prophecy could even have been circulated, and these weeks of years were an established institution in Israel. Using these cycles as units of measurement, the sixty-ninth such cycle (7 62), measured from the starting point of 445 B.C., spans the years A.D. 28-35. One cannot help but note with interest that on this analysis the `Anointed One' is `cut off' precisely when Jesus is crucified! So the only Jew claiming to be Messiah who has inaugurated a world religion of predominantly Gentile adherents was cut off precisely when Daniel predicted! And the significance Christians ascribe to Jesus' death is given by Daniel-`to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness.' As it happens, Jesus Christ is also one of the most significant figures in world history, as even secular historians acknowledge." (Newman R.C.*, "Fulfilled Prophecy as Miracle," in Geivett R.D. & Habermas G.R., eds., "In Defense of Miracles: A Comprehensive Case for God's Action in History," Apollos: Leicester UK, 1997, pp.223-224) 19/12/2003 "Expectation colored perception to such an extent that the most obvious single fact about biological evolution nonchange-has seldom, if ever, been incorporated into any one's scientific notions of how life actually evolves. If ever there was a myth, it is that evolution is a process of constant change. The data, or basic observations, of evolutionary biology are full of the message of stability. Change is difficult and rare, rather than inevitable and continual. Once evolved, species with their own peculiar adaptations, behaviors, and genetic systems are remarkably conservative, often remaining unchanged for several millions of years." (Eldredge, N. & Tattersall, I., "The Myths of Human Evolution," Columbia University Press: New York NY, 1982, p.3. Emphasis original) 19/12/2003 "Two sub-categories of old-earth creationism: - theistic evolution: belief that natural processes sustained by God's ordinary providence are God's means of bringing about life and humanity. - progressive creationism: belief that second causes sustained by God's providence are not the whole story, but that instead God has added supernatural, creative actions to the process, corresponding to the fiats of Genesis 1. Some confusion can arise because progressive creationists vary in the degree of biological change they are willing to countenance in between the creative events. The progressive creationists and the young earth creationists agree on a key point: namely that natural processes and ordinary providence are not adequate to explain the world. They both fall into the category of supernatural creationists or special creationists." ("Report of the Creation Study Committee," Presbyterian Church in America: Atlanta GA, 2000) 19/12/2003 "Thirdly, we have in chapter 9 a series of remarkable predictions which defy any other interpretation but that they point to the coming of Christ and His crucifixion ca. A.D. 30, followed by the destruction of the city of Jerusalem within the ensuing decades. In Daniel 9:25, 26, it is stated that 69 heptads of years (i.e., 483 years) will ensue between a `decree' to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, and the cutting off of Messiah the Prince. In 9:25, 26, we read: `Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks.... And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself; and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.' There are two ways of computing these 69 heptads (or 483 years). First, by starting from the decree of Artaxerxes issued to Nehemiah in 445 B.C. (cf. Neh. 2:4,8) and reckoning the 483 years as lunar years of 360 days each, which would be equivalent to 471 solar years and would result in the date A.D. 31 for the appearance of the Messiah and His `cutting off' (or crucifixion). Or, more reasonably, the starting point may be identified with the decree of Artaxerxes in his seventh year, issued for the benefit of Ezra in 457 B.C. This apparently included authority to restore and build the city of Jerusalem (as we may deduce from Ezra 7:6,7 and also 9:9, which states, `God...hath extended lovingkindness unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the ruins thereof, and to give us a wall in Judea and in Jerusalem,' ASV). Even though Ezra did not actually succeed in accomplishing the rebuilding of the walls till Nehemiah arrived thirteen years later, it is logical to understand 457 B.C. as the terminus a quo for the decree predicted in Daniel 9:25; 483 solar years from 457 B.C. would come out to A.D. 25 as the time of Christ's ministry. Note that the wording of verse 26, `and after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off,' does not compel us to understand the 483 as pinpointing the time of the actual crucifixion; it is simply that after the appearance of the Messiah, He was going to be cut off." (Archer G.L.*, "A Survey of Old Testament Introduction," , Moody Press: Chicago IL, 1966, Third Printing, pp.386-387) 19/12/2003 "IN AN INFINITY of universes, an endless number of possibilities must exist, as Max Tegmark argues in `Parallel Universes' [May]. It's tempting to wonder if every other Scientific American board of editors who published that article got as bleary-eyed reading the scads of letters it generated. Many of the notes were thoughtful--and thought-provoking--such as this one, which Anita Brubaker sent via e-mail: `If Tegmark's multiverse theory is true, then one of the many existing universes has no pain, no death and no suffering. On the other hand, one universe's inhabitants experience maximum pain. Has Tegmark demonstrated the existence of what are usually called heaven and hell?'" ("Letters to the Editors," Scientific American, September 2003. Emphasis original) 19/12/2003 "A third area of Old Testament criticism where current differences between the free, (negative) and the committed (positive) approaches to the subject become most apparent is that of Daniel's predictions. Representing the former approach, R.H. Pfeiffer was candid in expressing himself about both of the standards that have been proposed above for establishing the limits appropriate to biblical criticism. Concerning historicity of content, he asserted flatly: `Such miracles as the revelation to Daniel of the details of Nebuchadnezzar's dream and their meaning (2:19), the divine deliverance of ... Daniel from the lions (6:22- 24), and a hand without a body writing a message on a wall (5:5), lie outside the realm of historical facts.' Concerning the book's own statements about its sixth-century, exilic composition, he adds, `The historical background of Daniel, as was discovered immediately after its publication, is not that of the sixth but the second century.... In dating an apocalypse such as Daniel, the period in which the seer is said to have received the revelations is entirely irrelevant.' Pfeiffer, with almost all of today's negative critics, relegates the book's author to legend and its predictions to the time of the Maccabean revolt, specifically 165 B.C. Yet Christ's words in Matthew 24:15 (`When you see ... the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel ...') testify to His belief not only in the historicity of the seer but also in a fulfillment of his predictions that was still future in A.D. 30. To this day I can recall my shock when I mentioned these facts to a critically minded friend and he replied, `I know more about Daniel than Jesus did.' It dramatizes how the lines are to be drawn concerning appropriate biblical criticism." (Barton Payne J.*, "Higher Criticism and Biblical Inerrancy" in Geisler N.L., ed., "Inerrancy," , Academie/Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1992, reprint, pp.104-105) 19/12/2003 But then the unexpected occurred. Beginning in the 1960s, scientists began to notice a strange connection among a number of otherwise unexplained coincidences in physics. It turns out that many mysterious values and relationships in physics could be explained by one overriding fact: Such values had been necessary for the creation of life. ... Carter presented the observation in full-blown form at the Copernican festivities. ... The anthropic principle offered a kind of explanation for one of the most basic mysteries of physics-the values of the fundamental constants. Physicists had never been able to explain why the values of the so-called fundamental constants-for example, the values for the gravitational force or the electromagnetic force were as they were. They were just "constants." One had to accept them. Moreover, there were certain mysterious mathematical relations among some of these constants. For example, the forces binding certain particles seemed to be mathematically related to the number for the age of the universe. Why should these forces be related to the age of the universe? ... But there was a simpler way of explaining them, as Carter pointed out in his lecture. If one examined closely the evolution of the universe, one would see that these precise values or ratios were necessary if the universe was to be capable of producing life. In a certain sense, this finding was no surprise: We would not expect to be observing a universe that had not produced us in the first place. Still, the number of strange "coincidences" that could be explained simply because they were necessary for producing life in the universe was surprisingly large. ... they were nothing short of astounding. In effect, the "random universe" was out the window. There was nothing random at all about the arrangement of the cosmos-as physicists quickly began to see. The vast, fifteen- billion-year evolution of the universe had apparently been directed toward one goal: the creation of human life." (Glynn, P.*, "God: The Evidence: The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason in a Postsecular World," Forum: Rocklin CA, 1997, pp.24-25) 20/12/2003 "Just as there is no place where you can find the edge of the universe, so there is no place where you can stand at the centre and say: 'This is where it all began. This is the centremost point of it all.' We are all at the centre of it all. Actually, we don't know that for sure; we can't prove it mathematically. Scientists just assume that we can't really be the centre of the universe - think what that would imply but that the phenomenon must be the same for all observers in al places. Still, we don't actually know." (Bryson B., "A Short History of Nearly Everything," Doubleday: London, 2003, p.16. Emphasis original) 21/12/2003 "Owen's review [Owen R., "Darwin on the origin of species," The Edinburgh Review 3, 1860, pp.487-532] was not a friendly one, and it touched upon the essential weaknesses in Darwin's theory; he, and many others besides, including Darwin's friends, were shrewd enough to look through the verbiage and detect the flaws in the argument. Darwin was much concerned about the review. In a letter to Huxley he complains about the 'misrepresentations', writing: '... he says we are called on to accept the hypothesis on the plea of ignorance, whereas I think I could not have made it clearer that I admit the imperfection of the Geological Record as a great difficulty' [Darwin C.R., in Darwin F. & Seward A.C., eds, "More Letters of Charles Darwin," John Murray: London, 1903, Vol. 1, p.146]. I am afraid that Owen was right here, for great difficulties usually imply refutation." (Lovtrup S., "Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth," Croom Helm: London, 1987, pp.88-89) 21/12/2003 "Some skeptics have asserted that Jesus merely maneuvered his life in a way to fulfill the prophecies. `Couldn't he have read in Zechariah that the Messiah would ride a donkey into Jerusalem, and then arrange to do exactly that?' I asked. Lapides made a small concession. `For a few of the prophecies, yes, that's certainly conceivable,' he said. `But there are many others for which this just wouldn't have been possible.' `For instance, how would he control the fact that the Sanhedrin offered Judas thirty pieces of silver to betray him? How could he arrange for his ancestry, or the place of his birth, or his method of execution, or that soldiers gambled for his clothing, or that his legs remained unbroken on the cross? How would he arrange to perform miracles in front of skeptics? How would he arrange for his resurrection? And how would he arrange to be born when he was?' That last comment piqued my curiosity. `What do you mean by when he was born?' I asked. `When you interpret Daniel 9:24-26, it foretells that the Messiah would appear a certain length of time after King Artaxerxes I issued a decree for the Jewish people to go from Persia to rebuild the walls in Jerusalem,' Lapides replied. He leaned forward to deliver the clincher: `That puts the anticipated appearance of the Messiah at the exact. moment in history when Jesus showed up,' he said. `Certainly that's nothing he could have prearranged.'" (Strobel, L.P.*, "The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 2000, pp.248-249) 22/12/2003 "Most existing volumes on evolution have ... weaknesses. ... most treatments of evolution are written in a reductionist manner in which all evolutionary phenomena are reduced to the level of the gene. An attempt is then made to explain the higher-level evolutionary process by `upward' reasoning. This approach invariably fails. Evolution deals with phenotypes of individuals, with populations, with species; it is not `a change in gene frequencies.'" (Mayr, E.W., "What Evolution Is," Basic Books: New York, 2001, p.xiv) 23/12/2003 "Faced with the objection that form is not thus prefigured but the outcome of a developmental process, neo- Darwinists habitually resort to the default position that evolutionary theory is simply about changing gene frequencies in populations of organisms, and that it remains entirely open on questions of development. But if that were the case the theory could tell us absolutely nothing about the evolution of form; indeed it would short-cut the organism altogether. There is a clear desire on the part of evolutionary biologists, Dawkins included, to have it both ways, leaving the rest of us understandably confused." (Ingold, T., "Swept away by the current." Review of "River out of Eden," Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1995, by Richard Dawkins. The Times Higher Education Supplement, 16 June 1995) 23/12/2003 "The problems connected with rates and trends of evolution could be interpreted in terms of the geneticists' formula that evolution is a change in gene frequency. However, this is a meaningless formulation as far as most other problems of macroevolution are concerned, and is one of the reasons why genetics made such a relatively small contribution to the solution of macroevolutionary problems. This inappropriate formulation is also responsible for the considerable time lag between the synthesis and an adequate treatment of some of these problems." (Mayr, E.W., "The Growth of Biological Thought: Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance," Belknap Press: Cambridge MA, 1982, p.611) 23/12/2003 "The naturalists who contributed so much to the evolutionary synthesis showed how incomplete if not misleading was the reductionist definition of evolution, as a change in gene frequencies. As I have pointed out previously (Mayr 1977, 1982) this definition quite misses the point. Organic evolution is described far better as "a change in adaptation and in biological diversity." Changes in gene frequencies are merely a byproduct of these more basic processes. Furthermore, it is questionable to what extent changes in the frequency of neutral genes can be designated as evolution. The now rejected definition is most nearly correct for prokaryotes, but it is singularly inappropriate for complex higher organisms." (Mayr, E.W., "Introduction: An Overview of Current Evolutionary Biology," Warren L. & Koprowski H., eds, "New Perspectives on Evolution," Wiley-Liss: New York NY, 1991, p.2) 24/12/2003 "Whether the Kuhnian view of the role of and the priority of paradigms is right, it certainly provides a satisfying explanation of why even in the face of what are `disproofs', Darwinian concepts continue to dominate so much of biological thought today. Consequently, biologists wishing to operate within a scientific framework even those only too well aware of the seriousness of the problems have no alternative at present but to continue to subscribe to the Darwinian world view. It seems more than likely that, given the need for and the priority of paradigms in science, the philosophy of Darwinism will continue to dominate biology even if more by default than by merit; and that until a convincing alternative is developed the many problems and anomalies will remain unexplained and the crisis unresolved. The lack of any scientifically acceptable competitor leaves evolutionary biology in a state of crisis analogous to the crisis in medieval astronomy when, although the Ptolemaic system was admitted to be a monstrosity, the lack of any conceivable alternative imprisoned the science for centuries within the same circle of belief. Whatever view we wish to take of the current status of Darwinian theory, whatever the reasons might be for its undoubted appeal, whether we wish to view it as being in a classic state of crisis as described by Kuhn, there can be no doubt that after a century of intensive effort biologists have failed to validate it in any significant sense. The fact remains that nature has not been reduced to the continuum that the Darwinian model demands, nor has the credibility of chance as the creative agency of life been secured." (Denton, M.J., "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis," Burnett Books: London, 1985, pp.356-357) 24/12/2003 "Speaking of purpose in science is called teleology. In the old days, men assumed everything happened because of divine purpose. For modern science to develop, teleology had to be abolished. Instead of asking why, scientists asked how. When teleology returned to the life sciences, it had a very different meaning. The term should now be understood in terms of adaptation and natural selection. If an eye has a purpose-to see-it is because it has been fashioned for that function by adaptation, or that complex interplay between inheritance and environment, between internal chemistry and the outer world, that scientists term natural selection." (Kurten, B., "The Cave Bear Story: Life and Death of a Vanished Animal," Columbia University Press: New York NY, 1976, pp.15-16) 24/12/2003 "The antiteleological zeal of Mr. Darwin is well known. the vigor with which-as, for instance, in his correspondence with Asa Gray-he repelled the intrusion of teleology into his system betrays his fundamental thought. The antiteleological implication of Darwinism taken in its strictness when it becomes a system of pure accidentalism-is obvious. But it could have been hoped that by now we had got well beyond all that. Some lack of general philosophical acumen must be suspected when it is not fully understood that teleology is in no way inconsistent with-is, rather, necessarily involved in-a complete system of natural causation. Every teleological system implies a complete causomechanical explanation as its instrument. Why, then, should the investigators of the causo-mechanical explanation array themselves in polemic opposition to the very conception of governing purpose? Above all, why should they make their recognition or nonrecognition of teleological factors the test of the acceptability of theories? This gives the disagreeable appearance to the trend of biological speculation-we do not say of biological investigation-that it is less interested in science for science's sake, that is, in the increase of knowledge, than it is in the validation of a naturalistic worldview; that it is dominated, in a word, by philosophical conceptions not derived from science, but imposed on science from without." (Warfield, B.B*., "Review of Vernon L. Kellogg, `Darwinism Today: A Discussion of Present-Day Scientific Criticism of the Darwinian Selection Theories, together with a Brief Account of the Principal and Other Proposed Auxiliary and Alternative Theories of Species-Forming' (New York: Henry Holt, 1907)," Princeton Theological Review, Vol. 6, October 1908, pp.640-50, in Noll M.A. & Livingstone D.N., eds, "B.B. Warfield: Evolution, Science And Scripture: Selected Writings," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 2000, p.250) 26/12/2003 "This text suggests that modern bacteria are evolving very quickly, thanks to their innumerable mutations. Now, this is not true. For millions or even billions of years, bacteria have not transgressed the structural frame within which they have always fluctuated and still do. It is a fact that microbiologists can see in their cultures species of bacteria oscillating around an intermediate form, but this does not mean that two phenomena, which are quite distinct, should be confused ... To vary and to evolve are two different things ... Bacteria, the study of which has formed a great part of the foundation of genetics and molecular biology, are the organisms which, because of their huge numbers, produce the most mutants. ... bacteria, despite their great production of intraspecific varieties, exhibit a great fidelity to their species. The bacillus Escherichia coli ... is the best example. The reader will agree that it is surprising, to say the least, to want to prove evolution and to discover its mechanisms and then to choose as a material for this study a being which practically stabilized a billion years ago! ... I do not consider the spontaneous appearance of resistance to an antibiotic in a nonresistant population of bacteria as evidence. Neither structures nor fundamental functions are involved here. This is so true that variations of this kind, although repeated millions of times, have left bacteria practically unchanged." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," Academic Press: New York, 1977, pp.6,87,107) 29/12/2003 "STEP-PARENTS are no more likely than biological parents to murder their children, according to Swedish researchers. This flies in the face of Canadian findings from over a decade ago, which indicated that having a step-parent is the single greatest risk factor for being maltreated as a child. In 1988, psychologists Margo Wilson and Martin Daly at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, published a landmark paper showing that young children living with at least one non-biological parent were 70 times as likely to be killed as children living with both their biological parents. Wilson and Daly's study looked at 147 children who were murdered in Canada between 1974 and 1983 and concluded that evolutionary biology was at work: parents don't squander resources on children who are not their genetic offspring. Now Magnus Enquist and his colleagues at Stockholm University dispute those findings. They looked at 139 Swedish children killed by a parent figure between 1975 and 1995. ... They found that in families with two parents there was no difference in the risk of children being killed, regardless of whether they were biologically related. `We were a bit suspicious of Daly and Wilson's conclusions, in particular their sharp effect,' says Enquist. `But the fact that we couldn't find anything was also a surprise.' Folklore is filled with stories of evil stepparents, he points out. ... In three of seven cases where the victim had one biological and one nonbiological parent, the genetic parent had committed the murder. Overall, the researchers say, non-genetic parents were not over- represented as offenders. Non-genetic offenders account for 29 per cent of child homicides in Canada and only 7 per cent in Sweden-despite the fact that the proportion of children living with step-parents is four times as high in Sweden as in Canada." (Motluk, A., "Killing off an archetype," New Scientist, Vol. 166, 13 May 2000, p.9) 29/12/2003 "But a controversial new theory would have us believe that the stereotypes of cruel or heartless step- parents that run through folklore have a biological basis. A pair of Canadian psychologists, Margo Wilson and Martin Daly, claim that children are up to 100 times more likely to be abused or killed by a step-parent than by a genetic parent. The[y] ... believe the heightened level of violence suffered by stepchildren is a product of evolutionary programming. Daly and Wilson are in the vanguard of the self-proclaimed `new science' of evolutionary psychology. Evolutionary psychologists believe that all human behavior has been shaped by a ruthless Darwinian calculus of reproductive self-interest. ... In evolutionary terms, then, stepchildren will always be behind the eight ball. There is simply no good Darwinian reason for an adult to `invest' in a child who doesn't share their genes. ... Daly and Wilson have put together an impressive array of statistics from a number of countries, all of which point, in their view, to one conclusion: that step-parents are, in fact, `hugely over-represented' as perpetrators of child abuse, and `even more hugely as child murderers'. ... However, there is a paradox about these grisly statistics, one that seems to upset the whole Darwinian applecart. In all these countries, the total number of children killed by their natural parents is still higher than that killed by step-parents. Evolutionary psychologists have developed some ingenious theories to explain why it is that anyone should commit what amounts to genetic suicide by murdering their own offspring. ... Within the scientific community are many who believe Daly and Wilson's Darwinian view of parental love is flawed, and question their statistical evidence and scientific reasoning. A major study published in 1991 by R.J. Gelles and J.W. Harrop, veteran American researchers on family violence, found that there was no significant difference between the rates of severe violence perpetrated by natural parents and step-parents. And Steven Rose, a professor of biology at the Open University in Britain, and a leading critic of evolutionary psychology, argues that Daly and Wilson have tailored the facts to fit their hypothesis. `There's a huge difference in murder rates between, say, the UK and the US,' says Rose. `For their hypothesis to have any scientific validity, you would expect the rate to be reasonably constant across populations. And even more importantly, the actual percentage of step-parents who kill or abuse a child is tiny. The vast majority are no different from genetic parents: if there really were some deep Darwinian antipathy between step-parents and stepchildren, you would expect a lot more step-parents to be killers, and that simply isn't the case.' Leslie Margolin, a child-abuse researcher at the University of Iowa, is less circumspect, calling Daly and Wilson's theory `patent nonsense'. `Step-parents don't have the same social supports and incentives to care for children as biological parents,' argues Margolin. `They don't have a long shared history with the kids.'. ... in a significant number of instances, stepfathers were encouraged to assault a child by the child's mother. ... This scenario, repeated consistently in the cases Margolin studied, seems to strike at the roots of Daly and Wilson's work. So, why then would a mother jeopardise her `precious Darwinian investments' ... by encouraging a genetic interloper to do them harm? Daly and Wilson shrug off these criticisms. ... In Daly and Wilson's world view, the truth is much simpler: stepparents feel a kind of visceral resentment at `pseudo-parental obligation' that is, in Darwinian terms, against nature. ... Like many of the comparisons evolutionary psychology makes between human and animal behavior, this has a seductive surface appeal. Rose, however, calls it a `crappy just-so story', no more deserving of scientific credibility than Kipling's fables. `If it's natural, and lions do it all the time, then why don't humans?' says Rose ... Rose argues that Daly and Wilson ignore counter-examples from animal and human behavior that might make their theory look shaky. `The real clincher is adoption. Adoptive parents have no genetic relationship to their children, but there's no evidence at all that they are any more violent or abusive towards their children than "natural" parents.'" (Morton, T., "Child-killers: is it in the genes?," The Age, 6 May 2000) 29/12/2003 "It is well known that sociobiologists have darkened immense areas of paper, and imagined they were providing evidence for the inclusive fitness theory, by publishing statistics which show (for example) that people are more likely to mistreat a child they have adopted, or carried over from a previous marriage, than a child of their own current marriage. This sort of thing is, in fact, a major division of the sociobiological industry. But it would not be easy to conceive a more pointless expenditure of effort. For one thing, it is completely unnecessary, because we knew it all long ago. Traditions about cruel stepmothers, the misfortunes of foundlings and the like, are universal and ancient, and no one has ever thought that they are altogether without a good deal of foundation in fact. Parents, like all other humans, are exceedingly imperfect, and some of them really are as bad as adolescent children often imagine them to be. Everyone knows that. But everyone also knows, and always has known, that a child who goes further than its parental home will, in all probability, fare even worse. But the sociobiologists' statistics, about the probability of an adopted child being mistreated, etc., are not only unnecessary: they are completely worthless as evidence for the shared genes theory of kin altruism. The reason is, that they are subject to an enormously high level of what experimental scientists call `noise'. That is, it is quite impossible to determine how far the observed effects are due to the cause which is being 'tested for' - in this case, the actual degree of relatedness and how far they are due to other causes altogether." (Stove D.C., "Darwinian Fairytales," Avebury: Aldershot UK, 1995, pp.149-150. Emphasis original) 29/12/2003 "To a certain extent, of course, the temperature of Sydney, or of anywhere else on earth, does depend on its latitude. Everyone knows this, because everyone knows that temperature falls off systematically, (however irregularly), with increase in latitude. Two places on the same latitude always would have the same temperature at any given moment, if all other things were equal between them, and barring accidents. But then, other things cannot ever all be equal between them. .... The two places always differ in some respect which affects local temperature: elevation, or humidity, or prevailing wind, or surrounding topography, or something. But even if, by some unheard-of fluke, the two places were the same in all such respects, meteorological accidents would nearly always make them differ in temperature at any given time. There would be a windy morning here and a still one there, an electrical storm there but not here, or something of that sort. The result is ... that knowledge of the latitude of a certain place is just about useless for predicting what its temperatures are like ... There is undoubtedly a causal dependence of temperature on latitude, but it is extremely attenuated. ... But the dependence of parental altruism on parents sharing half their genes with offspring, if it is real at all, must be much more attenuated still. For there is no latitude at which temperatures vary as widely as temperatures on earth can vary; whereas ... species in which parents share half their genes with offspring vary in parental altruism as widely as species can vary in that respect. So the knowledge that in a certain species, parents share half their genes with offspring, is even less use, for either explaining or predicting the degree of parental altruism in that species, than the knowledge of a certain place's latitude is, for explaining or predicting its temperature. ... the statement, 'Two species, in both of which parents share half their genes with offspring, would always exhibit the same degree of parental altruism, if all other things were equal between them, and if no accident made them differ in altruism.' ...says extremely little ... the provisos it contains are too stringent ever to be satisfied. ... But, little as the statement says, what reason have we, to think even that little true? We certainly do not have in this case, corresponding to what we do have in the case of temperature and latitude, a systematic (even if irregular) decline in degree of parental altruism, with a declining proportion of genes shared by parents with offspring. Not only do we not have that: we do have reasons, several of them, to think that this statement about shared genes and parental altruism is false." (Stove D.C., "Darwinian Fairytales," Avebury: Aldershot UK, 1995, pp.154-155. Emphasis original) 29/12/2003 "CHAPTER 9. THE PROPHECY OF THE SEVENTY WEEKS Daniel's Prayer, 1-19. The date of the prophecy given as a result of Daniel's deep penitential prayer, is `the first year of Darius' (538 B.C.), `son of Ahasuerus' (Xerxes). Daniel was stirred to intercession for the restoration of his people by reading Jeremiah's prophecies of the 70 years (Jer 25:11-12; 29:10). The Answer-the Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks, 20-27. Jeremiah's prophecy of the 70-year Babylonian captivity is made the basis of a newly revealed panoramic prediction of the entire history of Daniel's people, the Jews, from the rebuilding of Jerusalem's walls until the ultimate establishment of Messiah's earthly kingdom. The figure of 70 weeks is employed. The weeks (Heb. heptads, `sevens") are heptads of years. The total given is 70 heptads, or 490 years. It is a historically complete answer to Daniel's prayer, (1-19), when Israel's national chastisement will be ended, prophetic vision sealed (closed) because it will be fulfilled (cf. Acts 3:21), and everlasting righteousness brought to Israel when she accepts her Messiah at His second advent, 24. The total of 70 weeks ("sevens") is first divided into seven weeks or 49 years, 25. At the beginning of this time `the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem' was issued in the decree of Artaxerxes I to rebuild Jerusalem's walls (Nisan, Man-Apr., 445 B.C., Neh 2). During this period (445-396 B.C.) `the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.' The next division is 62 weeks or 434 years, 26. After this period (plus the first seven weeks, cf. v. 25) `Messiah shall be cut off' (396 B.C. to Mar-Apr., A.D. 30). The 62-week period ended and Christ the `Messiah-Prince' was cut off in death and had nothing, i.e., nothing which was rightly His, no kingdom." (Unger M.F.*, "Unger's Bible Handbook: An Essential Guide to Understanding the Bible," Moody Press: Chicago IL, First Edition, 1966, Second Printing, pp.391-392) 30/12/2003 "As with the new squirrel, we can start by comparing him [the human animal] with other species that appear to be most closely related. From his teeth, his hands, his eyes and various other anatomical features, he is obviously a primate of some sort, but of a very odd kind. just how odd be comes clear when we lay out in a long row the skins of the one hundred and ninety-two living species of monkeys and apes, and then try to insert a human pelt at a suitable point somewhere in this long series. Wherever we put it, it looks out of place. ... But there is another characteristic that cries out for attention: the skin is virtually naked. Except for conspicuous tufts of hair on the head, in the armpits and around the genitals, the skin surface is completely exposed. When compared with the other primate species, the contrast is dramatic. True, some species of monkeys and apes have small naked patches of skin on their rumps, their faces, or their chests, but no where amongst the other one hundred and ninety-two species is there anything even approaching the human condition. At this point and without further investigation, it is justifiable to name this new species the 'naked ape'. ... Staring at this strange specimen and puzzling over the significance of its unique features, the zoologist now has to start making comparisons. Where else is nudity at a premium? The other primates are no help, so it means looking farther afield. A rapid survey of the whole range of the living mammals soon proves that they are remarkably attached to their protective furry covering, and that very few of the 4,237 species in existence have seen fit to abandon it. Unlike their reptilian ancestors, mammals have acquired the great physiological advantage of being able to maintain a constant, high body temperature. This keeps the delicate machinery of the body processes tuned in for top performance. It is not a property to be endangered or discarded lightly. The temperature-controlling devices are of vital importance and the possession of a thick, hairy, insulating coat obviously plays a major role in preventing heat loss. In intense sunlight it will also prevent over-heating and damage to the skin from direct exposure to the sun's rays. If the hair has to go, then clearly there must be a very powerful reason for abolishing it. With few exceptions this drastic step has been taken only when mammals have launched them selves into an entirely new medium. Tile flying mammals, the bats, have been forced to denude their wings, but they have retained their furriness elsewhere and can hardly be counted as naked species. The burrowing mammals have in a few cases-the naked mole rat, the aardvark and the armadillo, for example-reduced their hairy covering. The aquatic mammals such as the whales, dolphins, porpoises, dugongs, manatees and hippopotamuses have also gone naked as part of a general streamlining. But for all the more typical surf ace-dwelling mammals, whether scampering about on the ground or clambering around in the vegetation, a densely hairy hide is the basic rule. Apart from those abnormally heavy giants, the rhinos and the elephants (which have heating and cooling problems peculiar to themselves), the naked ape stands alone, marked off by his nudity from all the thousands of hairy, shaggy or furry landdwelling mammalian species. At this point the zoologist is forced to the conclusion that either he is dealing with a burrowing or an aquatic mammal, or there is something very odd, indeed unique, about the evolutionary history of the naked ape." (Morris D., "The Naked Ape," , Corgi Books: London, 1969, reprint, pp.14-16) 30/12/2003 "Something extraordinary has happened over the past decade. Without any fanfare, scientists the world over have reached a consensus on one of the most profound questions ever to challenge the human mind: Are we alone? In all of this vast and ancient cosmos, is life confined to Earth? No. Almost beyond doubt, life exists elsewhere. Probably, in microbial form at least, it is widespread. And more likely than not, we will find incontestable evidence of it quite soon-perhaps within the next ten to twenty years. These are the core elements of the remarkable new accord that is now routinely accepted by researchers across a spectrum of disciplines." (Darling D.J., "Life Everywhere: The Maverick Science of Astrobiology," Basic Books: New York NY, 2001, p.xi. Emphasis original) 30/12/2003 "To achieve this reductionism even more completely, Epicurus found another ingenious way to help eliminate our natural awe. It may sound, at first, a strange way to do it, but he reduced the universe by expanding it. The universe, according to Epicurus, is unlimited, both in respect to size and in respect to the "number of bodies and the magnitude of the void." 20 That means that, given an infinitude of time with an unlimited number of atoms in an infinite expanse of the void, there will be "an unlimited number of cosmoi [the plural of "cosmos"], and some are similar to this one and some are dissimilar ... [for] there is no obstacle to the unlimitedness of worlds." ... in Epicurus's argument, the hypothetical infinity is useful for asserting that, since there is an unlimited number of atoms and they move eternally and combine easily, then there must be an unlimited number of worlds. This "plurality of worlds" argument is essential to Epicurean materialism, and is used again in the Enlightenment as a weapon to undermine Christianity (and continues to be used to the present day for the same purpose). Why, then, would a plurality of worlds be so useful to Epicureanism? The assertion of a plurality of worlds both rests on, and reinforces, the assumption that creation of complexity is easy, so easy that the combining and recombining of atoms creates not just one world, but many. So easy, indeed, that invoking a divine cause is completely superfluous. There must be a plurality of worlds, the materialist reasons, because an infinite universe during an infinite time using an unlimited number of atoms in perpetual motion, simply must produce a multitude of complexity out of simplicity. This belief is the origin of the "monkey-at-the-typewriter" argument, where even a monkey, randomly pecking away, can produce Shakespearean sonnets, if only it has an infinite amount of time to do it. The goal of this belief is to allow enough time and material so that chance can replace intelligence: if the monkey can replace Shakespeare, then almighty chance can replace almighty God. And so, even though there was no empirical evidence of eternal atoms, no empirical evidence that such atoms combine easily to form complex structures, no empirical evidence that the universe was infinite or the number of atoms unlimited, and no empirical evidence that there actually was a plurality of worlds, the belief in a plurality of worlds actually functioned, for Epicurus, to sustain the undemonstrated arguments on which his system itself rested. That is, the belief in a plurality of worlds reinforced the belief in the simplicity, of the atom and the case with which it could combine to create complexity. Whether for Epicurus or the modern materialist, the circular reinforcement ultimately serves to release adherents of materialism from the disturbing thought that a divine Intelligence is behind it all. Are we surprised to find that the late Carl Sagan, the chief spokesperson for materialism in the last quarter of the twentieth century, calculated that in the Milky Way galaxy alone, there would have to be one million civilizations capable of interstellar communication?" (Wiker B.*, "Moral Darwinism: How We Became Hedonists," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2002, pp.41-42. Emphasis original) 30/12/2003 "The Rare Earth controversy has its roots in ancient Greece, where philosophers asked: Are there other worlds like ours harboring other life like us? Of course, the Greeks' notion of the cosmos was entirely different from ours. The Hellenic kosmos, in its most widely accepted form, placed the Earth at the center of a series of concentric revolving spheres to which the Moon, Sun, planets and stars were fixed like little lights. There was no conception of stars as huge balls of hot gas, or of orbiting extrasolar worlds. This single world geocentric kosmos, in which mankind found itself at the focus, was the only one of which we could be directly aware. To Aristotle, Plato and their followers, it was the only one possible, because more than one kosmoi didn't mesh logically with their other beliefs. The rival Greek school of atomism, however, disagreed. In this vision of nature, all things originated through the chance coming together of little bits of matter in endless combinations in an eternal, infinite void. Worlds and beings of every description were actually predicted, as Epicurus explained in his Letter to Herodotus, "[T]here are infinite worlds, both like and unlike this world of ours ... we must believe that in all worlds there are living creatures and plants and other things we see in this world." Yet these "infinite worlds" with their livings things-these other kosmoi- weren't accessible in any way. Atomists didn't think of them as being somewhere that one might, even in principle, travel to, like the planets of other stars. Instead they were separate and self-contained universes, each with an inhabited Earth at its heart. More than a thousand years later, Aristotle's scheme became the cosmology of choice in Europe-approved by the Church of Rome and woven into medieval Christian teachings. A single inhabited world sat well with the doctrine of incarnation and redemption, but multiple Earths and multiple sentient races did not. For the inhabitants of these worlds to receive salvation, Jesus would have to be born and sacrificed on every one of them. Just as seriously, the atomist cosmos called into question the unique relationship between God and Man that, according to some interpretations, the Bible implied. As long as the Earth was the physical hub of creation, it was easy to believe it was unique. But when Copernicus began the transformation of our cosmic perspective by putting the Sun at the center of the solar system, suddenly our planet began to seem much less privileged. Five hundred years later, the full extent of our mediocrity has become startlingly clear. The Sun is just another star, one of many billions, within one of many billions of galaxies. And the Earth, it seems more and more evident, is one among a host of planets far outnumbering all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the world." (Darling D.J., "Life Everywhere: The Maverick Science of Astrobiology," Basic Books: New York NY, 2001, pp.92-94) 30/12/2003 "Argumentum ad Ignorantiam (argument from ignorance) ... A qualification should be made at this point. In some circumstances it can safely be assumed that if a certain event had occurred, evidence for it would have been discovered by qualified investigators. In such a case it is perfectly reasonable to take the absence of proof of its occurrence as positive proof of its nonoccurrence. Of course, the proof here is not based on ignorance but on our knowledge that if it had occurred it would be known. For example, if a serious security investigation fails to unearth any evidence that Mr. X is a foreign agent, it would be wrong to conclude that their research has left us ignorant. It has rather established that Mr. X is not one. Failure to draw such conclusions is the other side of the bad coin of innuendo, as when one says of a man that there is `no proof' that he is a scoundrel. In some cases not to draw a conclusion is as much a breach of correct reasoning as it would be to draw a mistaken conclusion." (Copi, I.M., "Introduction to Logic," , Macmillan: New York, Seventh Edition, 1986, pp.94-95) 31/12/2003 "We have noted how Darwin spent twenty-one years collecting matter to support his theory of evolution before he published the Origin of Species at the end of 1859. His letters show quite clearly that even at the end, on the very eve of publication, Darwin had not succeeded in convincing himself. On November 23, 1859, he wrote to Lyell, "... Often a cold shudder runs through me, and I have asked myself whether I may not have devoted my life to a phantasy" (Darwin F., ed., "Life and Letters of Charles Darwin", John Murray: London, 1888, ii:229). Two days later he wrote to Huxley. "I had awful misgivings, and thought perhaps I had deluded myself as so many have done" (ibid, ii:232). That was all the actual belief in his theory Darwin was able to muster up with advance copies of his book in the hands of his friends. He saw and knew in his heart that he had produced nothing but a patchwork of incoherent guesses. No man who feels the firm ground of truth beneath his feet writes in such a strain as Darwin wrote in these letters. " (Field, A.N., "The Evolution Hoax," , Tan: Rockford IL, 1971, reprint, p.50) 31/12/2003 "Well, what seems to me the weakest point in the book is the attempt to account for the formation of organs, the making of eyes, &c., by natural selection." [Gray A., letter to Darwin C.R., January 23rd, 1860] ...About the weak points I agree. The eye to this day gives me a cold shudder, but when I think of the fine known gradations, my reason tells me I ought to conquer the cold shudder." [Darwin C.R., letter to Asa Gray, February, 1860] (Darwin F., ed., "The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," , Basic Books: New York NY, Vol. II., 1959, reprint, pp.66,67) 31/12/2003 "Charles Darwin, more cautious than his disciple, recognized the weaknesses of his theory, which are increasingly apparent today. We are not surprised, then, to read in a letter to his friend the botanist Asa Gray: "To this day the eye makes me shudder, but when I think of the fine known gradations, my reason tells me I ought to conquer my fear [Darwin C.R, letter to Asa Gray, February 1860, in Darwin F., ed., "Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," John Murray: London, 1888, Vol. 2, p.273] We fully understand Darwin's fears and wonder what they would have been, had he been confronted with the anatomical and cytological complexity that is revealed by modern biology; he would have been even more worried had he known that selection cannot create anything on its own. We know absolutely nothing