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The following are unclassified quotes posted in my email messages in January-February, 2005.
The date format is dd/mm/yy. See copyright conditions at end.
[Index: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May-Jun, Jul (1), (2), Aug-Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec]
January [top] 1/01/2005 "Today more and more evolutionists are doing what Darwin thought impossible. They are studying the evolutionary process not through fossils but directly, in real time, in the wild: evolution in the flesh. "Evolution" comes from the Latin evolutio, an unrolling, unfolding, opening. Biologists are observing year by year and sometimes even day by day or hour by hour details of life's unrolling and opening, right now. ... Taken together, these new studies suggest that Darwin did not know the strength of his own theory. He vastly underestimated the power of natural selection. Its action is neither rare nor slow. It leads to evolution daily and hourly, all around us, and we can watch." (Weiner, J., "The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time," Alfred A. Knopf: New York NY, 1994, pp.8-9) 2/01/2005 "The evolutionists themselves may have helped to build the trap they have been led to by this line of argument. All too often they have claimed that evolution is a demonstrable fact and have traded on the general reputation of scientists for infallibility. Yet, clearly, evolution is not a "fact" in the sense that the man in the street understands the word. Without a time machine, we cannot prove that birds evolved from reptiles; we can only show that the known fossil record is consistent with this belief. Nor can we prove that natural selection is the mechanism responsible for the whole development of life on earth, which is why alternatives-such as punctuated equilibrium-are being considered by some biologists." (Bowler, P.J., "Evolution: The History of an Idea," , University of California Press: Berkeley CA, Revised edition, 1989, pp.356-357. Emphasis in original) 3/01/2005 "Theologians worry away at the `problem of evil' and a related `problem of suffering.' On the day I originally wrote this paragraph, the British newspapers all carried a terrible story about a bus full of children from a Roman Catholic school that crashed for no obvious reason, with wholesale loss of life. Not for the first time, clerics were in paroxysms over the theological question that a writer on a London newspaper (The Sunday Telegraph) framed this way: `How can you believe in a loving, all-powerful God who allows such a tragedy?' The article went on to quote one priest's reply: `The simple answer is that we do not know why there should be a God who lets these awful things happen. But the horror of the crash, to a Christian, confirms the fact that we live in a world of real values: positive and negative. If the universe was just electrons, there would be no problem of evil or suffering.' On the contrary, if the universe were just electrons and selfish genes, meaningless tragedies like the crashing of his bus are exactly what we should expect, along with equally meaningless good fortune. Such a universe would be neither evil nor good in intention. It would manifest no intentions of any kind. In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. 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. As that unhappy poet A.E. Housman put it: `For Nature, heartless, witless Nature Will neither care nor know.' DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music." (Dawkins, R., "River out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life," Phoenix: London, 1996, pp.154-155) 3/01/2005 "Some Christians use the term `progressive creation' instead of `theistic evolution,' the difference being the suggestion that God interjected occasional acts of creation at critical points throughout the geological ages. Thus, for example, man's soul was created, though his body evolved from an ape-like ancestor. This concept is less acceptable than theistic evolution. It not only charges God with waste and cruelty (through its commitment to the geologic ages) but also with ignorance and impotence. God's postulated intermittent creative efforts show either that He didn't know what He wanted when He started the process or else that He couldn't provide it with enough energy to sustain it until it reached its goal. A god who would have to create man by any such cut-and- dry, discontinuous, injurious method as this can hardly be the omniscient, omnipotent, loving God of the Bible." (Morris, H.M.*, "Evolution Versus the Bible," in Duncan H.*, "Evolution: The Incredible Hoax," , Missionary Crusader: Lubbock TX, 1982, Fourth printing, p.92) 3/01/2005 "[Young-Earth] Creationists understand good as automatically implying lack of animal death, animal suffering or animal predation and as implying efficiency, economy and so forth. But it was God who saw the creation as good, and just as his thoughts are not ours and his ways are not ours, his judgments of good might be a bit beyond ours as well. [Is 55:8-9] In fact, when God speaks of providing prey for young lions, the tone is not one of regret. It is part of God's glory-not some distasteful task-that he provides the young lions with their prey. [Ps 104:21; 145:15; Job 38:39] Nor is it obvious that wastefulness would be a concern to God. Nature produces a lavish profusion of everything from beetles to grass blades to rocks to stars. Indeed, what would wasteful even mean in the context of Omnipotent ability to create anything and everything from nothing with a word?" (Ratzsch, D.L.*, "The Battle of Beginnings: Why Neither Side is Winning the Creation-Evolution Debate", InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL., 1996, p.189) 4/01/2005 "There is no need for me to go into the incredibly complicated chemistry of photosynthesis, which involves whole sequences of chemical reactions and is still not completely understood, despite intensive efforts. There is, however, one rather intriguing point. Photosynthesis depends on a substance known as chlorophyll. It exists in four slightly different forms, but all are based on a ring-like atomic structure formed by four chemical units known as pyrroles. In the middle of the ring is found an atom of magnesium. The four varieties of chlorophyll differ only in the make-up of the tail which is attached to the ring. ... Until chemical evolution had produced this highly specialised structure, photosynthesis was not possible. ... It turns out that there are two distinct chemical systems at work, each with its own enzyme. One builds the components, the other forms them into a ring. So here again we have an improbable would have been useless. Each complements the other. ... Photosynthesis is a very sophisticated solution to the energy problem ... too complex to have arisen at the very start. How then did energy production begin?" ... it is very hard to swallow the idea that chance - or rather a long series of chances - built up such an extremely elaborate mechanism as photosynthesis, a mechanism which depends on substances far more complex than the raw materials which it transforms. Unless there was some inner necessity, some built-in primordial disposition to consolidate into such a pattern, it is past belief that anything so intricate and idiosyncratic should appear." (Taylor, G.R., "The Great Evolution Mystery," Abacus: London, 1983, pp.204-207) 4/01/2005 "Wherefore, so long as gradatory, orderly, and adapted forms in Nature argue design, and at least while the physical cause of variation is utterly unknown and mysterious, we should advise Mr. Darwin to assume, in the philosophy of his hypothesis, that variation has been led along certain beneficial lines. Streams flowing over a sloping plain by gravitation (here the counterpart of natural selection) may have worn their actual channels as they flowed; yet their particular courses may have been assigned; and where we see them forming definite and useful lines of irrigation, after a manner unaccountable on the laws of gravitation and dynamics, we should believe that the distribution was designed." (Gray, A., "Natural Selection Not Inconsistent With Natural Theology," Atlantic Monthly, October 1860, "Darwiniana: Essays and Reviews Pertaining to Darwinism," , Dupree A.H., ed., Belknap: Cambridge MA, 1963, pp.121-122) 4/01/2005 "How did man get his brain? Many years ago Charles Darwin's great contemporary, and co-discoverer with him of the principle of natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace, propounded that simple question. It is a question which has bothered evolutionists ever since, and when Darwin received his copy of an article Wallace had written on this subject he was obviously shaken. It is recorded that he wrote in anguish across the paper, `No!' and underlined the `No' three times heavily in a rising fervor of objection. Today the question asked by Wallace and never satisfactorily answered by Darwin has returned to haunt us. ... It was just at this time that Wallace lifted a voice of lonely protest. The episode is a strange one in the history of science, for Wallace had, independently of Darwin, originally arrived at the same general conclusion as to the nature of the evolutionary process. Nevertheless, only a few years after the publication of Darwin's work, The Origin of Species, Wallace had come to entertain a point of view which astounded and troubled Darwin. Wallace, who had had years of experience with natives of the tropical archipelagoes, abandoned the idea that they were of mentally inferior cast. He did more. He committed the Darwinian heresy of maintaining that their mental powers were far in excess of what they really needed to carry on the simple food-gathering techniques by which they survived. `How, then,' Wallace insisted, `was an organ developed so far beyond the needs of its possessor? Natural selection could only have endowed the savage with a brain a little superior to that of an ape, whereas he actually possesses one but little inferior to that of the average member of our learned societies.' At a time when many primitive peoples were erroneously assumed to speak only in grunts or to chatter like monkeys, Wallace maintained his view of the high intellectual powers of natives by insisting that `the capacity of uttering a variety of distinct articulate sounds and of applying to them an almost infinite amount of modulation ... is not in any way inferior to that of the higher races. An instrument has been developed in advance of the needs of its possessor.' Finally, Wallace challenged the whole Darwinian position on man by insisting that artistic, mathematical, and musical abilities could not be explained on the basis of natural selection and the struggle for existence. Something else, he contended, some unknown spiritual element, must have been at work in the elaboration of the human brain. Why else would men of simple cultures possess the same basic intellectual powers which the Darwinists maintained could be elaborated only by competitive struggle? `If you had not told me you had made these remarks,' Darwin said, `I should have thought they had been added by someone else. I differ grievously from you and am very sorry for it.' He did not, however, supply a valid answer to Wallace's queries. Outside of murmuring about the inherited effects of habit-a contention without scientific validity today - Darwin clung to his original position. Slowly Wallace's challenge was forgotten and a great complacency settled down upon the scientific world." (Eiseley, L.C., "The Real Secret of Piltdown," in "The Immense Journey," , Vintage: New York NY, 1957, reprint, pp.79,83-85) 6/01/2005 "(bara') I, create, make, Creator (Qal); choose, cut down, dispatch, (Piel); be created, be done (Niphal; RSV "yet unborn" in Ps 102:18 [H 19]; "clear ground in Josh 17:15, 18; RSV and ASV "mark" in Ezk 21:19 [H 241). ... The root bara' has the basic meaning "to create." It differs from yasar "to fashion" in that 'he latter primarily emphasizes the shaping of an object while bara' emphasizes the initiation of the object. ... The word is used in the Qal only of God's activity and is thus a purely theological term. This distinctive use of the word is especially appropriate to the concept of creation by divine fiat. The root bara' denotes the concept of "initiating something new" in a number of passages. In Isa 41:20 it is used of the changes that will take place in the Restoration when God effects that which is new and different. It is used of the creation of new things (haddashot) in Isa 48:6-7 and the creation of the new heavens and the new earth (Isa 65:17). Marvels never seen before are described by this word (Ex 34:10), and Jeremiah uses the term of a fundamental change that will take place in the natural order (Jer 31:22). The Psalmist prayed that God would create in him a clean heart (Psa 51:10 [H 121) and coupled this with the petition that God would put a new spirit within him (See also Num 16:30; Isa 4:5; 65:18). The word also possesses the meaning of "bringing into existence" in several passages (Isa 43:1; Ezk 21: 30 [H 35]; 28:13, 15). It is not surprising that this word with its distinctive emphases is used most frequently to describe the creation of the universe and the natural phenomena (Gen 1: 1, 21, 27; 13, etc.). The usages of the term in this sense present a clearly defined theology. The magnitude of God's power is exemplified in creation. This has implications for the weak (Isa 40:26; cf. vv. 27-3 1) and for the unfolding of God's purposes in history (Isa 42:5; 45:12). Creation displays the majesty (Amos 4:13), orderliness (Isa 45:18), and sovereignty (Ps 89:12 [H 131) of God. Anthropologically, the common creation of man forms a plea for unity in Mal 2: 10. And man is seen as created for vanity in Ps 89:47 [H 48]. ... The limitation of this word to divine activity indicates that the area of meaning delineated by the root falls outside the sphere of human ability. Since the word never occurs with the object of the material, and since the primary emphasis of the word is on the newness of the created object, the word lends itself well to the concept of creation ex nihilo, although that concept is not necessarily inherent within the meaning of the word." (McComiskey, T.E.*, "bara'," in Harris R.L., Archer G.L. & Waltke B.K., eds, "Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament," , Moody Press: Chicago IL, 1992, Twelfth Printing, Vol. I, p.127) 6/01/2005 'The first principle is that you must not fool yourself-and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you've not fooled yourself, it's easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that. I would like to add something that's not essential to the science, but something I kind of believe, which is that you should not fool the layman when you're talking as a scientist. .... I'm talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you're maybe wrong, that you ought to have when acting as a scientist. And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen. For example, I was a little surprised when I was talking to a friend who was going to go on the radio. He does work on cosmology and astronomy, and he wondered how he would explain what the applications of this work were. `Well,' I said, `there aren't any.' He said, `Yes, but then we won't get support for more research of this kind.' I think that's kind of dishonest. If you're representing yourself as a scientist, then you should explain to the layman what you're doing and if they don't want to support you under those circumstances, then that's their decision. One example of the principle is this: If you've made up your mind to test a theory, or you want to explain some idea, you should always decide to publish it whichever way it comes out. If we only publish results of a certain kind, we can make the argument look good. We must publish both kinds of results." (Feynman, R.P., "Cargo Cult Science," in "`Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman!': Adventures of a Curious Character," , Unwin Paperbacks: London, Reprinted, 1990, p.343) 7/01/2005 "The Invisibility of Revolutions .... I suggest that there are excellent reasons why revolutions have proved to be so nearly invisible. Both scientists and laymen take much of their image of creative scientific activity from an authoritative source that systematically disguises-partly for important functional reasons- the existence and significance of scientific revolutions. ... the source of authority, I have in mind principally text books of science together with both the popularizations and the philosophical works modeled on them. All three of these categories ... have one thing in common. They address themselves to an already articulated body of problems, data, and theory, most often to the particular set of paradigms to which the scientific community is committed at the time they are written. Textbooks themselves aim to communicate the vocabulary and syntax of a contemporary scientific language. Popularizations attempt to describe these same applications in a language closer to that of everyday life. And philosophy of science, particularly that of the English-speaking world, analyzes the logical structure of the same completed body of scientific knowledge. ... All three record the stable outcome of past revolutions and thus display the bases of the current normal-scientific tradition. To fulfill their function they need not provide authentic information about the way in which those bases were first recognized and then embraced by the profession. In the case of textbooks, at least, there are even good reasons why, in these matters, they should be systematically misleading. ... to an extent unprecedented in other fields, both the layman's and the practitioner's knowledge of science is based on textbooks and a few other types of literature derived from them. Textbooks, however, being pedagogic vehicles for the perpetuation of normal science, have to be rewritten in whole or in part whenever the language, problem-structure, or standards of normal science change. In short, they have to be rewritten in the aftermath of each scientific revolution, and, once rewritten, they inevitably disguise not only the role but the very existence of the revolutions that produced them. Unless he has personally experienced a revolution in his own lifetime, the historical sense either of the working scientist or of the lay reader of textbook literature extends only to the outcome of the most recent revolutions in the field. Textbooks thus begin by truncating the scientist's sense of his discipline's history and then proceed to supply a substitute for what they have eliminated. Characteristically, textbooks of science contain just a bit of history, either in an introductory chapter or, more often in scattered references to the great heroes of an earlier age. From such references both students and professionals come to feel like participants in a long-standing historical tradition. Yet the textbook-derived tradition in which scientists come to sense their participation is one that, in fact, never existed. For reasons that are both obvious and highly functional, science textbooks (and too many of the older histories of science) refer only to that part of the work of past scientists that can easily be viewed as contributions to the state merit and solution of the texts' paradigm problems. Partly by selection and partly by distortion, the scientists of earlier ages are implicitly represented as having worked upon the same set of fixed problems and in accordance with the same set of fixed canons that the most recent revolution in scientific theory and method has made seem scientific. No wonder that textbooks and the historical tradition they imply have to be rewritten after each scientific revolution. And no wonder that, as they are rewritten, science once again comes to seem largely cumulative. Scientists are not, of course the only group that tends to see its discipline's past developing linearly toward its present vantage. The temptation to write history backward is both omnipresent and perennial. But scientists are more affected by the temptation to rewrite history, partly because the results of scientific research show no obvious dependence upon the historical context of the inquiry, and partly because, except during crisis and revolution, the scientist's contemporary position seems so secure. More historical detail whether of science's present or of its past, or more responsibility to the historical details that are presented, could only give artificial status to human idiosyncrasy, error, and confusion. Why dignify what science's best and most persistent efforts have made it possible to discard? The depreciation of historical fact is deeply, and probably functionally, ingrained in the ideology of the scientific profession, the same profession that places the highest of all values upon factual details of other sorts. " (Kuhn, T.S., "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions," , University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, Third edition, 1996, pp.136-138. My emphasis) 8/01/2005 "The Creation Hypothesis (InterVarsity Press, 1994) ... received a remarkably respectful review in Creation/Evolution, a strongly anticreationist journal. Reviewer Arthur Shapiro, professor of zoology at the Davis campus of the University of California, concluded with this paragraph: `I can see Science in the year 2000 running a major feature article on the spread of theistic science as a parallel scientific culture. I can see interviews with the leading figures in history and philosophy of science about how and why this happened. For the moment, the authors of The Creation Hypothesis are realistically defensive. They know their way of looking at the world will not be generally accepted and that they will be restricted for a while to their own journals. ... If they are successful, the day will come when the editorial board of Science will convene in emergency session to decide what to do about a paper which is of the highest quality and utterly unexceptionable, of great and broad interest, and which proceeds from the prior assumption of intelligent design. For a preview of that crisis, you should read this book. Of course, if you are smug enough to think `theistic science' is an oxymoron, you won't.'" Shapiro A.N., Review of Moreland J.P., ed., "The Creation Hypothesis," InterVarsity Press, 1994, Creation/Evolution, Vol. 14, No. 2, 1994, pp.36-37, in Johnson, P.E.*, "Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law, and Education," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1995, p.239) 8/01/2005 "If evolutionary biologists can discover or construct detailed, testable, indirect Darwinian pathways that account for the emergence of irreducibly and minimally complex biological systems like the bacterial flagellum, then more power to them -- intelligent design will quickly pass into oblivion. But until that happens, the eliminative induction that attributes specified complexity to the bacterial flagellum constitutes a legitimate scientific inference. The only way to deny its legitimacy is by appealing to some form of apriorism. The apriorism of choice these days is, of course, naturalism. And that apriorism engenders an argument not just of ignorance but of invincible ignorance. Indeed, any specified complexity (and therefore design) that might actually be present in biological systems becomes invisible as soon as one consents to this apriorism. If biological systems actually are designed, not only won't Van Till see it but he can't see it. This is invincible ignorance."(Dembski W.A.*, "Naturalism's Argument from Invincible Ignorance: A Response to Howard Van Till," Design Inference Website, September 2002. http://www.designinference.com/documents/2002.09.Van_Till_Response.htm) 9/01/2005 "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. ... . The Darwinian struggle does not extrapolate to the tree of life." (Gould, S.J., "The Confusion over Evolution," The New York Review of Books, Vol. 39, No. 19, November 19, 1992, pp.47-54, pp.52-54. http://www.stephenjaygould.org/reviews/gould_confusion.html) 9/01/2005 "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 [lizard-hipped] and the Ornithischia [bird-hipped], 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 extending 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) 9/01/2005 "At first sight there is an important distinction to be made between what might be called 'instantaneous creation' and 'guided evolution'. Modern theologians of any sophistication have given up believing in instantaneous creation. ... many theologians ... smuggle God in by the back door: they allow him some sort of supervisory role over the course that evolution has taken, either influencing key moments in evolutionary history (especially, of course, human evolutionary history), or even meddling more comprehensively in the day-to-day events that add up to evolutionary change. ... In short, divine creation, whether instantaneous or in the form of guided evolution, joins the list of other theories we have considered in this chapter." (Dawkins, R., "The Blind Watchmaker," , Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, pp.316-317) 10/01/2005 "I am delighted to report that the American Scientific Affiliation has supported this strategy of clarification ... The ASA statement notes that the term `evolution' has at least 5 distinct meanings, ranging from the vacuous proposition that there has been `change over time' all the way to George Gaylord Simpson's religiously loaded claim that `Man is the result of a purposeless and natural process that did not have him in mind.' The statement comments that failure to define terms carefully and use them consistently has allowed evolutionary naturalists to use the prestige of science improperly to advance their philosophical position, with a corresponding erosion of support for science education among the broad population of theists. I strongly endorse this new ASA position, not as a solution to the problems we are discussing in these lectures but as a sound first step towards better understanding. That a proposal to define terms carefully and use them consistently will be met with scorn and contempt by the scientific establishment may seem incredible, but I am afraid it is all too likely that this will be the case." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Disestablishing Naturalism," 1992 Founder's Lectures III, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Revised, February 17, 1992. http://www.apologetics.org/articles/founder3.html) 10/01/2005 "Nature's recalcitrance is the ultimately determinative factor (or limiting factor) in the shredding, shaping, or vindicating of any cosmological narrative. The reader will have noted that certain stubborn realities of nature keep coming up time after time, and they serve as the main fuel in the evidentiary debate: (1) the Cambrian explosion, now underscored and heightened in the recent discoveries in China, (2) the general absence of transitional fossils between the higher taxonomic categories outside of the Cambrian, (3) the cell's molecular systems of breathtaking complexity, recently elucidated, and (4) the quiet experiment-driven collapse of confidence in "chemical soup" scenarios for the origin of life. ... They are the stuff of anomalies, which of course in the Kuhnian vision of science may lead eventually to a genuine paradigm crisis. The four scientific realities cited above (a list that could easily be expanded) cannot be ignored in their foundational role as rhetorical weapons in the hands of Design. They and their range of possible interpretations have become the turf on which some of the fiercest battles are now fought. So the recalcitrance of nature, I propose, is the foundation of. the Design assault on the Darwinian paradigm." (Woodward T.E.*, "Doubts about Darwin: A History of Intelligent Design," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 2003, p.200) 10/01/2005 "When the Mars missions were being prepared, the astronomer Donald Menzel and I had a $5 bet as to whether or not `life as on earth' [our precise designation] would be discovered on Mars. The physical scientist Menzel said yes, the evolutionary biologist Mayr said no. who was right is on record. By now it is quite evident that none of the other planets in this solar system is suitable for life. One negative instance, of course, proves nothing. If all suns in the universe have planets (actually a rather dubious assumption), we would have hundreds of millions of planets. Surely, it is argued, some of these should have spawned life. . And I agree, the probability for a multiple origin of a self-replicating nucleic acid-protein aggregate is indeed high [?]. ...What is still entirely uncertain is how often this has happened where it has happened, and how much evolution might have occurred subsequent to the origin of such life. We who live on the earth do not fully appreciate what an inhospitable place most planets must be. To be able to support life they must be just the right distance from their sun, have the right temperature, a sufficient amount of water, a sufficient density to be able to hold an atmosphere, a protection against damaging ultraviolet radiation, and so forth. Furthermore, every planet changes in the course of its history, and the sequence of changes has to be just right. If, for instance, there were too much free oxygen at an early stage, it would destroy life. The total set of prerequisites for the origin and maintenance of life drastically reduces the number of planets that would have been suitable for the origin of life. There is, indeed, the possibility that the combination and sequence of conditions that permitted the origin of life on earth was not duplicated on a single other planet in the universe. I do not make such a claim, and it would not be science if I did, since it would be impossible ever to refute it. However, measured by the possibility of refutation, the claims of the proponents of extraterrestrial life and intelligence are equally outside the bounds of science. The only thing we know for sure is that of the nine planets of the solar system the earth is the only one that has produced life. Let us assume, however, for the sake of the argument that life has originated on some of the supposedly hundreds of millions of planets in the universe. Since we do not know how many suns have planets, the mentioned figure might be a gross overestimation. ... It is interesting and rather characteristic that almost all the promoters of the thesis of extraterrestrial intelligence are physical scientists. They are joined by a number of molecular and microbial biologists, and by a handful of romantic organismic biologists. Why are those biologists who have the greatest expertise on evolutionary probabilistics so almost unanimously skeptical of the probability of extraterrestrial intelligence? It seems to me that this is to a large extent due to the tendency of physical scientists to think deterministically, while organismic biologists know how opportunistic and unpredictable evolution is. ... What about evolution of intelligence among the animals? .... Of the 50 or so original phyla of animals, only one, that of the chordates, eventually gave rise to intelligent life, but the world still had to wait some 500 my before this happened. At first, still in Paleozoic, the vertebrates appeared in exceedingly diverse types, formerly all lumped together under the name `Fishes,' .... Among this multitude of types, only one gave rise to the amphibians; and among the various types of amphibians, only one to the reptiles. .... Among these numerous types of reptiles, only two, the pseudosuchians (ancestors of birds) and the therapsids (ancestors of mammals), gave rise to descendants to some of whom a reasonable degree of intelligence can be attributed. But with all my bias in favor of birds, I would not say that a raven or parrot has the amount and kind of intelligence to found a civilization. So we have to continue with the mammalian class. .... Forms with a rather high development of the central nervous system and a good deal of intelligence are quite common among the mammals, but only one of these many orders led to the development of a truly superior intelligent life, the primates. ... but only the anthropoid apes produced intelligence that clearly surpasses other mammals. Only after 18 of the 25 my of the existence of the anthropoid apes, and after a splitting of this major lineage into a number of minor lineages, like the gibbons (and relatives), the orangutan (and relatives), the African apes (chimpanzee and gorilla), and a considerable number of extinct lineages, did the lineage emerge which eventually, less than one-third of a million years ago, led to Homo sapiens. The reason why I have buried you under this mass of tedious detail is to make one point, but an all-important one. In conflict with the thinking of those who see a straight line from the origin of life to intelligent man, I have shown that at each level of this pathway there were scores, if not hundreds, of branching points and independently evolving phyletic lines, with only a single one in each case forming the ancestral lineage that ultimately gave rise to Man. ... The point I am making is the incredible improbability of genuine intelligence emerging. There were probably more than a billion species of animals on earth, belonging to many millions of separate phyletic lines, all living on this planet earth which is hospitable to intelligence, and yet only a single one of them succeeded in producing intelligence. ... One additional improbability must be mentioned. Somehow, the supporters of SETI naively assume that `intelligence' means developing a technology capable of intragalactic or even intergalactic communication. But such a development is highly improbable. For instance, Neanderthal Man, living 100,000 years ago, had a brain as big as ours. Yet, his `civilization' was utterly rudimentary. The wonderful civilizations of the Greeks, the Chinese, the Mayas, or the Renaissance, although they were created by people who were for all intents and purposes physically identical with us, never developed such a technology, and neither did we until a few years ago. The assumption that any intelligent extraterrestrial life must have the technology and mode of thinking of late twentieth-century Man is unbelievably naive. ... Civilizations, as human history demonstrates, are fleeting moments in the history of an intelligent species. For two civilizations to communicate with each other, it is necessary that they flourish simultaneously. ... I am trying to demonstrate ... that even if there were intelligent extraterrestrial life, and even if it had developed a highly sophisticated technology ... the timing of their efforts and those of our engineers would have to coincide to an altogether improbable degree, considering the amounts of astronomical time available. Every aspect of `extraterrestrial intelligence' that we consider confronts us with astronomically low probabilities. If one multiplies these with each other, one comes out so close to zero that it is zero for all practical purposes. This was already pointed out by Simpson in 1964. Those biologists who doubt the probability of ever establishing contact with extraterrestrial intelligent life if it should exist do not `deny categorically the possibility of extraterrestrial intelligence,' as they have been accused. How could they? There are no facts that would permit such a categorical denial. Nor have I seen a published statement of such a categorical denial. All they claim is that the probabilities are close to zero. This is why evolutionary biologists, as a group, are so skeptical of the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence, and even more so of any possibility of communicating with it, if it exists. In my views SETI is a deplorable waste of taxpayers' money, money that could be spent more usefully for other purposes." (Mayr, E.W., "Toward a New Philosophy of Biology: Observations of an Evolutionist," Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA, 1988, pp.67-73) 11/01/2005 "My philosopher friend went to great lengths to establish the both/and logic as a superior way by which to establish truth. `So, Dr. Zacharias,' he said, `when you see one Hindu affirming that God is personal and another insisting that God is not personal, just because it is contradictory you should not see it as a problem. The real problem is that you are seeing that contradiction as a Westerner when you should be approaching it as an Easterner The both/and is the Eastern way of viewing reality.' Again I asked him to strike out the last line of his conclusion on the both/and system, but of course he did not. After he had belabored these two ideas of either/or and both/and for some time and carried on his tirade that we ought not to study truth from a Western point of view but rather from an Eastern viewpoint, I finally asked if I could interrupt his unpunctuated train of thought and raise one question. He agreed and put down his pencil. I said, `Sir, are you telling me that when I am studying Hinduism I either use the both/and system of logic or nothing else?' There was pin-drop silence for what seemed an eternity. I repeated my question: `Are you telling me that when I am studying Hinduism I either use the both/and logic or nothing else? Have I got that right?' He threw his head back and said, `The either/or does seem to emerge, doesn't it?' `Indeed, it does emerge,' I said. `And as a matter of fact, even in India we look both ways before we cross the street it is either the bus or me, not both of us.' Do you see the mistake he was making? He was using the either/or logic in order to prove the both/and." (Zacharias R.K.*, "Can Man Live Without God," Word Publishing: Dallas TX, 1994, p.129) 12/01/2005 "The Birth of "RNA World" For those who endorsed this reasoning [that RNA could replicate itself without the aid of proteins], a critical breakthrough took place in the 1980s. Colorado State chemist Thomas R. Cech found that RNA, under some circumstances, could act in the manner of a protein. For this insight, he and Yale biochemist Sidney Altman shared the 1989 Nobel Prize. Their discovery was accidental-certain natural RNA molecules were found to have the property of cutting and splicing themselves without the help of a protein assistance. The splicing process was part of their normal maturation within living cells. The name "ribozyme" was coined to describe the newly discovered class of RNA enzymes. Heroic efforts were undertaken to find other things that RNA molecules could do, apart from cutting themselves. Some workers sought RNAs that could function as medicinal agents, by destroying viruses. But for others, the discovery of a ribozyme that could act as a replicase became a prominent goal. If such a replicase were available, Spiegelman-Eigen-type experiments on evolution in the test tube could be conducted in a much more interesting way. An RNA molecule would be copied while an RNA relative (or identical twin) acted as the midwife for reproduction. Mutations would affect both functions, and novel and unexpected results might emerge, shedding new light on natural selection. A number of scientists felt that such experiments would provide the key clue to the origin of life. A germinal paper was published in 1986 by Walter Gilbert. He had shared the Nobel Prize in chemistry with Fred Sanger for the development of methods to read out the information stored in the DNA in living organ isms. With early training in physics, Gilbert had an inclination to theoretical speculation not usually found in biologists. In his paper he combined the earlier naked gene idea with new information about ribozymes and applied them to the origin of life: "The first stage of evolution proceeds, then, by RNA molecules performing the catalytic activities necessary to assemble themselves out of-nucleotide soup." He applied the name "RNA world" to his vision of a biosphere in which RNA performed all the key functions before proteins entered the scene. The name and the idea caught on. For an example, I need only turn to the very widely used textbook from which I teach biochemistry. It features a section with the heading (in capital letters): "RNA probably came before DNA and proteins in evolution." Within the text, the author writes of an ancient epic "that probably began when RNA alone wrote the script, directed the action, and played all the key parts." Many other sources have reacted in the same way, some dropping the word "probably." Efforts to fill those key parts, including the replicase, have moved slowly, however. Nature has not been helpful, leaving no trace of most of these presumed players. In the absence of any clue, scientists have at tempted to prepare an RNA replicase on their own and have run head-on into the connection problem. The number of possibilities to be examined in this hunt is staggering. For example, if scientists wished to prepare a mixture that contained one molecule of every possible RNA with a length of 100 nucleotides, at the concentrations usually chosen for biochemical research, they would need a container about eight times the diameter of our solar system to hold it. Obviously, some shortcuts are needed. Biochemists such as Jack W Szostak at Massachusetts General Hospital and Gerald E Joyce at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, have been ingenious in discovering them. Using commercial synthesizers, protein enzymes, and a host of elegant techniques, researchers prepare more limited RNA mixtures with "only" 100 trillion molecules. Elaborate multistep selection techniques are used to separate molecules that may have some abilities of the type they are seeking. These candidates are then allowed to multiply, using protein replicases. Their connection order is deciphered, and the information is used as the starting point for the next wave of experiments. In this quest for new kinds of ribozymes, good progress has been made in isolating species that resemble ones already in the menagerie. Gerald Joyce, for example, has prepared a ribozyme that cuts up DNA rather than RNA. The search for an RNA replicase has gone more slowly. I will let Dr. Joyce present the adventure in his own words: `If one believes that an RNA-based life form is possible, then why not make one in the laboratory? ... A research biochemist knows how to obtain the components of RNA. They can be bought from a chemical supply house! These components are available as pure compounds having only the proper handedness. They can be assembled in the laboratory to produce RNA. The challenge is to devise RNA molecules that have the ability to direct their own replication.... RNA evolution can be made to occur, leading to the evolution of new and interesting RNAs whose functional properties conform to the demands of the experimenter. . . . It is probably only a matter of time, to be measured in years rather than decades, before a self-sustained RNA evolving system can be demonstrated in the laboratory. This would be a case in which a DNA-and protein-based life form, namely a human biochemist, gives rise to an RNA-based life form, an interesting reversal of the sequence of events that occurred during the early history of life on Earth.' When that event takes place, the media will probably announce it as the demonstration of a crucial step in the origin of life. I would agree, with one modification. The concept that the scientists are illustrating is one of intelligent design. No better term can be applied to a quest in which chemists are attempting to prepare a living system in the laboratory, using all the ingenuity and technical resources at their disposal. Whether they use synthetic chemicals or materials isolated from nature, we would be justified in calling the living system artificial or human-made life. (Shapiro R., "Planetary Dreams: The Quest to Discover Life beyond Earth," John Wiley & Sons: New York NY, 1999, pp.102104. My emphasis): 12/01/2005 "The search for ribozymes evokes the same feeling of achievement and beauty in me that I get when I see a skilled golfer playing a difficult course at well under par. To imagine that related events could take place on their own appears as likely as the idea that the golf ball could play its own way around the course without the golfer. We can, of course imagine that natural forces would lend a helping hand. A hurricane could move the ball down the course, and occasional floods might "putt" the ball into the hole. A small earthquake could then remove it and place it on the next tee. Perhaps each of these events could be simulated if we tried hard enough. But to insist that all of these events be linked together and move in an appropriate direction puts our origin into the realm of Morowitz's odds [10100,000,000,000 to 1]." (Shapiro R., "Planetary Dreams: The Quest to Discover Life beyond Earth," John Wiley & Sons: New York NY, 1999, p.104. My emphasis) 12/01/2005 "Darwin reluctantly admitted the existence of other mechanisms of evolution, but he was convinced that natural selection is the most important evolutionary agent. On this point he had little company; friends and foes alike rejected his theory. In our century Darwin has ostensibly been rehabilitated - the currently accepted theory of evolution purports to be a modification of Darwin's theory, usually known under the name of 'Neo Darwinism'. But a curious thing happened: to the general public, and gradually even to the scientific community, Darwin came to stand as the founder of the idea of evolution, 'Darwinism' came to mean 'Evolutionism'. A hundred years ago many knew this to be a mistake and it was duly and repeatedly pointed out - but to no avail. Today very few people are aware of the mistake, and this circumstance has had a rather unexpected consequence. In recent years dissenting voices from many quarters have been raised against the ruling theory." (Lovtrup S., "Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth," Croom Helm: London, 1987, p.5) 13/01/2005 "The Beginning of Chronic Illness. During the first nine months of his return to England, Darwin moved to lodgings in London, studied his Beagle collections, wrote most of his Beagle travel narrative, and gave some papers to the Geological and Zoological societies. He announced his theory of coral atoll formation, which seems to have been generally accepted. He told his friend Fox: `I have plenty of work for the next year or two, and till that is finished I will have no holidays.' He made no complaints about his health and he gained almost sixteen pounds in weight. Over the next twelve months he continued to work at writing up his Beagle geological and zoological observations. He also began to secretly write some evolutionary notebooks. During these months he began complaining of illness. His earliest recorded complaint was in a 20 September 1837 letter to his old Cambridge teacher, Professor Henslow: `I have not been very well of late with an uncomfortable palpitation of the heart ...' .... This September 1837 to August 1838 year of `I have not been very well'-of disturbed feelings, and physical symptoms of `uncomfortable' and `violent' cardiac palpitations, gastric upsets, and headaches -was the beginning of the illness which would persist for most of Darwin's life. ... It seems likely that, during this year of illness, the scientific work which caused Darwin the most pressures-and hence caused most of his illness-was his secret work on evolution. From July 1837 to September 1838 he had written four evolutionary notebooks ... In his first Transmutation Notebook (written July 1837 to February 1838) he discussed his theory of evolution-what he called `My theory.'" (Colp R., "To Be an Invalid: The Illness of Charles Darwin," University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, 1977, Ninth printing, 1981, pp.14-16) 13/01/2005 "As we have already seen, Charles was brought up to be a Christian. Nor was his Christianity formal only, for, as a boy, he learned to bring his problems and troubles to God in prayer-as is evident from his own words: `I well remember in the early part of my school life that I often had to run very quickly to be in time, and from being a fleet runner was generally successful; but when in doubt I prayed earnestly to God to help me, and I well remember that I attributed my success to the prayers and not to my quick running and marvelled how greatly I was aided.' When studying as a medical student at Edinburgh, Charles became convinced that his father would leave him money. ... Yet he remained a Christian and accepted the Bible implicitly. After leaving Edinburgh he seems to have begun to doubt whether all the teachings of the Church of England were Biblical. After some months of consideration he was satisfied and went to Cambridge in order to become a minister of the Gospel. It was at Cambridge that Charles first read Paley's Natural Theology, a book which filled him with delight and which he came to know almost by heart. It was at Cambridge also that he won the friendship of Henslow and Sedgwick- both deeply Christian men. On the other hand it was at Cambridge also that Charles got into bad company, from which he could not or would not drag himself away, and it was there also that he began to fed a hypocrite for seeking ordination without an inward sense that God had called him to the ministry. On his voyage, Charles continued to profess Christianity. But once again, his lack of enthusiasm is somewhat striking. In his letters home, he scarcely ever mentioned God, and then only in almost hackneyed expressions ("God bless you"). For a modern young man, this would be in no way unusual, but we must remember that in the early nineteenth century there was far less reticence than there is to-day about religious matters. Not only in private letters, but even in scientific papers, writers felt no hesitation in speaking of God in a manner that was evidently natural and sincere. And Darwin was no ordinary naval man but one whose avowed object was to spend his life preaching the Gospel as a minister of religion. ...As already noted, on one occasion during the voyage, Darwin quoted the Gospel in defence of a certain point in morals, and was laughed at by the crew. Certainly Fitzroy, his constant companion, was a convinced Christian, so that Darwin was not without Christian companionship. Nor is there any evidence that he reacted strongly against the rather narrow fundamentalism of his friend, for a close friendship between them continued for many years to come. On returning home, Darwin read further books about Christianity. For long he still intended to be ordained, but his notes and specimens kept him busy and he decided to finish his scientific work first of all. This task proved unending and, unconsciously at least, Darwin probably wanted it to be unending. As the years passed, doubts gradually began to assail him. First of all his faith in the Old Testament was shattered. Then he could no longer believe in the miracles of the New. Finally he was left wondering whether Christianity was a Divine revelation at all. For a while, so he tells us, Charles would day-dream of wonderful new MSS that had been unearthed in the Middle East, which would substantiate the Gospel record and set his mind at rest. He cites this as evidence that at heart he truly wanted to believe and that his loss of faith was no fault of his own. Yet ... his words really point to the opposite conclusion for he finishes by saying: `I found it more and more difficult, with free scope given to my imagination, to invent evidence which would convince me.' No remark could reveal more clearly that, while pretending to himself that he wanted to believe, Charles was really determined at all costs not to believe and so, in order to rationalize bis unbele steadily raised the level of evidence he required before he would be convinced.Eventually, of course, he abandoned his earlier plan of seeking ordination and, as he was now well provided for by his father, and further moneys came to him through the death of his brother and the royalties on his books, no financial anxiety was involved.Such are the outward facts about the decline of Darwin's faith in Christianity-the facts recorded by most of his biographers. Yet there is abundant evidence that they tell only half the story. Darwin's loss of faith must have had a far greater effect upon his mind than he himself realized at the time. .... As Darwin's religion faded, so he consecrated his life to science with what has aptly been described as an almost religious enthusiasm. But his illnesses became worse and worse. What was wrong with him? Nothing, apparently. Indeed, his friends generally supposed that he was shamming, for he looked well and that his constitution was sound would appear to follow from the fact that he lived to an old age. yet he was a chronic invalid. ... Psychologically there can be little doubt as to the meaning of these symptoms. Charles Darwin was suffering from a feeling of guilt. But what was worrying him? At first sight, the answer might appear to be clear. As we saw in the last chapter, he experienced considerable anxiety with regard to his theory of evolution-fearing that it might be rejected and damage his reputation. But that this was not primarily at the root of his trouble is clear from the fact that, even after he had won the battle for evolution, even after his reputation was assured, his psychological suffering continued as before. Fear of the outcome of the evolutionary battle, in short, was only a symptom of a deeper and more fundamental anxiety and feeling of guilt. The answer to the riddle is not far to seek. Darwin's trouble almost certainly lay in the suppression of his religious needs. His life was one long attempt to escape from Paley, to escape from the Church, to escape from God. It is this that explains so much that would otherwise be incongruous in his life and character." (Clark R.E.D.*, "Darwin: Before and After: An Examination and Assessment," , Paternoster: Exeter, Devon UK, 1966, reprint, p.81-86. Emphasis in original) 13/01/2005 "I think the educational and psychological studies I mentioned are examples of what I would like to call cargo cult science. In the South Seas there is a cargo cult of people. During the war they saw airplanes land with lots of good materials, and they want the same thing to happen now. So they've arranged to make things like runways, to put fires along the sides of the runways, to make a wooden hut for a man to sit in, with two wooden pieces on his head like headphones and bars of bamboo sticking out like antennas-he's the controller-and they wait for the airplanes to land. They're doing everything right. The form is perfect. It looks exactly the way it looked before. But it doesn't work. No airplanes land. So I call these things cargo cult science, because they follow all the apparent precepts and forms of scientific investigation, but they're missing something essential, because the planes don't land. .... But there is one feature I notice that is generally missing in cargo cult science. ... It's a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty -a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you're doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid-not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you've eliminated by some other experiment, And how they worked-to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated. Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. you must do the best you can-if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong-to explain it. If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it. ... In summary, the idea is to try to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another. ... We've learned from experience that the truth will out. Other experimenters will repeat your experiment and find out whether you were wrong or right. Nature's phenomena will agree or they'll disagree with your theory. And, although you may gain some temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation as a scientist if you haven't tried to be very careful in his kind of work. And it's this type of integrity, this kind of care not to fool yourself, that is missing to a large extent in much of he research in cargo cult science. ... The first principle is that you must not fool yourself-and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you've not fooled yourself, it's easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that. I would like to add something that's not essential to the science, but something I kind of believe, which is that you should not fool the layman when you're talking as a scientist. ... I'm talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, out bending over backwards to show how you're maybe wrong, that you ought to have when acting as a scientist. And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen. For example, I was a little surprised when I was talking to a friend who was going to go on the radio. He does work on cosmology and astronomy, and he wondered how he would explain what the applications of this work were. `Well,' I said, `there aren't any.' He said, `Yes, but then we won't get support for more research of this kind.' I think that's kind of dishonest. If you're representing yourself as a scientist, then you should explain to the layman what you're doing and if they don't want to support you under those circumstances, then that's their decision." (Feynman R.P., "Cargo Cult Science," in "`Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman!': Adventures of a Curious Character," , Unwin Paperbacks: London, 1990, reprint, pp.340-343) 14/01/2005 "Natural selection is the blind watchmaker, blind because it does not see ahead, does not plan consequences, has no purpose in view. Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning. .. We may say that a living body or organ is well designed if it has attributes that an intelligent and knowledgeable engineer might have built into it in order to achieve some sensible purpose, such as flying, swimming, seeing, eating, reproducing, or more generally promoting the survival and replication of the organism's genes. It is not necessary, to suppose that the design of a body-or organ is the best that an engineer could conceive of. ... But any engineer can recognize an object that has been designed, even poorly designed, for a purpose, and he can usually work out what that-purpose is just by looking at the structure of the object." (Dawkins, R., "The Blind Watchmaker," , Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, p.21) 15/01/2005 "Darwin did not invent the struggle for existence. As Eiseley points out, it is an "obvious and self-evident fact," [Eiseley, L.C., "Darwin's Century," Doubleday, 1961, p.52]. and it had been mentioned by naturalists several times before Darwin was born. What Darwin did was to make the phrase a familiar shibboleth, assign a creative role to the process, and praise it as virtuous. In a way that none of my paperback authors would dare to imitate nowadays, he asserted that it favored the welfare of the right sorts: `All that we can do, is to keep steadily in mind that each organic being is striving to increase at a geometrical ratio; that each at some period of its life, during some season of the year, during each generation or at intervals, has to struggle for life, and to suffer great destruction. When we reflect on this struggle, we may console ourselves with the full belief, that the war of nature is not incessant, that no fear is felt, that death is generally prompt, and that the vigorous, the healthy, and the happy survive and multiply.' [Darwin C.R., "The Origin of Species," , Harvard University Press, 1966, reprint, pp.78-79] Darwin's followers, in their enthusiasm for the principle, carried it to extraordinary lengths. [Eiseley, 1961, pp.334-336] T.H. Huxley said that all the molecules within each organism were competing with each other as to which should be re-created. Wilhelm Roux developed the theory that the organs were struggling with each other for nourishment, kidneys against lungs, heart against brain. Neither Darwin nor his immediate followers had much feeling for the internal stability and harmony of the organism. [Eiseley, 1961, p.336] Darwin was not working in a vacuum, but in nineteenth- century England. His ideas, or rather his slogans, were caught up at once and applied in the social sphere. As Simpson says, with much restraint: "These concepts had ethical, ideological, and political repercussions which were, and continue to be, in some cases, unfortunate." [Simpson G.G., "The Meaning of Evolution," , Yale University Press, Revised edition, 1967, p.221] G.B. Shaw, using no restraint, gives a more colorful description: `Never in history, as far as we know, had there been such a determined, richly subsidized, politically organized attempt to persuade the human race that all progress, all prosperity, all salvation, individual and social, depend on an unrestrained conflict for food and money, on the suppression and elimination of the weak by the strong, on Free Trade, Free Contract, Free Competition, Natural Liberty, Laisser-faire: in short, on "doing the other fellow down" with impunity.' [Shaw G.B., "Back to Methuselah," Penguin, 1921, preface] When the first enthusiasm wore off and the bill for the damages came in, the biologists realized that things had gone too far. There had been bad science as well as bad sociology, and they had to put their house in order. This was accomplished in two ways. First, the emphasis on struggle was played down. Instead of being obvious and selfevident, it became almost invisible. Simpson, for example, allows it practically no role in the modern view of evolution: `Struggle is sometimes involved, but it usually is not, and when it is, it may even work against rather than toward natural selection. Advantage in differential reproduction is usually a peaceful process in which the concept of struggle is really irrelevant. It more often involves such things as better integration into the ecological situation, maintenance of a balance of nature, more efficient utilization of available food, better care of the young, elimination of intragroup discords (struggles) that might hamper reproduction, exploitation of environmental possibilities that are not the objects of competition or are less effectively exploited by others. [Simpson,1949, p.222] Second, the influence of cooperation in nature was emphasized. This was not difficult, since cooperation is as obvious and self-evident in nature as struggle had ever been. In Russia, even before the Bolshevik Revolution, the scientists always laid more stress on mutual aid than on competition. Nowadays this is also fashionable in the West. [Huxley J.S., "Evolution, the Modern Synthesis," Allen & Unwin: London, 1942, 479-480] Symbiosis and ecology are popular. Biologists recoil in horror from Tennyson's famous line about "Nature red in tooth and claw." Professor W.C. Allee expresses the modern attitude when he says: "The ... life of animals shows two major tendencies: one towards aggressiveness, which is best developed in man and his fellow vertebrates; the other towards ... cooperation. ... I have long experimented upon both tendencies. Of these, the drive toward cooperation ... is the more elusive and the more important." [Allee, W.C., "Biology," in J. Newman, ed., "What Is Science?," Simon & Schuster, 1955, p.243). It is my belief that Allee represents the general opinion of the biologists and would be indorsed by most reasonable men. .... Sir Julian Huxley, for example, goes even further than Simpson in toning down the struggle. He makes the following remarkable statement: "The struggle for existence merely signifies that a portion of each generation is bound to die before it can reproduce itself." [Huxley J.S., "Evolution in Action," Mentor, 1957, p.34.] Here Darwin's original concept is utterly denatured. There is no struggle at all. Some die before maturity, but that sad fact was known to Solomon. It is a truism. Darwin would not regard it as a discovery." (Macbeth N., "Darwin Retried: An Appeal to Reason," Gambit: Boston MA, 1971, pp.56-58) 16/01/2005 "Trouble arose not in the incentive for the Copernican cosmology, but in its execution.... When Copernicus, after considerable toil, managed to complete a fully realized model of the universe based upon the heliocentric hypothesis-the model set forth, eventually, in De Revolutionibus-he found that it worked little better than the Ptolemaic model. One difficulty was that Copernicus, like Aristotle and Eudoxus before him, was enthralled by the Platonic beauty of the sphere-"The sphere," he wrote, echoing Plato, "is the most perfect ... the most capacious of figures ... wherein neither beginning nor end can be found" -and he assumed, accordingly, that the planets move in circular orbits at constant velocities. Actually, as Kepler would establish, the orbits of the planets are elliptical, and planets move more rapidly when close to the sun than when distant from it. Nor was the Copernican universe less intricate than Ptolemy's: Copernicus found it necessary to introduce Ptolemaic epicycles into his model and to move the center of the universe to a point a little away from the sun. Nor did it make consistently more accurate predictions, even in its wretchedly compromised form; for many applications it was less useful. This, in retrospect, was the tragedy of Copernicus's career that while the beauty of the heliocentric hypothesis convinced him that the planets ought to move in perfect circles around the sun, the sky was to declare it false. Settled within the stone walls of Frauenburg Cathedral, in a three-story tower .... Copernicus carried out his sporadic astronomical observations, and tried, in vain, to perfect the heliocentric theory he had outlined while still a young man. For decades he turned it over in his thoughts, a flawed jewel, luminous and obdurate. It would not yield." (Ferris T., "Coming of Age in the Milky Way," , Vintage: London, 1991, reprint, pp.65-66) 17/01/2005 Psalm 104:24-30 (NIV) " You bring darkness, it becomes night, and all the beasts of the forest prowl.  The lions roar for their prey and seek their food from God.  The sun rises, and they steal away; they return and lie down in their dens.  Then man goes out to his work, to his labor until evening.  How many are your works, O LORD ! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.  There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number- living things both large and small.  There the ships go to and fro, and the leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.  These all look to you to give them their food at the proper time.  When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things.  When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust.  When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth. " 17/01/2005 "It is good thus to try in imagination to give to any one species an advantage over another. Probably in no single instance should we know what to do. This ought to convince us of our ignorance on the mutual relations of all organic beings; a conviction as necessary as it is difficult to acquire. All that we can do, is to keep steadily in mind that each organic being is striving to increase in a geometrical ratio; that each at some period of its life, during some season of the year, during each generation or at intervals, has to struggle for life and to suffer great destruction. When we reflect on this struggle, we may console ourselves with the full belief, that the war of nature is not incessant, that no fear is felt, that death is generally prompt, and that the vigorous, the healthy, and the happy survive and multiply." (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.79) 17/01/2005 "But as Darwin clearly pointed out, evolution can proceed only over the dead bodies of the unfit, the losers in the struggle for life. As Darwin wrote in the closing paragraphs of Origin of Species, "the production of higher animals" can only proceed "from the war of nature, from famine and death." Even the evolution of cooperation can proceed only over the dead bodies of those that don't cooperate. Does that sound like the means that God would use to make a world that reflected God's care and concern, God's plan and purpose?" (Parker G.E., "Creation: the Facts of Life," Master Book Publishers: San Diego CA, 1980, p.143) 17/01/2005 Romans 12:14,17-21 (NIV) " Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. ...  Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: `It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' says the Lord. [Dt. 32:35]  On the contrary: `If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.' [Pr 25:21,22 ]  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. " 17/01/2005 Matthew 7:1-5 (NIV) " Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." 18/01/2005 "This is an anti-Darwinism book. It is written both against the Darwinism of Darwin and his 19th century disciples, and against the Darwinism of such influential 20th century Darwinians as G.C. Williams and W.D. Hamilton and their disciples. My object is to show that Darwinism is not true: not true, at any rate, of our species. If it is true, or near enough true, of sponges, snakes, flies, or whatever, I do not mind that. What I do mind is, its being supposed to be true of man. But having said that, I had better add at once that I am not a 'creationist', or even a Christian. In fact I am of no religion. ... I do not even deny that natural selection is probably the cause which is principally responsible for the coming into existence of new species from old ones. I do deny that natural selection is going on within our species now, and that it ever went on in our species, at any time of which anything is known." (Stove D.C., "Darwinian Fairytales," Avebury: Aldershot UK, 1995, p.vii. Emphasis in original) 18/01/2005 "While Darwin was proud of his theory of natural selection, his most important single contribution to the evolutionary argument, he saw as one of its main virtues the fact that it provided a counterblow to the idea of creation. This is made clear in two of his letters to Asa Gray. `I rest on the fact that the theory of natural selection explains many lapses of facts, which, as far as we can see, repeated acts of Creation do not explain,' he told Gray a few weeks after publication of The Origin. `On this latter view we can only say "so it is" and not all "why it is so." Pray do not decide either way till you have read Ch. XIII and the Recapitulation Ch. XIV which will, I think, aid you in balancing facts." And writing in the spring of 1861 of change of species by descent, he said: `That seems to me the turning point. Personally, of course, I care much about Natural Selection; but that seems to me utterly unimportant compared with the question of Creation or Modification.'" [Darwin C.R., Letter to Asa Gray, May 11, 1861]" (Clark R.W., "The Survival of Charles Darwin: A Biography of a Man and an Idea," , Weidenfeld and Nicolson: London, 1985, p.123) 18/01/2005 "Lyell also appears to have agreed with this method of keeping one's religious faith yet not offending science by doing so, and wrote to Darwin, who had told him of his reaction to Wallace. `I quite agree with you that Wallace's sketch of natural selection is admirable,' Lyell said. `I wrote to tell him so after I had read the article, and in regard to the concluding theory, I reminded him that as to the origin of man's intellectual and moral nature I had allowed in my first edition that its introduction was a real innovation, interrupting the uniform course of the causation previously at work on the earth. I was therefore not opposed to his idea, that the Supreme Intelligence might possibly direct variation in a way analogous to that in which even the limited powers of man might guide it in selection, as in the case of the breeder and horticulturist. In other words, as I feel that progressive development or evolution cannot be entirely explained by natural selection, I rather hail Wallace's suggestion that there may be a Supreme Will and Power which may not abdicate its functions of interference, but may guide the forces and laws of Nature. This seems to me the more probable when I consider, not without wonder, that we should be permitted to give rise to a monstrosity like the pouter pigeon, and to cause it to breed true for an indefinite number of generations, certainly not to the advantage of the variety or species so created.' [Lyell C., Letter to Charles Darwin, May 5, 1869]" (Clark R.W., "The Survival of Charles Darwin: A Biography of a Man and an Idea," , Weidenfeld and Nicolson: London, 1985, p.134) 18/01/2005 "I should also say here that I have no professional qualifications of any kind for writing about Darwinism. I am not a biologist: merely a former professional philosopher, who happens to have both 40 odd years' acquaintance with Darwinian literature, and a strong distaste for ridiculous slanders on our species. These are evidently not ideal qualifications for criticising Darwinian views of man. But on the other hand, Darwinism is not yet so arcane a branch of science that criticism of it by an outsider can be automatically assumed to he incompetent." (Stove D.C., "Darwinian Fairytales," Avebury: Aldershot UK, 1995, p.viii) 19/01/2005 "Some friends of the great physicist Enrico Fermi were once trying to persuade him, so the story goes, that an abundance of life and technological civilizations must exist on an almost limitless number of other worlds. `OK,' he said, `but where is everybody?' That was in 1943, and although much has happened since to make a convincing theoretical case for an abundance of life throughout the universe, we are still asking Fermi's question. However, having the advantage of several decades of scientific progress, we are now able to offer possible answers, and technology s available (mainly in radio astronomy) to begin to check our answers. What was once only entertaining speculation has become firmly based in science and technology. Fermi's question is tantalising. A mass of indirect evidence from widely different sources supports the probability that extraterrestrial life and civilizations do exist, yet no one has so far discovered any acceptable direct evidence." (Ashpole E., "Where is Everybody?: The Search for Extraterrestrial intelligence," , Sigma Press: Wilmslow UK, 1997, p.7) 19/01/2005 "The scenario that Dawkins embraced had been formulated by two biologists, Dan Nilsson and Susanne Pelger. They began with their hypothetical eye being already in a formative stage that consisted of a patch of light-receptive cells at the skin's surface that was sandwiched between a transparent protective layer of cells above and a layer of darkly pigmented cells below. By way of mathematical modeling, Nilsson and Pelger calculated, conservatively, that it would take only 400,000 generations for this non-eye region of skin to be transformed into an organ of sight. Even when only a 1 percent change per generation is invoked over what is really a relatively short period of geologic time, Nilsson and Pelger predicted that selection would be able to cause the skin to invaginate, bringing the presumptive retinal layer down with it, and then to fill with fluid of a very low refractive index. Still no functional eye, but then a lens begins to emerge and eventually it achieves a refractive index sufficient to provide sight. The maximum number of tiny steps required to go from the flat to the invaginated structure was estimated at 1,033. It took only 529 more steps to make a lens and put the eye into its final, semi-flattened shape. Absent from this simulation was consideration of the origin of the patch of layered cells in the right place, the development of a variable iris and controlled focusing, the creation of the nervous optic chiasma that is the region in which the optic nerves cross over, and the innervation of the eyeballs by the optic nerves, which constitute one of the twelve pairs of primary nerves that emanate from the brain itself. Curiously lacking, as well, was any discussion by Dawkins of the selection pressure that would have set the process in motion and of the selective advantage members of more than 399,000 generations of their species would have enjoyed as they served as conduits for this ever- invaginating, liquid-filled pair of pockets in their head region. But, once the process had taken off on this trajectory, there was, as Dawkins saw it, no turning back. For, in his view of evolution, `[u]nlike human designers, natural selection can't go downhill, not even if there is a tempting higher hill on the other side of the valley.' It is, however, one thing to model how such changes might have occurred seamlessly and gradually, and another to have a basis for doing so." (Schwartz J.H., "Sudden Origins: Fossils, Genes, and the Emergence of Species," John Wiley & Sons: New York NY, 1999, pp.361-362) 20/01/2005 Revelation 21:1-8 (NIV). The New Jerusalem.  Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."  He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."  He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.  He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.  But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars-their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."] 21/01/2005 "In general, then, evolutionary algorithms generate not true specified complexity but at best the appearance of specified complexity. This claim is reminiscent of one made by Richard Dawkins. On the opening page of The Blind, Watchmaker he states, "Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose." Just as the Darwinian mechanism does not generate actual design but only its appearance, so too the Darwinian mechanism does not generate actual specified complexity but only its appearance. " (Dembski, W.A.*, "No Free Lunch: Why Specified Complexity Cannot Be Purchased without Intelligence," Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham MD, 2002, p.183. Emphasis in original) 21/01/2005 "DARWINISTS SPEAK OF `NATURAL SELECTION' AS IF IT WERE A CREATIVE force, but it is really just a fancy name for nonrandorn death. From a Darwinian viewpoint, however, the presence of a lot of fossils of extinct creatures testifies to the emergence of newer, fitter forms of life that prevailed in the struggle for existence. Extinction of the unfit is also cited as evidence against intelligent design in biology. Why would a wise Creator design creatures that were unfit to survive? In fact, there is no reason to believe that extinct forms of life were any less fit to survive under the normal conditions of their time than are modern plants and animals, including ourselves. Whatever the true explanation of extinctions may be, the Darwinian explanation finds no support whatever in the fossil evidence, as David Raup explains in Extinction: Bad Genes or Bad Luck (Norton, 1991) [http://www.arn.org/docs/johnson/raup.htm]. This essay has a poignant history for me. While Darwin on Trial was in page proofs, an editor from The Atlantic phoned with an offer to let me write a long article based on the book for his magazine. Alas, I had already published just such an article in First Things-an estimable journal, but one of far less circulation. Under the circumstances the editor withdrew the offer but, as a consolation prize, allowed me to review the book of my choice. I picked the Raup volume and set to work establishing my thesis that the Darwinian theory of extinction cannot be separated from the Darwinian theory of biological creation. The piece barely made it to publication, as it was assigned to a subeditor who was an enthusiastic Darwinist and thought my line of reasoning was crazy. It was carried in the February 1992 issue. Letters to the editor were carried in three subsequent issues of the magazine. All the published letters were vehemently hostile, but Raup himself wrote to me privately and said I was right on target." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Extinction: Bad Genes or Bad Luck?," in "Objections Sustained: Subversive Essays on Evolution, Law & Culture," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1998, p.41. Emphasis original) 21/01/2005 "The notion that slow, gentle pressure produces extinction is part of the Darwinian paradigm. In The Origin of Species, Darwin used the metaphor of a log of wood with many wedges driven into its surface. Newly driven wedges were the newly evolved species. With crowding of wedges (species), each new wedge displaced and expelled old ones from the log. The clear implication is that gentle pressure exerted by new and better-adapted species leads to the extinction of one or more incumbent species. This idea is appealing and has been learned by generations of biology students. But its verification from actual field data is negligible." (Raup D.M., "Extinction: Bad Genes or Bad Luck?," , Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, 1993, Reprint, pp.184-185) 21/01/2005 "As natural selection acts solely by the preservation of profitable modifications, each new form will tend in a fully stocked country to take the place of, and finally to exterminate, its own less improved parent-form and other less-favoured forms with which it comes into competition. Thus extinction and natural selection go hand in hand. Hence, if we look at each species as descended from some unknown form, both the parent and all the transitional varieties will generally have been exterminated by the very process of the formation and perfection of the new form." (Darwin C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1928, Reprint, pp.156-157) 22/01/2005 "For example, evolution, as defined by the geneticists, is `a change of gene frequencies in populations.'" (Mayr, E.W., "Toward a New Philosophy of Biology: Observations of an Evolutionist," Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA, 1988, p.529) 22/01/2005 "At the genetic level, evolution consists of changes in the genetic constitution of populations." (Ayala F.J. & Kiger J.A. Jr., "Modern Genetics," , Benjamin/Cummings: Menlo Park CA, Second Edition, 1984, p.771) 22/01/2005 "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.610) 22/01/2005 "Evolution The gradual process by which the living world has been developing following the origin of life." (Mayr, E.W., "What Evolution Is," Basic Books: New York NY, 2001, p.286. Emphasis original) 22/01/2005 "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. ... 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., "Introduction: An Overview of Current Evolutionary Biology," Warren L. & Koprowski H., eds, "New Perspectives on Evolution," WileyLiss: New York NY, 1991, p.2) 23/01/2005 "Multiple hypotheses should be proposed whenever possible. Proposing alternative explanations that can answer a question is good science. If we operate with a single hypothesis, especially one we favor, we may direct our investigation toward a hunt for evidence in support of this hypothesis. ... A hypothesis can be falsified by experimental tests, especially if the experiments are repeated with the same results. ... But ... It is impossible to repeat an experiment enough times to be absolutely certain that the results will always be the same. And some false hypotheses make accurate predictions. ... Of the many hypotheses proposed to answer a particular question, the correct explanation may not even be included. Even the most thoroughly tested hypotheses are accepted only conditionally, pending further investigation." (Campbell N.A., Reece J.B. & Mitchell L.G., "Biology," , Benjamin/Cummings: Menlo Park CA, Fifth Edition, 1999, pp.14-15) 23/01/2005 "Thus our term `phyletic gradualism' in general means slow, steady change by degrees.' In particular, it refers to the slow, steady transformation of an entire species. We presented evidence that, contrary to the long-held picture of gradual evolutionary change through time, most species hardly change much at all once they appear in the fossil record-the phenomenon we called `stasis.' We pointed out that paleontologists clung to the myth of gradual adaptive transformation even in the face of plain evidence to the contrary- paleontology's `trade secret,' as Gould later called it. ... neo-Darwinians-right on down through today's ultra- Darwinians-have tenaciously clung to the original Darwinian vision of gradualism. ... The ultra-Darwinian embrace of phyletic gradualism reveals some very serious flaws in their grasp of the basic organization of biological nature." (Eldredge N., "Reinventing Darwin: The Great Evolutionary Debate," Phoenix: London, 1996, pp.63-64) 23/01/2005 "phyletic gradualism A theory holding that macroevolution is merely the operation of microevolution, which operates gradually and more or less continuously over relatively long periods of time. Thus gradual changes eventually will accumulate to the point at which descendants of an ancestral population diverge into separate species, genera, or higher-level taxa." (Allaby M., ed., "Oxford Dictionary of Zoology," , Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, Second Edition, 1999, p.410) 23/01/2005 "Today, it seems nearly everyone is an astrobiologist. A decade ago, I knew essentially none. Why this sudden obsession with a field that encompasses so many diverse areas in both the physical and life sciences? So far, life has not been found to exist away from Earth, although the surge in interest in astrobiology suggests there is intense optimism within at least parts of the science community that this singularity will change in the future. But scientific curiosity alone likely cannot explain the explosive growth of astrobiology. After reading The Living Universe: NASA and the Development of Astrobiology, I came to the conclusion that one of the field's attractions was money--and lots of it." (Bada J.L., "A Field with a Life of Its Own." Review of "The Living Universe: NASA and the Development of Astrobiology," by Steven J. Dick and James E. Strick, Rutgers University Press: Piscataway NJ, 2004. Science, Vol. 307, 7 January 2005, p.46. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/307/5706/46) 23/01/2005 "Well in my book ["Darwin Retried" (1971) ] I pointed out that Goldschmidt in 1940 had propounded the idea that has come to be known as the Hopeful Monster. In desperation about finding any mechanism that was operating slowly and steadily in the Darwinian sense, he stated that it seemed to him impossible to explain evolution on the basis of cumulating tiny little steps. Therefore he was driven to the idea that there must have been something very sudden, large and sudden, and this is why it came to be known as Systemic Mutation, a complete shake-up. Well, it was pointed out that if you shook things up as badly as that and had a new form appearing suddenly, first it would be very unlikely to survive and second, it would be very difficult for it to reproduce because it couldn't find a partner that was equally monstrous and novel. ... Now Goldschmidt was fully aware of this and only suggested that it must be something like that because nothing else worked. He was completely and totally rejected. To be a Goldschmidtian for the next thirty years was impossible. It would have been suicidal in the fraternity. But strange to say, since my book came out almost exactly ten years ago, there has been a great revival of interest in Goldschmidt. He has been rehabilitated in a very big way. Stephen Jay Gould and a number of others are now saying Goldschmidt was on the right track. He didn't produce anything that you could document, but they say it did happen that way in sudden and big jumps, not in cumulating what Darwin called insensible changes." (Macbeth N., "Darwinism: A Time for Funerals," Robert Briggs Associates: San Francisco CA, 1982, p.4) 24/01/2005 "I am a believer that some of the basic statements of neo-Darwinism are vacuous; and I think there is a confusion here, possibly, about whether we are talking about Darwinism or neo-Darwinism. Dr. Medawar mentioned this phrase, `the survival of the fittest,' and it is a very elementary, old-fashioned, long outdated concept; but, of course, this is what Darwin was talking about. By `fittest,' he meant best able to carry out the functions of life, best adapted to some environmental situation and some way of life. By a fit horse, he meant a horse that could gallop fastest and escape best from wolves, or whatever it might be. That is a real theory which is perfectly capable of refutation. What has happened to it since, in the process of turning this into a lot of mathematics, is that `fitness' has been redefined, leaving out anything to do with way of life, simply in terms of leaving offspring. So the theory of neo-Darwinism is a theory of the evolution of the changing of the population in respect to leaving offspring and not in respect to anything else. Nothing else is mentioned in the mathematical theory of neo-Darwinism. It is smuggled in and everybody has in the back of his mind that the animals that leave the largest number of offspring are going to be those best adapted also for eating peculiar vegetation, or something of this sort; but this is not explicit in the theory. All that is explicit in the theory is that they will leave more offspring. There, you do come to what is, in effect, a vacuous statement: Natural selection is that some things leave more offspring than others; and you ask, which leave more offspring than others; and it is those that leave more offspring; and there is nothing more to it than that. The whole real guts of evolution-which is, how do you come to have horses and tigers, and things-is outside the mathematical theory."(Waddington C.H., "Discussion: Paper by Dr. Eden," in Moorhead P.S. & Kaplan M.M., ed., "Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution: A Symposium Held at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, April 25 and 26, 1966," The Wistar Institute Symposium Monograph Number 5, The Wistar Institute Press: Philadelphia PA, 1967, pp.13- 14) 24/01/2005 "It has never been possible to break out of the circle by finding a better word than fittest. But, since something had to be done to restore logical respectability, a new meaning was foisted on the old word. Fitness was redefined to mean "having the most offspring." Mayr says: "...those individuals that have the most offspring are by definition...the fittest ones." [Mayr E., "Animal Species and Evolution," Harvard University Press, 1963, p.183] ... Simpson, the dean of the evolutionists, nails the point down even more firmly, stating that among geneticists fitness has nothing to do with the common understanding of the term: "If genetically red-haired parents have, on an average, a larger proportion of children than blondes or brunettes, then evolution will be in the direction of red hair. If genetically left-handed parents have more children, evolution will be toward left-handedness. The characteristics themselves do not directly matter at all. All that matters is who leaves more descendants over the generations. Natural Selection favors fitness only if you define fitness as leaving more descendants. In fact geneticists do define it that way, which may be confusing to others. To a geneticist fitness has nothing to do with health, strength, good looks, or anything but effectiveness in breeding." [Simpson G.G., "This View of Life," Harcourt, Brace & World, 1964, p.273]" (Macbeth N., "Darwin Retried: An Appeal to Reason," Gambit: Boston MA, 1971, pp.63-64. Emphasis and ellipses original) 24/01/2005 "Goldschmidt had practically no evidence to offer to support his suggestion and I think he recognized that clearly. He found what scraps he could as slightly helpful, but he recognized that he was, to some extent, pipedreaming about it. But he felt it necessary to pipedream because the Synthetic Theory offered nothing. ... He made a frank confession of the terrible lack of any really supportive mechanism behind Darwinism. He was driven to despair. He had thirty years with the fruit flies and he felt they were getting nowhere. He was the man who said you could have a thousand point mutations in one fruit fly ... and it would still be a fruit fly. ... Therefore it must be something bigger. ... I did not espouse the idea of a Hopeful Monster because as far as I can see, as Goldschmidt could see, as any fool can see, it is extremely difficult to document, in fact impossible. It is not a scientific theory, it is only a statement that we are in such terrible shape that it must have been something on the order of a miracle." (Macbeth N., "Darwinism: A time for funerals," Robert Briggs Associates: San Francisco CA, 1982, p.4) 24/01/2005 "Natural selection favors fitness only if you define fitness as leaving more descendants. In fact geneticists do define it that way, which may be confusing to others. To a geneticist fitness has nothing to do with health, strength, good looks, or anything but effectiveness in breeding." [Simpson G.G., "This View of Life," Harcourt, Brace & World, 1964, p.273] The explanation by Simpson just quoted indicates why it is not easy to formulate the theory of natural selection other than as a tautology. It may seem obvious, for example, that it is advantageous for a wild stallion to be able to run faster, but in the Darwinian sense this will be true only to the extent that a faster stallion sires more offspring. ... In all such cases we can presume a characteristic to be advantageous because a species which has it seems to be thriving, but in most cases it is impossible to identify the advantage independently of the outcome. That is why Simpson was so insistent that "advantage" has no inherent meaning other than actual success in reproduction. All we can say is that the individuals which produced the most offspring must have had the qualities required for producing the most offspring." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," , InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second Edition, 1993, p.20) 25/01/2005 "Kimura's estimate is based essentially on an argument first put forward by Haldane (Haldane J.B.S., J.Genet., Vol. 55, 1957, p511); it is this argument which I believe to be erroneous. Haldane bases his argument on the idea of the "cost" of natural selection. The unit step in evolution is the substitution of one allele, say A, for another, a, in a population. This happens because individuals carrying the gene a are killed selectively or because they have a lower fertility. The larger the number of selective deaths, the more rapidly will gene frequencies change. Haldane estimated the total number of selective deaths (that is, deaths of individuals who would have survived had they had the optimum genotype) required to substitute one allele for another. He concluded that, for a diploid population with moderate selective advantage, the total 'cost" of selection would be between 10 and 100 times the population size, per gene substitution. Now there is an upper limit to the number of selective deaths which can occur in one generation. Thus if, for example, a population consisting wholly of individuals of optimal genotype could in favourable circumstances increase by a factor R. then the fraction of selective deaths cannot be greater than (R-1)/R per generation. This places an upper limit on the rate of evolution." (Smith J.M., "`Haldane's Dilemma' and the Rate of Evolution," Nature, Vol. 219, 1968, p.1114) 25/01/2005 "HALDANE'S DILEMMA Consider a population in which a gene A1 confers on its carriers a Darwinian fitness greater than in the carriers of A2. Natural selection acts to enhance the frequency of A1 and to reduce that of A2. This may happen because the progeny of A1 survive more frequently than of A2, or because the former have a greater fecundity, sexual activity, longevity, or any combination of these and other advantages. Whatever the cause, one may say that carriers of A2 are eliminated by `genetic deaths.' Substitution of more favorable for less favorable alleles by natural selection occurs at a `cost,' and imposes upon the population a `substitutional' genetic load. The concept of substitutional load has a paradox at its core. Imagine a population in which every member has a high Darwinian fitness; a new and still more favorable mutation arises; now every member except the carrier of the mutant has a new genetic load that must be eliminated for the population to reach a still higher level of fitness. In 1957 Haldane analyzed the consequences of this situation. During the passage of a favorable mutant from its origin to fixation many individuals have to suffer genetic death; the number of such individuals is generally much greater than the number of individuals alive in any one generation. Crow and Kimura (1970) give the following example of gene substitution `if the typical allele has an initial frequency of l0^-4, a population of one million individuals will have to have nine million genetic deaths each generation if it is to substitute an average of one allele per generation. Or more probably, if there is to be a gene substitution every 100 generations, the average fitness will be lowered by 0.09.' Now, in evolution many genes must be changed to transform one species into another. Granted that most living species produce numbers of progeny far in excess of those needed to have the population survive, it is difficult to understand how evolution can happen at such an enormous cost in genetic deaths. Haldane saw clearly that he was confronted by a dilemma. In his words, `I am quite aware that my conclusions will probably need a drastic revision. But I am convinced that quantitative arguments of the kind here put forward should play a part in all future discussions of evolution." (Dobzhansky T., Ayala F.J., Stebbins G.L. & Valentine J.W. "Evolution," W.H. Freeman & Co: San Francisco CA, 1977, pp.163-164. Emphasis original) 25/01/2005 "But just as evolution is not a steady march of progress, it cannot run backward either. Evolution is change, nothing more or less. Tetrapods took their heroic crawl out of the water 360 million years ago, and their descendants have gone back in more than a dozen times. When they entered the water, they did not degenerate into lancelets, let alone lobe-fins, Instead, they became things altogether new, such as whales." (Zimmer C., "Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea," HarperCollins: New York, 2001, p.135) 25/01/2005 "So, the geologhe geological time scale and the basic facts of biological change over time are totally independent of evolutionary theory. It follows that the documentation of evolution does not depend on Darwinian theory or any other theory. Darwinian theory is just one of several biological mechanisms proposed to explain the evolution we observe to have happened." (Raup D.M., "Evolution and the Fossil Record," Science, Vol. 213, No. 4505, 17 July 1981, p.289) 25/01/2005 "The most consequential change in man's view of the world, of living nature and of himself came with the introduction, over a period of some 100 years beginning only in the 18th century, of the idea of change itself, of change over long periods of time: in a word, of evolution. Man's world view today is dominated by the knowledge that the universe, the stars the earth and all living things have evolved through a long history that was not foreordained or programmed, a history of continual, gradual change shaped by more or less directional natural processes consistent with the laws of physics. Cosmic evolution and biological evolution have that much in common." (Mayr, E.W., "Evolution," Scientific American, Vol. 239, No. 3, September 1978, p.39) 25/01/2005 "Darwin as he articulated his theory of evolution by natural selection. He had identified a powerful mechanism of change in living systems. He had summarized incontrovertible evidence that evolution had taken place in the fundamental sense of change in life over time (species, genera, whole phyla). He had demonstrated the equally fundamental weakness of "multiple creations" as a cause of the different faunas and floras existing in similar climatic regimes (Europe versus North America, for example). His problem was the demonstration of a direct and causal linkage between the evidence of change and the postulated mechanism." (Thomson K.S, "Natural Selection and Evolution's Smoking Gun," American Scientist, Vol. 85, No. 6, November- December 1997, p.516) 25/01/2005 "All of this makes one sympathetic with Nicholas Wade of The New York Times, who recently wrote an article entitled "Leapin' Evolution Is Found in Lizards." This was a report on an experiment in which lizards of the species Anolis sagrei from an island in the Bahamas were released onto an island lacking lizards and with a different vegetation pattern (Losos, Warheit and Schoener 1997). After 10 years, the limb proportions of the experimental population had shifted significantly in the direction predicted on the basis of the new host ecology. Whether the results document a case of evolution depends, of course, on definitions. Certainly it is a form of change over time, and such demonstrations are a necessary requirement for documenting a case of Darwinian evolution caught in flagrante delicto. But it is not sufficient to the case. All evolution is change, but not all change is evolution. " (Thomson K.S, "Natural Selection and Evolution's Smoking Gun," American Scientist, Vol. 85, No. 6, November- December 1997, p.518) 25/01/2005 "All scholarly subjects seem to go through cycles, from periods when most of the answers seem to be known to periods when no one is sure that even the questions are right. Such is the case for evolutionary biology. Twenty years ago Mayr, in his Animal Species and Evolution (1), seemed to have shown that if evolution is a jigsaw puzzle, then at least all the edge pieces were in place. But today we are less confident and the whole subject is in the most exciting ferment. Evolution is both troubled from without by the nagging insistencies of antiscientists and nagged from within by the troubling complexities of genetic and developmental mechanisms and new questions about the central mystery-speciation itself. In looking over recent literature in and around the field of evolutionary theory, I am struck by the necessity to reexamine the simpler foundations of the subject, to distinguish carefully between what we know and what we merely think we know. The first and strongest of our critics to be answered should be ourselves. Scientists can always do themselves a great service by being scrupulously precise about the nature of their statements. Are they statements of fact, strong logical inferences from scientific methods, or hypotheses? In this essay I will attempt to show that the word evolution is currently used in at least three quite separate senses. The first way in which the term evolution has come to be used is the oldest: it is the general sense of change over time." (Thomson K.S., "The Meanings of Evolution," American Scientist, Vol. 70, September-October 1982, pp.529-531, p.530) 25/01/2005 "It was the aim of our nineteenth-century forebears to produce a description of the evolutionary process that would serve biology as Newtonian mechanics had served the physical sciences. The first two meanings of evolution provide the necessary basis for this unifying theory. Change over time is a fact, and descent from common ancestors is based upon such unassailable logic that we act as though it is a fact. Natural selection provides the outline of an explanatory theory. When physicists probed deeper, they found unsuspected complexity and uncertainty. It will be interesting to see what the next twenty years will bring for evolutionary biology." (Thomson K.S., "The Meanings of Evolution," American Scientist, Vol. 70, September-October 1982, pp.529-531, p.531) 25/01/2005 "As science, ID holds that it's possible to seek and study evidence of intelligent design in the physical and biological worlds without positing either the identity or intent of the designer. So far, much of then Darwinian materialism, which is not exactly the same thing as evolution. No serious scientist or informed layperson denies the fact of evolution, in the sense that species come, go and change over time. There's a fossil record of infuriating gaps, wondrous complexity and endless surprises to ponder. The problem with Darwinian materialism is that, as a matter of faith, it holds that all this happened at random...and that, as a matter of dogma, no other explanations may even be considered. (Gold P., "Darwinism in denial?," The Washington Times, August 23, 2001. http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&program=CSCStories&id=1026) 25/01/2005 "If one defines evolution broadly enough (say, as a belief that organisms change over time), then no one seriously denies that evolution has occurred. But the modern theory of neo-Darwinism goes much further. It claims that the evolution of life is driven by a blind process of natural selection acting on random variations, a process that is said to have `no specific direction or goal.' In other words, neo-Darwinism teaches as a matter of scientific truth that life as we know it, including all human life, has behind it no creative intelligence and before it no goal or purpose. It is this more specific claim about evolution that is being challenged today by a growing number of scientists." (West J.G., Jr., "Intelligent design could offer fresh ideas on evolution", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, December 6, 2002. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/98810_idrebut06.shtml) 25/01/2005 "Evolution is still dogmatically upheld, of course. But intellectual opposition is growing rapidly. The collapse of the idea of progress, so strong in Darwin's day, has no doubt played a role. We can now see that supporting evidence for the theory has scarcely been unearthed at all. The late Colin Patterson, a curator of paleontology at the British Museum of Natural History, questioned in the 1980's whether we really know anything about evolution. The supporters of the theory are at their most dogmatic when they tell us that it is a `fact,' but when pressed they say that what they mean by evolution is `change over time.' Oh. Or a `change in gene frequencies.' As Phil Johnson says, this claim is so weak that it is confirmed every time a baby is born. Although portrayed as a science, evolution is more truly an ideology. It is based on the premise of materialism, or naturalism. This may be characterized as the belief that nothing exists except for `molecules in motion' (in Lenin's apt formulation). If materialism is true, then evolution indeed must be true. Organisms do exist, so they must have assembled themselves out of blindly whirling atoms. Evolution, then, is a straightforward deduction from a world view, rather than an observation." (Bethell T., "The Evolution Wars: Good science encounters a bad philosophy," The American Spectator, December 199- January 2000. http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a384e87e563fc.htm) 26/01/2005 "Yes, the micro[evolution] is rather easy, because you can see so much happening when you have artificial breeding of plants and animals. How many varieties of roses are there? How many varieties of maize? Several thousand I think. Look at the incredible variety among dogs: Chihuahuas and St. Bernards, Afghans and bulldogs. ... There's a great flexibility in almost any species, but it doesn't go too far. It comes to the point, and every breeder knows this, when they either go sterile or snap back to the original form. Darwin was aware of this himself, so was Luther Burbank, the greatest breeder of all. This leaves us with an elasticity in the species but nothing like sufficient elasticity to produce something utterly new, not to turn a tree shrew about an inch long into a whale, which is the sort of problem you get with macro-evolution." (Macbeth N., "Darwinism: A time for funerals," Robert Briggs Associates: San Francisco CA, 1982, pp.5-6) 28/01/2005 "The idea of punctuated equilibria comes from Gould and Eldredge. In it they recognize the dominance, in the fossil record, of what they call stasis, that nothing happens and yet new forms appear. So they've come out with the idea that off-stage, invisible to us, there are short bursts of rapid evolution. Then the results, animal or plant, reappear on stage and remain in a state of stasis for the rest of their existence, hundreds of millions of years perhaps. Unfortunately, of course, nobody sees the burst of evolution and it leaves no traces. They try to explain this as perhaps due to the fact that it occurred in a small and remote region and the chances were very slight that fossils would be preserved. This isn't very persuasive after you have heard it a hundred times for all the different creations of both animal and plant. It can't all have happened that way, and again it appears a pipe- dream. It's called the Sewall Wright Effect, or genetic drift, or the colony principle, or the founder principle. I have rather sharp comments by several people, including Ernst Mayr, about its being rather unethical almost for biologists to invoke genetic drift whenever they get in trouble and ... rely on ... the Sewall Wright Effect ... happening to small populations in remote spots, where they don't leave any record. They are in a condition of bankruptcy." (Macbeth N., "Darwinism: A time for funerals," Robert Briggs Associates: San Francisco CA, 1982, pp.6-7) 29/01/2005 "... it's more exciting to think of a meeting held in Chicago in October of 1980. ... There were about 150 scientists of various kinds assembled together, and they spent three or four days on the problems of macroevolution and got absolutely nowhere. They were still arguing punctuated equilibria as though it was something important, which I really don't think it is; it's only a different way of explaining microchanges. They actually had difficulty persuading some of the geneticists that the fossil record showed stasis, this terrible lack of any change at all. Geneticists had apparently not been talking to the palaeontologists or reading their material and they were surprised, literally surprised, that the palaeontologists had found this stasis going on. They had to be persuaded by the testimony of eminent palaeontologists that this was what they found in the fossil record. The fruit-fly men had got rapid change in no time at all. The full record of that conference is probably on tape somewhere, but a great deal was said out in the corridors and in the cloakrooms, etc. that isn't in the record at all, and the impression I got from two or three people who attended it was one of really spectacular bankruptcy. They had no theory whatsoever as to macroevolution. It's still in the condition it was in Goldschmidt's time with Gould and others now recognizing this." (Macbeth, N., "Darwinism: A time for funerals," Robert Briggs Associates: San Francisco CA, 1982, pp.6-7) 29/01/2005 "It is thus likely, to say the least, that major as well as minor changes in evolution have occurred gradually and that the same forces are at work in each case. Nevertheless there is a difference and many of the major changes cannot be considered as simply caused by longer continuation of the more usual sorts of minor changes. For one thing, there is excellent evidence that evolution involving major changes often occurs with unusual rapidity, although, as we have seen, there is no good evidence that it ever occurs instantaneously. The rate of evolution of the insectivore forelimb into the bat wing, to give just one striking example, must have been many times more rapid than any evolution of the bat wing after it had arisen. The whole record attests that the origin of a distinctly new adaptive type normally occurs at a much higher rate than subsequent progressive adaptation and diversification within that type. The rapidity of such shifts from one adaptive level or equilibrium to another has suggested the name `quantum evolution,' under which I have elsewhere discussed this phenomenon at greater length. " (Simpson, G.G., "The Meaning of Evolution: A Study of the History of Life and of its Significance for Man," Yale University Press: New Haven CT, 1949, pp.234-235) 30/01/2005 "Circular Definitions and Question Begging One way to eliminate vagueness and to make sure that abstractions adequately represent constructions is to define the terms carefully. Clear definitions may not solve all difficulties .... Be this as it may, bad definitions multiply them. The most notorious fault with definition is circularity, although formal definitions are circular in the sense that the defining term and the term to be defined are interchangeable. By `circular definition' is meant a definition which attempts to resolve a point at issue by defining a term so as to preempt the point. Such a definition `begs the question.' " (Fearnside, W.W. & Holther, W.B., "Fallacy: The Counterfeit of Argument," Prentice-Hall: Englewood Cliffs NJ, 1959, Eleventh printing, p.165. Emphasis original) 30/01/2005 "Imposing Restrictions ... For while we can indeed impose whatever restrictions we wish, what we cannot do is then without further argument claim that the results of following those restrictions will be truth, approximate truth, self-correction or anything of the sort. The problem is that nature may or may not conform to our stipulations. For instance, suppose that some czar wishes to be a respected scientist but just cannot do much math. One solution to his problem would be to decree that mathematics could not be employed in science-that in what he means by science mathematical concepts are by definition prohibited. Well, the czar's scientists, and even the czar himself, might construct a pretty amazing system. But if nature is fundamentally mathematical, that pretty amazing system would still be pretty amazingly mistaken. The czar cannot both put a priori restrictions on science and claim that the results reflect reality. If nature itself violates those restrictions, the results are going to be wrong. Those who simply stipulate a naturalism in science face exactly the same situation. If nature is not a closed, naturalistic system- that is, if reality does not respect the naturalists' edict-then the science built around that edict cannot be credited a priori with getting at truth, being self-corrective or anything of the sort. Now if we had some rational reason for accepting naturalism as in fact true, then stipulating that science had to be naturalistic in order to have a chance at uncovering genuine truth would make perfect sense. But that would involve making a case for naturalism-not simply decreeing that science was by definition or for convenience naturalistic, which is the path taken by various evolutionists. ... Some people have recognized that confining science to naturalism would nearly guarantee that some truths were forever beyond science should it turn but that supernatural events or processes did at times intersect the empirical realm. And some, recognizing that and faced with the dilemma of either giving up stipulating naturalism in science or risking the possibility that science will be incapable of getting at such truth, have chosen the latter. For instance, Niles Eldredge says, `It could even be true-but it cannot be construed as science,' [Eldredge N., `The Monkey Business' Washington Square: New York NY, 1982, p.134] while Douglas Futuyma adds, `It isn't necessarily wrong. It just is not amenable to scientific investigation.' [Futuyma D., `Science on Trial', Pantheon: New York NY, 1983, p.169] Michael Ruse agrees: `It is not necessarily wrong ... but it is not science ` [Ruse M., `But is It Science?', Prometheus: Buffalo NY, 1996, p301] So if say, we want to know about origins, and if the truth is supernatural, that truth cannot be a part of our science, even if we had some additional access to that truth. One characterization of science that has been popular among scientists is that it is `a search for truth, no holds barred.' On the present view, though, if one had some rationally defensible grounds for thinking that God had ... created ... one would evidently as a scientist by definition have to pretend that one really did not know that particular truth. That particular hold would be barred. But then, exactly what sort of project is science supposed to be if truth is not the, or at least an, ultimate object?" (Ratzsch, D.L.*, "The Battle of Beginnings: Why Neither Side is Winning the Creation-Evolution Debate," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1996, pp.166-168. Emphasis in original) February [top] 1/02/2005 "There is another, far less conclusive, strand of research on prayer and disease that has tried to measure the effects of so-called `intercessory' prayer. This is a more daring enter prise: attempting to measure the effect of prayer not simply on the health of one who prays, but also on the health of others. In one 1969 triple- blind study, a prayer intervention group prayed for ten children with leukemia (the children were not aware they were being prayed for). another eight children served as a control group, for which the intervention group did not pray. (A. number of critics have raised ethical issues about such studies, with reason.) After a fifteen-month period, seven out of ten children in the prayer group were alive; only two of the eight in the control group were alive. The point was to determine whether intercessory prayer could affect disease; however, critics point out that the sample was far too small to draw any conclusions." (Glynn P.*, "God: The Evidence: The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason in a Postsecular World," Forum: Rocklin CA, 1997, p.90) 2/02/2005 "An even tougher problem concerns the coding assignments, i.e. which triplets code for which amino acids. How did these designations come about? As nucleic acid bases and amino acids don't recognize each other directly, but have to deal via chemical intermediaries, there is no obvious reason why particular triplets should go with particular amino acids. Other translations are conceivable. Coded instructions are a good idea, but the actual code seems to be pretty arbitrary. Perhaps it is simply a frozen accident, a random choice that just locked itself in, with no deeper significance." (Davies P.C.W., "The Fifth Miracle: The Search for the Origin of Life," Penguin: Ringwood, Australia, 1998, pp.79-80) 2/02/2005 "The striking utility of encoded genetic data stems from the fact that amino acids `understand' it. The information distributed along a strand of DNA is biologically relevant. In computerspeak, genetic data is semantic data. To bring out this point clearly, consider the way in which the four bases A, C, G and T are arranged in DNA. As explained, these sequences are like letters in an alphabet, and the letters may spell out, in code, the instructions for making proteins. A different sequence of letters would almost certainly be biologically useless. Only a very tiny fraction of all possible sequences spells out a biologically meaningful message, in the same way that only certain very special sequences of letters and words constitute a meaningful book. Another way of expressing this is to say that genes and proteins require exceedingly high degrees of specificity in their structure. As I stated in my list of properties in Chapter 1, living organisms are mysterious not for their complexity per se, but for their tightly specified complexity. To fully comprehend how life arose from non-life we need to know not only how biological information was concentrated, but :also how biologically useful information came to be specified, given that the milieu from which the first organism emerged was presumably just a random mix of molecular building blocks. In short, how did meaningful information emerge spontaneously from incoherent junk?" (Davies P.C.W., "The Fifth Miracle: The Search for the Origin of Life," Penguin: Ringwood, Australia, 1998, pp.81-83. Emphasis in original) 2/02/2005 "The British biologist John Maynard-Smith has described the origin of the code as the most perplexing problem in evolutionary biology. With collaborator Eors Szathmary he writes: `The existing translational machinery is at the same time so complex, so universal, and so essential that it is hard to see how it could have come into existence, or how life could have existed without it.' [Maynard Smith J. & Szathmary E., "The Major Transitions in Evolution," W.H. Freeman: Oxford, 1995, p.81]. (Davies P.C.W., "The Fifth Miracle: The Search for the Origin of Life," Penguin: Ringwood, Australia, 1998, p.79) 3/02/2005 "If evolution is defined simply as shifts in gene frequency within a population, then most creationists accept evolution. ... `By this definition, all of us are evolutionists' (Lubenow M.L., "From Fish to Gish," Creation Life: San Diego CA, 1983, p.34, in Ratzsch, D.L., "The Battle of Beginnings: Why Neither Side is Winning the Creation-Evolution Debate," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1996, pp.88, 209) 5/02/2005 "`Then,' Hawking writes, 'we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason - for then we should know the mind of God.'[Hawking S.W., "A Brief History of Time," Bantam: London, 1988, p.175] Hawking's tone and his conception of the significance of his work are typical of a certain way of presenting science. Almost all popularizers of science - notably, in recent years, Jacob Bronowski and Carl Sagan - say the same kind of things. They say that science is a spectacle of majestic progression, that, in spite of its apparent obscurity, it is a natural and inevitable product of the human imagination, it has fundamental human significance and it is ultimately capable of answering every question. God is often evoked. Sagan in his introduction to Hawking's book says: 'This is also a book about God...or perhaps about the absence of God. The word God fills these pages.' [Ibid, p.x] Bringing God into the equations suggests both the importance and virtue of the scientific enterprise - this, we are being told, is a continuation of the ancient religious quest to find Him and to do His will. The message is that science is the human project. It is what we are intended to do. It is the only adventure. ... This is propaganda, dangerously seductive propaganda. It is all misleading, even offensive, to the lives we actually lead. We are diminished by this rhetoric. It is the rhetoric of what is sometimes called 'scientism' - the belief that science is or can be the complete and only explanation. An important part of any case is that, whether we or more modest scientists like it or not, science possesses an intrinsically domineering quality. This kind of triumphant scientism is built into all science. Opposition tends to be subdued and demoralized to the point where we can no longer identify the damage done by these popularizers." (Appleyard B., "Understanding the Present: Science and the Soul of Modern Man," Picador: London, 1992, pp.1-2. Emphasis in original) 5/02/2005 "Finally they do recognize it, and they have nothing to offer except the faint hope that in epigenesis they will find something sooner or later. ... Gould at present and a number of other people like Professor Lovtrup in Sweden are turning to this idea of epigenesis. The leap forward would not have occurred among the mature specimens of any species. It would have had to be caused by a change in the ontogeny, which is the embryological gestation period. A small change in the early stages of the embryo would produce enormous changes in the final product, and I think that various experiments indicate that this can happen. If you stick a pin into an embryo at various times early on you get a very strange product in the end. You also get one that doesn't live very long and doesn't find partners and reproduce. They are, to some extent, pursuing a pipe-dream here too, hoping that they will find serious evidence for it. I'm not one to say that they never will, but at present it's only a pious hope that something will come out of the idea of epigenesis." (Macbeth N., "Darwinism: A time for funerals," Robert Briggs Associates: San Francisco CA, 1982, pp.7-8) 6/02/2005 "MODERN arguments work in much the same way. Thus for example the recent work of H.B.D. Kettlewell on industrial melanism has certainly confirmed the hypothesis that natural selection takes place in nature. This is the story of the black mutant of the common peppered moth which, as Kettlewell has shown with beautiful precision, increases in numbers in the vicinity of industrial centres and decreases, being more easily exposed to predators, in rural areas. Here, say the neo-Darwinians, is natural selection, that is, evolution, actually going on. But to this we may answer: selection, yes; the colour of moths or snails or mice is clearly controlled by visibility to predators; but `evolution'? Do these observations explain how in the first place there came to be any moths snails or mice at all? By what right are we to extrapolate the pattern by which colour or other such superficial characters are governed to the origin of species, let alone of classes, orders, phyla of living organisms? But, say the neo-Darwinians again, natural selection is the only mechanism we observe in present-day nature. But again, if this were so, we should still have no right to say that the only mechanism we see at work now is the only one that has been at work in all the long past of the living world. ... Because the chance-variation/ natural-selection schema, which through Darwin's work first convinced the world that evolution did in fact happen, still holds-the mind entranced, absorbs into itself all evolutionary data, and at the same time rejects all data not so absorbable." (Grene M., "The Faith of Darwinism," Encounter, Vol. 74, November 1959, pp.48-56, p.52. Emphasis in original) 6/02/2005 "The origin of the [genetic] code is perhaps the most perplexing problem in evolutionary biology. The existing translational machinery is at the same time so complex, so universal, and so essential that it is hard to see how it could have come into existences or how life could have existed without it." (Maynard Smith J. & Szathmary E., "The Major Transitions in Evolution," W.H. Freeman: Oxford UK, 1995, p.81) 6/02/2005 "Theistic evolutionists ... have a credibility problem that stems from their apparent willingness to find support for their compatibilism in the most unlikely places. For example, Denis Lamoureux ... misinterprets a tactical shift by the National Association of Biology Teachers as if it were a genuine change in their position. Make no mistake about it; the NABT remains dedicated to presenting evolution as an `unsupervised, impersonal, unpredictable, and natural process' that was not guided by God or programmed to reach a particular goal. The NABT removed the first two terms from their official statement because they were too explicit in revealing the philosophical agenda. The purposeless and unguided nature of evolution is still implied throughout the statement, and the more politically astute evolutionary naturalists have always considered it safer to pursue their agenda by persistent insinuation rather than by direct statements (which invite refutation)." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Response to Denis O. Lamoureux," in Johnson, P.E. & Lamoureux D.O., "Darwinism Defeated? The Johnson-Lamoureux Debate on Biological Origins," Regent College Publishing: Vancouver, Canada, 1999, pp.54-54) 7/02/2005 "And within the smaller, but still tolerably ample, compass of our planetary home, I would nominate as most worthy of pure awe-a metaphorical miracle, if you will-an aspect of life that most people have never considered, but that strikes me as equal in majesty to our most spiritual projections of infinity and eternity, while falling entirely within the domain of our conceptual understanding and empirical grasp: the continuity of etz chayim, the tree of earthly life, for at least 3.5 billion years, without a single microsecond of disruption. Consider the improbability of such continuity in conventional terms of ordinary probability: Take any phenomenon that begins with a positive value at its inception 3.5 billion years ago, and let the process regulating its existence proceed through time. A line marked zero runs along below the current value. The probability of the phenomenon's descent to zero may be almost incalculably low, but throw the dice of the relevant process billions of times, and the phenomenon just has to hit the zero line eventually. For most processes, the prospect of such an improbable crossing bodes no permanent ill, because an unlikely crash (a year, for example, when a healthy Mark McGwire hits no home runs at all) will quickly be reversed, and ordinary residence well above the zero line reestablished. But life represents a different kind of ultimately fragile system, utterly dependent upon unbroken continuity. For life, the zero line designates a permanent end, not a temporary embarrassment. If life ever touched that line, for one fleeting moment at: any time during 3.5 billion years of sustained history, neither we nor a million species of beetles would grace this planet today. The merest momentary brush with voracious zero dooms all that might have been, forever after. When we consider the magnitude and complexity of the circumstances required to sustain this continuity for so long, and without exception or forgiveness in each of so many components-well, I may be a rationalist at heart, but if anything in the natural world merits a designation as "awesome," I nominate the continuity of the tree of life for 3.5 billion years. The earth experienced several ice ages, but never froze completely, not for a single day. Life fluctuated through episodes of global extinction, but never crossed the zero line, not for one millisecond. DNA has been working all this time, without an hour of vacation or even a moment of pause to remember the extinct brethren of a billion dead branches shed from an evergrowing tree of life. When Protagoras, speaking inclusively despite the standard translation, defined "man" as "the measure of all things," he captured the ambiguity of our feelings and intellect in his implied contrast of diametrically opposite interpretations: the expansion of humanism versus the parochiality of limitation. Eternity and infinity lie too far from the unavoidable standard of our own bodies to secure our comprehension; but life's continuity stands right at the outer border of ultimate fascination: just close enough for intelligibility by the measure of our bodily size and earthly time, but sufficiently far away to inspire maximal awe." (Gould, S.J., "I Have Landed," in "I Have Landed: Splashes and Reflections in Natural History," , Vintage: London, 2003, pp.14-15) 7/02/2005 "Within a few weeks of the date that Miller published his paper [Miller S.L., "A Production of Amino Acids Under Possible Primitive Earth Conditions," Science, Vol. 117, May 15, 1953, pp.528-529], James Watson and Francis Crick published their impressive structure for DNA [Watson J.D. & Crick F.H.C., "Molecular structure of Nucleic Acids," Nature, Vol. 171, 25 April 1953, pp.737-738], which showed how this chemical could function as a gene. But one needed nucleotides, not amino acids, to construct DNA or RNA. I knew that nucleotides were far more intricate than the amino acids that Miller had produced. To form a nucleotide, you have to connect three different chemicals in a very specific way: If you wanted a building block for RNA, for example, you had to select one of four information units (bases): adenine, cytosine, guanine, or uracil, and attach it in an unusual way to the sugar, ribose. The product then had to be united with the mineral, phosphate, to form a nucleotide. In spite of these difficulties, RNA world advocates assumed that the early Earth provided an abundant supply of such substances. To cite one source out of many, Manfred Eigen and his colleague Peter Schuster wrote in 1982, "The building blocks of polynucleotides-the four bases, ribose and phosphate-were available too under prebiotic conditions. Material was available from steadily refilling pools for the formation of polymers, among them polypeptides and polynucleotides." [Eigen M. & Schuster P.J., "Stages of Emerging Life-Five Principles of Early Organization," .J Mol. Evol, Vol. 19, No. 1, 1982, pp.47-61] (If some of the words are unfamiliar to you, substitute RNA for polynucleotide and protein for polypeptide.) I asked Dr. Soup what the basis was for such optimism. Had Miller's experiments produced a bumper harvest of nucleotides in his simulated ocean? Had these substances been found in nonliving sources such as meteorites? He was quick to respond. No, they haven't been found there at all. But many chemists have shown that it's not a problem. They can make these compounds in their labs under `prebiotic conditions,' which mimic those of the early Earth. Juan Oro has shown that you can make adenine and guanine by heating concentrated cyanide solutions, for example. We've known that you can make ribose just by heating up some formaldehyde. Cyanide and formaldehyde are simple chemicals; surely there was a lot of them around. And phosphate is present in many rocks. Cytosine and uracil seemed a problem for a time, but Stanley Miller solved that just a while ago. We still haven't worked how to connect them to the sugar, but some bright fellow will com up with a clever idea sooner or later. Once we have made the nucleotides, we then have to connect them together somehow. Jim Ferris has done a first class job in this area. He's at Rensselaer Polytechnic; he's won the Oparin Medal for his work. Ferris was able to grow pieces of RNA that are over fifty units long, working with mineral surfaces. So we just need to find the right formula for the replicase. We might need to connect as few as thirty units together to get that activity. The total number of combinations of that length is a big number, but Joyce and Szostak can handle it. So we have every reason for optimism. The answer is just around the corner. Dr. Soup looked very content as I ended the interview. A Skeptic's Complaint At this point my narrative gets `up close and personal' as we enter an area that I know extremely well. In composing a presentation for Dr. Soup, I tried to blend the ideas put forth in papers and at meetings by workers in the field of prebiotic synthesis, particularly those who believe that life began with an RNA world. I will quote Jim Ferris for the underlying philosophy: `The first life forms probably contained nucleic acids for the storage of genetic information. Consequently, there must have been a pathway by which the nucleotide building blocks of RNA were synthesized.' [Ferris, J.P. & Usher DA, "Origins of Life," in Zubay G., ed., "Biochemistry," MacMillan: New York NY, 1988, pp.1120-1151] These scientists have tried to identify candidate chemical reactions that lead to RNA under conditions that may have existed on the early Earth. They run their reactions in water, avoid strong acids and alkalis, and use chemicals that they consider "prebiotic" for their experiments. To qualify as prebiotic, a chemical must appear in a Miller-Urey-type reaction or be produced in another `prebiotic' experiment. The scientists have assembled lists of such reactions, which they feel supports their general position. They admit that problems exist but feel that they can be solved by additional work on their part. As Jim Ferris stated, the pathway must have existed. The scientists' job is to locate the correct one. My own opinion has been very different: These reactions, while well carried out in most cases and often ingenious, have nothing whatsoever to do with the origin of life." (Shapiro R., "Planetary Dreams: The Quest to Discover Life beyond Earth," John Wiley & Sons: New York NY, 1999, pp.108-109. Emphasis in original) 7/02/2005 "The Darwinists may have made a serious strategic error in choosing to pursue a campaign of indoctrination in the public schools. Previously, the high school textbooks said relatively little about evolution except that most scientists believe in it, which is hard to dispute. Serious examination of the scientific evidence was postponed until college, and was provided mostly to biology majors and graduate students. Most persons outside the profession had little opportunity to learn how much philosophy was being taught in the name of science, and if they knew what was going on they had no opportunity to mount an effective challenge. The Darwinists themselves have changed that comfortable situation by demanding that the public schools teach a great deal more `about evolution.' What they mean is that the public schools should try much harder to persuade students to believe in Darwinism, not that they should present fairly the evidence that is causing Darwinists so much trouble. What goes on in the public schools is the public's business, however, and even creationists are entitled to point out errors and evasions in the textbooks and teaching materials. Invocations of authority may work for a while, but eventually determined protestors will persuade the public to grant them a fair hearing on the evidence. As many more people outside the Biblical fundamentalist camp learn how deeply committed Darwinists are to opposing theism of any sort, and how little support Darwinism finds in the scientific evidence, the Darwinists may wish that they had never left their sanctuary." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," , InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second Edition, 1993, p.146) 7/02/2005 "I might digress here for a moment to say a word about a strange puzzle in the whole biological world, the so-called persistent type or living fossils. There are an enormous number of plants and animals that haven't changed at all since the curtain went up. Any number of millions or hundreds of millions of years ago the horseshoe crab, the plant called Lycopodium, and the fish called Latimeria, for examples, were to be found in the essential form they still have today. In the early days, by which I mean something like 1960, it was commonly thought that they must somehow or other have found a stable environment and that would be the reason for no change. Why should anybody change if he's got a stable and comfortable environment? In the end they gave up on that. Simpson acknowledges that there is no such thing as a stable environment. Even in the ocean, the temperature and the salinity change, and the other plants and animals change, so that it may be slow and rather small change but there is no such thing as a stable environment. Therefore it seemed that the reason for this incredible stability must be that they had very rigid genetic structures, rigid genotypes. This was a sensible suggestion, but there was no way to test it at the time. Then during the '60's a process called electrophoresis was discovered, and by it they can apparently judge the flexibility, the elasticity, of the genotype. So Lewontin and Selander and two other people about 1970 made a study of Limulus, that's the scientific name for the horseshoe crab. They took the present crabs, which are apparently identical to those of the beginning of time, and put them through the electrophoresis treatment. They discovered that they had just as much elasticity as any other species. There was nothing rigid about them. Very good laboratory work, very interesting conclusion, but at the end of their article which appeared in the quarterly known as "Evolution," they appended the idea that, if it was not a rigid genotype that was causing the stability, it must be something about the environment. It seems to me an odd course of reasoning to start with a conviction that there is no such thing as a stable environment and that it must be the genotype, then you find it isn't the genotype so must be something in the way of a stable environment. Third possibilities are never dreamed of." (Macbeth N., "Darwinism: A time for funerals," Robert Briggs Associates: San Francisco CA, 1982, p.8) 7/02/2005 "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) 7/02/2005 "I found, for instance, Lewontin of Harvard saying about 1974 that population genetics had contributed absolutely nothing to evolutionary theory [e.g. Lewontin R.C., "The Genetic Basis of Evolutionary Change," Columbia University Press: New York NY, 1974, p.189]. He said this in a fat book that he wrote at the time, and he said it several times in the plainest possible language-and italicised! I was very struck with this and I gathered up 4 or 5 reviews of Lewontin's book by specialists in the field and I discovered that not a single one of them ever mentioned this. He was stating that population genetics hadn't achieved a thing, and they just didn't seem to want to discuss that. It was as though the College of Cardinals had heard the Pope muttering that God is dead and they didn't want to go into that subject at all." (Macbeth N., "Darwinism: A time for funerals," Robert Briggs Associates: San Francisco CA, 1982, p.10) 7/02/2005 "For many years population genetics was an immensely rich and powerful theory with virtually no suitable facts on which to operate It was like a complex and exquisite machine, designed to process a raw material that no one had succeeded in mining. Occasionally some unusually clever or lucky prospector would come upon a natural outcrop of high-grade ore, and part of the machinery would be started up to prove to its backers that it really would work. But for the most part the machine was left to the engineers, forever tinkering, forever making improvements, in anticipation of the day when it would be called upon to carry out full production. Quite suddenly the situation has changed. The mother-lode has been tapped and facts in profusion have been poured into the hoppers of this theory machine- And from the other end has issued- nothing. It is not that the machinery does not work, for a great clashing of gears is clearly audible, if not deafening, but it somehow cannot transform into a finished product the great volume of raw material that has been provided. The entire relationship between the theory and the facts needs to be reconsidered." (Lewontin R.C., "The Genetic Basis of Evolutionary Change," Columbia University Press: New York NY, 1974, p.189) 8/02/2005 "We have always underestimated cells. Undoubtedly we still do today. But at least we are no longer as naive as we were when I was a graduate student in the 1960s. Then, most of us viewed cells as containing a giant set of second-order reactions ... But, as it turns out, we can walk and we can talk because the chemistry that makes life possible is much more elaborate and sophisticated than anything we students had ever considered. ... instead of a cell dominated by randomly colliding individual protein molecules, we now know that nearly every major process in a cell is carried out by assemblies of 10 or more protein molecules. And, as it carries out its biological functions, each of these protein assemblies interacts with several other large complexes of proteins. Indeed, the entire cell can be viewed as a factory that contains an elaborate network of interlocking assembly lines, each of which is composed of a set of large protein machines. ... Why do we call the large protein assemblies that underlie cell function protein machines? Precisely because, like the machines invented by humans to deal efficiently with the macroscopic world, these protein assemblies contain highly coordinated moving parts. ... just as it would in a machine of our common experience ... ." (Alberts B., "The Cell as a Collection of Protein Machines: Preparing the Next Generation of Molecular Biologists," Cell, Vol. 92, No. 3, 6 February 1998, pp.291-294, p.291. Emphasis in original. http://makeashorterlink.com/?E28823C6A) 8/02/2005 "The extreme difficulty of obtaining the necessary data, for any quantitative estimation of the efficiency of natural selection makes it seem probable that this theory will be re-established, if it be so, by the collapse of alternative explanations which are more easily attacked by observation and experiment. If so, it will present a parallel to the theory of evolution itself, a theory universally accepted not because it can be proved by logically coherent evidence to be true but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible." (Watson, D.M.S., "Adaptation," Nature, No. 3119, Vol. 124, August 10, 1929, pp.231-234, p.233) 9/02/2005 "The very possibility of a rational science of nature is usually considered to depend on a uniformity in the relations between cause and effect. In the past, religious beliefs have served as a presupposition of the scientific enterprise insofar as they have underwritten that uniformity. Natural philosophers of the seventeenth century would present their work as the search for order in a universe regulated by an intelligent Creator. A created universe, unlike one that had always existed, was one in which the Creator had been free to exercise His will in devising the laws that nature should obey. A doctrine of creation could give coherence to scientific endeavor insofar as it implied a dependable order behind the flux of nature. To say that religious belief could function as a presupposition of science need not entail the strong claim that, without a prior theology, science would never have taken off. But it does mean that the particular conceptions of science held by its pioneers were often informed by theological and metaphysical beliefs. When natural philosophers referred to laws of nature, they were not glibly choosing that metaphor. Laws were the result of legislation by an intelligent deity. Thus the philosopher Rene Descartes (1596-1650) insisted that he was discovering the "laws that God has put into nature." Later, Newton would declare that the regulation of the solar system presupposed the "counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being." A doctrine of creation could underwrite the scientific enterprise in a second respect. If the human mind had been created in such a way that it was matched to the intelligibility of nature, then the possibility of secure scientific knowledge could be affirmed. Some two hundred years after Descartes had formulated his concept of mechanical laws, a proven capacity to discover the laws of nature and to express them mathematically was taken by the first systematic historian of science, William Whewell, as evidence of an affinity between the human and the divine mind. As the astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) had put it, in exposing the geometry of creation one was thinking God's thoughts after Him. The idea of a First Cause, Whewell suggested, was not extracted from natural phenomena. Rather it had been assumed in order that those phenomena could become intelligible to the mind. In addition to providing presuppositions for science, religious doctrines have also offered sanction or justification. This has been a recurring function as scientists have repeatedly had to justify the place of science in their culture. Proponents of scientific inquiry would often argue that God had revealed Himself in two books - the book of His words (the Bible) and the book of His works (nature). (Brooke, J.H., "Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives," , Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1995, Reprinted, pp.19,22. Emphasis in original) 10/02/2005 "Comparative analysis thus deploys various methods to address different biological questions. Generally, comparative analysis is used either in a historical or a nonhistorical context. When we address historical questions, we examine evolutionary events to work out the history of life. For example, on the basis of the comparison of characters, we may attempt to construct classifications of organisms and the evolutionary phylogeny of the group. Often such historical comparisons are not restricted to classification alone but center on the process of evolution behind morphological units, such as jaws, limbs, or eyes. When we make nonhistorical comparisons, as is frequently the case, we look outside an evolutionary context, with no intention of concluding with a classification or elucidation of an evolutionary process. Nonhistorical comparisons are usually extrapolative. For example, by testing a few vertebrate muscles, we may demonstrate that they produce a force of 15 N (newtons) per square centimeter of muscle fiber cross section. Rather than testing all vertebrate muscles, a time-consuming process, we usually assume that other muscles of similar cross section produce a similar force (other things being equal). The discovery of force production in some muscles is extrapolated to others. In medicine, the comparative effects of drugs on rabbits or mice are extrapolated to tentative use in humans. Of course, the assumed similarities upon which an extrapolation is based often do not hold in our analysis. Insight into the human female reproductive cycle is best obtained if we compare the human cycle with those in higher primates because primate reproductive cycles, including the human one, differ significantly from those of other mammals. Extrapolation allows us to make testable predictions. Where tests do not support an extrapolation, science is well served because this forces us to reflect on the assumptions behind the comparison, perhaps to reexamine the initial analysis of structures and to return with improved hypotheses about the animals or systems of interest. Comparison itself is not just a quick and easy device. The point to emphasize is this: Comparison is a tool of insight that guides our analysis and helps us set up hypotheses about the basis of animal design. ... Morphology is central to evolutionary biology as well. Many scientists, in fact, would like to see a discipline devoted to the combined subject, namely, evolutionary morphology. Evidence of past evolutionary changes is inscribed in animal structure. Within the amphibian limb are the structural reminders of its fish fin ancestry; within the wing of a bird are the evidences of its derivation from the reptilian forelimb. Each modern group living today carries forward mementos of the evolutionary course traveled by its ancestors. For many biologists, a study of the morphological products of the past gives insight into the processes that produced them, insight into the natural forces that drove evolutionary changes, and insight into the limitations of evolutionary change." (Kardong K.V., "Vertebrates: Comparative Anatomy, Function, Evolution," , McGraw Hill: Boston MA, Third Edition, 2002, p.2) 10/02/2005 "In the Origin Darwin presented a great deal of evidence in favor of the theory that animals evolve over time. In the following decades biologists searched for and found abundant favorable-and no contrary- evidence that evolution as such has occurred. In the more than a century and a quarter since Darwin's time this evidence has become so overwhelming that biologists no longer speak of evolution as a theory but consider it a fact-as well-established as the fact that the earth rotates around the sun and that the earth is round and not flat. As Dobzhansky has said: 'Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.' Considering evolution to be an established fact, no evolutionist any longer wastes time looking for further evidence. It is only when refuting creationists that one may bother to assemble the powerful evidence that has accumulated in the last 130 years proving evolution." (Mayr, E.W., "This is Biology: The Science of the Living World," Belknap Press: Cambridge MA, 1997, Sixth printing, 1998, p.178) 10/02/2005 "In the argument for design in nature which he advanced here ... Gray made one significant addition. He finally came up to the problem of how to introduce design into the Darwinian system. Variation was the point he seized upon. At least `while the physical cause of variation is utterly unknown and mysterious, we should advise Mr. Darwin to assume, in the philosophy of his hypothesis, that variation has been led along certain beneficial lines.' [Gray A., `Natural Selection Not Inconsistent With Natural Theology,' Atlantic Monthly, October 1860, `Darwiniana: Essays and Reviews Pertaining to Darwinism,' , Dupree A.H., ed., Belknap: Cambridge MA, 1963, pp.121-122] Then followed a figure of speech which would reappear regularly in the debates of the next few years. `Streams flowing over a sloping plain (here the counterpart of natural selection) may have worn their actual channels as they flowed; yet their particular course, may have been assigned; and where we see them forming definite and useful lines of irrigation, after a manner unaccountable on the laws of gravitation and dynamics, we should believe that the distribution was designed.' [p.122] Here at last is a bridge between the Darwinian system which he so heartily appreciated and the Creator in whom he so devoutly believed." (Dupree A.H., "Asa Gray: American Botanist, Friend of Darwin," , The Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore MD, 1988, reprint, pp.296-297) 11/02/2005 "Organisms are unique at the molecular level because they have a mechanism for the storage of historically acquired information, while inanimate matter does not. Perhaps there was an intermediate condition at the time of the origin of life, but for the last three billion years or more this distinction between living and nonliving matter has been complete. All organisms possess a historically evolved genetic program, coded in the DNA of the nucleus (or RNA in some viruses). Nothing comparable exists in the inanimate world, except in man-made machines. The presence of this program gives organisms a peculiar duality, consisting of a genotype and a phenotype. The genotype (unchanged in its components except for occasional mutations) is handed on from generation to generation, but, owing to recombination, in ever new variations. In interaction with the environment, the genotype controls the production of the phenotype, that is, the visible organism which we encounter and study. The genotype (genetic program) is the product of a history that goes back to the origin of life, and thus it incorporates the `experiences' of all ancestors, as Delbruck (1949) said so rightly. It is this which makes organisms historical phenomena. The genotype also endows them with the capacity for goal-directed (teleonomic) processes and activities, a capacity totally absent in the inanimate world." (Mayr, E.W., "Toward a New Philosophy of Biology: Observations of an Evolutionist," Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA, 1988, pp.16-17) 12/02/2005 "evolution. The theory that the existing varieties of plant and animal, so far from having existed more or less unmodified from the beginning of biological time, have come into being through a progressive diversification that has accompanied their biogenetic descent (see BIOGENESIS) from their ancestors. Although the theory had been adumbrated very many times before the publication in 1859 of Darwin's The Origin of Species, it was Darwin's ability to propound an acceptable theory (DARWINISM) of how evolution might have come about which brought the subject into public discussion and intensive enquiry. It is naive to suppose that the acceptance of evolution theory depends upon the evidence of a number of so- called `proofs'; it depends rather upon the fact that the evolutionary theory permeates and supports every branch of biological science, much as the notion of the roundness of the earth underlies all GEODESY and all cosmological theories on which the shape of the earth has a bearing. Thus anti-evolutionism is of the same stature as flat-earthism. Biologists therefore do not argue about whether evolution has taken place, but many details of how evolution proceeds are still matters of controversy. " (Medawar P. & Ridley M., "evolution," in Bullock A., Trombley S. & Lawrie A., eds., "The New Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought," , HarperCollinsPublishers: London, Third Edition, 1999, p.293) 13/02/2005 "Many opponents of the idea of evolution say they reject it because it contradicts the Bible. They claim to believe that every word in the Bible is literally true. But no one really believes that. We all know that when, in John 7:38, Jesus said, `He that believeth on me...out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water,' he didn't mean it literally. It's a figure of speech. Practically every book of the Bible contains some such passages, which have to be read as either figures of speech or errors of fact. Consider Biblical astronomy. The Old Testament depicts the `firmament' as a strong dome or tent spread out above the Earth. It has the sun, moon, and stars set in it and water up above it, and windows in it to let the water out when it rains (see Gen. 1:6-8, 1:14-17, 7:11, 8:2; Job 37:18; Ps. 104:2; Isa. 24:18; and Mal. 3:10). This is a lovely picture. If you read it as poetry, it's gorgeous. But taken literally, it's just plain wrong. There isn't any firmament or any water above the firmament, and the sun, moon, and stars aren't attached to anything. And if we can all agree that there isn't any firmament, then we can all agree that the literal truth of the Bible can't be the real issue here." (Cartmill M., "Oppressed by Evolution," Discover, Vol. 19, No. 3, March 1998. http://www.godlesshouston.com/library/darwin.htm) 14/02/2005 "BECAUSE OF enormous advances in biochemistry, it has become possible to e not just the visible features of organisms, but also their molecules. The principal components of the biological cell include the proteins, which govern the essential biochemical processes, and the nucleic acids (the famous DNA and RNA), which direct the synthesis of proteins. The structure and composition of these immensely complex molecules is now partly understood, and so the proteins and nucleic acids of various kinds of creatures can be compared and their differences precisely quantified. Each protein molecule, for example, consists of a long chain of amino acids in a specific sequence, analogous to the way a sentence is composed of a sequence of letters and spaces in a particular order. Amino acids are simpler organic compounds, 20 of which can be combined in various ways to make proteins. A particular kind of protein (like hemoglobin) that is found in a great variety of species will differ slightly or not so slightly in its amino acid sequences from species to species The difference can be quantified by aligning the sequences and counting the number of positions at which the amino acids differ. If there are a total of 100 positions, and the amino acids are the same at 80 of them and different at 20, then the biochemist can say that the degree of divergence is 20 per cent. Comparable techniques can be employed to measure the divergence in the molecular sequences of DNA and RNA molecules. As a result, biochemists have found that it is possible to classify species and larger groups by their degree of similarity at the molecular level. The validity of the classifications so obtained is a controversial subject. Not all molecules suggest the same pattern of relationships, and in some cases molecular classifications differ from traditional classifications. .... Despite these difficulties, many scientists consider molecular classification to be not only possible, but, in principle, more objective than classification based on visible characteristics." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," , InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second edition, 1993, pp.92-93) 14/02/2005 "The study of living things at the molecular level is a relatively new field. The information that scientists derive from molecular biology may be used to compare and categorize organisms, a field known as biochemical taxonomy. Biochemical analysis holds out the promise of making taxonomy a more precise science, because it allows differences between various organisms to be quantified and measured. ... We all intuitively regard a horse as more similar in general structure to a cow than to a bird, but there is no way of measuring the difference between them in mathematical terms. Deciding which organisms should be classed together based on comparative anatomy and homology is always plagued by an element of subjective judgment. The revolution in molecular biology changes all that. It provides a new way to compare organisms based on the structure of their proteins and DNA. One of the important procedures of biochemical taxonomy is the determination of amino acid sequences in protein, and the sequences of triplets in DNA. Researchers employ DNA and protein sequence analyzers to determine these sequences. Many proteins are used in a variety of organisms. It has been found that the sequence of a given protein, say cytochrome c, is not fixed but varies from species to species. Usually cytochrome c is composed of a string of one hundred and four amino acids. Though it performs the same function and is similar enough to be recognized as the same protein, it nevertheless differs among the various taxa. The amino acid sequences from two different organisms can be compared by aligning the two sequences and counting the number of individual amino acids that differ. Similar comparisons can be made between two strands of DNA. ... Animals with a greater number of similarities in DNA or amino acid sequence are classified more closely taxonomically. The classification system that emerges from molecular biology to a large extent confirms classifications traditionally made by taxonomists from anatomy. That is, a horse is more like a cow than it is like a bird not only in obvious appearance but also in the sequence of amino acids of its proteins, and of triplets in its DNA. ... By providing a new way to identify similarities, biochemists have expected to build our understanding of what those similarities mean. ... the standard Darwinian interpretation is that similarity indicates descent from a common ancestor. The greater the resemblance between two organisms, say Darwinists, the more recently they diverged from a single line of descent. Adherents to Darwinism have hailed the findings of biochemistry as important new evidence for the theory. The fact that similarities in biochemistry parallel similarities in anatomy is held as confirmation of the evolutionary relationships inferred from those similarities. The proteins of humans more closely resemble those of monkeys than those of turtles, for example. This is taken as confirmation that humans share a common ancestry with monkeys. Proponents of intelligent design read similarity in structure as a reflection of similarity in function. All living organisms must survive in the same universe and must fit into its ecological web. All must fit into a food chain. The need to function within a common universe puts common physical and chemical requirements on all organisms. It would be both logical and efficient for an intelligent agent to design living things with a common biochemical base. By the same token, it should not surprise us that organisms share similarities on both anatomical and biochemical levels." (Davis P. & Kenyon D.H., "Of Pandas and People: The Central Question of Biological Origins", Foundation for Thought and Ethics: Richardson TX, Second Edition, 1993, pp.34-35) 14/02/2005 "An argument proposes a false dilemma when it presumes that only two alternatives exist when in actuality there are more than two. For example, `Either science can explain how she was cured or it was a miracle. Science can't explain how she was cured. So it must be a miracle.' These two alternatives do not exhaust all the possibilities. It's possible, for example, that she was cured by some natural cause that scientists don't yet understand [e.g. God working through natural causes!-SEJ]. Because the argument doesn't take this possibility into account, it's fallacious. Again: `Either have your horoscope charted by an astrologer or continue to stumble through life without knowing where you're going. You certainly don't want to continue your wayward ways. So you should have your horoscope charted by an astrologer.' If someone is concerned about the direction his or her life is taking, there are other things he or she can do about it than consult an astrologer. Since there are other options, the argument is fallacious." (Schick T. & Vaughn L., "How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age," Mayfield: Mountain View CA, California, Second edition, 1995, pp.285-286) 14/02/2005 "The special character of the New Testament has given rise to special types of errors over and above those which are common in all manuscript copying. ... The study of these witnesses to the original text and the restoration by their means of the original text as nearly as it can be determined belong to the science of Textual Criticism. This is not, of course, a science which has to do specially with the New Testament or the Bible as a whole; it makes its contribution to all kinds of literature. In English literature it is a very necessary science in the study of the works of Shakespeare and the determining of his original text by the comparative study of the early editions. There are four principal stages in the work of the textual critic. First, he makes a study of such individual manuscripts as are available to him, correcting obvious slips and taking cognizance of what appear to be scribal alterations, whether accidental or deliberate. Next, he arranges these manuscripts in groups. Those which share some peculiar feature of spelling or wording, or some common error, are probably related to one another and have a common archetype. There are different ways of grouping manuscripts, according as their evident relation to one another is more or less close. Those whose mutual relation can be fairly precisely established are said to constitute a family. But a number of separate families, while they are diverse from one another in many respects, may have a sufficient number of significant features in common to suggest that they all represent one rather early textual type. In the third place. when the arranging of manuscripts in groups leads to the establishment of an archetype for each of the groups which have been distinguished, these archetypes themselves are subjected to comparative study in the hope that it may be possible to reconstruct a provisional archetype from which the archetypes themselves are descended; if this is achieved, then we have arrived as closely as we can to the autographic text." (Bruce F.F., "The Books and the Parchments: Some Chapters on the Transmission of the Bible," , Pickering & Inglis: London, Third Edition, 1963, pp.178-179) 14/02/2005 "The perception that the pattern of nature conformed to an ordered hierarchic system reappeared with the birth of modern biology in the eighteenth-century and was expressed clearly by Linnaeus in his famous Systema Naturae. As knowledge of biology increased during the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century, the under lying hierarchic order of nature was increasingly reaffirmed by nearly all the great naturalists and biologists of the time ...As Lovejoy remarks in his Great Chain of Being. `Thus it was that from the end of the sixteenth to the end of the eighteenth century, the project of distributing all living beings, animal or vegetable, into a hierarchy of collective units enclosed one within another, gained such a hold upon naturalists, that it finally seemed to them the formulation of their scientific task.' [Lovejoy A.O., "The Great Chain of Being, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, 1961, p228] By the mid-nineteenth century, when knowledge of comparative anatomy was virtually complete, the idea that the pattern of life was reducible to highly ordered groups within groups was almost universally acknowledged." (Denton M.J., "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis," Burnett Books: London, 1985, pp.123-124) 14/02/2005 "Truth, Nature of. Pilate asked: What is truth? Philosophers from Socrates to the last century answered: Is it absolute? Is it knowable (see AGNOSTICISM)? And does it correspond to a referent or, in the case of metaphysical truth, does it correspond to reality? The Importance of the Nature of Truth. The nature of truth is crucial to the Christian faith. Not only does Christianity claim there is absolute truth (truth for everyone, everywhere, at all times), but it insists that truth about the world (reality) is that which corresponds to the way things really are. For example, the statement "God exists" means that there really is a God outside the universe, an extracosmic Being (see GOD, EVIDENCE OF). Likewise, the claim that "God raised Christ from the dead" means that the dead corpse of Jesus of Nazareth supernaturally vacated its tomb alive a few days after its burial (see RESURRECTION, EVIDENCE OF). Christian truth claims really correspond to the state of affairs about which they claim to inform us. The Nature of Truth. What Truth Is Not ... Truth can be understood both from what it is and from what it is not. There are many inadequate views of the nature of truth. Most of these result from a confusion between the nature (definition) of truth and a test (defense) of truth, or from not distinguishing the result from the rule. Truth is not "what works." One popular theory is the pragmatic view of William James and his followers that truth is what works. ... That this is inadequate is evident from its confusion of cause and effect. ... Truth is not "that which coheres." Some thinkers have suggested that truth is what is internally consistent; it is coherent and self-consistent. But this too is an inadequate definition. Empty statements hang together, even though they are devoid of truth content. .... At best, coherence is a negative test of truth. Statements are wrong if they are inconsistent, but not necessarily true if they are. Truth is not "that which was intended." Some find truth in intentions, rather than affirmations. A statement is true if the author intends it to be true and false if he does not intend it to be true. But many statements agree with the intention of the author, even when the author is mistaken. ... Truth is not "what is comprehensive." Another idea is that the view that explains the most data is true. And those that are not as comprehensive are not true-or not as true. Comprehensiveness is one test for truth, but not the definition of truth. Certainly a good theory will explain all relevant data. And a true worldview will be comprehensive. However, this is only a negative test of whether it is true. The affirmations of that view must still correspond with the real state of affairs. ... Truth is not "what is existentially relevant." ... existential philosophers ... have insisted that truth is what is relevant to our existence or life and false if it is not. ... However, even if truth is existential in some sense, not all truth fits into the existential category. There are many kinds of truth, physical, mathematical, historical, and theoretical. ... Truth is not "what feels good." The popular subjective view is that truth gives a satisfying feeling, and error feels bad. ... [But] It is evident that bad news can be true. ... What Truth Is. Correspondence with Reality. Now that the inadequate views of the nature of truth have been examined, it remains to state an adequate view. Truth is what corresponds to its referent. Truth about reality is what corresponds to the way things really are. Truth is "telling it like it is." This correspondence applies to abstract realities as well as actual ones. There are mathematical truths. There are also truths about ideas. In each case there is a reality, and truth accurately expresses it. Falsehood, then, is what does not correspond. It tells it like it is not, misrepresenting the way things are. The intent behind the statement is irrelevant. If it lacks proper correspondence, it is false. ... Truth may be tested in many ways but it should be understood in only one way. There is one reality, to which statements or ideas must conform in order to be regarded as true. There may be many different ways to defend different truth claims, but there is really only one proper way to define truth, namely, as correspondence. The confusion between the nature of truth and the verification of truth is at the heart of the rejection of a correspondence view of truth. Likewise, there is a difference between what truth is and what truth does. Truth is correspondence, but truth has certain consequences. Truth itself should not be confused with its results or with its application. The failure to make this distinction leads to wrong views of the nature of truth. Truth is that which corresponds to reality or to the state of affairs it purports to describe. And falsehood is what does not correspond." (Geisler N.L.*, "Truth, Nature of.," in "Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics," Baker Books: Grand Rapids MI, 1999, pp.741-742, 745. Emphasis in original) 14/02/2005 "Is Evolution True? The first problem of evolution is whether it is itself true. Although almost all biologists are now agreed on the answer, it cannot be taken for granted. Both common sense and many of the high authorities of history (if not of the present) testify to the immutability of species. To take common sense, species do seem-if you do not look too far and wide-always to reproduce their kind: cows reproduce cows, robins robins, and oaks oaks; cows do not reproduce robins, or even horses. What facts and arguments can disprove the authority of common sense and history? We are after arguments that will choose between evolution and the fixity of species. ... There are two main concepts: morphological and reproductive. According to the morphological species concept, species are defined by the similarity of appearance of their members. .... The varieties of dogs would serve as an example of artificially created new species in the morphological sense. The differences between extreme varieties of dogs-such as the Pekinese and the Great Dane-are much larger than the normal morphological differences between species. An African hunting dog and a wolf, for instance, are classified in separate subfamilies, but they look more alike than a Pekinese and a Great Dane.... We could also have considered another powerful argument for evolution. No sensible alternative is known. ... Our first problem of evolution, I believe, is solved. The accumulation of facts and arguments on the side of evolution is so great that it can no longer be considered an open question. It is best that our beliefs should be rationally based: it is well worth knowing what the case for evolution is. But once the case has been examined, it is not really possible for anyone (who is not a fanatic) to doubt what the conclusion must be." (Ridley, Mark, "The Problems of Evolution", Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, 1985, pp.1,4, 13-1) 15/02/2005 "One objection to the theory of evolution made by Darwin's early opponents was that though he may have explained the derivation of organisms from other organisms, he had not explained the origin of life itself from inanimate matter. The researches of Louis Pasteur and others demonstrating the impossibility of spontaneous generation in an oxygen-rich atmosphere seemed to strongly support the idea that life cannot arise from natural causes but requires some supernatural origin, a Creator. It has since been discovered that, unlike today, there was no oxygen (or only traces of it) in the early atmosphere of the earth, when life originated.' Experiments carried out by Stanley Miller (1953) showed that electrical discharges sent through a gaseous mixture of methane, ammonium, hydrogen, and water vapor in a flask would result in the production of amino acids, urea, and other organic molecules. Such organic molecules could have accumulated when our atmosphere was devoid of oxygen, and, indeed, similar molecules have since been found in meteorites and in interstellar space. There are now numerous hypotheses to explain how life, particularly proteins and RNA, might have emerged from a combination of these organic molecules. Several of these prebiotic scenarios are quite convincing, but in the absence of any chemical fossils of the intermediate stages we may never be able to prove which of the scenarios is the right one. It would seem that the first organisms were heterotrophic, that is, they utilized prebiotically produced organic compounds available in the environment. The organisms had to build the larger macromolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids, but they did not have to synthesize de novo the amino acids, purines, pyrimidines, and sugars. The simplest naturally formed organic compounds reacted to form polymers and eventually compounds of greater and greater complexity. The subject of life's origin is highly complex, but it is no longer the mystery it once was, in the early post- Darwinian period. In fact, there is no longer any fundamental difficulty in explaining, on the basis of physical and chemical laws, the origin of life from inanimate matter." (Mayr, E.W., "This is Biology: The Science of the Living World," Belknap Press: Cambridge MA, 1997, Sixth printing, 1998, pp.178-179) 15/02/2005 "The study of the origin of life is a subject fraught with uncertainties. Despite many years of work and the great ingenuity of those carrying out the work, many of these difficulties have yet to be resolved. There is no generally accepted theory of how life began. Some maintain that we are just missing some simple trick of chemistry to make the whole theory hang together. But many, if not most, biologists think the whole subject so messy, uncertain and complex that it is best avoided altogether. Let us begin our exploration of this Outstanding Mystery with a few certainties. First, just what are we seeking to explain? From what we have learnt in this chapter about the nature of life, we know the key feature which we must account for: the origin of replicating compounds such as DNA. If we can arrive at a means of creating these out of simpler compounds without a lot of special pleading, then we can consider the problem of life more or less solved." (Matthews, R.A.J., "Unravelling the Mind of God: Mysteries at the Frontier of Science," , Virgin Books: London, 1993, p.58) 15/02/2005 "Living things are built of nonliving carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulphur, but just how they got organized into something alive remains one of biology's deepest mysteries. In 1953, at the University of Chicago, Stanley L. Miller and Harold C. Urey mixed ammonia, water vapor, hydrogen and methane to simulate Earth's early atmosphere, then crackled lightning-like electrical sparks through it. Amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, appeared, along with other organic compounds usually produced only by living things. Over the years, continued experiments with gases and chemicals bombarded with heat, ultraviolet and electrical energy produced almost every chemical component (nucleotides) of DNA and RNA, but the parts never assembled into the long molecules that make life possible. More recently, longer DNA-like molecules did form spontaneously from simpler carbon compounds and zinc salts at California's Salk Institute. Given the tendency of these chemicals to form nucleotides and of nucleotides to build long- chain molecules, according to biologist Lynn Margolis, the process of life emerging from nonlife is `hardly surprising' and `shockingly straightforward.' Since an RNA molecule's structure resembles `one-half of an open zipper ... when the right ingredients are present, the components of the missing half simply line up and fit, thus forming a perfect copy of the original.' Unfortunately, as Margolis admits, `no cell has yet crawled out of a test tube,' and thousands of similar experiments, have produced goopy organic tars, but no recognizable life. Decades of persistent failure to `create life' by the `spark in the soup' method (or to find such productions in nature) have caused some researchers to seek other approaches to the great enigma. A few, including geneticist Francis Crick and the astronomer Fred Hoyle, think life may have arrived on Earth from elsewhere in the universe, perhaps hitchhiking on a meteor or comet. But this notion of wandering celestial rocks `seeding' the Earth (Panspermia), even if true, does not solve the riddle of how life originated: it simply pushes the question father back to another time and place. Another recent theory looks to the structure of clays and minerals as possible templates, trapping and holding molecules in patterns, which might make them susceptable to the process of natural selection. But even the most promising, technically sophisticated attempts to demonstrate the origin of life from nonliving chemicals are still guesses and gropes in the dark. For almost a century, many scientists have taught that some version of the `spark in the soup' theory `must' be true. Repetition of this idea as fact, without sufficient evidence, has done a disservice to new generations by capping their curiosity about a profound and open question." (Milner R., "Life, origin of," in "The Encyclopedia of Evolution: Humanity's Search for Its Origins," Facts On File: York NY, 1990, p.274) 15/02/2005 "The problem confronting Darwin at the end of 1838 was not so much the fact that if he communicated his ideas he would be severely criticized, but rather the fact that he did not have very much to communicate. His theory had, in essence, preceded his knowledge-that is, he had hit upon a novel and evocative theory of evolution with limited knowledge at hand to satisfy either himself or others that the theory was true. He could neither accept it himself nor prove it to others. He simply did not know enough concerning the several natural history fields upon which his theory would have to be based. Also, I think that from Darwin's perspective at the time, his theory qua theory was rudimentary and weak. It was not something he would have liked to defend, even if he had to. It was the sort of theory one puts in a desk drawer-to be looked at much later, to be written later still. And if it were the sort of theory that might be looked at unfairly at first- not given a fair chance because of the prejudices it might arouse-all the more reason to take care with it, not, so to speak, to let it out of the bag too soon. It was in this sense, it seems, that it was a theory he `determined not even to write the briefest sketch of.' It was a very uncertain theory on a highly controversial subject." (Gale B.G., "Evolution Without Evidence: Charles Darwin and the Origin of Species," University of New Mexico Press: Albuquerque NM, 1982, p.8) 16/02/2005 "Darwin came back from his five-year tour of duty on the H.M.S. Beagle in 1836. And he came back on the brink of conviction of the fact of evolution-that all creatures past and present are linked up in one grand, intricate genealogical array. It was `descent with modification' (Darwin actually never used the word `evolution' in his first edition of the Origin). The concept was simplicity itself: all life has descended from a single common ancestor, and along the way of his interminable process of ancestry and descent, creatures become modified. " (Eldredge N., "Time Frames: The Rethinking of Darwinian Evolution and the Theory of Punctuated Equilibria", Simon & Schuster: New York NY, 1985, p.28) 16/02/2005 "But of all the systems of classification that could be dreamed up, there is one unique system, unique in the sense that words like 'correct' and 'incorrect', 'true' and 'false' can be applied to it with perfect agreement given perfect information. ... Birds, for instance, are distinguished from nonbirds by the fact that they are all descended from a common ancestor, which is not an ancestor of any non-bird. Mammals are all descended from a common ancestor, which is not an ancestor of any non-mammal. Birds and mammals have a more remote common ancestor, which they share with lots of other animals like snakes and lizards and tuataras. The animals descended from this common ancestor are all called amniotes. So, birds and mammals are amniotes. 'Reptiles' is not a true taxonomic term, according to cladists, because it is defined by exception: all amniotes-except birds and mammals. In other words; the most recent common ancestor of all 'reptiles' (snakes, turtles; etc.) is also ancestral twosome non'reptiles', namely birds and mammals. Within mammals, rats and mice share a recent common ancestor with each others-leopards and lions share a recent common ancestor with each other; so do chimpanzees and humans with each other. Closely related animals are animals that share a recent common ancestor. More distantly related animals share an earlier common ancestor. Very distantly related animals, like people and slugs, share a very early common ancestor. Organisms can never be totally unrelated to one another, since it is all but certain that life as we know it originated only once on earth." (Dawkins, R., "The Blind Watchmaker," , Penguin: London, 1991 reprint, p.258) 16/02/2005 "Intelligent-design theorist Michael Behe has said that he has no reason to doubt the truth of common descent, but he does doubt the power of natural selection to shape the full range of biological complexities. In Darwin's Black Box he claims to have found a number of such "complex organs" to prove his case. This is clearly an important claim. ... So what does Behe have to say? We already have a fairly clear idea given our earlier discussions of critical passages from Darwin's Black Box Behe hopes to show the impotence of Darwinism by pointing out purportedly profound explanatory gaps. Trying to do this is nothing new. ICR's Duane Gish has tried to do this by pointing out gaps in the fossil record. ... Indeed, as we saw, almost every creationist attack proceeds in the same way, by citing something that Darwinism supposedly cannot explain." (Pennock, R.T., "Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against he New Creationism," The MIT Press: Cambridge MA, 1999, p.264) 16/02/2005 "A more powerful movement is gaining strength within the Tower and is beginning to take the lead in the battles against evolution in the field. This is the group of creationists that advocates `theistic science' and promotes what they call -intelligent-design theory.' Creationism-watchers have called the advance guard of intelligent-design creationism (IDC) the `upper tier' of creationists because, unlike their earlier counterparts, they carry advanced degrees from major institutions, often hold positions in higher education, and are typically more knowledgeable, more articulate, and far more savvy. There are a dozen or two names that appear most frequently in association with the ideas of intelligent-design and theistic science, but because this variation of creationism is still relatively new and its advocates have not all published or explicitly identified themselves under these labels it is not yet clear whom to list among its leaders. Walter Bradley, Jon Buell, William Lane Craig, Percival Davis, Michael Denton, Mark Hartwig, J. P. Moreland, Hugh Ross, and Charles B. Thaxton are important figures. Another is John Angus Campbell, a University of Memphis rhetorician, and he mentions Nancy Pearcey, Del Ratzsch, Tom Woodward, John Mark Reynolds, Walter ReMine, and Robert Koons (who is a colleague of mine in the philosophy department at The University of Texas at Austin), as being among the `key players' of `our movement.'' Among the more well- known names to sign on to the crusade are Michael Behe (Lehigh University) and Dean Kenyon (San Francisco State University) on the scientific side, and Alvin Plantinga and Peter van Inwagen (both of Notre Dame) on the philosophical side. Perhaps more significant, however, are the younger members of the group-William Dembski, Paul Nelson, Stephen C. Meyer, and Jonathan Wells. These `four horsemen' have dedicated their lives to the creationist cause and have been collecting multiple graduate degrees (Dembski in mathematics, philosophy and theology; Meyer and Nelson in philosophy; and Wells in religious studies and molecular and cellular biology) so they will be fully armored and ready to ride forth. " (Pennock R.T., "Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationism," The MIT Press: Cambridge MA, 1999, Fourth printing, p.29) 17/02/2005 "Inferences to design do not require that we have a candidate for the role of designer. We can determine that a system was designed by examining the system itself, and we can hold the conviction of design much more strongly than a conviction about the identity of the designer. In several of the examples above, the identity of the designer is not obvious. We have no idea who made the contraption in the junkyard, or the vine trap, or why. Nonetheless, we know that all of these things were designed because of the ordering of independent components to achieve some end." (Behe M.J.*, "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution," Free Press: New York, 1996, p.196) 17/02/2005 "As a theory of biological origins and development, intelligent design's central claim is that only intelligent causes adequately 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, based on observable features of the world, can reliably distinguish intelligent causes from undirected natural causes. Many special sciences have already developed such methods for drawing this distinction-notably, forensic science, cryptography, archeology and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). Essential to all these methods is the ability to eliminate chance and necessity. Astronomer Carl Sagan wrote a novel about SETI called Contact, which was later made into a movie starring Jodie Foster. The plot and the extraterrestrials, of course, were fictional, but Sagan based the SETI astronomers' methods of design detection squarely on scientific practice. In other words, real-life SETI researchers have never detected designed signals from distant space, but if they encountered such a signal, as the film's astronomers did, they too would infer design. Why did the radio astronomers in Contact draw such a design inference from the beeps and pauses they monitored from space? SETI researchers run signals collected from distant space through computers programmed to recognize preset patterns. Signals that do not match any of the patterns pass through the "sieve" and are classified as random. After years of receiving apparently meaningless "random" signals, the Contact researchers discovered a pattern of beats and pauses that corresponds to the sequence of all the prime numbers between 2 and 101. (Prime numbers are divisible only by themselves and by one.) That grabbed their attention, and they immediately detected intelligent design. " (Dembski W.A.*, "The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions About Intelligent Design," Intervarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2004, p.34) 17/02/2005 "The scientific community contains many excellent scientists who think that there is something beyond nature, and many excellent scientists who do not. How then will science "officially" treat the question of the identity of the designer? Will biochemistry textbooks have to be written with explicit statements that "God did it"? No. The question of the identity of the designer will simply be ignored by science. The history of science is replete with examples of basic-but-difficult questions being put on the back burner. For example, Newton declined to explain what caused gravity, Darwin offered no explanation for the origin of vision or life, Maxwell refused to specify a medium for light waves once the ether was debunked, and cosmologists in general have ignored the question of what caused the Big Bang. Although the fact of design is easily seen in the biochemistry of the cell, identifying the designer by scientific methods might be extremely difficult. In the same way, Newton could easily observe gravity, but specifying its cause lay centuries in the future. When a question is too difficult for science to deal with immediately, it is happily forgotten while other, more accessible questions are investigated. If philosophy and theology want to take a crack at the question in the meantime, we scientists should wish them well, but reserve the right to jump back into the conversation when science has something more to add." (Behe M.J.*, "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution," Free Press: New York NY, 1996, p.251) 17/02/2005 "The National Academy of Sciences told the Supreme Court that the most basic characteristic of science is `reliance upon naturalistic explanations,' as opposed to `supernatural means inaccessible to human understanding.' In the latter, unacceptable category contemporary scientists place not only God, but also any non-material vital force that supposedly drives evolution in the direction of greater complexity, consciousness, or whatever. If science is to have any explanation for biological complexity at all it has to make do with what is left when the unacceptable has been excluded. Natural selection is the best of the remaining alternatives, probably the only alternative. In this situation some may decide that Darwinism simply must be true, and for such persons the purpose of any further investigation will be merely to explain how natural selection works and to solve the mysteries created by apparent anomalies. For them there is no need to test the theory itself, for there is no respectable alternative to test it against. Any persons who say the theory itself is inadequately supported can be vanquished by the question `Darwin's Bulldog' T. H. Huxley used to ask the doubters in Darwin's time: What is your alternative?" (Johnson, P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove IL, Second Edition, 1993, p.28. Emphasis in original) 18/02/2005 "`Naturalism' is similar to `materialism,' the doctrine that all reality has a material base. I prefer the former term because it avoids any confusion caused by the ordinary language distinction between matter and energy (both are ultimately made up of the somewhat ghostly subatomic entities studied by particle physicists). Moreover, particle physicists sometimes write and speak as if what is ultimately real is not the particles themselves but the grand unified theory that explains the movements and interactions of the particles. The essential point is that nature is understood by both naturalists and materialists to be `all there is' and to be fundamentally mindless and purposeless. This distinguishes naturalism from both pantheism (God is all there is, and God is identified with nature) and theism (God created the natural world for a purpose)." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law, and Education", InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL., 1995, p.38) 18/02/2005 "Naturalism and materialism mean essentially the same thing for present purposes, and so I use the terms interchangeably. Naturalism means that nature is all there is; materialism means that matter (i.e., the fundamental particles that make up both matter and energy) is all there is. Because evolutionary naturalists insist that nature is made up of those particles, there is no difference between naturalism and materialism. In other contexts, however, the terms may have different meanings. Materialism sometimes used to mean greedy for material possessions, as in `he who dies with the most toys wins.' Naturalism also has quite different meanings in other contexts, such art and literary criticism. These other meanings are irrelevant for our purposes." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1997, p.16) 18/02/2005 "The most influential intellectuals in America and around the world are mostly naturalists, who assume that God exists only as an idea in the minds of religious believers. In our greatest universities, naturalism-the doctrine that nature is "all there is" - is the virtually unquestioned assumption that underlies not only natural science but intellectual work of all kinds. If naturalism is true, then humankind created God-not the other way around. In that case, rationality requires that we recognize the Creator as the imaginary being he always has been, and that we rely only on things that are real, such as ourselves and the material world of nature. Reliance on the guidance of an imaginary supernatural being is called superstition. (Johnson, P.E.*, "Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law and Education," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1995, pp.7-8) 18/02/2005 "It would be wrong to conclude without referring to those biologists and others who do not believe that evolution is a fact in any but an extremely limited sense. As already stated this book is an account of the history of the idea of evolution, and not an account of the arguments for or against the validity of the concept. Excluding purely biological reasons, we believe that the concept is a valid one because the idea of change on which it is founded has been, and is, so universally held. There are others, however, who do not subscribe to the theory of evolution because they consider the known facts, although capable of a partial explanation by means of the evolutionary theory, cannot be completely so explained and are more convincingly interpreted by a modified form of special creationism which allows for the operation of some evolution. The reader will find these points discussed in Douglas Dewar's Difficulties of the Evolution Theory (1931), and More Difficulties of the Evolution Theory (1938). In these books, and in other writings, Dewar attacks the theory from various possible angles, but chiefly on palaeontological grounds, and he deals in detail with various difficulties encountered by biologists which, he contends, are irreconcilable with the theory of evolution." (Fothergill P.G., "Historical Aspects of Organic Evolution," Hollis & Carter: London, 1952, pp.346-347) 18/02/2005 "When Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859, the term `creationist' commonly designated a person who believed in the special creation of a soul for each human fetus, as opposed to a traducianist, who believed that the souls of children were inherited from their parents. For example, when the Princeton theologian Charles Hodge devoted a section of his Systematic Theology to `creationism,' he limited his discussion entirely to the origin of the soul. Nevertheless, just one day after the Origin of Species appeared, Darwin employed the creationist label to refer to opponents of evolution. `What a joke it would be,' he wrote to Thomas Henry Huxley, `if I pat you on the back when you attack some immovable creationist!' [Darwin C.R., letter to T.H. Huxley, November 25, 1859, in Darwin F., ed., `The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin,' , Basic Books: New York NY, Vol. II., 1959, reprint, pp.27-28] Since at least the early 1840s Darwin had occasionally referred to `creationists' in his unpublished writings, but the epithet acquired little public currency. In 1873 Asa Gray described a `special creationist' (a phrase he placed in quotation marks) as one who maintained that species `were supernaturally originated just as they are,' and in 1880 he briefly contrasted Darwinism with `direct Creationism.' Similarly, in the 1890s the priest-scientist John A. Zahm of Notre Dame occasionally used `creationist' as a synonym for antievolutionist. But the practice of describing anti-evolutionists as creationists remained relatively infrequent during the nineteenth century- and confined, it seems, largely to people who no longer believed in special creations. As far as I can tell, such prominent North American anti-Darwinists as Louis Agassiz, Arnold Guyot, and John William Dawson neither called themselves creationists nor referred to their views as creationism. During the seventy-five years or so after the appearance of the Origin of Species opponents of evolution were commonly denoted by such terms as `advocates of creation,' `exponents of the theory of the immutability of species' or, increasingly, `antievolutionists." (Numbers R.L., "Darwinism Comes to America," Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA, 1998, p.50) 18/02/2005 "MY DEAR HUXLEY,-Your letter has been forwarded to me from Down. Like a good Catholic who has received extreme unction, I can now sing `nunc dimittis.' I should have been more than contented with one quarter of what you have said. Exactly fifteen months ago, when I put pen to paper for this volume, I had awful misgivings ; and thought perhaps I had deluded myself, like so many have done, and I then fixed in my mind three judges, on whose decision I determined mentally to abide. The judges were Lyell, Hooker, and yourself. It was this which made me so excessively anxious for your verdict. I am now contented, and can sing my nunc dimittis. What a joke it would be if I pat you on the back when you attack some immovable creationist! You have most cleverly hit on one point, which has greatly troubled me; if, as I must think, external conditions produce little direct effect, what the devil determines each particular variation? What makes a tuft of feathers come on a cock's head, or moss on a moss-rose? I shall much like to talk over this with you. ..." (Darwin C.R., letter to T.H. Huxley, November 25, 1859, in Darwin F., ed., "The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," , Basic Books: New York NY, Vol. II., 1959, reprint, pp.27-28) 20/02/2005 "It is an interesting point of history that the communist doctrine of dialectical materialism holds that new laws of organization come into operation as matter reaches higher levels of development. Thus there are biological laws, social laws, etc. These laws are intended to ensure the onward progression of matter towards states of ever-greater organization. The Russian chemist Alexander Oparin was one of the central figures in the development of the modern paradigm of the origin of life, and he strongly subscribed to the theory that life will be the inevitable outcome of self-organizing chemical processes, though whether for reasons of scientific conviction or political expediency is a matter for debate." (Davies P.C.W., "The Cosmic Blueprint: Order and Complexity at the Edge Of Chaos," Penguin: London, 1995, pp.119-120) 20/02/2005 "To avoid stating how far, I believe, in Materialism, say only that emotions, instincts degrees of talent, which are hereditary are so because brain of child resembles parent stock." (Darwin C.R., "M Notebook," , in Gruber H.E., "Darwin on Man: A Psychological Study of Scientific Creativity," together with Barrett P.H., "Darwin's Early and Unpublished Notebooks," E.P. Dutton & Co: New York NY, 1974, p.276) 20/02/2005 "Thought (or desires more properly) being hereditary it is difficult to imagine it anything but structure of brain hereditary, analogy points out to this.-love of the deity effect of organization, oh you materialist!... Why is thought being a secretion of brain, more wonderful than gravity a property of matter? It is our arrogance, it our admiration of ourselves." (Darwin C.R., "C Notebook," , in Gruber H.E., "Darwin on Man: A Psychological Study of Scientific Creativity," together with Barrett P.H., "Darwin's Early and Unpublished Notebooks," E.P. Dutton & Co: New York NY, 1974, pp.450-151) 20/02/2005 "As a second attempt, we might locate Darwin's primary claim upon continued scientific attention in the extraordinarily broad and radical implications of his proffered evolutionary mechanism-natural selection. Indeed, I have pushed this theme relentlessly in my two previous books, focusing upon three arguments: natural selection as a theory of local adaptation, not inexorable progress; the claim that order in nature arises as a coincidental by-product of struggle among individuals; and the materialistic character of Darwin's theory, particularly his denial of any causal role to spiritual forces, energies, or powers. " (Gould, S.J., "Worm for a Century, and All Seasons," in "Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes: Further Reflections in Natural History," , Penguin: London, 1986, reprint, p.122) 21/02/2005 "The gentleman was Charles Darwin: well heeled, imperturbably Whig, a privately financed world traveller who had spent five years aboard HMS Beagle as a dining companion to the aristocratic captain. He had a private fortune in prospect and a reputation as an up-and coming geologist. .... Clergymen from molluscs! How had he arrived at such damning beliefs? And this was not the worst part. He embraced a terrifying materialism. Only months before he had concluded in his covert notebooks that the human mind, morality, and even belief in God were artefacts of the brain: 'love of the deity [is the] effect of organization, oh you Materialist!' he upbraided himself." (Desmond A.J. & Moore J.R., "Darwin," , Penguin: London, 1992, reprint, pp.xv-xvi) 21/02/2005 "The F0F1 Complex: Proton Translocation Through F0 Drives ATP Synthesis by F1. ... the F1 complex is only part of the ATP synthase complex. F1 is attached by a short stalk to complex F0, which is embedded in the inner mitochondrial membrane at the base of the stalk. ... We now know that the F0 complex serves as the proton translocator, the channel through which protons flow when the electrochemical gradient across the membrane is being used to drive the ATP synthase activity of the F1 complex. Thus, the functional unit is the F0F1 complex. The F0 component provides a channel for the exergonic flow of protons from the outside to the inside of the membrane, thereby tapping into the pmf, or driving force, of the electrochemical proton gradient, and the F1 component carries out the actual synthesis of ATP, driven by the energy of the proton gradient. ... The ... F1 headpiece consists of three a and three ß polypeptides, organized as three aß complexes that form a catalytic hexagon. The catalytic site for ATP synthesis and hydrolysis is located on the ß subunit; the a subunit serves as an ATP/ADP-binding site, thereby promoting the catalytic activity of the ß subunit. The stalk consists of three polypeptides: gamma (y), delta (d), and epsilon (E). These subunits extend into both the F1 and the F0 structures. ... The d and e subunits are required for assembly of the F0F1 complex, and the y subunit appears to rotate as protons move through the channel in the F0 structure ... The F0 complex consists of polypeptides a, b, and c, with 1 a subunit, 2 b subunits, and 9 to 12 c subunits present in the functional complex. The c subunits are thought to be organized in a circle, forming the proton channel through the membrane. The a and b subunits apparently stabilize the proton channel. In addition, subunit b binds to the stalk, thereby anchoring the F1/stalk structure to the F0 base. ... Despite years of intense research, we do not yet fully understand the mechanism whereby the exergonic flow of protons through F0 drives the otherwise endergonic phosphorylation of ADP to ATP by F1. However, research in this area was greatly stimulated by the publication in 1994 of the structure for the F1 complex from bovine heart mitochondria, as determined by X-ray crystallography. Significantly, each of the three aß complexes has a distinctly different conformation, a finding that supports the binding change model ... This mechanism envisions that each of the aß assemblies exists alternately in one of three conformations-loose (L), tight (T), and open (O)-with each of the three assemblies in a different conformation at any point in time. ATP synthesis is thought to proceed in four steps. In step (1), ADP and Pi bind initially to an aß assembly that is in the L state. Step (2) involves an energy-dependent change to the T conformation, accompanied by the conformational change of another aß assembly (which has a previously synthesized ATP molecule bound to it) from the T to the O conformation. The bound ADP and Pi at the T site then react to form ATP, with the release of water (step (3)). That ATP remains bound but the previously synthesized ATP molecule at the other site is released. The F1 complex then rotates 60° to position the next aß assembly for binding of ADP and Pi, in readiness for the next cycle (step 4 ). The most remarkable feature of this model is that the differences in binding affinities of the three aß assemblies are thought to be caused by a physical rotation of the y subunit in the center of the (aß)3 catalytic hexagon! The y subunit extends from the F1 headpiece down the stalk to the circle of c subunits in the F0 complex. Proton transport through the c channel involves protonation and deprotonation of a specific aspartate residue (Asp61) in a particular c subunit, causing structural changes in the portion of the c subunit that interacts with both the y and e subunits. These subunits appear to move progressively from one subunit c to another, and the torque of that movement is thought to cause the physical rotation of the y subunit. According to this model, F0F1 is a `rotary engine' in which the electrochemical energy that is released as protons pass through the F0 component and is transduced into mechanical energy, which then drives the conformational changes of the aß assemblies that lead to ATP synthesis. In other words, the F0F1 complex is an electrochemical-to-mechanical-to-chemical energy transducer-and the smallest rotary engine in the world! Or, in the words of one author, `a splendid molecular machine.'" (Becker W.M., Kleinsmith L.J. & Hardin J., "The World of the Cell," , Benjamin/Cummings: San Francisco CA, Fourth edition, 2000, pp.438-440) 21/02/2005 "Fifteen years ago a man named Hubert Yockey published an article in the Journal of Theoretical Biology showing that these considerations could enormously reduce the odds against finding a functional protein by trial and error. If we do not insist on the perfect diction of the typical skeptic, but allow some slurred speech in proteins, then the probability of finding a small, functional protein of one hundred amino acids in length is reduced from one in ten to the 130th power to one in ten to the 65th power-a reduction of sixty-five orders of magnitude! Yockey went on to show in the article that his calculation of one in 10^65, which he obtained from theoretical considerations, fit very closely with the number that could be calculated from considerations of the known sequence variability of the protein cytochrome c among many different species. Now, the problem with Yockey's calculation for a believer in the sufficiency of natural law is that, although 10^65 is enormously smaller than 10^130, it still is quite a large number. It has been calculated that there are about 10^65 atoms in a galaxy. Thus, if Yockey was correct, the odds of finding a functional protein are about the same as finding one particular atom in the Milky Way." (Behe M.J., "Experimental Support for Regarding Functional Classes of Proteins to Be Highly Isolated from Each Other," in Buell J. & Hearn V., eds., "Darwinism: Science or Philosophy?," Foundation for Thought and Ethics: Richardson TX, 1994, p.66. http://www.arn.org/docs/behe/mb_smu1992.htm). 21/02/2005 "Functional Proteins Are Very Rare. In the past twenty years the science of molecular biology has made enormous strides. It is now possible, in laboratories with such expertise, to cut up a gene, rearrange it to suit yourself, and place it back in a functioning biological system. Since genes code for proteins, one can also produce proteins made-to-order in this manner. Sauer's laboratory, in order to answer questions about protein structure that interested them, took the genes for several viral proteins, systematically took out small pieces of them (corresponding to instructions for three amino acids at a time), and inserted altered pieces back in the genes. They did this, three amino acids `codons' at a time, for the whole length of the gene. By clever manipulation of the altered pieces they were able to screen codons for all twenty amino acids at each position of the protein. This is like trying all twenty-six letters of the alphabet in turn at each position of a word. The altered genes were then placed in bacteria, which read the DNA code and produced chains of amino acids from them. It turns out that bacteria quickly destroy proteins that are not folded, so ... By determining their sequences they could tell which amino acids in a given position were compatible with producing a folded, functional protein. What did they see? In some positions of the protein, Sauer's group saw that a great deal of amino acid diversity could be tolerated. Up to fifteen of the twenty amino acids could occur at some positions and still yield a functional, folded protein. At other positions in the amino acid sequence, however, very little diversity could be tolerated. Many positions could accommodate only three or four different amino acids. Other positions had an absolute requirement for a particular amino acid; this means that if, say, a P does not appear at position 78 of a given protein, the protein will not fold regardless of the proximity of the rest of the sequence to the natural protein. .... Sauer's results can be used to calculate the probability of finding a given protein structure. We proceed in the following manner. If any of ten amino acids can appear in the first position of a given functional protein sequence, then the odds are one in 2 that a nondirected search will place one of the allowed group there. If any of four amino acids can appear in the second position, then the odds are one in 5 of finding one of that group, and the odds of finding the correct amino acids next to each other in the first two positions are one-half times one-fifth, which is one-tenth. Suppose in the third position there is an absolute requirement for G. Then the odds of getting a G at that position are one in twenty and the odds of getting the first three amino acids right are now up to one in two hundred. .... Over the course of one hundred amino acids in our small protein, the odds quickly reach astronomical numbers. From the actual experimental results of Sauer's group it can easily be calculated that the odds of finding a folded protein are about one in 10 to the 65th power." To put this fantastic number in perspective, imagine that someone hid a grain of sand, marked with a tiny X, somewhere in the Sahara Desert. After wandering blindfolded for several years in the desert you reach down, pick up a grain of sand, take off your blindfold, and find it has a tiny X. Suspicious, you give the grain of sand to someone to hide again, again you wander blindfolded Into the desert, bend down, and the grain you pick up again has an X. A third time you repeat this action and a third time you find the marked grain. The odds of finding that marked grain of sand in the Sahara Desert three times in a row are about the same as finding one new functional protein structure. Rather than accept the result as a lucky coincidence, most people would be certain that the game had been fixed. The number of one in 10^65, arrived at by Sauer's experimental route, is virtually identical to the results obtained by Yockey's theoretical calculation and his deduction from natural cytochrome c sequences! It therefore strongly reinforces our confidence that a correct result has been obtained. Sauer's group obtained closely similar results for two different proteins .... This means that all proteins that have been examined to date, either experimentally or by comparison of analogous sequences from different species, have been seen to be surrounded by an almost infinitely wide chasm of unfolded, nonfunctional, useless protein sequences. There are no ledges, no buttes, no steppingstones to cross the chasm. The conclusion that a reasonable person draws from this is that the laws of nature are insufficient to produce functional proteins and, therefore, functional proteins have not been produced through a nondirected search. " (Behe M.J., "Experimental Support for Regarding Functional Classes of Proteins to Be Highly Isolated from Each Other," in Buell J. & Hearn V., eds., "Darwinism: Science or Philosophy?," Foundation for Thought and Ethics: Richardson TX, 1994, pp.67-69. Emphasis in original. http://www.arn.org/docs/behe/mb_smu1992.htm) 22/02/2005 "mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) A circular ring of DNA found in mitochondria. In mammals mtDNA makes up less than 1% of the total cellular DNA, but in plants the amount is variable. It codes for ribosomal and transfer RNA but only some mitochondrial proteins (up to 30 proteins in animals), the nuclear DNA being required for encoding most of these. Human mtDNA codes for 13 proteins and some RNA. Mitochondrial DNA is generally inherited via the female line only, although there are some exceptions to this (see heteroplasmy)." (Martin E. & Hine R.S., eds., "Oxford Dictionary of Biology," , Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, Fourth Edition, 2000, p.382-383) 22/02/2005 "TO MAKE AN APPLE PIE, you need wheat, apples, a pinch of this and that, and the heat of the oven. The ingredients are made of molecules-sugar, say, or water. The molecules, in turn, are made of atoms-carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and a few others. Where do these atoms come from? Except for hydrogen, they are all made in stars. A star is a kind of cosmic kitchen inside which atoms of hydrogen are cooked into heavier atoms. Stars condense from interstellar gas and dust, which are composed mostly of hydrogen. But the hydrogen was made in the Big Bang, the explosion that began the Cosmos. If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe." (Sagan C.E., "Cosmos," , Macdonald: London, 1981, reprint, p.218) 22/02/2005 "ubiquitin A small protein (consisting of 76 amino acid residues), found universally in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, that tags proteins destined for degradation by proteasomes. It forms a covalent bond with lysine residues in an ATP-dependent reaction termed ubiquitination. Ubiquitin is important in both the normal life of the cell and in a cell's response to stress; it is considered to be a heatshock protein." (Martin E. & Hine R.S., eds., "Oxford Dictionary of Biology," , Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, Fourth edition, 2000, p.607) 22/02/2005 "ANY TEXTBOOK of genetics or evolution will tell you that the genetic code-the relationship between the nucleotide sequence of a gene and the amino acid sequence of the protein it codes for-is universal. All creatures, from bacteria to flies to us, use the same genetic code. This neat simplicity was disturbed slightly a few years ago, when the small genomes of mitochondria were found to use slightly deviant codes-but of course mitochondria are not organisms. Now, however, some more deviations from the standard code have turned up in some free living ciliated protozoons and mycoplasmas. So the genetic code is really not universal after all (Nature, vol 314, p 132). The deviations from the standard code, which five separate groups of scientists in America, Europe and Japan have now found, are very small. In each case a series of three nucleotides (a codon) which normally marks the point on messenger RNA at which protein manufacture should stop, instead codes for the incorporation of an amino acid. ... Sydney Brenner, head of the Medical Research Council's Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge, and contributor to the breaking of the standard code ... emphasised that the deviations found so far are all very minor variations on the standard and still universal theme, rather than entirely novel codes in which all or most of the codons have their meanings changed." (Scott A., "Genetic code is not so universal," New Scientist, 11 April 1985, p.21) 22/02/2005 "Kenneth Miller, a Roman Catholic cell biologist and skilled platform debater for Darwinism, writes in his book Finding Darwin's God that a key doctrine in my own faith is that Jesus was born of a virgin, even though it makes no scientific sense-there is the matter of Jesus' Y-chromosome to account for. But that is the point. Miracles, by definition, do not have to make scientific sense. They are specific acts of God, designed in most cases to get a message across. Their very rarity is what makes them remarkable. [Miller K.R., "Finding Darwin's God," 1999, p.239] I suspect that most of Miller's materialist colleagues will wonder how serious he can be in claiming to believe in an event while saying that it makes no scientific sense, especially since he is vigorous in judging all other claims of supernatural influence on the natural world by the standards of science. If he makes this one exception then why not others, and how does he decide where to draw the line? They may also wonder what Miller could possibly mean by his quest to `find Darwin's God,' when it is so widely known in the scholarly world (and even to Miller himself) that Darwin in his later years was an agnostic." (Johnson, P.E.*, "The Wedge of Truth: Splitting the Foundations of Naturalism," Intervarsity Press: Downers Grove IL., 2000, p.91) 23/02/2005 "Progressive creationism accepts much of the scientific picture of the development of the universe, assuming that for the most part it developed according to natural laws. However, especially with regard to life on earth, PCs hold that God intervened supernaturally at strategic points along the way. On their view, Creation was not a single six-day event but occurred in stages over millions of years. .... The PC view tends to overlap with other views, particularly with old-earth creationism. Hugh Ross is a progressive creationist and is attacked by YECs for that view as much as for his view regarding the age of the earth." (Pennock R.T., "Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationism," MIT Press: Cambridge MA, 1999, Fourth Printing, pp.26-27. Emphasis in original) 23/02/2005 "phlogiston theory A former theory of combustion in which all flammable objects were supposed to contain a substance called phlogiston, which was released when the object burned. The existence of this hypothetical substance was proposed in 1669 by Johann Becher, who called it `combustible earth' (terra pinguis: literally `fat earth'). For example, according to Becher, the conversion of wood to ashes by burning was explained on the assumption that the original wood consisted of ash and terra pinguis, which was released on burning. In the early 18th century Georg Stahl renamed the substance phlogiston (from the Greek for `burned') and extended the theory to include the calcination (and corrosion) of metals. Thus, metals were thought to be composed of calx (a powdery residue) and phlogiston; when a metal was heated, phlogiston was set free and the calx remained. The process could be reversed by heating the metal over charcoal (a substance believed to be rich in phlogiston, because combustion almost totally consumed it). The calx would absorb the phlogiston released by the burning charcoal and become metallic again. The theory was finally demolished by Antoine Lavoisier, who showed by careful experiments with reactions in closed containers that there was no absolute gain in mass - the gain in mass of the substance was matched by a corresponding loss in mass of the air used in combustion. After experiments with Priestley's dephlogisticated air, Lavoisier realized that this gas, which he named oxygen, was taken up to form a calx (now called an oxide). The role of oxygen in the new theory was almost exactly the opposite of phlogiston's role in the old. In combustion and corrosion phlogiston was released; in the modern theory, oxygen is taken up to form an oxide." (Daintith J., ed., "Oxford Dictionary of Chemistry," , Fourth Edition, Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, Fourth edition, 2000, pp.419-420) 24/02/2005 "Now I'm starting to feel -- I'm no more of a creationist now than I ever was, and I'm no less of an evolutionist now that I ever was -- but I'm inclined to think that we should move our debate now onto another level, or move on. And instead of just sort of, just -- I mean I realize that when one is dealing with people, say, at the school level, or these sorts of things, certain sorts of arguments are appropriate. But those of us who are academics, or for other reasons pulling back and trying to think about these things, I think that we should recognize, both historically and perhaps philosophically, certainly 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 honesty that we should recognize, and that we should be thinking about some of these sorts of things. Certainly, I think that philosophers like myself have been much more sensitized to these things, over the last ten years, by trends and winds and whatever the right metaphor is, in the philosophy of science. ... So, as I say, historically I think, however we're going to deal with creationism, or new creationism, or these sorts of things, whether you think that this is -- that what I've just been saying means that we'd better put our house in order .... And it seems to me very clear that at some very basic level, evolution as a scientific theory makes a commitment to a kind of naturalism, namely, that at some level one is going to exclude miracles and these sorts of things, come what may. ..But I am coming here and saying, I think that philosophically that one should be sensitive to what I think history shows, namely, that evolution ... akin to religion, involves making certain a priori or metaphysical assumptions, which at some level cannot be proven empirically. I guess we all knew that, but I think that we're all much more sensitive to these facts now. And I think that the way to deal with creationism, but the way to deal with evolution also, is not to deny these facts, but to recognize them, and to see where we can go, as we move on from there. ... Scott: Any questions? [There is a momentary silence.] Ruse: State of shock!" (Ruse M., "Transcript: Speech by Professor Michael Ruse," Symposium, "The New Antievolutionism," 1993 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, February 13, 1993. Access Research Network. http://www.arn.org/docs/orpages/or151/mr93tran.htm) 24/02/2005 "During the period of nearly universal rejection, direct evidence for continental drift-that is, the data gathered from rocks exposed on our continents-was every bit as good as it is today. It was dismissed because no one had devised a physical mechanism that would permit continents to plow through an apparently solid oceanic floor. In the absence of a plausible mechanism, the idea of continental drift was rejected as absurd. The data that seemed to support it could always be explained away. If these explanations sounded contrived or forced, they were not half so improbable as the alternative-accepting continental drift. During the past ten years, we have collected a new set of data, this time from the ocean basins. With these data, a heavy dose of creative imagination, and a better understanding of the earth's interior, we have fashioned a new theory of planetary dynamics. Under this theory of plate tectonics, continental drift is an inescapable consequence. The old data from continental rocks, once soundly rejected, have been exhumed and exalted as conclusive proof of drift. In short, we now accept continental drift because it is the expectation of a new orthodoxy. I regard this tale as typical of scientific progress. New facts, collected in old ways under the guidance of old theories, rarely lead to any substantial revision of thought. Facts do not "speak for themselves"; they are read in the light of theory. Creative thought, in science as much as in the arts, is the motor of changing opinion. Science is a quintessentially human activity, not a mechanized, robotlike accumulation of objective information, leading by laws of logic to inescapable interpretation." (Gould, S.J., "The Validation of Continental Drift," in "Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History," , Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, pp.161-162) 24/02/2005 "Correction of error cannot always arise from new discovery within an accepted conceptual system. Sometimes the theory has to crumble first, and a new framework be adopted, before the crucial facts can be seen at all" (Gould, S.J., "Cordelia's Dilemma", in "Dinosaur in a Haystack: Reflections in Natural History," , Crown: New York NY, 1997, reprint, p.127) 24/02/2005 "The new orthodoxy colors our vision of all data; there are no `pure facts' in our complex world. About five years ago, paleontologists found on Antarctica a fossil reptile named Lystrosaurus. It also lived in South Africa, and probably in South America as well (rocks of the appropriate age have not been found in South America). If anyone had floated such an argument for drift in the presence of Willis and Schuchert, he would have been howled down-and quite correctly. For Antarctica and South America are almost joined today by a string of islands, and they were certainly connected by a land bridge at various times in the past (a minor lowering of sea level would produce such a land bridge today). Lystrosaurus may well have walked in comfort, on a rather short journey at that. yet the New York Times wrote an editorial proclaiming, on this basis alone, that continental drift had been proved.Many readers may be disturbed by my argument for the primacy of theory. Does it not lead to dogmatism and disrespect for fact? It can, of course, but it need not. The lesson of history holds that theories are overthrown by rival theories, not that orthodoxies are unshakable" (Gould, S.J., "Continental Drift," in "Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History," , Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, pp.166-167) 24/02/2005 "With respect to the theological view of the question. This is always painful to me. I am bewildered. I had no intention to write atheistically. But I own that I cannot see as plainly as others do, and as I should wish to do, evidence of design and beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice. Not believing this, I see no necessity in the belief that the eye was expressly designed. On the other hand, I cannot anyhow be contented to view this wonderful universe, and especially the nature of man, and to conclude that everything is the result of brute force. I am inclined to look at everything as resulting from designed laws; with the details, whether good or bad, left to the working out of what we may call chance. Not that this notion at all satisfies me. I feel most deeply that the whole subject is too profound for the human intellect. A dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton. Let each man hope and believe what he can." (Darwin C.R., letter to Asa Gray, May 22, 1860, in Darwin F., ed., "The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," , Basic Books: New York NY, Vol. II., 1959, reprint, p.105) 26/02/2005 "T: This fear of giving the Creationists ammunition seems very real. N.M: Well, let me tell you of the most horrible anecdote of them all. A few minutes ago I mentioned Ron Brady's article on natural selection in `Systematic Zoology.' I will not name the man or the college in this case but it was an Ivy League college and a respectable man. One of the assistant professors of biology read Ron Brady's article and showed it to a couple of his colleagues, and they all agreed this was very interesting stuff. They put it on the reading list for biology courses. Then they had to arrange for a number of copies to be struck off for students to read. One student couldn't wait for the copies because he had other business and had to read it instantly. So they told him to go down to the library, get out `Systematic Zoology' for December of '79, and read it right there. He came back in half an hour and said, `I got out the December issue but the article isn't there, it's been scissored out.' Next day, the assistant professor of biology went into the office of the head of the department on some other business and on the head's table he saw the missing pages. He went out and got his two colleagues and they marched in together and asked for an explanation. The head of the department said, `Well, of course I don't believe in censorship in any form, but I just couldn't bear the idea of my students reading that article.'" (Macbeth N., "Darwinism: A time for funerals," Robert Briggs Associates: San Francisco CA, 1982, pp.10-12) 26/02/2005 "The twentieth century would be incomprehensible without the Darwinian revolution. The social and political currents which have swept the world in the past eighty years would have been impossible without its intellectual sanction. It is ironic to recall that it was the increasingly secular outlook in the nineteenth century which initially eased the way for the acceptance of evolution, while today it is perhaps the Darwinian view of nature more than any other that is responsible for the agnostic and sceptical outlook of the twentieth century. What was once a deduction from materialism has today become its foundation." (Denton M.J., "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis," Burnett Books: London, 1985, p.359) 27/02/2005 "Although many details remain to be worked out, it is already evident that all the objective phenomena of the history of life can be explained by purely materialistic factors. They are readily explicable on the basis of differential reproduction in populations (the main factor in the modern conception of natural selection) and of the mainly random interplay of the known processes of heredity." (Simpson G.G., "The Meaning of Evolution: A Study of the History of Life and of its Significance for Man," , Yale University Press: New Haven CT, 1960, reprint, p.343) 27/02/2005 "[Mat. 7:]21-23. `Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who puts into practice the will of my Father who (is) in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, in thy name did we not prophesy, and in thy name did we not cast out demons, and in thy name did we not perform many mighty works?' ... The people whom Jesus condemns are branded as false because in their case life and lip had not been in harmony. Their exclamation "Lord, Lord" had been deceitful. By means of it they also now, on this day of the Great Assize, present themselves as Christ's loyal servants ... But on this day of the last judgment they discover that, whatever may have been their previous success in deceiving others, and perhaps while on earth even themselves, they cannot fool the judge. From the kingdom in its final phase they are excluded.-The lesson is clear: let everyone examine himself!" (Hendriksen W., "The Gospel of Matthew: New Testament Commentary:," , The Banner of Truth Trust, 1982, reprint, p.375. Emphasis in original) 27/02/2005 "The souls of the natives held no interest for Huxley. What intrigued him was the fate of the man sent to save them. As always he had his eye on the sects of his own culture. For months Father Angelo had learned the aborigine's tongue and taught his bemused charges Latin prayers. Huxley learned that the man was 'wholly without religious feeling, well acquainted with theology and a strong stickler for the doctrine of his church'. Nothing reinforced his prejudices about papism and its militia more. The priest was 'a soldier of his church, i.e. like most soldiers he did his duty religiously but cared not two straws for the quarrel in which he fought'. The military metaphor, honed by Huxley's anti-Catholicism and suspicion of the warring sects, was becoming pointed. Like the buildings, the priest had crumbled in this hell-hole. Just before the [H.M.S.] Rattlesnake arrived he had died, as MacGillivray put it, blasphemously denying God." (Desmond A., "Huxley: From Devil's Disciples to Evolution's High Priest," , Perseus: Reading MA, 1999, reprint, pp.104-105) 28/02/2005 "There is one further factor needed to delineate more precisely their [an extraterrestrial higher civilization] predicament. They would have known that in the long run and it may have been a very long run their own civilization was doomed. Of course, there may have been reasons for them to believe they could not even survive in the short run. Perhaps they had found that a neighboring star was set on a collision course with theirs not a very likely event in most parts of a galaxy but more than likely near the galactic center. Perhaps they had reason to suspect that their social system would not be stable definitely, as indeed ours may not be. But they would have known that in the very long run- meaning within billions of years-when its nuclear fuel began to run out their star would probably become a red giant and in doing so would engulf their planet and roast them beyond all reasonable hope of escape. Without doubt they would have planned to colonize neighboring planets, but this may have proved to be a technological achievement of extreme difficulty, especially if they were unlucky and the nearest suitable planet was many tens of light-years away. Even if they attempted to do this, they may have realized that their chances of success were small and that they had to make contingency plans against repeated failures of this kind. Whatever their reasons, we may expect them to have examined carefully other alternatives. ... There remained the obvious possibility of sending some other living creatures from their planet. Though necessarily lower in the evolutionary scale, the hope would have been that they might survive and multiply, and, with luck, evolve eventually into a higher form of life. If it was too difficult to send manlike creatures on that appalling journey, why not try to send mice? ... Obviously we need an organism which can be sent in fairly large numbers, which could survive the long journey in space fairly well and which would have some chance of surviving both the act of delivery onto the surface of the planet and the environmental conditions it would find there. Put this way, we see that microorganisms similar to our bacteria would have been a good choice to be the colonists sent to start life in a distant place." (Crick F.H.C., "Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, 1981, pp.120-122) 28/02/2005 "While I could relate to many of the objections that Templeton had raised, at the same time I wasn't naive enough to accept each of them at face value. It was clear that some of his obstacles to faith shouldn't be impediments at all. For example, Templeton was plain wrong about Jesus considering himself to be a mere human being. Even if you go back to the earliest and most primitive information about him-data that could not have been tainted by legendary development-you find that Jesus undoubtedly saw himself in transcendent, divine, and messianic terms. In fact, here's an irony: the very historical documents that Templeton relied upon for his information about the inspiring moral life of Jesus are actually the exact same records that repeatedly affirm his deity. So if Templeton is willing to accept their accuracy concerning Jesus' character, then he also ought to consider them trustworthy when they assert that Jesus claimed to be divine and then backed up that assertion by rising from the dead. In addition, the resurrection of Jesus could not have been a legend as Templeton claimed. The apostle Paul preserved a creed of the early church that was based on eyewitness accounts of Jesus' return from the dead-and which various scholars have dated to as early as twenty-four to thirty-six months after Jesus' death. [1 Cor. 15:3-8] That's far too quick for mythology to have tainted the record. The truth is that nobody has ever been able to show one example in. history of a legend developing that quickly and wiping out a solid core of historical truth." (Strobel, L.P.*, "The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 2000, p.21) 28/02/2005 "My own research and teaching have always been planned and interpreted in Darwinian terms; so have those of every other working biologist I know. We assume that animals and all other living creatures adapt to environments, that natural selection snaps at their heels to speed the process, that today's organisms are adapted through natural selection from different kinds of organisms that lived long ago, and that the fossil record, properly interpreted, can show us how it happened. This is all a useful framework for the mass of knowledge that modern biologists must acquire but ... there is a hidden danger. Like almost every other working biologist I rejoice (well, nod with mild approval) when one of my colleagues comes up with evidence, honestly acquired, that fits the Darwinian model. Like others I suspend judgement on evidence that seems not to fit, and feel better when, with further thought, I find it consistent after all. Like others I tend to test the evidence against the model, and never really find time to test the model itself. ... However, Michael Pitman has quite properly seized on the weaknesses that have always flawed the foundations of Darwinism, and he does us a service by worrying them to shreds. What are the weaknesses? ... The first is that evolution by natural selection is remarkably difficult to demonstrate by the kinds of experiments that scientists normally accept in evidence. The second is that, while micro-evolution (the genesis of varieties of plants or animals) by natural selection seems plausible enough, macro-evolution (the genesis of widely differing patterns of organisms) by an extension and elaboration of the same process is much more difficult to swallow. Accepting the implications of macro-evolution by natural selection is, in the author's view, unwarranted on the evidence. Could the human eye have been evolved by the trial-and error of natural selection? And the human brain? Could the complex biochemistry of even the simplest bacterium have arisen by a series of chances? To believe that they could, says Michael Pitman, is just as much a matter of faith as belief in Creationism or any other less scientifically pretentious alternative to natural selection. Is Darwinism, then, a scientific hypothesis or a religious experience? I have not found all the arguments of this book convincing, but I cannot disagree with its major proposition that, in measure of credulity, there is currently little to choose between Darwinist and Creationist. Michael Pitman may convince you ... that not all Creationists are mindlessly conforming to outworn myths, and that there is more in the Creationist argument than scientists are generally willing to concede. He may even convince you, as he has convinced me, that some fundamental truths about evolution have so far eluded us all, and that uncritical acceptance of Darwinism may be counterproductive as well as expedient." (Stonehouse, B., "Introduction," Pitman, M., "Adam and Evolution," Rider & Co., London, 1984, p.11-12) 28/02/2005 "C.f. The Darwin upheaval. One circle of admirers who said: `Of course', and another circle [of enemies] who said: `Of course not'. Why in the Hell should a man say `of course'? (The idea was that of monocellular organisms becoming more and more complicated until they became mammals, men, etc.) Did anyone see this process happening? No. Has anyone seen it happening now? No. The evidence of breeding is just a drop in the bucket. But there were thousands of books in which this was said to be the obvious solution. People were certain on grounds which were extremely thin. Couldn't there have been an attitude which said: `I don't know. It's an interesting hypothesis which may eventually be well confirmed'? This shows how you can be persuaded of a certain thing. In the end you forget entirely every question of verification, you are just sure it must have been like that." (Wittgenstein, L.J.J., "Lectures and Conversations on Aesthetics, Psychology and Religious Belief," Barrett, C., ed., Basil Blackwell: Oxford UK, 1966, pp.26-27. Emphasis in original)
* Authors with an asterisk against their name are believed not to be evolutionists. However, lack of
an asterisk does not necessarily mean that an author is an evolutionist.
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