Stephen E. Jones

Creation/Evolution Quotes: Unclassified quotes: March 2005

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The following are unclassified quotes posted in my email messages in March, 2005.
The date format is dd/mm/yy. See copyright conditions at end.

[Index: Jan; Feb; Apr; May-Jun; Jul (1), (2); Aug-Sep; Oct; Nov; Dec]


1/03/2005
"Darwin seems to have given no experimental illustrations of the operation of this principle of natural 
selection. Indeed in his chapter on the subject, his examples are purely imaginary. Under the hands of man 
artificial selection has proved a strong force in producing new varieties of organisms. Darwin asks the 
question whether or not this principle of selection could operate in nature also. He finds that it can and 
does. A point which Darwin emphasizes, first made by Hooker and Asa Gray, is that man, even with the 
organisms under his control, does not cause the origin of the variations on which he works through 
selection. All he can do is to take the fortunate variations as they occur, select and accumulate them. The 
same applies to natural selection. "Some have even imagined that natural selection induces variability, 
whereas it implies only the preservations of such variations as occur and are beneficial to the being under 
its conditions of life." [Darwin, C., "The Origin of Species," 1859, p.84] Herein, of course, lies the 
fundamental weakness of the whole theory." (Fothergill, P.G., "Historical Aspects of Organic Evolution," 
Hollis & Carter: London, 1952, p.114)

1/03/2005
"The theory of natural selection, as Dobzhansky points out, is essentially a theory of the origin of 
adaptations, and only secondarily a theory of evolutionary causation. The neo-Darwinians, however, equate 
the phenomena of adaptation and evolution, inasmuch as they consider that a demonstration of the way in 
which an organism has become adapted to its environment furnishes evidence of the way in which the 
organism has evolved. Most demonstrations of this kind are concerned with macroscopic differences of 
structure, such as differences of colour, size and so on. Yet in their theoretical discussions based on 
cytogenetics and mutation theory the same neo-Darwinians are led to consider the extremely small 
variations, with little, if any, visible effect, as the raw material of evolution on which natural selection works, 
whereas the large visible mutations are said to be of little use in evolution. But biological opinion is by no 
means unanimous about these matters, and probably the root of the difficulties involved in the idea of 
natural selection, considered in relation to the origin of adaptations and to evolution, lies in the fact that 
experimental investigations of the subject encounter unsurmountable obstacles due to the very complex 
circumstances in which living organisms live and have their being. Unlike the problems of physics and 
chemistry, the problems of biology, and particularly of evolutionary biology, can never be completely 
understood without reference to the environment, and this includes the whole of nature, with its almost 
infinite number of variables." (Fothergill P.G., "Historical Aspects of Organic Evolution," Hollis & Carter: 
London, 1952, p.320)

1/03/2005
"If natural selection is a causal agent in evolution, it becomes necessary to show that this agent has 
changed a variety or species, and to do this involves certain logical requirements, which have recently been 
listed by Pearl. [Pearl R., `Requirements of a Proof that Natural Selection has Altered a Race,' Scientia, Vol. 
47, 1930, p.175] `1. Proof of somatic differences between survivors and eliminated This is the first logical 
step in the demonstration of the action of natural selection in a particular case. 2. Proof of genetic 
differences between survivors and eliminated No proof of the effectiveness of natural selection in altering a 
race can be logically complete until it has been demonstrated that there are genetic differences between 
survivors and eliminated as well as somatic differences. 3. Proof of effective time of elimination It may be 
said that to establish a logically complete demonstration of the effective action of natural selection it is 
necessary to have careful regard for the age of eliminated and surviving individuals in relation to their 
periods of reproduction, in order to be sure that otherwise selective deaths occurred at an age such that 
they could have affected the race. 4. Proof of somatic alteration of a race It must be shown by adequate 
biometrical investigation that the race in question is somatically different after the particular event of 
selection, or after the lapse of a reasonable secular period in the case of continuing selection from what it 
was before. 5. Proof of genetic alteration of a race it is still necessary to show that the race following a 
particular act of selection, or after a reasonable secular period in the case of continuing selection, is 
genetically different from what it was before the selection, if proof is to be complete.' As far as we know, no 
single investigation of a particular case of natural selection has fulfilled all of these requirements, and most 
of them have only satisfied one, or perhaps two, of them. A complete experimental demonstration that 
natural selection is a factor in evolution is therefore wanting. Thus, Robson and Richards [Robson G.C. & 
Richards O.W., "The Variation of Animals in Nature," Longmans, Green, and Co: London, 1936] can say: 
`We do not believe that natural selection can be disregarded as a possible factor in evolution. Nevertheless, 
there is so little positive evidence in its favour, so much that appears to tell against it, and so much that is as 
yet inconclusive, that we have no right to assign to it the main causative role in evolution.' ... Clearly the 
mere demonstration that selection acts in nature does not cover the requirements of a proof that natural 
selection is an evolutionary agent as demanded by Pearl. " (Fothergill P.G., "Historical Aspects of Organic 
Evolution," Hollis & Carter: London, 1952, pp.321-322)

1/03/2005
"The examples of protective coloration and the like given seem very convincing, but whether or not they 
show that a beneficial adaptation in a truly wild state has any positive evolutionary value is another matter. 
Our senses tell us that it is easier to see a white butterfly against a black background than a black one on the 
same background, but in a natural state extremes of colour in back ground are rarely met with over a wide 
area. In fact, the natural background is on the whole kaleidoscopic in colour and animals move from place to 
place. Again, it has been shown that the really important feature about mimics and protectively coloured 
animals is that they remain inconspicuous only as long as they keep still. As soon as they make even a 
slight movement the predator sees and seizes them. On the other hand, even in animals which are commonly 
thought to be protected due to their colour, dimorphic forms may exist. A handy summary of such forms has 
been given by Elton [Elton C., "Animal Ecology," London, 1927], an ecologist. The simplest example is that 
of the white arctic fox, which, as it lives among snow, would seem to be perfectly adapted to its 
surroundings. According to current Darwinian views this species of fox has been evolved by natural 
selection of those animals which possessed lighter coloured fur. In actual fact, as Elton points out, the arctic 
fox exists in two colour phases, one white in winter and brown in summer, and the other blue in winter and 
grey or black in summer. In many parts of the arctic regions the blue and white phases occur indiscriminately 
in a common population. Selectionists have then to face the question that if the one of these colours which 
is adaptive evolved by means of natural selection, how did the non-adaptive one evolve at the same time 
and in the same place, or why hasn't it long since been exterminated by selection ? There are many other 
cases of this kind and there are many other field naturalists who have come up against similar problems 
when studying animals in their natural surroundings." (Fothergill P.G., "Historical Aspects of Organic 
Evolution," Hollis & Carter: London, 1952, pp.338-339)

1/03/2005
"The few samples of the evidence for the occurrence of natural selection already given show that a 
cumulative argument may be advanced to the effect that under certain environmental conditions certain 
types of the same and of different species may be discriminated against in nature and exterminated quicker 
than other types. None of the examples given, however, satisfy all of Pearl's requirements ... [Pearl R., 
"Requirements of a Proof that Natural Selection has Altered a Race," Scientia, Vol. 47, 1930, p.175] of a proof 
that a race has been altered by selection. It is one thing to show that natural selection does actually operate, 
and another to show that it plays a part in changing one species into another; that is, that selection is a 
causal agent in bringing about the evolution of species." (Fothergill P.G., "Historical Aspects of Organic 
Evolution," Hollis & Carter: London, 1952, p.339)

2/03/2005
"DR. MAYR: I don't know who should answer that but I agree there, too. Somebody quoted Darwin 
yesterday and, as with the Bible, you can quote him for one thing or another. In one place he said that it 
completely horrified him to think of the eye and how to explain it; and at another place he said once you 
assume that any kind of protein has the ability to react to light, once you admit that, then it is no problem 
whatsoever to construct an eye." (Mayr E.W., "Summary Discussion," in Moorhead P.S. & Kaplan M.M., 
ed., "Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution: A Symposium Held at the 
Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, April 25 and 26, 1966," The Wistar Institute Symposium 
Monograph Number 5, The Wistar Institute Press: Philadelphia PA, 1967, p.97)

3/03/2005
"naturalism, the twofold view that (1) everything is composed of natural entities - those studied in the 
sciences (on some versions, the natural sciences)-whose properties determine all the properties of things, 
persons included, abstracta (abstract entities) like possibilia (possibilities) and mathematical objects, if they 
exist, being constructed of such abstracta as the sciences allow; and (2) acceptable methods of justification 
and explanation are commensurable, in some sense, with those in science" (Post J.F., "naturalism," in Audi 
R., ed., "The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy," [1995], Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 
Reprinted, 1996, p.517. Emphasis original)

3/03/2005
"You speak of finding a flaw in my hypothesis & this shows you do not understand its nature. It is a mere 
rag of an hypothesis with as many flaw & holes as sound parts. ---- My question is whether the rag is worth 
anything?" (Darwin, C.R., Letter to T.H. Huxley, 2 June, 1859, Burkhardt F.H. & Smith S., eds., "The 
Correspondence of Charles Darwin,". Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1985; Vol. 7, p.301)

3/03/2005
"Huxley too was generous. He had only one cavil: that domestic races originating from a single stock (say 
bulldogs and greyhounds, descendants of the same wild dog) do not produce sterile offspring when 
crossed, as distinct wild species do. Until breeders achieved this degree of separation actually made new 
species from a single stock - the analogy with natural selection remained incomplete. 'You speak of finding a 
flaw in my hypothesis,' Darwin rallied him, '& this shows you do not understand its nature. It is a mere rag of 
an hypothesis with as many flaw & holes as sound parts.' But 'I can carry in it my fruit to market for a short 
distance over a gentle road; not I fear that you will give the poor rag such a devil of a shake that it will fall all 
to atoms; & a poor rag is better than nothing to carry one's fruit to market in.' " (Darwin C.R., Letter to T.H. 
Huxley, 2 June, 1859, "Thomas Huxley Papers," Imperial College of Science and Technology, London, in 
Desmond A.J. & Moore J.R., "Darwin," [1991], Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1992, p.475)

3/03/2005
"True to form Huxley pointed out a `flaw' in Darwin's reasoning. The tumblers and runts interbreed; fanciers 
had yet to pull their pigeons so far apart as to form real species, with sterile hybrids. But Darwin called his `a 
mere rag of an hypothesis' with as many `holes as sound parts'. The point was that `I can carry in it my fruit 
to market'. Not that the naturalist, with his tortured `prostration of mind & body', could walk much at all. 
Seeing his `miserable' prose in proof, he had started rewriting until his health `quite failed'. And through it all 
he feared that Huxley would give the rag `such a devil of a shake that it will fall all to atoms'. (Burkhardt F.H. 
& Smith S., eds., "The Correspondence of Charles Darwin," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 
1985-1994, Vol. 7, pp.255-262, 272, 279, 299,301-303, 308, 451, in Desmond A.J., "Huxley: From Devil's 
Disciples to Evolution's High Priest," [1994], Perseus: Reading MA, 1999, reprint, pp.254-255)

3/03/2005
"From then until May 1859, when the manuscript was finished, he worked incessantly. He overhauled earlier 
chapters, completed remaining ones, and wrote a rousing conclusion. Again and again he murmured, "I fear 
I shall never be able to make it good enough." Again and again, his friends answered questions, read 
sections of the text, wrote letters, and encouraged him. "It is a mere rag of an hypothesis with as many flaws 
& holes as sound parts," he wrote to Huxley. "My question is whether the rag is worth anything?" 
[Burkhardt F.H. & Smith S., eds., "The Correspondence of Charles Darwin," Cambridge University Press: 
Cambridge UK, 1985-1994, Vol. 7, p.301, in Browne E.J., "Charles Darwin: The Power of Place: Volume II of a 
Biography," [2002], Pimlico: London, 2003, p.53)

3/03/2005
"Darwin was well aware that most of the leading figures in the scientific community would not be 
sympathetic to his heterodox views. As he told the recipients of presentation copies, in no case did he 
expect full agreement with the book, for he freely admitted that there were many difficulties with his theory. 
He begged Huxley, whom he believed might respond favourably to his ideas, not to be too harsh, explaining 
that his book was "a mere rag of an hypothesis with as many flaws & holes as sound parts.---- My question 
is whether the rag is worth anything?" (letter to T. H. Huxley, 2 June [1859]). But as critical letters began to 
arrive, Darwin could not conceal the discomfort he felt at the severity of some of the attacks." (Darwin 
Correspondence Project: Introduction to The correspondence of Charles Darwin Volume 1: 1858-1859," 
Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1991. 
http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/Departments/Darwin/intros/vol7.html)

3/03/2005
"To say that natural law was instituted by a Power and to deny that natural law may be suspended or 
changed is to accept the greater mystery and to deny a less. If God instituted the laws by which the solar 
system moves then I see no reason, so far as physics is concerned, why the sun may not have stood still at 
the command of God through Joshua. To say that it would have deranged the solar system is an argument 
which should have no more weight than to say that a man who had made a machine could not stop it and 
start it again without deranging its mechanism. The disbelief in such miracles comes from the conviction of 
so steadfast a reign of law that the purpose ascribed to the miracles is not commensurate with the infraction 
of the law. " (More L.T., "The Dogma of Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1925, Second 
Printing, p.357)

3/03/2005
"The wager is among the fragments that Pascal had not classified at the time of his death, but textual 
evidence shows that it would have been included in Section 12, entitled `Commencement,' after the 
demonstrations of the superior explanatory power of Christianity. The wager is a direct application of the 
principles developed in Pascal's earlier work on probability, where he discovered a calculus that could be 
used to determine the most rational action when faced with uncertainty about future events, or what is now 
known as decision theory. In this case the uncertainty is the truth of Christianity and its claims about 
afterlife; and the actions under consideration are whether to believe or not. The choice of the most rational 
action depends on what would now be called its `expected value.' The expected value of an action is 
determined by (1) assigning a value, s, to each possible outcome of the action, (2) subtracting the cost of 
the action, c, from this value, and (3) multiplying the difference by the probability of the respective 
outcomes and adding these products together. Pascal invites the reader to consider Christian faith and 
unbelief as if they were acts of wagering on the truth of Christianity. If one believes, then there are two 
possible outcomes - either God exists or not. If God does exist, the stake to be gained is infinite life. If God 
does not exist, there are no winnings. Because the potential winnings are infinite, religious belief is more 
rational than unbelief because of its greater expected value." (Fouke D., "Pascal, Blaise," in Audi R., ed., 
"The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy," [1995], Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1996, 
reprint, p.563)

3/03/2005
"The skeptic [of naturalism] can accept Sauer's and Yockey's results with equanimity because his world is 
not necessarily limited to those phenomena that can be explained by naturalism. Furthermore, the skeptic 
can happily concede that many biological phenomena are explained by natural laws. He can agree 
that beak shape and wing color can change under selective pressure, or that different proteins in the same 
structural class, such as the alpha and beta chains of hemoglobin, may have arisen through Darwinistic 
mechanisms. But the believer in the universal application of physical law is stuck. He must maintain, 
against the evidence, that different protein classes, like cytochromes and immunoglobulins, found 
their way by raw luck through the vast, dark sea of nonfunctional sequences to the tiny islands of function 
we observe experimentally. .... And why, we ask, must he maintain these positions against impossible odds 
and without supporting evidence? Because, he replies, I can measure only material phenomena, and 
therefore nothing else exists." (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.70. Emphasis original)

4/03/2005
"Promising though the RNA world scenario seems, it has many detractors. They point out that, however 
good the theory may be, test tube experiments are frequently dismal failures. Key reactions stubbornly 
refuse to proceed without carefully designed procedures and the help of special catalysts. Nucleic acid 
chains are notoriously fragile, and tend to snap long before they have acquired the 50 or so base pairs 
needed for them to act as enzymes. Water attacks and breaks up nucleic acid polymers as it does peptides, 
casting doubt on any soupy version of an RNA world. Even the synthesis of the four bases required as 
building blocks is not without serious problems. As far as biochemists can see, it is a long and difficult road 
to produce efficient RNA replicators from scratch. No doubt a way could eventually be found for each step 
in the chemical sequence to be carried out in the lab without too much drama, but only under highly artificial 
conditions, using specially prepared and purified chemicals in lust the right proportions. The trouble is, 
there are very many such steps involved, and each requires different special conditions. It is highly doubtful 
that all these steps would obligingly happen one after the other 'in the wild', where a chemical soup or scum 
would just have to take pot luck. The conclusion has to be that without a trained organic chemist on hand to 
supervise, nature would be struggling to make RNA from a dilute soup under any plausible prebiotic 
conditions. So whilst an RNA world could conceivably function and evolve towards life if handed to us on a 
plate (perhaps in a soup bowl would be a better metaphor), getting the RNA world going from a crude 
chemical mixture is another matter entirely." (Davies, P.C.W., "The Fifth Miracle: The Search for the Origin of 
Life," Penguin: Ringwood Vic, Australia, 1998, p.99)

4/03/2005
"Added to these diverse difficulties is the problem of chirality left versus right ... The fact that all life on 
Earth is based on molecules with the same handedness is not merely a curiosity: RNA replication would be 
menaced in an environment in which both left- and right-handed versions of the basic molecules are equally 
present. The crucial lock-and-key templating arrangements, whereby bases pair up with complementary 
bases according to their shapes, would be compromised as molecules with the 'wrong' handedness locked 
into the slots. The left hand would mess up what the right hand was doing. Unless a way can be found for 
nature to create a soup with molecules of only one handedness, spontaneous RNA synthesis would be a 
lost cause." (Davies, P.C.W., "The Fifth Miracle: The Search for the Origin of Life," Penguin: Ringwood Vic, 
Australia, 1998, pp.99-100)

4/03/2005
"Proponents of the RNA world scenario have received flak not just from chemists but from biologists too. If 
life began with RNA replication, you would expect the necessary replication machinery to be very ancient, 
and therefore common to all extant life. However, genetic analysis reveals that the genes coding for RNA 
replication differ markedly in the three domains of life, suggesting that RNA replication was refined some 
time after the common ancestor lived." (Davies, P.C.W., "The Fifth Miracle: The Search for the Origin of 
Life," Penguin: Ringwood Vic, Australia, 1998, p.100. Emphasis original)

4/03/2005
"There has also been criticism on theoretical grounds. The RNA world theory focuses exclusively on 
replication at the expense of metabolism. As I have stressed already, life is about more than raw 
reproduction: living organisms also do things, and must do them if they are to survive to reproduce. Doing 
things costs energy. There has to be a ready source of energy for organisms to metabolize. In test-tube 
experiments, RNA molecules are lovingly supplied with specialized energetic chemicals to power their 
activities, but in nature RNA would have to make do with whatever was lying around. No Miller-Urey type 
experiment has succeeded in fabricmicals used by extant life: they are all 
manufactured inside cells. Spoon-fed RNA may be a slick replicator, but without an energy-liberating 
metabolic cycle already in place, these fecund genetic strands would soon become molecular drop-outs." 
(Davies, P.C.W., "The Fifth Miracle: The Search for the Origin of Life," Penguin: Ringwood Vic, Australia, 
1998, p.100)

4/03/2005
"An obvious escape route is to seek a self-replicating molecule far simpler than RNA to start the whole 
game going. The RNA world would then come only much later. It is conceivable that a relatively small 
molecule might be found that can replicate faithfully enough. The way would then lie open for molecular 
evolution to elaborate it, adding information step by step, until a level of complexity comparable to short 
strands of RNA was achieved. The system could then be 'taken over' by RNA. Is this how biogenesis really 
happened? Maybe. However, there are many obstacles to that theory, such as doubt over whether small a 
molecules can be accurate enough replicators to avoid the error catastrophe. In extant life, high-fidelity 
replication seems to he associated with large, complex systems. It is the larger genomes, with their and error-
correcting procedures, that are the best copiers. So if the trend among nucleic acid replicators is followed 
down to smaller and smaller size, one expects only poor replication accuracy from simple molecules. 
Moreover, the smaller a molecule is, the more drastic will be the relative effect of any mutational change, and 
the greater the chance that the mutation won't inherit the property of itself being a replicator. In recent years, 
attempts have been made to build small and simple replicator molecules in the lab, and to subject them to 
environmental stresses to see if they evolve into better replicators. Modest success has been claimed. 
However, these experiments do not demonstrate molecular evolution in nature. They have yet to show that 
the sort of small replicators that have been painstakingly designed and fabricated in the laboratory will form 
spontaneously under plausible prebiotic conditions, and if they do, whether they will replicate well enough 
to evade the error catastrophe. In short, nobody has a clue whether naturally occurring mini-replicators are 
even possible, let alone whether they have got what it takes to evolve successfully." (Davies, P.C.W., "The 
Fifth Miracle: The Search for the Origin of Life," Penguin: Ringwood Vic, Australia, 1998, pp.100-101) 

4/03/2005
"It is this last function, the ability to self-replicate, that Joyce and Orgel call `the molecular biologists' dream:' 
If a truly self-replicating molecule could be produced in the laboratory, a huge gap in our understanding of 
the origin of life would be closed. ... Remarkable as the results from test-tube-evolution experiments are, 
these evolved ribozymes are still a very long way from the full realization of the molecular biologists' dream. 
Even the cleverest ribozyme yet produced can only copy short stretches of itself. It is very unlikely, we 
suspect, that a molecule can be selected for that could polymerize a copy of itself along its entire length 
without some kind of help. ... Let us assume for a moment that Orgel is correct and that sometime in the near 
future a researcher will tease out, from the large array of random RNA sequences lurking in a test tube, the 
one that has the ability to catalyze its own replication from simple components of the type found in the 
primordial soup. At this point, many researchers would argue that life has been created in the laboratory. 
But would this be a reenactment of the origin of life as it might have taken place on the early Earth? Certainly 
not! A much larger problem will remain: Even if researchers eventually do create such an astonishing 
molecule in the laboratory, this is no guarantee that a similar molecule would ever have been synthesized in 
the primordial soup or on rock surfaces early in the history of our planet." (Wills, C.J. & Bada, J.L., "The 
Spark of Life: Darwin and the Primeval Soup," [2000], Oxford University Press: New York NY, 2001, reprint, 
pp.129-130)

4/03/2005
"Now how difficult would it be to put together the replicator at random? The minimal published estimates of 
its size propose a single strand of RNA of perhaps 20 nucleotides. To build this structure, about 600 atoms 
would have to be connected in a specific way, much less than the many millions needed for a bacterium. ... 
But what are the odds? J.B.S. Haldane recognized that the chances of obtaining a self-replicating machine 
depended on the number of parts to it. If the number was small, there was no problem: `By mere shuffling 
you will get the letters ACEHIMN to spell 'machine' once in 5040 trials on an average.' [Haldane, J.B.S., "The 
Origins of Life," in Johnson, M.L., Abercrombie, M. & Fogg, G. E., eds, "The Origin of Life," New Biology, 
No. 16, Penguin Books: London, April 1954, p.14] If you could shuffle at the rate of once per second, it 
would require only 84 minutes to run that many tries. This analogy suggests that it should not be hard to 
put together a smallish replicator, so we must look more closely at it. We will stay with the metaphor of 
language, but set aside the letters on cards in favor of another much-used situation: the monkey at the 
typewriter. Let's call him Charlie the Chimp. Charlie is special. He never gets tired, and types out one line per 
second, completely at random. ... Now let us give Charlie a normal keyboard with, say, 45 keys. The odds 
suddenly escalate to 1 in 457, or 1 in 370 billion tries. It would take Charlie (or his 
descendants) 11,845 years to run that many attempts. The word `machine' does not arise as readily as 
Haldane's first analogy would suggest. Things get rapidly worse when we use longer messages. We will let 
Charlie try for a bit of Hamlet. The phrase `to be or not to be' has 18 characters, if we count the 
spaces as characters. The chances that our chimp will type this out are 1 in 4518, or 1 in 6 x 
109. At one try per second, it will take poor Charlie more than 1022 years to do 
that number of tries. Should the open model for the universe be correct, Charlie will still be typing away long 
after the stars have ceased to shine and all the planets have been dispersed into space through stellar near-
collisions. But now we have developed a real thirst for Shakespeare. We want our monkey to type out `to be 
or not to be: that is the question,' which has 40 characters. The chances then become 4540, or 
about 1066, to 1. This is a number 10 million times greater than the number of trials maximally 
available for the random generation of a replicator on the early earth. There we have it. If the chances of 
getting the replicator at random from a prebiotic soup are less than that of striking `to be or not to be: that is 
the question' by chance on a typewriter, we had best forget it. The replicator would have about 600 atoms. 
The chances of Charlie typing a 600-letter message (twice the size of this paragraph) correctly are 1 in 
10992.   There is a further irony. Even should the miracle occur and the replicator find itself 
awash in the seas of the prebiotic earth, its fate would be unkind. It would perish without further issue. For 
in this random sea, it would encounter only hosts of unrelated chemicals, and not the subunits it needs to 
reproduce itself. A second miracle would be needed to surround it with exactly the ingredients it needs for 
further progress." (Shapiro, R., "Origins: A Skeptic's Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth," Summit Books: 
New York NY, 1986, pp.168-170)

4/03/2005
"There is a further irony. Even should the miracle occur and the replicator find itself awash in the seas of the 
prebiotic earth, its fate would be unkind. It would perish without further issue. For in this random sea, it 
would encounter only hosts of unrelated chemicals, and not the subunits it needs to reproduce itself. A 
second miracle would be needed to surround it with exactly the ingredients it needs for further progress." 
(Shapiro, R., "Origins: A Skeptic's Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth," Summit Books: New York NY, 
1986, p.170)

5/03/2005
"TO argue that a claim is true or false on the basis of its origin is to commit the genetic fallacy. For example: 
'Jones's idea is the result of a mystical experience, so it must be false (or true).' Or: 'Jane got that message 
from a Ouija board, so it must be false (or true).' These arguments are fallacious because the origin of a claim 
is irrelevant to its truth or falsity. Some of our greatest advances have originated in unusual ways. For 
example, the chemist August Kekule discovered the benzene ring while staring at a fire and seeing the image 
of a serpent biting its tail. The theory of evolution came to British naturalist Alfred Russell Wallace while in 
a delirium. Archimedes supposedly arrived at the principle of displacement while taking a bath, from which 
he leapt shouting, `Eureka!' The truth or falsity of an idea is determined not by where it came from, but by 
the evidence supporting it." (Schick T. & Vaughn L., "How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking 
for a New Age," Mayfield: Mountain View CA, California, Second edition, 1995, p.287)

5/03/2005
"Genetic Fallacy. This is a special type of reductive fallacy in which the single issue focused on is the 
source or origin of an idea. The argument demands, `Something (or someone) should be rejected because it 
(or he) comes from a bad source.' This is an attempt to belittle a position by pointing out its inauspicious 
beginnings. .... By this criterion, we should not believe our model for the benzene molecule because its 
founder based it on a dream of a snake biting its tail. One prominent use of this objection in recent years has 
been to criticize creationism as a scientific view because it comes from Genesis, a religious source. But that 
is completely irrelevant. Creation science is a theory that must be evaluated on its own merits and cannot be 
ruled out simply because it comes from a religious source." (Geisler N.L. & Brooks R.M., "Come, Let Us 
Reason: An Introduction to Logical Thinking," Baker Book House: Grand Rapids MI, 1990, pp.107-108)

5/03/2005
"Fallacies of personal attack can take various forms, depending on the nature of the attack. ... One of the 
simplest is genetic fallacy, a type of argument in which an attempt is made to prove a conclusion false by 
condemning its source or genesis. Such arguments are fallacious because how an idea originated is 
irrelevant to its viability. Thus it would be fallacious to argue that, since chemical elements are involved in 
all life processes, life is therefore nothing more than a chemical process; or that, since the early forms of 
religion were matters of magic, religion is nothing but magic. Genetic accounts of an issue may be true, and 
they may be illuminating as to why the issue has assumed its present form, but they are irrelevant to its 
merits." (Engel S.M., "With Good Reason: An Introduction to Informal Fallacies," St. Martin's Press: New 
York NY, Fourth Edition, 1990, p.188. Emphasis original)

5/03/2005
"To argue that proposals are bad or assertions false because they are proposed or asserted by radicals (of 
the right or left) is to argue fallaciously and to be guilty of committing an argumentum ad hominem 
(abusive). This kind of argument is sometimes said to commit the Genetic Fallacy, because it attacks the 
source or genesis of the opposing position rather than that position itself. The way in which this irrelevant 
argument may sometimes persuade is through the psychological process of transference. Where an attitude 
of disapproval toward a person can be evoked, it may possibly tend to overflow the strictly emotional field 
and become disagreement with what that person says. But this connection is only psychological, not 
logical." (Copi, I.M., Introduction to Logic," [1953], Macmillan: New York, Seventh Edition, 1986, p.92)

5/03/2005
"Damning the Origin: `consider the source' The opposite of regarding argument as established through an 
appeal to authority ..., is the so-called fallacy of origin, that is, rejecting an argument on account of its 
undesirable source. The force of an argument does not lie in the nature of the source which advances it. 
Plato makes this point in one of his dialogues, the Phaedrcrs. Here Plato depicts Socrates as illustrating an 
argument by inventing a little myth about ancient Egypt, whereupon Phaedrus replies by remarking that 
Socrates could, of course, invent tales about Egypt or any other place he chose. Socrates then answers the 
implied criticism by inventing still another myth. `There was a tradition in the temple of Dodona that oaks 
first gave prophetic utterances. The men of old, unlike in their simplicity to young philosophy, deemed that 
if they heard the truth even from `oak or rock,' it was enough for them; whereas you seem to consider not 
whether a thing is or is not true, but who the speaker is and from what country the tale comes.' Plato, The 
Phaedrus. Socrates' rebuke is justified. It is true that we want to take into account the reliability of a man 
before adopting some view of his or before believing without other warrant something he tells us. But even 
a notorious liar or a man strongly motivated by selfinterest can on occasion tell the truth. ... Socrates is 
reminding us that what we should want to know about a statement is whether or not it is true, and that it is 
irrelevant where the statement originates, whether in a tree or a rock-or a myth for that matter." (Fearnside, 
W.W. & Holther, W.B., "Fallacy: The Counterfeit of Argument," Prentice-Hall: Englewood Cliffs NJ, 1959, 
Eleventh printing, p.97)

 5/03/2005
"The genetic fallacy is the error of drawing an inappropriate conclusion about the goodness or badness of 
some property of a thing from the goodness or badness of some property of the origin of that thing. For 
example, `This medication was derived from a plant that is poisonous; therefore, even though my physician 
advises me to take it, I conclude that it would be very bad for me if I took it.' The error is inappropriately 
arguing from the origin of the medication to the conclusion that it must be poisonous in any form or 
situation. The genetic fallacy is often construed very broadly making it coextensive with the personal attack 
type of argument (see the description of argumentum ad hominem below) that condemns a prior argument 
by condemning its source or proponent." (Walton, D., "informal fallacy," in Audi, R., ed., "The Cambridge 
Dictionary of Philosophy," [1995], Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, Reprinted, 1996, p.373)

5/03/2005
"Is creation in that broad sense consistent with evolution? ... The answer is absolutely not, when evolution 
is understood in the Darwinian sense. To Darwinists evolution means naturalistic evolution, because 
they insist that science must assume that the cosmos is a closed system of material causes and effects 
which can never be influenced by anything outside of material nature-by God, for example. In the beginning, 
an explosion of matter created the cosmos, and undirected, naturalistic evolution produced everything that 
followed. From this philosophical standpoint it follows deductively that from the beginning no intelligent 
purpose guided evolution. If intelligence exists today, that is only because it has itself evolved through 
purposeless material processes." (Johnson, P.E.*, "What is Darwinism?" in "Objections Sustained: 
Subversive Essays on Evolution, Law & Culture," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove, IL, 1998, p.22. 
Emphasis original. http://www.origins.org/pjohnson/whatis.html)

5/03/2005
"The immense imaginative appeal of a unified theory stems entirely from the position it occupies in the 
naturalistic philosophy that scientists generally assume in their work. If nature is really a permanently closed 
system of physical causes and effects, then everything that has happened in the entire history of the 
cosmos must be determined (or at least permitted) by the conditions that existed at the beginning. If in the 
beginning nothing existed except the laws and the particles, and nothing fundamentally new has entered the 
universe subsequently, then a complete understanding of conditions at the beginning is in principle the key 
to a complete understanding of everything that followed. The unified theory is therefore what might be 
called the opening chapter in the grand metaphysical story of science, and the set of laws described by the 
unified theory is the scientific equivalent of a creator. That is why religious language permeates the books 
about the theory, and why Hawking thinks that to achieve a complete understanding of the theory would be 
to know the mind of God-in the sense of knowing all that there is to know." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Reason in the 
Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law and Education," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove 
IL, 1995, p.56)

5/03/2005
"I think the next great controversy was about the nature of the theory of evolution. Some physicists were 
saying it is not a real theory at all; either it doesn't explain any thing or it explains everything. This is 
something I think we want to try to clear up. I tried to make the point that my own view about this is that the 
theory of evolution is unfalsifiable, or at least very difficult to falsify, to the same degree that Newtonian 
physics is very difficult to falsify. The criticism was that if an animal evolves one way, biologists have a 
perfectly good explanation; but if it evolves some other way, they have an equally good explanation. So 
what is the good of all this explanation? If I find Jupiter has six moons, the physicists have a perfectly good 
Newtonian explanation; but if I find it has seven, this doesn't do anything to Newtonian physics which can 
easily produce a slightly different explanation which explains that just as well. This is exactly parallel to what 
is going on in evolution theory. This means that the theory is not, at this level, a predictive theory as to 
what must happen." (Waddington C.H., "Summary Discussion," 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.97-98)

5/03/2005
"`Creation-science' is not science. It cannot meet any of the criteria of science. Indeed, it fails to display the 
most basic characteristic of science: reliance upon naturalistic explanations. Instead, proponents of 
`creation-science' hold that the creation of the universe, the earth, living things, and man was accomplished 
through supernatural means inaccessible to human understanding." (National Academy of Sciences, Brief 
for Amicus Curiae, in Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578, 594 (1987).
http://www.soc.umn.edu/~samaha/cases/edwards_v_aguillard_NAC.html)

6/03/2005
"Although at the beginning the paradigm was worth consideration, now the entire effort in the primeval 
soup paradigm is self-deception based on the ideology of its champions. ... The history of science shows 
that a paradigm, once it has achieved the status of acceptance (and is incorporated in textbooks) and 
regardless of its failures, is declared invalid only when a new paradigm is available to replace it. 
Nevertheless, in order to make progress in science, it is necessary to clear the decks, so to speak, of failed 
paradigms. This must be done even if this leaves the decks entirely clear and no paradigms survive. ... Belief 
i primeval soup on the grounds that no other paradigm is available is an example of the logical fallacy 
of the false alternative." (Yockey H.P., "Information Theory and Molecular Biology," Cambridge 
University Press: Cambridge UK, 1992, p.336. Emphasis original)

6/03/2005
"materialism. In ONTOLOGY, the theory that everything that really exists is material in nature .... This denies 
substantial existence ... to minds and mental states, unless these are identified with states of the brain and 
nervous system ... Materialism excludes the possibility of disembodied minds, whether of God or of the 
dead. Materialists, from the time of Democritus to the present, have usually been NATURALISTS in 
ETHICS, but that does not commit them to materialism in the colloquial sense of an overriding interest in the 
acquisition of material goods and bodily satisfactions.". (Quinton A., "materialism," in Bullock A., Trombley 
S. & Lawrie A., eds., "The New Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought," [1977], HarperCollinsPublishers: 
London, Third Edition, 1999, pp.508-509)

6/03/2005
"Thus the new view of nature, introduced first of all by the Romantics, spreading slowly through every 
domain of human thought until it became firmly entrenched within the precincts of science itself, finally 
undermined the old design argument for religion. ... Nature was as full of the appearance of design as Paley 
had said, but it was an appearance only: biology had no need of the hypothesis of a Designer. Today we are 
learning that this picture of nature is false, that the earlier scientists were right after all. And it is significant 
that, even in the heyday of Darwinian science, many of the arguments of the earlier naturalists remained 
unrefuted-and forgotten. The geophysical features of the earth and the properties of water and carbon 
dioxide were not less wonderful because, ostrich-like, Spencer and Haeckel refused to consider them 
seriously. And as for the attempt to explain away order in biology-even Darwin himself was never convinced 
that he had explained it all away. No wonder that multitudes of simple people continued to use the 
argument from design and to ignore what the professors chose to say about it-and they were right. ... the 
recognition of design in nature is no ephemeral scientific conclusion based upon the researches of a decade 
or two in the history of science-a conclusion which might at any time be reversed were a few new facts to 
come to light. Rather it is a conclusion which has stood the test of thousands of years: a conclusion so 
certain that if it should one day transpire that it is a gigantic mistake, man would have every ground for 
doubting whether valid conclusions of any kind can be reached by thinking. ... it is ... desirable to 
distinguish between scientific conclusions which are ephemeral and those which are likely to prove 
enduring. And the existence of design in nature must be placed in the second category." (Clark R.E.D., "The 
Universe: Plan or Accident?: The Religious Implications of Modern Science," [1949], Paternoster: London, 
Third Edition, 1961, pp.161-162. Emphasis original)

6/03/2005
"Of course, there are many scientists whose work reinforces their religious faith. Francis Collins is a devout 
Christian and director of the National Center for Human Genome Research at the National Institutes of 
Health in Bethesda, Maryland. He is, therefore, at the very centre of modern genetics, and once told me: 
'God isn't afraid of science. He knows this stuff. And the notion of not pursuing genetic research is 
unthinkable. It contains within it the seeds of the alleviation of much human suffering. It would be unethical 
to delay it. Christ was a healer.' On the other hand, James Watson, co-discoverer with Francis Crick of the 
structure of DNA and now president of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island in New York, 
made it clear to me that both he and Crick were interested in the ultimate molecular constituents of life 
precisely because such knowledge would represent a challenge to religion; it would show the strictly 
material basis of life. Clearly, this was not the only reason for their project, but it was the style of their 
thought. Collins is a Christian, Watson an atheist. Through his microscope, Collins sees the work of God; 
through his, Watson sees only the incredible intricacy generated by 3.5 billion years of blind evolution. As 
scientists speaking a common scientific language, they both see the same things - cells, chromosomes, the 
slender, double helical thread of DNA. As men, they see something utterly different - so different that it 
seems impossible that two people could have so much and yet so little in common. Somewhere in that gap 
between those two brilliant men who agree on everything and yet nothing, lies this book." (Appleyard B., 
"Brave New Worlds: Staying Human in the Genetic Future," HarperCollins: London, 1999, p.6)

7/03/2005
"Materialism `asserts that the real world consists of material things, varying in their states and relations, and 
nothing else.' [Campbell K., `Materialism,' in Edwards P., ed., `Encyclopedia of Philosophy,' 1967, Vol 5, 
p.179] Materialism, or its variety known as naturalism, is defined as follows in Encyclopaedia Britannica: 
This modified form of Materialism is perhaps better described as naturalism. Naturalism holds not that all 
things consist of matter or its modifications but that whatever exists can be satisfactorily explained in 
natural terms. To explain something in natural terms is to explain it on scientific lines; naturalism is in fact a 
proclamation of the omnicompetence, or final competence, of science.' [Wilshire B., `Metaphysics,' in 
`Encyclopaedia Britannica: Macropaedia,' 15th ed., 1974, Vol. 12, p.26]. ... Naturalism is described in the 
Encyclopedia of Philosophy in the following terms: `NATURALISM, in recent usage, is a species of 
philosophical monism according to which whatever exists or happens is natural in the sense of being 
susceptible to explanation through methods which, although paradigmatically exemplified in the natural 
sciences, are continuous from domain to domain of objects and events. Hence, naturalism is polemically 
defined as repudiating the view that there exists or could exist any entities or events which lie, in principle, 
beyond the scope of scientific explanation... .' [Danto A., `Naturalism,' in Edwards P., `Encyclopedia of 
Philosophy,' Vol. 5, 1967, p.448]" (Bird W.R., "The Origin of Species Revisited," Regency: Nashville TN, 
1991, Vol. II, p.31)

8/03/2005
"Valid logical arguments are characterized by the fact that, if the premise of the argument is true, then the 
conclusion must be true. Deductive arguments possess that character. The principle of induction would 
certainly be justified if inductive arguments also possessed it. But they do not. Inductive arguments are not 
logically valid arguments. It is not the case that, if the premises of an inductive inference are true, then the 
conclusion must be true. It is possible for the conclusion of an inductive argument to be false and for the 
premises to be true and yet for no contradiction to be involved. Suppose, for example, that up until today I 
have observed a large number of ravens under a wide variety of circumstances and have observed all of 
them to have been black and that, on that basis, I conclude, `All ravens are black'. This is a perfectly 
legitimate inductive inference. The premises of the inference are a large number of statements of the kind, 
`Raven x was observed to be black at time t', and all these we take to be true. But there is no logical 
guarantee that the next raven I observe will not be pink. If this proved to be the case, then `All ravens are 
black' would be false. That is, the initial inductive inference, which was legitimate insofar as it satisfied the 
criteria specified by the principle of induction, would have led to a false conclusion, in spite of the fact that 
all premises of the inference were true. No logical contradiction is involved in claiming that all observed 
ravens have proved to be black and also that not all ravens are black. Induction cannot be justified purely 
on logical grounds. A more interesting if rather gruesome example of the point is an elaboration of Bertrand 
Russell's story of the inductivist turkey. This turkey found that, on his first morning at the turkey farm, he 
was fed at 9 a.m. However, being a good inductivist, he did not jump to conclusions. He waited until he had 
collected a large number of observations of the fact that he was fed at 9 a.m., and he made these 
observations under a wide variety of circumstances, on Wednesdays and Thursdays, on warm days and 
cold days, on rainy days and dry days. Each day, he added another observation statement to his list. 
Finally, his inductivist conscience was satisfied and he carried out an inductive inference to conclude, `I am 
always fed at 9 a.m.'. Alas, this conclusion was shown to be false in no uncertain manner when, on 
Christmas eve, instead of being fed, he had his throat cut. An inductive inference with true premises has led 
to a false conclusion. The principle of induction cannot be justified merely by an appeal to logic." (Chalmers 
A.F., "What is this thing called Science?: An Assessment of the Nature and Status of Science and its 
Method," [1976], University of Queensland Press: St Lucia Qld, Australia, Second edition, 1994, reprint, 
pp.13-14)

9/03/2005
"Justice Scalia writes, in his key statement on scientific evidence: `The people of Louisiana, including those 
who are Christian fundamentalists, are quite entitled, as a secular matter, to have whatever scientific 
evidence there may be against evolution presented in their schools.' [Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578, 594 
(1987)] I simply don't see the point of this statement. Of course they are so entitled, and absolutely nothing 
prevents such a presentation, if evidence there be. The equal time law forces teaching of creation science, 
but nothing prevented it before, and nothing prevents it now. Teachers were, and still are, free to teach 
creation science." (Gould, S.J., "Justice Scalia's Misunderstanding," in "Bully for Brontosaurus: Further 
Reflections in Natural History," [1991], Penguin: London, 1992, p.457)

9/03/2005
"In sum, even if one concedes, for the sake of argument, that a majority of the Louisiana Legislature voted 
for the Balanced Treatment Act partly in order to foster (rather than merely eliminate discrimination against) 
Christian fundamentalist beliefs, our cases establish that that alone would not suffice to invalidate the Act, 
so long as there was a genuine secular purpose as well. We have, moreover, no adequate basis for 
disbelieving the secular purpose set forth in the Act itself, or for concluding that it is a sham enacted to 
conceal the legislators' violation of their oaths of office. I am astonished by the Court's unprecedented 
readiness to reach such a conclusion, which I can only attribute to an intellectual predisposition created by 
the facts and the legend of Scopes v. State, 154 Tenn. 105, 289 S. W. 363 (1927) -- an instinctive 
reaction that any governmentally imposed requirements bearing upon the teaching of evolution must be a 
manifestation of Christian fundamentalist repression. In this case, however, it seems to me the Court's 
position is the repressive one. The people of Louisiana, including those who are Christian fundamentalists, 
are quite entitled, as a secular matter, to have whatever scientific evidence there may be against evolution 
presented in their schools, just as Mr. Scopes was entitled to present whatever scientific evidence there was 
for it. Perhaps what the Louisiana Legislature has done is unconstitutional because there is no such 
evidence, and the scheme they have established will amount to no more than a presentation of the Book of 
Genesis. But we cannot say that on the evidence before us in this summary judgment context, which 
includes ample uncontradicted testimony that "creation science" is a body of scientific knowledge rather 
than revealed belief. Infinitely less can we say (or should we say) that the scientific evidence for 
evolution is so conclusive that no one could be gullible enough to believe that there is any real scientific 
evidence to the contrary, so that the legislation's stated purpose must be a lie. Yet that illiberal judgment, 
that Scopes-in-reverse, is ultimately the basis on which the Court's facile rejection of the Louisiana 
Legislature's purpose must rest." (Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578, 594 (1987). Dissenting Opinion by 
Justice Scalia joined by Chief Justice Rehnquist)

10/03/2005
"So far, I have been somewhat cavalier in the use of the term information. Computer scientists draw a 
distinction between syntax and semantics. Syntactic information is simply raw data, perhaps arranged 
according to rules of grammar, whereas semantic information has some sort of context or meaning. 
Information per se doesn't have to mean anything. Snowflakes contain syntactic information in the specific 
arrangement of their hexagonal shapes, but these patterns have no semantic content, no meaning for 
anything beyond the structure itself. By contrast, the distinctive feature of biological information is that it is 
replete with meaning. DNA stores the instructions needed to build a functioning organism; it is a blueprint 
or an algorithm for a specified, predetermined product. Snowflakes don't code for, or symbolize anything, 
whereas genes most definitely do. To fully explain life, it is not enough to simply identify a source of free 
energy, or negative entropy, to provide biological information. We also have to understand how 
semantic information comes into being. It is the quality, not the mere existence, of information that is 
the real mystery here. All that stuff about conflict with the second law of thermodynamics was mostly a red 
herring." (Davies, P.C.W., "The Fifth Miracle: The Search for the Origin of Life," Penguin: Ringwood Vic, 
Australia, 1998, p.32. Emphasis original

10/03/2005
"When C.S. Lewis presented the argument from reason in his revised third chapter of Miracles, he claimed 
that what he called `strict materialism' could be refuted by a one-sentence argument that he quoted from 
J.B.S. Haldane: `If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have 
no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true ... and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be 
composed of atoms.' [Lewis C.S., "Miracles: A Preliminary Study," Macmillan: New York, 1978, revised, p.15; 
quoting Haldane J.B.S., "Possible Worlds," [1927]; Transaction Publishers: New Brunswick NJ,: 2001, 
reprint). However, Lewis maintains that naturalism involves the same difficulty, but he goes on for nine 
pages explaining why. I suspect that in Lewis's time the idea of nonreductive materialism was not as 
prevalent as it has since become, and that what passed as `materialism' was identified with strong forms of 
reductionism. However, here I will be defining materialism broadly, such that it will be very difficult for 
someone to argue that some form of nonmaterialist naturalism will escape the difficulties I advance for 
materialism." (Reppert, V.E.*, "C.S. Lewis's Dangerous Idea: A Philosophical Defense of Lewis's Argument 
from Reason," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2003, pp.50-51)

10/03/2005
"Physicalism is self-refuting in much the same way that the example about knowledge is self-refuting. 
Assuming that theism is false and that a coherent notion of truth can be spelled out on physicalist 
assumptions (I have already argued against this latter assumption), physicalism could be true and the claim 
that it is true is not self- refuting. The world could have had nothing but matter in it. But if one claims to 
know that physicalism is true, or to embrace it for good reasons, if one claims that it is a rational position 
which should be chosen on the basis of evidence, then this claim is self-refuting. This is so because 
physicalism seems to deny the possibility of rationality. To see this, let us examine the necessary 
preconditions which must hold if there is to be such a thing as rationality and show how physicalism denies 
these preconditions. At least five factors must obtain if there are to be genuine rational agents who can 
accurately reflect on the world. First, minds must have intentionality; they must be capable of having 
thoughts about or of the world. Acts of inference are `insights into' or `knowings of' something other 
than themselves. Second, reasons, propositions, thoughts, laws of logic and evidence, and truth must exist 
and be capable of being instanced in people's minds and influencing their thought processes. This fact is 
hard to reconcile with physicalism. ... Third, it is not enough for there to be propositions or reasons which 
stand in logical and evidential relations with one another. One must be able to `see' or have rational insight 
into the flow of the argument and be influenced by this act of perception in forming one's beliefs. ... If 
physicalism is true, it is hard to make sense of this form of seeing. ... Fourth, in order for one to rationally 
think through a chain of reasoning such that one sees the inferential connections in the chain, one would 
have to be the same self present at the beginning of the thought process as the one present at the end. ... 
Physicalism has difficulty maintaining the existence of an enduring `I' and thus it has difficulty accounting 
for the need for such an `I' in the process of rational reflection. ... Finally, the activity of rational thought 
seems to require an agent view of the self ... If one is to be rational, one must be free to choose his beliefs 
based on reasons. One cannot be determined to react to stimuli by nonrational physical factors. If a belief is 
caused by entirely nonrational factors, it is not a belief that is embraced because it is reasonable. For a belief 
to be a rational one, I must be able to deliberate about whether or not I accept it, I must be free to choose it, 
and I must enter into the process as a genuine agent. ... In sum, it is self-refuting to argue that one 
ought to choose physicalism because he should see that the evidence is good for physicalism. 
Physicalism cannot be offered as a rational theory because physicalism does away with the necessary 
preconditions for there to be such a thing as rationality. Physicalism usually denies intentionality by 
reducing it to a physical relation of input/output, thereby denying that the mind is genuinely capable of 
having thoughts about the world. Physicalism denies the existence of propositions and nonphysical laws 
of logic and evidence which can be in minds and influence thinking. Physicalism denies the existence of a 
faculty capable of rational insight into these nonphysical laws and propositions, and it denies the existence 
of an enduring `I' which is present through the process of reflection. Finally, it denies the existence of a 
genuine agent who deliberates and chooses positions because they are rational, an act possible only if 
physical factors are not sufficient for determining future behavior." (Moreland, J. P.*, "Scaling the Secular 
City: A Defense of Christianity," [1987], Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1994, Ninth printing, pp.92-96. Emphasis 
original) 

10/03/2005
"As mentioned earlier, scientists have often pictured their conflict with theology and philosophy as a 
steady advance, with field after field of knowledge brought under their sway, including in recent times much 
of human nature. On this view, morality is one of the few unconquered strongholds. Another is the capacity 
to apprehend truth, but Darwin's 'horrid doubt' as to whether the convictions of man's evolved mind could 
be trusted applies as much to abstract truth as to ethics; and 'evolutionary truth' is at least as suspect as 
evolutionary ethics. At this point, therefore, it would seem that the armies of science are in danger of 
destroying their own base. For the scientist must be able to trust the conclusions of his reasoning. Hence he 
cannot accept the theory that man's mind was evolved wholly by natural selection if this means, as it would 
appear to do, that the conclusions of the mind depend ultimately on their survival value and not their truth, 
thus making all scientific theories, including that of natural selection, untrustworthy. The appreciation of 
beauty, in both art and nature, raises similar, though less urgent, difficulties. From the scientific viewpoint, 
also, it is hard to see how free-will or individual responsibility for conduct could be other than illusory, and 
various scientists, including Freudians, have claimed that they are illusory. But while, formerly, the influence 
of hereditary, nurtural and economic factors on beliefs and conduct was underestimated, few if any people 
are prepared in practice to exclude the factor of individual responsibility, and nearly everyone regards it as 
the ultimate and decisive factor. Finally, there is the problem of man's self-awareness. It seems impossible to 
formulate this in scientific terms, and hence impossible to study its evolution. Yet it is not merely one part of 
human experience, but is central, and on it all the rest (including science). depends. These considerations 
suggest that an essential part of human experience and human nature lies outside the terms of reference of 
science." (Lack D., "Evolutionary Theory and Christian Belief: The Unresolved Conflict," Methuen & Co: 
London, 1957, pp.104-105)

10/03/2005
"Charles Darwin himself once said, `The horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind, 
which has developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would 
anyone trust the conviction of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?' [Darwin, C., 
letter to W. Graham, July 3, 1881, in Darwin F., "The Autobiography of Charles Darwin and Selected 
Letters," 1892, Dover: New York., 1958] In other words, if my brain is no more than that of a superior 
monkey, I cannot even be sure that my own theory of my origin is to be trusted. Here is a curious case: If 
Darwin's naturalism is true, there is no way of even establishing its credibility let alone proving it. 
Confidence in logic is ruled out. Darwin's own theory of human origins must therefore be accepted by an act 
of faith. One must hold that a brain, a device that came to be through natural selection and chance-
sponsored mutations, can actually know a proposition or set of propositions to be true. C.S. Lewis 
puts the case this way: `If all that exists is Nature, the great mindless interlocking event, if our own deepest 
convictions are merely the by-products of an irrational process, then clearly there is not the slightest ground 
for supposing that our sense of fitness and our consequent faith in uniformity tell us anything about a 
reality external to ourselves.Our convictions are simply a fact about us-like the colour of our hair. If 
Naturalism is true we have no reason to trust our conviction that Nature is uniform. [Lewis C.S., "Miracles: 
A Preliminary Study," [1947], Fontana: London, 1960, Revised Edition, 1963, reprint, p.109] What we need for 
such certainty is the existence of some `Rational Spirit' outside both ourselves and nature from which our 
own rationality could derive. Theism assumes such a ground; naturalism does not." (Sire, J.W.*, "The 
Universe Next Door: A Basic World View Catalog," [1976], InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second 
Edition, 1988, pp.94-95. Emphasis in
original)

10/03/2005
"Needless to say, such a leap renders Singer's position hopelessly selfcontradictory. For the same 
Darwinian premise that undercuts morality by rendering all behavior merely survival strategies, also 
undercuts epistemology by rendering the ideas in our minds likewise merely survival strategies. As Richard 
Rorty has written, `keeping faith with Darwin' means understanding that the human species is not oriented 
`toward Truth,' but only `toward its own increased prosperity.' [Rorty R., "Untruth and Consequences." 
Review of "Killing Time: The Autobiography of Paul Feyerabend," University of Chicago Press. The New 
Republic July 31,1995, pp.32-36, p.36] Truth claims are just tools to `help us get what we want.' Or as Patricia 
Churchland puts it, an improvement in an organism's cognitive faculties will be selected for only if it 
`enhances the organism's chances of survival. Truth, whatever that is, definitely takes the hindmost.' 
[Churchland P.S., "Epistemology in the Age of Neuroscience," Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 84, October 1987, 
pp.544-553, p.549] Darwin himself wrestled repeatedly with the skeptical consequences of his theory. Just 
one example: `With me,' he wrote, `the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind, 
which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy.' 
[Darwin, C.R, letter to W. Graham, July 3rd, 1881, in Darwin F., ed., "The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," 
[1898], Basic Books: New York NY, Vol. I., 1959, reprint, p.285] (Significantly, Darwin always expressed this 
`horrid doubt' after admitting an insistent `inward conviction' that the universe is not the result of chance 
after all, but requires an intelligent Mind, a First Cause. In other words, he applied his skepticism selectively: 
when reason led to a theistic conclusion, he argued that evolution discredits reason. But since reason was 
also the means by which he constructed his own theory, he was cutting off the branch he was sitting on.)." 
(Pearcey N.R.*, "Singer in the Rain." Review of "A Darwinian Left: Politics, Evolution, and Cooperation," by 
Peter Singer, Yale University Press, 2000. First Things, Vol. 106, October 2000, pp.57-63. 
http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft0010/reviews/pearcey.html)

10/03/2005
"Materialist Theories of the Mind It is in the nature of explanation that one thing is explained in terms of 
something else that is assumed valid, and to explain the latter as nothing more than a product of the former 
is to create a logical circle. Yet naturalistic metaphysics is so seductive that eminent scientists and 
philosophers frequently do employ their own minds to attempt to prove that the mind is `nothing but' a 
product of physical forces and chemical reactions. One of these is Francis Crick, the biochemist who as 
codiscoverer of the structure of DNA is almost as famous as Hawking himself. In his later years Crick has 
been drawn to the problem of consciousness and he expressed his thoughts in the 1994 book The 
Astonishing Hypothesis. Here is how Crick states his own starting point: `The Astonishing Hypothesis 
is that "You," your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal 
identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their 
associated molecules ... The hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people alive today that it can truly 
be called astonishing.' [Crick, F., "The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul," 
Scribner's, 1994, p.3]. Of course the hypothesis is not astonishing at all to anyone acquainted with the 
recent history of science, because neuroscientists in particular have long taken for granted that the mind is 
no more than a product of brain chemistry. As Crick says, what makes the hypothesis astonishing is that it 
conflicts with the commonsense picture of reality most people assume as they go about the business of 
making decisions, falling in love or even writing books advocating materialist reductionism. The conflict 
with common sense would become apparent if Crick had presented his hypothesis in the first-person 
singular. Imagine the reaction of his publisher if Crick had proposed to begin his book by announcing that 
`I, Francis Crick, my opinions and my science, and even the thoughts expressed in this book, consist of 
nothing more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.' Few 
browsers would be likely to read further. The plausibility of materialistic determinism requires that an implicit 
exception be made for the theorist." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism 
in Science, Law and Education," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1995, pp.63-64. Emphasis original. 
Ellipses Johnson's)

10/03/2005
"The materialists are intimidating because they seem to have the logic of science on their side. The same 
materialists are frustrated, however, because so many people are perversely unwilling to accept conclusions 
that a reductionist science necessarily implies. As the famous Stanford biochemist Arthur Kornberg 
complained to a 1987 meeting of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, it is astonishing 
`that otherwise intelligent and informed people, including physicians, are reluctant to believe that mind, as 
part of life, is matter and only matter.' [Kornberg A., "The Two Cultures: Chemistry and Biology," Annual 
meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Chicago, 1987. In Biochemistry, Vol. 
26, 1987, pp.6888-6891] On Kornberg's own premises, however, his astonishment was unjustified. 
Presumably, one kind of chemical reaction in the brain causes Kornberg to accept materialist reductionism, 
while another kind of reaction causes those physicians to doubt it." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Reason in the Balance: 
The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law, and Education," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1995, 
p.65)

10/03/2005
"The contradiction between materialism and reality arises frequently in biology, but it is most inescapable 
when we consider the human mind. Are our thoughts "nothing but" the products of chemical reactions in 
the brain, and did our thinking abilities originate for no reason other than their utility in allowing our DNA to 
reproduce itself? Even scientific materialists have a hard time believing that. For one thing, materialism 
applied to the mind undermines the validity of all reasoning, including one's own. If our theories are the 
products of chemical reactions, how can we know whether our theories are true? Perhaps Richard Dawkins 
believes in Darwinism only because he has a certain chemical in his brain, and his belief could be changed 
by somehow inserting a different chemical." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds," 
InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1997, pp.81-82)

10/03/2005
"One final point about probabilistic resources is important here to note. In the observable universe, 
probabilistic resources come in very limited supplies. Within the known physical universe there are 
estimated around 10$80# elementary particles. Moreover, the properties of matter are such that transitions 
from one physical state to another cannot occur at a rate faster than 10$45# times per second. This 
frequency corresponds to the Planck time, which constitutes the smallest physically meaningful unit of time. 
Finally, the universe itself is about a billion times younger than 10$25# (assuming the universe is between 
ten and twenty billion years old). seconds assume that If we now any specification of an event within the 
known physical universe requires at least one elementary particle to specify it and cannot be generated any 
faster than the Planck time, then these cosmological constraints imply that the total number of specified 
events throughout cosmic history cannot exceed 10$80# x 10$45# x 10$25# = 10$150#. It follows that any 
specified event of probability less than 1 in 10$150# will remain improbable even after all conceivable 
probabilistic resources from the observable universe have been factored in. A probability of 1 in 10$150# is 
therefore a universal probability bound. A universal probability bound is impervious to all available 
probabilistic resources that may be brought against it. indeed, all the probabilistic resources in the known 
physical world cannot conspire to render remotely probable an event whose probability is less than this 
universal probability bound. The universal probability bound of 1 in 10$150# is the most conservative in the 
literature. The French mathematician Emile Borel proposed 1 in 10$50# as a universal probability bound 
below which chance could definitively be precluded (i.e., any specified event as improbable as this could 
never be attributed to chance). Cryptographers assess the security of cryptosystems in terms of a brute 
force attack that employs as many probabilistic resources as are available in the universe to break a 
cryptosystem by chance. In its report on the role of cryptography in securing the information society, the 
National Research Council set 1 in 10$94# as its universal probability bound to ensure the security of 
cryptosystems against chance-based attacks. As we shall see ... such levels of improbability are easily 
attained by real physical systems. It follows that if such systems are also specified, then they are designed." 
(Dembski W.A.*, "No Free Lunch: Why Specified Complexity Cannot Be Purchased without Intelligence," 
Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham MD, 2002, pp.21-22. Emphasis original) 

11/03/2005
"It seemed to me then (as it does now) that ` creation,' in the ordinary sense of the word, is perfectly 
conceivable: I find no difficulty in imagining that, at some former period, this universe was not in existence ; 
and that it made its appearance in six days (or instantaneously, if that is preferred), in consequence of the 
volition of some pre-existent Being. Then, as now, the so-called a priori arguments against Theism; and, 
given a Deity, against the possibility of creative acts, appeared to me to be devoid of reasonable 
foundation." (Huxley T.H., "On the Reception of the `Origin Of Species,'" in Darwin F., ed., "The Life and 
Letters of Charles Darwin," [1898], Basic Books: New York NY, Vol. I., 1959, reprint, p.541)

13/03/2005
"Indeed, natural selection theory can be presented in the form of a deductive argument, for example: 1. All 
organisms must reproduce; 2. All organisms exhibit hereditary variations; 3. Hereditary variations differ in 
their effect on reproduction; 4. Therefore variations with favourable effects on reproduction will succeed, 
those with unfavourable effects will fail, and organisms will change. In this sense, natural selection is not a 
scientific theory, but a truism, something that is proven to be true, like one of Euclid's theorems: If 
statements 1-3 are true, so is statement 4. This argument shows that natural selection must occur, but it does 
not say that natural selection is the only cause of evolution, and when natural selection is generalized as the 
explanation of all evolutionary change, or of every feature of every organism, it becomes so all-embracing 
that it is in much the same class as Freudian psychology and astrology." (Patterson C., "Evolution," British 
Museum of Natural History: London, 1978, p.147)

13/03/2005
"To be sure, natural selection does not always eliminate. In some cases, it may act to increase or maintain 
genetic variation. The most common mode of maintenance is called `heterozygote advantage.' Suppose that 
a gene exists in two forms, a dominant A and a recessive a. In sexual species, each individual has two copies 
of the gene, one from each parent. Now suppose that the mixture, or socalled heterozygote Aa, has a 
selective advantage over either pure form, the double dominant AA, or the double recessive aa. In this case, 
selection will preserve both A and a by favoring the heterozygote Aa individuals. But even these modes of 
preservation have their limits, and many geneticists feel that populations still maintain too much variation 
for selective control. If they are right (and the issue remains under intense debate), then we must face the 
possibility that many genes remain in populations because selection cannot `see' them, and therefore cannot 
either mark them for elimination or remove other variants by favoring them. In other words, many genes may 
be neutral. They may be invisible to natural selection and their increase or decrease may be a result of 
chance alone. Since `change of gene frequencies in populations' is the `official' definition of evolution, 
randomness has transgressed Darwin's border and asserted itself as an agent of evolutionary change. (This 
process of random increase or decrease of frequency is called `genetic drift.' Contemporary Darwinism has 
always recognized drift, but has proclaimed it an infrequent and unimportant process, mostly confined to 
tiny populations with little chance of evolutionary persistence. The newer theory of neutralism suggests 
that many, if not most, genes in large populations owe their frequency primarily to random factors.)" (Gould 
S.J., "Chance Riches," in "Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes," [1983], Penguin: London, 1984, reprint, p.335)

14/03/2005
"Naturalism is the view that the natural world is all there is and that there are no supernatural beings. 
Whatever takes place in the universe takes place through natural processes and not as the result of 
supernatural causation. The most popular kind of naturalism is known as materialism or physicalism. 
Materialism maintains that the basic substances of the physical world are pieces of matter, and physicalism 
maintains that those pieces of matter are properly understood by the discipline of physics. Some people 
have suggested that someone who believes in the existence of, say, propositions, which do not have any 
spatio-temporal location, would be a naturalist but not a materialist. For our purposes a worldview counts as 
naturalistic if it posits a causally closed `basic level of analysis,' and if all other levels have the 
characteristics they have in virtue of those the basic level has. " (Reppert V.E., "C.S. Lewis's Dangerous 
Idea: A Philosophical Defense of Lewis's Argument from Reason," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 
2003, pp.46-47)

14/03/2005
"But although the logic seems inescapable, the importance of identifying the concept of relationship 
through descent from common ancestors as hypothesis is immediately obvious once one makes a statement 
like: `fish gave rise to amphibians.' How can one show that such a statement is correct or false, which is a 
scientifically reasonable thing to want to do? Although `finding ancestors' is the traditional paleontologists' 
`proof,' such `historical events' cannot be tested by assembling nice series of fossils without discontinuities, 
because the evolutionary hypothesis is superficially so powerful that any reasonably graded series of forms 
can be thought to have legitimacy. In fact, there is circularity in the approach that first assumes some sort of 
evolutionary relatedness and then assembles a pattern of relations from which to argue that relatedness 
must be true. This interplay of data and interpretation is the Achilles' heel of the second meaning of 
evolution. The weakness exists because one is attempting to combine two different sorts of hypothesis-one 
about pattern and one about process. In order to break the circularity, a technique first has to be found to 
study relationship in the sense of pattern only." (Thomson, K.S., "The Meanings of Evolution," American 
Scientist, Vol. 70, September-October 1982, pp.529-531, pp.529-530)

15/03/2005
"Of all planets beyond the Earth, Mars is by far the best known. It has been poked, prodded, examined, and 
measured by a variety of Earth- and space-borne instruments, including those many that have successfully 
and unsuccessfully either landed or crashed on its surface. A wealth of data now suggests that early in its 
history, while our Earth was still a chaotic and uninhabitable world, Mars may have been a benign world, of 
equable temperatures and almost planet-spanning oceans. It may as well have been a world with an 
atmosphere that included oxygen. All of these factors lead to an inescapable conclusion-that the early 
Martian conditions would have been favorable for the development of life. Some scientists have even 
suggested that life arose on Mars, and was then transported to Earth-indeed, that all life on our planet has a 
Martian origin, transported to Earth as microbial spores amid small meteors blasted off of the Martian 
surface and later impacting the Earth-just as the famous Allen Hills meteorite did. For several hundred 
million years or more these benign conditions may have lasted. ... Yet even if life did attain such a rapid rise 
in complexity on Mars, it did not last, for Mars as an environment for life died quickly. Even as bacteria on 
Earth were readying for the rush to higher grades of life, Mars was dying or was already long dead-if life 
ever originated there at all. On Mars, the oceans seeped back into the planet or were lost to space, the 
oxygen in the atmosphere bound itself to rocks, and life died out." (Ward, P.D. & Brownlee, D.C., "The Life 
and Death of Planet Earth: How the New Science of Astrobiology Charts the Ultimate Fate of Our World," 
[2002], Piatkus: London, 2003, pp.190-191)

15/03/2005
"The snake plays too large a part in the drama of Genesis 3 ...The curse that is specifically pronounced upon 
him, and the announcement of his future destruction by the woman's seed prove, on the contrary, that he is 
one of the principal protagonists in the story. It is impossible to refrain from asking oneself the question: 
Who is the snake? Everything concerning the serpent can be read in a `naive' manner. The story as a whole 
retains its coherence. He is an animal that is more cunning than the others, and that uses his animal cunning 
to deceive the woman. He speaks completely naturally. He will be punished by being made to crawl, whether 
he previously had legs of which he will be deprived, or whether the judgment confirms an original 
humiliation. Between the human race and the snake, enmity will be unwavering. Women do not like snakes, 
men crush their heads, but snakes give as good as they get. Such a reading, which is simply `literal', is 
possible, but it carries us into the world of legends and popular fables. In the style of folk stories, it is the 
snake with which we are concerned, just as in Jotham's fable the fig tree and the vine speak (Jdg. 9:8ff.). 
Does the writer share the naivety of this language, or does he adopt it for figurative purposes? What we 
have seen of the writer's approach and his treatment of the two trees make it almost certain that he does not 
speak literally. He makes several wordplays about the snake. We have already mentioned `arom`arum-
'arur ['naked,' 2:25; `cunning,' 3:1 & `cursed,' 3:14. See p.36].. To this we can add nahas (snake) and 
nasa (deceive), and undoubtedly nahas is intended to suggest the other use of the same root 
(nahas) for magic and divination.'" (Blocher, H.*, "In The Beginning: The Opening Chapters of Genesis," 
[1979], InterVarsity Press: Leicester UK, 1984, pp.150-151. Emphasis original).

15/03/2005
"The language of 3:15 also appears ambivalent. It attributes to the snake a length of life that is foreign to the 
animal kingdom, when it announces its final defeat - the snake's own personal defeat, not that of its 
descendants after many generations of the human race. The writer unquestionably has in mind another 
figure, behind that of the snake. The book of Revelation, which once again corresponds to Genesis, gives us 
the key. On two occasions it explains, `the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan' (Rev. 
20:2; cf. 12:9). The apostle Paul had earlier made the same identification when he feared that the thoughts of 
the Corinthians might be corrupted by the snake (note yet again the definite article). The continuation of his 
exhortation shows that he is apprehensive of the wiles of Satan (2 Cor. 11:3,14; cf. 2:11). Jesus himself had 
pictured the defeat of Satan as treading upon snakes (Lk. 10:18f). This is probably an echo of Genesis, as is 
the reference to the devil as a murderer from the beginning and a liar Jn. 8:44). The Hellenistic book, the 
Wisdom of Solomon, prepares the way with its own interpretation: `through the devil's envy death entered 
the world' (Wisdom 2:24). In any case, Scripture itself leaves us in no doubt; the snake is the devil." 
(Blocher, H.*, "In The Beginning: The Opening Chapters of Genesis," [1979], InterVarsity Press: Leicester 
UK, 1984, p.151. Emphasis original).

15/03/2005
"Orthodox Christianity has never sought to cast doubt on the point. But in most cases, from Augustine to E. 
J. Young, it has defended a further proposition. According to this addition, the devil took possession of the 
body of a literal snake and used it in order to deceive the woman. In that case there are two creatures to 
distinguish in the account, the evil one and a snake that he used as his cover. Such a manifestation of 
Satanic possession would by no means be inconceivable to us. We must simply ask, does Scripture support 
the idea? In fact neither in Genesis nor anywhere else do we find the least suggestion in this direction. 
Nowhere is the role of the snake presented as that of a disguise or of an instrument; nowhere does the Bible 
indicate that the tempter was twofold. The silence of the texts is not the only difficulty in the theory. What 
they quite clearly state fits the theory badly. If the animal is only the devil's tool, why does the narrative 
insist on the animal cunning that it displays (3:1)? Why is the snake alone punished? Young himself 
recognizes: `the punishment which fell upon the serpent was really a symbol of the deeper punishment to 
strike the evil one '. Augustine had also detected a figure of speech, and Lagrange rightly responds: `But 
why not be consistent and recognize in the snake not the instrument, but a creature representing the devil?' 
He points out at the same time that it would be more in line with the book of Revelation, which does not 
say, `the ancient serpent, the instrument of the Devil'. By linking the dragon with `the ancient serpent', 
Revelation gives any confirmation that may be needed that it is showing how to interpret symbolic 
language. The dragon, that is to say Leviathan of Isaiah 27:1, the monstrous sea serpent, fleeing and 
twisting, better known to us today thanks to Ugaritic literature, was already in use as a symbol amongst the 
prophets. It represents the power of paganism rising up against the LORD and against his people. No-one 
imagines that the devil took possession of the body of a sea monster in order to deceive the nations! 
Revelation interprets the snake of Genesis 3 and the dragon from other passages in exactly the same way; 
thus it respects the laws of language which require a clear choice of the figurative meaning if it is necessary 
to depart from the literal. Learning from the approach of Revelation, we shall understand the information 
about the snake as a whole as extended symbolism; since the snake is the devil, we must transpose all that 
is said about the snake in terms that are suitable for the devil." (Blocher, H.*, "In The Beginning: The 
Opening Chapters of Genesis," [1979], InterVarsity Press: Leicester UK, 1984, pp.151-152. Emphasis original).

15/03/2005
"Bright granted that researchers had uncovered clear evidence of flooding in Mesopotamia, at Ur and Kish 
as well as Fara and Nineveh. Archeologists had produced unquestionable evidence that a deluge had 
interrupted occupation at Ur during the fourth millennium, for example - but that flood had not even 
disturbed the entire city, much less the whole region. Further analysis of deposits at Kish led to the 
conclusion that they were centuries younger than deposits at Ur. The sediments at Fara indicated an 
inundation earlier than the one at Kish but later than the one at Ur. Nineveh's flooding may have been 
temporally close to that of Ur. Bright concluded that none of these represented the flood of Genesis. Even at 
Ur the deposits before and after the flood indicated the same general civilization. Bright concluded that the 
Mesopotamian flood strata simply represented local inundations of the type that still occur from time to 
time. `Either Mesopotamian archeology has yielded no trace of Noah's Flood,' he wrote, `or else the Genesis 
narrative is but an exaggeration of a flood of purely local significance.' [Bright J., "Has Archaeology Found 
Evidence of the Flood?" Biblical Archeologist, Vol. 5, 1942, p58] The latter alternative was difficult for him to 
accept because he believed that the flood tradition had been widely diffused. On the other hand, any 
proposal to date the flood in the fourth millennium B.C. ruled out the possibility that it could have been 
dispersed globally in light of the developing consensus that early settlement of the Western Hemisphere via 
the Bering Strait probably took place over a long period of time prior to 5000 B.C. Since archeology had 
provided no traces of the flood that Bright found convincing, he felt safe in assigning it a date far back in 
the Stone Age; he was unwilling to view the flood narrative as pure myth." (Young D.A.*, "The Biblical 
Flood: A Case Study of the Church's Response to Extrabiblical Evidence," Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, 
1995, p.220)

 16/03/2005
"In 1857 Philip Henry Gosse published Omphalos: An Attempt to Untie the Geological Knot. Gosse 
was a man learned in natural history and not a simpleton nor an arm-chair speculator. He argued that Nature 
is a circular process and therefore that creation must commence somewhere in the cycle. A building may be 
commenced from scratch at the foundation but buildings do not have a cyclical existence. You cannot create 
an organism from scratch. Because all organic life exists as a cycle, creation must start somewhere in the 
cycle, and hence the created life would appear as if it had already gone through the cycle up to the point 
where it was created. Gosse lists as his two fundamental theses that (i) all organic life moves in a cycle, and 
(ii) creation is a violent irruption into the cycle of Nature. He asks what creation is and answers his own 
question: '[Creation] is the sudden bursting into a circle. Since there is no one state in the course of 
existence, which more than any other affords natural commencing point, whatever stage selected by the 
arbitrary will of God, must be an unnatural, or rather a preter-natural, commencing point.' [Gosse P.H., 
"Omphalos: An attempt to Untie the Geological Knot," London, 1857, p.123] Omphalos is the Greek 
word for navel. Did Adam have a navel? Of course he did, argues Gosse. He was created at a given point of 
the circle of life and therefore was created as if he had gone through the entire cycle. If God created a tree, it 
would have rings in it. God could create a tree only at a point in its natural cycle. Every object of creation 
has two times. That which is before time or instantaneous in coming into existence is pro-chronic. That 
which consumes time is dia-chronic. All processes during the course of the world since its creation are dia-
chronic. All things at the moment of creation were pro-chronic. Gosse also uses the terms real time and ideal 
time. At the moment of creation Adam's real time was zero- actually he did not exist till the moment of 
creation. His ideal time was, say for purposes of illustration, thirty years old. A tree in the garden of Eden 
would appear fifty years old (its ideal age) whereas it had just been created (its real time)." (Ramm B.L.*, 
"The Christian View of Science and Scripture," Paternoster: Exeter, Devon UK, 1955, p.133).  

16/03/2005
"Two hundred years after Hooke's Micrographia, in an effort to plug the dyke before evolutionism flooded 
the intellectual landscape, Philip Henry Gosse produced the mother of all ad hoc reasoning in his book 
Omphalos (1857). Greek for `the navel,' the book's title was a reference to the old conundrum-did 
Adam have a navel? Gosse's answer was, yes; God created an Adam with a navel, and He created all the 
fossils of creatures that had never lived and the whole complex structure of the earth as we know it. He 
created trees with internal rings attesting to growth that had not occurred, rock strata that had never been 
laid down and streams with their sediment load from hills that had not been eroded. All the apparent 
evidence of a changing ancient earth was simply another part of God's bounteous creation. While this is 
almost an unbeatable argument-after all, how can you prove it to be false?-it is also nonsense: That which 
explains everything, explains nothing." (Thomson K.S., "Hooke, Fossils and the Anti-Evolutionists," 
American Scientist, May-June 2003. http://www.americanscientist.org/template/AssetDetail/assetid/18933)

16/03/2005
"One of the early antievolutionists, P.H. Gosse, published a book entitled Omphalos ('the Navel'). 
The gist of this amazing book is that Adam, though he had no mother, was created with a navel, and that 
fossils were placed by the Creator where we find them now-a deliberate act on His part, to give the 
appearance of great antiquity and geologic upheavals. It is easy to see the fatal flaw in all such notions. 
They are blasphemies, accusing God of absurd deceitfulness: This is as revolting as it is uncalled for." 
(Dobzhansky T.G., "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution," in Zetterberg J.P., 
ed., "Evolution Versus Creationism: The Public Education Controversy," Oryx Press: Phoenix AZ, 1983, 
pp.19-20. http://www.2think.org/dobzhansky.shtml)

16/03/2005
"Before turning to the serious business of theistic evolution, we should take time out for something in a 
lighter vein. It is from the pen of one hilip Henry Gosse (1810-1888), an experimental zoologist who was a 
contemporary of Charles Darwin, with whom he was personally acquainted and exchanged correspondence 
during the 1850s (Morowitz, 1982, p. 20). As a lay preacher for a Protestant sect with extreme fundamentalist 
views (The Plymouth Brethren), Gosse was obsessed with the need to reinforce the biblical doctrine of 
special creation against the rising mountain of geologic evidence favoring transmutation and a continuous 
evolutionary tree of life. In a book bearing the title Omphalos: An Attempt to Untie the Geological 
Knot (1857), Gosse successfully defended the Creator's entire Creation from all possible attack, 
rendering it completely invulnerable to any and every objection that might be brought against it. And how 
did he do this? Omphalos describes a stone of religious significance, shaped in the form of a navel; it 
was used in cultist rites in religious practices of the Greeks and Romans. The Greek word means "navel" or 
"umbilicus." The omphalos residing in the Temple of Delphi was the most famous of all: it 
represented the center of the earth. But it was another navel--Adam's navel in particular--that raised 
embarrassing questions for the fundamentalists from the first time it was seen--seen, that is, in the eyes of 
religious artists. As all of you know, Michelangelo's Creation-of-Adam scene on the Sistine Chapel ceiling 
shows a half-reclining Adam, in the buff and displaying a magnificent umbilicus, no doubt about it. If Adam 
was created from scratch, out of nothing, how come he had a navel? The longstanding argument of 
theologians was that Adam had a navel because God wanted him to look as if he had developed in utero, 
like all other humans (except Eve) to follow. Eve is also shown with a navel, as for example in the expulsion 
scene as rendered by Jacopo della Quercia (ca. 1425) and Masaccio (ca. 1427). In the navel-art competition, 
consider also Jan van Eyck's rendition of both Adam and Eve in the Ghent Altarpiece (ca. 1430). It was a 
good decade for navels! Martin Gardner develops this idea further: `This is not as ridiculous as it may seem 
at first. Consider, for example, the difficulties which face any believer in a six-day creation. Although it is 
possible to imagine Adam with a navel, it is difficult to imagine him without bones, hair, teeth, and 
fingernails. Yet all these features bear in them the evidence of past accretions of growth. In fact there is not 
an organ or tissue of the body which does not presuppose a previous growth history.' ([Gardner M., "Fads 
and Fallacies in the Name of Science," Dover: New York NY], 1957, p.125) The number of examples is as 
great as the objects in nature that reveal growth or change through time. A stately tree in the Garden of 
Eden must have shown numerous annual growth rings appropriate to its species and the prevailing climate, 
all emplaced in the trunk at the instant of its creation. We can suppose (as Gosse did) that Adam had 
partially digested food and its residue in his alimentary canal, food that he had never eaten. With impeccable 
logic, Gosse carried his principle to its logical conclusion: The Creator created everything in the universe to 
look as if it had an antecedent existence that flowed smoothly into the time stream of the new universe. 
Fossils, for example, were created in place in rock strata, designed to look as if they were once living forms, 
which they never were. The Creator thus built into the universe a complete line of things that never were." 
(Strahler A.N., "Science and Earth History: The Evolution/Creation Controversy," [1987], Prometheus 
Books: Amherst NY, 1999, Second edition, pp.80-81)

16/03/2005
'THE AMPLE FIG LEAF served our artistic forefathers well as a botanical shield against indecent exposure 
for Adam and Eve, our naked parents in the primeval bliss and innocence of Eden. Yet, in many ancient 
paintings, foliage hides more than Adam's genitalia; a wandering vine covers his navel as well. If modesty 
enjoined the genital shroud, a very different motive mystery-placed a plant over his belly. In a theological 
debate more portentous than the old argument about angels on pinpoints, many earnest people of faith had 
wondered whether Adam had a navel. He was, after all, not born of a woman and required no remnant of his 
nonexistent umbilical cord. Yet, in creating a prototype, would not God make his first man like all the rest to 
follow? Would God, in other words, not create with the appearance of preexistence? In the absence of 
definite guidance to resolve this vexatious issue, and not wishing to incur anyone's wrath, many painters 
literally hedged and covered Adam's belly. A few centuries later, as the nascent science of geology gathered 
evidence for the earth's enormous antiquity, some advocates of biblical literalism revived this old argument 
for our entire planet. The strata and their entombed fossils surely seem to represent a sequential record of 
countless years, but wouldn't God create his earth with the appearance of preexistence? Why should we not 
believe that he created strata and fossils to give modern life a harmonious order by granting it a sensible (if 
illusory) past? As God provided Adam with a navel to stress continuity with future men, so too did he 
endow a pristine world with the appearance of an ordered history. Thus, the earth might be but a few 
thousand years old, as Genesis literally affirmed, and still record an apparent tale of untold eons. This 
argument, so often cited as a premier example of reason at its most perfectly and preciously ridiculous, was 
most seriously and comprehensively set forth by the British naturalist Philip Henry Gosse in 1857. Gosse 
paid proper homage to historical context in choosing a title for his volume. He named it Omphalos 
(Greek for navel), in Adam's honor, and added as a subtitle: An Attempt to Untie the Geological 
Knot. Since Omphalos is such spectacular nonsense, readers may rightly ask why I choose to 
discuss it at all. I do so, first of all, because its author was such a serious and fascinating man, not a 
hopeless crank or malcontent. Any honest passion merits our attention, if only for the oldest of stated 
reasons-Terence's celebrated Homo sum: humani nihil a me alienum puto (I am human, and am 
therefore indifferent to nothing done by humans). Philip Henry Gosse (1810-1888) was the David 
Attenborough of his day, Britain's finest popular narrator of nature's fascination. He wrote a dozen books on 
plants and animals, lectured widely to popular audiences, and published several technical papers on marine 
invertebrates. He was also, in an age given to strong religious feeling as a mode for expressing human 
passions denied vent elsewhere, an extreme and committed fundamentalist of the Plymouth Brethren sect. 
Although his History of the British Sea-Anemones and other assorted ramblings in natural history are no 
longer read, Gosse retains some notoriety as the elder figure in that classical work of late Victorian self- 
analysis and personal expose, his son Edmund's wonderful account of a young boy's struggle against a 
crushing-religious extremism imposed by a caring and beloved parent- Father and Son. My second reason 
for considering Omphalos invokes the ese essays about nature's small oddities: Exceptions do prove 
rules (prove, that is, in the sense of probe or test, not affirm). If you want to understand what ordinary folks 
do, one thoughtful deviant will teach you more than ten thousand solid citizens. When we grasp why 
Omphalos is so unacceptable (and not, by the way, for the reason usually cited), we will understand 
better how science and useful logic proceed. In any case, as an exercise in the anthropology of knowledge, 
Omphalos has no parallel-for its surpassing strangeness arose in the mind of a stolid Englishman, 
whose general character and cultural setting we can grasp as akin to our own, while the exotic systems of 
alien cultures are terra incognita both for their content and their context. To understand Omphalos, 
we must begin with a paradox. The argument that strata and fossils were created all at once with the earth, 
and only present an illusion of elapsed time might be easier to appreciate if its author had been an urban 
armchair theologian with no feeling or affection for nature's works. But how could a keen naturalist, who had 
spent days nay months, on geological excursions, and who had studied fossils hour after hour, learning 
their distinctions and memorizing their names, possibly be content with the prospect that these objects of 
his devoted attention had never existed-were, indeed, a kind of grand joke perpetrated upon us by the Lord 
of All? Philip Henry Gosse was the finest descriptive naturalist of his day. His son wrote: `As a collector of 
facts and marshaller of observations, he had not a rival in that age.' The problem lies with the usual 
caricature of Omphalos as an argument that God, in fashioning the earth, had consciously and 
elaborately lied either to test our faith or simply to indulge in some inscrutable fit of arcane humor. Gosse, so 
fiercely committed both to his fossils and his God, advanced an opposing interpretation that commanded us 
to study geology with diligence and to respect all its facts even though they had no existence in real time. 
When we understand why a dedicated empiricist could embrace the argument of Omphalos ('creation 
with the appearance of preexistence'), only then can we understand its deeper fallacies. Gosse began his 
argument with a central, but dubious, premise: All natural processes, he declared, move endlessly round in a 
circle: egg to chicken to egg, oak to acorn to oak. ... When God creates, and Gosse entertained not the 
slightest doubt that all species arose by divine fiat with no subsequent evolution, he must break (or `erupt,' 
as Gosse wrote) somewhere into this ideal circle. Wherever God enters the circle (or `places his wafer of 
creation,' as Gosse stated in metaphor), his initial product must bear traces of previous stages in the circle, 
even if these stages had no existence in real time. If God chooses to create humans as adults, their hair and 
nails (not to mention their navels) testify to previous growth that never occurred. Even if he decides to 
create us as a simple fertilized ovum, this initial form implies a phantom mother's womb and two nonexistent 
parents to pass along the fruit of inheritance. .... Gosse then invented a terminology to contrast the two 
parts of a circle before and after an act of creation. He labeled as `prochronic,' or occurring outside of time, 
those appearances of preexistence actually fashioned by God at the moment of creation but seeming to mark 
earlier stages in the circle of life. Subsequent events occurring after creation, and unfolding in conventional 
time, he called `diachronic.' Adam's navel was prochronic, the 930 years of his earthly life diachronic. Gosse 
devoted more than 300 pages, some 90 percent of his text, to a simple list of examples for the following small 
part of his complete argument-if species arise by sudden creation at any point in their life cycle, their initial 
form must present illusory (prochronic) appearances of preexistence. Let me choose just one among his 
numerous illustrations, both to characterize his style of argument and to present his gloriously purple prose. 
If God created vertebrates as adults, Gosse claimed, their teeth imply a prochronic past in patterns of wear 
and replacement. ...I find this part of Gosse's argument quite satisfactory as a solution, within the 
boundaries of his assumptions, to that classical dilemma of reasoning (comparable in importance to angels 
on pinpoints and Adam's navel): `Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" Gosse's answer: "Either, at 
God's pleasure, with prochronic traces of the other." But arguments are only as good as their premises, and 
Gosse's inspired nonsense fails because an alternative assumption now accepted as undoubtedly correct, 
renders the question irrelevant-namely, evolution itself. Gosse's circles do not spin around eternally; each 
life cycle traces an ancestry back to inorganic chemicals in a primeval ocean. If organisms arose by acts of 
creation ab nihilo, then Gosse's argument about prochronic traces must be respected. But if organisms 
evolved to their current state, Omphalos collapses to massive irrelevance. Gosse understood this 
threat perfectly well and chose to meet it by abrupt dismissal. Evolution, he allowed, discredited his system, 
but only a fool could accept such patent nonsense and idolatry (Gosse wrote Omphalos two years 
before Darwin published the Origin of Species). .... But Gosse then faced a second and larger 
difficulty: The prochronic argument may work for organisms and their life cycles, but how can it be applied 
to the entire earth and its fossil record-for Gosse intended Omphalos as a treatise to reconcile the 
earth with biblical chronology, `an attempt to untie the geological knot.' His statements about prochronic 
parts in organisms are only meant as collateral support for the primary geological argument. And Gosse's 
geological claim fails precisely because it rests upon such dubious analogy with what he recognized (since 
he gave it so much more space) as a much stronger argument about modern organisms. Gosse tried valiantly 
to advance for the entire earth the same two premises that made his prochronic argument work for 
organisms. But an unwilling world rebelled against such forced reasoning and Omphalos collapsed 
under its own weight of illogic. Gosse first tried to argue that all geological processes, like organic life 
cycles, move in circles: ... But Gosse could never document any inevitable geological cyclicity, and his 
argument drowned in a sea of rhetoric and biblical allusion from Ecclesiastes: `All the rivers run into the sea; 
yet the sea is not full. Unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.' Secondly, to 
make fossils prochronic, Gosse had to establish an analogy so riddled with holes that it would make the 
most ardent mental tester shudder - embryo is to adult as fossil is to modern organism. One might admit that 
chickens require previous eggs, but why should a modern reptile (especially for an antievolutionist like 
Gosse) be necessarily linked to a previous dinosaur as part of a cosmic cycle? A python surely does not 
imply the ineluctable entombment of an illusory Triceratops into prochronic strata. With this epitome of 
Gosse's argument, we can resolve the paradox posed at the outset.  Gosse could accept strata and fossils as 
illusory and still advocate their study because he did not regard the prochronic part of a cycle as any less 
`true' or informative than its conventional diachronic segment. God decreed two kinds of existence-one 
constructed all at once with the appearance of elapsed time, the other progressing sequentially. Both 
dovetail harmoniously to form uninterrupted circles that, in their order and majesty, give us insight into 
God's thoughts and plans. The prochronic part is neither a joke nor a test of faith; it represents God's 
obedience to his own logic, given his decision to order creation in circles. As thoughts in God's mind, 
solidified in stone by creation ab nihilo, strata and fossils are just as true as if they recorded the products of 
conventional time. A geologist should study them with as much care and zeal, for we learn God's ways from 
both his prochronic and his diachronic objects. The geological time scale is no more meaningful as a 
yardstick than as a map of God's thoughts. ... Thus, Gosse offered Omphalos to practicing scientists 
as a helpful resolution of potential religious conflicts, not a challenge to their procedures or the relevance of 
their information." (Gould, S.J., "Adam's Navel," in "The Flamingo's Smile: Reflections in Natural History," 
[1985], Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, pp.99-103, 106-109)

16/03/2005
"His son Edmund wrote of the great hopes that Gosse held for Omphalos: `Never was a book cast 
upon the waters with greater anticipations of success than was this curious, this obstinate, this fanatical 
volume. My father lived in a fever of suspense, waiting for the tremendous issue. This `Omphalos' of 
his, he thought, was to bring all the turmoil of scientific speculation to a close, fling geology into the arms of 
Scripture, and make the lion eat grass with the lamb.' Yet readers greeted Omphalos with disbelief, 
ridicule, or worse, stunned silence. Edmund Gosse continued: `He offered it, with a glowing gesture, to 
atheists and Christians alike. This was to be the universal panacea; this the system of intellectual 
therapeutics which could not but heal all the maladies of the age. But, alas! atheists and Christians alike 
looked at it and laughed, and threw it away.' [Gosse E., `Father and Son: A Study of Two Temperaments,' 
(1967), Penguin: Harmondsworth UK, 1984, reprint, p.105] Although Gosse reconciled himself to a God who 
would create such a minutely detailed, illusory past, this notion was anathema to most of his countrymen. 
The British are a practical, empirical people, `a nation of shopkeepers' in Adam Smith's famous phrase; they 
tend to respect the facts of nature at face value and rarely favor the complex systems of nonobvious 
interpretation so popular in much of continental thought. Prochronism was simply too much to swallow. The 
Reverend Charles Kingsley, an intellectual leader of unquestionable devotion to both God and science, 
spoke for a consensus in stating that he could not `give up the painful and slow conclusion of five and 
twenty years' study of geology, and believe that God has written on the rocks one enormous and 
superfluous lie.' And so it has gone for the argument of Omphalos ever since. Gosse did not invent 
it, and a few creationists ever since have revived it from time to time. But it has never been welcome or 
popular because it violates our intuitive notion of divine benevolence as free of devious behavior- for while 
Gosse saw divine brilliance in the idea of prochronism, most people cannot shuck their seat-of-the-pants 
feeling that it smacks of plain old unfairness. Our modern American creationists reject it vehemently as 
imputing a dubious moral character to God and opt instead for the even more ridiculous notion that our 
miles of fossiliferous strata are all products of Noah's flood and can therefore be telescoped into the literal 
time scale of Genesis." (Gould, S.J., "Adam's Navel," in "The Flamingo's Smile: Reflections in Natural 
History," [1985], Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, pp.110-111)

16/03/2005
"But what is so desperately wrong with Omphalos? Only this really (and perhaps paradoxically): that 
we can devise no way to find out whether it is wrong-or, for that matter, right. Omphalos is the 
classical example of an utterly untestable notion, for the world will look exactly the same in all its intricate 
detail whether fossils and strata are prochronic or products of an extended history. When we realize that 
Omphalos must be rejected for this methodological absurdity, not for any demonstrated factual 
inaccuracy, then we will understand science as a way of knowing, and Omphalos will serve its 
purpose as an intellectual foil or prod. Science is a procedure for testing and rejecting hypotheses, not a 
compendium of certain knowledge. Claims that can be proved incorrect lie within its domain (as false 
statements to be sure, but as proposals that meet the primary methodological criterion of testability). But 
theories that cannot be tested in principle are not part of science. Science is doing, not clever cogitation; we 
reject Omphalos as useless, not wrong. Gosse's deep error lay in his failure to appreciate this 
essential character of scientific reasoning. He hammered his own coffin nails by continually emphasizing 
that Omphalos made no practical difference- that the world would look exactly the same with a 
prochronic or diachronic past. (Gosse thought that this admission would make his argument acceptable to 
conventional geologists; he never realized that it could only lead them to reject his entire scheme as 
irrelevant.) `I do not know,' he wrote, `that a single conclusion, now accepted, would need to be given up, 
except that of actual chronology.' Gosse emphasized that we cannot know where God placed his wafer of 
creation into the cosmic circle because prochronic objects, created ab nihilo, look exactly like diachronic 
products of actual time. To those who argued that coprolites (fossil excrement) prove the existence of active, 
feeding animals in a real geological past, Gosse replied that as God would create adults with feces in their 
intestines, so too would he place petrified turds into his created strata. (I am not making up this example for 
comic effect; you will find it on page 353 of Omphalos.) Thus, with these words, Gosse sealed his 
fate and placed himself outside the pale of science: `Now, again I repeat, there is no imaginable difference to 
sense between the prochronic and the diachronic development. Every argument by which the physiologist 
can prove to demonstration that yonder cow was once a foetus in the uterus of its dam, will apply with 
exactly the same power to show that the newly created cow was an embryo, some years before its creation... 
. There is, and can be, nothing in the phenomena to indicate a commencement there, any more than 
anywhere else, or indeed, anywhere at all. The commencement, as a fact, I must learn from testimony; I have 
no means whatever of inferring it from phenomena. Gosse was emotionally crushed by the failure of 
Omphalos. During the long winter evenings of his discontent, in the January cold of 1858, he sat by 
the fire with his eight-year- old son, trying to ward off bitter thoughts by discussing the grisly details of 
past and current murders. Young Edmund heard of Mrs. Manning, who buried her victim in quicklime and 
was hanged in black satin; of Burke and Hare, the Scottish ghouls; and of the `carpetbag mystery,' a sackful 
of neatly butchered human parts hung from a pier on Waterloo Bridge. This may not have been the most 
appropriate subject for an impressionable lad (Edmund was, by his own memory, `nearly frozen into stone 
with horror'), yet I take some comfort in the thought that Philip Henry Gosse, smitten with the pain of 
rejection for his untestable theory, could take refuge in something so unambiguously factual, so utterly 
concrete." (Gould, S.J., "Adam's Navel," in "The Flamingo's Smile: Reflections in Natural History," [1985], 
Penguin: London, 1991 reprint, pp.109-110)

16/03/2005
"Naturalism. Philosophical or metaphysical naturalism refers to the view that nature is the `whole show.' 
There is no supernatural realm and/or intervention in the world ... In the strict sense, all forms of nontheisms 
are naturalistic, including atheism, pantheism, deism, and agnosticism. However, some theists ... especially 
scientists, hold a form of methodological naturalism. That is, while acknowledging the existence of God and 
the possibility of miracles, they employ a method of approaching the natural world that does not admit of 
miracles .... This is true of many theistic evolutionists ... They insist that to admit miracles in nature to 
explain the unique or anomalous is to invoke `the God of the gaps.' In this sense they are bedfellows with 
the anti-supernaturalists, who deny miracles on the grounds that they are contrary to the scientific method. 
Forms of Metaphysical Naturalism. Metaphysical naturalists are of two basic kinds: materialists and 
pantheists. The materialist reduces all to matter ... and the pantheist reduces all to mind or spirit. Both deny 
that any supernatural realm intervenes in the natural world. They differ chiefly about whether the natural 
world is composed ultimately of matter or of mind (spirit). Those who hold the latter often admit the 
possibility of supernormal events by tapping into this invisible spiritual Force ... However, these are not 
supernatural events in the theistic sense of a supernatural being intervening in the natural world he created. 
Bases for Naturalism. Metaphysical naturalists reject miracles outright. They vary only in the basis for their 
criticism of the supernatural. Benedict Spinoza believed miracles are impossible because they are irrational. 
David Hume claimed that miracles are incredible. Rudolph Bultmann held that miracles are unhistorical and 
mythical ... Based on the unrepeatability of the miraculous, Antony Flew argued that miracles are 
unidentifiable. Emmanuel Kant contended that miracles are not essential to religion. All of these allegations 
have been carefully fully analyzed and found to be without foundation ..." (Geisler N.L.*, "Naturalism," in 
"Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics", Baker Books: Grand Rapids MI, 1999, pp.521-522)

17/03/2005
"Theistic evolution is not easy to define, but it involves making an effort to maintain that the natural 
world is God-governed while avoiding disagreement with the Darwinist establishment on scientific 
matters. Because the Darwinists have become increasingly explicit about the religious and 
philosophical implications of their system, this strategy led the theism in the ASA's [American 
Scientific Affiliation's] evolution to come under ever greater pressure. Compatibilism has its limits, 
however, and some ASA leaders were prodded into action by the strong naturalistic bias of the 
National Academy's 1984 pamphlet, which tried to give the public the impression that science has all 
the major problems of evolution well in hand. With foundation support, the ASA produced its own 48-
page illustrated booklet, titled Teaching Science in a Climate of Controversy: A View from the 
American Scientific Affiliation, and mailed it to thousands of school teachers. The general tenor of the 
booklet was to encourage open-mindedness, especially on such `open questions' as whether life really 
arose by chance, how the first animals could have evolved in the Cambrian explosion, and how human 
intelligence and upright posture evolved. The ASA members who wrote Teaching Science naively 
expected that most scientists would welcome their contribution as a corrective to the overconfidence 
that evolutionary science tends to project when it is trying to persuade the public not to entertain any 
doubts. The official scientific organizations, however, are at war with creationism, and their policy is to 
demand unconditional surrender. Persons who claim to be scientists, but who try to convince school 
teachers that there are `open questions' about the naturalistic understanding of the world, are traitors in 
that war. Retribution quickly followed. A California `science consultant' named William Bennetta, who 
makes a career of pursuing creationists, organized a posse of scientific heavyweights to condemn the 
ASA's pamphlet as `an attempt to replace science with a system of pseudoscience devoted to 
confirming Biblical narratives.' A journal called The Science Teacher published a collection of essays 
edited by Bennetta, titled `Scientists Decry a Slick New Packaging of Creationism.' Nine prominent 
scientists, including Gould, Futuyma, Eldredge, and Sarich, contributed heavy-handed condemnations 
of Teaching Science. The pervasive message was that the ASA is a deceitful creationist front which 
disguises its Biblical literalist agenda under a pretence of scientific objectivity. The accusations 
bewildered the authors of Teaching Science, and were so far off the mark that persons familiar with 
the ASA might easily have mistaken them for intentional misrepresentations. It would be a mistake to 
infer any intent to deceive, however, because really zealous scientific naturalists do not recognize 
subtle distinctions among theists. To the zealots, people who say they believe in God are either 
harmless sentimentalists who add some vague God-talk to a basically naturalistic worldview, or they are 
creationists. In either case they are fools, but in the latter case they are a menace. From a zealot's 
viewpoint, the ASA writers had provided ample evidence of a creationist purpose. Why would they 
harp on `open questions' except to imply that God might have taken a hand in the appearance of new 
forms? That suggestion is creationism by definition, and the ASA admits to being an organization of 
Christians who accept the authority of the Bible. Their true reason for rejecting scientific evolution 
must therefore be that it contradicts the Biblical narrative. What other reason could they have?" 
(Johnson, P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," [1991], InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second edition, 1993, 
pp.129-130)

17/03/2005
"Physicalism as a worldview holds that everything that exists is nothing but a single spatio-temporal system 
which can be completely described in terms of some ideal form of physics. Matter/energy is all that exists. 
God, souls, and nonphysical abstract entities do not exist. ... But is physicalism adequate as a worldview? 
Several factors indicate that it is not. ... a number of people have argued that numbers exist and that they are 
abstract, nonphysical entities (e.g., sets, substances, or properties). Several arguments can be offered for 
the existence of numbers, but two appear frequently. For one thing, mathematics claims to give us 
knowledge But if this is so, there must be something that mathematics is about. Just as the biologist 
discovers biological truths about biological objects (organisms), so the mathematician often 
discovers mathematical truths (he does not invent them all the time) and these truths are about 
mathematical objects If one denies the existence of numbers, then it is hard to rescue mathematics as a field 
which conveys knowledge about something. Without numbers, mathematics becomes merely an internally 
consistent game which is invented." (Moreland J.P.*, "Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity," 
[1987], Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1994, Ninth Printing, pp.80-81)

17/03/2005
"A second argument is often given for holding to the existence of numbers. Scientific laws and theories 
seem to assert their existence. For example, a calcium ion has a positive charge of two which is expressed in 
the formula Ca+2. The number two here seems to be more than a mere formula for calculating 
relative amounts of compounds in laboratory reactions. Two expresses a property of the calcium ion itself. 
The property of twoness is just as much a real property of the charge of the calcium as the property of 
positiveness If one denies that numbers exist, it is hard to continue to maintain that science gives us a real 
description of the world rather than a set of operations that work in the laboratory. In sum, without numbers, 
mathematical and scientific knowledge is hard to maintain. But if numbers exit, physicalism as a worldview is 
false because numbers are not physical entities." (Moreland J.P.*, "Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of 
Christianity," [1987], Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1994, Ninth Printing, p.81)

18/03/2005
"It has been felt, however, that this picture of God being squeezed out of the picture by natural science 
contained powerful warnings for the modern theist engaged in either science or apologetics. Does God act 
directly in the cosmos in detectable ways? As natural science gave more and more convincing explanations 
for all natural phenomena once viewed as the sole preserve of the deity, thinking people came to have their 
doubts. Finally many became convinced that science had either explained the great underlying laws of 
nature or was very close to doing so. Divine action was confined only to the gaps in scientific knowledge. ... 
Every time science advanced, one more potential area of divine action was removed. Given past success in 
disposing of these gaps in the natural sciences, why not remove the God hypothesis altogether? This sort 
of reasoning was convincing to many late Victorians such as Thomas H. Huxley (1894) and is still found in 
popular antitheistic writings such as the work of the late Isaac Asimov. Religious thinkers have responded 
in at least four major ways. ... Recently a fourth response has become popular. Phillip E. Johnson labeled it 
"theistic realism" in Reason in the Balance (Johnson 1995). A group of thinkers who may have little or 
nothing to say about the putative harmony of Genesis and biology have suggested that modern science, 
when it is not viewed through the lens of naturalistic metaphysics, supports the idea of God's direct 
intervention in the natural world. Nonetheless they deny that they are guilty of the God-of-the-gaps 
argument. One of the seminal works in this new response to the religion and science question, The Creation 
Hypothesis, explicitly denies that it falls into the God-of-the-gaps problem. Philosopher J.P. Moreland 
describes the gaps argument and argues that theistic realism does not fall prey to this objection (Moreland 
1994, 41-66). Moreland claims this new theistic science is safe for three reasons. First, it allows for divine 
action outside the gaps. It is not a form of soft deism, since it postulates God's continued sustaining activity 
in the cosmos. Second, the theistic scientist has reasons independent of naturalistic ignorance for invoking 
divine intelligence and a Designer. These reasons are philosophic and theological. Finally Moreland 
suggests theistic science functions best in historical as opposed to empirical science. Most commonly cited 
examples of the failure of theistic science, such as Newton, are from the latter, not the former (Moreland 
1994, 59-60)." (Reynolds, J.M.*, "God of the Gaps Intelligent Design & Bad Apologetic Advice," in Dembski 
W.A., ed., "Mere Creation: Science, Faith & Intelligent Design," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1998, 
pp.315-316)

18/03/2005
"But continuing unhappiness, justified this time, focuses upon claims that speciation causes significant 
morphological change, for no validation of such a position has emerged (while the frequency and efficacy of 
our original supporting notion, Mayr's "genetic revolution" in peripheral isolates, has been questioned) 
Moreover, reasonable arguments for potential change throughout the history of lineages have been 
advanced although the empirics of stasis throws the efficacy of such processes into doubt. The pattern of 
punctuated equilibrium exists (at predominant relative frequency, we would argue) and is robust. Eppur non 
si muove; but why then? For the association of morphological change with speciation remains as a major 
pattern in the fossil record. We believe that the solution to this dilemma may be provided in a brilliant but 
neglected suggestion of Futuyma [Futuyma D.J., "On the role of species in anagenesis," American 
Naturalist, Vol. 130, 1987, pp.465-473)] He holds that morphological change may accumulate anywhere along 
the geological trajectory of a species. But unless that change be `locked up' by acquisition of reproductive 
isolation (that is speciation), it cannot persist or accumulate and must be washed out during the complexity 
of interdigitation through time among varying populations of a species. Thus, species are not special 
because their origin permits a unique moment for instigating change, but because they provide the only 
mechanism for protecting change. Futuyma writes: `In the absence of reproductive isolation, differentiation 
is broken down by recombination. Given reproductive isolation, however, a species can retain its distinctive 
complex of characters as its spatial distribution changes along with that of its habitat or niche...Although 
speciation does not accelerate evolution within populations, it provides morphological changes with 
enough permanence to be registered in the fossil record. Thus, it is plausible to expect many evolutionary 
changes in the fossil record to be associated with speciation.' By an extension of the same argument, 
sequences of speciation are then required for trends: `Each step has had a more than ephemeral existence 
only because reproductive isolation prevented the slippage consequent on interbreeding other 
populations...Speciation may facilitate anagenesis by retaining, stepwise, the advances made in any one 
direction.' Futuyma's simple yet profound insight may help to heal the remaining rifts and integrate 
punctuated equilibrium into an evolutionary theory hierarchically enriched in its light" (Gould, S.J. & 
Eldredge N., "Punctuated Equilibrium Comes of Age," Nature, 18 November 1993, Vol 366, pp.223-227, 
pp.226-227. Ellipses in original)

18/03/2005
"Richard Dawkins compares the emergence of biological complexity to climbing a mountain--Mount 
Improbable, as he calls it. According to him, Mount Improbable always has a gradual serpentine path 
leading to the top that can be traversed in baby-steps. But that's hardly an empirical claim. Indeed, the claim 
is entirely gratuitous. It might be a fact about nature that Mount Improbable is sheer on all sides and getting 
to the top from the bottom via baby-steps is effectively impossible. A gap like that would reside in nature 
herself and not in our knowledge of nature (it would not, in other words, constitute a god-of-the-gaps). The 
problem is worse yet. For the Darwinian selection mechanism to connect point A to point B in configuration 
space, it is not enough that there merely exist a sequence of baby-steps connecting the two. In addition, 
each baby-step needs in some sense to be `successful.' In biological terms, each step requires an increase in 
fitness as measured in terms of survival and reproduction. Natural selection, after all, is the motive force 
behind each baby-step, and selection only selects what is advantageous to the organism. Thus, for the 
Darwinian mechanism to connect two organisms, there must be a sequence of successful baby-steps 
connecting the two. Again, it is not enough merely to presuppose this--it must be demonstrated. For 
instance, it is not enough to point out that some genes for the bacterial flagellum are the same as those for a 
type III secretory system (a type of pump) and then handwave that one was co-opted from the other. 
Anybody can arrange complex systems in a series. But such series do nothing to establish whether the end 
evolved in a Darwinian fashion from the beginning unless the probability of each step in the series can be 
quantified, the probability at each step turns out to be reasonably large, and each step constitutes an 
advantage to the organism (in particular, viability of the whole organism must at all times be preserved). 
Convinced that the Darwinian mechanism must be capable of doing such evolutionary design work, 
evolutionary biologists rarely ask whether such a sequence of successful baby-steps even exists; much less 
do they attempt to quantify the probabilities involved. I attempt that in chapter 5 of my most recent book No 
Free Lunch. There I lay out techniques for assessing the probabilistic hurdles that the Darwinian mechanism 
faces in trying to account for complex biological structures like the bacterial flagellum. The probabilities I 
calculate--and I try to be conservative--are horrendous and render natural selection entirely implausible as a 
mechanism for generating the flagellum and structures like it. If I'm right and the probabilities really are 
horrendous, then the bacterial flagellum exhibits specified complexity. Furthermore, if specified complexity is 
a reliable marker of intelligent agency, then systems like the bacterial flagellum bespeak intelligent design 
and are not solely the effect of material mechanisms." (Dembski W.A.*, "Does Evolution Even Have A 
Mechanism?," Address to the American Museum of Natural History, April 23, 2002. 
http://www.designinference.com/documents/04.02.AMNH_debate.htm)

19/03/2005
"Question: `Isn't it unethical for creationists, in order to support their arguments, to quote evolutionists out 
of context?' Answer: The often-repeated charge that creationists deliberately use partial quotes or out-of-
context quotes from evolutionists is, at best, an attempt to confuse the issue. Creationists do, indeed, 
frequently quote from evolutionary literature, finding that the data and interpretations used by evolutionists 
often provide very effective arguments for creation. With only rare exceptions, however, creationists always 
are meticulously careful to quote accurately and in context. Evolutionists have apparently searched 
creationist writings looking for such exceptions and, out of the hundreds or thousands of quotes which 
have been used, have been able to find only two or three which they have been able to interpret as 
misleading. Even these, if carefully studied, in full light of their own contexts, will be found to be quite fair 
and accurate in their representation of the situation under discussion. On the other hand, evolutionists 
frequently quote creationist writings badly out of context. The most disconcerting practice of this sort, one 
that could hardly be anything but deliberate, is to quote a creationist exposition of a Biblical passage, in a 
book or article dealing with Biblical creationism, and then to criticize this as an example of the scientific 
creationism which creationists propose for the public schools. Another frequent example is that of citing 
creationist expositions of the Second Law of Thermodynamics and charging them with ignoring the `open 
system' question, when they are specifically dealing in context with that very question. In any case, 
evolutionists much more frequently and more flagrantly quote creationists out of context than creationists 
do evolutionists." (Morris H.M. & Parker G.E.*, "What is Creation Science?," [1982], Master Books: El Cajon 
CA, Revised edition, 1987, p.304)

19/03/2005
"FOUR months ago, when the Kansas Board of Education voted to cut evolution from the mandatory 
science curriculum, few people were more outraged than Stephen Jay Gould. Teaching biology without 
evolution is `like teaching English but making grammar optional,' Gould said. The Kansas decision reeked of 
`absurdity' and `ignorance' and was a national embarrassment. The question of whether to teach evolution 
`only comes up in this crazy country,' he told an audience at the University of Kansas after the decision. All 
of this is more or less true. But it's also true that, over the years, Gould himself has lent real strength to the 
creationist movement. Not intentionally, of course. Gould's politics are secular left, the opposite of 
creationist politics, and his outrage toward creationists is genuine. Yet, in spite of this stance-and, oddly, in 
some ways because of it-he has wound up aiding and abetting their cause. This indictment of Gould will no 
doubt surprise his large reading public. After all, in addition to being America's unofficial evolutionist 
laureate, Gould is a scientist of sterling credentials-a Harvard paleontologist and, currently, the president of 
the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In what more capable hands could the defense 
of science rest? This indictment will also surprise many evolutionary biologists, but for different reasons. It 
isn't that they necessarily consider Gould a great scientist; a number of insiders take a quite different view. 
But they do generally think of him as a valiant warrior against the creationist hordes. The eminent British 
biologist John Maynard Smith has observed, `Gould occupies a rather curious position, particularly on his 
side of the Atlantic. Because of the excellence of his essays, he has come to be seen by nonbiologists as the 
preeminent evolutionary theorist. In contrast, the evolutionary biologists with whom I have discussed his 
work tend to see him as a man whose ideas are so confused as to be hardly worth bothering with, but as one 
who should not be publicly criticized because he is at least on our side against the creationists.' In truth, 
though, Gould is not helping the evolutionists against the creationists, and the sooner the evolutionists 
realize that the better. For, as Maynard Smith has noted, Gould `is giving nonbiologists a largely false 
picture of the state of evolutionary theory.' Over the past three decades, in essays, books, and technical 
papers, Gould has advanced a distinctive view of evolution. He stresses its flukier aspects-freak 
environmental catastrophes and the like- and downplays natural selection's power to design complex life 
forms. In fact, if you really pay attention to what he is saying, and accept it, you might start to wonder how 
evolution could have created anything as intricate as a human being. As it happens, creationists have been 
wondering the very same thing, and they're delighted to have a Harvard paleontologist who will nourish 
their doubts. Gould is a particular godsend to the more intellectual anti-evolutionists, who mount the 
sustained (and ostensibly secular) critiques that give creationism a veneer of legitimacy. In attacking 
Darwinian theory, they don't have to build a straw man; Gould has built one for them. When Phillip E. 
Johnson, the most noted of these writers, begins a sentence, `As Stephen Jay Gould describes it, in his fine 
book,' this is not good cause for Gould to swell with pride. Gould also performs a more subtle service for 
creationists. Having bolstered their caricature of Darwinism as implausible, he bolsters their caricature of it 
as an atheist plot. He depicts evolution as something that can't possibly reflect a higher purpose, and thus 
can't provide the sort of spiritual consolation most people are after. Even Gould's recent book `Rocks of 
Ages,' which claims to reconcile science and religion, draws this moral from the story of evolution: we live in 
a universe that is `indifferent to our suffering.'" (Wright R., "The Accidental Creationist: Why Stephen Jay 
Gould Is Bad For Evolution," The New Yorker, Dec. 13, 1999. http://www.nonzero.org/newyorker.htm)

19/03/2005

"On the other hand, the "proofs" of the creationists consist not of testable observations, or analysis of the 
basic processes of creation, but of attacks on scientists and their methods. Dr. Duane Gish, a leading 
spokesman for the creationists, says: "We do not know how God created, what processes He used, for God 
used processes which are not now operating anywhere in the natural universe" (Evolution-The Fossils Say 
No!, 1973). When creationists speak in this manner they are not thinking as scientists and their religious 
beliefs should not be labeled science. Creationism has not been revised or altered since the Book of Genesis 
was composed by primitive tribesmen more than 2,700 years ago. It served well for them because they had 
no scientific knowledge about natural causes, but it does not serve today as a reliable guide to the history 
or the nature of the universe." (Newell N.D., "Creation and Evolution: Myth or Reality?", Columbia 
University Press: New York, 1982, p.xxxii)

19/03/2005
"Darwin himself was acutely aware of this evidence of creation and the problem it posed for his theory. In a 
chapter of Origin of Species called `Difficulties With the Theory,' he included traits that depend on 
separately meaningless parts. Consider the human eye with the different features required to focus at 
different distances, to accommodate different amounts of light, and to correct for the `rainbow effect.' 
Regarding the origin of the eye, Darwin wrote these words: To suppose that the eye, [with so many parts all 
working together]...could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the 
highest degree. `Absurd in the highest degree.' That's Darwin's own opinion of using natural selection to 
explain the origin of traits that depend on many parts working together. working together." (Morris H.M. & 
Parker G.E.*, "What is Creation Science?," Master Books: El Cajon CA, 1987, pp.86,88)

20/03/2005
"All quotes are relatively brief, but I believe all are relevant to the creation/evolution question. We have 
tried to check the accuracy of them whenever possible, but with so many quotes (about 3,500), there may 
still be some inaccuracies. I hope-and believe-that these are few and inconsequential. I would appreciate it, 
of course, if anyone does find an error, if he would let me know, so it can be corrected in possible future 
printings. Although most quotes are from evolutionists, I have included a few from creationists when they 
were particularly relevant to the subject. I believe the context will alert readers whenever this is the case." 
(Morris H.M.*, "That Their Words May Be Used Against Them: Quotes from Evolutionists Useful for 
Creationists," Master Books: Green Forest AR, 1997, p.iv)

20/03/2005
"Whenever we recognize a sequence as meaningful symbols we assume it is the handiwork of some 
intelligent cause. We make that assumption even if we cannot decipher the symbols, as when an 
archaeologist discovers some ancient inscription on stone. If science is based upon experience, then 
science tells us the message encoded in DNA must have originated from an intelligent cause. What kind of 
intelligent agent was it? On its own, science cannot answer this question; it must leave it to religion and 
philosophy. But that should not prevent science from acknowledging evidences for an intelligent cause 
origin wherever they may exist. This is no different really than if we discovered life did result from natural 
causes. We still would not know from science, if the natural cause was all that was involved, or if the 
ultimate explanation was beyond nature, and using the natural cause." (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, p.7)

20/03/2005
"It is clear that the belief that a molecule of iso-1-cytochrome c or any other protein could appear by chance 
is based on faith. And so we see that even if we believe that the 'building blocks' are available, they do not 
spontaneously make proteins, at least not by chance. The origin of life by chance in a primeval soup is 
impossible in probability in the same way that a perpetual motion machine is impossible in probability. The 
extremely small probabilities calculated in this chapter are not discouraging to true believers (Hoffer, 1951) or 
to people who live in a universe of infinite extension that has no beginning or end in time. In such a universe 
all things not streng verboten will happen. In fact we live in a small, young universe generated by an 
enormous hydrogen bomb explosion some time between 10 x 109 and 20 x 109 
years ago. A practical person must conclude that life didn't happen by chance (de Duve, 1991)." (Yockey 
H.P., "Information Theory and Molecular Biology," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1992, p.257)

21/03/2005
"Before we tackle the topic of its `unreasonable effectiveness,' it is important to have some understanding of 
what mathematics is. There are two broadly opposed schools of thought concerning its character. The first 
of these holds that mathematics is purely a human invention, the second that it has an independent 
existence. We have already met one version of the `invention,' or formalist, interpretation in chapter 4, in the 
discussion of Hilbert's program for the mechanization of theorem-proving. Before the work of Godel it was 
possible to believe that mathematics is an entirely formal exercise, consisting of nothing more than a vast 
collection of logical rules that link one set of symbols to another. This edifice was regarded as a completely 
self-contained structure. Any connection with the natural world was considered to be coincidental and of 
no relevance whatever to the mathematical enterprise itself, this being concerned only with the elaboration 
and exploration of the consequences of the formal rules. As explained in the previous chapters, Godel's 
incompleteness theorem put paid to this strictly formalist position. Nevertheless, many mathematicians 
retain the belief that mathematics is only an invention of the human mind, having no meaning beyond that 
attributed to it by mathematicians. The opposing school is known as Platonism. Plato, it will be recalled, had 
a dualistic vision of reality. On the one hand stood the physical world, created by the Demiurge, fleeting and 
impermanent. On the other stood the realm of Ideas, eternal and unchanging, acting as a sort of abstract 
template for the physical world. Mathematical objects he considered to belong to this Ideal realm. According 
to Platonists, we do not invent mathematics, we discover it. Mathematical objects and rules enjoy an 
independent existence: they transcend the physical reality that confronts our senses. To sharpen the focus 
of this dichotomy, let us look at a specific example. Consider the statement `Twenty-three is the smallest 
prime number greater than twenty.' The statement is either true or false. In fact, it is true. The question 
before us is whether the statement is true in a timeless, absolute sense. Was the statement true before the 
invention/discovery of prime numbers? The Platonist would answer yes, because prime numbers exist, 
abstractly, whether human beings know about them or not. The formalist would dismiss the question as 
meaningless." (Davies P.C.W., "The Mind of God: Science and the Search for Ultimate Meaning," [1992], 
Penguin: London, 1993, reprint, p.141)

21/03/2005
"What do professional mathematicians think? It is often said that mathematicians are Platonists on 
weekdays and formalists at weekends. While actually working on mathematics, it is hard to resist the 
impression that one is actually engaged in the process of discovery, much as in an experimental science. 
The mathematical objects take on a life of their own, and often display totally unexpected properties. On the 
other hand, the idea of a transcendent realm of mathematical Ideas seems too mystical for many 
mathematicians to admit, and if challenged they will usually claim that when engaging in mathematical 
research they are only playing games with symbols and rules. Nevertheless, some distinguished 
mathematicians have been self- confessed Platonists. One of these was Kurt Godel. As might be expected, 
Godel based his philosophy of mathematics on his work on undecidability. He reasoned that there will 
always be mathematical statements that are true but can never be proved to be true from existing axioms. He 
envisaged these true statements as therefore already existing `out there' in a Platonic domain, beyond our 
ken. Another Platonist is the Oxford mathematician Roger Penrose. `Mathematical truth is something that 
goes beyond mere formalism,' he writes. [Penrose R., `The Emperor's New Mind,' Oxford University Press: 
Oxford, 1989, p.145] `There often does appear to be some profound reality about these mathematical 
concepts, going quite beyond the deliberations of any particular mathematician. It is as though human 
thought is, instead, being guided towards some eternal external truth-a truth which has a reality of its own, 
and which is revealed only partially to any one of us.' Taking as an example the system of complex numbers, 
Penrose feels that it has `a profound and timeless reality' [Penrose, 1989, p.124]." (Davies P.C.W., "The Mind 
of God: Science and the Search for Ultimate Meaning," [1992], Penguin: London, 1993, reprint, p.142)

21/03/2005
"Mathematical objects are just concepts; they are the mental idealizations that mathematicians make, often 
stimulated by the appearance and seeming order of aspects of the world about us, but mental idealizations 
nevertheless. Can they be other than mere arbitrary constructions of the human mind? At the same time 
there often does appear to be some profound reality about these mathematical concepts, going quite 
beyond the mental deliberations of any particular mathematician. It is as though human thought is, instead, 
being guided towards some external truth -a truth which has a reality of its own, and which is revealed only 
partially to any one of us." (Penrose R., "The Emperor's New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds and the 
Laws of Physics", [1989], Vintage: London, 1990, pp.124-125. Emphasis original)

21/03/2005
"The Mandelbrot set is not an invention ofthe human mind: it was a discovery. Like Mount Everest, the 
Mandelbrot set is just there! Likewise, the very system of complex numbers has a profound and 
timeless reality which goes quite beyond the mental constructions of any particular mathematician. " 
(Penrose R., "The Emperor's New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds and the Laws of Physics," [1989], 
Vintage: London, 1990, pp.124-125. Emphasis original)

21/03/2005
"Be that as it may, it seems to me that it is a clear consequence of the Godel argument that the concept of 
mathematical truth cannot be encapsulated in any formalistic scheme. Mathematical truth is something that 
goes beyond mere formalism. This is perhaps clear even without Godel's theorem. For how are we to decide 
what axioms or rules of procedure to adopt in any case when trying to set up a formal system? Our guide in 
deciding on the rules to adopt must always be our intuitive understanding of what is 'self- evidently true', 
given the `meanings' of the symbols of the system. ... The notion of mathematical truth goes beyond the 
whole concept of formalism. There is something absolute and `God-given' about mathematical truth. This is 
what mathematical Platonism, as discussed at the end of the last chapter, is about. Any particular formal 
system has a provisional and `man-made' quality about it. Such systems indeed have very valuable roles to 
play in mathematical discussions, but they can supply only a partial (or approximate) guide to truth. Real 
mathematical truth goes beyond mere man-made constructions." (Penrose R., "The Emperor's New Mind: 
Concerning Computers, Minds and the Laws of Physics", [1989], Vintage: London, 1990, pp.145-146)

21/03/2005
"Another example that has inspired Penrose to adopt Platonism is something called `the Mandelbrot set' 
after the IBM computer scientist Benoit Mandelbrot. The set is actually a geometrical form known as a 
"fractal," which is closely related to the theory of chaos, and provides another magnificent example of how a 
simple recursive operation can produce an object of fabulously rich diversity and complexity. The set is 
generated by successive applications of the rule (or mapping) z -> z2 + c, where z is a complex 
number and c is a certain fixed complex number. The rule simply means: pick a complex number z and replace 
it with z2 + c, then take this number to be z and make the same replacement, and so on, again 
and again. The successive complex numbers can be plotted on a sheet of paper (or a computer screen) as 
the rule is applied, each number represented as a dot. What is found is that for some choices of c the dot 
soon leaves the screen. For other choices, however, the dot wanders about forever within a bounded region. 
Now, each choice of c itself corresponds to a dot on the screen. The collection of all such c-dots forms the 
Mandelbrot set. This set has such an extraordinarily complicated structure that it is impossible to convey in 
words its awesome beauty. Many examples of portions of the set have been used for artistic displays. A 
distinctive feature of the Mandelbrot set is that any portion of it may be magnified again and again without 
limit, and each new layer of resolution brings forth new riches and delights. Penrose remarks that, when 
Mandelbrot embarked on his study of the set, he had no real prior conception of the fantastic elaboration 
inherent in it: `The complete details of the complication of the structure of Mandelbrot's set cannot really be 
fully comprehended by any one of us, nor can it be fully revealed by any computer. It would seem that this 
structure is not just part of our minds, but it has a reality of its own... . The computer is being used in 
essentially the same way that the experimental physicist uses a piece of experimental apparatus to explore 
the structure of the physical world. The Mandelbrot set is not an invention of the human mind: it was a 
discovery. Like Mount Everest, the Mandelbrot set is just there!' [Penrose, 1989, pp.124-125] Mathematician 
and well-known popularizer Martin Gardner concurs with this conclusion: "Penrose finds it 
incomprehensible (as do I) that anyone could suppose that this exotic structure is not as much `out there' as 
Mount Everest is, subject to exploration in the way a jungle is explored." [Gardner M., "Foreword," in 
Penrose, 1989, p.xv] (Davies P.C.W., "The Mind of God: Science and the Search for Ultimate Meaning," 
[1992] Penguin: London, 1993, pp.142-143)

21/03/2005
"Is mathematics invention or discovery?' asks Penrose. Do mathematicians get so carried away with their 
inventions that they imbue them with a spurious reality? `Or are mathematicians really uncovering truths 
which are, in fact, already 'there'-truths whose existence is quite independent of the mathematicians' 
activities?' In proclaiming his adherence to the latter point of view, Penrose points out that in cases such as 
the Mandelbrot set `much more comes out of the structure than is put in in the first place. One may take the 
view that in such cases the mathematicians have stumbled upon `works of God.' ` Indeed, he sees an 
analogy in this respect between mathematics and inspired works of art: `It is a feeling not uncommon 
amongst artists, that in their greatest works they are revealing eternal truths which have some kind of prior 
etherial existence... . I cannot help feeling that, with mathematics, the case for believing in some kind of 
etherial, eternal existence ... is a good deal stronger.'" [Penrose R., `The Emperor's New Mind,' Oxford 
University Press: Oxford, 1989, pp.126-127] (Davies P.C.W., "The Mind of God: Science and the Search for 
Ultimate Meaning," [1992] Penguin: London, 1993, pp.143-144)

21/03/2005
"Penrose conjectures that the way mathematicians make discoveries and communicate mathematical results 
to each other offers evidence of a Platonic realm, or Mindscape: `I imagine that whenever the mind perceives 
a mathematical idea it makes contact with Plato's world of mathematical concepts.... When one `sees' a 
mathematical truth, one's consciousness breaks through into this world of ideas, and makes direct contact 
with it... . When mathematicians communicate, this is made possible by each one having a direct route to 
truth, the consciousness of each being in a position to perceive mathematical truths directly, through this 
process of `seeing.' Since each can make contact with Plato's world directly, they can more readily 
communicate with each other than one might have expected. The mental images that each one has, when 
making this Platonic contact, might be rather different in each case, but communication is possible because 
each is directly in contact with the same eternally existing Platonic world!'" [Penrose R., `The Emperor's New 
Mind,' Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1989, pp.554-] (Davies P.C.W., "The Mind of God: Science and the 
Search for Ultimate Meaning," [1992] Penguin: London, 1993, p.144)

21/03/2005
"I once asked Richard Feynman whether he thought of mathematics and, by extension, the laws of physics 
as having an independent existence. He replied: The problem of existence is a very interesting and difficult 
one. If you do mathematics, which is simply working out the consequences of assumptions, you'll discover 
for instance a curious thing if you add the cubes of integers. One cubed is one, two cubed is two times two 
times two, that's eight, and three cubed is three times three times three, that's twenty-seven. If you add the 
cubes of these, one plus eight plus twenty- seven-let's stop here-that would be thirty-six. And that's the 
square of another number, six, and that number is the sum of those same integers, one plus two plus three... . 
Now, that fact which I've just told you about might not have been known to you before. You might say: 
"Where is it, what is it, where is it located, what kind of reality does it have?" And yet you came upon it. 
When you discover these things, you get the feeling that they were true before you found them. So you get 
the idea that somehow they existed somewhere, but there's nowhere for such things. It's just a feeling... . 
Well, in the case of physics we have double trouble. We come upon these mathematical interrelationships 
but they apply to the universe, so the problem of where they are is doubly confusing... . Those are 
philosophical questions that I don't know how to answer." [Feynman R.P., in Davies P.C.W. & Brown J.R., 
"Superstrings: A Theory of Everything?," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1988, pp.207- 208] 
(Davies P.C.W., "The Mind of God: Science and the Search for Ultimate Meaning," [1992] Penguin: London, 
1993, pp.145-146)

21/03/2005
"The problem of existence is a very interesting and difficult one. If you do mathematics, which is simply 
working out the consequences of assumptions, you'll discover for instance - of course, this is a minor 
proposition - a curious thing if you add the cubes of the integers. One cubed is one, two cubed is two times 
two times two, that's eight, and three cubed is three times three times three, that's twenty-seven. If you add 
the cubes of these, one plus eight plus twenty-seven and so on, and stop somewhere - let's stop here - that 
would be thirty-six. And that's the square of another number, six, and that number is the sum of those same 
integers one plus two plus three. We can try another number like five. One plus two plus three plus four 
plus five and then you square that; you'd get the same answer as if you'd cubed one, two, three and so on, 
up to five and added them. Alright? Now that fact, which I've just told you about, might not have been 
known to you before. You might say where is it, what is it, where is it located, what kind of reality does it 
have? And yet you came upon it. When you discover these things, you get the feeling that they were true 
before you found them. So you get the idea that somehow they existed somewhere, but there's nowhere for 
such things. It's just a feeling. This is human, we're psychologically struggling to understand. We find all 
these wonderful things, Bessel functions and their inter-relations, Fourier transforms, for example, they're 
really all there, and we just came upon them. Well, in the case of physics we have double trouble. We come 
upon these mathematical inter-relationships but they apply to the universe, so the problem of where they are 
is doubly confusing. In the case of mathematics there's little doubt that these Bessel functions and so forth 
aren't anywhere, they had to be discovered, but somehow those relations existed before we discovered 
them. In the case of physics, because the laws are applied to the physical world and work, it gets even 
harder to say where they are. But they may be closer to reality than mathematical laws. Those are 
philosophical questions that I don't know how to answer. You can do a lot of physics without having to 
answer all that stuff. But it's fun to think about them." (Davies P.C.W. & Brown J.R., eds., "Superstrings: A 
Theory of Everything?," [1988], Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1989, reprint, pp.207-208)

21/03/2005
"A careful analysis of naturalism reveals a problem so serious that it fails one of the major tests that rational 
men and women will expect any worldview to pass. In order to see how this is so, it is necessary first to 
recall that naturalism regards the universe as a self-contained and self- explanatory system. There is nothing 
outside the box we call nature that can explain or that is necessary to explain anything inside the box. 
Naturalism claims that everything can be explained in terms of something else within the natural 
order. This dogma is not an accidental or nonessential feature of the naturalistic position. All that is required 
for naturalism to be false is the discovery of one thing that cannot be explained in the naturalistic way. C.S. 
Lewis set up this line of argument: `If necessities of thought force us to allow to any one thing any degree 
of independence from the Total System-if any one thing makes good a claim to be on its own, to be 
something more than an expression of the character of Nature as a whole-then we have abandoned 
Naturalism. For by Naturalism we mean the doctrine that only Nature-the whole interlocked system-exists. 
And if that were true, every thing and event would, if we knew enough, be explicable without remainder ... as 
a necessary product of the system.' [(Lewis C.S., "Miracles: A Preliminary Study," [1947], Fontana: London, 
1960, Revised edition, 1963, reprint, p.16]  With a little effort, we can quickly see that no thoughtful naturalist 
can ignore. at least one thing. Lewis explains: `All possible knowledge ... depends on the validity of 
reasoning. If the feeling of certainty which we express by words like must be and therefore 
and since is a real perception of how things outside our own minds really `must' be, well and good. 
But if this certainty is merely a feeling in our minds and not a genuine insight into realities beyond 
them-if it merely represents the ways our minds happen to work-then we have no knowledge. Unless human 
reasoning is valid no science can be true.' [Lewis, 1960, p.18] The human mind, as we know, has the power to 
grasp contingent truth, that is, whatever is the case. But the human mind also has the power to grasp 
necessary connections, that is, what must be the case. This latter power, the ability to grasp 
necessary connections, is the essential feature of human reasoning. If it is true that all men 
are mortal and if it is true that Socrates is a man, then it must be true that Socrates is mortal. 
Naturalists must appeal to this kind of necessary connection in their arguments for naturalism; indeed, in 
their reasoning about everything. But can naturalists account for this essential element of the reasoning 
process that they utilize in their arguments for their own position? Lewis thinks not. As Lewis sees it, 
naturalism `discredits our processes of reasoning or at least reduces their credit to such a humble level that 
it can no longer support Naturalism itself.' [Lewis, 1960, p.19] Lewis argues: `It follows that no account of the 
universe [including naturalism] can be true unless that account leaves it possible for our thinking to be a 
real insight. A theory which explained everything else in the whole universe but which made it impossible to 
believe that our thinking was valid, would be utterly out of court. For that theory would itself have been 
reached by thinking, and if thinking is not valid that theory would, of course, be itself demolished. It would 
have destroyed its own credentials. It would be an argument which proved that no argument was sound-a 
proof that there are no such things as proofs-which is nonsense.' [Lewis, 1960, p.19] Lewis is careful to point 
out that his argument is not grounded on the claim that naturalism affirms every human judgment 
(like every event in the universe) has a cause. He knows that even though my belief about a matter may be 
caused by nonrational factors, my belief may still be true. In the argument before us, Lewis is talking about 
something else, namely, the logical connection between a belief and the ground of that belief. It is one thing 
for a belief to have a nonrational cause; it is something else for a belief to have a reason or ground. The 
ravings of a madman may have a cause but lack any justifying ground. The reasoning of a philosopher may 
also have a cause but possess a justifying ground. What naturalism does, according to Lewis, is sever what 
should be unseverable, the link between conclusions and the grounds or reasons for those conclusions. As 
Lewis says, `Unless our conclusion is the logical consequent from a ground it will be worthless [as an 
example of a reasoned conclusion] and could be true only by a fluke.' [Lewis, 1960, p.20] Therefore, 
naturalism `offers what professes to be a full account of our mental behaviour; but this account on 
inspection, leaves no room for the acts of knowing or insight on which the whole value of our thinking, as a 
means to truth, depends.' [Lewis, 1960, p.22] In naturalism, Lewis continues, `acts of reasoning are not 
interlocked with the total interlocking system of Nature as all its other items are interlocked with one 
another. They are connected with it in a different way; as the understanding of a machine is certainly 
connected with the machine but not in the way the parts of the machine are connected with each other. The 
knowledge of a thing is not one of the thing's parts. In this sense something beyond Nature operates 
whenever we reason.' [Lewis, 1960, p.29] In this last paragraph, the thrust of Lewis's argument against 
naturalism becomes clear. By definition, naturalism excludes the possible existence of anything beyond 
nature, outside the box. But the process of reasoning requires something that exceeds the bounds of 
nature. Of course, the same situation applies in the case of moral reasoning; the laws that govern 
morality must also exist outside the box. One of naturalism's major problems is explaining how mindless 
forces give rise to minds,, knowledge, sound reasoning, and moral principles that really do report how 
human beings ought to behave. Not surprisingly, every naturalist wants the rest of us to think that 
his worldview, his naturalism, is a product of his sound reasoning. All things considered, it's 
hard to see why naturalism is not self- referentially absurd. Before any person can justify his or her 
acceptance of naturalism on rational grounds, it is first necessary for that person to reject a cardinal tenet of 
the naturalist position. In other words, the only way a person can provide rational grounds for believing in 
naturalism is first to cease being a naturalist. So naturalism has major problems with the first test every 
worldview must pass, the test of reason. It has additional difficulties with the test of experience. I will pass 
over the question of whether naturalism can justify the inferences its adherents so readily draw from our 
experiences of the outer world; their problems with the laws of logic continue in this case as well. ": (Nash 
R.H.*, "Worldviews in Conflict: Choosing Christianity in a World of Ideas," [1992], Zondervan: Grand 
Rapids MI, 1999, reprint, pp.122-126. Emphasis original)

21/03/2005
"To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, 
for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could 
have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree. When it was 
first said that the sun stood still and the world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the 
doctrine false; but the old saying of "Vox populi, vox Dei." as every philosopher knows, cannot be trusted 
in science. Reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a simple and imperfect eye to one complex and 
perfect can be shown to exist, each grade being useful to its possessor, as is certainly the case; if, further, 
the eye ever varies and the variations be inherited, as is likewise certainly the case; and if such variations 
should be useful to any animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a 
perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, 
should not be considered as subversive of the theory." (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of 
Natural Selection," [1872], Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1928, reprint, p.167)

21/03/2005
"Transformism [evolution] is a fairy tale for adults," Age Nouveau, February 1959, p.12 (Rostand, 
Jean. [French biologist and member of the French Academy of Sciences, and atheist evolutionist]. 
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/ce/3/part12.html 
21/03/2005
"That, by this, evolutionism would appear as a theory without value, is confirmed also pragmatically. A 
theory must not be required to be true, said Mr. H. Poincare, more or less, it must be required to be useable. 
Indeed, none of the progress made in biology depends even slightly on a theory, the principles of which are 
nevertheless filling every year volumes of books, periodicals, and congresses with their discussions and 
their disagreements." (Bounoure, Louis [Professor of Biology, University of Strasbourg], "Determinism and 
Finality," Flammarion: Paris, 1957, p.79. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/ce/3/part12.html).

21/03/2005
"Projection. Historically, in the older psychology, the objective reference of sensations, that is, their 
reference to an object, as the origin or source of the stimuli, or their localization within or with out the body; 
more recently the interpretation of situations and events, by reading into them our own experiences and 
feelings (see projection tests); also recently, by the psychoanalysts, the attributing unconsciously to other 
people, usually as a defence against unpleasant feelings in ourselves, such as a feeling of guilt, or inferiority 
feeling, of thoughts, feelings, and acts towards us, by means of which we justify ourselves in our own 
eyes.." (Drever J., "The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology," [1964], Penguin: Harmondsworth UK, Revised 
edition, 1981, reprint, p.225)

22/03/2005
"But many scientists and mathematicians still doubt that evolution biological or cultural -- can adequately 
explain why mathematics works so well in describing the fundamental laws of the universe. "Our ability to 
discover, and describe mathematically, Newton's equations has no immediate survival value,' said Dr. Paul 
Davies, professor of mathematical physics at the University of Adelaide in Australia. `This point has even 
greater force when it comes to, say, quantum mechanics. The reason people find it hard to understand 
quantum physics is precisely because there is no survival value in being able to do so.' The reason 
mathematics is so effective, he says, remains a deep mystery. `No feature of this uncanny 'tuning' of the 
human mind to the workings of nature is more striking than mathematics,' he wrote in `The Mind of God: The 
Scientific Basis for a Rational World' (Simon & Schuster, 1992)." (Johnson G., "Useful Invention or Absolute 
Truth: What Is Math?," The New York Times, February 10, 1998. 
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign/message/7455)

22/03/2005
"Another of Einstein's famous remarks is that the only incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it 
is comprehensible. The success of the scientific enterprise can often blind us to the astonishing fact that 
science works. Though it is usually taken for granted, it is both incredibly fortunate and deeply mysterious 
that we are able to fathom the workings of nature by use of the scientific method. The purpose of science is 
to uncover patterns and regularities in nature, but the raw data of observation rarely exhibit explicit 
regularities. Nature's order is hidden from us: the book of nature is written in a sort of code. To make 
progress in science we need to crack the cosmic code, to dig beneath the raw data, and uncover the hidden 
order. To return to the crossword analogy, the clues are highly cryptic, and require some considerable 
ingenuity to solve. What is so remarkable is that human beings can actually perform this code-breaking 
operation. Why has the human mind the capacity to `unlock the secrets of nature' and make a reasonable 
success at completing nature's cryptic crossword'? It is easy to imagine worlds in which the regularities of 
nature are transparent at a glance or impenetrably complicated or subtle, requiring far more brainpower than 
humans possess to decode them. In fact, the cosmic code seems almost attuned to human capabilities. This 
is all the more mysterious on account of the fact that human intellectual powers are presumably determined 
by biological evolution, and have absolutely no connection with doing science. Our brains have evolved to 
cope with survival in the jungle,' a far cry from describing the laws of electromagnetism or the structure of 
the atom." (Davies P.C.W., "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Science," in Templeton J.M., ed., "Evidence 
of Purpose: Scientists Discover the Creator," Continuum: New York NY, 1994, p.54)

22/03/2005
"THE ASTRONOMER JAMES JEANS once proclaimed that God is a mathematician. His pithy phrase 
expresses in metaphorical terms an article of faith adopted by almost all scientists today. The belief that the 
underlying order of the world can be expressed in mathematical form lies at the very heart of science, and is 
rarely questioned. So deep does this belief run that a branch of science is considered not to be properly 
understood until it can be cast in the impersonal language of mathematics. As we have seen, the idea that 
the physical world is the manifestation of mathematical order and harmony can be traced back to ancient 
Greece. It came of age in Renaissance Europe with the work of Galileo, Newton, Descartes, and their 
contemporaries. `The book of nature,' opined Galileo, `is written in mathematical language.' Why this should 
be so is one of the great mysteries of the universe. The physicist Eugene Wigner has written of the 
`unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences,' quoting C. S. Pierce that `it is probable 
that there is some secret here which remains to be discovered.' [Wigner E.P., "The Unreasonable 
Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences," Communications in Applied Mathematics, Vol. 13, 
1960, p.1]" (Davies P.C.W., "The Mind of God: Science and the Search for Ultimate Meaning," [1992] 
Penguin: London, 1993, p.140)

22/03/2005
"Our success as a biological species has depended on many factors: on our being smart, on our being 
terrestrial, on our possessing a body of a dimension and design appropriate to handle fire and explore the 
environment, on the fitness of the earth's atmosphere to support fire and technological advance. However, 
there is another intriguing aspect to our success-the mutual fitness of the human mind and particularly its 
propensity for and love of mathematics and abstract thought and the deep structure of reality, which can be 
so beautifully represented in mathematical forms. In other words, the logic of our mind and the logic of the 
cosmos would appear to correspond in a profound way. And it is only because of this unique 
correspondence that it is possible for us to comprehend the world. If the laws of nature could not be 
formulated in simple mathematical terms, it is unlikely that science would have advanced so quickly. It might 
in fact, never have advanced at all. The physicist Eugene Wigner, who was much struck by the 
correspondence between mathematics and the physical world, spoke for many mathematicians and 
scientists when he remarked: `It is hard to avoid the impression that a miracle is at work here.... The miracle 
of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a 
wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve.' [Wigner E. P:, "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of 
Mathematics in the Natural Sciences," Communications on Pure and Applied Mathematics, Vol. 13, 1960, 
pp.1-14] Of course, the fact that nature's laws can be described in mathematical terms is only helpful to 
minds already fine-tuned for mathematical abstraction. If humans had not had the love and capacity for 
mathematics and abstract thought, then again no scientific advance would have been possible. And there 
are other aspects of the structure of reality which give the impression of having been tailored to facilitate 
our understanding of nature and ultimately the scientific enterprise itself. On this point Paul Davies 
comments: `It is easy to imagine a world in which phenomena occurring at one location in the universe or on 
one scale of size or energy, were intimately entangled with all the rest in a way that would forbid resolution 
into simple sets of laws. Or, to use the crossword analogy, instead of dealing with a connected mesh of 
separately identifiable words; we would have a single extremely complicated word answer. Our knowledge of 
the universe would then be an "all or nothing" affair.' [Davies P.C.W., "The Mind of God," Penguin: 
London, 1992; p.157] That the structure of the world appears to be curiously fit for human comprehension 
also struck Aristotle. Jonathan Lear comments that for Aristotle "the inquiry into nature revealed the world 
as meant to be known; the inquiry into man's soul revealed him as a being who is meant to be a knower. Man 
and the world are, as it were, made for each other.' [Lear J., "Aristotle: The Desire to Understand," 
Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1988, p.230]. The stupendous success of science since 1600 is 
testimony enough to the remarkable fitness of our mind to comprehend the world." (Denton M.J., "Nature's 
Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe," The Free Press: New York NY, 1998, 
pp.259-260)

22/03/2005
"Few scientists stop to wonder why the fundamental laws of the universe are mathematical; they just take it 
for granted. Yet the fact that `mathematics works' when applied to the physical world-and works so 
stunningly well-demands explanation, for it is not clear we have any absolute right to expect that the world 
should be well described by mathematics. Although most scientists assume the world must be that way, the 
history of science cautions against this. Many aspects of our world have been taken for granted, only to be 
revealed as the result of special conditions or circumstances. Newton's concept of absolute, universal time 
is a classic example. In daily life this picture of time serves us well, but it turns out to work well only because 
we move about much slower than light. Might mathematics work well because of some other special 
circumstances? One approach to this conundrum is to regard the `unreasonable effectiveness' of 
mathematics-to use Wigner's phrase-as a purely cultural phenomenon, a result of the way in which human 
beings have chosen to think about the world. ... So is the success of mathematics in science just a cultural 
quirks an accident of our evolutionary and social history? Some scientists and philosophers have claimed 
that it is, but I confess I find this claim altogether too glib, for a number of reasons. First, much of the 
mathematics that is so spectacularly effective in physical theory was worked out as an abstract exercise by 
pure mathematicians long before it was applied to the real world. The original investigations were entirely 
unconnected with their eventual application. This `independent world created out of pure intelligence,' as 
James Jeans expressed it, was later found to have use in describing nature. ... Why should the mathematical 
approach prove so fruitful if it does not uncover some real property of nature? Penrose has also considered 
this topic, and rejects the cultural viewpoint. Referring to the astonishing success of theories such as the 
general theory of relativity, he writes: `It is hard for me to believe, as some have tried to maintain, that such 
SUPERB theories could have arisen merely by some random natural selection of ideas leaving only the good 
ones as survivors. The good ones are simply much too good to be the survivors of ideas that have arisen in 
that random way. There must, instead, be some deep underlying reason for the accord between mathematics 
and physics, i.e. between Plato's world and the physical world.' [Penrose R., `The Emperor's New Mind: 
Concerning Computers, Minds and the Laws of Physics,' Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1989, p.430] 
Penrose endorses the belief, which I have found to be held by most scientists, that major advances in 
mathematical physics really do represent discoveries of some genuine aspect of reality, and not just the 
reorganization of data in a form more suitable for human intellectual digestion." (Davies P.C.W., "The Mind 
of God: Science and the Search for Ultimate Meaning," [1992], Penguin: London, 1993, reprint, pp.150-152)

22/03/2005
"Instantly, it seems, everything began unfolding according to a mathematical plan. But where did the 
mathematics come from? What are the origins of numbers and the relationships they obey? The ancient 
followers of the Greek mathematician Pythagoras declared that numbers were the basic elements of the 
universe. Ever since, scientists have embraced a kind of mathematical creationism: God is a great 
mathematician, who declared, `Let there be numbers!' before getting around to `let there be light!' Scientists 
usually use the notion of God metaphorically. But ultimately, most of them at least tacitly embrace the 
philosophy of Plato, who proposed, rather unscientifically, that numbers and mathematical laws are ethereal 
ideals, existing outside of space and time in a realm beyond the reach of humankind. Because the whole 
point of science is to describe the universe without invoking the supernatural, the failure to explain 
rationally the `unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics,' as the physicist Eugene Wigner once put it, is 
something of a scandal, an enormous gap in human understanding." (Johnson G., "Useful Invention or 
Absolute Truth: What Is Math?," The New York Times, February 10, 1998. 
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign/message/7455)

22/03/2005
"If mathematics is about finding solutions to well-defined problems, then philosophy is about finding 
problems in what previously we thought were well-settled solutions. Mark Steiner's The Applicability of 
Mathematics As a Philosophical Problem mirrors both sides of this statement, admitting that mathematics is 
the key to solving problems in the physical sciences, but also asserting that this very applicability of 
mathematics to physics constitutes a problem. What sort of problem? According to Steiner, the reigning 
`ideology' or `background belief' for the natural sciences is naturalism. Typically naturalism is identified with 
the view that nature constitutes a closed system of causes that is devoid of miracle, teleology, or any 
mindlike superintendence. An immediate consequence of naturalism is that it leaves humanity with no 
privileged place in the scheme of things. It's this aspect of naturalism that Steiner stresses. Naturalism gives 
us no reason to think that investigations into nature should be, as Steiner puts it, `user-friendly' to human 
idiosyncrasies. And yet they are. Steiner's point of departure is Eugene Wigner's often reprinted article `The 
Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences.' Wigner concludes that article with a 
striking aphorism: `The appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of 
physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve.' Throughout the article Wigner refers 
to the `miracle' and `mystery' of mathematics in solving the problems of physics. Yet although Wigner 
leaves the reader with a sense of wonder, he does not indicate how this sense of wonder translates into a 
problem that demands resolution. Enter the philosopher Mark Steiner. Steiner's project is to take Wigner's 
pretheoretic wonder at the applicability of mathematics to physics and translate it into a philosophical 
problem for naturalism. The applicability of mathematics to physics is not a problem for a mind-first Platonic 
world-view or a math-first Pythagorean world- view or a Logos-first theistic world-view. It is, however, a 
problem for a nature-first impersonal world-view. According to Steiner, naturalists are in no position to 
expect that, much less act as though, mathematics should assist in the discovery of physical insights. That 
naturalists do counts against their naturalism." (Dembski W.A., "The Last Magic," Books & Culture, Vol. 5, 
No. 4, July/August 1999, p.45. http://www.christianitytoday.com/bc/9b4/9b4045.html)

22/03/2005
"It has also been argued that the structure of our brains has evolved to reflect the properties of the physical 
world, including its mathematical content, so that it is no surprise that we discover mathematics in nature. 
As already remarked, it is certainly a surprise, and a deep mystery, that the human brain has evolved its 
extraordinary mathematical ability. It is very hard to see how abstract mathematics has any survival value. 
Similar comments apply to musical ability. We come to know about the world in two quite distinct ways. The 
first is by direct perception, the second by application of rational reasoning and higher intellectual 
functions. Consider observing the fall of a stone. The physical phenomenon taking place in the external 
world is mirrored in our minds because our brains construct an internal mental model of the world in which 
an entity corresponding to the physical object `stone' is perceived to move through three-dimensional 
space: we see the stone fall. On the other hand, one can know about the fall of the stone in an entirely 
different and altogether more profound way. From a knowledge of Newton's laws plus some appropriate 
mathematics one could produce another sort of model of the fall of the stone. This is not a mental model in 
the sense of perception; nevertheless it is still a mental construct, and one which links the specific 
phenomenon of the fall of the stone to a wider body of physical processes. The mathematical model using 
the laws of physics is not something we actually see, but it is, in its own abstract way, a type of knowledge 
of the world, and, moreover, knowledge of a higher order. It seems to me that Darwinian evolution has 
equipped us to know the world by direct perception. There are clear evolutionary advantages in this, but 
there is no obvious connection at all between this sort of sensorial knowledge and intellectual knowledge. ... 
quantum and relativity physics are not especially relevant to daily life, and there is no selective advantage in 
our having brains able to incorporate quantum and relativistic systems in our mental model of the world. In 
spite of this, however, physicists are able to reach an understanding of the worlds of quantum physics and 
relativity by the use of mathematics, selected experimentation, abstract reasoning, and other rational 
procedures. The mystery is, why do we have this dual capability for knowing the world? There is no reason 
to believe that the second method springs from a refinement of the first. They are entirely independent ways 
of coming to know about things. The first serves an obvious biological need, the latter is of no apparent 
biological significance at all. The mystery becomes even deeper when we take account of the existence of 
mathematical and musical geniuses, whose prowess in these fields is orders of magnitude better than that of 
the rest of the population. ... Scarcely less mysterious are the weird cases of so-called lightning calculators-
people who can perform fantastic feats of mental arithmetic almost instantly, without the slightest idea of 
how they arrive at the answer. ... Even more peculiar, perhaps, are the cases of "autistic savants," people 
who are mentally handicapped and may have difficulty performing even the most elementary formal 
arithmetic manipulations, but who nevertheless possess the uncanny ability to produce correct answers to 
mathematical problems that appear to ordinary people to be impossibly hard. ... We are, of course, used to 
the fact that all human abilities, physical and mental, show wide variations. Some people can jump six feet off 
the ground, whereas most of us can manage barely three. But imagine someone coming along and jumping 
sixty feet, or six hundred feet! Yet the intellectual leap represented by mathematical genius is far in excess of 
these physical differences. ... . If this factor has evolved by accident rather than in response to 
environmental pressure, then it is a truly astonishing coincidence that mathematics finds such ready 
application to the physical universe. If, on the other hand, mathematical ability does have some obscure 
survival value and has evolved by natural selection, we are still faced with the mystery of why the laws of 
nature are mathematical. After all, surviving "in the jungle" doesn't require knowledge of the laws of 
nature, only of their manifestations. We have seen how the laws themselves are in code, and not connected 
in a simple way at all to the actual physical phenomena subject to those laws. Survival depends on an 
appreciation of how the world is, not of any hidden underlying order. ... It might be supposed that when we 
duck to avoid a missile, or judge how fast to run to jump a stream, we are making use of a knowledge of the 
laws of mechanics, but this is quite wrong. What we use are previous experiences with similar situations. 
Our brains respond automatically when presented with such challenges; they don't integrate the Newtonian 
equations of motion in the way the physicist does when analyzing these situations scientifically. To make 
judgments about motion in three-dimensional space, the brain needs certain special properties. To do 
mathematics (such as the calculus needed to describe this motion) also requires special properties. I see no 
evidence for the claim that these two apparently very different sets of properties are actually the same, or 
that one follows as a (possibly accidental) byproduct of the other. In fact, all the evidence is to the contrary. 
Most animals share our ability to avoid missiles and jump effectively, yet they display no significant 
mathematical ability. .... Awareness of the regularities of nature, such as those manifested in mechanics, has 
good survival value, and is wired into animal and human brains at a very primitive level. By contrast, 
mathematics as such is a higher mental function, apparently unique to humans .... It is a product of the most 
complex system known in nature. And yet the mathematics it produces finds its most spectacularly 
successful applications in the most basic processes in nature, processes that occur at the subatomic level. 
Why should the most complex system be linked in this way to the most primitive processes of nature? It 
might be argued that, as the brain is a product of physical processes it should reflect the nature of those 
processes, including their mathematical character. But there is, in fact, no direct connection between the 
laws of physics and the structure of the brain. The thing which distinguishes the brain from a kilogram of 
ordinary matter is its complex organized form, in particular the elaborate interconnections between neurons. 
This wiring pattern cannot be explained by the laws of physics alone. It depends on many other factors, 
including a host of chance events that must have occurred during evolutionary history. Whatever laws may 
have helped shape the structure of the human brain (such as Mendel's laws of genetics), they bear no 
simple relationship to the laws of physics." (Davies P.C.W., "The Mind of God: Science and the Search for 
Ultimate Meaning," [1992] Penguin: London, 1993, reprint, pp.152-156. Emphasis original)

22/03/2005
"Instantly, it seems, everything began unfolding according to a mathematical plan. But where did the 
mathematics come from? What are the origins of numbers and the relationships they obey? The ancient 
followers of the Greek mathematician Pythagoras declared that numbers were the basic elements of the 
universe. Ever since, scientists have embraced a kind of mathematical creationism: God is a great 
mathematician, who declared, `Let there be numbers!' before getting around to `let there be light!' Scientists 
usually use the notion of God metaphorically. But ultimately, most of them at least tacitly embrace the 
philosophy of Plato, who proposed, rather unscientifically, that numbers and mathematical laws are ethereal 
ideals, existing outside of space and time in a realm beyond the reach of humankind. Because the whole 
point of science is to describe the universe without invoking the supernatural, the failure to explain 
rationally the `unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics,' as the physicist Eugene Wigner once put it, is 
something of a scandal, an enormous gap in human understanding." (Johnson G., "Useful Invention or 
Absolute Truth: What Is Math?," The New York Times, February 10, 1998. 
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign/message/7455)

22/03/2005
"If mathematics is about finding solutions to well-defined problems, then philosophy is about finding 
problems in what previously we thought were well-settled solutions. Mark Steiner's The Applicability of 
Mathematics As a Philosophical Problem mirrors both sides of this statement, admitting that mathematics is 
the key to solving problems in the physical sciences, but also asserting that this very applicability of 
mathematics to physics constitutes a problem. What sort of problem? According to Steiner, the reigning 
`ideology' or `background belief' for the natural sciences is naturalism. Typically naturalism is identified with 
the view that nature constitutes a closed system of causes that is devoid of miracle, teleology, or any 
mindlike superintendence. An immediate consequence of naturalism is that it leaves humanity with no 
privileged place in the scheme of things. It's this aspect of naturalism that Steiner stresses. Naturalism gives 
us no reason to think that investigations into nature should be, as Steiner puts it, `user-friendly' to human 
idiosyncrasies. And yet they are. Steiner's point of departure is Eugene Wigner's often reprinted article `The 
Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences.' Wigner concludes that article with a 
striking aphorism: `The appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of 
physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve.' Throughout the article Wigner refers 
to the `miracle' and `mystery' of mathematics in solving the problems of physics. Yet although Wigner 
leaves the reader with a sense of wonder, he does not indicate how this sense of wonder translates into a 
problem that demands resolution. Enter the philosopher Mark Steiner. Steiner's project is to take Wigner's 
pretheoretic wonder at the applicability of mathematics to physics and translate it into a philosophical 
problem for naturalism. The applicability of mathematics to physics is not a problem for a mind-first Platonic 
world-view or a math-first Pythagorean world- view or a Logos-first theistic world-view. It is, however, a 
problem for a nature-first impersonal world-view. According to Steiner, naturalists are in no position to 
expect that, much less act as though, mathematics should assist in the discovery of physical insights. That 
naturalists do counts against their naturalism." (Dembski W.A., "The Last Magic," Books & Culture, Vol. 5, 
No. 4, July/August 1999, p.45. http://www.christianitytoday.com/bc/9b4/9b4045.html)

22/03/2005
"It has also been argued that the structure of our brains has evolved to reflect the properties of the physical 
world, including its mathematical content, so that it is no surprise that we discover mathematics in nature. 
As already remarked, it is certainly a surprise, and a deep mystery, that the human brain has evolved its 
extraordinary mathematical ability. It is very hard to see how abstract mathematics has any survival value. 
Similar comments apply to musical ability. We come to know about the world in two quite distinct ways. The 
first is by direct perception, the second by application of rational reasoning and higher intellectual 
functions. Consider observing the fall of a stone. The physical phenomenon taking place in the external 
world is mirrored in our minds because our brains construct an internal mental model of the world in which 
an entity corresponding to the physical object `stone' is perceived to move through three-dimensional 
space: we see the stone fall. On the other hand, one can know about the fall of the stone in an entirely 
different and altogether more profound way. From a knowledge of Newton's laws plus some appropriate 
mathematics one could produce another sort of model of the fall of the stone. This is not a mental model in 
the sense of perception; nevertheless it is still a mental construct, and one which links the specific 
phenomenon of the fall of the stone to a wider body of physical processes. The mathematical model using 
the laws of physics is not something we actually see, but it is, in its own abstract way, a type of knowledge 
of the world, and, moreover, knowledge of a higher order. It seems to me that Darwinian evolution has 
equipped us to know the world by direct perception. There are clear evolutionary advantages in this, but 
there is no obvious connection at all between this sort of sensorial knowledge and intellectual knowledge. ... 
quantum and relativity physics are not especially relevant to daily life, and there is no selective advantage in 
our having brains able to incorporate quantum and relativistic systems in our mental model of the world. In 
spite of this, however, physicists are able to reach an understanding of the worlds of quantum physics and 
relativity by the use of mathematics, selected experimentation, abstract reasoning, and other rational 
procedures. The mystery is, why do we have this dual capability for knowing the world? There is no reason 
to believe that the second method springs from a refinement of the first. They are entirely independent ways 
of coming to know about things. The first serves an obvious biological need, the latter is of no apparent 
biological significance at all. The mystery becomes even deeper when we take account of the existence of 
mathematical and musical geniuses, whose prowess in these fields is orders of magnitude better than that of 
the rest of the population. ... Scarcely less mysterious are the weird cases of so-called lightning calculators-
people who can perform fantastic feats of mental arithmetic almost instantly, without the slightest idea of 
how they arrive at the answer. ... Even more peculiar, perhaps, are the cases of "autistic savants," people 
who are mentally handicapped and may have difficulty performing even the most elementary formal 
arithmetic manipulations, but who nevertheless possess the uncanny ability to produce correct answers to 
mathematical problems that appear to ordinary people to be impossibly hard. ... We are, of course, used to 
the fact that all human abilities, physical and mental, show wide variations. Some people can jump six feet off 
the ground, whereas most of us can manage barely three. But imagine someone coming along and jumping 
sixty feet, or six hundred feet! Yet the intellectual leap represented by mathematical genius is far in excess of 
these physical differences. ... . If this factor has evolved by accident rather than in response to 
environmental pressure, then it is a truly astonishing coincidence that mathematics finds such ready 
application to the physical universe. If, on the other hand, mathematical ability does have some obscure 
survival value and has evolved by natural selection, we are still faced with the mystery of why the laws of 
nature are mathematical. After all, surviving "in the jungle" doesn't require knowledge of the laws of 
nature, only of their manifestations. We have seen how the laws themselves are in code, and not connected 
in a simple way at all to the actual physical phenomena subject to those laws. Survival depends on an 
appreciation of how the world is, not of any hidden underlying order. ... It might be supposed that when we 
duck to avoid a missile, or judge how fast to run to jump a stream, we are making use of a knowledge of the 
laws of mechanics, but this is quite wrong. What we use are previous experiences with similar situations. 
Our brains respond automatically when presented with such challenges; they don't integrate the Newtonian 
equations of motion in the way the physicist does when analyzing these situations scientifically. To make 
judgments about motion in three-dimensional space, the brain needs certain special properties. To do 
mathematics (such as the calculus needed to describe this motion) also requires special properties. I see no 
evidence for the claim that these two apparently very different sets of properties are actually the same, or 
that one follows as a (possibly accidental) byproduct of the other. In fact, all the evidence is to the contrary. 
Most animals share our ability to avoid missiles and jump effectively, yet they display no significant 
mathematical ability. .... Awareness of the regularities of nature, such as those manifested in mechanics, has 
good survival value, and is wired into animal and human brains at a very primitive level. By contrast, 
mathematics as such is a higher mental function, apparently unique to humans .... It is a product of the most 
complex system known in nature. And yet the mathematics it produces finds its most spectacularly 
successful applications in the most basic processes in nature, processes that occur at the subatomic level. 
Why should the most complex system be linked in this way to the most primitive processes of nature? It 
might be argued that, as the brain is a product of physical processes it should reflect the nature of those 
processes, including their mathematical character. But there is, in fact, no direct connection between the 
laws of physics and the structure of the brain. The thing which distinguishes the brain from a kilogram of 
ordinary matter is its complex organized form, in particular the elaborate interconnections between neurons. 
This wiring pattern cannot be explained by the laws of physics alone. It depends on many other factors, 
including a host of chance events that must have occurred during evolutionary history. Whatever laws may 
have helped shape the structure of the human brain (such as Mendel's laws of genetics), they bear no 
simple relationship to the laws of physics." (Davies P.C.W., "The Mind of God: Science and the Search for 
Ultimate Meaning," [1992] Penguin: London, 1993, reprint, pp.152-156. Emphasis original)

23/03/2005
"In the American vernacular, `theory' often means `imperfect fact'-part of a hierarchy of confidence running 
downhill from fact to theory to hypothesis to guess. Thus, creationists can (and do) argue: evolution is 
`only' a theory, and intense debate now rages about many aspects of the theory. If evolution is less than a 
fact, and scientists can't even make up their minds about the theory, then what confidence can we have in 
it? Indeed, President Reagan echoed this argument before an evangelical group in Dallas when he said (in 
what I devoutly hope was campaign rhetoric): `Well, it is a theory. It is a scientific theory only, and it has in 
recent years been challenged in the world of science-that is, not believed in the scientific community to be 
as infallible as it once was.'" (Gould, S.J., "Evolution as Fact and Theory," in "Hen's Teeth and Horse's 
Toes", [1983], Penguin: London, 1984 reprint, p.254)

23/03/2005
"So far, this is a fine summary of the orthodox neo-Darwinian view. Now. in a bizarre passage, Kauffman 
goes on: `But this appears to be false. One of the wonderful and puzzling features of the Cambrian explosion 
is that the chart was filled up from the top down. Nature suddenly sprang forth with many wildly different 
body plans-the phyla - elaborating on these basic designs to form the classes, orders, families, and genera ... 
In his book about the Cambrian explosion, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History, 
Stephen Jay Gould remarks on this top-down quality of the Cambrian with wonder.' [Kauffman S.A., "At 
Home in the Universe," 1996, p.13] As well he might! You only have to think for one moment about what 
`top down' filling in would have to mean for the animals on the ground and you immediately see how 
preposterous it is. 'Body plans' like the mollusc body plan, or the echinoderm body plan, are not ideal 
essences hanging in the sky, waiting, like designer dresses, to be adopted by real animals. Real animals is all 
there ever was: living, breathing, walking, eating, excreting, fighting, copulating real animals, who had to 
survive and who can't have been dramatically different from their real parents and grandparents. For a new 
body plan-a new phylum-to spring into existence, what actually has to happen on the ground is that a child 
is born which suddenly, out of the blue, is as different from its parents as a snail is from an earthworm. No 
zoologist who thinks through the implications, not even the most ardent saltationist, has ever supported 
any such notion. Ardent saltationists have been content to postulate the sudden bursting into existence of 
new species, and even that relatively modest idea has been highly controversial. When you spell out 
the Gouldian rhetoric into real-life practicalities, it stands revealed as the purest of bad poetic science." 
(Dawkins R., "Unweaving The Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder," [1998], Penguin: 
London, 1999, reprint, p.203. Emphasis original)

24/03/2005
"A final misconception you may encounter is that intelligent design is simply sectarian religion. According 
to this view, intelligent design is merely fundamentalism with a new twist; teaching it in public schools 
allegedly violates the separation of church and state. This view is wide of the mark. The idea that life had an 
intelligent source is hardly unique to Christian fundamentalism. Advocates of design have included not 
only Christians and other religious theists, but pantheists, Greek and Enlightenment philosophers and now 
include many modern scientists who describe themselves as religiously agnostic. Moreover, the concept of 
design implies absolutely nothing about beliefs normally associated with Christian fundamentalism, such as 
a young earth, a global flood, or even the existence of the Christian God. All it implies is that life had an 
intelligent source." (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.160-161) 

24/03/2005
"RNA is very similar to DNA. Instead of the sugar deoxyribose, it has just plain ribose (hence the name 
RiboNucleic Acid), which has an -OH group whose deoxyribose has an -H one. Three of the four bases (A, 
G and C) are identical to those in DNA. The fourth, Uracil (U), is a close relative of Thymine (T), since 
thymine is just uracil with a -CH3 group replacing an -H group. This has little effect on the base-pairing. U 
can pair with A, just as, in DNA, T pairs with A. RNA might be described as using the same language as 
DNA but with a different accent. RNA can form a double helix, similar but not quite identical to the DNA 
double helix. It is also possible to form a hybrid double helix which has one chain of RNA and one of DNA. 
By and large, long RNA double helices are rare, RNA molecules being typically single-stranded, though 
often folded back on themselves to form short stretches of double helix. In modern organisms we find RNA 
used for three purposes. For a few small viruses, such as the polio virus, it is used instead of DNA as the 
genetic material. Some viruses employ single-stranded RNA; a few use it double-stranded. RNA is also used 
for structural purposes. The ribosomes, the complex assembly of macromolecules which are the actual site of 
protein synthesis, are made of several structural RNA molecules, assisted by several tens of distinct protein 
molecules. The molecules which act as the interface between the amino acid and the triplet of bases 
associated with it are also made of RNA. This family of RNA molecules, called tRNA (for transfer RNA), are 
used to carry each amino acid to a ribosome, where it will be added to a growing polypeptide chain which 
will, when complete, become a folded protein. The third and perhaps the most important use the cell makes 
of RNA is as messenger RNA. The cell does not use the DNA itself for everyday work but instead keeps it 
as the file copy. For working purposes it makes many RNA copies of selected parts of the DNA. It is these 
tapes of messenger RNA which direct the process of protein synthesis on the ribosomes, using the genetic 
code outlined in the Appendix." (Crick F.H.C., "Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature", Simon & Schuster: New 
York NY, 1981, pp.174-175)

24/03/2005
"Sometime in the twentieth century, however, Einstein's cosmological principle came to be identified with a 
subtly different idea, the Copernican Principle, also known as the Principle of Mediocrity or Principle of 
Indifference. In its modest form, the Copernican Principle states that we should assume that there's nothing 
special or exceptional about the time or place of Earth in the cosmos. This assertion has a certain 
plausibility, since without any other information, it's reasonable to suppose that our location is a random 
sample of the universe as a whole. And there will obviously be more ordinary than extraordinary places to 
be. Besides, it need not be merely an assumption, since one can formulate it as a scientific hypothesis, make 
predictions, and compare those predictions with the evidence. It has a closely related but more expansive 
philosophical or metaphysical expression, however, which says, `We're not here for a purpose, and the 
cosmos isn't arranged with us in mind. Our metaphysical status is as insignificant as our astronomical 
location.' Metaphysically, this denial of purpose is usually accompanied by naturalism, the view that the 
(impersonal) material world is all there is and that it exists for no purpose. Although a minority opinion 
throughout most of Western history, this view has had adherents from the very beginning. In its early pre-
Socratic form among Epicureans and others, it amounted to a conviction that the apparent order of the 
universe emerged from an infinite and eternal chaos, without purpose or design. Given enough time, space, 
and matter, these thinkers supposed, anything that can happen, will. ... Still, only in the modern age has 
such a denial of design and purpose in nature enjoyed official majority status among the cultural elite. ... 
What makes natural science admirable is that, at its best, it provides us with a way to publicly test what we 
believe against the natural world, while allowing us to overlook our individual motives and opinions. One 
way to do this is to consider the empirical consequences of our assumptions. What, for instance, would 
count against the Copernican Principle? .... It's fairly easy to imagine what observations would count against 
it: If human beings, Earth, or our immediate environment were highly unusual or unique in some important 
ways, then we would have reason to doubt it. If the cosmos seemed specially fitted for our existence, or the 
existence of life, then that would also count against it. Conversely, evidence that confirmed the mediocrity 
of our surroundings, or the cosmos itself, would count in its favor. ... Once considered, it's fairly easy to 
produce some general predictions of the Copernican Principle. In practice, these are usually unstated 
expectations rather than actual predictions. This has the effect of protecting them from critical scrutiny-all 
the more reason, then, to make them explicit. We all take some of its implicit predictions for granted. For 
instance, we think that the same laws of physics and chemistry govern both the heavens and the Earth. 
We're reasonable in concluding that nature's laws are uniform, so that the law of gravity doesn't differ on 
Earth and the Moon, or on Mondays. Moreover, there are lots of stars and galaxies, and we can expect that 
many of those stars will have planets circling them. In at least these ways, then, Earth is not unique. This is 
the firm legacy of the Copernican Revolution. If we stopped here, the Copernican Principle might appear to 
be well founded. But on closer examination, many of the important predictions turn out to be false or at least 
questionable. Here let's consider the Copernican Principle in its natural jurisdiction: astronomy. It manifests 
itself in cosmology, physics, and biology as well. But we'll hold those issues for the following chapters. 
Because astronomy considers objects as small as meteorites and individual planets, and as large as clusters 
of galaxies, the Copernican Principle has generated the most predictions in this field. Let's scrutinize the 
major ones in turn. Appropriately, we'll begin with one of the earliest: Prediction 1: Earth, while it has a 
number of life-permitting properties, isn't exceptionally suited for life in our Solar System. Other planets in 
the Solar System probably harbor life as well. This was one of the earliest expectations of modern 
astronomers. When only scant evidence was available, many respected scientists expected to find 
intelligent life on other planets in our Solar System. Kepler famously conjectured that the structures on the 
Moon were built by intelligent beings. More recently, Giovanni Schiaparelli (1835-1910) described Martian 
`channels,' which to Percival Lowell (1855-1916) suggested the existence of a Martian civilization. 
Translating, or mistranslating, Schiaparelli's `channels' as `canals,' Lowell founded his own observatory in 
Flagstaff, Arizona, and dedicated his time to gathering evidence to support his belief. Lowell is important 
because of his influence and because he explicitly linked the idea of Martian life to his opposition to 
anthropocentrism, thus embodying the spirit of the Copernican Principle: `That we are the sum and 
substance of the capabilities of the cosmos is something so preposterous as to be exquisitely comic.... 
[Man] merely typifies in an imperfect way what is going on elsewhere, and what, to a mathematical certainty, 
is in some corners of the cosmos indefinitely excelled.' According to Carl Sagan, Lowell's enthusiasm `turned 
on all the eight- year-olds who came after him, and who eventually turned into the present generation of 
astronomers.'' But the Mariner, Viking, and Sojourner missions to Mars revealed a barren and inhospitable 
environment, and dampened enthusiasm for Martian civilizations. Yet the belief that Mars once harbored life 
lives on, most recently in the excited announcement of the discovery of microscopic magnetite crystals in 
the Martian meteorite ALH84001 and the discovery of vast water-ice fields under the Martian surface. Most 
now recognize that the other planets in the Solar System are not good candidates for life. ... however, the 
expectation that extraterrestrial life exists in our Solar System has not disappeared; it has shifted to a few 
outlying moons orbiting Jupiter and Saturn, such as Europa, where liquid water may exist below the surface. 
Although we have no evidence for life of any sort in the outer reaches of the Solar System and virtually no 
one expects to find intelligent life there, speculations abound for the type of exotic creatures that may dwell 
in the deep, icy crevices of Europa. Much of this optimism ignores the myriad ways in which Earth is 
exceptionally well suited for the existence, and persistence, of life .... No other place in our Solar System 
comes close to providing the astronomical and geophysical properties that make Earth habitable. If 
anything, the other planets show how narrow the conditions for habitability are, even for planets in an 
inhabited Solar System. The basic pattern is worth repeating, because it's so often forgotten or ignored. 
From the seventeenth to the twentieth century, many expected to find intelligent, even superior life on the 
Moon, Mars, and other planets in the Solar System. This expectation required direct contrary evidence to 
suppress it. Now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, despite PR blitzes from Martian-life 
enthusiasts, the search has moved from the planets to a few obscure outlying moons. At the same time, the 
aspirations have been substantially downgraded. No one today expects to find advanced or intelligent life 
elsewhere in the Solar System. ET advocates now argue that finding the Europan equivalent of slime mold 
would be just as significant as finding intelligent Martians. Add to this pattern the evidence of ... some of 
the planets once said to diminish Earth's status now seem to be the guardians of her habitability. Finally, 
recall that these rare properties ... have been crucial in a diverse array of scientific discoveries here on Earth, 
from the nature of gravity to the internal structure of our planet revealed by seismic activity. Surely these 
facts about Earth's superiority both for living and observing should count as a sobering contradiction of the 
Copernican Principle." (Gonzalez G. & Richards J.W.*, "The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the 
Cosmos is Designed For Discovery," Regnery: Washington DC, 2004, pp.248-253. Emphasis original)

25/03/2005
"Darwin founded a new branch of life science, evolutionary biology. ... Darwin introduced historicity into 
science. Evolutionary biology, in contrast with physics and chemistry, is a historical science-the 
evolutionist attempts to explain events and processes that have already taken place. Laws and experiments 
are inappropriate techniques for the explication of such events and processes. Instead one constructs a 
historical narrative, consisting of a tentative reconstruction of the particular scenario that led to the events 
one is trying to explain." (Mayr E.W., "Darwin's Influence on Modern Thought," Scientific American, Vol. 
283, No. 1, July 2000, pp.67-71, p.68)

25/03/2005
"To answer how many genes are enough for the most stripped-down form of life, Fraser and her team set to 
work on a parasite called Mycoplasma genitalium. With 470 genes, it was the smallest genome 
known (humans have an estimated 80,000 genes). The TIGR scientists started knocking out Mycoplasma's 
genes: the researchers slipped into the parasite bits of DNA that act like a toddler sneaking onto your word 
processor. The rogue DNA messes up a gene so badly - inserting `gaga' into `ta-ta' to produce the 
incomprehensible `tagagata,' for instance-that the gene, like the document after the tot gets a hold of it, is 
destroyed. Then the scientists observed which knockouts mycoplasma survived. Under ideal lab 
conditions, in which mycoplasma is kept warm and well fed, TIGR discovered that about 170 of the bug's 
genes are superfluous. Knock'em out, and the little guy lives on. But just because the bug can survive 
without one gene doesn't mean it can live without all 170. To discover a truly `minimal gene set' for life, the 
researchers would have to string genes together, one by one. Eventually, they would reach a tipping point, 
where adding one more gene would turn nonliving chemicals into life itself. ... One day a TIGR scientist will 
drop gene number 297 into a test tube, then number 298, then 299...and presto: what was not alive a moment 
ago will be alive now. The creature will be as simple as life can be. But it will still be life. And humans will 
have made it, in an ordinary glass tube, from off-the-shelf chemicals." (Begley S., "How Low Can You Go?: 
Seeking the Fewest Genes Necessary for Life," Newsweek, February 22, 1999, p.50)

25/03/2005
"In the 1980s a scientist named Thomas Cech showed that some RNA has modest catalytic abilities. 
Because RNA, unlike proteins, can act as a template and so potentially can catalyze its own replication, it 
was proposed that RNA-not protein-started earth on the road to life. Since Cech's work was reported, 
enthusiasts have been visualizing a time when the world was soaked with RNA on its way to life; this model 
has been dubbed `the RNA world.' Unfortunately, the optimism surrounding the RNA world ignores known 
chemistry. In many ways the RNA-world fad of the 1990s is reminiscent of the Stanley Miller phenomenon 
during the 1960s: hope struggling valiantly against experimental data. Imagining a realistic scenario whereby 
natural processes may have made proteins on a prebiotic earth-although extremely difficult-is a walk in the 
park compared to imagining the formation of nucleic acids such as RNA. The big problem is that each 
nucleotide `building block' is itself built up from several components, and the processes that form the 
components are chemically incompatible. Although a chemist can make nucleotides with ease in a laboratory 
by synthesizing the components separately, purifying them, and then recombining the components to react 
with each other, undirected chemical reactions overwhelmingly produce undesired products and shapeless 
goop on the bottom of the test tube. Gerald Joyce and Leslie Orgel-two scientists who have worked long 
and hard on the origin of life problem-call RNA `the prebiotic chemist's nightmare.' They are brutally frank: 
`Scientists interested in the origins of life seem to divide neatly into two classes. The first, usually but not 
always molecular biologists, believe that RNA must have been the first replicating molecule and that 
chemists are exaggerating the difficulties of nucleotide synthesis.... The second group of scientists are much 
more pessimistic. They believe that the de novo appearance of oligonucleotides on the primitive earth would 
have been a near miracle. (The authors subscribe to this latter view). Time will tell which is correct. [Joyce 
G.F. & Orgel L.E., "Prospects for Understanding the Origin of the RNA World," in "The RNA World," 
Gesteland R.F. & Atkins J.F., eds. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor NY, 1993, p.19] 
Even if the miracle-like coincidence should occur and RNA be produced, however, Joyce and Orgel see 
nothing but obstacles ahead. In an article section entitled "Another Chicken-and-Egg Paradox" they write 
the following: `This discussion ... has, in a sense, focused on a straw man: the myth of a self-replicating 
RNA molecule that arose de novo from a soup of random polynucleotides. Not only is such a notion 
unrealistic in light of our current understanding of prebiotic chemistry, but it should strain the credulity of 
even an optimist's view of RNA s catalytic potential.... Without evolution it appears unlikely that a self-
replicating ribozyme could arise, but without some form of self-replication there is no way to conduct an 
evolutionary search for the first, primitive self-replicating ribozyme.' [Joyce & Orgel, 1993, p.13] In other 
words, the miracle that produced chemically intact RNA would not be enough. Since the vast majority of 
RNAs do not have useful catalytic properties, a second miraculous coincidence would be needed to get just 
the right chemically intact RNA." (Behe M.J.*, "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to 
Evolution," Free Press: New York NY, 1996, pp.171-172)

25/03/2005
"Origin-of-life chemistry suffers heavily from the problem of road kill ... Just as there is no absolute barrier to 
a groundhog crossing a thousand-lane highway during rush hour, so there is no absolute barrier to the 
production of proteins, nucleic acids, or any other biochemical by imaginable, natural chemical processes; 
however, the slaughter on the highway is unbearable. The solution of some prebiotic chemists is a simple 
one. They release a thousand groundhogs by the side of the road, and note that one makes it across the 
first lane. They then put a thousand fresh groundhogs in a helicopter, fly them to the beginning of lane two, 
and lower them onto the highway. When one survives the crossing from lane two to lane three, they 
helicopter another thousand to the edge of lane three. Proponents of the RNA world, who start their 
experiments with long, purified, investigator-synthesized RNA, fly the groundhogs out to lane 700 and 
watch as one crosses to lane 701. It is a valiant effort, but if they ever reach the other side, the victory will be 
quite hollow." (Behe M.J.*, "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution," Free Press: New 
York NY, 1996, p.172)

26/03/2005
"The creation of a newspaper involves much more information, since the letters on the page have to be 
properly sequenced to produce coherent words, sentences, paragraphs and articles. The production of 
biologically functioning proteins is analogous to the production of a newspaper. Let us illustrate. Consider 
the problem of trying to write the sentence `HOW DID LIFE BEGIN?' First, we consider the problem of 
having a mixture of L, and D- amino acids rather than all L-amino acids- This would be equivalent to rotating 
some of the letters 180 degrees about an axis that runs horizontally through the sentence. These upside-
down letters would represent D-amino acids in the sentence mixed with L-amino acids. HO@ DID #ID $I%E 
BEGI*? The problem that occurs when nonpeptide bonds occur in our assembly of amino acid building 
blocks is illustrated next .... The proper placement of letters adjacent to one another has been altered so that 
some letters have irregular proximity to each other. The information in the sentence is further compromised. 
HO~ ^I^ (I)- _+I=|+. Finally, the problem of improper sequence is illustrated by taking our original statement 
and rearranging some of the letters, totally obscuring the original message. DIF HEG INBW ODIEL? If all 
three of these problems were superimposed, the original message would be impossible to decipher-there 
would be a total loss of function. The same degradation of biological function results when a polymer does 
not have all L-amino acids, all peptide bonds, and proper sequencing of the amino acids in the polymer 
chain which is the protein molecule. The greatest problem, however, is how to draw only English alphabet 
letters from an `alphabet soup' including many English letters (representing amino acids) but also Chinese, 
Greek and Hebrew symbols (representing otherkinds of organic molecules in the prebiotic soup) and get one 
each of H, O, W, L, F, B, G, N; two D's and E's; and three L's." (Bradley, W.L. & Thaxton, C.B., "Information & 
the Origin of Life," in Moreland, J.P., ed., "The Creation Hypothesis: Scientific Evidence for an Intelligent 
Designer," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1994, p.189. My substitution of displayable for non-
displayable characters in original)

26/03/2005
"Biology is the study of the complex things in the Universe. Physics is the study of the simple ones. It is the 
complexity of life, coupled with the precision of its adaptation, that cries out for a special kind of 
explanation, and the hunger for such explanation has frequently driven people to believe in a supernatural 
Creator. Complexity means statistical improbability. The more statistically improbable a thing is, the less can 
we believe that it just happened by blind chance. Superficially the obvious alternative to chance is an 
intelligent Designer. But Charles Darwin showed how it is possible for blind physical forces to mimic the 
effects of conscious design, and, by operating as a cumulative filter of chance variations, to lead eventually 
to organised and adaptive complexity, to mosquitoes and mammoths, to humans and therefore, indirectly, to 
books and computers." (Dawkins R., "The Necessity of Darwinism," New Scientist, Vol. 94, 15 April 1982, 
pp.130-132, p.130)

26/03/2005
"A.G. Cairns-Smith, a biochemist at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, hypothesizes that clays may have 
formed the first self-replicating structures. Cairns-Smith devised an elaborate theory which proposed that 
amino acids were concentrated by adsorption on clay. Cairns-Smith reasoned that because clay acts as an 
industrial catalyst, it served as a primitive catalyst in encouraging flawed crystals to form information 
content in carbon-chained molecules. He rejected the concept of a prebiotic soup and proposed that the first 
living organism resulted from the growth of one crystal on the surface of the lattice of another crystal. He 
called his theory of replicating clays the genetic takeover and proposed RNA as the takeover molecule. 
[Cairns-Smith A. G., "Genetic Takeover and the Mineral Origins of Life," Cambridge University Press: 
Cambridge UK, 1982] Cairns-Smith noted that the microcrystals of clay consist of a regular silicate lattice 
with a routine