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The following are unclassified quotes posted in my email messages of May-June 2005. The date format
See copyright conditions at end.
[Index: Jan-Feb, Mar, Apr], [May, Jun] [Jul (1), (2); Aug-Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec]
May 1/05/2005 "First, what actually happened. Early press reports tended to say that Kansas had banned evolution from the classroom, had stripped all references to evolution from its curriculum guidelines, and so on. Some reporters thought the school board was bringing creation science and the Bible into the science curriculum. This was all a misunderstanding, which stemmed, in part, from two things. One is that the earliest reports came before the decision was actually announced, and they were clearly from news sources on the science educators' drafting committee. That committee had given the board a strongly pro-evolution draft. Members of the committee were vociferously angry about the action the board had decided on, and they exaggerated the story of the atrocity that was about to be committed. The second source of misunderstanding, I think, is that this was the kind of story that reporters generally treat with a template. They start with Galileo, move on to the Scopes trial, and go through the whole religion-versus-science routine. I think some of them hit the `Bash Creationism' macro on the word processor. Many of the news reports and editorials could almost have been written by the same person. The Kansas school board did not eliminate all references to evolution. In the revised guidelines it accepted there were almost four hundred words on the subject, compared to fewer than a hundred in the previous guidelines and more than seven hundred in the draft that the science educators had proposed. The new guidelines covered natural selection, mutation, genetic drift, and all of that. But the educators' draft had essentially said, These processes explain evolution at the micro level that we observe and also evolution at the macro level; they explain how man and his universe came to be. By contrast, the board majority drew a sharp distinction between micro-evolution--e.g., what occurs when insects become resistant to a particular insecticide, or changes are produced in domestic animals through breeding--and the origins story of how living things came to be in the first place. The gist of their final version was that you can't infer the latter from the former. In certain ways, I would say that the board's standards actually beefed up the treatment of the subject rather than watering it down. For example, they added new clauses to the educators' draft saying that natural selection can maintain or deplete genetic variation but does not add new genetic information." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Evolution and the Curriculum: A Conversation with Phillip Johnson and Gregg Easterbrook," Ethics and Public Policy Center, February 2000, No. 4) 1/05/2005 "For our present purpose, it is sufficient to recognize that these are the salient acknowledged elements of the popular view of being scientifically methodical: empirical, pragmatic, open-minded, skeptical, sensitive to possibilities of falsifying; thereby establishing objective facts leading to hypotheses, to laws, to theories; and incessantly reaching out for new knowledge, new discoveries, new facts, and new theories. The burden of the following will be how misleading this view-which I shall call `the myth of the scientific method'-is in many specific directions, how incapable it is of explaining what happens in science, how it is worse than useless as a guide to what society ought to do about science and technology. ... Thus geologists and physicists tend to approach even scientific problems in disparate ways. They learn differently what it is to be scientific, what the scientific method is; and so too do chemists and biologists and other scientists come to different and even contradictory views of what science is. Yet these characteristic differences are but little recognized, and the misconception remains widespread that there exists a single method whose utilization marks the whole of science. In point of fact, as just illustrated, there is not any single thing that one can usefully and globally call science; rather, there are many different sorts of science." (Bauer H.H., "Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method," , University of Illinois Press: Urbana & Chicago IL, 1994, reprint, pp.19-20, 28) 1/05/2005 "One reproductive strategy involves an individual alternating between male and female sex so that it does not produce both eggs and sperm at the same time. In some species, there is a single change of sex. An organism may start off as male, converting to female at some later stage, protandry, or as female, with a later conversion to male, protogyny. In salmon, fish start life as males and over several years gradually get bigger until they exceed a threshold size, at which time their gonads transform into ovaries .... There is a clear advantage in this pattern of reproduction. Sperm are small, so even small males can produce sufficient sperm to fertilise vast numbers of eggs. However, because eggs are large and yolky, the larger a female is, the greater the number of eggs she can produce. ... Salmon are protandrous. After reaching a threshold size, they change from male to female and begin producing thousands of yolky eggs ... A coral reef fish, the blue wrasse, provides an example of protogyny. The large dominant male controls a harem of smaller, drab- coloured females. The male alternates his colour between green and blue. About an hour before spawning, the blue colour dominates and he commences mating.... This involves elaborate courtship behaviour followed by spawning with each female in turn. His colour then changes back to green. If the male is lost from a group, the largest female will undergo sex reversal and change colour to become the male with control of the harem. Protogyny in the blue wrasse maximises reproductive output, since all but one of the individuals is female and producing eggs, and the single male is able to fertilise eggs produced by all females in its harem." (Knox B., Ladiges P. & Evans B., eds., "Biology," , McGraw-Hill: Sydney, Australia, 1995, reprint, p.259) 2/05/2005 "Australia's oldest human remains, found at Lake Mungo, include the world's oldest ritual ochre burial (Mungo III) and the first recorded cremation (Mungo I). Until now, the importance of these finds has been constrained by limited chronologies and palaeoenvironmental information. Mungo III, the source of the world's oldest human mitochondrial DNA, has been variously estimated at 30 thousand years (kyr) old, 42- 45 kyr old and 62 ±6 kyr old, while radiocarbon estimates placed the Mungo I cremation near 20-26 kyr ago. Here we report a new series of 25 optical ages showing that both burials occurred at 40±2 kyr ago and that humans were present at Lake Mungo by 50-46 kyr ago, synchronously with, or soon after, initial occupation of northern and western Australia. Stratigraphic evidence indicates fluctuations between lake-full and drier conditions from 50 to 40 kyr ago, simultaneously with increased dust deposition, human arrival and continent-wide extinction of the megafauna. This was followed by sustained aridity between 40 and 30 kyr ago. This new chronology corrects previous estimates for human burials at this important site and provides a new picture of Homo sapiens adapting to deteriorating climate in the world's driest inhabited continent." (Bowler J. M., et al., "New ages for human occupation and climatic change at Lake Mungo, Australia," Nature, 421, 20 February 2003, pp.837-840) 2/05/2005 "Creation scientists teach that all animals ate only plants until Adam and Eve rebelled against God's authority. Because carnivorous activity involves animal death, they presume it must be one of the evil results of human sin. Accordingly, they propose that meat-eating creatures alive now and evident in the fossil record must have evolved in just several hundred years or less, by natural processes alone, from the plant-eating creatures! The size of Noah's ark and the limited number of humans on board (eight) present an equally serious problem for them. Even if all the animals aboard hibernated for the duration of the Flood, the maximum carrying capacity by their estimates for the ark would : be about thirty thousand pairs of land animals? But the fossil record indicates the existence of at least a half billion such species, more than five million of which live on Earth today, and at least two million more lived in the era immediately after the Flood, as they date it. The problem grows worse. Shortly after the Flood, they say, a large proportion of the thirty thousand species on board - dinosaurs, trilobites [sic], and so on-went extinct; so the remaining few thousand species must have evolved by rapid and efficient natural processes alone into seven million or more species. Ironically, creation scientists (quietly) propose an efficiency of natural biological evolution greater than even the most optimistic Darwinist would dare to suggest." (Ross H.N.*, "The Genesis Question: Scientific Advances and the Accuracy of Genesis," NavPress: Colorado Springs CO, 1998, pp.91-92) 2/05/2005 "For all practical purposes, one could say that, at the outside, there was need for no more than 35,000 individual vertebrate animals on the Ark. The total number of so-called species of mammals, birds reptiles and amphibians listed by Mayr is 17,600, but undoubtedly the number of original `kinds' was less than this." (Whitcomb J.C.* & Morris H.M.*, "The Genesis Flood: The Biblical Record and its Scientific Implications," , Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1993, Thirty-Sixth Printing, pp.68-69) 2/05/2005 "And how many species of organisms are there on earth? We don't know, not even to the nearest order of magnitude. The number could be close to 10 million or as high as 100 million. Large numbers of new species continue to turn up every year. And of those already discovered, over 99 percent are known only by a scientific name, a handful of specimens in a museum, and a few scraps of anatomical description in scientific journals. It is a myth that scientists break out champagne when a new species is discovered. Our museums are glutted with new species. We don't have time to describe more than a small fraction of those pouring in each year. With the help of other systematists, I recently estimated the number of known species of organisms, including all plants, animals, microorganisms, to be 1.4 million. This figure could easily be off by a hundred thousand, so poorly defined are species in some groups of organisms and so chaotically organized is the literature on di. More to the point, evolutionary biologists are generally agreed that this estimate is less than a tenth of the number that actually live on earth." (Wilson E.O., "The Diversity of Life," Belknap/Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA, 1992, pp.132-133) 3/05/2005 "It is interesting to note that even today pi cannot be calculated precisely-there are no two whole numbers that can make a ratio equal to pi. Mathematicians fnnd a closer approximation every year-in 2002, for example, experts at the University of Tokyo Information Technology Center determined the value of pi to over one trillion decimal places. But this is academic: the value determined by Archimedes over 2,000 years ago is sufficient for most uses today." (Groleau R., "Approximating Pi," Infinite Secrets, PBS NOVA, September 2003) 3/05/2005 "I knew the Kansas story was going to be a big one on Tuesday, August 10, 1999, when the telephone and e-mail messages from reporters began to pile up. On the following day the ten-member Kansas state board of education was scheduled to vote on its new standards for science education. For weeks the board had reportedly been evenly divided over whether to accept a strongly proevolution draft proposed by a twenty- seven-member committee of scientists and educators. The newspapers labeled one faction as creationists, fundamentalists or religious conservatives. Their opponents were consistently called `moderates,' a label signifying rationality and tolerance which journalists tend to apply to the side they favor. During the last few days before the crucial vote, one of the moderates had turned out to be sympathetic to the creationist side, and the new six-member majority was revising the committee's draft in a manner certain to displease the scientific community. The media were poised to make a big story out of this latest outbreak of grassroots dissatisfaction with the teaching of evolutionary science. What the reporters thought was about to happen had been explained the Sunday before the vote in a front-page story in the Washington Post by reporter Hanna Rosin, which was reprinted in newspapers around the country [Rosin H., `Creationism Evolves: Kansas Board Targets Darwin,' The Washington Post, August 8, 1999, p.A01] Apparently relying on reports from members of the original drafting committee who were bitterly at odds with the new majority on the board, Rosin wrote that the Kansas board appeared about to `pass a new statewide science curriculum for kindergarten through 12th grade that wipes out virtually all mention of evolution and related concepts: natural selection, common ancestors and the origins of the universe:' Rosin said that the new curriculum would not explicitly prohibit the teaching of evolution, `but its exclusion will severely undermine such efforts when they come under attack from students, parents, principals or local school boards in a state where fights over evolution are as commonplace as cornfields. And because all public schools in the state are tested yearly according to the curriculum, teachers will be pressured to follow the new curriculum.' According to Rosin, the pending expulsion of evolution from the curriculum reflected a change in tactics by a persistently aggressive national creationist movement. ...Most of Rosin's story gave the impression that the creationists were the aggressors in a programmed nationwide campaign in which Kansas was merely the latest target. One paragraph acknowledged, however, that in reality it was the science educators who were pushing for change on the basis of an organized nationwide campaign: `The century-old debate erupted again, ironically, in part out of a push to improve science education. About five years ago, a craze for national standards and accountability in every subject swept American classrooms. In response, national groups of science educators wrote benchmarks for scientific literacy to serve as models for states. The idea was to replace blind memorization of facts and figures with broad central concepts. With evolution, the results were not what scientists had predicted. Religious conservatives tapped into skepticism from inside and outside the scientific community to discredit evolution, seizing on routine disagreements among scientists to disparage it as nothing more than a theory.' We can flesh out this picture of local creationists reacting to an initiative from science educators with some facts. What was specifically at issue in Kansas was a proposal from scientists and educators to replace the existing standards, last revised in 1995, with new standards based on a model from national science organizations. The 1995 standards contained only sixty- nine words directly about evolution. The draft proposed by the twenty-seven-member committee devoted almost ten times as many words to the subject and added evolution to the list of basic `unifying concepts and processes' which underlie all areas of science. So evolution was promoted from the status of a theory of biology to that of a fundamental concept of science (ranking it with such other concepts as measurement and evidence). The committee defined science as `the human activity of seeking natural explanations for what we observe in the world around us,' thus linking scientific investigation explicitly with philosophical naturalism. What the science educators described as `replacing blind memorization of facts and figures with broad central concepts' looked to critics like a campaign to extend scientific authority to questions of religion and worldview about which the public schools are supposed to be neutral. If a central objective of science education is to instill a naturalistic way of thinking, then both the educators and their critics were right." (Johnson, P.E.*, "The Wedge of Truth: Splitting the Foundations of Naturalism," Intervarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2000, pp.63-67. Emphasis original) 4/05/2005 "The conservative board members also objected to the eagerness of the science educators to extrapolate grandly from minimal evidence, turning a process that was observed to produce only cyclical variations in fundamentally stable species into a mechanism capable of creating plants and animals in the first place. The science educators' draft observed that `using examples such as Darwin's finches or the peppered moths of Manchester helps develop understanding of natural selection over time.' It defined macroevolution merely as `evolution above the species levels and provided no indication that there is a huge difference between mere variation and creation of new types of complex organs or body plans. Feeling that they were being subjected more to a sales pitch for naturalism than to a genuine educational proposal, the board majority in its final product cut down on the emphasis (reducing the proposed 664 words to 392) and distinguished sharply between microevolution (required) and microevolution (optional for local districts). But the potentially most significant change involved only a single word and was overlooked by the journalists. Whereas the drafting committee had defined science as the human activity of seeking natural explanations, the board substituted that `science is the human activity of seeking logical explanations for what we observe in the world around us' (emphasis added). If you think there may be a difference in some cases between natural explanations and logical explanations for certain features of life, then you are well on your way to becoming a creationist. Within the community of evolutionary scientists, naturalism and rationality are considered to be virtually the same thing. ...the widespread reports about the decision (probably influenced by the expectations raised in the Washington Post story) were incorrect in stating that the board had virtually eliminated evolution and natural selection from the curriculum. On the contrary, the board greatly improved the intellectual content of the standards on these subjects by encouraging teachers to raise three important considerations that many science educators do not want the students to think about: (1) the mechanisms of microevolution do not necessarily explain how macroevolution can occur, especially when the latter category involves not merely speciation but the creation of new complex organs; (2) natural selection adds no new genetic information to the organism; and (3) a vast historical scenario like `evolution' necessarily involves a degree of speculation that is absent from, say, the typical chemistry experiment. When educators say that science teaches that water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen, they are making a very different kind of statement than when they say that science teaches that life arose by chemical evolution without the need of assistance from God. If the educators want to teach the students to think like good scientists rather than to believe uncritically whatever `science says,' then they need to teach the students that sometimes the authority of `science' is used to validate claims that are based largely on speculation." (Johnson, P.E.*, "The Wedge of Truth: Splitting the Foundations of Naturalism," Intervarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2000, pp.67-70. Emphasis in original) 4/05/2005 "The informal leadership of the IDM has more or less come to rest on Philip Johnson, a distinguished retired (emeritus) Professor of Law at Berkeley University who is a Presbyterian. Philosophically and theologically, the leading lights of the ID movement form an eclectic group. For example, Dr Jonathan Wells is not only a scientist but also an ordained cleric in the Unification Church (the 'Moonie' sect) and Dr Michael Denton is a former agnostic anti-evolutionist (with respect to biological transformism), who now professes a vague form of theism. However, he now seems to have embraced evolutionary (though somehow 'guided') transformism. Dr Michael Behe, author of Darwin's Black Box, is a Roman Catholic who says he has no problem with the idea that all organisms, including man, descended from a common ancestor." (Wieland C.*, "AiG's views on the Intelligent Design Movement," Answers in Genesis, 30 August 2002) 4/05/2005 "Man is a primate, and in some ways not a very special one. He can do more than any other creature, but has not changed much to do so. The strangest thing about human evolution is how little there has been. Nothing else is so widespread and nobody fills so many gaps in the economy of nature. Many animals carry out tasks almost as wonderful as those achieved by men, but through biology rather than intellect. For them, success at one task means failure at all others. In the past hundred thousand - in the past hundred - years, human lives have been transformed, but bodies have not. We did not evolve, because our machines did it for us. As Darwin put it in The Descent of Man: 'The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts'. Human progress has made a simple but crucial move, from body to mind. That mind is built from genes but what it can do has long transcended DNA. Many sociologists (and a few biologists) hope for a comparative anatomy of the mind; but that can never succeed. When it comes to what makes us different from other creatures, science can answer all the questions except the interesting ones. The human intellect stands alone. As there is nothing else like it, the rules of classification come into play. If an object is one of a kind, it is impossible to know where to put it. The problem with the mind, or any uniquely human attribute, is simple: it is, like the narwhal's tusk or the female hyena's penis, unique." (Jones J.S., "Almost Like a Whale: The Origin of Species Updated," Doubleday: London, 1999, p.351) 4/05/2005 "Creation scientists teach that all animals ate only plants until Adam and Eve rebelled against God's authority. Because carnivorous activity involves animal death, they presume it must be one of the evil results of human sin. Accordingly, they propose that meat-eating creatures alive now and evident in the fossil record must have evolved in just several hundred years or less, by natural processes alone, from the plant-eating creatures! The size of Noah's ark and the limited number of humans on board (eight) present an equally serious problem for them. Even if all the animals aboard hibernated for the duration of the Flood, the maximum carrying capacity by their estimates for the ark would be about thirty thousand pairs of land animals? But the fossil record indicates the existence of at least a half billion such species, more than five million of which live on Earth today, and at least two million more lived in the era immediately after the Flood, as they date it. The problem grows worse. Shortly after the Flood, they say, a large proportion of the thirty thousand species on board - dinosaurs, trilobites, and so on-went extinct; so the remaining few thousand species must have evolved by rapid and efficient natural processes alone into seven million or more species. Ironically, creation scientists (quietly) propose an efficiency of natural biological evolution greater than even the most optimistic Darwinist would dare to suggest." (Ross H.N.*, "The Genesis Question: Scientific Advances and the Accuracy of Genesis," NavPress: Colorado Springs CO, 1998, pp.90-91) 4/05/2005 "Light has been thrown upon the whole problem of animal distribution and adaptation-or what may be called `a true evolution.' After the Flood each species began to `mutate' and new forms began to arise. Among the cattle varieties were produced having short hair, such as is found in the Zebu of India or the Red Africander. Such a coat being better adapted to a hot climate, these varieties migrated to warm, equatorial regions. Other varieties were produced having long, warm coverings of hair, such as the West Highlander and Galloway, or the prehistoric wild ox of northern Europe called the `auroch.' These varieties migrated northward. Natural selection, working upon Mendelian or `genic' variations, produced all the evolution there is. Such evolution is strictly in accordance with what is taught in all Scripture." (Nelson B.C.*, "After Its Kind," , Bethany Fellowship: Minneapolis MN, Revised edition, 1952, Nineteenth printing, 1967, pp.119-120) 5/05/2005 "About two years ago, I attended a public lecture presented by a young earth creationist speaker in a church near where I live. His occasionally interesting talk included scientific `evidence' that he believed supported his position. The speaker did present some valid points. ... However, much of his presentation consisted of simplistic `scientific' arguments that would only be considered to be convincing by people already committed to a young earth view. ... Towards the end of the presentation I attended, the speaker said, `There is a person in America called Hugh Ross who claims to be a Christian but he is really an evolutionist'. I was shocked. Dr Hugh Ross, as most readers would know is the founder of _Reasons to Believe_. He has dedicated most of his Christian life to evangelism. For this speaker to even question Dr Ross's Christian commitment is disgraceful. In supreme irony, and unknown to the audience, it is the young earth speaker who actually believes that all of the cats mentioned above, in addition to your pet pussy at home and even the extinct sabre-tooth tigers `evolved' from a single pair of ancestors. And further, this hyper-evolution happened in only a few thousand years at most." (Neilson M.*, "Intellectual Honesty," Reasons to Believe (Australia) Newsletter, March 2005) 5/05/2005 "In a modified form of materialism, epiphenominalism, the mind is not identical to the brain, but it is dependent on the physical brain, the way a shadow is dependent on a tree. This again assumes, though it does not prove, that the mind is dependent on the brain. Certain mental functions can be explained in physical ways, but that does not mean they are dependent on physical processes. If there is a spiritual, as well as a physical, dimension to reality, the mind shows every sign of being able to function in either. Neurobiology is an empirical science, but these scientists freely admit that they have not come close to isolating the "I" They can quantify mind-brain interactions, but there has been no success in learning the qualities of emotional or self response." (Geisler N.L.*, "Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics," Baker Books: Grand Rapids MI, 1999, p.445. Emphasis original) 5/05/2005 "In a modified form of materialism, epiphenominalism, the mind is not identical to the brain, but it is dependent on the physical brain, the way a shadow is dependent on a tree. This again assumes, though it does not prove, that the mind is dependent on the brain. Certain mental functions can be explained in physical ways, but that does not mean they are dependent on physical processes. If there is a spiritual, as well as a physical, dimension to reality, the mind shows every sign of being able to function in either. Neurobiology is an empirical science, but these scientists freely adiit that they have not come close to isolating the `I' They can quantify mind-brain interactions, but there has been no success in learning the qualities of emotional or self response." (Geisler N.L.*, "Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics," Baker Books: Grand Rapids MI, 1999, p.445. Emphasis original) 5/05/2005 "epiphenomenalism. Group of doctrines about mental-physical causal relations, which view some or all aspects of mentality as by-products of the physical goings-on in the world. The classic definition (e.g. in C. D. Broad, The Mind and its Place in Nature (1925) ensures that epiphenomenalism is a species of dualism. Whereas Descartes, an interactionist, held that mental things both cause and are caused by physical things, the epiphenomenalist holds that mental things do not cause physical things although they are caused by them. The epiphenomenalist then can accept that there are no causal influences on physical events besides other physical events, and thus can escape one objection sometimes raised against dualism. But the epiphenomenalist's picture of mental events as tacked on to the physical world, having no causal influence there, is unappealing: she would seem to think that mental things feature in the world as accompanying shadows of the physical-in the realm of `pure experience'." (Horn J., "epiphenomenalism," in Honderich T., ed., "The Oxford Companion to Philosophy," Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1995, p.241) 5/05/2005 "epiphenomenalism The view that some feature of a situation arises in virtue of others, but itself has no causal powers. In the philosophy of mind this means that while there exist mental events, states of consciousness, and experiences, they have themselves no causal powers, and produce no effect on the physical world. The analogy sometimes used is that of the whistle on the engine, that makes the sound (corresponding to experience), but plays no part in making the machinery move. Epiphenomenalism is a drastic solution to the major difficulty of reconciling the existence of mind with the fact that according to physics itself only a physical event can cause another physical event. An epiphenomenalist may accept one-way causation, whereby physical events produce mental events, or may prefer some kind of parallelism, avoiding causation either between mind and body or between body and mind (see occasionalism). A major problem for epiphenomenalism is that if mental events have no causal relationships it is not clear that they can be objects of memory, or even awareness. See also base and superstructure. epiphenomenon An incidental product of some process, that has no effects of its own. See epiphenomenalism." (Blackburn S., "The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy," , Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, 1996, pp.122-123) 5/05/2005 "The mechanistic theory postulates that all the phenomena of life, including human behaviour, can in principle be explained in terms of physics. Apart from any problems that might arise from the particular theories of modern physics, or from conflicts between them, this postulate is problematical for at least two fundamental reasons. First, the mechanistic theory could only be valid if the physical world were causally closed. In relation to human behaviour, this would be the case if mental states either had no reality at all, or were in some sense identical to physical states of the body, or ran parallel to them, or were epiphenomena of them. But if on the other hand the mind were non-physical and yet causally efficacious, capable of interacting with the body, then human behaviour could not be fully explained in physical terms. The possibility that mind and body interact is by no means ruled out by the available evidence: at present no clear-cut decision can be made on empirical grounds between the mechanistic theory and the interactionist theory; from a scientific point of view the question remains open. Therefore it is possible that human behaviour, at least, might not be explicable entirely in physical terms, even in principle. Second, the attempt to account for mental activity in terms of physical science involves a seemingly inevitable circularity, because science itself depends on mental activity. This problem has become apparent within modern physie role of the observer in processes of physical measurement; the principles of physics 'cannot even be formulated without referring (though in some versions only implicitly) to the impressions - and thus to the minds - of the observers' (B.D. Espagnat 17). Thus, since physics presupposes the minds of observers, these minds and their properties cannot be explained in terms of physics." (Sheldrake R., "A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Morphic Resonance," , Park Street Press: Rochester VT, 1995, reprint, pp.25-26) 5/05/2005 "eepiphenomenalism ... n. a theory about the relation between matter and mind, according to which there is some physical basis for every mental occurrence. Mental phenomena are seen as by-products, as it were, of a closed system of physical causes and effects, and they have no causal power of their own. (T. H. Huxley likened them to the whistle on a steam train.) epiphenomenon ... (sing.); epiphenomena (pl.) n. a secondary phenomenon; a by-product. (Musgrave A. epiphenomenalism," in Mautner T., "The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy," , Penguin: London, Revised, 2000, p.174-175) 6/05/2005 "epiphenomenalism, n. the doctrine that states of CONSCIOUSNESS, including VOLITIONS, are merely byproducts of the working of the brain, and, in the words of T. H. Huxley (On the Hypothesis that Animals are Automata, 1874), are `as completely without any power of modifying that working as the steamwhistle which accompanies the working of a locomotive engine is without influence upon its machinery'." (Vesey G. & Foulkes P., "Collins Dictionary of Philosophy," HarperCollins: Glasgow UK, 1990, p.100. Emphasis in original) 6/05/2005 "Epiphenomenalism. Empirical research gives every indication that the occurrence of any brain state can, in principle, be causally explained by appeal solely to other physical states. To accommodate this, some philosophers espoused epiphenomenalism, the doctrine that physical states cause mental states, but mental states do not cause anything. Epiphenomenalism implies that there is only one-way psychophysical action - from the physical to the mental. Since epiphenomenalism allows such causal action, it can both allow that we perceive objects and events in the physical world and embrace the causal theory of sense perception - what we perceive (i.e., see, hear, etc.) must cause us to undergo a sense experience (i.e., a visual experience, aural experience, etc.). However, if combined with Cartesian dualism, epiphenomenalism, like Cartesian interactionism, implies the problematic thesis that states of an extended substance can affect states of an unextended substance. Moreover, it is hard to see how epiphenomenalism can allow that we are ever intentional agents. For intentional agency requires acting on reasons, which, according to the causal theory of action, requires a causal connection between reasons and actions. Since epiphenomenalism denies that such causal connections are possible, it must either maintain that our sense of agency is illusory - or offer an alternative to the causal theory of action. (McLaughlin B.P., "philosophy of mind," in Audi R., ed., "The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy," , Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1996, reprint, p.598) 6/05/2005 "What about the option, then, of concluding that mind stuff is actually a special kind of matter? In Victorian seances, the mediums often produced out of thin air something they called "ectoplasm," a strange gooey substance that was supposedly the basic material of the spirit world, but which could be trapped in a glass jar, and which oozed and moistened and reflected light just like everyday matter. Those fraudulent trappings should not dissuade us from asking, more soberly, whether mind stuff might indeed be something above and beyond the atoms and molecules that compose the brain, but still a scientifically investigatable kind of matter. The ontology of a theory is the catalogue of things and types of things the theory deems to exist. The ontology of the physical sciences used to include "caloric" (the stuff heat was made of, in effect) and "the ether" (the stuff that pervaded space and was the medium of light vibrations in the same way air or water can be the medium of sound vibrations). These things are no longer taken seriously, while neutrinos and antimatter and black holes are now included in the standard scientific ontology. Perhaps some basic enlargement of the ontology of the physical sciences is called for in order to account for the phenomena of consciousness. Just such a revolution of physics has recently been proposed by the physicist and mathematician Roger Penrose, in The Emperor's New Mind (1989). While I myself do not think he has succeeded in making his case for revolution, it is important to notice that he has been careful not to fall into the trap of dualism." (Dennett D.C., "Consciousness Explained," , Penguin: London, 1993, reprint, pp.35-36) 6/05/2005 "Above the level of the virus, if that be granted status as an organism, the simplest living unit is almost incredibly complex. It has become commonplace to speak of evolution from ameba to man, as if the ameba were a natural and simple beginning of the process. On the contrary, if, as must almost necessarily be true short of miracles, life arose as a living molecule or protogene, the progression from this stage to that of the ameba is at least as great as from ameba to man. All the essential problems of living organism are already solved in the one-celled (or, as many now prefer to say, noncellular) protozoan and these are only elaborated in man or the other multicellular animals." (Simpson G.G., "The Meaning of Evolution: A Study of the History of Life and of its Significance for Man," , Yale University Press: New Haven CT, 1960, reprint, pp.15-16) 7/05/2005 "I hope I have successfully illustrated the wide reach of Darwin's ideas. Yes, he established a philosophy of biology by introducing the time factor, by demonstrating the importance of chance and contingency, and by showing that theories in evolutionary biology are based on concepts rather than laws. But furthermore-and this is perhaps Darwin's greatest contribution-he developed a set of new principles that influence the thinking of every person: the living world, through evolution, can be explained without recourse to supernaturalism; essentialism or typology is invalid, and we must adopt population thinking, in which all individuals are unique (vital for education and the refutation of racism); natural selection, applied to social groups, is indeed sufficient to account for the origin and maintenance of altruistic ethical systems; cosmic teleology, an intrinsic process leading life automatically to ever greater perfection, is fallacious, with all seemingly teleological phenomena explicable by purely material processes; and determinism is thus repudiated, which places our fate squarely in our own evolved hands. To borrow Darwin's phrase, there is grandeur in this view of life. New modes of thinking have been, and are being, evolved. Almost every component in modern man's belief system is somehow affected by Darwinian principles." (Mayr E.W., "Darwin's Influence on Modern Thought," Scientific American, Vol. 283, No. 1, pp.67-71, July 2000, p.71) 7/05/2005 "A basic action is one which a person does intentionally just like that and not by doing any other intentional action. My going from Oxford to London is a non-basic action, because I do it by doing various other actions going to the station, getting on the train, etc. But squeezing my hand or moving my leg and even saying 'this' are basic actions. I just do them, not by doing any other intentional act. (True, certain events have to happen in my body my nerves have to transmit impulses if I am to perform the basic action. But these are not events which I bring about intentionally. They just happen I may not even know about them.) By a basic power I mean a power to perform a basic action. We humans have similar basic powers to each other. They are normally confined to powers of thought and powers over the small chunk of matter which each of us calls his or her body. I can only produce effects in the world outside my body by doing something intentional with my body. I can open a door by grasping the handle with my hand and pulling it towards me; or l can get you to know something by using my mouth to tell you something. When l produce some effect intentionally (e.g. the door being open) by doing some other action (e.g. pulling it towards me), doing the former is performing a non-basic action. When I go to London, or write a book, or even put a screw into a wall, these are non-basic actions which I do by doing some basic actions. When I perform any intentional action, I seek thereby to achieve some purpose normally one beyond the mere performance of the action itself (I open a door in order to be able to leave the room), but sometime simply the performance of the action itself (as when I sing for its own sake). ... God's basic powers are supposed to be infinite: he can bring about as a basic action any event he chooses, and he does not need bones or muscles to operate in certain ways in order to do so. He can bring objects, including material objects, into existence and keep them in existence from moment to moment. We can imagine finding ourselves having a basic power not merely to move objects, but to create them instantaneously for example the power to make a pen or a rabbit come into existence; and to keep them in existence and then let them no longer exist. There is no contradiction in this supposition, but of course in fact no human has such a power. What the theist claims about God is that he does have a power to create, conserve, or annihilate anything, big or small. And he can also make objects move or do anything else. He can make them attract or repel each other, in the way that scientists have discovered that they do, and make them cause other objects to do or suffer various things: he can make the planets move in the way that Kepler discovered that they move, or make gunpowder explode when we set a match to it; or he can make planets move in quite different ways, and chemical substances explode or not explode under quite different conditions from those which now govern their behaviour. God is not limited by the laws of nature; he makes them and he can change or suspend them-if he chooses." (Swinburne R.G., "Is There a God?," Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, 1996, pp.5-6) 7/05/2005 "An expert claims hard evidence that Matthew's Gospel was written while eyewitnesses to Christ were alive. New Testament scholarship may be revolutionized by three old scraps of papyrus no bigger than postage stamps. Unlikely as that seems, such are the possibilities swirling around Carsten Peter Thiede, an assertively good-natured German specialist in ancient papyrus manuscripts. In an article to appear next week in the world's leading papyrolory journal, Thiede will lay out his claim to have discerned the earliest New Testament manuscript fragment-a portion of the Gospel of Matthew from upper Egypt that he says was written in the 1st century A.D. Until now the oldest manuscript remnant was a bit of the Gospel of John, also from Egypt, believed to have been written a half-century later, around A.D. 120. The 1934 John discovery helped undercut theories that the fourth Gospel was a late 2nd century creation far removed from the time of Jesus Christ. The implications of the new detective work on Matthew could be even more startling. If Matthew made its way to Egypt so early on, the modern argument over the dating and authenticity of the Gospels would have to be totally re- examined. With unmitigated gusto, the London Times calls Thiede "the man who may transform our understanding of Christianity." Bible professors are initially, and typically, skeptical, however. Graham Stanton of King's College, London, sniffs that Thiede's article "will not merit serious discussion." American Paul Achtemeier editor of Harpers Bible Dictionary, says he would be "mightily surprised if this turns out to be right" Thiede's proposed dating of the papyrus fragments, which contain 10 scattered verses from Matthew 26 in Greek, is based on handwriting style. That would provide the first hard external evidence for dating the original composition; previous timing opinions have been based on the internal content of the Gospels. In Thiede's view, the writing of Matthew could be pushed back just before or after A.D. 70, a decade or more earlier than the consensus date among most experts. Earlier dating would considerably increase the number of eye- witnesses to Jesus who might have been alive when Matthew was written. That, in turn, would strengthen conservatives, who read the Gospels as reliable historical accounts, and tend to undercut liberal Bible critics who have long theorized that the Gospel authors relied on shaky recollections of distant events or fabricated stories." (Ostling R.N., "A Step Closer to Jesus?," TIME, January 23, 1995, p.47) 8/05/2005 "Darwin ... wrote in a letter to Sir Charles Lyell, the leading geologist of his day: `If I were convinced that I required such additions to the theory of natural selection, I would reject it as rubbish...I would give nothing for the theory of Natural selection, if it requires miraculous additions at any one stage of descent.' [Darwin, C.R., Letter to C. Lyell, October 11, 1859, in Darwin, F., ed., "The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," , Basic Books: New York NY, Vol. II., 1959, reprint, pp.6-7]. This is no petty matter. In Darwin's view, the whole point of the theory of evolution by natural selection was that it provided a non- miraculous account of the existence of complex adaptations. For what it is worth, it is also the whole point of this book. For Darwin, any evolution that had to be helped over the jumps by God was not evolution at all. ... At first sight there is an important distinction to be made between what might be called 'instantaneous creation' and 'guided evolution'. Modern theologians of any sophistication have given up believing in instantaneous creation. ... many theologians ... smuggle God in by the back door: they allow him some sort of supervisory role over the course that evolution has taken, either influencing key moments in evolutionary history (especially, of course, human evolutionary history), or even meddling more comprehensively in the day-to-day events that add up to evolutionary change. ... In short, divine creation, whether instantaneous or in the form of guided evolution, joins the list of other theories we have considered in this chapter." (Dawkins, R., "The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design," W.W Norton & Co: New York NY, 1986, pp.248-249, 316-317. Emphasis original) 8/05/2005 "WHEN WAS THE New Testament written? This is a question that the outsider might be forgiven for thinking that the experts must by now have settled. Yet, as in archaeology, datings that seem agreed in the textbooks can suddenly appear much less secure than the consensus would suggest. For both in archaeology and in New Testament chronology one is dealing with a combination of absolute and relative datings. There are a limited number of more or less fixed points, and between them phenomena to be accounted for are strung along at intervals like beads on a string according to the supposed requirements of dependence, diffusion and development. New absolute dates will force reconsideration of relative dates, and the intervals will contract or expand with the years available. In the process long-held assumptions about the pattern of dependence, diffusion and development may be upset, and patterns that the textbooks have taken for granted become subjected to radical questioning. ... It is only when one pauses to do this that one realizes how thin is the foundation for some of the textbook answers and how circular the arguments for many of the relative datings. Disturb the position of one major piece and the pattern starts disconcertingly to dissolve. That major piece was for me the gospel of John. I have long been convinced that John contains primitive and reliable historical tradition, and that conviction has been reinforced by numerous studies in recent years. ... It was at this point that I began to ask myself just why any of the books of the New Testament needed to be put after the fall of Jerusalem in 70. As one began to look at them, and in particular the epistle to the Hebrews, Acts and the Apocalypse, was it not strange that this cataclysmic event was never once mentioned or apparently hinted at? And what about those predictions of it in the gospels - were they really the prophecies after the event that our critical education had taught us to believe?" (Robinson J.A.T., "Redating The New Testament," , SCM Press: London, Second impression, 1977, pp.1,9-10) 8/05/2005 "ONE OF THE oddest facts about the New Testament is that what on any showing would appear to be the single most datable and climactic event of the period - the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, and with it the collapse of institutional Judaism based on the temple - is never once mentioned as a past fact. It is, of course, predicted; and these predictions are, in some cases at least, assumed to be written (or written up) after the event. But the silence is nevertheless as significant as the silence for Sherlock Holmes of the dog that did not bark. ... `We should expect ... that an event like the fall of Jerusalem would have dinted some of the literature of the primitive church, almost as the victory at Salamis has marked the Persae. It might be supposed that such an epoch-making crisis would even furnish criteria for determining the dates of some of the NT writings. As a matter of fact, the catastrophe is practically ignored in the extant Christian literature of the first century.' [Moffatt J., "Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament," Edinburgh, 1918, p.3] Similarly C.F.D. Moule: `It is hard to believe that a Judaistic type of Christianity which had itself been closely involved in the cataclysm of the years leading up to AD 70 would not have shown the scars - or, alternatively, would not have made capital out of this signal evidence that they, and not non-Christian Judaism, were the true Israel. But in fact our traditions are silent .' [Moule C.F.D., "The Birth of the New Testament," Adam & Charles Black: London, 1962, p.123] Explanations for this silence have of course been attempted. Yet the simplest explanation of all, that `perhaps ... there is extremely little in the New Testament later than AD 70' [Moule, 1962, p.121] and that its events are not mentioned because they had not yet occurred, seems to me to demand more attention than it has received in critical circles." (Robinson J.A.T., "Redating The New Testament," , SCM Press: London, Second impression, 1977, pp.14-15) 9/05/2005 "In 1950, the fluorine test was applied to the [Piltdown man] skull and jaw to check if they were of the same age, and to what stratum they should be attributed. The tests confirmed that they could both be attributed to the middle or probably upper Pleistocene Age [Oakley, K.P. & Hoskins, C.R. `New evidence on the antiquity of Piltdown man', Nature, 11th March, 1950. Vol. 165, pp.379-82]. These tests, however, were completely contradicted by a second fluorine test three years later. The human skull and ape-like jaw of Piltdown were the opposite form of development to that indicated by the Pekin man finds and others, which were being excavated prior to the Second World War. These possessed an ape-like brain but were said to have human characteristics in the jaw and teeth. These two lines of man's evolution appeared to contradict each other, and eventually the possibility of fraud was considered. Further fluorine and other tests on the Piltdown jaw and skull pieces in 1953 showed this time that they were of completely different ages, the skull being upper Pleistocene, as originally believed, but the jaw was found to be quite modern although it had been stained to appear old and the teeth had been filed [Weiner, J.S., Oakley, K.P. & Le Gros Clark, W.E. `The solution of the Piltdown problem', Bulletin, British Museum (Natural History), Geol. 2, No. 3, 1953, pp.139-46]. Investigation of the other fossils also found, showed that many of them were faked and imported from other sites [Weiner, J.S., Oakley, K.P: & Le Gros Clark, W.E. `Further contributions to the solution of the Piltdown problem', Bulletin, British Museum (Natural History), Geol. 2, No. 6, 1955, pp.228-88]. The elephant bone `bat' was apparently shaped with a steel tool, probably a knife, in modern times. Publication of the discovery of the fraud caused considerable embarrassment in scientific circles, for the experts of the day, who had made such sweeping statements based on these bones, had been completely fooled by the hoaxer. Such was the concern that a motion was tabled in the House of Commons, `That the House has no confidence in the Trustees of the British Museum ... because of the tardiness of their discovery that the skull of the Piltdown man is a partial fake.' The British Museum mounted a special exhibition of the methods by which the fraud was exposed, which was presented as a `triumph of science', but the odium that the fraud had lain undetected in their possession for forty years remained." (Bowden M.*, "Ape-Men: Fact or Fallacy?," , Sovereign Publications: Bromley, Kent UK, Second edition, 1981, reprint, 1988, pp.8-9) 9/05/2005 "Origin of the Soul. Augustine's reluctance to take sides in the debate on the origin of the soul was not shared by his contemporaries. Some Greek church fathers shared Origen's theory that the soul preexisted with God and that it was assigned to a body as a penalty for its sin of looking downward. Most, however, accepted the creationist view that God created each individual soul at the moment that he gave it a body, while some, like Tertullian, held the traducianist theory that each soul is derived, along with the body, from the parents. Arguments cited in favor of creationism were (1) that Scripture distinguishes the origin of man's soul and body (Eccl. 12:7; Isa. 42:5; Zech. 12:1; Heb. 12:9); (2) that creationism preserves the idea of the soul as a simple, indivisible substance better than traducianism, which requires the idea of the division of the soul and its derivation from the parents; and (3) that it makes more credible Christ's retention of a pure soul than does traducianism. In behalf of traducianism it was said (1) that certain Scripture supports it (Gen. 2:2; Heb. 7:10; cf. I Cor. 11:8); (2) that it offers the best theory for the whole race having sinned in Adam; (3) that it is supported by the analogy of lower life in which numerical increase is obtained by derivation; (4) that it teaches that parents beget the whole child, body and soul, and not just the body; and (5) that it was necessary for Christ to have received his soul from the soul of Mary in order to redeem the human soul. Augustine carefully weighed the arguments on each side of the controversy, leaning toward traducianism for a time even while he saw the difficulty of retaining the soul's integrity with this hypothesis; later he admitted that he was perplexed and baffled by the question. A contemporary theologian who takes essentially the same stance is G. C. Berkouwer, who calls the controversy "unfruitful," inasmuch as it wrongly assumes that the issue is one of horizontal or vertical relations. "Such a way of putting it is far too feeble an attempt to render adequately the greatness of the work of God" (Man: The Image of God, 292). The God of Israel does not create only in the distant past, but he is constantly active in human history, the Creator in horizontal relationships as well as others. To speak about a separate origin of the soul he sees as impossible biblically, inasmuch as this creationist theory sees the relationship to God as "something added to the `essentially human,' which later is defined independently as 'soul' and `body.' Both soul and body can then be viewed in different `causal' relationships without reference to some intrinsic non- causal relationship to God. If, however, it is impossible to speak of the essence of man except in this latter religious relationship, then it also becomes impossible to introduce duality into the origin of soul and of body within the unitary human individual" (Osterhaven M.E.., "Soul," in Elwell W.A., ed., "Evangelical Dictionary of Theology," , Baker Book House: Grand Rapids MI., 1990, Seventh printing, p.1037) 9/05/2005 "dualism. Any theory which holds that there is, either in the universe at large or in some significant part of it, an ultimate and irreducible distinction of nature between two different kinds of thing. Examples are (1) Plato's dualism of eternal objects (forms or UNIVERSALS), of which we can have true knowledge, and temporal objects, which are accessible to the senses, and of which we can at best have opinions; (2) Descartes' mind-body dualism, i.e. of mind, as conscious, and of body, as occupying space, the former always infallibly, the latter never more than fallibly, knowable (see also MIND- BODY PROBLEM); (3) ethical dualism, which holds, in conformity with the doctrine of the NATURALISTIC FALLACY, that there is an irreducible difference between statements of fact and VALUE-JUDGEMENTS; (4) explanatory dualism, which holds that, while natural events, including mere bodily movements, have causes, human actions do not but must be explained by reference to motives or reasons; (5) sometimes called epistemological dualism (see also EPISTEMOLOGY), the theory that a distinction must be drawn between the immediate object of PERCEPTION (i.e. the appearance or SENSE- DATA) and the inferred, public, material objects. For further reading: J. A. Passmore, Philosophical Reasoning (1970)." (Quinton A., "dualism," in Bullock A. & Trombley I., eds., "The Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought," , Fontana Press: London, Revised edition, 1988, p.240) 9/05/2005 "dualism. The theory that mind and matter are two distinct things. Its most famous defender is Descartes, who argues that as a subject of conscious thought and experience, he cannot consist simply of spatially extended matter. His essential nature must be non-material, even if in fact he (his soul) is intimately connected with his body. The main argument for dualism is that facts about the objective external world of particles and fields of force, as revealed by modern physical science, are not facts about how things appear from any particular point of view, whereas facts about subjective experience are precisely about how things are from the point of view of individual conscious subjects. They have to be described in the first person as well as in the third person. Descartes argued that the separate existence of mind and body is conceivable; therefore it is possible; but if it is possible for two things to exist separately, they cannot be identical. A modern form of this argument has been presented by Saul Kripke, against recent forms of scientific materialism which claim that the relation of mental states to brain states is like the relation of water to H2O. What happens in the mind clearly depends on what happens in the brain, but facts about the physical operation of the brain don't seem to be capable of adding up to subjective experiences in the way that hydrogen and oxygen atoms can add up to water. Theoretical identifications of which both terms are physical and objective don't provide a model for identifications where one term is physical and the other is mental and subjective. However, while there are problems with the identification of mind and brain, it is not clear what other kind of entity could have subjective states and a point of view, either. Substance dualism holds that the mind or soul is a separate, non-physical entity, but there is also double aspect theory or property dualism, according to which there is no soul distinct from the body, but only one thing, the person, that has two irreducibly different types of properties, mental and physical. Substance dualism leaves room for the possibility that the soul might be able to exist apart from the body, either before birth or after death; property dualism does not. Property dualism allows for the compatibility of mental and physical causation, since the cause of an action might under one aspect be describable as a physical event in :he brain and under another aspect as a desire, emotion, or thought; substance dualism usually requires causal interaction between the soul and he body. Dualistic theories at least acknowledge the serious difficulty of locating consciousness in a modern scientific conception of the physical world, but they really give metaphysical expression to the problem rather than solving it. The desire to avoid dualism has been the driving motive behind much contemporary work on the mind-body problem. Gilbert Ryle made fun of it as the theory of `the ghost in the machine', and various forms of behaviourism and materialism are designed to show that a place can be found for thoughts, sensations, feelings, and other mental phenomena in a purely physical world. But these theories have trouble accounting for consciousness and its subjective qualia. Neither dualism nor materialism seems likely to be tree, but it isn't clear what the alternatives are."(Nagel T., "dualism," in Honderich T., ed., "The Oxf "The Oxford Companion to Philosophy," Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1995, pp.206-207) 9/05/2005 "The mind-body problem is the problem of giving an account of how minds, or mental processes, are related to bodily states and processes. That they are intimately related seems beyond doubt, and has not been seriously disputed. Evidently, our perceptual experience depends on the way external physical stimuli impinge on our sensory surfaces, and, ultimately, on the processes going on in our brain; your desire for a drink of water somehow causes your body to move in the direction of the watercooler; and so on. But how, and why, does conscious experience emerge out of the electrochemical processes occurring in a grey mass of neural fibres? How does a desire manage to get the appropriate neurons to fire and thereby cause the right muscles to contract? Schopenhauer called the mind body problem `the world knot', a puzzle that is beyond our capacity to solve. The mind-body problem as it is now debated, like much else in contemporary philosophy of mind, has been inherited from Descartes. Descartes conceived of the mind as an entity in its own right, a `mental substance', the essential nature of which is `thinking', or consciousness. On the other hand, the defining nature of the body, or material substance, was claimed to be spatial extendedness-that is, having a bulk. Thus, Descartes envisaged two domains of entities, one consisting of immaterial minds and the other of material bodies, and two disjoint families of properties, one consisting of mental properties (e.g. thinking, willing, feeling) and the other of physical properties (e.g. shape, size, mass), in terms of which members of the respective domains are to be characterized. However, the two domains are not to be entirely unrelated: a mind and a body can form a `union', resulting in a human being. Although the nature of this `union' relationship was never made completely clear, it evidently involved the idea that minds and bodies joined in such a union are involved in intimate and direct causal interaction with each other. Thus, Descartes's mind-body doctrine combines substance dualism, i.e. the dualism of two distinct kinds of substances, with attribute or property dualism, i.e. the dualism of mental and physical properties. Substance dualism, however, has largely dropped out of contemporary discussions; few philosophers now find the idea of minds as immaterial substances coherent or fruitful. There has been a virtual consensus, one that has held for years, that the world is essentially physical, at least in the following sense: if all matter were to be removed from the world, nothing would remain-no minds, no `entelechies', and no `vital forces'. According to this physical monism (or `ontological physicalism'), mental states and processes are to be construed as states and processes occurring in certain complex physical systems, such as biological organisms, not as states of some ghostly immaterial beings. The principal remaining problem for contemporary philosophy of mind, therefore, is to explain how the mental character of an organism or system is related to its physical nature. ... Recently, the Schopenhauerian pessimism has been resurrected by some philosophers, who argue that the mind-body problem is insoluble, and that we will never be able to understand how consciousness, subjectivity, and intentionality can arise from material processes. In any case, one thing that is certain is that the mind- body problem is one of the deepest puzzles in philosophy, and that it will continue to test our philosophical intelligence and imagination." (Kim J., "mind- body problem," in Honderich T., ed., "The Oxford Companion to Philosophy," Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1995, pp.579-580) 9/05/2005 "mind-body problem, n. phr. the question how MIND and body are related. Are they two different things (DUALISM), or two `aspects' of one thing (MONISM), or what? For ancient Greek philosophers the question arose when they distinguished between eternal INTELLIGIBLE things (PLATO'S `FORMS') and transient SENSIBLE things. Plato is a dualist for saying that before birth and after death the soul can have an apprehension of the Forms that is pure because then the soul is `separate and independent of the body' (Phaedo 67a), the bodily senses being an impediment to such apprehension. The question of how mind and body can interact became pressing only when, with DESCARTES, the body had become a `SUBSTANCE', and the mind a different kind of substance, the two having nothing in common save their dependence for existence on GOD. The mind-body problem, as it occurs in modern philosophy, starts with Descartes. If the mind is a substance, then ordinary utterances like `I think it will rain' become reports of mental events. Awareness of these is said to be `IMMEDIATE', as opposed to the awareness of material things, which is inferential, based on having sensations of them. However, this immediate awareness is also said to be like sense, except that it is internal (LOCKE, Essay, II i 4). `Internal' is a metaphor, the literal meaning being that only one person, the speaker, can be aware of his mental event of thinking it will rain. His access to his own mental events is `privileged'. Saying that the awareness is like sense leads to talk of `mental phenomena'. To those who accept these consequences there is no question that there are mental events; the only question is how mental events, or phenomena, cause, and are caused by, certain physical or physiological events, namely, what happens in the brain. Descartes suggested that mind and brain interact causally through a gland in the brain called the `pineal gland'. However, this does not tell us how interaction takes place. The model of causation with which scientists had come to operate was that of one body propelling another. The mind, being immaterial, cannot be in spatial contact with, and so cannot propel, anything. When this point was put to him (by a correspondent, Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia, in a letter dated 6-16 May 1643) Descartes replied that we can have some understanding of how mind and body interact in virtue of having a notion of their `union', a notion we acquire just by means of ordinary life and conversation, by abstaining from meditating and from studying things that exercise the imagination' (Descartes to Elizabeth, 28 June 1643). Others have taken this further in various ways. Roughly, treatments of the problem can be divided into those that develop Descartes's CONCEPT of substance (one independently existing substance, GOD, and two dependent substances, mind and MATTER), and those that avoid substance terminology but accept a consequence of mind being a substance, namely that there are `mental events' or `mental processes'. Finally, there are those who say that the mind should not be taken as a substance, so that the above consequences disappear." (Vesey G. & Foulkes P., "Collins Dictionary of Philosophy," HarperCollins: Glasgow UK, 1990, p.196-199) 10/05/2005 "dualism Any view that postulates two kinds of thing in some domain is dualistic; contrasting views according to which there is only one kind of thing are monistic. The most famous example of the contrast is mind- body dualism, contrasted with monism in the form either of idealism (only mind) or more often physicalism (only body or matter)." (Blackburn S., "The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy," , Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, 1996, p.110) 10/05/2005 "dualism n. a theory that has at its basis two radically distinct concepts or principles. Examples of dualism are: (1) the religious belief in two opposing principles or divine beings, one good and one evil. It was in this sense that the word was first used about three centuries ago, to describe the ancient Persian religion; (2) in metaphysics, the view that there are two kinds of reality: finite and infinite, matter and form, matter and spirit, relative and absolute, etc.; (3) in the philosophy of mind, psychophysical dualism: the view that human beings are made up of two radically distinct constituents (body, constituted by matter like other natural objects, and an immaterial mind or soul). Another kind of psychophysical dualism, different from this `substance dualism', is called `property dualism' or `attribute dualism', to the effect that there are two radically different kinds of properties, physical and non-physical, belonging to the same brain or human being; (4) in moral philosophy, fact/value dualism: the view that factual statements do not imply any evaluative statement. Ant. monism, pluralism. Note: Dualism is also used in a different sense, as a synonym ofduality, i.e. two-ness." (Mautner T., ed., "The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy," , Penguin: London, Revised, 2000, p.152) 10/05/2005 "dualism, the view that reality consists of two disparate parts. The crux of dualism is an apparently unbridgeable gap between two incommensurable orders of being that must be reconciled if our assumption that there is a comprehensible universe is to be justified. Dualism is exhibited in the pre- Socratic division between appearance and reality; Plato's realm of being containing eternal ideas and realm of becoming containing changing things; the medieval division between finite man and infinite God; Descartes's substance dualism of thinking mind and extended matter; Hume's separation of fact from value; Kant's division between empirical phenomena and transcendental noumena; the epistemological double- aspect theory of James and Russell, who postulate a neutral substance that can be understood in separate ways either as mind or brain; and Heidegger's separation of being and time that inspired Sartre's contrast of being and nothingness. The doctrine of two truths, the sacred and the profane or the religious and the secular, is a dualistic response to the conflict between religion and science. Descartes's dualism is taken to be the source of the mind-body problem. If the mind is active unextended thinking and the body is passive unthinking extension, how can these essentially unlike and independently existing substances interact causally, and how can mental ideas represent material things? How, in other words, can the mind know and influence the body, and how can the body affect the mind? Descartes said mind and body interact and that ideas represent material things without resembling them, but could not explain how, and concluded merely that God makes these things happen. Proposed dualist solutions to the mind-body problem are Malebranche's occasionalism (mind and body do not interact but God makes them appear to); Leibniz's preestablished harmony among noninteracting monads; and Spinoza's property dualism of mutually exclusive but parallel attributes expressing the one substance God. Recent mind-body dualists are Karl R. Popper and John C. Eccles. Monistic alternatives to dualism include Hobbes's view that the mental is merely the epiphenomena of the material; Berkeley's view that material things are collections of mental ideas; and the contemporary materialist view of J. J. C. Smart, D. M. Armstrong, and Paul and Patricia Churchland that the mind is the brain. A classic treatment of these matters is Arthur O. Lovejoy's The Revolt Against Dualism. ... But despite the extremely difficult problems posed by ontological dualism, and despite the cogency of many arguments against dualistic thinking, Western philosophy continues to be predominantly dualistic, as witnessed by the indispensable usu two-valued matrixes in logic and ethics and the intractable problem of rendering mental intentions in terms of material mechanism or vice versa." (Watson R.A., "dualism," in Audi R., ed., "The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy," , Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1996, reprint, p.210) 10/05/2005 "Mind-body dualism. While the doctrine that the soul is distinct from the body is found in Plato and is discussed throughout the history of philosophy, Descartes is considered the father of the modern mind- body problem. He maintained that the essence of the physical is extension in space. Minds are substances that are not extended in space, and thus are distinct from any physical substances. The essence of a mental substance is to think. This twofold view is called Cartesian dualism. Descartes was well aware of an intimate relationship between mind and the brain. (There is, it should be noted, no a priori reason to think that the mind is intimately related to the brain, and Aristotle did not associate them.) Descartes (mistakenly) thought the seat of the relationship was in the pineal gland. He maintained, however, that our minds are not our brains, lack spatial location, and continue to exist after the death and destruction of our bodies. Cartesian dualism invites the question: What connects our minds to our brains? Causation is Descartes's answer: states of our minds and states of our brains causally interact. When bodily sensations such as aches, pains, itches, tickles, and the like, cause us to moan, or wince, or scratch, or laugh, they do so by causing brain states (events, processes), which in turn cause bodily movements. In deliberate action, we act on our desires, motives, and intentions to carry out our purposes; and acting on these mental states involves their causing brain states, which in turn cause our bodies to move, and thereby (causally) influence the physical world. The physical world, in turn, influences our minds through its influence on our brains. Perception of the physical world with five senses - seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touch - involves causal transactions from the physical to the mental. Thus, Descartes held that there is two-way psychophysical causal interaction: from the mental to the physical (as in, e.g., deliberate action) and from the physical to the mental (as in, e.g., perception). The conjunction of Cartesian dualism and the doctrine of two- way psychophysical causal interaction is called Cartesian interactionism." (McLaughlin B.P., "philosophy of mind," in Audi R., ed., "The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy," , Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1996, reprint, pp.597-598) # 11/05/2005 "Mixing religion with science is obnoxious to Darwinists only when it is the wrong religion that is being mixed. ... Julian Huxley's religion of `evolutionary humanism' offered humanity the `sacred duty' and the `glorious opportunity' of seeking `to promote maximum fulfilment of the evolutionary process on the earth.' [Huxley J.S., "Religion Without Revelation," 1958, p.194] ... The continual efforts to base a religion or ethical system upon evolution are not an aberration, and practically all the most prominent Darwinist writers have tried their hand at it. Darwinist evolution is an imaginative story about who we are and where we came from, which is to say it is a creation myth. .... In its mythological dimension, Darwinism is the story of humanity's liberation from the delusion that its destiny is controlled by a power higher than itself. Lacking scientific knowledge, humans at first attribute natural events like weather and disease to supernatural beings. As they learn to predict or control natural forces they put aside the lesser spirits, but a more highly evolved religion retains the notion of a rational Creator who rules the universe. At last the greatest scientific discovery of all is made, and modern humans learn that they are the products of a blind natural process that has no goal and cares nothing for them. The resulting `death of God' is experienced by some as a profound loss, and by others as a liberation. But liberation to what? If blind nature has somehow produced a human species with the capacity to rule earth wisely and if this capacity has previously been invisible only because it was smothered by superstition, then the prospects for human freedom and happiness are unbounded. That was the message of the Humanist Manifesto of 1933. Another possibility is that purposeless nature has produced a world ruled by irrational forces, where might makes right and human freedom is an illusion. In that case the right to rule belongs to whoever can control the use of science. It would be illogical for the rulers to worry overmuch about what people say they want, because science teaches them that wants are the product of irrational forces. In principle, people can be made to want something better. It is no kindness to leave them as they are, because passionate stone age people can do nothing but destroy themselves when they have the power of scientific technology at their command. Whether a Darwinist takes the optimistic or the pessimistic view, it is imperative that the public be taught to understand the world as scientific naturalists understand it. Citizens must learn to look to science as the only reliable source of knowledge, and the only power capable of bettering (or even preserving) the human condition. That implies, as we shall see, a program of indoctrination in the name of public education." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," , InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second Edition, 1993, pp.130-131, 133-134) 11/05/2005 "JUPITER AND Saturn, the farthest planets the ancients knew, patrol the vast domain of the outer, solar system. .... As astronomers know today, these weighty names fit both worlds perfectly, for their most impressive property is not color or beauty but sheer mass. Together, the two gas giants harbor twelve times more mass than all the other planets combined. ... Although astronomers have assumed that other solar systems resemble ours and thus have worlds like Jupiter and Saturn, this need not be the case. `There are all sorts of ways you could mess up the formation of a Jupiter,' said George Wetherill, a planetary scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, `and maybe nature just doesn't care whether it makes a Jupiter or not.' For this reason, most solar systems could lack such large planets. `If this is true,' said Wetherill, `it might be surprising that we happen to live in a planetary system which has a Jupiter and a Saturn. But maybe it's not so surprising, because perhaps if it weren't for Jupiter and Saturn, we wouldn't be here.' ... Wetherill's idea actually followed from theories of how the solar system formed. When the planets were developing, 4.6 billion years ago, countless comets roamed the solar system. Many of these collided with one another to form the cores of the four giant planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune-but the mighty gravitational force of Jupiter and Saturn tossed trillions of other comets away. As a consequence, few comets remain to hit the solar system's planets today, sparing Earth in particular from the devastating impacts that could have thwarted the development of intelligent life. ... If that idea is correct, however, it raises the stakes in the search for extrasolar giant planets. If astronomers examine other stars and fail to find Jupiters-the planets that are easiest to detect-those solar systems may possess no life at all, even if they have warm, wet planets like Earth. Conversely, if planets like Jupiter abound, they will boost the hope that life exists elsewhere." (Croswell K., "Planet Quest: The Epic Discovery of Alien Solar Systems, "Free Press: New York NY, 1997, pp.161-163) 11/05/2005 "Today Wetherill uses a powerful desktop computer to simulate the formation of the Earth and the other planets. `What I think is of some relevance to the search for extrasolar planets,' he said, `is to try to develop a general theory for the formation of planetary systems, of which our solar system would be but one example and might be similar to others in some ways and different in other ways. There'd be no specific need for all planetary systems to develop in exactly the same way. So I've been looking into how variations of the initial conditions for the formation of a planetary system might lead to variations from one system to another.' Wetherill starts his model with small bodies orbiting a star. These bodies collide and grow into larger ones, which in turn become the planets of a solar system. Terrestrial planets-rocky worlds similar in mass to Earth- form near their star, where the disk of gas and dust orbiting the star is hot and only substances with high melting points, rock and iron, condense into solids. In 1991, Wetherill's work indicated that such planets are fairly easy for nature to produce, if nature operates the same way that his computer simulations do. Proponents of extraterrestrial life greeted Wetherill's result, since it meant that many if not most stars should have small planets like Earth. Wetherill even found that a typical simulation produced four terrestrial planets that match the pattern in our solar system: the first planet (e.g., Mercury) was small, the next two (Venus and Earth) were larger, and the final one (Mars) was again small. Also in 1991 came the stunning discovery of the first two pulsar planets, whose masses resemble Earth's and demonstrate that nature can indeed manufacture terrestrial-mass extrasolar planets-even in exotic locales. The story changed, though, when Wetherill turned to the giant planets. According to an idea that Japanese astronomer Hiroshi Mizuno and his colleagues published in the late 1970s, these planets formed in a more complicated way than did the terrestrial planets. Far from the star, the disk was cool, so ices of water (H20), methane (CH4), and ammonia (NH3) condensed. These far outweighed the rock and iron, because the ices contained three of the most common elements in the universe-oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen joined with hydrogen, the most abundant element of all. Due to all this material and the large volume of the outer solar system, enormous objects of ice and rock formed that had roughly 10 times more mass than the Earth. In the case of Jupiter and Saturn, these objects formed quickly, and Mizuno said their gravitational pull grabbed huge quantities of the hydrogen and helium gas that pervaded the disk. Today, Jupiter has 318 times the mass of the Earth and Saturn 95 times, most of it hydrogen and helium. Uranus and Neptune, which today have only 15 and 17 Earth masses, grabbed little if any gas, presumably because their ice-rock cores formed later, after the Sun had blown away the hydrogen and helium gas in the disk. Mizuno's model for the formation of the giant planets explains why all four have similar cores. It also agrees with the planets' observed atmospheric abundances. For example, the theory correctly predicts that all four planets should have more carbon relative to hydrogen than the Sun. This is because their cores had methane, which contains carbon, and some of that leaked into the planets' atmospheres. Furthermore, the two planets that captured the least hydrogen and helium - Uranus and Neptune-have the greatest carbon-to-hydrogen ratios, just as the theory predicts, because their methane was least diluted by the infalling hydrogen and helium. In 1992, Wetherill ran his model on the computer-and it failed. `Instead of forming a system that looked like Jupiter and Saturn,' he said, `I usually got a large number of objects moving in highly eccentric orbits, and it's rather difficult for this to develop into the story we like to tell where a ten- Earth-mass core develops and starts to capture gas. So the possibility occurred to me that maybe it doesn't arise very often. Maybe Jupiter is a fluke, which actually did occur in some of my calculations, but only as a fluke rather than as a rule of thumb. `Now this is very egotistical: to think that just because I don't know how to make Jupiter implies that nature doesn't know how to make it. But this was at the same time that people were failing to find any Jupiter-like planets around other stars. It began to look-and I think it still does look-as if Jupiter is an unusual object. `So if that's the case, then that raised the question: why do we have a Jupiter? The possible answer was that our solar system may be a highly biased sample, biased by the fact that we're here to see it.' In contrast, a solar system that lacks a Jupiter and a Saturn is not self-observable, if it never gives birth to intelligent life." (Croswell K., "Planet Quest: The Epic Discovery of Alien Solar Systems, "Free Press: New York NY, 1997, pp.164-165, 167. Emphasis original) 11/05/2005 "Long ago, Jupiter and Saturn cleaned the solar system of most cometary debris, including comets that may have been quite large, possibly as large as planets. Consequently, catastrophic impacts-such as the one that killed the dinosaurs and most other species living 65 million years ago-now occur only rarely. In the early solar system, said Wetherill, Jupiter and Saturn worked as a team, playing ball with comets and passing them back and forth from one planet to the other, boosting the comets' velocities. Most of the comets got cast clear out into interstellar space, while some were deposited in the Oort cloud, the vast comet reservoir that surrounds the solar system. Uranus and Neptune, which are smaller than Jupiter and Saturn, treated comets more gently. They transported comets toward Jupiter and Saturn, which then got rid of them. In 1994, the world witnessed a dramatic event that symbolized Jupiter's role as protector of terrestrial life: the planet took a direct hit from Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, an impact that left Jupiter's atmosphere scarred for months. Had the planet not intervened, the comet might someday have collided with Earth. To see what would happen if Jupiter and Saturn did not exist, Wetherill tried simulations in which the two planets failed to accrete much hydrogen and helium. This could occur if a solar system lost its hydrogen and helium disk before the cores of Jupiter and Saturn captured much gas. Many solar systems may therefore have `failed' Jupiters and Saturns- planets with the masses of Uranus and Neptune, but located at the orbital positions of Jupiter and Saturn. Wetherill found that such planets are dangerous. `Failed Jupiters and Saturns are not really effective in removing material from the solar system,' said Wetherill, `but they're effective enough that they perturb this material over the lifetime of the solar system into orbits which come into the inner solar system, into the region of the Earth.' Comets would therefore bombard this hypothetical Earth as much as a thousand times more often than they do the real one. On the real Earth, devastating impacts occur roughly once every 100 million years, leaving long intervals of relative calm, during which life can evolve. On an Earth without the protective shield of a full-fledged Jupiter and Saturn, these catastrophes could strike every 100,000 years-a time shorter than Homo sapiens is old. Life might still originate on such a world, Wetherill said, but it might not develop into complex life. `Even on the Earth, it wasn't until around 600 million years ago that multicellular organisms became common,' he said. `So we went for 4 billion years without doing much; it might not take much more to prevent intelligent life from arising at all. Apparently, it's not really easy, even on a very nice planet like the Earth.' Without Jupiter and Saturn, the Earth might also be buried under water. Much of the water now on Earth came from comets, and even with Jupiter and Saturn protecting the planet, seawater covers 71 percent of the Earth's surface. If Jupiter and Saturn did not exist, and comets rained down on Earth more often, the Earth might be a completely water-covered world, and any life would forever remain in the sea-another situation that might have prevented the emergence of intelligent life. Although dolphins have a fair degree of intelligence, they have not developed a written language, preventing future generations of dolphins from studying and building on the knowledge of their ancestors." (Croswell K., "Planet Quest: The Epic Discovery of Alien Solar Systems, "Free Press: New York NY, 1997, pp.167-168) 1/05/2005 "As a legal scholar, one point that attracted my attention in the Supreme Court case was the way terms like `science' and `religion' are used to imply conclusions that judges and educators might be unwilling to state explicitly. If we say that naturalistic evolution is science, and supernatural creation is religion, the effect is not very different from saying that the former is true and the latter is fantasy. When the doctrines of science are taught as fact, then whatever those doctrines exclude cannot be true. By the use of labels, objections to naturalistic evolution can be dismissed without a fair hearing. My suspicions were confirmed by the `friend of the court' argument submitted by the influential National Academy of Sciences, representing the nation's most prestigious scientists. Creation- science is not science, said the Academy in its argument to the Supreme Court, because `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, `Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences', 1984] Because creationists cannot perform scientific research to establish the reality of supernatural creation-that being by definition impossible-the Academy described their efforts as aimed primarily at discrediting evolutionary theory. `Creation-science' is thus manifestly a device designed to dilute the persuasiveness of the theory of evolution. The dualistic mode of analysis and the negative argumentation employed to accomplish this dilution is, moreover, antithetical to the scientific method. The Academy thus defined science' in such a way that advocates of supernatural creation may neither argue for their own position nor dispute the claims of the scientific establishment. What may be one way to win an argument, but it is not satisfying to anyone who thinks it possible that God really did have something to do with creating mankind, or that some of the claims that scientists make under the heading of `evolution' may be false." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," . InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove IL, Second Edition, 1993, pp.7-8. Emphasis original) 12/05/2005 "I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term Natural Selection, in order to mark its relation to man's power of selection. But the expression often used by Mr. Herbert Spencer of the Survival of the Fittest is more accurate, and is sometimes equally convenient. We have seen that man by selection can certainly produce great results, and can adapt organic beings to his own uses, through the accumulation of slight but useful variations, given to him by the hand of Nature. But Natural Selection, as we shall hereafter see, is a power incessantly ready for action, and is as immeasurably superior to man's feeble efforts, as the works of Nature are to those of Art." (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1928, reprint, p.67) 12/05/2005 "As man can produce, and certainly has produced, a great result by his methodical and unconscious means of selection, what may not natural selection effect? Man can act only on external and visible characters: Nature, if I may be allowed to personify the natural preservation or survival of the fittest, cares nothing for appearances, except in so far as they are useful to any being. She can act on every internal organ, on every shade of constitutional difference, on the whole machinery of life. Man selects only for his own good: Nature only for that of the being which she tends. Every selected character is fully exercised by her, as is implied by the fact of their selection. Man keeps the natives of many climates in the same country; he seldom exercises each selected character in some peculiar and fitting manner; he feeds a long- and a short- beaked pigeon on the same food; he does not exercise a long-backed or long-legged quadruped in any peculiar manner; he exposes sheep with long and short wool to the same climate. He does not allow the most vigorous males to struggle for the females. He does not rigidly destroy all inferior animals, but protects during each varying season, as far as lies in his power, all his productions. He often begins his selection by some half-monstrous form; or at least by some modification prominent enough to catch the eye or to be plainly useful to him. Under nature, the slightest differences of structure or constitution may well turn the nicely balanced scale in the struggle for life, and so be preserved. How fleeting are the wishes and efforts of man! how short his time! and consequently how poor will be his results, compared with those accumulated by Nature during whole geological periods! Can we wonder, then, that Nature's productions should be far "truer" in character than man's productions; that they should be infinitely better adapted to the most complex conditions of life, and should plainly bear the stamp of far higher workmanship?" (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1928, reprint, p.83) 12/05/2005 "Though Nature grants long periods of time for the work of natural selection, she does not grant an indefinite period; for as all organic beings are striving to seize on each place in the economy of nature, if any one species does not become modified and improved in a corresponding degree with its competitors, it will be exterminated. Unless favourable variations be inherited by some at least of the offspring, nothing can be effected by natural selection. The tendency to reversion may often check or prevent the work; but as this tendency has not prevented man from forming by selection numerous domestic races, why should it prevail against natural selection? (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1928, reprint, p. 99) 12/05/2005 "Finally then, although in many cases it is most difficult even to conjecture by what transitions organs have arrived at their present state, yet, considering how small the proportion of living and known forms is to the extinct and unknown, I have been astonished how rarely an organ can be named, towards which no transitional grade is known to lead. It certainly is true that new organs appearing as if created for some special purpose rarely or never appear in any being-as indeed is shown by that old, but somewhat exaggerated, canon in natural history of "Natura non facit saltum." We meet with this admission in the writings of almost every experienced naturalist; or as Milne Edwards has well expressed it, Nature is prodigal in variety, but niggard in innovation. Why, on the theory of Creation, should there be so much variety and so little real novelty? Why should all the parts and organs of many independent beings, each supposed to have been separately created for its proper place in nature, be so commonly linked together by graduated steps? Why should not Nature take a sudden leap from structure to structure? On the theory of natural selection, we can clearly understand why she should not; for natural selection acts only by taking advantage of slight successive variations; she can never take a great and sudden leap, but must advance by short and sure, though slow steps." (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1928, reprint, p.180) 12/05/2005 "On the view of each organism with all its separate parts having been specially created, how utterly inexplicable is it that organs bearing the plain stamp of inutility, such as the teeth in the embryonic calf or the shrivelled wings under the soldered wing-covers of many beetles, should so frequently occur. Nature may be said to have taken pains to reveal her scheme of modification, by means of rudimentary organs, of embryological and homologous structures, but we are too blind to understand her meaning." (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1928, reprint, p.454) 12/05/2005 "It was Charles Darwin who coined the master metaphor that eventually dominated evolutionary thinking. Having decided to adopt the transmutation hypothesis shortly after his return from the voyage of the Beagle, Darwin began the search for the natural means by which populations of organisms were modified and kept adapted to changing circumstances. Finally, in the fall of 1838, after reading Thomas Malthus' famous Essay on the Principle of Population, Darwin hit upon the idea of a general organic struggle for existence in which those members of a species which happened to possess traits favorable to survival in their particular circumstances would be most likely to reach reproductive age and hence would spread those traits through subsequent generations, thereby gradually changing the character of the population. Casting about for a suitable name for this process of variation, population pressure, differential adaptedness, differential survival, and differential reproduction, Darwin chose the term `natural selection', in order, as he said, to `mark its relation to man's power of selection' in producing new breeds of plants and animals. There was, of course, no selection in nature. Selection implies intelligent choice, of which nature knows nothing. What Darwin called natural selection might better have been called differential reproduction through the luck of the hereditary draw. Why, then, did Darwin choose a metaphor implying intelligent choice to designate a complex set of processes involving random variation, population pressure, and differential survival to reproductive age? He did so, first, because the analogy to the selection practiced by plant and animal breeders served him well, both as a research tool and as a method of making his theory intelligible to fellow scientists and to the general public. But Darwin seems to have had another reason as well, a reason connected with his evolutionary deism. His transmutation notebooks, his essays of 1842 and 1844, and the Origin itself all show that Darwin regarded what he called `natural selection' as a set of processes designed by the Creator to produce adaptation and improvement in the organic world. In the essays of 1842 and 1844 Darwin even personified natural selection, asking his readers to imagine `a Being with penetration sufficient to perceive differences in the outer and innermost organization [of plants and animals] quite imperceptible to man, and with forethought extending over future centuries to watch with unerring care and select for any object the offspring of an organism produced under the foregoing [environmental] circumstances.' Darwin could see no reason why such a being could not `form a new race (or several were he to separate the stock of the original organism and work on several islands) adapted to new ends.' `As we assume his discrimination, and his forethought, and his steadiness of object, to be incomparably greater than those qualities in man,' Darwin continued, `so may we suppose the beauty and complication of the adaptations of the new races and their differences from the original stock to be greater than in the domestic races produced by man's agency.... With time enough, such a Being might rationally.... aim at almost any result.' Darwin was careful to say that this master Being was not the Creator Himself, but the powers he ascribed to it made it at least the vicegerent of the Creator. In Darwin's Origin of Species there is no explicit mention of the master Being, but he lurks behind the scenes in Darwin's description of natural selection as `daily and hourly scrutinizing, throughout the world, every variation, even the slightest; rejecting that which is bad, preserving and adding up all that is good; silently and insensibly working, whenever and wherever opportunity offers, at the improvement of each organic being in relation to its organic and inorganic conditions of life.' The products of this constant, rigorous scrutiny, Darwin observed, `bear the stamp of a far higher workmanship' than those of `feeble man' in his role of plant and animal breeder. Note that, in Darwin's view, the variations `preserved' by natural selection are not merely good in the sense that they promote survival to reproductive age. They are `improvements'. Darwin's Origin abounds with `improvements' produced by natural selection. `The modified offspring from the later and more highly improved branches in the lines of descent,' he wrote, `will.... often take the place of, and so destroy, the earlier and less improved branches. Hence all the intermediate forms between the earlier and later states, that is between the less and more improved state of a species, as well as the original parent- species itself, will generally tend to become extinct.' The influence of the analogy to artificial selection and of Darwin's evolutionary deism is evident in these passages. The variations selected by a plant or animal breeder are improvements from the point of view of the breeder because they move the stock in the direction desired by the breeder. But in nature there is no desired or intended direction of change unless one postulates a master Being who has such a direction in mind. From the point of view of the organism concerned it is doubtless good to survive and reproduce, but to consider the organisms that survive and reproduce as `improvements' on those that do not is to introduce value judgments supposedly outside the domain of science. Is the tapeworm an improvement on its ancestors that had a more complicated structure? Is the modern horse an improvement on Eohippus? A standard of comparison would seem to be required, and, as Darwin himself conceded in his correspondence with Joseph Dalton Hooker, the intuitive standard of comparison is man himself. If human beings are considered higher than amoebas and chimpanzees and if the fossil record seems to indicate an overall succession of forms leading eventually to human beings, organic evolution may be described as a process of progressive improvement, however haphazard and erratic. But without the fossil record and without the assumption that man is the highest organism on earth what reason is there to think that differential reproduction of organisms happening to have traits favorable to survival will produce improvement in the organic world? To Charles Lyell it seemed evident that the improvement attested by the fossil record must have its source outside of nature, since nothing in Darwin's theory of natural selection seemed to require it. Darwin, however, was convinced that his theory did imply progressive improvement in the long run, although not in every instance of organic change through natural selection. He explained his position as follows in a letter to Lyell: .... every step in the natural selection of each species implies improvement in that species in relation to its conditions of life. No modification can be selected without it be an improvement or advantage. Improvement implies, I suppose, each form obtaining many parts or organs, all excellently adapted for their functions. As each species is improved, and as the number of forms will have increased, if we look to the whole course of time, the organic condition of life for other forms will become more complex, and there will be a necessity for other forms to become improved, or they will be exterminated; and I can see no limit to this process of improvement, without the intervention of any other and direct principle of improvement. All this seems to me quite compatible with certain forms fitted for simple conditions, remaining unaltered, or being degraded. If I have a second edition, I will reiterate `Natural Selection', and, as a general consequence, Natural Improvement. Darwin's Origin did indeed have a second edition (and a third, fourth, fifth, and sixth), and Darwin continued to the end to insist that the apparent improvement in organic forms disclosed in the fossil record was a necessary long-run consequence of random variation, population pressure, and differential survival to reproductive age. In the sixth edition, as in the first, these processes were represented as constituting `laws impressed on matter by the Creator' and as working `by and for the good of each being', with the result that `all corporeal and mental endowments will tend to progress towards perfection.' What better metaphor could Darwin have chosen to designate these agencies of progressive improvement than the term `natural selection,' evocative as it was of the benevolent selectivity of the improver of domestic stocks? True, nature's selection was much slower, much more erratic and wasteful than man's, but its superior workmanship was evident in the `endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful' it had produced. The struggle for existence was harsh, but Darwin found consolation in the belief `that the war of nature is not incessant, that no fear is felt, that death is generally prompt, and that the vigorous, the healthy, and the happy survive and multiply.' Natural improvement, although costly, slow, and spasmodic, was, happily, inevitable. Having produced the human species, natural selection (aided by the inherited effects of mental and moral training) would, Darwin hoped, eventually evolve creatures who would look back on him and Lyell and Newton as `mere Barbarians'. In Darwin's view, natural selection was no mere mechanism of organic modification and co-adaptation. It was also the Great Improver, blind but powerful and inexorable. It had, said Darwin, elevated man to `the very summit of the organic scale' and had thereby given him `hope for a still higher destiny in the distant future.' Darwin's metaphor had taken on a life of its own. Natural selection had become a being with many of the attributes of deity. Its works were manifold, like those of the Biblical Jehovah. Its power was awesome, conferring life and death, creating new and ever more complex organic forms, separating the wheat from the tares, rewarding the efficient and punishing the ineffectual, giving hope of ultimate progress to those who believed in its power and kept its commandments. " (Greene, J. C., "Grounding human values in evolutionary theory." Review of "Debating Darwin: Adventures of a Scholar,' by John C. Greene. CNN, July 27, 1999) 12/05/2005 "In the following classification of the main theories of the mind-body relationship upheld by philosophers, it is to be understood that the positions sketched are `ideal types' to which actually held positions may approximate in different degrees. If we think of mind and body as two opponents in a tug-of-war, then we can distinguish between theories which try to drag body, and matter generally, over into the camp of mind; those which try to drag mind over into the camp of body; and those theories where an equal balance is maintained. This yields a division into mentalist, materialist (physicalist), and dualist theories. It is convenient to begin by considering dualism. The major position here is Cartesian dualism, named after Descartes, the central figure in postmedieval philosophical discussion of the mind-body problem. For a Cartesian dualist the mind and body are both substances; but while the body is an extended, and so a material, substance, the mind is an unextended, or spiritual, substance, subject to completely different principles of operation from the body. It was this doctrine that Gilbert Ryle caricatured as the myth of the ghost in the machine. It is in fact a serious and important theory. Dualist theories are also to be found in a more sceptical form, which may be called bundle dualism. The word `bundle' springs from David Hume's insistence that when he turned his mental gaze upon his own mind, he could discern no unitary substance but simply a `bundle of perceptions', a succession or stream of individual mental items or happenings. Hume thought of these items as non-physical. A bundle dualist is one who dissolves the mind in this general way, while leaving the body and other material things intact. Besides dividing dualism into Cartesian and bundle theories, it may also be divided according to a different principle. Interactionist theories hold, what common sense asserts, that the body can act upon the mind and the mind can act upon the body. For parallelist theories, however, mind and body are incapable of acting upon each other. Their processes run parallel, like two synchronized clocks, but neither influences the other. There is an intermediate view according to which, although the body (in particular, the brain) acts upon and controls the mind, the mind is completely impotent to affect the body. This intermediate view, especially when combined with a bundle theory of mind, is the doctrine of epiphenomenalism. It allows the neurophysiologist, in particular, to recognize the independent reality of the mental, yet acknowledge the controlling role of the brain in our mental life and give a completely physicalist account of the brain and the factors which act upon it. Mentalist theories arise naturally out of dualist theories, particularly where the dualist position is combined with Descartes's own view that the mind is more immediately and certainly known than anything material. If this view is taken, as it was by many of the greatest philosophers who succeeded Descartes, it is natural to begin by becoming sceptical of the existence of material things. The problem that this raises was then usually solved by readmitting the material world in a dematerialized or mentalized form. Berkeley, for instance, solved the sceptical problem by reducing material things to our sensations `of' them. Berkeley thus reaches a mentalism where the mind is conceived of as a spiritual substance, but bodies are reduced to sensations of these minds. It is possible to combine Berkeley's reduction of matter to sensations with a bundle account of the mind. In this way is reached the doctrine of neutral monism, according to which mind and matter are simply different ways of organizing and marking off overlapping bundles of the same constituents. This view is to be found in Ernst Mach, William 'James, and was adopted at one stage by Bertrand `Russell. The `neutral' constituents of mind and body are, however, only dubiously neutral, and the theory is best classified as a form of mentalism. Just as Cartesian dualism may move towards mentalism, so it may also move towards materialism. Surprisingly, Descartes's own particular form of the theory lends itself to this development also. Descartes was one of the pioneers in arguing for an anti-Aristotelian view of the material world generally and the body in particular. First, this involved the rejection of all teleological principles of explanation in the non-mental sphere. Second, it involved taking the then revolutionary, now scientifically orthodox, view that organic nature involves no principles of operation that are not already to be found operative in non-organic nature. Human and animal bodies are simply machines (today we might say physico-chemical mechanisms) working according to physical principles. A view of this sort naturally leads on to the suggestion that it may be possible to give an account of the mind also along the same principles. In this way, a completely materialist account of nature is reached, and so a materialist account of the mind. The word `materialism' sometimes misleads. The materialist is not committed to a Newtonian 'billiard-ball' account of matter. Keith Campbell has spoken of the `relativity of materialism'-its relativity to the physics of the day. Materialism is best interpreted as the doctrine that the fundamental laws and principles of nature are exhausted by the laws and principles of physics, however `unmaterialistic' the latter laws and principles may be. Instead of speaking of `materialism' some writers use the term `physicalism'. Materialist accounts of the mind may be subdivided into peripheralist and centralist views. A more familiar name for the peripheralist view is behaviourism: the view that possession of a mind is constituted by nothing more than the engaging in of especially sophisticated types of overt behaviour, or being disposed to engage in such behaviour in suitable circumstances. Behaviourism as a philosophical doctrine must be distinguished from the mere methodological behaviourism of many psychologists who do not wish to base scientific findings upon introspective reports of processes that are not publicly observable. Very much more fashionable at the present time among philosophers inclined to materialism is the centralist view, which identifies mental processes with purely physical processes in the central nervous system. This view is sometimes called central-state materialism or, even more frequently, the identity view. Unlike behaviourism, it allows the existence of `inner' mental processes which interact causally with the rest of the body. It remains to call attention to one important variety of theory intermediate between orthodox dualism and orthodox materialism. It is a 'one-substance' view, denying that minds are things or collections of things set over against the material substance which is the brain. But it does involve a dualism of properties, because brain processes, besides their physical properties, are conceived of as having further non-physical properties which are supposed to make the brain processes into mental processes. Such views may be called attribute or dual-attribute theories of the mind-body relationship. A theory of this sort could be said to be a variety of identity view, since it also holds that mental processes are identical with certain brain processes. According to the doctrine of panpsychism, not simply brain processes but all physical things have a mental side, aspect, or properties, even if in a primitive and undeveloped form. Although the dual-attribute view is important, it inherits the considerable difficulty and confusion which surrounds the philosophical theory of properties. There are many difficulties in giving a satisfactory account of what it is for a thing to have a property, and these difficulties transmit themselves to this sort of theory of the mind-body relationship." (Armstrong D.M., "Mind-Body Problem: Philosophical Theories," in Gregory R.L., ed., "The Oxford Companion to the Mind," Oxford University Press: New York NY, 1987, pp.490-491) 13/05/2005 "Our next task is to join the two kinds of robot together. Imagine that the walking, sucker-footed robot carries, on its back, something like the industrial, hand-wielding robot that we saw earlier. The combined machine is under the control of an on-board computer. The on-board computer has a lot of routine software for controlling the legs and the sucker feet, and for controlling the arm and hand assembly. But it is under the overall control of a master Duplicate Me program which fundamentally says: `Walk around the world gathering up the necessary materials to make a duplicate copy of the entire robot. Make a new robot, then feed the same TRIP [Total Replication of Instructions Program] program into its on-board computer and turn it loose on the world to do the same thing.' The hypothetical robot that we have now worked towards can be called a TRIP robot. A TRIP robot such as we are now imagining is a machine of great technical ingenuity and complexity. The principle was discussed by the celebrated Hungarian-American mathematician John von Neumann ... But no von Neumann machine, no self-duplicating TRIP robot, has yet been built. Perhaps it never will be built. Perhaps it is beyond the bounds of practical feasibility. But what am I talking about? What nonsense to say that a self-duplicating robot has never been built. What on earth do I think that I myself am? Or you? Or a bee or a flower or a kangaroo? What are all of us if not TRIP robots? We are not man-made for the purpose: we have been put together by the processes of embryonic development, under the ultimate direction of naturally selected genes. But what we actually do is exactly what the hypothetical TRIP robot is defined as doing. We roam the world looking for the raw materials needed to assemble the parts needed to maintain ourselves and eventually assemble another robot capable of the same feats. (Dawkins R., "Climbing Mount Improbable," Penguin: London, 1996, pp.256-258) 13/05/2005 "We are all TRIP robots, all von Neumann machines. But how did the whole process start? To answer that, we have to go back a very long time, more than 3,000 million years, probably as long as 4,000 million years. In those days the world was very different. There was no life, no biology, only physics and chemistry, and the details of the Earth's chemistry were very different. Most, though not all, of the informed speculation begins in what has been called the primeval soup, a weak broth of simple organic chemicals in the sea. Nobody knows how it happened but, somehow, without violating the laws of physics and chemistry, a molecule arose that just happened to have the property of self-copying - a replicator. This may seem like a big stroke of luck. I want to say a few things about this `luck'. First, it had to happen only once. In this respect, it is rather like the luck involved in colonizing an island. Most islands around the world, even quite remote ones like Ascension Island, have animals. Some of these, for example birds and bats, got there in a way that we can easily understand, without postulating a great deal of luck. But other animals, like lizards, can't fly. We scratch our heads and wonder how they got there. It may seem unsatisfactory to postulate a freak of luck, like a lizard happening to be clinging to a mangrove on the mainland which breaks off and drifts across the sea. Freakish or not, this kind of luck does happen there are lizards on oceanic islands. We usually don't know the details, because it is not a thing that happens often enough for us to have any likelihood of seeing it. The point is that it had to happen only once. And the same goes for the origin of life on a planet. What is more, as far as we know, it may have happened on only one planet out of a billion billion planets in the universe. Of course many people think that it actually happened on lots and lots of planets, but we only have evidence that it happened on one planet, after a lapse of half a billion to a billion years. So the sort of lucky event we are looking at could be so wildly improbable that the chances of its happening, somewhere in the universe, could be as low as one in a billion billion billion in any one year. If it did happen on only one planet, anywhere in the universe, that planet has to be our planet - because here we are talking about it." (Dawkins R., "Climbing Mount Improbable," Penguin: London, 1996, pp.258-260. Emphasis original) 13/05/2005 "An origin of life, anywhere, consists of the chance arising of a selfreplicating entity. Nowadays, the replicator that matters on Earth is the DNA molecule, but the original replicator probably was not DNA. We don't know what it was. Unlike DNA, the original replicating molecules cannot have relied upon complicated machinery to duplicate them. Although, in some sense, they must have been equivalent to `Duplicate me' instructions, the `language' in which the instructions were written was not a highly formalized language such that only a complicated machine could obey them. The original replicator cannot have needed elaborate decoding, as DNA instructions and computer viruses do today. Selfduplication was an inherent property of the entity's structure just as, say, hardness is an inherent property of a diamond, something that does not have to be `decoded' and `obeyed'. We can be sure that the original replicators, unlike their later successors the DNA molecules, did not have complicated decoding and instruction-obeying machinery, because complicated machinery is the kind of thing that arises in the world only after many generations of evolution. And evolution does not get started until there are replicators. In the teeth of the so-called 'Catch- 22 of the origin of life' ... the original self-duplicating entities must have been simple enough to arise by the spontaneous accidents of chemistry. ... There are undoubted difficulties in this story. Among them I have already alluded to the so-called Catch-22 of the origin of life. The larger the number of components in a replicator, the more likely it is that one of them will be miscopied, leading to complete malfunctioning of the ensemble. This suggests that the first, primordial replicators must have had very few components. But molecules with fewer than a certain minimum number of components are likely to be too simple to be capable of engineering their own duplication." (Dawkins R., "Climbing Mount Improbable," Penguin: London, 1996, pp.261-263) 13/05/2005 "The original replication machines - the first robot repeaters - must have been a lot simpler than bacteria, but bacteria are the simplest examples of TRIP robots that we know today .... Bacteria make their livings in a great variety of ways, from a chemical point of view a far wider range of ways than the rest of the living kingdoms put together. There are bacteria that are more closely related to us than they are to other, strange kinds of bacteria. There are bacteria that obtain their sustenance from sulphur in hot springs, for whom oxygen is a deadly poison, bacteria that ferment sugar to alcohol in the absence of oxygen, bacteria that live on carbon dioxide and hydrogen, giving out methane, bacteria that photosynthesize (use sunlight to synthesize food) like plants, bacteria that photosynthesize in ways that are very different from plants. Different groups of bacteria encompass a range of radically different biochemistries compared with which all the rest of us - animals, plants, fungi and some bacteria - are monotonously uniform." (Dawkins R., "Climbing Mount Improbable," Penguin: London, 1996, p.263) 13/05/2005 "The original replication machines - the first robot repeaters - must have been a lot simpler than bacteria, but bacteria are the simplest examples of TRIP robots that we know today .... Bacteria make their livings in a great variety of ways, from a chemical point of view a far wider range of ways than the rest of the living kingdoms put together. There are bacteria that are more closely related to us than they are to other, strange kinds of bacteria. There are bacteria that obtain their sustenance from sulphur in hot springs, for whom oxygen is a deadly poison, bacteria that ferment sugar to alcohol in the absence of oxygen, bacteria that live on carbon dioxide and hydrogen, giving out methane, bacteria that photosynthesize (use sunlight to synthesize food) like plants, bacteria that photosynthesize in ways that are very different from plants. Different groups of bacteria encompass a range of radically different biochemistries compared with which all the rest of us - animals, plants, fungi and some bacteria - are monotonously uniform." (Dawkins R., "Climbing Mount Improbable," Penguin: London, 1996, p.263) # 14/05/2005 "May not a future generation well ask how any scientist, in full possession of his intellectual faculties and with adequate knowledge of information theory could ever execute the feat of cognitive acrobatics necessary to sincerely believe that a (supremely complex) machine system of information storage and retrieval, servicing millions of cells, diagnosing defects and then repairing them in a teleonomic von Neumann machine manner, arose in randomness - the antipole of information? An information storage and retrieval system allegedly arose in randomness, the opposite and antipole of the information with which it deals! ... to propose that just one single book volume edited in a specific language and code wrote itself by entirely random processes followed by selection would surely produce raised eyebrows even in Darwinian scientific circles - but' that 1000 just such volumes should have arisen so, really does go a little far. Yet the Darwinian Establishment still thinks this is the case, so it must be so!" (Wilder-Smith A.E.*, "The Scientific Alternative to Neo-Darwinian Evolutionary Theory," T.W.F.T. Publishers: Costa Mesa CA, 1987, p.iv. Emphasis original 14/05/2005 "A consequence of this fact is that simple machines (ie. machines which do not possess the functions of the self-diagnosis of defects, self-repair of defects and self-reproduction, that is machines which are not von Neumann machines) possess no autogenic evolutionary ability, i.e. they cannot improve or evolve themselves with time. They all lose structure with time. To put this quite vital point in another way: the simple non self-reproducing machine possesses no means of extracting any evolutionary progress from the survival of the fittest (according to Darwin) in competition with other simple machines. It is only when simple machines have become self-reproducing machines, that is, von Neumann machines (= self- diagnosing, self-repairing and self-reproducing) that the possibility of upward machine evolution by Darwin's postulate of the survival of the fittest coupled with mutatory changes and selection arises. This postulate is the very basis of Darwin's evolutionary postulate and his explanation of creativity in nature by natural law. Let us take a closer look at this sine qua non of Darwinian thought. Since a simple machine does not reproduce itself, if does not pass on to any progeny any mutations good or bad - it has no progeny. The less well adapted non-reproducing cell or machine (a cell is a machine, a metabolic machine, of course) maybe will livefor a shorter time than the better adapted one. But both will cease to function (= die) sooner or later and leave no progeny. So that no evolutionary advantages or disadvantages can accrue in a simple non-reproducing machine by the alleged creative Darwinian process of mutation followed by natural selection. It will thus be apparent that Darwin's small inherited changes (mutations) followed by natural selection could on principle only become evolutionary after the cell (or machine) has reached the enormous degree of complexity known as that of the von Neumann (self-reproducing) machine. Simple machines (i.e. those not reproducing, repairing or diagnosing themselves) cannot evolve upwards by Darwinian creative mutations followed by natural selection, simply because they do not reproduce. On simple theoretical grounds, then, upward evolution can only occur in any machine, biological or otherwise, once it has reached the truly enormous complexity of the von Neumann machine. This subject is treated more fully in the section on von Neumann machines (pp. 38-39). That is, the evolution of any machine, including the biological one, by the Darwinian scheme could only occur after the most important stages in biological evolution, namely those up to the von Neumann self-reproducing stage, have already been reached. Darwin, then, has no offers to make on just these vital and most intricate evolutionary stages and by what mechanism they may have occurred simply because he never understood anything at all about these stages." (Wilder-Smith A.E.*, "The Scientific Alternative to Neo-Darwinian Evolutionary Theory," T.W.F.T. Publishers: Costa Mesa CA, 1987, pp.8-9) 14/05/2005 "But a second factor connected with time must now be taken into account. It is: the time required to synthesize any given machine from its basic raw matter is inversely proportional to the quanta of suitable bits of information applied. The time required to reach any synthetic or machine goal is certainly flexible, but it usually shrinks as the amount of applied information or know-how expands. The more refined or concentrated the know-how or information applied to matter in "machinogenesis" is, the less synthesis time, in general, will be required. ... According to the theory governing the structure of von Neumann machines (i.e. selfdiagnosing, self-repairing and self-reproducing machines) the number of bits of information required to align each component part will be a multiple of the component parts themselves. That is, several bits of information will be required to synthesize and place each component part in the hierarchy called the machine. So that if the number of component parts of an average von Neumann machine approached infinity (as von Neumann himself postulates ... the bits of information required to synthesize and place the components into the machine hierarchy of such a complex machine will be a multiple of infinity! To blandly propose (as Darwinians unwittingly do) that the von Neumann machine known as the biological cell or the multicellular organism could have obtained the required multiple of infinity bits of information from the stochastic processes of natural law, which information is not derivable from natural law, is simply to display an abysmal lack of knowledge of information theory and of what is involved in the construction of a self- diagnosing, self-repairing and selfreproducing machine, be it the biological cell or any other mechanical von Neumann machine." (Wilder-Smith A.E.*, "The Scientific Alternative to Neo-Darwinian Evolutionary Theory," T.W.F.T. Publishers: Costa Mesa CA, 1987, pp.10-11) 14/05/2005 "Similarly, the discipline of biology will not only survive but prosper if it turns out that genetic information really is the product of preexisting intelligence. Biologists will have to give up their dogmatic materialism and discard unproductive hypotheses like the prebiotic soup, but to abandon bad ideas is a gain, not a loss. Freed of the metaphysical chains that tie it to nineteenth-century materialism, biology can turn to the fascinating task of discovering how the intelligence embodied in the genetic information works through matter to make the organism function. In that case chemical evolution will go the way of alchemy-abandoned because a better understanding of the problem revealed its futility-and science will have reached a new plateau." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law, and Education," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL., 1995, pp.92-93) 14/05/2005 "Nowhere does Kauffman even attempt to establish a correspondence between the mathematical models he runs on his computer and the actual processes matter must undergo to form a biological system. I find this omission unconscionable, for it represents a descent into mysticism worse than any Kauffman claims to avoid. Kauffman will write, "it is not implausible that life emerged as a phase transition to collective autocatalysis once a chemical minestrone, held in a localized region able to sustain adequately high concentrations, became thick enough with molecular diversity" (p. 274). This is not science, but alchemy (cf. p. 277 where Kauffman actually uses the word "alchemy" to describe what he is doing). Indeed, once Kauffman leaves the pristine world of mathematical modeling and computer simulations, and turns to the messy world of matter in motion, he can do no better than alchemy. Kauffman's laws of self-organization must do their self-organizing all by themselves. A supracritical mixture of diverse molecules (Kauffman's "chemical minestrone") operating according to laws of self-organization must--if he is right--be able to work the magic of life. Get the proper mixture and life will emerge. Nor can Kauffman's approach ever get beyond alchemy. A very damning admission occurs when Kauffman considers a rather large NK Boolean network in which N equals 100,000. Previously Kauffman has contended that life constitutes an attractor for an autocatalytic set of chemicals. Such an auto-catalytic set will be exceedingly more complicated than the NK Boolean network he is now considering. And yet Kauffman will admit that finding an attractor even for this Boolean network will be all but impossible: "I cannot show you an attractor in such an unfathomable state space" (p. 100). If Kauffman's stylized mathematical models are unfathomable, how much more nature herself? Apparently oblivious to how it undercuts his program, Kauffman repeats this admission later on, and even more forcefully: "It is one thing to talk about supracritical reaction systems blasting off into the outer space of chemical creativity, but all confined to a computer model. It is quite another thing to fathom what might go on in a real chemical system" (pp. 118-9). And fathom it he never does. Kauffman has not one thing to say about real chemical systems except the unsubstantiated assertion that the right mixture of chemicals governed by laws of self-organization will yield life. But the laws of self-organization he cites are unknown. And even if they were known, there is no reason to think that we could ever apply them (after all, we know the laws that govern toy examples like Boolean networks, and can't even apply them there). Alchemy plus inscrutable laws of self-organization will ever remain alchemy. All the problems inherent in the origin and development of life are still there after one finishes the book." (Dembski W.A.*, "Alchemy, NK Boolean Style," Review of "At Home in the Universe: The Search for the Laws of Self Organization and Complexity," by Stuart Kauffman, Oxford University Press: New York, 1995. Origins & Design 17:2, Spring 1996. Access Research Network) 14/05/2005 "One of the greatest of these figures was the mathematician John von Neumann, who developed his model of a self-replicating machine in the early 1950s before the actual self-replicating machinery of the cell had been worked out. [Von Neumann J., "Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata," ed. A. W Burks, University of Illinois Press: Urbana IL, 1966] Von Neumann ... visualized the surface of a vast body of fluid covered with infinitely many copies of each kind of element required for the construction of the automaton, distributed in random fashion over the surface of the lake. The automaton, like an animated erector set, floats on the surface of the hypothetical lake and, by picking up elements from the fluid and assembling them together, eventually constructs a copy of itself. The automaton consists of two components: an information bank and a mechanical assembly unit capable of manipulative robotic activities-what von Neumann called the `constructor.' The information bank provided all the information and instructions necessary to direct the constructor to assemble a copy of itself. When the constructor had finished constructing a copy of itself, it then made a copy of the information bank and inserted this new copy into the newly assembled offspring constructor. Thus, the automaton makes a complete copy of itself." (Denton M.J., "Nature's Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe," Free Press: New York NY, 1998, p.144) 14/05/2005 "Yet despite the dreams of artificial life and the gurus of nanotechnology, the undeniable fact remains that many characteristics of living organisms are still without any significant analogue in any machine which has yet been constructed. Every living system replicates itself, yet no machine yet possesses this capacity even to the slightest degree. Nearly half a century after von Neumann, Claude Shannon, Norbert Wiener, and their circle dreamed of self-replicating machines, the dream is nowhere near realization. Nor does there exist even a well-developed, detailed blueprint in the most advanced area of nanotechnology for a machine that could carry out such a stupendous act. In the case of von Neumann's model, for example, no serious consideration was given to the fuel and energy supply problem. Von Neumann assumed conveniently that his automata would have unlimited energy! The challenge is enormous. A self-replicating machine requires a data storage system which must be accessible or comprehensible to the constructor device. It requires that the constructor be assembled from a very small number of readily available substances. It requires a means of energy generation,, storage, and distribution to its working components and so forth. None of these problems has been solved. Yet every second, countless trillions of living systems from bacterial cells to elephants replicate themselves on the surface of our planet. And since life's origin, as the earth has circled thousands of millions of times around the sun, endless life forms have effortlessly copied themselves on unimaginable numbers of occasions." (Denton M.J., "Nature's Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe," Free Press: New York NY, 1998, pp.147-148) 14/05/2005 "The human language capacity is rivaled only by another cascading network of representational systems, the unfolding complexities of DNA, which provide the basis for all living things in the biosphere. Of the many unsolved mysteries hidden within the delicately interrelated systems of DNA's biological language, perhaps the most challenging mystery of them all is how the human language capacity is specified in the human genome." (Oller J.W.* & Omdahl J.L.*, "Origin of the Human Language Capacity: In Whose Image?," in Moreland J.P., ed., "The Creation Hypothesis: Scientific Evidence for an Intelligent Designer," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1994, p.235) 14/05/2005 "We have examined the human language capacity from a scientific point of view and have seen how closely it is connected with the distinctive abstract capabilities of human intelligence. We have seen that the intricate and articulate structures of language are mirrored in the delicate arrangements of biological representations in correspondence to information coded in DNA. We have shown logically that the language capacity cannot have originated in any purely materialistic manner. The logical gulf that separates mind from matter really is an uncrossable barrier to any materialistic origin. If the definitions of Peirce and Einstein are accepted, the gulf they described cannot be crossed without the intention of a truly transcendent Intelligence-a conclusion both of them accepted." (Oller J.W.* & Omdahl J.L.*, "Origin of the Human Language Capacity: In Whose Image?," in Moreland J.P., ed., "The Creation Hypothesis: Scientific Evidence for an Intelligent Designer," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1994, p.265) 15/05/2005 "John von Neumann ... was interested in a robot that had a control message of sufficient information content that it could direct its own actions and reproduce itself. ... Let us think of the protobiont as a kind of von Neumann self-replicating machine (von Neumann, 1966). The built-in set of instructions that directs its action has an information content and is analogous to a genetic message. Von Neumann (1966) thought that there was a minimum degree of complexity below which the process of self- replication is degenerative. Above this level, the process of self-replication was, as he put it, explosive. Thus the complexity of the built- in algorithm must be sufficient to allow the operation of the robot but it must also have an additional information content sufficient to allow it to self-replicate. ... The protobiont, like the self-replicating robot, must have a genome of sufficient complexity both to metabolize and to self-replicate. ... Let us consider how the information content of the set of instructions incorporated in the von Neumann machine leads us to an estimate of the minimum information content of the protobiont. What is the smallest information content in the instructions required to direct the actions and replication of the protobiont? We may draw our estimates of its minimum information content from the genomes of the most primitive free-living organisms in order to ascertain the lowest threshold the various scenarios for the origin of life must attain. ... The ... minimum information content of the protobiont must be in the range of hundreds of thousands to several million bits. Scenarios on the origin of life must show how a complexity of that magnitude, which is characteristic of organisms, was generated (Yockey, 1977c, 1981)." (Yockey H.P., "Information Theory and Molecular Biology," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1992, pp.243-244) 15/05/2005 "alchemy The medieval combination of chemistry, philosophy, and secret lore aimed at transmuting base metals into gold (by means of the philosopher's stone), and discovering the universal cure for disease and mortality." (Blackburn S., "The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy," , Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, 1996, p.10) 15/05/2005 "alchemy n. a kind of theory about material substances, based on close analogies between material qualities and relations on the one hand, mental or spiritual ones on the other. Among its practical applications was the preparation of medicines, but best known is the attempt to make gold out of base metals. That process required a catalyst, known as the philosopher's stone. Alchemy flourished in the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance." (Mautner T., ed., "The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy," , Penguin: London, Revised, 2000, p.11) 15/05/2005 "alchemy, a quasi-scientific practice and mystical art, mainly ancient and medieval, that had two broad aims: to change baser metals into gold and to develop the elixir of life, the means to immortality. Classical Western alchemy probably originated in Egypt in the first three centuries A.D. (with earlier Chinese and later Islamic and Indian variants) and was practiced in earnest in Europe by such figures as Paracelsus and Newton until the eighteenth century. Western alchemy ad dressed concerns of practical metallurgy, but its philosophical significance derived from an early Greek theory of the relations among the basic elements and from a religious-allegorical understanding of the alchemical transmutation of ores into gold, an understanding that treats this process as a spiritual ascent from human toward divine perfection. The purification of crude ores (worldly matter) into gold (material perfection) was thought to require a transmuting agent, the philosopher's stone, a mystical substance that, when mixed with alcohol and swallowed, was believed to produce immortality (spiritual perfection). The alchemical search for the philosopher's stone, though abortive, resulted in the development of ultimately useful experimental tools (e.g., the steam pump) and methods (e.g., distillation)." (Trout J.D.T., "alchemy," in Audi R., ed., "The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy," , Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1996, reprint, pp.16-17) 16/05/2005 "Natural selection, acting over time, can lead to complex adaptations, but it can do so only if each small change along the way is itself adaptive. While it is easy to assume that this is true in a hypothetical example of character strings, many people have argued that it is unlikely for every one of the changes necessary to assemble a complex organ like the eye to be adaptive. An eye is only useful, it is claimed, once all parts of the complexity are assembled; until then, it is worse than no eye at all. After all, what good is 5% of an eye? Darwin's answer, based on the many adaptations for seeing or sensing light that exist in the natural world, was that 5% of an eye is often better than no eye at all. It is quite possible to imagine that a very large number of small changes-each favored by selection-led cumulatively to the wonderful complexity of the eye. Living mollusks, which display a broad range of light-sensitive organs, provide examples of many of the likely stages in this process (Figure 1.14): 1. Many invertebrates have a simple light-sensitive spot (Figure 1.14a). Photoreceptors of this kind have evolved many times from ordinary epidermal (surface) cells-usually ciliated cells whose biochemical machinery is light-sensitive. Those individuals whose cells are more sensitive to light are favored when information about changes in light intensity are useful. For example, a drop in light intensity may often be an indicator of a predator in the vicinity. ... Figure 1.14 Living gastropod mollusks illustrate all of the intermediate steps between a simple eye cup and a camera-type eye: (a) The eye pit of a limpet, Patella sp.; (b) the eye cup of Beyrich's split shell, Pleurotomaria beyrichi; (c) the pinhole eye of a California abalone, Haliotis sp. ; (d) the closed eye of a turban shell, Turbo creniferus; (e) the lens eyes of the spiny dye murex, Murex brandaris; (f) the lens eyes of the Atlantic dog whelk, Nucella lapis. (Lens is shaded in e and f.) 2. By locating the light-sensitive cells in a depression, the organism will get some additional information about the direction of the change in light intensity (Figure 1.14b). The surface of organisms is variable, and those individuals whose photoreceptors are in depressions will be favored by selection in environments where such information is useful. For example, mobile organisms may need better information about what is happening in front of them than do immobile ones. 3. Through a series of small steps, the depression could get deeper, and each step could be favored by selection because better directional information would be available (Figure 1.14c). 4. If the depression got deep enough, it could form images on the light-sensitive tissue, much the way pinhole cameras form images on photographic film (Figure 1.14d). In settings in which detailed images are useful, selection could then favor the elaboration of the neural machinery necessary to interpret the image. 5. The next step is the formation of a transparent cover (Figure 1.14e). This might be favored because it protects the interior of the eye from parasites and mechanical damage. 6. A lens could evolve either through gradual modification of the transparent cover, or through the modification of internal structures within the eye (Figure 1.14f). Notice that evolution produces adaptations like a tinkerer, not an engineer. New organisms are created by small modifications of existing ones, not by starting with a clean slate. Clearly there will be many beneficial adaptations that will not arise because they are blocked at some step along the way when a particular variation is not favored by selection. Darwin's theory explains how complex adaptations can arise through natural processes, but it does not predict that every, or even most, adaptations that could occur, have occurred, or will occur. This is not the best of all possible worlds; it is just one of many possible worlds." (Boyd R. & Silk J.B., "How Humans Evolved," , W.W. Norton & Co: New York NY, Second Edition, 2000, pp.17-18) 16/05/2005 "Dawkins's bold claims to tell us how Mount Improbable may be scaled offers no fundamental principles of promise regarding how biological information of the scale needed to explain macroevolution might be generated and absolutely no empirical support for his thesis that there is a footpath to the top of Mount Improbable with sufficiently small steps. In a recent letter to the editor of The Independent Brian Josephson, professor of physics at Cambridge University, summarizes Dawkins's approach: `In such books as the Blind Watchmaker, a crucial part of the argument concerns whether there exists a continuous path, leading from the origins of life to man, each step of which is both favored by natural selection, and small enough to have happened by chance. It appears to be presented as a matter of logical necessity that such a path exists, but actually there is no such logical necessity; rather, commonly made assumptions in evolution require the existence of such a path." [Josephson B., Letter to the editor, The Independent, January 12, 1997]." (Bradley W.L., "Designed or Designoid," in Dembski W.A., ed., "Mere Creation: Science, Faith & Intelligent Design," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1998, pp.47-48) 16/05/2005 "Using reasoning like this, Darwin convinced many of his readers that an evolutionary pathway leads from the simplest light-sensitive spot to the sophisticated camera-eye of man. But the question of how vision began remained unanswered. Darwin persuaded much of the world that a modern eye evolved gradually from a simpler structure, but he did not even try to explain where his starting point-the relatively simple light-sensitive spot-came from. On the contrary, Darwin dismissed the question of the eye's ultimate origin: How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light hardly concerns us more than how life itself originated." [Darwin C., "Origin of Species", 6th ed., 1872, New York University Press: New York, 1988, p151]. (Behe M.J., "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution," Free Press: New York NY, 1996, p.18) 16/05/2005 "The more pressing difficulty was theoretical. Many organs require an intricate combination of complex parts to perform their functions. The eye and the wing are the most common illustrations, but it would be misleading to give the impression that either is a special case; human and animal bodies are literally packed with similar marvels. How can such things be built up by `infinitesimally small inherited variations, each profitable to the preserved being?' The first step towards a new function-such as vision or ability to fly- would not necessarily provide any advantage unless the other parts required for the function appeared at the same time. As an analogy, imagine a medieval alchemist producing by chance a silcon microchip; in the absence of a supporting computer technology the prodigious invention would be useless and he would throw it away. Stephen Jay Gould asked himself `the excellent question, What good is 5 per cent of an eye?,' (Gould S.J., "The Problem of Perfection," in "Ever Since Darwin," , Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, p.107) and speculated that the first eye parts might have been useful for something other than sight. Richard Dawkins responded that: `An ancient animal with 5 per cent of an eye might indeed have used it for something other than sight, but it seems to me as likely that it used it for 5 per cent vision. And actually I don't think it is an excellent question. Vision that is 5 per cent as good as yours or mine is very much worth having in comparison with no vision at all. So is 1 per cent vision better than total blindness. And 6 per cent is better than 5, 7 per cent better than 6, and so on up the gradual, continuous series.' (Dawkins R., "The Blind Watchmaker," , Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, p.81) The fallacy in that argument is that `5 per cent of an eye' is not the same thing as `5 per cent of normal vision.' For an animal to have any useful vision at all, many complex parts must be working together. Even a complete eye is useless unless it belongs to a creature with the mental and neural capacity to make use of the information by doing something that furthers survival or reproduction. What we have to imagine is a chance mutation that provides this complex capacity all at once, at a level of utility sufficient to give the creature an advantage in producing offspring." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," , InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second Edition, 1993, pp.34- 35) 18/05/2005 "It seems to be characteristic of the human mind that when it sees a black box in action, it imagines that the contents of the box are simple. A happy example is seen in the comic strip `Calvin and Hobbes' .... Calvin is always jumping in a box with his stuffed tiger, Hobbes, and traveling back in time, or `transmogrifying' himself into animal shapes, or using it as a `duplicator' and making clones of himself A little boy like Calvin easily imagines that a box can fly like an airplane (or something), because Calvin doesn't know how airplanes work. In some ways, grown-up scientists are just as prone to wishful thinking as little boys like Calvin. ... When a merely verbal [or even mathematical-SEJ] picture is painted of the development of such a complex system, there is absolutely no way to know if it would actually work. When such crucial questions are ignored we leave science and enter the world of Calvin and Hobbes. ... it's one thing to say an organism has a completed, functioning system, and another to say how the system developed. ... in the end, it is a hop in the box with Calvin and Hobbes. ... Calvin and Hobbes stories can sometimes be spun by ignoring critical details ... ." (Behe M.J.*, "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution," Free Press: New York NY, 1996, pp.23, 95, 137, 177) 18/05/2005 "Although evolutionary biology is committed to common descent (i.e., that all organisms trace their lineage back to some last universal common ancestor), that is not its central claim. Indeed, there are design theorists who cheerfully hold to common descent (e.g., Michael Behe). The central claim of evolutionary biology, rather, is that an unguided physical process is sufficient to account for the emergence of biological complexity and diversity." (Dembski W.A.*, "The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions About Intelligent Design," Intervarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2004, pp.260-261) 18/05/2005 "Theistic evolution, differs from special creation in that it postulates the evolution of man's body from that of the simplest forms of life, and differs from Deistic evolution in that it invokes supernatural activity to bring about the more radical changes in the human pedigree. Natural agencies, according to this view, are adequate for minor evolution but require to be supplemented by supernatural agencies to provoke major evolution. Wallace who shares with Darwin the credit for promulgating the theory of Natural Selection did not believe that natural forces alone could account for the ascent of man. He suggested that there were `three stages in the development of the organic world when some new cause or power must necessarily have come into action, the first when the first living cell was created, the second when the animal kingdom separated from the vegetable kingdom, and the third at the creation of man." (Lunn A.*, ed., "Is Evolution Proved?: A Debate Between Douglas Dewar and H.S. Shelton," Hollis & Carter: London, 1947, pp.14-15. Emphasis original) 19/05/2005 "The publication of 'The Alleged Fallacies of Evolutionary Theory' by Massimo Pigliucci and others in Issue 46 of Philosophy Now provides a convenient occasion for pointing out the limits of the negative theological implications of Darwin's Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection. In the fourteenth and final chapter of The Origin of Species Darwin himself - apart from noticing certain short (a mere handful of million years long) geological periods in which the fossil record reveals the occurrence of inexplicably rapid evolution - wrote: `Analogy would lead me one step further, namely to the belief that all animals and plants have descended from one prototype.... Therefore I should infer from analogy that probably all the organic beings that have lived on the earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed." (Flew A.G.N., "Letter from Antony Flew on Darwinism and Theology," Philosophy Now, August-September 2004) 19/05/2005 "Analogy would lead me one step further, namely, to the belief that all animals and plants have descended from some one prototype. But analogy may be a deceitful guide. Nevertheless all living things have much in common, in their chemical composition, their germinal vesicles, their cellular structure, and their laws of growth and reproduction. We see this even in so trifling a circumstance as that the same poison often similarly affects plants and animals; or that the poison secreted by the gallfly produces monstrous growths on the wild rose or oak-tree. Therefore I should infer from analogy that probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed." (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection: Or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life," , Penguin: London, First edition, 1985, reprint, p.455) 19/05/2005 "`Did you know that Charles Darwin became a Christian before he died? It's true. I read about it once in a book - or was it a magazine? I forget. Anyway, my father told me about it first, when I was studying biology in school. He said that Darwin gave up his theory of evolution on his deathbed and put his faith in the Bible. No, I can't remember where Dad learned about it. I think he said it was in a tract he picked up at church. But I've asked other folks and they know about Darwin's conversion, too. They say that a lady heard it from his own mouth. Her name was "Hope", I think.. Isn't it wonderful? Darwin spent his whole life fighting against creation, then at the last moment he read the Bible and believed. What a testimony to the power of God's Word!' So I have heard countless times from wide-eyed believers. Their reports are routine. Whenever I lecture or broadcast about Darwin in North America I am inevitably asked about his `deathbed conversion'. Some inquirers are perplexed, others persuaded, but all devoutly hope that as a historian I can prove the story true. My first reaction was total disbelief. I had studied Darwin's religion for years. I knew his deathbed well: Darwin died as he had lived, an agnostic. The conversion story was an obvious myth, just like so many deathbed tales - manufactured, malicious. ... The Darwin deathbed story was, I felt sure, just one more dastardly fib.' ... Then I read the story for the first time - not one of the versions endlessly recycled in tracts, but the story as originally published in 1915. To my amazement, it was a first-hand account by 'Lady Hope'. The noble lady did not report a death scene or a conversion, but merely a strange interview she had had with Darwin some months before he died. And fanciful as her story was, I saw at once that parts of it might be authentic. This threw me completely. Perhaps all along I had been dismissing a legend, not a myth. Myths grow up around famous (or infamous) historical figures because they seem to stand apart from other mortals, out of time. Their lives acquire a numinous aura, their deaths an ominous aspect, and weird tales about them circulate. One authentic Darwin myth is the local tradition that he 'still lives and visits his old home...His aged and ghostly figure may still be observed' pacing the grounds. Darwin's shade is even said to be one of seven haunting the house across the road. Stories like this have a history, but their origin the province of folklorists and social psychologists, not professional historians. Legends by contrast are about real events. Though unreliable, they have a factual basis that historians can explore. ... Is the Darwin deathbed story a similar legend - a grotesque gloss on real historical events? I now believe so. But I reached this conclusion only by the most awkward, circuitous route. It took many years and miles of shoe leather to come up with the right evidence. ...In consternation I went back to the `Lady Hope' who reported meeting Darwin. Was a woman of that name known at the time of his death? If so, what was her occupation? Did she live until 1915, when the Darwin story was published? I fired off letters, plundered my local library, and ransacked London archives. Within a few weeks I had brought the lady vividly to life. She was born Elizabeth Reid Cotton on 9 December 1842, in the parish of Longford, near Launceston, Tasmania, the eldest child of Captain (later General Sir) Arthur Cotton of the Royal Engineers and Elizabeth Learmouth, from a local landowning family. Young Elizabeth married twice - in 1877 to Admiral Sir James Hope (who died in 1881), and in 1893 to the philanthropist T. Anthony Denny (who died in 1909). She bore no children but was a prolific author, leaving some thirty titles under her nom de plume, Lady Hope, in the British Library Catalogue. These publications dealt with evangelistic and temperance themes; many contained personal anecdotes reminiscent of the Darwin story. Lady Hope emigrated to the United States in 1913 and eventually settled in California. She sailed for England a few years later but died en route, on 8 March 1922 ... Australia. ... This tantalizing information prompted a torrent of questions. What sort of person was Elizabeth Cotton, alias Lady Hope? Who were her friends? How did she spend her time? What was she doing in the period when she claimed to have visited Darwin? Can her account of their meeting be trusted? Is any of it credible? Why did she wait over thirty years before telling her story? Or did she? And what happened after its publication? Did she repeat herself, or recant? How did the Christian public react? I posed similar, searching questions about Darwin. How did his religious faith develop? When did he reject Christianity, and why? Was he likely to have changed his beliefs in later years? What was his spiritual state in the last months of his life? Did he receive visitors at that time? Was his wife also present? How did she and the family handle religious issues? Would they have opened the door to Lady Hope? What did the Darwin children and grandchildren make of her published story? ... This book reports my findings over the past twenty years. It may be revised by further research, but at least it exposes the deathbed legend once and for all. My sleuthing has taken me to three continents .... I have located over one hundred occurrences of the legend in manuscript and print, including eleven original sources, at least two of which may be unconnected with Lady Hope. I have also compiled the Darwin family's angry reaction to the conversion story in ten private and published letters. .... The Darwins were not alone in opposing the deathbed legend. Freethinkers and other evolutionists have debunked it repeatedly. But they still find Lady Hope to be a `shadowy figure' and a `mystery'. So also, ironically, do evangelicals. In recent years some of them have jumped on the evolutionists' bandwagon. Anxious that their belief in creation should appear `scientific', they have rushed to distance themselves from the legend. The story attributed to Lady Hope is `completely false' and has `no basis in fact', they say. Lady Hope's existence is irrelevant. None of these parties has got it right - not the neocreationists, not the evolutionists, not even the Darwins. Lady Hope was a real person; the story she told has some historical merit, though it immediately launched a legend. Now, for the first time, her story can be traced to a precise period in Darwin's life, and its significance for understanding his posthumous reputation can be assessed. There may be crumbs of comfort for all concerned in what follows, but there are also faults to be found on every side. The historical Darwin is no one's monopoly. My account begins with a narrative of Darwin's religious development, from prospective parson to closet agnostic (chaps. 1-2). It was a tortuous passage: as an evolutionist Darwin feared for his respectability, while his wife Emma feared for his eternal salvation. The tensions he experienced - most evident in his famous illness - were recreated after his death when the family quarrelled bitterly over publishing the religious part of his private autobiography (chap. 3). A compromise was struck to protect Emma, requiring that the most personal and pointed passages be suppressed. In the family's Life and Letters the world was given a moderate, respectable, agnostic `Darwin' long before Lady Hope spoke out. Lady Hope's status as a national temperance campaigner was at a peak in the period when she allegedly met Darwin. And there are good reasons for placing her in or around his village at the time she claimed to have visited him (chap. 4). She first published her account of their interview in the United States, doubtless because it was opportune. The story, though imaginative, cannot be dismissed as pure invention. It contains striking elements of authenticity, to which Lady Hope privately added convincing new detail (chap. 5). The religious press picked it up and it spread like wildfire, provoking heated protests by the Darwins, who referred inquirers to the Life and Letters (chap. 6). Their promotion of the official `Darwin' was just as opportune as Lady Hope's promotion of hers. In 1929, through the family's good offices, the Darwin home was presented to the nation as a shrine to respectable, evolutionary agnosticism. The uncensored text of Darwin's autobiography finally appeared in 1958, showing his definitive rejection of Christianity. Two years later the deathbed legend was first tentatively exposed by a sympathetic unbeliever. Evangelicals have scarcely noticed. The old, stale slur on Darwin still circulates, even on television. `The children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.' [Luke 16:8]" (Moore J.R., "The Darwin Legend," , Hodder & Stoughton: London, 1995, reprint, pp.1-7. Emphasis original) 19/05/2005 "If living matter is not, then, caused by the interplay of atoms, natural forces and radiation, how has it come into being? There is another theory, now quite out of favour, which is based upon the ideas of Lamarck: that if an organism needs an improvement it will develop it, and transmit it to its progeny. I think, however, that we must go further than this and admit that the only acceptable explanation is creation. I know that this is anathema to physicists, as indeed it is to me, but we must not reject a theory that we do not like if the experimental evidence supports it. An animal - particularly the human animal - is a beautiful example of a carefully contrived and subtly engineered design. The word 'design' comes naturally even in evolutionist books. The Designer must know infinitely more science than we shall ever know. He started off with a few simple examples and, learning from them, introduced new and improved species. He gradually incorporated new properties, imagination and free will being the latest ones. He is probably learning that these are not enough, since they seem to cultivate a propensity to self-destruction. I find these ideas comforting, for if we do destroy ourselves, a superior model will be created, whereas according to the theory of evolution we are doomed. I should be happy to know what my fellow physicists think of these admittedly extraordinary ideas. In putting them forward I can claim to be in good company. According to Darwin, when Newton put forward his theory of gravitation, Leibnitz accused him of introducing 'occult qualities and miracles into philosophy.' What was this gravitation? How could two inanimate bodies attract each other? Newton replied laconically 'Hypotheses non fingo'. When I am asked describe my ideas of the Creator I also say 'Hypotheses non fingo'!" (Lipson, H.S., "A physicist looks at evolution", Physics Bulletin, Vol. 31, No. 4, May 1980, p138) 19/05/2005 "Thus the ID movement has become a `big tent,' attracting people from a variety of religious backgrounds. CRSC fellow David Berlinski, who has published Commentary articles critical of Darwinism, is Jewish. In Kansas, board supporters included local Muslims and a group of Hare Krishnas, who showed up at a meeting wearing saffron robes. Even agnostics who believe the universe is in some sense teleological have teamed up with the ID movement--figures like Michael Denton, author of the influential Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. His most recent book, Nature's Destiny, argues that purpose pervades the universe at all levels. `The power of ID is precisely its minimalism,' says Todd Moody, an agnostic and professor at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia. `It travels light, with no theological baggage.' Among Christians, ID shows promise of uniting often hostile factions, from young-earth creationists to theistic evolutionists and everyone in between." (Pearcey, N.R.*, "We're Not in Kansas Anymore," Christianity Today, May 22, 2000, Vol. 44, No. 6, p.42) 20/05/2005 "... Langton confirmed that yes, he really did adhere to the view known as `strong a-life,' which holds that computer simulations of living things are themselves alive. He described himself as a functionalist, who believed life was characterized by what it did rather than by what it was made of. If a programmer created molecule-like structures that, following certain laws, spontaneously organized themselves into entities that could seemingly eat, reproduce, and evolve, Langton would consider those entities to be alive-'even if they're in a computer:' Langton said his belief had moral consequences. `I like to think that if I saw somebody sitting next to me at a computer terminal who is torturing these creatures, you know, sending them to some digital equivalent of hell, or rewarding only a select few who spelled out his name on the screen, I would try to get this guy some psychological help!' I told Langton that he seemed to be conflating metaphor, or analogy, with reality. `What I'm trying to do, actually, is something a little more seditious than that,' Langton replied, smiling. He wanted people to realize that life might be a process that could be implemented by any number of arrangements of matter, including the ebb and flow of electrons in a computer. `At some level the actual physical realization is irrelevant to the functional properties,' he said. `Of course there are differences,' he added. `There are going to be differences if there's a different material base. But are the differences fundamental to the property of being alive or not?' ... He finally conceded that the question of whether computer simulations are really alive was also, ultimately, a philosophical, and therefore unresolvable, issue. `But for artificial life to do its job and help broaden the empirical database for biological science and for a theory of biology, they don't have to solve that problem. Biologists have never really had to solve that:' The longer Langton spoke, the more he seemed to acknowledge-and even welcome the fact-that artificial life would never be the basis for a truly empirical science." (Horgan J., "The End of Science: Facing the Limits of Knowledge in the Twilight of the Scientific Age," , Little, Brown & Co: London, 1997, pp.200-201. Emphasis original) 20/05/2005 "If life can be thought of as an intricate system of symbols, then it is tempting to turn the tables and ask whether the structures that arise in Fontana's simulation are in some sense alive, examples of what has come to be called artificial life. ... Embracing this belief that life is a process that can be skimmed from its carboniferous substrate and transplanted into a world of pure abstraction, some of the visitors to the A-life conference in Santa Fe-the one where Fontana and Buss gave their presentationdemonstrated artificial ecologies in which digital creatures compete for `resources': memory space and processing time. In a simulation called Tierra, developed by an ecologist named Tom Ray, self-replicating digital organisms hone themselves through random mutation and selection into more efficient forms. An original Ancestor, consisting of eighty lines of computer code, is supplanted by simpler self-replicators of seventy-nine lines, then seventyeight and seventy-seven. They flourish because they can live on less `energy': they can duplicate themselves using fewer cycles of the computer's central processor. These programs then give way to even smaller versions, but at some point a profound change occurs. The organisms are preyed on by. parasites, compact little programs that, like viruses, have developed the ability to copy themselves using their hosts' replicating machinery. But the hosts then develop defenses against the parasites, and the parasites develop defenses against the defenses. An evolutionary arms race ensues. By releasing his self- replicating programs into a more complex, unpredictable environment, consisting of a web of computers linked by the worldwide system called the Internet, Ray hopes to create a digital wildlife preserve. Driven by the need for nourishment-free cycles of processing time-the creatures would migrate in search of idle computers, always staying on the dark side of the earth. What he hopes will evolve is a menagerie of creatures with different specialties, which might unite to form a multicellular organism. Can Ray's creations be considered alive? In the construction of systems like these, there is always the danger of confusing the map with the territory, of mistaking the network of concepts we lay over the world for the world itself. If life is simply a process-an orchestration of bits-then it is hard to see why a self-sustaining, self-reproducing structure inside a computer would not be alive. Or is this a hideous case of reification, in which we have become so enamored of a concept-information-that we have elevated it to the status of a real thing? At the A-life conference in Santa Fe, the psychologist Steven Harnad argued that it is ridiculous to confuse artificial creatures with biological ones. To be real, a simulated creature would have to interact with the environment, he said, and simulated ones don't count. What is being billed as artificial life may mimic some biological processes, but unless it has contact with reality it is nothing but a simulation. A robot with artificial intelligence programmed into its silicon brain and the ability to sustain itself by seeking out energy and to reproduce itself with random variations, allowing for the gradual improvement of the species-now that might qualify as life, Harnad argued, for it would be living in what is still widely considered the real world. Very few A-life enthusiasts find this argument convincing. So sure are they that information is fundamental, not just an abstraction, that they have little trouble believing that the environment inside a computer is every bit as real to its information-based creatures as ours is to us. Harnad bases many of his arguments against artificial life on the ones the Berkeley philosopher John Searle has aimed against artificial intelligence. Searle is well known among both philosophers and computer scientists for provocative remarks like this: A simulation of a rainstorm won't get anybody wet; why in the world would anyone think that a simulation of intelligence would really think? Now the A-lifers believe they have an answer: simulated creatures would experience the conditions that, in their world, qualify as wetness. How very parochial of us to believe that ours is the only universe that counts. ... Thinking in terms of bits has allowed us to develop the field of computer science, in which we learn how to represent the world with patterns of information. So successful are our endeavors that some physicists and computer scientists believe that perhaps information is not a human invention but something as real, as physical, as matter and energy. And now a handful of researchers have come to believe that information may be the most real of all. Simulated creatures would have no way of knowing they are simulations, the argument goes. And, for that matter, how do we know that we are not simulations ourselves, running on a computer in some other universe? Nature, it seems, has honed us into informavores so voracious that some can persuade themselves that there is nothing but information. Samuel Johnson rejected Bishop Berkeley's solipsistic views of reality by kicking a rock. Little did Johnson know that he might have been pure information himself, `kicking' a data structure called rock, `feeling' processes referred to as hardness and pain. " (Johnson G., "Fire in the Mind: Science, Faith, and the Search for Order," , Penguin Books: London, 1997, pp.256-257) 20/05/2005 "Order Tends to Disorder The first law of thermodynamics states that energy can be neither created nor destroyed. The second law qualifies this by adding that in transformations, energy `deteriorates' from more useful forms to less useful forms. Energy becomes more diffuse and ultimately degenerates into waste. Another way to say this is that organized energy (concentrated and therefore usable energy) degenerates into disorganized energy (nonusable energy). The energy of gasoline is organized and usable energy. When gasoline burns in a car engine, part of its energy does useful work and part is `thrown away' as wasted heat in the cooling system and exhaust. Even the part that goes into useful work ultimately makes its way into disorganized heat energy as the car encounters friction with the road and the air and the brakes. Organized energy in the form of electricity that goes to the electric lights in homes and office buildings degenerates into heat energy. This is a principal source of heating in many office buildings where the climate is moderate, such as the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco. All the electrical energy in the lamps, even the part that briefly exists in the form of light, is turned into heat energy, which is used to warm the building. This explains why the lights are on most of the time. The energy so generated has no further use. All the heat in the buildings cannot be reused to light a single lamp. Heat, diffused into the environment as thermal energy, is the graveyard of useful energy. We see that the `quality' of energy is lowered with each transformation. Organized forms of energy tend to turn into disorganized forms. With this broader perspective, the second law can be stated another way: Natural systems tend to proceed toward a state of greater disorder. You finally straighten up your room. Everything is dust-free and in its proper place. A week later it is cluttered again. You stack a pile of pennies on your table, all heads up. Somebody walks by and accidentally bumps into the table and the pennies topple to the floor below, certainly not all heads up. You're on the job at a large company and a co-worker puts up a joke sign that reads, `If you thing thinks are confused now, just wait.' These are examples of the tendency of the universe and all that is in it to become disordered. In the broadest sense, that is the message of the second law of thermodynamics. By disordered, we mean more random. For example, molecules of gas all moving in harmony make up an orderly state-and also an unlikely state. On the other hand, molecules of gas moving with haphazard directions and speeds make up a disorderly state-a more probable state. If you remove the lid of a bottle containing some colored gas, the gas molecules escape into the room and disappear from view as they mix with the air molecules. They have changed from a more orderly to a less orderly state. You would not expect the reverse to happen; that is, you would not expect the molecules that were released to spontaneously fly back into the bottle and thereby return to the more ordered containment. Processes in which disorder changes spontaneously to order are simply not observed to happen. Disordered energy can be changed to ordered energy only at the expense of some organizational effort or work input. For example water in a refrigerator freezes and becomes more ordered because work is put into the refrigeration cycle; gas can be ordered into a small region if a compressor supplied with outside energy does work. But without some outside energy input, processes in which the net effect is an increase in order are not observed in nature." (Hewitt, P.G., "Conceptual Physics," , Addison Wesley Longman: Reading, MA, Eighth edition, 1998, pp.316-317) 20/05/2005 "Order to Disorder The concept of entropy, as we have discussed it so far, may seem rather abstract. To get a feel for the concept of entropy, we can relate it to the concepts of order and disorder. In fact, the entropy of a system can be considered a measure of the disorder of the system. Then the second law of thermodynamics can be stated simply as: Natural processes tend to move toward a state of greater disorder. Second law of thermodynamics (general statement) Exactly what we mean by disorder may not always be clear; so we now consider a few examples. Some of these will show us how this very general statement of the second law actually applies beyond what we usually consider as thermodynamics. Let us first look at the simple processes mentioned .... A jar containing separate layers of salt and pepper is more orderly than when the salt and pepper are all mixed up. Shaking a jar containing separate layers results in a mixture, and no amount of shaking brings the orderly layers back again. The natural process is from a state of relative order (layers) to one of relative disorder (a mixture), not the reverse. That is, disorder increases. Similarly, a solid coffee cup is a more `orderly' object than the pieces of a broken cup. Cups break when they fall, but they do not spontaneously mend themselves. Again, the normal course of events is an increase of disorder. When a hot object is put in contact with a cold object, heat flows from the high temperature to the low until the two objects reach the same inter mediate temperature. At the beginning of the process we can distinguish two classes of molecules: those with a high average kinetic energy and those with a low average kinetic energy. After the process, all the molecules are in one class with the same average kinetic energy, and we no longer have the more orderly arrangement of molecules in two classes. Order has gone to disorder Furthermore, note that the separate hot and cold objects could serve as that hot- and cold- temperature regions of a heat engine and thus could be used to obtain useful work. But once the two objects are put in contact and reach the same temperature, no work can be obtained. Disorder has increased, since a system that has the ability to perform work must surely be considered to have a higher order than a system no longer able to do work. This example illustrates the general concept that an increase in entropy corresponds to an increase in disorder. .. In general, we associate disorder with randomness: salt and pepper in layers is more orderly than a random mixture; a neat stack of numbered pages is more orderly than pages strewn randomly about on the floor. We can also say that a more orderly arrangement is one that requires more information to specify or classify it. When we have one hot and one cold body, we have two classes of molecules and two pieces of information; when the two bodies come to the same temperature, there is only one class and one piece of information. When salt and pepper are mixed there is only one (uniform) class; when they are in layers, there are two classes In this sense, information is connected to order, or low entropy. This is the foundation upon which the modern field of information theory is built. The remaining example of those we discussed earlier was that of a stone falling to the ground, its kinetic energy being transformed to thermal energy; and we noted that the reverse never happens: a stone never rises into the air of its own accord. This is another example of order changing to disorder. For although thermal energy is associated with the disorderly random motion of molecules, the molecules in the falling stone all have the same velocity downward in addition to their own random velocities. Thus, the more orderly kinetic energy of the stone is changed to disordered thermal energy when it strikes the ground. Disorder increases in this process, as it does in all processes that occur in nature." (Giancoli, D.C., "Physics: Principles with Applications," , Prentice Hall: Englewood Cliffs NJ., Third Edition, 1991, pp.402-403) 21/05/2005 "The first flawed belief is that most psychological processes generalize broadly. Therefore, many believe it is not terribly important to specify the agent being studied, whether rat, monkey, or human, or the context in which the subject acts, whether laboratory, natural habitat, work place, or home, because broad conclusions can be drawn regardless of the agent and context. Instances of this loose thinking can be found in every technical journal, but especially in books written for the general public. A quality called intelligence, for example, is applied to animals, human infants, college students, and software programs. The evidence used to infer this quality includes rats running mazes, the survival of species, infants staring at novel pictures, possession of a large vocabulary, fast decision times, the ability to recall a long string of numbers, and correct application of logical rules. The notion that one mental process could mediate such a diverse set of phenomena should strain the imagination of the most open mind. This permissive attitude is widespread. When a man pushes ahead of us in a queue, we are prepared to attribute a general trait of aggressivity to him, believing that he is similarly aggressive at home, in the office, and on family picnics. Not surprisingly, perhaps, we are much more conservative when we ourselves commit the very same act. If I push ahead in an airport line, I will explain my rudeness as an uncharacteristic reaction that happened to be provoked by special conditions-the flagrant incompetence of the airline's booking agent, or snarled traffic in the airport tunnel, or a last-minute medical emergency at home. Social psychologists call this type of asymmetric logic, in which we assign broad stable traits to others but explain our own behavior as due to local conditions, the attribution error. Our attraction to broad categories is most obvious when we name concrete things in the world. A mother points to a tall, crimson-leafed maple and says, `Look at the tree,' not `Look at the big, colorful maple.' The preference for underspecifying an event and, therefore, overgeneralizing is probably rooted in the biological nature of the human mind and is one of the oldest and best-established phenomena in the psychological laboratory. If a rat or human is shown a red light, followed a second later by a reward- food for the rat and perhaps money for the human-each agent will display a conditioned excitability to a variety of red hues, not just the particular wavelength of red used in the original conditioning. The human brain, like the brain of a rat, is biased initially to attend to generality rather than particularity. Experience must teach us to prune our initial understanding. This fine-tuning is a seminal purpose of the empirical sciences. Over the last five hundred years much of our progress in the study of nature has occurred because investigators analyzed abstract concepts and replaced them with families of related but distinct categories. The cosmos, we now know, contains not just the visible stars in galaxies but also the mysterious, massive `dark matter' that surrounds them. Reproduction occurs sexually in some species, asexually in others, and both ways in a few. Viruses are distinguished from retroviruses, and sharks are not close relatives of whales. Scientists have just begun to appreciate the advantages of analysis for cognitive phenomena. For example, the unitary competence that psychologists had regarded simply as memory is now recognized to consist of a set of distinct processes mediated by different brain circuits. Despite these few victories, too many social and behavioral scientists retain a deep a communication, love, and consciousness, trusting that each term faithfully describes a coherent commonality in nature. The first chapter of this book probes this problem by analyzing four popular words that are used so abstractly as to render them almost useless: fear, consciousness, intelligence, and temperament." (Kagan, J.S., "Three Seductive Ideas," Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA, 1998, pp1-3) 21/05/2005 "When a person, plate, or poplar tree falls to the ground, our verbal description of the event is usually accurate, and almost all listeners know what we mean. Statements like `Mary had an argument with her mother- in-law' are less certain, because the nature and intensity of the argument are not completely clear; nonetheless, most adults will share a common conception of what happened. But understanding recedes quickly if a sentence refers to invisible qualities that are attributed to large numbers of people, animals, or objects. These are the sentences of science. What distinguishes scientific language from most conversation is the use of words to describe hypothetical events not perceived directly but intended to explain those that are. Trouble arises, however, when psychologists, sociologists, economists, and others in the social and behavioral sciences use abstract words for hidden psychological processes. Often, these words fail to specify critical information such as the type of agent, the situation in which the agent is acting, and the source of evidence for the ascription. All three are critical to understanding. Whether the phenomenon is learning, communication, depression, externalization, extroversion, cooperation, avoidance, fear, regulation, or memory, scholars who study animal and human behavior prefer to use words suggesting that a psychological process operates in essentially the same way in different agents acting in varied situations. And they stubbornly resist replacing the single abstract word with a set of related but specific terms that fit nature more faithfully. Examples of this passion for abstraction abound, not just in popular writing but in the technical literature as well. For example, a recent book on cooperation implies that insects, fish, birds, monkeys, and humans all engage in a behavior ('cooperation') that shares a common evolutionary mechanism. Similarly, in a paper recently published in one of psychology's premier journals, the authors concluded from a laboratory study of college students playing a gambling game that `people select the gamble that minimizes negative affect.' This unconstrained statement ignores the age, social class, and ethnic background of the subjects, the specific nature of the gambling situation, the artificiality of a laboratory setting, and the specific emotion the students experienced. By using the adjective `negative,' the authors appear to be telling us that it is not very important whether the subject's emotion was guilt, shame, fear, anger, anxiety, or boredom." (Kagan, J.S., "Three Seductive Ideas," , Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA, 1999, Second printing, pp.13-14) 21/05/2005 "It is easy to see that communication is possible, even without any previous agreement or contact between transmitting and receiving civilizations. There is no difficulty in envisioning an interstellar radio message that unambiguously arises from intelligent life. A modulated signal (beep, beepbeep, beep-beep-beep ...) comprising the numbers 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31 - the first dozen prime numbers - could have only a biological origin. No prior agreement between civilizations and no precautions against Earth chauvinism are required to make this clear. Such a message would be an announcement, or beacon, signal, indicating the presence of an advanced civilization but communicating very little about its nature. ... Thus, even before we decode such a message, we will have gained an invaluable piece of knowledge: that it is possible to avoid the dangers of the period through which we are now passing. ... The receipt of a single message from space would show that it is possible to live through such technological adolescence: the transmitting civilization, after all, has survived. Such knowledge, it seems to me, might be worth a great price." (Sagan, C.E., "Broca's Brain: The Romance of Science," , Coronet: London, 1980, reprint, pp.337,340) 21/05/2005 "Before discussing how the relationship of `creation' and `evolution' might be best understood, it is useful first to define the terms. In my discussion below, `evolution' refers to the descent with modification of all living things from a common ancestor. That is, the history of life can be envisioned as a branching tree of life in which all living things are linked together in a genealogical relationship that extends back to the first living cells. Understood in this way, the word `evolution' includes any of a number of proposed mechanisms by which evolutionary change occurred. Furthermore, evolutionary theory does not address whether, or how, God might act to guide such processes. `Creation' refers to everything to which God has given being. As a verb, `creation' refers to the past and continuing action of God to bring into existence all that is and has been. A closely related theological concept is that of `providence:' This doctrine includes several distinct aspects: God's sustaining and upholding of creation; divine cooperation with creaturely action; and the governance of creation toward God's desired ends. As thus defined, are the concepts of evolution and creation really antithetical as often portrayed? Is the idea of an evolving creation truly an oxymoron, or might it just prove to be a fruitful source of theological reflection?" (Miller, K.B., ed., "Perspectives on an Evolving Creation," Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, 2003, p.3) 25/05/2005 "In his book Darwin is actually presenting two related but quite distinct theories. The first, which has sometimes been called the `special theory', is relatively conservative and restricted in scope and merely proposes that new races and species arise in nature by the agency of natural selection, thus the complete title of his book: The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. The second theory, which is often called the `general theory', is far more radical. It makes the claim that the `special theory' applies universally and hence that the appearance of all the manifold diversity of life on Earth can be explained by a simple extrapolation of the processes which bring about relatively trivial changes such as those seen on the Galapagos Islands. This `general theory' is what most people think of when they refer to evolution theory. The first five chapters deal mainly with evidence for the special theory and microevolutionary phenomena. One of the primary goals Darwin was aiming at in these chapters was to demolish the concept of the immutability of species, and no one who has read the Origin can deny the skill and force with which he marshals the evidence and presents his arguments. ... Although all Darwin's evidence, even the evidence of geographical variation, was in the last analysis entirely circumstantial, nevertheless, the arguments and observations he assembled in the first five chapters, as well as in Chapters Twelve and Thirteen, enabled him to build a very convincing case for his special theory - that speciation, the origin of new species from pre-existing species, can, and does, occur in nature as a result of perfectly natural processes in which natural selection plays a key role. If the Origin had dealt only with the evolution of new species it would never have had its revolutionary impact. It was only because he went much further to argue the general thesis that the same simple natural processes which had brought about the diversity of the Galapagos finches had ultimately brought forth all the diversity of life on earth and all the adaptive design of living things that the book proved such a watershed in western thought. Much of the Origin, especially the later chapters, dealt not with the special theory which gave the book its title, but with a defence of its general application. One of the key arguments Darwin advances, and one to which he returns at least implicitly in many places in the Origin, is that once it is conceded that organisms are inherently capable of a considerable degree of evolutionary change, then might they not, especially if a great length of time is allowed, be potentially capable of undergoing practically unlimited change sufficient even to bridge some of the seemingly most fundamental divisions of nature? ... It is clear, then, that Darwin's special theory was largely correct. natural selection has been directly observed and there can be no question now that new species do originate in nature; furthermore, it is now possible to explain in great detail the exact sequence of events that lead to species formation. Moreover, although there are some areas of disagreement among students of evolution as to the relative significance of natural selection as opposed to purely random processes such as genetic drift in the process of speciation, no one doubts that natural selection plays an important role in the process. The validation of Darwin's special theory, which has been one of the major achievements of twentieth-century biology, has inevitably had the effect of enormously enhancing the credibility of his general theory of evolution. For Darwin, all evolution was merely an extension of microevolutionary processes. Yet, despite the success of his special theory, despite the reality of microevolution, not all biologists have shared Darwin's confidence and accepted that the major divisions in nature could have been crossed by the same simple sorts of processes. Scepticism as to the validity of the extrapolation has been generally more marked on the European continent than in the English speaking world. The German zoologist, Bernhard Rensch [Rensch B., "Evolution above the Species Level," Columbia University Press: New York, p.57], was able to provide a long list of leading authorities who have been inclined to the view that macroevolution cannot be explained in terms of microevolutionary processes, or any other currently known mechanisms. These dissenters cannot be dismissed as cranks, creationists, or vitalists, for among their ranks are many first rate biologists. ... However attractive the extrapolation, it does not necessarily follow that, because a certain degree of evolution has been shown to occur therefore any degree of evolution is possible. There is obviously an enormous difference between the evolution of a colour change in a moth's wing and the evolution of an organ like the human brain, and the differences among the fruit flies of Hawaii, for example, are utterly trivial compared with the differences between a mouse and an elephant, or an octopus and a bee. ... There is no doubt that the success of the Darwinian model in explaining microevolution invites the hope that it might be applicable also to macroevolutionary phenomena. Perhaps in the end this might prove to be the case; but, on the other hand, there is the depressing precedent, as the history of science testifies, that over and over again theories which were thought to be generally valid at the time proved eventually to be valid only in a restricted sphere. Newtonian physics, for example, which accounted perfectly for all the empirical data available in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and is still used for calculating the trajectory of a space rocket, is absolutely inapplicable to phenomena at the subatomic and cosmological levels. Theories are seldom infinitely extendible." (Denton, M.J., "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis," Burnett Books: London, 1985, pp.44,46-47, 85-87, 92) 25/05/2005 "Spencer's belief in the universality of natural causation was, together with his laissez-faire political creed, the bedrock of his thinking. It was this belief, more than anything else, that led him to reject Christianity, long before the great conflict of the eighteen-sixties. Moreover, it was his belief in natural causation that led him to embrace the theory of evolution, not vice versa. ... His faith was so strong that it did not wait on scientific proof. Spencer became an ardent evolutionist at a time when a cautious scientist would have been justified at least in suspending judgement. ... for him the belief in natural causation was primary, the theory of evolution derivative." (Burrow, J.W., "Evolution and Society: A Study in Victorian Social Theory," , Cambridge University Press: London, Reprinted, 1968, pp.205-206) 25/05/2005 "And exactly what does Moses teach? First, that the unit of life which God originally created, which is expected to remain 'fixed,' is not the 'species' of science, but, rather, the 'kind' of the book of Genesis, such as 'herbs yielding seed,' `trees bearing fruit,' 'birds,' 'cattle,' 'creeping things,' and 'beasts.' Observe, therefore, that the conservative may scrap the doctrine of the 'fixity of species' also, without jeopardizing his major premise in the least. The Christian, thus, can accommodate a 'threshold' evolution, i. e., a wide and varied change within the 'kinds' originally created by God. We shall return to this in a moment. Secondly, man is one of these original 'kinds,' and consequently is not genetically related to the lower 'kinds.' Man was made out of the dust by a special ab extra, divine act, with a body which is structurally similar to the higher Vertebrata, and a soul formed after the image and likeness of God. Now, observe that both Christianity and science can accommodate the datum that the functional and structural aspects of man and of certain animals are similar. The problem, therefore, cannot turn upon this issue. Next, the doctrine of the 'fixity of species' is not required by either structure. The real crux, we feel, is the Bible's rejection of the evolutionary hypothesis that the basic 'kinds' of Genesis are related to still more primitive orders by their having evolved from them. On the 'threshold' evolution view, there are gaps which exist between the original 'kinds,' while on the 'total' evolution view, each 'kind' can be traced back to a more primitive type, and that, to a still more primitive, ad infinitum. But let us challenge the validity of the 'total' evolution scheme. Paleontology reveals that there are actual gaps in our knowledge of the relation between the 'kinds,' a datum which 'threshold' evolution can account for more smoothly than can 'total' evolution. `There are no fossil animals to connect the order of insectivores (containing moles and shrews) and the order of rodents (mice, beaver). Not a single order of mammals (hairy animals) has transitional forms between it and any other order.' When science is faced with these gaps, it resorts to such hypotheses as 'missing links' (which are still missing!) and 'mutations,' while the Christian needs only to point to the fact that God, in the original creation, decreed that gaps should exist to mark off the original 'kinds'-herbs yielding seed, creeping things, beasts, etc." (Carnell, E.J.*, "An Introduction to Christian Apologetics," , Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, Fourth Edition, 1952, pp.238- 239) 31/05/2005 "In the middle sits the lone figure of Steve Jones, a man so universally sceptical that unless he had his birth certificate he would doubt his own existence." (Hurst L., "The darling of the masses," New Scientist, 6 June 1998, p.50) 31/05/2005 "In 1953, a twenty-three-year-old University of Chicago graduate student named Stanley Miller discovered the origin of life. Or so it seemed. Using an apparatus specially built for the purpose, Miller set out to simulate Earth four billion years ago. His contraption was made of two glass flasks joined by tubing. Into the smaller of the two flasks it poured water to represent the primeval ocean. The larger flask he pumped full of hydrogen, methane, and ammonia, volatile gases then thought to be present in the early atmosphere. He boiled the water, letting the vapor circulate with the atmospheric gases, then zapped the mixture with electricity, the equivalent of ancient lightning. Within a week the water grew deep red and yellow with organic compounds, among them amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, which in turn make up cells. The `lightning' had reconstituted the mix of molecules in the `atmosphere' and `ocean' to Produce elements of life. Declared Miller's advisor, Nobel Prize-winning chemist Harold Urey, `If God didn't do it this way, He missed a good bet.' Well, perhaps it was Miller who missed the bet. Today his scenario is regarded with misgivings. One reason is that geologists now think that the primordial atmosphere consisted mainly of carbon dioxide and nitrogen, gases that are less reactive than those used in the 1953 experiment. And even if Miller's atmosphere could have existed, how do you get simple molecules such as amino acids to go through the necessary chemical changes that will convert them into more complicated compounds, or polymers, such as proteins? Miller himself throws up his hands at that part of the puzzle. `It's a problem,' he sighs with exasperation. `How do you make polymers? That's not so easy.' But perhaps not so impossible. German chemist Gunter Wachtershauser and his colleague Claudia Huber recently combined chemicals that exist where molten lava boils up through fissures in the ocean floor, and the results were startling. Rather than simply producing end products that include organic compounds, their experiment actually set in motion a series of chemical reactions found in all living organisms. In their view, these reactions might have culminated in the creation of life. `You don't mind if I brag a little, but something like this has never been done in the entire field,' Wachtershauser says. Yet not everyone searching for life's origin agrees with this assessment. `Those conditions don't exist anywhere,' says geochemist Jeffrey Bada of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego. He argues that Wachtershauser/s and Huber's laboratory chemistry does not represent what really happens at vents. Their differences spring from the fact that it's awfully tough to prove or disprove something that happened billions of years ago. Still, origin of life theories abound. Perhaps life was seeded from outer space. Perhaps life simmered beneath ice-capped primitive oceans. Or perhaps life began in the cauldrons of volcanoes or undersea hydrothermal vents. One thing is for certain: No one has solved the mystery. In this contentious field of study, scientists rarely see things the same way and are not shy about saying so. There is something that everyone can agree upon: for life to endure, it must perpetuate itself. It must figure out a way to keep itself going and pass its success on to the next generation. And so that there can be a next generation, life also has to make copies of itself, copies that can adapt to changes in the environment, that can evolve. The copies cannot be identical, cookie-cutter replicas. If life is to evolve, the replication process must be imperfect-life must make mistakes. `The origin of life is the origin of evolution,' says Miller.'" (Radetsky, P., "Life's Crucible," Earth, Vol. 7, No. 1, February 1998, pp.34,36) 31/05/2005 "The question of how life began is more specifically about the genesis of prokaryotes. Sometime between about 4.0 billion years ago, when Earth's crust began to solidify, and 3.5 billion years ago, when the planet was inhabited by bacteria advanced enough to build stromatolites, the first organisms came into being. What was their origin? ... Most biologists subscribe to the hypothesis that life on Earth developed from nonliving materials that became ordered into molecular aggregates that were eventually capable of self- replication and metabolism. As far as we know, life cannot arise by spontaneous generation from inanimate material today, but conditions were very different when Earth was only a billion years old. The atmosphere was different (there was little atmospheric O2, for instance), and lightning, volcanic activity, meteorite bombardment, and ultraviolet radiation were all more intense than what we experience today. In that ancient environment, the origin of life was evidently possible, and it is likely that at least the early stages of biological inception were inevitable. However, debate abounds about what occurred during these early stages.. According to one hypothetical scenario, the first organisms were products of a chemical evolution in four stages: (1) the abiotic (nonliving) synthesis and accumulation of small organic molecules, or monomers, such as amino acids and nucleotides; (2) the joining of these monomers into polymers, including proteins and nucleic acids; (3) the aggregation of abiotically produced molecules into droplets, called protobionts, that had chemical characteristics different from their surroundings; and (4) the origin of heredity (which may well have been under way even before the "droplet" stage). It is possible to test the plausibility of these stages of chemical evolution in laboratory experiments." (Campbell, N.A., Reece, J.B. & Mitchell, L.G., "Biology," , Benjamin/Cummings: Menlo Park CA, Fifth Edition, 1999, pp.492-493) 31/05/2005 "The cell is the basic unit of biology. Every organism either consists of cells or is itself a single cell. Therefore, it is only as we understand the structure and function of cells that we can appreciate both the capabilities and the limitations of living organisms, whether animal, plant, or microorganism. ... The cell is the basic unit of structure for all organisms. ... By 1855, Rudolf Virchow, a German physiologist, was able to conclude that cells arose in only one manner-by the division of other, preexisting cells. Virchow encapsulated this conclusion in the now-famous Latin phrase omnis cellula e cellula ... All cells arise only from preexisting cells. Thus, the cell is not only the basic unit of structure for all organisms but also the basic unit of reproduction. In other words, all of life has a cellular basis. " (Becker, W.M., Kleinsmith, L.J. & Hardin, J., "The World of the Cell," , Benjamin/Cummings: San Francisco CA, Fourth edition, 2000, pp.2,4) 31/05/2005 "The key to persuading people was the portrayal of the cells as `simple.' One of the chief advocates of the theory of spontaneous generation during the middle of the nineteenth century was Ernst Haeckel, a great admirer of Darwin and an eager popularizer of Darwin's theory From the limited view of cells that microscopes provided, Haeckel believed that a cell was a `simple little lump of albuminous combination of carbon,' [Farley J. `The Spontaneous Generation Controversy from Descartes to Oparin,' Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore MD, 1979, p.73] not much different from a piece of microscopic Jell-O. So it seemed to Haeckel that such simple life, with no internal organs, could be produced easily from inanimate material. Now, of course, we know better." (Behe, M.J.*, "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution", Free Press: New York NY, 1996, p.24) 31/05/2005 "A number of colorful and exotic places have been suggested for the origin of life: the clouds, the bottom of the sea, tidal pools, comet interiors, and alien planets circling other star systems. These suggestions have been so spectacular that they have caused the problem of the site of the origin to overshadow a more fundamental question: What process was involved when life originated? The advocates of each location have usually argued that their site is the most appropriate one for Miller-Urey type chemistry. The proper reducing environment would be present there, and the reactions would work as well as they do in the laboratory. But even if they did so, little would have been accomplished. An immense gap separates a chemical mixture that contains a few amino acids and the highly organized complexity of the simplest cell alive today. The smallest free-living organisms are probably the mycoplasmas ... Yet these tiniest creatures still possess cell membranes, ribosomes, DNA, hosts of enzymes, and the other complexities associated with all life on this planet. ... If life originated from a simple chemical mixture, then we want to know the steps that led from this mixture up the ladder of organization to the first cell. This same question would remain whether the mixture were formed in some environment on earth or anywhere else in the universe. We have seen that replication and natural selection provide a reasonable mechanism for the further evolution of the common ancestor. This creature, however, may have been close to a bacterium in its complexity. Unfortunately, we are uncertain about the processes that produced it." (Shapiro, R., "Origins: A Skeptic's Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth," Summit Books: New York NY, 1986, pp.117-118) 31/05/2005 "The basic difficulty in explaining how life could have begun is that all living organisms are extremely complex, and Darwinian selection cannot perform the designing even in theory until living organisms already exist and are capable of reproducing their kind. ... The simplest organism capable of independent life, the prokaryote bacterial cell, is a masterpiece of miniaturized complexity which makes a spaceship seem rather lowtech. Even if one assumes that something much simpler than a bacterial cell might suffice to start Darwinist evolution on its way-a DNA or RNA macromolecule, for example-the possibility that such a complex entity could assemble itself by chance is still fantastically unlikely, even if billions of years had been available." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," , InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second Edition, 1993, pp.103, 105-106) 31/05/2005 "The question of the origin of life is not simple. It is not possible to go back in time and watch how life originated; nor are there any witnesses. There is testimony, in the rocks of the earth, but it is not easily read, and often this record is silent on issues crying out for answers. Perhaps the most fundamental of these issues is the nature of the agency or force that led to the appearance of the first living organisms on earth- the creation of life. There are, in principle, at least three possibilities: 1. Extraterrestrial origin. Life may not have originated on earth at all but instead may have been carried to it, perhaps as an extraterrestrial infection of spores originating on a planet of a distant star. How life came to exist on that planet is a question we cannot hope to answer soon. 2. Special creation. Life-forms may have been put on earth by supernatural or divine forces. This viewpoint, common to most Western religions, is the oldest hypothesis and is widely accepted by non-scientists. ... 3. Evolution. Life may have evolved from inanimate matter, with associations among molecules becoming more and more complex. In this view, the force leading to life was selection; changes in molecules that increased their stability caused the molecules to persist longer. In this book we deal only with the third possibility, attempting to understand whether the forces of evolution could have led to the origin of life and, if so, how the process might have occurred. This is not to say that the third possibility is definitely the correct one. Any one of the three possibilities might be true. Nor does the third possibility preclude religion: a divine agency might have acted via evolution. Rather, we are limiting the scope of our inquiry to scientific matters. Of the three possibilities, only the third permits testable hypotheses to be constructed and so provides the only scientific explanation, that is, one that could potentially be disproven by experiment, by obtaining and analyzing actual information." (Raven, P.H. & Johnson, G.B., "Biology," , Wm. C. Brown: Dubuque IA, Third Edition, 1995, p.62. Emphasis original) 31/05/2005 "The essence of being alive is the ability to encompass change and to reproduce the results of change permanently. Heredity, therefore, provides the basis for the great division between the living and the nonliving. Change does not become evolution unless it is passed on to a new generation. A genetic system is the sufficient condition of life. When we look at any living organism, we are seeing its history, carried through its genes from the earliest time. Some changes are preserved because they improve chances of survival in a hostile world, whereas others are lost. Not only did life evolve, evolution is the very essence of life. All living things on earth are characterized by cellular organization, growth, reproduction, and heredity. These characteristics serve to define the term life. ... When a means occurred to facilitate this transfer of new ability from parent to offspring, heredity - life-began." (Raven, P.H. & Johnson, G.B., "Biology," , Wm. C. Brown: Dubuque IA, Third Edition, 1995, pp.68-69) 31/05/2005 "On September 20, 1948, John von Neumann delivered a lecture at Caltech titled "On the General and Logical Theory of Automata," in which he laid the foundations for a functional theory of life. Von Neumann's interest at the time was in explicating the logical principles permitting construction of a machine that would be capable of manufacturing copies of itself if placed in an environment sufficiently rich in the necessary raw materials. ... What von Neumann discovered was that any selfreproducing object must contain four fundamental components: A. A blueprint, providing the plan for construction of offspring B. A factory, to carry out the construction C. A controller, to ensure that the factory follows the plan D. A duplicating machine, to transmit a copy of the blueprint to the offspring In living cells these properties are physically manifested, roughly speaking, in the DNA (the blueprint), the process of translation (the factory), the specialized replicase enzymes (the controller), and the process of replication (the duplicating machine). It's worthy of note that von Neumann discovered these abstract properties necessary for any living form more than five years before the far more publicly celebrated work of Watson and Crick, which dealt with the very special case of the kind of life we now see on Earth." (Casti, J.L,. "Paradigms Lost: Images of Man in the Mirror of Science," Cardinal: London, 1989, pp.131-132. Emphasis in original) 31/05/2005 "Von Neumann himself proved that it was possible for a pattern in a cellular automaton to reproduce itself. To do so it would have to include a blueprint of itself, a genome coded within the colored squares of the cellular array. Referring to these instructions, the pattern would grow arms into an unoccupied region of its environment and reconstruct itself piece by piece, including its genetic code. Von Neumann didn't actually make one of these abstract beasts-according to his proof it would have required a cellular automaton consisting of some 200,000 cells that could each be in one of twenty-nine states. It was left for later mathematicians and computer programmers to design simpler self-reproducing cellular automata. One of Langton's claims to fame is a small loop of cells, shaped like the letter Q, which can extend its tail into unoccupied territory and duplicate itself." (Johnson, G., "Fire in the Mind: Science, Faith, and the Search for Order," , Penguin Books: London, 1997, p.255) 31/05/2005 "Another great property of living systems is that they are self-constructing (as when a chick is formed from an egg, by internal actions directed by self-contained instructions) and self-reproducing. It has often been thought that no automaton could have these properties, i.e. that a machine could construct only things simpler than itself. This, however, is known to be false, at least in principle. Turing proved in 1937 that a "universal digital computer", composed of a finite number of parts, was possible which, by scanning and acting on information fed to it bit by bit, from an arbitrarily long tape, was unlimited in its ability to process mathematically expressible information. Later, von Neumann applied this theorem to computer-controlled constructional machines. A Turing computer is made of a finite number of parts and so needs a finite amount of information to describe its construction. This information, set down on a tape, could thus be processed by another such computer and if this were designed like a numerically controlled machine tool, so as to act on its processed information instead of merely recording its output on paper, then one such computer could construct its fellow. It could even make one more complicated than itself! Needless to say, a computer with such properties would be a very complex system indeed (200 pages of von Neumann's book were needed to describe it!). But the key to its properties lies in a simple consideration: since a system of N parts can in principle have of the order of N2 distinct binary cross-connections, versatility can increase rapidly with complexity. Thus, von Neumann concluded that there is "a minimum number of parts below which complication is degenerative; in the sense that if one automaton makes another, the second is less complex than the first, but above which it is possible for an automaton to construct other automata of equal or higher complexity". In other words, selfconstructibility is an emergent property of a complex system." (Cottrell, A., "Emergent Properties of Complex System," in Duncan, R. & WestonSmith, M., eds., "The Encyclopaedia of Ignorance: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Unknown," , Pergamon: Oxford UK, 1978, reprint, pp.133-134) 31/05/2005 "And we can begin to see how it must be that organisms reproduce. They reproduce through copying the messages that specify them - those very messages that are passed on between generations. Now it is true that over the shorter term messages are not the only inheritance. There must also be goods, if only the actual books or tapes that hold the messages. Indeed much more than that is needed. The tapes must be read and acted on: a certain amount of automatic equipment will be needed to do this. You can imagine those kinds of machines in automatic factories that carry out instructions fed to them on a magnetic tape. Such machines convert a message into a specific activity. Hence everything can be made by following sufficiently voluminous instructions. Among other things, of course, we have to imagine that these automatic manufacturing machines are able to hammer together brand new automatic manufacturing machines... Then at least one of these machines has to be handed on with the messages to the next generation. One can see, indeed, that when a cell divides more is divided out than just the books of instructions: material over and above the chromosome material is included in each of the two new packages. It is clear that this additional material must contain prefabricated reading and manufacturing equipment. But the supremacy of the messages remains. Everything in the cell, including all that automatic manufacturing equipment, must be written about somewhere in the Library. If some of these messages happen to have to be read and acted on before a new cell is formed, that is a matter of timing that does not affect the long-term outcome. In the long term, after many generations, all that persist are the messages. Every actual thing, every particular collection of atoms, every particular piece of equipment, every particular water molecule, even every piece of every message tape, will eventually be destroyed or mislaid. Only the messages will survive, the messages themselves: because they are forms. and forms of a particular sort. They can be copies of copies of copies..." (Cairns-Smith, A.G., "Seven Clues to the Origin of Life: A Scientific Detective Story," , Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1993, reprint, pp.12-14. Emphasis and ellipses in original) 31/05/2005 "The man in the street still believes that Darwinism ranks with Copernican astronomy as a scientific certitude which fought its way to recognition in spite of ecclesiastical opposition, but it is at least arguable that Darwinism was accepted, in spite of the weakness of the scientific evidence, for theological or rather for theophobic reasons. Darwin has been anticipated by Buffon, Lamarck and Erasmus Darwin in the promulgation of evolution, and by Patrick Matthew in his advocacy of Natural Selection as the principal agent in the evolutionary process, and his immense success was partly due to the fact that he happened to restate these theories at the precise moment when theophobia (the fear or dislike of God) was on the increase, and when a majority of scientists were looking for some alternative to what Huxley calls the `untenable theory of special creation.'" (Lunn, A.*, "Introduction," in Lunn A., ed.*, "Is Evolution Proved?: A Debate Between Douglas Dewar and H.S. Shelton," Hollis & Carter: London, 1947, p.4) 31/05/2005 `I am thoroughly persuaded,' wrote the great biologist Yves Delage in 1903, `that one is or is not a transformist not so much for motives deduced from natural history, as for motives based on personal philosophic opinions. If there existed some other scientific hypothesis besides that of descent to explain the origin of species many transformists would abandon their present opinion as not being sufficiently demonstrated ... If one takes his stand upon the exclusive ground of facts it must be acknowledged that the formation of one species from another species has not been demonstrated at all.' [Delage Y., "L' Heredite et les grand problemes de la biologie generale," 1903, p.204] This same Delage, after pointing out with infinite regret the weak points in Darwinism, added: `Whatever may befall this theory in the future, Darwin's everlasting title to glory will be that he explained the seemingly marvellous adaptation of living things by the mere action of natural factors without looking to a divine intervention, without resorting to any finalist or metaphysical hypothesis.' [Delage, 1903, p.322] In other words, Darwin's everlasting title to fame is that he provided the atheist with a plausible if untenable answer to Paley's argument from design." (Lunn, A.*, "Introduction," in Lunn A., ed.*, "Is Evolution Proved?: A Debate Between Douglas Dewar and H.S. Shelton," Hollis & Carter: London, 1947, p.6. Emphasis Lund's) 31/05/2005 "Biologists deserve respect when they tell us what they know as biologists. But when biologists presume to tell us what philosophical concepts we must accept, they have stepped far outside of their legitimate expert role. At that point outside critics must step in to separate the genuine biology from the philosophical prejudice." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Interview with Christian Book Distributors, Inc.," August 14, 2000, Access Research Network) 31/05/2005 "I hope I have made it sufficiently clear that nothing in this analysis is meant to be anything but respectful towards Van Till and other scientists who have been trying their best to be faithful both to God and to the integrity of the scientific method. Christians who are scientifically inclined have been faced with an apparently hopeless dilemma: either accept a rigid Biblical literalism or accept a science whose assumptions are fundamentally naturalistic, whether those naturalistic assumptions are explicit or implicit. What any sensible person wants to do in such a situation is to find a third alternative, and it is in that spirit that Van Till attempts to separate an autonomous realm of science from its association with naturalism." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Comparing HostageTakers," Pascal Centre Notebook, 1990) 31/05/2005 "Here I will briefly summarize four very different approaches. Ex nihilo and de novo creation mean the creator formed the species out of nothing, or out of nonliving matter, respectively. The species were not formed as derivatives from preexisting species. This is the most interventionist of all approaches, and there has been substantial religious feeling against it for this reason. Many feel that God would not be so involved with the details of creation. The fact that the world is not always harmonious has served to increase the opposition. Despite its metaphysical opposition, I believe this approach continues to provide the best empirically-based and parsimonious explanation for the origin of species. An approach that requires slightly less intervention might be called descent with design. Here the evolutionary process is modified or guided along the way with exterior inputs. Design is injected into the process. This idea is motivated, at least in part, by the paradigm of perfection. What we believe are suboptimal designs are viewed as designs that have not yet been updated or replaced. For example, similarities in different species that do not seem optimal are viewed as unmodified by the design process. An approach with even less intervention is the front-loaded creation idea. Here, all the design is injected into the first living cell (or cells), and the evolutionary process takes over from there. The potential for all the species is implicit in the first organism, and it is realized by the action of natural laws. Finally, there is design via secondary causes. Here there is no detectable injection of design. Design is not imputed all at the beginning or at discrete points along the way. Instead, the design is in the initial arrangement of matter and the action of natural laws. And we should not underestimate the power of those natural laws, given quantum mechanics, chaos theory, and who knows what else that will be discovered in the future. Those laws may be able to control and manipulate creation in far more subtle ways than we have imagined. Indeed, some may argue that design via secondary causes is an interventionist approach every bit as much as ex nihilo creation is. For instance, weather systems continually evolve. On the one hand, we say they move according to natural laws, but because they are so chaotic we cannot say a divine hand is not controlling them. Natural laws and the systems they operate on are so complex that it could be that God can actively control the world without violating what we perceive to be the actions of natural laws. These are but a sampling of the metaphysical ideas that lie behind ID. Each idea can be said to be consistent with biblical creation, although different levels of symbolism may he required. For example, Genesis tells us that Adam was made before Eve. This poses no problem for ex nihilo creation but must be read allegorically in the other approaches. Because Darwin's theory of evolution is currently dominant in the life sciences, it may seem natural to assume that ex nihilo creation is less scientific and more religiously motivated than the other approaches. But as we have seen, evolution has its own religious motivations and is full of scientific problems. Indeed, though the evaluation of scientific evidence is ultimately subjective, I believe it supports ex nihilo creation better than the other approaches. It is, I believe, the religious motivations rather than scientific motivations that have kept those other approaches popular." (Hunter, C.G.*, "Darwin's Proof: The Triumph of Religion Over Science," Brazos Press: Grand Rapids MI, 2003, pp.124-125. Emphasis in original) June [top] 2/06/2005 "So, macromutations do happen. But do they play a role in evolution? People called saltationists believe that macromutations are a means by which major jumps in evolution could take place in a single generation. Richard Goldschmidt ... was a true saltationist. If saltationism were true, apparent 'gaps' in the fossil record needn't be gaps at all. For example, a saltationist might believe that the transition from sloping-browed Australopithecus to dome-browed Homo sapiens took place in a single macromutational step, in a single generation. The difference in form between the two species is probably less than the difference between a normal and an antennapaedic fruitfully, and it is theoretically conceivable that the first Homo sapiens was a freak child - probably an ostracized and persecuted one - of two normal Australopithecus parents. There are very good reasons for rejecting all such saltationist theories of evolution. One rather boring reason is that if a new species really did arise in a single mutational step, members of the new species might have a hard time finding mates." (Dawkins, R., "The Blind Watchmaker," , Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, p.231) 2/06/2005 "We can well imagine such a non-Darwinian theory of discontinuous change-profound and abrupt genetic alteration luckily (now and then) making a new species all at once. Hugo de Vries, the famous Dutch botanist supported such a theory early in this century. But these notions seem to present insuperable difficulties. With whom shall Athena born from Zeus's brow mate? All her relatives are members of another species. What is the chance of producing Athena in the first place, rather than a deformed monster? Major disruptions of entire genetic systems do not produce favored or even viable creatures." (Gould, S.J., "The Return of the Hopeful Monster," in "The Panda's Thumb: More Reflections in Natural History," , Penguin: London, 1990, reprint, pp.158-159) 2/06/2005 "`Evolution' can mean anything from the uncontroversial statement that bacteria `evolve' resistance to antibiotics to the grand metaphysical claim that the universe and mankind `evolved' entirely by purposeless, mechanical forces. A word that elastic is likely to mislead, by implying that we know as much about the grand claim as we do about the small one. That very point was the theme of a remarkable lecture given by Colin Patterson at the American Museum of Natural History in 1981. Patterson is a senior paleontologist at the British Natural History Museum and the author of that museum's general text on evolution. His lecture compared creationism (not creation-science) with evolution, and characterized both as scientifically vacuous concepts which are held primarily on the basis of faith. Many of the specific points in the lecture are technical, but two are of particular importance for this introductory chapter. First, Patterson asked his audience of experts a question which reflected his own doubts about much of what has been thought to be secure knowledge about evolution: `Can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing . . . that is true? I tried that question on the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural History and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology seminar in the University of Chicago, a very prestigious body of evolutionists, and all I got there was silence for a long time and eventually one person said "I do know one thing-it ought not to be taught in high school." Patterson suggested that both evolution and creation are forms of pseudo-knowledge, concepts which seem to imply information but do not. One point of comparison was particularly striking. A common objection to creationism in pre-Darwinian times was that no one could say anything about the mechanism of creation. Creationists simply pointed to the `fact' of creation and conceded ignorance of the means. But now, according to Patterson, Darwin's theory of natural selection is under fire and scientists are no longer sure of its general validity. Evolutionists increasingly talk like creationists in that they point to a fact but cannot provide an explanation of the means. Patterson was being deliberately provocative, and I do not mean to imply that his skeptical views are widely supported in the scientific community. On the contrary, Patterson came under heavy fire from Darwinists after somebody circulated a bootleg transcript of the lecture, and he eventually disavowed the whole business. Whether or not he meant to speak for public attribution, however, he was making an important point. We can point to a mystery and call it `evolution,' but this is only a label. The important question is not whether scientists have agreed on a label, but how much they know about how complex living beings like ourselves came into existence. ... Colin Patterson's 1981 lecture was not published, but I have reviewed a transcript and Patterson restated his position, which I would label "evolutionary nihilism," in an interview with the journalist Tom Bethell. (See Bethell, "Deducing from Materialism," National Review, Aug. 29, 1986, p. 43.) I discussed evolution with Patterson for several hours in London in 1988. He did not retract any of the specific skeptical statements he has made, but he did say that he continues to accept `evolution' as the only conceivable explanation for certain features of the natural world." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," , InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second edition, 1993, pp.9-10, 173) 3/06/2005 "Perhaps the most prevalent of the misconstruals of creationism involves the Second Law of Thermodynamics. There are several ways of stating the Second Law, but for present purposes the following intuitive characterizations will be adequate. In a system that neither loses nor gains energy from outside of itself (a closed system), although the total amount of energy within the system remains constant, the proportion of that energy which is no longer usable within the system (measured as entropy) tends to increase over time. An equivalent formulation is that in a closed system there is over time a spontaneous tendency toward erosion of a specified type of order within the system. Creationists nearly unanimously claim that this Second Law poses a nasty problem for evolution. Unfortunately, exactly what creationists have in mind here is widely misunderstood. Creationists are at least partly at fault for that confusion. One reason is that as noted earlier ... most popular creationists use the term evolution ambiguously-sometimes to refer to the cosmic evolutionary worldview (or model) and sometimes to refer to the Darwinian biological theory. Although a coherent position can be extracted from some of the major creationists (such as Morris, Gish, Wysong and Kofahl), this ambiguity has rendered some parts of their writings monumentally unclear. One has to read extremely carefully in order to see which evolution is being referred to, and some critics of creationism either have simply not noticed the ambiguity or perhaps have misjudged which meaning specific creationists have had in mind in specific passages. And critics are not the only people who have sometimes been bamboozled. Other creationists who take their cues from those above have also sometimes missed some of the key distinctions and have advanced exactly the original misconstrued arguments that critics have wrongly attributed to major creationists. In a word or two, we have a four-alarm mess here. But let's see if we can clear up at least some of it. First, when claiming that the Second Law flatly precludes evolution, major creationists almost invariably have in mind evolution in the overall cosmic, `evolution model' sense. The clues to that meaning are the almost invariable use (especially in Morris's writings) of phrases like philosophy of evolution or cosmic or universal or on a cosmic scale. The universe as a whole system is taken to be a closed system (classically), and according to the creationist definition of evolution model, that model is unavoidably committed to an internally generated overall increase in cosmic order, since on that view reality is supposed to be self-developed and self- governing. What Morris and others mean to be claiming is that any such view according to which the entire cosmos is itself in a process of increasing overall order is in violation of the Second Law. Critics of creationism almost without exception take this initial creationist claim to be about purely biological evolution on the earth and respond that the Second Law applies only to closed systems, whereas the earth, receiving energy from the sun, is thermodynamically open. But since the system actually in question here is the entire universe, which is the `prime example' of a closed system, the response that the Second Law only applies to closed systems is beside the point creationists mean to be making in this case. That is not to say that the creationist argument is ultimately correct here, but only that if it is defective the problem is not the one initially proposed. When discussion turns to evolution in the more restricted sense- biological evolution on the earth-then obviously it is highly relevant to point out that the earth is not a closed system and that thus the Second Law by itself does not directly preclude evolution. But Morris, Gish, Wysong and others admit that, and have for decades, although not always in a terribly clear manner. How does that admission emerge? Morris, for instance, claims in numerous of his writings that a system being open is not alone enough to cause a reversal of disorder or a decrease in entropy. There are, Morris claims, some additional requirements that must be met before that can happen For instance, the flow of energy coming into the system must be adequate, and there must be some already-existing `code' and `conversion mechanism' by which the incoming energy can be harnessed, turned into some form that is useful and usable in the system, and then properly directed and productively incorporated into the system experiencing increasing order. These additional requirements are not requirements of the Second Law itself but are requirements that Morris thinks we have good empirical grounds for accepting. Simply throwing raw energy into a system generally does not produce increased order but destroys some of the order already there. So the view is that special conditions-codes, conversion mechanisms and the like-are needed before growths in order can occur even in open systems. That raises the question, How do these codes and conversion mechanisms themselves arise? Some creationists may hold that the Second Law itself flatly precludes such codes and mechanisms arsing naturally. Others take the odds against the codes and mechanisms being generated naturally to be massively overwhelming. But Morris says that the natural development of such codes and mechanisms may, for all he knows, be possible, although it is unlikely. So although the Second Law does impose some conditions, and although other empirical experience seems to impose some additional constraints, at least in principle, according to Morris, all of those conditions and constraints can perhaps be met: `It is conceivable, although extremely unlikely, that evolutionists may eventually formulate a plausible code and mechanism to explain how both entropy and evolution could co-exist.' [Morris H.M., "King of Creation," 1980, p.117] `This objection does not preclude the possibility of evolution.' [Morris H.M., "The Troubled Waters of Evolution," 1974, p.101] `It may of course be possible to harmonize evolution and entropy.' [Morris H.M., "The Troubled Waters of Evolution," 1974, p.99] `This of course does not preclude temporary increases of order in specific open systems.' [Morris H.M., "The Biblical Basis for Modern Science," 1984, p.207; Morris H.M., "Biblical Cosmology and Modern Science," 1970, p.127]. Morris says similar things elsewhere-from at least 1966 on. [Morris H.M., "Studies in the Bible and Science," 1966, p.146; Morris H.M., "The Biblical Basis for Modern Science," 1984, p.207; Morris H.M., "King of Creation," 1980, p.114; Morris H.M., "Does Entropy Contradict Evolution?," Impact, 141, March 1985, pp.i-iv]. So what, then, is the problem? A major one, according to Morris, concerns the required codes and mechanisms: `No one yet has any evidence that any such things exist at all.' [Morris H.M., "Creation and the Modern Christian," 1985, pp.155-56]. `Neither of these has yet been discovered.' [Morris H.M., "The Remarkable Birth of Planet Earth," 1972, p.20]. `So far, evolutionists have no answer.' [Morris H.M., "The Troubled Waters of Evolution," 1974, p.100]. `[The special conditions are] not available to evolution as far as all evidence goes.' [Morris H.M., "Science and the Bible," 1986, p.60]. Notice the invariable qualifications: `yet,' `so far' and so on. And what that all means, according to Morris, is that `the necessary `law' of evolution, if it exists, still remains to be discovered and evolutionists must in the meantime continue to exercise faith in their model in spite of entropy.' [Morris H.M., "The Troubled Waters of Evolution," 1974, p.101]. Those last five quotes, incidentally, come from four different books written from 1972 to 1986, hardly an obscure brief departure from Morris's usual views-and this same sort of view is found in Gish, Wysong, Pearcey, Bird, and Kofahl and Segraves, from 1976 to the present." (Ratzsch D.L., "The Battle of Beginnings: Why Neither Side is Winning the Creation-Evolution Debate," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL., 1996, pp.91-93) 3/06/2005 "The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that all energy systems run down like a clock and never rewind themselves. But life not only 'runs up,' converting low energy sea-water, sunlight and air into high-energy chemicals, it keeps multiplying itself into more and b