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The following are unclassified quotes posted in my Internet messages of July 2005 (2).
The date format is dd/mm/yy. See copyright conditions at end.
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21/07/2005 "We feel, almost instinctively, that there is a pattern. The diversity of living creatures is neither complete nor random. All living things share many characteristics, and above this basic level we observe groups with every degree of resemblance, from near identity to great dissimilarity. There is, or seems to be, an essential order or plan among the forms of life in spite of their great multiplicity. There seems, moreover, to be purpose in this plan. The resemblances and differences among a fish, a bird, and a man are meaningful. The resemblances adapt them to those conditions and functions that all have in common and the differences to peculiarities in their ways of life not shared with the others. It is a habit of speech and thought to say that fishes have gills in order to breathe water, that birds have wings in order to fly, and that men have brains in order to think." (Simpson, G.G., "Plan and Purpose in Nature," [Scientific Monthly, Vol. 64, June, 1947, pp.481-495] in "This View of Life: The World of an Evolutionist," Harcourt, Brace & World: New York NY, 1964, pp.190-191) 21/07/2005 "Of all the things which are made up of molecules, the most remarkable is man and, to be quite impartial, woman. In making this statement we may appear to be a little egocentric but, since we can claim no credit for the way we are made, we are really being modest about our own efforts in chemistry compared with those of nature. Quite apart from what we may think of man's achievement and his civilisation, looked upon purely as a chemical product of evolution, he is still the most wonderful and the most highly organised system of molecules in the universe we know. We have to believe in man because he is there. But it is perhaps asking more than our imagination is capable of, to believe at the same time that this great organism arose by chance out of a disorganised, chaotic, universe and subsequently out of a soup-like sea or a slimy shore. Yet the alternatives don't take us very far ... an earlier organisation or being, a God, would solve the problem except for the difficulty which arises in answering the question `Who Made God'?" (Porter, G., "Molecules to Man," in Messel, H. & Butler, S.T., ed., "Molecules to Man," Shakespeare Head Press: Sydney, Australia, 1971, p.257) 21/07/2005 "From the condensation of nebulae to the development of the infant in the womb, from the formation of the earth as a planet to the making of a political decision, they are all processes in time; and they are all interrelated as partial processes within the single universal process of reality. All reality, in fact, is evolution, in the perfectly proper sense that it is a one-way process in time, unitary; continuous; irreversible; self-transforming; and generating variety and novelty during its transformations. I am quite aware that many people object to the use of the term evolution for anything but the transformations of living substance. But I think this is undesirably narrow. Some term is undoubtedly needed for the comprehensive process in all its aspects, and no other convenient designation exists at present save that of evolution." (Huxley, J.S., "Evolution in Action," , Penguin: Harmondsworth, Middlesex UK, 1963, reprint, p.12) 21/07/2005 "Furthermore, with the adoption of the evolutionary approach in nonbiological fields, from cosmology to human affairs, we are beginning to realize that biological evolution is only one aspect of evolution in general. Evolution in the extended sense can be defined as a directional and essentially irreversible process occurring in time, which in its course gives rise to an increase of variety and an increasingly high level of organization in its products. Our present knowledge indeed forces us to the view that the whole of reality is evolution-a single process of self- transformation. Further analysis speedily reveals that this universal evolutionary process is divisible with three main sectors or phases- the inorganic or cosmological, the organic or biological, and the human or psychosocial. Each sector has its own characteristic mechanism of self-transformation and its own maximum rate of change, and each produces its own characteristic type of results." (Huxley, J.S., "Evolution and Genetics," in Newman J.R., ed., "What Is Science?," , Washington Square: New York NY, 1961, reprint, pp.294-295) 21/07/2005 "Darwin himself saw no limit to the extent of evolutionary change or to the power of natural selection to mould even the most complex of adaptations. At the end of the Origin he does not shrink from the ultimate implication that all life had evolved from a common source. Although he does not extend his theory in the Origin to include the origin of life, the possibility that life's emergence could also be explained in naturalistic evolutionary terms had occurred to him. In a often-quoted passage he speculates on the origin of living systems from a warm solution of organic compounds through a succession of increasingly more complex chemical aggregates: `It is often said that all the conditions for the first production of a living organism are now present which could ever have been present. But if and oh! what a big if!) we could conceive in some warm little pond with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, light, heat, electricity present that a protein was formed ready to undergo still more complex changes at the present day such matter would be instantly devoured or absorbed which would not have been the case before living creatures were formed.' [Darwin, C.R., Letter to J.D. Hooker, 1 February, 1871, in Darwin F., ed., "The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," , Basic Books: New York NY, Vol. II, 1959, reprint, pp.202-203) ]. Darwin never claimed his theory could explain the origin of life, but the implication was there. Thus, not only was God banished from the creation of species but from the entire realm of biology." (Denton, M.J., "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis," Burnett Books: London, 1985, p.53) 21/07/2005 "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) 21/07/2005 "Another significant factor also influences the products formed in an experiment of this type, but is less recognized: selection by the experimenter. We can be aware of its influence in this case because Stanley Miller has been quite candid in documenting the course of his work. His experiment is noted for the production of amino acids, yet in his very first attempt no amino acids at all were detected. He had used the same gas mixture and spark but had placed the various compartments in a different order. Let us continue with his own words `I filled the apparatus with the postulated primitive atmosphere, water, methane, hydrogen, and ammonia, turned the spark on and let it run overnight. The next morning there was a thin layer of hydrocarbons on the surface of the water, and after several days the hydrocarbon layer was somewhat thicker. So I stopped the spark and looked for amino acids by one-dimensional paper chromatography. None were found. Miller did not then analyze the nature of the products that had been formed, but rather rearranged his apparatus and tried again. In his next attempt, he obtained a result that satisfied him. This arrangement was then adopted for further work. One modification, tried at a later date, was not helpful. The action of the spark discharge has often been compared to the effect of a thunderstorm. Miller made an effort to improve the analogy: `An attempt was made to simulate a lightning discharge by building up a large quantity of charge on a condenser until the spark jumped the gap between the electrodes.... Very few organic compounds were produced and this discharge was not investigated further.'" (Shapiro, R., "Origins: A Skeptic's Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth," Summit Books: New York NY, 1986, pp.102-103) 21/07/2005 "As long as the proper design and components were maintained, however, the same product mixture, including the amino acids, was obtained. Miller took great pains in demonstrating that the products were exactly what he claimed them to be, and that they had been produced by the chemical discharge, not by an accidental introduction of biological material. The overall yields could vary, however. Twenty years after his first studies, Miller wrote: `It was surprising that the yields of amino acids from these first experiments are the highest so far reported in any prebiotic experiment of this type.' Thus on his first two tries, he had obtained the worst and the best possible results. One clear message should emerge from this discussion. A variety of results may be possible from the same general type of experiment. The experimenter, by manipulating apparently unimportant variables, can affect the outcome profoundly. The data that he reports may be valid, but if only these results are communicated, a false impression may arise concerning the universality of the process. This situation was noticed by a Creationist writer, Martin Lubenow who commented: `I am convinced that in every origin of life experiment devised by evolutionists, the intelligence of the experimenter is involved in such a way as to prejudice the experiment.'' [Lubenow M.L.*, "From Fish To Gish: The Exciting Drama of a Decade of Creation-Evolution Debates," CLP Publishers: San Diego CA, 1983, pp.168-169]" (Shapiro, R., "Origins: A Skeptic's Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth," Summit Books: New York NY, 1986, p.103) 21/07/2005 The reasonable view was to believe in spontaneous generation; the only alternative, to believe in a single, primary act of supernatural creation. There is no third alternative.... Most modern biologists, having reviewed with satisfaction the downfall of the spontaneous generation hypothesis, yet unwilling to accept the alternative belief in special creation, are left with nothing. I think a scientist has no choice but to approach the origin of life through a hypothesis of spontaneous generation. What the controversy reviewed above showed to be untenable is only the belief that living organisms arise spontaneously under present conditions. We have now to face a somewhat different problem: how organisms may have arisen spontaneously under different conditions in some former period, granted that they do so no longer. ... To make an organism demands the right substances in the right proportions and in the right arrangement. We do not think that anything more is needed-but that is problem enough. One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet here we are, as a result, I believe, of spontaneous generation (Wald, G., "The Origin of Life," in Bowen, M.E. & Mazzeo, J.A., eds, "Writing About Science," Oxford University Press: New York NY, 1979, pp.289-291) 21/07/2005 "Why is nature so ingeniously, one might even say suspiciously, friendly to life? What do the laws of physics care about life and consciousness that they should conspire to make a hospitable universe? It's almost as if a Grand Designer had it all figured out. The fashionable scientific response to this cosmic conundrum is to invoke the so-called multiverse theory. The idea here is that what we have hitherto been calling `the universe' is nothing of the sort. It is but a small component within a vast assemblage of other universes that together make up a `multiverse.' It is but a small extra step to conjecture that each universe comes with its own knob settings. They could be random, as if the endless succession of universes is the product of the proverbial monkey at a typewriter. Almost all universes are incompatible with life, and so go unseen and unlamented. Only in that handful where, by chance, the settings are just right will life emerge; then beings such as ourselves will marvel at how propitiously fine-tuned their universe is. ... This idea of multiple universes, or multiple realities, has been around in philosophical circles for centuries. The scientific justification for it, however, is new. One argument stems from the `big bang' theory: according to the standard model, shortly after the universe exploded into existence about 14 billion years ago, it suddenly jumped in size by an enormous factor. This `inflation' can best be understood by imagining that the observable universe is, relatively speaking, a tiny blob of space buried deep within a vast labyrinth of interconnected cosmic regions. Under this theory, if you took a God's-eye view of the multiverse, you would see big bangs aplenty generating a tangled melee of universes enveloped in a superstructure of frenetically inflating space. Though individual universes may live and die, the multiverse is forever. ... How seriously can we take this explanation for the friendliness of nature? Not very, I think. For a start, how is the existence of the other universes to be tested? To be sure, all cosmologists accept that there are some regions of the universe that lie beyond the reach of our telescopes, but somewhere on the slippery slope between that and the idea that there are an infinite number of universes, credibility reaches a limit. As one slips down that slope, more and more must be accepted on faith, and less and less is open to scientific verification. Extreme multiverse explanations are therefore reminiscent of theological discussions. Indeed, invoking an infinity of unseen universes to explain the unusual features of the one we do see is just as ad hoc as invoking an unseen Creator. The multiverse theory may be dressed up in scientific language, but in essence it requires the same leap of faith." (Davies, P.C.W., "A Brief History of the Multiverse," New York Times April 12, 2003) 21/07/2005 "However, even if we dismiss Goldschmidt's views as unproven or unnecessary, preadaptation of various kinds has clearly played a not inconsiderable role in evolution. How has adaptation been brought about? Modern science must rule out special creation or divine guidance." (Huxley, J.S., "Evolution: The Modern Synthesis," , George Allen & Unwin: London, 1945, reprint, p.457) 21/07/2005 "Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, one with the very delicate balance needed to provide exactly the conditions required to permit life, and one which has an underlying (one might say "supernatural") plan. Thus, the observations of modern science seem to lead to the same conclusions as centuries-old intuition. At the same time, most of our modern scientific intuition seems to be more comfortable with the world as described by the science of yesterday. Kind of interesting, isn't it?" (Penzias A., "Creation Is Supported by All the Data So Far," in Margenau H. & Varghese R.A., eds., "Cosmos, Bios, Theos: Scientists Reflect on Science, God, and the Origins of the Universe Life, and Homo sapiens," , Open Court: La Salle IL, 1993, Second Printing, p.78) 21/07/2005 "And so, if you wish to ask the question of the ages-why do humans exist?-a major part of the answer, touching those aspects of the issue that science can treat at all, must be: because Pikaia survived the Burgess decimation. This response does not cite a single law of nature; it embodies no statement about predictable evolutionary pathways, no calculation of probabilities based on general rules of anatomy or ecology. The survival of Pikaia was a contingency of `just history.' I do not think that any `higher' answer can be given, and I cannot imagine that any resolution could be more fascinating. We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes-one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way." (Gould, S.J., "Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History," , Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1991, p.323) 21/07/2005 "Mutations are accidental, undirected, random, or chance events in still another sense very important for evolution; namely, in the sense that they are unoriented with respect to adaptation. Mutations occur independently of whether or not they are adaptive in the environments in which the organisms live. Microbiologists have known for a long time that confronted with adverse environmental conditions, bacterial cultures give rise to new genetically stable strains able to cope with the unusual environment. The regularity of this result inclined some bacteriologists to believe that the environment could induce specific mutations favorable in that environment. Ample evidence now exists showing that mutations arise with certain probabilities independently of whether or not they are favorable in the environment where they arise. The elegant experiments of Lederberg and Lederberg (1952) using "replica plating," as well as experiments by Luria and Delbruck (1943), Demerec and Fano (1945), and others, have settled this question definitely." (Dobzhansky, T.G., Ayala, F.J., Stebbins, G.L. & Valentine, J.W., "Evolution," W.H. Freeman & Co: San Francisco CA, 1977, p.65) 21/07/2005 "In view of the inevitable accumulation of such errors over so many centuries, it may be thought that the original texts of the New Testament documents have been corrupted beyond restoration. Some writers, indeed, insist on the likelihood of this to such a degree that one sometimes suspects they would be glad if it were so. But they are mistaken. There is no body of ancient literature in the world which enjoys such a wealth of good textual attestation as the New Testament. The evidence for the original text of the New Testament is provided mainly by (i) early manuscripts of the New Testament in its original language (Greek), (2) early translations or 'versions' of the New Testament in other languages, from the readings of which we can often infer the underlying Greek, (3) quotations from the New Testament in the works if ancient authors (principally Greek, Latin, and Syriac, but also Coptic and Armenian), (4) lectionaries, both in Greek and in the other languages mentioned, in which passages of Scripture were arranged for systematic reading in church services. The study of these witnesses to the original text and the restoration by their means of the original text as nearly as it can be determined belong to the science of Textual Criticism. This is not, of course, a science which has to do specially with the New Testament or the Bible as a whole; it makes its contribution to all kinds of literature. In English literature it is a very necessary science in the study of the works of Shakespeare and the determining of his original text by the comparative study of the early editions. There are four principal stages in the work of the textual critic. First, he makes a study of such individual manuscripts as are available to him, correcting obvious slips and taking cognizance of what appear to be scribal alterations, whether accidental or deliberate. Next, he arranges these manuscripts in groups. Those which share some peculiar feature of spelling or wording, or some common error, are probably related to one another and have a common archetype. There are different ways of grouping manuscripts, according as their evident relation to one another is more or less close. Those whose mutual relation can be fairly precisely established are said to constitute a family. But a number of separate families, while they are diverse from one another in many respects, may have a sufficient number of significant features in common to suggest that they all represent one rather early textual type. In the third place. when the arranging of manuscripts in groups leads to the establishment of an archetype for each of the groups which have been distinguished, these archetypes themselves are subjected to comparative study in the hope that it may be possible to reconstruct a provisional archetype from which the archetypes themselves are descended; if this is achieved, then we have arrived as closely as we can to the autographic text." (Bruce, F.F.*, "The Books and the Parchments: Some Chapters on the Transmission of the Bible," , Pickering & Inglis: London, Third Edition, 1963, pp.178-179) 21/07/2005 "A distinct debate centered on the question of creation ex nihilo ("out of nothing"). It must be remembered that Christianity initially took root and then expanded in the eastern Mediterranean world of the first and second centuries, which was dominated by various Greek philosophies. The general Greek understanding of the origins of the world could be summarized as follows. God is not to be thought of as having created the world. Rather, God is to be thought of as an architect, who ordered preexistent matter. Matter was already present within the universe, and did not require to be created; it needed to be given a definite shape and structure. God was therefore thought of as the one who fashioned the world from this already existing matter. Thus in one of his dialogues (Timaeus), Plato developed the idea that the world was made out of preexistent matter, which was fashioned into the present form of the world. This idea was taken up by most Gnostic writers, who were here followed by individual Christian theologians such as Theophilus of Antioch and Justin Martyr. They professed a belief in pre-existent matter, which was shaped into the world in the act of creation. In other words, creation was not ex nihilo; rather, it was to be seen as an act of construction, on the basis of material which was already to hand, as one might construct an igloo out of snow, or a house from stone. The existence of evil in the world was thus to be explained on the basis of the intractability of this preexistent matter. God's options in creating the world were limited by the poor quality of the material available. The presence of evil or defects within the world are thus not to be ascribed to God, but to deficiencies in the material from which the world was constructed. ... However, the conflict with Gnosticism forced reconsideration of this issue. In part, the idea of creation from pre- existent matter was discredited by its Gnostic associations; in part, it was called into question by an increasingly sophisticated reading of the Old Testament creation narratives. Reacting against this Platonist worldview, several major Christian writers of the second and third centuries argued that everything had to be created by God. There was no pre-existent matter; everything required to be created out of nothing. Irenaeus argued that the Christian doctrine of creation affirmed the inherent goodness of creation, which contrasted sharply with the Gnostic idea that the material world was evil. Tertullian emphasized the divine decision to create the world. The existence of the world is itself due to God's freedom and goodness, not to any inherent necessity arising from the nature of matter. The world depends on God for its existence. This contrasted sharply with the Aristotelian view that the world depended on nothing for its existence, and that the particular structure of the world was intrinsically necessary. Yet not all Christian theologians adopted this position at this early stage in the emergence of the Christian tradition. Origen, perhaps one of the most Platonist of early Christian writers, clearly regarded the doctrine of creation from pre-existent matter to have some merit." (McGrath, A.E., "Christian Theology: An Introduction,"  Blackwell: Cambridge MA, Second Edition, 1997, pp.268-269) 21/07/2005 "Moreover, it is a fact that discontinuities are almost always and systematically present at the origin of really high categories, and, like any other systematic feature of the record, this requires explanation. ... There remains, however, the point that for still higher categories discontinuity of appearance in the record is not only frequent but if also systematic. Some break in continuity always occurs in categories from orders upwards, at least, although the break may not be large or appear significant to most students." (Simpson, G.G., "The Major Features of Evolution," , Columbia University Press: New York NY, 1955, Second Printing, pp.361,366) 21/07/2005 "Mr. Darwin's hypothesis ... I accept it provisionally, in exactly the same way as I accept any other hypothesis. Men of science do not pledge themselves to creeds; they are bound by articles of no sort; there is not a single belief that it is not a bounden duty with them to hold with a light hand and to part with cheerfully, the moment it is really proved to be contrary to any fact, great or small. And if, in course of time I see good reasons for such a proceeding, I shall have no hesitation in coming before you, and pointing out any change in my opinion without finding the slightest occasion to blush for so doing. So I say that we accept this view as we accept any other, so long as it will help us, and we feel bound to retain it only so long as it will serve our great purpose-the improvement of Man's estate and the widening of his knowledge. The moment this, or any other conception, ceases to be useful for these purposes, away with it to the four winds; we care not what becomes of it!" (Huxley T.H., "The Causes of the Phenomena of Organic Nature," in "Darwiniana: Essays by Thomas H. Huxley," , AMS Press: New York NY, 1970, reprint, pp.468-469) 21/07/2005 "The other, the so-called "transmutation" hypothesis, considers that all existing species are the result of the modification of pre-existing species, and those of their predecessors, by agencies similar to those which at the present day produce varieties and races, and therefore in an altogether natural way; and it is a probable, though not a necessary consequence of this hypothesis, that all living beings have arisen from a single stock. With respect to the origin of this primitive stock, or stocks, the doctrine of the origin of species is obviously not necessarily concerned. The transmutation hypothesis, for example, is perfectly consistent either with the conception of a special creation of the primitive germ, or with the supposition of its having arisen, as a modification of inorganic matter, by natural causes." (Huxley T.H., "The Origin of Species," in "Darwiniana: Essays by Thomas H. Huxley," , AMS Press: New York NY, 1970, reprint, p.54) 21/07/2005 "Various hypotheses have been advanced to account for the highly problematical nature of living fossils in the context of gradualism, but generally with expressions of uncertainty (see review by Simpson, 1953, pp.327-335). Darwin (1859, pp.105-108), who introduced the phrase `living fossils,' saw these forms as resulting from a combination of long survival of lineages and remarkably slow phyletic evolution, both of which he attributed primarily to an absence of ecologic competition. Delamare-Deboutteville and Botosaneanu (1970), who reviewed numerous examples of living fossils, saw them as creatures that have `stopped participating in the great adventure of life,' being confined by narrowness of adaptation. Simpson (1953, p.331), on the other hand, considered them to be characterized by broad adaptation. In short, they have defied satisfactory explanation in the framework of gradualism." (Stanley S.M., "Macroevolution: Pattern and Process," , The Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore MD, 1998, reprint, p.126) 21/07/2005 "It should also be obvious that the moral Darwinist and Christian must be divided in regard to questions of cloning and using "tissue" from embryos for research and medical therapy. For a moral Darwinist, since a human being is reducible to its physical parts, and since this life is all we have, technologically manipulating modes of reproduction, whether we want to create a child for a childless couple or create a source of living tissue for research and medicinal purposes, is perfectly reasonable, and, in both the short and long run, reduces the suffering in the world. Such, as we recall, was Bacon's dream, and the moral Darwinist puts Bacon's axiom, which he takes as a self-evident truth, into the imperative: Whatever can be done, should be done. If we can clone, then we should clone. If embryonic stems cells may be harvested and used, then we should do it. For the Christian, however, not only is it abominable to manipulate the mode of procreation designed by the Creator, but it is even more horrid to use "tissue" from abortions for medicinal purposes, especially since it must be living tissue to be useful. Beyond all this, to grow human beings for medicinal harvesting makes the evils of Nazi Germany seem minuscule by comparison. Again, the two are irreconcilable. What one sees as a medical advance, shedding more light on this world, the other sees as precipitous moral decline, bringing an incomparably dark age upon the human race." (Wiker B.D.*, "Moral Darwinism: How We Became Hedonists," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2002, p.310. Emphasis in original) 21/07/2005 " In the chapters that follow we will try to see how this has happened, but first there is one question that must be answered-the question that was asked at the beginning of this chapter. When we first encountered this strange species we noted that it had one feature that stood out immediately, from the rest, when it was placed as a specimen in a long row of primates. This feature was its naked skin, which led me as a zoologist to name the creature 'the naked ape'. We have since seen that it could have been given any number of suitable names: the vertical ape, the tool-making ape, the brainy ape, the territorial ape and so on. But these were not the first things we noticed. Regarded simple as a zoological specimen in a museum, it is the nakedness that has the immediate impact, and this is the name we will stick to, if only to bring it into line with other zoological studies and remind us that this is the special way in which we are approaching it. But what is the significance of this strange feature? Why on earth should the hunting ape have become a naked ape? Unfortunately fossils cannot help us when it comes to differences in skin and hair, so that we have no idea as to exactly when the great denudation took place. We can be fairly certain that it did not happen before our ancestors left their forest homes. It is such an odd development that it seems much more likely to have been yet another feature of the great transformation scene on the open plains. But exactly how did it occur, and how did it help the emerging ape to survive? This problem has puzzled experts for a long time and many imaginative theories have been put forward. ... The neoteny explanation only gives a clue as to how the nakedness could have come about. It does not tell us anything about the value of nudity as a new character that helped the naked ape to survive better in his hostile environment. It might be argued that it had no value, that it was merely a by-product of other, more vital neotenous changes, such as the brain development. But as we have already seen, the process of neoteny is one of differential retarding of developmental processes. Some things slow down more than others-the rates of growth get out of phase. It is hardly likely, therefore, that an infantile trait as potentially dangerous as nakedness was going to be allowed to persist simply because other changes were slowing down. Unless it had some special value to the new species, it would be quickly dealt with by natural selection." (Morris D., "The Naked Ape," , Corgi Books: London, 1969, reprint, pp.36-38) 21/07/2005 "What can be ruled out is that science will answer the ultimate question: How did something come from nothing? Neither superstring theory nor any other of science's so-called theories of everything can resolve that mystery, any more than our supernatural theologies can." (Horgan J., "Between Science and Spirituality," The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 29, 2002) 21/07/2005 "Darwinism has had to compete with various rival theories, each of which aimed to be a more or less complete explanation. The most famous rivals were vitalism, fundamentalism, Lamarckism, and the hopeful-monster suggestion of Goldschmidt. The Darwinians have shown that none of these theories are any good. Simpson can shoot down each and every one of them with ease. Thus the Darwinians are able to say that Darwin made a better try than anyone else, and they find real comfort in this. Does this mean that Darwinism is correct? No. Sir Julian Huxley says that, once the hypothesis of special creation is ruled out, adaptation can only be ascribed to natural selection, but this is utterly unjustified. He should say only that Darwinism is better than the others. But when the others are no good, this is faint praise. Is there any glory in outrunning a cripple in a foot race? Being best-in-field means nothing if the field is made up of fumblers." (Macbeth N., "Darwin Retried: An Appeal to Reason," Gambit: Boston MA, 1971, p.77) 21/07/2005 "Although a population threatened with destruction by a cataclysm may on occasion be saved by its randomly occurring preadapted mutants, there would seem no reason why such exceptional variants would generate a continuous guided evolution as observed in plant or animal lines. Who would dare argue that the marvelous adaptation to aquatic life and the plumbing of the ocean depths that we see in the whale represent a random collection of properties themselves aleatory, in harmony, always by chance, with an environment and mode of living not yet adopted by the animal? Yet another random event was the preadapted mammal's stumble into the water, where he liked it so much he decided to stay! ... Such fairy tales, like those told by my grandmother for my amusement, are not to be taken seriously. ... The chance preadaptations noted so far are confined to a single property (elaboration of an enzyme by a mutated gene) and have nothing to do with a set of coordinated features; their evolutionary importance, if any, is thereby seriously reduced." (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.160-161) 21/07/2005 "Four events have had an immense effect on the evolutionary path: these are the synthesis of chlorophyll, the change from schizophyte to cell, from a single cell to a multicellular organism, and from diploblastic metazoans to triploblastic metazoans. Sexual reproduction, by combining in a single being the characteristics of two, plus the characteristics of the entire population through the interplay of the consecutive generations has played a fundamental role in the history of the two kingdoms." (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.60) 21/07/2005 "This sceptical way of thinking reached its culmination in the argument that Jesus as a human being never existed at all and is a myth. In ancient times, this extreme view was named the heresy of docetism (seeming) because it maintained that Jesus never came into the world `in the flesh', but only seemed to" .... Subsequently, from the eighteenth century onwards, there have been attempts to insist that Jesus did not even `seem' to exist, and that all tales of his appearance upon the earth were pure fiction. In particular, his story was compared to the pagan mythologies inventing fictitious dying and rising gods. .... More convincing refutations of the Christ-myth hypothesis can be derived from an appeal to method. In the first place, Judaism was a milieu to which doctrines of the deaths and rebirths of mythical gods seems so entirely foreign that the emergence of such a fabrication from its midst is very hard to credit." (Grant M., "Jesus," , Rigel: London, 2004, reprint, p.199) 21/07/2005 "Still another need for specification: the term 'evolution' can expand and contract upon demand: it covers a multitude of sins, as some might put it. First, there is the idea that at least some evolution has occurred, that there have been changes in gene frequencies in populations. I suppose everyone accepts this, so we can put it to one side." (Plantinga A., "Creation and Evolution: A Modest Proposal," 95th Annual Meeting of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association, Washington DC, 27-30 December 1998) 21/07/2005 "Although Darwin's idea is simple-perhaps because it is so simple-it is hard to believe that it can really explain the complexity we see around us. We may be able to breed cows that give more milk, but we could not breed pigs that fly, or horses that talk: there would be no promising variants that we could select and breed from. Where does the variation come from that has made possible the evolution of ever increasing complexity? Biology textbooks are liable to say that mutations-that is, new heritable variants-are random. The statement is near enough true, although 'random' is a notoriously difficult word to define: it would be better to say that, in general, new mutations are more likely to be harmful to survival than adaptive. Canations that in their origin are nonadaptive led to the evolution of the wonderfully adapted organisms we see around us?" (Maynard Smith J. & Szathmary E., "The Origins of Life: From the Birth of Life to the Origin of Language," Oxford University Press: New York NY, 1999, p.2. Emphasis in original) 21/07/2005 "The purpose of this review has been to clarify what we would have to find in the molecular evidence, or any other body of new evidence, before we would be justified in concluding that Darwinism is probably true. We would need to find evidence that the common ancestors and transitional intermediates really existed in the living world of the past, and that natural selection in combination with random genetic changes really has the kind of creative power claimed for it. It will not be enough to find that organisms share a common biochemical basis, or that their molecules as well as their visible features can be classified in a pattern of groups within groups. The important claim of Darwinism is not that relationships exist, but that those relationships were produced by a naturalistic process in which parent species were gradually transformed into quite different descendant forms through long branches (or even thick bushes) of transitional intermediates, without intervention by any Creator or other non-naturalistic mechanism. If Darwinism so defined is false then we do not have any important scientific information about how life arrived at its present complexity and diversity, and we cannot turn ignorance into information by calling it evolution." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," , InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second Edition, 1993, p.91) 21/07/2005 "In Darwin's time protoplasm was all the rage. Many a scientist was happy to agree that he could trace his ancestry back to a protoplasmic primordial globule of slime. The gap between living and non-living was one which the Darwinian evolutionist was obliged to fill. Haeckel proposed a hypothetical precursor to the amoeba, the moneran, 'an entirely homogeneous and structureless substance, a living particle of albumin, capable of nourishment and reproduction'. The search was on. In 1868 Huxley, examining mud samples dredged off northwest Ireland some ten years earlier, identified a jelly in which were embedded tiny calcareous discs (coccoliths) which he incautiously linked with Haeckel's moneran. In honour of Haeckel he called it Bathybius ('life of the deep') haeckelii and, speaking before the Royal Geographical Society in 1870, maintained that it formed a living scum on the sea bed extending over thousands of square miles. There was great expectation in 1872 as HMS Challenger steamed out of port on an expedition to explore the world's oceans. However, no more Bathybius was found. Indeed, Mr Buchanan, the expedition's chemist, observed that he could produce the characters of the indescribable animal simply by adding strong alcohol (such as was employed to preserve biological specimens) to the mud. A specimen examined under a lens showed that calcium sulphate was precipitated in the form of a gelatinous ooze which clung around particles as though ingesting them, thus lending superficial protoplasmic particles as though ingesting them, thus lending superficial protoplasmic appearance to the solution. Thomas Huxley's sample had been thus contaminated. Although it lingered in Haeckel's mind, for everyone else Bathybius died the death." (Pitman M., "Adam and Evolution," Rider & Co: London, 1984, p.49) 21/07/2005 "Haeckel in Germany and Huxley in England were proceeding to show that as one passed below the stage of nucleated single-celled organisms one arrived at a simple stirring of the abyssal slime wherein something that was neither life nor non-life oozed and fed without cellular individuality. This soft, gelatinous matter had been taken from the ocean bed during dredging operations. Examined and pronounced upon by Professor Huxley, it was given the name of Bathybius haeckelii in honor of his great German colleague. Speaking before the Royal Geographical Society in 1870, Huxley confidently maintained that Bathybius formed a living scum or film on the sea bed extending over thousands of square miles. Moreover, he expanded, it probably formed a continuous sheet of living matter girdling the whole surface of the earth. ... Haeckel conceived of these formless `monera' as arising from nonliving matter, their vital phenomena being traceable to `physico-chemical causes.' Here was the `Urschleim' with a vengeance, the seething, unindividualized ooze whose potentialities included the butterfly and the rose. Man was mud and mud was man. Mechanism was the order of the day. Unfortunately for this beautiful theory wistfully remembered by one writer as `explaining so much,' Bathybius proved to be what the microscopists call an artifact; that is, it did not exist. A certain unfeeling Mr. Buchanan of the Challenger Expedition discovered, as he tried to investigate the nature of Bathybius, that he could produce all the characters of that indescribable animal by the simple process of adding strong alcohol to sea water. It was not necessary to drink the potion. One simply examined a specimen under the lens and observed that sulphate of lime was precipitated in the form of a gelatinous ooze which clung around particles as though ingesting them, thus lending a superficial protoplasmic appearance to the solution. Mr. Huxley's original specimen had apparently been treated in this manner when it was sent to him. Huxley took the episode in good grace, but it was a severe blow to the materialists. The structureless protoplasmic `Urschleim' was a projective dream of scientists striving to build an evolutionary family tree upon existing organisms." (Eiseley L.C., "The Immense Journey," , Vintage: New York NY, 1957, reprint, pp.34-37) 21/07/2005 "In the 1880s Thomas Huxley-Darwin's bulldog, as he was known-worked on a newly discovered entity sort of halfway between dead matter and living organism known as Bathybius haeckelii. Huxley and others believed that there had to be such an organism, and its discovery was no particular surprise. Indeed, it was considered a triumph of a general evolutionary paradigm. There were numerous observational confirmations concerning this quasi-organism. Its existence was not even controversial in some circles. But other scientists with the same equipment and techniques, but without Huxley's mindset, could see nothing like an organism at all and indeed categorized it as purely mineral-which, as a matter of fact, scientist now do also. Somehow, background mindset had filtered into what was and was not taken to be observed." (Ratzsch D.L., "The Battle of Beginnings: Why Neither Side is Winning the Creation-Evolution Debate," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1996, p.123) 21/07/2005 "What about the junk that was dredged up from the ocean's bottom, given the name Bathybius haeckelii, described as moving, responding to stimuli, assimilating food, and considered the 'mother of protoplasm?' This amorphous material was thought to be the evolutionary mother of life itself, but had to be abandoned when chemical analysis showed it to be a precipitate of calcium sulphate deposited when alcohol was added to ocean water. Not even a trace of organic material was found. Thus, Bathybius haeckelii, like all evolutionary links, came to an inglorious end." (Wysong R.L., "The Creation-Evolution Controversy: Toward a Rational Solution," , Inquiry Press: Midland MI, 1993, reprint, p.417) 21/07/2005 "Since `change of gene frequencies in populations' is the `official' definition of evolution, randomness has transgressed Darwin's border and asserted itself as an agent of evolutionary change. (This process of random increase or decrease of frequency is called `genetic drift.' Contemporary Darwinism has always recognized drift, but has proclaimed it an infrequent and unimportant process, mostly confined to tiny populations with little chance of evolutionary persistence. The newer theory of neutralism suggests that many, if not most, genes in large populations owe their frequency primarily to random factors.)" (Gould, S.J., "Chance Riches," in "Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes," , Penguin: London, 1984, reprint, p.335) 21/07/2005 "Since evolution is a change in the genetic composition of populations, the mechanisms of evolution constitute problems of population genetics. Of course changes observed in populations may be of very different orders of magnitude, from those induced in a herd of domestic animals by the introduction of a new sire to phylogenetic changes leading to the origin of new classes of organisms. The former are obviously trifling in scale compared with the latter, and it may not be convenient to have all of them subsumed under the name `evolution.' Experience seems to show, however, that there is no way toward an understanding of the mechanisms of macro-evolutionary changes, which require time on a geological scale, other than through a full comprehension of the micro- evolutionary processes observable within the span of a human lifetime and often controlled by man's will. For this reason we are compelled at the present level of knowledge reluctantly to put a sign of equality between the mechanisms of macro- and micro-evolution, and, proceeding on this assumption, to push our investigations as far ahead as this working hypothesis will permit." (Dobzhansky T.G., "Genetics and the Origin of Species," , Columbia University Press: New York NY, 1982, reprint, pp.11-12) 21/07/2005 "Flying is so basic to the lives of most birds that everything about them, not just their feathers, is specially adapted for that purpose. Weight is everything when working against gravity, and birds' bodies are as light as possible. Scientists have figured that a bird weighing more than 40 pounds could never fly; it couldn't fit enough muscle into its body to become airborne. The bones of other vertebrates are solid and filled with marrow, but the hollow bones of birds make them quite light. The bodies of birds are shaped for moving through the air without turbulence. Birds have slim, delicate legs that can be pulled up under the body and tucked into the feathers to further streamline the flying form. It takes strength to fly, and birds have very large breast muscles to power their wings. The breastbone of a flying bird has a big keel, like a boat, in front. This keel gives the large breast muscles something to pull against in flight." (Patent D.H. & Munoz W., "Feathers," Cobblehill/Dutton: New York NY, 1992, p.25) 21/07/2005 Questions like these have prompted the post-darwinians to reconsider alternative theories of evolution-many that existed before Darwin-that were eclipsed by the dominance of Darwinism. In a kind of intellectual survival of the fittest, contemporary biology places very little importance on these "inferior" beaten ...(Kelly K., "Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines", , Fourth Estate: London, 1995, reprint, p.471) 21/07/2005 "Spencer's philosophical dictum that homogeneity passes to heterogeneity is applicable to any theory of evolution, as it specifies no method and is directly contradicted by the pronounced persistence of undifferentiated or homogeneous forms of life; his famous phrase, the survival of the fittest, is but reasoning in a circle for, if the fittest alone do survive, then all existing individuals are necessarily fit to survive and the eugenists' worry about Jukes and imbeciles is futile; they are alive and therefore fit." (More L.T., "The Dogma of Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1925, Second Printing, p.305) 21/07/2005 "The differences between quantum speciation and conventional geographical speciation are as follows. ... Quantum speciation is rapid, requiring only a few generations. ... The ancestors of new species do not include a large proportion of the populations belonging to the preexisting one, and may consist of only one or a few individuals. Conventional speciation is a process of splitting, quantum speciation is a budding process. ... Conventional speciation in its entirety is either guided by or is a byproduct of natural selection. Quantum speciation usually and perhaps always including one or more stochastic or chance events." (Dobzhansky T.G., Ayala F.J., Stebbins G.L. & Valentine J.W., "Evolution," W.H. Freeman & Co: San Francisco CA, 1977, pp.198- 199) 21/07/2005 "There are obvious difficulties in discussing unique events that happened a long time ago. How can we ever know that our suggested explanations are correct? After all. historians cannot agree about the causes of the Second World War. We accept that certainty is impossible, but there are several reasons why we think the enterprise is worth while. First, we have one great advantage over historians: we have agreed theories both of chemistry and of the mechanism of evolutionary change. We can therefore insist that our explanations be plausible both chemically, and in terms of natural selection. This places a severe constraint on possible theories. Indeed, the difficulty often lies, not in choosing between rival theories, but in finding any theory that is chemically and selectively plausible." (Maynard Smith J. & Szathmary E., "The Major Transitions in Evolution," W.H. Freeman: Oxford UK, 1995, p.3) 21/07/2005 "Unfortunately for devotees of extraterrestrial civilizations, Wetherill's simulations also indicate that Jupiter size planets might be relatively rare in the cosmos. The basic problem, says Wetherill, is that a Jupiter has to form quickly or it won't form at all. Observations of young stars have shown that they lose most of their surrounding nebula of gas and dust within about 10 million years. For a protoplanet to be come a Jupiter, its rocky core must grow to 15 times the mass of Earth before the nebula disperses, so that the gravity of the core can haul in the planet's immense atmosphere. That doesn't happen very often in Wetherill's simulations-which means that solar systems where life can evolve without being continually obliterated by comets may not be very common." ("Our Friend Jove," Discover, Vol. 14, No. 7, July 1993, p.15) 21/07/2005 "This brings us to the last million or so years of the naked ape's ancestral history, and to a series of shattering and increasingly dramatic developments. Several things happened together, and it is important to realise this. All too often, when the 'to told, the separate parts of it are spread out as if one major advance led to another, but this is misleading. The ancestral ground-apes already had large and high-quality brains. They had good eyes and efficient grasping hands. They inevitably, as primates, had some degree of social organisation. With strong pressure on them to increase their prey-killing prowess, vital changes began to take place. They became more uprightfast, better runners. Their hands became freed from locomotion duties-strong, efficient weapon-holders. Their brains became more complex-brighter, quicker decision makers. These things did not follow one another in a major, set sequence; they blossomed together, minute advances being made first in one quality and then in another, each urging the other on. A hunting ape, a killer ape, was in the making." (Morris D., "The Naked Ape," , Corgi Books: London, 1969, reprint, pp.19-20) 21/07/2005 "As the battle was to be won by brain rather than brawn, some kind of dramatic evolutionary step had to be taken to greatly increase his brainpower. What happened was rather odd: the hunting ape became an infantile ape. This evolutionary trick is not unique; it has happened in a number of quite separate cases. Put very simply, it is a process (called neoteny) by which certain juvenile or infantile characters are retained and prolonged into adult life. ... For you and me, then, brain-growth continues for another ten years after we have attained sexual maturity, but for the chimpanzee it is completed six or seven years before the animal becomes reproductively active. This explains very clearly what is meant by saying that we became infantile apes, but it is essential to qualify this statement. We (or rather, our hunting ape ancestors) became infantile in certain ways, but not in others. The rates of development of our various properties got out of phase. While our reproductive systems raced ahead, our brain-growth dawdled behind. And so it was with various other parts of our make-up, some being greatly slowed down, others a little, and still others not at all. In other words, there was a process of differential infantilism. ... The brain was not the only part of the body affected: the body posture was also influenced in the same way. An unborn mammal has the axis of its head at right angles to the axis of its trunk. If it were born in this condition its head would point down at the ground as it moved along on all fours, but before birth occurs the head rotates backwards so that its axis is in line with that of the trunk. Then, when it is born and walking along, its head points forwards in the approved manner. If such an animal began to walk along on its hind legs in a vertical posture, its head would point upwards, looking at the sky. For a vertical animal, like the hunting ape, it is important therefore to retain the foetal angle of the head, keeping it at right angles to the body so that, despite the new locomotion position, the head faces forwards. This is, of course, what has happened and, once again, it is an example of neoteny, the pre-birth stage being retained into the post-birth and adult life. Many of the other special physical characters of the hunting ape can be accounted for in this way: the long slender neck, the flatness of the face, the small size of the teeth and their late eruption, the absence of heavy brow ridges and the non-rotation of the big toe. The fact that so many separate embryonic characteristics were potentially valuable to the hunting ape in his new role was the evolutionary breakthrough that he needed. In one neotenous stroke he was able to acquire both the brain he needed and the body to go with it. He could run vertically with his hands free to wield weapons, and at the same time he developed the brain that could develop the weapons. More than that, he not only became brainier at manipulating objects, but he also had a longer childhood during which he could learn from his parents and other adults. Infant monkeys and chimpanzees are playful, exploratory and inventive, but this phase dies quickly. The naked ape's infancy was, in these respects, extended right through into his sexually adult life. There was plenty of time to imitate and earn the special techniques that had been devised by previous generations. His weaknesses as a physical and instinctive hunter could be more than compensated for by his intelligence and his imitative abilities. He could be taught by his parents as no animal had ever been taught before." (Morris D., "The Naked Ape," , Corgi Books: London, 1969, reprint, pp.30-32) 21/07/2005 "Various contemporary currents of thought have given rise in recent years to the impression, perhaps the hope, that the notion of evolution has somehow been discredited and that the doctrine of special creation has been reinstated and possibly even put on a scientific foundation. There is no substance in either view, though it is difficult not to sympathize with the layman's bewilderment upon learning that acceptance of the hypothesis of evolution does not rest-as he had assumed it must-upon the validity of so-called proofs of evolution, most of which are unconvincing or open to other interpretations, but rather upon evidence of a different and far weightier kind. The best way to explain the difference is to consider why we believe that the world is "round" (spherical). ... No scientist need convince himself of the truth of the matter by looking apprehensively-it might be thought-at photographs of the earth taken from the moon. Essentially the same holds for the hypothesis of evolution; opponents of the idea, who are so often philosophically as well as scientifically illiterate, think it shifty and evasive to contend that acceptance of the hypothesis does not depend upon acceptance of certain proofs of evolution; but indeed it does not. ... . Finally, only the theory of evolution makes a convincing story of the fossil record. A man who believes that fossils are the remains of organisms inundated by Noah's flood can believe anything: no effort of credulity would be too much. ... There are still many uncertainties about the mechanism of evolution, and some at least about the exact course it took in the history of existing animals and plants. Nevertheless, the theory of evolution is scientifically acceptable, is indeed widely accepted: it is the product of an exercise of mind wholly different from that which gave rise to the moving, imaginative literature of the first chapter of Genesis. (Medawar P.B. & Medawar J.S., "Aristotle to Zoos: A Philosophical Dictionary of Biology," Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA, 1983, pp.92-93) 21/07/2005 "The natural selection of those individuals most fitted to their environment is a truism, especially when expressed in its inverted form as 'the survival of the fittest', a phrase first used by Herbert Spencer." (Matthews L.H., "Introduction," in Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species," , Everyman's University Library: J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 1972, reprint, p.vii) 21/07/2005 "It is unfortunate that Darwin used the expression 'natural selection' because it implies a parallel to artificial selection-indeed he derived it from the comparison. The breeder of domestic animals uses selection in an attempt deliberately to reach a preconceived result, whereas natural selection has no such directed end; Spencer's tautological 'survival of the fittest' avoids the unwarranted implication. I have said elsewhere in illustration: motor buses do not select careful pedestrians jay walkers get killed. The confusion is perpetuated even today, particularly by ecologists, in the expression 'selection pressure', generally used as an explanation of the occurrence of special anatomical or physiological characters, or patterns of behaviour; what is really meant is 'predation pressure' or 'pressure' from some other inter- or intraspecific stress, or physical feature of the environment." (Matthews L.H., "Introduction," in Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species," , Everyman's University Library: J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 1972, reprint, p.ix) 21/07/2005 "Darwin was less than candid when he implied in the first sentence of the Introduction to the Origin that his observations, made while he was a guest of Captain FitzRoy, R.N., as unpaid naturalist during the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle, were the foundation of the theory of evolution by means of natural selection. It is true that the fossil bones of extinct mammals in the Pampean deposits of South America, and the plants and animals of the Galapagos Islands, especially the distinct but closely related species of giant tortoises and of finches peculiar to the different islands, turned his attention to speculation about their origin, but the theory had already been proposed before he left England. In the third edition he was forced in reply to criticism to add the Historical Sketch showing that the ideas of evolution and of natural selection were not original but had been widely discussed long before he wrote. In this and subsequent editions also, he increasingly relinquished his claim, made in the first edition, to have originated the theory." (Matthews, L.H., "Introduction," in Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species," , Everyman's University Library: J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 1972, reprint, pp.ix-x) 21/07/2005 "During the last fifty years genetics has unravelled many of the extremely complex phenomena of inheritance, and has shown that evolution by natural selection of random mutations, generally of small size, is a logical explanation of the origin of the immense array of organisms now and in the past living on earth. The theory is so plausible that most biologists accept it as though it were a proven fact, although their conviction rests upon circumstantial evidence; it forms a satisfactory faith on which to base our interpretation of nature." (Matthews L.H., "Introduction," in Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species," , Everyman's University Library: J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 1972, reprint, p.xii) 21/07/2005 "Theism claims that every other object which exists is caused to exist and kept in existence by just one substance, God. And it claims that every property which every substance has is due to God causing or permitting it to exist. It is a hallmark of a simple explanation to postulate few causes. There could in this respect be no simpler explanation than one which postulated only one cause. Theism is simpler than polytheism. And theism postulates for its one cause, a person, infinite degrees of those properties which are essential to persons- infinite power (God can do anything logically possible), infinite knowledge (God knows everything logically possible to know), and infinite freedom (no external cause influences which purposes God forms: God acts only in so far as he sees reason for acting.)" (Swinburne R.G., "Is There a God?," Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, 1996, p.43) 21/07/2005 "Mystery Religions. During the NT and subsequent eras the most popular religious forms in the Greco-Roman world were those of the mystery religions. Some of these had been imported from Egypt and the Orient, while others were indigenous to Greece. The traditional cults of the Olympic gods were no longer perceived as able to fulfill the common person's spiritual needs, and so there was a turning to those religions which promised salvation and a blessed afterlife. Immortality could be obtained through initiation into a secret experience which was intended to save the soul after death. ...The essence of the mysteries lay in their secrecy. One could incur the death sentence by revealing the mysteries through speech, pantomime, dance, or depiction. Thus it was that a complete understanding of their secrets perished with the last of their adherents. Their influence permeated ancient society so deeply, however, that the general outlines can be constructed with a considerable degree of certainty. Literally thousands of allusions to the mysteries remain in the form of literary references, vase paintings, reliefs, frescoes, inscriptions, funerary statues, and so forth. We are further aided by the confessions of certain of the church fathers who had been initiated into one or more of the mysteries, although their accounts are far from unbiased. Much religious detective work has been expended upon these ancient mysteries." (Kroeger R.C.* & Kroeger C.C.*, "Mystery Religions," in Elwell W.A., ed., "Evangelical Dictionary of Theology," , Baker Book House: Grand Rapids MI., 1990, Seventh printing, pp.742-744) 21/07/2005 "Teleology in nature is the idea that organisms have a final end toward which they aim; and that the development of the organism can be explained in terms of its final form. This doctrine is immediately appealing when we look at the natural world, and still dominates the way in which most people speak about nature. Why do birds have hollow bones? So that they are light enough to be able to fly Why do plants have flowers? So they can germinate. This kind of explanation, which has been commonly accepted since ancient Greek times, has traditionally been seen to fit nicely with Christian theology. Since plants need to germinate, it made sense that God would make them with flowers; and the efficient functioning of the flowers was taken to be evidence of God's wisdom in planning and designing nature. Darwin, however, denied design, or the force of any intelligence or purpose behind the development of new organs and separate species." (Birkett K., "Darwin and the fundamentalists," in Birkett K., ed., "The Myths of Science," Matthias Media: Kingsford NSW, Australia, 2003, pp.113-114) 21/07/2005 "An important reason Crick changed to biology, he said to me, was that he is an atheist, and was impatient to throw light into the remaining shadowy sanctuaries of vitalistic illusions. `... I looked around for fields which would illuminate this particular point of view, against vitalism. ... The particular field which excites my interest is the division between the living and the non-living, as typified by, say, proteins, viruses, bacteria and the structure of chromosomes. The eventual goal, which is somewhat remote, is the description of these activities in terms of their structure, i.e. the spatial distribution of their constituent atoms, in so far as this may prove possible. This might be called the chemical physics of biology.'" (Judson H.F., "The Eighth Day of Creation: Makers of the Revolution in Biology," Simon and Schuster: New York NY, 1979, pp.109-110) 21/07/2005 "A particular trouble with organic molecules is that they only self-assemble properly when they are fairly large. Only then will there be a sufficient overall cohesion between the molecules, or between the parts of a foldable molecule. (A soap molecule needs to have a long tail; a protein chain has to have some twenty units in it before it will start to fold up coherently.) But large molecules are difficult to come by, especially at the kinds of concentration and purity needed for precise self-assembly processes. The massive objections that there are to the idea that good supplies of nucleotides could have been pre-arranged by the primitive Earth ... apply with a similar force to almost any organic molecule of that sort of size - the sort of minimum size needed for organic molecules to be able to self-assemble in water into higher-order structures." (Cairns-Smith A.G., "Seven Clues to the Origin of Life: A Scientific Detective Story," , Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1993, reprint, pp.72-73) 21/07/2005 "From the study of planetary atmospheres, we have learned that a habitable planet like ours is an improbable object. Small differences in planetary origins led to widely divergent evolutionary paths. A planet a little too close to the Sun becomes hot and dry like Venus; a planet a little too far away grows cold and dry like Mars. Too large a planet captures a massive atmosphere like those of Jupiter and Saturn; too small a planet ends up with no atmosphere at all, like Mercury and the Moon. The requirements for habitability are stringent indeed." (Skinner B.J. & Porter S.C., The Dynamic Earth: An Introduction to Physical Geology," , Wiley: New York, Third Edition, 1995, p.522) 21/07/2005 "... communication should also be considered when theorizing on the origin of life. Coding: Even the `origin of life biologists' cannot now conceive that the smallest piece of protein was independent of an equivalent piece of code instruction, so that coding was there at the beginning. They would say indeed, In the beginning was the Code.' We have demonstrated that the smallest working unit of life could not be `bits' of the machinery, perhaps not even of something bigger like the virus, because it is not complete in itself but has to practise symbiosis with bacteria. Therefore the first code for the production of the simplest form of life must have been a DNA tape of considerable length. The subjects covered by chapters of technology must have been almost as many at they first appearance of life as with us, because all the basics of the machinery had to be coded for. It is only the elaboration of those chapters which has been the feature of what some call evolution. Recoding: we have seen that the more recent knowledge of fossils demonstrates that ... there was a long line of `common ancestors' before Homo sapiens and before each of the other types, whose fossils have not been discovered. [This] ... is in itself a difficulty, especially now that it is known that each of the known types of fossil-men had a worldwide spread, and was also associated with certain stone-tool cultures. There are no tool cultures associated with any undiscovered and supposed common ancestor. It would seem more reasonable to suppose that the DNA of the cells had been recoded for Homo sapiens at least. This would explain the common unity of Adam's cells with all other life. It would also explain the existence of specializations in the various earlier types of men, for it is these specializations which were not passed on to the other types which make anthropologists think that they could not be genetically linked in a linear fashion. When we look at the fossil record of plants and animals we see a similar picture." (Pearce E.K.V., "Who Was Adam?," Paternoster: Exeter: Devon UK, 1969, pp.128-129) 21/07/2005 "The basis of biological design (again, creationist and evolutionist agree) is coding. The biological world is packed with intricate, cooperative mechanisms that depend on encoded instructions for their development, functioning and mutual interaction. Were the codes designed, or did they evolve? Information theorists know that complex, meaningful codes do not occur spontaneously. Intelligent input is needed; spontaneity breeds randomness, and randomness destroys both order and meaning. Engineers too know that their designs are not the product of chance, but of that most powerful anti-randomizer - thought. The logic, says the creationist, runs strongly counter to the self-contradictory notion of chance-built design. No law of physics or chemistry has yielded a single principle of naturalistic innovation, information increase or functional integration. Left to themselves, things become more random and less tidy. The more complex the system, the more elaborate the design needed to keep randomness at bay. Reason tells us to accept the straightforward argument and the simple interpretation. For creationists, teleology, the doctrine of design or preordained purpose, has the merit of simplicity. They accept it with grace, and shamelessly flout the taboo that forbids biologists to acknowledge purpose and deliberate design in nature." (Pitman M., "Adam and Evolution," Rider & Co: London, 1984, pp.27- 28) 21/07/2005 "One could still argue that, unlikely as it is, RNA did emerge by chance. after all, a billion years is a long time. But the arguments against RNA emerging first are certainly strong enough to look at another possibility: that proteins came before both RNA and DNA. The idea here is that the long road to humans began with the formation of chains of amino acids long enough to do something interesting - that is, to form proteins big enough to act as enzymes to catalyse reactions. Miller-type experiments, using more realistic simulations of the primordial Earth, can produce tiny amounts of some amino acids. The question now arises of how many amino acids we need to put together to produce an enzyme. Not many at all seems to be the answer - even single amino acids can to some extent act as catalysts. However, the odds against even forming a small number of enzymes, each made up of its own complement of amino acids, is so huge it seems unlikely to have come about at random within the billion years we have allotted ourselves. But if we turn a blind eye to this problem, the idea of proteins coming first seems to have quite a lot going for it." (Matthews R.A.J., "Unravelling the Mind of God: Mysteries at the Frontier of Science," , Virgin Books: London, 1993, pp.60-61) 21/07/2005 "Some origin-of-life researchers believe that current thinking is not radical enough. For example, Dr Graham Cairns-Smith of Glasgow University has put forward a theory based on the idea that crystals may have a crude form of replicating ability. Here 'genes' would consist of particular arrangements of crystal structure, and it is these patterns that would be passed on, generation to generation. Cairns Smith's ideas centre on the crystalline character of clays but, so far `crystal genes' have yet to be demonstrated even in the laboratory." (Matthews R.A.J., "Unravelling the Mind of God: Mysteries at the Frontier of Science," , Virgin Books: London, 1993, p.61) 21/07/2005 "The Uniqueness of Man. Even if Davis's argument were valid, it would still imply that man is in a special relation to God, since, from among all possible creatures, Christ chose to take on the specific nature of man. This brings us to a further argument against ETs: the special position of man in the universe. According to Genesis 1, man alone was created in the image of God, and man alone was appointed to have dominion over creation. Even stars were created primarily to serve as lights and signs for man. Finally, at the end of times, Christ returns to the earth, the abode of man, to judge living and dead. Man is to judge the angels (1 Cor. 6:3). The New Jerusalem comes down from heaven to earth [Rev. 3:12; 21:2]. All this reinforces the special place of man in God's creation." (Byl J., "God And Cosmos: A Christian View of Time, Space, And The Universe," Banner of Truth: Edinburgh UK, 2001, pp.123-124) 21/07/2005 "Where did it all come from?" There are few questions that grip the mind more forcefully than those about the creation of the universe. Every society has given a prominent place in its folk lore to an explanation of how the world came to be. ... Western civilization's contribution to this longstanding human endeavor is impressive and, as we shall shortly see, has be come much more impressive in the last few years. Since the early part of the twentieth century, we have known that there is a general expansion in the universe, with distant galaxies receding from our own Milky Way. As our ability to measure the properties of distant parts of the universe has grown, a picture has emerged-a picture that constitutes the creation epic as told by the scientific method. The weight of the accumulated evidence tells us that the expansion we see is the result of a titanic explosion that took place about 15 billion years ago, an explosion we call the Big Bang." (Trefil J.S., "The Moment of Creation: Big Bang Physics From Before the First Millisecond to the Present Universe," Charles Scribner's Sons: New York NY, 1983, pp.1-2) 21/07/2005 "Despite the fact that we have to push into regions of energy and temperature that we have not, and probably cannot, explore experimentally, we can still do so in a way that is in harmony with the traditional way science is done and that does not simply introduce special ad hoc assumptions to explain what we find. So important is this aspect of modern cosmology in this age of creation "science" that we will state it as a basic rule (Rule 1). Rule 1: The laws of nature that have operated at any time since the Big Bang still operate today and can be understood by theories which can be tested experimentally. The philosophically inclined reader will recognize this rule as a statement of the doctrine of uniformitarianism, which first arose during the debates on geological evolution during the nineteenth century. It is not a statement that can be proved in the way that a theorem in geometry can be proved, but it reflects an important frame of mind among scientists. It is always possible to "explain" any known fact by tailoring a theory to fit it. Such explanations abound among believers in UFOs and other paranormal phenomena. They have the same validity in physics as Kipling's Just So Stories do in biology. If conventional theories simply cannot explain a given phenomenon, of course, unconventional ideas may become necessary. Until that time we will abide by Rule 1." (Trefil J.S., "The Moment of Creation: Big Bang Physics From Before the First Millisecond to the Present Universe," Charles Scribner's Sons: New York NY, 1983, pp.32-33) 21/07/2005 "Just as we see no reason to suppose that unusual processes were going on in the early universe, there is no reason to postulate special starting conditions for the Big Bang. For example, we saw that during the particle era electrons and positrons annihilated each other until only electrons were left. One to explain this would be to assume that there were more electrons than positrons at the moment of creation. But this is no explanation at all-it merely assumes what we want to prove. Therefore, rather than make such arbitrary assumptions, we will assume that equal numbers of positrons and electrons were present at creation and look to the laws of physics to tell us how there came to be more of one than the other at a later time. Thus we come to our second rule. Rule II: No special conditions may be postulated at the creation." (Trefil J.S., "The Moment of Creation: Big Bang Physics From Before the First Millisecond to the Present Universe," Charles Scribner's Sons: New York NY, 1983, p.33) 21/07/2005 "What About God? When I talk to my friends about the fact that the frontiers of knowledge are being pushed relentlessly back toward the moment of creation, I am often asked about the religious implications of the new physics. That there are such implications is obvious, particularly in the speculations about how the universe came into existence in the first place. Physicists normally feel very uncomfortable with this sort of question, since it cannot be answered by the normal methods of our science. For what it is worth, I will give my own personal views on the subject there, with the caveat that these views may not be shared by other scientists. It seems to me that the unease people feel when they think about the sort of scientific advance implicit in the new physics arises from a notion that applying the techniques of science to the creation of the universe is somehow encroaching on terrain that has been staked out by religion. ... [But]. No matter how deeply we probe into any scientific subject, we will always find something unexplained and undefined. ... It now appears that our new discoveries of the laws that govern the nature of elementary particles may allow us to push the frontiers back to the very creation of the universe itself. This does not, however, alter the fact that there is a frontier. All it does is transfer our attention from the material form of the universe to the laws that govern its behavior. I can hear a twenty-first century philosopher saying, `Very well, we agree that the universe exists because of the laws of physics. But who created those laws?' And even if, as some physicists have suggested, the laws of physics we discover are the only laws that are logically consistent with each other (and therefore the only laws that could exist), our philosopher would ask, `Who made the laws of logic?' My message, then, to those who feel that science is overstepping its bounds when it probes the early universe is simple: don't worry. No matter how far the boundaries are pushed back, there will always be room both for religious faith and a religious interpretation of the physical world." (Trefil J.S., "The Moment of Creation: Big Bang Physics From Before the First Millisecond to the Present Universe," Charles Scribner's Sons: New York NY, 1983, pp.221-223) 21/07/2005 "Recently, Clarkson and Levi-Setti (1975) of the University of Chicago have done some spectacular work on the optics of the trilobite eye lenses. It turns out that each lens is a doublet, that is, made up of two lenses, while the shape of the boundary between the two lenses is unlike any now in use-either by animals or humans (Shawver 1974). However, the lens shape and the interface curvature is nearly identical to designs published independently by Descartes and Huygens in the seventeenth century. Their design had the purpose of avoiding spherical aberration and were known as aplanatic lenses. Levi-Setti pointed out that the second lens in the doublet of the trilobite eye was necessary in order that the lens system could work under water where the trilobites lived. Thus, these creatures living at the earliest stages of life used an optimal lens design that would require very sophisticated optical engineering procedures to develop today. If Darwin turned cold at the thought of the human eye at the end of the evolutionary cycle, what, one wonders, would he have thought of the trilobite eye near the beginning?" (Taylor I.T.*, "In the Minds of Men Darwin and the New World Order," , TFE Publishing: Toronto, Canada, Third Edition, 1991, Fifth Printing, 1994, pp.168-169) 21/07/2005 "The fivefold increase in the level of illumination at the focal plane could conceivably have exceeded the threshold level of neural response in a dimly lit environment, allowing the trilobite to see at some depth in the sea, at dusk, or in turbid water. And yet the lens arrangement and shape of the schizochroal eye raises doubts that a useful mosaic image could have been formed by this type of eye. The number of lenses is generally too small and the angular coverage of their fields of view too discontinuous to form a detailed mosaic similar to that that we presume formed by the schizochroal eye and that of insects and crustaceans. (Levi-Setti R., "Trilobites," , The University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, 1993, Second Edition, pp.59,66) 21/07/2005 "Even if the genetic information of the perfected visual apparatus in the phacopid trilobite's eye became lost to further evolution within the phylum, the fundamental principles of physics that guided its development obviously survived. And, indeed, they guided other unrelated creatures to reproduce the mastery. From recent studies of vision in modern in vertebrates, it has become apparent that the correction of spherical aberration following the precepts of Descartes and Huygens, as well as the concept of adopting a doublet structure for the dioptric apparatus, have not been the unique prerogative of the trilobites. The corneal thick lenses in the compound eye of the backswimmer Notonecta glauca, a predatory aquatic insect, have been shown (Schwind 1980) to consist of a doublet structure with an unmistakable bell-shaped optical interface. Much as for the phacopid lens, the lower unit has a refractive index slightly lower than the upper unit, except that no calcite is involved in the lens composition, only organic material. Theoretical calculations and experimental determinations of the focusing properties of these lenses have confirmed that they are well corrected for spherical aberration (Horvath, 1989). Although we believe that the structures observed in the trilobite's lenses are real (not, for example, due to diagenetic alteration of the calcite crystals), and that our interpretation of their function is sufficiently supported by our model, it is gratifying to find confirmation of our conjectures in a living system that can be studied without the need of assumptions. Since no direct connection can be seen between trilobites and Notonecta, it must be inferred that the similarity in the solutions to the problem of vision optimization was the result of convergent evolution." (Levi-Setti R., "Trilobites," , The University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, 1993, Second Edition, pp.66,68) 21/07/2005 "Another most intriguing two-component, corrected optical system is that found in the eyes of the scallop Pecten (Land 1965) and only recently brought to my attention (Horvath and Varjii 1991). In this bivalve mollusc, fifty to sixty simple eyes are embedded in the pallium. and appear as tiny, bright iridescent pearls. Their optical structure, sketched in figure 13, rivals in perfection and ingenuity that of the phacopid trilobite's lenses. They also consist of a compound, two-element structure. The upper unit is a soft lens, almost identical in shape to Huygens' solution, but mounted in inverted geometry, so that the bell-shaped interface is external. Facing the spherical, internal interface of this lens is a spherical mirror, the argentea, made out of thirty to forty layers of guanine crystals, interleaved with layers of cytoplasm. This multilayered structure acts as a highly reflecting, interferometric, quarter wavelength mirror. The image is formed on a retinal surface, located between the mirror and the correcting lens, that responds to a decrease in the level of illumination (the "off' signal). Another retinal surface, located beneath the former, responds to "on" signals only. The ensuing neural response imparts to the eye remarkable sensitivity to dimming of light levels and angular movement of the light-dark stimulus. In other words, the eye takes advantage of the image contrast, as surmised in our previous discussion of possible evolutionary advantages of correcting eye lens defects. Astonishing as this may seem, the two-element structure of the scallop's eye corresponds to the structure of the catadioptric telescope or Schmidt optical system. This compound lens system has an amazingly large angular acceptance, expressed by an f: number equal to 0.6. I should mention that the Cartesian Ovals connection was not recognized in the earlier studies of the Pecten's eye, although the function of the aspherical lens in correcting spherical aberration was fully documented. I also became aware of this preexisting evidence, after having already formulated my reflections, expressed earlier, concerning the significance of such complex designs found in naturally evolved living systems. Whatever repetition this may involve, I felt compelled to narrate how my premonition became eclipsed by reality. Indeed, a wide-angle imaging lens, inspired by the design of the Pecten's lens system, has been incorporated into a miniaturized fiber optics endoscope, named the "Tube Peeper" (Greguss 1985)." (Levi-Setti R., "Trilobites," , The University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, 1993, Second Edition, p.68) 21/07/2005 "Extinguished theologians lie about the cradle of every science as the strangled snakes beside that of Hercules; and history records that whenever science and orthodoxy have been fairly opposed, the latter has been forced to retire from the lists, bleeding and crushed if not annihilated; scotched, if not slain." (Huxley T.H., "The Origin of Species," in "Darwiniana: Essays by Thomas H. Huxley," , AMS Press: New York NY, 1970, reprint, p.52) 21/07/2005 "Why did Darwin, a figure of such stature in science, feel impelled toward this grudging and secretive behavior? Many pages of his biographies are devoted to his magnanimity, his friendliness, his lack of pretense. On the other hand, it is well known that he had his moments of indifference toward his forerunners. He was capable of saying in his autobiography that he had never encountered a single naturalist who entertained doubts on the permanence of species, although in a letter to Hooker in 1847 he had commented jovially, `I see you have introduced several sentences against us transmutationists.' Attempts to explain some of these paradoxes of character have been legion." (Eiseley L.C., "Charles Darwin, Edward Blyth, and the Theory of Natural Selection," in "Darwin and the Mysterious Mr. X," E.P. Dutton: New York NY, 1979, p.73) 21/07/2005 "What Leff said is fascinating, but what he failed to say is more fascinating still. If there is no ultimate evaluator, then there is no real distinction between good and evil. It follows that if evil is nonetheless real, then atheism-i.e., the idea of the nonexistence of that evaluator or standard of evaluation-is not only an extraordinarily unappetizing prospect, it is also fundamentally untrue. Because the reality of evil implies the reality of the evaluator who alone has the authority to establish the standard by which evil can deserve to be damned. When impeccable logic leads to self-contradiction, there must be a faulty premise. In this case the premise is that because God is dead, `it looks as if we are all we have.' Why not reexamine the premise? Why not at least explain why you refuse to reexamine the premise? By not asking that last question, Leff in effect placed the death of God in the place of God. In his system, the absence of a supernatural evaluator was a premise so far beyond question that it could not be doubted even when it pointed to a conclusion Leff desperately wanted to escape, even a conclusion he acknowledged to be false. If we know that totalitarian mass murder is evil, and that those who acquiesced in it deserve damnation, then we know something about that absolute evaluator as well. Leff offered no reason for protecting modernism's founding premise from the brilliant skeptical analysis that he directed at everything else. To a theist this must seem indefensible, but Leff could not have done otherwise without ceasing to be a modernist. A system's ultimate premise is always beyond question; that is what it means to say that it is an ultimate premise." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Nihilism and the End of Law," First Things, Vol. 31, March 1993, pp.19-25) 21/07/2005 "I suppose I had better mention the concept of a divine creator, but personally I do not find that particular hypothesis useful and I am tempted to ask about the cosmic accident that created Him (presumably before the 'big bangs' that started the universe). And what did He do before He created the world and mankind?" (Ager D.V., "The New Catastrophism: The Importance of the Rare Event in Geological History," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1993, p.149) 21/07/2005 "Personally, given the resources of geological time, I feel confident that sooner or later that hypothetical chimpanzee sitting at a typewriter, will one day type Hamlet." (Ager D.V., "The New Catastrophism: The Importance of the Rare Event in Geological History," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1993, p.149) 21/07/2005 "Now let us give Charlie a normal keyboard with, say, 45 keys. ... Things get rapidly worse when we use longer messages. We will let Charlie try for a bit of Hamlet. The phrase "to be or not to be" has 18 characters, if we count the spaces as characters. The chances that our chimp will type this out are 1 in 4518, or 1 in 6 x 109. At one try per second, it will take poor Charlie more than 1022 years to do that number of tries. Should the open model for the universe be correct, Charlie will still be typing away long after the stars have ceased to shine and all the planets have been dispersed into space through stellar near-collisions. But now we have developed a real thirst for Shakespeare. We want our monkey to type out "to be or not to be: that is the question," which has 40 characters. The chances then become 4540, or about 1066, to 1. This is a number 10 million times greater than the number of trials maximally available for the random generation of a replicator on the early earth. There we have it. If the chances of getting the replicator at random from a prebiotic soup are less than that of striking "to be or not to be: that is the question" by chance on a typewriter, we had best forget it. The replicator would have about 600 atoms. The chances of Charlie typing a 600-letter message (twice the size of this paragraph) correctly are 1 in 10992." (Shapiro, R., "Origins: A Skeptic's Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth," Summit Books: New York NY, 1986, p.169) 21/07/2005 "The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils." (Gould, S.J., "Evolution's Erratic Pace," Natural History, The American Museum of Natural History, Vol. 86, No. 5, May 1977, pp.12-16, p.14) 21/07/2005 "Charles Darwin is widely regarded as the father of the greatest intellectual revolution of all time. His theory of evolution by natural selection, published in The Origin of Species in 1859, challenged the widely held views not just of science but of society as a whole. Indeed, Ernst Mayr, Professor of Zoology at Harvard University, said in his contribution to the Darwin Centenary Conference in 1982 that 'there could not be any truly objective and uncommitted science until science and theology had been cleanly and completely divorced from each other', and that the publication of the Origin was the greatest single influence in bringing about this divorce." (Gribbin J., "In Search of the Double Helix: Darwin, DNA and Beyond," Wildwood House: Aldershot UK, 1985, p.1) 21/07/2005 "Without going into details of the nineteenth-century debate about evolution, there is one crucial point which illustrates the scientific method at work and which should be stressed. Opponents of the idea, then as now, were generally people who believed, as an act of faith, in the Biblical story of creation. ... Darwin pointed out many times, including in his letters later collected by Francis Darwin, that he did not believe anything. Like all good scientists, he created working hypotheses to explain his observations of the natural world, and then looked to see how well the rest of the world fitted in with those hypotheses. He regarded the theory of evolution by natural selection as a good working hypothesis, because it could explain so many phenomena that were otherwise inexplicable, except by the actions of a somewhat capricious Deity constantly tinkering with nature. The distinction sounds subtle, but is crucial. Ask devout Christians whether they believe that Christ died and rose again, and they will say that of course they do. Ask them for evidence, and they will be baffled by the question. It is not a matter of evidence, but of belief, asking for evidence indicates doubt, and with doubt there is no faith. But science is, or should be, all about doubt. Ask a scientist whether he believes in evolution, or that the Earth is round, and when pressed, if he is a good scientist, he will admit that these are good working hypotheses, but that new evidence may yet emerge which requires them to be replaced by better hypotheses. Science and religion speak different languages, and that is why the debate between 'creationists' and 'evolutionists' was, and is, ultimately sterile." (Gribbin J., "In Search of the Double Helix: Darwin, DNA and Beyond," Wildwood House: Aldershot UK, 1985, pp.21-23. Emphasis in original) 21/07/2005 "Of course, if the fossil record does not fit the theory, it is always possible to adjust the theory to fit the record. In science, an enterprising theoretician has several degrees of freedom within which to maneuver before the referee reaches ten and the final bell comes to clang. Steven [sic] Jay Gould, who was trained as a paleontologist, surveyed the fossil evidence early in the 1970s and came to the obvious conclusion that either the theory or the evidence must go. What went, on his scheme of things, was the neo Darwinian orthodoxy by which species change into different species by means of an endless series of infinitesimal changes, continuously, like the flow of syrup. Instead, Gould argued, biological change must have been discontinuous, with vast changes taking place at once. Such was his model of punctuated equilibria. It fits the fossil record far better (if it makes sense, even, to talk of scientific fit here), but the model achieves faithfulness to the facts only by chucking out the chief concepts of the Darwinian theory itself, and while paleontologists have been glad to have had Gould's company, evolutionary theorists have looked over what he has written with the cool, slitted, appraising glance of a butcher eyeing a sheep." (Berlinski D., "The Evidence for Evolution," in "Black Mischief: Language, Life, Logic, Luck," Harcourt Brace Jovanovich: Boston MA, Second Edition, 1988, pp.30-302) 21/07/2005 "If both sides [Dawkins' and Gould's] agree that natural selection is responsible for adaptation, and also that natural selection isn't the whole story of evolution, then where is their disagreement? ...In fact, however, the disagreement is substantive. The key to understanding it is to recognize that being a true Darwinist requires more than just giving lip service to natural selection before going on to something else, which is what Gould typically does. If natural selection actually made all those marvels of biological complexity, certain conclusions about the pace and manner of evolution necessarily follow, and Gould frequently seems to be denying those necessary conclusions. The dinosaurs can be killed off as rapidly as you like, but all the dinosaurs that died and all the new mammals that replaced them had to have been built up in the first place through the gradual accumulation of random mutations by natural selection. Likewise, the problem with neutral gene substitutions is not that anyone doubts they occur, but that neutral changes by definition do not help with the overwhelming task of building up the complex adaptations. Natural selection had to do that whole job, if God didn't do it, and that means natural selection had to be continuously active across vast stretches of geological time regardless of what the fossil record shows. That implies, among other things, that an enormous amount of evidence of the process has to be missing from the fossil record, but Gould frequently gives the impression that he thinks the evidence was never there. (Johnson, P.E.*, "The Gorbachev of Darwinism," First Things, 79, January 1998, pp14-16) 21/07/2005 "Although Darwin's evolution by natural selection appeared to challenge the prevailing 19th century concept of a Divine Creation, the discovery of the structure of DNA and its role in the replication of genetic information has largely reinstated the Almighty as the Great Computer Programmer of the biosphere-and it is now a matter of 'In the beginning God created DNA'. Nevertheless, our new understanding of how the computer works would seem to justify reverence for God and the molecular biologists. It is a remarkable process and its clarification must rate as one of the truly great achievements of science. Without the help of God, on the other hand, the information in the genes is certainly the information 'selected for' by Darwin's process of natural selection working on the individuals of the species. But since any selection for information demands the existence of information according to which selections can be made, the problem still remains: where does the original information come from?" (Black S., "The Nature of Living Things: An Essay in Theoretical Biology," Martin Secker & Warburg: London, 1972, pp.11-12. Emphasis in original) 21/07/2005 "What a man can believe depends upon his philosophy, not upon the clock or the century. If a man believes in unalterable natural law, he cannot believe in any miracle in any age. If a man believes in a will behind law, he can believe in any miracle in any age. Suppose, for the sake of argument, we are concerned with a case of thaumaturgic healing. A materialist of the twelfth century could not believe it any more than a materialist of the twentieth century. But a Christian scientist of the twentieth century can believe it as much as a Christian of the twelfth century. It is simply a matter of a man's theory of things." (Chesterton G.K., "Orthodoxy," , Fontana: London, 1961, reprint, p.74) 21/07/2005 "It should also be clear that moral Darwinists-those whose lives are defined by the gains won by the rise to ascendancy of the moral tenets of modern Epicureanism as culminating in Darwin-will not only fight passionately to keep those gains, but will throw their considerable cultural weight behind the materialist interpretation of science and the debunking and humiliation of Christianity. Advocates and beneficiaries of abortion on demand and the growth of cloned human beings for experimentation and organ harvesting must have a universe that supports that supports their desires and their way of life, and that means they must have a universe without human souls, the afterlife or God. Advocates of euthanasia must believe, with Epicurus, that `death is nothing to us,' for when we die, `we do not exist,' and therefore they must have a universe in which, again, immaterial entities-the immortal soul or an avenging God-cannot exist. Death must be the final exit, beyond which there is endless nothingness. Advocates of the release of sexuality from all restrictions must also have a universe in which nature is amoral, and nature can only be amoral if it is the result of chance rather than an intelligent designer. Simply put, advocates of moral Darwinism, whether the scientist who wishes to clone, the woman who defends partial birth abortion, the compassionate advocate of death with `dignity,' or the propagandist for pansexual bliss-all alike must defend the faith of the materialist, and all alike must attack the faith of the Christian." (Wiker B., "Moral Darwinism: How We Became Hedonists," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2002, pp.316-317) 21/07/2005 "Some two-thirds of the way from the galactic centre, where the stars thin out, there shines an ordinary, yellowish star. It has plenty of room to move around in, for its nearest neighbour in the Milky Way galaxy lies 24 million million miles away-a distance of more than four light-years-and its next neighbour after that is about two light-years beyond. This lonely star that glows, from far off, as weakly as a firefly, is our sun. Among its own attendant family of faithfully circling planets, satellites, asteroids, meteoroids and comets, one oddly matched pair (third from the sun, in terms of distance) is the earth and its moon. A minor planet bound to an ordinary star in the outskirts of one galaxy among thousands of millions such is the earth. Approached in this way, from the chill reaches of infinite space, it would be all too easy to miss, a speck almost beneath notice except for one thing: of all the places that conceivably could support human fife, the earth is the one and only place we know of that does. Its interior and its skin, its atmosphere and its climate and even its behaviour in space-all of which, together with other attributes, will be examined in this book-form in combination a salubrious environment in which life, and especially intelligent fife, flourishes. Until proved otherwise, the earth is the wonder of the universe, a unique sphere with an infinity of its own, encompassing everything from the busy world of the atom to the limitless mind and spirit of man. It may not be insignificant in the cosmic scheme of things after all." (Beiser A., "The Earth," , Life Nature Library, Time-Life International: Netherlands, 1964, reprint, pp.9-10) 21/07/2005 "The `warm little pond' scenario was invented ad hoc to serve as a materialistic reductionist explanation of the origin of life. It is unsupported by any other evidence and it will remain ad hoc until such evidence is found. Even if it existed, as described in the scenario, it nevertheless falls very far short indeed of achieving the purpose of its authors even with the aid of a deus ex machina. One must conclude that, contrary to the established and current wisdom a scenario describing the genesis of life on earth by chance and natural causes which can be accepted on the basis of fact and not faith has not yet been written." (Yockey H.P., "A Calculation of the Probability of Spontaneous Biogenesis by Information Theory," Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 67, 1977, p.396) 21/07/2005 "Things have continued in much the same way to the present. There is professional evolutionary biology: mathematical, experimental, not laden with value statements. But, you are not going to find the answer to the world's mysteries or to societal problems if you open the pages of Evolution or Animal Behaviour. Then, sometimes from the same person, you have evolution as secular religion, generally working from an explicitly materialist background and solving all of the world's major problems, from racism to education to conservation. Consider Edward O. Wilson, rightfully regarded as one of the most outstanding professional evolutionary biologists of our time, and the author of major works of straight science. In his On Human Nature, he calmly assures us that evolution is a myth that is now ready to take over Christianity. And, if this is so, "the final decisive edge enjoyed by scientific naturalism will come from its capacity to explain traditional religion, its chief competition, as a wholly material phenomenon. Theology is not likely to survive as an independent intellectual discipline" [Wilson E.O., "On Human Nature," Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA, 1978, p.192] ... there is indeed a thriving area of more popular evolutionism, where evolution is used to underpin claims about the nature of the universe, the meaning of it all for us humans, and the way we should behave. I am not saying that this area is all bad or that it should be stamped out. ... I am saying that this popular evolutionism-often an alternative to religion--exists. ... we who cherish science should be careful to distinguish when we are doing science and when we are extrapolating from it, particularly when we are teaching our students. If it is science that is to be taught, then teach science and nothing more. Leave the other discussions for a more appropriate time." (Ruse M., "Is Evolution a Secular Religion?," Science, Vol 299, 7 March 2003, pp.1523-1524) 21/07/2005 "But there is barely beginning to emerge a new generation of creationists with legitimate and relevant credentials who are undertaking to actually do some of the painstaking, detailed drudgery that underlies any genuinely live scientific program. This emergence has begun to produce a separation in the creationist movement-an upper and lower tier, so to speak. I think that what ultimately separates the two tiers is different levels of respect for accuracy and completeness of detail, and different levels of awareness that a theory's looking good in vague and general form is an enormously unreliable predictor of whether in the long run the theory will be disemboweled by recalcitrant technical details. That appreciation is something that typically comes only with a legitimate scientific education, which some of the creationist popularizers and many in their audiences lack. " (Ratzsch D.L.*, "The Battle of Beginnings: Why Neither Side is Winning the Creation-Evolution Debate," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1996, p.82) 2207/2005 "Today the theory of evolution is about as much open to doubt as the theory-that the earth goes round the sun, but the full implications of Darwin's revolution have yet to be widely realized. Zoology is still a minority subject in universities, and even those who choose to study it often make their decision without appreciating its profound philosophical significance. Philosophy and the subjects known as 'humanities' are still taught almost as if Darwin had never lived. No doubt this will change in time." (Dawkins R., "The Selfish Gene," , Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, 1989, New edition, p.1) 2207/2005 "The origin of eyes in 40 branches of the evolutionary tree was always considered to be an independent convergent development. Molecular biology has now shown that this is not entirely correct. A regulatory master gene (called Pax 6) has recently been discovered that seems to control the development of eyes in the most diverse branches of the tree (see Chapter 5). However, this gene occurs also in taxa whose species have no eyes. Pax 6 is apparently a basic regulatory gene, presumably involving some other functions in the nervous system. Molecular biology has discovered a number of other such basic regulatory genes whose existence in some cases goes back to a time before the major animal phyla had branched. When survival is favored by the acquisition of a new structure or other attribute, selection makes use of all available molecules already present in the genotype." (Mayr E., "What Evolution Is," Basic Books: New York, 2001, pp.204-205) 2207/2005 But the objections to the theory of evolution by natural selection had not really been answered, and by 1870 Wallace had come to realize that something in addition was needed. Thus to Wallace, as or Lyell and to Blyth long ago, there was something right about evolution by natural selection and there was something wrong. This balanced position, which was the correct one, never had a fair hearing from 1870 onward however, because the developing system of popular education provided an ideal opportunity for zealots who were sure of themselves to overcome those who were not, for awkward arguments not to be discussed, and for discrepant facts to be suppressed. This was because popular education created a body of students who, like Wallace himself, had of necessity to make their ways in life, and because it is only students from privileged backgrounds who can afford to adopt views contrary to what they are told." (Hoy "Mathematics of Evolution," , Acorn Enterprises: Memphis TN, 1999, p.106) 2207/2005 "And history includes too much contingency, or shaping of present results by long chains of unpredictable antecedent states, rather than immediate determination by timeless laws of nature. Homo sapiens did not appear on the earth, just a geologic second ago, because evolutionary theory predicts such an outcome based on themes of progress and increasing neural complexity. Humans arose, rather, as a fortuitous and contingent outcome of thousands of linked events, any one of which could have occurred differently and sent history on an alternative pathway that would not have led to consciousness. To cite just four among a multitude: (1) If our inconspicuous and fragile lineage had not been among the few survivors of the initial radiation of multicellular animal life in the Cambrian explosion 530 million years ago, then no vertebrates would have inhabited the earth at all. (Only one member of our chordate phylum, the genus Pikaia, has been found among these earliest fossils. This small and simple swimming creature, showing its allegiance to us by possessing a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, is among the rarest fossils of the Burgess Shale, our best preserved Cambrian fauna.) (2) If a small and unpromising group of lobeinned fishes had not evolved fin bones with a strong central axis capable of bearing weight on land, then vertebrates might never have become terrestrial. (3) If a large extraterrestrial body had not struck the earth 65 million years ago, then dinosaurs would still be dominant and mammals insignificant (the situation that had prevailed for 100 million years previously). (4) If a small lineage of primates had not evolved upright posture on the drying African savannas just two to four million years ago, then our ancestry might have ended in a line of apes that, like the chimpanzee and gorilla today, would have become ecologically marginal and probably doomed to extinction despite their remarkable behavioral complexity. Therefore, to understand the events and generalities of life's pathway, we must go beyond principles of evolutionary theory to a paleontological examination of the contingent pattern of life's history on our planet-the single actualized version among millions of plausible alternatives that happened not to occur. ... Life's pathway certainly includes many features predictable from laws of nature, but these aspects are too broad and general to provide the "rightness" that we seek for validating evolution's particular results-roses, mushrooms, people and so forth." (Gould, S.J., "The Evolution of Life on the Earth," Scientific American, Vol. 271, No. 4, October 1994, pp.63-69, p.64) 2207/2005 "In the late 1950s, astronomers introduced the concept of the Circumstellar Habitable Zone (CHZ). While its definition has varied somewhat since then, they've generally defined it as that region around a star where liquid water can exist continually on the surface of a terrestrial planet for at least a few billion years. This definition is based on the assumption that life will flourish if this minimum requirement is met." (Gonzalez G. & Richards J.W., "The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed For Discovery," Regnery: Washington DC, 2004, p..127) 2207/2005 "The last thing is the most important of all. Darwinism has been a bad thing for social peace, and a good thing for several material endeavors, but for science itself it has played a key role in binding biology to the physical sciences. Without Darwinism, biological science would need one or more deities to explain the marvelous contrivances of life. Physics and chemistry alone are not enough. And so without Darwinism science would necessarily remain theistic, in whole or in part." (Rose M.R., "Darwin's Spectre: Evolutionary Biology in the Modern World," , Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 2000, Third printing, p.211) 2207/2005 "The question is not concerning evolution, but as to the main cause which has led to evolution in such and such shapes. To me it seems that the `Origin of Variation,' whatever it is, is the only true `Origin of Species' ... Unless we can explain the origin of variations, we are met by the unexplained at every step in the progress of a creature from its original homogeneous condition to its differentiation, we will say, as an elephant; so that to say that an elephant has become an elephant through the accumulation of a vast number of small, fortuitous, but unexplained, variations in some lower creatures, is really to say that it has become an elephant owing to a series of causes about which we know nothing, whatever, or, in other words, that one does not know how it came to be an elephant." (Butler S., "Life and Habit," , Wildwood House: London, 1981, pp.263-264) 2207/2005 "Most single stars cannot support life either. Some 80 percent of all stars-those with less than 65 percent of the Sun's mass-are just too wimpy to support life because they radiate so little energy. A planet close enough to receive enough heat to keep water in a liquid state will orbit so close that tidal forces from the star will slow the planet's rotation to a crawl, as happens between Mercury and the Sun. One hemisphere faces the star for extended periods of time, becoming too hot, and the other faces away, becoming too cold. Many of these dwarf stars also spew huge flares into space that periodically toast any nearby planets. On the other end of the scale, stars 40 percent more massive than the Sun or larger don't live long enough to produce technological civilizations. These celestial behemoths, which make up about one percent of the Galaxy's total, consume their hydrogen fuel like hungry sharks at a feeding frenzy. On the cosmic time scale, they live out their lives in a blink of an eye. The Sun belongs to a precious minority of stars that have no stellar companions and that have the right mass. Nobody knows exactly how many stars can support intelligent life, but it's clear these criteria have put a dent in the most optimistic ET claims by whittling 200 billion stars down to perhaps 10 to 20 billion." (Naeye R., "OK, Where Are They?," Astronomy, July 1996, Vol. 24, No. 7, pp.36-43, p.39) 2207/2005 "Does g have to be 6.67 * 10-11? What if g were a little larger or a little smaller? It turns but that the consequences of even very small changes in the gravitational constant would be profound. If the constant were even slightly larger, it would have increased the force of gravity just enough to slow expansion after the big bang. And, according to Hawking, `If the rate of expansion one second after the big bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million it would have recollapsed before it reached its present size.' (Hawking S.W., "A Brief History of Time," Bantam: New York, 1988, p.121) Conversely, if g were smaller, the dust from the big bang would just have continued to expand, never coalescing into galaxies, stars, planets, or us. The value of the gravitational constant is just right for the existence of life. A little bigger, and the universe would have collapsed before we could evolve; a little smaller, and the planet upon which we stand would never have formed. The gravitational constant has just the right value to permit the evolution of life" (Miller K.R., "Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution," , HarperCollins: New York NY, 2000, reprint, pp.227-28. Emphasis in original) 2207/2005 "But astronomers have unsuccessfully searched several dozen nearby Sunlike stars for Jupiter-mass planets in Jupiter-like orbits, suggesting that gas giant planets might be relatively uncommon. Computer models indicate that a planet needs at least 10 million years to gobble up enough gas from a protoplanetary disk to attain the mass of Jupiter. Radio observations of nearby stars only a few million years old show that most are not surrounded by enough gas to form heavy- weight planets like Jupiter. Sa for a solar system to be habitable, it needs to form from a disk that lives long enough to enable a Jupiter to reign in sufficient gas, but not so long that the terrestrial planets spiral al] the way into the star. Our solar system might be one of the few where everything happened just right to give life a fighting chance. Many astronomers bemoan the Moon as a worthless hunk of rock that washes out the night sky for about two weeks every month. But without the Moon, there might not be anyone on Earth capable of enjoying the wonders of the universe. Compared to the other terrestrial planets, the Earth-Moon system stands out. Mercury and Venus have no satellites at all, and Mars has two insignificant, Manhattan- sized boulders that are probably captured asteroids. Earth can brag about its massive Moon, however, which is about the same size as the largest satellites of Jupiter and Saturn. It's no wonder that many astronomers refer to the Earth-Moon system as a double planet." (Naeye, R., "OK, Where Are They?," Astronomy, July 1996, Vol. 24, No. 7, pp.36-43, pp.40-41) 2207/2005 "This more prolific ATP manufacturing process occurs in a machine within the cell called the mitochondria. The mitochondria's method for, constructing ATP is quite clever, and it took many years of research to uncover its inner workings. In mitochondria the oxygen delivered by the blood is not used directly to construct ATP. Instead, the oxygen is used with an elegant series of reactions to set up a proton gradient across a mitochondrion's inner membrane. As a battery forces electricity to flow through a wire, so the proton gradient forces the protons to flow back across the membrane. There is a membrane protein called ATP synthase that has a channel for the protons to flow through. Like a waterfall turning a generator, the protons turn a crank in the ATP synthase. It appears that the crank is not straight but has a curve in it. As it rotates, it apparently pushes on other parts of the ATP synthase protein, causing the structure to change shape. As the protons continue to flow, the ATP synthase goes back and forth between different conformations. The ATP synthase structure and its conformational changes are just what is needed to capture spent ATP molecules and recharge them. Just as a hydroelectric dam converts water pressure to electricity, the ATP synthase converts proton pressure to chemical energy, in the form of the ATP molecule. ... Biology is full of incredibly elaborate, complex machines. If you are beginning to suspect that Darwinism has no compelling explanation for them, you're right. Aside from vague hypotheses that have more speculation than hard fact, evolutionists have no idea how such machines could have come about by the unguided forces of nature." (Hunter C.G., "Darwin's Proof: The Triumph of Religion Over Science," Brazos Press: Grand Rapids MI, 2003, pp.33-34) 2207/2005 "Whales once had legs of some kind; Basilosaurus had delicately turned legs that rose and fell as it swam through the Tethys; and now except for the rare stub, whales have no hind legs at all. To Darwin, such shrinking vestiges were some of the best evidence for evolution. He was struck by how fish and other animals that lived in caves were so much like their relatives that lived in the light except for their pale, unpigmented skins and their sightless eyes; how birds and beetles that could not fly nevertheless had crude baby wings. If God had created all the species on earth as they are now, why should He leave these sloppy mistakes?" (Zimmer C., "At The Waters Edge: Fish With Fingers, Whales With Legs, and How Life Came Ashore but Then Went Back to Sea," , Touchstone: New York NY, 1999, reprint, p.170) 2207/2005 "In 1871 Charles Darwin published The Descent of Man, proposing that man and apes are descended from a common ancestor. No anthropologist today questions his basic premise. There is total agreement about how to explain the similarities between men and apes. The impression is sometimes given that there is an equal consensus on how to explain the differences between them. This impression is misleading. Considering the very close genetic relationship that has been established by comparison of biochemical properties of blood proteins, protein structure and DNA and immunological responses, the differences between a man and a chimpanzee are more astonishing than the resemblances. They include structural differences in the skeleton, the muscles, the skin, and the brain; differences in posture associated with a unique method of locomotion; differences in social organization; and finally the acquisition of speech and tool-using, together with the dramatic increase in intellectual ability which has led scientists to name their own species Homo sapiens sapiens - wise wise man. During the period when these remarkable evolutionary changes were taking place, other closely related ape- like species changed only very slowly, and with far less remarkable results. It is hard to resist the conclusion that something must have happened to the ancestors of Homo sapiens which did not happen to the ancestors of gorillas and chimpanzees." (Morgan E., "The Aquatic Ape: A Theory of Human Evolution," , Souvenir Press: London, 1989, reprint, pp.17-18) 2207/2005 "The apparent contradiction between molecules and morphology was addressed by Mary-Clair King and Allan Wilson, at Berkeley [King, M.-C. & Wilson, A.C., `Evolution at two levels in humans and chimpanzees,' _Science_, Vol. 188, 11 April 1975, pp.107-116]. They asked how it was that humans could look so different from chimpanzees and gorillas when all showed the same degree of difference from one another at the molecular level, and that was a difference of only 1 per cent. They proposed that not all mutations are equal: there are some genes, called regulatory genes that control other genes. Thus a few mutations in regulatory genes could result in large anatomical changes. The situation has turned out to be even more complicated than King and Wilson realised. Now we know that only 1 to 5 per cent of the DNA genome is expressed as proteins. Between 95 and 91 per cent consists of introns, pseudogenes `junk' or `selfish' DNA that goes along for the ride, replicating from generation to generation without affecting morphology at all. All this superfluous DNA may not be of much use to the organism, but it has proved to be a treasure trove of evolutionary history. Because it is not impeded by natural selection, this `silent DNA' accumulates mutations at an even faster rate than the coding sequences of DNA, and so provides a `fast clock' for timing evolutionary divergences, a high-powered microscope for looking at evolutionary relationships and for resolving the human-chimp-gorilla trilemma."(Lowenstein J. & Zihlman A., "The Invisible ape," _New Scientist_, Vol 120, 3 December 1988, pp.56-59, p.57) 2207/2005 "The idea of comparing chimp and human DNA first appeared in print in a 1975 paper by geneticist Mary-Claire King and biochemist Allan Wilson at the University of California, Berkeley. Using the relatively rough and ready techniques of the day, based on how similar strands of DNA stick to one another, the researchers estimated that human DNA is between 98 and 99 per cent identical to that from chimps. This was confirmed when the original researchers and others went on to sequence a small number of genes. The immediate question raised by the finding was what was the significance of that 1.5 per cent? Did it mean that chimps were nearly human? Not really. Nearly 75 per cent of human genes have some counterpart in nematodes-millimetre-long soil-dwelling worms-but that doesn't mean that a worm is three-quarters of the way to being a person." (White A., "The greatest apes", New Scientist, 15 May 1999) 2207/2005 "If I am to speak to this issue, I want to make my focus very clear. This paper concerns the appearance of biological structure, not the tie of such appearance to biotic descent. Evidence for structural difference/descent does not constitute evidence for the mechanism by which structural transformation took place. Therefore, the sorts of evidence that simply indicate relationship and/or descent from a common ancestor (e.g., molecular clock data, fossil sequences, chromosomal banding, and other measures of similarity) are not relevant to this question unless they indicate the nature of the creative mechanism that produced novelty during that descent. Evidence of ancestry does not imply knowledge of the morphogenetic mechanisms that are able to produce novelty." (Wilcox, D.L., "A Blindfolded Watchmaker: The Arrival of the Fittest", in Buell J. & Hearn V., eds., "Darwinism: Science or Philosophy?", Foundation for Thought and Ethics: Richardson TX, 1994, p.195) 2207/2005 "Young earth creationism honors the Scriptures and gives specific content to the biblical doctrine that death and suffering entered the world through human sin. If it turned out to be true, some tough theological problems would become a lot easier. But, as Robert Newman shows us, the young earth scenario seems to face insurmountable scientific problems. Paul Nelson and fohn Mark Reynolds can respond that the young earth camp includes a few distinguished scientists who are working on those problems. That is true, but nothing I have read so far leads me to be optimistic. I state these personal opinions with some diffidence, largely because I am nowhere near as familiar with the crucial geological evidence and radiometric dating techniques as I am with the main issues of biological evolution. Because of these opinions, most people think of me as an old earth creationist; however, I agree with critics of that position that something is awkward about the idea that God stepped in at various undetermined points in an earthly history of billions of years to do some more creating or to inject new genetic information into the biosphere. Show me a better scientific position than old earth creationism and I'm open to persuasion. Is it discouraging to have to admit at the end that "I just don't know"? I don't find it discouraging in the least, because I look forward to the exciting work we have to do to get to a position where we can hope to get the answers. The problem is that we want to consider the scientific evidence fairly and without prejudice, but it is hard to do that when so many scientists insist on looking at the evidence only through the distorting lenses of naturalistic philosophy. Until we can separate the philosophy from the science and get an unbiased appraisal of what the evidence does and does not show, it is premature to try to come to any firm conclusions. When we do get an unbiased scientific picture, neo-Darwinism will collapse and we will be in the midst of a scientific revolution so profound that everything will look, different. That's where you come in. What the world needs now is not more people who can argue for one of the existing positions, but people who can advance the ball. Take it from here and run with it!" (Johnson, P.E.*, "Reflection 2", in Moreland J.P. & Reynolds J.M., eds., "Three Views on Creation and Evolution," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1999, pp.277-278) 2207/2005 "Origin of tetrapods.-The `why' of tetrapod origin has been often debated. Many of the earliest amphibians appear to have been fairly large forms of carnivorous habits, still spending a large portion of their time in fresh- water pools. Alongside them lived their close relatives, the crossopterygians, similar in food habits and in many structural features and differingeatures and differing markedly only in the lesser development of the paired limbs. Why did the amphibians leave the water? Not to breathe air, for that could be done by merely coming to the surface of the pool. Not because they were driven out in search of food-they were carnivores for whom there was little food on land. Not to escape enemies, for they were among the largest of vertebrates found in the fresh waters from which they came. Their appearance on land seems to have resulted as an adaptation for remaining in the water. The earliest-known amphibians lived much the same sort of life as the related contemporary crossopterygians. Both lived normally in the same streams and pools and both fed on the same fish food. As long as there was plenty of water, the crossopterygian probably was the better off of the two, for he was obviously the better swimmer-legs were in the way. The Devonian, during which land adaptations originated, was seemingly a time of seasonal droughts when life in fresh waters must have been difficult. Even then, if the water merely became stagnant and foul, the crossopterygian could come to the surface and breathe air as well as the amphibian. But if the water dried up altogether, the amphibian had the better of it. The fish, incapable of land locomotion, must stay in the mud and, if the water did not soon return, must die. But the amphibian, with his short and clumsy but effective limbs, could crawl out of the pool and walk overland (probably very slowly and painfully at first) and reach the next pool where water still remained. Once this process had begun, it is easy to see how a land fauna might eventually have been built up. Instead of seeking water immediately, the amphibian might linger on the banks and devour stranded fish. Some types might gradually take to eating insects (primitive ones resembling cockroaches and dragon flies were already abundant) and, finally, plant food. The larger carnivores might take to eating their smaller amphibian relatives. Thus a true terrestrial fauna might be established." (Romer A.S., "Vertebrate Paleontology," , University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, Second Edition, 1945, Fifth Impression, 1953, pp.140-141) 2207/2005 "The origin of the sexual process remains one of the most difficult problems in biology. I cannot attempt to answer it here, but I can explain the difficulty. The major consequence of sex was to make genetic recombination possible, once the 'old-fashioned' prokaryote methods of plasmid transfer and conjugation had become ineffective. Genetic recombination, in turn, enormously expands the possibilities of evolutional change .... But this is a long-term, prospective advantage, not an immediate one. Natural selection lacks foresight. A trait will not be selected merely because it will have, at some time in the future, beneficial effects. It is only present benefits that count." (Maynard Smith J., "The Problems of Biology," Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, 1986, pp.35-36) 2207/2005 "So, the question is: if greenflies and elm trees don't do it, why do the rest of us go to such lengths to mix our genes up with somebody else's before we make a baby? It does seem an odd way to proceed. Why did sex, that bizarre perversion of straightforward replication, ever arise in the first place? What is the good of sex? This is an extremely difficult question for the evolutionist to answer." (Dawkins R., "The Selfish Gene,"  Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, 1989, New edition, p.43) 22/07/2005 "Take the idea of the map. We use maps all the time and we think nothing of how they work. Our modern maps are complete and clear; there is nothing missing and there is nothing we cannot understand. Old maps show some regions with a reasonable degree of certainty. But then knowledge fails and the imagination of the mapmaker takes over. The region of the known shades away into myths and fairy stories dragons and giants at the world's end, a landscape of chaos beyond the limits of order. There was a line drawn to mark the limits of human knowledge. There was an outside, a beyond. Now our maps are complete, but not because we have been everywhere and seen everything. Our maps are complete because we have found a better way of making them that excludes the need for dragons. Indeed, the golden key to the success of science is precisely captured by the realization that we can map places without visiting them. By drawing lines of longitude and latitude and by astronomical observation we can produce an effective picture of the whole world. Imagine you are a traveller looking round an alien landscape. There are trees, rivers and mountains. But they are meaningless in themselves. You cannot say where you are simply because of that mountain or this tree. You can spend your days finding out everything about what you see, but it will never tell you where you are. But if I give you an effective map with your mountain and your river marked upon it, the world is transformed. You can calculate your position relative to all other positions." (Appleyard B., "Understanding the Present: Science and the Soul of Modern Man," Picador: London, 1992, pp.5-6) 22/07/2005 "... Darwin's theory of natural selection made any invocation of teleology unnecessary. From the Greeks onward, there existed a universal belief in the existence of a teleological force in the world that led to ever greater perfection. This `final cause' was one of the causes specified by Aristotle. After Kant, in the Critique of Judgment, had unsuccessfully attempted to describe biological phenomena with the help of a physicalist Newtonian explanation, he then invoked teleological forces. Even after 1859, teleological explanations (orthogenesis) continued to be quite popular in evolutionary biology. The acceptance of the Scala Naturae and the explanations of natural theology were other manifestations of the popularity of teleology. Darwinism swept such considerations away. (The designation `teleological' actually applied to various different phenomena. Many seemingly end-directed processes in inorganic nature are the simple consequence of natural laws-a stone falls or a heated piece of metal cools because of laws of physics, not some end-directed process. Processes in living organisms owe their apparent goal- directedness to the operation of an inborn genetic or acquired program. Adapted systems, such as the heart or kidneys, may engage in activities that can be considered goal seeking, but the systems themselves were acquired during evolution and are continuously fine- tuned by natural selection. Finally, there was a belief in cosmic teleology, with a purpose and predetermined goal ascribed to everything in nature. Modern science, however, is unable to substantiate the existence of any such cosmic teleology.)" (Mayr E.W., "Darwin's Influence on Modern Thought," Scientific American, Vol. 283, No. 1, pp.67-71, July 2000, p.70) 22/07/2005 "... Darwin does away with determinism. Laplace notoriously boasted that a complete knowledge of the current world and all its processes would enable him to predict the future to infinity. Darwin, by comparison, accepted the universality of randomness and chance throughout the process of natural selection. (Astronomer and philosopher John Herschel referred to natural selection contemptuously as `the law of the higgledy-piggledy.') That chance should play an important role in natural processes has befit an unpalatable thought for many physicists. Einstein expressed this distaste in his statement, `God does not play dice.' Of course, as previously mentioned, only the first step in natural selection, the production of variation, is a matter of chance. The character of the second step, the actual selection, is to be directional." (Mayr E.W., "Darwin's Influence on Modern Thought," Scientific American, Vol. 283, No. 1, pp.67-71, July 2000, p.70) 22/07/2005 "Despite the initial resistance by physicists and philosophers, the role of contingency and chance in natural processes is now almost universally acknowledged. Many biologists and philosophers deny the existence of universal laws in biology and suggest that all regularities be stated in probabilistic terms, as nearly all so-called biological laws have exceptions. Philosopher of science Karl Popper's famous test of falsification therefore cannot be applied in these cases." (Mayr E.W., "Darwin's Influence on Modern Thought," Scientific American, Vol. 283, No. 1, pp.67-71, July 2000, p.70) 22/07/2005 "... Darwin developed a new view of humanity and, in turn, a new anthropocentrism. Of all of Darwin's proposals, the one his contemporaries found most difficult to accept was that the theory of common descent applied to Man. For theologians and philosophers alike, Man was a creature above and apart from other living beings. Aristotle, Descartes and Kant agreed on this sentiment, no matter how else their thinking diverged. But biologists Thomas Huxley and Ernst Haeckel revealed through rigorous comparative anatomical study that humans and living apes clearly had common ancestry, an assessment that has never again been seriously questioned in science. The application of the theory of common descent to Man deprived man of his former unique position. Ironically, though, these events did not lead to an end to anthropocentrism. The study of man showed that, in spite of his descent, he is indeed unique among all organisms. Human intelligence is unmatched by that of any other creature. Humans are the only animals with true language, including grammar and syntax. Only humanity, as Darwin emphasized, has developed genuine ethical systems. In addition, through high intelligence, language and long parental care, humans are the only creatures to have created a rich culture. And by these means, humanity has attained, for better or worse, an unprecedented dominance over the entire globe." (Mayr E.W., "Darwin's Influence on Modern Thought," Scientific American, Vol. 283, No. 1, pp.67-71, July 2000, p.70) 22/07/2005 "... Darwin provided a scientific foundation for ethics. The question is frequently raised-and usually rebuffed-as to whether evolution adequately explains healthy human ethics. Many wonder how, if selection rewards the individual only for behavior that enhances his own survival and reproductive success, such pure selfishness can lead to any sound ethics. The widespread thesis of social Darwinism, promoted at the end of the 19th century by Spencer, was that evolutionary explanations were at odds with the development of ethics We now know, however, that in a social species not only the individual must be considered-an entire social group can be the target of selection. Darwin applied this reasoning to the human species in 1871 in The Descent of Man. The survival and prosperity of a social group depends to a large extent on the harmonious cooperation of the members of the group, and this behavior must be based on altruism. Such altruism, by furthering the survival and prosperity of the group, also indirectly benefits the fitness of the group's individuals. The result amounts to selection favoring altruistic behavior. Kin selection and reciprocal helpfulness in particular will be greatly favored in a social group. Such selection for altruism has been demonstrated in recent years to be widespread among many other social animals. One can then perhaps encapsulate the relation between ethics and evolution by saying that a propensity for altruism and harmonious cooperation in social groups is favored by natural selection. The old thesis of social Darwinism-strict selfishness-was based on an incomplete understanding of animals, particularly social species." (Mayr E.W., "Darwin's Influence on Modern Thought," Scientific American, Vol. 283, No. 1, pp.67-71, July 2000, pp.70-71) 22/07/2005 "Let me now try to summarize my major findings. No educated person any longer questions the validity of the so- called theory of evolution, which we now know to be a simple fact. Likewise, most of Darwin's particular theses have been fully confirmed, such as that of common descent, the gradualism of evolution, and his explanatory theory of natural selection." (Mayr E.W., "Darwin's Influence on Modern Thought," Scientific American, Vol. 283, No. 1, pp.67-71, July 2000, p.71) 22/07/2005 "I don't think that there's any conflict at all between science today and the Scriptures. I think that we have misinterpreted the Scriptures many times and we've tried to make the Scriptures say things they weren't meant to say, I think that we have made a mistake by thinking the Bible is a scientific book. The Bible is not a book of science. The Bible is a book of Redemption, and of course I accept the Creation story. I believe that God did create the universe. I believe that God created man, and whether it came by an evolutionary process and at a certain point He took this person or being and made him a living soul or not, does not change the fact that God did create man. ... whichever way God did it makes no difference as to what man is and man's relationship to God." (Graham W., in Frost D. & Bauer F, "Billy Graham: Personal Thoughts of a Public Man," Chariot Victor Publishing: 1999, pp.72-74) 22/07/2005 "One can now ask, as Enrico Fermi once did, why Mars is not smeared out around the sun in the same way as an electron is smeared out around an atom. In other words, given that the universe was born in a quantum event, how has an essentially nonquantum world emerged? When the universe originated, and was very small, quantum uncertainty engulfed it. Today, we do not notice any residual uncertainty in macroscopic bodies. Most scientists have tacitly assumed that an approximately nonquantum (or "classical," to use the jargon) world would have emerged automatically from the big bang, even from a big bang in which quantum effects dominated. Recently, however, Hartle and Gell-Mann have challenged this assumption. They argue that the existence of an approximately classical world, in which well-defined material objects exist at distinct locations in space, and in which there is a well defined concept of time, requires special cosmic initial conditions. Their calculations indicate that, for the majority of initial states, a generally classical world would not emerge. In that case the separability of the world into distinct objects occupying definite positions in a well-defined background space-time would not be possible. There would be no locality. It seems likely that in such a smeared-out world one could know nothing without knowing everything. Indeed, Hartle and Gell-Mann argue that the very notion of traditional laws of physics, such as Newtonian mechanics, should be regarded not as truly fundamental aspects of reality, but as relics of the big bang, and a consequence of the special quantum state in which the universe originated. If it is a so the case, as remarked briefly above, that the strengths and ranges of the forces of nature are likewise dependent on the quantum state of the universe, then we reach a remarkable conclusion. Both the linearity .and the locality of most physical systems would not be a consequence of some fundamental set of laws at all, but would be due to the peculiar quantum state in which the universe originated. The intelligibility of the world, the fact that we can progressively discover laws and extend our understanding of nature-the very fact that science works-would not be an inevitable and absolute right, but could be traced to special, perhaps highly special, cosmic initial conditions. The unreasonable effectiveness" of mathematics in its application to the natural world would then be due to unreasonably effective initial conditions. (Davies, P.C.W., "The Mind of God: Science and the Search for Ultimate Meaning," , Penguin: London, 1993, pp.159-160) 22/07/2005 "Since evolution as a biogenic process obviously involves an interaction of all of the above agents, the problem of the relative importance of the different agents unavoidably presents itself. For years this problem has been the subject of discussion. The results of this discussion so far are notoriously inconclusive; the "theories of evolution" arrived at by different investigators seem to depend upon the personal predilections of the theorist. One of the possible sources of this situation may be that a theory which would fit the entire living world is in general unattainable, since the evolution of the different groups may be guided by different agents." (Dobzhansky T.G., "Genetics and the Origin of Species," , Columbia University Press: New York NY, 1982, reprint, p.186) 22/07/2005 "Biologists classify animals (and other organisms) by taxonomic categories such as families, orders, classes, and phyla. A superficial classification might group the whale, the penguin, and the shark together as aquatic creatures, and birds, bats, and bees together as dying creatures. But the basic body design of birds, bats, and bees is fundamentally different, their reproductive systems are different and even their wings are similar only in the sense that they are all fit for flying. Accordingly, all taxonomists agree that the bat and the whale should be grouped with the horse and the monkey as mammals, despite the enormous differences in behavior and adaptive mechanisms. Bees are built on a fundamentally different body plan from vertebrates of any kind, and go into a different series of groupings altogether. Biologists before and after Darwin have generally sensed that in classifying they were not merely forcing creatures into arbitrary categories, but discovering relationships that are in some sense real. Some pre-Darwinian taxonomists expressed this sense by saying that whales and bats are superficially like fish and birds but they are essentially mammals-that is, they conform in their "essence" to the mammalian "type." Similarly, all birds are essentially birds, whether they fly, swim, or run. The principle can be extended up or down the scale of classification: St. Bernards and dachshunds are essentially dogs, despite the visible dissimilarity, and sparrows and elephants are essentially vertebrates. Essentialism did not attempt to explain the cause of natural relationships, but merely described the pattern in the language of Platonic philosophy. The essentialists knew about fossils and hence were aware that different kinds of creatures had lived at different times. The concept of evolution did not make sense to them, how ever, because it required the existence of numerous intermediates impossible creatures that were somewhere in transition from one essential state to another. Essentialists therefore attributed the common features linking each class not to inheritance from common ancestors, but to a sort of blueprint called the "Archetype," which existed only in some metaphysical realm such as the mind of God. Darwin proposed a naturalistic explanation for the essentialist features of the living world that was so stunning in its logical appeal that it conquered the scientific world even while doubts remained about some important parts of his theory. He theorized that the discontinuous groups of the living world were the descendants of long-extinct common ancestors. Relatively closely related groups (like reptiles, birds, and mammals) shared a relatively recent common ancestor; all vertebrates shared a more ancient common ancestor; and all animals shared a still more ancient common ancestor. He then proposed that the ancestors must have been linked to their descendants by long chains of transitional intermediates, also extinct. According to Darwin: 22/07/2005 `We may thus [by extinction] account even for the distinctness of whole classes from each other-for instance, of birds from all other vertebrate animals-by the belief that many ancient forms of life have been utterly lost, through which the early progenitors of birds were formerly connected with the early progenitors of the other vertebrate classes.' [Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1928, reprint, p.400) 22/07/2005 "This theory of descent with modification made sense out of the pattern of natural relationships in a way that was acceptable to philosophical materialists. It explained why the groups seemed to be part of the natural framework rather than a mere human invention-to the Darwinist imagination, they are literally families. When combined with the theory of natural selection, it explained the difference between the common features that are relevant to classification (*homologies*) and those that are not (*analogies*). The former were relics of the common ancestor; the latter evolved independently by natural selection to provide very different creatures with superficially similar body parts that were useful to such adaptive strategies as flight and swimming. In Darwin's historic words: `All the ... difficulties in classification are explained ... on the view that the natural system is founded on descent with modification: that the characters which naturalists consider as showing true affinity between any two or more species, are those which have been inherited from a common parent, and in so far, all true classification is genealogical; that community of descent is the hidden bond which naturalists have been unconsciously seeking, and not some unknown Plan of creation, or the enunciation of general propositions, and the mere putting together and separating objects more or less alike.' [Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1928, reprint, p.400) Darwin ended his chapter by saying that the argument from classification was so decisive that on that basis alone he would adopt his theory even if it were unsupported by other arguments. That confidence explains why Darwin was undiscouraged by the manifold difficulties of the fossil record: his logic told him that descent with modification had to be the explanation for the `difficulties in classification,' regardless of any gaps in the evidence. " (Johnson, P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," , InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second Edition, 1993, pp.64-65. Emphasis original) 22/07/2005 "Non-lawyers often wonder how a lawyer can advocate one position, while at the same time privately believing that a different position is true. The answer is that many lawyers employ a thought process that entirely avoids putting themselves into that dilemma. Upon receiving a case, a lawyer who uses this process immediately inquires what result the client wants, and asks himself first not "what are the facts" but "what facts must be true so that my side wins what it seeks?" After determining what facts need to be true for the client to win, the lawyer then looks at the data and the applicable law and in every instance asks "can I understand this data, in light of the applicable law, to be evidence proving the facts that need to be true for my side to win?" The lawyer then, as much as possible, mentally adopts an understanding of the data as evidence for the facts that need to be true if the goal is to be achieved. The process is not unbounded; the lawyer's assessment of what the court might accept as a proper interpretation of the data bounds what the lawyer will believe and then advocate. But the key point is that at no time does the lawyer need to step back and say "what is my assessment of this data independent of the interest of my client?" The lawyer's independent assessment of the facts is irrelevant to the client's goals, and usually is irrelevant to any other interest of the lawyer, so she or he need spend no effort developing such an assessment. Thus the lawyer never has in mind two conflicting understandings of the data; the lawyer only develops the understanding that is closest to a reasonable interpretation of the data as evidence for the facts that gain the goal the client seeks. In experienced lawyers, this mental process goes on entirely unconsciously. If the party on the other side of the case had retained the lawyer first, the lawyer, using the same mental process, would develop an entirely different understanding of the data." (Sisson E., "Teaching the Flaws in Neo-Darwinism," in Dembski W.A., ed., "Uncommon Dissent: Intellectuals Who Find Darwinism Unconvincing," ISI Books: Wilmington DL, 2004, pp.84-85. Emphasis in original) 22/07/2005 "In discussing the Biblical cosmology we must return to our general position defended earlier in this chapter: the references of the writers of the Bible to natural things are popular, non-postulational, and in terms of the culture in which the writers wrote. This principle applies directly to Biblical cosmology. The language of the Bible with reference to cosmological matters is in terms of the prevailing culture. Biblical cosmology is in the language of antiquity and not of modern science, nor is it filled with anticipations which the future microscope and telescope will reveal. We do not agree with over-zealous expositors who try to find Einsteinian and modern astro-physical concepts buried in Hebrew words and expressions. We also disagree with the religious liberals who object to Biblical cosmology because it is not scientific. We object to the over zealous because it was not the intention of inspiration to anticipate modern science, and we object to the modernist because he sees too much in what is to us a truism. We concur with Calvin, who taught that Gen. 1 is a record of the creation of the world in the language of the common man and from the viewpoint of common sense. His actual words are: `For to my mind this is a certain principle, that nothing is here treated of but the visible form of the world. He who would learn astronomy and the other recondite arts, let him go elsewhere ... It must be remembered, that Moses does not speak with philosophical acuteness on occult mysteries, but states those things which are everywhere observed, even by the uncultivated, and which are in common use.' [Calvin J., Genesis, I, 79 & 84]"(Ramm B.L., "The Christian View of Science and Scripture,"  Paternoster: Exeter, Devon, 1967 reprint, pp.65-66) 22/07/2005 'The distinction between man and the beasts is qualitative, not substantive. It is not that man has or is a soul, spirit, heart, mind,` will, affective being, but that man's non-material being is a person created in the image of God. When we read in Gen. 2:7 that God breathed into man `the breath of life, and man became a living soul,' neither the phrase `breath of life' nor `living soul,' distinguishes man from the animals, for in Gen. 7:21, 22, we read, `And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man; all in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died:' Here both man and beast are referred to as having `the breath of life:' In these two instances the same Hebrew words are used. In Genesis 2:7, the phrase referring to man is nishemath chayyim, `breath of life:' In Gen. 7:22 the Hebrew words referring to the animals and man are nishemath ruach chayyim, `breath of spirit of life:' The phrase, `breath of life' translating ruach chayyim, `spirit of life,' frequently refers to animals as well as man (See Gen. 6:17; 17:15). The phrase, `living soul,' nephesh chayyah, used of man in Gen. 2:7, very commonly refers to the animals. See, for example, the Hebrew text of Gen. 1:21, 24, 2:19, where these words are translated `living creature.'" (Buswell J.O., Jr., "A Systematic Theology of the Christian Religion," , Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, Vol. I, 1968, Second printing, pp.241-242) 2207/2005 "But the objections to the theory of evolution by natural selection had not really been answered, and by 1870 Wallace had come to realize that something in addition was needed. Thus to Wallace, as or Lyell and to Blyth long ago, there was something right about evolution by natural selection and there was something wrong. This balanced position, which was the correct one, never had a fair hearing from 1870 onward however, because the developing system of popular education provided an ideal opportunity for zealots who were sure of themselves to overcome those who were not, for awkward arguments not to be discussed, and for discrepant facts to be suppressed. This was because popular education created a body of students who, like Wallace himself, had of necessity to make their ways in life, and because it is only students from privileged backgrounds who can afford to adopt views contrary to what they are told." (Hoyle F., "Mathematics of Evolution," , Acorn Enterprises: Memphis TN, 1999, p.106) 22/07/2005 "Seasonal celebrations marked the birth and death of vegetation gods and of yearly changes in the forces of nature. The mystic rites reenacted a myth concerning a divine figure who suffered some sort of violence, was mourned, and then restored to the grateful worshipers amid general jubilation. Beside the reenactment-which was usually accompanied with music, dancing, and sometimes stunning stage effects-there were acts performed, words spoken, objects revealed, a sacrifice offered, and a sacramental meal shared. Sexual symbols and activities were significantly present. Death, marriage, and adoption by the deity were often simulated, and in some cases the initiate was actually supposed thereby to attain divinity. While noise and wild tumult often accompanied the earlier stages of initiation, silence was attendant upon the ultimate unveiling of the truth. In the Mithras cult the initiate must lay his finger on his lips, address Silence as the symbol of the living, imperishable God, and pray, `Guard me, Silence:' The culmination of the Eleusinian rites was said to be the display in complete silence of a newly reaped ear of corn. Such beatific visions guaranteed a blessed afterlife to the initiate. There were within the mysteries successive grades of initiation in which truth might be perceived in a progressive series. On several occasions Plato likened the discovery of philosophic truth to these levels of initiation. Theon of Smyrna described five stages, the first of which was purification. The second communicated some sort of explanation of the rite and an exhortation. There followed a revelation of a sacred spectacle, after which the initiate was crowned with a garland. Then came the final stage, the happiness of knowing that one was beloved of the gods. The objective was indeed participation in the divine life. Each of the mysteries had its distinctives, although there were great similarities and much syncretism in late antiquity. The most famous was that of Eleusis, whose cult was officially adopted by Athens. It centered upon Demeter, the Earth Mother, and her daughter Persephone, who was abducted to the underworld by its god, Hades. There she became his bride and queen of the dead. Each year she returned for nine months to her mother, who then caused the corn to grow and returned fertility to the earth. Demeter, bringing her gift of agriculture and civilization, had commanded Eleusis to establish her rites, to which anyone who spoke Greek-even women and slaves-might be admitted. The Isis cult retold the search of the sorrowing Isis for her dead husband, Osiris, who had been slain and dismembered by the wicked Set. The cult, closely associated with Egypt, celebrated the discovery of the god's scattered members and his restoration to life. Apuleius described his own initiation into the mysteries of Isis at Corinth. Wildly popular with women was the cult of Dionysus with its altered state of consciousness and escape from home life. Usually celebrated at night, the rites featured dancing on the mountains, the use of wine and occasionally drugs, ecstatic madness, sex reversal, promiscuity, ritual shouting, the music of flutes and castanets, and in earlier times the rending and eating raw of wild animals. Certain of these rites were accessible only to female adherents, who were called `maenads,' or mad women." (Kroeger R.C.* & Kroeger C.C.*, "Mystery Religions," in Elwell W.A., ed., "Evangelical Dictionary of Theology," , Baker Book House: Grand Rapids MI., 1990, Seventh printing, p.743) 22/07/2005 "The cult of Mithras, often embraced by Roman soldiers, admitted only men. The male worshipers of Cybele, great mother of the gods, sometimes castrated themselves in the frenzy of her rites, and the goddess was served by eunuch priests. Both the Cybele and Mithras cults employed the practice of taurobolium, the slaughter of a bull whose blood dripped through a grate down onto the worshiper who stood beneath. The singer Orpheus, who managed to descend to the nether world and return to earth, was credited with having instituted various mysteries. Small groups adopted an `Orphic' theology which centered on purification and the means whereby the soul might escape the prison-tomb of the body and ascend to the realm of the blessed. Christian and pagan authors alike inveighed against some of the gross and barbarous elements associated with the mysteries. Even human sacrifice on a few rare occasions may have played a part. Clement of Alexandria complained that the mysteries gave instruction in adulterous trickery' and that they consisted of murders and burials. W M. Ramsav has suggested that the initiate was first exposed to sordid scenes of rape and violence, later to visions of tranquility, civilization, and productivity. Especially after the advent of Christianity, the myths which related the manifold vices of the gods as well as the more offensive practices were spiritualized into allegories of a more sublime nature. Many features of Christianity were adopted into the mysteries of late antiquity. The concept of resurrection, for instance, is not attested in these cults until after the first century A.D." (Kroeger R.C.* & Kroeger C.C.*, "Mystery Religions," in Elwell W.A., ed., "Evangelical Dictionary of Theology," , Baker Book House: Grand Rapids MI., 1990, Seventh printing, p.743) 22/07/2005 "The reductionist approach seeks to analyze complex matters into simple concrete entities in exact, measurable terms. So far as we can do this, we master phenomena. `Reductionism is without question the most successful analytical approach available to the experimental scientist' (John and Miklos 1988, vii). Scientific reductionism deserves much credit for countless wonders from antibiotics to spacecraft. The successes of reductionism inspire the hope that fullness of understanding requires only more and better knowledge and analysis. That is, all natural phenomena should ultimately be made describable in terms of the elementary particles of matter, electrons, quarks, and the rest; their qualities should be knowable and are to be tied into a `Grand Unified Theory.' Reductionist science would like to see everything from physics through chemistry and biology to psychology as potentially or theoretically explicable in purely material terms. Although many phenomena are admittedly too complex for concrete analysis, it is the scientific faith that everything is ultimately learnable except why the universe exists-a question that can be ignored as unanswerable. Michael Ruse holds that `the whole is composed of nothing but its parts.... An organism is nothing but the molecules of which it is made' (Ruse 1988, 24). In this view, living organisms are nothing more than elaborate physicochemical systems, the product of genes, or nucleic acid sequences, reacting with their surroundings. Thoughts are the workings of the coordinative capacities of the organism; they are electrochemical phenomena, produced by neurons and their synapses with neurotransmitters and changes of potential across membranes. Everything should be mechanistically understandable as the behavior of material substance guided by the laws of physics. `The ultimate aim of the modern movement in biology,' according to Francis Crick, `is to explain all biology [his emphasis] in terms of physics and chemistry' (Crick 1966, 10). Most biologists would probably agree with Crick. " (Wesson, R.G., "Beyond Natural Selection," , MIT Press: Cambridge MA, Reprinted, 1994, p.3) 24/07/2005 "The materialistic approach is also a useful working hypothesis and hence easy to take as truth. Scientists think in terms of experiments and verifiable results. The view of nature as essentially nonmysterious and knowable helps them frame hypotheses to test and encourages them to dissect their compartment of reality. Fanciful explanations, which amount to a renunciation of exact knowledge, are to be cast aside. A hardheaded approach admits no ghosts in the machine. The phantoms, however, refuse to be banished. The faith that all things can be attributed to analyzable material causation is, in the end, only a faith like more candid faiths. The contention that reality consists of only material particles and their modes of interaction is not even a clear-cut theory. It implies a narrow definition of reality, making the thesis true by definition: if only material substance is real, then material substance contains the whole of reality. But are the laws of nature not real? Are mathematical theorems real? Are patterns real? Are thought and consciousness? It is paradoxical to deny their essentiality, for science could not exist without them. As idealists see it, reality is in the mind, and quantum theory, the glory of physics, although it seems mysteriously inherent in the particles it governs, logically leads to treating events as dependent on being observed ...".(Wesson, R.G., "Beyond Natural Selection," , MIT Press: Cambridge MA, Reprinted, 1994, pp.4-5) 24/07/2005 "Thus, during the whole history of the therapsids, the ancestors of mammals, the development of the bony parts of the mandible (i.e., lower jaw) and of the motor elements the muscles has been closely coordinated. Such was also the case for innervation. The transformation of the reptilian mandible into the mammalian mandible could only occur thanks to a triple coordination simultaneously involving bones, muscles, and nerves. This is what we call evolution. It is not a mosaic of random variations affecting just anything at any time." (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.43-44) 24/07/2005 "Mutations do not explain how coordinated variations play upon several organs at a time; some lethal or sublethal mutations of a gene produce multiple effects. ... A mutation substituting one or more amino acids for one or more others in the globin of human hemoglobin may, depending on its location, have serious effects on the structure (at various levels) and properties of this pigment; such as the case of abnormal hemoglobin S in the anemia of cresentic red blood cells (drepanocytosis or sickle cell anemia). ... But these pathological cases have no relationship whatsoever with the slow and coherent attainment of a new form, of a new function. We do not question the existence of the multiple effects (i. e., pleiotropy) a single gene can produce but we do not think any geneticist would maintain that the transformations of the jaw, of its muscles and nerves of the ossicles of the middle ear, etc., could be induced by a single gene." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.55-56) 25/07/2005 "It has often been noted that, despite the presence of all the presumably efficient causes, evolution still stops. Vandel (1972) has recently elaborated a very good example of this. The two species of woodlouse of the genus Australoniscus, A. alticolus in Nepal and A. springetti in western Australia, have been separated, because of the splitting of the Gondwana continent and because of continental drift, since the beginning of the Cretaceous (i.e., approximately 140 to 135 million years ago). They differ by a minor characteristic; `the endopodite end of the first male pleopod is different.. . it is straight in springetti, bent into a hook in alticolus. ` Thus, in 140 million years, neither segregation nor mutations (there certainly have been some), nor selection operating in different environments, has provoked any change in these crustaceans. The cause of their stability must therefore lie in their inner structure. Does it lack the necessary means to encode new information in its gene pool, or is a given mechanism hindering this process? No one can tell." (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation,"  Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.71-72) 26/07/2005 "The prehistoric record in Africa is now extensive, no longer the quip about fewer fossils than would cover a dining room table. By my count there are fossilized fragments of about a thousand human individuals from the early part of our evolution, and I wouldn't even try to count the number of stone tools. All this shows clearly that the earliest stone tools appear in the record about 2.5 million years ago, some five million years after the origin of the human family. Of one thing we can therefore be certain: the Darwinian package of bipedalism, tool making, and intelligence marching in evolutionary concert is not correct." (Leakey R. & Lewin R., "Origins Reconsidered: In Search of What Makes Us Human," , Abacus: London, 1993, reprint, pp.80-81) 26/07/2005 "The evolutionary shift from quadrupedalism to bipedalism would have required an extensive remodeling of the ape's bone and muscle architecture and of the overall proportion in the lower half of the body. Mechanisms of gait are different, mechanics of balance are different, functions of major muscles are different-an entire functional complex had to be transformed for efficient bipedalism to be possible. That this transformation occurred at all indicates to me two things: first, the pressure for change through natural selection was keen; and second, the transformation itself was, on the evolutionary time scale, rapid." (Leakey R. & Lewin R., "Origins Reconsidered: In Search of What Makes Us Human," , Abacus: London, 1993, reprint, pp.83-84) 26/07/2005 "The images we all have of the great plains of Africa, darkened by huge migrating herds, are indeed dramatic. So powerful are they that we tend to project them into the past, thinking that the landscape must always have been like that. Once again, it is all too easy to allow the power of present images to distort our pictures of the past. There's no doubt that the images of the plains intruded themselves into traditional ideas of human origins: our ancestors striding out onto the open savannah, there to become noble hunters. In fact, the great plains and the immense herds on them are relatively recent aspects of the African environment, much more recent than the origin of the human family." (Leakey R. & Lewin R., "Origins Reconsidered: In Search of What Makes Us Human," , Abacus: London, 1993, reprint, pp.84-85) 27/07/2005 "WHATEVER THE REASON for the evolution of bipedality, recent fossil discoveries seem to indicate that hominids were already bipedal at a date which is pushing disconcertingly close to Rendezvous 1, the fork between ourselves and chimpanzees (disconcerting because it seems to leave little time for bipedality to evolve). In the year 2000, a French team led by Brigitte Senut and Martin Pickford announced a new fossil from the Tugen Hills, east of Lake Victoria in Kenya. Dubbed `Millennium Man; dated at 6 million years and given yet another new generic name, Orrorin tugenensis was also, according to its discoverers, bipedal. Indeed, they claim that the top of its femur, near the hip joint, was more human-like than that of Australopithecus. This evidence, supplemented by fragments of skull bones, suggested to Senut and Pickford that orrorins are ancestral to later hominids and that Lucys are not. These French workers go further and suggest that Ardipithecus might be ancestral to modern chimpanzees rather than to us. Clearly we need more fossils to settle these arguments. Other scientists are sceptical of these French claims, and some doubt that there is enough evidence to show whether Orrorin was or was not bipedal. If it was, since 6 million years is approximately the time of the split from chimpanzees according to molecular evidence, this raises difficult questions about the speed with which bipedality must have arisen. If a bipedal Orrorin pushes back alarmingly close to Rendezvous 1, a newly discovered skull from Chad in southern Sahara, found by another French team led by Michel Brunet, is even more disturbing to accepted ideas. This is partly because it is so old, and partly because the site is far to the west of the Rift Valley (as we shall see, many authorities had thought early hominid evolution confined to the east of the Rift). Nicknamed Toumai (Hope of Life in the local Goran language) its official name is Sahelanthropus tchadensis after the Sahel region of the Sahara in Chad where it was found. ... If their discoverers are right that Orrorin and Toumai were bipedal, this poses problems to any tidy view of human origins. The naive expectation is that evolutionary change spreads itself uniformly to fill the time available for it. If 6 million years elapsed between Rendezvous 1 and modern Homo sapiens, the quantity of change ought to be spun out, pro rata one might naively think, through the 6 million years. But Orrorin and Toumai both lived very close to the date identified from molecular evidence as that of Concestor 1, the split between our line and that of chimpanzees." (Dawkins R., "The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution," Houghton Mifflin Co: Boston MA, 2004., 2004, pp.94-96) 27/07/2005 "To 'tame' chance means to break down the very improbable into less improbable small components arranged in series. No matter how improbable it is that an X could have arisen from a Y in a single step, it is always possible to conceive of a series of infinitesimally graded intermediates between them. However improbable a large-scale change may be, smaller changes are less improbable. And provided we postulate a sufficiently large series of sufficiently finely graded intermediates, we shall be able to derive anything from anything else, without invoking astronomical improbabilities. We are allowed to do this only if there has been sufficient time to fit all the intermediates in. And also only if there is a mechanism for guiding each step in some particular direction, otherwise the sequence of steps will career off in an endless random walk. It is the contention of the Darwinian world-view that both these provisos are met, and that slow, gradual, cumulative natural selection is the ultimate explanation for our existence. If there are versions of the evolution theory that deny slow gradualism, and deny the central role of natural selection, they may be true in particular cases. But they cannot be the whole truth, for they deny the very heart of the evolution theory, which gives it the power to dissolve astronomical improbabilities and explain prodigies of apparent miracle." (Dawkins R., "The Blind Watchmaker," , Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1991, pp.317-318) 27/07/2005 "The progressionist implication was retained in a rather different form by the philosopher Herbert Spencer, the person who did most to popularize the term `evolution' in its modern context. Spencer advocated a system of cosmic progress, which included a theory of the inevitable evolution of life toward higher forms. Darwin's theory came to be tagged `evolution,' even though he seldom used the term himself; and most people still imagine that evolution is an essentially progressive process. " (Bowler P.J., "Evolution: The History of an Idea," , University of California Press: Berkeley CA, Revised edition, 1989, p.8) 27/07/2005 "The idea of evolution as the single most significant concept developed in the study of living organisms provides explanations for myriad biological processes and pervades every branch of biology from biochemistry and physiology to ecology and morphology. In addition, the concept has had a profound impact upon thinking in every field of knowledge. Essentially, the principle of evolution implies development of an entity in the course of time through a gradual sequence of changes from a simple to a more complex state. The idea was originally applied to the historical development of life, and the word `evolution' was first applied to this process by the English philosopher Herbert Spencer. It is now recognized that organic evolution forms a very special part of a more general evolutionary process: the development of our universe, or cosmic evolution. (Savage J.M., "Evolution," Modern Biology Series, Holt, Rinehart & Winston: New York NY, 1963, p.4) 28/07/2005 "The evolution of all zoological groups was initially highly productive, then slowed down and is now restricted to the creation of new species. It seems to us that evolution is not more productive in plants than in animals. Creative stages ended long ago, except in birds and mammals which became individualized at the beginning of the Tertiary and specialized during that era. Now their evolution is also confined to speciation. ... Biologists find it hard to admit that, in their basic structure, present living beings differ at all from those of the past. To begin with, such a supposition seems contrary to the scientific spirit. But facts are facts; no new broad organizational plan has appeared for several hundred million years, and for an equally long time numerous species, animal as well as plant, have ceased evolving. " (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.82,84) 28/07/2005 "We have said that evolution in the present is difficult, if not extremely difficult, to observe. Some biologists maintain that they can not only observe it but also describe it in action; the facts that they describe, however, either have nothing to do with evolution or are insignificant. At best, present evolutionary phenomena are simply slight changes of genotypes within populations, or substitution of an allele by a new one. For example, the mutant carbonaria of the birch moth, Biston betularia, replaces the regular butterfly in polluted industrial areas (Haldane, 1956; Ford, 1971)." (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," ," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.84) 28/07/2005 "Man is one of the most cosmopolitan terrestrial animals; he lives in all kinds of climates. He underwent several thousand types of mutations, judging from the number of alleles reported in the various human populations presently comprising three billion individuals, all showing different genotypes .... The potential supply of mutants for selection is thus very abundant. What has happened, then? Nothing important or even noticeable. ... Mutations do differentiate individuals, but the human species, despite the magnitude of its population and the diversity of its habitats, both of which are conditions favorable for the evolution of the human species, exhibits anatomical and physiological stability. In wealthy western societies natural selection is thwarted by medical care, good hygiene, and abundant food, but it was not always so. Today in underdeveloped countries, where birth and death rates are equally high (tropical Africa, Amazonia, Pakistan, India, Patagonia, some Polynesian islands), natural selection can exert its pressure freely; yet the human type hardly changes. ... Within each population, men differ by their genotype, and yet the species Homo sapiens has not modified its plan or structure of functions. To the common base are added a variety of diversifying and personifying ornaments, totally lacking evolutionary value." (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.85-86) 28/07/2005 "There is reason in the creationists' linking ideas of human origins with religion. More broadly, philosophical idealists doubt that living creatures, including ourselves, are merely the product of environmental and accidental sifting of random variations. To insist on strict Darwinism is to be a philosophic materialist; a mechanistic or reductionist idea of our origins leads straight to a mechanistic or reductionist view of ourselves. There is something of self-hate in the materialist approach. It depreciates the life of the mind and works of imagination and character. It demeans the richness and wonder of nature. It seems to make unnecessary further thinking about the mysteries of existence, of life and the universe. If one is gripped by the idea that we were made by chance (an unlovable deity and are not intrinsically superior to amoebas (which by the same logic are not superior to bacteria or grains of sand), one is not prepared to cope with the responsibility of intelligence and power." (Wesson, R.G., "Beyond Natural Selection," , MIT Press: Cambridge MA, 1994, reprint, p.308) 30/07/2005 "Moreover, `fact' does not mean `absolute certainty.' The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are not about the empirical world. Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth, those creationists often do (and then attack us for a style of argument that they themselves favor). In science, `fact' can only mean `confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent." (Gould, S.J., "Evolution as Fact and Theory," in "Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes," , Penguin: London, 1984, reprint, pp.254-255)* Authors with an asterisk against their name are believed not to be evolutionists.
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Created: 1 July, 2005. Updated: 16 April, 2010.