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The following are unclassified quotes saved by me in August-September 2005. The date format is dd/mm/yy.
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August [top] 1/08/2005 "Canon Liddon is authority for the statement that there are in the Old Testament three hundred and thirty-two distinct predictions which were literally fulfilled in Christ. The mathematical probability that these would all be fulfilled would be represented by a fraction having one for the numerator and eighty-four followed by ninety- seven ciphers as the denominator! This fulfillment of prophecy about Christ and the fulfillment of prophecy in general is one of the strongest lines of proof that the Bible is the Word of God, and will be discussed fully in a later chapter, but at present we wish to point out the fact that these prophecies are not contradictory! Things which in the Old Testament dispensation may have seemed to be contradictory, are seen as history unfolds to be merely references to separate events. For example as the prophets looked forward into time they saw the future events without any sense of perspective, so that things which were really centuries apart in time are often mentioned in the same paragraph. The two comings of Christ were inextricably tangled in Old Testament prophecy. Only the fulfillment of the event enables us to separate the two elements of prophecy. But notice particularly that when we examine the writings of the different prophets, we do not find contradictions between them. If it were only one person composing the messages and giving them to different individuals to put into their own language there could not be greater agreement than there actually is. There is every evidence even in the wording of the prophecies themselves to say nothing of their fulfillment to indicate that there was one Master Mind which inspired the words which each prophet expresses in his own language." (Hamilton F.E.*, "The Basis of Christian Faith: A Modern Defense of the Christian Religion," , Harper & Brothers: New York NY, Third Edition, 1946, pp.156-157) 2/08/2005 "By creation we mean the bringing into being of the basic kinds of plants and animals by the process of sudden, or fiat, creation described in the first two chapters of Genesis. Here we find the creation by God of the plants and animals, each commanded to reproduce after its own kind using processes which were essentially instantaneous. We do not know how God created, what processes he used, for God used processes which are not now operating anywhere in the natural universe. This is why we refer to divine creation as special creation. We cannot discover by scientific investigations anything about the creative processes used by God. As we have pointed out earlier, evolutionists have not witnessed any real evolutionary changes take place nor will this be possible in the future. They, likewise, will never be able to know how their postulated evolutionary changes may have taken place. " (Gish D.T.*, "Evolution: the Challenge of the Fossil Record," , Creation-Life: El Cajon CA, 1986, Second Printing, p.35. Emphasis in original) 2/08/2005 "Although Dawkins and fellow Darwinists use this example to illustrate the power of evolutionary algorithms, in fact it raises more problems than it solves. For one thing, choosing a prespecified target sequence as Dawkins does here is deeply teleological (the target here is set prior to running the evolutionary algorithm and the evolutionary algorithm here is explicitly programmed to end up at the target). This is a problem because evolutionary algorithms are supposed to be capable of solving complex problems without invoking teleology (indeed, most evolutionary algorithms in the literature are programmed to search a space of possible solutions to a problem until they find an answer-not, as Dawkins does here, by explicitly programming the answer into them in advance). ... A more serious problem then remains. We can see it by posing the following question: Given Dawkins's evolutionary algorithm, what besides the target sequence can this algorithm attain?" (Dembski W.A.*, "No Free Lunch: Why Specified Complexity Cannot Be Purchased without Intelligence," Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham MD, 2002, p.183) 2/08/2005 "One of the first critics to deny that Daniel wrote the book bearing his name was Porphyry, a neo-Platonic philosopher of the third century .A.D. On a visit to Sicily Porphyry, then about forty years of age, wrote a work in fifteen books entitled Against the Christians. This work is completely lost, but parts of the twelfth book in which Porphyry attacked Daniel have been preserved in Jerome's commentary on Daniel. Porphyry denied that Daniel in the sixth century B.C. was the author of his book, and asserted that it was written by someone who lived in Judaea during the times of Antiochus Epiphanes. The reason which led Porphyry to this conclusion was that the book of Daniel speaks so accurately about the times of Antiochus. Hence, it must be history, not prophecy, since, according to Porphyry, predictive prophecy is impossible (si quid autem ultra opinatus sit, quia futura nescient, esse mentitum) . The author of Daniel lied (mentitum) for the sake of reviving the hope of the Jews of his time. Porphyry's criticism of Daniel, therefore, was based upon his anti--theistic philosophical presuppositions. He thought that predictive prophecy was impossible, hence he denied that Daniel could have uttered such prophecy." (Young E.J.*, "An Introduction to the Old Testament," , Tyndale Press: London, 1958, reprint, pp.382-383) 4/08/2005 "I have no metaphysical necessity driving me to propose the miraculous action of the evident finger of God as a scientific hypothesis. In my world view, all natural forces and events are fully contingent on the free choice of the sovereign God. Thus, neither an adequate nor an inadequate `neo-Darwinism' (as mechanism) holds any terrors. But that is not what the data looks like. And I feel no metaphysical necessity to exclude the evident finger of God. I conclude that the easy acceptance of neo-Darwinism as a complete and adequate explanation for all biological reality has indeed been based in the metaphysical needs of a dominant materialistic consensus. One can be a theistic `Darwinian,' but no one can be an atheistic `Creationist'." (Wilcox D.L.*, "Tamed Tornadoes," in Buell J. & Hearn V., eds., "Darwinism: Science or Philosophy?" Foundation for Thought and Ethics: Richardson TX, 1994, p.215. Emphasis in original) 5/08/2005 "Spontaneous generation occurred once and only once; life cannot be reinvented, it is transmitted, it `is' continuity. Our cells are the daughters (to the nth generation, but daughters nevertheless) of the first animal which appeared on the surface of the earth some 800 million years ago; this animal was itself partly reproducing the substance out of which the first living being, floating in the salt waters of the primeval ocean, was made. The study of the groups of animals or plants for which we have fossil evidence has revealed that, in their case, evolution is not the continuous unfolding of a simple phenomenon occurring at a regular speed and repeating itself in a regular sequence. It is a history, that is to say a maze of facts, of phenomena, pertaining to a group of objects whose nature, arrangement, and order change with time, following certain irreversible rules or laws. ... Yet, in the course of time celestial bodies undergo irreversible variations: a star cannot return to its original state; the conditions prevailing in the earth's mass and on its surface shortly after its genesis will never be found again. ... The historicity of biological evolution is proved by the present complete interruption of all forms of spontaneous generation of living beings from inert materials. Creation from nitrogenous and other organic compounds dispersed or aggregated to a varying degree in sea water cannot be repeated. Spontaneous generation, which satisfies our logic, was a historical phenomenon in the highest sense of the word; although impossible today, it did, however, occur on earth in its early days or on another planet outside of our solar system, once only, and that was enough to launch life in the cosmos." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.88-89) 6/08/2005 "Our logic, with its many hypotheses, attributes the interruption of biogenesis to changes in the physicochemical conditions prevailing on earth, around the earth, under the earth's surface, and in the seas, which prevent the synthesis of prebiotic materials. Once the proteins floating in the ocean waters had been consumed by the first living beings, the recurrence of any new biogenesis became impossible. This situation required that their immediate successors possess the ability to reproduce on their own, as well as a capacity for chemosynthesis. Their perenniality could not have been maintained without these two conditions." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.89-90. Emphasis in original) 6/08/2005 "Examining the record of past research from the vantage of contemporary historiography, the historian of science may be tempted to exclaim that when paradigms change, the world itself changes with them. Led by a new paradigm, scientists adopt new instruments and look in new places. Even more important, during revolutions scientists see new and different things when looking with familiar instruments in places they have looked before. It is rather as if the professional community had been suddenly transported to another planet where familiar objects are seen in a different light and are joined by unfamiliar ones as well. Of course, nothing of quite that sort does occur: there is no geographical transplantation; outside the laboratory everyday affairs usually continue as before. Nevertheless, paradigm changes do cause scientists to see the world of their research-engagement differently. In so far as their only recourse to that world is through what they see and do, we may want to say that after a revolution scientists are responding to a different world. It is as elementary prototypes for these transformations of the scientist's world that the familiar demonstrations of a switch in visual gestalt prove so suggestive. What were ducks in the scientist's world before the revolution are rabbits afterwards. The man who first saw the exterior of the box from above later sees its interior from below. Transformations like these, though usually more gradual and almost always irreversible, are common concomitants of scientific training. Looking at a contour map, the student sees lines on paper, the cartographer a picture of a terrain. Looking at a bubble- chamber photograph, the student sees confused and broken lines, the physicist a record of familiar subnuclear events. Only after a number of such transformations of vision does the student become an inhabitant of the scientist's world, seeing what the scientist sees and respondi ng as the scientist does. The world that the student then enters is not, however, fixed once and for all by the nature of the environment, on the one hand, and of science, on the other. Rather, it is determined jointly by the environment and the particular normal-scientific tradition that the student has been trained to pursue. Therefore, at times of revolution, when the normal-scientific tradition changes, the scientist's perception of his environment must be re-educated-in some familiar situations he must learn to see a new gestalt. After he has done so the world of his research will seem, here and there, incommensurable with the one he had inhabited before." (Kuhn T.S., "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions," , University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, Third edition, 1996, pp.111-112) 6/08/2005 "Were the famous scientists of long ago young earth creationists? William Provine; a prominent Darwinist, thinks so. In a recent online review, he complained that a National Academy of Sciences publication on how teach evolution is flawed. He questioned the Academy's decision to cite Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton as examples of thinkers whose views on physics and astronomy were vindicated because, as be put it: `Why would the National Academy have chosen this example in a book about evolution when all four were young- earth creationists? 34 Well, prior to about 1750, everyone was, in one sense, a young earth creationist! For example, the Venerable Bede (672?-735) wrote a history of the world, and so did Sir Walter Raleigh. (1554?-1618}. Both men began with `Creation,' the origin of the universe, as described in Genesis 1 and 2. They assumed that Creation took place about 6000 years ago. But the two men could hardly have been more different! Bede was an English monk in the Dark Ages, and Raleigh was a skeptical English adventurer who lived nearly a thousand years later in the Elizabethan Renaissance. Raleigh was rumored to be an atheist, holding forth in taverns, but his religious views had no impact on where he would begin his account of history. Prior to the development of geology as a scientific discipline in the 18th century, there was no widely accepted source of information about cosmic or human origins apart from the Bible. Raleigh would have to either begin with Genesis, or take the risk of resurrecting an account of origins written by a classical Greek philosopher. But the philosophers' accounts were not science-based; they were simply accounts that were not based on a Christian understanding of the universe. So Copernicus and the others were not young earth creationists in the sense that Provine assumes. They accepted a traditional account of origins as an alternative to no account." (O'Leary D.*, "By Design or by Chance?: The Growing Controversy on the Origins of Life in the Universe," 2004, p.129) 8/08/2005 "TO SAY that orthodoxy is true does not mean that it has no difficulties. Orthodoxy has difficulties, and the apologist does not try to conceal them. To affect omniscience is cultic. Plato set an example of right procedure. First he defended the world of Ideas; then he reviewed the difficulties. He did not fear the difficulties because he believed that the substance of his philosophy was true. No other system could answer the question, How is knowledge possible? In a similar way, orthodoxy does not fear the difficulties because it believes that the substance of Christianity is true. Christianity is consistent with itself and consistent with the things signified. No other system can answer the question, How can a sinner be just before God? If a person withholds belief until all difficulties are resolved, he will go to his grave in unbelief, for difficulties are only a sign that we are men and not God. Plato was confined to a cave, while the Christian sees in a mirror dimly. " For our knowledge is imperfect ... " (I Cor. 13:9) To confuse a system with its difficulties betrays a want of education." (Carnell E.J.*, "The Case for Orthodox Theology," Westminster Press: Philadelphia PA, 1959, p.92. Emphasis in original) 8/08/2005 "Diprotodontia is a large taxon of about 120 marsupial mammals including the kangaroos, wallabies, possums, Koala, wombats, and many others. Extinct members include the giant Diprotodon family, and Thylacoleo, the so-called `marsupial lion'. Diprotodonts are almost all herbivorous: there are a few insectivores and omnivores, but these seem to be relatively recent adaptations from the mainstream herbivorous mould. Diprotodonts are restricted to Australasia. There are two key anatomical features that, in combination, identify the diprotodonts. The first of these is that they are diprotodont: they have a pair of large, procumbent incisors on the lower jaw. This is a common feature of many early groups of mammals and mammaliforms. The diprotodont jaw is short, usually with 3 pairs of upper incisors (wombats, like rodents have only one pair), and no lower canines. Secondly, diprotodonts exhibit syndactyly: they have the second and third digits of the foot fused together up to the base of the claws, leaving the claws themselves separate." ("Diprotodontia," Wikipedia, 21 July 2005) 8/08/2005 "The prophecy of the Seventy Weeks in Daniel 9:24-27 is one of the most remarkable long-range predictions in the entire Bible. It is by all odds one of the most widely discussed by students and scholars of every persuasion within the spectrum of the Christian church. And yet when it is carefully examined in the light of all the relevant data of history and the information available from other parts of Scripture, it is quite clearly an accurate prediction of the time of Christ's coming advent and a preview of the thrilling final act of the drama of human history before that advent. Daniel 9:24 reads: "Seventy weeks have been determined for your people and your holy city .... There is no doubt that in this case we are presented with seventy sevens of years rather than of days. This leads to a total of 490 years. ... Daniel 9:25 reads: "And you are to know and understand, from the going forth of the command ... to restore and ... build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince ... will be ... seven heptads and sixty-two heptads." This gives us two instalments, 49 years and 434 years, for a total of 483 years. Significantly, the seventieth heptad is held in abeyance until v.27. Therefore we are left with a total of 483 between the issuance of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem and the coming of the Messiah. ... As we examine each of the three decrees issued in regard to Jerusalem by kings subsequent to the time Daniel had this vision (538 B.C., judging from Dan. 9:1), we find that the first was that of Cyrus in 2 Chronicles 36:23: "The LORD, the God of heaven.... has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah" (NASB). This decree, issued in 538 or 537, pertained only to the rebuilding of the temple, not of the city of Jerusalem. The third decree is to be inferred from the granting of Nehemiah's request by Artaxerxes I in 446 B.C., as recorded in Nehemiah 2:5-8. ... It should be noted that when Nehemiah first heard from his brother Hanani that the walls of Jerusalem had not already been rebuilt, he was bitterly disappointed and depressed-as if he had previously supposed that they had been rebuilt (Neh. 1:1-4). This strongly suggests that there had already been a previous decree authorizing the rebuilding of those city walls. Such an earlier decree is found in connection with Ezra's group that returned to Jerusalem in 457, the seventh year of Artaxerxes I. Ezra 7:6 tells us: "This Ezra went up from Babylon,... and the king granted him all he requested because the hand of the LORD his God was upon him" .... After arriving at Jerusalem, he busied himself first with the moral and spiritual rebuilding of his people (Ezra 7:10). But he had permission from the king to employ any unused balance of the offering funds for whatever purpose he saw fit (v. 18); and he was given authority to appoint magistrates and judges and to enforce the established laws of Israel with confiscation, banishment, or death (v.26). Thus he would appear to have had the authority to set about rebuilding the city walls, for the protection of the temple mount and the religious rights of the Jewish community. .... This would account for Nehemiah's keen disappointment (as mentioned above) when he heard that "the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are burned with fire" (Neh. 1:3, NASB). If, then, the decree of 457 granted to Ezra himself is taken as the terminus a quo for the commencement of the 69 heptads, or 483 years, we come out to the precise year of the appearance of Jesus of Nazareth as Messiah (or Christ): 483 minus 457 comes out to A.D. 26. But since a year is gained in passing from 1 B.C. to A.D. 1 (there being no such year as zero), it actually comes out to A.D. 27. It is generally agreed that Christ was crucified in A.D. 30, after a ministry of a little more than three years. This means His baptism and initial ministry must have taken place in A.D. 27. A most remarkable exactitude in the fulfillment of such an ancient prophecy. Only God could have predicted the coming of His Son with such amazing precision; it defies all rationalistic explanation." (Archer G.L.*, "Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1982, pp.289-291) 9/08/2005 "These categories of stories have been shown to play distinct and important roles throughout the history of Design-roles that changed hardly at all over the various stages that have been surveyed. For example, the Darwinian cosmological story is subjected to an equally thorough shredding at each stage-by Denton, Johnson, Behe, and now Wells. A rare variation in this shredding is Behe's acceptance of common ancestry. The fact that he provisionally accepts common ancestry and yet remains a star in good standing shows Design's flexibility in tolerating members' evolutionary beliefs on certain topics." (Woodward T.E.*, "Doubts about Darwin: A History of Intelligent Design," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 2003, p.199) 10/08/2005 "Some of Darwin's staunchest supporters disagreed with him on key points. For example, the British biologist T H. Huxley earned the name `Darwin's Bulldog' for his spirited and unrelenting efforts to convince scientists and members of the lay public alike of the truth of evolution. Huxley wrote one article after another about evolution and sent them to the leading periodicals of the day. He defended Darwin against criticisms, and replied to unfavorable reviews of Darwin's book. Yet Huxley's views differed from Darwin's in several different respects. For example, Darwin attributed evolution to the action of natural selection. Huxley wasn't so sure about this. He believed that other factors might play a role. He spoke of evolution in `predetermined' directions, an idea that appeared nowhere in Darwin's writings. And he expressed the opinion that evolution was not always so gradual a process as Darwin conceived it to be. Huxley was not the only evolutionist who disagreed with Darwin. The botanist Joseph Hooker, another strong supporter of evolutionary ideas, also took issue with Darwin about the specifics of the theory. So did the naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, who had discovered the idea of natural selection independently. All these men argued with Darwin privately in letters and sometimes in print." (Morris, R.W., "The Evolutionists: The Struggle for Darwin's Soul," W.H. Freeman and Co: New York NY, 2001, pp.viii.-ix) 11/08/2005 "Progressive creation, understood as an alternative to `fiat creation' and theistic evolution that incorporates the elements of truth in both, is here taken to mean that God's creative action has occurred over long periods of time through a variety of means. The emphasis on `a variety of means' calls attention to the fact that the focus of the biblical terminology of creation is on the results of God's action, and the relationship of those results to the divine purpose, rather than on the details of the processes God used to achieve these results. Fiat creationism in both its older and more recent forms in American fundamentalism is based on an unnecessary dichotomy between natural and supernatural processes as possible methods of creation. ... For example, Henry Morris and Gary Parker, representing the `creation science' point of view (young earth, six-day creation, `flood geology'), state that `evolution purports to explain the origin of things by natural processes, creation by preternatural process; and it is semantic confusion to try to equate the two' (Henry Morris and Gary Parker, What Is Creation Science? [El Cajon, Calif.: Master Books, 7987], p. 300). This would seem to be an example of the fallacy of the excluded middle: `X must be explained in terms (and only in terms) of either A or B.' Instead it may be the case that X can be explained by C or D, or by some combination of A, B, C, D and so forth. In the case of origins, it needs to be recognized that God is free to create through either natural or supernatural means, or through a combination of both." (Davis J.J., "Is `Progressive Creation' Still a Helpful Concept?," in "The Frontiers of Science & Faith: Examining Questions from the Big Bang to the End of the Universe," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2002, pp.126-127. Emphasis in original) 11/08/2005 "The number of mutations computed by geneticists is extremely high; however, the types of mutants are very much fewer in number. The source from which arises the evolutionary flow is less important than suggested by Darwinians. The `infinite creative potential' of DNA is surely not so great as has been claimed. Mutations have a very limited `constructive capacity'; this is why the formation of hair by mutation of reptilian scales seems to be a phenomenon of infinitesimal probability; the formation of mammae by mutation of reptilian integumentary glands is hardly more likely (integuments of reptiles show very few integumentary glands; Gabe and Saint-Girons, 1967), etc." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.97) 12/08/2005 "First, when I say `origin of life,' I refer to the beginnings of cellular life. Cells are, for this purpose, membrane- bounded self-replicating entities. Other life forms are conceptually possible, as can be vividly seen in the work of science fiction writers, and the early history of the earth could have involved some self-replicating chemical reactions outside of cells. But the life we know with certainty is cellular in nature, and that feature also characterizes the fossil record for as far back as we can take it." (Morowitz H.J., "Cosmic Joy and Local Pain: Musings of a Mystic Scientist," 1987, p.216) 12/08/2005 "Given the previous series of generalizations as defining contemporary life, we can then go on to ask, What is the simplest present-day embodiment of these generalizations? What is the simplest living cell, the minimum free- living organism? ... Since all hereditary information in procaryotes is linearly encoded in DNA genomes, the modern free-living organism with the smallest genome may be presumed to be the simplest one. Intracellular parasites like viruses and rickettsiae are excluded because they must use part of the host cell's genetic information as well as their own. The search for genetic simplicity led to the mycoplasma, a group of procaryotes lacking a cell wall and of extremely small cell size. Some species have genomes in the neighborhood of 500 million daltons (molecular weight units). On the average, it requires about 800,000 daltons of DNA to encode a single functional protein. Therefore, the smallest known mycoplasmas specify about six hundred biochemical processes. ... Starting from the outside, the mycoplasma cell is surrounded by a plasma membrane made up of a lipid bilayer, with attached proteins and carbohydrates. Within this membrane is a coiled, closed loop of DNA, containing the cell's entire genetic information. Also found are a few hundred ribosomes, a few thousand protein molecules, and a larger number of ATPs and assorted small molecules. Calculating theoretically from the known generalizations of molecular biology, the smallest, simplest organism that could carry out absolutely necessary functions of life would require a genome size at least half that of mycoplasma. In other words, the simplest free-living organisms discovered to date are close to the theoretical limit of simplicity based on the generalizations of molecular biology. We don't know that mycoplasma are necessarily primitive; they may be degenerate forms of advanced bacteria. They have, however, achieved great simplicity while retaining the ability to exist as free-living forms. (Morowit (Morowitz H.J., "Cosmic Joy and Local Pain: Musings of a Mystic Scientist," 1987, pp.227-229. Emphasis in original) 12/08/2005 "It is possible to extrapolate from the present structure of molecular biology and move back one step toward earlier systems. Since there are viruses that encode their genetic information in double-stranded RNA, and since in principle all known hereditary processes could be carried out using RNA in place of DNA, we can envision an even simpler cell than the existing ones: a cell that uses no DNA. The apparent limit of simplicity would be a mycoplasmalike cell containing double-stranded RNA as the coding material. " (Morowitz H.J., "Cosmic Joy and Local Pain: Musings of a Mystic Scientist," 1987, p.229) 12/08/2005 "Similarly, Oxford University professor of physiology Sir Charles Sherrington, a Nobel Prize winner described as `a genius who laid the foundations of our knowledge of the functioning of the brain and spinal cord,' [The British Medical Journal, March 15, 1952] declared five days before his death: `For me now, the only reality is the human soul.' [Popper K.R. & Eccles J.C., "The Self and Its Brain," Springer-Verlag: New York NY, 1977, p.558] As for his one-time student John C. Eccles, himself an eminent neurophysiologist and Nobel laureate, his ultimate conclusion is the same. `I am constrained,' he said, `to believe that there is what we might call a supernatural origin of my unique self-conscious mind or my unique selfhood or soul.' [Ibid, pp.559-600]" (Strobel L.P., "The Case for a Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence that Points Toward God," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 2004, p.250) 12/08/2005 "The first of the great rationalist philosophers was the Frenchman Rene Descartes (1596-1650). ... Descartes received his education not at a university but at a Jesuit college. But this proved no detriment, for he was given a better grounding in mathematics than he could have otherwise got at most universities at the time. Seeking a life of leisure, Descartes embarked upon a military career. He saw service in several European armies, always careful to transfer somewhere else when fighting broke out. He went to Sweden at the request of Queen Christina who ... could only spare the hour of five in the morning for her daily lessons .... Descartes seems to have made a sustained effort to keep up the appearances of a gentlemanly amateur. He is said to have worked short hours and read little. He dabbled in various sciences, including medicine. But his main contributions were made in the fields of geometry and philosophy. In the former he invented co-ordinate geometry. In the latter he pioneered rationalism and Cartesian doubt. His two chief philosophical works were his Discourse on Method (1637) and his Meditations (1641). .... As a first principle he resolved `never to accept anything for true which I did not clearly know to be such' His ideal and method were modelled on mathematics. `The long chains', he went on, `of simple and easy reasonings by means of which geometers are accustomed to reach the conclusions of their most difficult demonstrations, had led me to imagine that all things, to the knowledge of which man is competent, are mutually connected in the same way, and that there is nothing so far removed from us as to be beyond our reach, or so hidden that we cannot discover it, provided only we abstain from accepting the false for the true, and always preserve in our thoughts the order necessary for the deduction of one truth from another.' And so were born Cartesian doubt and rationalism. The former excludes from serious philosophical consideration everything about which doubt may be entertained. The latter seemed to place within the philosopher's grasp the key that would not only guarantee modern scientific method, but also unlock the whole of reality. For whereas reliance upon observation and experience could prove deceptive, rational argument was unshakable. With this in mind he set about probing the structure of the universe. Giving free rein to his doubts, he granted the possibility that everything in his mind might be no more than dreams and illusions. How then could he be sure that the world existed? His answer had three main steps. First of all, he came to the realization that whatever else he could doubt, there was one thing that it was impossible to doubt - the fact that he was doubting. This, in turn, led him to his celebrated axiom: Cogito ergo sum (`I think, therefore I am'). The mere fact that he was having doubts and, therefore, thinking meant that he must exist. The next step in the argument was to show that God existed. This he attempted to take by a combination of the causal and ontological arguments. On the one hand, the idea of himself as a finite being implied the existence of an infinite being. On the other hand, the very idea of a Perfect Being implied its existence. The third and final step was to advance the claim that, since God is perfect, he would not deceive us. He would not allow us to think that our clear and distinct ideas were true, if they were not. We can thus rest assured that all our logical deductions about reality are valid.' Descartes has been frequently taken to task for his philosophical blunders. We have already queried the validity of the ontological argument. Once this goes, the whole system is bereft of its pivot. The celebrated Cogito ergo sum has also provided philosophers with ample shooting-practice. Bertrand Russell is among the many who have pointed out its fallacious character. If Descartes is really wanting to start with doubt, his initial premise should have been `There are doubts'. He is not entitled to infer from this the existence of a personal self, an `I' with all the qualities we take for granted in everyday life. The latter is smuggled into the argument unnoticed. On the other hand, the phrase may well not be a logical deduction of personal existence from the mere fact that there are doubts but simply a disguised tautology, merely repeating the same thing in different words. In which case the phrase is simply a reaffirmation of his own existence. But it is also questionable whether even an ultra-sceptic can honestly begin with nothing but doubt as his primary datum. However difficult it may be to formulate it, we are all profoundly conscious that we are not alone with our doubts. We live in a milieu, and that milieu is made up of other people, other things, and God. In short, Cartesian philosophy represents a false start. Descartes is sometimes portrayed as the first modern philosopher. This is not quite correct. In refurbishing the medieval proofs of the existence of God he was drawing upon the legacy of the Middle Ages. Like the medieval philosophers he was interested in metaphysics. To the end of his life Descartes remained a nominal Catholic. But there is a sense in which Descartes represents a new departure. Descartes was interested in God not for his own sake, but for the world's. God is invoked as a kind of deus ex machina to guarantee the validity of our thoughts about the world. Apart from that he remains eternally standing in the wings. It is not surprising that, when later philosophers came along who shared Descartes's assumptions but not his methods, they could dispose entirely of this unwanted prop. In one of his more speculative moments Archbishop William Temple was once tempted to ask himself which was the most disastrous moment in European history. The answer he came up with was the day Descartes shut himself up in his [room with a] stove. In saying this, Temple was not thinking so much about Descartes's view of God but about the trend he set in European thought. It epitomized a shift of concern. It symbolized a retreat into the individual self-consciousness as the one sure starting-point in philosophy. .... The French philosopher inaugurated a trend followed by many who rejected his actual system. He set up the individual consciousness as the final criterion of truth. Descartes himself believed that he had firmly grasped objective reality with his doctrine of clear and distinct ideas which remained unshakable amid the shifting sands of experience. In fact, neither the Cogito ergo sum, nor the ontological argument, nor his method in general was anything like as dependable as he led himself to believe. The mere process of thinking thoughts (however logical their sequence) does not make them true. A thought may be said to be true when it corresponds with its object. This can only be done by checking it in experience. But this is precisely what Descartes tried to eliminate in philosophy. In effect, Descartes was driving a wedge between the mind and its thoughts on the one hand and the world and experience on the other. This approach was strongly (and rightly) opposed by the British empiricists. But on the continent Descartes set the trend. Rationalism dominated continental, especially German, philosophy almost to the end of the eighteenth century. And even when rationalism was finally abandoned, there were many down to the present day who continued to take the individual self-consciousness as their starting-point and even as their sole reference-point." (Brown C., "Philosophy and the Christian Faith," Tyndale Press: London, 1969, pp.52-53) 13/08/2005 "SINCE THE MANUSCRIPT Wallace mailed from Ternate contained-in complete form-what is today known as the Darwinian theory of evolution, the date of its arrival at Down House acquires profound historical significance. A quartet of dates is in the running as the date on which the postrider handed Wallace's envelope to Parslow. The first of the four - Friday, June 4-is speculative; the second-Tuesday, June 8-is the day Darwin wrote Hooker that he had suddenly found the missing `keystone' of his theory; the third-Monday, June 14-is suggested by Darwin's `little diary'; and the fourth-Friday, June 18-is the date publicly advanced by Darwin himself. Wherever the chronological reality may rest, June 1858 clearly marked for Darwin the moment of truth. The problem is compounded by the disappearance of the Wallace envelope. That envelope, with its postmarks, which has been searched for in vain at the Linnean Society, the Royal Geographical Society, the British Museum (Natural History), the University of London, and elsewhere, contained irrefutable evidence of the precise date on which Darwin broke it open and read its contents. In all probability, it no longer exists. It has either been misplaced or, more likely, destroyed. The postal history of the period, the survival of a number of other Wallace letters from Ternate, and a consensus among philatelists is that it would take a letter from Ternate some twelve weeks to reach Down. According to the evidence found in Wallace's papers, he wrote out his complete theory of evolution toward the end of February and posted it March 9, when the first available Dutch vessel dropped anchor at Ternate. This is corroborated by a letter Wallace sent that same day by the same ship to Frederick Bates, the brother of Henry Walter Bates with whom Wallace had scoured the Amazon for species some years earlier. H. Lewis McKinney, a member of the University of Kansas faculty, was the first to draw attention to the Bates letter, which is in the possession of Wallace's grandson, Alfred John Russel Wallace. The letter, mailed from Ternate, bears the usual series of cancellations, showing its arrival at Singapore and transit to London via Southampton and then on to Leicester, where Bates lived. It arrived at Leicester June 3 and bears a cancellation of the Leicester post office for that date. Wallace's letter to Darwin should have arrived the same day as Bates', June 3, or perhaps a day or two later. `It is only reasonable to assume that Wallace's communication to Darwin arrived at the same time and was delivered to Darwin at Down House on 3 June 1858, the same day as Bates' letter arrived in Leicester,' said McKinney. `If this sequence is correct, as it appears to be, we must ask ourselves what Darwin was doing with Wallace's paper during the two weeks between 4 June and 18 June (when Darwin claimed he received it).'" (Brackman A.C., "A Delicate Arrangement: The Strange Case of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace," Times Books: New York NY, 1980, pp.16-17) 13/08/2005 "It is often claimed that the answer to the riddle lay on Darwin's shelves, in the uncut pages of the proceedings of the Brunn Natural History Society where nestled Gregor Mendel's paper on Versuche uber PflanzenHybriden. Unfortunately this poignant story seems to be an urban myth. The two scholars best placed (at Cambridge and at Down House) to know what was in Darwin's personal library can find no evidence that he ever subscribed to the proceedings, nor does it seem likely that he would have done so. They have no idea where the legend of the 'uncut pages' originated. Once originated, however, it is easy to see that its very poignancy might speed its proliferation. The whole affair would make a nice little project in memetic research, complementing that other popular urban legend, the agreeable falsehood that Darwin turned down an offer from Marx to dedicate Das Kapital to him." (Dawkins R., "Introduction," in Darwin C.R., "The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex," , Gibson Square Books: London, Second edition, 2003, reprint, p.xvi) 14/08/2005 "Giard (1905), himself a shrewd scholar but blinded by a foolish anticlericalism, went so far as to abjure Lamarckism and write, "To account for the wondrous adaptations such as those we observe between orchids and the insects that fertilize them, we have hardly any choice but the bare alternative hypotheses: the intervention of a sovereignly intelligent being, and selection." ... Giard's concept, which is that held by many atheists and freethinkers, gives a singular and belittling idea of God. The Almighty, obliged to remodel and retouch His own handiwork all the time, is baffled by obstacles His omniscience failed to detect. He is not even a demigod, but a mere pawn, a vague deity designed for crooked-thinking scientists. Nature has its laws. The determinism of the things that flow from first causes suffices to explain the phenomena occurring in the material universe, whether it be made of inert matter or of living things. Let us not invoke God in realities in which He no longer has to intervene. The single absolute act of creation was enough for Him." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.165-166. Emphasis in original) 14/08/2005 "As Theism is the doctrine of an extramundane, personal God, the creator, preserver, and governor of all things, any doctrine which denies the existence of such a Being is anti-theistic. Not only avowed Atheism, therefore, but Polytheism, Hylozoism, Materialism, and Pantheism, belong to the class of anti-theistic theories. Atheism does not call for any separate discussion. It is in itself purely negative. It affirms nothing. It simply denies what Theism asserts. The proof of Theism is, therefore, the, refutation of Atheism.. Atheist is, however, a term of reproach. Few men are willing to call themselves, or to allow others to call them by that name. Hume, we know, resented it. Hence those who are really atheists, according to the etymological and commonly received meaning of the word, repudiate the term. They claim to be believers in God, although they assign to that word a meaning which is entirely unauthorized by usage. ... Language, however, has its rights. The meaning of words cannot be changed at the pleasure of individuals. The word God, and its equivalents in other languages, have a definite meaning, from which no man is at liberty to depart. If any one says he believes in God, he says he believes in the existence of a personal, self-conscious being. He does not believe in God, if he only believes in `motion,' in `force,' in `thought,'' in `moral order,' in `the incomprehensible,' or in any other abstraction. Theists also have their rights. Theism is a definite form of belief. For the expression of that belief, the word Theism is the established and universally recognized term. We have the right to retain it; and we have the right to designate as Atheism, all forms of doctrine which involve the denial of what is universally understood by Theism." (Hodge C., "Systematic Theology," , James Clark & Co: London, Vol. I, 1960, reprint, pp.241-242) 14/08/2005 "Yes, but you must wager. There is no choice, you are already committed. Which will you choose then? ... Let us weigh up the gain and the loss involved in calling heads that God exists. Let us assess the two cases: if you win you win everything, if you lose you lose nothing" (Pascal B., "Pensees," 418, , Krailsheimer A.J., Transl., Penguin: London, Revised edition, 1966, p.123) 14/08/2005 "One somewhat curious fact emerges from a survey of biological progress as culminating for the evolutionary moment in the dominance of Homo sapiens. It could apparently have pursued no other general course than that which it has historically followed: or, if it be impossible to uphold such a sweeping and universal negative, we may at least say that among the actual inhabitants of the earth, past and present, no other lines could have been taken which would have produced speech and conceptual thought, the features that form the basis for man's biological dominance. Multicellular organization was necessary to achieve the basis for adequate size: without triploblastic development and a blood-system, elaborate organization and further size would have been impossible. Among the coelomates, only the vertebrates were eligible as agents for unlimited progress, for only they were able to achieve the combination of active efficiency, size, and terrestrial existence on which the later stages of progress were of necessity based. Only in the water have the molluscs achieved any great advance. The arthropods are not only hampered by their necessity for moulting; but their land representatives, as was first pointed out by Krogh, are restricted by their tracheal respiration to very small size. They are therefore also restricted to cold-bloodedness and to a reliance on instinctive behaviour (see discussion in Wells, Huxley and Wells, 1930, Book 5, chap. 5, § 7). Lungs were one needful precursor of intelligence. Warm blood was another, since only with a constant internal environment could the brain achieve stability and regularity for its finer functions. This limits us to birds and mammals as bearers of the torch of progress. But birds were ruled out by their depriving themselves of potential hands in favour of actual wings, and perhaps also by the restriction of their size made necessary in the interests of flight. Remain the mammals. During the Tertiary epoch, most mammalian lines cut themselves off from the possibility of ultimate progress by concentrating on immediate specialization. A horse or a lion is armoured against progress by the very efficiency of its limbs and teeth and sense of smell: it is a limited piece of organic machinery. As Elliot Smith has so fully set forth, the penultimate steps in the development of our human intelligence could never have been taken except in arboreal ancestors, in whom the forelimb could be converted into a hand, and sight inevitably became the dominant sense in place of smell. But, for the ultimate step, it was necessary for the anthropoid to descend from the trees before he could become man. This meant the final liberation of the hand, and also placed the evolving creature in a more varied environment, in which a higher premium was placed upon intelligence. Further, the foetalization necessary for a prolonged period of learning could only have occurred in a monotocous species (pp. 525, 555; Haldane, 1932a, p. 124; Spence and Yerkes, 1937). Weidenreich (1941) maintains that the attainment of the erect posture was a necessary - prerequisite for the final stages in human cerebral evolution. The last step yet taken in evolutionary progress, and the only one to hold out the promise of unlimited (or indeed of any further) progress in the evolutionary future, is the degree of intelligence which involves true speech and conceptual thought: and it is found exclusively in man. This, however, could only arise in a monotocous mammal of terrestrial habit, but arboreal for most of its mammalian ancestry. All other known groups of animals, except the ancestral line of this kind of mammal, are ruled out. Conceptual thought is not merely found exclusively in man: it could not have been evolved on earth except in man." (Huxley J.S., "Evolution: The Modern Synthesis," , George Allen & Unwin: London, 1945, reprint, p.569-570) 16/08/2005 "J.P. Moreland's `Conceptual Problems and the Scientific Status of Creation Science' argues against the notion that creationist theories are inherently unscientific. He suggests: (1) there are no good reasons to exclude postulations of intelligent design or special creative acts of God from science a priori and (2) there is at least one good reason to allow consideration of such postulations in science - namely, that creationist theories attempt to solve conceptual problems which, following Laudan, he regards as a primary function of many scientific theories. Moreland's analysis does not address any of the specific empirical claims that the various creationist theories (old-earth, young earth, theistic macromutationalist, etc.) make, but instead seeks to counter the claim that such theories can not (i.e., in principle) be considered scientific because they invoke special divine action as part of their explanatory framework. Thus, unlike Ruse [Ruse M., "Darwinism Defended: A Guide to the Evolution Controversies," 1982, pp.322-24], Stent [Stent G.S., "Scientific Creationism: Nemesis of Sociobiology," in Montagu A., ed., "Science and Creationism," 1984, p.137], Gould S.J., "Evolution as Fact and Theory." in Montagu, 1984, p.118], Grizzle [Grizzle R., "Some Comments on the `Godless' Nature of Darwinian Evolution, and a Plea to the Philosophers Among Us." PSCF, 44:2, 1993, pp.175-177], Murphy [Murphy N., "Phillip Johnson on Trial: A Critique of His Critique of Darwin." PSCF, 45:1, 1993, p.33 and others, Moreland does not regard the possibility of a scientific theory of creation as "self-contradictory nonsense." [Ebert J., et. al., "Science and Creationism: A View From the National Academy of Science," 1987, pp.8-10; Lewontin R., "Introduction." Scientists Confront Creationism," in Godfrey L.R., ed., "Scientists Confront Creationism," , 1983, p.xxi] While Moreland's conclusions no doubt seem quite radical to many practicing scientists and longtime ASA members, his arguments are, in my opinion, quite sound. Philosophers of science have generally lost patience with attempts to discredit theories as `unscientific' by using philosophical or methodological litmus tests. Such so- called `demarcation criteria' `criteria that purport to distinguish true science from pseudo-science, metaphysics and religion' have inevitably fallen prey to death by a thousand counter examples. Well-established scientific theories often lack some of the allegedly necessary features of true science (e.g. falsifiability, observability, repeatability, use of law-like explanation, etc.), while many disreputable or "crank" ideas have often manifested some of these same features. [Laudan L., "The Demise of the Demarcation Problem," in Ruse M., ed., "But Is It Science?," 1988, pp.337-350]" (Meyer S.C., "The Use and Abuse of Philosophy of Science: A Response to Moreland," Perspectives in Science and Christian Faith, Vol. 46, March 1994, pp.19-21) 16/08/2005 "The final authority, the Bible, shows that the earth cannot be billions of years old. Such a belief conflicts with the biblical data of creation in six ordinary days, recent creation of man on the sixth day, and death of humans and animals arising from Adam's sin. Science is limited in dealing with the past, so cannot be used to prove or disprove the Bible. Biblical creationists believe that the only way to conclusively establish the earth's age is the testimony of the eyewitness account in Genesis. In a court of law, a reliable eyewitness that a suspect was absent from a crime scene overrules any circumstantial evidence, and there is no eyewitness more reliable than the all-knowing Creator. Creationists have also pointed out that "scientific" methods are limited in dealing with the past, because of many assumptions. Therefore, it would be folly to use any of this circumstantial evidence to overrule the plain meaning of the Bible." (Sarfati J.D.*, "Refuting Compromise: A Biblical and Scientific Refutation of `Progressive Creationism' (Billions of Years) as Popularized by Astronomer Hugh Ross," Master Books: Green Forest AR, 2004, p.331) 16/08/2005 "In the next few chapters I shall be obliged to oppose the notion that the earth is young. But I shall not attack it; one does not attack one's own friends. If we must use a military metaphor, I hope my allies will view me as exhorting them rather than attacking them. I am appealing to them to stop using the strategy and weapons of a bygone age in our common fight against unbelief. For recent-creationists are my friends and allies. Let there be no mistake about that. The things we have in common are much more important than those on which we differ. We share a belief in an inspired Bible. We agree that Darwin was mistaken, and that God is the Creator of every living thing. Compared with this, the question of the age of the earth pales into insignificance." (Hayward A.*, "Creation and Evolution: Rethinking the Evidence from Science and the Bible," , Bethany House: Minneapolis MN, 1995, reprint, p.79. Emphasis in original) 17/08/2005 "The book can be appreciated on many levels. It is by no means only an owner's manual, though it is indispensably that. For all its sound practical advice, it could only have been written by a professional zoologist, drawing deeply on theory and scholarship. Many of the facts herein are accurate. The world of dinosaurs has always been richly provided with wonder and amazement, and Mash's manual only adds to the mixture. As a theological aside, creationists (now excitingly rebranded as Intelligent Design Theorists) will find it an invaluable resource in their battle against the preposterous canard that humans and dinosaurs are separated by 65 million years of geological time." (Dawkins R.; "Foreword," in Mash R., "How to Keep Dinosaurs," Weidenfeld & Nicolson: London, 2003, p.6) 18/08/2005 "Our study will concentrate on the eye, the genesis of which is a major challenge to evolutionists. ... Charles Darwin ... recognized the weaknesses of his theory, which are increasingly apparent today. We are not surprised, then, to read in a letter to his friend the botanist Asa Gray: `To this day the eye makes me shudder, but when I think of the fine known gradations, my reason tells me I ought to conquer my fear' (Darwin, 1888. p.273, letter to Asa Gray, February 1860). We fully understand Darwin's fears and wonder what they would have been, had he been confronted with the anatomical and cytological complexity that is revealed by modern biology; he would have been even more worried had he known that selection cannot create anything on its own. .... The problem is to know whether random mutations could have given rise to an organ requiring, because of its complexity, a considerable number of data for its elaboration. The number of mutations must have been enormous for adequate ones to occur at a given point, by chance and to enable the organ to function. we need not belabor the diversity of the transparent parts, on the relationships between the intraocular fluid (aqueous humor) and the venous system (Schlemm's canal), among others. The complexity of the retina, of the sheaths, etc., need not detain us either; all this is extremely well known, but we must say that no recent publication inspired by Darwinism even mentions it. In 1860 Darwin considered only the eye, but today he would have to take into consideration all the cerebral connections of the organ. The retina is indirectly connected to the striated zone of the occipital lobe of the cerebral hemispheres: Specialized neurons correspond to each one of its parts-perhaps even to each one of its photoreceptor cells. The connection between the fibers of the optic nerve and the neurons of the occipital lobe in the geniculate body is absolutely perfect. The processes of the axons the outgrowths of the dendrites, and the connections with corresponding elements are so precisely laid out in time and space that as a rule everything works perfectly. In fact, the picture we have just sketched is even more complex; we did not consider the molecular structure which shows as many peculiarities of adaptation as the macrostructure (the subtleties of which were sometimes mistaken for imperfections; see Ivanoff, 1953), and we have neglected entirely the chemistry of a complex organ capable of multiple adjustments." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.104-105) 18/08/2005 "Worlds are colliding, people. Your friendly neighborhood message board is not alone in the online community world any longer. This year we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the message board. Since that time, interfaces have improved, email has been integrated, but comparatively little has changed regarding the basic structure and intent of the message board. However, in the last few years, we've seen the arrival of a new set of tools and processes that offer additional opportunities for message board-based online communities. The appearance of weblogs have left many observers, including me, wondering about the differences between the two technologies and how they will be used inside online communities. Are weblogs really that different from message boards? How? Note: Below I make assumptions and generalizations about message board and weblog design. My goal is to discuss what I think are standard practices across the technologies. I realize that the assumptions below may or may not match with your experiences and I present them as suggestions. .... First, I believe that weblogs and message boards are different .... Perhaps the most compelling difference in weblogs and message boards is the locus of control. Weblogs are individual or small group resources- the control of content and value is driven by a single person or small group. Message Boards are group resources- the control of content and value is shared equally across all users. ... The locus of control matters most in defining who can post new topics, which drive the content of the resource. In weblogs, this role is centralized, with new topics being presented by a defined and focused person or small group. This centralization facilitates focus and direction on behalf of the webloggers. In many message boards, all members usually have the ability to create new topics. This decentralization allows for more emergent and unpredictable directions that may reflect the group's desires as a whole. ... The centralized vs. decentralized nature of the technologies fit nicely into two distinct intentions. With weblog authorship being centralized inside a community, they can easily become news sources, where trusted individuals provide accounts of events and information. The decentralized nature of message boards works well to accumulate group input and facilitate collaboration and group decision making. ... Weblogs and Message Boards both allow for responses from the community- new topics can be responded-to by others. Weblog topics have comments and message board topics have replies. This subtle difference in syntax reveals a difference in the roles. The word comment for weblogs implies that the author does not need further participation to reach a goal- comment if you want. Reply, on the other hand, implies that participation is explicitly requested by the poster. A discussion is not a discussion without a reply. ... The order and presentation of topics across message boards and weblogs relate another difference. Weblogs are consistently arranged with the most recently posted topics at the top of the page, regardless of new comments. With a message board, the posting of replies can govern the presentation of the originating topic- topics with new replies are often presented at the top (but not always, of course). This illustrates the relative importance of replies in message board discussions. Replies can keep a discussion alive and at the top of the page for months or even years in some cases. ... Since a weblog depends on a single person or select group, the likelihood of off-topic or inappropriate topics (or responses) is greatly reduced. Further, as discussed previously, weblogs do not depend on responses to provide value. So, in situations where spam or flame wars are a problem, weblogs can turn-off comments and depend on new topics from the webloggers for value. Being group resources, message boards do not have the luxury to turn off replies, but do prevent problems with moderation of each new topic or response. ... How topics are archived and organized provides another look at the differences. Often, each new topic in a weblog is assigned to a category that is used to organize the topics for future reference. A single weblog may have many categories that archive and oe posts that were originally presented on the weblogs' front page. Message boards are often presented with multiple starting points for creating a new discussion. The member chooses the appropriate location to post a new topic, depending on subject matter. In this way, message boards create multiple "front pages", spreading the presentation of new topics across locations/content buckets in the community." (LeFever, L., "What are the Differences Between Message Boards and Weblogs?," Common Craft weblog, August 24, 2004. Emphasis in original. ) 22/08/2005 "We took the eye as an example, but the ear would have been just as instructive. Is not the human brain, the organ capable of abstraction, an even better example? Even the architecture of the cortex with its 14 billion neurons is not known with any degree of precision. In mammals, all sense organs evolved almost simultaneously. If one considers the great number of simultaneous, timely mutations satisfying existing needs involved in their genesis, one can not fail to be confounded by so much harmony, so many lucky coincidences, due entirely to omnipotent chance." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.105) 22/08/2005 "Selection must complete its work on successive generations and must find in them the materials it needs. Moreover, successive generations reproduce preceding ones, otherwise they have no evolutionary value. We have already listed the lucky chances required for the slightest evolution to result from mutations (p. 94). Anyone who endorses the random theory of evolution admits that the eye and the ear, to become what they are, have required thousands and thousands of lucky chances, synchronized with the needs of their construction. What probability is there of such wonderfully fortuitous success?" (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.105-106) 22/08/2005 "Natural selection, if one admits that it is the builder of the living world, can only operate if it possesses the correct building materials needed for the construction of the organ at the right moment. What is the use of appropriate mutations if they appear too early or too late in the course of phylogenesis? If the formation of the crystalline lens and of the retina had not been closely coordinated (the retina is the inducing agent of the anterior parts of the eye), the eye could not have formed. The necessary mutations could not have occurred independently. The influence of the organ extends to structures in its immediate vicinity; can one imagine an eye without eyelids or without lachrymal glands? Moreover, these accessories necessarily formed early in the course of evolution; the eye is indeed too fragile to be able to do without them. The chronology of phenomena in any ontogenesis is inflexible. The formation and the subsistence of the living being requires that successive transformations arise in an orderly manner and that its architecture be equally ordered. Randomness and chance have no place here." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.106) 22/08/2005 "Moreover, during phylogenetic organogenesis, natural selection must be capable of foresight. Isn't "choosing" its prime function? But the choice cannot take place without predicting the future role of the incipient organ. Without such prescience, the coordination of successive states is incomprehensible. Did Darwin take this into consideration? Without its predictive powers, selection would not be able to favor an incipient organ which, at the time, had little or no usefulness. What sort of advantage could result from the starting of an eye, when the materials forming it were not yet transparent? Of what use was the development of the dentary and the accompanying regression of the proximal jaw bones in theriodont reptiles, the ancestors of mammals? An answer can always be invented, but all this merely adds another supposition to the mass of previous suppositions." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.106-107) 22/08/2005 "We repeatedly hear that chance is all-powerful. Statements are insufficient. Evidence must be produced. I do not consider the spontaneous appearance of resistance to an antibiotic in a nonresistant population of bacteria as evidence. Neither structures nor fundamental functions are involved here. This is so true that variations of this kind, although repeated millions of times, have left bacteria practically unchanged. ... On the border of science, however, a theoretical system gradually appeared which claimed that chance accounts for the genesis and the evolution of the biocosm. Its advocates have faith in chance; they are certain that it unfailingly provides the living being with all that it requires. ... Directed by all-powerful selection, chance becomes a sort of providence, which, under the cover of atheism, is not named but which is secretly worshipped. ... To insist, even with Olympian assurance, that life appeared quite by chance and evolved in this fashion, is an unfounded supposition which I relieve to be wrong and not in accordance with the facts." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.107) 23/08/2005 "Additional Note on the long-lived antediluvians. Two problems of interpretation lie on the surface of this chapter: in simple terms, the period as a whole looks too short, and the individual life-spans too long, to harmonize with other data. ... a. The total period. Our present knowledge of civilization, e.g. at Jericho, goes back to at least 7000 BC, and of man himself very much further. When Ussher dated Adam at 4004 BC he assumed that the generations in this chapter were an unbroken chain: but the chapter neither adds its figures together nor gives the impression that the men it names overlapped each other's lives to any unusual extent (e.g. that Adam lived almost to the birth of Noah) . If it has selected ten names (and in 11:10ff. another ten from Noah to Abraham) as separate landmarks rather than continuous links, it has genealogical custom both within and without the Bible to support it. Within Scripture, note the stylized scheme of three fourteens in Matthew 1 (involving the omission of three successive kings in Mt. 1:8). Outside it, anthropologists and others have drawn attention to similar genealogical methods in the Sudan, Arabia, and elsewhere. On this understanding of the scheme, Seth, for example, produced at 105 either a forbear of Enosh or Enosh himself (cf. Mt. 1:8b, where Joram 'begat' his great-great-grandson); and so on. This leaves the total period undetermined. b. The life-spans. Reinterpretations of the longevity of these men are less happy. At first sight the fact that a name can mean both an individual and his tribe (cf. chapter 10) could account for some of the great ages if the first figure in the record (3,6, etc.) were taken to denote a man's personal life-span, while the second figure (4,7, etc.) gave that of the family he founded; 2 but Enoch and Noah are fatal exceptions, for they are clearly portrayed as individuals to the end. The idea that units of time may have changed their meaning is equally unfruitful: apart from creating fresh difficulties in 12, 15, 21, it breaks down in the detailed chronology between 7:6 and 8:13. As far as we can tell, then, the life-spans are intended literally. It may be worth pointing out that our familiar rate of growth is not the only conceivable one; also that various races have traditions of primitive longevity [The Sumerian king-list names eight or ten antediluvians, reigning on an average some thirty thousand years apiece. Some grain of truth could lie behind these vast numbers, as truth evidently lies behind the actual names ...] which could stem from authentic memories. See also on 12:14. But further study of the conventions of ancient genealogy writing may throw new light on the intention of the chapter." (Kidner D.*, "Genesis: An Introduction and Commentary," Tyndale Press: London, 1967, pp.82-83) 23/08/2005 "The proposed longevity of the antediluvians or macrobians presents us with a problem in anthropology. These men lived up to 900 years, and they did not seem to have children till they were around 100 years old. Three interpretations have been suggested: A. Some have said that the time element needs reduction. Perhaps Moses used the Hebrew word year for some Babylonian word. For example we might take the English pound and equate it with the French franc as both being the unit of money of the two peoples, but to state francs as pounds and pounds as francs requires some method of reduction of pounds to francs. Babylonian records speak of men living 30,000 years! We would need a reduction factor of about one to ten to reduce 900 down to about 90. But such a reduction ratio has not been found which is satisfactory because it ends up with people having children when they are a year old! Until a feasible system of reduction can be found this method must be rejected. B. We may assert that these men actually lived 900 years or so, and assert that the flood made a radical difference in world conditions. A change in climate, a change in sunlight and moonlight, an increase in disease, have been suggested as cutting down man's life span. In general, expositors have felt that man coming right from the hand of the Creator was so free from disease that he could live much longer than contemporary man who is the heir of centuries of disease. There is nothing inherently impossible for man to have lived that long, but certainly something very unusual was at work if man did live that long. C. A third theory goes back to Bunsen's Bibelwerk (v. 49) in which Bunsen defends the interpretation that these years are cyclical. They deal with the epochs of the antediluvians, not their chronological ages. ... John Davis in his Bible dictionary and then in the ISBE [International Standard Bible Encyclopedia] ("Antediluvian Patriarchs," I, 139-143) defends this theory at length in the twentieth century. He feels that the names represent the patriarch and his family: The longevity is the period during which the family had prominence and leadership; the age at the son's birth is the date in the family history at which a new family originated and ultimately succeeded to the dominant position. This theory would relieve us of the problem of time reduction, and the problem of such a long span of life for man. One problem is figuring how Enoch fits into this interpretation for Gen. 5: 21-24 informs us that Enoch walked with God for three hundred years after the birth of Methuselah. Was a whole tribe taken? Or, are we to make a sharp distinction here between Enoch the man and Enoch the tribe? Certainly Hebrews 11:5 treats Enoch as a man. Perhaps this objection is not as formidable as it first appears, but it needs some further treatment to fit into Davis' theory which we think is perhaps the most satisfactory of the three differed." (Ramm B.L.*, "The Christian View of Science and Scripture,"  Paternoster: Exeter, Devon UK, 1967, reprint, pp.236-237) 23/08/2005 "Antediluvians ... 1. Chronology Uncertain: According to the ordinary interpretation of the genealogical tables in Gen. 5 the lives of the antediluvians were prolonged to an extreme old age, Methuselah attaining that of 969 years. But before accepting these figures as a basis of interpretation it is important to observe that the Hebrew, the Samaritan and the Septuagint texts differ so radically in their sums that probably little confidence can be placed in any of them. The Septuagint adds 100 years to the age of six of the antediluvian patriarchs at the birth of their eldest sons. This, taken with the great uncertainty connected with the transmission of numbers by the Hebrew method of notation, makes it unwise to base important conclusions upon the data accessible. The most probable interpretation of the genealogical table in Gen. 5 is that given by the late Professor William Henry Green, who maintains that it is not intended to give chronology, and does not give it, but only indicates the line of descent, as where (1 Chronicles 26:24) we read that `Shebuel the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, was ruler over the treasures'; whereas, while Gershom was the immediate son of Moses, Shebuel was separated from Gershom by several generations. According to the interpretation of Professor Green all that we can certainly infer from the statement in Hebrew that Adam was 130 years old when he begat Seth, is that at that age the line branched off which culminated in Seth, it being permitted, according to Hebrew usage, to interpolate as many intermediate generations as other evidence may compel. 2. Meaning of Genealogies: As in the genealogies of Christ in the Gospels, the object of the tables in Genesis is evidently not to give chronology, but the line of descent. This conclusion is supported by the fact that no use is made afterward of the chronology, whereas the line of descent is repeatedly emphasized. This method of interpretation allows all the elasticity to prehistoric chronology that any archaeologist may require. Some will get further relief from the apparent incredibility of the figures by the Interpretation of Professor A. Winchell, and T. P. Crawford (Winchell, Pre-adamites, 449 ff.) that the first number gives the age of actual life of the individual while the second gives that of the ascendancy of his family, the name being that of dynasties, like Caesar or Pharaoh." (Wright G.F.*, "Antediluvians," International Standard Bible Encyclopedia) 23/08/2005 "Hebrew genealogical tables are apt to differ in the principles of construction from modern registers of pedigree. 1. Symmetry is often preferred to the exhibition of the unbroken descent from father to son. Hence links were freely omitted, and the enumeration was otherwise left incomplete. Ten in the genealogy from Adam to Noah, and ten from Shem to Abraham. Seventy sons of Noah's sons, and seventy souls of the house of Jacob (Gen. xlvi. 27 ...). 2. The genealogy may be tribal, rather than personal; and son may denote the inhabitants of a country (Gen. x. 2-4, 6, 7, 22), a people or tribe (4, 13, 16-18 ...), a town (15), rarely an individual (8-10). Similar phenomena are found elsewhere (Gen. xxv. 2-4; 1 Chron. ii. 50-55 ...). The words bear and beget and father are used with a corresponding breadth of meaning; as bear or beget a grandchild (Gen. xlvi. 12 with 15, 18, 25), or great- grandchild (12, and probably 21, 22), or grandchild's grandchild (Mat. i. 9), or country (Gen. xxv. 2, 3)." (Davis J.D.*, "A Dictionary of the Bible," , Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Fourth edition, 1966, Fifteenth printing, p.253) 23/08/2005 "The long life spans have been a continual curiosity among Bible readers. But if these numbers sound incredible, the years attributed to the antediluvian Mesopotamian kings make Methuselah seem but an infant. In the Sumerian king list the shortest reign is 18,600 years, while the longest stretches 43,200. Eight kings compile 241,200 years between them. This text uses the standard Sumerian sexagesimal system. If the notation is read with decimal values rather than sexagesimal values, the numbers are in the same range as the Biblical numbers, and the totals of the lists are nearly identical. Have the numbers been misrepresented or misunderstood? Are they symbolic? Did the antediluvians simply live longer? There have been many attempts to account for the numbers through mathematical gymnastics, but none of the proposals has been able to provide a solution that encompasses all of the data. It is impossible to understand the numbers in terms of some thing other than base ten, both because base ten is the norm for Semitic civilizations (except Sumerian-based Akkadian) as far back as records are available, and because any other system results in men fathering children at age six or seven years old. The latter consequence also makes it impossible that a "year" represents a cycle of the moon rather than a cycle of the sun. If, then, we accept the biblical account at face value, there are reasons one might expect long lives in the shadow of Eden. Whether one would speculate that the long lives testify to the gradual penetration of sin (and death) or to the enduring effect of Adam and Eve's temporary (pre-Fall) diet from the tree of life, the accuracy of these numbers can be defended. Those who are more inclined to take them as symbolic must provide an explanation of how the numbers are operating on the symbolic level and how genealogies were understood by the biblical authors that allow us to consider a symbolic view as representing the face value of the text." (Walton J.H.*, "Genesis," The NIV Application Commentary, Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 2001, pp.281-282) 23/08/2005 "Genesis 5. The problem of the long lives of people before the flood is obvious: Adam lived 930 years (Gen. 5:5); Methuselah lived 969 years (Gen. 5:27), and the average age of those who lived out their normal lifespan was over 900 years old. Yet even the Bible recognizes what scientific fact shows, namely, that most people live only seventy or eighty years before natural death (Ps. 90:10). It is a fact that people do not live that long today. But this is merely a descriptive statement, not a prescriptive one. No scientist has shown that it is impossible for someone to live that long. In fact, biologically there is no reason humans could not live hundreds of years. Scientists are more baffled by aging and death than by longevity. Second, the reference in Psalm 90 is to Moses' time (1400s B.C.) and later, when longevity had decreased to seventy or eighty years for most, though Moses himself lived 120 years (Deut. 34:7). Third, some have suggested that these `years' are really only months, which would reduce nine hundred years to the normal life span of eighty years. However, this is implausible. There is no precedent in the Hebrew Old Testament for taking the word year to mean `month.' And Mahalalel had children when he was `only' sixty-five (Gen. 5:15), and Cainan had children when he was seventy (Gen. 5:12); this would mean they were less than six years old-which is not biologically possible. Fourth, others suggest that these names represent family lines or clans that went on for generations before they died out. However, this does not make sense. For one thing, some of these names (e.g., Adam, Seth, Enoch, Noah) are definitely individuals whose lives are narrated in the text (Gen. 1-9). For another, family lines do not `beget' family lines by different names. Neither do family lines `die,' as each of these individuals did (cf. 5:5, 8, 11). Furthermore, the reference to having `sons and daughters' (5:4) does not fit the clan theory. Fifth, it seems best to take these as years (though they were lunar years of 12 x 30 = 360 days). The Bible is not alone in speaking of hundreds of years life spans among ancients. There are also Greek and Egyptian records of humans living hundreds of years. ... Genesis 5, 11. Critics claim that the Bible makes a scientific error when it dates humankind around 4000 B.C. But the Bible nowhere gives any such total of years. In fact, there are demonstrable gaps in the biblical genealogies. Hence, it is impossible to obtain a total of years from Adam to Abraham. The Bible has accurate outline genealogies in which there are demonstrable gaps (see GENEALOGIES, OPEN OR CLOSED). Genesis 6-9. "(Geisler N.L., "Science and the Bible," in "Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics," Baker Books: Grand Rapids MI, 1999, p.695) 23/08/2005 "Genealogies, Open or Closed. From an apologetic standpoint, the problem of "open" or "closed" genealogies is this: If they are open (have gaps), then why do they appear closed, especially in Genesis 5 and 11 where exact ages at which the children were born are mentioned? If they are closed, then the creation of mankind is placed somewhere around 4000 B.C., which flies in the face of all the historical and scientific evidence for a minimum date for humanity (see GENESIS, DAYS OF). Since they must be either open or closed, there is an apologetic problem either way with regard to the authenticity of the Genesis record. ... According to the closed chronology view, there are no gaps in the list in Genesis 5 and 11. They are both complete and provide all the numbers necessary for determining the age of the human race. Arguments. In favor of the closed chronology view, different arguments have been offered. The strongest is the prima facie argument. The genealogies appear to be closed. For not only is the age given at which the son is born, and his son, and so on, but the total age of the father after he had the son is given. For example, the text says, "When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son ... and he named him Seth.... Altogether, Adam lived 930 years, and then he died. When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father of Enos ..." (Gen. 5:3-6). This wording appears to leave no room for gaps. With one exception, no lists in the Bible supply missing links in this genealogy. There are only two other lists of this early period covered by Genesis 5 and 11 and both have the same names in them ... 1 Chronicles 1:1-28 ... Luke 3:34-38 ... The one exception is Cainan (in the Luke 3 list). Otherwise, disregarding the alternate spelling of Salah/Shelah and Abram's changed name to Abraham, the lists are identical and reveal no gaps. The same names appear in both, with no missing generations apparent. ... The attempt to explain away Luke 3:36 as no gap seems highly implausible. There is no real manuscript authority for omitting Cainan from Luke 3:36. That sequence is in all major, and virtually all minor, manuscripts. There is absolutely no indication in the text that Cainan should be listed as a brother of Salah. The grammatical construction is the same for all the other names in the list who were sons. Although the Greek reads "of" or "from" without the word son, the translators rightly supply son since it is what is implied in every other case in the list. Making this one an exception, when it has the same construction, is begging the question. There is no precedent in any of the genealogical lists for listing Cainan as anything but the father of Salah. The only other explanation is that both Genesis 11 and 1 Chronicles are outlines that hit the significant points in the family tree. They have at least one known gap in their genealogies. Other known gaps. The genealogy of Christ in Matthew 1 has at least one serious known gap, even though the text reads that Jehoram was the father of Uzziah (vs. 8), it is known from 1 Chronicles 3 that three missing generations separate Joram and Uzziah: Matthew 1:8 ... 1 Chronicles 3:11-12 ... Now since there are known gaps in the genealogies, even from a strictly biblical point of view the genealogies cannot be considered closed. Scientific and historical evidence. Even if one takes the most conservative interpretation of what constitutes a human remain of "modern man," the evidence is still strong that there were human beings around well before 4000 B.C. Peoples appear to have wandered North America since 10,000 B.C. Even if all fossil finds before Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal peoples were not human, there are numerous complete skeletons of these groups dated before 10,000 B.C. Even if one discounts all prehistoric precivilization fossils and speaks only of "civilized" humankind, the time extends several thousand years earlier than 4000 B.C. There was a civilization in Egypt well before this time. Scientific and historical evidence would seem to rule out a closed genealogy." ... Open genealogies are a better solution to the problem. ... In another example, a comparison of 1 Chronicles 6:3-14 with Ezra 7:2 reveals that Ezra omits six generations between Seraiah and Ezra: ..." (Geisler N.L., "Genealogies, Open or Closed," in "Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics," Baker Books: Grand Rapids MI, 1999, pp.267-268) 23/08/2005 "There is at least one generation missing even in the Genesis 5 and 11 genealogy which appears to be closed. This demonstrates that whatever the text seems to say, chronology must be interpreted through an open genealogy. If there are no gaps in the Genesis 5 and 11 genealogies, implausible examples emerge. For by adding up the numbers one can determine the following dates of birth and death A.A. (after Adam's creation): ... First, Adam, the first man (see ADAM, HISTORICITY OF), would have been a contemporary of Noah's father. For Adam died in the year 930 A.A. (after Adam's creation). Lamech, Noah's father, was born in 874 A.A. This means they were contemporaries for fifty-six years. Likewise, Abraham only missed being a contemporary of Noah by two years. But there is no indication that this is the case. It is more implausible to assume that Nahor, the grandfather of Abraham, died before his great, great, great, great, great, great, grandfather Noah. For Noah died 2006 A.A. and Nahor died in 1997 A.A. Isaac would have been born fifty years before Noah's son Shem died." (Geisler N.L., "Genealogies, Open or Closed," in "Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics," Baker Books: Grand Rapids MI, 1999, pp.268-269. Emphasis in original) 23/08/2005 "Nowhere does the Bible even suggest a summation of the numbers listed in Genesis 5 and 11. No chronological statement is deduced from these numbers either in Genesis 5 and 11 or anywhere else in Scripture. There is no total given anywhere in the biblical text of the time that elapsed between creation and Abraham, as there is for the time in Egypt (Exod. 12:40) and the time from the Exodus to Solomon (1 Kings 6:1). The symmetry of the text argues against it being complete. Scholars have noted that their symmetrical arrangement of Genesis 5 and 11 into groups of ten argues for their compression. Noah is the tenth name from Adam and Terah the tenth from Noah. Each ends with a father who had three sons. This is certainly the case in Matthew 1 where there are three series of fourteen (double-seven, the number of completeness and perfection), for we know three generations are left out in Matthew 1:8 (cf. 1 Chron. 3:11-12). ... Of objections to the open genealogy view not yet discussed, the most important one is based on the alleged implausible interpretation of the language of Genesis 5 and 11. It is objected that not only does it seem stretched to find gaps in Genesis 5 or 11, given the language of the text, but it seems like isogesis (reading into the text) rather than exegesis (reading out of the text). After all, the name of the father and son are given as well as their age when they had this son who became the father of the next son at a certain age. Listing the father's age at the time of the son's birth is without meaning unless he is the immediate son, and there are no gaps. In response, some important matters must be kept in mind. First, the Bible comes out of another culture and linguistic setting. Metaphorical imagery can mislead the reader into thinking the Bible is saying something, when it means something different. In Hebrew, as in English, one can speak of the four `corners' of the earth (Isa. 41:9; cf. Ezek. 7:2). Is the Bible saying that the world is square? Some critics say so. Yet the earth is also described as a circle or globe (Isa. 40:22). Is it possible that corners is metaphorical language that may mean the geography covered by the four `quarters' of the compass, just as it means when we say it? Second, as noted in the implausible dates above, even within the Bible there is strong evidence of gaps in the genealogies. Third, there are ways to understand the text of Genesis 11 that do allow for gaps. The formula phrase `and X lived so many years and begat Y' can mean `and X lived so many years and became the ancestor of Y' This is not speculation, for in Matthew 1:8 ('Jehoram begat Uzziah') it means precisely this. `Begat' must mean `became the ancestor of,' since 1 Chronicles 3:11-12 fills in three missing generations between Jehoram and Uzziah. This would not have been an oversight by Matthew, for the genealogy of the line of David was known by every Jewish man. ... The evidence supports the view that the Bible does not give us in Genesis 5 and 11 a closed chronology but an outline genealogy. This is supported by both internal biblical evidence of missing generation(s), even in Genesis 11, but also by external evidence that humankind dates to long before 4000 B.C. This being the case, there is no real conflict on this matter between the Bible and science nor between the Bible and itself. Open genealogy provides an accurate line of descent for lineage purposes, but it does not satisfy our curiosity about the date of human creation." (Geisler N.L., "Genealogies, Open or Closed," in "Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics," Baker Books: Grand Rapids MI, 1999, p.269-270) 23/08/2005 "James Orr has his own incisive way of putting the matter: `It is not uncommon to hear inspiration spoken of as if it rendered the subject of it superior to ordinary sources of information, or at least was at hand to supply supernaturally all gaps or deficiencies in that information. The records of the Bible have only to be studied as they lie before us to show that this is an entire mistake....In historical matters it is evident that inspiration is dependent for its knowledge of facts on the ordinary channels of information -on older documents, on oral tradition, on public registers, on genealogical lists, etc. No sober-minded defender of inspiration would now think of denying this proposition. One has only to look into the Biblical books to discover the abundant proof of it. The claim made is that the sources of information are good, trustworthy, not that inspiration lifts the writer above the need of dependence on them. ... Thus, for the history of David, reference is made to three works the Book of Samuel the Seer, the Book of Nathan the Prophet, the Book of Gad the Seer. For numerous reigns extracts are given from `the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel' (or 'of the Kings of Judah' or 'of the Kings of Israel and Judah'). ... Where sources of information fall, or where, as may sometimes happen, there are lacunae, or blots, or misreadings of names, or errors of transcription, such as are incidental to the transmission of all MSS., it is not to be supposed that supernatural information is granted to supply the lack. Where this is frankly acknowledged, inspiration is cleared from a great many of the difficulties which misapprehension has attached to it." [Orr J., "Revelation and Inspiration," Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, pp. 163-165] ...: Since the purpose of inspiration is to communicate life in Christ this purpose is reached whether or not the Holy Spirit corrected the documents from which the Chronicler drew his information. God does all things perfectly, but the standard of this perfection is the will of God, not the will of man. And one instrument under the will of God is the inspired Chronicler inspired, that is, to make us wise unto salvation, and not to supply us with an infallible review of Semitic history." (Carnell E.J.*, "The Case for Orthodox Theology," Westminster Press: Philadelphia PA, 1959, pp.106-109. Emphasis in original) 23/08/2005 "To us who live in this late day, the second millennium B.C. seems very long ago indeed. We are tempted to think of it as lying near the dawn of time, when man first struggled upward from savagery into the light of history, and are prone, therefore, to underestimate its cultural achievements. We are further prone to picture the Hebrew ancestors, tent-dwelling wanderers that they were, as the most primitive of nomads, cut off by their mode of life from contact with what culture there was, whose religion was the crudest sort of animism or polydaemonism. So, in fact, did many of the older handbooks depict them. This, however, is an erroneous notion and a symptom of want of perspective a carry-over from days when little was known at first hand of the ancient Orient. It is necessary, therefore, to throw the picture into focus. Horizons have widened amazingly in the past generation. Whatever one says of Israel's origins must be said with full awareness that these lie nowhere near the dawn of history. The earliest decipherable inscriptions both in Egypt and in Mesopotamia reach back to the early centuries of the third millennium B.C.- thus approximately a thousand years before Abraham, fifteen hundred before Moses. There history, properly speaking, begins. Moreover, in the course of the last few decades discoveries in all parts of the Bible world, and beyond it, have revealed a succession of yet earlier cultures which reach back through the fourth millennium, the fifth, and the sixth, to the seventh and, in many instances, farther still. The Hebrews were in fact late-comers on history's stage. All across the Bible lands, cultures had come to birth, assumed classical form, and run their course for hundreds and even thousands of years before Abraham was born, Difficult as it is for us to realize, it is actually farther in time from the beginnings of civilization in the Near East to the age of Israel's origins than it is from that latter age to our own!" (Bright J., "A History of Israel," , SCM Press" London, Third Edition, 1988, pp.23-24) 24/08/2005 "The image of selection sifting through the variants in a given population, sorting out the fit from the unfit, was expressed long before the nineteenth century by a great many naturalists or philosophers. Aristotle, that universal precursor, even enunciated the principle of the struggle for life: `The animals are at war with one another whenever they live in the same places and take the same food. If food is scarce they fight, even when they belong to the same species.' He even asks, in the `Physics' (Book II, Chapter 8), `whether such fighting may not have caused the extinction of forms insufficiently adapted to living conditions, and the conservation of those which are so adapted, whence the apparent finality we observe.' But he at once rejects the idea, seeing that finality is in nature as the exception and not the rule; moreover, he believes the resources of nature are great enough to make it impossible for any one of its works to be destroyed. What is more, not all animals fight one another, some are friends' (Perrier, 1896, p. 16)." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.108-109. Emphasis in original) 24/08/2005 "Natural selection remains the foundation of Darwinism, which postulates its universality and makes of it the agent responsible for the evolution of all living organisms. Only viable forms have survived (a truism), only those systems which perform the function required of them. Instead of the disorder of random mutations, selection creates order, equilibrium, even harmony. ... If we say selection, we finalize the system. There can be no selection without a purpose. Whether it is willed by necessity or some other factor matters little; the causes vary, but are directed nonetheless.." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.108-109. Emphasis in original) 24/08/2005 "What interests us for the time being is to what extent the losses suffered by any animal or plant population participate in the evolutionary process. Both animal and plant species suffer enormous losses, primarily affecting the reproductive systems and the embryo. An exceedingly high fertility rate notwithstanding, many populations remain numerically stable, every pair replaced in due course by another. This testifies to the high mortality rate among gametes, embryos, and the young in general. ... The wholesale destruction of eggs, spermatozoa, seeds, and larvae is not selective. Death does not choose its victims, but strikes blindly. ... During development of the embryo and in infancy, the elimination of the unfit, and of the pathological, is fully operative; it safeguards the genotype, but has no guiding influence in evolution. The massive losses caused by natural cataclysms that destroy huge areas are unselective, whether for animals or for plants. They devastate blindly and are random as to place and circumstance: tidal waves, floods, forest fires, bush fires respect no one and nothing. ... At any rate it does not call any novel species into being." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.109- 111. Emphasis in original) 24/08/2005 "Let us not confuse creative evolution with variations in the composition of a population through circumstances. They are two distinct things, and any attempt to connect them is purely specious." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.111) 24/08/2005 "Survival of the fittest is the result of action that is essentially suppressive. If it operated fully, natural single-species populations would tend toward a unified genotype, and multispecies populations would tend toward monospecificity. But the not-so-good persists, the natural populations remain (genetically speaking) very highly heterogeneous. ... Although in the vast majority of cases the mutant that is generally "inferior" to the wild type is eliminated, the mutant persists and finds a niche in the population. ... Demographic studies on experimental populations of Drosophila have revealed that selective values of genotypes depend upon the environmental conditions in which they live." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.111-112) 24/08/2005 "The Hardy-Weinberg law is merely mentioned as demonstrating the gap between theory and reality. It has been variously stated, and we quote it as follows: `In a large stable population in which matings are random (panmixia), selection is inoperative, and mutations do not occur, the frequencies of different genes and genotypes will remain constant in succeeding generations.' This law refers to an ideal state, not to any real conditions. Hence it is of little interest to the evolutionist, who has to consider concrete reality-what exists, not what is fictitious." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.112) 24/08/2005 "Taking now an evolutionist view of the matter, experiments and observations with experimental populations in a constant environment show the extent to which selection varies in its action, due to many different causes. Outside the laboratory, in the wild, the complexity of the environment increases considerably in proportions not easily quantified; both genotypes and selective factors increase in number. It is difficult to tell what foothold a given characteristic may offer for selection. If the mutation endangers the life of the animal or plant, its effects on the population concerned are easily known. Of course, no measurement of the advantages or drawbacks of a given characteristic to its bearer makes sense unless it compares the respective numbers of offspring in which it is found or not found. In the case of a single characteristic and in homogeneous populations, we can say that the differences in numbers do relate to the differential characteristic involved. In heterogeneous populations genic actions and interactions are so complex that it is hard to make such a statement. Since species differ greatly in respect to the number of genes, any comparison to establish the selective value of a characteristic is practically meaningless. Demographic inequalities have too many causes for us to know which one is the more or less important." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.113-114. Emphasis in original) 24/08/2005 "The advantage or disadvantage resulting from a characteristic whose incidence is small is not easily assessed. For example, statistical studies on populations of the woodland snail (Cepaea nemoralis), carried out in France by Lamotte (1951, 1966) and in Britain by Cain and Sheppard (1950, 1952, 1954) and Cain and Currey (1963, 1968a,b) failed to reach the same conclusions. Lamotte considers the presence or absence, and relative size, of dark bands as nonselective. The English authors disagree with this conclusion and attribute the different occurrence of individuals with or without bands to selection. Despite the contribution made by Ford (1971), the debate has reached no definitive, reliable, or satisfactory conclusion. The opposing data are even more interesting because all the authors are orthodox Darwinians. It must be remembered that Cepaea shells found in Pleistocene deposits (about 1 million years old) already had dark and pink bands (Diver, 1929). This fact alone shows how unimportant adornments may be for the survival of the species: Let history be the judge, and its verdict is unmistakeable-survival or extinction." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.114) 24/08/2005 "Since evaluation of what is or is not advantageous is impossible in the case of fossil animal populations, whatever may be said about the selective value of a given characteristic is pure imagination. It is not because individuals with long spines become more numerous in a population of cidarid sea urchins that the characteristic `long spine' accounts for their predominance; this might be a very natural effect of growth continuing with age. Quite another characteristic (resistance to parasites, lower embryonic losses, etc.) may be a possible cause. Where the imagination is given free rein we must learn to control it." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.114) 24/08/2005 "Although the future of an experimental population remains unpredictable, despite all the high quality of the mathematical tools at the demographer's disposal and his mastery of the environmental parameters, this is much more the case in a natural population, where the prediction is virtually impossible. The chance of unnoticed mutations in itself precludes any reliable prediction of the population's outcome. As I say elsewhere in this book, theory holds true so long as it does not have to face reality, whose complexity is overwhelming." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.114) 24/08/2005 "Mutability far exceeds, in the light of the latest discoveries of molecular biology, the numbers regarded as maximal thirty years ago. We could almost say that every gene mutates and does so frequently; but mutations of very small magnitude (the "neutral mutations" of Goodman and other molecular biologists), and phenotypically unobservable, are by far the most common, as protein analysis has made us realize (hemoglobin, etc.). Behind a facade of stability and constancy, the living world is truly, as Montaigne called it, an eternal seesaw. Stability in variation is the seeming paradox by which all living things are governed. Variability affirms and emphasizes individuality, endowing every creature with its own particular structure and chemistry. Each individual has its own proteins, which make up its personality. Fluctuation, because of the tiny errors in replication found everywhere in the products of the genes, has as a first consequence the `personalization' of every genotype, every phenotype. The mutations visible by direct observation represent gross copying errors, and mostly create disturbances of the shape and health of the animal concerned. Such mutations are eliminated at the boundary where the monstrous and the pathological begin; this should come as no surprise, for life is incompatible with disorder." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.114-115) 24/08/2005 "Selection motivated by competition between individuals of the same or different species awards a survival or reproducibility `bonus' to the best endowed. Take the timeworn examples of wolves hunting deer: the fastest runners survive because of being the best fed; they are those who capture the most prey. Lucretius used it first, and Darwin (1859, see 1887, p. 97) took it from him. There is just one snag: it is not true. Like wild dogs, wolves hunt in packs and run down their prey to exhaustion. The group hunts down the chosen victim, and all the members of the pack follow the chase and are in at the kill. There are no champions, who alone appropriate all the food. The solitary hunt is the exception; it is the act of aging males or individuals driven out of the pack, and it does not interest the reproducers, the dominant males. Social ranking order is much more important in deciding the fate of the individual, who may be excluded from breeding (psychological castration)." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.115. Emphasis in original) 25/08/2005 "THE GREAT LEAP FORWARD What happened at that magic moment in evolution around 40,000 years ago, when we suddenly became human? As we saw in Chapter One, our lineage diverged from that of apes millions of years ago. For most of the time since then, we have remained little more than glorified chimpanzees in the ways we have made our living. As recently as 40,000 years ago, Western Europe was still occupied by Neanderthals, primitive beings for whom art and progress scarcely existed. Then there was an abrupt change, as anatomically modern people appeared in Europe, bringing with them art, musical instruments, lamps, trade, and progress. Within a short time, the Neanderthals were gone. That Great Leap Forward in Europe was probably the result of a similar leap that had occurred over the course of the preceding few tens of thousands of years in the Near East and Africa. Even a few dozen millenia, though, is a trivial fraction (less than one per cent) of our millions of years of history separate from that of the apes. Insofar as there was any single point in time when we could be said to have become human, it was at the time of that leap. Only a few more dozen millenia were needed for us to domesticate animals, develop agriculture and metallurgy, and invent writing. It was then but a short further step to those monuments of civilization that distinguish humans from animals across what used to seem an unbridgeable gulf-monuments such as the 'Mona Lisa' and the Eroica Symphony, the Eiffel Tower and Sputnik, Dachau's ovens and the bombing of Dresden. This chapter will confront the questions posed by our abrupt rise to humanity. What made it possible, and why was it so sudden?" (Diamond J., "The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee," Vintage: London, 1992, p.27) 25/08/2005 "Readers unfamiliar with details of our evolution might be forgiven for assuming that the appearance of Homo sapiens constituted the Great Leap Forward. Was our meteoric ascent to sapiens status half-a-million years ago the brilliant climax of Earth's history, when art and sophisticated technology finally burst upon our previously dull planet? Not at all: the appearance of Homo sapiens was a non-event. Cave paintings, houses, and bows and arrows still lay hundreds of thousands of years off in the future. Stone tools continued to be the crude ones that Homo erectus had been making for nearly a million years. The extra brain size of those early Homo sapiens had no dramatic effect on our way of life. That whole long tenure of Homo erectus and early Homo sapiens outside Africa was a period of infinitesimally slow cultural change. In fact, the sole candidate for a major advance was possibly the control of fire, of which caves occupied by Peking Man provide one of the earliest indications in the form of ash, charcoal, and burnt bones. Even that advance - if those cave fires really were man-lit rather than natural - would belong to Homo erectus, not Homo sapiens. Thus, the emergence of Homo sapiens illustrates the paradox discussed in Chapter One: that our rise to humanity was not directly proportional to the changes in our genes. Early Homo sapiens had progressed much further in anatomy than in cultural attainments along the road up from chimpanzeehood. Some crucial ingredients still had to be added before the Third Chimpanzee could conceive of painting the Sistine Chapel." (Diamond J., "The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee," Vintage: London, 1992, p.31) 25/08/2005 "I mentioned that the Neanderthals of Europe and Western Asia were just one of at least three human populations occupying different parts of the Old World around 100,000 years ago. A few fossils from Eastern Asia suffice to show that people there differed from Neanderthals as retell as from us moderns, but too few bones have been found to describe these Asians in more detail. The best characterized contemporaries of the Neanderthals are those from Africa, some of whom were virtually modern in their skull anatomy. Does this mean that, 100,000 years ago it Africa, we have at last arrived at the watershed of human cultural development? Surprisingly, the answer is still 'no'. The stone tools of these modern looking Africans were very similar to those of the decidedly unmodern looking Neanderthals, hence we refer to them as 'Middle Stone Age Africans'. They still lacked standardized bone tools, bows and arrows nets, fishhooks, art, and cultural variation in tools from place to place. Despite their almost modern bodies, these Africans were still missing that vital something necessary to endow them with full humanity. Once again, we face the paradox that almost modern bones, and presumably almost modern genes, are not enough by themselves to produce modern behaviour." (Diamond J., "The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee," , Vintage: London, 1992, pp.38-39) 25/08/2005 "Thus, the scene that the human world presented from around 100,000 to somewhat before 50, 000 years ago was this. Northern Europe, Siberia, Australia, the oceanic islands, and the whole New World were still empty of people. In Europe and Western Asia lived the Neanderthals; in Africa, people increasingly like us moderns in their anatomy; and in Eastern Asia, people unlike either the Neanderthals or Africans but known from only a few bones. All three of these populations were, at least initially, still primitive in their tools, behaviour, and limited innovativeness. The stage was set for the Great Leap Forward. Which among these three contemporary populations would take that leap? The evidence for an abrupt rise is clearest in France and Spain, in the Late Ice Age around 40,000 years ago. Where there had previously been Neanderthals, anatomically fully modern people (often known as Cro-Magnons, from the French site where their bones were first identified) now appear. Had one of those gentlemen or ladies strolled down the Champs Elysees in modern attire, he or she would not have stood out from the Parisian crowds in any way. As dramatic to archaeologists as the Cro-Magnons' skeletons are their tools, which are far more diverse in form and obvious in function than any in the earlier archaeological record. The tools suggest that modern anatomy had at last been joined by modern innovative behaviour." (Diamond J., "The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee," , Vintage: London, 1992, p.40) 25/08/2005 "It used to be argued that Neanderthals evolved into Cro-Magnons within Europe. That possibility now seems increasingly unlikely. The last Neanderthal skeletons from around 40,000 years ago were still `full-blown' Neanderthals, while the first Cro-Magnons appearing in Europe at the same time were already anatomically fully modern. Since anatomically modern people were already present in Africa and the Near East tens of thousands of years earlier, it seems much more likely that anatomically modern people invaded Europe from that direction than that they evolved within Europe. ... Did some invading Cro-Magnon men mate with some Neanderthal women? No skeletons that could reasonably be considered Neanderthal/Cro-Magnon hybrids are known. If Neanderthal behaviour was as relatively rudimentary, and Neanderthal anatomy as distinctive, as I suspect, few Cro-Magnons may have wanted to mate with Neanderthals. Similarly, although humans and chimps continue to coexist today, I am not aware of any matings. While Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals were not nearly as different, the differences may still have been a mutual turn-off. And if Neanderthal women were geared for a twelve-month pregnancy, a hybrid foetus might not have survived. My inclination is to take the negative evidence at face value, to accept that hybridization occurred rarely if ever, and to doubt that living people of European descent carry any Neanderthal genes." (Diamond J., "The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee," , Vintage: London, 1992, pp.42-43) 25/08/2005 "So much for the Great Leap Forward in Western Europe. The replacement of Neanderthals by modern people occurred somewhat earlier in Eastern Europe, and still earlier in the Near East, where possession of the same area apparently shifted back and forth between Neanderthals and modern people from 90,000 to 60,000 years ago. The slowness of the transition in the Near East, compared to its speed in Western Europe, suggests that the anatomically modern people living around the Near East before 60,000 years ago had not yet developed the modern behaviour that ultimately let them drive out the Neanderthals." (Diamond J., "The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee," , Vintage: London, 1992, pp.45-46) 25/08/2005 "Some groups of humans who lived in Africa and the Near East over 60,000 years ago were quite modern in their anatomy, as far as can be judged from their skeletons, but they were not modern in their behaviour. They continued to make Neanderthal-like tools and to lack innovation. The ingredient that produced the Great Leap Forward does not show up in fossil skeletons. There is another way to restate that puzzle. We share ninety-eight per cent of our genes with chimpanzees ... The Africans making Neanderthal-like tools just before our sudden rise to humanity had covered almost all of the remaining genetic distance between us and chimps, to judge from their skeletons. Perhaps they shared 99.9% of their genes with us. Their brains were as large as ours, and Neanderthals' brains were even slightly larger. The missing ingredient may have been a change in only 0.1 % of our genes. What tiny change in genes could have had such enormous consequences? Like some other scientists who have speculated about this question, I can think of only one plausible answer: the anatomical basis for spoken complex language." (Diamond J., "The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee," , Vintage: London, 1992, pp.46-47) 25/08/2005 "Given this capability for symbolic communication using sounds, why have apes not gone on to develop much more complex natural languages of their own? The answer seems to involve the structure of the larynx, tongue, and associated muscles that give us fine control over spoken sounds. Like a Swiss watch, all of whose many parts have to be well-designed for the watch to keep time at all, our vocal tract depends on the precise functioning of many structures and muscles. Chimps are thought to be physically incapable of producing several of the commonest human vowels. If we too were limited to just a few vowels and consonants, our own vocabulary would be greatly reduced. For example, take this paragraph, convert all vowels other than `a' or `i' to either of those two, convert all consonants other than `d' or `m' or `s' to one of those three, and then see how much of the paragraph you can still understand. Therefore, the missing ingredient may have been some modifications of the proto-human vocal tract to give us finer control and permit formation of a much greater variety of sounds. Such fine modifications of muscles need not be detectable in fossil skulls. It is easy to appreciate how a tiny change in anatomy resulting in capacity for speech would produce a huge change in behaviour. With language, it takes only a few seconds to communicate the message, `Turn sharp right at the fourth tree and drive the male antelope towards the reddish boulder, where I'll hide to spear it.' Without language, that message could be communicated only with difficulty, if at all. Without language, two protohumans could not brainstorm together about how to devise a better tool, or about what a cave painting might mean. Without language, even one proto-human would have had difficulty thinking out for himself or herself how to devise a better tool." (Diamond J., "The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee," , Vintage: London, 1992, pp.47-48) 25/08/2005 "I do not suggest that the Great Leap Forward began as soon as the mutations for altered tongue and larynx anatomy arose. Given the right anatomy, it must have taken humans thousands of years to perfect the structure of language as we know it - to arrive at the concepts of word order and case endings and tenses, and to develop vocabulary. ... But if the missing ingredient did consist of changes in our vocal tract that permitted fine control of sounds, then the capacity for innovation would follow eventually. It was the spoken word that made us free. ... Until the Great Leap Forward, human culture had developed at a snail's pace for millions of years. That pace was dictated by the slow rate of genetic change. After the Leap, cultural development no longer depended on genetic change. Despite negligible changes in our anatomy, there has been far more cultural evolution in the past 40,000 years than in the millions of years before. Had a visitor from outer space come to the Earth in Neanderthal times, humans would not have stood out as unique among the world's species. At most, the visitor might have mentioned humans along with beavers, bowerbirds, and army ants as examples of species with curious behaviour. Would the visitor have foreseen the change that would soon make us the first species, in the history of life on Earth, capable of destroying all life?" (Diamond J., "The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee," , Vintage: London, 1992, p.48) 25/08/2005 "The first indications that our ancestors were in any respect unusual among animals were our extremely crude stone tools that began to appear in Africa by around two-and-a-half million years ago. The quantities of tools suggest that they were beginning to play a regular, significant role in our livelihood. Among our closest relatives, in contrast, the pygmy chimpanzee and gorilla do not use tools, while the common chimpanzee occasionally makes some rudimentary ones but hardly depends on them for its existence. Nevertheless, those crude tools of ours did not trigger any quantum Jump in our success as a species. For another million-and-a-half years, we remained confined to Africa. Around a million years ago we did manage to spread to warm areas of Europe and Asia, thereby becoming the most widespread of the three chimpanzee species but still much less widespread than lions. Our tools progressed only at an infinitely slow rate, from extremely crude to very crude. By a hundred thousand years ago, at least the human populations of Europe and western Asia, the Neanderthals were regularly using fire, but in other respects we continued to rate as just another species of big mammal. We had developed not a trace of art agriculture, or high technology. It is unknown whether we had developed language, drug addiction, or our strange modern sexual habits and life-cycle, but Neanderthals rarely lived beyond the age of forty and hence may not yet have evolved female menopause. Clear evidence of a Great Leap Forward in our behaviour appear suddenly in Europe around 40,000 years ago, coincident with the arrival of anatomically modern Homo sapiens from Africa via the Near East. At that point, we began displaying art, technology based on specialized tools, cultural differences from place to place, and cultural innovation with time. This leap in behavior undoubtedly been developing outside Europe, but the development must have been rapid, since the anatomically modern Homo sapiens populations living in southern Africa 100,000 years ago were still just glorified chimpanzees, judging by the debris in their cave sites. Whatever caused the leap it must have involved only a tiny fraction of our genes, because we still differ from chimps in only 1.6% of our genes, and most of that difference had already developed long before our leap in behaviour. The best guess I can make is that the leap was triggered by the perfection of our modern capacity for language." (Diamond J., "The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee," Vintage: London, 1992, pp.328-329 29/08/2005 "Yet the trained body of physiologists under the influence of the ideas germane to their successful methodology entirely ignore the whole mass of adverse evidence. We have here a colossal example of anti-empirical dogmatism arising from a successful methodology. Evidence which lies outside the method simply does not count. We are, of course, reminded that the neglect of this evidence arises from the fact that it lies outside the scope of the methodology of the science. That method consists in tracing the persistence of the physical and chemical principles throughout physiological operations. The brilliant success of this method is admitted. But you cannot limit a problem by reason of a method of attack. The problem is to understand the operations of an animal body. There is clear evidence that certain operations of certain animal bodies depend upon the foresight of an end and the purpose to attain it. It is no solution of the problem to ignore this evidence because other operations have been explained in terms of physical and chemical laws. The existence of a problem is not even acknowledged. It is vehemently denied. Many a scientist has patiently designed experiments for the purpose of substantiating his belief that animal operations are motivated by no purposes. He has perhaps spent his spare time in writing articles to prove that human beings are as other animals so that `purpose' is a category irrelevant for the explanation of their bodily activities, his own activities included. Scientists animated by the purpose of proving that they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." (Whitehead A.N., "The Function of Reason," Louis Clark Vanuxem Foundation Lectures, Princeton University, March 1929, p.16) 29/08/2005 "Design theory-also called design or the design argument-is the view that nature shows tangible signs of having been designed by a preexisting intelligence. It has been around, in one form or another, since the time of ancient Greece. The most famous version of the design argument can be found in the work of theologian William Paley, who in 1802 proposed his `watchmaker' thesis ... Paley argued that we can draw the same conclusion about many natural objects, such as the eye. Just as a watch's parts are all perfectly adapted for the purpose of telling time, the parts of an eye are all perfectly adapted for the purpose of seeing. In each case, Paley argued, we discern the marks of an intelligent designer. Although Paley's basic notion was sound, and influenced thinkers for decades, Paley never provided a rigorous standard for detecting design in nature. Detecting design depended on such vague standards as being able to discern an object's `purpose.' Moreover, Paley and other `natural theologians' tried to reason from the facts of nature to the existence of a wise and benevolent God. All of these things made design an easy target for Charles Darwin when he proposed his theory of evolution. Whereas Paley saw a finely- balanced world attesting to a kind and just God, Darwin pointed to nature's imperfections and brutishness. ... Following the triumph of Darwin's theory, design theory was all but banished from biology. Since the 1980s, however, advances in biology have convinced a new generation of scholars that Darwin's theory was inadequate to account for the sheer complexity of living things. These scholars-chemists, biologists, mathematicians and philosophers of science-began to reconsider design theory. They formulated a new view of design that avoids the pitfalls of previous versions. Called intelligent design (ID), to distinguish it from earlier versions of design theory (as well as from the naturalistic use of the term design), this new approach is more modest than its predecessors. Rather than trying to infer God's existence or character from the natural world, it simply claims `that intelligent causes are necessary to explain the complex, information-rich structures of biology and that these causes are empirically detectable' [Dembski W.A., "Intelligent Design," InterVarsity: Downer's Grove IL, 1999, p.106]." (Hartwig M.*, "What is Intelligent Design?," Frequently Asked Questions about Intelligent Design, Access Research Network, 2003.) 31/08/2005 "In some environments and for some species it takes a great deal of imagination to discover selection at work. One example comes to mind: among bush babies or galagos (small lemurlike primates), mainly forest dwellers, there is no trace of competition. The insects they consume in vast numbers, and all year round, are so plentiful that they have no difficulty in eating their fill. In the case of fruits, things are very different. Their scarcity is due not to overpopulation but to the seasonal cycle of their growth. In some months there may happen to be not a single tree bearing fruit. Galago elegantulus is fond of the gums that ooze down the trunks of forest trees, and the supply runs out only for a few weeks in the dry season. Actually, there is never any shortage for these omnivorous lemurs. Predators, chiefly viverrids and birds of prey, eliminate only a small number of individuals. Such elimination is largely unselective, but, as with other predators (e.g., otters), it is doubtless mainly older and sickly individuals that are eaten." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.115-116) 31/08/2005 "Many cases of selection are age-old but never modify the species. Darwin's example of the wolf and the deer is a case in point; the differences in speed among the individuals making up the population are never eliminated. Among migrating salmon there is a group too weak to negotiate the rapids or to hurdle the barriers across the rivers up which they have to swim in order to spawn. In both examples the individuals eliminated are born of progenitors who overcame these same obstacles, since only by so doing were they able to breed. The deficient individuals possibly owe their inferiority to the unfavorable conditions in which they developed. In fact, what is eliminated are acquired, not inherited, characteristics. This illustrates the complexity of phenomena concerning the equilibrium of populations and the limited power of selection." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.116) September [top] 1/09/2005 "`If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.' -- Charles Darwin, in The Origin of Species To Darwin, the cell was a `black box' -- its inner workings were utterly mysterious to him. Now, the black box has been opened up and we know how it works. Applying Darwin's test to the ultra- complex world of molecular machinery and cellular systems that have been discovered over the past 40 years, we can say that Darwin's theory has `absolutely broken down.' -- Michael Behe, biochemist and author of Darwin's Black Box" (Woodward T.*, "Meeting Darwin's Wager," Part 1 of 3, Christianity Today, Vol. 41, No. 5, April 28, 1997, p.14) 1/09/2005 "Black box is a whimsical term for a device that does something but whose inner workings are mysterious- sometimes because the workings can't be seen, and sometimes because they just aren't comprehensible. Computers are a good example of a black box. Most of us use these marvelous machines without the vaguest idea of how they work, processing words or plotting graphs or playing games in contented ignorance of what is going on underneath the outer case. Even if we were to remove the cover, though, few of us could make heads or tails of the jumble of pieces inside. There is no simple, observable connection between the parts of the computer and the things that it does. ... In ancient times all of biology was a black box, because no one understood on even the broadest level how living things worked. The ancients who gaped at a plant or animal and wondered just how the thing worked were in the presence of unfathomable technology. They were truly in the dark. ... Biology advanced rapidly in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as scientists combined Aristotle's and Harvey's examples of attentive observation and clever reasoning. Yet even the strictest attention and cleverest reasoning will take you only so far if important parts of a system aren't visible. Although the human eye can resolve objects as small as one-tenth of a millimeter, a lot of the action in life occurs on a micro level, a Lilliputian scale. So biology reached a plateau: One black box, the gross structure of organisms, was opened only to reveal the black box of the finer levels of life. In order to proceed further biology needed a series of technological breakthroughs. The first was the microscope. ... The cell theory of life was finally put forward in the early nineteenth century by Matthias Schleiden and Theodor Schwann. ... To Darwin, then, as to every other scientist of the time, the cell was a black box. ... Meanwhile, the cellular black box was steadily explored. The investigation of the cell pushed the microscope to its limits ... The black box of the cell could not be opened without further technological improvements. ... after World War II electron microscopy came into its own. New subcellular structures were discovered: Holes were seen in the nucleus, and double membranes detected around mitochondria (a cell's power plants). The same cell that looked so simple under a light microscope now looked much different. The same wonder that the early light microscopists felt when they saw the detailed structure of insects was again felt by twentieth-century scientists when they saw the complexities of the cell. This level of discovery began to allow biologists to approach the greatest black box of all. The question of how life works was not one that Darwin or his contemporaries could answer. They knew that eyes were for seeing - but how, exactly, do they see? How does blood clot? How does the body fight disease? The complex structures revealed by the electron microscope were themselves made of smaller components. What were those components? What did they look like? How did they work? ... In the late twentieth century we are in the flood tide of research on life, and the end is in sight. The last remaining box was the cell, which was opened to reveal molecules-the bedrock of nature. Lower we cannot go. Moreover, the work that has already been done on enzymes, other proteins, and nucleic acids has illuminated the principles at work at the round level of life. Many details remain to be filled in, and some surprises undoubtedly remain. But unlike earlier scientists, who looked at fish or a heart or a cell and wondered what it was and what made it work, modern scientists are satisfied that the actions of proteins and other molecules are sufficient explanations for the basis of life. From Aristotle to modern biochemistry, one layer after another has been peeled away until the cell-Darwin's black box-stands open. ... With the advent of modern biochemistry we are now able to look a the rock-bottom level of life. We can now make an informed evaluation of whether the putative small steps required to produce large evolutionary changes can ever get small enough. You will see in this book that the t the canyons separating everyday life forms have their counterparts in the canyons that separate biological systems on a microscopic scale. Like a fractal pattern in mathematics, where a motif is repeated even as you look at smaller and smaller scales, unbridgeable chasms occur even at the tiniest level of life. ... Biochemistry has pushed Darwin's theory to the limit. It has done so by opening the ultimate black box, the cell, thereby making possible our understanding of how life works. It is the astonishing complexity of subcellular organic structures that has forced the question, How could all this have evolved? " (Behe M.J.*, "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution", Free Press: New York NY, 1996, pp.6-10,13,15. Emphasis original) 1/09/2005 "It is often said that science must avoid any conclusions which smack of the supernatural. But this seems to me to be both bad logic and bad science. Science is not a game in which arbitrary rules are used to decide what explanations are to be permitted. Rather, it is an effort to make true statements about physical reality. It was only about sixty years ago that the expansion of the universe was first observed. This fact immediately suggested a singular event-that at some time in the distant past the universe began expanding from an extremely small size. To many people this inference was loaded with overtones of a supernatural event-the creation, the beginning of the universe. The prominent physicist A.S. Eddington probably spoke for many physicists in voicing his disgust with such a notion: `Philosophically, the notion of an abrupt beginning to the present order of Nature is repugnant to me, as I think it must be to most; and even those who would welcome a proof of the intervention of a Creator will probably consider that a single winding-up at some remote epoch is not really the kind of relation between God and his world that brings satisfaction to the mind.' [Eddington A.S., in Jaki S.L., "Cosmos and Creator," Gateway Editions: Chicago IL, 1980, p.56] Nonetheless, the Big Bang hypothesis was embraced by physics and over the years has proven to be a very fruitful paradigm. The point here is that physics followed the data where it seemed to lead, even though some thought the model gave aid and comfort to religion. In the present day, as biochemistry multiplies examples of fantastically complex molecular systems, systems which discourage even an attempt to explain how they may have arisen, we should take a lesson from physics. The conclusion of design flows naturally from the data; we should not shrink from it; we should embrace it and build on it." (Behe M.J.*, "Molecular Machines: Experimental Support for the Design Inference," C.S. Lewis Society, Cambridge University: Cambridge UK, September 24, 1994) 1/09/2005 "Dr. Asa Gray, in the excellent essay already cited [Gray A., "Natural Selection not inconsistent with Natural Theology," Trubner & Co. London 1861, p.55], has pointed out that there is no tendency in the doctrine of Variation and Natural Selection to weaken the foundations of Natural Theology, for, consistently with the derivative hypothesis of species, we may hold any of the popular views respecting the manner in which the changes of the natural world are brought about. We may imagine ` that events and operations in general go on in virtue simply of forces communicated at the first; and without any subsequent interference, or we may hold that now and then, and -only now and then, there is a direct interposition of the Deity; or, lastly, we may suppose that all the changes are carried on by the immediate orderly and constant, however infinitely diversified, action of the intelligent, efficient Cause.' They who maintain that the origin of an individual, as well as the origin of a species or a genus, can be explained only by the direct action of the creative cause, may retain their favourite theory compatibly with the doctrine of transmutation." (Lyell C., "The Antiquity of Man," Everyman's Library, J.M Dent & Sons: London, Third edition, 1863, reprint, 1927, p.393) 1/09/2005 "The whole course of nature may be the material embodiment of a preconcerted arrangement; and if the succession of events be explained by transmutation, the perpetual adaptation of the organic world to new conditions leaves the argument in favour of design, and therefore of a designer, as valid as ever; `for to do any work by an instrument must require, and therefore presuppose, the exertion rather of more than of less power, than to do it directly [Gray A., "Natural Selection not inconsistent with Natural Theology," Trubner & Co. London 1861, p.55].'" (Lyell C., "The Antiquity of Man," Everyman's Library, J.M Dent & Sons: London, Third edition, 1863, reprint, 1927, pp.393-394) 1/09/2005 "Dennett's letter has a peculiar rhetorical quality in that he is constantly referring to some devastating argument against me that he never actually states. The crushing argument is always just offstage, in some review he or somebody else wrote or some book he published years ago, but he can't quite be bothered to state the argument now. When I go back and look at the arguments he refers to, I don't find them very impressive." (Searle J.R., "The Mystery of Consciousness: and Exchanges with Daniel C. Dennett and David J. Chalmers," , Granta Publications: London, 1998, p.127) 1/09/2005 "Charles Darwin knew about the eye, too. In The Origin of Species Darwin dealt with many objections to his theory of evolution by natural selection. He discussed the problem of the eye in a section of the book appropriately entitled "Organs of Extreme Perfection and Complication." In Darwin's thinking, evolution could not build a complex organ in one step or a few steps; radical innovations such as the eye would require generations of organisms to slowly accumulate beneficial changes in a gradual process. He realized that if in one generation an organ as complex as the eye suddenly appeared, it would be tantamount to a miracle. Unfortunately, gradual development of the human eye appeared to be impossible, since its many sophisticated features: seemed to be interdependent. Somehow, for evolution to be believable, Darwin had to convince the public that complex organs could be formed in a step-by-step process. He succeeded brilliantly. Cleverly, Darwin didn't try to discover a real pathway that evolution might have used to make the eye. Rather, he pointed to modern animals with different kinds of eyes (ranging from the simple to the complex) and suggested that the evolution of the human eye might have involved similar organs as intermediates ... Here is a paraphrase of Darwin's argument: Although humans have complex camera-type eyes, many animals get by with less. Some tiny creatures have just a simple group of pigmented cellsnot much more than a light-sensitive spot. That simple arrangement can hardly be said to confer vision, but it can sense light and dark, and so it meets the creature's needs. ... Using reasoning like this, Darwin convinced many of his readers that an evolutionary pathway leads from the simplest light-sensitive spot to the sophisticated camera-eye of man. But the question of how vision began remained unanswered. Darwin persuaded much of the world that a modern eye evolved gradually from a simpler structure, but he did not even try to explain where his starting point-the relatively simple light-sensitive spot-came from. On the contrary, Darwin dismissed the question of the eye's ultimate origin: How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light hardly concerns us more than how life itself originated." [Darwin C., "Origin of Species", 6th ed., 1872, New York University Press: New York, 1988, p.151]. He had an excellent reason for declining the question: it was completely beyond nineteenth-century science. How the eye works that is, what happens when a photon of light first hits the retina-simply could not be answered at that time. (Behe M.J.*, "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution," Free Press: New York NY, 1996, pp.16-18) 2/09/2005 "Why did "Darwinism" succeed despite the mass of objections raised against natural selection-and to what extent did it succeed only because Darwin's basic message could be distorted to fit contemporary expectations? The event that best symbolizes the conventional view of Darwin's triumph is T. H. Huxley's defeat of Bishop "Soapy Sam" Wilberforce at the 1860 meeting of the British Association. Huxley was the knight in shining armor whose superior intellectual weapons destroyed the dragon of theological conservatism. It is now widely recognized by historians that the image of conflict is itself misleading, since many scientists had strong religious feelings and some theologians welcomed evolution (Turner 1974; Moore 1979). Even Huxley's encounter with Wilberforce has had to be reinterpreted (Lucas 1979). There were many in the audience at the British Association meeting who were by no means sure that Huxley had demolished Wilberforce's objections. Hooker, who also spoke at the meeting, may have done more to promote the Darwinian cause. The next chapter will show that Huxley is now seen more as a pseudo-Darwinian who had little real sympathy for natural selection or the Darwinian approach to the history of life." (Bowler P.J., "The Non-Darwinian Revolution: Reinterpreting a Historical Myth," The Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore MD, 1988, p.68) 2/09/2005 "Huxley was an important figure not because he forced through the arguments for a Darwinian view of evolution but because his maneuvering behind the scenes ensured that the evolutionists who regarded Darwin as their figurehead were able to take over the British scientific community. It was through persuasion and through success in the politics of science that Darwinism came to dominate British biology. There are some scientists today who resent the claim that skills in the area of public relations help a theory to gain acceptance. They feel that objective evidence in favor of the theory must be the dominant factor. Yet sociologists who study the acceptance of new ideas within the modern scientific community have shown that it is to some extent a social process (Gilbert and Mulkay 1984). David Hull (1978) has suggested that the image presented to the world by the supporters of a new theory may be very important, especially when there are apparently valid arguments both for and against the theory. The advantage will be gained by the side that presents its case most effectively, stressing the positive aspects of its own position and undermining the influence of its opponents. The successful group will evade objections or deflect them by making concessions that do not threaten its basic principles. Its members will present a united front, never falling out in public even when they have disagreements over how the theory should be applied. Biologists loyal to the Darwinian symbol gained the day because they employed these tactics and thereby outmaneuvered both the anti-evolutionists and those who wanted to found rival schools of evolutionism. Their PR skills were helped by the ineptness of their opponents, who were in any case handicapped by the need to rethink their position in response to the Darwinian threat." (Bowler P.J., "The Non-Darwinian Revolution: Reinterpreting a Historical Myth," The Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore MD, 1988, pp.68-69) 2/09/2005 "To succeed in the game of scientific politics, Darwin had to play his cards very carefully. He had to present his theory in a way that would minimize the shock felt by more orthodox scientists. He also had to build up a nucleus of supporters who would rally to his side as soon as the theory came out into the open. This was particularly important, since Darwin's illness meant that he would have to rely heavily on these shock troops to carry the day in both public and private debates. It is now widely recognized that Darwin worked hard on the presentation of his theory to ensure that he would be able to communicate his new ideas. Edward Manier (1978, 1980) argued that he had to create a whole language of metaphors that would help to convey his insights to a scientific community that was not conditioned to think along such lines. Robert Young (1971) stressed the way in which the metaphor of selection itself seems to have been chosen to allow religious thinkers to retain their belief that nature is guided by a superintending power. John Beatty (1985) argued that Darwin deliberately refrained from formulating a new definition of species because he knew that fellow naturalists would not be ready for so drastic an assault on the traditional concept. Darwin also tried to present his theory in a way that would encourage biologists to believe that it was compatible with accepted views of the scientific method, as expounded by authorities such as William Whewell and Sir J. F. W. Herschel (Ruse 1975b, 1979). In all of these ways he was adapting his own ideas to the potentially hostile cultural values of the environment in which they would be evaluated. " (Bowler P.J., "The Non-Darwinian Revolution: Reinterpreting a Historical Myth," The Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore MD, 1988, p.69) 2/09/2005 "It has long been known that Huxley had problems with the selection theory. Much to Darwin's disappointment, he argued that the effectiveness of the mechanism would not be proved until a new species had been produced by artificial selection .... Originally, historians assumed that this was a minor quibble from a scientist whose commitment to naturalism ensured a real interest in Darwin's mechanism. ... It now appears that Huxley was interested in selection only as a possible mechanism of evolution, a hypothesis that allowed the general idea of descent to become respectable." (Bowler P.J., "The Non-Darwinian Revolution: Reinterpreting a Historical Myth," The Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore MD, 1988, p.76. Emphasis original) 2/09/2005 "Huxley conceded that selection would not be proved as a valid evolutionary mechanism until an experimental test with artificial breeding had produced a totally new species. He also criticized Darwin's commitment to gradual evolution and suggested instead that large mutations sometimes might produce new forms directly." (Bowler P.J., "Evolution: The History of an Idea," , University of California Press: Berkeley CA, Revised edition, 1989, p.195) 3/09/2005 "International action to cut greenhouse gases is on the way, a leading British expert on the environment believes. Sir Crispin Tickell, a former diplomat and government adviser, says urgent action is needed because climate change is more serious even than terrorism. ... In a speech in Cambridge Sir Crispin says he thinks the world will finally act together to confront the threat. ... Speaking in the first of a series of lectures entitled Environment on the Edge, he says the Earth is in an unparalleled situation, because several problems are reaching a critical point simultaneously. The lectures are organised by the United Nations Environment Programme ... Our problems are taking us into `a no-analogue state', Sir Crispin says, and our ability to influence other species `has given us a profound conceit of ourselves'. The six main threats he believes are pushing the environment to the edge are: population increase; land degradation and waste; water pollution and supply; climate change; energy production and use; and the destruction of biodiversity. ... Sir Crispin argues for the creation of a World Environment Organisation `to balance - and be a partner of - the World Trade Organisation'. ... To bring about change, he says, `we need three things: leadership from above; public pressure from below; and - usually - some instructive disasters to jerk us out of our inertia." ("World 'will act on climate gases'," BBC, 4 November, 2004) 3/09/2005 "Survival of the luckiest. Perhaps the most far-reaching effect of this revival of catastrophist thinking has been the dawning realization that mass extinction makes a nonsense of natural selection as a 'creative' force. David Raup of Chicago's Field Museum has calculated that in the half-dozen major extinctions, up to ninety-six per cent of all life forms were destroyed. [Raup D.M., "Conflicts between Darwin and Paleontology," ," Bulletin of the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago IL, Vol. 50, January 1979] Now if only four per cent of living things managed to survive such cataclysms, the question of fitness is largely irrelevant. It is much more a question of chance. Instead of survival of the fittest, you get the survival of the luckiest. The worst catastrophe, everyone agrees, was at the end of the Permian period some 225 million years ago. It established the ancestry of most of today's life forms, for since then there has been little change in the basic pattern of types. But as Stephen Gould has observed, it wasn't necessarily the best-adapted Permian plants and creatures that lived through the disaster: `If anywhere near 96 per cent of species died, leaving as few as two thousand forms to propagate all of later life, then some groups probably died and others survived for no particular reason at all. There are few defences against a catastrophe of such magnitude, and survivors may simply be among the lucky four per cent...our current panoply of major designs may not represent a set of best adaptations, but fortunate survivors.' [Gould S.J., "The chance that shapes our ends," New Scientist, 5 February 1981, p. 349]" (Hitching F., "The Neck of the Giraffe: Or Where Darwin Went Wrong," Pan: London UK, 1982, pp.166,170. Emphasis original) 3/09/2005 "The temptation to believe that the Universe is the product of some sort of design, a manifestation of subtle aesthetic and mathematical judgement, is overwhelming. The belief that there is `something behind it all' is one that I personally share with, I suspect, a majority of physicists. This rather diffuse feeling could, I suppose, be termed theism in its widest sense." (Davies P., "The Christian perspective of a scientist," Review of, "The way the world is," by John Polkinghorne, New Scientist, Vol. 98, 2 June 1983, pp.638-639, p.638) 3/09/2005 "Although humans and chimpanzees have rather similar chromosome numbers, 46 and 48, respectively, the arrangement of genes on chimpanzee chromosomes differs from that on human chromosomes. Only a small proportion of the chromosomes have identical banding patterns in the two species. The banding studies indicate that at least 10 large inversions and translocations and one chromosomal fusion have occurred since the two lineages diverged."(King M.-C. & Wilson A.C., "Evolution at Two Levels in Humans and Chimpanzees", Science, 11 April 1975, Vol. 188, pp.107-116, p.114) 4/09/2005 "However, Darwin saw also-and again much more clearly than any of his contemporaries-that not all selection leads to improved adaptation, as this term is currently understood. An individual might contribute more genes to the next generation not through physiological efficiency or any other component of viability, but simply through being more successful in reproduction. This kind of selection Darwin called sexual selection. He further realized that there was a potential conflict between these two kinds of selection, the natural one for improved fitness (in the vernacular meaning of this word) and the sexual one for mere reproductive success of individuals. A purely egotistical selection for reproductive success might favor the evolution of traits that do not add to fitness (as traditionally understood) but might actually make the species more vulnerable. It leads to the gorgeous plumes of the birds of paradise, the extraordinary tail of the peacock, and the gigantic size of the elephant seal bulls. Darwin devoted almost two thirds of the text of his The Descent of Man (1871) to the discussion of sexual selection. Yet this important process was largely ignored during the ensuing 200 years ... The existence of selfish selection for reproductive success poses a dilemma for the evolutionary biologist. Classical natural selection ordinarily resulted in genotypes that were adaptively superior. This was so obvious that it was even suggested to define an adaptation as anything that was a "product of selection. " However, this definition does not fit sexual selection at all. Is the gigantic size of the elephant seal bulls of adaptive value for this species? Is the survival of birds of paradise enhanced by the brilliant plumes of the adult males? Surely not. On the contrary, it is quite possible that an excessive development of certain characters favored by sexual selection contributed to the extinction of some species." (Mayr E.W., "Toward a New Philosophy of Biology: Observations of an Evolutionist," Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA, 1988, pp.104-105. Emphasis in original) 4/09/2005 "But the problem goes still deeper. Even if there is such a process as sexual selection (which is arguable) and even if it produces the structures and behavior in question (which is very doubtful), what it has really brought forth is a monumental challenge to natural selection, the keystone of the whole Darwinian theory. In the peacock and the Argus pheasant (favorite subjects of discussion in this field), we have conspicuous and appetizing animals that cannot run, fly, fight, or hide. As Sir Julian Huxley says: "... the display-characters may even be clearly disadvantageous to the individual in all aspects of existence other than the reproductive, as in the train of the peacock, the wings of the argus pheasant, or the plumes of some birds of paradise." [Huxley J.S., "Evolution: The Modern Synthesis," Allen & Unwin: London, 1942, p.427] By all reasonable standards (and who can really cleave to the doctrine that we should not set up standards or assume to judge fitness?) natural selection should never have allowed such animals to come into existence. But they have not only come into existence, they have stayed there and have not become extinct. Have the birds, through their patterns of sexual choice, established a system in which the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the strong? If so, they have shaken the whole structure of Darwinism. ...Thus we may have understated the case when we said that sexual selection has been a disappointment. It has not only failed to solve the problems to which Darwin applied it; it has called attention to a glaring weakness in natural selection. It has emphasized the existence of things which, under a reasonable view of that theory, simply cannot be."(Macbeth N., "Darwin Retried: An Appeal to Reason," Gambit: Boston MA, 1971, pp.84-85) 4/09/2005 "In his second classic, The Descent of Man, Darwin came close to repudiating the theory of natural selection as he had stated in The Origin of Species: `A very large yet undefined extension may safely be given to the direct and indirect results of natural selection; but I now admit...that in the earlier editions of my `Origin of Species' I probably attributed too much to the action of natural selection or the survival of the fittest. ... I had not formerly sufficiently considered the existence of many structures which appear to be, as far as we can judge, neither beneficial nor injurious; and this I believe to be one of the greatest oversights as yet detected in my work. I may be permitted to say as some excuse, that I had two distinct objects in view, firstly, to show that species had not been separately created, and secondly, that natural selection had been the chief agent of change, though largely aided by the inherited effects of habit, and slightly by the direct action of the surrounding conditions. Nevertheless, I was not able to annul the influence of my former belief, then widely prevalent, that each species had been purposely created; and this led to my tacitly assuming that every detail of structure, excepting rudiments, was of some special, though unrecognized, service.... If I have erred in giving to natural selection great power, which I am far from admitting, or in having exaggerated its power, which is in itself probable, I have at least as I hope, done good service in aiding to overthrow the dogma of separate creations. [Darwin C.R., "The Descent of Man," London, 1871, First edition, Vol. I, pp.152-153] ... Darwin's explanation for having exaggerated the importance of natural selection is particularly intriguing, because he had no lingering attachment to creationism in 1859, and any overstatement would have been motivated by a desire to make the case against creation as powerful as possible. The passage almost implies that natural selection was a rhetorical device, important mainly for building the case against creationism, which could be re-evaluated and downgraded once its purpose had been served." (Johnson P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," , InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second Edition, 1993, p.178) 4/09/2005 "Authors naturally hope that their books will have lasting rather than ephemeral impact. But any advocate, in addition to putting the timeless part of his case, must also respond to contemporary advocates of opposing, or apparently opposing, points of view. There is a risk that some of these arguments, however hotly they may rage today, will seem terribly dated in decades to come. The paradox has often been noted that the first edition of The Origin of Species makes a better case than the sixth. This is because Darwin felt obliged, in his later editions, to respond to contemporary criticisms of the first edition, criticisms which now seem so dated that the replies to them merely get in the way, and in places even mislead." (Dawkins R., "The Blind Watchmaker," , Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, p.xvi) 5/09/2005 "One of your books, The Blind Watchmaker, argues the case for the cumulative power of natural selection in the adaptation of organisms. Tell us about the metaphorical title of that book. The `watchmaker' comes from William Paley, the eighteenth-and early nineteenth-century theologian who was one of the most famous exponents of the argument of design. Paley famously said that if you are wandering along and stumble upon a watch and you pick it up and open it, you realize that the internal mechanism-the way in which it's all meshed together-is detailed perfection. Add this to the fact that the watch mechanism has a purpose-namely, telling the time-then this compels you to conclude that the watch had to have a designer. Paley then went on throughout his book giving example after example of detailed structure of living organisms-eyes, heart, bowels, joints, and everything about animals-showing how beautifully designed they apparently are, how well they work, how intricately the parts mesh together, just like the cog wheels of a watch. And if the watch had to have a watchmaker, then of course these biological structures also had to have a designer. My reason for beginning The Blind Watchmaker was Paley. He really saw the magnitude of the problem of adaptation when most people just didn't see how elegant, how beautiful, apparent design in life is. Paley saw that, and Darwin saw that. And Darwin was introduced to it at least partly by Paley. All undergraduates at Cambridge had to read William Paley. He at least put the question right. So the only thing Paley got wrong, which is quite a big thing, was the answer to the question. And nobody got the right answer until Charles Darwin in the nineteenth century." (Dawkins R., "Mechanisms of Evolution," in Campbell N.A., Reece J.B. & Mitchell L.G., "Biology," , Benjamin/Cummings: Menlo Park CA, Fifth Edition, 1999, p.412) 5/09/2005 "Over the past four decades modern biochemistry has uncovered the secrets of the cell. The progress has been hard won. It has required tens of thousands of people to dedicate the better parts of their lives to the tedious work of the laboratory. Graduate students in untied tennis shoes scraping around the lab late on Saturday night; postdoctoral associates working fourteen hours a day seven days a week; professors ignoring their children in order to polish and repolish grant proposals, hoping to shake a little money loose from politicians with larger constituencies to feed-these are the people that make scientific research move forward. The knowledge we now have of life at the molecular level has been stitched together from innumerable experiments in which proteins were purified, genes cloned, electron micrographs taken, cells cultured, structures determined, sequences compared, parameters varied, and controls done. Papers were published, results checked, reviews written, blind alleys searched, and new leads fleshed out. The result of these cumulative efforts to investigate the cell-to investigate life at the molecular level-is a loud, clear, piercing cry of "design!" The result is so unambiguous and so significant that it must be ranked as one of the greatest achievements in the history of science. The discovery, rivals those of Newton and Einstein, Lavoisier and Schrodinger, Pasteur, and Darwin. The observation of the intelligent design of life is as momentous as the observation that the earth goes around the sun or that disease is caused by bacteria or that radiation is emitted in quanta. The magnitude of the victory, gained at such great cost through sustained effort over the course of decades, would be expected to send champagne corks flying in labs around the world. This triumph of science should evoke cries of "Eureka! " from ten thousand throats, should occasion much hand-slapping and high-fiving, and perhaps even be an excuse to take a day off. But no bottles have been uncorked, no hands slapped. Instead, a curious, embarrassed silence surrounds the stark complexity of the cell. When the subject comes up in public, feet start to shuffle, and breathing gets a bit labored. In private people are a bit more relaxed; many explicitly admit the obvious but then stare at the ground, shake their heads, and let it go at that. Why does the scientific community not greedily embrace its startling discovery? Why is the observation of design handled with intellectual gloves? The dilemma is that while one side of the elephant is labeled intelligent design, the other side might be labeled God." (Behe M.J.*, "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution," Free Press: New York NY, 1996, pp.232-233) 7/09/2005 "There is a further consequence of the theory of evolution, which is independent of the particular mechanism suggested by Darwin. If men and animals have a common ancestry, and if men developed by such slow stages that there were creatures which we should not know whether to classify as human or not, the question arises: at what stage in evolution did men, or their semi- human ancestors begin to be all equal? Would Pithecanthropus erectus, if he had been properly educated, have done work as good as Newton's? Would the Piltdown Man have written Shakespeare's poetry if there had been anybody to convict him of poaching? A resolute egalitarian who answers these questions in the affirmative will find himself forced to regard apes as the equals of human beings. And why stop with apes? I do not see how he is to resist an argument in favour of Votes for Oysters. An adherent of evolution should maintain that not only the doctrine of the equality of all men, but also that of the rights of man, must be condemned as unbiological since it makes too emphatic a distinction between men and other animals." (Russell B., "History of Western Philosophy," George Allen & Unwin: London, 1961, pp.697-698) 7/09/2005 "The actinistian crossopterygians remained unchanged from the upper Devonian to the Jurassic. They were much too conservative and specialized, judging from the modern Latimeria, to have played a part in the genesis of tetrapods, the "conquerors" of terrestrial environments. This role was presumably played by the rhipidistian crossopterygians which, like the tetrapods, possessed internal nares (choanae). The earliest known amphibians, the ichthyostegalian stegocephalians, appeared in the upper Devonian (Old Red Limestone of eastern Greenland); they are unquestionably similar to the rhipidistians, especially to the Osteolepiformes, but they show characteristic tetrapod limbs (called autopodia) [The characteristic limb of walking Vertebrates (tetrapods) which is composed of successive articulating segments; forelimb: upper arm (humerus), forearm (radius and ulna), wrist (carous), palm (metacarpus), and digits;. hind limb: thigh (femur), lower leg (tibia and fibula), ankle (tarsus), sole of the foot (metatarsus), and toes. The basic number of digits and toes is five per limb.], attached to the trunk by characteristic bony girdles. The intermediate links between the crossopterygian fin and the tetrapod limb are missing. Anatomists have been trying to identify in the fin the bones which formed the autopodium. Their task is not an easy one. Each lobed pectoral fin of a crossopterygian is composed of a proximal bony element, homologous to the tetrapod humerus, followed by two bony elements to which are attached rows of ossicles. The fin articulates with a girdle consisting of five bones, different from that of other fishes. The anterior, scapular girdle is attached to the head on either side by two bones, whereas that of amphibians is free. In spite of the wide differences between the lobed fin and the autopodium, it is most likely that the latter was derived from the former. Ichthyostega bore a heterocercal caudal fin, constructed somewhat like that of crossopterygians. The skull arches of the osteolopiforms and ichthyostegalians do not have the same structure but the cheek bones are practically the same in both forms. Thus, the ichthyostegalians share too many characters with the crossopterygians for the latter not to belong to their ancestry; the crossopterygians are not, however, direct ancestors of stegocephalians, but are apparently very close to them. Ichthyostega, Ichthystegopsis, and Acanthostega have been considered a side branch of the crossopterygian- amphibian stock which, after a rapid evolution, withered away without any offspring. In order to measure fully the relationships between these archaic groups, one would have to know which specific transformations of the respiratory and circulatory systems made terrestrial life possible, but no known facts provide any clues." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.73-74) 7/09/2005 "But what did Concestor 17 look like: the ancestor that amphibians share with reptiles and ourselves? Certainly more like an amphibian than an amniote, and more like a salamander than a frog - but probably not much like either. The best fossils are in Greenland which, during the Devonian Period, was on the equator. These possibly transitional fossils have been much studied, among them Acanthostega, which seems to have been wholly aquatic (showing that `legs' originally evolved for movement in water, not on land), and Ichthyostega. Concestor 17 might have been something like Ichthyostega or Acanthostega, although both were larger than we normally expect grand ancestors to be. ... The fish group from which the amphibians sprang is the one known as the lobefins. The only surviving lobefins are the lungfish and the coelacanths ... In Devonian times, lobefins were much more prominent in both the marine and freshwater faunas. The tetrapods probably evolved from an otherwise extinct group of lobefins called the osteolepiforms. Among osteolepiforms are Eusthenopteron and Panderichthys, both dating from the late Devonian, about the time when the first tetrapods were starting to emerge onto the land. Why did fish first develop the changes that permitted the move out of water onto the land? Lungs, for example? And fins that you could walk on rather than, or as well as, swim with? It wasn't that they were trying to initiate the next big chapter in evolution! For years, the favoured answer to the question was one that the eminent American palaeontologist Alfred Sherwood Romer derived from the geologist Joseph Barrell. The idea was that if these fish were trying to do anything it was to get back to water. In times of drought, fish can easily become stranded in drying pools. Individuals capable of walking and of breathing air have the enormous advantage that they can forsake a doomed, drying pond and set out for a deeper one elsewhere. This admirable theory has become unfashionable but not, I think, for uniformly good reasons. Unfortunately, Romer quoted the prevailing belief of his day that the Devonian was a time of drought, a belief that has more recently been called into question. But I don't think Romer needed his Devonian desiccated. Even at times of no particular drought, there will always be some ponds shallow enough to be in danger of becoming too shallow for some particular kind of fish. If ponds three feet deep would have been at risk under severe drought conditions, mild drought conditions will render ponds one foot deep at risk. It is sufficient for the Romer hypothesis that there are some ponds that dry up, and therefore some fish that could save their lives by migrating. Even if the world of the late Devonian was positively waterlogged, one could say this simply increases the number of ponds available to dry up, thereby increasing opportunities for saving the life of walking fish and the Romer theory. Nevertheless, it is my duty to record that the theory is now unfashionable. A further point against the theory is that modern fish that venture onto land do so in humid, wet areas - that is, when conditions on land are `good' for water animals, not poor as in the Romer hypothesis. And, to be sure, there are plenty of other good reasons for a fish to emerge, temporarily or permanently, onto land. Streams and ponds can become unusable for reasons other than drying up. They can become choked with weeds, in which case, again, a fish that can migrate over land to deeper water might benefit. If, as has been suggested contra Romer, we are talking Devonian swamps rather than Devonian droughts, swamps provide plenty of opportunities for a fish to benefit by walking, or slithering or flip-flopping or otherwise travelling through the marshy vegetation, in search of deep water or, indeed, food. This still retains the essential Romer idea that our ancestors left the water, not at first to colonise land, but to return to water. The group of lobefins from which we tetrapods are derived, are today reduced to a pitiful four genera, but they once dominated the seas almost as the teleost fish do today." (Dawkins R., "The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution," Houghton Mifflin Co: Boston MA, 2004, pp.297-299) 8/09/2005 Matthew 24:1-14 (NIV) " Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings.  `Do you see all these things?' he asked. `I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.'  As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. `Tell us,' they said, `when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?'  Jesus answered: `Watch out that no one deceives you.  For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many.  You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.  Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of birth pains.  `Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.  At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,  and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.  Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,  but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.'' 8/09/2005 "[Matthew] 24:1-25:46 The Last Things ... A few points are worthy of special notice ... The prophetic material found in this sixth discourse has reference not only to events near at hand (see, for example, verse 16) but also to those stretching far into the future, as is clear from 24:14, 29-31; 25:6, 31-46. Cf. Luke 21:24. ... By the process of prophetic foreshortening, by means of which before one's eyes the widely separated mountain peaks of historic events merge and are seen as one, as has been explained in connection with 10:23 and 16:28, two momentous events are here intertwined, namely, a. the judgment upon Jerusalem (its fall in the year A.D. 70), and b. the final judgment at the close of the world's history. Our Lord predicts the city's approaching catastrophe as a type of the tribulation at the end of the dispensation. Or, putting it differently, in describing the brief period of great tribulation at the close of history, ending with the final judgment, Jesus is painting in colors borrowed from the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. ... It is not claimed, of course, that any exegete is able completely to untangle what is here intertwined, so as to indicate accurately for each individual passage just how much refers to Jerusalem's fall, and how much to the great tribulation and second coming. ... The main emphasis in both chapters is on the necessity of always being on the alert, active for the Master, faithful to him." (Hendriksen W., "The Gospel of Matthew: New Testament Commentary:," , The Banner of Truth Trust, 1982, reprint, pp.846-848. Emphasis original) 8/09/2005 "An intellectual bombshell dropped last week when British professor Antony Flew, for decades one of the world's leading philosophers of atheism, publicly announced that he now affirms the existence of a deity. To be sure, Mr. Flew has not become an adherent of any creed. He simply believes that science points to the existence of some sort of intelligent designer of the universe. He says evidence from DNA research convinces him that the genetic structure of biological life is too complex to have evolved entirely on its own. Though the 81-year-old philosopher believes Darwinian theory explains a lot, he contends that it cannot account for how life initially began. We found this conversion interesting in light of last year's controversy regarding proposed revisions to the state's high school biology textbooks. Our view then was that while religion must be kept out of science classes, intellectual honesty demands that when science produces reliable data challenging the prevailing orthodoxies, students should be taught them. We were bothered by Harvard geneticist Richard Lewontin's statement that for scientists, materialism must be `absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.' That's called stacking the deck. Mr. Flew may be dead wrong, but it's refreshing to see that an academic of his stature is unafraid to let new facts change his mind. The philosopher told The Associated Press that if admirers are upset with his about-face, then `that's too bad. My whole life has been guided by the principle of Plato's Socrates: Follow the evidence, wherever it leads.' If the scientific data are compelling enough to cause an atheist academic of Antony Flew's reputation to recant much of his life's work, why shouldn't Texas schoolchildren be taught the controversy?" (Editorial, "An Atheist's Apostasy," The Dallas Morning News, December 15, 2004) 9/09/2005 "Scientists have always written books that do real honest-to-goodness scientific work. Evolutionary biology is perhaps the very best example. The field was essentially founded by Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. Or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. The long-awaited book sold out on the first day of publication: November 24, 1859. Books have always proven to be important turning points fulcra in evolutionary history. The `modern synthesis' in evolutionary biology owed its genesis in no small part to seminal founding documents-books-by many of its most important contributors: Ronald Fisher's The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection (1930), Theodosius Dobzhansky's Genetics and the Origin of Species (1937), Ernst Mayr's Systematics and the Origin of Species (1942), and George Gaylord Simpson's Tempo and Mode in Evolution (1944) come quickly to mind. Nor has the pattern changed in the post-1959 era that- is the focus of this present work. Ultra-Darwinism has been developed and promulgated heavily in book format, beginning with George Williams's Adaptation and Natural Selection (1966) and certainly including Richard Dawkins's highly popular The Selfish Gene (1976), to mention but two of the many books published by ultra- Darwinians in the past 30 years. Nor have we naturalists shied away from book writing, as readers of Stephen Jay Gould's works will readily attest. I also have written a number of books-all devoted, in one way or another, to the task of developing and explicating the naturalistic perspective on evolutionary biology." (Eldredge N., "Reinventing Darwin: The Great Evolutionary Debate," Phoenix: London, 1996, pp.x-xi) 9/09/2005 "Rifkin shows no understanding of the norms and procedures of science: he displays little comprehension of what science is and how scientists work. He consistently misses the essential distinction between fact (claims about the world's empirical content) and theory (ideas that explain and interpret facts)-using arguments from one realm to refute the other. Against Darwinism (a theory of evolutionary mechanisms) he cites the British physiologist Gerald Kerkut's Implications of Evolution, a book written to refute the factual claim that all living creatures have a common ancestry, and to argue instead that life may have arisen several times from chemical precursors-an issue not addressed by Darwinism. (Creationist lawyers challenged me with the same misunderstanding during my cross-examination at the Arkansas `equal time' trial five years ago.) Rifkin then suggests that the entire field of evolution may be pseudo science because the great French zoologist Pierre-Paul Grasse is so critical of Darwinism (the theory of natural selection might be wrong, but Grasse devoted his entire life to studying the facts of evolution). Science is a pluralistic enterprise, validly pursued in many modes. But Rifkin ignores its richness by stating that direct manipulation by repeatable experiment provides the only acceptable method for reaching a scientific conclusion. Since evolution treats historically unique events that occurred millions of years ago, it cannot pass muster. Rifkin doesn't seem to realize that he is throwing out half of science-nearly all of geology and most of astronomy, for instance-with his evolutionary bath water. Historical science is a valid pursuit, but uses methods different from the controlled experiment of Rifkin's all-encompassing caricature-search for an underlying pattern among unique events, and retrodiction (predicting the yet undiscovered results of past events), for example." (Gould S.J., "Integrity and Mr. Rifkin," in "An Urchin in the Storm: Essays about Books and Ideas," , Penguin: London, 1990, reprint, p.234) 9/09/2005 "More recently, another book critical of Darwin's theory was published in France, by Dr. Pierre P. Grasse. The book, Evolution of Living Organisms, greatly intensified the debate at hand because of the eminence of the source. Dr. Grasse is one of the world's greatest living biologists. In his review of the book, Theodosius Dobzhansky, a member of the old guard and a staunch defender of Darwinist theory, h