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The following are quotes added to my Unclassified Quotes database in November 2005. The date format is dd/mm/yy.
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1/11/2005 "Q.[Mr Muise] Sir, what is intelligent design? A.[Prof. Behe] Intelligent design is a scientific theory that proposes that some aspects of life are best explained as the result of design, and that the strong appearance of design in life is real and not just apparent. Q. Now Dr. Miller defined intelligent design as follows: Quote, Intelligent design is the proposition that some aspects of living things are too complex to have been evolved and, therefore, must have been produced by an outside creative force acting outside the laws of nature, end quote. Is that an accurate definition? A. No, it's a mischaracterization. Q. Why is that? A. For two reasons. One is, understandable, that Professor Miller is viewing intelligent design from the perspective of his own views and sees it simply as an attack on Darwinian theory. And it is not that. It is a positive explanation. And the second mischaracterization is that, intelligent design is a scientific theory. Creationism is a religious, theological idea. And that intelligent design is -- relies rather on empirical and physical and observable evidence plus logical inferences for its entire argument. Q. Is intelligent design based on any religious beliefs or convictions? A. No, it isn't. Q. What is it based on? A. It is based entirely on observable, empirical, physical evidence from nature plus logical inferences." (Behe, M.J.*, "Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al.," transcript, October 17, 2005, morning session) 1/11/2005 "Q. [Mr Muise] Is intelligent design based on any religious beliefs or convictions? A. [Prof. Behe] No, it isn't. Q. What is it based on? A. It is based entirely on observable, empirical, physical evidence from nature plus logical inferences. Q. Dr. Padian testified that paleontologists makes reasoned inferences based on comparative evidence. For example, paleontologists know what the functions of the feathers of different shapes are in birds today. They look at those same structures in fossil animals and infer that they were used for a similar purpose in the fossil animal. Does intelligent design employ similar scientific reasoning? A. Yes, that's a form of inductive reasoning, and intelligent design uses similar inductive reasoning. Q. Now I want to review with you the intelligent design argument. ... A. .... The first point is that, we infer design when we see that parts appear to be arranged for a purpose. The second point is that the strength of the inference, how confident we are in it, is quantitative. The more parts that are arranged, and the more intricately they interact, the stronger is our confidence in design. The third point is that the appearance of design in aspects of biology is overwhelming. The fourth point then is that, since nothing other than an intelligent cause has been demonstrated to be able to yield such a strong appearance of design, Darwinian claims notwithstanding, the conclusion that the design seen in life is real design is rationally justified. Q. Now when you use the term design, what do you mean? A. Well, I discussed this in my book, Darwin's Black Box, and a short description of design is shown in this quotation from Chapter 9. Quote, What is design? Design is simply the purposeful arrangement of parts. When we perceive that parts have been arranged to fulfill a purpose, that's when we infer design." (Behe, M.J.*, "Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al.," Transcript, October 17, 2005, Morning session) 1/11/2005 "Q. [Mr Muise] Can you give us a biochemical example of design? A. [Prof. Behe] ... I think the best, most visually striking example of design is something called the bacterial flagellum. This is a figure of the bacterial flagellum taken from a textbook by authors named Voet and Voet, which is widely used in colleges and universities around the country. The bacterial flagellum is quite literally an outboard motor that bacteria use to swim. And in order to accomplish that function, it has a number of parts ordered to that effect. This part here, which is labeled the filament, is actually the propeller of the bacterial flagellum. The motor is actually a rotary motor. It spins around and around and around. And as it spins, it spins the propeller, which pushes against the liquid in which the bacterium finds itself and, therefore, pushes the bacterium forward through the liquid. The propeller is attached to something called the drive shaft by another part which is called the hook region which acts as a universal joint. The purpose of a universal joint is to transmit the rotary motion of the drive shaft up from the drive shaft itself through the propeller. And the hook adapts the one to the other. The drive shaft is attached to the motor itself which uses a flow of acid from the outside of the cell to the inside of the cell to power the turning of the motor, much like, say, water flowing over a dam can turn a turbine. The whole apparatus, the flagellum has to be kept stationary in the plane of the bacterial membrane, which is represented by these dark curved regions. As the propeller is turning, much as an outboard motor has to be clamped onto a boat to stabilize it while the propeller is turning. And there are regions, parts, protein parts which act as what is called a stator to hold the apparatus steady in the cell. The drive shaft has to traverse the membrane of the cell. And there are parts, protein parts, which are, which act as what are called bushing materials to allow the drive shaft to proceed through. And I should add that, although this looks complicated, the actual -- this is really only a little illustration, a kind of cartoon drawing of the flagellum. And it's really much more complex than this. But I think this illustration gets across the point of the purposeful arrangement of parts. Most people who see this and have the function explained to them quickly realized that these parts are ordered for a purpose and, therefore, bespeak design.." (Behe, M.J.*, "Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al.," Transcript, October 17, 2005, Morning session) 1/11/2005 "Q. [Mr Muise] Now does the conclusion that something was designed, does that require knowledge of a designer? A. [Prof. Behe] No, it doesn't. .... I discussed that in Darwin's Black Box in Chapter 9, the chapter entitled Intelligent Design. Let me quote from it. Quote, The conclusion that something was designed can be made quite independently of knowledge of the designer. As a matter of procedure, the design must first be apprehended before there can be any further question about the designer. The inference to design can be held with all the firmness that is possible in this world, without knowing anything about the designer. Q. So is it accurate for people to claim or to represent that intelligent design holds that the designer was God? A. No, that is completely inaccurate. Q. Well, people have asked you your opinion as to who you believe the designer is, is that correct? A. That is right. Q. Has science answered that question? A. No, science has not done so. Q. And I believe you have answered on occasion that you believe the designer is God, is that correct? A. Yes, that's correct. Q. Are you making a scientific claim with that answer? A. No, I conclude that based on theological and philosophical and historical factors." (Behe, M.J.*, "Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al.," Transcript, October 17, 2005, Morning session) 1/11/2005 "Q. [Mr Muise] Do sciences recognize evidence of design in nature? A. [Prof. Behe] Yes, they do. Q. And do you have some examples to demonstrate that point? A. Yes, I do. On the next slide is the cover of a book written by a man named Richard Dawkins, who is a professor of biology at Oxford University and a very strong proponent of Darwinian evolution. In 1986, he wrote a book entitled The Blind Watchmaker, why the evidence of evolution reveals a universe without design. Nonetheless, even though he is, in fact, a strong Darwinist, on the first page of the first chapter of his book, he writes the following. Quote, Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose, close quote. So let me just emphasize that here's Richard Dawkins saying, this is the very definition of biology, the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose. Q. Does he explain why they appear design, how it is that we can detect design? A. Yes, he does. And that is shown on the next slide. It is not because of some emotional reaction. It is not due to some fuzzy thinking. It's due to the application of an engineering point of view. He writes on page 21 of the first chapter, quote, We may say that a living body or organ is well designed if it has attributes that an intelligent and knowledgeable engineer might have built into it in order to achieve some sensible purpose, such as flying, swimming, seeing. Any engineer can recognize an object that has been designed, even poorly designed, for a purpose, and he can usually work out what that purpose is just by looking at the structure of the object, close quote. So let me just emphasize that he, in other words, is stating that we recognize design by the purposeful arrangement of parts. When we see parts arranged to achieve some sensible purpose, such as flying, swimming, and seeing, we perceive design. Q. Now is it fair to say that he's looking at, and intelligent design proponents look at physical structures similar to like the paleontologist does and then drawing reasonable inferences from those physical structures? A. That's exactly right. What intelligent design does is look at the physical, observable features and use logic to infer deductions from that. Q. Now you, as well as Dawkins in the slides that we've just been looking at, refer to purpose. Now when you use -- when you were using purpose, are you making a philosophical claim by using that term? A. No. The word purpose, like many other words, can have different meanings. And the purpose here used by Professor Dawkins and in intelligent design does not refer to some fuzzy purpose of life or some such thing as that. It's purpose in the sense of function. And I think on the next slide, I emphasize that Dawkins is using some sensible purpose, such as flying, swimming, seeing. An engineer can work out the purpose of an object by looking at its structure. He's talking about purpose in the sense of function. Q. Now this appearance of design, is this a faint appearance? A. No, indeed. This is not just some marginal vague impression. Richard Dawkins, a strong proponent of Darwinian evolution, insists, he says, quote, Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design, as if by a master watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning, close quote. Let me make two points with this. He thinks that this is an illusion because he thinks he has an alternative explanation for what he sees. Nonetheless, what he sees directly gives him the overwhelming impression of design.." (Behe, M.J.*, "Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al.," Transcript, October 17, 2005, Morning session) 1/11/2005 "Q. [Mr Muise] Have other scientists made similar claims regarding the evidence of design in nature? A. [Prof. Behe] Yes. On the next slide is a quotation from a book written by a man named Francis Crick. Francis Crick, of course, is the Nobel laureate with James Watson who won the Nobel Prize for their discovery of the double helicle structure of DNA. In a book published in 1998, he wrote, quote, Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved. So apparently, in the view of Francis Crick, biologists have to make a constant effort to think that things that they studied evolved and were not designed." (Behe, M.J.*, "Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al.," Transcript, October 17, 2005, Morning session) 1/11/2005 "Q. [Mr Muise] I want to return to Richard Dawkins here for a moment and The Blind Watchmaker. Did he borrow his title from somewhere? A. [Prof. Behe] Yes, the watchmaker of his title has an illusion which he explained on page 4 of his book. He says, quote, The watchmaker of my title is borrowed from a famous treatise by the 18th century theologian William Paley. And he starts to quote William Paley. So he is using his book as an answer to, or an argument to, William Paley's discussions of these issues. And he treats William Paley with the utmost respect. ... Paley is best known for what is called his watchmaker argument. And that is briefly this. He says that, when we walk -- if we were walking across a field, and we hit our foot against a stone, well, we wouldn't think much of it. We would think that the stone might have been there forever. But if we stumble across a watch and we pick it up, then Paley goes on to say, when we come to inspect the watch, we perceive that its several parts are framed and put together for a purpose; for example, that they so formed and adjusted as to produce motion, and that motion so regulated as to point out the hour of the day. Let me close quote here, and say that, he is talking about the purposeful arrangement of parts. Let me continue with a quotation from William Paley. Quote, he says, The inference we think is inevitable, that the watch must have had a maker, close quote. So he is inferring from the physical structure of the watch to an intelligent designer. Q. Is that a theological argument? A. No, this is a scientific argument based on physical facts and logic. He's saying nothing here about any religious precept, any theological notion. This is a scientific argument. Q. Does Richard Dawkins himself recognize it as an argument based on logic? A. Yes, he does, and he goes to great lengths to address it in his book, The Blind Watchmaker." (Behe, M.J.*, "Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al.," Transcript, October 17, 2005, Morning session) 1/11/2005 "Q. [Mr Muise] What sort of reasoning or argument is this that we're talking about, this scientific argument that you're referring to? A. [Prof. Behe] This is an instance of what is called inductive reasoning ... the Encyclopedia Britannica says, quote, When a person uses a number of established facts to draw a general conclusion, he uses inductive reasoning. This is the kind of logic normally used in the sciences... It is by this process of induction and falsification that progress is made in the sciences. So this William Paley's argument, the kind of argument that, say, Professor Padian made about bird feathers and so on are all examples of inductive reasoning, and they are all examples of scientific reasoning. Q. This is the sort of reasoning that is employed in science quite readily? A. Yes. As the article makes clear, this is the normal mode of thinking in science. Q. Is that the sort of reasoning you employ to conclude design, for example, in your book Darwin's Black Box? A. Yes, this is exactly the kind of reasoning that I used in Darwin's Black Box. On this slide here, which includes an excerpt from Chapter 9 entitled Intelligent Design, I say the following. Quote, Our ability to be confident of the design of the cilium or intracellular transport rests on the same principles as our ability to be confident of the design of anything, the ordering of separate components to achieve an identifiable function that depends sharply on the components, close quote. In other words, the purposeful arrangement of parts." (Behe, M.J.*, "Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al.," Transcript, October 17, 2005, Morning session) 1/11/2005 "Q. [Mr Muise] Again, I would ask you to, if we could return to the summary of the argument for intelligent design. A. Yes. Thank you. Here again is the slide that we looked at earlier summarizing the argument for intelligent design, and perhaps, in retrospect, more of it will be understandable. The first part is that we infer design when we see that parts appear to be arranged for a purpose. Not only I do that, not only did William Paley do that, but Richard Dawkins and David DeRosier do the same thing. The strength of the inference is quantitative. The more parts that are arranged, and the more intricately they interact, the stronger is our confidence in design. The third part is, the appearance of design in aspects of biology is overwhelming, as everybody, including Richard Dawkins, admits. And the final point is that, since nothing other than an intelligent cause has been demonstrated to be able to yield such a strong appearance of design, Darwinian claims, notwithstanding, the conclusion that the design seen in life is real design is rationally justified. If I could just take a moment to point out something. This argument for design is an entirely positive argument. This is how we recognize design by the purposeful arrangement of parts." (Behe, M.J.*, "Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al.," Transcript, October 17, 2005, Morning session) 1/11/2005 "Q. [Mr Muise] And have you argued that intelligent design is science in your writings? A. [Prof. Behe] Yes, I have. Q. Is intelligent design falsifyable? [sic] A. Yes, it is.Q. ... When you say you are relying on logical inferences, you're referring to inductive reasoning, correct? A. Yes, inductive reasoning. Q. And ... do you have an example of this sort of reasoning, inductive reasoning that's used in sciences? A. Well, I think an excellent example of inductive reasoning is the Big Bang theory. Most people forget that in the early part of the 20th century that physicists thought the universe was timeless, eternal, and unchanging. Then in the late 1920's, observations were made which led astronomers to think that galaxies that they could observe were rushing away from each other and rushing away from the Earth as if in the aftermath of some giant explosion. So they were using inductive reasoning of their experience of explosions to, and applying that to their astronomical observations. And let me emphasize that they were -- the inductive method, as philosophers will tell you, always extrapolates from what a we know to instances of what we don't know. So those scientists studying the Big Bang were extrapolating from their knowledge of explosions as seen in, say, fire crackers, cannon balls, and so on, and extrapolating that to the explosion of the entire universe, which is quite a distance from the basis set from which they drew their induction. But nonetheless, they were confident that this pattern suggested an explosion based on their experience with more familiar objects. Q. And basically, we don't have any experience with universes exploding, correct? A. I do not, no. Q. And scientists do not? A. No, scientists don't either. Q. Again, , is this similar to the reasoning used in paleontology? For example we haven't seen any live pre-historic birds, for example, but they have features that resemble feathers, as we know them from our common experience today, and we infer that they were used for flying or similar functions, again based on our common experience? A. Yes, that's right. That's another example of induction from what we know to things we don't know. Q. Again, that's scientific reasoning? A. Yes, it is." (Behe, M.J.*, "Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al.," Transcript, October 17, 2005, Morning session) 1/11/2005 "Q. [Mr Muise] Can science presently tell us what caused the Bang? A. [Prof. Behe] No. I'm not a physicist, but I understand the cause of the Big Bang is still unknown. Q. Is that similar to intelligent design's claim that science presently cannot tell us the source of design in nature? A. Yes, that's very similar. All theories, when they're proposed, have outstanding questions, and intelligent design is no exception. And I'd like to make a further point that I just thought of and was going to make earlier, but that, that induction from explosions of our experience to explosions of the universe is analogous to, similar to the induction that intelligent design makes from our knowledge of objects, the purposeful arrangements of parts in our familiar world and extrapolating that to the cell as well. So that, too, is an example of an induction from what we know to what we have newly discovered. Q. Now was the Big Bang theory controversial when it was first proposed? A. Yes, it turns out that the Big Bang theory was, in fact, controversial because -- not because of the scientific data so much, but because many people, including many scientists, thought that it had philosophical and even theological implications that they did not like. And on the next slide, I have a quotation of a man named Arthur Eddington, which is quoted in a book by a philosopher of science, Susan Stebbing. Arthur Eddington wrote, quote, 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, close quote. Let me say a couple things. I don't think I mentioned that Arthur Eddington was a very prominent astronomer of that age. The second point is that, notice that the reason that he does not like this theory, this scientific proposal, is not because of scientific reasons, but because of philosophical and theological reasons. But nonetheless, that does not affect the status of the Big Bang proposal, which was based completely on physical, observable evidence plus logical inferences. And because of that, it was strictly a scientific theory, even though Arthur Eddington saw other ramifications that he did not like." (Behe, M.J.*, "Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al.," Transcript, October 17, 2005, Morning session) 1/11/2005 "Q. [Mr Muise] I believe you have another quote to demonstrate that point? A. [Prof. Behe] Yes. Here's a passage from a book by a man named Karl von Weizsacker. Karl von Weizsacker was again an astronomer in the middle part of the 20th century, and he wrote a book in 1964 entitled The Relevance of Science where he recalled his interactions with other scientists when the Big Bang theory was being proposed. Let me quote from that passage. Quote, He, and he's referring to Walter Nernst, who was a very prominent chemist of that time, said, the view that there might be an age of the universe was not science. At first, I did not understand him. He explained that the infinite duration of time was a basic element of all scientific thought, and to deny this would mean to betray the very foundations of science. I was quite surprised by this, and I ventured the objection that it was scientific to form hypothesis according to the hints given by experience, and that the idea of an age of the universe was such a hypothesis. He retorted that we could not form a scientific hypothesis which contradicted the very foundations of science. He was just angry, and thus the discussion, which was continued in his private library, could not lead to any result. What impressed me about Nernst was not his arguments. What impressed me was his anger. Why was he angry? Close quote. Let me make a couple comments on this passage. This is an example of when people are arguing about what science is. To Walter Nernst, the very idea that there could be a beginning to the universe was unscientific, and we could not entertain that. On the other hand, von Weizsacker said that science has to take its hints from what evidence is available. We have to form hypotheses according to the hints given by experience. And to me, this is very similar to what I see going on in the debate over intelligent design today. Many people object that this can't be science, this violates the very definition of science, whereas other people, myself including, say that we have to form hypotheses according to the hints given by experience." (Behe, M.J.*, "Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al.," Transcript, October 17, 2005, Morning session. ) 1/11/2005 "Q. [Mr Muise] Does this make intelligent design a, quote, unquote, science stopper, as we heard in this case? A. [Prof. Behe] No more than it makes the Big Bang a science stopper. The Big Bang posits a beginning to nature which some people thought was the very antithesis of science. It presented a question, the cause of the Big Bang, which could not be answered, and which has not been answered to this very day, and nonetheless, I think most people would agree that a large amount of science has been done within the Big Bang model. Q. So after the Big Bang theory was proposed, we didn't shut down all our science departments and close up all the laboratories and just stop scientific exploration? A. Not to my knowledge." (Behe, M.J.*, "Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al.," Transcript, October 17, 2005, Morning session) 1/11/2005 "Q. [Mr Muise] Now another complaint that we've heard in the course of this trial is that intelligent design is not falsifyable. [sic] Do you agree with that claim? A. [Prof. Behe] No, I disagree. And I think I further in slides from my article in Biology and Philosophy in which I wrote on that. If you get to the next slide -- oh, I'm sorry. Thank you. You got that. In this, I address it. I'm actually going to read this long quotation, so let me begin. Quote, In fact, intelligent design is open to direct experimental rebuttal. Here is a thought experiment that makes the point clear. In Darwin's Black Box, I claimed that the bacterial flagellum was irreducibly complex and so required deliberate intelligent design. The flip side of this claim is that the flagellum can't be produced by natural selection acting on random mutation, or any other unintelligent process. To falsify such a claim, a scientist could go into the laboratory, place a bacterial species lacking a flagellum under some selective pressure, for mobility, say, grow it for 10,000 generations, and see if a flagellum, or any equally complex system, was produced. If that happened, my claims would be neatly disproven. Close quote. So let me summarize that slide. It says that if, in fact, by experiment, by growing something or seeing that in some organism such as a bacterium grown under laboratory conditions, grown for and examined before and afterwards, if it were seen that random mutation and natural selection could indeed produce the purposeful arrangement of parts of sufficient complexity to mimic things that we find in the cell, then, in fact, my claim that intelligent design was necessary to explain such things would be neatly falsified. Q. I got a couple questions about the proposal that you make. First of all, when you say you place something under selective pressure, what does that mean? A. Well, that means you grow it under conditions where, if a mutation -- a mutant bacterium came along which could more easily grow under those conditions, then it would likely propagate faster than other cells that did not have that mutation. So, for example, if you grew a flask of bacteria and let them sit in a beaker that was motionless, and the bacteria did not have a flagellum to help it swim around and find food, they could only eat then the materials that were in their immediate vicinity. But if some bacterium, some mutant bacterium were produced that could move somewhat, then it could gather more food, reproduce more, and be favored by selection. Q. Is that a standard technique that's used in laboratories across the country? A. Yes, such experiments are done frequently. Q. And I just want to ask you a question about this grow it for 10,000 generations. Does that mean we have to wait 10,000 years of some sort to prove this or disprove this? A. No, not in the case of bacteria. It turns out that the generation time for bacteria is very short. A bacterium can reproduce in 20 minutes. So 10,000 generations is actually, I think, just a couple years. So it's quite doable. Q. Have scientists, in fact, grown bacteria out to 10,000 generations? A. Yes, there are experiments going on where bacteria have been grown for 40,000 generations. So again, this is something that can be done. Q. So this is a readily doable experiment? A. That's correct." (Behe, M.J.*, "Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al.," Transcript, October 17, 2005, Morning session) 1/11/2005 "Q. [Mr Muise] Q. Sir, do you believe that natural selection is similarly falsifyable? [sic] A. [Prof. Behe] No. Actually, I think that, in fact, natural selection and Darwinian claims are actually very, very difficult to falsify. And let me go back to my article, Reply to my Critics from the journal Biology and Philosophy. And I don't think I'm actually going to read this whole thing, because it refers to things that would take a while to explain. But let me just try to give you the gist of it. Let me read the first sentence. Quote, Let's turn the tables and ask, how could one falsify a claim that a particular biochemical system was produced by Darwinian processes? Close quote. Now let me just kind of try to explain that in my own -- well, verbally here. Suppose that we did that same experiment as I talked about earlier. Suppose a scientist went into a laboratory, grew a bacterium that was missing a flagellum under selective pressure for motion, waited 10,000, 20,000, 30,000, 40,000 generations, and at the end of that time, examined it and saw that, well, nothing much had been changed, nothing much had changed. Would that result cause Darwinian biologists to think that their theory could not explain the flagellum? I don't think so. I think they would say, number 1, that we didn't wait long enough; number two, perhaps we started with the wrong bacterial species; number 3, maybe we applied the wrong selective pressure, or some other problem. Now leaving aside the question of whether those are reasonable responses or not, and some of them might be reasonable, nonetheless, the point is that, it's very difficult to falsify Darwinian claims. What experiment could be done which would show that Darwinian processes could not produce the flagellum? And I can think of no such experiment. And as a matter of fact, on the next slide, I have a quotation, kind of putting a point on that argument. In that same article, Reply to my Critics, I wrote that I think Professor Coyne and the National Academy of Sciences have it exactly backwards. And Professor Jerry Coyne is an evolutionary biologist who said that intelligent design is unfalsifyable, and in a publication of the National Academy, they asserted the same thing. I wrote that, A strong point of intelligent design is its vulnerability to falsification. A weak point of Darwinian theory is its resistance to falsification. What experimental evidence could possibly be found that would falsify the contention that complex molecular machines evolved by a Darwinian mechanism? I can think of none, close quote. So again, the point is that, I think the situation is exactly opposite of what much -- of what many arguments assume, that ironically intelligent design is open to falsification, but Darwinian claims are much more resistant to falsification.." (Behe, M.J.*, "Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al.," Transcript, October 17, 2005, Morning session) 1/11/2005 "Prebiotic chemists do the same thing. They run a lot of reactions until they get the compound they want. Once they have done this, no matter how many trials they needed or how low the yield of the desired product, they feel free to go to the next step. In doing so, they start with a fresh, pure supply of the compound they've made. They claim that they must cut a few corners to save time. "But look at the size of the corner that Dr. Midas cut with Charlie. The chimp needed about 45 seconds to strike each letter at random. For the 40-letter message, the total monkey typing time was 45 times 40 seconds, or 30 minutes. Left alone, he would have faced odds of (45)40 to 1. As we saw a while ago, he probably would have needed 1059 years or so to get the message right (though if he were very, very lucky, he could of course get it on the first try). Not a bad trick to substitute 45 times 40 for (45)40." (Shapiro, R., ": A Skeptic's Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth," Summit Books: New York NY, 1986, p.180) 2/11/2005 "The Establishment Clause forbids the enactment of any law `respecting an establishment of religion.' The Court has applied a three-pronged test to determine whether legislation comports with the Establishment Clause. First, the legislature must have adopted the law with a secular purpose. Second, the statute's principal or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion. Third, the statute must not result in an excessive entanglement of government with religion. Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971). State action violates the Establishment Clause if it fails to satisfy any of these prongs." (Edwards, Governor of Louisiana, et al. v. Aguillard et al., Supreme Court of the United States 482 U.S. 578, December 10, 1986, Argued June 19, 1987) 2/11/2005 "Each evolution that we know about in some detail (genesis of amphibians, reptiles, mammals, history of the various orders of mammals, and so on) forces us to admit that a phenomenon whose equivalent cannot be seen in the creatures living at the present time (either because it is not there, or because we are unable to see it) occurs in the course of it. For this phenomenon the cell is both the instrument and the effector; it paves the way for the evolution of living things. It does so in accordance with the influence exerted on the organism by external factors and by certain internal ones connected with the chemistry of living things." (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.208) 3/11/2005 "Opponents of the theory often insist that intelligent design emerged as a conspiracy to circumvent the 1987 Supreme Court decision, Edwards vs. Aguillard. There the Court struck down a Louisiana law promoting the teaching of creation science in public school science classes. The theory of intelligent design, critics insist, is merely a clever end-run around this ruling, biblical creationism in disguise. The problem with this claim is the intelligent design predates Edwards vs. Aguillard by many years. ... In By Design, a history of the current design controversy, journalist Larry Witham traces the immediate roots of the intelligent design movement in biology to the 1950s and '60s, and the movement itself to the 1970s. Biochemists were unraveling the secret of DNA and discovering that it was part of an elaborate information processing system that included nanotechnology of unparalleled sophistication. One of the first intellectuals to describe the significance of these discoveries was chemist and philosopher Michael Polanyi, who in 1967 argued that "machines are irreducible to physics and chemistry" and that "mechanistic structures of living beings appear to be likewise irreducible." Biochemist Michael Behe would later develop Polanyi's insights with his concept of irreducible complexity. ... Polanyi's work also influenced the seminal 1984 book The Mystery of Life's Origin ... Thaxton and his co-authors argued that matter and energy can accomplish only so much by themselves, and that some things can only "be accomplished through what Michael Polanyi has called `a profoundly informative intervention.'" ... We find more of the same in molecular biologist Michael Denton's 1985 book Evolution: A Theory in Crisis: "The inference to design is a purely a posteriori induction based on a ruthlessly consistent application of the logic of analogy. The conclusion may have religious implications, but it does not depend on religious presuppositions." ... The essential difference isn't whether the writer speaks of the "creation of DNA" versus the "intelligent design of DNA." The difference is more substantive than stylistic. Creationism or Creation Science is focused on defending a particular reading of the Genesis account, usually including the creation of the earth by the Biblical God a few thousand years ago. The theory of intelligent design isn't based on religious presuppositions but simply argues that an intelligent cause is the best explanation for certain features of the natural world. Unlike the creationism on trial in Edwards vs. Aguillard, the theory of intelligent design does not consider the identity of the designer nor does it defend the Genesis account (or that of any other sacred text for that matter). This is why a former atheist like British philosopher Antony Flew, who rejects the Judeo-Christian God, can nevertheless embrace the intelligent design argument for the origin of life. The fact that intelligent design doesn't identify the source of design is not political calculation but precise thinking, refusing to go beyond what the scientific evidence tells us. Consider intelligent design's most famous design inference, the bacterial flagellum. Michael Behe shows that this microscopic rotary engine, like an automobile engine, needs all of its machinery in place to function at all. The best explanation for this irreducibly complex machine is intelligent design, but there's no inscription on the bushing of this little motor that identifies its maker. To discover the identity of its designer(s), one has to look beyond science." (Witt J.*, "Origin of Intelligent Design: A brief history of the scientific theory of intelligent design," Discovery Institute: Seattle WA, October 1, 2005) 3/11/2005 "However, our review of the KSES [Kansas Science Education Standards] ... finds that evolution is singled out as an area of science where there is major scientific controversy because of alleged weaknesses in the theory. In fact, the vast majority of scientists accept evolution as the most compelling explanation for how the diversity of life arose on this planet. Data collected from scientists in many disciplines and published in tens of thousands of peer-reviewed papers both support and continue to strengthen evolution as the underlying basis for understanding biology. The only controversies lie in understanding the possible mechanisms by which evolution operates, but these kinds of disagreements are found in all areas of science. Indeed, they are essential to scientific progress. The revised KSES attempts to portray evolution as a theory in crisis and raises "controversies" (e.g., the Cambrian explosion) that evolutionary scientists have refuted many times using the available evidence." (Cicerone R.J., President, National Academy of Sciences, Letter to Dr. Alexa Posny, Assistant Commissioner of Education, Kansas State Department of Education, Topeka, Kansas, October 26, 2005) 3/11/2005 "Perhaps most troubling, however, is the attempt by those who prepared the revisions to redefine what constitutes science, from a search for natural explanations of observable phenomena, to one that does not require natural explanations (page xi). The power of science results from a strict adherence to seeking natural mechanisms and explanations for natural phenomena. By removing this critically important caveat from the KSES [Kansas Science Education Standards], the line between science and other ways of knowing becomes blurred. Kansas students will be both confused and ill-served by an explanation of science that allows for supernatural explanations of the natural world." (Cicerone R.J., President, National Academy of Sciences, letter to Dr. Alexa Posny, Assistant Commissioner of Education, Kansas State Department of Education, Topeka, Kansas, October 26, 2005) 3/11/2005 "Perhaps most troubling, however, is the attempt by those who prepared the revisions to redefine what constitutes science, from a search for natural explanations of observable phenomena, to one that does not require natural explanations (page xi). The power of science results from a strict adherence to seeking natural mechanisms and explanations for natural phenomena. By removing this critically important caveat from the KSES [Kansas Science Education Standards], the line between science and other ways of knowing becomes blurred. Kansas students will be both confused and ill-served by an explanation of science that allows for supernatural explanations of the natural world." (Cicerone R.J., President, National Academy of Sciences, Letter to Dr. Alexa Posny, Assistant Commissioner of Education, Kansas State Department of Education, Topeka, Kansas, October 26, 2005) 4/11/2005 "But field studies have proved notoriously inconclusive when it comes to natural selection. After three decades spent observing Darwin's finches in the Galapagos, P.R. and B.R. Grant were in the end able to state only that `further continuous long-term studies are needed.' It is the conclusion invariably established by evolutionary field studies, and it is the only conclusion established with a high degree of reliability." (Berlinski D., "On the Origins of the Mind," Commentary, Vol. 118, No. 4, November 2004) 4/11/2005 "Evolution can be predicted in the short term from a knowledge of selection and inheritance. However, in the long term evolution is unpredictable because environments, which determine the directions and magnitudes of selection coefficients, fluctuate unpredictably. These two features of evolution, the predictable and unpredictable, are demonstrated in a study of two populations of Darwin's finches on the Galapagos island of Daphne Major. From 1972 to 2001, Geospiza fortis (medium ground finch) and Geospiza scandens (cactus finch) changed several times in body size and two beak traits. Natural selection occurred frequently in both species and varied from unidirectional to oscillating, episodic to gradual. Hybridization occurred repeatedly though rarely, resulting in elevated phenotypic variances in G. scandens and a change in beak shape. The phenotypic states of both species at the end of the 30-year study could not have been predicted at the beginning. Continuous, long-term studies are needed to detect and interpret rare but important events and nonuniform evolutionary change." (Grant P.R. & Grant B.R., "Unpredictable evolution in a 30-year study of Darwin's finches," Science, Vol. 296, April 26; 2002, pp.707-711) 4/11/2005 "Curiously enough, it has been evolutionary psychologists themselves who are most willing to give up in practice what they do not have in theory. For were that missing theory to exist, it would cancel-it would annihilate-any last lingering claim we might make on behalf of human freedom. The physical sciences, after all, do not simply trifle with determinism: it is the heart and soul of their method. Were Boron salts at liberty to discard their identity, the claims of inorganic chemistry would seem considerably less pertinent than they do. Thus, when Steven Pinker writes that `nature does not dictate what we should accept or how we should live our lives,' he is expressing a hope entirely at odds with his professional commitments. If ordinary men and women are, like the professor himself, perfectly free to tell their genes `to go jump in the lake,' why then pay the slightest attention to evolutionary psychology-why pay the slightest attention to Pinker?" (Berlinski D., "On the Origins of the Mind," Commentary, Vol. 118, No. 4, November 2004. Emphasis original) 4/11/2005 "Thus, in tests of preference, Victor Johnson, a bio-psychologist at New Mexico State University, has reported that men throughout the world designate as attractive women with the most feminine faces. Their lips are large and lustrous, their jaws narrow, their eyes wide. On display in every magazine and on every billboard, such faces convey `accented hormonal markers.' These are a guide to fertility, and it is the promise of fertility that prompts the enthusiastic male response. There is no reason to doubt Johnson's claim that on the whole men prefer pretty young women to all the others-the result, I am sure, of research extending over a score of years. It is the connection to fertility that remains puzzling. If male standards of beauty are rooted in the late Paleolithic era, men worldwide should now be looking for stout muscular women with broad backs, sturdy legs, a high threshold to pain, and a welcome eagerness to resume foraging directly after parturition. It has not been widely documented that they do." (Berlinski D., "On the Origins of the Mind," Commentary, Vol. 118, No. 4, November 2004. Emphasis original. http://www.hiddenmysteries.org/mind/research/re11-15-04a.html) 4/11/2005 "This is the province of population genetics, a discipline given a remarkably sophisticated formulation in the 1930's and 40's by Ronald Fisher, J.B.S. Haldane, and Sewall Wright. Excellent mathematicians, these men were interested in treating evolution as a process expressed by some underlying system of equations. In the 1970's and 80's, the Japanese population geneticist Motoo Kimura revived and then extended their theories. Kimura's treatise, The Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution (1983), opens with words that should prove sobering to any evolutionary psychologist: `The neutral theory asserts that the great majority of evolutionary changes at the molecular level, as revealed by comparative studies of protein and DNA sequences, are caused not by Darwinian selection but by random drift of selectively neutral or nearly neutral mutants.' If Darwin's theory is a matter of random variation and natural selection, it is natural selection that is demoted on Kimura's view. Random variation is paramount; chance is the driving force. This is carefully qualified: Kimura is writing about `the great majority of evolutionary changes,' not all. In addition, he is willing to accept the Darwinian disjunction: either complex adaptations are the result of natural selection or they are the result of nothing at all. But the effect of his work is clear: insofar as evolution is neutral, it is not adaptive, and insofar as it is not adaptive, natural selection plays no role in life." (Berlinski D., "On the Origins of the Mind," Commentary, Vol. 118, No. 4, November 2004. Emphasis original. http://www.hiddenmysteries.org/mind/research/re11-15-04a.html) 4/11/2005 "The neutral theory asserts that the great majority of evolutionary changes at the molecular level, as revealed by comparative studies of protein and DNA sequences, are caused not by Darwinian selection but by random drift of selectively neutral or nearly neutral mutants. The theory does not deny the role of natural selection in determining the course of adaptive evolution, but it assumes that only a minute fraction of DNA changes in evolution are adaptive in nature, while the great majority of phenotypically silent molecular substitutions exert no significant influence on survival and reproduction and drift randomly through the species." (Kimura M., "The Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution," , Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1990, reprint, p.xi) 4/11/2005 "Entirely neutral genes are improbable for physiological reasons. Every gene elaborates a `gene product,' a chemical that enters the developmental stream. It seems unrealistic-to me to assume that the nature of the particular chemical (enzyme or other product) should be without any effect whatsoever on the fitness of the ultimate phenotype. A gene may be selectively neutral when placed on a particular genetic background in a particular temporary physical and biotic environment. However, genetic background as well as environment change continually in natural populations and I consider it therefore exceedingly unlikely that any gene will remain selectively neutral for any length of time." (Mayr E., "Animal Species and Evolution," Belknap Press: Cambridge MA, 1963, p.207) 4/11/2005 "Natural selection operates directly upon the characters of the phenotype that function in the environment, but by logical extension it must have a similar effect upon the genetic material that contains the information that produces those characters in the reproductive process. The authoritative Ernst Mayr therefore announced in 1963, as the molecular revolution was beginning, that `I consider it exceedingly unlikely that any gene will remain selectively neutral for any length of time.'" [Mayr E., in Kimura M., "The Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution", Scientific American, November, 1979]" (Johnson P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," , InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second Edition, 1993, p.91) 4/11/2005 "Neutral sequences are by definition outside the surveillance of natural selection but this leads to a serious dilemma. As we have seen above, there is no conceivable way in which a uniform rate of drift could have occurred in organisms as diverse as mouse and man and yet the fibrinopeptides in rodents are isolated to exactly the same degree as those in primates. Drift seems be excluded. But selectionist explanations seem to lead to absurd conclusions. because the spacer sequences such as the fibrinopeptides exhibit the highest interspecies divergence of all proteins, if this is to be accounted for on purely selectionist grounds it is necessary to propose that they must have suffered adaptive changes very much more often than proteins such as the haemoglobins or the cytochromes. In other words, they must have been under the intense scrutiny of natural selection. Not only must such sequences have suffered more adaptive changes than other proteins but in addition, these substitutions must have occurred regularly. The difficulties associated with attempting to explain how a family of homologous proteins could have evolved at constant rates has created chaos in evolutionary thought. The evolutionary community has divided into two camps - those still adhering to the selectionist position, and those rejecting it in favour of the neutralist The devastating aspect of this controversy is that neither side can adequately account for the constancy of the rate of molecular evolution yet each side fatally weakens the other. The selectionists wound the neutralists position by pointing to the disparity in the rates of mutation per unit time, while the neutralists destroy the selectionist position by showing how ludicrous it is to believe that selection would have caused equal rates of divergence in " junk" proteins or along phylogenetic lines so dissimilar as those of man and carp. Both sides win valid points, but in the process the credibility of the molecular clock hypothesis is severely strained and with it the whole paradigm of evolution itself is endangered. There is simply no way of explaining how a uniform rate of evolution could have occurred in any family of homologous protein by either chance or selection; and, even if we could advance an explanation for one particular protein family, we would still be left with the mystifying problem of explaining why other protein families should have evolved at different rates." (Denton M.J., "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis," Burnett Books: London, 1985, p.305) 4/11/2005 "As a non-Darwinian, I am not directly concerned in this debate but simply note that biologists do, while remaining faithful to the principles laid down by the founder, recognize that these do not entirely account for evolution, and, in particular, that natural selection acting on populations is incapable of guiding evolution." (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.210) 4/11/2005 "It is remarkable, to say the least, that none of the biologists or natural philosophers we have quoted as pointing out the inadequacies of Darwinian doctrine should have mentioned the real `evolution in action' of the fossil record. ... I am not personally convinced that the tendencies toward the idiomorphon that are a fundamental characteristic of evolution most clearly demonstrated by paleontology are solely accounted for by the binomial `action of the environment/reaction of the organism.'" (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.210-211) 4/11/2005 "At the risk of repeating myself, mutations do not explain either the nature or the temporal ordering of evolutionary facts; they do not account for innovations; the precise arrangements of the component parts of organs and the mutual adjustments of organs are beyond their capacity.." (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.211) 4/11/2005 "Evolution is not the result of petty ailments, slight upsets of the living cell; it depends upon the physicochemical structure of the whole living creature and the properties determined by or emerging from it. The cellular composition of the Theriodontia was such as to imply the achievement of mammalian form. Such genesis has nothing to do with chance, any more than it has with a vital principle. The paleontological facts referred to are not the only ones compelling us to look for causes other than random mutations and antichance selection; there are many, many others." (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.211. Emphasis original) 4/11/2005 "Evolution does not confine itself to transforming what exists, whether it be enclosed in the body of a cell or recorded as a bit of information in the DNA strand. It creates, as we are bound to accept unless we wish to revert, in a roundabout and updated mode, to a preformist thesis ... A mammalian hair requires information, and a corresponding executant, which the reptile lacks. In such case acquisition is certain. It seems to be the same for the breast. Reptiles are not totally devoid of integumentary glands, but these are sparse and, on the whole, undeveloped. ... No reptilian gland foreshadows the sudoriferous gland, merocrine or apocrine (holocrine). But the mammary glands of all mammals are similar to the sweat glands. ... But although resemblances favor filiation from the sweat glands, specifically mammalian, let it not be forgotten that mammary glands show a real independence even during ontogeny. Their earliest anlagen, the mammary ridges, ectodermal folds protruding into the subjacent dermis, begin at the axillae, symmetrically on each side, on the ventral surface of the embryo and end in the folds of the groin, whereas the sweat glands have no linear traces but burgeon in situ though growing only at a single point. ... I am not alone in supporting the idea I launched, several years ago now, that creative evolution is not solely explained by the modification of preexisting genes but demands the genesis of new ones." (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.215-217) 4/11/2005 "This is what an American geneticist has to say on the subject: `Yet, being an effective policeman, natural selection is extremely conservative by nature. Had evolution been entirely dependent upon natural selection, from a bacterium only numerous forms of bacteria would have emerged. The creation of metazoans, vertebrates and finally mammals from unicellular organisms would have been quite impossible for such big leaps in evolution required the creation of new gene loci with previously nonexistent functions' (Ohno, 1970). All this is rather obvious, but if people wilfully close their eyes to it, they will not see." (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.217-218) 5/11/2005 "What then is Intelligent Design? Intelligent Design begins with the observation that intelligent causes can do things which undirected natural causes cannot. Undirected natural causes can place scrabble pieces on a board, but cannot arrange the pieces as meaningful words or sentences. To obtain a meaningful arrangement requires an intelligent cause. This intuition, that there is a fundamental distinction between undirected natural causes on the one hand and intelligent causes on the other, has underlain the design arguments of past centuries. ... In the last five years design has witnessed an explosive resurgence. Scientists are beginning to realize that design can be rigorously formulated as a scientific theory. What has kept design outside the scientific mainstream these last hundred and thirty years is the absence of precise methods for distinguishing intelligently caused objects from unintelligently caused ones. For design to be a fruitful scientific concept, scientists have to be sure they can reliably determine whether something is designed. ... What has emerged is a new program for scientific research known as Intelligent Design. Within biology, Intelligent Design is a theory of biological origins and development. Its fundamental claim is that intelligent causes are necessary to explain the complex, information-rich structures of biology, and that these causes are empirically detectable. To say intelligent causes are empirically detectable is to say there exist well-defined methods that, on the basis of observational features of the world, are capable of reliably distinguishing intelligent causes from undirected natural causes. Many special sciences have already developed such methods for drawing this distinction-notably forensic science, cryptography, archeology, and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (as in the movie Contact). ... Intelligent Design presupposes neither a creator nor miracles. Intelligent Design is theologically minimalist. It detects intelligence without speculating about the nature of the intelligence. ... It is the empirical detectability of intelligent causes that renders Intelligent Design a fully scientific theory, and distinguishes it from the design arguments of philosophers, or what has traditionally been called `natural theology.' The world contains events, objects, and structures which exhaust the explanatory resources of undirected natural causes, and which can be adequately explained only by recourse to intelligent causes. Scientists are now in a position to demonstrate this rigorou dated. As a result, we now know that it has a completely different molecular structure to the cilia .... and recent research into the structure and function of this fascinating organelle has revealed that it possesses a remarkable property. It is the only structure in the entire living kingdom which exhibits a true rotary motion. Howard Berg described some of the latest research on the bacterial flagellum in an excellent Scientific American article in 1975. ... Unlike cilia which beat by the propagation of a wave from their base to their tip, the helical filaments which comprise the bacterial flagellum rotate rapidly like propellers and are driven by a reversible motor at their base. In Berg's words: `The evidence at hand suggests a model for the rotary motor in which the torque is generated between two elements in the basal body, the M ring and the S ring ... The rod (which is connected to the filament by the hook) is fixed rigidly to the M ring, which rotates freely in the cytoplasmic membrane. The S ring is mounted on the cell wall. (Note that the motor must be mounted rigidly somewhere on the cell wall if the torque is to be applied.) The torque could be generated by the active translocation of ions through the M ring to interact with charged groups on the surface of the S ring.' [Berg H., "How Bacteria Swim," Scientific American, 233:2, 1975, p.44] The bacterial flagellum and the rotary motor which drives it are not led up to gradually through a series of intermediate structures and, as is so often the case, it is very hard to envisage a hypothetical evolutionary sequence of similar rotors through which it might have evolved gradually." (Denton M.J., "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis," Burnett Books: London, 1985, p.223) 6/11/2005 "The faith of nineteenth-century science was that every phenomenon can be exactly classified and completely explained as an instance of some universal law of cause and effect; there are no unique events. The conviction of nineteenth-century philosophy, whether empiricist or idealist, materialist, deist or pantheist, was that the idea of supernatural interruptions of the course of the natural order was unphilosophical and absurd. Both science and philosophy relied on evolutionary concepts for the explanation of all things. Liberalism was an attempt to square Christianity with these anti-supernatural axioms. ... It was in protest against this radical refashioning of the historic faith that 'Fundamentalism' arose. The name developed out of the habit of referring to the central redemptive doctrines which Liberalism rejected as 'the fundamentals'. This usage goes back to at least 1909. In that year there appeared the first of twelve small miscellany volumes devoted to the exposition and defence of evangelical Christianity, entitled The Fundamentals. ... Among the authors who contributed to these volumes were men of the calibre .... Many of the articles were thoroughly scholarly pieces of work ... This use of 'the fundamentals' as a conservative slogan was echoed in the Deliverance which the General Assembly of the Northern Presbyterian Church issued in 1910, while the Fundamentals were in process of publication. This specified five items as 'the fundamentals of faith and of evangelical Christianity': the inspiration and infallibility of Scripture, the deity of Christ, His virgin birth and miracles, His penal death for our sins, and His physical resurrection and personal return. From that time on, it seems to have become habitual for American Evangelicals to refer to these articles as 'the fundamentals' simply. The General Assembly's list was adopted, with minor variations and additions, as the doctrinal platform of later 'fundamentalist' organizations .... In 1920, a group of evangelical delegates to the Northern Baptist Convention held a preliminary meeting among themselves 'to re-state, reaffirm and re-emphasize the fundamentals of our New Testament faith'; whereupon an editorial in the Baptist Watchman-Examiner coined the title 'Fundamentalists' to denote 'those who mean to do battle royal for the fundamentals'. The word was at once taken up by both sides as a title for the defenders of the historic Christian position. The Concise Oxford Dictionary is thus right when it defines 'Fundamentalism' as: 'maintenance, in opposition to modernism, of traditional orthodox beliefs such as the inerrancy of Scripture and literal acceptance of the creeds as fundamentals of protestant Christianity.' This is what the term originally meant ..." (Packer J.I.*, "`Fundamentalism' and the Word of God," Inter-Varsity Fellowship: London, 1958, pp.27-29) 6/11/2005 "The second point of view can be represented by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, an advisor to Pope John Paul II. About ten years ago Cardinal Ratzinger wrote a little book entitled In the Beginning: A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall. In the book Cardinal Ratzinger wrote: `Let us go directly to the question of evolution and its mechanisms. Microbiology and biochemistry have brought revolutionary insights here.... It is the affair of the natural sciences to explain how the tree of life in particular continues to grow and how new branches shoot out from it. This is not a matter for faith. But we must have the audacity to say that the great projects of the living creation are not the products of chance and error.... [They] point to a creating Reason and show us a creating Intelligence, and they do so more luminously and radiantly today than ever before. Thus we can say today with a new certitude and joyousness that the human being is indeed a divine project, which only the creating Intelligence was strong and great and audacious enough to conceive of. Human beings are not a mistake but something willed.' [Ratzinger J., `In the Beginning: A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall,' Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, 1986, pp.54-56] I would like to make three points about the Cardinal's argument. First, unlike Professor Dawkins, Ratzinger says that nature does appear to exhibit purpose and design. Secondly, to support the argument he points to physical evidence-the `great products of the living creation', which `point to a creating Reason'. Not to philosophical, or theological, or scriptural arguments, but to tangible structures. Thirdly, Ratzinger cites the science of biochemistry-the study of the molecular foundation of life-as having particular relevance to his conclusion." (Behe, M.J.*, "Evidence for Design at the Foundation of Life," in Behe, M.J.*, Dembski W.A. & Meyer S.C., "Science and Evidence for Design in the Universe: Papers Presented at a Conference Sponsored by the Wethersfield Institute New York City, September 25, 1999," Ignatius Press: San Francisco CA, 2000, pp.114-115) 6/11/2005 "Some animals occasionally behave altruistically toward others who are not relatives. A baboon may help an unrelated companion in a fight, or a wolf may offer food to another wolf even though they share no kinship. Such behavior can be adaptive if the aided individual returns the favor in the future. This sort of exchange of aid is called reciprocal altruism and is commonly invoked to explain altruism in humans. Reciprocal altruism is rare in other animals; it is limited largely to species with social groups stable enough that individuals have many chances to exchange aid. It is likely that all behavior that seems altruistic actually increases fitness in some way. Thus, some behavioral ecologists argue that true altruism never really occurs, except, perhaps, in humans." (Campbell N.A., Reece J.B. & Mitchell L.G., "Biology," , Benjamin/Cummings: Menlo Park CA, Fifth edition, 1999, p.1078) 7/11/2005 "A warning: All through this book, I have tried to conform to the overriding rule that life be treated as a natural process, its origin, evolution, and manifestations, up to and including the human species, as governed by the same laws as nonliving processes. I exclude three `isms': vitalism, which views living beings as made of matter animated by some vital spirit; finalism, or teleology, which assumes goal-directed causes in biological processes; and creationism, which invokes a literal acceptance of the biblical account. My approach demands that every step in the origin and development of life on Earth be explained in terms of its antecedent and immediate physical-chemical causes, not of any outcome known to us today but hidden in the future at the time the events took place." (de Duve C.R., "Vital Dust: Life as a Cosmic Imperative," , Basic Books: New York NY, 1998, reprint, pp.xiv-xv) 7/11/2005 "Another lesson of the Age of Chemistry is that life is the product of deterministic forces. Life was bound to arise under the prevailing conditions, and it will arise similarly wherever and whenever the same conditions obtain. There is hardly any room for "lucky accidents" in the gradual, multistep process whereby life originated. This conclusion is compellingly enforced when one considers the development of life as a chemical process." (de Duve C.R., "Vital Dust: Life as a Cosmic Imperative," , Basic Books: New York NY, 1998, reprint, p.xv) 8/11/2005 "The helical filaments of the thin flagella that propel bacteria do not wave or beat but instead rotate rigidly like propellers! And they are driven by a reversible rotary motor at their base." (Berg H.C., "How Bacteria Swim," Scientific American, Vol. 233, No. 2, August 1975, pp.36-44, p.36) 8/11/2005 "My reasoning may be wrong, but doubts about the feasibility of the wave-propagation mechanism led to work that has helped to establish the validity of the alternative hypothesis: that the filaments rotate rigidly. Most people have considered the later possibility to be inherently implausible. It requires the structural equivalents a rotor, a stator and rotary bearings. Such components seem rather unbiological and are unknown in higher organisms." (Berg H.C., "How Bacteria Swim," Scientific American, Vol. 233, No. 2, August 1975, pp.36-44, pp.40-41) 8/11/2005 "ROTARY MOTOR, a model proposed by the author, is shown as it might appear in a gram-positive bacterium. The flexible hook serves as a universal joint coupling the rod to the filament. The torque is generated between the M ring, which is mounted rigidly on the rod and rotates freely in the cytoplasmic membrane, and the S ring, which is mounted rigidly on the wall. Torque could be generated by the translocating, through the cytoplasmic membrane and the M ring, of ions that interact with charges on the surface of the S ring. The additional pair of rings in a gram-negative bacterium may serve as a bushing for the rod's passage through the cell's more complex wall. The rings are about .02 micrometer in diameter." (Berg H.C., "How Bacteria Swim," Scientific American, Vol. 233, No. 2, August 1975, pp.36-44, p.44) 8/11/2005 "The evidence at hand suggests a model for the rotary motor in which the torque is generated between two elements in the basal body, the M ring and the S ring. The rod (which is connected to the filament by the hook) is fixed rigidly to the M ring, which rotates freely in the cytoplasmic membrane. The S ring is mounted on the cell wall. (Note that the motor must be mounted rigidly somewhere on the cell wall if the torque is to be applied.) The torque could be generated by the active translocation of ions through the M ring to interact with charged groups on the surface of the S ring. A number of membrane transport processes are known that do not involve ATP. The direction of the rotation would be determined by the timing of the ion flow. This would require some kind of molecular control, a control that could be modulated in turn by signals generated by the chemoreceptors. The implausible, then, appears to be true. Bacteria swim by rotating their flagella. They alter course by changing the direction of the rotation: cells with polar flagella back up; cells with lateral flagella try a new direction at random. The probability of the occurrence of these events is biased by sensory reception: the cells tend to move toward regions they find more favorable. The flagellar motor and the sensory machinery may soon be understood in molecular detail." (Berg H.C., "How Bacteria Swim," Scientific American, Vol. 233, No. 2, August 1975, pp.36-44, p.44) 8/11/2005 "A novel synthesis of polypeptides has been reported (Katchalsky, Die Naturwiss, p215) which employs mineral catalysis. An aqueous solution of energy-rich aminoacyl adenylates (rather than amino acids) is used in the presence of certain layered clays such as those known as montmorillonites. Large amounts of the energy-rich reactants are adsorbed both on the surface and between the layers of clay. The catalytic effect of the clay may result primarily from the removal of reactants from the solution by adsorption between the layers of clay. This technique has resulted in polypeptides of up to 60 units or more. Although polymerization definitely occurs in these reactions, the energy-rich aminoacyl adenylate ... is of very doubtful prebiotic significance .... Furthermore, the use of clay with free amino acids will not give a successful synthesis of polypeptides. The energy-rich aminoacyl adenylates lower their chemical or bonding energy as they polymerize, driving the reaction forward, and effectively doing the thermal entropy work as well. The role of the clay is to concentrate the reactants and possibly to catalyze the reactions. Once again, we are left with no apparent means to couple the energy flow, in this case in the form of prebiotically questionable energy-rich precursors, to the configurational entropy work of selecting and sequencing required in the formation of specified aperiodic polypeptides, or proteins." (Thaxton C.B.*, Bradley W.L.* & Olsen R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories", Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, 1992, p.161) 9/11/2005 "Biochemists take as a pretext the heterogeneous structure of DNA and the transcription of its information by RNA to proclaim the dogma of DNA being not only the depository and sole distributor of the specific information available to the living creature, but of its presiding over the very genesis of that information. ... DNA does not manifest its properties, let us say its powers, unless the cytoplasm (conceived in its totality) allows it to do so. ... Through the life cycle from the ovum to the adult animal, via the genesis of the gametes and fertilization, DNA retains its structure: this is undeniable, but its activation depends on the circumambient cytoplasm. ... The organism is a whole. DNA alone can do nothing." (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.218,220. Emphasis original) 9/11/2005 "Information forms and animates the living organism. Evolution is, in the end, the process by which the creature modifies its information and acquires other information." (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.223) 9/11/2005 "Mutation is an accident or disease having only a remote bearing on the evolutionary process; this is proved by the independence of mutagenesis with respect to evolution.." (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.223) 9/11/2005 "Now, we know, and must bear in mind, that as the world of living beings has grown older, evolution has never ceased to dwindle. Why are evolutionary reactions becoming rarer? In our present state of knowledge, it is futile to ask. When molecular biology has increased in accuracy and refinement we may be able to find the answer.." (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.223) 11/11/2005 "The fallacy of mob appeal is an argument in which an appeal is made to emotions, especially to powerful feelings that can sway people in large crowds. Also called appeal to the masses, [Its Latin name is argumentum ad populum, literally, "appeal to the people." Like our word popular, the term populum carries a certain connotation of mass acceptance without thoughtful consideration.] this fallacy invites people's unthinking acceptance of ideas which are presented in a strong, theatrical manner. Mob appeals are often said to appeal to our lowest instincts, including violence. The language of such fallacious appeals tends to be strongly biased, making use of many of the linguistic fallacies we have examined previously in this book. Indeed, most instances of mob appeal incorporate other fallacies, melding them together into an argument that rests primarily on appeal to an emotional, rather than a reasoned, response. In so doing, such arguments commit a fallacy of irrelevance because they fail to address the point at issue, choosing instead to steer us toward a conclusion by means of passion rather than reason." (Engel S.M., "With Good Reason: An Introduction to Informal Fallacies," St. Martin's Press: New York NY, Fourth edition, 1990, p.197) 11/11/2005 "However, the most interesting discoveries were made when I began to delve into the history of evolutionary thought. First, I came to see what I should have realised at the outset, namely, that it is Lamarck, and not Darwin, who is the founder of the theory of evolution. Second, I found that the macromutation theory is older than Darwinism, if not than the micromutation theory, and that it has had supporters, in varying numbers, for about one-and-a-half centuries. Third, I came to understand that in the last century, hardly anybody, not even Darwin himself, believed that natural selection can accomplish all the events necessary for the occurrence of organic evolution. Fourth, I discovered that the history of evolutionary thought, as it is told today, contains a large number of mistakes and misrepresentations - to express it fairly mildly - all of them aimed at adulating Darwin and debunking his opponents." (Lovtrup S., "Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth," Croom Helm: London, 1987, pp.2-3) 11/11/2005 "Today it is still commonly claimed that Darwin's natural selection is the evolutionary mechanism par excellence. However, this assertion is not based on any factual evidence, for nobody has ever demonstrated that natural selection can bring about anything but events that are trivial from an evolutionary perspective. And this brings me to the fifth point. Since the publication of On the Origin of Species, and particularly since the Second World War, a lot of empirical observations have been made which may be used to test the evolutionary theories. And the remarkable result is that, just as Darwin found one hundred years ago, the facts obstinately corroborate the macromutation theory and falsify the micromutation theory." (Lovtrup S., "Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth," Croom Helm: London, 1987, p.3) 11/11/2005 "There are two ways, fundamentally antithetic, to account for the occurrence of life on our planet. It may be the creation of God or some other supernatural power, or it may have arisen spontaneously in some relatively simple form of matter, being subsequently perfected in a process of organic evolution." (Lovtrup S., "Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth," Croom Helm: London, 1987, p.5) 11/11/2005 "Darwin's book [On the Origin of Species in 1859] presented a theory on the mechanism of evolution, in Darwin's opinion the only relevant kind of evolutionary theory. Darwin reluctantly admitted the existence of other mechanisms of evolution, but he was convinced that natural selection is the most important evolutionary agent. On this point he had little company; friends and foes alike rejected his theory." (Lovtrup S., "Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth," Croom Helm: London, 1987, p.5. Emphasis original) 11/11/2005 "Whether we trace back its history two millennia or two centuries, it will turn out that the notion of `evolution' was not Lamarck's creation. However, from the preceding discussion it appears that the authorities quoted at the head of the last section of this chapter are right: the theory on the reality of evolution, which today goes under the name of Darwinism, was first stated by Lamarck and ought to be called `Lamarckism', or still better Lamarck's first theory on evolution. ... We have seen that it follows from the theory on the reality of evolution that a classification of living organisms with respect to their phylogenetical affinities will depict the course of evolution. This was clearly realised by Lamarck who wrote: `The aim of a general arrangement of animals is not only to possess a convenient list for consulting, but it is more particularly to have an order in that list which represents as nearly as possible the actual order followed by nature in the production of animals; an order conspicuously indicated by the affinities which she has set between them' [Lamarck J.B., "Philosophie Zoologique," J. Cramer: Weinheim, Germany, 1960, Two volumes in one, p.56]" (Lovtrup S., "Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth," Croom Helm: London, 1987, pp.42-43. Emphasis original) 11/11/2005 "Lamarck was the first man whose conclusions on the subject excited much attention. This justly celebrated naturalist first published his views in 1801; he much enlarged them in 1809 in his Philosophie Zoologique, and subsequently, in 1815, in the Introduction to his Hist. Nat. des Animaux sans Vertebres. In these works he upholds the doctrine that all species, including man, are descended from other species. He first did the eminent service of arousing attention to the probability of all change in the organic, as well as in the inorganic world, being the result of law, and not of miraculous interposition." (Darwin C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , 6th Edition, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 1928, reprint, pp.7-8) 11/11/2005 "It is for his Philosophie zoologique published in 1809 that Lamarck is remembered in the history of science. Confronted with the task of classifying the collections in the Paris Museum of Natural History, he experienced such difficulty in distinguishing between species and varieties of species that he concluded that there was no basic difference between them. He argued that if enough closely related species were studied together, differences between them could no longer be made out and they merged into one another. In fact this is not the case, because the barrier between species is always discernible even if very difficult to detect, but the appearance that species graded into one another led Lamarck to put forward a full theory of `transformism' or evolution, which he was the first to do, invoking descent of species during long periods of time from other species, so that the Animal Kingdom could be represented by a genealogy of branching lines, the last branch being that of man. Fossil organisms he thought had not become extinct but had been transmuted into their living descendants. (de Beer G., "Charles Darwin: Evolution by Natural Selection", Nelson: London, 1963, pp.5-6) 13/11/2005 "In the evolutionary pattern of thought there is no longer either need or room for the supernatural. The earth was not created: it evolved. So did all the animals and plants that inhabit it, including our human selves, mind and soul as well as brain and body. So did religion." (Huxley J., "The Humanist Frame", in "Essays of a Humanist," , Penguin Books: Harmondsworth, Middlesex UK, 1969, reprint, pp.82-83) 13/11/2005 "Evolutionary man can no longer take refuge from his loneliness by creeping for shelter into the arms of a divinized father-figure whom he has himself created, nor escape from the responsibility of making decisions by sheltering under the umbrella of Divine Authority, nor absolve himself from the hard task of meeting his present problems and planning his future by relying on the will of an omniscient but unfortunately inscrutable Providence." (Huxley J., "The Humanist Frame", in "Essays of a Humanist," , Penguin Books: Harmondsworth, Middlesex UK, 1969, reprint, p.83) 13/11/2005 "In the evolutionary pattern of thought there is no longer either need or room for the supernatural. The earth was not created, it evolved. So did all the animals and plants that inhabit it, including our human selves, mind and soul as well as brain and body. So did religion." (Huxley J.S., "The Evolutionary Vision," in Tax S. & Callender C., eds., "Evolution After Darwin: Issues in Evolution," University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, Vol. III, 1960, pp.252-253) 13/11/2005 "Evolutionary man can no longer take refuge from his loneliness in the arms of a divinized father-figure whom he has himself created, nor escape from the responsibility of making decisions by sheltering under the umbrella of Divine Authority, nor absolve himself from the hard task of meeting his present problems and planning his future by relying on the will of an omniscient, but unfortunately inscrutable, Providence." (Huxley J.S., "The Evolutionary Vision," in Tax S. & Callender C., eds., "Evolution After Darwin: Issues in Evolution," University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, Vol. III, 1960, p.253) 13/11/2005 "The Christian God isn't a deist one; neither is Allah, or the God of Abraham. Any God worthy of the name has to be capable of miracles, and each of the great Western religions attributes a number of very specific miracles to their conception of God. What can science say about a miracle? Nothing. By definition, the miraculous is beyond explanation, beyond our understanding, beyond science. This does not mean that miracles do not occur. A key doctrine in my own faith is that Jesus was born of a virgin, even though it makes no scientific sense-there is the matter of Jesus's Y-chromosome to account for. But that is the point. miracles, by definition, do not have to make scientific sense. They are specific acts of God, designed in most cases to get a message across. Their very rarity is what makes them remarkable." (Miller K.R., "Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution," , HarperCollins: New York NY, 2000, reprint, pp.239-240) 13/11/2005 "Many scientists assume that the Scottish philosopher David Hume dealt the notion of miracles a deathblow in the 18th century when he pointed out that the witnesses to claimed miracles could be self- deluded, stories were often exaggerated and rival religions were claiming contradictory miracles. There is truth in all these points. But Hume's core argument that `a miracle is a violation of the laws of nature' has not fared so well with the passage of time. Hume thought that, however much evidence there might be, a miracle must be mistaken, because these laws could not be violated. There are three problems with his thesis. First, if you start with the dogma that `miracles are impossible' then clearly they are impossible. This is a statement, not an argument. Second, our understanding of the `laws of nature' has changed considerably since the 18th century, when nature was seen as `obeying' scientific laws in the way that we obey traffic regulations. In contrast, today's notion of a scientific law is more like a handy summary of highly reproducible results, constructed by the scientific community. Third, Hume's approach looks closed-minded. Scientists are supposed to be open to the evidence, wherever it leads, rather than pretending they already know the answer. Hume's stance suggests that, even if the evidence for something is overwhelming, you still shouldn't believe it. That jars." (Alexander D., "Are miracles really against the laws of nature?," Daily Telegraph, 21 November 2001. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/connected/main.jhtml?xml=/connected/2001/11/21/ecfmira21.xml) 13/11/2005 "Miracles aside, the Virgin Birth raises another issue dear to the hearts of scientists: why did sexual procreation evolve at all? Our most primitive ancestors emerged some 3,850 million years ago, but sex itself began only about 1,000 million years ago. Before then, all creatures presumably existed as clones. In his book The Evolution of Sex, John Maynard Smith of Sussex University maintains that there is a gap in our basic understanding of why sex evolved. `I have been wondering about this for fifty years but I don't claim to have solved the problem,' he told me. `The problem has been that, in the short run, abandoning sex would be an enormous advantage, at least for females.' Calculation illuminates the joys of reproducing without sex: sexually reproducing females on average produce one female offspring, while asexually reproducing ones, who rely on virgin births, will produce two. Thus, among a colony of asexually and sexually reproducing individuals, the former would quickly dominate. So why is it that females go through all the fuss and bother of finding a mate and then dilute their genes with those of a male in any resulting offspring?" (Highfield R., "Can Reindeer Fly?: The Science of Christmas," , Weidenfeld & Nicolson: London, 2001, pp.34-35) 13/11/2005 "Leaving aside the question of illegitimacy, raised in Matthew 1:19 (`Then Joseph her husband, being just a man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily ...'), virgin humans simply do not have babies. Scientists, however, are not content to accept the lack of evidence of virgin births in humans, and seek underlying factors to explain why women are incapable of such births. The laws of nature do not forbid virgin births: eggs can develop of their own accord, for example, in bees or aphids, by a process called parthenogenesis. This is the case for around one in every 1,000 species. However, from a scientific viewpoint, if a virgin birth could have occurred, Jesus should have been a girl, not a boy. The key limitation governing virgin births is that the genetic recipe for the offspring must, of course, come from the mother alone: in the case of Jesus, all his genes must have come from Mary. Under normal circumstances she would only have the genetic wherewithal - in humans, a bundle of genes called the X-chromosome - to make a female. For Mary to have given birth to a boy by parthenogenesis, she would also have had to have a Y-chromosome, a package of genes that separates the girls from the boys. Everyday sex turns the gender of a child into a lottery by mixing the chromosomes of each parent. This lottery takes place when egg greets sperm. An egg contains the mother's genetic instructions and an X-chromosome. Girls occur when the sperm adds an X-chromosome to the X already present in the egg, and boys when the sperm adds a Y- chromosome to the X-chromosome in the egg. We can better under-stand why boys are conceived by studying the genetic cargo of the Y-chromosome. All chromosomes, X or Y, contain a double helix of the chemical DNA, tightly twisted into coils within coils. This chemical medium is the genetic 'message', spelling out genes by different sequences of four chemical units or `letters'. For the purposes of the Virgin Birth, the most relevant gene is one on the Y-chromosome called SRY. This triggers the construction of male sex organs and so on. If Mary had passed on a Y-chromosome, it suggests that she herself carried a working Y- chromosome. This creates difficulties for the scientist, since it would have led to her possessing male characteristics as well as being sterile. Nonetheless, the above discussion does admit the possibility that a baby girl could result from a virgin birth." (Highfield R., "Can Reindeer Fly?: The Science of Christmas," , Weidenfeld & Nicolson: London, 2001, pp.36-38) 13/11/2005 "Sometimes an unfertilized human egg will begin dividing. This self-activated `embryo' will create rudimentary bone and nerve, but seems unable to make some tissues, such as skeletal muscle, preventing further development. The end product is a strange form of tumour, a blend of hair and teeth known as a derrnoid cyst, or teratoma. Because human parthenogenetic development never gets further than this, it suggests that barriers to development without a father were set early in mammalian evolution. The most profound of all has only recently been recognized: it is a phenomenon called imprinting. In addition to the X- and Y-chromosomes that distinguish the sexes, there are twenty-two pairs of other chromosomes in humans, each carrying around 30,000 genes, each of which contributes a protein to the recipe of a human being. The process of imprinting ensures that the developing embryo relies on genes from both the mother and the father. In the early eighties scientists realized that genes from the mother's chromosomes do some jobs, while genes from the father's perform others. ... Imprinted genes carry a biochemical label that reveals their parental origin and determines whether or not they are active inside the cells of the offspring. One is suppressed and inactive while the other is fully functional, depending on the parent who donated them. Jesus would have found it tricky to make do with one parent's genes. Imprinted paternal genes have been found to be responsible for the development of the placenta, while imprinted maternal genes are involved in the growth of the embryo. ... imprinting would have made it tricky for Mary alone to have equipped baby Jesus with all the necessary genetic machinery. Complete failure of imprinting, and thus of any co-operation between maternal and paternal genetic instructions, seems likely to be lethal: as far as we know, no mammal conceived by parthenogenesis has ever been born in the wild (though some of these imprinting rules may have been broken by the cloning methods used to make Dolly the sheep)." (Highfield R., "Can Reindeer Fly?: The Science of Christmas," , Weidenfeld & Nicolson: London, 2001, pp.39-40. Emphasis original) 14/11/2005 "THE Virgin Birth of Jesus has become more miraculous than ever, thanks to the advances in our understanding of what turns a fertilised egg into a baby. ... Recent research reveals that every birth is the culmination of a genetic battle. Hostilities are between genes from the mother and those from the father. You might think that if one army deserted the battlefield in the womb, as in a virgin birth, the other army would rejoice in victory. But it turns out that babies need the competition and co-operation of both armies. For millions of years, maternal and paternal genes have co-operated in development to produce offspring, while also vying to get the upper hand. Remove one set, however, and the pregnancy halts or leads to an abnormal birth: women need men to reproduce, and vice versa. We inherit two copies of each gene, one from each parent, but for some genes we use the copy from only one parent. Scientists now realise that one reason for this is imprinting, a mechanism that can switch genes on and off, depending on whether they come from the mother or father. Imprinting is not universal, because many creatures reproduce without sex. If females alone produce offspring, the process is called parthenogenesis and the offspring is female. If males do it, it is called androgenesis. (Here, the sharp-eyed reader will spot one scientific issue regarding the Virgin Birth: Jesus should have been female, discussed below.) Sexless reproduction abounds. Examples range from the timber rattlesnake to species of the Basilisk lizard, sometimes called the "Jesus Christ lizard" for its ability to walk on water. Even the turkey can do it. But humans have nothing to do with parthenogenesis and androgenesis. The reason is imprinting, which turns on certain genes in sperm but not in eggs, and vice versa. "Imprinting is a very severe block," commented one pioneer in the field, Prof Azim Surani of the Wellcome and Cancer Research Campaign Institute of Developmental Biology and Cancer Research in Cambridge. Prof Surani reasoned that organisms with a gift for parthenogenesis should lack imprinted genes. Sure enough, creatures such as snakes and reptiles do not use imprinting. Among vertebrates, imprinting is exclusive to mammals such as humans and occurs when a gene is chemically modified by a process called methylation. Once methylated, the gene is silent. At least 40 genes with diverse functions during development are thought to be regulated this way. When imprinting goes awry the effects are serious. Prader-Willi and Angelman syndromes, marked by mental retardation and a host of problems, occur when a baby inherits two maternal copies of chromosome 15, or two paternal copies, respectively. In each case, the baby will have copies of a key gene on chromosome 15, but they have come from the mother when they should be from the father, or vice versa. Imprinting prevents them from working. This same genetic division of labour almost certainly thwarts virgin births. " (Highfield R., "An immaculate misconception," Daily Telegraph, 21 November 2001) 14/11/2005 "The question, then, does not concern the historicity of this miracle or that; it concerns the historicity of all miracles. That fact is often obscured, and the obscuration of it often introduces an element of something like disingenuousness into the advocacy of the liberal cause. The liberal preacher singles out some one miracle and discusses that as though it were the only point at issue. The miracle which is usually singled out is the Virgin Birth. The liberal preacher insists on the possibility of believing in Christ no matter which view be adopted as to the manner of His entrance into the world. Is not the Person the same no mutter how He was born? The impression is thus produced upon the plain man that the preacher is accepting the main outlines of the New Testament account of Jesus, but merely has difficulties with this particular element in the account. But such an impression is radically false. It is true that some men have denied the Virgin Birth and yet have accepted the New Testament account of Jesus as a supernatural Person. But such men are exceedingly few and far between. It might be difficult to find a single one of any prominence living to-day, so profoundly and so obviously congruous is the Virgin Birth with the whole New Testament presentation of Christ. The overwhelming majority of those who reject the Virgin Birth reject also the whole supernatural content of the New Testament ... The issue does not concern individual miracles, even so important a miracle as the Virgin Birth. It really concerns all miracles. " (Machen J.G.*, "Christianity and Liberalism," , Victory Press: London, 1968, reprint, pp.108-109) 14/11/2005 "[Matthew 1:22-23] "... Luke 1:31 probably alludes to the same verse, Isaiah 7:14, indicating that it was not only Matthew who saw its relevance to the birth of Jesus; by the middle of the second century (Justin) it was an important Christian weapon in defence of the virgin birth tradition. But its relevance is often disputed on two grounds. First, it is argued that Matthew depends on the Greek word parthenos (virgin), whereas the Hebrew 'alma means only 'young woman'. 'Alma is in fact used only seven times in the Old Testament, of girls or young women, at least two of whom were unmarried (Gn. 24:43; Ex. 2:8). It is not used elsewhere in connection with childbirth (or even marriage), so that its use in Isaiah 7:14 is remarkable, when 'issa ('woman', 'wife') would have been the normal term. It was perhaps this indication that Isaiah was thinking of a birth outside the normal pattern of childbirth within marriage which led the LXX to use parthenos. It is a reasonable, if not a necessary, translation. The second objection is that Isaiah 7:14 promises a sign specifically referring to the immediate historical situation in the reign of Ahaz, not to the distant (Messianic) future. The immediate historical reference is clear in vv. 14-17, but it is also clear from the wider context that the prophet's thought is, as often in Old Testament prophecy, not confined to that primary reference. The reintroduction of 'Immanuel' in Isaiah 8:8, 10, and the recurrent theme of a child to be born as deliverer (9:6-7; 11:1ff.), indicate that 7:14 is to be seen as preparing the way for a developing Messianic theme in this section of Isaiah. Clearly the LXX translators, with their striking use of parthenos, understood it to refer to more than an ordinary birth, and the choice of 'alma in the Hebrew as well as the symbolic name 'Immanuel' suggest that they were right.'" (France R.T.*, "Matthew: An Introduction and Commentary," Inter-Varsity Press: Leicester UK, 1985, p.79. Emphasis original) 14/11/2005 "But according to Darwinian doctrine and Crick's central dogma, DNA is not only the depository and distributor of the information but its sole creator. I do not believe this to be true. Left to itself, DNA undergoes, during its replications in the germinal cells, the mutations so often referred to in the body of this book. But error modifies what already exists, it does not create it. A library does not fabricate information, it receives it from without, classifies and stores it. The medieval copyists made mistakes that altered, vitiated the texts they were supposed to reproduce. Who dares assert that their errors are the work itself?" (Grasse P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.224. Emphasis original) 14/11/2005 "The whole range of mutations, or mutational spectrum, of a species has nothing to do with evolution. The "jordanons" (mutants) of whitlow grass (Erophila verna), the wild pansy (Viola tricolor), plantains (Plantago), candytuft (Iberis), which constitute well-catalogued and rich collections, are irrefutable proof of this: they are not derived from one another, and are indefinitely stable. They display the species with all its collection of invariant variants, translating, so to speak, oscillations in the polymorphy of a specific unit about the equilibrium state of a genome in its environment. Thus, despite their innumerable mutations, Erophila verna, Viola tricolor, and the rest do not evolve. This is a fact." (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.225. Emphasis original) 14/11/2005 "The catalogue of breeds of dogs, as of any other domestic animal, is simply the mutational spectrum of the species, sifted by artificial selection. The same can be said of the list of varieties of any cultivated plant. Nothing of all this constitutes evolution." (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.225) 14/11/2005 "Any acquisition of new information requires a structural change, something added. It is not at all a matter of altering or suppressing one or more preexisting units, but of adding more. The computer is limited in its operations by the program controlling it and the units of information fed into it. To enlarge its possibilities, its contents have to be enriched. What is new comes from outside." (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.225. Emphasis original) 14/11/2005 "In biology argument by analogy endangers interpretation, for it applies our Aristotelian logic to living phenomena; as I have not failed to point out in earlier chapters, cybernetics teaches us what is by no means a negligible fact-that certain control models have to be used both for the natural self-regulating systems formed by living things and for inanimate physical or physicochemical systems. The cybernetic model, of which philosophy has not yet fully taken advantage, is applicable to all kinds of biological systems, whether relating to structure or to function-both being closely interdependent. An engineer who knows no biology often builds a machine based on principles already applied in living things. Such convergence indicates that there are not so many different routes to reach a given end. Sometimes there is only one." (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.225) 15/11/2005 "Genetics textbooks are extremely discrete [discreet?] about the formation of new genes. They ignore this problem, of primordial importance in any explanation of evolution. ... No formation of new genes has been observed by any biologist, yet without it evolution becomes inexplicable ... a gene ... formed can function only with the aid of a specific enzyme that opens out the DNA molecule at its level and enables synthesis of the message-bearing RNA. Such a requirement diminishes the chances of a random successful synthesis since formation of the enzyme is just as unlikely as that of the gene. In order to create, evolution has to win not just on one count, but on two or even three. In theory this is possible, but a low probability is not far from zero. Besides, is it not presumptuous to try to explain a phenomenon that has held to a precisely plotted course for thousands of years, by a mechanism based on the most slender expectation of success?" (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.227-229) 15/11/2005 "Mindful of the fact that the genesis of mammals and their orders has been a slow and steady climb toward strongly marked idiomorphons, I reject the overly easy explanation of the random acquisition of new genes. The biochemical and molecular mechanism set in motion by the joint formation of a gene and the enzyme that will unlock the corresponding DNA segment cannot be aleatory in its essence. It is likely that one of the most potent internal factors in evolution concerns the formation of new genes and its control system." (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.230) 15/11/2005 "The dependence of DNA on genic activators, nucleotide producers, and probably also RNA producers, originally implies a dual creation of a gene plus its activator. The gene and its activator(s) contained in the nuclear sap or the cytoplasm must have been first simultaneously or consecutively obtained. Here again we see the difference between mutation and innovation. In the former the gene changes, and the corresponding activator is always present in the cytoplasm; the gene's expressivity is constant. In the latter it is likely possible, or at any rate, that the birth of the new gene is not synchronous with the genesis of its activators. Lacking an activator for the gene, innovation cannot occur." (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.237. Emphasis original) 15/11/2005 "The starting point of innovation is the acquisition of new genes either by addition of nucleotide sequences (codons) or by overprinting, as we imagine it to take place. In the second eventuality, creation lies in the power to recognize the enzyme activating a new sequence of codons included in the DNA molecule." (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.243-244) 15/11/2005 "In summary, the creative evolutionary process, conceived according to the data of molecular biology, involves three events: 1. Formation of a new meaningful sequence of codons 2. Formation of a specific enzyme to activate the new gene 3. Adequate identification of the enzyme depending upon cellular differentiation. ... But nothing of all this accounts for the orientation of evolution or the finality of the information." (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.244) 15/11/2005 "Let us end our survey by drawing up a balance sheet. While still unsatisfactory, it has some favorable aspects, and dispels of one or two interpretations often presented as certainties. 1. Evolution, a guided phenomenon, is not sustained merely by random hereditary variations, sorted out by a selection operating for the good of a population. 2. Evolution demands the acquisition over time, as organisms grow more complex, of novelties whose information is inserted into the DNA strands in the form of new genes. 3. The supply of information and the subsequent creation of genes are profoundly separate mechanisms from the mutagenesis that produces alleles. 4. Paleontology reveals that lines of descent from a common stock (parent form) all show, although to unequal extents, the same propensity to achieve a given form, type, or idiomorphon. 5. Evolution in its essentials depends upon work effected at the level of infrastructures and triggered by internal and external factors, and having the effect of producing certain enzymes, probably resembling polymerases, which synthesize a new DNA and new genes by means of free nucleotides in the nuclear sap or the cytoplasm. We emphasize that the inclusion of information in the genetic code is a separate operation from its acquisition; it follows the acquisition and does not take place simultaneously with it, as does mutation. The elaboration of the information may be slow and take a great many generations; paleontology teaches us that in reality this is indeed so. Thus, DNA records and stabilizes evolution, but does not create it. 6. Mutagenesis corresponding to copying errors in the DNA is used by the organism secondarily to attain the genotype best adapted to environmental conditions. It is the main cause of differences between individuals, races, and species. If evolution takes place without the acquisition of new genes, we must assume that the first living creature contained in itself enough genes to engender, by mutation of them, all past, present, and future faunas and floras. This is absurd. " (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.245-246) 15/11/2005 "Any system that purports to account for evolution must invoke a mechanism not mutational and aleatory. This is indeed what the reformist Darwinians and Lamarckian biologists realize, hence their recourse to internal factors. The united efforts of paleontology and molecular biology, the latter stripped of its dogmas, should lead to the discovery of the exact mechanism of evolution, possibly without revealing to us the causes of the orientations of lineages, of the finalities of structures, of living functions, and of cycles. Perhaps in this area biology can go no farther: the rest is metaphysics." (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.246. Emphasis original) 17/11/2005 "To reckon up a few of the plainest of these parts, and of their offices, all tending to one result:-we see a cylindrical box containing a coiled elastic spring, which, by its endeavour to relax itself, turns round the box. We next observe a flexible chain (artificially wrought for the sake of flexure) communicating the action of the spring from the box to the fusee. We then find a series of wheels, the teeth of which, catch in, and apply to, each other, conducting the motion from the fusee to the balance, and from the balance to the pointer; and at the same time, by the size and shape of those wheels, so regulating that motion, as to terminate in causing an index, by an equable and measured progression, to pass over a given space in a given time. We take notice that the wheels are made of brass, in order to keep them from rust; the springs of steel, no other metal being. so elastic; that over the face of the watch there is placed a glass, a material) employed in no other part of the work, but, in the room of which, if there had been any other than a transparent substance, the hour could not be seen without opening the case. This mechanism being observed (it requires indeed an examination of the instrument, and perhaps some previous knowledge of the subject, to perceive and understand it but being once, as we have said, observed and understood), the inference, we think, is inevitable; that the watch must have had a maker; that there must have existed, at some time and at some place or other, an artificer or artificers, who formed it for the purpose which we find it actually to answer; who comprehended its construction and designed its use." (Paley W.*, "Natural Theology: or, Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity, Collected from the Appearances of Nature," , St. Thomas Press: Houston TX, 1972, reprint, pp.2-3) 17/11/2005 "If the universe is `divine', then God can only be seen in the laws and mechanics which he has presumably created. These deductions from scientific observation (quantifiable and repeatable demonstration) were held in the eighteenth century to have brought clarity to a confused world. They are the origins of `Deism'. `Deism' holds that there is a God, He is a `great architect', a designer, a mechanician. Everything can be shown as a mechanism. `God' has long ago `flicked a switch' and set the whole celestial machine in motion, sitting back to watch the process or perhaps He has departed to work on other projects. This view of God as `creator' or in Isaac Newton's terms `Pantocrator' is remarkably akin to the early Gnostic's view of the demiurge `whose word is Law'." (Churton T., "The Gnostics," , Weidenfeld & Nicholson: London, 1987, reprint, pp.131-132) 17/11/2005 "But strictly speaking, gnosticism is a post-Christian phenomenon, and can only be understood in a Christian context, for Christ is fundamental to the gnostic doctrine of salvation. It is the name given to the beliefs and practices of a number of unorthodox sects that flourished in the Roman empire and western Asia in the first few centuries of the Christian era. Its chief diffusion centre was Alexandria. The gnostics salvaged much of the scrap from the wreckage of the pagan world around them, and added to it their own versions of the Christianity that was being propagated in their midst. Many elements of this eclectic system were borrowed indiscriminately, and taken together they represent an unassimilated miscellany of conflicting opinions. Their ideas are set forth in a wide variety of texts propounding teachings that are not consistently advanced. There can, therefore, be no synoptic presentation of gnosticism, and any attempt to reconstruct it must be a patchwork made up of heterogeneous material culled from widely disparate sources. The few issues on which most gnostic schools are in general agreement may be set forth in broad outline as follows. Fundamental to all is belief in a transcendent God, merciful and good. He is God the Father, who belongs to the upper world of light, but is utterly remote from our cosmos, and is indeed a stranger to it. Associated with him is his Son, the Logos. The cosmos itself is intrinsically evil, and is not the work of the true God, but of an opposing entity known as the demiurge, or `creator'." (Walker B., "Gnosticism: Its History and Influence," The Aquarian Press: Wellingborough, Northamptonshire UK, 1983, pp.11-12) 18/11/2005 "Revolutions are messy affairs. They are also far from inevitable. For there to be a revolution, there must be revolutionaries willing to put their necks on the line. They must be willing to take the abuse, ridicule and intimidation that the ruling elite can and will inflict. The ruling elite in this case are the dogmatic Darwinists and scientific naturalists. Rigidly committed to keeping intelligent causation outside the natural sciences, they misrepresent intelligent design at every step, charging that its critique of Darwinism (and of naturalistic theories of evolution more generally) is utterly misguided and groundless. Accordingly, the public is informed that intelligent design is religion masquerading as science or `Creationism in a Cheap Tuxedo' (the title of a newspaper headline). Moreover, the public is warned that intelligent design spells the death of science and that to teach intelligent design is intellectually (if not morally) in the same boat as teaching that the Holocaust didn't happen." (Dembski W.A.*, "The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions About Intelligent Design," Intervarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2004, pp.19-20) 18/11/2005 "The acceptance of radical ideas that challenge the status quo (and Darwinism is as status quo as it gets) typically runs through several stages. According to Arthur Schopenhauer, `All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.' Similarly, evolutionist J.B.S. Haldane remarked, `Theories pass through four stages of acceptance: (i) this is worthless nonsense; (ii) this is an interesting, but perverse, point of view; (iii) this is true, but quite unimportant; (iv) I always said so.' I like to flesh out Haldane's four stages as follows. First, the idea is regarded as preposterous: the ruling elite feel little threat and, as much as possible, ignore the challenge, but when pressed they confidently assert that the idea is so absurd as not to merit consideration. Second, it is regarded as pernicious: the ruling elite can no longer ignore the challenge and must take active measures to suppress it, now loudly proclaiming that the idea is confused, irrational, reprehensible and even dangerous (thus adding a moral dimension to the debate). Third, it is regarded as possible: the ruling elite reluctantly admits that the idea is not entirely absurd but claims that at best it is of marginal interest; meanwhile, the mainstream realizes that the idea has far-reaching consequences and is far more important than previously recognized. And fourth, it is regarded as plausible: a new status quo has emerged, with the ruling elite taking credit for the idea and the mainstream unable to imagine how people in times past could have thought otherwise. With intelligent design, we are now at the transition from stage two to stage three-from pernicious to possible. This is the hardest transition." (Dembski W.A.*, "The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions About Intelligent Design," Intervarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2004, p.20. http://www.designinference.com/documents/2002.07.des_rev.htm) 18/11/2005 "Many words have been written about the origins of things, but none have been strung together quite so well as these of the first chapter of Genesis. A `biblical creationist' sees these words as having a literal truth spoken by God, and says, `These words are enough to explain all things.' A `scientific creationist' respects these words as the literal truth, but seeks to prove the account in Genesis by scientific evidence, and by disproving evolution and attacking geology. Still, a `scientific creationist' would only ask for one change in the text: that instead of `God' we read `Creator' throughout Genesis. These two sorts of creationists label a `theistic evolutionist' any person who reads Genesis metaphorically, who believes God created heaven and earth and all of life, but did so using His own natural laws. To such a person, the six days of creation square well with the eons of geologic time in a definite, albeit loose, sense. A theistic evolutionist would leave the text alone, but does not insist that it be taken literally. Lastly, we have the scientist who may have any conceivable personal opinion about Genesis, but who by the rules of his profession must consider the origin of all things natural solely in naturalistic terms. He must leave to religion all things supernatural.The aim of this book is to look at the contemporary collisions between these various attitudes about Genesis- collisions that have lately caused quite a stir. It takes the position that religion and science are two utterly different domains of human experience, have little in common, and must respect each other if either is to flourish. As a scientist, I am repelled by the pseudoscience of the scientific creationists. And I have personally observed the passion and the anger some religious leaders have expressed when they confront `scientific creationism.' It seems to me that the beauty and relevance of Genesis 1 are neither threatened nor enhanced by modern science. Why can't we just let it be and get on with the job of understanding ourselves and our world in our respective, time-honored ways?" (Eldredge N., "The Monkey Business: A Scientist Looks at Creationism," Washington Square: New York NY, 1982, pp.9-10) 19/11/2005 "Johnson and the design theorists, however, introduce a unique twist to the notion of design. For them, design carries an aspect of irreducible complexity. That is, they assert that certain biological structures are fashioned in such a way that it was not possible for them to develop through a natural process like evolution (whether teleological or dysteleological). To account for the existence of these irreducibly complex structures, intervention from outside the normal operation of the universe is claimed to have occurred during the history of life. As a result, the design theorists are progressive creationists. Such a position, however, leaves itself open to criticism for being another version of the God-of-the-gaps. That is, once natural processes are discovered to account for the creation of a once acclaimed irreducibly complex structure, God's purported intervention is lost to the advancing light of scientific research. A serious consequence of filling these gaps (once believed to be the sites of God's active hand) is that God appears to be forced further and further into the dark recesses of our ignorance; and yes, the dangerous notion arises that maybe human ignorance is in effect the 'creator,' a resident only of our minds." (Lamoureux D.O., "Evangelicals Inheriting the Wind: The Phillip E. Johnson Phenomenon," in Johnson P.E. & Lamoureux D.O., "Darwinism Defeated?: The Johnson-Lamoureux Debate on Biological Origins," Regent College Publishing: Vancouver, Canada, 1999, p.19) 19/11/2005 "What exactly did God do (beyond establishing the laws at the beginning of time) and how do we know that he actually did it? Lamoureux meets any attempt to explore that question scientifically with the standard God-of-the-gaps objection, the trademark thought-stopper of the theistic naturalist. Assigning God a detectable role in evolution is a fallacy, according to theistic naturalists, because science will eventually produce a naturalistic explanation for whatever God is supposed to have done. To put the same point another way, all statements about God's work in creation must be unfalsifiable, because otherwise they will surely be falsified. For example, consider how Lamoureux dismisses the problem of irreducible complexity. A biological system is irreducibly complex when its operation requires the cooperation of numerous parts, none of which performs a useful function unless all are present. Such a system cannot be built up one part at a time-unless some purposeful entity is guiding the process. An unintelligent mechanism like natural selection could not create and preserve a presently useless part because of some long-term goal, but a creator with a goal in mind might do so. Recognition of irreducible complexity thus implies a role for a designer, meaning at a minimum some entity capable of pursuing a distant goal. Lamoureux rules out the possibility of irreducible complexity without considering the scientific evidence. Why? He says that to consider the need for intelligent causes in biology is merely to place a hypothetical God in the gaps of present scientific knowledge. When those gaps are eventually filled with explanations employing only unintelligent causes, as Lamoureux assumes they inevitably will be, God will be expelled from the gaps and theism will be discredited. To argue this way is to commit the fallacy of begging the question. The adequacy of any naturalistic explanation for irreducible complexity is the very point at issue. Like other theistic naturalists, Lamoureux seems to think he has a priori knowledge that naturalistic processes, employing only unintelligent causes, were capable of doing all the work of creating biological systems that are far more complicated than spaceships or computers. Such a priori knowledge does not come from experimental science or fossil studies; it comes only from naturalistic philosophy." (Johnson P.E.*, "Response to Denis O. Lamoureux," in Johnson P.E. & Lamoureux D.O., "Darwinism Defeated? The Johnson-Lamoureux Debate on Biological Origins," Regent College Publishing: Vancouver BC, Canada, 1999, pp.50-51) 19/11/2005 "Did you ever hear of universal acid? ... Universal acid is a liquid so corrosive that it will eat through anything! The problem is: what do you keep it in? It dissolves glass bottles and stainless-steel canisters as readily as paper bags. What would happen if you somehow came upon or created a dollop of universal acid? Would the whole planet eventually be destroyed? What would it leave in its wake? After everything had been transformed by its encounter with universal acid, what would the world look like? Little did I realize that in a few years I would encounter an idea-Darwin's idea-bearing an unmistakable likeness to universal acid: it eats through just about every traditional concept, and leaves in its wake a revolutionized world-view, with most of the old landmarks still recognizable, but transformed in fundamental ways." (Dennett D.C., "Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life," , Penguin: London, 1996, reprint, p.63) 19/11/2005 "Darwin's idea had been born as an answer to questions in biology, but it threatened to leak out, offering answers welcome or not-to questions in cosmology (going in one direction) and psychology (going in the other direction). If redesign could be a mindless, algorithmic process of evolution, why couldn't that whole process itself be the product of evolution, and so forth, all the way down? And if mindless evolution could account for the breathtakingly clever artifacts of the biosphere, how could the products of our own "real" minds be exempt from an evolutionary explanation? Darwin's idea thus also threatened to spread all the way up, dissolving the illusion of our own authorship, our own divine spark of creativity and understanding." (Dennett D.C., "Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life," , Penguin: London, 1996, reprint, p.63) 19/11/2005 "Yet despite the reality that, as it happens, we humans evolved from apes rather than, say, lizards, let alone tulips, the interpretations surrounding the brute fact of evolution remain contentious, controversial, fractious, and acrimonious. Why should this be so? The heart of the problem, I believe, is to explain how it might be that we, a product of evolution, possess an overwhelming sense of purpose and moral identity yet arose by processes that were seemingly without meaning." (Conway Morris S., "Life's Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe," Cambridge University Press: New York NY, 2003, p.2) 19/11/2005 "One such ambiguity is how life itself may have originated. As we shall see (in Chapter 4) there is no reason to doubt that it occurred by natural means, but despite the necessary simplicity of the process, the details remain strangely elusive. Life itself is underpinned by a rather simple array of building blocks. Most notable are the four (or more accurately five) nucleotides (that is molecules, such as adenine, consisting of a ring of carbon atoms with an attached nitrogen and a sugar) that comprise the DNA (and RNA). The other key building blocks are twenty-odd amino acids that when arranged in chains form the polypeptides and ultimately the proteins. Yet, from this, by various elaborations, has arisen the immense diversity of life." (Conway Morris S., "Life's Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe," Cambridge University Press: New York NY, 2003, p.4) 19/11/2005 "So, beyond the brute fact that evolution happens, the mechanisms and the consequences remain the subject of the liveliest debate and not infrequently acrimony. But, contrary to the desires and beliefs of creation 'science', the reality of evolution as a historical process is not in dispute. And whatever the divergences of opinion, which as often as not have a tacit ideological agenda concerning the origins of human uniqueness, there is a uniform consensus that vitalism was safely buried many years ago, and the slight shaking of the earth above the grave marking the resting place of teleology is certainly an optical illusion. But is it an illusion? Perhaps as the roots and the branches of the Tree of Life are more fully explored our perspectives will begin to shift. Evolution is manifestly true, but that does not necessarily mean we should take it for granted: the end results, be it the immense complexity of a biochemical system or the fluid grace of a living organism, are genuinely awe-inspiring. Could it be that attempts to reinstall or reinject notions of awe and wonder are not simply delusions of some deracinated super-ape, but rather reopen the portals to our finding a metaphysic for evolution? And this in turn might at last allow a conversation with religious sensibilities rather than the more characteristic response of either howling abuse or lofty condescension." (Conway Morris S., "Life's Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe," Cambridge University Press: New York NY, 2003, p.4) 19/11/2005 "Perhaps the first obvious clue was the result, surprising at the time, of the minimal genetic difference between ourselves and the chimps. In terms of structural genes the much-quoted difference amounts, it is said, to about 0.4%. If there were any residual doubt of the closeness between Homo and Pan, then other indicators of similarity, such as the fact that the string of amino acids that make up the protein haemoglobin is identical in number and sequence, are surely a sufficient indicator of our evolutionary proximity. This, of course, confirms the obvious: we and the chimps share an ancestor, probably between about 6 and 12 million years ago, and indeed there is much we have in common. But in other respects we are poles apart. I'm told that chimps driving cars (or at least go-karts) have the time of their lives, but we are neither likely to see a chimp designing a car, nor for that matter mixing the driest of Martinis, let alone being haunted by existentialist doubts." (Conway Morris S., "Life's Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe," Cambridge University Press: New York NY, 2003, pp.5-6) 19/11/2005 "Let us look, for example, at a much deeper stage in our evolution, effectively at the time of the ancestors of the fish. Enter the moderately undistinguished animal known as the lancelet worm or amphioxus (Branchiostoma and its relatives ..). By general agreement this beast is the nearest living approximation to the stage in evolution that preceded the fish, which in turn clambered on to land, moved to using the egg, grew fur, and in one lineage developed into socially alert arborealists. All these changes and shifts must have been accompanied by genetic changes, but if we look back to amphioxus we see a genetic architecture in place that seemingly has no obvious counterpart in its anatomy. To give just one example: the central nervous system of amphioxus is really rather simple. It consists of an elongate nerve cord stretching back along the body, above the precursor of the vertebral column (our backbone, consisting of a row of vertebrae) and a so-called brain. The brain can only be described as a disappointment. It is little more than an anterior swelling (it is called the cerebral vesicle) and has no obvious sign in terms of its morphology of even the beginnings of the characteristic threefold division seen in the vertebrate brain of hind-, mid- and fore-sections. Yet the molecular evidence, which is also backed up by some exquisitely fine studies of microanatomy suggests that, cryptically, the brain of amphioxus has regions equivalent to the tripartite division seen in the vertebrates. The clear implication of this is that folded within the seemingly simple brain of amphioxus is what can almost be described as a template for the equivalent organ of the vertebrates: in some sense amphioxus carries the inherent potential for intelligence. ... and its molecular inherency in any way unusual. Equally instructive examples can be culled from the most primitive animals, such as the sponges and Hydra (the latter is a relative of the sea-anemones and corals), in which genes (or proteins) that are essential for complex activities in more advanced animals are already present." (Conway Morris S., "Life's Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe," Cambridge University Press: New York NY, 2003, pp.6, 7) 19/11/2005 "Each of the amino acids is coded for by a set of three nucleotide base pairs, accordingly known as a triplet. The original code is, of course, stored in the DNA of the chromosomes, but the actual synthesis of the amino acids occurs through the agency of the RNA in minute structures within the cell known as the ribosomes. Thus, in RNA the four bases are adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and uracil (U), the last of which substitutes for thymine (T), which is found in DNA only. With a triplet code and four base pairs there are of course 64 possible combinations. This implies that with only 20 amino acids there is a considerable degree of redundancy, even with the assignment of certain codons to signal 'Start' and `Stop'. ... It has long been known that this redundancy means that mistakes in coding may not be detrimental; if a substitution within the codon fails to result in the identical amino acid, it stands a good chance of producing another amino acid with similar properties. Amino acids with similar properties, of which their affinity to or repulsion from water (the property of polarity) is particularly important, also tend to have similar pathways of biosynthesis. Here, too, if errors occur then the mistake need not be lethal. For these and other reasons, therefore, it is clear that the genetic code is excellently adapted to the needs of reliably providing the amino acids that underpin protein construction. But how good is good? The rule of thumb in evolution is 'good enough to do the job in most circumstances', but not to waste time building a Rolls-Royce of an organism, or, to put it more flippantly, no supersonic albatrosses. ... One way to address this problem is to look at the design tolerance of an organism, that is, to see the margins of safety built into such a structure as a bone. ... There is an additional and quite important point that many safety factors may in themselves be sub-optimal - spider silk does snap and kangaroos can break their legs - but the margins of safety are necessarily a compromise between strength and many other vital functions in the organism. ... The point, simply, is that given the realities of the physical world and adaptation, organisms and their components should be designed to do the job adequately, but no more. ... And at first sight this is what we should see in the genetic code: it certainly isn't random; in fact it is really rather good. But in recent years a group of molecular biologists, notably Steve Freeland and Laurence Hurst, have been trying to arrive at a more precise answer. ... Their approach is computer-based, and the basic aim is to randomize the genetic code and then compare the efficiency of a certain fraction of the vast number of alternative codes the computer can generate with the real one, here on Earth. ... Freeland and Hurst have difficulty in keeping the surprise out of their report, even given the proviso that their approach necessitates a number of assumptions. They write: 'the natural genetic code shows startling [my emphasis] evidence of optimization, two orders of magnitude higher than has been suggested previously. Though the precise quantification used here may be questioned, the overall result seems fairly clear: under our model, of 1 million random variant codes produced, only 1 was better ... than the natural code - our genetic code is quite literally "1 in a million".' [Freeland S.J. & Hurst L.D., "The genetic code is one in a million," Journal of Molecular Evolution," Vol. 47, pp.238-248] ... In their analysis of the million alternatives Freeland and Hurst specifically noted that the one code that in principle might be better than the natural one had, as one might expect, little similarity to the one used by life on Earth. It seems, however, that the potential figure of 10^18 alternatives is, in reality, inflated. This is because not all the biosynthetic pathways used to construct the 20 different amino acids are in themselves viable. In a subsequent analysis Freeland and his co-workers suggest that the number of alternative codes that overall are realistically functional is relatively small. .. and taking into account the similarities between certain amino acids they conclude, again in my opinion startlingly, 'that nature's choice [on Earth] might indeed be the best possible code'. [Freeland S.J., Knight R.D. & Landweber L.F., "Measuring Adaptation within the Genetic Code," Trends in Biochemical Sciences, Vol. 25, 2000, pp.44-45]" (Conway Morris S., "Life's Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe," Cambridge University Press: New York NY, 2003, pp.12-18) 19/11/2005 "Isolated 'islands' provide havens of biological possibility in an ocean of maladaptedness (Fig. 1.4). No wonder the arguments for design and intelligent planning have such a perennial appeal. Whether it be by navigation across the hyperdimensional vastness of protein space, the journey to a genetic code of almost eerie efficiency, or the more familiar examples of superb adaptation, life has an extraordinary propensity for its metaphorical hand to fit the glove." (Conway Morris S., "Life's Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe," Cambridge University Press: New York NY, 2003, pp.19-20) 19/11/2005 "In the absence of direct evidence for extraterrestrial life, the question of the ubiquity of life in the cosmos really hinges on discovering how easy it might be to synthesize life and on reassuring ourselves that there are mansions a-plenty to allow a near-infinitude of evolutionary experiments. Yet, as I shall try to demonstrate ... the scientific annexe dedicated to the problem of the origin of life has not been marked by a series of sweeping and spectacular advances - the norm for science - but has lurched indecisively across a landscape dotted with stumbling blocks and crevasses. Nor does the discovery that the processes of organic chemistry permeate the galaxy offer any more than a crumb of hope. ... And is there really a plurality of worlds, a trillion planets endowed with an unimaginable range of biological diversity, while on a favoured handful ... millions of alien `children' wait for the 'bedtime' story ... ? Distant solar systems are now being discovered at a remarkable rate ..., but, as we shall see, the results so far are distinctly discouraging: worlds without number, but strange, hostile, and most probably uninhabitable." (Conway Morris S., "Life's Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe," Cambridge University Press: New York NY, 2003, pp.22- 23) 19/11/2005 "In this context, it is surely interesting that Francis Crick can write 'An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going. ' [Crick F., "Life Itself," 1981, p.88] Crick is careful to continue by pointing out that the time available ..., the diversity of habitats, and combinatorial possibilities of chemistry do not exclude life originating 'by a perfectly reasonable sequence of fairly ordinary chemical reactions'. [Ibid] More than two decades on from Crick's ruminations, however, it still remains the case that the notion of an infinitesimally unlikely series of chemical reactions - that from our perspective can be described only as a 'near miracle' remains the unbidden and silent observer at much of the discussion of how life originated. Yet, as Iris Fry ... reminds us, such terminology is effectively that of creationism. [Fry I., "Are the Different Hypotheses on the Emergence of Life as Different as they Seem?," Biology and Philosophy, Vol. 10, 1995, pp.389-417, p.405] Put this way, nearly everyone will ask that the now unwelcome guest should vanish through the adjacent wall, and agree that for all their differences (soup, clay, clouds ...) they share the common hypothesis that the steps from inert to vital must be those of an unbroken continuity. It would be an uncomfortable corollary if the series of meetings, interactions, and reactions of those few chemicals that led to the origin of life were little more than a series of fortuitous and happy flukes. If so, a scientific campaign for understanding the origin of life is not, to put it mildly, going to be straightforward. It is hardly surprising that George Wald wrote, 'One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task [of making life] to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet here we are as a result, I believe, of spontaneous generation.' [Wald G., "The origin of life," Scientific American, Vol. 191, August 1954, pp.45-53] This quotation has become justifiably famous, but it is sometimes forgotten that in its original context there was a very strong underlying assumption that such a process of spontaneous generation could be possible only if there were enough aeons of time. As we shall now see, there probably were not, and to make matters worse what obviously did happen in our Solar System may itself be either a very rare occurrence, or, dangerous thought, possibly unique." (Conway Morris S., "Life's Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe," Cambridge University Press: New York NY, 2003, pp.67-68) 20/11/2005 "MY basic definition of classical Darwinism in Chapter 1 included two corollaries stemming straight from Darwin himself. First, in the evolution of any structure of function, every intermediate stage must be of advantage to the species. [Darwin C., "The Origin of Species," , Harvard University Press, First edition, 1966, reprint, pp.199-201] Second, natural selection tends only to make each organic being as perfect as, or slightly more perfect than, the other inhabitants of the same country with which it has to struggle for existence. [Ibid., p.201] These were described as logical corollaries because they are derived from thinking about the implications of the theory, rather than from observation of nature. They are really predictions. ... First Corollary-Not Enough Mindlessness Why must every intermediate step be advantageous to the species? Because Darwin conceived natural selection as a mindless process, as the impersonal operation of purely natural forces. If it is mindless, it cannot plan ahead; it cannot make sacrifices now to attain a distant goal, because it has no goals and no mind with which to conceive goals. Therefore every change must be justified by its own immediate advantages, not as leading to some desirable end. ... Second Corollary-Too Much Perfection. Darwin formulated this himself in the first edition of The Origin of Species: `Natural selection tends only to make each being as perfect as, or slightly more perfect than, the other inhabitants of the same area.' [Ibid., p.201]" (Macbeth N., "Darwin Retried: An Appeal to Reason," Gambit: Boston MA, 1971, pp.97,99-100, 102. Emphasis original) 20/11/2005 "Why would a designer create life to look like evolution? What possible m could a designer have to be misleading? Is the designer trying to trick us? This is now the evolutionists' standard argument. This book responds by showing they do not truly know their own theory. Life was designed to look unlike evolution, and to see this, one must understand evolutionary theory deeply. ... message theory ... claims that life was intentionally designed to communicate a message. .... Life was made by no ordinary designer, but by one with unusual intentions. Identifying these intentions resolves the difficulties. Features of life that seemed inexplicable become understandable once the designer's goal is recognized. That goal was consistently pursued by the designer. Throughout nature it guided design choices and shaped the pattern of life. The data admit to no other solution. The pattern is intricate, yet so consistent it could not result from thoughtlessness. The pattern was premeditated. It was designed intentionally to meet a single-minded goal. The designer's goal was a reasonable one, carried out in a reasonable way and with meticulous care. Ironically, evolution is central to that goal. Life was designed to thwart evolutionary explanation. ... The biotic message is the sum of the unifying and non-naturalistic messages. The Unifying Message: `This system of living objects was constructed by a single source (e.g., a common designer).' ... The Non-naturalistic Message: `This system of living objects did not result from a naturalistic (evolutionary) process.'" (ReMine W.J., "The Biotic Message: Evolution Versus Message Theory," St. Paul Science: Saint Paul MN, 1993, pp.17-18, 22. Emphasis original) 20/11/2005 "Message theory would not be especially enlightening, however, if its sole statement were the unity of nature. Nature's unity has been known for millennia. Message theory embraces this unity, but its real challenge is to go further, and the needed insight is the non-naturalistic message. Life was designed to look unlike the result of natural processes-it was designed to look unlike evolution. ... Yet evolutionary theory is the centerpiece of message theory. Evolutionary theory is itself data - data of pivotal importance. ... Life was designed to resist all naturalistic interpretations, not just Darwin's." (ReMine W.J., "The Biotic Message: Evolution Versus Message Theory," St. Paul Science: Saint Paul MN, 1993, pp.24-25. Emphasis in original) 20/11/2005 "So now the Emperor walked under his high canopy in the midst of the procession, through the streets of his capital; and all the people standing by, and those at the windows, cried out, `Oh! How beautiful are our Emperor's new clothes! What a magnificent train there is to the mantle; and how gracefully the scarf hangs!' in short, no one would allow that he could not see these much-admired clothes; because, in doing so, he would have declared himself either a simpleton or unfit for his office. Certainly, none of the Emperor's various suits, had ever made so great an impression, as these invisible ones. `But the Emperor has nothing at all on!' said a little child. `Listen to the voice of innocence!' exclaimed his father; and what the child had said was whispered from one to another. `But he has nothing at all on!' at last cried out all the people. The Emperor was vexed, for he knew that the people were right; but he thought the procession must go on now! And the lords of the bedchamber took greater pains than ever, to appear holding up a train, although, in reality, there was no train to hold." (Hans Christian Andersen, "The Emperor's New Clothes," Andersen's Fairy Tales, 1837. http://www.classicreader.com/read.php/sid.3/bookid.109/sec.1/) 20/11/2005 "But it is not just the complexity of living systems which is so profoundly challenging, there is also the incredible ingenuity that is so often manifest in their design. Ingenuity in biological design is particularly striking when it is manifest in solutions to problems analogous to those met in our own technology. Without the existence of the camera and the telescope, much of the ingenuity in the design of the eye would not have been perceived. Although the anatomical components of the eye were well known by scientists in the fifteenth century, the ingenuity of its design was not appreciated until the seventeenth century when the basic optics of image formation were first clearly expressed by Kepler and later by Descartes. However, it was only in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as the construction of optical instruments became more complicated, utilizing a movable iris, a focusing device, and corrections for spherical and chromatic aberration, all features which have their analogue in the eye, that the ingenuity of the optical system could at last be appreciated fully by Darwin and his contemporaries. We now know the eye to be a far more sophisticated instrument than it appeared a hundred years ago. Electro-physiological studies have recently revealed very intricate connections among the nerve cells of the retina, which enable the eye to carry out many types of preliminary data processing of visual information before transmitting it in binary form to the brain. The cleverness of these mechanisms has again been underlined by their close analogy to the sorts of image intensification and clarification processes carried out today by computers, such as those used by NASA, on images transmitted from space. Today it would be more accurate to think of a television camera if we are looking for an analogy to the eye. There are dozens of examples where advances in technology have emphasized the ingenuity of biological design. ... But it is at a molecular level where the analogy between the mechanical and biological worlds is so striking, and the genius of biological design and the perfection of the goals achieved are most pronounced." (Denton M.J., "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis," Burnett: London, 1985, pp.332-333) 21/11/2005 "Limitations of Darwinian Evolution ... In the evolution of any structure or function, every intermediate stage must be of additional advantage to the species. There is no way in which a species can evolve by foresight, producing the maladapted beginning of an organ which, when completely evolved, will have adaptive value. In the words of a leading contemporary authority, Theodosius Dobzhansky, evolution is opportunistic: natural selection seizes upon the best variation available at the moment, regardless of its ultimate potentialities. How then are we to account for the evolution of such a complicated organ as the eye? `The eye to this day gives me a cold shudder,' wrote Darwin to the American botanist, Asa Gray, in 1860; and long after Darwin ceased to be troubled by this challenge to his theory, his detractors were insisting that it was an unanswerable refutation of this views. Look, they said, if even the slightest thing is wrong-if the retina is missing, or the lens opaque, or the dimensions in error -the eye fails to form a recognizable image and is consequently useless. Since it must be either perfect, or perfectly useless, how could it have been evolved by small, successive, Darwinian steps? The objection is a formidable one, but it no longer looks unanswerable." (Hardin G., "Nature and Man's Fate," Rinehart: New York NY, 1959, p.73. Emphasis original) 21/11/2005 "Wherever the biologist looks, there is complexity beyond complexity, the entanglement of things ramifying downward from the organism to the cell. In a superbly elaborated figure, the Australian biologist Michael Denton compares a single cell to an immense automated factory, one the size of a large city: On the surface of the cell we would see millions of openings, like the portholes of a vast space ship, opening and closing to allow a continual stream of materials to flow in and out. If we were to enter one of these openings we would find ourselves in a world of supreme technology and bewildering complexity. We would see endless highly organized corridors and conduits branching in every direction away from the perimeter of the cell, some leading to the central memory bank in the nucleus and others to assembly plants and processing units. The nucleus itself would be a vast spherical chamber more than a kilometer in diameter, resembling a geodesic dome inside of which we would see, all neatly stacked together in ordered arrays, the miles of coiled chains of the DNA molecule.... We would notice that the simplest of the functional components of the cell, the protein molecules, were, astonishingly, complex pieces of molecular machinery....Yet the life of the cell depends on the integrated activities of thousands, certainly tens, and probably hundreds of thousands of different protein molecules. And whatever the complexity of the cell, it is insignificant in comparison with the mammalian nervous system; and beyond that, far impossibly ahead, there is the human mind, an instrument like no other in the biological world, conscious, flexible, penetrating, inscrutable, and profound. It is here that the door of doubt begins to swing. Chance and complexity are countervailing forces; they work at cross-purposes. This circumstance the English theologian William Paley (1743-1805) made the gravamen of his well-known argument from design: Nor would any man in his senses think the existence of the watch, with its various machinery, accounted for, by being told that it was one out of possible combinations of material forms; that whatever he had found in the place where he found the watch, must have contained some internal configuration or other, and that this configuration might be the structure now exhibited, viz., of the works of a watch, as well as a different structure. It is worth remarking, it is simply a fact, that this courtly and old-fashioned argument is entirely compelling. We never attribute the existence of a complex artifact to chance. And for obvious reasons: complex objects are useful islands, isolated amid an archipelago of useless possibilities. Of the thousands of ways in which a watch might be assembled from its constituents, only one is liable to work. It is unreasonable to attribute the existence of a watch to chance, if only because it is unlikely. An artifact is the overflow in matter of the mental motions of intention, deliberate design, planning, and coordination. The inferential spool runs backward, and it runs irresistibly from a complex object to the contrived, the artificial, circumstances that brought it into being. Paley allowed the conclusion of his argument to drift from man-made to biological artifacts, a human eye or kidney falling under the same classification as a watch. `Every indication of contrivance,' he wrote, `every manifestation of design, exists in the works of nature; with the difference, on the side of nature, of being greater or more, and that in a degree which exceeds all computation. In this drifting, Darwinists see dangerous signs of a non sequitur. There is a tight connection, they acknowledge, between what a watch is and how it is made; but the connection unravels at the human eye -- or any other organ, disposition, body plan, or strategy -- if only because another and a simpler explanation is available. Among living creatures, say Darwinists, the design persists even as the designer disappears. `Paley's argument,' Dawkins writes, `is made with passionate sincerity and is informed by the best biological scholarship of his day, but it is wrong, gloriously and utterly wrong.' The enormous confidence this quotation expresses must be juxtaposed against the weight of intuition it displaces." (Berlinski D., "The Deniable Darwin," Commentary, Vol. 101, No. 6., June 1996. http://www.arn.org/docs/berlinski/db_deniabledarwin0696.htm) 21/11/2005 "A modern philosopher, Elliott Sober of the University of Wisconsin in his book Philosophy of Biology, explains Hume's reasoning for us in more detail: `Hume believes...we must ask how similar watches and organisms really are. A moment's reflection shows that they are very dissimilar. Watches are made of glass and metal; they do not breathe, excrete, metabolize, or reproduce.... The immediate consequence, of course, is that the design argument is a very weak analogy argument. It is preposterous to infer that organisms have a given property simply because watches happen to have it.' [Sober E., "Philosophy of Biology," Westview Press: Boulder CO, 1993, p.34]. But Sober does not agree with Hume: `Although Hume's criticism is devastating if the design argument is an argument from analogy, I see no reason why the design argument must be construed in this way. Paley's argument about organisms stands on its own, regardless of whether watches and organisms happen to be similar The point of talking about watches is to help the reader see that the argument about organisms is compelling.' [Ibid., pp.34-35] In other words, David Hume thought that the design argument depended on a close similarity in accidental details of biological organisms to other designed objects. But this line of thinking would destroy all analogies, since any two nonidentical objects will differ in more ways than they are similar. For example, by Hume's thinking you could not liken a car to an airplane, even though both are transportation devices, because an airplane has wings and a car does not, and so forth. Sober rejects Hume's thinking because he says the intelligent design argument is really something called an inference to the best explanation. This simply means that, given a choice between the competing explanations of intelligent design versus unguided natural forces, Paley's argument would seem more likely (at least, says Sober, before Darwin came along). Sober's conclusion is fine as far as it goes, but he could also have noted that the argument from analogy is still valid; it was just twisted out of shape by Hume. Analogies always are set up so that they either explicitly or (more frequently) implicitly propose that A is like B in a restricted subset of properties. Rust is like tooth decay in that they both start from small spots and work outward, even though tooth decay takes place in living materials, is caused by bacteria, can be inhibited by fluoride, and so on. A Rube Goldberg machine is like the blood-clotting system in that they are both irreducibly complex, even though they have many differences. In order to reach a conclusion based on an analogy, it is only necessary that the deduction flow out of the shared properties: The irreducibly complex Rube Goldberg machine required an intelligent designer to produce it; therefore the irreducibly complex blood-clotting system required a designer also. Incidentally, even by Hume's criteria, the analogy between a watch and a living organism could be made very strong. Modern biochemistry probably could make a watch, or a time-keeping device, out of biological materials-if not now, then certainly in the near future. Many biochemical systems keep time, including the cells that pace the heart, the system that initiates puberty, and the proteins that tell the cell when to divide. Moreover, biochemical components are known that can act as gears and flexible chains, and feedback mechanisms (which are necessary to regulate a watch) are common in biochemistry. Hume's criticism of the design argument that asserts a fundamental difference between mechanical systems and living systems is out of date, destroyed by the advance of science which has discovered the machinery of life. Sober continues his analysis of Hume: `I now tum to Hume's second criticism of the design argument, which is no more successful than the first...[Hume] contends that if we are to have good reason to think that the organisms in our world are the products of intelligent design, then we must have looked at lots of other worlds and observed intelligent designers producing organisms there. [Ibid., p.35] Hume is criticizing design as an inductive argument. An example of an induction is the argument that because no pigs have ever been observed to fly, pigs in all probability cannot fly. A conclusion of design based on induction would require that we have experience of living things being designed. Hume thinks that since we have not observed such designing in our world, we must look to other worlds for such an experience. Since we have no knowledge of other worlds, however, then we have no experience to make an induction. Sober believes that Hume's argument is invalid because, again, Sober thinks that intelligent design is actually an inference to the best explanation, not an inductive argument. And again Sober is right as far as he goes, but he could have gone furtherough Hume's objection to the inductive argument might have been valid in his day, it has been destroyed by the advance of science. Modern biochemistry routinely designs biochemical systems, which are now known to be the basis of life. Therefore we do have experience in observing the intelligent design of components of life. There have probably been tens of thousands of experiments in which new biochemical systems were put together, and in the future there will be many, many more." (Behe, M.J.*, "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution," Free Press: New York NY, 1996, pp.217-219) 21/11/2005 "The 18th-century clergyman William Paley likened living things to a watch, arguing that the workings of both point to intelligent design. Modern Darwinists disagree with Paley that the perceived design is real, but they do agree that life overwhelms us with the appearance of design. ... The resemblance of parts of life to engineered mechanisms like a watch is enormously stronger than what Reverend Paley imagined. In the past 50 years modern science has shown that the cell, the very foundation of life, is run by machines made of molecules. There are little molecular trucks in the cell to ferry supplies, little outboard motors to push a cell through liquid. In 1998 an issue of the journal Cell was devoted to molecular machines, with articles like `The Cell as a Collection of Protein Machines' and `Mechanical Devices of the Spliceosome: Motors, Clocks, Springs and Things.' Referring to his student days in the 1960's, Bruce Alberts, president of the National Academy of Sciences, wrote that `the chemistry that makes life possible is much more elaborate and sophisticated than anything we students had ever considered.' In fact, Dr. Alberts remarked, the entire cell can be viewed as a factory with an elaborate network of interlocking assembly lines, each of which is composed of a set of large protein machines. He emphasized that the term machine was not some fuzzy analogy; it was meant literally. ...The strong appearance of design allows a disarmingly simple argument: if it looks, walks and quacks like a duck, then, absent compelling evidence to the contrary, we have warrant to conclude it's a duck. Design should not be overlooked simply because it's so obvious." (Behe, M.J.*, "Design for Living," The New York Times, February 7, 2005) 22/11/2005 "MARK RYLAND (DI): Sure, I'd be happy to respond. Let me back up first and say: The Discovery Institute never set out to have a school board, schools, get into this issue. We've never encouraged people to do it, we've never promoted it. We have, unfortunately, gotten sucked into it, because we have a lot of expertise in the issue, that people are interested in. When asked for our opinion, we always tell people: don't teach intelligent design. There's no curriculum developed for it, you're teachers are likely to be hostile towards it, I mean there's just all these good reasons why you should not to go down that path. If you want to do anything, you should teach the evidence for and against Darwin's theory. Teach it dialectically. And despite all the hoopla you've heard today, there is a great deal of -- many, many problems with Darwin's theory, in particular the power of NS and RV to do the astounding things that are attributed to them. .... So that's the background. And what's happened in the foreground was, when it came to the Dover school district, we advised them not to institute the policy they advised. In fact, I personally went and met with them, and actually Richard [Thompson] was there the same day, and they didn't listen to me, that's fine, they can do what they want, I have no power and control over them. But from the start we just disagreed that this was a good place, a good time and place to have this battle -- which is risky, in the sense that there's a potential for rulings that this is somehow unconstitutional." (Ryland M.*, "Discovery Institute and Thomas More Law Center Squabble in AEI Forum," National Center for Science Education, October 23, 2005). 22/11/2005 "When two groups of experts disagree about a controversial subject that intersects the public school curriculum students should learn about both perspectives. In such cases teachers should not teach as true only one competing view, just the Republican or Democratic view of the New Deal in a history class, for example. Instead, teachers should describe competing views to students and explain the arguments for and against these views as made by their chief proponents. Educators call this `teaching the controversy.' Recently, while speaking to the Ohio State Board of Education, I suggested this approach as a way forward for Ohio in its increasingly contentious dispute about how to teach theories of biological origin, and about whether or not to introduce the theory of intelligent design alongside Darwinism in the Ohio biology curriculum. I also proposed a compromise involving three main provisions: (1) First, I suggested--speaking as an advocate of the theory of intelligent design--that Ohio not require students to know the scientific evidence and arguments for the theory of intelligent design, at least not yet. (2) Instead, I proposed that Ohio teachers teach the scientific controversy about Darwinian evolution. Teachers should teach students about the main scientific arguments for and against Darwinian theory. And Ohio should test students for their understanding of those arguments, not for their assent to a point of view. (3) Finally, I argued that the state board should permit, but not require, teachers to tell students about the arguments of scientists, like Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe, who advocate the competing theory of intelligent design." (Meyer S.C., "Te ach the Controversy," Cincinnati Enquirer, March 30, 2002. Discovery Institute-Center for Science and Culture : Seattle WA) 22/11/2005 "In 2001, I offered an amendment to the No Child Left Behind Act concerning science education. The amendment expressed the sense of the Senate `'that good science education should prepare students to distinguish the data or testable theories of science from philosophical or religious claims that are made in the name of science. Where biological evolution is taught, the curriculum should help students to understand why this subject generates so much continuing controversy, and prepare them to be informed participants in public discussions.' My amendment serves as a guide for those implementing education policy. It does not force schools to teach a certain curriculum. In the science classroom, public schools should not teach intelligent design and they should certainly not teach biblical creationism. Rather, my amendment encourages educators to help students distinguish theory from fact. On June 13, 2001, the Senate approved my amendment by an overwhelming, bipartisan vote of 91-8 and the amendment was included in the conference report accompanying the No Child Left Behind Act." (Santorum R., "A Balanced Approach to Teach Evolution," The Morning Call, January 23, 2005. Discovery Institute News) 22/11/2005 "It is not sufficient any longer to listen at the end of a wire to the rustlings of galaxies; it is not enough even to examine the great coil of DNA in which is coded the very alphabet of life. These are our extended perceptions. But beyond lies the great darkness of the ultimate Dreamer, who dreamed the light and the galaxies. Before act was, or substance existed, imagination grew in the dark. Man partakes of that ultimate wonder and creativeness. As we turn from the galaxies to the swarming cells of our own being, which toil for something, some entity beyond their grasp, let us remember man, the self-fabricator who came across an ice age to look into the mirrors and the magic of science. Surely he did not come to see himself or his wild visage only. He came because he is at heart a listener and a searcher for some transcendent realm beyond himself. This he has worshiped by many names, even in the dismal caves of his beginning. Man, the self- fabricator, is so by reason of gifts he had no part in devising-and so he searches as the single living cell in the beginning must have sought the ghostly creature it was to serve." (Eiseley L.C., "The Hidden Teacher," in The Unexpected Universe," Harcourt, Brace & World: New York NY, 1969, p.55) 23/11/2005 "The sovereignty of God is strongly emphasized in Scripture. He is represented as the Creator, and His will as the cause of all things. In virtue of His creative work heaven and earth and all that they contain belong to Him. He is clothed with absolute authority over the hosts of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth. He upholds all things with His almighty power, and determines the ends which they are destined to serve. He rules as King in the most absolute sense of the word, and all things are dependent on Him and subservient to Him. There is a wealth of Scripture evidence for the sovereignty of God, but we limit our references here to a few of the most significant passages: Gen. 14:19; Ex. 18:11; Deut. 10:14,17; I Chron. 29:11,12; II Chron. 20:6; Neh. 9:6; Ps. 22:28; 47:2,3,7,8; Ps. 50:10-12; 95:3-5; 115:3; 135:5,6; 145:11-13; Jer. 27:5; Luke 1:53; Acts 17:24-26; Rev. 19:6. Two attributes call for discussion under this head, namely (1) the sovereign will of God, and (2) the sovereign power of God." (Berkhof L.*, "Systematic Theology," , Banner of Truth: London, British Edition, 1958, Third printing, 1966, p.76) 23/11/2005 "The Scriptures abundantly teach that God is sovereign in the universe: `Indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Thine is the dominion, O Lord' (1 Chron. 29:11); `But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases' (Ps. 115:3); `Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker-an earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, 'What are you doing?' Or the things you are making say, 'He has no hands'?' (Isa. 45:9); `Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die' (Ezek. 18:4) ; `All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, 'What hast Thou done?'' (Dan. 4:35); and `Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own?' (Matt. 20:15; cf. Rom. 9:14-21; 11:36; Eph. 1:11; 1 Tim. 6:15f.; Rev. 4:11). God's sovereignty involves preservation and providence." (Thiessen H.C.* & Doerksen V.D.*, "Lectures in Systematic Theology," , Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, Revised, 1977, p.119) 24/11/2005 "1. What is the theory of intelligent design? The scientific theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection. Note: Intelligent design theory does NOT claim that science can determine the identity of the intelligent cause. Nor does it claim that the intelligent cause must be a `divine being' or a `higher power' or an `all-powerful force.' All it proposes is that science can identify whether certain features of the natural world are the products of intelligence." (Crowther R.*, "Discovery Institute gives overview of intelligent design," Baptist Press, December 17, 2004) 24/11/2005 "2. Is intelligent design theory the same as creationism? No. Intelligent design theory is simply an effort to empirically detect whether the `apparent design' in nature acknowledged by virtually all biologists is genuine design (the product of an intelligent cause) or is simply the product of an undirected process such as natural selection acting on random variations. Creationism is focused on defending a literal reading of the Genesis account, usually including the creation of the earth by the biblical God a few thousand years ago. Unlike creationism, the scientific theory of intelligent design is agnostic regarding the source of design and has no commitment to defending Genesis, the Bible or any other sacred text." (Crowther R.*, "Discovery Institute gives overview of intelligent design," Baptist Press, December 17, 2004) 24/11/2005 "3. Is intelligent design theory incompatible with evolution? It depends on what one means by the word `evolution.' If one simply means `change over time,' or even that living things are related by common ancestry, then there is no inherent conflict between evolutionary theory and intelligent design theory. However, the dominant theory of evolution today is neo-Darwinism, which contends that evolution is driven by natural selection acting on random mutations, a purposeless process that `has no specific direction or goal, including survival of a species.' In biology, it is this specific claim made by neo-Darwinism that intelligent design theory directly challenges." (Crowther R.*, "Discovery Institute gives overview of intelligent design," Baptist Press, December 17, 2004) "4. Is intelligent design based on the Bible? No. The intellectual roots of intelligent design theory are varied. Plato and Aristotle both articulated early versions of design theory, as did virtually all of the founders of modern science. Indeed, most scientists until the latter part of the 19th century accepted some form of design. The scientific community largely rejected design in the early 20th century after neo-Darwinism claimed to be able to explain the emergence of biological complexity through the unintelligent process of natural selection acting on random mutations. However, new research and discoveries in such fields as physics, cosmology, biochemistry, genetics and paleontology have caused a growing number of scientists and science theorists to question neo-Darwinism and propose design as the best explanation for the existence of specified complexity in the natural world." (Crowther R.*, "Discovery Institute gives overview of intelligent design," Baptist Press, December 17, 2004) 24/11/2005 "5. Are there established scholars in the scientific community who support intelligent design theory? Yes. Intelligent design theory is supported by doctoral scientists, researchers and theorists at a number of universities, colleges and research institutes around the world. These scholars include biochemist Michael Behe at Lehigh University, microbiologist Scott Minnich at the University of Idaho, biologist Paul Chien at the University of San Francisco, emeritus biologist Dean Kenyon at San Francisco State University, mathematician William Dembski at Baylor University (who will join the faculty of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary next year) and quantum chemist Henry Schaefer at the University of Georgia, among others." (Crowther R.*, "Discovery Institute gives overview of intelligent design," Baptist Press, December 17, 2004) 24/11/2005 "6. Do scientists supportive of design publish peer-reviewed articles and research? Yes. Although open hostility from those who hold to neo-Darwinism sometimes makes it difficult for design scholars to gain a fair hearing for their ideas, research and articles by intelligent design scholars are being published in peer- reviewed publications. Dr. Stephen Meyer has published an article supportive of design in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington (a peer-reviewed biology journal published at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution). Biochemist Michael Behe has defended the idea of `irreducible complexity' in the peer-reviewed journal Philosophy of Science, as well as publishing research critical of the mechanism of neo-Darwinism in the peer-reviewed journal Protein Science. Examples of peer- reviewed books supporting design include `The Design Inference' (Cambridge University Press) by William Dembski and `Darwinism, Design, and Public Education' (Michigan State University Press)." (Crowther R.*, "Discovery Institute gives overview of intelligent design," Baptist Press, December 17, 2004) 24/11/2005 "7. Should public schools require the teaching of intelligent design? No. Instead of mandating intelligent design, the Discovery Institute recommends that states and school districts focus on teaching students more about evolutionary theory, including telling them about some of the theory's problems that have been discussed in peer-reviewed science journals. In other words, evolution should be taught as a scientific theory that is open to critical scrutiny, not as a sacred dogma that can't be questioned." (Crowther R.*, "Discovery Institute gives overview of intelligent design," Baptist Press, December 17, 2004) 24/11/2005 "8. Is teaching about intelligent design unconstitutional? Although the Discovery Institute does not advocate requiring the teaching of intelligent design in public schools, it does believe there is nothing unconstitutional about discussing the scientific theory of design in the classroom. In addition, the Discovery Institute opposes efforts to persecute individual teachers who may wish to discuss the scientific debate over design in a pedagogically appropriate manner." (Crowther R., "Discovery Institute gives overview of intelligent design," Baptist Press, December 17, 2004) 24/11/2005 "9. What is the Discovery Institute and the Center for Science and Culture? The non-profit, non-partisan Discovery Institute is a policy and research organization, or secular think tank, with programs on a variety of issues, including regional transportation development, economics and technology policy, legal reform, bioethics, science and culture. The institute's founder and president is Bruce Chapman, who has a long history in public policy at both the national and regional levels. Chapman is a former director of the United States Census Bureau and a past American ambassador to the United Nations Organizations in Vienna, Austria. The Center for Science and Culture, on the Web at www.discovery.org/csc, has more than 40 fellows, including biologists, biochemists, chemists, physicists, philosophers and historians of science, and public policy and legal experts, many of whom have affiliations with colleges and universities. Challenges to various aspects of neo-Darwinian theory and advocacy of the scientific theory known as intelligent design are being advanced by institute-supported scholars. The center also encourages schools to improve science education by teaching students more about the theory of evolution. Discovery Institute board members and fellows represent a variety of religious traditions, including mainline Protestant, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish and agnostic. Until recently, the chairman of Discovery's board of directors was former Congressman John Miller, who is Jewish. Although it is not a religious organization, the institute has a long record of supporting religious liberty and the legitimate role of faith-based institutions in a pluralistic society. In fact, it sponsored a program for several years for college students to teach them the importance of religious liberty and the separation of church and state." (Crowther R.*, "Discovery Institute gives overview of intelligent design," Baptist Press, December 17, 2004) 24/11/2005 "The first misunderstanding is that intelligent design is based on religion rather than science. Design theory is a scientific inference based on empirical evidence, not religious texts. The theory proposes that some features of the natural world are best explained as the product of an intelligent cause as opposed to an undirected process such as natural selection. Although controversial, design theory is supported by a growing number of scientists in scientific journals, conference proceedings and books. While intelligent design may have religious implications (just like Darwin's theory), it does not start from religious premises." (West J.G.*, "Intelligent design is sorely misunderstood," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 9, 2005) 24/11/2005 "A second misunderstanding is that proponents of intelligent design theory are crusading to have it required in public schools. In fact, they are doing the opposite. Discovery Institute, the main research organization supporting ID scholars, opposes efforts to mandate intelligent design. Attempts to mandate teaching about intelligent design only politicize the theory and will hinder fair and open discussion of the merits of the theory among scholars and within the scientific community." (West J.G.*, "Intelligent design is sorely misunderstood," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 9, 2005) 24/11/2005 "A third misunderstanding is that there are widespread efforts to mandate the teaching of design. In reality, what most states are considering is not teaching design but teaching the weaknesses as well as the strengths of modern Darwinian theory. This is the approach adopted in the science standards of Ohio, Minnesota and New Mexico. It's also the approach under consideration by the Kansas State Board of Education, which earlier this year heard testimony critical of Darwin's theory from professors of biology, genetics and biochemistry. While scholars supporting ID are not seeking to impose their views, opponents have tried to silence critics of Darwin's theory using coercion and intimidation. At George Mason University, a biology professor was banned recently from teaching about intelligent design in her classes. At the Smithsonian Institution, the editor of a biology journal says he faced discrimination and retaliation after accepting for publication a pro-ID article. Supporters of intelligent design are willing to disavow misguided efforts to impose it by government fiat. Defenders of Darwinism likewise need to reject efforts to enforce their views by trampling on academic freedom.The validity of intelligent design should be decided through fair and open debate, not through legislation enacted by its friends or witch hunts conducted by its foes." (West, J.G.*, "Intelligent design is sorely misunderstood," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 9, 2005) 26/11/2005 Luke 21:24-32 (NIV) " They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.  `There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.  Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.  At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.'  He told them this parable: `Look at the fig tree and all the trees.  When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near.  Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.  I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.'" 26/11/2005 "Although many details remain to be worked out, it is already evident that all the objective phenomena of the history of life can be explained by purely materialistic factors. They are readily explicable on the basis of differential reproduction in populations (the main factor in the modern conception of natural selection) and of the mainly random interplay of the known processes of heredity. ... Man is the result of a purposeless and materialistic process that did not have him in mind. He was not planned." (Simpson, G.G., "The Meaning of Evolution: A Study of the History of Life and of its Significance for Man," , Yale University Press: New Haven CT, 1960, reprint, pp.343-344) 26/11/2005 "What Is Intelligent Design? The dominant view in science today is naturalistic evolution, which claims that the universe is the result of an unguided, undirected process, explainable strictly in terms of chance and natural law. Design theory proposes a third cause--intelligent design--and claims that evidence for design in the universe can be detected empirically. Here's a summary of the major positions that fall under this category: THEISTIC EVOLUTION: Many versions of theistic evolution reject design, and are identical scientifically to naturalistic evolution. But some versions propose that design was `frontloaded' into the initial conditions of the universe and its laws, so that creation would unfold over time in the way God intended. OLD-AGE or PROGRESSIVE CREATION: God guided the process of development, injecting information at key stages in the development of the universe and life to design new forms of organization. YOUNG-AGE CREATION: God created the universe and the major life forms within a short period of time (some say six literal days), about 10,000 (rather than billions of) years ago." (Pearcey, N.R., "We're Not in Kansas Anymore," Christianity Today, May 22, 2000, Vol. 44, No. 6, p.42. Emphasis orignal) 26/11/2005 "The Firing Line program (hosted by William F. Buckley, Jr) featured eight debaters on the creation/evolution issue. At one stage in this debate, Barry Lynn (Executive Director for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, and a lawyer and minister in the United Church of Christ) held up my book D is for Dinosaur. He turned to Phillip Johnson (Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley, and a well-known speaker and writer on philosophical issues relating to origins) and said: `This book is widely distributed in creationist circles and used in schools, home schools, and religious schools... Here's a little picture. `Man and dinosaur. Adam wasn't scared to watch dinosaurs eat because all the creatures ate plants and not meat.' `Now do you think that's good biology? ... I want you to tell us if you think that this is not so silly and dangerous kind of idea to plant in the hands of high-school students that in fact the Flintstones are some kind of documentary.' 'Well,' Johnson replied, 'The kind of thing you're encouraging certainly is silly, just almost as silly as the work of [evolutionist] Richard Dawkins.' It was also sad to hear 'creationist' Johnson remark in the midst of this discussion: `And in fact I have said on many occasions and have urged persons of the conservative Christian community to put aside the whole Bible issues and let us ask the question: What is actually known from scientific evidence as opposed to materialist philosophy about the claims of evolution?' Now, where in the Bible does it ever say that Christians should put aside 'Bible issues'? In fact, Christianity is a whole way of thinking based on the foundation of God's revealed Word! Answers in Genesis stands on the foundation that we should not put aside the Bible in what we say and write ... [When you hear someone say this `I would encourage Christians to put aside the Bible issues and argue against evolution using only the known scientific facts' This is what they are REALLY saying! `Christians should put aside God's infallible Word and instead, use man's fallible wisdom to fight man's fallible wisdom.' ]" (Ham, K., "Creation books are 'dangerous'!," Answers in Genesis Prayer News," Creation Science Foundation: Brisbane QLD, August 1998, p.1. Words in square brackets are not in webbed version) 26/11/2005 "Ken Ham is president of Answers in Genesis, a Kentucky-based ministry that equips Christians to defend the biblical account of creation. Ham says Christians must realize that intelligent design is not the same as creationism. `The intelligent design movement is not a Christian movement,' he says. `They're not all about the Bible; they don't tell you who this is "intelligence" is.' And because of that, he is concerned that students who start to believe in an unidentified `intelligence' could easily be `directed to a Muslim god or a Hindu god or a New Age god or whatever.' Ham also urges Christians to understand that the intelligent design movement is not against evolution. `They're not against evolutionary geology, they're not against evolutionary biology or evolutionary astronomy or evolutionary anthropology,' he says. Still, the Answers in Genesis leader says he is encouraged that many school districts are considering teaching intelligent design or creationism alongside the theory of evolution when students are taught about the origin of life. As a result, he says, `more and more people are becoming informed." (Martin, A. & Brown, J., "Ken Ham: Intelligent Design Not 'Christian' - but Not a Bad Thing Either," Agape Press, October 18, 2005) 26/11/2005 "IN the wake of the recent lawsuits over the teaching of Darwinian evolution, there has been a rush to debate the merits of the rival theory of intelligent design. As one of the scientists who have proposed design as an explanation for biological systems, I have found widespread confusion about what intelligent design is and what it is not. First, what it isn't: the theory of intelligent design is not a religiously based idea, even though devout people opposed to the teaching of evolution cite it in their arguments. For example, a critic recently caricatured intelligent design as the belief that if evolution occurred at all it could never be explained by Darwinian natural selection and could only have been directed at every stage by an omniscient creator. That's misleading. Intelligent design proponents do question whether random mutation and natural selection completely explain the deep structure of life. But they do not doubt that evolution occurred. And intelligent design itself says nothing about the religious concept of a creator." (Behe, M.J.*, "Design for Living," The New York Times, February 7, 2005) 26/11/2005 "Rather, the contemporary argument for intelligent design is based on physical evidence and a straightforward application of logic. The argument for it consists of four linked claims. The first claim is uncontroversial: we can often recognize the effects of design in nature. For example, unintelligent physical forces like plate tectonics and erosion seem quite sufficient to account for the origin of the Rocky Mountains. Yet they are not enough to explain Mount Rushmore. Of course, we know who is responsible for Mount Rushmore, but even someone who had never heard of the monument could recognize it as designed." (Behe, M.J.*, "Design for Living," The New York Times, February 7, 2005) 26/11/2005 "Which leads to the second claim of the intelligent design argument: the physical marks of design are visible in aspects of biology. This is uncontroversial, too. The 18th-century clergyman William Paley likened living things to a watch, arguing that the workings of both point to intelligent design. Modern Darwinists disagree with Paley that the perceived design is real, but they do agree that life overwhelms us with the appearance of design. For example, Francis Crick, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, once wrote that biologists must constantly remind themselves that what they see was not designed but evolved. (Imagine a scientist repeating through clenched teeth: "It wasn't really designed. Not really.") The resemblance of parts of life to engineered mechanisms like a watch is enormously stronger than what Reverend Paley imagined. In the past 50 years modern science has shown that the cell, the very foundation of life, is run by machines made of molecules. There are little molecular trucks in the cell to ferry supplies, little outboard motors to push a cell through liquid. In 1998 an issue of the journal Cell was devoted to molecular machines, with articles like "The Cell as a Collection of Protein Machines" and "Mechanical Devices of the Spliceosome: Motors, Clocks, Springs and Things." Referring to his student days in the 1960's, Bruce Alberts, president of the National Academy of Sciences, wrote that "the chemistry that makes life possible is much more elaborate and sophisticated than anything we students had ever considered." In fact, Dr. Alberts remarked, the entire cell can be viewed as a factory with an elaborate network of interlocking assembly lines, each of which is composed of a set of large protein machines. He emphasized that the term machine was not some fuzzy analogy; it was meant literally.." (Behe, M.J.*, "Design for Living," The New York Times, February 7, 2005) 26/11/2005 "The next claim in the argument for design is that we have no good explanation for the foundation of life that doesn't involve intelligence. Here is where thoughtful people part company. Darwinists assert that their theory can explain the appearance of design in life as the result of random mutation and natural selection acting over immense stretches of time. Some scientists, however, think the Darwinists' confidence is unjustified. They note that although natural selection can explain some aspects of biology, there are no research studies indicating that Darwinian processes can make molecular machines of the complexity we find in the cell. Scientists skeptical of Darwinian claims include many who have no truck with ideas of intelligent design, like those who advocate an idea called complexity theory, which envisions life self-organizing in roughly the same way that a hurricane does, and ones who think organisms in some sense can design themselves." (Behe, M.J.*, "Design for Living," The New York Times, February 7, 2005) 26/11/2005 "The fourth claim in the design argument is also controversial: in the absence of any convincing non-design explanation, we are justified in thinking that real intelligent design was involved in life. To evaluate this claim, it's important to keep in mind that it is the profound appearance of design in life that everyone is laboring to explain, not the appearance of natural selection or the appearance of self-organization. The strong appearance of design allows a disarmingly simple argument: if it looks, walks and quacks like a duck, then, absent compelling evidence to the contrary, we have warrant to conclude it's a duck. Design should not be overlooked simply because it's so obvious." (Behe, M.J.*, "Design for Living," The New York Times, February 7, 2005) 26/11/2005 "Still, some critics claim that science by definition can't accept design, while others argue that science should keep looking for another explanation in case one is out there. But we can't settle questions about reality with definitions, nor does it seem useful to search relentlessly for a non-design explanation of Mount Rushmore. Besides, whatever special restrictions scientists adopt for themselves don't bind the public, which polls show, overwhelmingly, and sensibly, thinks that life was designed. And so do many scientists who see roles for both the messiness of evolution and the elegance of design." (Behe, M.J.*, "Design for Living," The New York Times, February 7, 2005) 26/11/2005 "Darwin's early scientific experience was primarily as a geologist, and much of what he had to say about the nature of the fossil record ... was an accurate and insightful early contribution to our understanding of the vagaries of deposition and the preservation of fossils. But his [Origin of Species] Chapter 9 (first edition) on the imperfections of the geological record is one long ad hoc, special-pleading argument designed to rationalize, to flat-out explain away, the differences between what he saw as logical predictions derived from his theory and the facts of the fossil record." (Eldredge N., "Time Frames: The Rethinking of Darwinian Evolution and the Theory of Punctuated Equilibria", Simon & Schuster: New York NY, 1985, pp.27-28) 26/11/2005 "The phrase `survival of the fittest' was not coined by Darwin. He took it over from Herbert Spencer, apparently considering it an improvement on his own natural selection.[Barzun J., "Darwin, Marx, Wagner,' Doubleday, 2nd ed., 1958, p.76] It immediately became an integral part of classical Darwinism, much to the embarrassment of modern adherents. Survival of the fittest has suffered the same blight as its companion shibboleth, struggle-for-existence. It is politically unacceptable. It smells of Hitler, of the laissez-faire economists, of savage competition and devil take the hindmost. The biologists, sorry that it was ever mentioned, do their best to forget it. Smith, Huxley, and Eiseley say not a word about it. Hardin, whose political passions sometimes warp his scientific judgment, mentions it briefly, but even he puts quotation marks around the word fittest. [Hardin G., "Nature and Man's Fate," Mentor, 1961, p.57.] I had to look far beyond my paperbacks to find out what had happened. I discovered that the phrase had been discredited long before the political blight descended upon it. [Mayr E., "Animal Species and Evolution," Harvard University Press, 1963, p.183] Very early, so early that I cannot ascertain the date, someone asked how we determine who are the fittest. The answer came back that we determine this by the test of survival; there is no other criterion. But this means that a species survives because it is the fittest and is the fittest because it survives, which is circular reasoning and equivalent to saying that whatever is, is fit. The gist is that some survive and some die, but we knew this at the outset. Nothing has been explained." (Macbeth N., "Darwin Retried: An Appeal to Reason," Gambit: Boston MA, 1971, pp.62-63. Emphasis original) 26/11/2005 "John Thomas Scopes (August 3, 1900 - October 21, 1970), a teacher in Dayton, Tennessee at the age of 24, was charged on May 25, 1925 with violating Tennessee's Butler Act, which prohibited the teaching of evolution in Tennessee schools. Contrary to the impression created in various versions of Inherit the Wind, Scopes was actually born and raised in Paducah, Kentucky, but as a teenager attended Danville High School in Danville, Illinois (Danville High was also the first school he taught at shortly before he moved to Dayton), and did not move to Dayton until after he had gained a law degree at the University of Kentucky in 1924. In Dayton he took a job as the Rhea County High School's football coach, and occasionally filled in as substitute teacher when regular members of staff were off work. Scopes' involvement in the so-called Monkey Trial came about after The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced that it would finance a test case challenging its constitutionality of the Butler Act if they could find a Tennessee teacher was put on trial for violating the statute. A group of businessmen in Dayton, Tennessee, led by mine manager George Rappelyea, saw this as an opportunity to get publicity for their town and approached Scopes, who was the football coach and who had substituted for the principal in the school's science class. Rappelyea pointed out that while the Butler Act prohibited the teaching of evolution, the state required teachers to use the assigned textbook - Hunter's Civic Biology - which included a chapter on evolution. Rappelyea argued that teachers were essentially required to break the law. When asked about the test case Scopes was initially reluctant to get involved, but after some discussion he told the group gathered in Robinson's Drugstore, `If you can prove that I've taught evolution and that I can qualify as a defendant, then I'll be willing to stand trial.' In the so-called Scopes Monkey Trial, the defense team included Clarence Darrow, Dudley Field Malone, John Neal, Arthur Garfield Hays and Frank McElwee, whilst the prosecution team, led by Tom Stewart, also included brothers Herbert and Sue Hicks, Wallace Haggard, and father and son pairings Ben and J. Gordon McKenzie and William Jennings Bryan and William Jennings Bryan Jr. Bryan had spoken at Scopes' high school commencement and remembered the defendant laughing while Bryan was giving the address to Scopes' graduating class six years earlier. The case ended with a guilty verdict, and Scopes was given a $100 fine, which Bryan and the ACLU offered to pay. The case was appealed to the Tennesee Supreme Court which found the Butler Act constitutional, but overturned Scopes conviction on a technicality; the judge had set the fine instead of the jury. The Butler Act remained until 1967 when it was repealed by the Tennessee legislature. Ironically, in reality Scopes never taught evolution and was therefore innocent of the crime to which his name is inexorably linked. After the trial Scopes admitted to reporter William K. Hutchinson `I didn't violate the law,' explaining he had skipped the evolution lesson and his lawyers had coached his students to go on the stand: the Dayton businessmen had assumed he had violated the law. Hutchinson did not file his story until after the Scopes appeal was decided in 1927. Scopes also admitted the truth to the wife of the Modernist minister Charles Francis Potter. Scopes was not allowed to take the stand at his trial for fear he would reveal his ignorance and turned down a $50,000 offer to lecture on evolution on the vaudeville stage because he did not know enough about the subject. After the trial, Scopes went to the University of Chicago, where he received a master's degree in geology. After that he was mainly employed by the oil industry, in both the United States and Venezuela. He died at the age of 70, probably from a stroke. He is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in Paducah, Kentucky. John Scopes wrote an autobiography entitled Center of the Storm: Memoirs of John T. Scopes. (Henry Holt & Company, Inc.-June 1967) ..." ("John T. Scopes," Wikipedia, 15 November 2005) 26/11/2005 "A Pennsylvania school district sued by the ACLU for a controversial change to its biology curriculum sought judgment in its favor in federal court. The Dover Area School District, represented by the Thomas More Law Center, became the first in the nation officially to inform biology students of the theory of intelligent design as an alternative to Darwin's theory of Evolution. The new policy requires teachers to read a one-minute statement at the beginning of biology classes explaining evolution is a theory that continues to be tested and informing students of alternatives. As WorldNetDaily reported, the American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the new policy in a federal lawsuit, although it decided not to go forward with a request for a temporary restraining order to block its implementation at the beginning of the school term this year. Teachers said they would not read the required statement, but the assistant superintendent carried out the reading Jan. 26 to two biology classes at Dover High School. . The school provided an opt-out, allowing students to join teachers in the hall outside the classroom when the statement was being read, but only 15 out of 170 made that choice. The Thomas More Law Center, which filed papers in federal court Thursday, said that contrary to many press accounts, the school district is not teaching intelligent design, creationism or religious doctrine in its biology class, as its policy expressly forbids that. The school district is teaching the Darwinian theory of evolution pursuant to state standards, insists Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel for the Law Center. `This minor change to Dover's science curriculum was simply a modest step by a small-town school board to improve the science education of its students,' he said. `This controversy is nothing more than a tempest in a teapot.' Thompson said the America's founders `would be astonished at the thought that this simple curriculum change 'established religion' in violation of the Constitution that they drafted.' The ACLU, along with Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, filed the lawsuit in December arguing intelligent design theory is inherently religious. `It is ironic that the ACLU after having worked so hard to prevent the suppression of Darwin's theory in the Scopes trial, is now doing everything it can to suppress any effort to challenge it,' said Thompson." ("ACLU fights 1-minute statement: District wants students informed that alternatives exist," WorldNetDaily, July 16, 2005) 27/11/2005 "Nature created a rotary motor with a diameter of 30 nm. Motility of bacteria, such as Salmonella and E. coli with a body size of 1 ~ 2 micron, is driven by rapid rotation of a helical propeller by such a tiny little motor at its base. This organelle is called the flagellum, made of a rotary motor and a thin helical filament that grows up to about 15 micron. It rotates at around 20,000 rpm, at energy consumption of only around 10^-16 W and with energy conversion efficiency close to 100%. Prof. Namba's research group is going to reveal the mechanism of this highly efficient flagellar motor that is far beyond the capabilities of artificial motors. The flagellum is made by self-assembly of about 25 different proteins. The rotor ring made of protein FliF is the first to assemble in the cytoplasmic membrane. Then, other protein molecules attach to the ring one after another from the base to the tip to construct the motor structure. After the motor has been formed, the flagellar filament, which functions as a helical propeller, is assembled. Precise recognition of the template structure by component proteins allows this highly ordered self-assembly process to proceed without error. The flagellar filament is made of 20,000 to 30,000 copies of flagellin polymerized into a helical tube structure. Flagellin molecules are transported through a long narrow central channel of the flagellum from the cell interior to the distal end of the flagellum, where they self-assemble in a helical manner by the help of a cap complex. The cap is pentameric complex made of HAP2 and has a pentagonal plate and five leg domains, whose flexible stepping movements accompanied by rotation of the whole cap is the key mechanism to promote the efficient self-assembly of flagellin molecules by preparing just one binding site of flagellin at a time and guiding the binding. Even though the filament is a polymer of chemically identical molecules, it conforms a supercoiled structure. By using electron cryomicroscopy and X-ray fiber diffraction, Prof. Namba's group has discovered that the flagellar filament consists of 11 strands of protofilaments with two slightly different conformations, named L and R types. The repeat distance observed in the structure of the L-type protofilament is 5.27 nm, while it is 5.19 nm in the Rtype, the difference being only 0.08 nm. The mixture of protofilaments with the different lengths produces the helical tube structure of the filament. Bacterial cells swim actively by rotating a bundle of flagella. The motor switches its direction every few seconds to change the swimming direction of the cells for bacteria to seek better environments. Reversal of the motor rotation causes a structural change of the flagellar filament from the left-handed to the righthanded helical form. This makes the flagellar bundle fall apart, propelling force imbalanced, leading to changes of the swimming direction. The switch that triggers this change in the helical form of the filament has been found in the atomic structure of flagellin obtained by X-ray crystallographic analysis. When the twisting force produced by quick reversal of the motor rotation is transmitted to the protofilaments, part of flagellin undergoes a slight change in its conformation, thereby making a few of the 11 protofilament strands transform from the L-type into the R-type. As a result, normally left-handed flagellar filament turns into right-handed helical forms. Prof. Namba's group tried to understand the switching mechanism responsible for these structural changes. To analyze the structure in atomic detail by X-ray crystallography, flagellin had to be crystallized. However, its strong tendency of polymerization made the crystallization difficult. It took ten years for them to finally crystallize flagellin and analyze the structure to find out the switch mechanism, for which a super brilliant X-ray beam from SPring-8 beamlines was essential. Prof. Namba first saw an electron micrograph of the bacterial flagellum and its motor when he was a graduate student. He was surprised to see such complex and sophisticated structure exist in living organisms. It impressed him deep enough to switch his research from muscle to flagella after a while. `Looking at the shape of the flagellar basal body, it is obviously designed to rotate. Looking at a picture of the flagellar motor on the wall every day, I feel up towards revealing the mystery by any means.' The design concepts of protein molecules to realize various functional mechanisms by their three-dimensional architecture are quite different from those we design by our engineering technique with bulk materials. Folding of single polymer chain into some three-dimensional structures gives a huge amount of freedom and flexibility in both function and structure. Individual atoms are used as functional parts, and this is the essential feature that makes biological macromolecules distinct from artificial machines at present. The design concepts have to be well understood and learned for future nanotechnology applications. So far, for the flagellar motor, the deeper our insights get into the mechanism, the deeper the mystery becomes. Now the mystery of conformational switching of the filament has been solved, and in terms of the number of protein molecules, the filament makes up 99% of the entire flagellum, it does not mean 99% of the mystery is solved. It is the motor mechanism that is even more difficult to understand. When Prof. Namba's group attached a 40 nm fluorescence bead to the flagellar motor and observed the motor rotation, the group was surprised to see large and rapid fluctuations of the rotation speed. The key to revealing the mystery of the motor must be hidden behind the thermal fluctuation of the protein structure, which is still so far from understanding. `The atoms constituting proteins do fluctuate but the average positions of individual atoms are very precisely determined with an accuracy of sub-angstrom level. That is why individual proteins can properly identify partner molecules to bind and get assembled into the higher order structures of living organisms. The fluctuations of protein structure, that's what makes living organisms function in such sophisticated and well regulated ways. I am willing to dedicate my entire life to the hard work unveiling the mysterious world of protein structure and function." (Ishiguro K., "Revealing the mystery of the bacterial flagellum: A self- assembling nanomachine with fine switching capability," Interview of Keiichi Namba, Japan Nanonet Bulletin, No. 11, February 5, 2004. http://www.nanonet.go.jp/english/mailmag/2004/011a.html) 27/11/2005 "Men are reluctant to pass over from the notion of an abstract and negative deity to the living God. I do not wonder. Here lies the deepest tap-root of Pantheism and of the objection to traditional imagery. It was hated not, at bottom, because it pictured Him as man but because it pictured Him as king, or even as warrior. The Pantheist's God does nothing, demands nothing. He is there if you wish for Him, like a book on a shelf. He will not pursue you. There is no danger that at any time heaven and earth should flee away at His glance. If He were the truth, then we could really say that all the Christian images of kingship were a historical accident of which our religion ought to be cleansed. It is with a shock that we discover them to be indispensable. You have had a shock like that before, in connection with smaller matters-when the line pulls at your hand, when something breathes beside you in the darkness. So here; the shock comes at the precise moment when the thrill of life, is communicated to us along the clue we have been following. It is always shocking to meet life where we thought we were alone. `Look out!' we cry, `it's alive.' And therefore this is the very point at which so many draw back-I would have done so myself if I could-and proceed no further with Christianity. An ` impersonal God `-well and good. A subjective God of beauty, truth and goodness, inside our own heads-better still. A formless life-force surging through us, a vast power which we can tap-best of all. But God Himself, alive, pulling at the other end of the cord, perhaps approaching at an infinite speed, the hunter, king, husband-that is quite another matter. There comes a moment when the children who have been playing at burglars hush suddenly: was that a real footstep in the hall? There comes a moment when people who have been dabbling in religion (`Man's search for God'!) suddenly draw back. Supposing we really found Him? We never meant it to come to that! Worse still, supposing He had found us?" (Lewis C.S.*, "Miracles: A Preliminary Study," , Fontana: London, 1960, Revised edition, 1963, reprint, pp.97-98. Emphasis original) 28/11/2005 "The writers of the Bible conveyed to their contemporaries the message of God, and their only way was to use the languages and customs of their time. Therefore, it is unreasonable to expect Moses to describe creation in twentieth-century scientific language. Nonetheless, the Genesis account is historical, depicting what actually transpired in history. This is clearly evident in the eleven tablets, each ending with `These are the names [generations, decendants] of ...' found in the first 36 chapters of Genesis. The contents are linked together to form a roughly chronological account of primeval and patriarchal life (i.e. Gen. 1:1-2:4; 2:5-5.2; 5:36.9a; 6:9b-10:1; 10:2-11:10a; 11:10b-27a; 11:27b-25:12; 25:13-19a; 25:19b-36:10; 36:236:9; and 36:10-37:2) (1, 2)." (Pun P.P.T., "Evolution: Nature and Scripture in Conflict?," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1982, p.251) 28/11/2005 "WHEN ONE ponders on the tremendous journey of evolution over the past three billion years or so, the prodigious wealth of structures it has engendered, and the extraordinarily effective teleonomic performances of living beings, from bacteria to man, one may well find oneself beginning to doubt again whether all this could conceivably be the product of an enormous lottery presided over by natural selection, blindly picking the rare winners from among numbers drawn at utter random. While one's conviction may be restored by a detailed review of the accumulated modern evidence that this conception alone is compatible with the facts (notably with the molecular mechanisms of replication, mutation, and translation), it affords no synthetic, intuitive, and immediate grasp of the vast sweep of evolution. The miracle stands `explained'; it does not strike us as any less miraculous. As Francois Mauriac wrote, `What this professor says is far more incredible than what we poor Christians believe.' This is true ... But we also know that such difficulties cannot be taken as arguments against a theory which is vouched for by experiment and logic." (Monod J., "Chance and Necessity: An Essay on the Natural Philosophy of Modern Biology," , Penguin: London, 1997, reprint, pp.138-139) 28/11/2005 "Each evolution that we know about in some detail (genesis of amphibians, reptiles, mammals, history of the various orders of mammals, and so on) forces us to admit that a phenomenon whose equivalent cannot be seen in the creatures living at the present time (either because it is not there, or because we are unable to see it) occurs in the course of it. For this phenomenon the cell is both the instrument and the effector; it paves the way for the evolution of living things. It does so in accordance with the influence exerted on the organism by external factors and by certain internal ones connected with the chemistry of living things. Recourse to internal factors to account for evolution has been attempted by numerous theorists, whether convinced Darwinians or more or less faithful disciples of Lamarck. Among the former, two names are outstanding, Roux (1881) and Weismann (1896, 1902). Staunch Darwinians, they enlarge the area in which competition (i.e., selection) takes place to include the molecule and the organs that constitute a living being. ... Weismann, the purest of the pure among Darwinians and a relentless foe of Lamarckianism, but a scientist of unquestionable honesty and objectivity, acknowledged and publicly denounced the weaknesses of the doctrine. ... Weismann imagines that natural selection operates at three levels: between individuals (Darwin and Wallace), between parts, organs, tissues, etc., of the same individual (Roux), and between germinal determinants (the equivalents of our genes) (Weismann). ... However that may be, the existence of internal factors affecting evolution has to be accepted by any objective mind, but Weismann's hypothesis is unacceptable. We must look for something else. Examining the latest writings on internal factors in evolution, we see that in fact what they are looking for is an antichance other than selection to explain the adaptative, finalized structure of living things." (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.208-210. Emphasis original) 28/11/2005 "The trends guiding evolution depend upon internal factors which we believe to be unrelated to the battle between parts imagined by Roux, and the germinal selection talked about by Weismann and the reformist Darwinians. These factors fit into a mechanism related to the physicochemical properties specific to every individual and its constituent parts. ... the credibility of the intervention of internal factors in evolution is at least as strong as that of a natural selection based on problematical variations." (Grasse, 1977, pp.214-215) 28/11/2005 "To speak of internal factors determining evolution immediately arouses the suspicion of many biologists. For them, it conjures up visions of the ghost of vitalism or of some mystical power which guides the destiny of living things by deciding their forms and regulating their functions. My idea is quite different. Continuing in the line of Weismann, Roux, and many other biologists, I seek internal factors in the genome of the species, in its interactions with the surrounding nucleoplasm and cytoplasm. After all, isn't the gene the very epitome of an internal factor?" (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.216) 28/11/2005 "We are forced to admit that the determinism and mechanism of evolution involve the action of internal factors of which we have given some idea in our discussion of the acquisition of new genes. ... Evolution in its essentials depends upon work effected at the level of infrastructures and triggered by internal and external factors, and having the effect of producing certain enzymes, probably resembling polymerases, which synthesize a new DNA and new genes by means of free nucleotides in the nuclear sap or the cytoplasm." (Grassť, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.244-245) 29/11/2005 "FOR nearly a century now a belief that the many thousands of different kinds of plants and animals at present inhabiting the earth have come into being by descent from fewer and earlier kinds through a process of continuing gradual change, that is to say by what is commonly described as a process of organic evolution, has been a fundamental article of biological faith. ... All this being so it might be expected that there would be an essential unanimity of opinion about the probable means by which evolution has been effected and that writings on the subject would be distinguished by the highest standards of scientific dialectic, but in neither case can this be claimed. There are still deep divergences of opinion about the nature of evolutionary processes, while it is the experience of many that increased acquaintance with the literature brings more rather than less uncertainty, together with a conviction that however much may already have been said there is even more still to be learned. Moreover, much of this literature has something of the alluring but elusive quality of a mirage, in which the scene, at first apparently so sharply etched, gradually dissolves as it is more closely approached until it loses much of its earlier certainty of outline." (Good, R., "Features of Evolution in the Flowering Plants,"  Dover: New York NY, Revised, 1974, p.1) 29/11/2005 "In consequence, although evolution finds wide tacit acceptance as a grand organizing concept of biology and as the best available working hypothesis to explain the present multifariousness of plant and animal life, many people gravely doubt the validity of many of the more particular arguments by which it is customarily sustained. Some even question the whole idea. The biological sciences today are thus in the uneasy position of having to use, as one of their principal tools, a body of theory which is both sententious and incomplete, and one in which many workers have less than complete confidence." (Good, R., "Features of Evolution in the Flowering Plants,"  Dover: New York NY, Revised, 1974, pp.1-2) 29/11/2005 "The fundamental inherent difficulty in the study of evolution is that this great natural process involves time dimensions of a magnitude quite out of proportion to the duration of human life or even to the sum of human experience, and the observer has therefore to rely on indirect, or circumstantial evidence. Hence beliefs that are often referred to as theories of evolution are, more accurately, only working hypotheses. This is a very important matter because the essence of a hypothesis is that it is an opinion suggested by the available evidence, but not one which precludes the possibility of some alternative. A hypothesis may well be substantiated when more corroborative details are forthcoming, but until then there is no logical reason for excluding the consideration of some other explanation of the facts. So, while it may be justifiable to believe that evolution affords a reasonable explanation of the facts of nature, it is not justifiable to maintain that no other explanation is possible or permissible." (Good, R., "Features of Evolution in the Flowering Plants,"  Dover: New York NY, Revised, 1974, p.2. Emphasis original)
* Authors with an asterisk against their name are believed not to be evolutionists. However, lack of
an asterisk does not necessarily mean that an author is an evolutionist.
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Created: 30 October, 2005. Updated: 16 April, 2010.