[Home] [Updates] [Site map] [Quotes, Unclassified, Classified]
The following are quotes added to my Unclassified Quotes database in February 2006. The date format is dd/mm/yy. See copyright conditions at end.
[Index: Jan, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec]
5/02/2006 "... the theory of evolution assumes that the most complicated eye, for example, that of an eagle or a man, started as a freckle or light-sensitive spot which was gradually transformed by chance in upward stages, eventually becoming a working, purposeful, complex mechanism with millions of parts. It is assumed that the light-sensitive cells were slowly folded inward to form, progressively, a retina. The skin on the surface then became transparent and turned into a lens to focus light on to the retina. Consider the eye 'with all its inimitable contrivances', as Darwin called them, which can admit different amounts of light, focus at different distances, and correct spherical and chromatic aberration. Consider the retina, consisting of 150 million correctly made and positioned specialized cells. These are the rods and cones. Consider the nature of light-sensitive retinal. Combined with a protein (opsin) retinal becomes a chemical switch. Triggered by light, this switch can generate a nerve impulse. Retinal is an archetypal molecule, a foundation for visual sense. Each switch-containing rod and cone is correctly wired to the brain so that the electrical storm (an estimated 1000 million impulses per second) is continuously monitored and translated, by a step which is a total mystery, into a mental picture. Who, we ask, is the ghost in the machine experiencing this phenomenal image? Who are you, the seer behind the rearrangement of light?" (Pitman M.*, "Adam and Evolution," Rider & Co: London, 1984, p.215) 5/02/2006 "Evolutionists employ the veil of time to blur their vision. The story starts with a light-sensitive spot, such as is found in Euglena; a series of broad but superficial strokes culminate in the complex eye of an octopus, or the even more complex vertebrate eye which is yours. But a list of eyes from various animals, not necessarily related, no more demonstrates evolution than a carefully ordered range of lamps. " (Pitman M.*, "Adam and Evolution," Rider & Co: London, 1984, pp.215-216) 5/02/2006 "Darwin said: 'If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.' The eye is a good contender. Suppose that a light-spot remained at the bottom of a cup-shaped organ and a lens formed at the top. A nerve fibre then connected the light-spot with the brain and the cup became elongated so that it could only respond to light coming from a particular direction, as if someone were looking down a tube. The compound eyes of insects consist of a very large number of these organs, called ommatidia, grouped together. The optical images are assembled from dots, each dot from an ommatidium, somewhat as a TV picture is assembled from many light and dark dots. The picture is composite. There is the problem of how a group of ommatidia get together to make an eye." (Pitman M., "Adam and Evolution," Rider & Co: London, 1984, p.216) 5/02/2006 "But what about colour vision? It is found in several bony fishes, reptiles, birds, bees and primates. Among mammals only primates see in colour. Dogs, cats, horses and bulls do not. Fish supposedly evolved the necessary retinal cones to give them colour vision, but then lost them. 'Re-evolved' by certain unrelated birds and reptiles, they were lost by mammals, but by luck 're-surfaced' in primates. An odd story indeed. Given such a diverse 'mosaic' spread, it is reasonable to assume the subtheme (colour vision) is coded, something like an 'optional extra', onto the main visual theme. Such permutations as we find could arise by this adaptation. A more likely story? Creationists think so; at least it is plausible." (Pitman M.*, "Adam and Evolution," Rider & Co: London, 1984, p.216) 5/02/2006 "An eye, like a television or camera, exists to attain an end - sight. It is teleological. All types of eye, based on the light-sensitive cell, are simply variations on the coupled theme of optical-image perception and interpretation. Both faculties are required; each is useless without the other. Eye, sight and meaning are inextricably entwined. It is reasonable to argue that, just as a film camera is unthinkable without purpose and intelligent information embodied in it, so an eye is the product of concept, not chance. That such an instrument should undergo a succession of blind but lucky accidents which by necessity led to perfect sight is as credible as if all the letters of The Origin of Species, being placed in a box, shaken and poured out, should at last come together in the order in which they occur in that diverting work." (Pitman M.*, "Adam and Evolution," Rider & Co: London, 1984, p.216) 5/02/2006 "The vertebrate eye is, in principle, quite different from the compound eye. The image is 'simple', uniform and inverted like that of a camera. How could this type of eye have developed from the normal invertebrate type? It is no use invoking cephalopod molluscs, like the octopus and squid, whose eyes bear striking similarities to our own. They are genetically unrelated and no series, leading up to their extraordinary optical apparatus (in some ways excelling our own), exists. A squid can distinguish polarized light, which we cannot, and their retinas have a finer structure which almost certainly means they can distinguish finer detail than us." (Pitman M.*, "Adam and Evolution," Rider & Co: London, 1984, pp.216-217) 5/02/2006 "Two sorts of eye are required. A very small eye, suitable for an insect but built in a manner similar to that of a man's eye would not work because it would not be able to diffract the light enough. Its possessor would scarcely be able to make out the shape of objects at all. Conversely, it seems that a much magnified compound eye would prove vastly inferior to an eye having lens and retina. There is teleological necessity for the two designs. But how did an eye or two arise? There is no evidence for any transitional form, even if one were feasible. We are not treated to a detailed account of the evolution of retina, cornea, rods and cones, visual photochemistry, tears ducts, lids, muscles etc. Can such an irrational and hollow hypothesis be called scientific? What advantage, as far as natural selection is concerned, could accrue from the starting of an eye when the materials forming it were not yet transparent. In the human, coding generates biconvex lenses, purposely free from blood vessels, and focusing apparatus which is exquisitely refined." (Pitman M.*, "Adam and Evolution," Rider & Co: London, 1984, p.217) 5/02/2006 "Of what survival value is a lens, forming an image, if not intimately linked to a nervous system which will translate that image into electrical form? Or a nerve without a brain to interpret the data? How could a visual nervous system have evolved before there was an eye to give it information? So questions continue until all parts of the body are woven into a single whole, a web of mutual necessity." (Pitman M.*, "Adam and Evolution," Rider & Co: London, 1984, p.217) 5/02/2006 "Darwinism does not look you squarely in the eye. It insists on faith in the unseen conversion of one type of eye into another. Upon this faith a humble shrimp imposes considerable strain. Moths, fireflies and Euphausiid shrimps, creatures all active in the dark, have special compound eyes which include a retina on which the multiple lenses focus at a common point to form an upright image. These shrimps, which seem to be, and are, classified as close 'cousins' to true shrimps, employ lens cylinders which smoothly bend the incoming light so that it all focuses at a common point, rather than forming multiple images as most compound eyes do. This feat of optical engineering has only been duplicated by humans in the last decade." (Pitman M.*, "Adam and Evolution," Rider & Co: London, 1984, p.217) 5/02/2006 "If this were not enough, Michael Land, a biologist from Sussex University, has observed that other shrimps have eyes which employ a different principle of physics, reflection from mirrors. The eyes have squared facets employed as radially arranged mirrors. It requires precise geometry to align such mirrors so that incoming rays are all reflected to focus at a common point, forming an image there. In an article entitled 'Nature as an Optical Engineer' Dr Land wrote: `I would guess that a refracting optical system, with refractive index crystalline cones, could not evolve into a reflecting system with squared multilayer-coated surfaces, nor vice versa. Both are successful and very sophisticated image-forming devices, but I cannot imagine an intermediate form that would work at all.' [Land, M., "Nature as an Optical Engineer," New Scientist, Vol. 84, No. 1175, October 1979, p.13] No common ancestors or series, leading up to these two very different sorts of eyes in the same shrimp- like body, are known. Confronted with the evidence, I believe a reasonable Mr. Darwin would have opted for a theory of design. Over one hundred years ago he wrote: `To suppose that the eye ... could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.'" (Pitman M.*, "Adam and Evolution," Rider & Co: London, 1984, p.218) 7/02/2006 "If we would relate science to philosophy or religious belief, it is argued, we must not seek for the meaning of the abnormal, the extraordinary, or that which does not fall in with our expectations, because, if we do so, science will soon catch up with us. And then what shall we do? Hunt for something else that science cannot explain-and shift from that in turn to something else, and so on endlessly, like a cat chasing its own tail? This argument is commonly used with reference to God ... When believeorder to reach the conclusion that God exists, the God they discover, or think they discover, is disdainfully dismissed as a `God of the gaps'-the `gaps' referred to being gaps in knowledge. Here in this common argument we discern a disingenuous denial of the scientific method. For the scientist does not think in terms of gaps at all-if he did he would soon lose interest in his science. So-called gaps may, of course, turn out to be gaps and no more than gaps, but if so they lose their interest and are forgotten. The scientist lives in the hope that, on investigation, they will turn out to be gaps pregnant with meaning: he is on the look-out, not for something negative, but for something positive; something that will show that a new principle is at work in nature; something that will create interest among his fellow scientists. Comparison with the early days of radioactivity is here peculiarly apt. When Pierre and Madame Curie and, later, Rutherford were seeking to focus scientific attention upon the curious properties of radium, many scientists, among them Armstrong the chemist, argued that radium was a little peculiar, perhaps, but nothing to become excited about. The recognized principles of science, it was argued, would soon explain the few phenomena in connexion with radium that could not yet be explained-if, indeed, there were any of importance. Radium was luminous, it was true, but not as brightly so as some materials: it discharged an electroscope, but so did quinine sulphate. It was foolish to postulate an entirely new principle in science on the basis of a mere gap in our knowledge which would, no doubt, be filled in due course. Now this is exactly the attitude of many modern writers on science and religion. Nor is the attitude confined to agnostics and atheists; it is to be found, too, among theologians. Both parties insist that philosophical inquiry into the fundamental gaps in scientific knowledge is unjustified." (Clark R.E.D.*, "The Universe: Plan or Accident?: The Religious Implications of Modern Science," , Paternoster: London, Third Edition, 1961, pp.8-10. Emphasis in original) 7/02/2006 "WHEN on board H.M.S. Beagle, as naturalist, I was much struck with certain facts in the distribution of the organic beings inhabiting South America, and in the geological relations of the present to the past inhabitants of that continent. These facts, as will be seen in the latter chapters of this volume, seemed to throw some light on the origin of species-that mystery of mysteries, as it has been called by one of our greatest philosophers. On my return home, it occurred to me, in 1837, that something might perhaps be made out on this question by patiently accumulating and reflecting on all sorts of facts which could possibly have any bearing on it. After five years' work I allowed myself to speculate on the subject, and drew up some short notes; these I enlarged in 1844 into a sketch of the conclusions which then seemed to me probable: from that period to the present day I have steadily pursued the same object." (Darwin C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1928, reprint, p.17) 7/02/2006 "My work is now (1859) nearly finished; but as it will take me many more years to complete it, and as my health is far from strong, I have been urged to publish this Abstract. I have more especially been induced to do this, as Mr. Wallace, who is now studying the natural history of the Malay Archipelago, has arrived at almost exactly the same general conclusions that I have on the origin of species. In 1858 he sent me a memoir on this subject, with a request that I would forward it to Sir Charles Lyell, who sent it to the Linnean Society, and it is published in the third volume of the Journal of that Society. Sir C. Lyell and Dr. Hooker, who both knew of my work-the latter having read my sketch of 1844- honoured me by thinking it advisable to publish, with Mr. Wallace's excellent memoir, some brief extract from my manuscripts." (Darwin C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1928, reprint, p.17) 7/02/2006 "This Abstract, which I now publish, must necessarily be imperfect. I cannot here give references and authorities for my several statements; and I must trust to the reader reposing some confidence in my accuracy. No doubt errors will have crept in, though I hope I have always been cautious in trusting to good authorities alone. I can here give only the general conclusions at which I have arrived, with a few facts in illustration, but which, I hope, in most cases will suffice. No one can feel more sensible than I do of the necessity of hereafter publishing in detail all the facts, with references, on which my conclusions have been grounded; and I hope in a future work to do this. For I am well aware that scarcely a single point is discussed in this volume on which facts cannot be adduced, often apparently leading to conclusions directly opposite to those at which I have arrived. A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question; and this is here impossible." (Darwin C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1928, reprint, pp.17-18) 7/02/2006 "Although much remains obscure, and will long remain obscure, I can entertain no doubt, after the most deliberate study and dispassionate judgment of which I am capable, that the view which most naturalists until recently entertained, and which I formerly entertained-namely, that each species has been independently created-is erroneous. I am fully convinced that species are not immutable; but that those belonging to what are called the same genera are lineal descendants of some other and generally extinct species, in the same manner as the acknowledged varieties of any one species are the descendants of that species. Furthermore, I am convinced that Natural Selection has been the most important, but not the exclusive, means of modification." (Darwin C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1928, reprint, p.20) 7/02/2006 "Let us look more closely at this point of view. If you discover a `God of the gaps', we are told, not only will He be doomed to be squeezed out of existence as the gaps close, but even before that happens He will be a mere hypothesis and therefore useless for religion. Imagine the psychological state of the young man who pins his faith on a hypothesis that may lose its usefulness overnight! Moreover, this God-or rather this hypothesis-will be an enemy to science, for the notion that God resides in a gap will encourage religious people to frighten off scientists with notices of `trespassers will be prosecuted'. For it is impertinent to investigate God by scientific means.... In short, according to the theologians who raise these objections, we must look for God everywhere or nowhere and, according to agnostics and atheists we must look for Him nowhere. The analogy of radioactivity shows how poor this argument is. Early workers did not accept the mutability of atoms because there was a gap in man's knowledge concerning certain rare minerals. The evidence was positive, not negative. There was definite concrete evidence-it was found, of course, in one of the `gaps' in contemporary science (where else could it be found?)-that supposedly changeless elements did in fact change. ... No reasonable person is interested in gaps for their own sake. Christians of a former generation are sometimes ridiculed today for their outmoded belief in the `God of the gaps', but did they, in fact, even in their wilder moments, ever really argue that whatever could not be explained by science was due to God? One may doubt it. Mankind has known for thousands of years that lime gets hot with water (St. Augustine mentions the fact) and that metals change their colours in sulphide solutions, but not till recent times did anyone know why. It was never argued that these gaps in knowledge were a proof that God was performing miracles! Christians in the nineteenth century had not the slightest idea why a strange red spot appeared on Jupiter in 1878 or why there was sometimes a green flash when the sun was setting over the ocean, but they did not account for these rare events in terms of Divine intervention. Mere lack of understanding is not and never has been a reason for seeking a theological explanation. The `God of the gaps' is a modern myth.' Christians have often supposed that they had positive evidence for belief in God, and they have sometimes found (or thought they found) the evidence in `gaps'. But again, where else could they have found it? In like manner the Becquerels, Curies, Rutherfords and Soddys of half a century ago looked for positive evidence of the existence of a new kind of energy. It was not gaps in knowledge per se which interested them. They did not point to Jupiter's spot or the green flash." (Clark R.E.D.*, "The Universe: Plan or Accident?: The Religious Implications of Modern Science," , Paternoster: London, Third Edition, 1961, pp.10- 12. Emphasis in original) 7/02/2006 "With respect to the origin of articulate language ... I cannot doubt that language owes its origin to the imitation and modification of various natural sounds, the voices of other animals, and man's own instinctive cries, aided by signs and gestures." (Darwin C.R., "The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex," , John Murray: London, Second edition, 1874, Reprinted, 1922, reprint, p.135) 8/02/2006 "Why is The Origin of Species such a great book? First of all, because it convincingly demonstrates the fact of evolution: it provides a vast and well- chosen body of evidence showing that existing animals and plants cannot have been separately created in their present forms, but must have evolved from earlier forms by slow transformation. And secondly, because the theory of natural selection, which the Origin so fully and so lucidly expounds, provides a mechanism by which such transformation could and would automatically be produced. Natural selection rendered evolution scientifically intelligible: it was this more than anything else which convinced professional biologists like Sir Joseph Hooker, T. H. Huxley and Ernst Haeckel." (Huxley J.S., "Introduction," Darwin C.R., "The Origin of Species," , Sixth edition, Mentor: New York NY, 1958, p.x) 8/02/2006 "In neither case did Darwin shrink from drawing the most general conclusions. To begin with, he realized that evolution must be a universal phenomenon. If different species of groundfinches or armadillos could be produced by evolution from a common ancestor, then, given enough time, the same must hold for different families, orders, and classes and for the diversity of life as a whole: all living organisms must be related through their common descent from some simple original stock. Further, since all organisms vary, and all reproduce themselves in greater numbers than can survive, there must always be competition between variants; in other words, the principle of natural selection, too, is universally applicable." (Huxley J.S., "Introduction," Darwin C.R., "The Origin of Species," , Sixth edition, Mentor: New York NY, 1958, p.x) 8/02/2006 "In 1859, the area of biological ignorance was very large. Nothing was known of the mechanisms of fertilization, heredity and variation, nor of embryonic differentiation; the scientific study of animal behaviour, biogeography and ecology had scarcely begun; no good paleontological series, like those of horse or elephant evolution, had been discovered, nor any fossils bearing on the ancestry of man; and the time-scale admitted by geologists and physicists was grossly inadequate. Yet in spite of this, Darwin in the Origin gave a remarkably good general picture of the evolutionary process, and followed out the implications of natural selection in a quite astonishing way." (Huxley J.S., "Introduction," Darwin C.R., "The Origin of Species," , Sixth edition, Mentor: New York NY, 1958, p.x) 8/02/2006 "Thus he [Darwin] deduced that natural selection must inevitably bring about the `improvement' of organisms, improvement which, as he characteristically added, was always m relation to the conditions of life. This, though he did not himself claim it, was in fact another universal biological law, covering detailed adaptations to particular circumstances (like the resemblance of leaf insects to leaves), specializations for a particular mode of life (like that of the horses for rapid running and grazing), advances in efficiency of major functions (like flight, or vision, or co-ordination of behaviour), or improvements in general organizational plan (like that of arthropods as against segmented worms, or of placentals as against primitive mammals)." (Huxley J.S., "Introduction," c C.R., "The Origin of Species," , Sixth edition, Mentor: New York NY, 1958, pp.x-xi) 8/02/2006 "He [Darwin] also deduced the inevitability of divergence or diversification-the fact that any successful type would inevitably diverge into two or more diverse types, each adapted to a somewhat different habitat or niche or way of life. This, too, could have been formulated as a universal biological law, for it operates, as Darwin showed, on every scale, from the formation of geographical races within a single species, through cases like that of the single groundfinch ancestor on the Galapagos splitting into a number of distinct genera and species, to the radiation of a large subclass like that of placental mammals into numerous orders, each with its own way of life, up to the divergence of plants from animals. Indeed, as he also pointed out, diversification is itself a biological advantage, since it enables a given area to support a greater bulk of living matter, and in general makes it possible for life to exploit the resources of the environment more fully. Though later-evolving groups are more highly organized, he rightly argued that we should not expect all groups and types of organisms to evolve in the direction of higher organization. Thus single-celled forms, through the very fact of their small size and rapid reproduction, fill a certain natural niche more successfully than larger multicellular creatures can do." (Huxley J.S., "Introduction," c C.R., "The Origin of Species," , Sixth edition, Mentor: New York NY, 1958, p.xi) 8/02/2006 "He [Darwin] further showed that natural selection, by its nature, could never cause or promote the evolution of a character which was primarily of advantage to another species. This is a negative generalization as important in its way as the impossibility of perpetual motion is in physical science." (Huxley J.S., "Introduction," c C.R., "The Origin of Species," , Sixth edition, Mentor: New York NY, 1958, p.xi) 8/02/2006 "He [Darwin] anticipated modern evolutionary genetics by deducing that large species (with an abundance of individual members) and large genera containing many species will be more variable than small ones, and more likely to produce new species in the course of evolution." (Huxley J.S., "Introduction," c C.R., "The Origin of Species," , Sixth edition, Mentor: New York NY, 1958, p.xi) 8/02/2006 "Of course, his [Darwin's] views have often had to be modified in detail. This is especially true when he is discussing heredity and variation, since in his day the mechanisms of genetics and mutation were completely unknown. (Huxley J.S., "Introduction," Darwin C.R., "The Origin of Species," , Sixth edition, Mentor: New York NY, 1958, p.xi) 9/02/2006 "Passing over allusions to the subject in the classical writers, the first author who in modern times has treated it in a scientific spirit was Buffon. But as his opinions fluctuated greatly at different periods, and as he does not enter on the causes or means of the transformation of species, I need not here enter on details." (Darwin C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , 6th Edition, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 1928, reprint, p.7) 9/02/2006 "Aristotle, in his Physical Auscultationes (lib. 2, cap. 8, s. 2), after remarking that rain does not fall in order to make the corn grow any more than it falls to spoil the farmer's corn when threshed out of doors, applies the same argument to organisation- and adds (as translated by Mr. Clair Grece, who first pointed out the passage to me), `So what hinders the different parts [of the body] from having this merely accidental relation in nature? as the teeth, for example, grow by necessity, the front ones sharp, adapted for dividing, and the grinders flat, and serviceable for masticating the food-since they were not made for the sake of this, but it was the result of accident. And in like manner as to the other parts in which there appears to exist an adaptation to an end. Wheresoever, therefore, all things together (that is all the parts of one whole) happened like as if they were made for the sake of something, these were preserved, having been appropriately constituted by an internal spontaneity- and whatsoever things were not thus constituted, perished, and still perish.' We here see the principle of natural selection shadowed forth, but how little Aristotle fully comprehended the principle, is shown by his remarks on the formation of the teeth." (Darwin C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , 6th Edition, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 1928, reprint, p.7) 9/02/2006 "Lamarck seems to have been chiefly led to his conclusion on the gradual change of species, by the difficulty of distinguishing species and varieties, by the almost perfect gradation of forms in certain groups, and by the analogy of domestic productions. With respect to the means of modification, he attributed something to the direct action of the physical conditions of life, something to the crossing of already existing forms, and much to use and disuse, that is, to the effects of habit. To this latter agency he seems to attribute all the beautiful adaptations in nature; such as the long neck of the giraffe for browsing on the branches of trees. But he likewise believed in a law of progressive development; and as all the forms of life thus tend to progress, in order to account for the existence at the present day of simple productions, he maintains that such forms are now spontaneously generated." (Darwin C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , 6th Edition, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 1928, reprint, p.8) 9/02/2006 "Geoffroy Saint Hilaire, as is stated in his `Life,' written by his son, suspected, as early as 1795, that what we call species are various degenerations of the same type. It was not until 1828 that he published his conviction that the same forms have not been perpetuated since the origin of all things. Geoffroy seems to have relied chiefly on the conditions of life, or the monde ambiant, as the cause of change. He was cautious in drawing conclusions, and did not believe that existing species are now undergoing modification; and, as his son adds, `C'est donc un probleme a reserver entierement a l'avenir, suppose meme que l'avenir doive avoir prise sur lui.'" (Darwin C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , 6th Edition, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 1928, reprint, p.8) 9/02/2006 "Polyploidy is a very common method of evolution in higher plants. Between one-fourth and one-third of the species of flowering plants are polyploid with reference to their nearest relatives. Familiar examples among crop plants are wheat, oats, potato, tobacco, cotton, alfalfa, and most species of pasture grasses. Familiar weeds and wild flowers which are polyploid are the eastern blue flag (Iris versicolor), meadow rue (Thalictrum spp.), some species of wild rose, chickweed (Stellaria media), miner's lettuce (Montia perfoliata), yarrow (Achillea spp.), and various species of violets and asters. Furthermore, there is evidence that polyploidy in the remote past has given rise to many genera and groups of genera such as the apples, olives, willows, poplars, and many genera of ferns. Nevertheless, polyploidy has contributed little to progressive evolution. In genera which contain both diploids and polyploids, the major trends of evolution are all represented by diploid species, and the polyploids serve merely to multiply the variations on certain particular adaptive `themes.' This is probably because the large amount of gene duplication dilutes the effects of new mutations and gene combinations to such an extent that polyploids have great difficulty evolving truly new adaptive gene complexes." (Stebbins G.L., "Processes of Organic Evolution," Prentice-Hall: Englewood Cliffs NJ, 1966, Second printing, p.129) 10/02/2006 "WE know from the contents of Charles Darwin's Note Book of 1837 that he was at that time a convinced Evolutionist. Nor can there be any doubt that, when he started on board the Beagle, such opinions as he had were on the side of immutability. When therefore did the current of his thoughts begin to set in the direction of Evolution? We have first to consider the factors that made for such a change. On his departure in 1831, Henslow gave him vol. I. of Lyell's Principles, then just published, with the warning that he was not to believe what he read. But believe he did, and it is certain (as Huxley has forcibly pointed out) that the doctrine of uniformitarianism when applied to Biology leads of necessity to Evolution. If the extermination of a species is no more catastrophic than the natural death of an individual, why should the birth of a species be any more miraculous than the birth of an individual? It is quite clear that this thought was vividly present to Darwin when he was writing out his early thoughts in the 1837 Note Book:- `Propagation explains why modern animals same type as extinct, which is law almost proved. They die, without they change, like golden pippins; it is a generation of species like generation of individuals.' `If species generate other species their race is not utterly cut off' These quotations show that he was struggling to see in the origin of species a process just as scientifically comprehensible as the birth of individuals. They show, I think, that he recognised the two things not merely as similar but as identical. It is impossible to know how soon the ferment of uniformitarianism began to work, but it is fair to suspect that in 1832 he had already begun to see that mutability was the logical conclusion of Lyell's doctrine, though this was not acknowledged by Lyell himself." (Darwin F., ed., "The Foundations of the Origin of Species: Two Essays Written in 1842 and 1844 By Charles Darwin," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge,1909, in Barrett P.H. & Freeman R.B., eds, "The Works of Charles Darwin," Pickering & Chatto: London, 1986, pp.xi-xii. Emphasis original) 11/02/2006 "We can now lend greater precision and force to the conclusion that morphological features are the boundary conditions of physical-chemical laws in living things and thus are not accountable by these laws, on which they rely for their functions. The functional structure of machines, products of man's designing and shaping, manifestly represent boundary conditions imposed on the laws of inanimate nature to press them into the service of a technical purpose. ... When this structure reappears in an organism, it is a configuration of particles that typifies a living being and serves its functions; at the same time, this configuration is a member of a large group of equally probable (and mostly meaningless) configurations. Such a highly improbable arrangement of particles is not shaped by the forces of physics or chemistry. It constitutes a boundary condition which as such transcends the laws of physics and transcends the laws of physics and chemistry. ... The manufacturing of a machine also represents a distinctive distribution of matter not due to the working of physical-chemical forces and it too, forms the characteristic boundary conditions of the system in question. We can see now more clearly why such a shaping of boundaries may he said to go beyond a mere fixing of boundaries and establishes a "controlling principle." It achieves control of the boundaries by imprinting a significant pattern on the boundaries of the system. Or to use information language we may say that it puts the system under the control of a non-physical-chemical principle by a profoundly informative intervention." (Polanyi M., "Life Transcending Physics and Chemistry," Chemical & Engineering News, August 21, 1967, pp.54-66, p.64) 11/02/2006 "The eerie artefact-like character of life and the analogy with our own advanced machines has an important philosophical consequence, for it provides the means for a powerful reformulation of the old analogical argument to design which has been one of the basic creationist arguments used throughout western history - going back to Aristotle and presented in its classic form by William Paley in his famous watch-towatchmaker discourse. According to Paley, we would never infer in the case of a machine, such as a watch, that its design was due to natural processes such as the wind and rain; rather, we would be obliged to postulate a watchmaker. Living things are similar to machines, exhibiting the same sort of adaptive complexity and we must, therefore, infer by analogy that their design is also the result of intelligent activity. One of the principal weaknesses of this argument was raised by David Hume, who pointed out that organisms may be only superficially like machines but natural in essence. Only if an object is strikingly analogous to a machine in a very profound sense would the inference to design be valid. Hume's criticism is generally considered to have fatally weakened the basic analogical assumption upon which the inference to design is based, and it is certainly true that neither in the eighteenth century nor at any time during the past two centuries has there been sufficient evidence for believing that living organisms were like machines in any profound sense. It is only possible to view an unknown object as an artefact if its design exploits well-understood technological principles and its creation can be precisely envisaged. For this reason, stone age man would have had great difficulty in recognizing the products of twentieth-century technology as machines and we ourselves would probably experience the same bewilderment at the artefacts of a technological civilization far in advance of our own. ... It has only been over the past twenty years with the molecular biological revolution and with the advances in cybernetic and computer technology that Hume's criticism has been finally invalidated and the analogy between organisms and machines has at last become convincing. In opening up this extraordinary new world of living technology biochemists have become fellow travellers with science fiction writers, explorers in a world of ultimate technology, wondering incredulously as new miracles of atomic engineering are continually brought to light in the course of their strange adventure into the microcosm of life. In every direction the biochemist gazes, as he journeys through this weird molecular labyrinth sees devices and appliances reminiscent of our own twentieth-century world of advanced technology. In the atomic fabric of life we have found a reflection of our own technology. We have seen a world as artificial as our own and as familiar as if we had held up a mirror to our own machines." (Denton M.J., "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis," Burnett Books: London, 1985, pp.339-340) 12/02/2006 "I am very glad to say that the August or second `Atlantic' article has been reprinted in the `Annals and Magazine of Natural History'; but I have not yet seen it there. Yesterday I read over with care the third article [Gray A., "Darwin and His Reviewers, Atlantic Monthly, October 1860, pp.406-425]; and it seems to me, as before, admirable. But I grieve to say that I cannot honestly go as far as you do about Design. I am conscious that I am in an utterly hopeless muddle. I cannot think that the world, as we see it, is the result of chance ; and yet I cannot look at each separate thing as the result of Design. To take a crucial example, you lead me to infer (p. 414) that you believe "that variation has been led along certain beneficial lines." I cannot believe this ; and I think you would have to believe, that the tail of the Fantail was led to vary in the number and direction of its feathers in order to gratify the caprice of a few men. Yet if the Fantail had been a wild bird, and had used its abnormal tail for some special end, as to sail before the wind, unlike other birds, every one would have said, "What a beautiful and designed adaptation." Again, I say I am, and shall ever remain, in a hopeless muddle." (Darwin C.R., Letter to Asa Gray, November 26th, 1860, in Darwin F., ed., "The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," , Basic Books: New York NY, Vol. II., 1959, reprint, pp.145-146. Emphasis original) 12/02/2006 "In the argument for design in nature which he advanced here, not be it remembered, against Darwin but against Agassiz and Company, Gray made one significant addition. He finally came up to the problem of how to introduce design into the Darwinian system. Variation was the point he seized upon. At least `while the physical cause of variation is utterly unknown and mysterious, we should advise Mr. Darwin to assume, in the philosophy of his hypothesis, that variation has been led along certain beneficial lines.' [Gray A., "Darwiniana," (1861), Belknap: Cambridge MA, 1963, pp.120-121] ... If Gray's argument for the compatibility of the Darwinian hypothesis with theism failed to win over the Bishop of Oxford, it failed equally to win over an even more important leader, Darwin himself. ... In the fall of 1860 ... Darwin in effect announced his decision. `I grieve to say I cannot honestly go as far as you do about design.' [Darwin C.R., Letter to Asa Gray, November 26th, 1860, in Darwin F., ed., "The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," (1898), Basic Books: New York NY, Vol. II., 1959, pp.145-146] ... While an amiable discussion continued between the two friends, it held from this time on a fundamental disagreement. With Darwin's decision against the design argument, Gray lost his place as a shaper of strategy in the inner circle of friends. The assumption quickly grew up that Darwin had annihilated Paley's argument, and Huxley moved quickly forward to become the interpreter of Darwinism before the public. Gray's solution would obviously have been quite different. Later students have often puzzled over Lyell's hesitation and near estrangement from Hooker, Huxley, and Darwin without noting that Lyell alone of the inner circle in England adhered to Gray's position. Indeed, on the last pages of the Antiquity of Man, he specifically adopted Gray's view of design in nature. Other factors, of course, entered into Lyell's later opinions on the Origin, but he and Gray stepped out of the inner circle together on the same issue." (Dupree A.H., "Asa Gray: American Botanist, Friend of Darwin," , The Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore MD, 1988, reprint, pp.296, 300-301) 12/02/2006 "By the 1880s, a well-entrenched school of Darwinism had become a dominant feature of the scientific establishment. Yet the rise of this school cannot be explained simply in terms of the theory's obvious technical advantages. Natural selection itself continued to be a highly controversial topic, and later in this chapter is an account of the more prominent objections to the theory. Many of the more conservative naturalists would clearly have preferred a theory based on sudden transitions, linked into a more orderly process with a purposeful goal. The Darwinian mechanism of evolution actually suffered an extensive loss of popularity in the later decades of the century (see chap. 9). Thus, the original rise to prominence of a Darwinian school of thought requires an explanation in wider terms than a mere demonstration of the theory's scientific powers. Somehow, Darwin's supporters were able to gain a dominant role in the scientific community despite the existence of many factors that could serve as a source of opposition to their theory. When a theory has many advantages but also serious limitations, its success or failure may depend on the skill with which its supporters argue their case before the scientific community (Hull, 1978). The outcome of the debate is determined, in effect, by the public relations skills of its supporters and their opponents. The original group of Darwinists possessed a number of skills that were extremely useful in this situation. They were quite flexible in their approach to the theory, so that Darwinism was not presented as a dogmatic, all-or-nothing commitment to natural selection. Their group thus could be joined by anyone who accepted the most general principles of the Darwinian world view: evolution by common descent, through an adaptive process that probably owed a good deal to natural selection. Within these principles, the chief Darwinists themselves disagreed considerably over details. Darwin accepted a small element of Lamarckism; T. H. Huxley was a saltationist; while Wallace even advocated divine intervention in the evolution of man. This flexibility helped to disarm the critics, because objections to natural selection could be sidestepped by appealing to the possibility of supplementary mechanisms. At the same time, the Darwinists never fought openly among themselves. They agreed to differ in the hope that future research would solve their problems and thus were able to present a united front to the world, confident that their basic ideas were sound. " (Bowler P.J., "Evolution: The History of an Idea," , University of California Press: Berkeley CA, Revised edition, 1989, pp.194-195) 12/02/2006 "Like Darwin, Huxley gained his early experience as a naturalist aboard a British naval vessel, but his interests lay more in anatomy and paleontology. During the 1850s, he became dissatisfied with creationism and convinced that science must proclaim its independence from theology. But he felt unable to support transmutation because there was no satisfactory mechanism to account for it. He ridiculed Vestiges and the idea of "creation by law," but on reading the Origin, he immediately saw that here at last was a plausible hypothesis that opened up the subject to scientific investigation. Luckily, the London Times asked him to review Darwin's book. His favorable account in that influential newspaper on December 26, 1859, helped to ensure that the theory was not howled down by the opposition. He also wrote a longer account for the Westminster Review (reprinted in Huxley, 1893). Huxley conceded that selection would not be proved as a valid evolutionary mechanism until an experimental test with artificial breeding had produced a totally new species. He also criticized Darwin's commitment to gradual evolution and suggested instead that large mutations sometimes might produce new forms directly. " (Bowler P.J., "Evolution: The History of an Idea," , University of California Press: Berkeley CA, Revised edition, 1989, p.195) 13/02/2006 "In recent decades, the modern synthesis of Darwinism and genetics has been criticized as too narrowly focused, even by some biologists. Various lines of evidence have been brought forward to suggest that at least some aspects of the evolutionary process do not take place in the orthodox Darwinian manner. In some cases, as with the original theory of "punctuated equilibrium," the new idea was introduced as little more than an extension of hitherto unrecognized implications already contained within the Darwinian approach. Other theories are presented as complete alternatives to a totally inadequate selection theory. Criticism at this level is still confined to a small minority of biologists who are unable to agree among themselves over the precise nature of the new approach. The one factor uniting the critics is a feeling that the raw material of evolution must consist of something more purposeful or orderly than a flow of random micromutations. In this respect, the old tradition of non-Darwinian thinking which flourished in the nineteenth century is still alive. There are several different ways in which this alternative approach can be explored-a diversity that the critics of selectionism see as an indication of the need for a more flexible approach. Unfortunately, the inability of the critics to unite behind a single coherent alternative has left the Darwinians in a position to shrug off each individual critique as insignificant." (Bowler P.J., "Evolution: The History of an Idea," , University of California Press: Berkeley CA, Revised edition, 1989, pp.334-335) 13/02/2006 "Do we actually need to invoke such an elaborate thought experiment in order to understand the origin of the vertebrate eye, or any eye, for that matter? I think not. And the reasons lie in knowing that there are homeobox genes for eye formation and that when one of them, the Rx gene in particular, is activated in the right place and at the right time, an individual has an eye. When something goes awry with this gene, the other homeobox genes involved in eye development cannot do their job, and an eye does not form. (clearly, the difference between having or not having an eye is a different proposition altogether from the gradual accretion of the bits and pieces that make up an eye. At the genetic level, major morphological novelty can indeed be accomplished in the twinkling of an eye. All that is necessary is that homeobox genes are either turned on or they are not." (Schwartz J.H., "Sudden Origins: Fossils, Genes, and the Emergence of Species," John Wiley & Sons: New York NY, 1999, p.362) 13/02/2006 "Is evolution a theory, a system or a hypothesis? It is much more: it is a general condition to which all theories, all hypotheses, all systems must bow and which they must satisfy henceforward if they are to be thinkable and true. Evolution is a light illuminating all facts, a curve that all lines must follow." (Teilhard de Chardin P., "The Phenomenon of Man," , Fontana: London, 1967, Fifth impression, p.241) 15/02/2006 "What we may reasonably expect to have to start with are a certain quantity of nitrogenous bases of purine or pyrimidine type, some sugar molecule, of the ribose or generally pentose type, readily associated with phosphate or metaphosphate groups, and some amino acids. All these would initially be in solution, and fairly dilute solution in the primitive ocean, however small that primitive ocean may have been. The first requisite for any kind of polymerization to occur is that the dilution of the organic molecules in the oceans should be diminished; in other words, that we deal with more concentrated solutions in which further combinations may occur. This will not affect the nature of the combinations but may produce an enormous shortening of the time needed to produce them. The most obvious form of this concentration is by evaporation. If it occurred in small pools, it would have been, by its very nature, liable to be of limited effectiveness, as the contents of each pool would have to be deemed to evolve life separately." (Bernal J.D., "The Origin of Life," , Weidenfeld & Nicolson: London, 1973, Third Impression, pp.56-57) 15/02/2006 "Already, even in the nineteenth century, a few daring spirits had suggested, without going into too much detail, that life had, in fact, originated from inorganic matter in some primitive ocean. Huxley, himself, in 1868, had talked about the physical basis of life , and Tyndall, making his Presidential Address to the British Association in Belfast in 1874 [Tyndall J., Presidential Address, British Association for the Advancement of Science, Belfast, 1874], defied the religious by treating the origin and development of life as a natural process not involving any supernatural creative element: `Trace the line of life backwards, and see it approaching more and more to what we call the purely physical condition. We come at length to those organisms which I have compared to drops of oil suspended in a mixture of alcohol and water.... Believing, as I do, in the continuity of Nature, I cannot stop abruptly where our microscopes cease to be of use. Here the vision of the mind authoritatively supplements the vision of the eye. By an intellectual necessity I cross the boundary of the experimental evidence, and discern in that Matter which we, in our ignorance of its latent powers, and not withstanding our professed reverence for its Creator, have hitherto covered with opprobrium, the promise and potency of all terrestrial life'." (Bernal J.D., "The Origin of Life," , Weidenfeld & Nicolson: London, 1973, Third Impression, p.22) 16/02/2006 "What does one need to assume, as a bare philosophical minimum, to conduct research on the naturalistic origin of life? Iris Fry (Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science, Tel Aviv University) contends that one cannot assume that life came to be as a cosmic accident or near-miracle, a view held by Jacques Monod, Karl Popper, Ernst Mayr, and Richard Dawkins, among others. `Biologists and chemists who claim today that the origin of life borders on the miraculous,' she writes, `...suspend the scientific study of the origin of biological organization and create a barrier between biological evolution and the preceding stages of evolution, as well as between physics and biology' (p. 399). In short, she continues, they open the door to `Hoyle's teleological option' (p. 400), and despite their philosophical commitment to naturalism, imply `in fact, a creationist position.' Scientific progress towards a naturalistic explanation of the origin of life is only possible, Fry argues, if one assumes `the continuity thesis,' according to which (a) there are no unbridgeable gaps between inorganic matter and life, and (b) the emergence of life was highly probable. The continuity thesis is entirely a philosophical assumption, Fry notes. `The decision to adopt the continuity thesis is a philosophical one...and does not depend on the success of a specific experimental program, nor can it be revoked on the basis of its failure' (p. 393). To abandon the continuity thesis is simultaneously to abandon the search for a naturalistic explanation of the origin of life. Thus, philosophical assumptions and arguments, Fry concludes, go `to the core -- to the very 'right of existence'' (p. 414) of the naturalistic research program in the origin of life." (Nelson P.*, "Happy Biochemical Accidents Won't Do." Review of Iris Fry, "Are the Different Hypotheses on the Emergence of Life as Different as they Seem?" Biology and Philosophy, Vol. 10, 1995, pp.389-417. Literature Survey, Origins & Design 17:2, Access Research Network, November 14, 1996) 17/02/2006 "Arts of Civilization ([Genesis] 4:17-22). IN CAIN'S LINE we find record of the first building of a city as well as the earliest development of the arts of civilization. .... The arts of civilization include animal domestication, invention of musical instruments, and the development of metal technology. Archaeology has investigated each of these areas with the following results. Animal domestication. Raising livestock is the first stage in animal domestication, which involves human control of breeding, food supply, and territory. Sheep and goats were the first livestock to be domesticated, with the evidence extending back to the ninth millennium B.C. Larger cattle came later, and evidence for pig domestication began in the seventh millennium. Musical instruments. Musical instruments were among the first inventions of early humans. In Egypt the earliest end-blown flutes date to the fourth millennium B.C. A number of harps and lyres as well as a pair of silver flutes were found in the royal cemetery at Ur dating to the early part of the third millennium. Flutes made of bone or pottery date back at least to the fourth millennium. Musical instruments provide entertainment as well as background rhythm for dances and ritual performances, such as processions or cultic dramas. Other than simple percussion instruments (drums and rattles), the most common instruments used in the ancient Near East were harps and lyres. Examples have been found in excavated tombs and painted on the walls of temples and palaces. Ancient metal technology. Copper tools, weapons, and implements began to be smelted and forged in the fourth millennium B.C. Subsequently, alloys of copper, principally bronze, were introduced in the early third millennium as sources of tin were discovered outside the Near East and trade routes expanded to bring them to Egypt and Mesopotamia. Iron, a metal that requires much higher temperatures and skin bellows (portrayed in the Egyptian Beni-Hasan tomb paintings) to refine and work was the last to be introduced (toward the end of the second millennium B.C.). Hittite smiths were the first to exploit it; then the technology spread east and south. Meteorite iron was cold forged for centuries prior to its smelting. That would not represent as large an industry as the forging of terrestrial deposits, but it does explain early references to iron prior to the Iron Age. " (Walton J.H.*, "Genesis," The NIV Application Commentary, Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 2001, pp.276-277) 18/02/2006 "During these same years when social Darwinism was under increasingly strong criticism among social theorists, it was being revived in a somewhat new guise in the literature of the eugenics movement. Accompanied by a. flood of valuable genetic research carried on by physicians and biologists, eugenics seemed not so much a social philosophy as a science; but in the minds of most of its advocates it had serious consequences for social thought. The theory of natural selection, which had assumed the transmission of parental variations, had greatly stimulated the study of heredity. Popular credulity about the scope and variety of hereditary traits had been almost boundless. Darwin's cousin, Francis Galton, had laid the foundations of the eugenics movement and coined its name during the years when Darwinism was being sold to the public. In the United States, Richard Dugdale had published in 1877 his study of The Jukes which, although its author gave more credit to environmental factors than did many later eugenists, had nevertheless offered support to the common view that disease, pauperism, and immorality are largely controlled by inheritance. While Galton's first inquiries into heredity - Hereditary Genius (1869), Inquiries into Human Faculty (1883), and National Inheritance(1880) had - been received here with much acclaim, it was not. until the turn of the century that the eugenics movement took organized form, first in England and then in the United States. Eugenics then grew with such great rapidity that by 1915 it had reached the dimensions of a fad. While eugenics has never since been so widely discussed, it has proved to be the most enduring aspect of social Darwinism. In 1894, Amos G. Warner, in his standard study of American Charities, had wrestled with the problem of the relative importance of heredity and environment in the background of poverty. At the turn of the century there was a notable rise of interest in the social significance of hereditary characteristics. The American Breeders' Association, founded in 1903, rapidly developed a strong eugenics subsection, which by 1913 became influential enough to have the name of the organization changed to the American Genetic Association. In 1910 a group of eugenists, with the financial assistance of Mrs. E. H. Harriman, founded at Cold Spring Harbor the Eugenics Record Office, which became a laboratory and a fountainhead of propaganda. The National Conference on Race Betterment in 1914 showed how thoroughly the eugenic ideal had made its way into the medical profession, the colleges, social work, and charitable organizations. The ideas of the movement began to receive practical application in 1907, when Indiana became the first state to adopt a sterilization law; by 1915 twelve states had passed similar measures" (Hofstadter R., "Social Darwinism in American Thought," , Beacon Press: Boston MA, Revised, 1955, Fifth printing, 1962, pp.161-162) 19/02/2006 "There is in his [Dennett's] work a sense that we live in exciting times, when new knowledge of sorts that had previously been thought unattainable is bursting out all over. Like Dawkins, he has the quality of making the world a more interesting place than it was before you read him. The reader is buffeted, frightened and exhilarated, sometimes all at once. Yet, when the pleasure's past, a threatening doubt remains: what, exactly, has one learnt? It's like watching the Americans in Vietnam: he drenches his opponents in high explosive, declares victory, and then gets the hell out." (Brown A., "The Darwin Wars: How Stupid Genes Became Selfish Gods," Simon & Schuster: London, 1999, p.153) 22/02/2006 The general theory of evolution has indeed for some time past steadily gained ground, and it may be safely predicted that the number of facts which can be brought forward in its support will, in a few years, be vastly augmented. But the prevalence of this theory need alarm no one, for it is, without any doubt, perfectly consistent with strictest and most orthodox Christian theology. Moreover, is not altogether without obscurities, and cannot yet be considered as fully demonstrated. The special Darwinian hypothesis, however, is beset with certain scientific difficulties, which must by no means be ignored, and some of which, the author ventures to think, are absolutely insuperable." (Mivart S.J., "On the Genesis of Species," Macmillan & Co: London & New York , Second edition, 1871, p.5) 22/02/2006 "Nay, `Natural Selection' seems capable of application not only to the building up of the smallest and most insignificant organisms, but even of extension beyond the biological domain altogether, so as possibly to have relation to the stable equilibrium of the solar system itself, and even of the whole sidereal universe. Thus, whether this theory be true or false, all lovers of natural science should acknowledge a deep debt of gratitude to Messrs. Darwin and Wallace, on account of its practical utility. But the utility of a theory by no means implies its truth. What do we not owe, for example, to the labours of the Alchemists?" (Mivart S.J., "On the Genesis of Species," Macmillan & Co: London & New York , Second edition, 1871, p.10) 22/02/2006 "A distinguished zoologist, Mr. St. George Mivart, has recently collected all the objections which have ever been advanced by myself and others against the theory of natural selection, as propounded by Mr. Wallace and myself, and has illustrated them with admirable art and force. When thus marshalled, they make a formidable array; and as it forms no part of Mr. Mivart's plan to give the various facts and considerations opposed to his conclusions, no slight effort of reason and memory is left to the reader who may wish to weigh idence on both sides. When discussing special cases, Mr. Mivart passes over the effects offects of the increased use and disuse of parts, which I have always maintained to be highly important, and have treated in my Variation under Domestication at greater length than, as I believe, any other writer. He likewise often assumes that I attribute nothing to variation, independently of natural selection, whereas in the work just referred to I have collected a greater number of well- established cases than can be found in any other work known to me. My judgment may not be trustworthy, but after reading with care Mr. Mivart's book, and comparing each section with what I have said on the same head, I never before felt so strongly convinced of the general truth of the conclusions here arrived at, subject, of course, in so intricate a subject, to much partial error." (Darwin C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1928, reprint, pp.200-201) 22/02/2006 "Vegetarian Diet Before the Fall. One of the clearest texts in the Old Testament on the transformation of animal characteristics after the Fall is that which describes the diet which God ordained for animals before the Fall. Before the Edenic curse, this was God's provision for the food of animals: `to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the heavens, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for food: and it was so' (Gen. 1:30). Under such conditions, there could have been no carnivorous beasts on earth before the Fall; for the animals to which God gave `every green herb for food' included `every beast of the field' and `every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein is life.'" (Whitcomb J.C.* & Morris H.M.*, "The Genesis Flood: The Biblical Record and its Scientific Implications," , Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1993, Thirty-sixth printing, p.461) 22/02/2006 "The Biblical [i.e. YEC] account of history not only accommodates such rapid changes in body form, but actually requires that it would have happened much faster than evolutionists would expect. As the animals left the Ark, multiplying to fill the Earth and all those empty ecological niches, natural selection could easily have caused an original `dog kind' (e.g.) on the Ark to `split' into wolves, coyotes, dingoes, etc. Because there are historical records showing some of these subtypes in existence only a few hundred years after the Flood, this means that there had to have been some very rapid (non- evolutionary) speciation. So it is encouragingly supportive of Biblical history when some such rapid changes are seen still occurring today. And this is being repeatedly confirmed. But since evolutionists mistakenly interpret all such adaptation/speciation as `evolution happening', they are left stunned when it happens much faster than their traditional interpretations of the fossil record would allow." (Catchpoole D.* & Wieland C.*, "Speedy species surprise," Creation Magazine, Vol. 23, No. 2, March 2001, pp.13-15. Emphasis original. Answers in Genesis, 2006) 25/02/2006 "Arguments about the origin of birds from reptiles have been going on for a long time. Though centered on Archaeopteryx, they have involved many reptiles. ... Crocodiles ... A British paleontologist, Dr Alick Walker of the University of Newcastle, in 1972 proposed that modern birds were more closely related to a group of Triassic crocodiles. He had been involved in a detailed study of the Triassic crocodile Sphenosuchus, and was able to point to a number of unexpected similarities in the form and arrangement of the skull bones in birds and this fossil. This provoked him to look in greater detail at the structure of living birds and crocodiles. Numerous similarities were indeed brought to light, in the structure, fore limbs, and ankles of embryonic birds and crocodiles. His principal suggestion based on this careful work was that the ancestors of birds and crocodiles seem to have adopted one of two ways of life. One group of rather slender, lightly built crocodile-like creatures adopted the habit of tree climbing, and ultimately became birds; while the other became larger amphibious types and developed into what we would now regard as typical crocodiles. Fascinating though much of this work was, it was curious that Walker chose not to use Archaeopteryx in the comparisons he was making between crocodiles and birds. Despite this, his theory has attracted some support among paleontologists." (Norman D., "Dinosaur!," Boxtree: London, 1991, pp.196-197) 25/02/2006 "The Bible does not discuss the subject of evolution. Rather, its worldview assumes God created the world. The biblical view of creation is not in conflict with science; rather, it is in conflict with any worldview that starts without a creator. Equally committed and sincere Christians have struggled with the subject of beginnings and come to differing conclusions. This, of course, is to be expected because the evidence is very old and, due to the ravages of the ages, quite fragmented. Students of the Bible and of science should avoid polarizations and black/white thinking. Students of the Bible must be careful not to make the Bible say what it doesn't say, and students of science must not make science say what it doesn't say. The most important aspect of the continuing discussion is not the process of creation, but the origin of creation. The world is not a product of blind chance and probability; God created it. The Bible not only tells us that the world was created by God; more important, it tells us who this God is. It reveals God's personality, his character, and his plan for his creation. It also reveals God's deepest desire: to relate to and fellowship with the people he created. God took the ultimate step toward fellowship with us through his historic visit to this planet in the person of his Son Jesus Christ. We can know in a very personal way this God who created the universe. The heavens and the earth are here. We are here. God created all that we see and experience. The book of Genesis begins, `God created the heavens and the earth.'" ("The Account of Creation" [Genesis 1:1-2:4], "Life Application Study Bible, New Living Translation," , Tyndale House Publishers: Wheaton IL, 2004, p.5. Emphasis original. http://www.tyndalebooksellers.com/firstchapter/pdfs/0-8423-8493-6.pdf) 25/02/2006 "Living things are highly ordered systems-much more elaborately ordered than any known nonliving things. Even the simplest living things show great complexity. In terms of ordered structure the distance between a bacterium and a man is much less than between a bacterium and, say, a giant electronic brain. In the general course of events order tends to give way to less order, and not the other way around; hence it is not easy to see how life could have arisen from nonliving precursors. ... To be compatible with life, a configuration must combine metabolic activity with stability and even adaptability, and it must be able to reproduce itself from available components. This is a big order. To assess its implications we will investigate what seems to be a critical step in the emergence of life: given a `rich, hot, salty sea' containing organic molecules such as amino acids, sugars, polyphosphates, pyrimidines, purines, and so on, what is the probability of an occasion at which a random configuration taken by such molecules is compatible with life? To estimate this probability, two numbers are needed: the probability that any given molecular configuration is compatible with life, and the number of occasions available for forming configurations. ... Multiplying the number of sites (5 x 1010 to 5 x 1032) by the number of time intervals (2 x 103 to 2 x 1013) yields the total number of occasions available for the emergence of life: between 1014 (the product of the two low estimates) and 1046 (the product of the two high estimates), give or take a few orders of magnitude. ... It suffices to say that any event of the type considered must have occurred if it has a probability of better than 1010; and has not occurred except possibly once if it has a probability of less than 10-50. ... A very low estimate of the essential information content of a simple living thing, considered as an ordered arrangement of the same building stones, is 1,000 bits, corresponding to a probability of 10-301. The probability of life having originated through random choice at any one of the 1046 occasions is then about 10-255. ... The smallness of this number means that it is virtually impossible that life has originated by a random association of molecules; the proposition that a living structure could have arisen in a single event through random association of molecules must be rejected. Of course, even a virtually impossible event can and will occur once-but not twice. This means that if life should have originated in this utterly improbable manner, then it is certain that no other life of independent origin exists either on earth or anywhere in space; if life of nonterrestrial origin is found on Mars, then the hypothesis of random association of molecules is disproven." (Quastler H., "The Emergence of Biological Organization," Yale University Press: New Haven CT, 1964, pp.1-2, 6-7) 25/02/2006 "The information content of living things. The large number of molecules needed to constitute a living thing are capable of a vast sum of possible configurations. Among those only a minute fraction seems to be compatible with life. The amount of choice involved in picking a configuration compatible with life out of all the possible configurations can be expressed in terms of information content. Let H be the information content of a structure relative to the ordering of a certain kind of component; then 2-H is the probability of picking at random, from the set of all possible structures of the class considered, one that fulfills the stated criteria. Hence we can examine the probability of any molecular configuration being compatible with life in terms of the information content of living things." (Quastler H., "The Emergence of Biological Organization," Yale University Press: New Haven CT, 1964, p.2. Emphasis original) 25/02/2006 Creating new information. The `accidental choice remembered' is a common mode of originating information. Since creation of information is habitually associated with conscious activity, it will be worthwhile to discuss this mode of creating information in terms of human activity. A humble way of originating information furnishes an exact analog to the presumed situation in the case of the nucleic acid system: this is the instance of information emerging by the choosing of a number combination to unlock a safe. It does not matter how the combination was originally selected wisely, by culling it from a table of random numbers, or unwisely, by using a guessable sequence such as birth date or telephone number. What matters is that before the combination is set into the lock, every number sequence is exactly as good as every other one (namely, no good!), and after it has been set, one sequence is useful and all others are useless. Thus the choice of a sequence and the subsequent implementation of the choice by setting the lock have created information. On a loftier plane, information emerges when a new work is created by an artist, a composer, a poet. This mode of creating information is based on acts of free will-we know by direct personal experience that man is capable of such feats. By empathy, the capability of having the same experience is granted to beings similar to ourselves." (Quastler H., "The Emergence of Biological Organization," Yale University Press: New Haven CT, 1964, pp.16-17. Emphasis original) 25/02/2006 "In recent years, biologists have discovered an exquisite world of nanotechnology within living cells - complex circuits, sliding clamps, energy- generating turbines and miniature machines. For example, bacterial cells are propelled by rotary engines called flagellar motors that rotate at 100,000rpm. These engines look like they were designed by engineers, with many distinct mechanical parts (made of proteins), including rotors, stators, O-rings, bushings, U-joints and drive shafts. The biochemist Michael Behe points out that the flagellar motor depends on the co-ordinated function of 30 protein parts. Remove one of these proteins and the rotary motor doesn't work. The motor is, in Behe's words, `irreducibly complex'. This creates a problem for the Darwinian mechanism. Natural selection preserves or `selects' functional advantages as they arise by random mutation. Yet the flagellar motor does not function unless all its 30 parts are present. Thus, natural selection can `select' the motor once it has arisen as a functioning whole, but it cannot produce the motor in a step-by-step Darwinian fashion. Natural selection purportedly builds complex systems from simpler structures by preserving a series of intermediates, each of which must perform some function. With the flagellar motor, most of the critical intermediate structures perform no function for selection to preserve. This leaves the origin of the flagellar motor unexplained by the mechanism - natural selection - that Darwin specifically proposed to replace the design hypothesis." (Meyer S.C.*, "Intelligent design is not creationism," Daily Telegraph, 28 January 2006) 27/02/2006 "We have good reason to believe, as shown in the first chapter, that changes in the conditions of life give a tendency to increased variability; and in the foregoing cases the conditions have changed, and this would manifestly be favourable to natural selection, by affording a better chance of the occurrence of profitable variations. Unless such occur, natural selection can do nothing. Under the term of `variations,' it must never be forgotten that mere individual differences are included. As man can produce a great result with his domestic animals and plants by adding up in any given direction individual differences, so could natural selection, but far more easily, from having incomparably longer time for action. Nor do I believe that any great physical change, as of climate, or any unusual degree of isolation to check immigration, is necessary in order that new and unoccupied places should be left, for natural selection to fill up by improving some of the varying inhabitants." (Darwin C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1928, reprint, p.82) 27/02/2006 "Isolation, also, is an important element in the modification of species through natural selection. In a confined or isolated area, if not very large, the organic and inorganic conditions of life will generally be almost uniform; so that natural selection will tend to modify all the varying individuals of the same species in the same manner. Intercrossing with the inhabitants of the surrounding districts will, also, be thus prevented. Moritz Wagner has lately published an interesting essay on this subject, and has shown that the service rendered by isolation in preventing crosses between newly formed varieties is probably greater even than I supposed. But from reasons already assigned I can by no means agree with this naturalist, that migration and isolation are necessary elements for the formation of new species. The importance of isolation is likewise great in preventing, after any physical change in the conditions, such as of climate, elevation of the land, etc., the immigration of better adapted organisms; and thus new places in the natural economy of the district will be left open to be filled up by the modification of the old inhabitants. Lastly, isolation will give time for a new variety to be improved at a slow rate; and this may sometimes be of much importance. If, however, an isolated area be very small, either from being surrounded by barriers, or from having very peculiar physical conditions, the total number of the inhabitants will be small; and this will retard the production of new species through natural selection, by decreasing the chances of favourable variations arising." (Darwin C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1928, reprint, pp.100-101) 27/02/2006 "If we turn to nature to test the truth of these remarks, and look at any small isolated area, such as an oceanic island, although the number of species inhabiting it is small, as we shall see in our chapter on Geographical Distribution; yet of these species a very large proportion are endemic,-that is, have been produced there, and nowhere else in the world. Hence an oceanic island at first sight seems to have been highly favourable for the production of new species. But we may thus deceive ourselves, for to ascertain whether a small isolated area, or a large open area like a continent, has been most favourable for the production of new organic forms, we ought to make the comparison within equal times; and this we are incapable of doing." (Darwin C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1928, reprint, p.101) 27/02/2006 "Although isolation is of great importance in the production of new species, on the whole I am inclined to believe that largeness of area is still more important, especially for the production of species which shall prove capable of enduring for a long period, and of spreading widely." (Darwin C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1928, reprint, p.101) 27/02/2006 "Finally, I conclude that, although small isolated areas have been in some respects highly favourable for the production of new species, yet that the course of modification will generally have been more rapid on large areas; and what is more important, that the new forms produced on large areas, which already have been victorious over many competitors, will be those that will spread most widely, and will give rise to the greatest number of new varieties and species. They will thus play a more important part in the changing history of the organic world." (Darwin C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1928, reprint, p.101) 27/02/2006 "But quite other causes have concurred to produce the general and higher degree of interest felt in the theory beside the readiness with which it harmonizes with biological facts. These latter could only be appreciated by physiologists, zoologists, and botanists ; whereas the Darwinian theory, so novel and so startling, has found a cloud of advocates and opponents beyond and outside the world of physical science. In the first place, it was inevitable that very many half-educated men and shallow thinkers should accept with eagerness the theory of `Natural Selection,' or rather what they think to be such (for few things are more remarkable than the manner in which it has been misunderstood), on account of a certain characteristic it has in common with other theories which should not be mentioned in the same breath with it, except, as now, with the accompaniment of protest and apology. We refer to its remarkable simplicity and the ready way in which phenomena the most complex appear explicable by a cause for the comprehension of which laborious and persevering efforts are not required, but which may be represented by the simple phrase `survival of the fittest.' With nothing more than this, can, on the Darwinian theory, all the most intricate facts of distribution and affinity, form, and colour, be accounted for; as well as the most complex instincts and the most admirable adjustments, such as those of the human eye and ear. It is in great measure then, owing to this supposed simplicity, and to a belief in its being yet easier and more simple than it is, that Darwinism, however imperfectly understood, has become a subject for general conversation and has been able thus widely to increase a certain knowledge of biological matters : and this excitation of interest in quarters where otherwise it would have been entirely wanting, is an additional motive for gratitude on the part of naturalists to the authors of the new theory. At the same time it must be admitted that a similar `simplicity'-the apparently easy explanation of complex phenomena-also constitutes the charm of such matters as hydropathy and phrenology, in the eyes of the unlearned or half-educated public. It is indeed *the* charm of all those seeming `short cuts' to knowledge, by which the labour of mastering scientific details is spared to those who believe that without such labour they can yet attain all the most valuable results of scientific research. It is not, of course, meant to imply that its `simplicity' tells at all against `Natural Selection,' but only that the actual or supposed possession of that quality is a strong reason for the wide and somewhat hasty acceptance of the theory, whether it be true or not." (Mivart S.J., "On the Genesis of Species," Macmillan & Co: London & New York , Second edition, 1871, pp.12-13. Emphasis original) 28/02/2006 "Darwin's voyage on the Beagle gave him abundant opportunity to observe isolation at work: `barriers of any kind, or obstacles to free migration, are related in a close and important manner to the differences between the production of various regions ... on the opposite sides of lofty and continuous mountain-ranges, of great deserts and even of large rivers, we find different productions' (Darwin 1859:347). When chided by Moritz Wagner for underestimating the role of isolation in speciation, Darwin defended himself with the words: `It would have been a strange fact if I had overlooked the importance of isolation, seeing that it was such cases as that of the Galapagos Archipelago, which chiefly led me to study the origin of species' (F. Darwin 1888: vol. 3:159, letter of October 13, 1876). Yet, there is no doubt that Wagner's criticism was justified. Darwin admitted the occurrence of speciation on islands, but he emphasized again and again that incipient species could also evolve into full species without any spatial isolation: `I can by no means agree [with Wagner] that migration and isolation are necessary elements for the formation of new species.... I believe that many perfectly defined species have been formed on strictly continuous areas' (1872:106, 175). All the evidence that has accumulated since Darwin indicates that this assumption is unwarranted as far as higher animals are concerned. It is of more than historical interest to determine how Darwin arrived at his erroneous conclusion." (Mayr, E.W., "Darwin and Isolation," in "Evolution and the Diversity of Life: Selected Essays," Belknap: Cambridge MA, 1976, pp.120-121) 28/02/2006 "The majority of authors until fairly recently considered sympatric speciation, that is, speciation without geographic isolation, to be the prevailing mode of speciation. Such speciation is based on two postulates: (a) the establishment of new populations of a species in different ecological niches within the normal cruising range of the individuals of the parental population; (b) the reproductive isolation of the founders of the new population from individuals of the parental population. Gene flow between daughter and parental population is postulated to be inhibited by intrinsic rather than extrinsic factors. A rapid process of species formation is implied in most schemes of sympatric speciation. The concept of sympatric speciation is far older than that of geographic speciation and goes back to pre-Darwinian days. Darwin was rather vague on the subject and made no clear distinction between speciation through individuals and speciation through populations. In some of his statements he seems to give due recognition to the need for geographic isolation while in others he seems to ignore the geographical element altogether." (Mayr E.W., "Populations, Species and Evolution," , Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, 1974, Third printing, p.256)
* 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.
Copyright © 2006-2010, by Stephen E. Jones. All rights reserved. These my quotes may be used for non-commercial purposes only and may not be used in a
book, ebook, CD, DVD, or any other medium except the Internet, without my written permission. If used on the Internet, a link back to my home page at http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones would be appreciated.
Created: 3 February, 2006. Updated: 10 April, 2010.