Stephen E. Jones

Creation/Evolution Quotes: Unclassified quotes: October 2006

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The following are quotes added to my Unclassified Quotes database in October 2006. The date format is dd/mm/yy. See copyright conditions at end.

[Index: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Nov, Dec]



1/10/2006
"But what about Van Till's claim that creation is somehow more gifted if all events are done with creation on 
`autopilot,' all developments somehow being incorporated into the initial design scheme? I believe such a 
design would substantially compromise the universe that we have in one of several ways. First if the 
provision of information is to come through the assignment of properties to matter, then the outcomes that 
are possible will be significantly limited by the initial property assignments given. If, for example, the 
sequencing of amino acids in proteins were due to the chemical bonding preferences, then only one or a few 
sequences would be permissible, severely limiting the varieties of proteins that could be produced. On the 
other hand, when this information is provided by other means the number of ways that biopolymers (such 
as proteins) or systems (such as living cells) can be organized is indeed unlimited. Second, the constraint of 
trying to put all of the information into the initial properties may have some very significant performance 
penalties that are not apparent at first glance. Suppose that I wanted to design an automobile that could 
self-assemble. It would certainly be possible in principle to make such an automobile. However, the degree 
of complexity associated with these additional requirements would greatly increase the cost and would 
almost certainly compromise the performance, since these additional capabilities come at a high cost of 
additional complexity that is useful only in the assembly but not thereafter. In the same way, there may be 
some significant design compromises in a universe that is able to unfold with all the necessary information 
incorporated into the properties of matter. In summary, there is no rational basis for Van Till's claim that a 
universe that unfolds entirely on autopilot represents a better design or a more fully gifted creation by God 
than one in which not all of the necessary information is imparted in the properties of matter alone but is 
incorporated at certain critical points in the developmental history of the universe." (Bradley, W.L.*, 
"Response to Robert C. Newman," in Moreland, J.P. & Reynolds, J.M., eds., "Three Views on Creation and 
Evolution," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1999, pp.135-136)

2/10/2006
"The probability of Darwinist evolution depends upon the quantity of favorable micromutations required to 
create complex organs and organisms, the frequency with which such favorable micromutations occur just 
where and when they are needed, the efficacy of natural selection in preserving the slight improvements 
with sufficient consistency to permit the benefits to accumulate, and the time allowed by the fossil record for 
all this to have happened. ... Some mathematicians did try to make the calculations, and the result was a 
rather acrimonious confrontation between themselves and some of the leading Darwinists at the Wistar 
Institute in Philadelphia in 1967. The report of the exchange is fascinating, not just because of the substance 
of the mathematical challenge but even more because of the logic of the Darwinist response. For example, 
the mathematician D.S. Ulam argued that it was highly improbable that the eye could have evolved by the 
accumulation of small mutations, because the number of mutations would have to be so large and the time 
available was not nearly long enough for them to appear. Sir Peter Medawar and C. H. Waddington 
responded that Ulam was doing his science backwards; the fact was that the eye had evolved and therefore 
the mathematical difficulties must be only apparent. ["Discussion: Paper by Dr. Ulam," in Moorhead, P.S. & 
Kaplan, M.M., ed., "Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution," The Wistar 
Institute Press: Philadelphia PA, 1967, pp.28-29] Ernst Mayr observed that Ulam's calculations were based 
on assumptions that might be unfounded, and concluded that `Somehow or other by adjusting these figures 
we will come out all right. We are comforted by the fact that evolution has occurred.' [Ibid., p.30] The 
Darwinists were trying to be reasonable, but it was as if Ulam had presented equations proving that gravity 
is too weak a force to prevent us all from floating off into space. Darwinism to them was not a theory open to 
refutation but a fact to be accounted for, at least until the mathematicians could produce an acceptable 
alternative." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," [1991], Second Edition, InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 
1993, pp.38-39) 

2/10/2006
"On the other hand, the kappa is a difficult thing because, as Waddington and Medawar just said a gene 
produces, let's say, an enzyme. All right, suppose we have 1,000 different kinds of cells in a higher organism- 
brain cells, nerve cells, skin cells, gland cells, and whatnot. All of them carry the same gene locus; 
potentially, the enzyme could be produced in each one of them. It depends on the postulated (and surely 
they must be there) regulator genes, when each is turned on and in what amount. Kappa somehow or other- 
has to incorporate this. If a given gene is selected for because it does something good in the eye, what does 
this same gene do in all the other cells of the organism? That is a thing we have never taken into 
consideration and the evolutionist is very simple-minded about this. He takes the total average and says, 
`Well, as long as the phenotype as a whole, in terms of selection, is improved we have got something there.' 
So all I am saying is we have so much variation in all of these things that somehow or other by adjusting 
these figures we will come out all right. We are comforted by knowing that evolution has occurred." (Mayr, 
E.W., "Discussion: Paper by Dr. Ulam," in Moorhead P.S. & Kaplan M.M., ed., "Mathematical Challenges to 
the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution: A Symposium Held at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and 
Biology, April 25 and 26, 1966," The Wistar Institute Symposium Monograph Number 5, The Wistar 
Institute Press: Philadelphia PA, 1967, p.30) 

2/10/2006
"Punctuated equilibria began showing up in creationist tracts as evidence that some scientists openly doubt 
evolution. The line of reasoning seems to have been: (1) Darwin founded evolutionary theory, (2) Some 
scientists doubt that Darwin got it entirely right, (3) Ergo, some scientists oppose evolution. Nor was this 
line of thinking restricted to obscure religious tracts. I am reliably informed (by the man who claimed to have 
pulled it off) that Steve Gould and I, thanks to our punctuated equilibria, were the scientists Ronald Reagan 
had in mind [sic] when he said, `Well, it is a theory, a scientific theory only, and it has in recent years been 
challenged in the world of science and is not yet believed in the scientific community to be as infallible as it 
once was believed,' just after he addressed a group of fundamentalists during his first presidential election 
campaign [Holden, C., "Republican Candidate Picks Fight with Darwin," Science, Vol. 209, 12 September 
1980, p.1214]. Naturally we jumped into the fray, as did many of our opposite numbers at the High Table. 
Closing ranks to face a common enemy is a natural reaction. In a way, creationism was good for evolutionary 
biology. It made us articulate our basic precepts more clearly. And it reminded us that we have, after all is 
said and done, more in common as evolutionists than we have issues that drive us apart." (Eldredge, N., 
"Reinventing Darwin: The Great Evolutionary Debate," [1995], Phoenix: London, 1996, reprint, p.104)

2/10/2006
"SCIENTISTS believe they have discovered a `God module' in the brain which could be responsible for 
man's evolutionary instinct to believe in religion. A study of epileptics who are known to have profoundly 
spiritual experiences has located a circuit of nerves in the front of the brain which appears to become 
electrically active when they think about God. The scientists said that although the research and its 
conclusions are preliminary, initial results suggest that the phenomenon of religious belief is `hard-wired' 
into the brain. Epileptic patients who suffer from seizures of the brain's frontal lobe said they frequently 
experience intense mystical episodes and often become obsessed with religious spirituality. A team of 
neuroscientists from the University of California at San Diego said the most intriguing explanation is that the 
seizure causes an overstimulation of the nerves in a part of the brain dubbed the `God module'. `There may 
be dedicated neural machinery in the temporal lobes concerned with religion. This may have evolved to 
impose order and stability on society,' the team reported at a conference last week. The results indicate that 
whether a person believes in a religion or even in God may depend on how enhanced is this part of the 
brain's electrical circuitry, the scientists said. ... Evolutionary scientists have suggested that belief in God, 
which is a common trait found in human societies around the world and throughout history, may be built 
into the brain's complex electrical circuitry as a Darwinian adaptation to encourage co-operation between 
individuals. If the research is correct and a `God module' exists, then it might suggest that individuals who 
are atheists could have a differently configured neural circuit." (Connor, S., "'God spot' is found in brain," 
Los Angeles Times, 29 October 1997. Emphasis original)

3/10/2006
"Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and their friend the psychologist and militant atheist Nicholas Humphrey talk 
about the `memes' they disapprove of in exactly the same way that fundamentalists talk about `demons'. In 
both cases, their opponents' ideas are dismissed as the result, quite literally, of possession. If this is your 
point of entry into their ideas it makes it hard to take seriously anything else they have to say, which is 
unfortunate. ... One culmination of the process was reached in 1997, when Nick Humphrey argued that 
parents should be forbidden by the state to transmit beliefs he finds obnoxious. `Children have a right not to 
have their minds addled by nonsense. And we as a society have a duty to protect them from it. So we 
should no more allow parents to teach their children to believe in the literal truth of the Bible, or that the 
planets rule their lives, than we should allow parents to knock their children's teeth out or lock them in a 
dungeon.' [Humphrey, N., "What shall we Tell the Children?," Amnesty Lecture, Oxford, 21 February 1997] 
What makes this suggestion truly extraordinary is that it was delivered as a contribution to human rights, as 
part of an amnesty lecture, and the programme of censorship he was advocating was justified on the 
grounds that teaching children falsehoods is a wrong as great as mutilating them physically. Something has 
gone very badly wrong when the pieties of atheism are so stifling that no one notices anything odd in the 
proposal to take into care children who are allowed to read an astrology column (or perhaps merely to jail or 
fine their parents) simply because this modest proposal is justified by appeals to scientific knowledge and 
human rights. If nothing else, this shows that the attitudes which made the Inquisition obnoxious are able to 
survive and flourish in an atmosphere untainted by Christian orthodoxy and that the problematic 
consequences of religion cannot be abolished merely by abolishing religious belief. Humphrey is able, in the 
course of one and the same lecture, to argue that religious belief or superstition must necessarily crumble 
into dust at the touch of science, and that it is such a cruel and irreversible mutilation of a child's mind to 
teach that the Bible is literally true that it must be banned by law." (Brown, A., "The Darwin Wars: How 
Stupid Genes Became Selfish Gods," Simon & Schuster: London, 1999, pp.171-173) 

4/10/2006
"For over a quarter-century after the Scopes trial in 1925, American textbook publishers tried to avoid 
antagonizing conservative Christians by saying as little as possible about evolution. This policy of 
`neutrality based on silence' began to crumble in the late 1950S, after the Soviet Union in 1957 successfully 
launched Sputnik, the first artificial satellite to circle the earth. An embarrassed United States sought to 
regain world leadership in science and technology by pouring millions of dollars into improving science 
education. Backed by generous funding from the National Science Foundation, a group of biologists in the 
American Institute of Biological Sciences established a center at the University of Colorado, the Biological 
Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS), to produce state-of-the-art biology texts. Responding in part to 
complaints from leading biologists that `one hundred years without Darwinism are enough,' [Muller, H.J., 
"One hundred years without Darwinism are enough," The Humanist, Vol. 19, 1959; p.139] the BSCS 
authors wove evolution into their material as `the warp and woof of modern biology.' After extensive testing 
in over a thousand schools, the BSCS in 1963 issued three versions of its tenth-grade text, each identified by 
the dominant color of its cover: blue, yellow, or green. Before long nearly half of the high schools in America 
were using these books or other curriculum materials developed by the BSCS-and introducing hundreds of 
thousands of high-school students to their apelike ancestors. Like Bernard Ramm's attack on flood geology, 
which had provoked Whitcomb and Morris into defending Pricean catastrophism, these controversial texts 
created a furious backlash against the very theory they were designed to promote. Not surprisingly, 
concerned creationists viewed this latest offensive as an `attempt to ram evolution down the throats of our 
children.' `It seems clear,' wrote Rita Rhodes Ward (b. 1910), a creationist biology teacher in El Paso, that all 
three of these books are dedicated to the promulgation of total organic evolution to the exclusion of 
objectivity in biology, if need be, in order to eliminate any belief in fiat creation.' In making God unnecessary, 
she argued, the texts stopped just short of espousing atheism." (Numbers, R.L., "The Creationists: the 
Evolution of Scientific Creationism," [1992], University of California Press: Berkeley CA, 1993, pp.238-239)

4/10/2006
"The present struggle over evolution is often seen by defenders of Darwinism as a culture war in which 
creationism is a part of a general right-wing ideology that justifies an authoritarian, traditionalist society, 
protecting `traditional values' against assaults from social revolutionaries intent on overturning long-held 
moral values. It is certainly true that creationism is far more popular in the rural South, the Midwest, and the 
Southwest among supporters of the present Republican administration than among urban Northern 
Democrats. But the evolution/creation struggle has a complex history. Before World War II the science of 
evolution was virtually absent from school curricula everywhere in America, although explicit creationism 
was characteristic largely of the rural South and West. Then the atomic bomb and, later, an immense 
increase in the public funding of science as a response to the alarm raised by Sputnik resulted in a 
revolution in teaching science. With support from the National Science Foundation, evolution became a 
regular part of biology textbooks and science instruction in the public schools and remains so in most 
places." (Lewontin, R.C., "The Wars Over Evolution." Review of "The Evolution-Creation Struggle," by 
Michael Ruse, Harvard University Press, 2005 and Richerson, P.J. & Boyd, R., "Not By Genes Alone: How 
Culture Transformed Human Evolution," University of Chicago Press, 2004. The New York Review of 
Books, Vol. 52, No. 16, October 20, 2005)

4/10/2006
"In response, among those who had never lost their traditional fundamentalism, an active creationist 
reaction began, slowly accelerating to its present prominence. According to a series of polls taken over the 
last twenty-five years, about 50 percent of Americans believe that `God created man pretty much in his 
present form at one time within the last 10,000 years.' There have been repeated recent attempts in 
Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, and Kansas to make the study of challenges to 
evolutionary biology part of the mandated public school science curriculum. These have so far not 
succeeded, but Kansas seems on the verge of passing a statewide requirement that a new variant of the 
Creation myth, `intelligent design,' be part of the discussion of evolution in public secondary schools. 
Intelligent design (ID) has itself been intelligently designed to circumvent legal challenges to the teaching of 
biblical creationism, challenges based on the constitutional requirement of a separation of church and state. 
God, the Bible, and religion in general are not mentioned in the doctrine of ID. Rather, it is claimed that an 
objective examination of the facts of life makes it clear that organisms are too complex to have arisen by a 
process of the accumulation of naturally selected chance mutations and so must have been purposefully 
created by an unspecified intelligent designer. An alien from outer space? But the theory of ID is a 
transparent subterfuge. The problem is that if the living world is too complex to have arisen without an 
intelligent designer, then where did the intelligent designer come from? After all, she must have been as 
complex as the things she designed. If not, then we have evolution! Otherwise we must postulate an 
intelligent designer who designed the intelligent designer who..., back to the original one who must have 
been around forever. And who might that be? Like the ancient Hebrews the ID designers fear to pronounce 
Her name lest they be destroyed, but Her initials are clearly YWH." (Lewontin, R.C., "The Wars Over 
Evolution." Review of "The Evolution-Creation Struggle," by Michael Ruse, Harvard University Press, 2005 
and Richerson, P.J. & Boyd, R., "Not By Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution," 
University of Chicago Press, 2004. The New York Review of Books, Vol. 52, No. 16, October 20, 2005) 

4/10/2006
"In 1957, the situation changed. With the launch of Sputnik, Americans awoke to find that a scientifically 
advanced Soviet Union had beaten the United States into space. This spurred rapid revisions of science 
textbooks, some emphasizing biological evolution. But the anti-evolution statutes were still in force, and so 
some teachers using newer books were violating the law. One of these teachers, Susan Epperson, brought 
suit against the state of Arkansas for violating the Establishment Clause. She won the right to teach 
evolution, and Epperson v. Arkansas was upheld by the United States Supreme Court in 1968, only a year 
after Tennessee finally rescinded the Butler Act. Finally it was legal to teach evolution everywhere in 
America. The opponents of evolution proceeded to re-think their strategy, deciding that if they could not 
beat scientists, they would join them. They thus recast themselves as `scientific creationists,' proposing an 
ostensibly non-religious alternative to the theory of evolution that might be acceptable in the classroom. 
But the empirical claims of scientific creationism--that the Earth is young (6,000 to 10,000 years old), that all 
species were created suddenly and simultaneously, that mass extinctions were caused by a great worldwide 
flood--bore a suspicious resemblance to creation stories in the Bible. ... Scientific creationism proved a bust 
for two reasons. First, the "science" was ludicrously wrong. ... Scientific creationism also came to grief 
because its advocates did not adequately hide its religious underpinnings." (Coyne, J., "The Case Against 
Intelligent Design: The Faith That Dare Not Speak Its Name." The New Republic, August 11, 2005)

4/10/2006
"Sputnik captured the attention of the American people, creating widespread support for improving science 
education. In response, President Eisenhower requested a `billion dollar, four year program to strengthen 
and improve science education and research,' leading to the enactment of the massive National Defense 
Education Act in 1958. That year, a Gallup survey found that a majority of interviewed high-school 
principals were changing their science programs in response to Sputnik. Fear of Soviet science drove the 
American public to heed scientific opinion in reforming domestic science education. These reforms included 
the biological sciences, especially after the National Science Foundation began funding the Biological 
Science Curriculum Study (BSCS) in 1959. Like its counterpart for physics, the BSCS set about rewriting 
high-school textbooks, and the leading biologists serving on the Study (which included Hermann Muller) 
boldly embraced evolution. The appearance of the BSCS texts in the early sixties shattered the thirty-year 
truce in legal activities enveloping the anti-evolution issue." (Larson, E.J., "Trial and Error: The American 
Controversy over Creation and Evolution," Oxford University Press: New York NY, 2003, p.91) 

4/10/2006
"With somewhat less certainty, most scientists think that people who look like us - anatomically modern 
 Homo sapiens - evolved by at least 130,000 years ago from ancestors who had remained in Africa. Their 
brain had reached today's size. They, too, moved out of Africa and eventually replaced nonmodern human 
species, notably the Neanderthals in Europe and parts of Asia, and Homo erectus, typified by Java Man 
and Peking Man fossils in the Far East. But agreement breaks down completely on the question of when, 
where and how these anatomically modern humans began to manifest creative and symbolic thinking. That 
is, when did they become fully human in behavior as well as body? When, and where, was human culture 
born? `It's the hot issue, and we all have different positions,' said Dr. John E. Yellen, an archaeologist with 
the National Science Foundation. For much of the last century, archaeologists thought that modern 
behavior flowered relatively recently, 40,000 years ago, and only after Homo sapiens had pushed into 
Europe. They based their theory of a `creative explosion' on evidence like the magnificent cave paintings in 
Lascaux and Chauvet. But some rebellious researchers suspected that this theory was a relic of a time when 
their discipline was ruled by Eurocentrism. Archaeologists, the rebels contended, were simply not looking 
for earlier creativity in the right places. Several recent discoveries in Africa and the Middle East are 
providing the first physical evidence to support an older, more gradual evolution of modern behavior, one 
not centered in Europe. But other scientists, beyond acknowledging a few early sparks in Africa, remain 
unswayed. One prominent researcher is putting forward a new hypothesis of genetic change to explain a 
more recent and abrupt appearance of creativity. The debate has never been so intense over what 
archaeologists see as the dawn of human culture. `Europe is a little peninsula that happens to have a large 
amount of spectacular archaeology,' said Dr. Clive Gamble, director of the Center for the Archaeology of 
Human Origins at the University of Southampton in England. `But the European grip of having all the 
evidence is beginning to slip. We're finding wonderful new evidence in Africa and other places. And in the 
last two or three years, this has changed and widened the debate over modern human behavior.' The 
uncertainty and confusion over the origin of modern cultural behavior stem from what appears to be a great 
time lag between the point when the species first looked modern and when it acted modern. Perhaps the first 
modern Homo sapiens emerged with a capacity for modern creativity, but it remained latent until needed 
for survival. `The earliest Homo sapiens probably had the cognitive capability to invent Sputnik,' said Dr. 
Sally McBrearty, an anthropologist at the University of Connecticut. `But they didn't yet have the history of 
invention or a need for those things.'" (Wilford, J.N., "Debate Is Fueled on When Humans Became Human," 
 The New York Times, February 26, 2002) 

4/10/2006
"Evolution, for example, was barely mentioned in school textbooks; as late as 1954, my children, in Raleigh, 
North Carolina, read that `God made the flowers out of sunshine.' Then came Sputnik and the demand that 
the science curriculums be radically revised to make our children scientifically competent. one consequence 
was the complete rewriting of the biology curriculums by the Biological Science Curriculum Study, an 
enterprise run by professors from the most prestigious establishment universities and funded by the 
National Science Foundation. Suddenly the study of evolution was in all the schools. The culture of the 
dominant class had triumphed, and traditional religious values, the only vestige of control that rural people 
had over their own lives and the lives of their families, had been taken from them. Not only in Oklahoma and 
Arkansas, but in California and Texas among the descendants of the Okies and Arkies of the 1930s, the new 
emphasis on evolution has been met by a renewed defense of the old tradition. Some of the tactics are new, 
`scientific creationism' for example, but the struggle is the old one. It is the struggle between the culture of a 
dominant class and the traditional ideology of those who feel themselves dominated." (Lewontin, R.C., 
"Introduction", in Godfrey, L.R., ed., "Scientists Confront Creationism", W.W. Norton: New York NY, 1983, 
pp.xxv-xxvi) 

4/10/2006
"Prof John Rust may be wearing a black shirt, and talking a lot about eugenics, but don't get the wrong idea 
about the UK's only professor of psychometrics, now resident in Cambridge. After an already distinguished 
career in psychometrics, the professor came to Cambridge in November to set up The Psychometric Centre, 
part of Cambridge University's assessment department and likely to become a nice little earner. As well as 
being a centre for academic research, it will also serve the needs of those who want to use the science of 
psychometrics in education and in the business world for staff selection. More widely, the science is about 
understanding the statistics gathered from tests, knowing how to design the tests, and making sure what 
comes out the other end is going to be reliable and relevant. ... Eugenics is a hard one to talk about, and the 
PR people in the room fidget uncomfortably as the subject gathers pace. `Psychometrics has been linked 
with eugenics, and Darwin was involved in it, the idea that people were getting less intelligent because the 
races having big families were less intelligent than the civilised races who were having fewer children,' says 
Prof Rust. `In the 1920s, tests started to be used in the US to restrict immigration, and in some countries 
they were used to decide whether or not people could be allowed to reproduce, which, of course, led on to 
Nazism.'" (J.C., "Professor is putting centre to the test," Cambridge Evening News 3 October 2006) 

5/10/2006
"Though at first glance seemingly plausible, metabolism-first models have only superficial merit because 
they appeal to unrealistic chemistry. Orgel has specifically identified a number of problems. He points out 
that cycles and networks operating on early Earth would have been highly susceptible to disruption by 
chemical interferents and competing side reactions. Without enzymes, protometabolic reactions cannot 
proceed rapidly enough to sustain a protocell unless aided by some sort of chemical accelerant." Mineral 
surfaces are the only reasonable candidates for service as prebiotic catalysts. While mineral surfaces can 
catalyze specific reactions, to propose that a mineral will catalyze the range of chemical reactions required 
for cycles or chemical networks to operate is simply unrealistic. An attempt to increase the catalytic range 
by invoking the availability of many different types of mineral surfaces only creates an additional 
problemthe need to efficiently transport "metabolites" from mineral site to mineral site. These parameters 
question how a chemical cycle could be maintained and evolve into a protocell's metabolic system. In 
Orgel's words, metabolism-first scenarios require an "appeal to magic," a "series of remarkable 
coincidences," or a "near miracle." [Orgel, L.E., "Self-organizing biochemical cycles," Proceedings 
of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 97, No. 23, November 7, 2000, pp.12503-12507] Investigators 
Antonio Lazcano and Stanley L. Miller identify another problem with the metabolism-first scenarios, 
particularly for those models asserting that protometabolic systems resemble the contemporary metabolism 
found in cells. [Lazcano, A. & Miller, S.L., "On the origin of metabolic pathways," Journal of Molecular 
Evolution, Vol. 49, No. 4, October 1999; pp.424-431] They point out that postulated prebiotic routes for 
key biomolecules dramatically differ from the metabolic pathways that produce the same compounds. 
Though some experimental support exists, a thorough chemical analysis of these models exposes 
fundamental flaws. Metabolism-first scenarios seem unlikely to explain the first life forms. [Shapiro, R., 
"Monomer World," 13th International Conference on the Origin. of Life, Oaxaca, Mexico, June 30 - July 5, 
2002, p. 60]" (Rana, F.R. & Ross, H.N., "Origins of Life: Biblical And Evolutionary Models Face Off," 
Navpress: Colorado Springs CO, 2004, pp.116-117) 

5/10/2006
RNA Assembly on Mineral Surfaces In the mid-1990s, researchers Leslie Orgel and James Ferris stirred 
excitement within the scientific community by assembling lengthy RNA molecules from chemically activated 
RNA subunits (nucleotides). This assembly was accomplished by washing solutions of the reactants over 
mineral surfaces, then allowing the solutions to evaporate. [Ertem,. G. & Ferris, J.P., "Synthesis of RNA 
Oligomers on Heterogeneous Templates," Nature Vol. 379, 1996, pp.238-240; Ferris, J.P., et al., 
"Synthesis of Long Prebiotic Oligomers on Mineral Surfaces," Nature, Vol. 381, 1996, pp.59-61] 
Commentators heralded this work as a key demonstration that prebiotic conditions could have produced 
self-replicators. [Lipkin, R. "Early Life: In the Soup or on the Rocks?" Science News 149, 1996, p.278] 
Closer evaluation of this effort, however, prompts a different conclusion. As Shapiro points out, Orgel's and 
Ferris's teams conducted these experiments under selective conditions that excluded potential chemical 
interferents. The homopolymer problem was ignored. [Shapiro, R., "A Replicator Was Not Involved in the 
Origin of Life," IUBMB Life Vol. 49, 2000, pp.173-176].To prove the point, Orgel's team demonstrated that 
even the incorporation of opposite-handed nucleotides ... disrupts RNA chain formation. [Joyce, G.E., et 
al., "The Case for An Ancestral Genetic System Involving Simple Analogues of the Nucleotides," 
 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 84, 1987, pp.4398-4402] Orgel's team also showed 
that though mineral surfaces may promote RNA formation, they also catalyze its decomposition. [Orgel, L.E., 
"NSCORT 2000 Progress Report," http://exobio.ucsd.edu/00Orgel.htm; Internet] RNA breakdown occurs on 
surfaces of both lead-containing and calcium-containing minerals. In addition, these workers discovered 
that the amino acids glutamate and histidine stimulate the breakdown of RNA in a solution. A Japanese team 
demonstrated that rare Earth elements (like cerium) present in the primordial oceans would have catalyzed 
the breakdown of the RNA backbone linkage. [Akaboshi, M., et al., "Inhibition of Rare Earth Catalytic 
Activity by Proteins," Origin of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere, Vol. 30, 2000, pp.25-32] Inhibition of 
this cleavage would require an unrealistically high level of proteins in the early oceans. Other problems for 
mineral-assisted RNA formation include (1) the irreversible attachment of RNA to mineral surfaces once the 
molecular chain grows to a certain length and (2) researchers' use of `activated' monomers unlikely to occur 
under prebiotic conditions. Also, the clay catalysts must be carefully treated to remove all metal ions except 
sodium. If not, no catalytic reactions occur.[Ferris, J.P., "Prebiotic Chemistry Catalysis and RNA Synthesis," 
ISSOL 2002; Ertem, G., "Montmorillonite, Oligonucleotides, RNA and Origin of Life," ISSOL 2002] The 
bottom line is: Laboratory simulation experiments that synthesize RNA on mineral surfaces differ 
substantially from early Earth's conditions. [Wills, C.J. & Bada, J.I., "The Spark of Life: Darwin and the 
Primeval Soup," Perseus: Cambridge, 2000, pp.101-103] When scientists consider more realistic scenarios, 
they quickly discover that homopolymer assembly could not have occured in the prebiotic realm." (Rana, 
F.R. & Ross, H.N., "Origins of Life: Biblical And Evolutionary Models Face Off," Navpress: Colorado 
Springs CO, 2004, pp.116-118. Emphasis original)

5/10/2006
"THE MOLECULAR BIOLOGISTS' DREAM The RNA-first scenario for the origin of the RNA World that 
we have described as the `Molecular Biologists' Dream (Joyce & Orgel, 1999) can be strung together from 
optimistic extrapolations of the various achievements of prebiotic chemistry and directed RNA evolution 
described above. First we suppose that [1] nucleoside bases and [2] sugars were formed by prebiotic 
reactions on the primitive Earth and/or brought to the Earth in meteorites, comets, etc. Next, [3] nucleotides 
were formed from prebiotic bases, sugars, and inorganic phosphates or polyphosphates, and [4] they 
accumulated in an adequately pure state [5] in some special little `pool.' [6] A mineral catalyst at the bottom 
of the pool-for example, montmorillonite-then catalyzed the formation of long single-stranded 
polynucleotides, some of which were then converted to complementary double strands by template-directed 
synthesis. In this way [7] a library of double-stranded RNAs accumulated on the primitive Earth. We 
suppose that among the double-stranded RNAs there was [8] at least one that on melting yielded a (single-
stranded) ribozyme capable of copying itself and its complement. Copying the complement would then have 
produced a second ribozyme molecule, and then repeated copying of the ribozyme and its complement 
would have lead to an exponentially growing population. In this scenario this is where [9] natural selection 
takes over. Darwin suggested that all life is descended from one or a few simple organisms that evolved on 
the Earth long ago. According to the more radical scenario of the Molecular Biologists' Dream, the whole 
biosphere descends from one or a few replicating polynucleotides that formed on the primitive Earth about 
four billion years ago. Of course, there are still a few problems in prebiotic chemistry that must be solved 
before the Dream can be turned into a convincing theory! In addition, [10] a plausible prebiotic mechanism 
for keeping together ribozymes and the products of their activity, for example, enclosure within a membrane, 
must be demonstrated ..." (Orgel, L.E., "Prebiotic Chemistry and the Origin of the RNA World," Critical 
Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Vol. 39, No. 2, pp.99-123. Emphasis original. Parentheses 
mine)

5/10/2006
"DNA's simple and elegant structure - the `twisted ladder,' with sugar-phosphate chains making up the `rails' 
and oxygen- and nitrogen-containing chemical `rungs' tenuously uniting the two halves - seems to be the 
work of an accomplished sculptor. Yet the graceful, sinuous profile of the DNA double helix is the result of 
random chemical reactions in a simmering, primordial stew. Just how nature arrived at this molecule and its 
sister molecule, RNA, remains one of the greatest - and potentially unsolvable - scientific mysteries. But 
Vanderbilt biochemist Martin Egli, Ph.D., isn't content to simply study these molecules as they are. He wants 
to know why they are the way they are. `These molecules are the result of evolution,' said Egli, professor of 
Biochemistry. `Somehow they have been shaped and optimized for a particular purpose.' `For a chemist, it 
makes sense to analyze the origin of these molecules.' One particular curiosity: how did DNA and RNA 
come to incorporate five-carbon sugars into their `backbone' when six-carbon sugars, like glucose, may have 
been more common? Egli has been searching for the answer to that question for the past 13 years." 
(""Uncovering DNA's 'Sweet' Secret," ScienceDaily, October 3, 2006)

6/10/2006
"Between negating the argument for God from design in nature and magnifying the problem that worldly evil 
poses to his omnipotence, Dawkins argues that Darwinism effectively denies the existence of God: `The 
universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no 
purpose, no evil and no good.' [Dawkins, R., "River out of Eden," Phoenix: London, 1996, p.155] Drawing 
such theological lessons from Darwinism is nothing new, but Dawkins's vigorous style has made them 
popular once again. Dennett and Provine pick up where Dawkins leaves off: pushing the Darwinist assault 
on theism in popular books and public lectures. 'The creationists who oppose [Darwinism] so bitterly are 
right about one thing,' Dennett gloats in one of the best-selling science books of 1995. `Darwin's dangerous 
idea cuts much deeper into the fabric of our fundamental beliefs than many of its sophisticated apologists 
have yet admitted.' [Dennett, D.C., "Darwin's Dangerous Idea," [1995], Penguin: London, 1996, p.18] Indeed, 
he asserts, it denies the existence of an intelligent designer or caring creator and effectively proves `that 
God is, like Santa Claus, a myth of childhood, not anything a sane, undeluded adult could literally believe in.' 
Teaching school children otherwise, Dennett decrees, `is a terrible offense.' [Dennett, Ibid, p.18] Provine adds, "The 
destructive implications of evolutionary biology extend far beyond the assumptions of organized religion to 
a much deeper and more pervasive belief, held by the vast majority of people, that nonmechanistic 
organizing designs or forces are somehow responsible for the visible order of the physical universe, 
biological organisms and human moral order." Darwinism is utterly incompatible with such beliefs, he 
maintains. "There are no purposive principles whatsoever in nature. There are no gods and no designing 
forces that are rationally detectable." [Provine, W.B., "Evolution and the Foundation of Ethics," Marine 
Biological Laboratory Science, Vol. 3, No. 1, 1988, pp.26,27] For theists of any type, the message from these 
Darwinists could not have been more stark: Our science disproves your religion." (Larson E.J., "Trial and 
Error: The American Controversy over Creation and Evolution," Oxford University Press: New York NY, 
2003, p.192) 

6/10/2006
"Darwin, Dennett, Provine, and others like them sweep with a broad brush. Respecting the implication of 
Darwinism, they make no distinction between belief in theistic evolution (broadly defined to include any 
notion of God guiding or acting through evolution) and strict creationism. [Dawkins R., "The Blind 
Watchmaker," W.W Norton & Co: New York NY, 1986, pp.316-317; Dennett, D.C., "Darwin's Dangerous 
Idea," Simon & Schuster, 1995, pp.520-521; Provine, W.B., "Evolution and the Foundation of Ethics," 
 Marine Biological Laboratory Science, Vol. 3, No. 1, 1988, p.26] The same polls reporting that nearly hall 
of all Americans believe in the special creation of humankind also find that most of the other half accept 
theistic evolution. According to surveys conducted by the Gallup organization, only about one in ten 
Americans profess to believe in a Godless form of evolution, and even that number may overstate 
acceptance of the utterly blind, purposeless evolution espoused by Dawkins and company. [Gallup, G. & 
Lindsay, D.M., "Surveying the Religious Landscape - Trends in U.S. Beliefs," Morehouse Publishing Co: 
Harrisburg PA, 1999, p.38] `I think that if Gallup had asked [about that],' Provine offers, `most of those who 
believed that God did not guide evolution would have agreed that some other purposive force did.' 
Evolutionary biologists stand apart, he maintains. `Most are atheists, and many have been driven there by 
their understanding of the evolutionary process.' [Provine, Ibid, pp.26,28 By highlighting the alleged conflict 
between Darwinism and theism, Dawkins, Dennett, and Provine helped to shape the evolution-teaching 
controversy of the 1990s by pushing it beyond the familiar battle between biblical literalists and mainstream 
evolutionists." (Larson, E.J., "Trial and Error: The American Controversy over Creation and Evolution," 
Oxford University Press: New York NY, 2003, p.193)

7/10/2006
"Note also these comments by Arthur Keith: `Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it only 
because the only alternative is special creation, and that is unthinkable.' [Keith, A., in "Why I Believe In 
Creation," Evolution Protest Movement Pamphlet: Great Britain, 1968]" (Wysong, R.L.*, "The Creation-
Evolution Controversy: Toward a Rational Solution," [1976], Inquiry Press: Midland MI, 1993, Ninth 
Printing, p.31) 

9/10/2006
"Although the scientists have won all the legal battles, there are still a lot of creationists around who are 
very much unconvinced by what the Darwinists are telling them. How many there are depends upon how 
`creationism' is defined. The most visible creationists are the biblical fundamentalists who believe in a young 
earth and a creation in six, twenty-four hour days; Darwinists like to give the impression that opposition to 
what they call `evolution' is confined to this group. In a broader sense, however, a creationist is any person 
who believes that there is a Creator who brought about the existence of humans for a purpose. In this broad 
sense, the vast majority of Americans are creationists. According to a 1991 Gallup poll, 47 percent of a 
national sample agreed with the following statement: `God created mankind in pretty much our present form 
sometime within the last 10,000 years.' Another 40 percent think that `Man has developed over millions of 
years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process, including man's creation.' Only 9 
percent of the sample said that they believed in biological evolution as a purposeless process not guided by 
God. The evolutionary theory endorsed by the American scientific and educational establishment is of 
course the creed of the 9 percent, not the God-guided gradual creation of the 40 percent. Persons who 
endorse a God-guided process of evolution may think that they have reconciled religion and science, but 
this is an illusion produced by vague terminology." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Darwinism's Rules of Reasoning," in 
Buell, J. & Hearn, V., eds., "Darwinism: Science or Philosophy?" Foundation for Thought and Ethics: 
Richardson TX, 1994, pp.10-11)

9/10/2006
"Gallup polls consistently indicate that only about ten percent of the U.S. population accepts the sort of 
evolution advocated by Dawkins, Ruse, and Shermer, that is, evolution in which the driving force is the 
Darwinian selection mechanism. The rest of the population is committed to some form of intelligent design. 
Now it goes without saying that science is not decided in an opinion poll. Nevertheless, the overwhelming 
rejection of Darwinian evolution in the population at large is worth pondering. Although Michael Shermer 
exaggerates when he claims that no research biologist doubts the power of natural selection, he is certainly 
right in claiming that this is the majority position among biologists. Why has the biological community failed 
to convince the public that natural selection is the driving force behind evolution and that evolution so 
conceived (i.e., Darwinian evolution) can successfully account for the full diversity of life? This question is 
worth pondering since in most other areas of science the public readily signs off on the considered 
judgments of the scientific community. Why not here? Steeped as our culture is in the fundamentalist-
modernist controversy, the usual answer is that religious fundamentalists, blinded by their dogmatic 
prejudices, willfully refuse to acknowledge the overwhelming case for Darwinian evolution. Although there 
may be something to this charge, fundamentalist intransigence cannot be solely responsible for the 
overwhelming rejection of Darwinian evolution by the public. Fundamentalism in the sense of strict biblical 
literalism is a minority position among religious believers. Most religious traditions do not make a virtue out 
of alienating the culture. Despite postmodernity's inroads, science retains tremendous cultural prestige. The 
religious world by and large would rather live in harmony with the scientific world. Most religious believers 
accept that species have undergone significant changes over the course of natural history and therefore 
that evolution in some sense has occurred (consider, for instance, Pope John Paul II's recent endorsement of 
evolution). The question for religious believers and the public more generally is not the fact of evolution but 
the mechanism of evolutionary change -- that chance and necessity alone are enough to explain life. I submit 
that the real reason the public continues to resist Darwinian evolution is because the Darwinian mechanism 
of chance variation and natural selection seems inadequate to account for the full diversity of life. One 
frequently gets the sense from reading publications by the National Academy of Science, the National 
Center for Science Education, and the National Association of Biology Teachers that the failure of the 
public to accept Darwinian evolution is a failure in education. If only people could be made to understand 
Darwin's theory properly, so we are told, they would readily sign off on it. This presumption -- that the 
failure of Darwinism to be accepted is a failure of education -- leads easily to the charge of fundamentalism 
once education has been tried and found wanting. For what else could be preventing Darwinism's immediate 
and cheerful acceptance except religious prejudice? It seems ridiculous to convinced Darwinists that the 
fault might lie with their theory and that the public might be picking up on faults inherent in their theory. 
And yet that is exactly what is happening." (Dembski, W.A.*, "Disbelieving Darwin and Feeling No Shame," 
Metanexus Institute, March 16, 2000)

9/10/2006
"The appearance of that story coincided with the release of a new Gallup Poll, reporting on the state of 
American opinion regarding evolution and creation [Sheler, J.L & Schrof, J.M., "The Creation: Religion's 
search for a common ground with science," U.S. News and World Report, December 23, 1991]. According 
to this survey, approximately 47 per cent of Americans can be described as creationists, in that they say 
they believe that God created mankind in pretty much our present form sometime within the last 10,000 
years. Another 40 per cent agreed with the following statement: `Man has developed over millions of years 
from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process, including man's creation.' Only 9 per cent of 
the sample said that they accepted the naturalistic view of evolution, which in Gallup's wording was that 
man has developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, with God having no part in this 
process. As is usual with public opinion polls, the figures probably would have been different if the 
questions had been worded differently. For example, the figure of 47 percent is much larger than the actual 
number of genuine six- day, young-universe Genesis literalists, because the question asked only about the 
creation of man. Even if God intervened in nature to create man sometime within the last 10,000 years, this 
event could have been preceded by billions of years of biological and cosmic evolution. Reservations of 
this sort do not alter the basic picture, however. Most Americans believe that God created human beings in 
furtherance of a divine purpose, whether suddenly and recently or gradually through ages of evolution. 
Only a small minority believes in a purely naturalistic and materialistic evolutionary process, which was not 
guided by God." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Evolution and Theistic Naturalism", Founder's Lectures, Part 1, Trinity 
Evangelical Divinity School, 1992)

9/10/2006
"According to a 1982 Gallup poll aimed at measuring nationwide opinion, 44 percent of respondents agreed 
with the statement that "God created man pretty much in his present form at one time within the last 10,000 
years." That would seem to mark those respondents as creationists in a relatively narrow sense. Another 38 
percent accepted evolution as a process guided by God. Only 9 percent identified themselves as believers in 
a naturalistic evolutionary process not guided by God. The philosophy of the 9 percent is now to be taught 
in the schools as unchallengeable truth." (Johnson, P.E.* "Evolution as Dogma: The Establishment of 
Naturalism," [First Things, October 1990], Foundation for Thought and Ethics: Richardson TX, 1990, reprint, 
p.10) 

9/10/2006
"The Gallup polls done over a period of time indicate that if you ask the public, `Do you agree with this 
statement: God created man sometime within the last ten thousand years pretty much as he is now?' about 
44 per cent say they agree. They're classified as biblical creationists. (Note that the statement does not say 
anything about a possible long period of animal evolution beforehand; this is the kind of ambiguity you 
often find in polling statements.) Then another 40 per cent or so will say that they believe in a process of 
evolution that was guided by God throughout. That adds up to around 85 per cent. There are a few 
undecideds, and then about 9 per cent agree with the official scientific position that man was a product of a 
purely natural process of evolution over millions or billions of years, a process in which God played no part, 
which is what they mean when they teach in schools that evolution is a fact. The scientific elites are worried 
that they have such low public support. There is a confusion here about the middle group. If you believe in 
God-guided evolution, are you an evolutionist or a creationist? Sometimes those people are said to be 
evolutionists. But they aren't, really, because what evolution aims to do is to provide a purely naturalistic 
explanation of life and its history and origin, allowing no role for anything supernatural. An intelligence that 
guided evolution would itself be unevolved and therefore supernatural. It could not be recognized. God-
guided evolution is not evolution at all; it is slow creation. For strategic purposes, sometimes, the scientific 
community and their journalistic allies like to claim these people, and so they blur that distinction." 
(Johnson, P.E.*, "Evolution and the Curriculum: A Conversation with Phillip Johnson and Gregg 
Easterbrook," Ethics and Public Policy Center, February 2000, No. 4)

9/10/2006
"Americans are notoriously ill-informed about evolution. A recent Gallup poll (June 1993) discovered that 47 
percent of adult Americans believe that Homo sapiens is a species created by God less than ten thousand 
years ago" (Dennett, D.C., "Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life," [1995], Penguin: 
London, 1996, reprint, p.263) 

9/10/2006
"According to Gallup polls, about 44 percent of Americans believe in a biblical creationist view, that `God created 
man pretty much in his present form at one time within the last 10,000 years.' About 40 percent believe in `theistic 
evolution,' the idea that God oversaw and guided the millions of years of evolution that culminated with 
humankind. Only one in 10 of those surveyed held a strict, secular evolutionist perspective." Rosin, H., "Kansas 
Board Targets Darwin," Washington Post, August 8, 1999; p.A1)

9/10/2006
"At the nationwide political level, creationists had induced several state legislatures or School boards to 
enact measures that required evolution to be taught as theory rather than fact or that attempted in some way 
to open the curriculum to criticism of evolution. Rosin explained that this partial success rested on a 
substantial degree of public support among Americans for either creationism or God-guided evolution: `The 
movement's recent success may in part be a reflection of the fairly widespread sympathy for some of its 
basic principles. According to Gallup polls, about 44 percent of Americans believe in a biblical creationist 
view, that "God created man pretty much in his present form at one time within the last 10,000 years:" About 
40 percent believe in "theistic evolution," the idea that God oversaw and guided the millions of years of 
evolution that culminated with humankind. Only one in 10 of those surveyed held a strict, secular 
evolutionist perspective.' [Rosin, H., "Kansas Board Targets Darwin," Washington Post, 
August 8, 1999; p.A1] The creed of the 10 percent is what the science educators have in mind when they 
teach that 'evolution is a fact.' In the language of the Gallup poll question, it affirms that `man has developed 
over millions of years from less advanced forms of life; God had no part in this process.' It is not surprising 
that in a country where the vast majority of citizens believe in God, it is controversial to require that the 
public schools teach as fact (or as implicit in the very definition of `science') that God played no discernible 
part in the creation of plants, animals and human beings. It is also not surprising that many citizens, 
unpersuaded by official reassurances that `science and religion are separate realms,' [Press, F., "Science and 
Creationism: A View From the National Academy of Sciences," National Academy Press: Washington DC, 
1984] suspect that a religious or antireligious ideology lies behind the enormous importance science 
educators attach to persuading young people that evolution is their creator." (Johnson, P.E.*, "The Wedge 
of Truth: Splitting the Foundations of Naturalism," Intervarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2000, pp.64-66. 
Emphasis original) 

9/10/2006
"THE PREFACE TO the 1984 pamphlet Science and Creationism: A View From the National Academy of 
Sciences, signed by the Academy's president, Frank Press, assured the nation that it is "false...to think that 
the theory of evolution represents an irreconcilable conflict between religion and science." Dr. Press 
explained: `A great many religious leaders accept evolution on scientific grounds without relinquishing their 
belief in religious principles. As stated in a resolution by the Council of the National Academy of Sciences 
in 1981, however, "Religion and science are separate and mutually exclusive realms of human thought whose 
presentation in the same context leads to misunderstanding of both scientific theory and religious belief."' 
The Academy's concern was only to justify its opposition to creationscience, and it did not feel obliged to 
explain what `religion' might be, or under what circumstances the religious realm might be entitled to 
protection from incursions by science." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," [1991], InterVarsity Press: 
Downers Grove IL, Second Edition, 1993, pp.125-126. Emphasis original). 

9/10/2006
"The percentage of the hard core of evolutionary sentiment in the United States-those who believe in 
macroevolution with no intelligent guidance at all-has been measured by Gallup polls as relatively small. 
Over the past fifteen years Gallup has repeatedly listed the percentage of those who hold to a `recent 
creation' view (vaguely described by Gallup) to be about 40 to 45 percent, while the `God-guided evolution' 
view garnered another 40 to 45 percent. The third category, holding to a strictly naturalistic evolution, in 
which there was no participation by a preexisting intelligence, has consistently hovered at or slightly under 
10 percent. Note that in the Gallup analysis, American adults have been split into a three-segment cross 
section, tilted decisively (eight to one or better) toward potential interest in Design's story and its scientific 
case. Phillip Johnson frequently quotes the Gallup figures, arguing that the `view of the nine percent' is 
enshrined as textbook orthodoxy.' However, the most significant figure for the rhetorical landscape of 
Design is not the nine percent but the larger figures combined. Already, nearly half of the American people 
hold a recent-creation position (they are implicitly friendly to Design), and nearly another half-holding a 
God-guided view of evolution-are potentially open to the story. ... I described the Gallup `recent creation' 
view as vague because this option only says that humankind was brought into its present form by a divine 
act of creation in the last ten thousand years. It does not mention previous evolution or creation of other 
species. Conceivably, a progressive creationist, who holds that the earth is four billion years old and that 
God created the Cambrian marine species in a direct creative act 540 million years ago, could answer yes to 
the `recent creation' option if that is where he or she places the time of God's creation of humankind on the 
timeline." (Woodward, T.E., "Doubts about Darwin: A History of Intelligent Design," Baker: Grand Rapids 
MI, 2003, pp.197-198, 281n25)

9/10/2006
"In views that diverge widely from those in other developed nations, about 45 percent of American adults 
take the Bible's story of creation literally. Only about one in 10 subscribe to a purely scientific explanation of 
evolution. ... `This is a fertile soil for such controversies to continue to thrive,' says George Bishop, a 
University of Cincinnati political science professor who has compared different nations' views on evolution. 
`It just doesn't go away.' ... In a November 1997 poll by the Gallup Organization that quizzed people about 
their views on the origin of humans, 44 percent agreed with the statement, `God created human beings pretty 
much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.' `That's a lot of people,' Bishop 
says. `That's not like it's some small minority position.' Another 39 percent subscribed to a `theistic 
evolution' view, that humans did develop over millions of years from lower life forms, but God guided the 
process. Only 10 percent said they believe in evolution with no participation from God. Seven percent had 
no opinion. The views have not changed much in recent years. A 1982 Gallup poll, asking the same 
question, found a virtually identical distribution of opinion. Among scientists, only 5 percent hold the literal 
Bible view, 40 percent believe in theistic evolution and a majority, 55 percent, believe in evolution without 
help from God." (Chang, K., "Evolutionary Beliefs: Views in U.S. Much Different than Elsewhere," ABC 
News, August 16, 1999)

10/10/2006
"I have criticized Galileo freely, but I do not feel at liberty to criticize the change in his behaviour before the 
Inquisition. He was seventy, and he was afraid. That his fears were exaggerated, and that his self-immolatory 
offer (which the Inquisitors discreetly allowed to drop as if it had never been made) was quite unnecessary, 
is beside the point. His panic was due to psychological causes: it was the unavoidable reaction of one who 
thought himself capable of outwitting all and making a fool of the Pope himself, on suddenly discovering 
that he has been 'found out'. His belief in himself as a superman was shattered, his self-esteem punctured 
and deflated. He returned to the Tuscan Embassy, in Niccolini's words 'more dead than alive'. From then on 
he was a broken man. ... The remainder of the trial was now expected to be a mere formality. Throughout the 
proceedings Galileo had been treated with great consideration and courtesy. Against all precedent he was 
not confined to the dungeons of the Inquisition, but was allowed to stay as the Tuscan Ambassador's guest 
at the Villa Medici, until after his first examination. Then he had to surrender formally to the Inquisition, but 
instead of being put into a cell, he was assigned a five-roomed flat in the Holy Office itself, overlooking St 
Peter's and the Vatican gardens, with his own personal valet .and Niccolini's major domo to look after his 
food and wine. Here he stayed from 12 April to the third examination on 10 May. Then, before his trial was 
concluded, he was allowed to return to the Tuscan Embassy - a procedure quite unheard of, not only in the 
annals of the Inquisition but of any other judiciary. Contrary to legend, Galileo never spent a day of his life 
in a prison cell." (Koestler A., "The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man's Changing Vision of the Universe," 
[1959], Penguin: Harmondsworth UK, 1972, reprint, pp.497-498) 

10/10/2006
"[Genesis 1:] 6. Let there be a firmament ... Moses describes the special use of this expanse, `to divide the 
waters from the waters,' from which words arises a great difficulty. For it appears opposed to common sense, 
and quite incredible, that there should be waters above the heaven. Hence some resort to allegory, and 
philosophize concerning angels; but quite beside the purpose. For, to my mind, this is a certain principle, 
that nothing is here treated of but the visible form of the world. He who would learn astronomy, and other 
recondite arts, let him go elsewhere. ... 16. The greater light. ... Moses wrote in a popular style things 
which, without instruction, all ordinary persons, endued with common sense, are able to understand ; but 
astronomers investigate with great labour whatever the sagacity of the human mind can comprehend. 
Nevertheless, this study is not to be reprobated, nor this science to be condemned, because some frantic 
persons are wont boldly to reject whatever is unknown to them. For astronomy is not only pleasant, but also 
very useful to be known: it cannot be denied that this art unfolds the admirable wisdom of God." (Calvin, J., 
"A Commentary on Genesis," [1554], King, J., transl., 1847, Banner of Truth: London, 1965, reprint, pp.78-79, 
86. Emphasis original) 

10/10/2006
"Mistakes peculiar to scientists. Just as there are certain mistakes that a theologian is susceptible to there 
are ones that the scientist is just as susceptible to in the relationship of theology to science. The first of 
these mistakes is to have an anti-religious attitude. No system of knowledge can be learned without some 
sympathy or kindly feeling toward the system-something pointed out long ago by Augustine but never fully 
appreciated by educators or epistemologists. Dogmatists study science as well as theology. The evangelical 
indicates that man is a spiritual rebel and his spirit of rebellion is reflected in all his activities. Unregenerate 
man opposes the doctrines of creation, sin, redemption, and eschatology. A man may be religious and yet 
anti-Christian. Opposition to Christianity at the level of science is in many instances simply localized or 
vocalized opposition to Christianity in general. Therefore anti-Christian man takes pleasure in making the 
gap between science and Christianity as wide as he can make it, and will heartlessly ridicule any efforts at 
reconciliation. In this instance, the gap between science and Christianity is in reality the gap between faith 
and unbelief." (Ramm, B.L., "The Christian View of Science and Scripture," [1955] Paternoster: Exeter UK, 
1967, reprint, p.38. Emphasis original)

10/10/2006
"But to understand the reactions of the small, academic world in his own country, we must also take into account 
the subjective effect of Galileo's personality. ... Galileo had a rare gift of provoking enmity ... the cold, unrelenting 
hostility which genius plus arrogance minus humility creates among mediocrities. Without this personal 
background, the controversy which followed the publication of the Sidereus Nuncius [ Star Messenger] 
would remain incomprehensible. For the subject of the quarrel was not the significance of the Jupiter satellites, 
but their existence - which some of Italy's most illustrious scholars flatly denied. Galileo's main academic rival 
was Magini in Bologna. In the month following the publication of the Star Messenger, on the evenings of 24 
and 25 April 1610, a memorable party was held in a house in Bologna, where Galileo was invited to demonstrate 
the Jupiter moons in his spy-glass. Not one among the numerous and illustrious guests declared himself 
convinced of their existence. Father Clavius, the leading mathematician in Rome, equally failed to see them; 
Cremonini, teacher of philosophy at Padua, refused even to look into the telescope; so did his colleague Libri. ... 
These men may have been partially blinded by passion and prejudice, but they were not quite as stupid as it may 
seem. Galileo's telescope was the best available, but it was still a clumsy instrument without fixed mountings, and 
with a visual field so small that, as somebody has said, `the marvel is not so much that he found Jupiter's moons, 
but that he was able to find Jupiter itself'. The tube needed skill and experience in handling, which none of the 
others possessed. Sometimes, a fixed star appeared in duplicate. Moreover, Galileo himself was unable to explain 
why and how the thing worked; and the Sidereus Nuncius was conspicuously silent on this essential point. 
Thus it was not entirely unreasonable to suspect that the blurred dots which appeared to the strained and 
watering eye pressed to the spectacle-sized lens, might be optical illusions in the atmosphere, or somehow 
produced by the mysterious gadget itself. ... The whole controversy about optical illusions, haloes, reflections 
from luminous clouds, and about the unreliability of testimonies, inevitably reminds one of a similar controversy 
three hundred years later: the flying saucers. Here, too, emotion and, prejudice combined with technical 
difficulties against clear-cut conclusions. And here, too, it was not unreasonable for self-respecting scholars to 
refuse to look at the photographic `evidence' for fear of making fools of themselves. ... The Jupiter moons were 
no less threatening to the outlook on the world of sober scholars in 1610, than, say, extra-sensory perception was 
in 1950. Thus, while the poets were celebrating Galileo's discoveries which had become the talk of the world, the 
scholars in his own country were, with very few exceptions, hostile or sceptical." ( (Koestler, A., "The 
Sleepwalkers: A History of Man's Changing Vision of the Universe," [1959], Penguin: Harmondsworth UK, 1972, 
reprint, pp.373-375) 

10/10/2006
"Before embarking upon the subject it seems necessary to say something about the writer's personal 
standpoint, and the vexed problem of historical objectivity. I shall try to the utmost of my powers to deal 
with this subject objectively; but I fully realize that this is a matter of the utmost difficulty for anyone who 
professes to be a Christian. However scrupulously he may try to isolate his study from all extraneous 
considerations, the Christian knows perfectly well that his conclusions are likely to carry with them far- 
reaching implications. If, for instance, he finds that the traditional Christian view is right, and that our Lord 
taught that the Scriptures were of divine authorship, he will then be faced with the grave choice either of 
accepting the Old Testament in toto as true and authoritative, or else of rejecting His authority as a 
wholly dependable teacher. The clarification of the one issue will lead to the sharper definition of another. 
He will be forced to ask himself in what sense he attributes authority to the One in whom he believes. If, 
on the other hand, he should find that Christ taught some view other than that traditionally ascribed to Him, 
it will still have the profoundest bearing upon his thought and life. For there lies a whole world of 
theological difference between a view of Scripture that requires divine authorship and all views that require 
something less. There lies a whole world of devotional difference between the attitude of entire submission 
to the teaching of Scripture and an attitude of critical judgment." (Wenham, J.W., "Our Lord's View of the 
Old Testament," [1953], Inter-Varsity Fellowship: London, Second Edition, 1964, pp.5-6. Emphasis original)

11/10/2006
"In 1995, the NABT Board of Directors approved its specific statement on teaching evolution because of the 
many changes in antievolutionism that have occurred since 1980. It is a concise statement for teachers, 
intended to give them some accurate, necessary ammunition when confronted by parents and administrators 
who don't want them to teach evolution, or who press them to teach `alternatives' such as creation `science', 
`intelligent design theory', or `evidence against evolution. ... After a preamble emphasizing the centrality of 
evolution in biology, the first bulleted tenet of science in the original statement said: `The diversity of life on 
earth is the result of evolution: an unsupervised, impersonal, unpredictable and natural process of temporal 
descent with genetic modification that is affected by natural selection, historical contingencies and 
changing environments.' ... The statement was not intended to be a discussion of philosophy of science. 
But this is how many members of the public interpreted it. There was a completely unexpected public 
reaction to the words, `impersonal' and `unsupervised'. NCSE began receiving reports of letters to the editor 
and op-ed pieces chastising NABT for putting `antireligious' wording into its statement. I believe many of 
these sprang from the popularity of works by antievolutionist lawyer Phillip Johnson, which are read by 
large numbers of people. But I think it is important to realize that the negative reaction to the NABT's 
statement was not limited to members of the `religious right', or `fundamentalists.' The percentage of 
Americans who are evangelical, `born again' or conservative Christians is approximately 25% - 30%, 
according to a number of polls considered reliable. The percentage of Americans rejecting evolution has 
hovered consistently in the high 40's (47% in Gallup's 1996 poll.) Clearly, it's not just conservative 
Christians who reject evolution: Johnson and other antievolutionists can find much support from `mainline' 
or `moderate' Christians as well. In my experience, it is not whether the earth is old or not that turns moderate 
Christians off from evolution: the Institute for Creation Research `Young Earth' view doesn't go very far 
with people with even a moderate understanding of modern theology. What gets people's backs up is the 
issue of whether life has purpose or meaning, and whether scientists are claiming to be able to refute 
religious views. Telling people that science/evolution means that `God had nothing to do with it, and your 
life has no meaning' is not going to sit well with most Americans, whether conservative Christian or not. By 
referring to evolution as `impersonal' and `unsupervised' NABT generated an unanticipated public relations 
problem: it was accused of making antireligious statements, and it is obvious that such accusations would 
make it more difficult for teachers to teach evolution." (Scott. E.C., "Response to the `Open Letter' from 
Massimo Pigliucci et al.," Darwin Day, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, February 1998) 

11/10/2006
"Why don't they get it? For decades now, that question has vexed many leading scientists, who can't 
understand Americans' refusal to embrace Darwin's theory of evolution. Despite ongoing efforts to 
convince us that evolution is a fact, polls consistently show that Americans just don't buy it. Indeed, a 
Gallup survey last February found that fully 45 percent of respondents believed that God created humans in 
their present form within the last 10,000 years. Another 37 percent believed that humans developed over 
millions of years from lower life forms, but that God guided the process. Only 12 percent believed that 
humans developed from lower life forms through undirected natural processes. It's not as if Darwinism is 
beyond our understanding. As Harvard paleontologist and science writer Stephen Jay Gould recently 
pointed out, `Public difficulty in grasping the Darwinian theory of natural selection cannot be attributed to 
any great conceptual complexity - for no great theory ever boasted such a simple structure....' [Gould, S.J., 
"Introduction," in Zimmer C., "Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea," HarperCollins: New York, 2001, pp.xii-xiii] 
So, why do so many Americans continue to doubt Darwin's theory? Gould and other proponents of 
Darwinism believe that the main difficulty lies `in the far-reaching and radical philosophical consequences - 
as Darwin himself well understood - of postulating a causal theory stripped of such conventional comforts 
as a guarantee of progress, a principle of natural harmony, or any notion of an inherent goal or purpose.' 
[Gould, Ibid.] In short, people simply don't want to believe that their lives are essentially a journey from 
nowhere to nowhere. No doubt, that is a formidable obstacle to believing in Darwinism. Who wouldn't think 
twice before acquiescing to such a viewpoint? Yet, Darwinists have overlooked an even more important 
obstacle: their own actions. Instead of putting themselves in the shoes of skeptics and trying to imagine 
what would convince them, Darwinists seem content to uncritically recycle the same ineffective arguments - 
some of which are demonstrably false. Then they compound the problem by depicting doubters - the ones 
they ostensibly want to convince - as religiously motivated yahoos." (Hartwig, M., "PBS's 'Evolution' More 
of the Same," Focus on the Family/Access Research Network, December 31, 2002) 

11/10/2006
"Gallup has asked Americans several times over the last 20 years to choose between three statements that 
describe the origin and development of the human race. Generally speaking, the plurality of Americans have 
come down on the side of a creationist approach to human origins, while slightly fewer have agreed with a 
statement that reflects an evolutionary process guided by God, and only a small number have agreed with 
an evolutionary process in which God had no part. Most recently, in Gallup's February 19-21 poll, 45% of 
respondents chose `God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 
10,000 years or so,' the statement that most closely describes biblical creationism. A slightly larger 
percentage, almost half, chose one of the two evolution-oriented statements: 37% selected `Human beings 
have developed ononscientists had the same response to the `theistic evolution' question (evolution 
occurred, but was guided by God): 40% agreed. So while fewer than half of Americans accept evolution, an 
overwhelming majority of scientists do." (Scott, E.C., "Not (Just) in Kansas Anymore," Science, Vol. 288, 
5 May 2000, pp. 813-815).

11/10/2006
"While most US scientists think humans are simply smarter apes, at least 4 in 10 believe a creator `guided' 
evolution so that Homo sapiens are ruled by a soul or consciousness, a new survey shows. Scientists 
almost unanimously accept Darwinian evolution over millions of years as the source of human origins. But 
40% of biologists, mathematicians, physicians, and astronomers include God in the process. ... Despite such 
affirmations, however, 55% of scientists hold a naturalistic and atheistic position on the origins of man, 
according to the random survey of 1,000 persons listed in the 1995 American Men and Women of Science. ... 
The survey, which had a 60% response rate, asked scientists the same Gallup Poll question posed to the 
public in 1982 and 1991. In the 1991 round, 40 percent of Americans said God `guided' evolution to create 
humans. While this 40% is a middle ground of agreement between scientists and the public, there is a sharp 
polarization between the groups taking purely naturalistic or biblical views. While most scientists are 
atheistic about human origins, nearly half of Americans adhere to the biblical view that God created humans 
`pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years.' Forty-six percent of Americans 
agreed with this view of human origins in the 1991 Gallup poll. Only 5 percent of the scientists agreed. 
Because only a quarter to a third of Americans are Protestant evangelicals or fundamentalists, the 1991 
Gallup Poll showed that many mainline Protestants, Catholics and Jews believe in a `last 10,000 years human 
creation.' ... The survey was a separate but parallel study to one reported in Nature (1997 Apr 3; 386:435-6) 
in which 40 percent of the same scientists reported a belief in a God who answers prayers and in immortality. 
Both surveys were conducted by a reporter for the Washington Times and Edward J Larson, a historian of 
science at the University of Georgia. The report in Nature was based on a replication of a 1916 survey that 
scandalized Americans by finding that 45 percent of scientists were atheists and 15 percent were agnostics." 
(Witham, L.A., "Many Scientists See God's Hand in Evolution," Washington Times, April 11, 1997, p.A8)

11/10/2006
"Other people too, not just scriptural literalists, remain unpersuaded about evolution. According to a Gallup 
poll drawn from more than a thousand telephone interviews conducted in February 2001, no less than 45 
percent of responding U.S. adults agreed that `God created human beings pretty much in their present form 
at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.' Evolution, by their lights, played no role in shaping us. Only 
37 percent of the polled Americans were satisfied with allowing room for both God and Darwin-that is, divine 
initiative to get things started, evolution as the creative means. (This view, according to more than one 
papal pronouncement, is compatible with Roman Catholic dogma.) Still fewer Americans, only 12 percent, 
believed that humans evolved from other life-forms without any involvement of a god. The most startling 
thing about these poll numbers is not that so many Americans reject evolution, but that the statistical 
breakdown hasn't changed much in two decades. Gallup interviewers posed exactly the same choices in 
1982, 1993, 1997, and 1999. The creationist conviction-that God alone, and not evolution, produced humans-
has never drawn less than 44 percent. In other words, nearly half the American populace prefers to believe 
that Charles Darwin was wrong where it mattered most." (Quammen, D.E., "Was Darwin Wrong?: NO. The 
evidence for Evolution is overwhelming," National Geographic, Vol. 206, No. 5, November 
2004, p.6) 

11/10/2006
"The National Academy of Sciences has a plan to end the conflict over the teaching of evolution. ... The 
idea is to get anyone who still wants to believe in something to subscribe to `theistic evolution'-which to the 
academy means that whatever some god may or may not have done, it had to have happened before the Big 
Bang, left no physical traces, and be indistinguishable from the random working of natural law. As the 
academy encouragingly points out in Science and Creationism, `Many religious persons, including many 
scientists, hold that God created the universe and the various processes driving physical and biological 
evolution.' Happily, theistic evolution `reflects the remarkable and inspiring character of the physical 
universe revealed by (science).' Best of all, though, is that `this belief...is not in disagreement with scientific 
explanations of evolution.' The least worrisome aspect of the academy's remarkable statement is the tenuous 
grasp on logic that the nation's leading scientists are shown to possess. If there is indeed a God who 
`created the universe,' how is one to guarantee that he wouldn't interact with it in ways the academy would 
disapprove? And if he might have done something besides set the ball rolling, shouldn't that be a matter for 
evidence to decide, rather than premises? The most worrisome aspect is that a quasi-governmental agency 
with substantial influence on public policy has gotten heavily into the religion business. Not content to 
advise the public on mundane matters of how the physical world works, the academy is acting to promote a 
theology that causes the least trouble to Darwinism. While adults may be able to tell the academy that they 
will make up their own minds about their religious beliefs, thank you very much, the academy will help make 
up the minds of schoolchildren." (Behe, M.J., "Darwin's Hostages," The American Spectator, December 1, 
1999) 

12/10/2006
"When two groups of experts disagree about a controversial subject that intersects the public school 
curriculum students should learn about both perspectives. ... 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., "Teach the Controversy," 
 Cincinnati Enquirer, March 30, 2002. Discovery Institute-Center for Science and Culture: Seattle WA) 

12/10/2006
"A majority of adults support the biblical account of creation according to a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup 
poll -- the latest in a series of polls reflecting Americans' tendency to reject secular evolution. In the poll, 53 
percent of adults say `God created human beings in their present form exactly the way the Bible describes it.' 
Another 31 percent believe humans `evolved over millions of years from other forms of life and God guided' 
the process. Twelve percent say humans `have evolved over millions of years from other forms of life, but 
God has no part.' The poll of 1,005 adults, conducted Sept. 8-11 and posted on Gallup's website Oct. 13, is 
but the latest survey showing Americans tend to reject a strictly secular explanation for the existence of life 
..." (Foust, M., "Gallup poll latest to show Americans reject secular evolution," Baptist Press," October 19, 
2005) 

12/10/2006
"To assess public opinion on creationism, Gallup asked: Which of the following statements comes closest 
to your views on the origin and development of human beings? 1) Human beings have developed over 
millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process, 2) Human beings have 
developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process, 3) 
God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so? 
Polled in November 2004, 38% of respondents chose (1), 13% chose (2), 45% chose (3), and 4% offered a 
different or no opinion. These results are also similar to those from previous Gallup polls, which extend back 
to 1982. The article explains that the 10,000 year date was included in the 1982 poll question because `it 
roughly approximates the timeline used by biblical literalists who study the genealogy as laid out in the first 
books of the Old Testament.' It is perhaps worth remarking that not all biblical literalists agree on 
interpreting the Bible as insisting on a young earth: there are old-earth creationists, for example, who accept 
the scientifically determined age of the earth and of the universe, but still accept a literal reading of the Bible 
and reject evolution." ("Public view of creationism and evolution unchanged, says Gallup," National Center 
for Science Education, November 19, 2004. 
http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/news/2004/US/724_public_view_of_creationism_and_11_19_2004.asp) 

12/10/2006
"Opinion polls consistently show that a majority of Americans don't believe that the theory of evolution is the 
best explanation for our own origins. A November 2004 Gallup poll, for example, found that only 13% of 
respondents said they believed that God had no part in the evolution or creation of human beings, and 38% said 
they thought humans evolved from less-advanced forms but that God guided the process. About 45% said they 
believed that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 or so years. These results echoed 
similar Gallup polls dating to 1982. This suggests that scientists have won few converts during at least the last 
two decades - despite a 1987 U.S. Supreme Court decision banning the teaching of creationism in the classroom. 
In large part, Americans' skepticism toward evolutionary theory reflects the continuing influence of religion. Yet 
it also implies that scientists have not been persuasive enough, even when buttressed by strong scientific 
evidence that natural selection alone can account for life's complexity. Could it be that the theory of evolution's 
judicially sanctioned monopoly in the classroom has backfired?" (Balter, M., "Let 'intelligent design' and science 
rumble," Los Angeles Times, October 2, 2005) 

12/10/2006
"Some 145 years after the publication of Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species, controversy about the 
validity and implications of his theory still rages. ... Gallup has asked Americans twice in the last three years 
to respond to the following question about Darwin's theory: `Just your opinion, do you think that Charles 
Darwin's theory of evolution is ... : a scientific theory that has been well-supported by evidence, (or) just 
one of many theories and one that has not been well- supported by evidence], or don't you know enough 
about it to say? ... Just a little more than a third of the American public is willing to agree with the `scientific 
theory well supported by evidence' alternative, while the same percentage chooses the `not well supported 
by evidence' alternative. Another 30% indicate that they don't know enough about it to say or have no 
opinion. There has been essentially no significant change in the responses to this question since 2001." 
(Newport, F., "Third of Americans Say Evidence Has Supported Darwin's Evolution Theory: Almost half of 
Americans believe God created humans 10,000 years ago," Gallup Poll News Service: Washington, DC, 
November 19, 2004).

12/10/2006
"Why pick on Darwin? It is surely because, as soon as you consider the implications, you must cease to 
believe that either Life or life are affected by purpose. As G Thomas Sharp, chairman of the Creation Truth 
Foundation, admitted to the Chicago Tribune, `if we lose Genesis as a legitimate scientific and historical 
explanation for man, then we lose the validity of Christianity. Period'. We lose far more than that. Darwinian 
evolution tells us that we are incipient compost: assemblages of complex molecules that - for no greater 
purpose than to secure sources of energy against competing claims - have developed the ability to 
speculate. After a few score years, the molecules disaggregate and return whence they came. Period. As a 
gardener and ecologist, I find this oddly comforting. I like the idea of literal reincarnation: that the molecules 
of which I am composed will, once I have rotted, be incorporated into other organisms. Bits of me will be 
pushing through the growing tips of trees, will creep over them as caterpillars, will hunt those caterpillars as 
birds. When I die, I'd like to be buried in a fashion which ensures that no part of me is wasted. Then I can 
claim to have been of some use after all. Is this not better than the awful lottery of judgment? Is a future we 
can predict not more comforting than one committed to the whims of inscrutable authority? Is eternal death 
not a happier prospect than eternal life? The atoms of which we are composed, which we have borrowed 
momentarily from the ecosphere, will be recycled until the universe collapses. This is our continuity, our 
eternity. Why should anyone want more?" (Monbiot, G., "A life with no purpose: Darwinism implies that the 
only eternal life we have is in the recycling of our atoms. I find that comforting," The Guardian, August 16, 
2005).

13/10/2006
"We also found the universe is expanding with remarkably uniform speed in all directions. There was no hint 
of asymmetry. `The big bang, the most cataclysmic event we can imagine, on closer inspection appears 
finely orchestrated,' I wrote at the time of our observations. `Either conditions before the beginning were 
very regular, or processes we don't yet know about worked to make the universe extremely uniform.' This 
conclusion was innocuous enough, and would upset no one, as the uniformity of the universe could be 
seen as being consistent with classical big bang theory. It was only later-together with other discoveries- 
that it would be perceived as a problem." (Smoot, G. & Davidson, K., "Wrinkles in Time: The Imprint of 
Creation," Little, Brown & Co: London, 1993, p.135)

13/10/2006
"Until the late 1910's, humans were as ignorant of cosmic origins as they had ever been. Those who didn't 
take Genesis literally had no reason to believe there had been a beginning. The origin of the Solar System 
was a contentious topic, but the origin of the entire cosmos was an altogether different matter: It was rarely, 
if ever, discussed in scientific circles. In the astronomical journals of the day there was much discussion 
about the nature of the nebulae, the 1910 return of Halley's Comet, the evolution of stars, the Martian 
`canals,' the Balmer series in stellar spectra, the search for a ninth planet-but hardly a word about cosmic 
origins." (Smoot, G. & Davidson, K., "Wrinkles in Time: The Imprint of Creation," Little, Brown & Co: 
London, 1993, p.30)

13/10/2006
"Morphology was studied because it was the material believed to be most favorable for the elucidation of 
the problems of evolution, and we all thought that in embryology the quintessence of morphological truth 
was most palpably presented. Therefore every aspiring zoologist was an embryologist, and the one topic of 
professional conversation was evolution. It had been so in our Cambridge school, and it was so at Hampton. 
I wonder if there is now a single place where the academic problems of morphology which we discussed 
with such avidity can now arouse a moment's concern" (Bateson, W., "Evolutionary Faith and Modern 
Doubts," Address delivered before the American Association for the Advancement of Science, December 
28, 1921, at the University of Toronto, Science, Vol. 55, January 20, 1922, pp.55-61, p.56)

13/10/2006
"So we went on talking about evolution. That is barely 40 years ago; to-day we feel silence to be the safer 
course. Systematists still discuss the limits of specific distinction in a spirit, which I fear is often rather 
scholastic than progressive, but in the other centers of biological research a score of concrete and 
immediate problems have replaced evolution." (Bateson, W., "Evolutionary Faith and Modern Doubts," 
Address delivered before the American Association for the Advancement of Science, December 28, 1921, at 
the University of Toronto, Science, Vol. 55, January 20, 1922, pp.55-61, p.56)

13/10/2006
"Discussions of evolution came to an end primarily because it was obvious that no progress was being 
made. Morphology having been explored in its minutest corners, we turned elsewhere." (Bateson, W., 
"Evolutionary Faith and Modern Doubts," Address delivered before the American Association for the 
Advancement of Science, December 28, 1921, at the University of Toronto, Science, Vol. 55, January 20, 
1922, pp.55-61, p.56)

13/10/2006
"Variation and heredity, the two components of the evolutionary path, were next tried. The geneticist is the 
successor of the morphologist. We became geneticists in the conviction that there at least must 
evolutionary wisdom be found. We got on fast. So soon as a critical study of variation was undertaken, 
evidence came in as to the way in which varieties do actually arise in descent. The unacceptable doctrine of 
the secular transformation of masses by the accumulation of impalpable changes became not only unlikely 
but gratuitous." (Bateson, W., "Evolutionary Faith and Modern Doubts," Address delivered before the 
American Association for the Advancement of Science, December 28, 1921, at the University of Toronto, 
Science, Vol. 55, January 20, 1922, pp.55-61, p.56)

13/10/2006
"An examination in the field of the interrelations of pairs of well characterized but closely allied `species' next 
proved, almost wherever such an inquiry could be instituted, that neither could both have been gradually 
evolved by, natural selection from a common intermediate progenitor, nor either from the other by such a 
process. Scarcely ever where such pairs co-exist in nature, or occupy conterminous areas do we find an 
intermediate normal population as the theory demands. The ignorance of common facts bearing on this part 
of the inquiry which prevailed among evolutionists, was, as one looks back, astonishing and inexplicable. It 
had been decreed that when varieties of a species co-exist in nature, they must be connected by all 
intergradations, and it was an article of faith of almost equal validity that the intermediate form must be 
statistically the majority, and the extremes comparatively rare. The plant breeder might declare that he had 
varieties of Primula or some other plant, lately constituted, uniform in every varietal character breeding 
strictly true in those respects, or the entomologist might state that a polymorphic species of a beetle or of a 
moth fell obviously into definite types, but the evolutionary philosopher knew better. To him such 
statements merely showed that the reporter was a bad observer, and not improbably a destroyer of 
inconvenient material. Systematists had sound information but no one consulted them on such matters or 
cared to hear what they might have to say. The evolutionist of the eighties was perfectly certain that species 
were a figment of the systematist's mind, not worthy of enlightened attention." (Bateson, W., "Evolutionary 
Faith and Modern Doubts," Address delivered before the American Association for the Advancement of 
Science, December 28, 1921, at the University of Toronto, Science, Vol. 55, January 20, 1922, pp.55-61, 
p.56)

13/10/2006
"But soon, though knowledge advanced at a great rate, and though whole ranges of phenomena which had 
seemed capricious and disorderly fell rapidly into a co-ordinated system, less and less was heard about 
evolution in genetical circles, and now the topic is dropped. When students of other sciences ask us what is 
now currently believed about the origin of species we have no clear answer to give. Faith has given place to 
agnosticism for reasons which on such an occasion as this we may profitably consider. Where precisely has 
the difficulty arisen? Though the reasons for our reticence are many and present themselves in various 
forms, they are in essence one; that as we have come to know more of living things and their properties, we 
have become more and more impressed with the inapplicability of the evidence to these questions of origin. 
There is no apparatus which can be brought to bear on them which promises any immediate solution." 
(Bateson, W., "Evolutionary Faith and Modern Doubts," Address delivered before the American 
Association for the Advancement of Science, December 28, 1921, at the University of Toronto, Science, 
Vol. 55, January 20, 1922, pp.55-61, pp.56-57)

13/10/2006
"Genetical research has revealed the world of gametes from which the zygotes-the products of fertilization 
are constructed. What has been there witnessed is of such extraordinary novelty and so entirely unexpected 
that in presence of the new discoveries we would fain desist from speculation for a while. We see long 
courses of analysis to be traveled through and for some time to come that will be a sufficient occupation. 
The evolutionary systems of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were attempts to elucidate the order 
seen prevailing in this world of zygotes and to explain it in simpler terms of cause and effect: we now 
perceive that that order rests on and is determined by another equally significant and equally in need of 
`explanation.'" (Bateson, W., "Evolutionary Faith and Modern Doubts," Address delivered before the 
American Association for the Advancement of Science, December 28, 1921, at the University of Toronto, 
Science, Vol. 55, January 20, 1922, pp.55-61, p.57)

13/10/2006
"We have turned still another bend in the track and behind the' gametes we see the chromosomes. ... When 
we knew nothing of all this the words came freely. How easy it all used to look! What glorious assumptions 
went without rebuke. Regardless of the obvious consideration that `modification by descent' must be a 
chemical process, and that of the principles governing that chemistry science had neither hint, nor surmise, 
nor even an empirical observation of its working, professed men of science offered very confidently positive 
opinions on these nebulous topics which would now scarcely pass muster in a newspaper or a sermon. It is 
a wholesome sign of return to sense that these debates have been suspended." (Bateson, W., "Evolutionary 
Faith and Modern Doubts," Address delivered before the American Association for the Advancement of 
Science, December 28, 1921, at the University of Toronto, Science, Vol. 55, January 20, 1922, pp.55-61, 
p.57)

13/10/2006
"Biological science has returned to its rightful place, investigation of the structure and properties of the 
concrete and visible world. We cannot see how the differentiation into species came about. Variation of 
many kinds, often considerable, we daily witness, but no origin of species. Distinguishing what is known 
from what may be believed we have absolute certainty that new forms of life, new orders and new species 
have arisen on the earth. That is proved by the paleontological record. In a spirit of paradox even this has 
been questioned. It has been asked how do you know for instance that there were no mammals in 
palaeozoic times? May there not have been mammals somewhere on the earth though no vestige of them 
has come down to us? We may feel confident there were no mammals then, but are we sure? In very ancient 
rocks most of the great orders of animals are represented. The absence of the others might by no great 
stress of imagination be ascribed to accidental circumstances." (Bateson, W., "Evolutionary Faith and 
Modern Doubts," Address delivered before the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 
December 28, 1921, at the University of Toronto, Science, Vol. 55, January 20, 1922, pp.55-61, pp.57-58. 
Emphasis original) 

13/10/2006
"We are not certain, using certain in the strict sense, that the Angiosperms are the lineal descendants of the 
carboniferous plants, but it is very much easier to believe that they are than that they are not. Where is the 
difficulty? If the Angiosperms came from the carboniferous flora why may we not believe the old 
comfortable theory in the old way? Well so we may if by belief we mean faith, the substance, the foundation 
of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. In dim outline evolution is evident enough. From the 
facts it is a conclusion which inevitably follows. But that particular and essential bit of the theory of 
evolution which is concerned with the origin and nature of species remains utterly mysterious. We no 
longer feel as we used to do, that the process of variation, now contemporaneously occurring, is the 
beginning of a work which needs merely the element of time for its completion; for even time can not 
complete that which has not yet begun." (Bateson, W., "Evolutionary Faith and Modern Doubts," Address 
delivered before the American Association for the Advancement of Science, December 28, 1921, at the 
University of Toronto, Science, Vol. 55, January 20, 1922, pp.55-61, p.58. Emphasis original) 

13/10/2006
"The conclusion in which we were brought up, that species are a product of a summation of variations 
ignored the chief attribute of species first pointed out by John Ray that the product of their crosses is 
frequently sterile in greater or less degree. Huxley, very early in the debate pointed out this grave defect in 
the evidence, but before breeding researches had been made on a large scale no one felt the objection to be 
serious. Extended work might be trusted to supply the deficiency. It has not done so, and the significance of 
the negative evidence can no longer be denied. When Darwin discussed the problem of inter-specific 
sterility in the `Origin of Species' this aspect of the matter seems to have escaped him. He is at great pains to 
prove that inter-specific crosses are not always sterile, and he shows that crosses between forms which 
pass for distinct species may produce hybrids which range from complete fertility to complete sterility. The 
fertile hybrids he claims in support of his argument. If species arose from a common origin, clearly they 
should not always give sterile hybrids. So Darwin is concerned to prove that such hybrids are by no means 
always sterile, which to us is a commonplace of everyday experience." (Bateson, W., "Evolutionary Faith 
and Modern Doubts," Address delivered before the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 
December 28, 1921, at the University of Toronto, Science, Vol. 55, January 20, 1922, pp.55-61, p.58)

13/10/2006
"If species have a common origin, where did they pick up the ingredients which produce this sexual 
incompatibility? Almost certainly it is a variation in which something has been added. We have come to see 
that variations can very commonly-I do not say always-be distinguished as positive and negative. ... Now 
we have no difficulty in finding evidence of variation by loss. Examples abound, but variation by addition 
are rarities, even if there are any which must be so accounted. The variations to which interspecific sterility 
is due are obviously variations in which something is apparently added to the stock of ingredients. It is one 
of the common experiences of the breeder that when a hybrid is partially sterile, and from it any fertile 
offspring can be obtained, the sterility, once lost, disappears. This has been the history of many, perhaps 
most of our cultivated plants of hybrid origin. The production of an indubitably sterile hybrid from 
completely fertile parents which have arisen under critical observation from a single common origin is the 
event for which we wait. Until this event is witnessed, our knowledge of evolution is incomplete in a vital 
respect. From time to time a record of such an observation is published, but none has yet survived criticism. 
Meanwhile, though our faith in evolution stands unshaken, we have no acceptable account of the origin of 
`species.'" (Bateson, W., "Evolutionary Faith and Modern Doubts," Address delivered before the American 
Association for the Advancement of Science, December 28, 1921, at the University of Toronto, Science, 
Vol. 55, January 20, 1922, pp.55-61, pp.58-59) 

13/10/2006
"Curiously enough, it is at the same point that the validity of the claim of natural selection as the main 
directing force was most questionable. The survival of the fittest was a plausible account of evolution in 
broad outline, but failed in application to specific difference. The Darwinian philosophy convinced us that 
every species must `make good' in nature if it is to survive, but no one could tell how the differences-often 
very sharply fixed-which we recognize as specific, do in fact enable the species to make good. The claims of 
natural selection as the chief factor in the determination of species have consequently been discredited." 
(Bateson, W., "Evolutionary Faith and Modern Doubts," Address delivered before the American 
Association for the Advancement of Science, December 28, 1921, at the University of Toronto, Science, 
Vol. 55, January 20, 1922, pp.55-61, p.59)

13/10/2006
"I pass to another part of the problem, where again, though extraordinary progress in knowledge has been 
made, a new and formidable difficulty has been encountered. Of variations we know a great deal more than 
we did. Almost all that we have seen are variations in which we recognize that elements have been lost. In 
addressing the British Association in 1914 I dwelt on evidence of this class. The developments of the last 
seven years, which are memorable as having provided in regard to one animal, the fly Drosophila, the most 
comprehensive mass of genetic observation yet collected, serve rather to emphasize than to weaken the 
considerations which I then referred. Even in Drosophila, where hundreds of genetically distinct factors 
have been identified, very few new dominants, that is to say positive additions, have been seen, and I am 
assured that none of them are of a class which could be expected to be viable under natural conditions. I 
understand even that none are certainly viable in the homozygous state." (Bateson, W., "Evolutionary Faith 
and Modern Doubts," Address delivered before the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 
December 28, 1921, at the University of Toronto, Science, Vol. 55, January 20, 1922, pp.55-61, p.59)

13/10/2006
"If we try to trace back the origin of our domesticated animals and plants, we can scarcely ever point to a 
single wild species as the probable progenitor. Almost every naturalist who has dealt with these questions 
in recent years has had recourse to theories of multiple origin, because our modern races have positive 
characteristics which we cannot find in any existing species, and which combination of the existing species 
seem unable to provide. To produce our domesticated races it seems that ingredients must have been 
added. To invoke the hypothetical existence of lost species provides a poor escape from this difficulty, and 
we are left with the conviction that some part of the chain of reasoning is missing. The weight of this 
objection will be most felt by those who have most experience in practical breeding. I can not, for instance, 
imagine a round seed being found on a wrinkled variety of pea except by crossing. Such seeds, which look 
round, sometimes appear, but this is a superficial appearance, and either these seeds are seen to have the 
starch of wrinkled seeds or can be proved to be the produce of stray pollen. Nor can I imagine a fern-leaved 
Primula producing a palm-leaf, or a star-shaped flower producing the old type of sinensis flower. And so on 
through long series of forms which we have watched for twenty years." (Bateson, W., "Evolutionary Faith 
and Modern Doubts," Address delivered before the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 
December 28, 1921, at the University of Toronto, Science, Vol. 55, January 20, 1922, pp.55-61, p.59)

13/10/2006
"Analysis has revealed hosts of transferable characters. Their combinations suffice to supply in abundance 
series of types which might pass for new species, and certainly would be so classed if they were met with in 
nature. Yet critically tested, we find that they are not distinct species and we have no reason to suppose 
that any accumulations of characters of the same order would culminate in the production of distinct 
species. Specific difference therefore must be regarded as probably attaching to the base upon which these 
transferables are implanted, of which we know absolutely nothing at all. Nothing that we have witnessed in 
the contemporary world can colorably be interpreted as providing the sort of evidence required." (Bateson, 
W., "Evolutionary Faith and Modern Doubts," Address delivered before the American Association for the 
Advancement of Science, December 28, 1921, at the University of Toronto, Science, Vol. 55, January 20, 
1922, pp.55-61, pp.59-60)

13/10/2006
"Twenty years ago, de Vries made what looked like a promising attempt to supply this so far as 
Oenothera was concerned. In the light of modern experiments, especially those of Renner, the interest 
attaching to the polymorphism of Oenothera has greatly developed, but in application to that 
phenomenon the theory of mutation falls. We see novel forms appearing, but they are no new species of 
Oenothera, nor are the parents which produce them pure or homozygous forms. Renner's identification of 
the several complexes allocated to the male and female sides of the several types is a wonderful and 
significant pierce of analysis introducing us to new genetical conceptions. The Oenotheras illustrate in the 
most striking fashion how crude and inadequate are the suppositions which we entertained before the world 
of gametes was revealed. The appearance of the plant tells us little or nothing of these things. In Mendelism, 
we learnt to appreciate the implication of the fact that the organism is a double structure, containing 
ingredients derived from the mother and from the father respectively. We have now to admit the further 
conception that between the male and female sides of the same plant these ingredients may be quite 
differently apportioned, and that the genetical composition of each may be so distinct that the systematist 
might without extravagance recognize them as distinct specifically. If then our plant may by appropriate 
treatment be made to give off two distinct forms, why is not that phenomenon a true instance of Darwin's 
origin of species? In Darwin's time it must have been acclaimed as exactly supplying all and more than he 
ever hoped to see. We know that that is not the true interpretation. For that which comes out is no new 
creation." (Bateson, W., "Evolutionary Faith and Modern Doubts," Address delivered before the American 
Association for the Advancement of Science, December 28, 1921, at the University of Toronto, Science, 
Vol. 55, January 20, 1922, pp.55-61, p.60)

13/10/2006
"I have put before you very frankly the considerations which have made us agnostic as to the actual mode 
and processes of evolution. When such confessions are made the enemies of science see their chance. If we 
cannot declare here and now how species arose, they will obligingly offer us the solutions with which 
obscurantism is satisfied. Let us then proclaim in precise and unmistakable language that our faith in 
evolution is unshaken. Every available line of argument converges on this inevitable conclusion. The 
obscurantist has nothing to suggest which is worth a moment's attention. The difficulties which weigh upon 
the professional biologist need not trouble the layman. Our doubts are not as to the reality or truth of 
evolution, but as to the origin of species, a technical, almost domestic, problem. Any day that mystery may 
be solved. The discoveries of the last twenty-five years enable us for the first time to discuss these 
questions intelligently and on a basis of fact. That synthesis will follow on an analysis, we do not and 
cannot doubt." (Bateson, W., "Evolutionary Faith and Modern Doubts," Address delivered before the 
American Association for the Advancement of Science, December 28, 1921, at the University of Toronto, 
Science, Vol. 55, January 20, 1922, pp.55-61, p.61)

13/10/2006
"A Gallup report released today reveals that more than half of all Americans, rejecting evolution theory and 
scientific evidence, agree with the statement, `God created man exactly how Bible describes it.' Another 31% says 
that man did evolve, but `God guided.' Only 12% back evolution and say `God had no part.' Gallup summarized it 
this way: `Surveys repeatedly show that a substantial portion of Americans do not believe that the theory of 
evolution best explains where life came from.' ... The report was written by the director of the The Gallup Poll, 
Frank Newport. ... Gallup has asked this question, in different forms, going back to 1982, but has consistently 
shown support at 45% or higher for the notion that `God created man in present form.' The most recent poll, last 
September, posed the question this way: `Which of the following statements comes closest to your views on the 
origin and development of human beings.' This produced the 53% who chose `God created man exactly how 
Bible describes it,' the 31% who said man did evolve but `God guided,' and the 12% who backed evolution with 
God playing `no part.'" ("Gallup: More Than Half of Americans Reject Evolution, Back Bible," Editor & 
Publisher, March 08, 2006)

13/10/2006
"Eight out of 10 Americans believe God guided creation in some capacity. A Gallup Poll reveals that 46 
percent think God created man in his present form sometime in the past 10,000 years, while 36 percent say 
man developed over millions of years from lesser life forms, but God guided the process. Only 13 percent of 
Americans think mankind evolved with no divine intervention. `There has been surprisingly little change 
over the last 24 years in how Americans respond,' pollster Frank Newport said. The survey marks the 
seventh time that Gallup has queried Americans about creation beliefs. Since 1982, between 44 percent and 
47 percent have consistently agreed that God created man `as is,' while between 35 percent and 40 percent 
said man evolved with God's guidance. The idea of strict evolution without God has proved the least 
popular, cited by 9 percent to 13 percent of the respondents over the years." (Harper, J., "Americans still 
hold faith in divine creation," Washington Times, June 9, 2006)

13/10/2006
"In a May 8-11 survey of American beliefs on evolution, 46 percent of respondents agreed with the 
statement: God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 
years or so. In comparison, only 13 percent chose the answer: `Human beings have developed over millions 
of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process.' According to the poll results, 
which were released Monday, the biggest factor in determining the answer was religion. Almost two-thirds 
of Americans who attend church at least once a week believe that humans were created in their present form, 
compared to 29 percent of those who say they never attend church. Analysts also found a strong 
correlation between the level of education and the response. About three-quarters of those with a post-
graduate degree said humans developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, compared to 
just 22 percent choosing the `created in present form' option. According to Gallup, the poll shows that 
Americans’ view on the origin of life has remained constant for decades. Since 1982, when the poll first 
began, between 44 and 47 percent of Americans have consistently agreed with the option that God created 
humans in their present form, and between 9 and 13 percent believed man evolved without guidance from 
God. This was the seventh time the poll was conducted. Meanwhile, 36 percent of Americans agreed with a 
third option, that man evolved with the guidance of God through millions of years. Results are based on 
telephone interviews with 2,002 national adults from Nov. 7-10, 2004, and May 8-11, 2006. The margin of 
sampling error is 2 percentage points with 95 percent confidence." (Spencer, E., "Nearly Half of Americans 
Believe in Creationism," The Christian Post, August 31, 2006) 

13/10/2006
"Adults in the United States are divided over the origin of life, according to a poll by Gallup released by 
USA Today. 46 per cent of respondents think God created human beings in their present form, and 36 per 
cent say man developed from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process. A further 13 per cent 
think God played no part in the evolution of human beings. ... Polling Data Which of the following 
statements comes closest to your views on the origin and development of human beings? 1) Human beings 
have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process; 2) 
Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part 
in this process; 3) God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 
10,000 years or so. ... The September 2005 poll question was: `Which of the following statements comes 
closest to your views on the origin and development of human beings? 1) Human beings have evolved over 
millions of years from other forms of life and God guided this process; 2) Human beings have evolved over 
millions of years from other forms of life, but God had no part in this process; 3) God created human beings 
in their present form exactly the way the Bible describes it.' Source: Gallup / CNN / USA Today. 
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,001 American adults, conducted from May 8 to May 11, 2006. 
Margin of error is 3 per cent." ("Americans Split Over Evolution, Creationism," Angus Reid Consultants, 
June 6, 2006. Emphasis original)

13/10/2006
"What Americans think about their origins is often shocking to those of us who teach about evolution. 
Gallup polls report that almost 50% of Americans responded that "God created human beings pretty much in 
their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so" and that almost 70% support teaching 
creationism in schools. .... Misunderstanding evolution is not a new phenomenon; it has been the case 
despite decades of science curricula attempting to teach the subject. " (Alters, B.J. & Alters, S.M., 
"Defending Evolution in the Classroom: A Guide to the Creation/Evolution Controversy," Jones & Bartlett 
Publishers: Sudbury MA, 2001, p.6)

13/10/2006
"Then, of course, there's the political side to the evolution/ creation issue. In 1999, the Kansas State Board 
of Education voted to remove almost all mention of evolution from the state's education standards and 
assessments for public schools. Over 12 other states have fought similar versions of an anti-evolution 
battle, including some that have succumbed to placing disclaimers about evolution in their biology 
textbooks. In the 2000 preliminary presidential campaigns, most of the candidates favored the position that 
both evolution and creationism be taught in schools and added that such decisions should be made at the 
local level." (Alters, B.J. & Alters, S.M., "Defending Evolution in the Classroom: A Guide to the 
Creation/Evolution Controversy," Jones & Bartlett Publishers: Sudbury MA, 2001, pp.6-7)

13/10/2006
"We will use evolution to mean "the descent, with modification, of different lineages from common 
ancestors.... All forms of life, from viruses to redwoods to humans, are related by unbroken chains of 
descent. ...This citation is from a document endorsed by the following scientific societies: American Society 
of Naturalists, American Behavior Society, American Institute of Biological Sciences, Ecological Society of 
America, Genetics Society of America, Paleontological Society, Society for Molecular Biology and 
Evolution, Society for the Study of Evolution, and the Society of Systematic Biologists. ..." (Alters, B.J. & 
Alters, S.M., "Defending Evolution in the Classroom: A Guide to the Creation/Evolution Controversy," 
Jones & Bartlett Publishers: Sudbury MA, 2001, p.10. Emphasis original) 

13/10/2006
"Problems with Polls Realizing that all `creationisms' are not alike, it is easy to see how we educators can 
easily place students into categories (sometimes subconsciously) that do not reflect their beliefs about the 
subject we are attempting to teach. Likewise, it may be easy to recognize why some public opinion polls on 
the subject of evolution are difficult to design to take into account all types of creationist views. Polls that 
are ill-designed produce results that may mislead instructors in some ways. The discussion that follows is of 
a Gallup poll and is meant to illustrate how misunderstandings concerning students' creationist beliefs can 
lead to false assumptions about what students find offensive or believe to be false about evolution. One 
Gallup poll asked respondents to note which statement of three came closest to their views about the origin 
and development of man. The statements were `(1) God created human beings pretty much in their present 
form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so. (2) Human beings have developed over millions of years 
from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process. (3) Human beings have developed 
over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process .5120 Such limited 
choices present somewhat of a dilemma for some progressive creationists. They can't choose #2 because it 
states that God did not have a part in the process; progressives believe God certainly did. They have 
problems with #3 because they believe that God supernaturally created all living things or that God at least 
intervened to supernaturally create when needed-He did not just guide the process. Therefore, some of 
these progressives choose #1 because it advocates that `God created human beings pretty much in their 
present form' while not believing the latter half of #1, that the creation happened `one time within the last 
10,000 years or so.' Therefore, if progressives who accept standard geological ages choose #1 for its 
creation emphasis while not agreeing with the 10,000 year age, these responses inflate the polling results for 
the young earth position, making it appear that there are more literalists than there may be. In other words, 
many progressive creationists, when asked to respond, may have chosen view #1 by default or, more aptly, 
considered it the least of three evils." (Alters, B.J. & Alters, S.M., "Defending Evolution in the Classroom: A 
Guide to the Creation/Evolution Controversy," Jones & Bartlett Publishers: Sudbury MA, 2001, pp.47-48. 
Emphasis original)

13/10/2006
"Also troublesome in the wording of this particular poll is the phrase `God guided this process.' Although 
some people in the theist camp believe that God guided the process of evolution, some of them believe that 
His guidance is so removed from our observation (or possibly even from our understanding) that we cannot 
detect it. (The overwhelming majority of scientists and science instructors would find no problem with this 
student view when it comes to learning about evolution.) However, some progressive creationists may also 
claim that the same terminology allows for God's guiding of evolution, which includes occasional 
supernatural creations of biological organisms, especially humans. This understanding of God's guidance of 
evolution is certainly a different understanding from that of the theistic camp. So such wording in the poll 
serves to blur the distinction between those who see the process as not including supernatural biological 
creations with those who do. Another confounding factor in this poll (although less relevant to the day-to-
day challenges of teaching evolution) is what the poll means by `God had no part in this process.' On the 
surface, this phrase may sound atheistic. However, many theists could certainly choose this item. These 
theists would contend that God set up the natural laws and, given his omniscience, knew a result would be 
humans. However, this phrase may also be read to mean that God had no involvement in setting up the laws 
of nature so that things would evolve (e.g., that God is unnecessary to the whole process-evolution would 
have happened with or without God). Because of the item's ambiguity, both atheists and theists could have 
chosen this response. Many theists who believe that God set the stage for evolution consider that alone to 
be a creation." (Alters, B.J. & Alters, S.M., "Defending Evolution in the Classroom: A Guide to the 
Creation/Evolution Controversy," Jones & Bartlett Publishers: Sudbury MA, 2001, p.48) 

14/10/2006
"The realization that life is about information completely turns older arguments about evolution on their 
head. Why? Because information is independent of the material medium used to store and transmit it. In a 
book, the words are printed with ink on paper, but they could also be written with crayon or paint or chalk, 
or even scratched into sand with a stick. The message remains the same, no matter what you use to write it. 
And the obvious implication is that the message was not created by the matter used to write it. The words in 
a book were not created by chemical forces within the ink and paper. If you see a message on a chalkboard -- 
`Science Test Today!' -- you do not think it arose from the chemical properties of calcium carbonate. What 
does this mean for the origin of life? It means the message in DNA was not created by the chemical forces 
within the molecule itself. This explains why all the experiments to create life have failed - because they all 
try to build a living form from the bottom up, by assembling the right materials. But the material medium does 
not write the message. As astrophysicist Paul Davies says, `Trying to make life by mixing chemicals in a test 
tube is like soldering switches and wires in an attempt to produce Windows 98. It won't work because it 
addresses the problem at the wrong conceptual level.' [Davies, P.C.W., "How we could create life,"The 
Guardian, December 11, 2002] This is a devastating critique. To suggest that matter could give rise to life is 
not just mistaken; it addresses the question `at the wrong conceptual level.' It is beginning to look like the 
best key to interpreting the organic world is not natural selection but John 1:1, `In the beginning was the 
Word,' the Logos -- language, information. ... Why don't these arguments get a hearing in the typical science 
textbook? The answer is that science has been redefined as applied naturalism or materialism. Consider this 
quotation from Richard Dawkins: `Even if there were no actual evidence in favor of the Darwinian theory ... 
we should still be justified in preferring it over all rival theories.' [Dawkins R., "The Blind Watchmaker," 
Norton: New York, 1986, p.287] Why? Because it is naturalistic. In a letter published in Nature, another 
scientist says the same thing from the opposite direction: `Even if all the data point to an intelligent 
designer, such an hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic.' [Todd, S. C., "A view 
from Kansas on that evolution debate," Nature, Vol. 401, 30 September 1999, p.423] Let that sink in for a 
moment. Even if there is no evidence for Darwinism, and if all the data point to a designer, still that theory 
would not be permissible in science. Obviously, it is not ultimately a matter of evidence at all. What this tells 
us is that science itself has been redefined as applied naturalistic philosophy, so that only naturalistic 
theories are even considered. That's why we have to deal with the issue on two levels - not only the 
scientific evidence, but also the philosophy." (Pearcey, N.R., "Creation vs. Evolution: What Our Children 
Need to Know," The Pearcey Report, January, 2006) 

14/10/2006
"The origin of life remains a tantalising puzzle, shrouded by the mists of time. If scientists could create a 
second sample of life in the lab, it would yield vital clues about how we got here. Somehow, billions of years 
ago, a mixture of lifeless chemicals turned themselves into a living cell. Repeating the chemical steps under 
controlled conditions could yield the first artificial life form. I see no reason in principle why synthetic life 
could not be made. However, most scientists working on this challenge are simply barking up the wrong 
tree. In the 19th century, life was seen as a type of magic matter that emerged from the primordial ooze. The 
idea grew that this organic matter could be cooked up in the laboratory from a primordial broth if only the 
right ingredients were identified. It was in this spirit that Miller performed his famous experiment, and more 
refined versions have been carried out many times since. Disappointingly, researchers remain stuck at the 
building block stage. There is a fundamental reason for this impasse.... the living cell is best thought of as a 
supercomputer - an information processing and replicating system of astonishing complexity. DNA is ... a 
genetic databank that transmits its information using a mathematical code. Most of the workings of the cell 
are best described, not in terms of material stuff - hardware - but as information, or software. Trying to make 
life by mixing chemicals in a test tube is like soldering switches and wires in an attempt to produce Windows 
98. It won't work because it addresses the problem at the wrong conceptual level. ... If artificial life is 
manufactured, it will be by applying the lessons of information technology and nanotechnology rather than 
organic chemistry. .... Which leaves us with a curious conundrum. How did nature fabricate the world's first 
digital information processor - the original living cell - from the blind chaos of blundering molecules? How 
did molecular hardware get to write its own software?" (Davies, P.C.W., " How we could create life," The 
Guardian, December 11, 2002)

14/10/2006
"The obvious way to decide between rival theories is to examine the evidence. Lamarckian types of theory, 
for instance, are traditionally rejected - and rightly so - because no good evidence for them has ever been 
found (not for want of energetic trying, in some cases by zealots prepared to fake evidence). In this chapter I 
shall take a different tack, largely because so many other books have examined the evidence and concluded 
in favour of Darwinism. Instead of examining the evidence for and against rival theories, I shall adopt a more 
armchair approach. My argument will be that Darwinism is the only known theory that is in principle capable 
of explaining certain aspects of life. If I am right means that, even if there were no actual evidence in favour 
of the Darwinian theory (there is, of course) we should still be preferring it over all rival theories. One way in 
which to dramatize this point is to make a prediction. I predict that, if a form of life is ever discovered in 
another part of the universe, however outlandish and weirdly alien that form of life may be in detail, it will be 
found to resemble life on Earth in one key respect: it will have evolved by some kind of Darwinian natural 
selection." (Dawkins R., "The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe 
Without Design," W.W Norton & Co: New York NY, 1986, pp.287-288)

16/10/2006
"IN 1867, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote of the worm, who, `striving to be man/ Mounts through all the spires 
of form'. As the paper by Chen et al. on page 720 [Chen, J.-Y., et al., "A possible Early Cambrian 
chordate," Nature, Vol. 377, 26 Oct 1995, pp.720-722] reminds us, the fossil record mocks our cultural 
expectations and psychological hopes for construing evolution as a steady rise in progress, with humans as 
a predictable apogee. No phenomenon of life's history seems less suited to Emerson's mode than the 
Cambrian Explosion, the remarkable episode which lasted only 10 million years (from 530 to 520 million years 
ago) and featured the first appearance in the fossil record of effectively all modern animal phyla, including 
annelid worms and chordates. Charles Darwin faced this challenge to his gradualistic preferences with 
characteristic honesty, writing in the first edition of the Origin of Species: `The case at present must 
remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained' [Darwin, 
C.R., `The Origin of Species,' First edition, 1859, Penguin: London, 1985, reprint, p.314]. As usual, he 
attributed the apparent rapidity to imperfections of the fossil record and speculated that recognizable 
ancestors of modern phyla must have inhabited older seas and not been preserved: `During these vast, yet 
quite unknown, periods of time, the world swarmed with living creatures' [Ibid., p.313]. The earliest Cambrian 
is divided into three parts called, from oldest to youngest, Manakayan, Tommotian and Atdabanian, to 
honour Russian localities where early Cambrian rocks are particularly well exposed. The Manakayan 
contains many fossilized bits and pieces of cousins and precursors, but not many remains of major modern 
phyla. The Manakayan therefore pre-dates the Cambrian Explosion. By the end of the Atdabanian, virtually 
all modern phyla had made their appearance. The Cambrian Explosion therefore spans the Tommotian and 
Atdabanian. Contrary to Darwin's expectation that new data would reveal gradualistic continuity with slow 
and steady expansion, all major discoveries of the past century have only heightened the massiveness and 
geological abruptness of this formative event for the kingdom Animalia." (Gould, S.J., "Of it, not above it," 
Nature, Vol. 377, 26 October, 1995, pp.681-682, p.681). 

16/10/2006
"Older textbooks proclaim that our phylum, the Chordata, did not appear until the subsequent Ordovician 
period, and that this later evolution must, imply advanced status. But the Burgess Shale contains a 
chordate, the genus Pikaia, misidentified by Walcott as a polychaete annelid. However, Pikaia remains 
in limbo, for no comprehensive anatomical description has yet been published. Chen and colleagues [Chen, 
J.-Y., et al., "A possible Early Cambrian chordate," Nature, Vol. 377, 26 Oct 1995, pp.720-722] discovery 
and description of a beautifully preserved and unambiguously identified chordate from the still earlier 
Chengjiang fauna now seals the fate of this misguided effort in asserting specialness for our ancestry. 
Chordates arose in the Cambrian Explosion. The only post-Cambrian appearance for a phylum belongs to 
the Ectoprocta. a group of marine colonial organisms prominent in the Palaeozoic fossil record, relatively 
inconspicuous today, and utterly unknown to the world at large (however beloved by all palaeontologists). 
Ectoprocts appear in the Ordovician period, and I will take refuge in Darwin's argument to predict that we 
just haven't found the Cambrian representatives yet." (Gould, S.J., "Of it, not above it," Nature, Vol. 377, 
26 October, 1995, pp.681-682, p.681).

16/10/2006
"The new Chengjiang chordate, Yunnanozoon lividum, described by a wonderfully international team of 
five authors from four maximally diverse and distant nations (invertebrate palaeontology has always been a 
remarkably ecumenical and cooperative enterprise), is so well preserved that its affinity within the Chordata 
can also be specified. Chordates are divided into three major lines - the tunicates, the cephalochordates 
(represented today by Amphioxus and its relatives), and the craniates (including all vertebrates). 
Yunnanozoon, with its metameric gonads and anteriorly extended notochord, belongs to the 
cephalochordates. As the authors note, the fact that one major division is already differentiated by unique 
characters within the Cambrian Explosion probably indicates that the other two divisions existed then as 
well - and that not only the phylum Chordata itself, but also all its major divisions, arose within the 
Cambrian Explosion." (Gould, S.J., "Of it, not above it," Nature, Vol. 377, 26 October, 1995, pp.681-682.
Emphasis original).

16/10/2006
"Other discoveries continue to highlight the speed and magnitude of the Cambrian Explosion. Bowring and 
colleagues [Bowring, S.A., et al., "Calibrating Rates of Early Cambrian Evolution," Science, Vol. 261, 3 
September 1993, pp.1293-1298] recently provided our first rigorous radiometric dates for the event -and `fast' 
turns out to be much faster than anyone ever thought. The Tommotian and Atdabanian span only 6 to 10 
million years, not up to 30 as previously argued. Meanwhile, new fossil discoveries have extended the range 
of several more phyla, including the Tardigrada and Pentastomida, into the Cambrian. The case of the 
pentastomes is particularly remarkable, for these parasites of vertebrates had no previous fossil record at all, 
while their virtual exclusion to vertebrates as modern hosts made later evolution quite plausible." (Gould, 
S.J., "Of it, not above it," Nature, Vol. 377, 26 October, 1995, pp.681-682, p.682).

16/10/2006
"The Cambrian Explosion occurred in a geological moment, and we have reason to think that all major 
anatomical designs may have made their evolutionary appearance at that time. Books have been written on 
the potential meaning of this remarkable phenomenology for revised views of evolution, ecology and 
development. Speculative and tendentious as much of this work may be (including my own), let us rejoice in 
the strangeness and elegant documentation of the phenomenology itself. Our own phylum, as 
Yunnanozoon proves, forms part of this universal story. " (Gould, S.J., "Of it, not above it," Nature, 
Vol. 377, 26 October, 1995, pp.681-682, p.682).

16/10/2006
"Consequently, if my theory be true, it is indisputable that before the lowest Silurian stratum was deposited, 
long periods elapsed, as long as, or probably far longer than, the whole interval from the Silurian age to the 
present day; and that during these vast, yet quite unknown, periods of time, the world swarmed with living 
creatures. To the question why we do not find records of these vast primordial periods, I can give no 
satisfactory answer. ... The case at present must remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid 
argument against the views here entertained." (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural 
Selection: Or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life," First edition, 1859, Penguin: 
London, 1985, reprint, pp.313-314)

16/10/2006
"Construction of a chemical system capable of replication and evolution, fed only by small molecule 
nutrients, is now conceivable. This could be achieved by stepwise integration of decades of work on the 
reconstitution of DNA, RNA and protein syntheses from pure components. Such a minimal cell project 
would initially define the components sufficient for each subsystem, allow detailed kinetic analyses and lead 
to improved in vitro methods for synthesis of biopolymers, therapeutics and biosensors. Completion 
would yield a functionally and structurally understood self-replicating biosystem. Safety concerns for 
synthetic life will be alleviated by extreme dependence on elaborate laboratory reagents and conditions for 
viability. Our proposed minimal genome is 113 kbp long and contains 151 genes." (Forster, A.C. & Church, 
G.M., "Towards synthesis of a minimal cell," Molecular Systems Biology, Vol. 2, 22 August 2006) 

16/10/2006
"... self-assembly occurs in a definite sequence and is generally energetically favored, obviating the need for 
enzymes and an energy source. Assembling some type of cell (i.e. a self-replicating, membrane-encapsulated 
collection of biomolecules) would seem to be the next major step, yet detailed plans have not been 
published. Here, we attempt to outline the synthesis of a minimal cell containing the core cellular replication 
machinery ..." (Forster, A.C. & Church, G.M., "Towards synthesis of a minimal cell," Molecular Systems 
Biology, Vol. 2, 22 August 2006) 

16/10/2006
Synthesizing a minimal cell will advance knowledge of biological replication. ... The meaning of 'synthetic' 
(from Greek sunthesis, to put together) discussed here bypasses the current reliance of synthetic biology on 
cells or macromolecular cell products: the aim is to put together an organism from small molecules alone. ... 
Life, like a machine, cannot be understood simply by studying it and its parts; it must also be put together 
from its parts. Along the way to synthesizing a cell, we might discover new biochemical functions essential 
for replication, unsuspected macromolecular modifications or previously unrecognized patterns of 
coordinated expression." (Forster, A.C. & Church, G.M., "Towards synthesis of a minimal cell," Molecular 
Systems Biology, Vol. 2, 22 August 2006)

16/10/2006
"How good a model would an artificial, protein-based, minimal cell be for natural cells? The only cellular 
alternative is a perturbed natural cell, an incredibly complex system even for the simplest of cells. A much 
simpler purified system based on a real cell would thus be easier to model and understand. It could certainly 
answer questions that cannot be answered in vivo or in crude extracts, such as which macromolecules 
and macromolecular modifications are sufficient for subsystem function. However, even the simplest minimal 
cell would still be highly complex; so its construction and study would be facilitated by substituting some of 
the necessary subsystems with simpler analogs. Should the simpler in vitro model turn out to be a poor 
model for the more complex in vivo system, one could always construct a more complex in vitro system 
that may better reflect in vivo." (Forster, A.C. & Church, G.M., "Towards synthesis of a minimal cell," 
Molecular Systems Biology, Vol. 2, 22 August 2006) 

16/10/2006
"The ideal approach for synthesizing a cell would allow all of the machine parts to be understood and 
tested. Like any engineering project, this requires detailed blueprints, raw synthetic capabilities and an 
overall diagnostic and debugging strategy. ... What is needed is some way of defining a near-minimal 
genome and then a strategy that will lead inexorably to an understanding of all of its parts." (Forster, A.C. & 
Church, G.M., "Towards synthesis 
of a minimal cell," Molecular Systems Biology, Vol. 2, 22 August 2006) 

16/10/2006
"Theoretical and experimental studies have attempted to establish a minimal set of genes needed for a self-
replicating system in a cushy constant environment of unlimited, small molecule nutrients. Three basic 
approaches present themselves. ... Comparative genomics searches for genes that have homologs in the 
genomes of groups of organisms. The approach estimates from 50 to 380 genes in a minimal genome 
(Mushegian and Koonin, 1996; Tomita et al, 1999; Koonin, 2000; Jaffe et al, 2004). .... Genetics searches 
for essential genes by mutating one gene at a time. This approach estimates 430 genes in a minimal genome 
(out of Mycoplasma genitalium's total of 528 ... Hutchison et al, 1999; Glass et al, 2006). ... 
Biochemistry identifies from cell fractions those gene products essential for the reconstitution of 
biochemical reactions. It does not suffer from the above problems ... However, the cellular subsystems must 
be integrated and thoroughly tested for accuracy on long templates before they can be considered 
physiological. ... Mindful of the remaining self-replication functions that need to be discovered ... it seems 
likely that a largely biochemical approach, now further empowered by mass spectrometry analyses and 
genetic and comparative genomic information, will be the most practical route to define a near-minimal, well-
understood genome." (Forster, A.C. & Church, G.M., "Towards synthesis of a minimal cell," Molecular Systems 
Biology, Vol. 2, 22 August 2006) 

16/10/2006
"A minimal genome An MCP may be realized by reconstituting the macromolecular catalysts that 
synthesize DNA, RNA and protein. However, this overlooks the formation of the membrane compartment 
and the poorly understood process in which it is divided by membrane proteins (Gitai, 2005), both of which 
are required for life. But lipids alone have been shown to be sufficient for formation of rudimentary 
membranous compartments capable of both transmembrane transport of small molecules and fission 
autocatalytically (Szostak et al, 2001), so membrane proteins may be dispensable. Polysaccharides should 
also be dispensable. If the simplest and best-characterized examples of DNA, RNA and protein synthesis are 
selected, if translation of all codons is enabled for generalizability and if efficiency and accuracy are not 
compromised, then this leads to the macromolecules and pathways ... proposed to be necessary and 
sufficient for replication from small molecule nutrients." (Forster, A.C. & Church, G.M., "Towards synthesis 
of a minimal cell," Molecular Systems Biology, Vol. 2, 22 August 2006) 

16/10/2006
"A detailed list of the gene products in the hypothetical synthetic minimal cell ... is shown .... This list 
overlaps with a computational model of minimal cell genes largely derived from a minimal organism, M. 
genitalium (Tomita et al, 1999 ...), but differs by omitting enzymes for synthesizing small molecules (e.g. 
lipids and glycolysis substrates) and by including DNA replication, RNA processing, RNA modification, 
extra tRNAs to decode the whole genetic code, some additional essential translation components and 
chaperones. ... Several conclusions can be drawn from the provisional list of genes selected for a minimal 
cell, most of which are attractive when contemplating an MCP. In genomic terms, the list is very short, 
containing only 151 genes and 113 kbp. All of the genes are derived from E. coli and its bacteriophages ..." 
(Forster, A.C. & Church, G.M., "Towards synthesis of a minimal cell," Molecular Systems Biology, 
Vol. 2, 22 August 2006)

16/10/2006
"Biochemical subsystems Several biochemical subsystems are required to synthesize a minimal cell, and 
they are reviewed here. ... Genome replication In principle, the genetic material for an MCP could be either 
DNA or RNA. Although an RNA genome has the advantage of obviating genes for DNA replication, the 
challenges of preventing inhibitory double-stranded RNA structures and replicative mutations in artificial 
RNA genomes (Mills et al, 1967) are unsolved. So the genetic material for an MCP should be DNA. ... 
Transcription A single RNA polymerase should suffice for an MCP. ... RNA processing A host of 
RNases cleave precursor RNAs in vivo (Li and Deutscher, 1996) with a complexity that could be 
reproduced in an MCP. However, inclusion of these RNases comes with the risks of cryptic cleavages, and a 
simpler approach may be easier to engineer .... The efficiency of RNA processing, monitored by gel 
electrophoresis, could be improved by trying several different precursor-specific sequences. A minimal 
translatome The most complex universal biological machinery is clearly translation. Translation-associated 
genes (the 'translatome') account for a large fraction of cellular genes, 96% of the genes ... and all of the 
currently predicted gaps in knowledge of an MCP. ... Presently, this seems to favor the E. coli translatome 
for an MCP. Purified translation .... The next steps with the E. coli system will be verifying accuracy by 
mass spectrometry and extending the short lifetime of the batch mode by continuous dialysis (Spirin et al, 
1988). The versatility of the system will become apparent as more mRNAs are translated. If stronger mRNA 
secondary structures prove inhibitory despite the helicase activity of the ribosome (Takyar et al, 2005), 
introduction of an RNA helicase may be helpful. Given that aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, translation 
factors and ribosomal proteins are among the most abundant proteins in the cell, it will be important to verify 
that the purified system can produce high concentrations of all of these proteins. An in vitro ribosome 
The ribosome of choice is from E. coli because, in contrast with its eukaryotic cousins, it has been self-
assembled from its purified components (Traub and Nomura, 1968; Nomura and Erdmann, 1970; Nierhaus 
and Dohme, 1974) and is homologous with the other components of the gene list .... rRNA production in a 
purified system is complicated by post-transcriptional nucleoside modifications. ... 5S rRNA ... is active 
when transcribed in vitro (Zvereva et al, 1998). But the other two rRNAs are modified by about 20 
enzymes in E. coli, half of which are unidentified. ...The enzymes that catalyze these six modifications are 
therefore included ... tRNAs Which of the myriad tRNA genes and tRNA modification enzymes are likely 
to be sufficient to decode all 61 sense codons in an MCP? ... Arguments for choosing essential tRNA 
modification activities are highly speculative.... As few as 33 E. coli tRNAs may be sufficient to translate 
the entire genetic code accurately ....  Each in vitro-synthesized nascent tRNA transcript should be 
modified with different combinations of modification enzymes and tested for efficiency and accuracy of 
codon recognition in translation, initially in a simplified purified translation system (Forster et al, 2001). .... 
Post-translation An MCP must promote correct protein folding and any necessary post-translational 
amino-acid modifications. Early versions of a purified replicating system will contain cell-derived 
macromolecules, so establishing that such systems can be completely weaned from cells will require enough 
rounds of replication for 'infinite' dilution of the starting macromolecules. This will test for dependence on 
folding by chaperones and on post-translational modifications. It is unclear which, if any, chaperones will be 
necessary, but GroEL/ES (El Hage et al, 2001; Kerner et al, 2005) are likely candidates .... 
Compartments and division Membranes would allow evolution without serial transfers and purifications, 
extension of the system to new environments and better modeling of cells. On the other hand, membranous 
boundaries ... restrict applications (e.g. delivery of unnatural amino acyl-tRNAs, selection schemes based on 
binding and spacial arraying for nanofabrication). Addition to self-replicating macromolecules of lipids alone 
may be sufficient for encapsulation of the macromolecules within bilayer membrane vesicles, synthetic cell 
division and transmembranous small molecule transport (Szostak et al, 2001). The choice of lipids is wide 
open, but one should not underestimate the challenges involved in working with them (Luisi, 2002) nor the 
advantages in regulation to be gained by adding membrane-modeling proteins (e.g. pores, transporters and 
the yet-to-be-discovered complement of cell division proteins; Gitai, 2005). Integrating the subsystems 
How might all of the biochemical subsystems ... be combined to generate a self-sustaining system? This is 
clearly a new level of complexity in comparison with prior self-assembly projects. None of the subsystems 
described above are completed, yet their selection is based on a reasonable plan for their ultimate 
integration. The approach again would be stepwise, and there are many possible pathways that could be 
integrated in parallel .... The products of these integrated subsystems could then be assayed for correct in 
vitro reconstitution of small ribosomal subunits ... Numerous fine-tuning strategies can be envisioned. 
Relative strengths of DNA promoters and mRNA ribosome-binding sites for different genes could be 
modeled on the in vivo strengths, with necessary adjustments of synthetic rates (and thus 
concentrations of products) achieved by mutations in the binding sites ... Additional modules might be 
useful, such as catabolism (nucleases and proteases), active conversion or removal of waste products (e.g. 
by energy regenerating enzymes... or membrane transporters) and regulatory feedback .... Control of 
macromolecular concentrations will be aided by in silico modeling and design (Tomita et al, 1999). Given 
that the subsystems discussed above were selected with integration in mind by choosing physiological 
reaction conditions and homologous components, and given that additional subsystems could always be 
borrowed from living cells as needed (e.g. E. coli RNA polymerase .... and regulatory modules such as 
riboswitches (Isaacs et al, 2004)), it seems likely that this approach will eventually produce synthetic self-
replication and ultimately a self-sustaining minimal cell. ... Completion In conclusion, a stepwise 
biochemical approach lends itself to the eventual identification of any remaining functions essential for the 
synthesis of a minimal cell sustained solely by small molecules. ... It is difficult to predict how long it will 
take to debug each of the individual biochemical subsystems or to put them all together .... Intermediate 
assembly steps could also be pursued while the gaps in RNA modification knowledge... are being filled. .... 
Similarly, assembly of self-replication in the absence of functional in vitro-synthesized tRNA substrates 
could be carried out using cellular total tRNA to enable self-replication from substrates (rather than just 
small molecules) as a major step towards understanding biological self-replication. .... Completion within a 
decade will only be possible through a coordinated filling of the key gaps in knowledge by the cutting-edge 
laboratories scattered around the world in these fields." (Forster, A.C. & Church, G.M., "Towards synthesis 
of a minimal cell," Molecular Systems Biology, Vol. 2, 22 August 2006) 

17/10/2006
Brain of apes and man The brain is much larger absolutely and relatively in man than any living ape ... 
man stands farther apart from the apes in this respect than they do from other anthropoids. The cranial 
capacity for males of modern (Caucasian) man may be taken as 1,500 c.c., whereas that of chimpanzees is 
given as 410, gorillas as 510, and orangs as 450. The general arrangement of function within the brains is 
similar in man and apes, but the parts especially well developed in man are the frontal and occipital lobes. 
The latter are concerned with the sense of sight and are related to our intensely visual life. The frontal lobes, 
so far as is known, serve to maintain the balance between caution or restraint and sustained active pursuit 
of distant ends, which, above all else, ensures human survival in such a variety of situations, and makes 
possible the social life by which so great a population is maintained. The difference of behaviour between 
men and apes exceeds all the structural differences; our lives are so widely different from theirs that any 
attempt to specify the divergences in detail is apt to seem ridiculous. Perhaps the more striking of them are 
related to the powers of communication by speech which, besides its obvious social advantage, gives to 
man the power of abstract thought. Whatever we may think about the consciousness of animals there is no 
doubt that our own awareness of life, being expressed in words, is widely different from that of all other 
creatures. The speech system depends upon a complex of features of the brain, larynx, tongue, mouth, and 
auditory apparatus. In addition, the facial musculature is more fully differentiated even than in apes, 
especially around the eyes and mouth." (Young, J.Z., "The Life of Vertebrates," [1950] Clarendon Press: 
Oxford, Second Edition, 1962, reprinted, 1964, p.633. Emphasis original. Emphasis original) 

17/10/2006
"The posture and gait of man The gait of man differs from that of any ape in that the body can be fully 
and continuously balanced on the two legs. This involves considerable modifications throughout the 
skeleton and musculature .... The backbone, instead of the single thoracic curve of quadrupeds, has an S 
shape, being convex forward in the lumbar, backward in the thoracic, and again forward in the cervical 
region. The thoracic curve develops before birth, but the cervical only as the baby holds its head up and the 
lumbar as it begins to walk. The vertebral column, which in quadrupeds is a horizontal girder, in man 
becomes vertical, carrying bending and compression stresses along its length. This entirely alters the 
arrangement of its secondary struts and ties. The bodies of the vertebrae carry much of the weight and are 
massive, tapering in size upwards. They are separated by well-developed intervertebral disks, acting as 
elastic cushions. The weight of the head is balanced on the backbone through the neck, and the thorax acts 
as a bracket from which the viscera are suspended. The muscles of the back, the ties of the vertebral girder, 
though arranged on the same general morphological plan as in quadrupeds, now carry very different 
stresses and no long neural spines or large transverse processes develop, since the girder is not now of 
cantilever type. For the same reason there is no sharp change in the direction of the neural spines at the 
hind end of the thoracic region; the girder is now one unit, with bending stressing along its whole length." 
(Young, J.Z., "The Life of Vertebrates," [1950] Clarendon Press: Oxford, Second Edition, 1962, reprinted, 
1964, p.634. Emphasis original)

17/10/2006
"The balancing of the body on the legs also involves many changes. The muscles around the hip joint 
achieve this balance, and the changes to allow this affect especially the gluteal muscles and the ilium and 
sacrum to which they are attached, these being the extensor and abductor muscles, which raise the body 
from the quadrupedal position and prevent it falling medially when the weight is on one leg. The buttocks 
are therefore a characteristic human structure. The adoption of a bipedal position imposes entirely new 
requirements on the musculature of the limbs. In quadrupedal progression the retractor muscles are the main 
means of locomotion, drawing the leg backward at the hips while straightening the knee. In man the 
propulsive thrust is obtained mainly from the calf muscles and in particular from the soleus, which runs from 
the tibia to the heel, the gastrocnemius, since it tends also to bend the knee, being reduced. The quadriceps 
femoris becomes very large, serving to keep the knee extended both while the calf muscles develop their 
thrust and, as a check to the forward momentum, when the foot touches the ground. The ilium is very broad 
in man, increasing the surfaces for attachment of the glutei, iliacus (a flexor of the hip), and for the abdominal 
muscles, which are attached along its crest and have an important part to play in carrying the weight of the 
viscera." (Young, J.Z., "The Life of Vertebrates," [1950] Clarendon Press: Oxford, Second Edition, 1962, 
reprinted, 1964, pp.634-635)

17/10/2006
"The limbs of man Many changes would be needed to convert an ape-like leg and foot to the human 
condition .... The femur of man is straight and the articular surface at its lower end set at an angle to the 
shaft. This allows the lower legs and feet to be as nearly as possible below the centre of gravity in standing, 
in other words, for the knees to be held together although the femoral heads are wide apart. At the ankle 
joint, on the other hand, the articular surface is at right angles to the tibia in man, at an oblique angle in apes, 
since in the latter the foot is turned outwards. In ourselves the weight is transferred from the tibia to the 
talus and then partly backwards to the calcaneum and partly forwards through the tarsus to the metatarsal 
heads ... The calcaneum is modified for this weight-bearing and the tarsus and digits even more so, the 
whole foot being converted into an arched system, no trace of which is found in apes. With this 
arrangement the hallux is not used for grasping and is very large. It is held in line with the other digits and 
the whole forms a compact wedge with a joint at the metatarsal heads. In walking, when the foot is raised by 
the calf muscles, the toes remain on the ground, to prevent slipping forwards. The condition in which the 
first toe is the longest is peculiar to man, but in some monkeys and apes the axis tends to shift from the third 
digit medially and the human condition is an accentuation of this change, with the metatarsal and first 
phalanx of the first digit becoming long and strong." (Young, J.Z., "The Life of Vertebrates," [1950] 
Clarendon Press: Oxford, Second Edition, 1962, reprinted, 1964, p.635. Emphasis original)

17/10/2006
"The differences between apes and men in the arms and hands ... are marked, though perhaps less striking 
than in the feet. The human fore-limb is, of course, relatively much shorter than that of any ape and its 
muscles far less powerful. In order to carry the whole weight of the large body an ape needs enormous 
muscles all along the limb. Thus the serratus anterior, which pulls the body up on the scapula, is very large 
and the ribs to which it is attached have large flattened surfaces, are very long, and extend far caudally; the 
chest of man is much more lightly built. Similarly, the muscles of the shoulder and the flexor muscles of the 
elbow, wrist, and hand are all much larger in apes, as are the ridges to which they are attached, for instance 
on the palmar surfaces of the phalanges .... The human arm has specialized in mobility. The hand can be 
brought into almost any position in relation to the body by virtue of the wide range of movement at the 
shoulder, pronation and supination of the forearm and movements at the wrist." (Young, J.Z., "The Life of 
Vertebrates," [1950] Clarendon Press: Oxford, Second Edition, 1962, reprinted, 1964, pp.635-636. Emphasis 
original)

17/10/2006
"In the hand itself the thumb is characteristically long in man and moved by powerful muscles. Man is the 
only animal in which the thumb can be in the fullest sense opposed to the other digits, so that the pads face 
each other. This is achieved by special development of the joint between the first carpal and metacarpal. The 
third digit is the longest in apes, as in men, but the second digit (index) of man is generally at least as long 
as the fourth, often longer (the `Napoleonic finger'). In lower primates the digits of the ulnar side are 
relatively much longer. Apart from proportions and skeletal features the human hand also has a very well 
developed sensory supply, which is essential for its use as a handling organ." (Young, J.Z., "The Life of 
Vertebrates," [1950] Clarendon Press: Oxford, Second Edition, 1962, reprinted, 1964, pp.636-637)

17/10/2006
"The skull and jaws of man Comparisons between the skulls of apes and men have attracted special 
attention because so many of the finds of early human types have been of skulls .... The differences are 
mainly referable to changes in the brain, dentition, and method of balancing the head upon the neck. The 
enlargement of the brain has been in the occipital and especially in the frontal region ..., giving a high 
forehead and the characteristic upright face. At the same time the jaws have receded, so that the human 
tooth-row is unusually short." (Young, J.Z., "The Life of Vertebrates," [1950] Clarendon Press: Oxford, 
Second Edition, 1962, reprinted, 1964, pp.637-638. Emphasis original)

18/10/2006
"The lower jaw of man is less shortened than the upper; whereas in apes it is strengthened by a `simian 
shelf' of bone on its inner side, in man this strengthening is on the outside, making the chin. The jaw is less 
massive in man than in apes, especially its posterior ramus; the muscles for moving it are less powerful. 
Correlated with this weakening of the jaw has been a rounding of the surface of the skull. Occipital and 
temporal crests for the attachment of the neck and jaw muscles are well developed in the male gorilla, 
suggested in other apes, but absent in man. The brow ridges, also characteristic of the apes, are large 
masses of bone above the eyes, probably produced to meet the compression stresses set up by the 
powerful action of the jaw-muscles. Their absence, together with the large forehead, produces the human 
type of face. The large external nose is presumably another corollary of the shortened face; it provides some 
extension of the nasal cavity, necessary for warming and filtering the air." (Young, J.Z., "The Life of 
Vertebrates," [1950] Clarendon Press: Oxford, Second Edition, 1962, reprinted, 1964, pp.639-640)

18/10/2006
"The balancing of the head on the neck is a result of the adoption of the upright position. Movement of the 
foramen magnum to a position beneath the skull has been noted as a primate characteristic and it reaches its 
extreme in man, allowing considerable reduction of the musculature at the back of the neck; the splenius and 
semispinalis capitis muscles are much smaller in man than in apes. The small size of the trapezius is partly a 
consequence of the good balance of the head, partly of the absence of brachiating habits. Reduction of 
these muscles leads to simplification of the bones at both ends of them. The area of their attachment to the 
occipital surface of the skull becomes much reduced and remains smooth, instead of being roughened and 
even raised into ridges as in apes. At the same time the spines of the cervical vertebrae, very long in the 
gorilla, are short and almost vestigial in man. When the head is properly balanced on the backbone it can be 
freely turned around, and for this purpose the sternomastoid muscles are well developed and the large 
mastoid ('breast-like') swellings where they are attached to the base of the skull provide a characteristic 
human feature." (Young, J.Z., "The Life of Vertebrates," [1950] Clarendon Press: Oxford, Second Edition, 
1962, reprinted, 1964, p.640)

18/10/2006
"Rate of development of man One of the most striking differences between man and apes is the slow rate 
of our own growth and development; there is a strong suspicion that many of our features are due to 
retardation of the time of onset of maturity. Schultz has shown that in the apes growth ceases between the 
ages of 10 and 12 and that the epiphyses finally close between 12 and 14. Many of the features of man, such 
as the reduction of hair and the large head, presence of a prepuce on the penis and hymen in the vagina, are 
those to be found in foetal apes, and it is therefore suggested that one of the main changes leading to our 
development has been delay in the rate of differentiation and onset of maturity. This might well depend on 
the endocrine balance, perhaps particularly on the action of the anterior lobe of the pituitary. It is only 
possible to guess at the process of habit change and selection by which the appropriate genetic change has 
occurred. It may well be that those family organizations were more efficient in which individuals developed 
late and were therefore better behaved, in early years because of immaturity, and later by the great 
development of the `inhibitory' or balancing functions made possible by growth of the frontal lobes .... 
Families composed of such slow-developing and restrained individuals would therefore survive and the 
genetic factors involving delay of maturity be selected." (Young, J.Z., "The Life of Vertebrates," [1950] 
Clarendon Press: Oxford, Second Edition, 1962, reprinted, 1964, pp.640-641. Emphasis original)

18/10/2006
"The world and everything in it was made for us, as we were made for God: ... For thousands of years, 
virtually everyone, theologian and scientist alike, found this, both emotionally and intellectually, a 
satisfying account. The man who wrecked this consensus did so with the utmost reluctance. He was no 
ideologue bent on kicking in the door of the Establishment, no firebrand. If not for a bit of happenstance he 
would probably have passed his days as a well-liked Church of England parson in a nineteenth-century 
rural, picture-postcard village. Instead he ignited a firestorm that destroyed more of the old order than any 
violent political upheaval ever had. Through the astonishingly powerful method of science, this gentleman 
who was known to find lively conversation too taxing, somehow became the revolutionary's revolutionary. 
For more than a century, the mere mention of his name has been sufficient to unsettle the pious and rouse 
the bookburners from their fitful slumbers. Charles Darwin was born at Shrewsbury, England, on February 
12, 1809, the fifth child of Robert Waring Darwin and Susannah Wedgwood." (Sagan, C.E. & Druyan, A., 
"Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors: A Search for Who We Are," [1992], Arrow: London, 1993, reprint, 
pp.35-36) 

18/10/2006
"Erasmus Darwin's two-volume work, The Botanic Garden, comprising The Loves of the Plants, written 
in 1789, and its eagerly awaited sequel, The Economy of Vegetation, were runaway best-sellers. They 
were so successful that he decided to tackle the animal kingdom next. The result was a 1,500-page tome, this 
one in prose, entitled Zoonomia: or, the Laws of Organic Life. In it he asked this prescient question: 
`When we revolve in our minds, first the great changes which we see naturally produced in animals after 
their nativity as in the production of the butterfly from the crawling caterpillar or of the frog from the 
subnatant tadpole; secondly when we think over the great changes introduced into various animals by 
artificial cultivation as in horses or in dogs ... ; thirdly when we revolve in our minds the great similarity of 
structure which obtains in all the warm-blooded animals as well as quadrupeds, birds, amphibious animals as 
in mankind, would it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living 
filament' (archetype, primitive form)? [Darwin, E., "Zoonomia, or The Laws of Organic Life," J. Johnson: 
London, Third edition, 1801, Part I, Chapter 39, Section 4.8] ... His grandson Charles, who would pay those 
dues, read Zoonomia twice; once when he was eighteen and again a decade later, after he'd been around 
the world. He took pride in his grandfather's precocious anticipation of some of the ideas that would make 
Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck famous twenty years later. However, Charles "was much disappointed" by 
Erasmus' failure to investigate, carefully and rigorously, whether there was any truth to his inspired 
speculations." (Sagan, C.E. & Druyan, A., "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors: A Search for Who We Are," 
[1992], Arrow: London, 1993, reprint, pp.36-37)

18/10/2006
"When we consider all these changes of animal form, and innumerable others, which may be collected from 
the books of natural history; we cannot but be convinced, that the fetus or embryon is formed by apposition 
of new parts, and not by the distention of a primordial nest of germes, included one within another, like the 
cups of a conjurer. ... when we revolve in our minds the great similarity of structure which obtains in all the 
warm blooded animals, as well quadrupeds, birds, and amphibious animals, as in mankind; from the mouse 
and bat to the elephant and whale; one is led to conclude, that they have alike been produced from a similar 
living filament. In some this filament in its advance to maturity has acquired hands and fingers, with a fine 
sense of touch, as in mankind. In others it has acquired claws or talons, as in tygers and eagles. In others, 
toes with an intervening web, or membrane, as in seals and geese. In others it has acquired cloven hoofs, as 
in cows and swine; and whole hoofs in others, as in the horse. While in the bird kind this original living 
filament has put forth wings instead of arms or legs, and feathers instead of hair. In some it has protruded 
horns on the forehead instead of teeth in the fore part of the upper jaw; in others tushes instead of horns; 
and in others beaks instead of either. And all this exactly as is daily seen in the transmutations of the 
tadpole, which acquires legs and lungs, when he wants them; and loses his tail, when it is no longer of 
service him." (Darwin, E., "Zoonomia, or The Laws of Organic Life," J. Johnson: London, Third edition, 1801, 
Part I, Chapter 39, Section 4.8, in Harris, C.L., ed., "Evolution: Genesis and Revelations: With Readings from 
Empedocles to Wilson," State University of New York Press: Albany NY, 1981, pp.135-136)

18/10/2006
"*Heeren:* When the COBE satellite first measured the fluctuations in the background radiation, you made 
the much publicized statement: "If you're religious, it's like looking at God." [Maugh, T.H., "Relics of 'Big 
Bang' Seen for First Time," Los Angeles Times, 24 April 1992, pp.A1, A30] Could you explain something 
about the basic implications of the big bang theory and what you meant by that statement? 
*Smoot:* Well, I meant there were two aspects to it. These were the oldest and largest structures ever seen. 
Not only did we find what are the seeds of the modern day structure-and that is the galaxies and clusters of 
galaxies and clusters of clusters of galaxies-but we also found evidence of the birth of the universe, I 
believe, because I think that if you look at these fluctuations and ask, "How could they have gotten in 
there?," some of them are so large-that is, they stretch across billions of light-years back at a very early time 
-that means they hadn't changed-if you move matter and energy around at the speed of light, you can only 
cross a teeny fraction of them. And so these are primordial-they're in from the moment of creation. And so 
it's really like looking back at creation and seeing the creation of space and time and the universe and 
everything in it, but also the imperfections of the creation, sort of the fingerprints from the Maker, if you 
understand what I mean, or the machining marks from the machine that tooled the universe, and those 
things very neatly turn out to be the things that caused the universe to be very interesting to us: namely, 
creating galaxies and stars and so on. So, to me, the implications were really quite profound, the idea that 
not only do we understand where things came from, but those things were actually like the machining marks, 
the manufacturing marks, from the creation of the universe. 
*Heeren:* And these had to be very precise-they had to be within very tight boundaries in order to produce 
anything that made any-to make the right kind of preparations for life. 
*Smoot:* Right. In order to make a universe as big and wonderful as it is, lasting as long as it is-we're talking 
fifteen billion years and we're talking huge distances here-in order for it to be that big, you have to make it 
very perfectly. Otherwise, imperfections would mount up and the universe would either collapse on itself or 
fly apart, and so it's actually quite a precise job. And I don't know if you've had discussions with people 
about how critical it is that the density of the universe come out so close to the density that decides 
whether it's going to keep expanding forever or collapse back, but we know it's within one percent." 
(Heeren, F.*, "Interview with George F. Smoot, May 6, 1994," in "Show Me God: What the Message from 
Space is Telling Us About God," [1995], Day Star Publications: Wheeling IL, Revised Edition, 2000, 
pp.167-168. Emphasis original) 

19/10/2006
"Thus, when Eldredge and I developed the theory of punctuated equilibrium, we tried, above all, to 
counteract both Lyell's bias of gradualism and his method of probing behind appearance to defend the 
uniformity of rate against evidence read literally-for punctuated equilibrium, as its essential statement, 
accepts the literal record of geologically abrupt appearance and subsequent stasis as a reality for most 
species, not an expression of true gradualism filtered through an imperfect fossil record. We felt mighty 
proud of ourselves for breaking what we saw as a conceptual lock placed by Lyell's vision upon the science 
of paleontology." (Gould, S.J., "Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle: Myth and Metaphor in the Discovery of 
Geological Time," Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA, 1987, p.179)

19/10/2006
"Walcott's specific approach to the key problem that had focused his entire career-the riddle of the 
Cambrian explosion-favored a small set of stable and well-separated groups during Burgess times, so that a 
long history of Precambrian life might be affirmed, and the artifact theory of the Cambrian explosion 
supported. Finally, if Walcott had been at all inclined to abandon his ideological commitment to the 
shoehorn, in the light of contradictory data from the Burgess Shale, his administrative burdens would not 
have allowed him time to study the Burgess fossils with anything like the requisite care and attention. I have 
labored through the details of Walcott's interpretation and its sources because I know no finer illustration of 
the most important message taught by the history of science: the subtle and inevitable hold that theory 
exerts upon data and observation. Reality does not speak to us objectively, and no scientist can be free from 
constraints of psyche and society. The greatest impediment to scientific innovation is usually a conceptual 
lock, not a factual lack." (Gould, S.J., "Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History," [1989], 
Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, p.277)

19/10/2006
"Beyond a platitudinous appeal to open-mindedness, the `scientific method' involves a set of concepts and 
procedures tailored to the image of a man in a white coat twirling dials in a laboratory-experiment, 
quantification, repetition, prediction, and restriction of complexity to a few variables that can be controlled 
and manipulated. These procedures are powerful, but they do not encompass all of nature's variety. How 
should scientists operate when they must try to explain the results of history, those inordinately complex 
events that can occur but once in detailed glory? Many large domains of nature-cosmology, geology, and 
evolution among them-must be studied with the tools of history. The appropriate methods focus on 
narrative, not experiment as usually conceived. The stereotype of the `scientific method' has no place for 
irreducible history. Nature's laws are defined by their invariance in space and time. The techniques of 
controlled experiment, and reduction of natural complexity to a minimal set of general causes, presuppose 
that all times can be treated alike and adequately simulated in a laboratory. Cambrian quartz is like modern 
quartz-tetrahedra of silicon and oxygen bound together at all corners. Determine the properties of modern 
quartz under controlled conditions in a laboratory, and you can interpret the beach sands of the Cambrian 
Potsdam Sandstone. But suppose you want to know why dinosaurs died, or why mollusks flourished while 
Wiwaxia