[Home] [Updates] [Site map] [Quotes, Unclassified, Classified]
The following are quotes added to my Unclassified Quotes database in April 2007. The date format is dd/mm/yy. See copyright conditions at end.
[Index: Jan, Feb, Mar, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec]
1/04/2007 "One of the early classics in the story of carnivorous or insectivorous plants was published by Charles Darwin. He noted that sundew plants, which have sticky tentacles on their tiny leaves, caught tiny insects, much as flypaper catches flies, holding them while neighbouring tentacles bent over to pin the victims against the leaf, where their bodies were decomposed by enzymes. Darwin found that any tiny piece of meat or egg white was handled by the sundew leaf in the same way as it digested insects." (Went, F.W., "The Plants," , Time/Life Books: Netherlands, Reprinted, 1965, p.146) 1/04/2007 "THERE are many other plants which have developed insectivorous habits. Most of them, like the sundew, are found in nutrient-poor bogs. Pinguicula is very similar to sundew but less complex: it too traps insects with its sticky leaf glands and then rolls the edge of a leaf over its victims. The strange, urn shaped leaves of pitcher plants standing with some watery liquid in their base are a common sight from North Carolina to Florida and Mississippi. Inside are usually found a few insects such as ants and moths, caught because of a lining of downward-pointing hairs which prevent them from crawling out of the pitcher. Bacteria and enzymes in the water decompose and digest them." (Went, F.W., "The Plants," , Time/Life Books: Netherlands, Reprinted, 1965, p.146) 1/04/2007 "An even more elaborate trapping mechanism is found in a group of tropical Asiatic lianas, the Nepenthes, whose beautifully sculptured pitchers hang on long leaf stalks which are twisted around tree branches for support. Insects are f first attracted by a distinctive odour; then, near the entrance of the trap, they find nectar-secreting glands. To reach these, they have to scale the leaf rim, which usually results in their falling into the pitcher and a pool of mildly digestive fluid at the bottom. If they try to crawl out, they first have to pass a region with digestive glands, then a highly polished slippery zone. Most of them never get beyond this; if they do, they face an overhang at the rim with a spiked edge." (Went, F.W., "The Plants," , Time/Life Books: Netherlands, Reprinted, 1965, p.146) 1/04/2007 "One of the best known of insectivorous plants is the Venus's flytrap (Dionaea) of North Carolina, a relative of the sundew but with an entirely different way of catching prey. The leaves lie in a rosette flat on the ground and each ends in a leaf blade which looks and acts like a steel trap. The two halves of the leaf, about the size of a sixpence, are hinged in the middle. When an insect walks on its surface, the leaf will suddenly snap closed, the toothed edges meshing. The Venus's flytrap can distinguish between a living and a dead object small sticks or pebbles will leave it undisturbed-by means of three sensitive hairs on each leaf half. The leaf will not close unless two hairs are touched in succession or; the same hair twice. Once shut, the trap gradually pinches tighter and tighter, squeezing its prey against the digestive glands on the leaf surface." (Went, F.W., "The Plants," , Time/Life Books: Netherlands, Reprinted, 1965, p.146) 1/04/2007 "The prize for complexity in trapping devices unquestionably goes to the bladderwort, Utricularia, a water plant with beautiful blue or yellow flowers, found in ponds and ditches. On its submerged threadlike stems it has innumerable bladders in which tiny water creatures get caught. At one end of the bladder is a trap door which suddenly snaps open when sensory hairs just outside the trap are touched. The tiny victim is sucked in so fast that it cannot be followed by the eye or the vine camera. The door then closes, part of the water is pumped out from the inside, and the trap is set for another catch." (Went, F.W., "The Plants," , Time/Life Books: Netherlands, Reprinted, 1965, p.146) 2/04/2007 "Let us begin with a crucial point. The laws of science are not inviolable. They represent a constantly changing logical complex, changing from decade to decade, and even from year to year. Lest this may surprise you let me remark that the world of science is not identical with the physical world itself, with the real world if you like. Science is a model of the real world that we construct inside our own heads. The model is arranged by us to work according to a set of prescribed rules. These are the laws of science. And when we speak of comparing our scientific theories with observation we mean that a comparison is being made between our model and the events that comprise the real world." (Hoyle, F., in Stockwood, M., ed., "Religion and the Scientists: Addresses Delivered in the University Church, Cambridge," Lent Term, 1957, SCM Press: London, 1959, p.55) 2/04/2007 "You remember I spoke just now of science as a model that we ourselves construct according to a set of prescribed rules. How are the rules prescribed? By the requirement that we accept those rules that up to the present moment give the best possible correspondence with the events of the external world. Notice the importance of the present moment. If tomorrow we discover a set of rules that give a better correspondence than those we are employing today, then we must abandon the rules of today in favour of those of tomorrow." (Hoyle, F., in Stockwood, M., ed., "Religion and the Scientists: Addresses Delivered in the University Church, Cambridge," Lent Term, 1957, SCM Press: London, 1959, p.57. Emphasis original) 2/04/2007 "It may surprise you when I say that I have yet to meet a person who was not imbued by a religious sense. The great differences between us lie in our varying attitudes to formal religion. Religion in a non-formal sense I take to mean that a man will look up at the stars at night with a sense of awe, that he will feel that the majestic play of the universe has some deep laid purpose, and that his own small role in the play must make sense, if only he has the wit to find it." (Hoyle, F., in Stockwood, M., ed., "Religion and the Scientists: Addresses Delivered in the University Church, Cambridge," Lent Term, 1957, SCM Press: London, 1959, p.60) 2/04/2007 "Are there any preliminary indications of the sort of coherent view of the universe and of our place in it that science might eventually arrive at? Or does the whole matter present us with an implacable unbroken wall of difficulty through which no breakthrough seems possible? I must confess to a certain measure of excitement in trying to answer these questions, for in my view work of the last few years, particularly of the last year, suggests that a breakthrough may at last have been made. In spite of the details being somewhat technical, I would like to tell you how this surprising development has come about. But please do not expect too much- remember that I said a breakthrough may have been made, not that the whole citadel has been captured." (Hoyle, F., in Stockwood, M., ed., "Religion and the Scientists: Addresses Delivered in the University Church, Cambridge," Lent Term, 1957, SCM Press: London, 1959, pp.61-62) 2/04/2007 "Science operates in accordance with a set of laws, as I have said already. The laws describe the behaviour of matter, so that, in addition to the laws, matter must exist for the laws to operate on. According to the science of the last century matter consists of indestructible atoms of which there are 90 odd different varieties. According to the science of the present century the atoms possess an internal structure made up from a weighty central nucleus of very small size surrounded by a comparatively extensive cloud of light weight particles known as electrons. According to the science of the last twenty-five years the weighty central nucleus itself possesses a structure. It is built out of two kinds of heavy particle, protons and neutrons. The precise number of protons and neutrons contained by the nucleus determines the nature of the atom. When the nucleus contains 6 protons and 6 neutrons we have an atom of common carbon. When the nucleus contains 26 protons and 30 neutrons we have an atom of common iron. When the nucleus contains 82 protons and 126 neutrons we have an atom of common lead. And so on for the other 90 odd cases. We know today that the science of the nineteenth century was mistaken in supposing that atoms are indestructible. The compositions of the nuclei of atoms can be altered, and one atom can be changed to another. This leads to an important question. Have the atoms we find in the world always existed in their present forms, or have some atoms been made. from others? The second of these possibilities has turned out to be correct. Already in 1920, Eddington had been led to suspect that all atoms have been built from one atom, the simplest of all, the atom of hydrogen. He was led, moreover, to suspect that it is in the interiors of the stars that this building from hydrogen takes place. The work of the last few years has provided almost overwhelming evidence in favour of this guess of Eddington's. It has turned out that the stars serve as gigantic factories in which a whole array of atoms are produced from the simplest atom of all, hydrogen." (Hoyle, F., in Stockwood, M., ed., "Religion and the Scientists: Addresses Delivered in the University Church, Cambridge," Lent Term, 1957, SCM Press: London, 1959, p.62) 2/04/2007 "The really interesting point is that although the laws of science admit of complex atoms, their existence would never have been realised but for the stars. There is a delicate inflexion here. Let us assume that the universe possesses logical coherence. Would it really be sensible then for the laws of science to admit of complex atoms if their existence were never realised ? If we consider it would not be sensible, and this seems to me the evident answer we should give, a most unusual connexion between the existence of stars and the laws that govern the atomic nuclei is implied. Notice that I say the existence of stars, not the properties of stars. Everyone expects the properties of stars and atomic nuclei to be related. It is the connexion with the existence of stars that is so surprising. Let us push a little further into this deep water. Are there any stable complex atoms permitted by the laws of science whose existence is not realised in the stars? The answer is that there are none. They are all produced in the stars, not in equal abundance it is true, but the existence of every single one is established. Either we are here confronted by a monstrous situation in which the existence of a multitude of complex atoms is only established as a consequence of scores of separate accidents, or a connexion between the existence of stars and the laws of nuclear physics is clearly implied." (Hoyle, F., in Stockwood, M., ed., "Religion and the Scientists: Addresses Delivered in the University Church, Cambridge," Lent Term, 1957, SCM Press: London, 1959, p.63. Emphasis original) 2/04/2007 "What do I mean ... by `scores of accidents'? Granted stars to exist, surely there can be no accidents. Surely all the properties of stars, including the genesis of the complex atoms, then follow implacably from the broad principles of nuclear physics? I disagree. It is true that the genesis of about half the complex nuclei does follow from the broad principles of nuclear physics, but the other half does not. Their genesis depends on the oddest array of apparently random quirks you could possibly imagine. I will try to explain what I mean in terms of an analogy, which I hope you will not think too flippant. We would all agree that the actions of the Government depend on the persons who comprise it-on their education, intelligence, social and cultural background, and on their state of health. These qualities correspond to my broad principles. But we would scarcely expect to find Government policy depending in a really crucial way on the fact that the Prime Minister possesses a moustache while the Foreign Secretary does not. These are my random quirks. And if we should find that Government policy depended in a really vital respect on the Minister of Works possessing a mole beneath his left ear, then manifestly we should be justified in supposing that new and hitherto unsuspected connexions existed within the field of political affairs. Yet this is just the case for the building of many complex atoms inside stars. The building of carbon depends on a moustache, the building of oxygen on a mole, and if you prefer a less well known case, the building of the atom dysprosium depends on a slight scar over the right eye. If this were a purely scientific question and not one that touched on the religious problem, I do not believe that any scientist who examined the evidence would fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the consequences they produce inside the stars. If this is so, then my apparently random quirks become part of a deep laid scheme. If not, then we are back again to a monstrous sequence of accidents." (Hoyle, F., in Stockwood, M., ed., "Religion and the Scientists: Addresses Delivered in the University Church, Cambridge," Lent Term, 1957, SCM Press: London, 1959, pp.63-64) 2/04/2007 "There is an interesting similarity between this whole inorganic problem of the origin of the complex atoms and the problem of the origin of life. In my last few moments I would like to give a little consideration to this similarity. In both cases we have matter evolving from simpler to more complex forms in accordance with the laws of physics and chemistry. ... The similarity between the origin of life and of complex atoms has other extensions. Just as it is now emerging that the laws of nuclear physics are designed to promote the origin of the complex atoms, so it may well emerge, as more becomes known, that the laws seem as if they have also been deliberately designed to promote the origin of life." (Hoyle, F., in Stockwood, M., ed., "Religion and the Scientists: Addresses Delivered in the University Church, Cambridge," Lent Term, 1957, SCM Press: London, 1959, pp.64-65) 2/04/2007 "Incidentally, I have never understood why religious thought is so reluctant to admit that life is a natural product of the laws of science. Surely the notion that some special ad hoc intervention is necessary to promote its origin would imply a serious defect of design. Just suppose for a moment that you were designing the laws. How much more subtle to make the origin of life implicit in your design-how crude to be obliged to make a gross rectification of your own mistakes!" (Hoyle, F., in Stockwood, M., ed., "Religion and the Scientists: Addresses Delivered in the University Church, Cambridge," Lent Term, 1957, SCM Press: London, 1959, pp.64-65) 2/04/2007 "Let us see if we can put these ideas on a more scientific and less emotional basis. You will remember that any hypothesis whatsoever can be made in science so long as it possesses consequences that are subject to observational test. Let us advance the hypothesis that the laws of science have been designed to promote the origin of life, and let us see if any predictions can be made. Firstly, the random quirks. We would expect that as biochemists and biophysicists discover more and more of the detailed properties of living matter more and more random quirks will be found-apparent accidents without which life would not be possible, apparent accidents that only make sense on the basis of deliberate design: Other predictions in very different directions can be made. Life demands highly special physical conditions if it is to flourish. Hence if life is part of a deliberate plan so must the origin of the physical conditions be. This conclusion contradicts older astronomical ideas, which held to the view that the origin of the earth and planets arose from a sheer fluke. The question therefore arises as to which astronomical theory fits the observed situation. At the present moment the balance of evidence has swung against the older views." (Hoyle, F., in Stockwood, M., ed., "Religion and the Scientists: Addresses Delivered in the University Church, Cambridge," Lent Term, 1957, SCM Press: London, 1959, p.65) 2/04/2007 "But my object is not to arrive at any complete conclusion. It is to give you a very brief outline of the way that scientific inquiry can be brought into relation with religion. It will be sufficient if a breakthrough, however small, has been made." (Hoyle, F., in Stockwood, M., ed., "Religion and the Scientists: Addresses Delivered in the University Church, Cambridge," Lent Term, 1957, SCM Press: London, 1959, p.65) 2/04/2007 "By way of a concluding paragraph I would remind you of Laplace's supermathematician, who, you may remember, was capable of working out in full detail all the consequences of the laws of science. Now imagine an intellect to whom this would be a comparatively trivial exercise, an intellect who is interested in the consequences, not of just one specified system of laws, but in examining all systems of law with a view to devising the one most pregnant with possibilities, an intellect who is able to relate the design of the laws of nuclear physics to the conditions that operate inside the stars, and who can relate the origin of stars and planets to the intricate chemical details of the origin of life. Imagine that this is done ... by a complete mastery of all details of the situation. Imagine the intellectual magnitude and interest of such a problem. Then I think you will come as near as we can come, in our present inadequate state of knowledge, towards understanding the meaning and purpose of the universe." (Hoyle, F., in Stockwood, M., ed., "Religion and the Scientists: Addresses Delivered in the University Church, Cambridge," Lent Term, 1957, SCM Press: London, 1959, pp.65-66) 3/04/2007 "On evolution as a geological fact all agreed, but on the mechanism of evolution the disagreement has been fundamental." (Velikovsky, I., "Earth in Upheaval," , Abacus: London, Reprinted, 1978, p.211) 3/04/2007 "The neo-Darwinists deny that physical surroundings can give rise to new species; they may bring about changes in an organism, but the acquired characteristics are not inheritable. Can, then, natural selection or competition with other animals create new species? The classic example of a giraffe with the longest neck surviving when leaves are left only high on the trees does not prove that giraffes with longer necks would become a separate species. And, in any event, under the described conditions no new race would ever evolve: the female giraffe, which are smaller in stature, would die out before the male competitors, and there would be no progeny; but should there be progeny, the young giraffes would probably die because they would be unable to reach the leaves." (Velikovsky, I., "Earth in Upheaval," , Abacus: London, Reprinted, 1978, p.211) 3/04/2007 "The position of Darwinists would be much stronger if a new animal species would appear, even if only in controlled breeding. Darwin claimed that the process of the appearance of new species is very slow, but he also maintained that the process of extinction of a species is even slower. [Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species," , John Murray: London, Sixth Edition, 1872, p.294] Nevertheless, some species of animals have expired before the eyes of the naturalists, but no new one has appeared. The theory of natural selection, even the very fact of the evolvement of one species from another, needed proof. Some scientists went so far as to say that possibly the entire development plan has already reached its permanent stage, and the geological records tell only of the road to that stage, evolution no longer taking place." (Velikovsky, I., "Earth in Upheaval," , Abacus: London, Reprinted, 1978, p.211) 3/04/2007 "But the theory of natural selection would not yield its position unless a better explanation of the evolutionary mechanism could be given. Mutations and New Species The first ray of light came at the turn of the century, when Hugo De Vries, a Dutch botanist, observed spontaneous mutations in the evening primrose. The plant, without a recognizable cause, would show new characteristics unobserved in its ancestors. Although De Vries claimed that these mutations amount to what may be called 'little species,' they have not caused the primrose to pass beyond the frontier of its species. However, it was demonstrated that variations within a Species do appear in a spontaneous manner, and rather suddenly, and not, as Darwin thought, by minute progressions from generation to generation. Huxley was correct in urging Darwin not to adhere so dogmatically to his belief that nature does not make jumps - natura non facit saltum. [Huxley, T.H., Letter to Charles Darwin, November 23, 1859, in Darwin, F., ed., "The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," , Basic Books: New York NY, Vol. II, Reprinted, 1959, pp.26-27] De Vries showed that variations are in the nature of jumps, and from this he developed the mutation theory of evolution." (Velikovsky, I., "Earth in Upheaval," , Abacus: London, Reprinted, 1978, p.212. Emphasis original) 3/04/2007 "De Vries, while working on his theory, was as yet unaware of Gregor Mendel's investigations in genetics, already published as a paper in 1865, only six years after The Origin of Species. Mendel's work, unknown to Darwin and his followers in the nineteenth century, was rediscovered by De Vries and independently by E. Tschermak and K. Correns in 1900, the same year that De Vries wrote down his theory of mutations. By carefully observing crossings between varieties of the garden pea and counting the strains through consecutive generations and the transmission of single traits, Mendel established the fundamental laws of genetics or inheritance of somatic characteristics. The entire work on evolution since the beginning of this century is based on genetics and Mendel's laws. Ironically, Mendel was an Augustine monk and made his basic contribution at a time when the war between science and the Church was raging, following the publication of Darwin's main work. The spontaneous variations in mutants can be followed through as hereditary factors in successive generations of offspring. The genes in the germ plasma are the carriers of the traits, and a variation (mutation) in a gene would cause a variation (mutation) in the offspring. But, generally, only single variations appear at a time; they may lead to new races, not to new species. Spontaneous mutations are far too few and insufficient in magnitude to bring about the appearance of new species and to explain how the world of animals came into existence. Despite all spontaneous variations no new species of mammals are known to have been created since the close of the Ice Age." (Velikovsky, I., "Earth in Upheaval," , Abacus: London, Reprinted, 1978, p.213) 3/04/2007 "In 1907, V. L. Kellogg of Stanford University came to the following conclusion: `The fair truth is that the Darwinian selection theories, considered with regard to their claimed capacity to be an independently sufficient mechanical explanation of descent, stand today seriously discredited in the biological world. On the other hand, it is also fair truth to say that no replacing hypothesis or theory of species forming has been offered by the opponents of selection which has met with any general or even considerable acceptance by naturalists. Mutations seem to be too few and far between; for orthogenesis we can discover no satisfactory mechanism; and the same is true for the Lamarckian theories of modification by the cumulation, through inheritance, of acquired or ontogenic characters.' [Kellogg, V.L., "Darwinism Today," Henry Holt & Co: New York NY, 1907, p.5] Kellogg also observed that one group of scientists 'denies in toto any effectiveness or capacity for series forming on the part of natural selection, while the other group, a larger...sees in natural selection an evolutionary factor capable of initiating nothing, dependent wholly for any effectiveness on some primary factor or factors controlling the origin and direction of variation, but capable of extinguishing all unadapted, unfit lines of development...For my part,' Kellogg concluded, 'it seems better to go back to the old and safe Ignoramus standpoint.' Thus the entire problem was shunted back to the place it occupied before The Origin of Species." (Velikovsky, I., "Earth in Upheaval," , Abacus: London, Reprinted, 1978, pp.213-214) 3/04/2007 "Evolution is the principle. Darwin's contribution to the principle is natural selection as the mechanism of evolution. If natural selection, sharing the fate of sexual selection, is not the mechanism of the origin of species, Darwin's contribution is reduced to very little - only to the role of natural selection in weeding out the unfit." (Velikovsky, I., "Earth in Upheaval," , Abacus: London, Reprinted, 1978, p.214) 3/04/2007 "H. Fairfield Osborn, a leading American evolutionist, wrote 'In contrast to the unity of opinion on the law of evolution is the wide diversity of opinion on the causes of evolution. In fact, the causes of the evolution of life are as mysterious as the law of evolution is certain,' [Osborn, H.F., "The Origin and Evolution of Life," Scribner's: New York 1917, p.ix]. And again: 'It may be said that Darwin's law of selection as a natural explanation of the origin of all fitness in form and function has also lost its prestige at the present time, and all of Darwinism which now meets with universal acceptance is the law of the survival of the fittest, a limited application of Darwin's great ideas as expressed by Herbert Spencer.' [Ibid., p.xv] These were not the opinions of single evolutionists, but generally held views." (Velikovsky, I., "Earth in Upheaval," , Abacus: London, Reprinted, 1978, p.214. Emphasis original) 3/04/2007 "William Bateson, a leading English evolutionist, in his address before the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1921, said: '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...Variation of many kinds, often considerable, we daily witness, but no origin of species...I have put before you very frankly the considerations which have made us agnostic as to the actual mode and processes of evolution.' [Bateson, W., "Evolutionary Faith and Modern Doubts," Science, Vol. 55, January 20, 1922, pp.55-61, pp.57, 61] " (Velikovsky, I., "Earth in Upheaval," , Abacus: London, Reprinted, 1978, p.214. Ellipses Velikovsky's) 3/04/2007 "L. T. More, in a series of guest lectures delivered at Princeton University, asked 'If natural selection is a force which can destroy but cannot create species and if the reasons for this destruction are unknown, of what value is the theory to mankind?...The collapse of the theory of natural selection leaves the philosophy of mechanistic materialism in a sorry plight.' [More, L.T., "The Dogma of Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1925, p.240] On De Vries's theory of evolution by mutations More said: 'The idea is destructive to scientific theory, as it really does Away with the whole idea of continuity which should be the basis of an evolution...The thought at once occurs that each of the surprising breaks in the paleontological record, such a one as separates the reptile from the feathered bird, may have been taken at a single leap during an overstimulated period of nature.' [Ibid., p.214]" (Velikovsky, I., "Earth in Upheaval," , Abacus: London, Reprinted, 1978, pp.214-215. Ellipses Velikovsky's) 3/04/2007 "Both single species and whole groups of species last for very unequal periods; some groups, as we have seen, have endured from the earliest known dawn of life to the present day; some have disappeared before the close of the palaeozoic period. No fixed law seems to determine the length of time during which any single species or any single genus endures. There is reason to believe that the extinction of a whole group of species is generally a slower process than their production: if their appearance and disappearance be represented, as before, by a vertical line of varying thickness the line is found to taper more gradually at its upper end, which marks the progress of extermination, than at its lower end, which marks the first appearance and the early increase in number of the species. In some cases, however, the extermination of whole groups, as of ammonites, towards the close of the secondary period, has been wonderfully sudden." (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection," , John Murray: London, Sixth Edition, 1872, Reprinted, 1882, p.294) 3/04/2007 "I finished your book yesterday ... Nothing, I think, can be better than the tone of the book, it impresses those who know nothing about the subject. As for your doctrine, I am prepared to go to the stake, if requisite, in support of Chapter IX., and most parts of Chapters X., XI., XII, and Chapter XIII. contains much that is most admirable, but on one or two points I enter a caveat until I can see further into all sides of the question. As to the first four chapters, I agree thoroughly and fully with all the principles laid down in them. I think you have demonstrated a true cause for the production of species, and have thrown the onus probandi that species did not arise in the way you suppose, on your adversaries. But I feel that I have not yet by any means fully realized the bearings of those most remarkable and original Chapters III., IV. and V., and I will write no more about them just now. The only objections that have occurred to me are, 1st that you have loaded yourself with an unnecessary difficulty in adopting Natura non facit saltum so unreservedly... . And 2nd, it is not clear to me why, if continual physical conditions are of so little moment as you suppose, variation should occur at all." (Huxley, T.H., Letter to Charles Darwin, November 23, 1859, in Darwin, F., ed., "The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," , Basic Books: New York NY, Vol. II, Reprinted, 1959, pp.26-27) 3/04/2007 "I trust you will not allow yourself to be in any way disgusted or annoyed by the considerable abuse and misrepresentation which, unless I greatly mistake, is in store for you. Depend upon it you have earned the lasting gratitude of all thoughtful men. And as to the curs which will bark and yelp, you must recollect that some of your friends, at any rate, are endowed with an amount of combativeness which (though you have often and justly rebuked it) may stand you in good stead. I am sharpening up my claws and beak in readiness. Looking back over my letter, it really expresses so feebly all I think about you and your noble book that I am half ashamed of it; but you will understand that, like the parrot in the story, `I think the more.'" (Huxley, T.H., Letter to Charles Darwin, November 23, 1859, in Darwin, F., ed., "The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," , Basic Books: New York NY, Vol. II, Reprinted, 1959, p.27) 3/04/2007 "Of late years the doctrine of selection has been somewhat modified by de Vries under the name of the Theory of Mutations. Darwin insisted that evolution required that variation must proceed by minute changes, and he maintained this view in spite of the warning of Huxley who wrote: `First, you have loaded yourself with an unnecessary difficulty in adopting Natura non facit saltum so unreservedly... And, second, it is not clear to me why, if continual physical conditions are of so little moment as you suppose, variation should occur at all.' [Huxley, T.H., Letter to Charles Darwin, November 23, 1859, in Darwin, F., ed., "The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," , Basic Books: New York NY, Vol. II, Reprinted, 1959, pp.26- 27] Evidence has accumulated that offspring frequently differ from their parents by well-marked characteristics. DeVries, on this evidence, assumes that variation of species may thus progress by jumps, or mutations, rather than by the gradual variation which proceeds in the same direction through many generations. The idea is destructive to scientific theory, as it really does away with the whole idea of continuity which should be the basis of an evolution theory; and it certainly, if true, forbids any foretelling of future events since no one knows how great such mutations may be. The thought at once occurs that each of the surprising breaks in the palaeontological record, such an one as separates the reptile from the feathered bird, may have been taken at a single leap during an overstimulated period of Nature. If the theory of jumps is ever accepted, evolution parts company with physics and chemistry and would not differ essentially from the belief in special creation. All other sciences are based on the law, that nature does not proceed by jumps." (More, L.T., "The Dogma of Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1925, pp.213-214) 3/04/2007 "We have so far considered the theory of natural selection from the standpoint of its general philosophical adequacy, and have found it to be based on principles which are now discredited and that its weakness is largely due to Darwin's temperamental inability to follow abstract thinking. When we turn to the scientific aspects of the theory we should find a different condition of affairs. He was undoubtedly a marvellously keen observer and his powers of scientific generalization were of the best; yet, even from the scientific aspect, Darwin's work to establish natural selection is rapidly crumbling on its biological side. This result is again to be traced indirectly to the same deficiency of his mind; he could generalize correctly so long as he confined himself to a narrow field which lay immediately under his own observation, but he could not sustain himself, because of his lack of imagination, when it was necessary to include so vast a field as the evolution of all organisms." (More, L.T., "The Dogma of Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1925, pp.214-215) 3/04/2007 "Darwin based his theory of natural selection on the analogy of the results which man has obtained by selective breeding of domesticated animals; he did an enormous amount of work in this field and collected much curious and valuable information about selective breeding. But he never seems to have once realized that the analogy is purely specious because the variations of domesticated animals and plants have, in man, a directing force which can arrange and alter the animals' habits, instincts, and environment, so as to foster certain variations and eliminate others. The one essential thing for a rational theory of evolution is to discover what directs the, to us, chance variations of undomesticated organisms so that minute changes will accumulate in a continuous increase until a new species is formed. Given a Divine Intelligence to guide organisms, as man directs those in a domesticated state, and the problem is solved, but that is the last admission the scientific evolutionist is prepared to make; he will admit only nature and natural law, whatever those words may mean." (More, L.T., "The Dogma of Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1925, pp.215-216) 3/04/2007 "Let us now discuss the arguments for and against the doctrine of natural selection from the biological point of view. Man has by selective breeding produced great diversities in structure and habits of domesticated animals and plants. He has, for example, produced dogs as different as the mastiff and the toy spaniel which have sufficient structural differences to be classed almost as different species. He has even been able to produce characteristics which are detrimental to the comfort of the animal, or dangerous to its life, such as the fan-tail of the pigeon. And, in every case, he has not considered the advantage of the organism but his own desires or whims. These diversities, he has obtained by breeding together individuals which possess some pronounced trait in common. Those individuals of their progeny which show this same trait are again selected and bred together, and so on until the desired result is reached. This method is further helped by continued change of diet, climate, or other factors of the environment. Whatever means are adopted, one practice must never be departed from; breeding outside the strain must be rigidly prevented or the organism reverts back to the original stock. To make our ideas more precise let us follow Darwin and consider a particular case in some detail. After deliberation, he selected the pigeon as the best example of directed breeding. He kept every breed he could purchase or obtain; he corresponded with pigeon fanciers; he found that records of breeding extended back into antiquity, and that the diversity of breeds is something astonishing. In addition to all these reasons for his choice, there is the remarkable advantage that: `Great as are the differences between the breeds of the pigeon, I am fully convinced that the common opinion of naturalists is correct, namely, that all are descended from the rock pigeon (Columba Livia), including under this term several geographical races or sub-species, which differ from each other in the most trifling respects.' [Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species," John Murray: London, Sixth Edition, 1872, p.17] He then tells us with the utmost care how man was able to produce such astonishing variations from a single parent stock: "Man can hardly select, or only with much difficulty, any deviation of structure, excepting such as is externally visible; and indeed he rarely cares for what is internal. He can never act by selection, excepting on variations which are first given to him in some slight degree by nature. No man would ever try to make a fantail till he saw a pigeon with a tail developed in some slight degree in an unusual manner, or a pouter till he saw a pigeon with a crop of some unusual size; and the more abnormal or unusual any character was when it first appeared, the more likely it would be to catch his attention. But to use such an expression as trying to make a fantail is, I have no doubt, in most cases, utterly incorrect. The man who first selected a pigeon with a slightly larger tail never dreamed what the descendants of that pigeon would become through long-continued, partly unconscious and partly methodical, selection." [Ibid., p.28] Thus Darwin shows what remarkable results can be obtained when slight, accidental variations are directed by man so as to exclude the crossing of a given strain with other individuals of the same species which do not show the same variation. With his mind fixed on the problem of increasing and fixing variations, he did not see a fatal objection to the theory of evolution when it was applied to organisms not subjected to the control of man's will. The objection is this: in spite of all our breeding of pigeons, which has extended through more than three thousand years, two of the most differentiated varieties can interbreed; this fact obviously shows that they are still the same species since their young are not sterile, and, what is even more significant, the pigeons from such crossbreeding, in a few generations, still revert back to the original ancestral type." (More, L.T., "The Dogma of Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1925, pp.217-218) 3/04/2007 "This tendency to revert to the original stock is so strong that even in pure strains we find `the occasional appearance in all the breeds of slaty-blue birds with two black bars on the wings, white loins, a bar at the end of the tail, with the outer feathers externally edged near their bases with white'; [Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species," John Murray: London, Sixth Edition, 1872, p.124] these are the characteristics of the rock pigeon (Columba Livia). Darwin explains this reversion as follows: `After twelve generations, the proportion of blood, to use a common expression, from one ancestor, is only one in 2048; and yet, as we see, it is generally believed that a tendency to reversion is retained by this remnant of foreign blood. In a breed which has not been crossed, but in which both parents have lost some character which their progenitor possessed, the tendency, whether strong or weak, to produce the lost character might, as was formerly remarked, for all that we can see to the contrary, be transmitted for almost any number of generations. When a character which has been lost in a breed, reappears after a great number of generations, the most probable hypothesis is, not that one individual suddenly takes after an ancestor removed by some hundred generations, but that in each successive generation the character in question has been lying latent, and at last, under unknown favourable conditions, is developed.' [Ibid., p126] This latent tendency to reversion must be very strong. After only one hundred generations, the proportion of blood from one ancestor is only one in 2 with thirty zeroes after it. It is no wonder that the breeder must preserve the purity of a strain with scrupulous care, if so inconceivably small a proportion of foreign blood can still produce an effect. If this latent tendency to revert is as strong in animals and plants in a wild state as it is with them when domesticated, and it would be difficult to deny it, what chance would a variation have to be preserved, when we consider that cross-breeding with others of the species which did not possess the same variation is absolutely certain to occur at all times, unless the variation was so advantageous, and the struggle for existence was so intense, that all the individuals which did not have the variation were killed, and all those which afterwards reverted also died without progeny? In other words, the tendency to revert must be considered as universal a law of nature as the tendency to vary. For example, even in men whose choice in mating has progressed further than in any other species, this reversion to a median line must be very persistent for if it were not, then the race would be, by this time, divided into sharply distinguished characteristics, those growing taller and those shorter; of mentally strong and weak, etc." (More, L.T., "The Dogma of Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1925, pp.219-221) 3/04/2007 "While, at first sight, it seems possible, though hardly probable, that such directed breeding might occur in the natural state, two facts destroy the force of the analogy even with this granted. New varieties and races created by artificial selection revert to the original type as soon as they are left to their own devices; and, in no case, has mutual sterility been produced between different varieties; the most different kinds of dogs, pigeons, and other domesticated animals breed freely together and their offspring is a mongrel; while successive general intercourse soon obliterates all the special traits. It is evident that fixity of traits and sterility are essential to establish a species, and that in some way these must occur in a state of nature. The importance of artificial selection was first criticised by Huxley, and its value as a proof has steadily declined until now many biologists admit that there are fewer features in common between natural and artificial selection than the Darwinians supposed.." (More, L.T., "The Dogma of Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1925, p.221) 3/04/2007 "Let us now turn to natural selection and let us assume that a useful variation has occurred in some individuals of a certain species; under these favourable conditions we can discuss what the chances are that this variation will continue to increase until the original variants have produced an abundant offspring so different from the original stock that a new species has been formed. Again, to make our argument precise, let us consider the case of the long neck of the giraffe and assume that some offspring of short- necked giraffes have a slightly longer neck, say an additional inch, and that this additional length is of great use in obtaining food. We shall first admit that the struggle for existence is, at that time, so intense that the short-necked giraffes die of starvation and those with this extra inch of length alone survive; then their offspring will have, presumably, the one extra inch and not two extra inches of length. Thus to arrive at the result of the very great length of neck which existing giraffes possess, Darwinians must assume, not a transmission of a real character but the tendency of the offspring of giraffes to have a successive increase in the length of the neck. ... Thus, even if we accept the postulates, that a favourable variation is transmitted, that the struggle for existence is so intense that all those without a slightly longer neck die, we must assume either that a continuous tendency to vary in the same direction exists, or that these unusual conditions are repeated many times by chance, before the giraffe's neck becomes so conspicuously elongated. The Darwinians can permit neither of these assumptions." (More, L.T., "The Dogma of Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1925, pp.221-222, 224. Emphasis original) 3/04/2007 "We have, however, gone much too far in our admissions; it is impossible to assume them. Even Darwin, with his attention riveted on the struggle for existence, does not ask us to suppose that an inch difference in length of neck means death or life to a giraffe. Let us follow his own words: `Giraffes which were the highest browsers, and were able during dearths to reach even an inch or two above the others, will often have been preserved; for they will have roamed over the whole country in search of food. That the individuals of the same species often differ slightly in the relative lengths of all their parts may be seen in many works of natural history, in which careful measurements are given. These slight proportional differences, due to the laws of growth and variation, are not of the slightest use or importance to most species. But it will have been otherwise with the nascent giraffe, considering its probable habits of life; for those individuals which had some one part or several parts of their bodies rather more elongated than usual, would generally have survived. These will have intercrossed and left offspring, either inheriting the same bodily peculiarities, or with a tendency to vary again in the same manner; whilst the individuals, less favoured in the same respects, will have been the most liable to perish." [Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species, John Murray: London, Sixth Edition, 1872, pp.177-178] It is almost inconceivable that a great man should have rested his case on an argument so easy to tear to pieces. In the first place, he says the giraffe may have a tendency to vary and yet he writes to Hooker: `Heaven forfend me from the Lamarck nonsense of a tendency to progression," [Darwin, C.R., Letter to J.D. Hooker, January 11, 1844, in Darwin, F. & Seward, A.C., eds., "More Letters of Charles Darwin," John Murray: London, 1903, Vol. I. , pp.40-41] and he again and again writes to his friends that a `tendency to vary' is fatal to his theory, as it is equivalent to assuming unknown forces which act according to Design." (More, L.T., "The Dogma of Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1925, pp.221-222, 224. Emphasis original) 3/04/2007 "It is not difficult to make a picture of Darwin's idea. During a period of great scarcity of food all the easily accessible leaves have been used; the margin is so close that individual giraffes which happen to have an extra inch of length in the neck have a great advantage and will more probably survive and produce QQ" (More, L.T., "The Dogma of Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1925, pp.224-225. More's emphasis) 3/04/2007 "Besides a general interest about the southern lands, I have been now ever since my return engaged in a very presumptuous work, and I know no one individual who would not say a very foolish one. I was so struck with the distribution of the Galapagos organisms, etc., and with the character of the American fossil mammifers, etc., that I determined to collect blindly every sort of fact which could bear any way on what are species. I have read heaps of agricultural and horticultural books, and have never ceased collecting facts. At last gleams of light have come, and I am almost convinced (quite contrary to the opinion I started with) that species are not (it is like confessing a murder) immutable. Heaven forfend me from Lamarck nonsense of a `tendency to progression,' `adaptations from the slow willing of animals,' etc.! But the conclusions I am led to are not widely different from his; though the means of change are wholly so. I think I have found out (here's presumption!) the simple way by which species become exquisitely adapted to various ends. You will now groan, and think to yourself, `on what a man have I been wasting my time and writing to.' I should, five years ago, have thought so..." (Darwin, C.R., Letter to J.D. Hooker, January 11, 1844, in Darwin, F. & Seward, A.C., eds., "More Letters of Charles Darwin," John Murray: London, 1903, Vol. I. , pp.40-41) 4/04/2007 "Researchers such as [Steven] Pinker and I get along well because I never claim that Alex has full-blown language; I never would. I'm not going to be able to put Alex on a `T' stand and have you interview him the way you interview me. But Alex has basic building blocks that are language-like behaviors - and also elements of phenomena like consciousness and awareness. Is Alex conscious? Personally, I believe so. Can I prove it? No." (Pepperberg, I., "That Damn Bird: A Talk with Irene Pepperberg," Edge, September 23, 2003) 4/04/2007 "Oxygen and carbon atoms are about equally common in living material, just as they are in the Universe at large. While it is possible to imagine life in a Universe with a moderate imbalance between oxygen and carbon, a really large imbalance would seem to forbid its existence. A great excess of carbon would prevent the formation of many materials on which life is vitally dependent, rock and soil for example, while a great oxygen excess would simply burn up any carbon bearing biochemicals that happened to be around. The necessary balance between oxygen and carbon depends on the details of the origin of the chemical elements by nuclear reactions inside stars, a subject which has been intensively studied over the past three decades, and one which we have already touched on in this book. The details are concerned with how neutrons and protons group together to form the nuclei of atoms. Oxygen and carbon are like two radio receivers, each tuned to a particular wavelength. Unless the tunings are right, with the two dials set at the appropriate wavelengths far more oxygen is produced than carbon. But, as it happens, the tunings are indeed correct, so that oxygen and carbon atoms are produced in the Universe in appropriately balanced amounts. The problem is to decide whether these apparently coincidental tunings are really accidents or not, and therefore whether or not life is accidental. No scientist likes to ask such a question, but it has to be asked for all that. Could it be that the tunings are intelligently deliberate?" (Hoyle, F., "The Intelligent Universe," Michael Joseph: London, 1983, pp.218-219) 4/04/2007 "Accident or design? I came across this remarkable property of carbon and oxygen in the early 1950s with my friend Willy Fowler. It is by no means an isolated example. The list of anthropic properties, apparent accidents of a nonbiological nature without which carbon based and hence human life could not exist, is large and impressive. Take protons, electrons and neutrons, for example. If the combined masses of the proton and electron were suddenly to become a little more rather than a little less than the mass of the neutron, the effect would be devastating. The hydrogen atom would become unstable. Throughout the Universe all the hydrogen atoms would immediately break down to form neutrons and neutrinos. Robbed of its nuclear fuel, the Sun would fade and collapse. Across the whole of space, stars like the Sun would contract in their billions, releasing a deadly flood of X-rays as they burned out. By that time life on Earth, needless to say, would already have been extinguished." (Hoyle, F., "The Intelligent Universe," Michael Joseph: London, 1983, pp.219-220. Emphasis original) 4/04/2007 "Such properties seem to run through the fabric of the natural world like a thread of happy accidents. But there are so many of these odd coincidences essential to life that some explanation seems required to account for them. To the theologist, anthropic properties seem like a confirmation of his belief that a creator designed the world to suit out requirements exactly and that for the theologian is the end of the matter. No further thoughts suggest themselves, and for scientists with a belief in the anthropic principle there is a similar inability to develop ideas and thoughts. Don't worry about such apparent coincidences as the tunings in carbon and oxygen, the anthropic principle enjoins us, because if it were not for those specific tunings we would not be here to remark on them. Indeed, our very existence guarantees that they are so, the principle argues. As with the creator or God of the theologian, this is a thought-stopping argument. so matter how rich the world is in remarkable physical and chemical coincidences, we are told that because we could not be here without them they are only to be expected, with the implication that there is no point in probing them any further. In my opinion this negative point of view is a direct and deliberate extension of an attitude of mind that in the nineteenth century threw itself so wholeheartedly behind the cause of Darwinism. The same nihilistic belief that no aspect of the Universe can be thought of as a consequence of purpose underlies both Darwinism and the anthropic principle. Every remarkable state of affairs is supposedly due to chance, and so one dismisses all further thought on the problem from one's mind, just as mention of the magical word `God' causes the theologian to desist from further enquiry." (Hoyle, F., "The Intelligent Universe," Michael Joseph: London, 1983, p.220) 5/04/2007 "But interesting events take place inside red giants. As the core contracts, the central furnace grows denser and hotter. Then nuclear reactions that were previously impossible become the principal source of energy. For example, the helium that accumulates during hydrogen burning can now become a fuel. As the star ages and the core temperature rises, brief encounters between helium nuclei produce fusion events. The collision of two helium nuclei leads initially to an evanescent form of beryllium having four neutrons and four protons. Amazingly enough, another helium nucleus collides with this short-lived target, leading to the formation of carbon. The process would seem about as likely as crossing a stream by stepping fleetingly on a log. A delicate match between the energies of helium, the unstable beryllium and the resulting carbon allows the last to be created. Without this process, we would not be here." (Kirshner, R.P., "The Earth's Elements," Scientific American, Vol. 271, No. 4, October 1994, Special Issue, pp.37-43, pp.38-39) 5/04/2007 "Biologists now believe that life must inevitably evolve whenever the proper conditions exist. All that is needed is an atmosphere like the one that existed on the primeval earth. Provided that there is some source of energy, such as ultraviolet radiation from a star, complex organic chemicals will form spontaneously. Among these are the nucleic acids and amino acids that are found in every living cell. No one has as yet duplicated the steps by which these chemicals presumably came together to make the first living organism. But scientists are convinced that with billions of years available, this process must inevitably happen wherever favorable conditions exist." (Morris, R.W., "The Fate of the Universe," Playboy Press: New York NY, 1982, p.150) 5/04/2007 "It is interesting to speculate about life elsewhere in the universe, especially about the possibility that there might be numerous intelligent species and possibly technological civilizations. However, the really intriguing question may very well be not, `Is there other intelligent life in the universe?' but rather, `Why is the universe so hospitable to life in the first place?' Even if it turns out that there is something terribly wrong with our ideas about the formation of planets, even if the universe turns out not to be teeming with life, this question still has to be answered. Because, after all, we exist. And, as we shall see, this is a fact that has to be explained." (Morris, R.W., "The Fate of the Universe," Playboy Press: New York NY, 1982, pp.150-151) 5/04/2007 "Offhand, one would not think that the existence of terrestrial life and of human intelligence are facts that need to be accounted for at all. `Can't one simply accept the fact that we do exist, and leave it at that?' one is tempted to ask. And, in any case, hasn't it already been pointed out that scientists believe that life is inevitable, given the right conditions? Given the fact that we do have reasonably good conditions on earth, wasn't it inevitable that evolution should have eventually created intelligence? The answer is, of course, that life and intelligence probably were inevitable. But we must still explain why it is that such ideal conditions existed. It is possible to imagine an infinite number of different kinds of universes. In the vast majority of these universes, life could not possibly arise. In order to be hospitable to life, the universe must be very special. The question that we are really asking is, `Why is the universe so special?'" (Morris, R.W., "The Fate of the Universe," Playboy Press: New York NY, 1982, p.151. Emphasis original) 5/04/2007 "One of the most astonishing things about the universe is its size. The nearest star is a little more than 4 light years away, or about 25 trillion miles. And yet, by astronomical standards, this is a very short distance. Astronomers have observed galaxies that are billions of light years away. At the very least, the universe extends for tens of billions of light years in every direction. And of course if it is open, it goes on forever. There is another way of looking at this state of affairs: The universe is very spread out. Although stars and planets are relatively dense, there are very great spaces between them. As a result, the universe contains, on the average, less than one atom of ordinary matter for every cubic meter of space. Air is 1027 times more dense. And yet we speak of `thin air.' Why should matter be so thinly dispersed? Surprisingly, this question can be answered fairly easily. A universe must be spread out like this if it is ever to give rise to life. In a denser universe, the expansion would halt much too quickly, and there would not be enough time for life to be created. At the very least, billions of years must pass before life can exist. Galaxies and stars must form. Planets must be created and be given a chance to cool. Nature must have the opportunity to try one chemical experiment after another until the first living organism is formed. A universe that was very much denser than ours would collapse before any of these things happened." (Morris, R.W., "The Fate of the Universe," Playboy Press: New York NY, 1982, pp.151-152) 5/04/2007 "If life is to have the opportunity to exist, a universe must expand out of the primordial fireball at just the right rate. If our universe had been expanding at a rate that was slower by a factor of one part in a million, then the expansion would have stopped when it was only 30,000 years old, when the temperature was still 10,000 degrees. And if the expansion had been faster by a factor of one part in a million, then galaxies could not have formed. Matter would have been flying outward with just enough velocity to prevent it from condensing into clumps. In other words, the universe must be very close to the borderline between open and closed if life is to have a chance to exist at all. At last we have answered the question, `Why is it so difficult to tell whether the universe is infinite or finite?' If it were possible to tell without much trouble, then there would be no one around to wonder whether the universe was open or closed." (Morris, R.W., "The Fate of the Universe," Playboy Press: New York NY, 1982, pp.152-153) 5/04/2007 "There are yet other ways in which our universe is of a special character. If nuclear forces were just a few percent stronger than they are, there would be no life. Stronger forces would cause all of the primordial hydrogen-not just 25 percent of it-to be synthesized into helium early in the history of the universe. And without hydrogen, the stars could never begin to shine. As far as we know, there are four fundamental forces in nature: gravity, electromagnetism, and the so-called `strong' and `weak' nuclear forces. Every one of these forces must have just the right strength if there is to be any possibility of life. For example, if electrical forces were much stronger than they are, then no element heavier than hydrogen could form. The positively charged protons would repel one another so strongly that their mutual repulsion could not be overcome by the strong nuclear force. But electrical repulsion cannot be too weak. If it were, protons would combine too easily, and the sun would not burn as slowly and steadily as it does. The protons would combine explosively, and the sun (assuming that it had somehow managed to exist up to now) would explode like a thermonuclear bomb. If the ratio between the strong and weak nuclear forces were different, the same kinds of things would happen. Either hydrogen nuclei would combine into helium much too readily, or the reaction would simply not take place. We must conclude that small changes in any of the forces of nature would lead to universes in which life would not be possible. Either there would be no atoms, or there would be atoms but no stars or planets. In some conceivable universes, matter would collapse very rapidly into black holes. In others, rapid nuclear reactions would produce cosmic rays of such intensity that biological evolution could never take place." (Morris, R.W., "The Fate of the Universe," Playboy Press: New York NY, 1982, pp.153-154) 5/04/2007 "The theories of modern physics do not tell us why the forces of nature should have exactly the strength that they do, any more than they tell us why the universe should have expanded out of the primeval fireball at just the right rate. For example, the strength of the electromagnetic force (which embraces both electricity and magnetism) is related to a number called the fine structure constant. The name comes from the fact that the value of the constant can be determined by studying fine structure in the spectra of light emitted by atoms. The constant has the value 1/137. No one knows why it should be equal to this particular fraction rather than, say, 1/36 or 1/458. However, if it were not very close to 1/137, then life would not exist. In recent years it has become fashionable to view the creation of life as a stage in cosmic evolution. Galaxies evolved first, and then stars and planets. These produced the conditions necessary for the formation of complex organic molecules and, finally, life. The sequence seems so inevitable that it is difficult to imagine how life could not have evolved. As astronomer Carl Sagan states `the origin of life on suitable planets seems written into the chemistry of the universe.' But how did life get written into the chemistry? How is it that common elements such as carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen happened to have just the kind of atomic structure that they needed to combine to make the molecules upon which life depends? It is almost as though the universe had been consciously designed in such a way that life would be inevitable." (Morris, R.W., "The Fate of the Universe," Playboy Press: New York NY, 1982, pp.154-155) 5/04/2007 "Scientists of an earlier age would not have hesitated to conclude that such considerations indicated the existence of a Creator. The German astronomer Johannes Kepler, who discovered the laws of planetary motion upon which Newton's law of gravitation was based, believed that the heavens were an expression of the beauty and harmony of divine creation. Newton concurred, saying that the solar system was "not explicable by mere natural causes," that its structure had to be ascribed to "the counsel or contrivance of a voluntary agent." The argument from design, as this idea is called, is not much in favor nowadays. More than two centuries have passed since Kant in his Critique of Pure Reason pointed out flaws in the argument. Although it seems not to have disappeared completely (I recall having heard it in Sunday school as a child), modern theologians no longer depend upon it. Unlike Newton and Kepler, today's scientists do not believe that there is some region where physics and theology merge with one another. If science uncovers a question, then science should attempt to answer it. But exactly what conclusions should be drawn from the fact that the universe has such a special character? Are we to say that it is all some kind of cosmic accident? That certainly does not sound very satisfactory." (Morris, R.W., "The Fate of the Universe," Playboy Press: New York NY, 1982, p.155. Emphasis original) 5/04/2007 "One very obvious way out of the difficulty is to assume that there are an infinite number of universes. The universes that do not have our special character exist but are lifeless. The reason that our universe has certain special properties is that, otherwise, there would be no one here to see it. It must be emphasized that the hypothesis that universes exist in infinite numbers is anything but accepted scientific theory. However, I do not see how such a conclusion can be avoided. There are simply not any reasonable alternatives." (Morris, R.W., "The Fate of the Universe," Playboy Press: New York NY, 1982, pp.155-156) 5/04/2007 "The idea of an infinite number of universes is not a new one. It is really no more than a modern version of the many-worlds theory of Giordano Bruno and of the Greek philosophers Democritus and Anaximander. The only difference between the modern version and the older ones is that our horizons have expanded somewhat. We speak of `universes' where the Greeks and Bruno talked of `worlds.'" (Morris, R.W., "The Fate of the Universe," Playboy Press: New York NY, 1982, p.156) 5/04/2007 "The idea that astronomical data implied the existence of an infinite number of universes was first suggested by Robert Dicke in 1961. But Dicke's suggestion did not lead to a great deal of scientific discussion. It may be that it was a little ahead of its time. And when British mathematician Brandon Carter made similar observations around 1968, he did not even publish them at first. But in 1973 the question was revived by Stephen Hawking and his Cambridge University colleague Barry Collins. Collins and Hawking suggested, in a paper published in The Astrophysical Journal, that galaxies-and therefore life-could be created only in a universe that expanded out of the big bang just fast enough to avoid recollapse. The existence of galaxies and of life, they claimed, meant that the universe was exactly on the borderline between open and closed (not approximately on the borderline, as we have previously observed, but exactly). To Collins and Hawking, this hypothesis seemed to have a certain amount of appeal. The only trouble with it was that the probability that the universe was exactly on the borderline was zero. When a quantity (in this case the expansion velocity) can have an infinite number of different possible values, the chance that it has any one particular value is zero. So Collins and Hawking took the step that had previously been made by Dicke and by Carter. `One possible way out of this difficulty,' they said, `is to assume that there is an infinite number of universes with all possible different initial conditions.' The conclusion that there are infinite universes is not the only one that can be drawn. For example, John Archibald Wheeler and American mathematician C. M. Patton have suggested that a universe will only come into existence if it will be able to support intelligent life: There is some unknown factor eliminating all the possible universes that will not harbor intelligent species that can observe them. But the idea that there can be an interaction of this type between observer and universe is a little too mystical for most scientists." (Morris, R.W., "The Fate of the Universe," Playboy Press: New York NY, 1982, pp.156-157. Emphasis original) 5/04/2007 "At the present state of our knowledge, the origin of life remains a deep mystery. That is not to say, of course, that it will always be so. Undoubtedly the physical and chemical processes that led to the emergence of life from non-life were immensely complicated, and it is no surprise that we find such processes hard to model mathematically or to duplicate in the laboratory. In the face of this basic obstacle, one can distinguish between three philosophical positions concerning the origin of life: (i) it was a miracle; (ii) it was a stupendously improbable accident; and (iii) it was an inevitable consequence of the outworking of the laws of physics and chemistry, given the right conditions. I wish to state at the outset that I shall argue strongly for (iii), which seems to be the position adopted by most of the SETI scientists. ... Carl Sagan has written: 'The available evidence strongly suggests that the origin of life should occur given the initial conditions and a billion years of evolutionary time. The origin of life on suitable planets seems built into the chemistry of the universe.' this is a common view among scientists concerned with SETI. The assumption is that, given suitable conditions (e.g. a soup of the right chemicals, an energy source and a stable temperature in an appropriate range), living organisms will form spontaneously in a geologically reasonable span of time (millions or billions of years). Often cited is the fact that there is fossil evidence for microbial life on Earth as long ago as 3.6 billion years. The Earth can be dated at 4.5 billion years, and for many tens or even hundreds of millions of years the surface conditions would have been very hostile to life. Hazards included massive meteoric bombardment, huge volcanic eruptions, thick and deadly gases from the interior, solar instability (the Sun formed at about the same time as the Earth and probably had teething troubles), very hot conditions, the absence of liquid water, and deadly solar radiation. Thus it seems as if life got started on Earth at just about the earliest time it could. If life originated on Earth, these facts suggest that the process was rather rapid. Of course, if the panspermia hypothesis is correct, and the universe is replete with hopeful microbes looking for a home, then we would also expect a rapid colonization of the newly formed Earth. One must be wary, however, in drawing statistical conclusions from a single sample. That is why the discovery of even a single example of extraterrestrial life would be of immense significance to theory (iii)." (Davies, P.C.W., "Are We Alone?: Philosophical Implications of the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life," Penguin: London, 1995, pp.15,23-24) 5/04/2007 "The central role of the element carbon in terrestrial life prompted Fred Hoyle to draw attention to a further curious accident of nature. Carbon nuclei are synthesized in stars as a result of the almost simultaneous encounter of three helium nuclei. Such a triple collision is, of course, rather rare, and would be utterly insignificant if it were not for a fortuitous property of the carbon nucleus. The union of two helium nuclei forms an unstable nucleus of beryllium, Be8. The probability of the further incorporation of a third helium nucleus, to form carbon (C12), before the decay of Be8, depends sensitively on the energy with which the helium nucleus strikes the temporarily existing Be8. The reason for this concerns the existence of so-called nuclear resonances. Roughly speaking, when the frequency of the quantum wave associated with the incoming helium nucleus matches an internal vibration frequency of the composite system, the nuclear cross-section for capture of the third helium nucleus rises very sharply. By chance, the thermal energy of the nuclear constituents in a typical star lies almost exactly at the location of a resonance in C12. This happy accident ensures the efficient production of carbon inside stars. Without it, the rate of carbon formation would be very much reduced. This is, however, only half the story, for it is necessary that the newly synthesized carbon survive the subsequent nuclear activity inside the star. Carbon will be depleted as it burns to form still heavier elements. Specifically, the further collision of a helium nucleus with C12 produces oxygen, O16. Once more, though, nature has made a fortunate choice. A resonance in the O16 nucleus lies safely below the thermal energy of the constituents, so the C12 is spared the fate of being burned out of existence to form oxygen. The details of nuclear structure are immensely complicated, but ultimately the location of the nuclear resonances depends upon the fundamental forces of nature, especially the strong nuclear force and the electromagnetic force. Had the strengths of these forces not been rather precisely chosen, the fortuitous arrangement of resonances in C12 and O16 would not have occurred and life, at least of the terrestrial variety, would have been exceedingly less likely. Returning to this topic in a recent publication, Hoyle considers the carbon-oxygen synthesis coincidence so remarkable that it seems like a `put-up job'. Regarding the delicate positioning of the nuclear resonances, he comments: 'If you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you would have to fix, and your fixing would have to be just about where these levels are actually found to be .... A commonsense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature'. [Hoyle, F., "The Universe: Past and Present Reflections," Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Vol. 20, 1982, pp.1-35, p.16]" (Davies, P.C.W., "The Accidental Universe," , Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, Reprinted, 1983, pp.117-118) 5/04/2007 "Two alpha particles [helium nuclei] that collide with each other with the right energy (enough to overcome the electrical repulsion produced by the positively charged protons they each carry) will stick together to form a nucleus of beryllium-8. Unfortunately, however, beryllium-8 is the exception to the rule that nuclei containing whole numbers of alpha particles are stable. It is spectacularly unstable, and breaks apart into lighter particles within a lifetime of only 10-17 seconds. So how can carbon, which requires the addition of another alpha particle to a beryllium-8 nucleus, ever be built up? Maybe, some theorists speculated, carbon-12 could be made directly inside stars, when three helium-4 nuclei just happened to collide with one another simultaneously. But a simple calculation soon showed that this is indeed about as unlikely a prospect as it sounds. It might happen occasionally, but not often enough to produce all the carbon we see around us, the key element in the chemistry of living things. .... Then, Fred Hoyle, who had, back in 1946 written a classic paper expounding the idea that the ... Hoyle puzzled over the problem of how hearty nuclei might be built up in stars (stellar nucleosynthesis), and became intrigued by the possibility that the energy levels of beryllium, helium, and carbon might be - just right to encourage the two-step reaction Salpeter had proposed. It all hinged on a property known as resonance. Resonance works like this. When two nuclei collide and stick together, the new nucleus that is formed carries the combined mass-energy of the two nuclei, plus the combined energy of their motion, their kinetic energy (and minus a small amount of energy from the strong force, the binding energy that holds the new nucleus together). The new nucleus `wants' to occupy one of the steps on its own energy ladder, and if this combined energy from the incoming particles is not just right then the excess has to be eliminated, in the form of leftover kinetic energy, or as a particle ejected from the nucleus. This reduces the likelihood that the two colliding nuclei will stick together; in many eases, they simply bounce off each other and continue to lead their separate lives. If everything meshes perfectly, however, the new nucleus will be created with exactly the energy that corresponds to one of its natural levels (it can then, of course, emit packets of energy and hop down the steps to the lowest; level). In that ease, the interaction will proceed very effectively, and the conversion of lighter nuclei into a heavier form will be complete. This matching of energies to one of the levels appropriate for the new nuclei is the effect known as resonance, and it depends crucially on the structure of the nuclei involved in the collisions. In 1954, Hoyle realised that the only way to make enough carbon inside stars is if there is a resonance involving helium-4, beryllium-8, and carbon-12. The mass-energy of each nucleus is fixed and cannot change; the kinetic energy that each nucleus has depends on the temperature inside a star, which Hoyle could calculate. Using that temperature calculation, Hoyle predicted that there must be a previously undetected energy level in the carbon-12 nucleus, at an energy that would resonate with the combined energies, including kinetic energy, of its constituent parts, under the conditions prevailing inside stars. He made a precise calculation of what that energy level must be, and he cajoled Willy Fowler's somewhat sceptical nuclear physics colleagues until they carried out experiments to test his prediction. To the astonishment of everyone except Hoyle, the measurements showed that carbon-12 has an energy level just 4 percent above the calculated energy. This is so close that the kinetic energies of the colliding nuclei can readily supply the excess. This resonance greatly increases the chances of a helium-4 and a beryllium-8 nucleus sticking together, and ensures that enough alpha particles can be fused into carbon nuclei inside stars to account for our existence." (Gribbin, J.R. & Rees, M.J., "Cosmic Coincidences: Dark Matter, Mankind, and Anthropic Cosmology," Bantam Books: New York NY, 1989, pp.243-245. Emphasis original) 5/04/2007 "The remarkable nature of Hoyle's successful prediction cannot be overemphasised. Suppose, for example, that the energy level in carbon had turned out to be just 4 percent lower than the combined energy of helium-4 and beryllium-8. There is no way that kinetic energy could subtract rather than add the difference, so the trick simply would not have worked. This is made clear when we look at the next putative step in stellar nucleosynthesis, the production of oxygen-16 from a combination of carbon-12 and helium-4. When a carbon-12 nucleus and a helium-4 nucleus meet, they would fuse into oxygen if there were an appropriate resonance. But the nearest oxygen-16 resonance has one percent less energy than helium-4 plus carbon-12. But that 1 percent is all it takes to ensure that this time resonance does not occur. Sure, oxygen- 16 is manufactured in stars, but only in small quantities (at least, at this early stage of a star's life) compared with carbon. If that oxygen energy level were 1 percent lower, then virtually all the carbon made inside stars would be processed into oxygen, and then (much of it) into heavier elements still. Carbon-based life forms like ourselves would not exist. Most anthropic arguments are made with the benefit of hindsight. We look at the Universe, notice that it is close to flat, and say, `Oh yes, of course, it must be that way, or we wouldn't be here to notice it.' But Hoyle's prediction is different, in a class of its own. It is a genuine scientific prediction, tested and confirmed by subsequent experiments. Hoyle said, in effect, "since we exist, then carbon must have an energy level at 7.6 MeV." Then the experiments were carried out and the energy level was measured. As far as we know, this is the only genuine anthropic principle prediction; all the rest are "predictions" that might have been made in advance of the observations, if anyone had had the genius to make them, but that were never in fact made in that way. Hoyle's remarkable insight led directly to a detailed understanding of the way in which all of the other elements are built up from hydrogen and helium inside stars. He worked closely with Willy Fowler on this, and with the husband-and-wife team Geoffrey and Margaret Burbidge. Fowler (without Hoyle) later received a Nobel Prize for his part in the study of stellar nucleosynthesis. This combination of coincidences, just right for resonance in carbon-12, just wrong in oxygen-16, is indeed remarkable. There is no better evidence to support the argument that the Universe has been designed for our benefit-tailor-made for man. But there are alternative ways of viewing this coincidence, and others. So before we present the alternative view we should perhaps mention at least two other striking coincidences that help to make the Universe a fit place for life." (Gribbin, J.R. & Rees, M.J., "Cosmic Coincidences: Dark Matter, Mankind, and Anthropic Cosmology," Bantam Books: New York NY, 1989, pp.246-247. Emphasis original) 5/04/2007 "In 1952-1953 Fred Hoyle discovered one of the most celebrated examples of fine-tuning in physics. [Hoyle, F., "On Nuclear Reactions occurring in very hot stars: Synthesis of elements from carbon to nickel," Astrophysics Journal Supplement, Vol. 1, 1954, pp.121-146] In contemplating the required pathway for the production of carbon and oxygen in nuclear reactions in the hot interiors of red giant stars, Hoyle correctly predicted that carbon-12 must have a very specific nuclear energy resonance not known at the time. A nuclear resonance is a range of energies that greatly increases the chances of interaction between a nucleus and another particle-for example, the capture of a proton or a neutron. An energy resonance in a nucleus will accelerate reactions if the colliding particles have just the right kinetic energy. Resonances tend to be very narrow, so even very slight changes in their location would lead to enormous changes in the reaction rates. This may seem obscure, but think of a wineglass shattering when just the right acoustic note is played. That's a resonance. The relevant nuclear reactions occur in the stage of a star's life following the hydrogen- burning main sequence, during so-called helium-shell burning. Recall that our Sun will not enter this latter stage for another four to five billion years. Fortunately for us, many moderate- to high-mass stars have already reached this stage and have seeded our galaxy with a healthy dose of carbon and oxygen. During this advanced, helium-shell burning stage, alpha particles (helium nuclei) abound in a star's deep interior, creating frequent high-energy collisions. When two helium nuclei collide, they form an unstable beryllium-8 nucleus; even this is only possible because the mass of two helium nuclei is very close to that of the mains bound long enough (just 10-16 seconds) to collide with another alpha particle to form carbon-12. But this result is not quite sufficient. Because it is effectively a three-body reaction, carbon-12 won't be produced without a resonance. It was the lack of a known resonance at the energy level required to produce carbon that led Hoyle to make his famous prediction. Since the universe contains plenty of carbon, Hoyle deduced that such a resonance must exist. Had the resonance been slightly lower, the universe would have far less carbon. In fact, the observed abundance of carbon and oxygen depends on a few other coincidences. It turns out that the lack of a resonance in oxygen at the typical alpha particle energy in a star prevents all the carbon from being used up to make oxygen (thankfully, the closest resonance is just a little bit too low). But if the fine-tuning stopped there, the universe would have squandered most of its oxygen well before any star system had time even to think about hosting life. You see, certain conservation laws prevent easy capture of alpha particles by oxygen-16 to form neon-20, even though a resonance exists in neon-20 at just the right place. Otherwise, little oxygen would remain. As a result of these four astounding `coincidences,' stars produce carbon and oxygen in comparable amounts. Astrophysicists have recently confirmed the sensitivity of carbon and oxygen production to the carbon- energy resonance; a change in the (strong) nuclear force strength (the force that binds particles in an atomic nucleus) by more than about half a percent, or by 4 percent in the electromagnetic force (the force between charged particles), would yield a universe with either too much carbon compared with oxygen or vice versa, and thus little if any chance for life. Including the other three required fine-tunings further narrows this range." (Gonzalez, G.* & Richards, J.W.*, "The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed For Discovery," Regnery: Washington DC, 2004, pp.198-199) 5/04/2007 "The synthesis of carbon-the vital core of all organic molecules-on a significant scale involves what scientists view as an `astonishing' coincidence in the ratio of the strong force to electromagnetism. This ratio makes it possible for carbon-12 to reach an excited state of exactly 7.65 MeV at the temperature typical of the center of stars, which creates a resonance involving helium-4, beryllium-8, and carbon-12 - allowing the necessary binding to take place during a tiny window of opportunity 1017 seconds long." (Glynn, P.*, "God: The Evidence: The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason in a Postsecular World," Forum: Rocklin CA, 1997, p.30) 6/04/2007 "The nuclear strong force, too, must be neither over-strong nor over-weak, for stars to operate life- encouragingly. `As small an increase as 2 per cent' in its strength `would block the formation of protons out of quarks', preventing the existence even of hydrogen atoms, [Barrow, J.D. & Silk, J., Scientific American, April 1980, pp. 127-128] let alone others. If this argument fails then the same small increase could still spell disaster by binding protons into diprotons: all hydrogen would now become helium early in the Bang, [Davies, P.C.W., "The Anthropic Principle," in Wilkinson, D., ed., Progress in Particle and Nuclear Physics 10," Pergamon Press: Oxford, 1983, p. 8] and stars would burn by the strong interaction [Dyson, F., "Energy in the Universe," Scientific American, Vol. 225, No. 3, September 1971, pp.50-59, p.56] which, as noted above, proceeds 1018 times faster than the weak interaction which controls our sun. A yet tinier increase, perhaps of 1 per cent, would so change nuclear resonance levels that almost all carbon would be burned to oxygen. [Hoyle, F., Astrophysical Journal, supplementary, Vol. 1, 1954, p.121; Salpeter, E. E., Physical Review, Vol. 107, 1957, p.516] A somewhat greater increase, of about 10 per cent, would again ruin stellar carbon synthesis, this time changing resonance levels so that there would be little burning beyond carbon's predecessor, helium. [Rozental, I.L., "Structure of the Universe and Fundamental Constants," Moscow, 1981, p.8] One a trifle greater than this would lead to `nuclei of almost unlimited size', [Carr, B.J. & Rees, M. J., "The anthropic principle and the structure of the physical world," Nature, Vol, 278, 12 April 1979, pp.605- 612, p.611] even small bodies becoming `mini neutron stars'. [Carter, B. in Sanders, J.H. & Wapstra, A.H., eds., "Atomic Masses and Fundamental Constants: 5," New York, 1976, p.652] All which is true despite the very short range of the strong force. Were it long-range then the universe would be `wound down into a single blob'. [Atkins, P.W., "The Creation," W.H. Freeman & Co: Oxford, 1981, p.13.]" (Leslie, J., "Universes," , Routledge: London, Reprint, 1996, p.35. Emphasis original) 6/04/2007 "Slight decreases could be equally ruinous. The deuteron, a combination of a neutron and a proton which is essential to stellar nucleosynthesis, is only just bound: weakening the strong force by `about five per cent' would unbind it, [Davies, P.C.W., "The Anthropic Principle," in Wilkinson, D., ed., Progress in Particle and Nuclear Physics 10," Pergamon Press: Oxford, 1983, p. 7] leading to a universe of hydrogen only. And even a weakening of 1 per cent could destroy [Rees, M.J., "Our Universe and Others," Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 22, 1981, p. 122] `a particular resonance in the carbon nucleus which allows carbon to form from 4He plus 8Be despite the instability of 8Be' (which is however stable enough to have a lifetime `anomalously long' in a way itself suggesting fine tuning).[Barrow, J.D. & Tipler, F.J., "The Anthropic Cosmological Principle," Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1986, pp.252-253] `A 50% decrease would adversely affect the stability of all the elements essential to living organisms': [Barrow & Tipler, Ibid., p.327] any carbon, for example, which somehow managed to form would soon disintegrate. (Leslie, J., "Universes," , Routledge: London, Reprint, 1996, pp.35-36. Emphasis original) 6/04/2007 "The basic features of galaxies, stars, planets and the everyday world are essentially determined by a few microphysical constants and by the effects of gravitation. Many interrelations between different scales that at first sight seem surprising are straightforward consequences of simple physical arguments. But several aspects of our Universe-some of which seem to be prerequisites for the evolution of any form of life-depend rather delicately on apparent 'coincidences' among the physical constants." (Carr, B.J. & Rees, M. J., "The anthropic principle and the structure of the physical world," Nature, Vol, 278, 12 April 1979, pp.605-612) 6/04/2007 "The Best of All Possible Worlds? Leibniz developed the above argument in detail as an attempt to prove, on the basis of the rationality of the cosmos, that such a God exists. He concluded from this cosmological argument that a rational, omnipotent, perfect, omniscient being must inevitably choose the best of all possible worlds. The reason? If a perfect God knowingly selected a world that was less than perfect, that would be irrational. We would demand an explanation for the peculiar choice. But what possible explanation could there be? The notion that ours is the best of all possible worlds has not commended itself to many people. Leibniz (in the guise of Dr. Pangloss) was savagely lampooned by Voltaire on this point: `O Dr. Pangloss! If this is the best of all possible worlds, what must the others be like?' The objection usually centers on the problem of evil. We can imagine a world in which, for example, there is no pain and suffering. Would that not be a better world? Leaving ethical issues aside, there could still be some physical sense in which ours is the best of all possible worlds. One is certainly struck by the immense richness and complexity of the physical world. Sometimes it seems as if nature were `going out of its way' to produce an interesting and fruitful universe. Freeman Dyson has attempted to capture this property in his principle of maximum diversity: the laws of nature and the initial conditions are such as to make the universe as interesting as possible. [Dyson F.J., "Infinite In All Directions," Harper & Row: New York NY, 1988, p.298] Here `best' is interpreted as `richest,' in the sense of greatest variety and complexity of physical systems." (Davies, P.C.W., "The Mind of God: Science and the Search for Ultimate Meaning," . Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1993, pp.172-173. Emphasis original) 6/04/2007 "I have tried to make a case that the existence of an orderly, coherent universe containing stable, organized, complex structures requires laws and conditions of a very special kind. All the evidence suggests that this is not just any old universe, but one which is remarkably well adjusted to the existence of certain interesting and significant entities (e.g., stable stars). ... I explained how this feeling had been formalized by Freeman Dyson and others into something like a principle of maximum diversity [Dyson F.J., "Infinite In All Directions," Harper & Row: New York NY, 1988, p.298] . The situation becomes even more intriguing when we take into account the existence of living organisms. The fact that biological systems have very special requirements, and that these requirements are, happily, met by nature, has been commented upon at least since the seventeenth century. It is only in the twentieth century, however, with the development of biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology, that the full picture has emerged. Already in 1913 the distinguished Harvard biochemist Lawrence Henderson wrote: `The properties of matter and the course of cosmic evolution are now seen to be intimately related to the structure of the living being and to its activities; ... the biologist may now rightly regard the Universe in its very essence as biocentric. ` [Henderson, L.J., "The Fitness of the Environment," , Peter Smith: Gloucester MA, Reprinted, 1970, p.312.] Henderson was led to this surprising view from his work on the regulation of acidity and alkalinity in living organisms, and the way that such regulation depends crucially upon the rather special properties of certain chemical substances. He was also greatly impressed at how water, which has a number of anomalous properties, is incorporated into life at a basic level. Had these various substances not existed, or had the laws of physics been somewhat different so that the substances did not enjoy these special properties, then life (at least as we know it) would be impossible. Henderson regarded the `fitness of the environment' for life as too great to be accidental, and asked what manner of law is capable of explaining such a match." (Davies, P.C.W., "The Mind of God: Science and the Search for Ultimate Meaning," . Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1993, pp.198-199) 6/04/2007 "In the 1960s the astronomer Fred Hoyle noted that the element carbon, whose peculiar chemical properties marties make it crucial to terrestrial life, is manufactured from helium inside large stars. It is released therefrom by supernovae explosions, as discussed in the previous section. While investigating the nuclear reactions that lead to the formation of carbon in the stellar cores, Hoyle was struck by the fact that the key reaction proceeds only because of a lucky fluke. Carbon nuclei are made by a rather tricky process involving the simultaneous encounter of three high-speed helium nuclei, which then stick together. Because of the rarity of triple-nucleus encounters, the reaction can proceed at a significant rate only at certain well-defined energies (termed `resonances'), where the reaction rate is substantially amplified by quantum effects. By good fortune, one of these resonances is positioned just about right to correspond to the sort of energies that helium nuclei have inside large stars. Curiously, Hoyle did not know this at the time, but he predicted that it must be so on the basis that carbon is an abundant element in nature. Experiment subsequently proved him right. A detailed study also revealed other `coincidences' without which carbon would not be both produced and preserved inside stars. Hoyle was so impressed by this `monstrous series of accidents,' he was prompted to comment that it was as if `the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the consequences they produce inside the stars.' [Hoyle, F., in Stockwood, M., ed., "Religion and the Scientists," SCM: London, 1959, p.82] Later he was to expound the view that the universe looks like a `put-up job,' as though somebody had been `monkeying' with the laws of physics. [Hoyle, F., "The Intelligent Universe," Michael Joseph: London, 1983, p.218]" (Davies, P.C.W., "The Mind of God: Science and the Search for Ultimate Meaning," . Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1993, p.199) 6/04/2007 "These examples are intended merely as a sample. A long list of additional `lucky accidents' and `coincidences' has been compiled since, most notably by the astrophysicists Brandon Carter, Bernard Carr, and Martin Rees. Taken together, they provide impressive evidence that life as we know it depends very sensitively on the form of the laws of physics, and on some seemingly fortuitous accidents in the actual values that nature has chosen for various particle masses, force strengths, and so on. As these examples have been thoroughly discussed elsewhere, I will not list them here. Suffice it to say that, if we could play God, and select values for these quantities at whim by twiddling a set of knobs, we would find that almost all knob settings would render the universe uninhabitable. In some cases it seems as if the different knobs have to be fine-tuned to enormous precision if the universe is to be such that life will flourish. In their book Cosmic Coincidences John Gribbin and Martin Rees conclude: `The conditions in our Universe really do seem to be uniquely suitable for life forms like ourselves. [Gribbin, J. & Rees, M.J., "Cosmic Coincidences," Bantam Books: New York NY, 1989), p.269]." (Davies, P.C.W., "The Mind of God: Science and the Search for Ultimate Meaning," . Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1993, pp.199-200) 6/04/2007 "It is a truism that we can only observe a universe that is consistent with our own existence. As I have mentioned, this linkage between human observership and the laws and conditions of the universe has become known, somewhat unfortunately, as the Anthropic Principle. In the trivial form just stated, the Anthropic Principle does not assert that our existence somehow compels the laws of physics to have the form they do, nor need one conclude that the laws have been deliberately designed with people in mind. On the other hand, the fact that even slight changes to the way things are might render the universe unobservable is surely a fact of deep significance." (Davies, P.C.W., "The Mind of God: Science and the Search for Ultimate Meaning," . Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1993, p.200. Emphasis original) 6/04/2007 "Boyle introduced the famous comparison between the universe and a clockwork mechanism, which was most eloquently elaborated by the theologian William Paley in the eighteenth century. Suppose, argued Paley, that you were `crossing a heath' and came upon a watch lying on the ground. On inspecting the watch, you observed the intricate organization of its parts and how they were arranged together in a cooperative way to achieve a collective end. Even if you had never seen a watch and had no idea of its function, you would still be led to conclude from your inspection that this was a contrivance designed for a purpose. Paley then went on to argue that, when we consider the much more elaborate contrivances of nature, we should reach the same conclusion even more forcefully. The weakness of this argument, exposed by Hume, is that it proceeds by analogy. The mechanistic universe is analogous to the watch; the watch had a designer, so therefore the universe must have had a designer. One might as well say that the universe is like an organism, so therefore it must have grown from a fetus in a cosmic womb! Clearly no analogical argument can amount to a proof. The best it can do is to offer support for a hypothesis. The degree of support will depend on how persuasive you find the analogy to be." (Davies, P.C.W., "The Mind of God: Science and the Search for Ultimate Meaning," . Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1993, p.201. Emphasis original) 6/04/2007 "As John Leslie points out, if the world were littered with pieces of granite stamped MADE BY GOD, after the fashion of the watchmaker's mark, surely even the Humes of this world should be convinced? `It can be asked whether every conceivable piece of seeming evidence of divine creative activity, including, say, messages written in the structures of naturally occurring chain molecules ... would be shrugged off with the comment, `Nothing improbable in that!' [Leslie, J., `Universes,' Routledge, London 1989), p.160]" (Davies, P.C.W., "The Mind of God: Science and the Search for Ultimate Meaning," . Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1993, pp.201-202. Emphasis original) 6/04/2007 "Finally, crushingly, it can be asked whether every conceivable piece of seeming evidence of divine creative activity, including, say, messages written in the structures of naturally occurring chain molecules ... would be shrugged off with the comment, `Nothing improbable in that!' ... In point of fact, those who run the above argument against calling our universe `probably God-designed' are often also heard to declare that a universe with as many evils as ours would be `a highly improbable' product of divine power." (Leslie, J., "Universes," , Routledge: London, Reprint, 1996, p.160. Emphasis original) 6/04/2007 "The design argument can't be categorized as right or wrong, but merely suggestive to a greater or lesser degree. So how suggestive is it? No scientist would today concur with Newton and claim that the solar system is too propitiously arranged to arise naturally. Although the origin of the solar system is not well understood, mechanisms are known to exist that could arrange the planets in the orderly manner that we find them. Nevertheless, the overall organization of the universe has suggested to many a modern astronomer an element of design. Thus James Jeans, who proclaimed that `the universe appears to have been designed by a pure mathematician' and it `begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine,' also wrote: `We discover that the universe shows evidence of a designing or controlling power that has something in common with our own individual minds-not, so far as we have discovered, emotion, morality, or aesthetic appreciation, but the tendency to think in the way which, for want of a better word, we describe as mathematical.' [Jeans, J., "The Mysterious Universe," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1931, p.137]" (Davies, P.C.W., "The Mind of God: Science and the Search for Ultimate Meaning," . Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1993, pp.202-203) 6/04/2007 "The most striking examples of `the contrivances of nature' are to be found in the biological domain, and it is to these that Paley devoted much of his attention. In biology the adaptation of means to ends is legendary. Consider the eye, for example. It is hard to imagine that this organ is not meant to provide the faculty of sight. Or that the wings of a bird aren't there for the purpose of flight. To Paley and many others, such intricate and successful adaptation bespoke providential arrangement by an intelligent designer. Alas, we all know about the speedy demise of this argument. Darwin's theory of evolution demonstrated decisively that complex organization efficiently adapted to the environment could arise as a result of random mutations and natural selection. No designer is needed to produce an eye or a wing. Such organs appear as a result of perfectly ordinary natural processes. A triumphalist celebration of this put-down is brilliantly presented in The Blind Watchmaker by the Oxford biologist Richard Dawkins. The severe mauling meted out to the design argument by Hume, Darwin, and others resulted in its being more or less completely abandoned by theologians. It is all the more curious, therefore, that it has been resurrected in recent years by a number of scientists. In its new form the argument is directed not to the material objects of the universe as such, but to the underlying laws, where it is immune from Darwinian attack." (Davies, P.C.W., "The Mind of God: Science and the Search for Ultimate Meaning," , Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1993, pp.202-203) 6/04/2007 "First, it is sometimes argued that, if nature did not oblige by producing the right conditions for life to form, we would not ourselves be here to argue about the matter. That is of course true, but it hardly amounts to a counterargument. The fact is, we are here, and here by grace of some pretty felicitous arrangements. Our existence cannot of itself explain these arrangements. One could shrug the matter aside with the comment that we are certainly very lucky that the universe just happened to possess the necessary conditions for life to flourish, but that this is a meaningless quirk of fate. Again, it is a question of personal judgment. Suppose it could be demonstrated that life would be impossible unless the ratio of the mass of the electron to that of the proton was within 0.00000000001 percent of some completely independent number-say, one hundred times the ratio of the densities of water and mercury at 18 degrees centigrade (64.4 degrees Fahrenheit). Even the most hard-nosed skeptic must surely be tempted to conclude that there was `something going on.'" (Davies, P.C.W., "The Mind of God: Science and the Search for Ultimate Meaning," , Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1993, pp.202-203. Emphasis original) 6/04/2007 "My first visit to the Creation took place in 1981 [Atkins, P.W., "The Creation," W.H. Freeman & Co: Oxford, 1981]. Then I took the view that there is nothing that cannot be understood, and that the path to understanding is to peel away appearances in order to expose the core, which is always of unsurpassed simplicity. I explained that we would travel along a path where we would encounter very simple questions and, more importantly, discover that they have very simple answers. I aimed to show then, as I am to show on this return visit, that it is possible to think rationally about what many regard as lying beyond explanation, such as the processes involved in the creation of the universe and the emergence in it of consciousness. My aim on the first visit was to argue that the universe can come into existence without intervention, and that there is no need to invoke the idea of a Supreme Being in one of its numerous manifestations. I accepted then, as I accept now, that anyone who is in some sense religious is not likely to be swayed by arguments like mine. In this respect I did not intend offence and nor do I intend it now. There were some who took it, though, and I suppose there will be a new generation who will take it again with this revision." (Atkins, P.W., "Creation Revisited", , Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1994, p.vii) 6/04/2007 "A great deal of the universe does not need any explanation. Elephants, for instance. Once molecules have learnt to compete and to create other molecules in their own image, elephants, and things resembling elephants, will in due course be found roaming through the countryside. The details of the processes involved in evolution are fascinating, but they are unimportant: competing, replicating molecules with time on their hands will inevitably evolve." (Atkins, P.W., "Creation Revisited", , Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1994, p.3) 6/04/2007 "Some of the things resembling elephants will be men. They are equally unimportant. It is undeniable (but not necessarily predictable) that molecules, once they have stumbled upon reproduction, will, somewhere or other (here, as it happens), band together into corporations shaped into the form and having the functions of men, and that these men will also one day be found roaming through some countryside. Their special but not significant function is that they are able to act as commentators on the nature, content, structure, and source of the universe and that, as a sideline, they can devise and take pleasure from communicable fantasies." (Atkins, P.W., "Creation Revisited", , Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1994, p.3) 6/04/2007 "Just as the electrons of an atom can be considered to reside in a variety of states according to their energy levels so it is with nucleons. Neutrons and protons possess an analogous spectrum of nuclear levels. If nucleons undergo a transition from a high to a low energy state then energy is emitted and conversely, the addition of radiant energy can effect an upward transition between nuclear levels. This nuclear chemistry is a crucial factor in the chain of nuclear reactions that power the stars. When two nuclei undergo fusion into a third nuclear state, energy may be emitted. One of the most striking aspects of low-energy nuclear reactions of this type is the discontinuous response of the interaction rate, or cross-section, as the energy of the participant nuclei changes ... A sequence of sharp peaks, or resonances, arises in the production efficiency of some nuclei as the interaction energy changes. They will occur below some characteristic energy (typically ~ few x 10 MeV) which depends on the particular nuclei involved in the reaction. ... The primary mechanism whereby stars generate gas or radiation pressures to support themselves against gravitational collapse is exothermic fusion of hydrogen into helium-4. But, eventually a star will exhaust the supply of hydrogen in its core and its immediate source of pressure support disappears. The star possesses a built-in safety valve to resolve this temporary energy crisis: as soon as gravitational contraction begins to increase the average density at the stellar core the temperature rises sufficiently for the initiation of helium burning (at T~ 108 K, p ~ 104.5 gm cm-3), via 3He4 --> C 2y (4.58) This sequence of events (fuel exhaustion --> contraction --> higher central temperature --> new nuclear energy source) can be repeated several times but it is known that the nucleosynthesis of all the heavier elements essential to biology rests upon the step (4.58)." (Barrow, J.D. & Tipler, F.J., "The Anthropic Cosmological Principle," , Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, Reprinted, 1996, pp.251-252. Emphasis original) 6/04/2007 "Prior to 1952 it was believed that the interaction (4.58) proceeded too slowly to be useful in stellar interiors. Then Salpeter pointed out that it might be an `autocatalytic' reaction, proceeding via an intermediate beryllium step, 2He (99±6) keV --> Be8 Be8 He4 --> C12 2y (4.59) Since the Be8 lifetime (~10-17s) is anomalously long compared to the He4 He4 collision time (~10-22 s), the beryllium will co-exist with the He4 for a significant time and allow reaction (4.59) to occur. However, in 1952 so little was known about the nuclear levels of C that it was hard to evaluate the influence of the channel (4.59) on the efficiency of (4.58). Two years later Hoyle made a remarkable prediction: in the course of an extensive study of stellar nucleosynthesis he realized that unless reaction (4.58) proceeded resonantly the yield of carbon would be negligible. There would be neither carbon, nor carbon-based life in the Universe. The evident presence of carbon and the products of carbon chemistry led Hoyle to predict that (4.58) and (4.59) must be resonant, with the vital resonance level of the C nucleus lying near ~7.7 MeV. This prediction was soon verified by experiment. Dunbar et al. discovered a state with the expected properties lying at 7.656 0.008 MeV. If we examine the level structure of C12 in detail we find a remarkable `coincidence' exists there. The 7.6549 MeV level in C12 lies just above the energy of Be8 plus He4 (=7.3667 MeV) and the acquisition of thermal energy by the two nuclei within a stellar interior allows a resonance to occur. Dunbar et al.'s discovery confirmed an Anthropic Principle prediction." (Barrow, J.D. & Tipler, F.J., "The Anthropic Cosmological Principle," , Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, Reprinted, 1996, p.252. Emphasis original) 6/04/2007 "However, this is not the end of the story. The addition of another helium-4 nucleus to C12 could fuse it to oxygen. If this reaction were also resonant all the carbon would be rapidly burnt to O16. However, by a further `coincidence' the O16 nucleus has an energy level at 7.1187 MeV that lies just below the total energy of C12 He4 at 7.1616 MeV. Since kinetic energies are always positive, resonance cannot occur in the 7.1187 MeV state. Had the O16 level lain just above that of C12 He4, carbon would have been rapidly removed via the alpha capture C12 He4 --> O16 (4.60) Hoyle realized that this remarkable chain of coincidences-the unusual longevity of beryllium, the existence of an advantageous resonance level in C12 and the non-existence of a disadvantageous level in O16-were necessary, and remarkably fine-tuned, conditions for our own existence and indeed the existence of any carbon-based life in the Universe. These coincidences could, in principle, be traced back to their roots where they would reveal a meticulous fine- tuning between the strengths of the nuclear and electromagnetic interactions along with the relative masses of electrons and nucleons. Unfortunately no such back-track is practical because of the overwhelming complexity of the large quantum systems involved; such resonance levels can only by located by experiment in practice." (Barrow, J.D. & Tipler, F.J., "The Anthropic Cosmological Principle," , Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, Reprinted, 1996, p.252. Emphasis original) 6/04/2007 "Hoyle's anthropic prediction is a natural successor to the examples of Henderson. It exhibits further relationships between invariants of Nature which are necessary for our own existence. Writing and lecturing in 1965 Hoyle added some speculation as to the conditions in `other worlds' where the properties of beryllium, carbon and oxygen might not be so favourably arranged. First `suppose that Be8 ... had turned out to be moderately stable, say bound by a million electron volts. What would be the effect on astrophysics?' There would be many more explosive stars and supernovae and stellar evolution might well come to an end at the helium burning stage because helium would be a rather unstable nuclear fuel, `Had Be8 been stable the helium burning reaction would have been so violent that stellar evolution with its consequent nucleosynthesis would have been very limited in scope, less interesting in its effects ... if there was little carbon in the world compared to oxygen, it is likely that living creatures could never have developed.' [Hoyle, F., Dunbar, D., Wensel, W. & Whaling, W., "The 7.68-Mev State in C12," Physical Review, Vol. 92 , 1953, p.649] (Barrow, J.D. & Tipler, F.J., "The Anthropic Cosmological Principle," , Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, Reprinted, 1996, p.252. Emphasis original) 7/04/2007 "About 75 per cent of a star is hydrogen, roughly 25 per cent is helium, and a mere 1 per cent or so consists of heavier elements: this proportion is a strong clue that the materials that are essential for life on Earth, such as the carbon in the organic molecules in our bodies and the oxygen in the air that we breathe, have been manufactured inside stars. This process, stellar nucleosynthesis, is now well understood; but the comforting familiarity of that understanding sometimes obscures the fact that the whole process of manufacturing heavy elements inside stars rests upon an astonishing coincidence involving the quantum properties of carbon nuclei. This coincidence makes our existence possible only because of other coincidences that were important earlier in the life of the Universe. All of these coincidences are extremely interesting to many astronomers, reviving the age-old debate about whether or not the Universe is `tailor- made' for human beings .... Investigating these puzzles is usually known as `anthropic cosmology'. The first puzzle is why stars should be made of 75 per cent hydrogen and 25 per cent helium to begin with. That is the result of another coincidence that operated during the event known as the big bang in which the Universe was born, some 15 billion years ago. This coincidence hinges upon the strength of the weak interaction, one of the four fundamental forces of nature. This is the force that determines the process of radioactive decay, and the conversion of protons into neutrons, or vice versa. Assuming that the big-bang fireball would just produce the simplest nuclei, single protons, it is the strength of the weak force that determines just how much hydrogen is processed into helium in the later stages of the big bang. It requires a precise fine tuning to avoid a runaway in one direction or the other-make the weak force slightly stronger and no helium would have been produced; make it slightly weaker and nearly all the hydrogen would have been converted into helium. A universe in which stars were initially composed entirely of hydrogen might not be so very different from our own; but if all the stars were originally composed of helium they would have burned out quickly. There would probably not have been enough time for planets to form and life to evolve, even if life could develop without hydrogen available to make water." (Gribbin, J.R. & Rees, M.J., "Cosmic coincidences," New Scientist, Vol. 125, 13 January 1990, pp.29-32, pp.29-30. Emphasis original) 7/04/2007 "Astrophysicists knew that the trick, nucleosynthesis, must have something to do with sticking helium nuclei together. The helium-4 nucleus is extremely stable. Atoms made up of what are, in effect, whole numbers of helium-4 nuclei are also stable, and therefore common, compared with other nuclei. Carbon, which contains six protons and six neutrons (12 nucleons), and oxygen, which contains 16, are the two most obvious examples that are important for life forms like us. Once carbon and oxygen exist in the Universe (that is, inside stars) in the right quantities, it is relatively easy (according to the laws of physics derived from studies of the way helium nuclei interact with other nuclei in particle accelerators) to build up heavier elements. This happens by adding helium nuclei to existing nuclei, which then, sometimes, spit out the odd proton or neutron to produce a nucleus of a slightly lighter element. But when physicists first looked in detail at this process, there seemed to be a bottleneck at the very first step. Two helium nuclei that collide with one another with the right kinetic energy (enough to overcome the electrical repulsion produced between the two units of positive charge that they each carry) will stick together to form a nucleus of beryllium-8. All stable nuclei are held together by the strong force, another of the four fundamental forces. The strong force overpowers the electrostatic repulsion, but has only a very short range. Unfortunately, however, beryllium-8 is the exception to the rule that nuclei containing whole numbers of helium nuclei are stable. It is spectacularly unstable, breaking apart into lighter particles within a lifetime of only 10-17 seconds. So how can carbon, which requires the addition of another helium nucleus to beryllium-8, ever be built up? Maybe, some theorists speculated, carbon-12 could be made directly inside stars, when three helium-4 nuclei just happen to collide with one another simultaneously. But a simple calculation soon showed that this is about as unlikely a prospect as it sounds. It might happen occasionally, but not often enough to produce all the carbon we see around us. In 1952, Ed Salpeter, an American astrophysicist, suggested, more or less in desperation, that carbon-12 might be produced in a very rapid two-step process, with two helium nuclei colliding to form a nucleus of beryllium-8, which was then in turn hit by a third helium nucleus in the split second before it disintegrated. But because the arrival of a third particle might smash the unstable beryllium-8 nucleus to bits, it was not much of an improvement on the triple-collision idea." (Gribbin, J.R. & Rees, M.J., "Cosmic coincidences," New Scientist, Vol. 125, 13 January 1990, pp.29-32, p.30) 7/04/2007 "Then, Fred Hoyle, who had, back in 1946, written a classic paper expounding the idea that the chemical elements were made inside stars, entered the story. ... Hoyle puzzled over the problem of how heavy nuclei might be built up in stars, and became intrigued by the possibility that the energy levels of beryllium, helium and carbon might be just right to encourage the two-step reaction that Salpeter had proposed. It all hinged on a property known as resonance. These energy levels are purely quantum properties of nuclei. Quantum physics-the relevant physics for such small objects-tells us that energy is not continuous. If energy is added to a nucleus, it can be absorbed only in distinct packets, or quanta. The electrons in the outer parts of atoms jump from one energy level to another but they cannot exist in an intermediate state, part way between one energy level and the next one up or down. Just as the electrons in an atom can occupy different energy levels, like steps on a staircase, so can the protons and neutrons that make up the nucleus of an atom. These particles may change from a low to a high energy state, provided they are given the right push (the right quantum of energy) from outside. Once they are in a high energy state, they may fall back to a lower level, most probably the bottom step on the energy ladder, and radiate the appropriate amount of energy in the process. The coincidence that allows carbon and heavier elements to exist depends on fine tuning in the energy levels of the three crucial nuclei." (Gribbin, J.R. & Rees, M.J., "Cosmic coincidences," New Scientist, Vol. 125, 13 January 1990, pp.29-32, pp.30-31) 7/04/2007 "This where the resonance comes in. When two nuclei collide and stick together, the new nucleus that is formed carries the combined mass-energy of the two nuclei (minus a small amount of energy from the strong force, the binding energy holding, the new nucleus together) plus the combined energy of their motion, their kinetic energy. The new nucleus `wants' to occupy one of the steps on its own energy ladder, and if the combined energy from incoming particles is not exactly right, and excess energy has to be disposed of in the form of leftover kinetic energy, or as a particle ejected from the new nucleus-or, if there is a large excess, in blowing the nucleus to bits (this is the principle of the `atomic' bomb). This reduces the likelihood that any two nuclei will simply stick together when they collide. In many cases, they just bounce off one another and continue to lead their separate lives. If everything meshes perfectly, however, the new nucleus will be created with exactly the amount of energy that corresponds to one of its own natural energy levels. It can then, of course, emit packets of energy in the usual way, and hop down the steps to the lowest level. In that case, the interaction will proceed very effectively, and the conversion of lighter nuclei into a Wavier form will be nearly complete. This matching of energies with one of the levels appropriate for the new nucleus is known as resonance, and depends, crucially, on the internal structure of the nuclei involved in the collisions." (Gribbin, J.R. & Rees, M.J., "Cosmic coincidences," New Scientist, Vol. 125, 13 January 1990, pp.29-32, p.31) 7/04/2007 "In 1954, Hoyle realised that the only way to make enough carbon inside stars is if there is a resonance involving helium-4, beryllium-4 and carbon-12. The mass-energy of each nucleus is fixed and cannot change: the kinetic energy of each nucleus depends on the temperature inside a star, which any astrophysicist could calculate. Using that standard temperature calculation, Hoyle predicted that there must be a previously undetected energy level in the carbon-12 nucleus, at an energy which would resonate with the combined energies, including kinetic energy, of its constituent parts, under the conditions that prevail inside stars. Hoyle made precise calculations of what that energy level must be. He then bullied Fowler's somewhat sceptical nuclear physics team into carrying out the necessary experiments to test his prediction. They did so simply in order to shut him up. To the astonishment of everyone except Hoyle, the measurements showed that carbon-12 has an energy level just 4 per cent above the calculated energy. For resonance to happen, two nuclei must collide hard enough for their kinetic energy to make up the 4 per cent. Centres of helium-burning stars are so hot that thermal motions can supply this small excess. The resonance ensures that enough helium nuclei can fuse into carbon nuclei inside stars to account for our existence." (Gribbin, J.R. & Rees, M.J., "Cosmic coincidences," New Scientist, Vol. 125, 13 January 1990, pp.29-32, p.31) 7/04/2007 "Most anthropic arguments-arguments that the Universe is in some sense constructed for our benefit-are made with the benefit of hindsight. We look at the Universe, notice that it has some property that makes human life possible, and say: `Oh yes, of course, it must be that way, or we wouldn't be here to notice it.' But Hoyle's prediction is different, in a class of its own. It is a genuine scientific prediction, tested and confirmed by subsequent experiments. In effect, what Hoyle said was: `Because we exist, carbon must have an energy level at 7.6 megaelectronvolts'. Then the experiments were carried out and the energy level measured. This is the only successful prediction from the anthropic principle." (Gribbin, J.R. & Rees, M.J., "Cosmic coincidences," New Scientist, Vol. 125, 13 January 1990, pp.29-32, p.31) 7/04/2007 "The remarkable nature of Hoyle's anthropic insight cannot be overemphasised. Suppose, for example, that the energy level in carbon had turned out to be just 4 per cent lower than the combined energy of helium-4 and beryllium-8. There is no way for kinetic energy to subtract rather than add the difference, so the trick simply would not have worked, and carbon could not have been manufactured in large enough quantities. This is clear from the next putative step in stellar nucleosynthesis, the production of oxygen-16 from carbon- 12 and helium-4. When a carbon-12 nucleus and a helium-4 nucleus meet under the conditions appropriate inside stars, they too have a characteristic energy corresponding to the combination of the mass energies of the two nuclei. This energy lies just under 1 per cent above an energy level of oxygen-16. But that 1 percent is all it takes to ensure that this resonance does not occur. Some oxygen-16 is, to be sure, manufactured inside stars-but only in small quantities, compared with carbon, at this early stage of a star's life. If that oxygen level were 1 per cent higher, then virtually all the carbon made inside stars would be rapidly processed into heavier elements still. Life forms based on carbon would, in that case, not exist. These coincidences, just right for resonance in carbon-12, just wrong in oxygen-16, are indeed remarkable. It almost seems, to quote Hoyle, that `the laws of physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the consequences they produce inside stars' [Hoyle, F., in Stockwood, M., ed., "Religion and the Scientists: Addresses Delivered in the University Church, Cambridge," Lent Term, 1957, SCM Press: London, 1959, p.64]." (Gribbin, J.R. & Rees, M.J., "Cosmic coincidences," New Scientist, Vol. 125, 13 January 1990, pp.29-32, pp.31-32) 7/04/2007 "And there is another related, striking coincidence that helps to make the Universe a fit place for life. Making carbon, and heavier elements, inside stars solves only half the problem of how carbon-based life forms come to be here on Earth. How do the heavy elements get out of the stars, and spread across the Galaxy, to become part of the clouds of material from which new stars and planets form? The simple answer is that the heavy elements are spread when a minority of stars explode as supernovae. Apart from hydrogen, and the tiny trace of helium in our immediate surroundings, every element on Earth, and in your body, has followed this route. ... But what makes a supernova blow its top? It turns out that this spreading of the stuff of life across the cosmos also hinges upon a close cosmic coincidence. If the mass of the star exceeds nine solar masses, the temperature in its heart rises above a billion degrees, and yet more complicated nuclear reactions take place, which yield as their end product the ultimate stellar ash, in the form of nuclei of iron-56. All the energy that the star has derived from nuclear reactions comes from packing protons and neutrons more tightly into atomic nuclei. In iron-56, they are packed as tightly together as possible, and no more energy can be provided by fusion. More massive nuclei, such as gold, lead, silver and uranium, are less tightly packed with nucleons than iron-56. To make them out of iron, more energy has to be put into the system. This is what happens in a supernova. When a star with 20 or more times as much mass as our Sun runs out of nuclear fuel, the pressure from above squeezes the inner regions so hard that electrons and protons are forced to merge into one another, forming neutrons. The entire core of the star becomes a ball of neutrons, packed together more tightly than even the mixture of protons and neutrons in iron nuclei. The core has as much mass as our Sun, but occupies only as much space as Mount Everest. This sudden shrinking of the core pulls the floor from under the outer layers of the star-the other 19 solar masses or more- so the bottom of the outer part of the star plummets downward, reaching speeds as great as 15 per cent that of light before smashing into the newly formed neutron star, squeezing it from all sides at once. This is like trying to squeeze the nucleus of an atom." (Gribbin, J.R. & Rees, M.J., "Cosmic coincidences," New Scientist, Vol. 125, 13 January 1990, pp.29-32, p.32) 7/04/2007 "The neutron material rebounds violently, sending a shock wave speeding back out through the star. Everything has happened in less than half a second. As the shock begins to move outward through the star, it encounters resistance and begins to slow down. It is trying to move bodily some 20 solar masses of material. Without help, it would fizzle out. But it is followed by a flood of neutrinos, produced in the core of the central neutron star when it was squeezed. The matter in the slowing shock wave is so dense that it actually absorbs a significant number of neutrinos-particles so reluctant to interact with anything that they could pass almost unaffected through a layer of lead filling the space between ourselves and the Sun. The energy from the neutrinos gives the shock wave the boost that it needs to finish the job of blowing the outer layers of the star, laced with heavy elements, apart. The anthropic coincidence lies in that crucial burst of neutrinos. Computer calculations in the 1980s had shown that the shock wave alone could not do the job, and that neutrinos must be involved. But the properties of neutrinos had to be precisely `fine tuned' to do the trick. It all hinges, once again, upon the strength of the weak interaction, the force that determines how strongly neutrinos interact with protons and neutrons. If the weak interaction were a little too weak. then even the dense shock would be transparent to neutrinos. and they would flood out through the star without getting involved in pushing the outer layers of the star off into space. If, on the other hand, the weak interaction were a little too strong, the neutrinos would get involved in reactions deep in the core itself, and would never act out to the region where the slowing shock wave was just about to give up the ghost. The weak interaction has to be just right to allow enough neutrinos first to escape from the core and then to give the shock wave a push. ... And all this ties in remarkably with the conditions required to produce 75 per cent hydrogen and 25 per cent helium in the big bang itself. If the weak force were weaker still, neutrinos could not drive supernova explosions. On the other hand, if it were a little stronger then the Universe would be even more comfortably dominated by hydrogen, and there would be little or no helium around inside stars. The window of opportunity for a universe in which there is some helium and there are also exploding supernovas is very narrow. Our existence depends on this combination of coincidences, and on the even more dramatic coincidence of nuclear energy levels predicted by Hoyle. Unlike all previous generations, we know how we come to be here. But, like all previous generations, we still do not know why." (Gribbin, J.R. & Rees, M.J., "Cosmic coincidences," New Scientist, Vol. 125, 13 January 1990, pp.29-32, p.32) 7/04/2007 "So what is the next step after hydrogen fusion? The direct way ahead would be to add another proton to helium to make lithium. However, this reaction won't work because a lithium nucleus with three protons and two neutrons is unstable; lithium normally has either three or four neutrons. What about the fusion of two helium nuclei to make the isotope beryllium-8, a nucleus with four protons and four neutrons? No good either, because that nucleus is also highly unstable, disintegrating almost as soon as it forms. The stable isotope of beryllium found in nature has five neutrons, not four. So the star is confronted with a serious nuclear bottleneck. ... After beryllium, carbon is the next-heaviest element. It has six protons and six neutrons. Could it be that stars have found a way to vault over lithium and beryllium and go straight from helium to carbon? This would require three helium nuclei to come together at the same moment. The proton and neutron arithmetic (3 x 2 x 2 = 6 6) works out correctly, and the end product would be stable carbon nuclei. Because more protons are involved in a triple nuclear encounter than in the original hydrogen fusion, the electrical repulsion is correspondingly greater, so the temperature must be higher to overcome it and allow the nuclei to get close enough for the short-range strong nuclear force to act. That isn't a problem: by further contracting, a star's core can raise the temperature to a high enough level. There is, however, a fundamental difficulty with the reaction itself. The likelihood of three helium nuclei coming together at the same place and the same time is tiny. To be sure, they don't have to arrive at exactly the same moment; two helium nuclei could first form a very unstable nucleus of beryllium, and before it fell apart a third helium nucleus might slam into it. But at first sight the numbers look very unfavourable, with a typical beryllium nucleus disintegrating too quickly to give a third helium nucleus a decent chance to hit it. On the face of it, then, that route to carbon seems to be blocked too." (Davies, P.C.W., "The Goldilocks Enigma : Why is the Universe Just Right for Life?," Allen Lane: London, 2006, pp.153-154) 7/04/2007 "That was the situation as it presented itself to astrophysicists in the early 1950s. Fred Hoyle, then a relatively unknown English astronomer, took an interest in this enigma. He reasoned that carbon-based sentient beings in general, and Fred Hoyle in particular, would not exist if the synthesis of the elements had become stuck at helium. Well, it's obvious enough that something must have happened to make carbon, presumably something inside stars. And if a general consideration of nuclear physics fails to account for carbon, then perhaps something unusual is responsible. ... This `anthropic' reasoning was applied by Hoyle to the problem of carbon synthesis in stars by appealing ... to an unexpected and fluky property of atomic nuclei. Here's how it happens. The rate at which nuclear reactions proceed depends on the energy of the participating particles. Mostly the variation in the rate is a gentle rise or fall in efficiency, but occasionally there is a sharp spike in the rate. Physicists call this abrupt amplification a resonance. The name stems from the way that quantum mechanics enters the picture. Quantum theory ascribes a wave aspect to particles ... including atomic nuclei, and waves famously display resonances. ... Quantum waves can also resonate, thereby boosting the rate of an atomic or nuclear process. Hoyle felt that resonance held the key to an explanation for carbon production. The mass of a normal carbon nucleus is rather less than the masses of the three helium nuclei that it was supposed might collide to form it, because of the mass-energy released when the carbon is made. But nuclei can exist in excited states too, so Hoyle deduced that a carbon nucleus must have an excited state a little bit above the combined mass-energies of three helium nuclei. The helium- beryllium system could then resonate at this mass-energy if the small deficit were made up by the kinetic energy of the particles rushing about inside the hot star. The resonance would have the effect of greatly prolonging the unstable beryllium nucleus, giving a third helium nucleus a decent chance of hitting it. The way would then lie open to forming abundant carbon, against the apparent odds." (Davies, P.C.W., "The Goldilocks Enigma : Why is the Universe Just Right for Life?," Allen Lane: London, 2006, pp.155-156. Emphasis original) 7/04/2007 "Hoyle calculated what the energy of the resonance should be. This was in 1951. Very little was known about the excitation of nuclei ... Hoyle was visiting Caltech at the time, and he confronted a group of American nuclear physicists, including Willy Fowler ... with his prediction of a carbon nuclear resonance. ... After some modifications to their equipment, the nuclear physicists were able to announce that, indeed, Hoyle's guess was spot on. There is a resonance in carbon, and at just the right energy for stars to manufacture abundant quantities of this element by the triple-helium process. The experiments confirm that the resonance will prolong the lifetime of the unstable beryllium nucleus to something approaching a hundred billion-billionths of a second - long enough for the triple-helium reaction to proceed. And once the carbon is made, the rest is plain sailing. There are no more bottlenecks. Oxygen forms next, then neon, then magnesium, and so on up the periodic table of elements as far as iron. That pretty much covers all the stuff life needs to get going. Elements heavier than iron are also produced by stars, but only during explosive outbursts, when more energy is available." (Davies, P.C.W., "The Goldilocks Enigma : Why is the Universe Just Right for Life?," Allen Lane: London, 2006, pp.156-157. Emphasis original) 7/04/2007 "The carbon story left a deep impression on Hoyle. He realized that if it weren't for the coincidence that a nuclear resonance exists at just the right energy, there would be next to no carbon in the universe, and probably no life. The energy at which the carbon resonance occurs is determined by the interplay between the strong nuclear force and the electromagnetic force. If the strong force were slightly stronger or slightly weaker (by maybe as little as 1 per cent), 10 then the binding energies of the nuclei would change and the arithmetic of the resonance wouldn't add up; the universe might very well be devoid of life and go unobserved. What are we to make of this? When Hoyle drew attention to this issue, the orthodox view was that the strength of the nuclear force is simply `given' - it is a `free parameter', the value of which is not determined by any theory, but must be measured by experiment. A common response was to shrug the matter aside with the comment, `The value it has is the value it has, and if it had been different we wouldn't be here to worry about it.' But that attitude seems a bit unsatisfactory. We can certainly imagine a universe in which the form of the strong force law is the same but the actual strength of the force is different, just as we can imagine a world in which gravity is a little stronger or weaker, but otherwise obeys the same laws. The fact that the value of the strong and electromagnetic forces in atomic nuclei are `just right' for life (like Goldilocks' porridge) cries out for explanation." (Davies, P.C.W., "The Goldilocks Enigma : Why is the Universe Just Right for Life?," Allen Lane: London, 2006, p.157. Emphasis original) 7/04/2007 "Most people would say that it's impossible to `prove' the existence of God and that therefore, if one is going to believe in God, he must `take it by faith' that God exists. I've heard many students say this as an excuse for not believing in God. `Nobody can prove that God exists and nobody can prove that he doesn't,' they say with a smile, `so I just don't believe in him.' I've already argued that such a blithe attitude fails to appreciate the depth of man's existential predicament in a universe without God. The rational man ought to believe in God even when the evidence is equally balanced, rather than the reverse. But is it in fact the case that there is no probatory evidence that a Supreme Being exists? This was not the opinion of the biblical writers. The Psalmist said, `The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of his hands' (Ps 19:1), and the apostle Paul declared, `Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they [men] are without excuse' (Rom 1:20). Nor can it be said that this evidence is so ambiguous as to admit of equally plausible counter-explanations-for then people would not be `without excuse.' Thus, people are without excuse for not believing in God's existence, not only because of the internal testimony of the Holy Spirit, but also because of the external witness of nature." (Craig, W.L.*, "Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics," , Crossway Books: Wheaton IL, Revised Edition, 1994, p.77) 7/04/2007 "Bertrand Russell, philosopher, mathematician and author of, among other works, Why I Am Not a Christian , was once asked how he would respond if upon dying he found himself in the presence of God and was asked why he hadn't believed in God's existence during his stay on earth. Russell's response was summed up in three words: Not enough evidence ! Now I submit that most persons on hearing of this response would conclude that in Russell we have a careful thinker who won't let himself be swayed by bogus or equivocal evidence. In other words, most people nowadays would regard Russell's skepticism as sober and measured. Atheism is regarded as a reasonable position these days because God, if he exists, has been too lazy or secretive to furnish us with convincing proofs of his existence. It's worth noting that this attitude is of recent vintage. In other epochs atheism has been considered perverse and unreasonable. Thus the apostle Paul could write, `What can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse' (Romans 1:19- 20 NRSV)." (Dembski, W.A.*, "On the Very Possibility of Intelligent Design,," in Moreland, J.P., ed., "The Creation Hypothesis: Scientific Evidence for an Intelligent Designer," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1994, p.130). Emphasis original) 7/04/2007 "To anyone who gives thoughtful consideration to the proofs for God's existence already advanced, the evidence appears conclusive. He can only exclaim, `Surely, there is a God!' God himself regards the evidence as conclusive. If he did not so regard it, he would have given us more evidence, but the evidence is sufficient (Acts 14:17; 17:23-29; Rom. 1:18-20). The Bible simply assumes the existence of God. To believe in the existence of God is, therefore, the normal and natural thing to do, and agnosticism and atheism are the abnormal and unnatural positions. Indeed, the latter are tantamount to saying that God has not furnished us with sufficient evidence of his existence. Such attitudes are a reflection on a benevolent and holy God and are sinful. Nevertheless, men as a whole have refused to have God in their knowledge (Rom. 1: 28). Sin has so distorted their vision and corrupted their hearts as to make them reject the evidence and go on without a God or set up gods of their own creation." (Thiessen, H.C.* & Doerksen, V.D.*, "Lectures in Systematic Theology," , Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, Revised, 1977, p.32) 10/04/2007 "A practical species definition, and this is after all what the taxonomist wants for his work, will have to compromise by combining the criteria of several species concepts. I have recently (Mayr 1940a [Mayr, E., "Speciation phenomena in birds," American Naturalist , Vol. 74, May-June, 1940, pp.249-278]) proposed the following formulation: `A species consists of a group of populations which replace each other geographically or ecologically and of which the neighboring ones intergrade or interbreed wherever they are in contact or which are potentially capable of doing so (with one or more of the populations) in those cases where contact is prevented by geographical or ecological barriers.' Or shorter: `Species are groups of actually or potentially interbreeding natural populations, which are reproductively isolated from other such groups.'" (Mayr, E.W., "Systematics and the Origin of Species," , Columbia University Press: New York NY, Reprinted, 1982, p.120) 10/04/2007 "Organisms that remain within the same physical area may nevertheless become isolated through adaptations to fit slightly different ecological niches. This may be seen particularly in insects. The life-cycle of an insect is generally short and several generations can succeed one another within a single year. A change in the environment can thus produce rapid consequences. A North American fruit fly (Rhagoletis pomonella ) has divided into two populations that depend on different trees in the same area. One lives on hawthorns and the other on apple trees, and the two populations do not cross-breed. How did this happen? Two centuries ago, there were only hawthorn flies. The females laid their eggs in August on the hawthorns and at the end of September the larvae fed on the red fruits. Later, apple trees were introduced into the area. There is enough genetic variability among fruit flies that the population gave rise to some individuals that reproduced a month early. These flies now found apple trees on which to lay their eggs, and the resulting larvae fed on apples, which ripen earlier than hawthorn fruit. A new population, dependent on the apple tree, thus became established. Because of the one-month difference in their mating schedules, the two flies do not mate in the wild. Since gene exchange no longer occurs, the two populations may eventually develop into separate species. Yet they look exactly alike and are still capable of mating in the laboratory." (Davis, P. & Kenyon, D.H., "Of Pandas and People: The Central Question of Biological Origins", Foundation for Thought and Ethics: Richardson TX, Second Edition, 1993, pp.17-18) 10/04/2007 "In sympatric speciation, reproductive speciation process isolation evolves while the incipient group is still in the vicinity of the parent population. An example of incipient sympatric speciation has been seen recently in host races of the apple maggot fly (Rhagoletis pomonella ) in North America ... . This fly was found originally only on hawthorn plants. However, in the nineteenth century, it spread as a pest to newly introduced apple trees. In fact, races are now known on pear and cherry trees and on rose bushes. These races have developed genetic, behavioral, and ecological differences from the original hawthorn-dwelling parent. Evolutionary biologists view this as an opportunity to observe sympatric speciation as it occurs." (Tamarin, R.H., "Principles of Genetics," International Edition, , McGraw-Hill: New York NY, Seventh Edition, 2002, p.593) 10/04/2007 "In numerous other cases we find modifications of structure, which are considered by botanists to be generally of a highly important nature, affecting only some of the flowers on the same plant, or occurring on distinct plants, which grow close together under the same conditions. As these variations seem of no special use to the plants, they cannot have been influenced by natural selection. ...We thus see that with plants many morphological changes may be attributed to the laws of growth and the inter-action of parts, independently of natural selection. ... From the fact of the above characters being unimportant for the welfare of the species, any slight variations which occurred in them would not have been accumulated and augmented through natural selection. ... Thus, as I am inclined to believe, morphological differences, which we consider as important ... first appeared in many cases as fluctuating variations, which sooner or later became constant through the nature of the organism and of the surrounding conditions, as well as through the intercrossing of distinct individuals, but not through natural selection; for as these morphological characters do not affect the welfare of the species, any slight deviations in them could not have been governed or accumulated through this latter agency. " (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection," , John Murray: London, Sixth Edition, 1872, Reprinted, 1882, pp.174-176) 12/04/2007 "Now the mathematical probability that a great proportion of a species will have the same variation at the same time is a very small fraction, and the probability of a scarcity of food being so great that, at many different times, the leaves of the trees are stripped to a height from the ground so uniform that a difference of an inch in length of neck decides whether giraffes may obtain food or die, is also a very small fraction. And the probability that these two independent events will occur at the same time is the product of the two separate probabilities; that is, it is the product of two very small fractions which is a very, very small fraction. For example, if each probability were one-thousandth, which is manifestly far too great, then the probability of both of them occurring at the same time is only one-millionth." (More, L.T., "The Dogma of Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1925, p.226-227. Emphasis original) 12/04/2007 "In the first edition of the Origin of Species, Darwin, whose attention was fixed on artificial selection where man forces selected individuals to mate, assumed that in the natural state the same would occur. His attention was soon called to the fact that, if only a few individuals possess an advantageous variation, the effect of chance mating would prevent its continuation, since there would be little probability of these few individuals mating together in the great crowd of others. In the sixth edition, Darwin admits the justice of this criticism and, in doing so, he absolutely abandons his whole theory of natural selection. What else can we conclude from his statement: `There can also be little doubt that the tendency to vary in the same manner has often been so strong that all the individuals of the same species have been similarly modified without the aid of any form of selection. Or only a third, fifth, or tenth part of the individuals may have been thus affected, of which fact several instances could be given.' When we consider the almost infinite variety of forms of life, the enormous amount of variations, and the uncountable number of times variations must have occurred if we suppose all existing organisms are the descendants of a single protoplasmic cell (or of a very few) ; then the mathematical probability, that these changes have been brought about by the simultaneous variation in the same characteristic of all, or a tenth part of the individuals of a species, is zero. If this is not the doctrine of Design, pure and simple, it is nothing." (More, L.T., "The Dogma of Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1925, pp.226-227. Emphasis More's) 13/04/2007 "Darwin plays so fast and loose with the mathematical laws of probability that he is willing to rest the whole multitudinous variation in the world, even granting a "tendency to vary in the same direction," on "several instances which could be given." But even this admission will not help Darwin. Suppose a large proportion of the giraffes to be born and to grow to maturity with an extra inch in length of neck and suppose so severe a scarcity of food to occur that this extra inch is a decisive factor in obtaining food. The necks of mature male giraffes are several inches longer than the necks of all female giraffes, and these, again, are much longer than those of young giraffes of both sexes between the ages of weaning and maturity. Is there any escape from the conclusion that all the females and all the young giraffes of both sexes would die and leave the race of giraffes to be continued by a herd of favoured males, unless these males gallantly pulled down the boughs to the reach of their starving families?" (More, L.T., "The Dogma of Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1925, pp.227-228) 13/04/2007 "Let us consider a few more cases briefly. Darwin wrote Huxley in 1859: "You have most cleverly hit on one point, which has greatly troubled me; if, as I think, external conditions produce little direct effect, what the devil determines each particular variation? What makes a tuft of feathers come on a cock's head, or moss on a moss rose?" [Darwin, C.R., Letter to T.H. Huxley, November 25, 1859, in Darwin, F., ed., "The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," , Basic Books: New York NY, Vol. II., Reprinted, 1959, pp.27-28] What, indeed! We have seen that the appearance of the feather is an enormous advantage as it means the conquest of locomotion in a new environment; it came suddenly so far as our palaeontological records show; it is assumed to have developed from the dermal plates or scales of reptiles. Can anyone imagine any advantage to the reptile during the stages of development between its covering of plates or scales, and that of feathers covering, and arranged on, a bird already adapted for flight? No biologist has found such an advantage, and the theory of natural selection requires that variations, useful at every stage, can alone be preserved. Until we can find such useful qualities during the development of the feather and thousands of other characteristics of plants and animals, why should we accept the doctrine of natural selection or any other hypothesis except the mere belief that organisms have evolved?" (More, L.T., "The Dogma of Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1925, pp.228-229. Emphasis original) 13/04/2007 "This is the reason why the doctrine of mutations, or sudden jumps, so unpalatable to evolutionists, is being substituted for natural selection with its slow progression. When we once allow nature to jump, we can no longer ridicule the ingenuous mind which can picture a prehistoric scaly reptile as having been dumbfounded when it found that it had suddenly given birth to a feathered bird. The doctrine of mutations does avoid all the difficulties which puzzle us when we attempt to construct a theory of evolution; when we find any variation which cannot be explained, by the theory of mutations we can. safely say it was one of the jumps of nature." (More, L.T., "The Dogma of Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1925, p.229) 13/04/2007 "The evolutionists gave much importance to the support which is shown by the marvellous protective colouring of animals, and of worms and insects, which counterfeit leaves, twigs, or other organisms. But here again, what is the advantage until the variation has already proceeded so far in mimicry that the owner can elude the keen eyes of its enemies?" (More, L.T., "The Dogma of Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1925, pp.229-230) 13/04/2007 "As a last example consider for a moment the whole subject of the weird, unaccountable habits of insects. What knowledge we have is largely due to the fascinating pages of Fabre, whom Darwin calls a wonderful observer. [Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species," John Murray: London, Sixth Edition, 1872, p.67] Fabre was an unqualified and bitter opponent of natural selection, and challenged anyone to connect the wealth of habits and instincts which he described with that doctrine. As an example, we may cite the case of the wasp which paralyses large insects with a single stab in a definite spot and attaches an egg at another definite place. The insect in this comatose state is devoured by the larva which begins to eat at a certain point and continues in such a direction that no vital nerve centre is severed until the end of the meal. Fabre, by the most thorough and delicate experiments, showed that the sting must be inserted, the egg laid, and the larva work its way exactly as invariably occurs. If there is the least deviation in any of these three factors the paralysed insect always dies and rots before the larva has finished its meal and is ready to spin its cocoon, and the death of the insect is the death of the larva. It is, as Fabre says, impossible to explain this series of events by any progressive evolution. The wasp must have gone through this exact procedure with unerring accuracy the first time or the species would have ended; it cannot be accounted for by chance; it is a complete mystery. The evolutionist who reads Fabre's works with a simple, open mind and not biased by a preconceived idea of natural selection, will rise from his task with the conviction that the instincts and the habits of insects, at least, cannot be explained by any hereditary development of useful traits." (More, L.T., "The Dogma of Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1925, pp.230-231) 13/04/2007 "It is safe to say that there is scarcely an example cited by a biologist in support of natural selection which another biologist does not contradict either by showing that the example itself is at fault or else by citing a parallel case which opposes the theory. Even the basic principle itself, the struggle for existence as a predominating factor in organic life, is now attacked on all sides. Many naturalists, especially the brilliant school of Russians, hold that mutual aid is as prevalent and as important as destruction; others believe that the struggle against the environment is much more severe than that against other organisms; Kellogg does not believe in severe competition between adult insects. Kropotkin opposes the whole idea that severe competition is beneficial as he finds it not only kills off the weak but jeopardizes the health and vigour of the strong; others, following his lead, state that variations occur most frequently in periods of peace and plenty and that harsh conditions prevent variation." (More, L.T., "The Dogma of Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1925, pp.231-232) 13/04/2007 "As it is obvious that many of the habits of animals, especially those connected with mating and breeding, show the characteristics of choice, Darwin assumed that traits, such as ornamentation, were fixed by choice during the breeding season. Sexual selection, as he termed it, is due to the increased likelihood of leaving progeny by those individuals which are the bravest, the most prolific, and have characters which are pleasing to the opposite sex. This theory is, at the present time, harshly criticised and even abandoned by most naturalists. The objections to it may be classed under the following heads. The theory requires a great preponderance in numbers of one sex over the other or else the poorest members of the sex are likely to secure mates, and statistics do not show such to be a general law. If the most ornamented individuals are also the strongest and most prolific, as seems likely, the process would be useless and frequently harmful to the species and this would be counteracted by natural selection. While there are a relatively small number of cases where the females seem to choose mates after a competitive trial of the males, the predominating factor in mating is chance propinquity." (More, L.T., "The Dogma of Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1925, pp.232-233) 13/04/2007 "We must endow animals and insects with our highly developed aesthetic and other emotional attributes, and it is altogether improbable that the gorgeous colours of insects can excite such emotions in an organism of so low a mental development. One of the commonest factors in sexual attraction is noise; we can hardly coordinate ability to make the loudest sound with other superior qualities in the cricket, especially as the loudest cricket is the one nearest the female. Mayer and Soule have painted the wings of butterflies different colours and even put male wings on females, and vice versa, and found no difference in breeding. The colours in moths, which breed at night, are as lovely as those of butterflies, and Fabre has proved that the male moths are attracted, in all probability, to the females by odour; if so, propinquity and the direction of the wind become the determining factors. Lastly, the vivid colouration of male fish at the breeding season is pronounced, and yet the female fish does not even see the particular male, which fertilizes her eggs. " (More, L.T., "The Dogma of Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1925, p.233) 13/04/2007 "As a scientific problem, natural selection pre-supposes a very narrow margin between life and extinction. The phrase "struggle for existence" certainly implies the will of the individual to live and to transmit its acquired strength. Now Darwin cannot mean that at all, as he applies the term to plants which are passive. Although he protests against Design and tendencies to progress, he is forced to fall back on those ideas when confronted by difficulties; he frequently escapes from a predicament by using those very words, and he thus tacitly assumes a guiding, or directing force. And this directing force, disguised under the esoteric name of nature, or natural law, is, so far as one can see, nothing but the logoi spermatikoi of the pantheistic stoics or the Divine Creator of the special creationist. The organic world presents itself to us under the three aspects of intense and persistent slaughter, of enormous power of fertility, and of the most ingenious expedients to avert danger and extinction. We are alternately revolted by the seemingly wanton crued inspired by the delicately adjusted cooperation and mutual assistance which are evident in all forms of life. And in spite of this most intricate web of conflicting actions and passions there persists in us the belief that through all the tangle there runs a thread of continuity and a sort of harmony in the whole of creation. Nature, or God, seems to us to fashion and provide an organism with enormous fertility, abundant food, and a congenial environment and then, at one stage of its life, imposes upon it a freakish impediment which threatens its very existence. Thus, the house-fly has great fertility, many of its larva find abundant food, and yet the change from the larva to the fly is accompanied by such perils that one wonders how any survive. Humanly speaking, we feel that many plans could be devised easily which would make unnecessary such superabundant fertility and such diabolically ingenious methods of destruction. Yet the balance is preserved, the fertility of any species does not make it crowd out other species, and extinction is avoided by marvellous instincts and intricate apparatus of preservation. And the theories of evolution do not explain at all." (More, L.T., "The Dogma of Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1925, pp.234-235) 13/04/2007 "Darwin certainly exaggerates the narrowness of the margin between existence and extinction. Confined to a small field of observation by his health, he noted the accidents to individuals and failed to note the community help which preserved the species. As a famous example, he describes a whimsical chain of circumstances showing that red clover can be fertilized only by the humble bee; that the bees' nests are destroyed by mice; mice are killed by cats; cats are cherished by spinsters; therefore; an abundance of spinsters and red clover is mutually connected. [Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species," John Murray: London, Sixth Edition, 1872, pp.57-58] In all this ingenious chain, it never occurs to him that he is forging evidence against his own theory. Can we not safely argue that, since red clover is an abundant and long- persistent plant, if its existence were dependent on so seemingly small a chance of fertilization as the existence of a single and not very abundant insect, then the margin of its existence must be large; it did not have to struggle for existence, for if it did, its highly specialized apparatus for fertilization would have become a factor for extermination? Can we not state as a fact: since so many plants and animals are dependent on such specialized and intricate operations for propagation, they would not have survived for millions of years if the species had been required to struggle for existence?" (More, L.T., "The Dogma of Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1925, pp.235-236) 13/04/2007 "The most discouraging feature of the whole problem of biological evolution, to one who has been trained in the exact phraseology and rigorous logic of the physical and mathematical sciences, is the loose language and the still looser reasoning of the evolutionists and of the biologists. Up to a certain point, their language and methods are those of science and then comes a relapse into the methods of the untrained thinker. Professor Bateson carefully knocks down every prop to natural selection, to the inheritance of acquired traits, and to evolution in general; then he concludes by asking us to apply the doctrine of evolution to the thoughts and actions of men because he still has faith in evolution, and some day biologists may find its solution. Delage, who offers enough objections to evolution by natural selection to kill even the most desirable theory, yet concludes with the following extraordinary statement which, taken by itself, would make one believe that he had been unable to find a single valid objection to it: `Darwin's everlasting title to glory will be that he explained the seemingly marvellous adaptation of living things by the mere action of natural factors; without looking for a divine intervention, without resorting to any finalist or metaphysical hypothesis.' [Delage, Y. & Goldsmith, M., "The Theories of Evolution," Huebsch: New York, 1912, p.45] If it is degrading to man to depend ultimately on divine intervention when no other explanation is attainable, Darwin probably has the glory of avoiding it, but for the rest Delage is writing nonsense." (More, L.T., "The Dogma of Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1925, pp.236-237) 13/04/2007 "I am convinced that variation has a wide field, but environment and circumstance do not make a prison wherein the organism must live or else die. The margin of existence is not so narrow. New forms can adapt themselves to new conditions, but, while variation may proceed along directed lines to a great degree, after a time the active and creative energies of growth pass the bounds of physical and physiological equilibrium. Then weakness has set in and the species may not find itself fit to survive either changed or harsh conditions. We are entitled to use the customary metaphor, and to see in natural selection an inexorable force, whose function is not to create, but to destroy, individuals. Even after we have so narrowed the scope and sphere of natural selection, it is hard to understand; the causes of extinction are often well-nigh as hard to comprehend as are those of the origin of species. If we consider any exaggerated form which has become extinct, there are kindred forms which survive; and in other cases extinction occurs where we can discover no observable disadvantage." (More, L.T., "The Dogma of Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1925, pp.238-239. Emphasis original) 13/04/2007 "I am even willing to grant that the struggle for existence and natural selection may be the causes for the extinction of certain species,-and for the very obvious reason that if a species passes out of existence, there must have been either some change in environment very unfavourable to the species, or some powerful and destructive organic enemy must have attacked it in overwhelming numbers, or the species itself must have developed some inherent and fatal weakness. But these are mere post hoc, propter hoc statements; if natural selection is a force which can destroy but cannot create species and if the reasons for this destruction are unknown, of what value is the theory to mankind? We can leave to the biologists the hope that some day they may enter the temple of life through the doors of evolution, but the collapse of the theory of natural selection leaves the philosophy of mechanistic materialism in a sorry plight. Those who are trying to use its conclusions as a guide to social polity and ethics will find themselves without any ground on which to stand if they address themselves to a real study of biological evolution." (More, L.T., "The Dogma of Evolution," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1925, pp.239-240) 13/04/2007 "It is commonly believed that early life drew its building blocks from preformed organic products of abiotic syntheses. As to its energy needs, they could also have been covered by preformed energy-rich molecules, such as inorganic pyrophosphate or polyphosphates, or, as in my model, thioesters. Alternatively, the break-down of preformed organic molecules could have supplied the necessary energy through some coupled process, such as the thioester-generating electron-transfer process envisaged in my model. If such was the case, life started in heterotrophic form. The term `heterotroph' Greek heteros, other; trophe, food) designates organisms that, like ourselves, feed on products made by other organisms, by contrast with autotrophs (Greek autos, self -plants, for example-which manufacture their constituents from mineral building blocks. Early heterotrophy did not rely on autotrophs, of course, but on the celestial manna of abiotic chemistry. By the time the manna became exhausted, some form of autotrophy had to be developed. We don't know when this happened, but it is not likely to have been before protocells appeared, unless some unknown kind of mechanism was involved. All known autotrophs depend on membrane-embedded electron-transfer chains. It is likely, therefore, that such chains started by supporting heterotrophic processes and became converted to autotrophy later." (de Duve, C.R., "Vital Dust: Life as a Cosmic Imperative," Basic Books: New York NY, 1995, p.103) 13/04/2007 "At this early stage in the origin of life, we are thus presented with an ultraviolet photosynthetic heterotroph. The protocell uses ultraviolet radiant energy to create polymers; it requires a continuous but dilute steady supply of all amino acids, nucleic acid bases, sugars, and other small organic molecules. Random polymers of amino acids complexed with metallic ions endow the protocell with a great range of low-level catalytic abilities which are inherited by single lines of descent, as are random polymers of nucleic acids and sugars." (Folsome, C.E., "The Origin of Life: A Warm Little Pond," W.H. Freeman & Co: San Francisco CA, 1979, pp.105-106) 13/04/2007 "Most biological polymerizations take place by the joining of two molecules with the apparent elimination of a molecule of water. ... To join two molecules of amino acids we must eliminate a molecule of water. Now the problem is that in our primeval pond amino acids, or other precursors, occur in exceedingly dilute aqueous solution. Water is in such gross excess that this or any other anhydrous condensation reaction will barely proceed. In principle this difficulty seems to apply also to polynucleotide synthesis and polysaccharide synthesis, but we shall consider polypeptide synthesis as a general example. Three ways are known to overcome the water problem: water can be removed by drying; amino acids can be made chemically reactive; and enzymes can force activated amino acids together. The difficulty with the drying hypothesis is that relative amino acid concentrations are quite low even within protocell interiors, although there is no doubt that large numbers of protocells were frequently exposed to alternate drying and wetting cycles. Nevertheless the possibility is real that some protocell polymer synthesis could occur by this mechanism. The enzyme hypothesis presents a twofold difficulty. First, at this early time enzymatic activity took place only at a very low level, mediated by randomly synthesized proteins. Second, all known enzymes do not join amino acids as such but convert them first to reactive forms which then are condensed." (Folsome, C.E., "The Origin of Life: A Warm Little Pond," W.H. Freeman & Co: San Francisco CA, 1979, pp.106-107) 13/04/2007 "The most general way to overcome our difficulty-and the only reasonable way left open to us-is to make amino acids chemically reactive. Throughout the ecosystem, the principal mechanism for making small organic molecules in water solutions chemically reactive is to couple these molecules to sonic form of phosphate. Transfer of the phosphate group releases or absorbs energy; such transfers are the medium through which all biological energy is stored or used to effect condensation or metabolic reactions. Energetic bonds formed by various phosphates with organic compounds drive all biological reactions today, and this could have been the case in the world of protocells too. We will consider a simplified example of the use of phosphate-activated condensations and of one probable route by which energetic phosphates could have been made. Consider this compound, called pyrophosphate ... which we will now write as P-P. The phosphorus-to-phosphorus bond contains potential chemical energy which can be released to activate organic compounds. For example, glycine, the simplest amino acid, might be activated as follows ... Some energy is lost in the phosphate transfer to glycine, but the ester bond of phosphate to glycine contains more than enough energy to drive a coupling reaction ... Notice that the diglycine in this example remains activated. Notice also that we no longer face the problem of anhydrous condensation reactions! Phosphate activation and transfer avoids the difficulty. Almost any small organic biomolecule can easily enter almost any reaction in the presence of large amounts of water if and only if it is phosphate- activated. The general conclusion is: Protocell synthesis of polymers proceeded by phosphate-activated intermediates. Anhydrous condensation reactions are not a feature of our present biochemistry and were not in protocell times either, if we are a reflection of those times. Phosphate transfer reactions are now and were then the only important way to effect condensations in a water-dominated environment." (Folsome, C.E., "The Origin of Life: A Warm Little Pond," W.H. Freeman & Co: San Francisco CA, 1979, pp.107-109) 13/04/2007 "One serious consideration remains. To drive phosphate transfer reactions requires a source of high-energy phosphate -pyrophosphate (P-P) is the simplest form. This molecule is unstable in aqueous solutions, and all a protocell might encounter would be dissolved inorganic phosphate, Pi. Where could the pyrophosphate needed for all the protocell reactions come from? When a bounded system with energy receptors is exposed to radiant energy, electrons are moved to higher energy levels; they can literally be pumped across the membrane. This sets up a charge gradient that can be intense enough to drive the following reaction: ... The photosynthesis of pyrophosphate was probably an important feature of the primary metabolism of protocells. As one of many possible points of comparison, present-day photo synthetic cells set up such proton charge gradients to drive the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate from adenosine diphosphate, either directly-as in cyclic photophosphorylation-or indirectly, as in noncyclic photophosphorylation. This process is vastly more efficient than the pyrophosphate-formation mechanism proposed for protocells, but it is basically the same scheme. ... The substitution of phosphate transfer reactions for organic anhydrous condensation reactions, which forms the basis of our biochemistry, began with the first protocell. Perhaps it is for this reason that the phosphorus cycle drives all other bioelemental cycles in coupled reactions." (Folsome, C.E., "The Origin of Life: A Warm Little Pond," W.H. Freeman & Co: San Francisco CA, 1979, pp.109-110) 14/04/2007 "This chapter will point out those areas in which controversy and guesses exceed fact and will suggest some of the many kinds of experiments that need doing. First of all, planets may not be the common outcome of the development of stars. Some astronomers-Shiv Kumar, for example-believe that almost all star systems tend to become binaries, most often of the type in which one star is relatively large and the other quite small. Indeed, if Jupiter were five times more massive than it is, it too would be large enough to begin internal nuclear reactions, and our system could be a binary, quite different from what it is. Although our argument in favor of the ubiquity of planetary systems is based upon reduced angular momentum of the central star of our system, the angular momentum problem could also be solved by a binary system in which the larger star has lost its angular momentum to its smaller companion. At present we cannot tell which school of thought is more nearly correct. The only definite observation we have is that of our own planetary system-we have no reason to believe that the forces that created it are unique in any way. Certainly, many aspects of our local cosmology will be on firmer ground when we can determine whether planetary systems are, common or unusual." (Folsome, C.E., "The Origin of Life: A Warm Little Pond," W.H. Freeman & Co: San Francisco CA, 1979, pp.154-155) 14/04/2007 "Second, the presentation given here of the first primeval atmosphere is most unusual. Some researchers favor an atmosphere of methane and ammonia, basing their arguments on chemical equilibrium data. This aspect of the problem was discussed in Chapter Four. However, we have not discussed other possible atmospheres consisting mainly of carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen, especially as proposed by W W Rubey. Essentially, Rubey's thesis is that if one balances the Earth's budget of carbon dioxide and other excess volatiles, one finds that carbon dioxide was probably a far more common gas in primeval days than now. This may be so; however, other facts do not seem to support this position. First, Rubey does not take into account the fact that carbon monoxide was at least five times more abundant than carbon dioxide in primeval volcanic emissions. Second, if considerable carbon dioxide were present, it would have dissolved into the ocean systems of the era. Excess carbon dioxide dissolved in water would tend to make the primitive ocean systems acidic. Weathering of rocks would have been extremely rapid, and the minerals deposited in sedimentary rocks during that era would have been quite different from rocks deposited later. This is not the case, however; no known sedimentary rocks hint at such discontinuities." (Folsome, C.E., "The Origin of Life: A Warm Little Pond," W.H. Freeman & Co: San Francisco CA, 1979, p.155) 14/04/2007 "Third, our presentation of chemical evolution experiments has suggested that all biomonomers can easily be produced by suitable simulation experiments. Only in the most general sense is this true. Compounds such as sugars, which are quite chemically reactive, have not been recovered from general chemical evolution experiments. Various sugars can be synthesized from concentrated alkaline solutions of formaldehyde, and this has served as an argument for their general synthesis; however, none have been recovered from simulation experiments such as spark discharge reactions. This should not be surprising to the organic chemist, since any sugars synthesized would have quickly reacted with all manner of reactive intermediates and amino acids that are produced in abundance. Agreement is general that in the open, wide world of warm little ponds, sugars would have had many microniches in which to exist, but in the closed world of a crowded simulation flask their half-life would be too short for the chemist to recover and detect them before they would react with other compounds." (Folsome, C.E., "The Origin of Life: A Warm Little Pond," W.H. Freeman & Co: San Francisco CA, 1979, pp.155-156) 14/04/2007 "Another difficulty with chemical evolution resides in the `selection problem.' What chemical mechanisms select specifically for those amino acids that constitute the biological subset? Why couldn't we have another set of purines and pyrimidines rather than the ones manifested by our biology? Few quantitative answers to these problems are available now, but we have hints that they are forthcoming. For example, recent research has found that complexes of clays with specific metallic ions will bind selectively to the biological subset of amino acids but not to others. Other chemical studies have shown that the purine and pyrimidine bases used in our biology are the most stable among that possible larger set which will still permit base pairing by hydrogen bonding. A more disturbing problem, unapproached at the moment, is the very unstable nature of sugar molecules and the central role they play in our entire metabolism. It appears logical that since sugars are such touchy, unstable molecules that they should be the cornerstone of our metabolism, but no convincing work has been done to show exactly why this might be so." (Folsome, C.E., "The Origin of Life: A Warm Little Pond," W.H. Freeman & Co: San Francisco CA, 1979, p.156) 14/04/2007 "Did protocells really have to come first, or might clays, evaporites, and other mechanisms have provided sufficiently high local concentrations of polymers that metabolism could have originated before protocells? Occam's razor-the principle that the hypothesis requiring fewest statements is bound to be correct-suggests that the protocell-first argument is the most likely. Microfossil evidence supports this contention. Several groups of researchers are actively studying the effects of various clay minerals on the polymerization of amino acids and nucleotides. Are they wrong, then, and wasting their time? No. Whatever their immediate role in primeval times, clays (and other well-characterized surfaces) represent a two-dimensional surface analogous to the many surfaces within a protocell. Whatever we learn from the well-defined properties of clay surfaces can be applied with great profit to the many internal, phase-bounded surfaces of protocells. However, proposed concentrative mechanisms involving evaporates bear most careful scrutiny and perhaps experimental tests. When it is proposed that a pond containing amino acids evaporates to leave crystalline amino acids ready to undergo heat-driven anhydrous condensation reactions, the totality of the issue must be examined. Other molecules are present as well as amino acids. No one has yet evaporated the products of a spark discharge flask upon reconstituted sea water (for one example) and then subjected these contents to heat to see what might happen." (Folsome, C.E., "The Origin of Life: A Warm Little Pond," W.H. Freeman & Co: San Francisco CA, 1979, pp.156-157) 14/04/2007 "How did the genetic apparatus evolve? The mechanism proposed here is a guess. Any and all mechanisms proposed will be guesses until we have concrete data based upon analysis of extraterrestrial life. This is because the genetic apparatus is the product of close to 1000 m yr of evolution. Guessing over these time spans with uncertain environmental data and selection routes is near folly. The scheme presented here is novel in that a relationship based upon permutations necessarily exists between the discriminator and anticodon ends of primitive transfer RNA molecules. Novelty does not make right, and guesses such as these are only guesses. But this suggestion is more than a guess. A fixed relationship between protein and nucleic acid base sequence exists in our current biology. For this relationship to exist now, it must have existed in some way at the very origin of the system. Any mechanisms proposed for the origin of the genetic apparatus must face this issue." (Folsome, C.E., "The Origin of Life: A Warm Little Pond," W.H. Freeman & Co: San Francisco CA, 1979, pp.157-158) 14/04/2007 "The selection mechanism by which optically active forms of amino acids, sugars, and other molecules become incorporated into evolving prebiological systems at the expense of their enantiomeric forms has been presented as known. It may not be. The mechanism proposed was based on the observations that the physical properties of D and L enantiomers differ. Some researchers are not aware of these small differences; others maintain that the differences result from laboratory errors or from working with impure samples of D and L forms. With the exception of Thiemann's recent work ... no one has directly searched for small differences in the physical properties of the enantiomers. This work sorely needs doing. Morowitz calculated in 1969 that small differences should exist but presented no experimental confirmation. As Thiemann's thorough review shows, the research literature abounds with examples that small differences exist. We await the crucial experiment." (Folsome, C.E., "The Origin of Life: A Warm Little Pond," W.H. Freeman & Co: San Francisco CA, 1979, p.158) 14/04/2007 "IF WE TAKE SERIOUSLY THE PAULINE CONCEPTION OF THE Christian Church as the Body of Christ, then Church History may be regarded as the continuation of the story of Jesus. That is to say, Jesus, who began to act and teach on earth in the bears immediately preceding A.D. 30, has continued to act and teach since that year by His Spirit in His servants; and the history of Christianity ought to be the history of what He has been doing and teaching in this way down to our own times-a continuous Acts of the Apostles. " (Bruce, F.F., "The Spreading Flame: The Rise and Progress of Christianity From its First Beginings to the Conversion of the English," Paternoster: Exeter UK, 1966, p.161. Emphasis original) 14/04/2007 "Some scientists think that the first cells were heterotrophs. That is, these cells consumed preexisting organic compounds from the prebiotic soup to provide the energy and raw materials needed to sustain primitive cellular activities. The chief difficulty with a heterotroph-first model is overconsumption of the organic matter. Without a means to replenish the raw materials needed to sustain a heterotrophic lifestyle, these first cells would exterminate themselves." (Rana, F.R.* & Ross, H.N.*, "Origins of Life: Biblical And Evolutionary Models Face Off," Navpress: Colorado Springs CO, 2004, p.57) 14/04/2007 "Other origin-of-life investigators suggest that the first cells were autotrophs. Autotrophs generate energy and biomolecules from simple inorganic materials in the environment. Two types of autotrophs are known: photoautotrophs and chemoautotrophs. Photoautotrophs capture solar energy, whereas chemoautotrophs harvest chemical energy from materials in their environments. Because of photoautotrophs' added metabolic complexity, most researchers do not consider them the best candidate for the first cells. Rather, they assert that chemoautotrophic pathways arose along with the protocells' other biochemical systems. The chemoautotroph-first model alleviates the overconsumption problem but places a significant additional demand on the origin-of-life scenario, because it requires the emergence and evolution of complex chemoautotrophic pathways before chemoautotrophic life is possible." (Rana, F.R.* & Ross, H.N.*, "Origins of Life: Biblical And Evolutionary Models Face Off," Navpress: Colorado Springs CO, 2004, pp.57-58) 15/04/2007 "Oparin had a different notion. Schooled in botany, he was impressed by the complex inner workings of plant cells, which he viewed as more elaborate than those of animals. Animals and animal-like organisms (protozoans and fungi, for example) are eaters, sustaining themselves by taking in food and breaking it down to generate energy and the molecular building blocks to construct their bodies. In contrast, plants and plantlike organisms (cyanobacteria and single-celled algae, for example) live by a more complicated two-step process: first, they carry out photosynthesis, capturing light energy and storing it in the organic molecules they build up; second, they break down these molecules-the same way animals do-to provide energy and the molecular ingredients from which to build their cells. Oparin reasoned that if life's evolution followed the path from simple to complex, animal-like eaters (technically, `heterotrophs') would have come first and more complicated plantlike eatees (autotrophs) only later. This novel notion of a heterotrophic origin of life flew in the face of prevailing scientific sentiment. Though Oparin's vision fit with a Darwinian simple-to-complex view of evolution, it was at odds with the necessities of the food chain. If the first forms of life were animal- like, they would have had no photosynthesizers to feed on-what did they eat? Again, Oparin's botanical knowledge came to the fore. Most scientists assumed that life began while the atmosphere was essentially like it is today. But Oparin knew that the oxygen of the present-day atmosphere is a byproduct of photosynthesis, so if plantlike organisms evolved later than heterotrophs, there initially would have been no atmospheric oxygen. Moreover, he realized that free oxygen combines readily with organic substances in the chemical process of oxidation, burning. So he reasoned that if the early environment lacked free oxygen, then simple organic compounds, formed by the action of volcanic heat or lightning on CHON-containing atmospheric gases, would accumulate rather than be burned and destroyed, and these would have dissolved in the early seas to form an organic-rich broth. This postulated primordial soup was the linchpin to Oparin's scenario-over time, he thought, some of its ingredients could have linked together to give rise to life while others served as fodder for the budding life-forms. Oparin's concept is straightforward. The environment of the lifeless Earth lacked free oxygen, so chemical processes could spontaneously give rise to the organic constituents of the first cells, simple animal-like heterotrophs that fed on the primordial soup from which they had emerged. Life evolved from simple to complex, not the other way around, and the base of the primal food chain was provided by non-biologic chemical reactions, not single-celled phytoplankton." (Schopf, J.W., "Cradle of Life: The Discovery of Earth's Earliest Fossils," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, 1999, pp.121-122. Emphasis original) 15/04/2007 "After all, primitive systems able to evolve indefinitely through natural selection should be fairly easy to make: nature produced at least one without natural selection, and nature is less competent than we are at making machinery abiologically. If we have so far failed to make 'life' in this sense, it is, I think, because we have been trying to climb the wrong evolutionary tree." (Cairns-Smith, A.G., "A case for an alien ancestry," Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, Vol. 189, May 6, 1975, pp.249- 274§. In Aw, S.E.*, "Chemical Evolution: An Examination of Current Ideas," Master Book Publishers: San Diego CA, 1982, p.132) 16/04/2007 "In most texts on the origin of life ... it is not surprising to meet with circumlocution in various guises just at this crucial point of the discussion. One other point is worthy of note, though. The thinking and experimentation in the field of life's beginnings has been dominated by the `heterotroph hypothesis.' This requires the pre-existence f all the organic and inorganic compounds necessary to the functioning of a cell. Of this Keosian noted, `But the simplest heterotrophic cell is an intricate structural and metabolic unit of harmoniously coordinated parts and chemical pathways. Its spontaneous assembly out of the environment, granting the unlikely simultaneous presence together of all the parts, is not a believable possibility.' [Keosian, J., "Life's Beginnings-Origin or Evolution?," in Oro, J., et al., eds, "Cosmochemical Evolution and the Origins of Life," D. Reidel: Boston MA 1974, p.291§] But Keosian's alternative, `the autotrophic hypothesis,' [Keosian, J., in Dose, K., et al., eds, "The Origin of Life and Evolutionary Biochemistry," Plenum Press: New York, 1974) . p.221§] is hardly more believable!" (Aw, S.E.*, "Chemical Evolution: An Examination of Current Ideas," Master Book Publishers: San Diego CA, 1982, p.133) 16/04/2007 "[T]he simplest heterotrophic cell is an intricate structural and metabolic unit of harmoniously coordinated parts and chemical pathways. Its spontaneous assembly out of the environment, granting the unlikely simultaneous presence of all the parts, is not a believable possibility." (Keosian, J., "Life's Beginnings- Origin or Evolution?," in Oro, J., et al., eds, "Cosmochemical Evolution and the Origins of Life," D. Reidel: Boston MA 1974, p.291§. In Bird, W.R.*, "The Origin of Species Revisited", Regency: Nashville TN, 1991, Vol. I, p.303) 16/04/2007 "The first organisms to evolve were prokaryotes. They were presumably heterotrophs, organisms unable to synthesise their own food. They would have used the complex carbon molecules in the 'soup' for raw materials and energy. However, there are no fossils of these heterotrophs and the oldest evidence of life, dating back 3.5 billion years, is of autotrophs, bacteria able to synthesise their own fuel molecules. The first of these (photosynthetic bacteria) had a non-oxygen requiring, or anaerobic, metabolism and had evolved the ability to trap the energy of sunlight and use it to synthesise carbohydrate directly from carbon dioxide and water; in the process, they produced oxygen as a by-product. The atmosphere thus gradually became oxygen-rich, destroying the reducing conditions of the earlier atmosphere and, hence, the very conditions that led to the formation of organic molecules and the evolution of life ... Modern photosynthetic organisms include plants, algae (protists) and many bacteria (green, purple and cyanobacteria). Modern heterotrophs include other forms of bacteria, protists, animals and fungi. Heterotrophs are ultimately dependent on the chemical energy produced by autotrophs. However, whether organisms produce organic molecules or feed on readymade ones, all organisms use chemical energy in the form of ATP to drive metabolic reactions ... " (Knox, B., Ladiges, P. & Evans, B., eds., "Biology," , McGraw-Hill: Sydney NSW, Australia, Reprinted, 1995, p.77. Emphasis original) 16/04/2007 "The first organisms were heterotrophic and used molecules that formed spontaneously in the absence of oxygen as a source of raw materials and energy. Photosynthetic organisms evolved later, enriching the atmosphere with oxygen." (Knox, B., Ladiges, P. & Evans, B., eds., "Biology," , McGraw-Hill: Sydney NSW, Australia, Reprinted, 1995, p.78) 16/04/2007 "The years around 1860 brought exciting developments to biology. Darwin's theory of evolution and Pasteur's experiments disproving spontaneous generation raised fundamental questions about the origin of life. These experiments inspired great change in the thought of that time and have had far-reaching effects on the study of life, past and present. New views on the origin of life have recently been proposed, and new interest has been aroused. The heterotroph hypothesis is one such view. The heterotroph hypothesis supposes that the chemistry of the ancient earth's atmosphere was very important in the origin and evolution of living things. Simple materials in the early atmosphere may have combined chemically to form more complex substances. A long, slow evolution of chemical compounds, taking millions of years, probably preceded the evolution of life." (Welch, C.A., et al., eds, "Biological Science: Molecules to Man," , Houghton Mifflin Co: Boston MA, Third edition, 1976, p.122) 16/04/2007 "Impressive as all this evidence is, you must not jump to the conclusion that all questions about the origin of life are now settled once and for all. The heterotroph hypothesis is the best hypothesis that science can now offer to explain this riddle. Much remains to be learned, particularly about the transition from organic compounds to the first living cell." (Welch, C.A., et al., eds, "Biological Science: Molecules to Man," , Houghton Mifflin Co: Boston MA, Third edition, 1976, p.136. Emphasis original) 16/04/2007 "The first living organisms, having arisen in a sea of organic molecules and in contact with an atmosphere lacking oxygen, presumably obtained energy by the fermentation of certain of these organic substances. The first organisms were almost certainly heterotrophs, and they could survive only as long as the supply of organic molecules that had been accumulated in the sea broth in the past lasted. Before the supply was exhausted, however, some of the heterotrophs evolved further and became autotrophs, able to make their own organic molecules by chemosynthesis or photosynthesis." (Villee, C.A., "Biology," , W.B. Saunders Co: Philadelphia PA, Seventh Edition, 1977, p.750. Emphasis original) 16/04/2007 "An explanation of how an autotroph may have evolved from one of these primitive, fermenting heterotrophs was presented by N. H. Horowitz in 1945 [Horowitz, N.H., "On the Evolution of Biochemical Syntheses," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, Vol. 31, No. 6, June, 1945, pp.153-157]. Horowitz postulated that an organism would acquire, by successive gene mutations, the enzymes needed to synthesize complex substances from simple substances, but these enzymes would be acquired in the reverse order of the sequence in which they are ultimately used in normal metabolism. For example, let us suppose that our first primitive heterotroph required an organic compound, Z, for its growth. This substance, Z, and a vast variety of other organic compounds, Y, X, W, V, U and so forth, were present in the organic sea broth that was the environment of this heterotroph. They had been synthesized previously by the action of nonliving factors of the environment. The heterotroph would be able to survive as long as the supply of compound Z lasted. If a mutation occurred for a new enzyme enabling the heterotroph to synthesize Z from substance Y, the strain of heterotroph with this mutation would be able to survive when the supply of substance Z was exhausted. A second mutation that established an enzyme catalyzing a reaction by which substance Y could be made from substance X would again have survival value when the supply of Y was exhausted. Similar mutations, setting up enzymes enabling the organism to use successively simpler substances, W, V, U ... and eventually some inorganic substance, A, would result in an organism able to make substance Z, which it needs for growth, out of substance A. When by other series of mutations the organism could synthesize all its requirements from simple inorganic compounds, as the green plants can, it would have become an autotroph. Once the first simple autotrophs had evolved, the way was clear for the further evolution of the enormous variety of plants, bacteria, molds and animals that now inhabit the world." (Villee, C.A., "Biology," , W.B. Saunders Co: Philadelphia PA, Seventh Edition, 1977, p.750. Emphasis original) 16/04/2007 "From arguments such as these we are drawn to the conclusion that the origin of life as an orderly, natural process on this planet was not only possible, it was almost inevitable. Furthermore, with the vast number of planets in all the known galaxies of the universe, there must be many that have conditions that permit the origin of life. It is probable, then, that there are other planets-perhaps many other planets-on which life as we know it exists. Wherever the physical environment will support life, living things should, if given enough time, appear and ramify into a wide variety of types. Some of these may be quite unlike the ones on this planet, but others might be quite similar to those found here. Some might indeed be like ourselves. Living things on other planets might have a completely different kind of genetic code or might be made up of elements other than carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen." (Villee, C.A., "Biology," , W.B. Saunders Co: Philadelphia PA, Seventh Edition, 1977, p.750. Emphasis original) 16/04/2007 "It seems unlikely that we will ever know how life originated, whether it happened only once or many times, or whether it might happen again. The theory (1) that organic substances were formed from inorganic substances by the action of physical factors in the environment; (2) that they interacted to form more and more complex substances, finally enzymes, and then self-reproducing systems (free genes); (3) that these free genes diversified and united to form primitive and perhaps viruslike heterotrophs; (4) that lipid-protein membranes evolved to separate these prebiotic aggregates from the surrounding environment; and (5) that autotrophs then evolved from the primitive heterotrophs, has the virtue of being quite plausible. Many of the components of this theory have been subjected to experimental verification." (Villee, C.A., "Biology," , W.B. Saunders Co: Philadelphia PA, Seventh Edition, 1977, p.750. Emphasis original) 17/04/2007 "It is thought that the following suggestion, while definitely a speculation, offers a possible solution along these lines. In essence, the proposed hypothesis states that the evolution of the basic syntheses proceeded in a stepwise manner, involving one mutation at a time, but that the order of attainment of individual steps has been in the reverse direction from that in which the synthesis proceeds-i.e., the last step in the chain was the first to be acquired in the course of evolution, the penultimate step next, and so on. This process requires for its operation a special kind of chemical environment; namely, one in which endproducts and potential intermediates are available. Postponing for the moment the question of how such an environment originated, consider the operation of the proposed mechanism. The species is at the outset assumed to be heterotrophic for an essential organic molecule, A. It obtains the substance from an environment which contains, in addition to A, the substances B and C, capable of reacting in the presence of a catalyst (enzyme) to give a molecule of A. As a result of biological activity, the amount of available A is depleted to a point where it limits the further growth of the species. At this point, a marked selective advantage will be enjoyed by mutants which are able to carry out the reaction B C= A. As the external supplies of A are further reduced, the mutant strain will gain a still greater selective advantage, until it eventually displaces the parent strain from the population. In the A-free environment a back mutation to the original stock will be lethal, so we have at the same time a theory of lethal genes. The majority of biochemical mutations in Neurospora are lethals of this type. In time, B may become limiting for the species, necessitating its synthesis from other substances, D and E; the population will then shift to one characterized by the genotype (D E = B, B C = A). Given a sufficiently complex environment and a proportionately variable germ plasm, long reaction chains can be built up in this way. In the event that B and C become limiting more or less simultaneously, another possibility is opened. Under these circumstances symbiotic associations of the type(F G ≠ C, D E = B) (F G = C, D E ≠ B) will have adaptive value." (Horowitz, N.H., "On the Evolution of Biochemical Syntheses," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, Vol. 31, No. 6, June, 1945, pp.153-157, pp.155-156) 17/04/2007 "This model is thus seen to have potentialities for the rapid evolution of long chain syntheses in response to changes in the environment. As has been pointed out by Oparin the hypothesis of a complex chemical environment is a necessary corollary of the concept of the origin of life through chemical means. The essential point of the argument is that it is inconceivable that a self-reproducing unit of the order of complexity of a nucleoprotein could have originated by the chance combination of inorganic molecules. Rather, a period of evolution of organic substances of ever-increasing degree of complexity must have intervened before such an event became a practical, as distinguished from a mathematical, probability. Or, put in another way, any random process which can have produced a nucleoprotein must at the same time have led to the production of a profusion of simpler structures. Oparin has considered in some detail the possible modes of origin of organic compounds from inorganic material and cites a number of known reactions of this type, together with evidences of their large-scale occurrence on the earth in past geologic ages. He concludes that in the absence of living organisms to destroy them highly complex organic systems can have developed. The first self-duplicating nucleoprotein originated as a step in this process of chemical evolution. The origin of living matter by physicochemical means thus presupposes the existence of a highly complex chemical environment." (Horowitz, N.H., "On the Evolution of Biochemical Syntheses," Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, Vol. 31, No. 6, June, 1945, pp.153-157, pp.156-157) 17/04/2007 "To summarize, the hypothesis presented here suggests that the first living entity was a completely heterotropic unit, reproducing itself at the expense of prefabricated organic molecules in its environment. A depletion of the environment resulted until a point was reached where the supply of specific substrates limited further multiplication. By a process of mutation a means was eventually discovered for utilizing other available substances. With this event the evolution of biosyntheses began. The conditions necessary for the operation of the mechanism ceased to exist with the ultimate destruction of the organic environment. Further evolution was probably based on the chance combination of genes, resulting to a large extent in the development of short reaction chains utilizing substances whose synthesis had been previously acquired." (Horowitz, N.H., "On the Evolution of Biochemical Syntheses," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, Vol. 31, No. 6, June, 1945, pp.153-157, p.157) 18/04/2007 "Prokaryotes can be grouped into four categories according to how they obtain energy and carbon Nutrition refers here to how an organism obtains two resources for synthesizing organic compounds: energy and a source of carbon. Species that use light energy are termed phototrophs. Chemotrophs obtain their energy from chemicals taken from the environment. If an organism needs only the inorganic compound CO2 as a carbon source, it is called an autotroph. Heterotrophs require at least one organic nutrient-glucose, for instance-as a source of carbon for making other organic compounds. We can combine the phototroph-versus-chemotroph (energy source) and autotroph-versus-heterotroph (carbon source) criteria to group prokaryotes according to four major modes of nutrition: 1. Photoautotrophs are photosynthetic organisms that harness light energy to drive the synthesis of organic compounds from carbon dioxide. The specialized metabolic machinery of these organisms includes internal membranes with light-harvesting pigment systems ... . Among the diverse groups of photosynthetic prokaryotes are the cyanobacteria. All photosynthetic eukaryotes-plants and certain protists -also fit into this nutritional category. 2. Chemoautotrophs need only CO2 as a carbon source, but instead of using light for energy, these prokaryotes obtain energy by oxidizing inorganic substances. Chemical energy is extracted from hydrogen sulfide (H2S), ammonia (NH3), ferrous ions (Fe2 ), or some other chemical, depending on the species. This mode of nutrition is unique to certain prokaryotes. For instance, archaea of the genus Sulfolobus oxidize sulfur. 3. Photoheterotrophs can use light to generate ATP but must obtain their carbon in organic form. This mode of nutrition is restricted to certain prokaryotes. 4. Chemoheterotrophs must consume organic molecules for both energy and carbon. This nutritional mode is found widely among prokaryotes, protists, fungi, animals, and even some plants." (Campbell, N.A., Reece, J.B. & Mitchell, L.G., "Biology," , Benjamin/Cummings: Menlo Park CA, Fifth Edition, 1999, p.508. Emphasis original) 18/04/2007 "The presence of a particular metabolic process in all or nearly all modern organisms may imply that the process developed in a common ancestor and is thus ancient. For example, the universal role of ATP as an energy currency in all extant organisms implies that prokaryotes adopted its use very early. Likewise, glycolysis, a metabolic pathway that breaks organic molecules down to simpler waste products and uses the energy to generate ATP by substrate phosphorylation, is common to nearly all modern organisms. Glycolysis does not require O2, and fermentation, in which electrons extracted from nutrients during glycolysis are transferred to organic recipients, may have become a way of life on the anaerobic Earth. The chemiosmotic mechanism of ATP synthesis is also common to most organisms, implying an early origin ... ." (Campbell, N.A., Reece, J.B. & Mitchell, L.G., "Biology," , Benjamin/Cummings: Menlo Park CA, Fifth Edition, 1999, pp.509-510) 18/04/2007 "Likewise, glycolysis, a metabolic pathway that breaks organic molecules down to simpler waste products and uses the energy to generate ATP by substrate phosphorylation, is common to nearly all modern organisms. Glycolysis does not require O2, and fermentation, in which electrons extracted from nutrients during glycolysis are transferred to organic recipients, may have become a way of life on the anaerobic Earth. The chemiosmotic mechanism of ATP synthesis is also common to most organisms, implying an early origin ... ." (Campbell, N.A., Reece, J.B. & Mitchell, L.G., "Biology," , Benjamin/Cummings: Menlo Park CA, Fifth Edition, 1999, p.510) 18/04/2007 "The first prokaryotes, which originated between 3.5 and 4.0 billion years ago, undoubtedly had few enzymes and were very simple metabolically. Living in an environment with virtually no molecular oxygen, they would have been anaerobes. A traditional hypothesis proposes that the earliest cells were chemoheterotrophs that absorbed free organic compounds, including ATP, generated in the primordial seas by abiotic synthesis, similar to the Miller-Urey simulations ... . As early chemoheterotrophs began to deplete the supply of free ATP, natural selection would have favored cells with enzymes that could regenerate ATP from ADP using energy extracted from other available organic nutrients. The result may have been the step- by-step evolution of glycolysis and the generation of ATP by substrate phosphorylation. Chemiosmotic synthesis of ATP may have evolved somewhat later." (Campbell, N.A., Reece, J.B. & Mitchell, L.G., "Biology," , Benjamin/Cummings: Menlo Park CA, Fifth Edition, 1999, p.510) 18/04/2007 "Many biologists now consider it unlikely that environmental conditions on the primordial Earth generated enough ATP or other organic molecules to support chemoheterotrophs. The hypothesis most widely favored today is that the earliest prokaryotes were chemoautotrophs that obtained energy from inorganic chemicals and made their own energy-currency molecules instead of absorbing ATP. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and compounds of iron (Fe2 ) were abundant on the early Earth, and primitive cells may have obtained energy from reactions involving such compounds. Some modern archaea that thrive in hot sulfur springs can carry out the reaction FeS H2S -> FeS2 H2 free energy and exergonic reactions such as this may have been an early source of energy. Membrane proteins in an early prokaryote may have used some of the resulting free energy to split the product H2 into protons and electrons and establish a proton gradient across its plasma membrane. In a primitive form of chemiosmosis, the gradient may have driven the synthesis of ATP ... . Natural selection would have favored cells with membrane proteins capable of manipulating hydrogen, leading to the evolution of electron transport chains in the plasma membrane ... ." (Campbell, N.A., Reece, J.B. & Mitchell, L.G., "Biology," , Benjamin/Cummings: Menlo Park CA, Fifth Edition, 1999, p.510) 18/04/2007 "a. The invasion of the armies of Gog ([Ezekiel ]38:1-16) 2. Gog has been variously identified with Gyges, king of Lydia, who is called Gugu in the records of Ashurbanipal, and with the place-name, Gagaia, referred to in the Tell el-Amarna letters as a land of barbarians. From Ras Shamra writings there has been found a god, Gaga, and this identification too has been suggested (Enuma elish, III: line 2). Others have seen in Gog a historical figure like Alexander the Great. The most likely suggestion is the first, but the origin of the name is less significant than what it symbolizes, namely the personified head of the forces of evil which are intent on destroying the people of God. The name Magog is unknown in the Old Testament apart from the single reference in Genesis 10:2 (=1 Ch. 1:5), where he is a son of Japheth and the founder of a nation. In Revelation 20:8 Magog is a person associated with Gog, but in Ezekiel the word is almost certainly meant to represent the country where Gog lived (so RV, RSV)." (Taylor, J.B.*, "Ezekiel: An Introduction and Commentary," Tyndale Press: London, 1969, p.244. Emphasis original) 18/04/2007 "[Rev 16:]16. John reverts to the activities of the dirty spirits. They gathered the kings (and, of course, their followers) to a place called Armageddon. No place of this name is known, and the term is surely symbolic. But its meaning is uncertain. John tells us that it is a Hebrew word, and the two most favoured suggestions are that it means 'mountain of Megiddo' (har megiddo) or `the city of Megiddo' (ir megiddo). The former seems closer to the Hebrew, but unfortunately no mountain appears to be called 'the mountain of Megiddo'. Many stirring feats took place in the vicinity, but they seem to be connected rather with the plain of Esdraelon than with any particular mountain or with Megiddo. In fact Megiddo is mentioned but rarely in connection with battles (Jdg. 5:19; 2 Ki. 23:29; 2 Ch. 35:22). There are Old Testament passages that look for the ultimate battle near mountains (Ezk. 39:1ff., perhaps Dn. 11:45), but none that we can identify with the present expression. It is possible that 'mountain' should not be taken literally, but understood of the great mound on which the city stood, in which case the two suggestions come to much the same thing. Since great battles have been fought nearby, the city may stand in John's mind for decisive conflict (Beasley-Murray, 'a symbol for the last resistance of anti-god forces prior to the kingdom of Christ'). In that case it will stand as a symbol for the final overthrow of all the forces of evil by Almighty God. It is not unlikely that the deliverance under Deborah is regarded as setting the pattern. Then Sisera had 900 chariots of iron (Jdg. 4:13), but in Israel there was scarcely a shield or spear among 40,000 (Jdg. 5:8). Israel's position was completely hopeless. But when the battle was joined, 'the LORD routed Sisera and all his chariots and army' (Jdg. 4:15). So will it be at the last day. However strong the forces of evil may appear, and however hopeless the position of those of good, God will win the victory. He will resoundingly overthrow the evil." (Morris, L.*, "The Book of Revelation: An Introduction and Commentary," The Tyndale New Testament commentaries, , Inter-Varsity Press Leicester: UK, Second Edition, 1987, Reprinted, 2004, pp.193-194. Emphasis original) 18/04/2007 "[Rev 20:]8. Upon his release Satan will resume his deceitful activities, but on a larger scale. Like the 'unclean spirits like frogs' he will gather the nations for the final battle (16:13-16). The expression Gog and Magog seems to mean all people. Gog is mentioned in the Bible only in a genealogy (1 Ch. 5:4), in a prophecy (Ezk. 38 - 39). and here. Magog is found similarly in genealogies (Gn. 10:2; 1 Ch. 1:5), the Ezekiel passage, and here. Magog appears to be the land from which Gog came (Ezk. 38:2, though in LXX Magog seems to be a prince). In later Judaism Gog and Magog were thought of as two leaders. In apocalyptic writings, for example, they often symbolize the forces of evil. For John the combination is another way of referring to the hosts of the wicked. He has in mind the last great attack of evil on the things of God. Satan will gather all his armies. He will assemble the greatest possible number to oppose God (in number they are like the sand on the seashore). This is the decisive moment, the final battle (cf. 17:14; 19:19). 9. John changes to the past tense, they marched, but it is the same sequence. The breadth of the earth is a curious expression in this connection. It probably means that their armies were very large. They encircled 'the camp of the saints' (NIV, God's people) and 'the beloved city'. Both expressions appear to mean the people of God. The `camp' sees them as 'soldiers of God', and there might also be an allusion to the encampments of God's people during their wilderness wanderings. 'The beloved city' should surely be understood over against 'the great city'. This latter we have seen to mean people in organized community, organized against God. The former will then signify spiritual people, willingly under the dominion of God. John is picturing the hosts of evil as taking up a threatening position over against the servants of God. We are prepared for a great battle. But none comes. Exactly as in 19:19-21, John goes on immediately to the annihilation of the wicked. This time it is done by fire which came down from heaven (cf. Ezk. 38:22). Consistently John thinks of the power of God as so overwhelming that there cannot be even the appearance of a battle when he wills to destroy evil." (Morris, L.*, "The Book of Revelation: An Introduction and Commentary," The Tyndale New Testament commentaries, , Inter-Varsity Press Leicester: UK, Second Edition, 1987, Reprinted, 2004, pp.232-233. Emphasis original) 19/04/2007 "[Rev 16:]16. The name for the place of assembly of the kings of the world, Armageddon, presents an even more perplexing puzzle than 666. It is a Greek transliteration for the Hebrew Har-Meggido, the mountain of Megiddo. This little town is in the plain of Esdraelon in Israel, and it has no mountain. The nearest mountain is Carmel in ountain is Carmel in the north, though some think in terms of the range of hills in southern Galilee. Carmel would be an attractive identification, since it witnessed Elijah's contest with the prophets of Baal, when the Lord gave a signal revelation of his presence and power, and the false prophets were put to the sword. Unfortunately there is no indication in ancient literature that Carmel was ever referred to as Har- Megiddo . Numerous attempts have been made to explain the name by derivations from allied forms. One most widely favoured viewed Har-Megiddo as a corruption of the Hebrew Har-Mo'ed = mountain of assembly. This term appears in Isaiah 14:13 to denote a mythical mountain of the gods which the king of Babylon in his pride determined in his heart to ascend, but in vain. It is suggested that this mountain became viewed as the demonic counterpart to the heavenly mount Zion, on which the city of God stands (Heb. 12: 22ff ; cf. Rev. 21:10), and so a fitting symbol for the gathering of the rebellious hosts of earth against the God of heaven. The notion is interesting, but no one has satisfactorily explained why Har Mo'ed should become corrupted to Har-Megiddo, and so the speculation must be viewed as dubious. Whatever the origin of the term, we are not to think in terms of a geographical locality in Israel (the Holy Land does not really feature in John's prophecy). Indeed it is doubtful that any single locality is in mind at all. The name stands for an event. Like the number 666, it will have had a history in the apocalyptic tradition, lost to us but known to the prophet, and for him it will have been a symbol for the last resistance of anti-god forces prior to the kingdom of Christ." (Beasley-Murray, G.R.*, "The Book of Revelation," , New Century Bible Commentary, Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, Revised Edition, 1978, Reprinted, 1983, pp.245-246. Emphasis original) 19/04/2007 "[Rev 20:]7, 8. After the thousand years Satan is loosed from his prison ... to deceive the nations ... Gog and Magog, and assemble them for battle. The motif is ancient. Ezekiel tells of an invasion from the north of `Gog of the land of Magog', where Gog is the prince and Magog the name of a people (Ezek. 38:1 ; cf. 39:6). As early as the Tell el-Amarna tablets Gog was used as a name for the nations of the north. Ezekiel sees in the attack on Israel by Gog the fulfilment of earlier prophecies (38:17). He depicts this as an invasion of the Holy Land and attack on Jerusalem after the Jews return from their exile among the nations and dwell in the peace of the messianic age under the new David (see especially 38:8). Gog comes at the head of many peoples `like a cloud', but the Lord will create confusion amongst the invaders, so that every man's sword is against his brother. Ezekiel declares in the name of the Lord, `I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples that are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and brimstone' (38:22). As Ezekiel sees in Gog's invasion the fulfilment of earlier prophecies of Gentile attacks on Israel, so John sees in the hosts of Gog and Magog a symbol of the evil in the world of nations which resist the rule of God. For him, therefore, the attack of Gog comes not from one corner of the earth-the north-but from all four corners. It is doubtful that John wished by this means to point to the nations beyond the Roman empire which had been untouched by the rebellion under the Antichrist (Schlatter). Wherever the theme of Ezekiel 38-9 is taken up in Jewish apocalyptic writers (e.g., 2 En 56:5ff., 2 Esd . 13:5ff:, Sib. Or . 3:662ff.) it is the nations generally which combine in assault on Israel, and it is likely that John had a similarly undefined company in view. On the other hand it is unlikely that John thought of the entire world of men, women, and children, as massed together under the leadership of Gog against the city of God, resulting in the end of history as the destruction of every living soul on earth (as Charles thought). We have already observed the mistake in overpressing the language of 19:17ff. in this manner, and the same applies to verses 8f. 9. The hordes of Gog and Magog surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. The language befits Jerusalem, viewed however first as the focal point of the pilgrim people on the march through the desert to the promised land, and then as the city which God loves (cf. Ps. 87). But Jerusalem in the Revelation is equated with Sodom and Egypt, `where their Lord was crucified' (11:8). The city which John has in mind is `the holy city Jerusalem', which comes down from God out of heaven (21:10). Its mention at this point indicates that John sees the beloved city as descended from God out of heaven in the messianic age and so views it as the centre of the kingdom of Christ. The brevity of the description of that kingdom in verses 4-6 is at least partly due to John's intention to describe its nature in the vision of 21:9ff. The assault on the city, therefore, represents an attack on the manifestation of the divine rule in the world, comparable to the attack on the Church in the present age." (Beasley-Murray, G.R.*, "The Book of Revelation," , New Century Bible Commentary, Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, Revised Edition, 1978, Reprinted, 1983, pp.297-298. Emphasis original) 19/04/2007 "The sixth bowl (17:12-16) produces Har-Magedon. Of late it has been raining sermons and lectures on Har-Magedon or Armageddon, but in order to arrive at the correct interpretation of this battle, let us begin by briefly reviewing the Old Testament story in which this symbol is probably rooted. We find it in judges 4, 5. Israel is in misery again. This time, King Jabin, the Canaanite, is the oppressor. The spoilers go out to ravage the fields and plunder the crops of the Israelites. So numerous are these spoilers that the Israelites go in hiding and are afraid to appear on the highways (Jdg. 5:6). But can they not wage war and drive out these Canaanites? No, King Jabin and General Sisera are strong, for they have nine hundred chariots of iron. Israel has not even a spear or a shield (Jdg. 5:8). Must the people perish? In the highlands of Ephraim lives Deborah who one day tells Barak the judge, 'Up, for this is the day in which Jehovah is to deliver Sisera into your power. Is it not Jehovah who has gone forth in front of you?' A battle is fought at Megiddo and Israel's enemy is routed. It was Jehovah Himself who had defeated them. 'From heaven fought the stars; from their courses they fought against Sisera' (Jdg. 5:20). For this cause, Har-Magedon is the symbol of every battle in which, when the need is greatest and believers are oppressed, the Lord suddenly reveals His power in the interest of His distressed people and defeats the enemy. When Sermacherib's 185,000 are slain by the angel of Jehovah, that is a shadow of the final Har-Magedon. When God grants a little handful of Maccabees a glorious victory over an enemy which far out numbers it, that is a type of Har-Magedon. But the real, the great, the final Har-Magedon coincides with the time of Satan's little season (see Rev. 11:7-11). When the world, under the leadership of Satan, antichristian government and antichristian religion-the dragon, the beast and the false prophet-is gathered against the Church for the final battle, and the need is greatest; when God's children, oppressed on every side, cry for help; then suddenly, dramatically, Christ will appear to deliver His people. That final tribulation and that appearance of Christ on clouds of glory to deliver His people, that is Har-Magedon. It is for this reason that Har-Magedon is the sixth bowl. The seventh is the judgment day. As we have indicated, this sixth bowl, as well as the preceding ones, is evident again and again in history. Yet, like the other bowls, it reaches its final and most complete realization just before and in connection with the last day. John sees that the sixth bowl is emptied upon the Euphrates river. This river represents Assyria, Babylonia, the wicked world. When the river is said to dry up, the road is prepared so that all the antichristian powers can make the attack upon the Church. The apostle sees proceeding out of the mouth of the dragon (Satan) and out of the mouth of the beast (antichristian government) and out of the mouth of the false prophet (antichristian religion) three unclean spirits. These spirits or demons are compared to frogs in order to indicate their abominable, loathsome and repulsive character. They represent satanic, hellish ideas, plans, projects, methods and enterprises, hell-born and introduced by hell into the sphere of thought and action. Thus, when the kings of the earth gather to battle against believers, this battle or persecution is inspired by hell itself. Here very little is said about this final battle. But we must remember that this same conflict of Har-Magedon is described in Revelation 11:7 ff. (see our explanation) ; and especially in Revelation 19:11 ff.; 20:7 ff. Now, at this moment of tribulation and anguish, of oppression and persecution, Christ suddenly appears (verse 15). He comes as a thief, suddenly, unexpectedly (cf. Mt. 24:29 ff.; Jdg. 5:4 ; Hab. 3:13; 2 Thes. 2:8 ff.)." (Hendriksen, W.*, "More than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation," Tyndale Press: London, 1940, Reprinted, 1966, pp.162-164. Emphasis original) 20/04/2007 "HOW ISRAEL FELL ... The Israel Strategy involved convincing the Palestinians to accept a disingenuous peace in return for international promises of massive reconstruction aid. They would wait, letting prosperity accomplish what terrorist attacks could not. Al-Zee was the first Muslim leader to realize that the only way they could lose the fight with Israel was to continue fighting. Peace meant inevitable victory; it just required patience. Al- Zee's reputation allowed him to preach patience to an impatient people. His credibility was unapproachable. So they made peace, and they waited. Demographics favored the Muslims, who were having children at three times the rate of the Jewish population, thanks to financial inducements arranged by al-Zee. By 2035, it was clear that Muslims were heading toward a voting majority in Israel. The Israeli government hoped to solve the problem by restricting voting rights for non Jews. This was exactly what al-Zee had foreseen. Israel was filled with, and surrounded by, a massive population of angry young men who preferred death to the apartheid and humiliation they were being asked to accept. After years of lying low, al-Zee focused the anger of the majority, who were by then universally armed, and working and living amongst the Jewish minority. The overrun lasted less than two days. It was mostly hand-to-hand fighting with knives, small arms, and homemade explosives. The military was helpless because the violence was everywhere at the same time, in every block, every street, every housing development. Human waves of martyrs stormed military bases. Over a million Muslims died that day, eventually exhausting the ammunition of the Israeli army and the armed Jewish civilians. With their superior numbers, the element of surprise, and a willingness to die as martyrs, a1-Zee's citizen Jihadists prevailed. The Jewish Israeli men stayed and fought to the last, along with most of the fighting age women. The older women and children were allowed to escape on foot, streaming out of the cities and towns and eventually ending up in refugee camps. To the rest of the world it became known as the Second Holocaust, an unfathomable and black moment in history, dwarfing the First Holocaust in both scope and savagery. It happened so quickly that the world didn't know how to respond. By the end of the second day there were so few Jews left in Israel that military intervention seemed useless. Countries condemned the atrocities in the strongest words, but they were only words. Some countries threatened embargoes but needed the oil and so found reasons to back off. A feeling of shame and helplessness gripped the Judeo-Christian world, plunging it into a collective mental depression, and making it ripe for the rise of a man like General Horatio Cruz." (Adams, S., "The Religion War," Andrews McMeel Publishing: Kansas City MO, 2004, pp.105-107. Emphasis original) 20/04/2007 "[Ezekiel 37:]24. David is described as my servant, a clear Messianic title, as well as king and prince for ever (25). We have already noted ` that Ezekiel avoided describing any of his Hebrew contemporaries as king (melek), but reserved this title for the Davidic leader of the future (cf. on 7:27; 12:10). The quality of permanence attaching to this future reign and expressed in the repeated phrase for ever, for evermore (25, 26, 28), is a strong indication that Ezekiel is here thinking not so much of a line of Davidic kings, as he had known them in the past, but of a supernatural kingly being in whom would be concentrated all the qualities of wisdom, enduement with the Spirit, righteousness and peace that were expected of God's anointed ruler." (Taylor, J.B.*, "Ezekiel: An Introduction and Commentary," Tyndale Press: London, 1969, pp.244-245. Emphasis original) 21/04/2007 "[2Th 2:]8. And then (tote) indicates that these further events will follow more or less immediately after the removal of the restraining power. The lawless one is, of course, identical with 'the man of lawlessness', and now for the third time he is said to be revealed, which puts a certain emphasis on the supernatural aspect of his appearing. Paul's primary aim is not to gratify curiosity about this being and he gives no details of his activity; he goes straight from his appearance to his destruction. Throughout this whole section there is the underlying note of God's unchallenged sovereignty; thus the revelation of the lawless one is naturally followed by his destruction (described in words reminiscent of Is. 11:4). The better MSS read 'slay' (anelei, cf. RSV) for 'consume' (analosei, cf. AV), but the difference is not great. The breath of his mouth (here only in the New Testament; Cf. Ps. 33:6) shows that, terrible though the lawless one will be, he cannot stand before the Lord for a moment. There will not even be a contest - the breath (or 'the word', Calvin) of God is sufficient (cf. Rev. 19:21). There is a parallel thought: and destroy by the splendour of his coming. For the Lord even to show himself is to destroy the enemy. Destroy translates katargesei... which has the basic meaning 'to make idle' and thus 'to render null and void'. It does not mean that the lawless one will be annihilated, but that he will be made completely powerless. " (Morris, L.L.*, "The Epistles of Paul to the Thessalonians: An Introduction and Commentary," Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, , Inter-Varsity Press: Leicester UK, Second Edition, 1984, p.132. Emphasis original) 21/04/2007 "The reconstruction theory The renowned Scottish preacher and theologian, Thomas Chalmers (1780- 1847), was the first major proponent of the view that we shall examine first. It seems that he was seeking to reconcile Genesis with the new discoveries about the age of the earth. His ideas made headway throughout the nineteenth century. The Swiss theologian Augustin Gretillat followed them. most notably the lawyer C.I. Scofield incorporated them in his annotated Bible, thus assuring them enormous diffusion. As late as 1970 A.C. Cunstance strove to defend them. According to this theory, the six days are not, as had been relieved, days of creation, but days of reconstruction. God restored the original edifice after the creation suffered a terrible catastrophe. What was this disaster? The action occurred between the first and second verses of Genesis 1, in the mysterious gap which lies between them- hence the common label, 'the gap theory'. According to the majority of the theory's supporters, one should in fact translate, 'and the earth became without form and void', and, since the expression (tohu wabohu) elsewhere designates the effect of destruction (Is. 34:11, cf 45:18 with tohu; Je. 4:23), one must suppose that a catastrophe occurred. Besides, the argument goes, the presence of darkness the symbol of evil, clearly shows that evil came into the world. Some exponents would also adduce the death of animals, which preceded the appearance of mankind on earth. How did the evil arise, if it were not by the revolt of Satan, which can be read between the lines in Isaiah 14:3-23 and Ezekiel 28:19? The advantages of the hypothesis could well be simply superficial. Invented in order to please the scientists, it has had considerable difficulty satisfying them. What evidence have they found of the three supposed phases with their radical discontinuity? The explanation of `evil' in nature would be more attractive, but nowhere does the Bible establish any connection between the fall of Satan and alleged cosmological effects. 7 It would be necessary to decide whether the Bible sees animal death as an 'evil'. It seems to us that this is not the case, and the speeches of God in the book of Job exalt the terrifying beauty of the beasts of prey as God's work (Jb. 38:39ff.; 39:26ff. and the description of Leviathan in Jb. 41). For reasons of biblical theology we must assert the fall of Satan, but Scripture's reticence on this fact should warn us against giving it a key position in our system. The time of that fall has not been revealed. It is a misuse of Scripture to appeal to the two prophetic passages (Is. 14; Ezk. 28) in order to make them the foundations of the doctrine. The first expressly concerns the king of Babylon and nothing requires us to look further than him. 8 The second is directed against the prince of Tyre, and if behind his fall another can be sensed, it is rather the fall of mankind. The fact that elsewhere chaos is the result of a catastrophe does not mean that this is so in Genesis 1:2. What has received form returns into formlessness only as a result of some misfortune. But this is very obviously not the case for the unformed which has yet to be formed! The reconstructionists overlook this obvious point. As for the darkness of Genesis 1:2, it is not necessarily a symbol of evil; here it could simply be the state of readiness for the appearance of light. Thus the grounds for the theory vanish into thin air. In particular the hypothesis raises two insurmountable difficulties. The translation 'And the earth became' takes inadmissible liberties with the Hebrew grammar. The only admissible translation is 'And [or better, Now] the earth was...', by analogy with constructions that are totally similar in Jonah 3:3 ('Now Nineveh was...') and, nearer home, Genesis 3:1 ('Now the snake was ...'). Only in defiance of philology may the pseudo-translation 'the earth became' act as the basis of the theory. Further, the theory requires that the verb 'make', even in 2:2f. and in Exodus 20: 11, be given the meaning 'remake'. There is no justification for such violence to the language. Hebrew offers the means of expressing the notion of remaking and repairing, but the text does not show the slightest trace of it. The verdict on the whole theory must be 'quite impossible It draws no support from the text, but rather brings its own framework, digging its own imaginary gap between the two verses in order to set it up. We could in truth have set it aside immediately, as we did the theory of visions. But its example provides a valuable warning. It puts us on our guard against an interpretation which adds ingeniously to Scripture by exploiting silences and arranging things with the very best of motives, without submitting to the discipline of philology" (Blocher, H.*, "In The Beginning: The Opening Chapters of Genesis," , Preston, D.G., transl., InterVarsity Press: Leicester UK, 1984, pp.41-43. Emphasis original) 21/04/2007 "The second major attempt to reconcile the biblical and geological time-scales resides in the 'gap theory', which proposes that the geological ages are encompassed between verses 1 and 2 of Genesis 1. Verse 2 is then read to mean: 'And the earth became without form and void,' signifying a judgment and destruction of a formerly created and populated earth. The fossil record, it is claimed, dates from this stupendous judgment. The creation described in the remainder of Genesis 1 then becomes a recent recreation in seven literal days. The 'gap theory', popularized by footnotes in the Scofield Bible, has been reviewed and refuted at length in a recent book by W. W. Fields [Fields, W.W., "Unformed and Unfilled," Presbyterian & Reformed: Nutley NJ, 1976], and the reader is referred to that work for further detail. In brief, however, the gap theory is based upon an inadmissible grammatical and philological treatment of the Hebrew text of Genesis 1:1-2 and receives little support from the remainder of Scripture. One verse often quoted in its favour is Isaiah 45:18 'For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain [lit. a waste], he formed it to be inhabited.' Thus it is argued that the earth was not created in the state described in Genesis 1:2, but must have become waste at some subsequent time. However this is surely a misunderstanding of both Isaiah and Genesis. The final clause of Isaiah's verse makes it clear that he is speaking of God's intention. He did not create the earth with the purpose of its being waste, but with the purpose that it would become inhabited. Genesis describes the earth as 'formless and void' only at an intermediate state in its development towards a completed, inhabitable condition, not in its final form." (Andrews, E.H.*, "The Biblical and philosophical case for special creation," in Burke, D.C., ed., "Creation and Evolution: When Christians Disagree," , Inter- Varsity Press: Leicester UK, Reprinted, 1986, pp.237-238. Emphasis original) 21/04/2007 "There have been several attempts to reconcile the apparent age of the earth with the biblical material: ... The gap theory holds that there was an original, quite complete creation of the earth perhaps billions of years ago. That is the creation mentioned in Genesis 1:1. But some sort of catastrophe occurred. The creation became empty and unformed (1:2). God then re-created the earth a few thousand years ago in a period of six days, populating it with all the species. It is this creation which is described in Genesis 1:3-27. The apparent age of the earth and the fossil records showing development over long periods of time are to be attributed to the first creation. The catastrophe is often linked to the fall of Satan (Lucifer). Creation then lay in ruins for a long period of time before God's rehabilitation or restitution of it. [The Scofield Reference Bible, p.4, n.3]. ... There are too many exegetical difficulties attached to the gap theory" [Ramm, B.L.*, "The Christian View of Science and Scripture," Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, 1954, pp.201-211]." (Erickson, M.J.*, "Christian Theology," , Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1988, Fifth Printing, pp.380,382) 21/04/2007 "This `gap theory' was advanced by Thomas Chalmers in the early 1800's. C.I. Scofield breathed life into this methodology in his Reference Bible published in 1909. The precursor to archaic man was named "Adam 1" from Genesis 1:27 to start the human (or subhuman) race. This would account for the previously unaccountable fossilized remains of early man. According to Scofield, modern human beings, including everyone living today, emanated from the Adam, described in the second chapter of Genesis. Scofield's method sought to avoid the difficulties caused by the appearance of Adam of Genesis 2 at a point in history too late for him to be ancestral to every fossilized bone that has been dug up and assigned to the genus Homo. In this gap scenario, early precursors were eradicated by some natural calamity, or died out because of ill-suited survival techniques. They were replaced miraculously and divinely by a whole new species more modern in appearance. Many Bible scholars have pronounced this method exegetically unsound, but Scofield did take a needed step toward reconciliation." (Fischer, D.*, "The Origins Solution: An Answer in the Creation-Evolution Debate," Fairway Press: Lima OH, 1996, p.25) 21/04/2007 "If the Creator used intermittent creation in the past, a contention held by some, then either one gap or multiple gaps incorporating creation activities could be interspersed by periods of evolution. The one gap method is called Gap Restitution, or Gap Theory. ... In his 1909 Reference Bible, Scofield called for two creations. `The first creative act refers to the dateless past, and gives scope for all the geologic ages. [Scofield, C.I., "The Scofield Study Bible,"1945, p.3] Scofield cited Jeremiah 2:23-26 and Isaiah 24:1 and 45:18 to assert that these passages: `...clearly indicate that the earth had undergone a cataclysmic change as the result of a divine judgment. The face of the earth bears everywhere the marks of such a catastrophe. [Ibid., p.3] The idea of two creations is grounded in Genesis 1:2, `And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.' Rendering the word `was' as `became,' followed by the Hebrew words tohu wabohu translated `without form and void,' a destruction or a laying waste of whatever might have been here before could clear the way for a new creation. A primeval cataclysm, linked possibly with the fall of Satan, could have terminated previous forms of life leaving no survivors, just their fossilized bones. The creation account in Genesis would be a re-creation account instead. If Adam was to `replenish the earth' (Gen. 1:28), an extermination might be implied eliminating any embarrassing Pre-Adamites. Critics of gap theory charge that a massive destruction in the middle of a creation narrative would be a strange order of presentation. Changing `was' to `became' has been judged to be exegetically unsound. In the next verse, when God said, `Let there be light' (Gen. 3:1), would that be taken to mean there was no light for the first creation, or are we to add the word `again' parenthetically at the end of that sentence? Also, to `replenish the earth' is a bad translation of the Hebrew word, male. To `fill the earth' translates the phrase more accurately, which leaves the fate of early man an unanswered question." (Fischer, D.*, "The Origins Solution: An Answer in the Creation-Evolution Debate," Fairway Press: Lima OH, 1996, pp.107-108. Emphasis original) 21/04/2007 "With only meager help from the Scriptures, gap theory is a shaky attempt to address the problem of what to do with tell-tale fossils. Even though the rudimentary beginnings of gap theory can be traced back to the early church, the modern-day impetus is driven solely by the revelations of the fossil record. Strategically placing the `gap' is the daunting task. This gap would have to take place between an initial creation and subsequent extermination of archaic life forms, whatever they were, and the creation of fully modern types which start new species, and Adam, of course, who would be the first modern human. ... Even if the Scriptures were more accommodating, gap theory fails to resolve a ponderous difficulty. ... One single gap will not begin to explain all the complexities of the creation-evolution issue. The reality gap theorists evade is: where do you put the gap? A total break between all archaic forms of life and what we could call modern life does not exist in the fossil record. Although many present-day species show sudden entry in the progression of life, they do not all enter at the same time. Positioning this gap at 100,000 years ago to separate modern Homo sapiens from any predecessors might be convenient for humankind, but alligators have been unchanged in skeletal form for millions of years. How would alligators have bridged the gap placed strategically to screen out ancestral hominids? Even placing a gap that would separate modern humans from ancient forerunners is a futile exercise. Archaic Homo sapiens go back approximately 300,000 years, and did not die out until about 35,000 years ago. Neanderthals also would have bridged the gap, first appearing in the fossil record some 130,000 years ago, and enduring for 100,000 years before becoming extinct. So even though the biblical support for gap theory is paltry, the fossil record is foreboding. Different species of hominids overlap in the fossil record. There is a continuity between modern and archaic life forms of all kinds. Millions of years separate the beginnings of the vertebrates: fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, primates, and man. These are just a sprinkling of examples that are beyond the explanatory capabilities of one single gap. Gap theory flounders not only because of the lack of scriptural support, or because it calls for some kind of judgment before Adam's fall, but also because even if there were such a gap, no matter where it is placed, it settles nothing. Alas, gap theory as a means of reconciliation is itself tohu wabohu (without form and void). A gap might help explain one problem, though it is hard to know which one, but after playing that gap card, we would still be left with a profusion of unanswered questions. The result is that gap theory has few serious proponents, and has been widely recognized as being of little value as a solution to the complex problem of life's origins." (Fischer, D.*, "The Origins Solution: An Answer in the Creation-Evolution Debate," Fairway Press: Lima OH, 1996, pp.108-109. Emphasis original) 21/04/2007 "An alternate theory by which some scholars have attempted to correlate a literal six-day view with geological claims is the gap theory, which finds in Genesis 1:2, "the earth was without form and void," the judicial desolation of an original creation, and refers the subsequent account to the subsequent rehabilitation of a portion of the present earth in six days. The Scofield Reference Bible popularized this view. Its difficulties are multiple: the theory deprives Hebrew-Christian religion (except for the bare opening words of Genesis) of a revealed account of the original creation; it artificially wrenches the continuity of the creation account; it finds no explicit confirmation elsewhere in Scripture; it offers no theistic standpoint for interpreting the actual geological data." (Henry, C.F.H.*, "Science and Religion", in Henry, C.F.H.*, ed., "Contemporary Evangelical Thought: A Survey," , Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Reprinted, 1968, p.277) 21/04/2007 "The Bible does not anywhere make an explicit statement in which the age of the earth is given. It tells us how long the Children of Israel were in Egypt, the length of time from the Exodus to the building of Solomon's temple, the duration of the Babylonian Captivity, etc. But nowhere is there a statement of how many years it was from creation to the time of Abraham or any other date that can be correlated with secular history. It is important to remember this point. Any estimate of the age of the earth based on the Bible rests on deductions drawn from information contained in Holy Scriptures. If the deductions are valid, the conclusions are likewise valid. The reverse is true if the deductions are in error. There are four places in Scripture from which deductions can be drawn. The first is Gen. 1:1, 2. Some Biblical scholars believe that between verses one and two a great period of time elapsed. They hold that God destroyed an initial creation, turned the earth into chaos, and then recreated it. The arguments for this idea, known as the gap theory, have been examined in chapter 2. If true, this would make room for an incalculable number of years. However, the theory is highly speculative and unconvincing." (Zimmerman, P.A.*, "The Age of the Earth," in Zimmerman, P.A., ed., "Darwin, Evolution, and Creation," , Concordia: St Louis MO, 1966, Fifth Printing, p.161) 22/04/2007 "Creation-ruination-re-creation theory or restitution theory, or gap theory. As we have seen the theologians rested content with creation at 4004 B.C., till the geological studies disturbed this position. ... Geologists had come to the conclusion that these formations occupied thousands if not millions of years for their construction. .... How could time be found in the Genesis account? It was the suggestion of the capable and brilliant Thomas Chalmers that the time element could be found by a reconsideration of Gen. 1:2. There was a creation (1:1) followed by a catastrophe (1:2), in turn followed by a re-creation (1:3, ff.). All the time the geologists needed could be found in Gen. 2: 2. ... The gap theory was adopted by Scofield in his Reference Bible and so accumulated to itself all the veneration and publicity of that edition of the Bible. ... Although the defenders of the gap theory have variations among themselves in interpretation, the general features of the theory are held in common by all. The theory runs something like this: God created a perfect world as recorded in Gen. 1:2. This world was turned over to Lucifer, who conducted the Temple worship of God located in a mineral Garden of Eden (Ezek. 28:13 f.). The exalted condition of Lucifer was too much for him and in seeking to exalt himself as a god, he and those who consorted with him fell and judgment was passed on them and the earth. For countless millions of years the earth was left alone and during these years the various geological formations took place. Some argue that the ugliness of the dinosaurs and the great bed of fossils emerging as vast cemeteries of the past indicate that a judgment for sin had been passed on the earth. Somewhere around 4000 B.C. God reconditioned the earth in six literal twenty-four hour days. Gen. 1 contains an original creation, a judgment and ruination, and then a re-creation." (Ramm, B.L.*, "The Christian View of Science and Scripture," , Paternoster: London, Reprint, 1960, pp.134-136. Emphasis original) 22/04/2007 "Gap Theory. The gap or reconstruction theory is a scheme to reconcile the long geologic ages in the earth's history with the Genesis creation account. It basically advocates that the first two verses of Genesis I describe a condition that lasted an indeterminate length of time and preceded the six days of creation in Gen. 1:3ff. There was creation (1:1), followed by a catastrophe (1:2), in turn followed by a re-creation (1:3ff.). All the needed geologic ages in earth's pre-Adamic history may be found either between 1:1 and 1:2 or during 1:2. Early expressions of the view can be traced to Episcopius (d. 1643), a theologian who taught at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, and to the scientist J. G. Rosenmuller (d. 1815). In nineteenth century England it was espoused by the theologian Thomas Chalmers, geologist William Buckland, biblical scholar John Pye Smith, and church historian J. H. Kurtz. In the United States the view was widely disseminated by G. H. Pember, Harry Rimmer, and the first edition of the Scofield Reference Bible (1909). For many today the day-age theory has replaced the gap theory as the best explanation of the geologic ages and Genesis 1. Others have adopted flood-catastrophism. Criticism of the gap theory has arisen from various circles, and summaries may be found in the works of Allis [Allis, O.T, "God Spake by Moses'" Presbyterian & Reformed, 1951], Ramm [Ramm, B.L., "The Christian View of Science and Scripture," Eerdmans, 1954], and Young [Young, D.A., "Christianity and the Age of the Earth," Artisan, 1998] cited below. In essence the criticism involves (1) the improbability that only one verse (Gen. 1:1) deals with the original creation while so many sentences are devoted to a secondary or re-creation process; (2) the lack of solid exegetical evidence to support the rendering of the Hebrew verb `was' [Heb. waw] in Gen. 1:2 as `became'; (3) the sense of `without form' and `void' [Heb. tohu and bohu] meaning nothing more than `empty,' `uninhabited'; (4) elaborate theories of angelology and demonology derived from Isa. 14 and Ezek. 28 and inserted in Gen. 1:2 being unjustified; and (5) such a theory turning the entire field of geology over to the geologists since the Bible [then] yields no reference to earth's earliest formation." (Johnson, A.E.*, "Gap Theory," in Elwell, W.A., ed., "Evangelical Dictionary of Theology," , Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1990, Seventh Printing, p.439. Emphasis original) 22/04/2007 "[Gen 1:]2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. ...(1:2) Two main interpretations have been advanced to explain the expression "without form and void" (Heb. tohu and bohu). The first, which may be called the Original Chaos interpretation, regards these words as a description of an original formless matter in the first stage of the creation of the universe. The second, which may be called the Divine judgment interpretation, sees in these words a description of the earth only, and that in a condition subsequent to its creation, not as it was originally (see Isa. 45:18, note; cp. also notes at Isa.14:12; Ezek. 28:12)." (Scofield, C.I.*, ed., "The New Scofield Reference Bible: Authorized King James Version," , Oxford University Press: New York NY, Revised, 1967, p.1. Emphasis original) 22/04/2007 "([Gen ]1:5) The use of `evening' and `morning' may be held to limit `day' to the solar day; but the frequent parabolic use of natural phenomena may warrant the conclusion that it simply means that each creative day was a period of time marked off by a beginning and ending (cp. Ps. 90:6). In any event the sun did not become a measure of time before the fourth day, as seen in vv. 14-18." (Scofield, C.I.*, ed., "The New Scofield Reference Bible: Authorized King James Version," Oxford University Press: New York NY, 1967, p.2) 22/04/2007 "The expression `evening and morning' is capable of several interpretations. Some take it to mean a period of rest and a period of creation. Others take it as a graphic means of describing a cosmic day. If one takes a metaphorical interpretation of the word yom, then mutatis mutandis the expression evening and morning, must be metaphorical. They do not mean that there is a day of a million years of light followed by a million years of darkness. The expression refers to something in the process of creation. No objection to the theory can be made on the basis of forcing a literal meaning into the expression `evening and morning.'" (Ramm, B.L.*, "The Christian View of Science and Scripture," , Paternoster: London, Reprinted, 1960, p.146) 25/04/2007 "It is often said that the sun is a typical star, but this is entirely untrue. The mere fact that 95% of all stars are less massive than the sun makes our planetary system quite rare. Less massive stars are important because they are much more common than more massive ones. For stars less massive than the sun, the habitable zones are located farther inward. The most common stars in our galaxy are classified, as M stars; they have only 10% of the mass of the sun. Such stars are far less luminous than our sun, and any planets orbiting them would have to be very close to stay warm enough to allow the existence of liquid water on the surface. However, there is danger in orbiting too close to any celestial body. As planets get closer to a star (or moons to a planet), the gravitational tidal effects from the star induce synchronous rotation, wherein the planet spins on its axis only once each time it orbits the star. Thus the same side of the planet always faces the star. (Such tidal locking keeps one side of the Moon facing Earth at all times.) This synchronous rotation leads to extreme cold on the dark side of a planet and freezes out the atmosphere. It is possible that with a very thick atmosphere, and with little day/night variation, a planet might escape this fate, but unless their atmospheres are exceedingly rich in CO2, planets close to low-mass stars are not likely to be habitable because of atmospheric freeze-out." (Ward, P.D. & Brownlee, D.C., "Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe," Copernicus/Springer-Verlag: New York NY, 2000, pp.23-24) 25/04/2007 Near the opposite end of the scale, low-mass main-sequence stars (M dwarf stars) would also offer poorer habitats. An M dwarf star induces strong tides on a planet in its CCHZ, simply because of the planet's proximity to its host star, quickly braking its rotation (like Earth's Moon). Why is this bad for life? If the planet's atmosphere is thin, it will freeze out on its dark side; a perpetually shadowed and cold region acts as a sort of "cold trap," not unlike cold traps used in vacuum pump systems to extract water from the air. High levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide could prevent this, but at the expense of animal-like life, which needs high oxygen and low carbon dioxide levels." Even if we allow a thick carbon dioxide atmosphere, however, temperatures would be comfortable for life only in a narrow band along the planet's terminator-the line that separates the light from the dark side. And since the intensity of starlight is weak at the terminator, only weak biological productivity would be possible-the lower temperature would also slow biological processes." (Gonzalez, G.* & Richards, J.W.*, "The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed For Discovery," Regnery: Washington DC, 2004, pp.133-134) 25/04/2007 "Even worse for life on an M dwarf planet is the strong likelihood that all the water on its surface would eventually freeze on its dark side, leaving the illuminated side hot and dry. These problems could be mitigated if, like Mercury, the orbit of a rotationally synchronized planet was quite eccentric, which would prevent the same side from always facing the host star. Of course a highly elliptical orbit will lead to large temperature swings on the planet, regardless of its rotation. So a planet in the CCHZ of an M dwarf star will suffer from either unevenly distributed heat or large temperature changes over the course of its year." (Gonzalez, G.* & Richards, J.W.*, "The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed For Discovery," Regnery: Washington DC, 2004, p.134) 25/04/2007 "What if we place a planet-size moon in orbit around a gas giant planet, which, in turn, is in the CCHZ of an M dwarf? This would avoid the problem of rotational synchronization and let the moon expose its full surface to the light of its host star over the course of its month. But this still won't work, for the reasons we gave in Chapter Five. In particular, it's not clear that the gas giant can even retain a large moon as it migrates inward into the habitable zone of an M dwarf, where the gravity of the star struggles mightily for possession of the moon. And even if it does survive, the size of the moon's orbit around its giant host would be a significant fraction of the distance to the host star, creating large variations in temperature on the moon's surface." (Gonzalez, G.* & Richards, J.W.*, "The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed For Discovery," Regnery: Washington DC, 2004, p.134) 25/04/2007 "M dwarf stars pose additional problems for life. Like the Sun, they exhibit flares. Some are stronger than solar flares, and because M dwarf stars are far less luminous, a flare's intensity compared with the star is that much greater. A strong flare on an M dwarf star can increase the relative X-ray radiation by a factor of one hundred to one thousand compared with strong flares on the Sun; the resulting increase in the ultraviolet radiation reaching the planet's surface would also be more intense .Not only would such flares threaten surface life, they would probably strip away a planet's atmosphere more quickly as well. The large starspots associated with flares would cause the star's brightness to vary on longer timescales (by about 10 to 40 percent), mimicking an eccentric planetary orbit. Starspots and flares decline steadily as a star ages. So while the passage of time would mitigate these problems, at any age an M dwarf host star will be a less constant source of energy than a star like the Sun." (Gonzalez, G.* & Richards, J.W.*, "The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed For Discovery," Regnery: Washington DC, 2004, p.134) 25/04/2007 "Such bursts also would probably damage any existing ozone layer on a planet, because in its quiescent state an M dwarf star produces less ultra-violet compared with optical radiation than does the Sun. The steady flow of ultraviolet radiation from the Sun maintains the ozone shield in Earth's atmosphere, which offers some protection from modest increases in the extraterrestrial ultraviolet flux. So a planet orbiting in the habitable zone of an M dwarf star will be more susceptible to the damaging effects of short-lived ultraviolet and particle radiation events like stellar flares and nearby supernovae. Ultraviolet radiation is also crucial in oxidizing a planet's atmosphere. It was the steady dissociation of hydrogen-rich light molecules such as methane and water in Earth's atmosphere by the Sun's ultraviolet radiation, and subsequent loss of the hydrogen, that eventually allowed oxygen to become so abundant in its atmosphere." (Gonzalez, G.* & Richards, J.W.*, "The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed For Discovery," Regnery: Washington DC, 2004, pp.134-135) 25/04/2007 "The red spectra of M dwarf stars means that very little blue light will reach the surface of its orbiting planets. Although photosynthesis doesn't require blue light, it generally becomes less effective without abundant light blueward of 6,800 Å. Some bacteria can still use infrared light, but not to produce oxygen. Any marine photosynthetic organisms would have a hard time using red light as an energy source, since ocean water transmits blue-green light far better than blue or red light." (Gonzalez, G.* & Richards, J.W.*, "The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed For Discovery," Regnery: Washington DC, 2004, p.135) 25/04/2007 "Because the CCHZ around an M dwarf star is much closer in than the one around the Sun, any terrestrial planets within and near it will probably orbit closer together. This makes it more likely that such planets will perturb each other's orbits. The terrestrial planets in the Solar System are spaced far enough apart to have remained in fairly stable orbits for 4.5 billion years. Smaller orbits would have permitted only much shorter dynamical lifetimes." (Gonzalez, G.* & Richards, J.W.*, "The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed For Discovery," Regnery: Washington DC, 2004, p.135) 25/04/2007 "But there is one feature I notice that is generally missing in cargo cult science. That is the idea that we all hope you have learned in studying science in school-we never explicitly say what this is, but just hope that you catch on by all the examples of scientific investigation. It is interesting, therefore, to bring it out now and speak of it explicitly. It's a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty -a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you're doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid-not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you've eliminated by some other experiment, And how they worked-to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated. Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. you must do the best you can-if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong-to explain it. If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it. ... In summary, the idea is to try to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another .... And it's this type of integrity, this kind of care not to fool yourself, that is missing to a large extent in much of the research in cargo cult science. ... But this long history of learning how to not fool ourselves- of having utter scientific integrity-is, I'm sorry to say, something that we haven't specifically included in any particular course that I know of. We just hope you've caught on by osmosis. The first principle is that you must not fool yourself-and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you've not fooled yourself, it's easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that. I would like to add something that's not essential to the science, but something I kind of believe, which is that you should not fool the layman when you're talking as a scientist. ... I'm talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you're maybe wrong, that you ought to have when acting as a scientist. And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen. One example of the principle is this: If you've made up your mind to test a theory, or you want to explain some idea, you should always decide to publish it whichever way it comes out. If we only publish results of a certain kind, we can make the argument look good. We must publish both kinds of results." (Feynman, R.P., "Cargo Cult Science," in "`Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman!': Adventures of a Curious Character," , Unwin Paperbacks: London, Reprinted, 1990, pp.341-343) 28/04/2007 "Old World monkeys and apes, including man, possess, as a normal component of their cellular DNA, gene sequences (virogenes) related to the RNA of a virus isolated from baboons. A comparison of the viral gene sequences and the other cellular sequences distinguishes those Old World monkeys and apes that have evolved in Africa from those that have evolved in Asia. Among the apes, only gorilla and chimpanzee seem by these criteria to be African, whereas gibbon, orang-utan and man are identified as Asian, leading us to conclude that most of man's evolution has occurred outside Africa." (Benveniste, R.E. & Todaro, G.J., "Evolution of type C viral genes: evidence for an Asian origin of man," Nature, Vol. 261, 13 May 1976, pp.101-108) 28/04/2007 "Life on Earth began about 3.5 billion years ago. At that point in the development of the Earth, the atmosphere was very different from what it is today. As opposed to the current atmosphere, which is mostly nitrogen and oxygen, the early Earth atmosphere contained mostly hydrogen, water, ammonia, and methane. In experiments, scientists have showed that the electrical discharges of lightning, radioactivity, and ultraviolet light caused the elements in the early Earth atmosphere to form the basic molecules of biological chemistry, such as nucleotides, simple proteins, and ATP. It seems likely, then, that the Earth was covered in a hot, thin soup of water and organic materials. Over time, the molecules became more complex and began to collaborate to run metabolic processes. Eventually, the first cells came into being. These cells were heterotrophs , which could not produce their own food and instead fed on the organic material from the primordial soup. (These heterotrophs give this theory its name.) The anaerobic metabolic processes of the heterotrophs released carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which allowed for the evolution of photosynthetic autotrophs , which could use light and CO2 to produce their own food. The autotrophs released oxygen into the atmosphere. For most of the original anaerobic heterotrophs, oxygen proved poisonous. The few heterotrophs that survived the change in environment generally evolved the capacity to carry out aerobic respiration. Over the subsequent billions of years, the aerobic autotrophs and heterotrophs became the dominant life-forms on the planet and evolved into all of the diversity of life now visible on Earth." ("Origin of Life: The Heterotroph Hypothesis," SparkNotes: SAT Subject Test: Biology, 2006. Emphasis original) 29/04/2007 "In saying that this system is atheistic, it is not said that Mr. Darwin is an atheist. He expressly acknowledges the existence of God; and seems to feel the necessity of his existence to account for the origin of life. Nor is it meant that every one who adopts the theory does it in an atheistic sense. It has already been remarked that there is a theistic and an atheistic form of the nebular hypothesis as to the origin of the universe; so there may be a theistic interpretation of the Darwinian theory. Men who, as the Duke of Argyle, carry the reign of law into everything, affirming that even creation is by law, may hold, as he does, that God uses everywhere and constantly physical laws, to produce not only the ordinary operations of nature, but to give rise to things specifically new, and therefore to new species in the vegetable and animal worlds. Such species would thus be as truly due to the purpose and power of God as though they had been created by a word. Natural laws are said to be to God what the chisel and the brush are to the artist. Then God is as much the author of species as the sculptor or painter is the author of the product of his skill. This is a theistic doctrine. That, however, is not Darwin's doctrine. His theory is that hundreds or thousands of millions of years ago God called a living germ, or living germs, into existence, and that since that time God has no more to do with the universe than if He did not exist. This is atheism to all intents and purposes, because it leaves the soul as entirely without God, without a Father, Helper, or Ruler, as the doctrine of Epicurus or of Comte. Darwin, moreover, obliterates all the evidences of the being of God in the world. He refers to physical causes what all theists believe to be due to the operations of the Divine mind. There is no more effectual way of getting rid of a truth than by rejecting the proofs on which it rests. Professor Huxley says that when he first read Darwin's book he regarded it as the death-blow of teleology, i.e., of the doctrine of design and purpose in nature. [Huxley, T.H., "Criticisms on `The Origin of Species'," in "Lectures and Lay Sermons," , J.M. Dent & Co: London, Reprinted, 1926, p.100]" (Hodge, C., "Systematic Theology," , James Clark & Co: London, Reprinted, 1960, Vol. II, p.16) 29/04/2007 "It is singular how differently one and the same book will impress different minds. That which struck the present writer most forcibly on his first perusal of the "Origin of Species" was the conviction that Teleology, as commonly understood, had received its deathblow at Mr. Darwin's hands. For the teleological argument runs thus: an organ or organism (A) is precisely fitted to perform a function or purpose (B); therefore it was specially constructed to perform that function. In Paley's famous illustration, the adaptation of all the parts of the watch to the function, or purpose, of showing the time is held to be evidence that the watch was specially contrived to that end; on the ground, that the only cause we know of, competent to produce such an effect as a watch which shall keep time, is a contriving intelligence adapting the means directly to that end. Suppose, however, that any one had been able to show that the watch had not been made directly by any person, but that it was the result of the modification of another watch which kept time but poorly; and that this again had proceeded from a structure which could hardly be called a watch at all-seeing that it had no figures on the dial and the hands were rudimentary; and that going back and back in time we came at last to a revolving barrel as the earliest traceable rudiment of the whole fabric. And imagine that it had been possible to show that all these changes had resulted, first, from a tendency of the structure to vary indefinitely; and secondly, from something in the surrounding world which helped all variations in the direction of an accurate time-keeper, and checked all those in other directions; then it is obvious that the force of Paley's argument would be gone. For it would be demonstrated that an apparatus thoroughly well adapted to a particular purpose might be the result of a method of trial and error worked by unintelligent agents, as well as of the direct application of the means appropriate to that end, by an intelligent agent. Now it appears to us that what we have here, for illustration's sake, supposed to be done with the watch is exactly what the establishment of Darwin's Theory will do for the organic world." (Huxley, T.H., "Criticisms on `The Origin of Species'," in "Lectures and Lay Sermons," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Co: London, Reprinted, 1926, pp.100-101) 29/04/2007 "CHARLES DARWIN provided biology with a very precious gift. He offered an explanation both for the vast diversity of living things that inhabit the Earth and for the inherent similarities among all that diversity. Natural selection, the preservation of those types best able to prosper in a particular set of circumstances, is the strong thread that unifies all biology. Competition, the inexorable struggle to survive, will see to it that anything that can gain a temporary respite from the struggle by exploiting a hitherto empty niche will prosper, and out of this comes the diversity of life. Descent, the moulding of a new type from variations on an old, will result in similarities that make sense of the diversity." (Cherfas, J., ed., "Foreword," in "Darwin Up to Date: A New Scientist Guide," IPC Magazines: London, 1983, p.4. Emphasis original) 29/04/2007 "Darwin did not invent evolution. The facts of the matter were there for all to see, and many people did not accept the biblical fixity of species even before Darwin's time. What he invented was a theory that explained evolution. He replaced the benign intervention of a wise Designer with the blind operation of two supreme forces; variation and selection. In so doing, he changed the way people perceived their world." (Cherfas, J., ed., "Foreword," in "Darwin Up to Date: A New Scientist Guide," IPC Magazines: London, 1983, p.4) 29/04/2007 "Darwin knew nothing about the machinery of inheritance, for Gregor Mendel's work had not been done when Darwin wrote The Origin and remained unknown until the beginning of the 20th century, and so his theory lacked a convincing mechanism. With the rediscovery of Mendel and the blossoming of genetics, natural selection gained the mechanism that had been missing. The Modern Synthesis brought genetics and population biology together to create neodarwinism, which provided natural selection with the means to bring about the ends that Darwin himself documented. The science seemed complete with the advent of neodarwinism." (Cherfas, J., ed., "Foreword," in "Darwin Up to Date: A New Scientist Guide," IPC Magazines: London, 1983, p.4) 29/04/2007 "There remain, however, disagreements within biology about the details of Darwin's theory. These disagreements, evidence of a healthy science striving for a more complete understanding, have been seized upon by those who would deny all of Darwin and modern science. This book brings together articles culled from the pages of New Scientist to document the scientific debate. One thing is clear. Today, a hundred years after his death, the ideas of Charles Darwin remain the mortar that bind the bricks of biology." (Cherfas, J., ed., "Foreword," in "Darwin Up to Date: A New Scientist Guide," IPC Magazines: London, 1983, p.4)
* Authors with an asterisk against their name are believed not to be evolutionists. However, lack of
an asterisk does not necessarily mean that an author is an evolutionist.
Copyright © 2006-2010, by Stephen E. Jones. All rights reserved. These my quotes may be used
for non-commercial purposes only and may not be used in a book, ebook, CD, DVD, or any other
medium except the Internet, without my written permission. If used on the Internet, a link back
to this page would be appreciated.
Created: 23 December, 2006. Updated: 4 April, 2010.