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The following are quotes added to my Unclassified Quotes database in October 2007. The date format is dd/mm/yy.
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13/10/2007 "ONE of the principal requirements of the radiocarbon dating technique is that the material measured contain the original carbon atoms present in the sample at the time it died or was deposited from the exchange reservoir. This means, of course, that the chemical form in which the carbon is bonded may have real bearing on the validity of the result obtained. Chemical experience clearly indicates that the covalently bonded molecules which constitute the organic world are less susceptible of replacement of the carbon atoms by direct exchange than are the inorganic molecules such as the carbonates. One therefore does not fear particularly the possibility that the carbon in carbonate, bicarbonate, or carbon dioxide will exchange with the carbon atoms in organic structures such as wood or flesh or cloth or charcoal. One does worry considerably, however, about the possibility that underground waters washing over shell would cause an exchange. On the other hand, putrefaction and chemical alteration are possible with organic systems, and one has to worry about whether a given sample has been so altered." (Libby, W.F, "Radiocarbon Dating," , University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, Second edition, 1955, p.43. Emphasis original) 21/10/2007 "In 1984, when the original Quote Book was released, the impact was tremendous. People could see that every brick of which the temple of evolutionary belief is constructed could be seen to be demolished by an authoritative statement from some eminent evolutionist-condemned out of their own mouths, so to speak. Stung, several of the evolutionary establishment in this country went through the book with a fine-tooth comb. To their delight and our surprised dismay, they found that a minority (a distinct minority) of the quotes were somewhat different from the original! How had this happened? With CSF, as usual, sorely under-funded, overworked at the time, the original Quote Book had been hastily put together from quotes sent in by a number of people. Some of these turned out to have been simply written down on a card after listening to a creation speaker at a lecture-which of course is often quite legitimately done as a paraphrase, not a direct quote. We are not offering excuses here-the work was withdrawn from sale when its handful of errors came to embarrassed attention." (Snelling, A.A.*, "The Revised Quote Book," , Creation Science Foundation: Brisbane Qld, Australia, 1990, inside cover) 28/10/2007 "Many theories of science, once declared anti-Christian, are now held by millions of Christians with no evil effecthristianity. It would be a very enlightening experience for many a hyper-fundamentalist to read White's history of the conflict of theology with science, and note how many heretical beliefs of the past he now holds! Copernican astronomy was assailed with all the venom the Church theologians had. It was declared that if this astronomy is true, all the Bible is false and all its glorious doctrines! Today, the author has yet to meet an evangelical believer who crosses Copernicus. All the dire predictions about what would happen if Christianity admitted the truthfulness of Copernican astronomy failed to materialize!" (Ramm, B.L.*, "The Christian View of Science and Scripture,"  Paternoster: Exeter UK, Reprinted, 1960, p.203. Emphasis original) 31/10/2007 "BY MR. ROTHSCHILD: Q It says there, `The scientific consensus around evolution is overwhelming.' And then it says, `Those opposed to the teaching of evolution sometimes use quotations from prominent scientists out of context to claim that scientists do not support evolution.' Do you agree that that's a problem, Professor Behe? A Well, I have a couple things to say about that, those sentences that you just read. First of all, this is another wonderful illustration of the confusion of the different senses of the word `evolution.' `The scientific consensus around evolution is overwhelming.' What is evolution? Is it Darwin's mechanism of random mutation and natural selection? Do they cite any writings by, say, Stuart Kauffman or the complexity theorists who object to that? I don't see anything there." (Behe, M.J., "Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al.," Transcript, Day 11, October 17, 2005, Afternoon session, part 1. Emphasis original. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/day11pm.html) 31/10/2007 "What is Evolution? The word 'evolution' means a process of development or unfolding of potential. We can speak of the evolution of a star, implying its genesis, development and destruction - the story of a spectacular bonfire far away across the universe. We speak also of the geological evolution of rocks and rock formations - the forces that form rocks and tear them apart, regenerate them in new forms and break them down again in a seemingly endless cycle. In chemistry we refer to the evolution of a gas. In common speech we use it of technological, social, political or other plans that are developed and put into practice, we may even speak of the spiritual evolution of a person - the process by which he strives to free his soul from its fetters of mind and body, turning consciously from evil and growing toward what is good. In biology evolution expresses the development, over a long time-span, of complex organisms (including man) from simpler ones. However, 'evolution' in biology also expresses the phenomenon by which, in a given environment, organisms that are well adapted to the conditions of that environment develop from forebears that are less well adapted, and much of the confusion in evolutionary thinking arises from the use of one word in these two distinct senses. The first process - the development of complex organisms from simpler ones - we have already called macro-evolution. The second, its smaller scale counterpart, is micro-evolution. As we have seen, Darwinian theory of natural selection applies clearly to the latter, though not everyone is satisfied that the case even for micro-evolution by natural selection has been established beyond doubt. More doubtful still is application of Darwinian theory to macro evolution; there is simply no direct evidence, from palaeontology, biochemistry, embryology or elsewhere, that fish have been transformed into birds, bacteria into jellyfish or reptiles into whales. There is, however much circumstantial evidence of common ancestry, and on that the evolutionist's faith in macro-evolution is maintained, despite the criticisms of contemporary creationists to whom macro-evolution is 'the transformist illusion'." (Pitman M., "Adam and Evolution," Rider & Co: London, 1984, p.20. Emphasis original) 31/10/2007 "WHAT IS EVOLUTION? The term 'evolution', as Mayr (1982) points out, has had many meanings. In its loosest sense, it is used to describe any change in any thing. In a much stricter biological sense, to modern geneticists it is 'any change in genetic makeup in populations of organisms'. This definition of biological evolution, while strictly correct, does not include any of the particular processes or products now accepted as being implicit in the concept. Accordingly, evolution can be defined more fully as: 'The origin of life from prebiotic substances and the subsequent differentiation through time of all species from preexisting species, this ongoing process being the result of changes produced by natural selection and/or mutation in the genetic makeup of populations'. Although Charles Darwin's basic concept of evolution, as set out in On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (Darwin, 1859), still survives among contemporary evolutionists, it has undergone considerable modification. Many additional concepts have resulted from modern evolutionary studies (e.g. Curtis, 1983; Luria et al., 1981; Mayr, 1982; Nei and Koehn, 1983; Stebbins and Ayala, 1985). For example, we now understand the basic genetic mechanisms of evolution that were unknown to Darwin and as a consequence we realise that there are many more ways in which populations change and species arise and survive than he visualised in 1859 (Gould, 1977; Stebbins and Ayala, 1985; White, 1978). Biologists who use this wider 'synthetic' array of concepts to solve evolutionary problems have been referred to as 'neo-Darwinists'." (Selkirk, D.R. & Burrows, F.J., eds., "Confronting Creationism: Defending Darwin," New South Wales University Press: Kensington NSW, Australia, 1988, p.19. Emphasis original) 31/10/2007 "What Is Evolution? Before reviewing creationists' arguments against evolution, a brief summary of the theory itself might be useful. Darwin's theory, outlined in his 1859 On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, can be summarized as follows (Gould 1987a; Mayr 1982, 1988): Evolution: Organisms change through time. Both the fossil record and nature today make this obvious. .... The debate rages, while creationists sit on the sidelines hoping for a double knockout. They will not get it. These scientists are not arguing about whether evolution happened; they are debating the rate and mechanism of evolutionary change. When it all shakes down, the theory of evolution will be stronger than ever." (Shermer, M.B., "Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time," W.H. Freeman & Co: New York NY, 1997, pp.140-141. Emphasis original) 31/10/2007 "Authors of the highest eminence seem to be fully satisfied with the view that each species has been independently created. To my mind it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed on matter by the Creator, that the production and extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should have been due to secondary causes, like those determining the birth and death of the individual. When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Cambrian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled. Judging from the past, we may safely infer that not one living species will transmit its unaltered likeness to a distant futurity. And of the species now living very few will transmit progeny of any kind to a far distant futurity; for the manner in which all organic beings are grouped, shows that the greater number of species in each genus, and all the species in many genera, have left no descendants, but have become utterly extinct. We can so far take a prophetic glance into futurity as to foretell that it will be the common and widely spread species, belonging to the larger and dominant groups within each class, which will ultimately prevail and procreate new and dominant species. As all the living forms of life are the lineal descendants of those which lived long before the Cambrian epoch, we may feel certain that the ordinary succession by generation has never once been broken, and that no cataclysm has desolated the whole world. Hence we may look with some confidence to a securee of great length. And as natural selection works solely by and for the good of each being, all corporeal and mental endowments will tend to progress towards perfection." (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection," , John Murray: London, Sixth Edition, 1872, Reprinted, 1882, p.428) 31/10/2007 "What is evolution? Biological evolution is the theory that all living things are modified descendants of a common ancestor that lived in the distant past. It claims that you and I are descendants of ape-like ancestors, and that they in turn came from still more primitive animals. This is the primary meaning of `evolution' among biologists. `Biological evolution,' according to the National Academy's booklet, `explains that living things share common ancestors. Over time, evolutionary change gives rise to new species. Darwin called this process `descent with modification,' and it remains a good definition of biological evolution today.' ["Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences," National Academy Press: Washington DC, Second edition, 1999, p.27] For Charles Darwin, descent with modification was the origin of all living things after the first organisms. He wrote in The Origin of Species: `I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings' [Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species," John Murray: London, Sixth Edition, 1872, p.428] that lived in the distant past. The reason living things are now so different from each other, Darwin believed, is that they have been modified by natural selection, or survival of the fittest: `I am convinced that Natural Selection has been the most important, but not the exclusive, means of modification.' [Ibid, p.421] When proponents of Darwin's theory are responding to critics, they sometimes claim that `evolution' means simply change over time. But this is clearly an evasion. No rational person denies the reality of change, and we did not need Charles Darwin to convince us of it. If `evolution' meant only this, it would be utterly uncontroversial. Nobody believes that biological evolution is simply change over time." (Wells, J.*, "Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth?: Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution is Wrong," Regnery: Washington DC, 2000, pp.4-5. Emphasis original) 31/10/2007 "Evolution is a fact which is so well confirmed that there is no more doubt about its reality than there is about the earth being round. It is probably the most firmly established phenomenon in all of science with the exception of the fundamental principles of physics and chemistry. The possibility that the overwhelming body of evidence for the reality of evolution has been grossly misinterpreted, at this time in history, is negligible. All the misguided `scientific' arguments and irrelevant moralistic rhetoric of the Creationists, both past and presumably future, cannot change this reality, whether they like it or not. They cannot make evolution go away any more than they can make tornadoes, earthquakes, and cancer go away. It is very important to distinguish, however, between the fact of evolution and the theory (or theories) of evolution. Theories attempt to explain the facts, but the facts themselves stand on their own, irrespective of the success or lack of success of any particular theoretical explanations. What, then, are some of the facts? ... It is a fact, shown by the fossil record, that life has changed progressively from simpler organisms to more and more complex ones over long periods of time, irrespective of precisely how this happened. It is a fact that many species which once lived on the earth are no longer to be found, and that, according to the evidence, for every species alive today there was a time in the past prior to which it did not exist. These appearances and disappearances of species are spread out over hundreds of millions of years. It is a fact that fossils of primitive microorganisms can be found in rocks of precambrian age, which indicates that life actually arose well before the first appearance of complex life forms in the Cambrian Era about 600 million years ago. The sequence of rocks containing primitive single-celled organisms is now known to extend back at least two billion years. It is a fact that a tremendous variety of different creatures have also appeared (and disappeared) within particular groups in which all species have essentially the same level of complexity. In other words, `complexity' may or may not increase as new forms emerge. It is a fact that populations of any species which do not continually interbreed do not remain the same indefinitely. For example, species which extend over large geographic areas and interbreed only locally, show progressive changes in characteristics from region to region. Sometimes the individuals at one boundary of the geographic range have become different enough from those at the other boundary far away that they could not breed with them, even if the opportunity arose, and are hence different species. It is a fact that organisms such as bacteria or fruit flies, when subjected to unusual environmental conditions, often manifest an improved adaptation to the new conditions within a few generations. It is also a fact that many new species, mainly of plants, have been produced by man in the last few decades. The scientific literature describes thousands of examples of plants and animals which have clearly changed with time under a variety of conditions and situations. It is simply a fact, observed in a multitude of ways, that change is an inherent characteristic of life, of life, for whatever reason. This process of change from generation to generation (or `change with descent`) is seen as evolution, and is an observed fact. It is not a `speculation' or `just a theory' as the Creationists claim." (Young, W.A., "Fallacies of Creationism," Detselig Enterprises: Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 1985, pp.145-146. Emphasis original 31/10/2007 "The theory of evolution, on the other hand, is based on the observed facts, and attempts to explain those facts in rational terms. The Creationists' claim that evolution is `just a theory' is highly misleading and is made in apparent ignorance of what is meant by a scientific theory in the first place. The theory of evolution attempts to explain how the observed fact of evolution occurs in terms of principles whose validity can be tested by further observation. Nevertheless, to call evolution a `fact' still does not mean that it, or any theory about it, is `proven' in an absolute sense. It is not possible, strictly speaking, to `prove' any scientific theory, or to `prove' that observations of the natural world are in any sense `true.' If it were really necessary to establish absolute proof, then there would be no science at all. Therefore it is unreasonable and misleading to criticize evolution, as the Creationists do, on the grounds that it cannot be `proven' to be true. No one can prove that the sun will rise tomorrow, either. Evolution may well be the greatest and most profound intellectual discovery of Western civilization, with the possible exception of the lawfulness of nature itself. Its influence has been enormous on almost every field of science, as well as on philosophy and religion. In the modern view, moreover, it is not only life which evolves, but planets, stars, galaxies, and even the entire universe. It is clear today that we live in a universe which has evolved to its present state from a much more primitive state in which matter was so highly compressed that even atoms could not exist. Atomic matter became possible only after the universe had expanded to a much lower density. Most of the chemical elements, of which we are composed, were ultimately manufactured in the nuclear furnaces of stars and were then dispersed into space to be recycled. Stars themselves are born from clouds of dust and gas, evolve through a series of stages, and finally die either quietly or explosively." (Young, W.A., "Fallacies of Creationism," Detselig Enterprises: Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 1985, p.146. Emphasis original 31/10/2007 "Wherever we look, from the earth itself to the vast universe beyond, we see evolutionary processes in action, or the results of such processes. In general terms, therefore, there is an abundance of evidence for the existence of evolutionary processes (processes of change) throughout nature, not just in biology. Although evidence of non-biological evolutionary processes does not confirm biological evolution, it does lend further credibility to it by showing that such processes are a normal part of the natural order. The Creationists denounce cosmic evolution as well as biological evolution, of course, and deny that stars evolve, or planets, or galaxies, or anything else. However, they concentrate their attention on biological evolution, so I will do the same. It is simply not possible to present the evidence for evolution in one short chapter, or even in a single book. To fully grasp the scope and significance of the facts which support evolution, and to appreciate the degree of coherence and order which the theory of evolution brings to biology, it is necessary to read and study at least a reasonable portion of the vast literature on the subject. I can therefore lay no claim to demonstrating the validity of evolution, but can only offer the briefest outline of modern opinion on the status of the theory. As I have already stated, the existence of evolution itself is not in question among knowledgeable scientists, despite the Creationists' attempts to make it appear as if it is. In the next section I will attempt to illustrate what kinds of mechanisms have been proposed to explain evolution. To conclude the chapter I will briefly discuss adaptation in terms of evolution vs. design, and will list a variety of miscellaneous `acts of life,' which, although they do not demonstrate the validity of evolution, are entirely compatible with it, and would be difficult to understand without it." (Young, W.A., "Fallacies of Creationism," Detselig Enterprises: Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 1985, p.147)
* Authors with an asterisk against their name are believed not to be evolutionists. However, lack of an
asterisk does not necessarily mean that an author is an evolutionist.
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Created: 23 December, 2006. Updated: 4 April, 2010.