I enjoyed reading your web page "What is Evolution?". I had a question to the particular statement,
"Not only does this definition exclude prokaryotes, protozoa, and fungi, but it specifically includes a term 'gradual process' which should not be part of the definition.".
My question is, didn't Darwin assume a gradual process in his theory of evolution?
Just wanting to get everything straight in my mind.
depends, of course, on what one means by "gradual."
The large-scale trends in evolutionary development of terrestrial life have happened over long time scale, on the order of hundreds of thousands to millions of years. However, some small-scale evolutionary changes are swift enough to be directly witnessed in a period of years. Antibiotic resistance is one example; others include the color changes of the peppered moth Biston betularia and the adaptations of Darwin's finches described in The Beak of the Finch by Jonathan Weiner are others.
Evolutionary changes are gradual in the sense that they involve small modifications from generation to generation; however, those changes can pile up rather swiftly.
I hope that answers your question.
|Comment:||I just have a simple question about your page. There is scientific information and proof that the theories of evolution are false and should not be taught in our public schools. I just want to know why there are no scientific evidences that prove evolution. Please e-mail me some if you have any. I wasn't able to find any on your website.|
|Author of:||Punctuated Equilibria|
Actually, Fred Brown does not pose "just a simple question". First, there is an assertion concerning the status of evolutionary mechanism theories. Second, there is a question that is anything but simple in its construction. Third, there is a request that is impossible to fulfill, for the simple reason that Fred Brown did not leave a valid email address. Finally, there is an assertion that is sadly unsupported. I will take these items in order.
While some evolutionary mechanism theories have been falsified and abandoned (pangenesis, orthogenesis, bathmism, aristogenesis, etc.), there are many evolutionary mechanism theories which have been well-tested and have much supporting evidence. These include natural selection and genetic drift. Other theories do have attendant controversy and discussion, but also have supporting evidence, such as punctuated equilibria and the theory of allopatric speciation of peripheral isolates. It is widely considered important that students in biology have education in the concepts of evolutionary phenomena and theories. An important resource on this topic is the National Center for Science Education. The National Academy of Sciences has a sourcebook for educators concerning evolutionary biology. link page for educators is also online there. Statements from a number of scientific, religious, educational, and civil liberties organizations supporting the teaching of evolutionary biology can be found in the NCSE publication Voices For Evolution. A white paper on evolutionary biology and its importance to society lists many ways in which evolutionary biology improves modern technology, including advances in medicine.
Fred Brown asks why there are no scientific evidences that prove evolution. The question ignores information concerning what evolution is defined as by biologists. According to that definition, scientists have collected much evidence concerning the observation of evolutionary phenomena in the present, and evidence from which we can reasonably infer evolutionary phenoemena in the past. Currently observed evolution includes speciation as well as much work showing evolutionary change within species. A small sampling of published evolutionary phenomena can be found in Evidence for Evolution An Eclectic Survey. The difference between phenomena and theories is discussed in the Evolution is a Fact and a Theory essay by Laurence Moran.
Fred Brown requests email, but fails to provide a valid email address. I would suggest that Fred pose his question on the talk.origins newsgroup, publishing his valid email address there.
Fred claims not to have been able to find any scientific evidence to prove evolution on this website. While no amount of evidence can be considered sufficient in terms of corroborating a theory, there is plenty of evidence referenced here that establishes the existence of evolutionary phenomena and which supports various evolutionary mechanism theories. Even SciCre proponents embrace certain aspects of evolutionary change, arguing for rapid divergence within "kinds" since The Flood. While Fred's final statement has some merit in terms of making an assertion via rhetoric, it should be clear that a reasonable survey of the archive will convince reasonable people that there is scientific evidence which 1) demonstrates that evolutionary change happens (the phenomena of evolution) and 2) that various evolutionary mechanism theories are supported by that evidence.
Fred Brown is invited to make specific any charges that false information is contained in the various resources in this archive. General nay-saying does not move the discussion along.
|Comment:||I didn't see you mention that there is controversy in the actual vehicle of change in species. I read many years ago that mutation has many unresolved questions.|
of mutations as a source of evolutionary novelty is long
established, along with mechanisms of recombination,
hybridisation (especially in plants), chromosomal splitting
and joining, and so forth.
One issue that is still under debate is the mode of evolution. The question is whether speciation (the event of the splitting of one species into two or more) occurs mostly in a geographical distribution of separation first, new species later (allopatry) or new species first, geographical separation later if at all (sympatry).
If speciation is mostly allopatric, then the differences that accrue through sampling error of genes and mutations that occur in one but not another population need not be adaptive, and so selection will not be the major cause of new species, though it will be of new adaptations.
If speciation is mainly sympatric, then the differences between species will be due to separating selection in favour of adaptive features (for example, a new food preference for oranges instead of apples might force incipient species to mate at different times of the year).
The weight of favour is on the allopatric mode. Usually this is referred to as the "Founder-flush" theory of Ernst Mayr - a small founder population is isolated from the main populations of a species, and adapts after that to novel environments (with its own mutations if they occur). Then it reinvades the ancestral range but makes its living in different ways to the ancestor species.
Some cases of sympatry have been seen, for example in fruit flies in California, but some argue that the move from one food source to another counts as allopatry, since the variants are literally living on different territories.
browsed through some of your articles and archived debates
concerning the age of the Earth. While I find these items
enlightening, I find them frightening at the same time. I
find it hard to fathom that some people (and highly
educated ones at that!!) believe the Earth is less than
10,000 years old. Taking this into consideration, I realize
that no matter how concrete the evidence is against the
Earth being only 10,000 years old, these individuals will
never change their minds. However, this doesn't stop people
like me from trying to change their minds! So, now that
I've said that, I thought that this small article from
Discover magazine may help dispel the myth of the 10,000
year old Earth. Without further ado, here is the article:
Chain of Craters
|Response:||For some nice images of Spray and Rowley's work, point your Web browser to pgap.uchicago.edu.|
|Comment:||I have just
spent about 30 minutes reading through some areas of your
site. I will be back. I firmly believe in a 6 day/24 hour
day Creation. However, I must admit that I have not devoted
enormous amounts of time to investigating the scientific
fact supporting this belief, although I have read numerous
articles, books, etc. about the entire issue. One of the
things that I seldom see from either side of this huge
debate is the fact that, like it or not, believing in
either Creation or Evolution takes a large amount of faith
(belief in/evidence of the unseen). Next time I'm back,
I'll look for info on the evolution of the eye, what
existed before the bang (or whatever the current
evolutionary belief is), and many other questions that I
would like to see both sides of. One of my biggest
questions is regarding the scientific assumption that we
have gathered enough evidence in the past 200 (or 2000)
years to make definite claims as to what supposedly
occurred billions of years ago. The amount of time spent
gathering data is such an incredibly small fraction of the
time relative to the amount that the "old earth" supporters
say we have to choose from (did that make sense?). Seems to
me that developing a theory like evolution is similar to
recreating the entire Mona Lisa from a single minute fleck
of paint. Or, so I don't tick anyone off, a hundred (or
thousand) minute flecks of paint.
Like I said, though. I have a lot of reading to do.
I hope you can find some information in the archive which
addresses your concerns. If I may make some suggestions:
The archive contains a list of must-read files, which is unfortunately a bit long. I would suggest you read at least the list of frequently asked questions which is filled with links to other files depending on your interests.
Two other especially good files are the welcome to talk.origins, which introduces you to the newsgroup where you can ask questions and engage in debate, and the introduction to evolutionary biology which outlines the basics of evolution so that you will understand where we are coming from.
The big bang is not a part of evolution; but it certainly relates to the origin of the universe. The talk.origins archive does not address this in detail, so I recommend you look at Ned Wright's cosmology tutorial for a basic introduction.
I don't think your final question is addressed here, but it strikes me as a very odd question. Surely you are not saying we can know nothing at all about the past; and I assure you we are not saying you can find out absolutely everything about the past. We cannot even determine everything that happened this century; but that does not put World War 2 in doubt. If you have concerns about particular conclusions we have been able to discover, you would need to indicate what they are, and why you do not accept them. The newsgroup is the proper place to discuss such matters.
Finally, don't limit yourself to what is on the web. It would be well worth reading a few books as well, and the archive has a list of recommendations which covers a range of perspectives. Good luck!
|Comment:||I have a lot
of trouble publishing.
When I send a message to the moderator, it comes back with an error message. The error is that I didn't put the word "newsgroups" in the header line.
All I have to do to publish is put that word in the header line.
What is a header line? I have tried putting "newsgroups" on the first line of the post. Apparently that is not the header line. It doesn't make sense to me to include "newsgroups" in the subject line. What is left?
Help me out, please.
|Author of:||The Age of the Earth|
postings need a "Newsgroups:" line in the header, so that
news servers which receive the article can tell which
group(s) it belongs to. For a talk.origins posting, the
line would look like this:
The talk.origins moderator probably requires that line for submissions-via-Email because it's a good way to filter out spam. The first line of your E-mail is not the same as the header. You will have to check out the advanced features of your mail tool and find out how to add user-specified header lines.
|Comment:||Why won't people just face it. Evolution and Creation are Belief Systems nothing else|
|Author of:||Evolution and Philosophy|
|Response:||Because they are not. Creationism (as opposed to the doctrine of creation in Christian and Islamic theology) is a political and social movement, while evolutionary biology is a scientific discipline open to evidence, reasoning and occasionally abuse, as all science is. Have a look at the section on Evolution and Worldviews in the Evolution and Philosophy FAQ.|
The Cretinism guy then went on with the classic argument:
"How could a good God create an evil world?"
If you read Genesis, you find the answer. God created a perfect world. We chose death instead. It is not the somalian boy's fault that he starves without a chance at life. It is yours, mine, Adam and Eve's. We disobey God, and create evil in the world. Had Adam and Eve never disobeyed, there would be no death. And had i been in Adam's position, I would have done the exact same thing.
That's why Christ came. To make it right.
really off the topic of this website. This is a website for
both Christians and non-Christians.
But, since you brought it up... Does God create evil, do evil, or have any evil in Him?
Exodus 32:14 "And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people."
Genesis 6:6,7 "And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth . . . And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth . . . for it repenteth me that I have made him." (So, did God create a PERFECT WORLD?) Jonah 3:10 ". . . and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not."
Exodus 20:5 "For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation." (Repeated in Deuteronomy 5:9)
Isaiah 45:7 "I make peace and create evil. I the Lord do all these things."
Lamentations 3:38 "Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?"
Jeremiah 18:11 "Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you."
Ezekiel 20:25,26 "I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live. And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the Lord."
"Therefore fathers shall eat their sons in the midst of you and sons shall eat their fathers...I will send famine and wild beasts against you and they shall rob you of your children; pestilence and blood shall pass through you; and I will bring a sword upon you. I, the Lord, have spoken." Ezekiel 5:10, 5:17
"And I will fill your mountains with the slain; on your hills and in your valleys and in all your ravines those slain with the sword shall fall...Then you shall know that I am the Lord." Ezekiel 35:8
"The Lord raised up for them a deliverer, Ehud...And Ehud said, 'I have a message from God for you.' And he rose from his seat. And Ehud reached with his left hand, took the sword from his right thigh, and thrust it into his (Eglon, king of Moab's) belly." Judges 3:15-21
"And he (Elisha) went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them." 2 Kings 2:23
"...I create woe; I am the Lord, who do all these things." Isaiah 45:7
|Comment:||It seems that most of your arguments center around finding a single error in Gish's argument and pouncing on it. That is not science, that is a critique. Please read Johnson's book, Darwin on Trial, or Michael Behe's book, Darwin's Black Box, and comment on those. You may have a little more trouble developing an argument to counter either of those. Once again you evolutionists rely on censorship of others to make your point which is not science.|
confused as to how the reader believes our arguments center
on finding a single error of Duane Gish's, given the
breadth of material in this archive addressing the claims
of many creationists and referencing the primary
literature. I am also confused as to why the reader
believes "censorship" is taking place. As far as I can
tell, Gish, Johnson, Behe, and many others are proclaiming
their views unimpeded. Moreover, this archive provides a long list of
links to creationist Web sites where readers of this
archive can find opposing viewpoints. I have yet to see a
creationist Web site that has done the same.
A quick check of our search facility also reveals critiques of the work of both Johnson and Behe, including links to other offsite material. Moreover, both authors are frequently discussed on the newsgroup talk.origins. The reader is welcome to join the debate there if he feels the material on this archive to be insufficient.
|Comment:||In response to the debate between Chris Lesley and Mark Harpt: I wonder if Harpt would draw the same conclusion if he were to come upon 2 vertical slabs of rock supporting another slab horizontally. In other words, could you logically infer from this arrangement that the 2 vertical slabs of natural rock were designed to support the horizontal slab of natural rock? Although both possibilities exist, that an intelligent agent intended the horizontal slab to rest upon the 2 verticals, it is also possible that the arrangement could have occurred naturally. Our conclusions about analogies such as these are often influenced by our frame of reference.|
|Response:||A good example of this is the natural arches and suspended rocks created by erosion, such as are seen in Arches National Park in Utah.|
peppered moth is an example of evolution change instead of
just plain genetic diversity within a species, then why can
any white peppered moth produce black offspring or visa
versa? Evolution is a one way change i.e. the white gene is
replaced by the black mutation until the white gene
disappears. All offspring that get their color gene from
the black parent would then be black, etc. slowly
transforming the whole population. If the white gene is on
par with the black gene, then it will never fade from the
population and you get evolutionary "throw-backs" (or
humans who are more correctly classified as Homo erectus or
You will note that black peppered moths have always been observed in peppered moth communities, they only become more numerous, i.e. harder targets, with the introduction of pollution. This paraphrased from my dictionary and a jr. high textbook, which had a lovely picture of the two colors of moth on both soot covered and clean birch trees to illustrate the point. Natural selection is the controlling factor with the peppered moth "change" and, though part of the theory of evolution, does not prove the whole case. You still need proof of one species becoming a total new one, which has never EVER been observed, and attempt have been made! By your logic, calico, solid, spotted, tabbies, in addition to each breed of cat, paint, palomino, roan, brown, gray, red, white, etc. in addition to each breed of horse, every color and breed of domestic dog, and each distinctive ethic group of humans are evidence of speciation. And yet all domesticated cat are Felis catus, all domesticated horses are Equus caballus, all domesticated dogs are Canis familiaris, and all humans are Homo sapiens. There are greater differences within these groups than there are within the peppered moth community (all known as Biston betularia, by the way).
Within 6000 years, man has produced variations ranging from Chihuahuas to Great Danes and Miniature Horses to Shires, yet all are considered genetic variations of one species, whether it be dog (Canis familiaris) or horse(Equus caballus). Within all that time, domestic breeding has yet to produce 1 truly new species! Heck, when compared to their wild relatives, deliberately breed domestic animals are still only a genetic variation and not truly a new species. Breeders just made use of what was already there through selective breeding(i.e. un-natural selection). Ask any animal breeder.
You keep pointing out how so many scientists are religious. I know many people who are religious but their gods are jobs, money, power, evolution, etc. Being religious is putting faith in something, letting it drive your life and your beliefs, and is not by definition believing in God the Creator.
The Bible does not compliment Evolution. They are opposites. Anyone reading the first chapter of Genesis, paying attention to detail, cannot believe Man evolved from ape. Genesis states we are a direct creation of God from the dust of the earth. It further disagrees with evolution in stating birds where created before land animals, no chance of dinosaur precursors, i.e. those biblically "religious" evolutionist don’t study their Bible.
would do well to consult the What is Evolution?
FAQ and the Introduction to
Biology FAQ, which explain that biologists define
evolution as the change in allele frequencies in a gene
pool over time. Any change in a gene pool, whether
it be from mutations, selection, genetic drift, or other
mechanisms, constitutes evolution. There is no requirement
that the change be "one way."
The coloration of the peppered moth Biston betularia is determined primarily by a single gene. The dominent allele of that gene D codes for a dark moth; the recessive allele d codes for a light moth. Moths which have the alleles DD, Dd, or dD will be dark; only the ones with two copies of the light allele dd will be light. The reader's assertion that any light peppered moth can produce dark offspring is not true; populations of light moths do not have any D alleles with which to form dark offspring. The only way that a dark moth can arise from a population of light moths is through mutation. As it happens, there is a mutation which occurs with a certain frequency that can change a light allele d into a dark allele D.
The reader confuses evolution with speciation. Breeds of cats, horses, and dogs are examples of evolution--changes in allele frequencies in the gene pool--though they have not yet speciated. Speciation has been observed, however, in both the lab and the wild. See the Observed Instances of Speciation FAQ and the Some More Observed Instances of Speciation FAQ. It should also be noted that although selection, both artificial and natural, can only act on the genetic information present in the gene pool, mutations change the information present for selection to act upon.
It seems to me quite presumptuous of the reader to imply that those who accept evolution as the explanation for the diversity of life on Earth to be putting their faith in a "false God." Many devoutly religious people that I know view investigating the universe through science, including through evolution, as a way to strengthen their faith by learning more about God's creation, thereby coming closer to an understanding of Him and His power. Or is it the reader's assertion that only those who agree with him are "true Christians"?
It also seems to me that anyone reading the first chapter of Genesis, paying attention to detail, would realize that the creation of Man "of the dust of the ground" takes place in the second chapter of Genesis, not the first. Moreover, it says nothing about "direct" creation, or about the process by which God created Man. It does say instead, "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Gen. 2:7 (KJV).
Finally, it seems to me that those who focus too closely upon the details of Genesis do so at the peril of missing the central message of the Bible; namely, its message of the sinful nature of humanity that requires redemption through the power of God.
|Comment:||Can you give
defintions of hypothesis and theory on this page?
|Author of:||Evolution and Philosophy|
lot of confusion about the terms "theory" and "hypothesis",
and it permeates the philosophy of science as well as
science and popular culture. Kevin is quite right, so far
as it goes, in the general way he distinguishes hypothesis
from theory for scientists - that is what they are taught
the difference is. However, this is more in the way of
being a pointer to how to use the words correctly than
reflecting a deep distinction.
Generally, the notion of a theory means a formal model of some phenomenon, cashed out in mathematical terms and with some strong experimental outcomes. However, this turns out not to be the case in actual science. Ian Hacking (Representing and Intervening, Cambridge University Press, 1983) has an accessible account of how the "theory view" of science is wrong and generally limited. Similar considerations apply to the notion of hypothesis and conjecture. The view of Karl Popper that science throws up conjectures that then get tested is also not accurate. Often the conjectures are based upon a full and close understanding of the topic, and experimental results often precede the conjecture they are supposed to test. Science is far more complex than the educational and social myths suggest.
It follows, then, that we might also expect "fact" to be just as messy, and as the quotation from Gould in the FAQ you mention shows, it is. Facts are what everybody who works in a field cannot reasonably deny. Evolution cannot be reasonably denied by any biologists, though they can argue about the mechanisms for it. The basic sense of "fact" is science is "observed", and all the steps required for large scale evolution have been observed, and even induced, many times. How the observations link together is open to debate, but nobody now thinks that it is even possible for evolution as such to be discredited. It is a fact, pure and simple, if anything in science is a fact.
is ignorantly biased.
If you truly would like an honest (and you are not honest in your portrayal of Christian belief) rebuttal, I would be glad to take the time to do it if you will promise to be honest enough to publish it.
I have to say that my answers are based on science and logic, not on some bizarre form of faith that you accuse us of (though some folks are misled that way, I find it disconcerting that you conveniently use the weakest arguments and quote out of context for your benefit).
I contend you do not understand reality, science, or even good logic.
The experience I've had with evolutionists leads me to believe you will not take me up on my offer, and will completely walk away from any honest debate.
I don't have any ill feelings towards you though, since you are a sinner as I am, and I too was once held captive by pride and a fear of God (oh, I would not have described it that way any more than you would now).
May God have mercy on your soul,
|Response:||In fact, in
reading over the
talk.origins FAQ, which appears to be what the reader
is referring to, I see only one reference to Christianity
The rest of the FAQ is devoted to questions that are often raised about evolution, geology, cosmology, and science in general by creationists and others. Although the reader may not agree with the beliefs behind those questions, the truth is that some Christians do hold those beliefs. It is not the Archive's intention to "portray" Christianity or any religion in any particular way, but to respond to frequent misconceptions about science. If the reader does not share those beliefs or hold those misconceptions, perhaps his time might be best spent critiquing some other portion of the Archive.
|Comment:||This debate amuses me. Darned if I can see why Evolution denies God. (It does deny the magical rendition of Creation in, for example, the Bible) If God exists (I'm agnostic), then He might quite logically and appropriately have begun [created] this Universe with parameters that dictated the inevitable present result I have an awful lot of trouble with the idea that God merely snapped His fingers and Man - or dogs, cats, and eartworms - suddenly apeared as they are today. I would hope God is above the level of stage magician!|
|Response:||Very well put Paul. In the past, as well as today, questions of why or how(?), have been attempted to be answered. With recent, and fairly recent technological, and theoretical, achievements, we have uncovered a world, and universe, that with each new step, has filled us with continuing astonishment. Yes, God (the Creator) can no longer be considered the "stage magician", as you so well put, but a truly omnipotent and omniscient being(s). Each time we learn something new, the Creator (God), becomes more powerful, and awe-inspiring. Thanks for your feedback, Mark|
to the July 1998
Feedback.) I do not have a listing of scientists who do
not believe in evolution but I can give you some names. The
first is Michael Denton, a molecular biologist from
Australia. I read a book by him in which he shows the
problems in evolution and defines evolution as a myth.
(Myth--a belief system which is believed without facts or
evidence to support it.) Denton is a molecular biologist so
he does know more than a layperson about biology. Yet, he
does not believe in any religious dogma as far as I could
tell from his book. He seems to feel that evolution, like
the belief that the earth was the center of the universe,
is completely false and needs to be abandoned in order for
science to progress. I strongly urge you to pick up a copy
of the book. If you read this book I believe you'll need to
add a fourth category to your three categories of all
scientists who do not believe in evolution.
Time magazine has an article which reported that something like forty percent of all scientists believe in a personal God. As you said, this says nothing about their stand on evolution but does say something about their presuppositions to origins devoid of influence from an intelligent source.
You said you wanted writers to mention institutions of christian scientists. I know of one, probably the largest, called CRI or Creation Research Institution. I am not familiar with any other organizations. Your rebuttal probably has a lot of truth to it but you are not arguing the primary point people use when they say that scientists do not believe in evolution. Many people, because of the education system and general media, think that all scientists believe in evolution as fact. These creationists are simply pointing out that educated and knowledgable scientists in the fields of biology and taxonomy, etc., etc., either do not believe in evolution or express serious concerns about problems with the evolutionary scheme of things. Regardless of the reality of evolution it is true that it is not a scientific law and it is equally true that scientists in the fields of biology and paleontology either do not believe in evolution of acknowledge many serious problems with it.
As far as your last statement about salvation not being dependent on special creation or Biblical literalism: The Bible presents a take it or leave it mentality or theology. In other words, the Bible isn't something that we can choose what we want to believe and what we do not believe. Many Christians argue that Genesis should be re-written to fit in evolution yet the reality is that the entire Bible and Christianity falls apart without special creation. In other words, if evolution is true and special creation false, then the entire Bible is nothing but another best-selling self help book in which its value goes no further than the sigh or burning in the bosom one might get when reading it. I do not believe in evolution based on study and reading scientists such as Philip Morris (CRI), Gary Parker, and Michael Denton. As a Christian, I have learned that if I am faced with insurmountable scientific evidence in evolution I might as well use my Bible as a doorstop. As Clive Staples Lewis frequently wrote, the Bible, if true, is of immeasurable value, but if false, of no consequence.
reader peruses Michael Denton's works carefully, he will
notice that Denton in fact does not deny evolution
or say that it is "completely false." His denial is
specifically limited to the concept of common descent, the
theory that all of the life on Earth is descended from a
common ancestor. See this
critique of Denton's Evolution: A Theory In
Whether scientists believe in a personal God or not is not very relevant to their acceptance of evolution. This is not a question of atheism v. religion; it is a question of evolution v. pseudoscience. Large numbers of people manage to combine a devout faith in God with acceptance of evolution. See the God and Evolution FAQ and the Interpretations of Genesis FAQ for more details.
As for creation organizations, the reader is directed to our list of other links, which contains a long list of creationist Web sites. The institution that the reader is referring to is the Institute for Creation Research, to which Denton does not belong (as far as I know), but which is home to Gary Parker, John Morris, and his father, Henry Morris. (Philip Morris being the tobacco company, of course.) There are a few biologists that do not accept evolution, but they are the overwhelming minority.
I'm not sure why the reader feels Christianity "falls apart" without a literalist reading of the Bible. Does the reader feel that "divinely inspired" means deific dictation? Are the details of the creation what's important, or is it the saving power and redemption of God?
Cannot a long story be true even if it is not completely accurate in every detail? If I tell someone the story of how I felt when my house burned down, is it important if I get the color of the fire engines wrong, or the names of the firemen, or even the address of the house?
|Comment:||I have read that Australpithicus is a transitional fossil between earlier primates and the Homo genus. I also read recently that L. Leakey found a H. Erectus fossil that is as old as Australpithicus. If the identification of Australpithicus as transitional was mistaken, doesn't that show that paleontologists can be pretty sloppy in saying that such and such fossil is transitional?|
species does not cease to exist the moment a descendant
species appears. Chris Nedin addresses this issue in Archaeopteryx:
Answering the Challenge of the Fossil Record.
In other words, the identification of some Homo erectus fossils as being contemporaneous with some australopithecine fossils does not rule out the possibility (actually, probability) that some australopithecines were ancestral to Homo.
That said, certainly some paleontologists may be sloppy about some assertions. Fortunately, science is a self-correcting enterprise.
|Author of:||Fossil Hominids FAQ|
Trott has already pointed out, this argument is incorrect
because there is no reason why ancestor and descendant
species cannot overlap in time.
However, this particular example of the argument is doubly incorrect, because the australopithecines found by the Leakeys near Homo in East Africa are robust australopithecines. They are not ancestral to Homo, so they would not be a problem even if ancestors and descendants couldn't overlap in time.
|Comment:||"Oh, and by the way, the existence of atoms are not accepted on faith." (March 1998 Feedback, Kenneth Fair, Mar 1998. Response to Ettevy.) Oh, really?!? So someone actually has a taken picture of an atom. Last time I heard we were still having problems getting pictures of smaller than viruses, at least according to Popular Science.|
Tunnelling Microscopy at the James Watson Labs at IBM has
enabled researchers not only to picture atoms and molecules
but also to move them about, culminating in the famous IBM
logo in a matrix of atoms. Recently these researches have
permitted the picturing of atoms of given elements. See the
edition of Science for 31 July 1998, vol 281 under
"News of the Week" for more details. You might argue
whether these are photos, but only by calling into question
any observation that makes use of instrumentation
(such as photography, microscopy, etc).
The existence of hypothetical entities is always at issue, but even the most speculative is based upon evidence of an empirical and logical kind.
|Response:||Even without pictures of atoms, one need not have faith to accept their existence. Long before the scanning tunnelling microscope, the existence of atoms was confirmed by other experimentation. Democritus (the Greek who proposed atomic theory) may have accepted atoms on faith, but we surely do not.|
to a June 1998
Feedback about inbreeding.) The Creationist response:
Inbreeding is the collection of genetic "errors." Those
errors are primarily caused by radiation from the sun, and
other sources. According to Creationists, ultraviolet rays
were screened out before the flood, allowing the
fantastically long life-spans, and inbreeding without
damage. Interestingly, the reported lifespans shorten from
900 years to 100 years in the several generations after the
flood. Could the writers of the Bible have known that
radiation and inbreeding would shorten lifespans and damage
the species? Yet they showed it.
As for predators eating the other species, if you'll reread the passage, more than 2 of the "clean" animals were taken -- so that there would be some meat. And most animals (like humans) can survive on an all-vegetable diet -- at least for a short time.
Hope that's helpful. I figure you must stack the e-mails you select to publish ('cause you pick the most ignorant and embarrassing). Consider: there are a lot of intellectually honest creationists out there. I'm one of them.
first like to address the charge that the Archive "stacks"
the published feedback to make those presenting creationist
arguments appear more "ignorant or embarrassing" than they
are. I'll analyze the June 1998 Feedback
as an example.
The Talk.Origins Archive published 39 of the 57 feedback letters received in June 1998, including all but one of the letters for which a response was written. Of the 18 not published:
As one can see from this list, the letters least likely to be published are those which say "Great job!" or the like. Although they are read and highly appreciated, they don't provide new information for feedback readers or anything to which much of a response can be written besides "Thank you."
Virtually all of the letters espousing a creationist viewpoint are responded to and published. Moreover, the respondents often, though not always, clean up the spelling and grammar of the feedback, as in fact I did with this feedback. What our readers see is pretty much what we get; if anything, the Archive slants towards presenting the best creationist responses we receive, for they provide the best opportunity for a cogent and detailed response.
As for the other points raised: There is no evidence other than the accounts in the Bible to suggest that people once lived as long as 900 years. Certainly, no other historical records from the period in Egypt, China, or elsewhere indicate that people had multiple century lifespans. I have seen a suggestion (though I don't know enough to evaluate it) that the terms for "year" and "month" might have become garbled or confused. Then, 900 years would actually be 900 months, which translates into a 75-year lifetime--still an exceptionally long lifetime by the standards of the period.
Leaving aside the difficulties with UV "screening" by a vapor canopy, the problem is that mutation rates do not allow the current diversity of genetic information from a genetic bottleneck of only a few thousand years ago. To allow for this would be to propose rates of evolution faster than anything ever seen or documented, now or in history, and rates far faster than even the most ardent supporter of evolution would accept.
Despite the ability of some animals to survive on varied diets, many animals require specific diets or they perish. Furthermore, Genesis 7:2 (KJV) states: "Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female." (Ditto the "fowls also of the air" in verse 3.) Seven pairs of animals are not enough to form a complete food chain or thriving ecology, and cannot provide support for large predators for a full year. Talk to anyone who works at a zoo; their food deliveries over a year are measured in tons, and they are not supporting nearly the number of species that an Ark would. A far more reasonable interpretation of Genesis 6-8 is that there was a large local flood which Noah and his family survived by moving themselves, their livestock, and some local species onto a large boat. See the Flood FAQs for more details.
|Comment:||Of all the talk I've heard about human evolution, I am not aware of any extensive investigation of human behavior toward individuals who are sick, disabled, or elderly. Sociobiology might have touched on this subject, but I believe it is important for trained professionals to study the reasons why elderly and disabled people are so often the victims of abuse and neglect. Did the human species evolve behavior that causes this abuse? Did we inherit genes that compel us to seek out "fit" people and avoid those persons that we perceive to be unfit? You tell me.|
|Response:||There may be
some evolutionary basis for the behavior you describe.
After all, one's own genes might be less likely to survive
and propagate if one's partner is prone to sickness, or
disabled and unable to protect oneself or one's offspring.
Furthermore, there might be a group selective effect, in
that groups which shun the weak and sick might be more
likely to survive and propagate than groups which do not.
Some herding animals, for example, will drive weak and sick
individuals towards predators in order to save the rest of
That said, it should be emphasized that humans are more than just a product of our genes. We are not robotic "gene machines," but are also a product of the developmental expression of those genes as well as the socialization we receive while growing up. It is my opinion that abuse of the disabled and elderly has less to do with biology than the failure of society to identify, educate, and if necessary punish those who engage in such behavior.
of geocentrism is an irrelevent one. Everything is relative
in space. From our perspective here on earth, the entire
UNIVERSE rotates around us (because we are rotating
relative to it.) The sun revolves relative to us, even tho
ITS gravity is the cause. Knocking creationism for such a
small detail is...I'm sorry folks... red herring.) Because
it is not INCORRECT, but simply does not COMPLETELY address
the issue...does not cause me to lose any sleep.
|Author of:||Punctuated Equilibria|
Geocentrism's relevance lies in how it serves as an example of revealed dogma inhibiting empirical study. This is a historical issue that some anti-evolutionists actively seek to make apologetics upon. If anti-anti-evolutionists bring up historical geocentrism, an easy response would be, "That was then, this is now," where the anti-evolutionists would explicitly distance themselves from the stigma of the past. Unfortunately, what we see anti-evolutionists doing is either a response that states that geocentrism is "not incorrect" or a pro-active defense of geocentrism. While it might be possible to formulate something today that could be called "geocentrism" which might fit the weak title of "not obviously incorrect", that isn't the geocentrism at issue. The geocentrism that is discussed by science advocates is the historical geocentrism which was advocated as part of official church dogma some time ago.
The historical geocentrism had many separate bits of dogma that were part of the package. That each was held to be inviolable is a matter of historical record. One part of geocentrism dogma that is conveniently forgotten by the various apologists, including the folks at the ICR, is the exclusionary principle that no celestial bodies orbited celestial bodies other than the earth. The observation of the moons of Jupiter put paid to that notion. Another bit of dogma concerned the immobility of the earth, but Foucault pendulums demonstrated that to be wrong as well. These things are indicators of more than just "incompleteness". Historical geocentrism was, plainly and simply, wrong.
When selecting an inertial frame for a problem, the choice of reference does make a practical difference, even if one invokes mathematical equivalence as a metric. The geocentric frame of reference could be employed for models of celestial mechanics, but anybody using a heliocentric inertial frame for our solar system will achieve correct results much, much faster. The same theoretical equivalence holds for basing a model of celestial mechanics on my left eardrum; I just don't believe that such a model holds any special significance, and it is clearly unjustified due to the practical complications it adds to finding mathematical solutions. That same impracticality attends a choice of a geocentric frame of reference for any solar-system scale problem.
The geocentrism issue is largely a self-inflicted wound on the part of anti-evolutionists. Apologists keep bringing it up, and others keep pointing out the obvious flaws. Responses that seek to justify the historical geocentrism are rightly seen as being fair game for commentary. It really was not that long ago that someone arguing these issues might stand in jeopardy of penalties for heresy. (My grandparents' grandparents' grandparents might have had to worry about such things.) Just a few centuries ago, disputing such "small details" could result in much more than a slap with a herring, red or otherwise.
My purpose in responding to SciCre arguments is based on wanting to see science taught in science classrooms, and non-science kept out of those classrooms. The anti-science basis of geocentricism apologetics (the outright exclusion of relevant data, the re-writing of history, the substitution of special pleading for analysis, etc.) means that I, for one, am unwilling to let this "small detail" pass without comment.
this comment on your "Post of the Month" section:
"Whether that article is written by an evolutionist or a creationist, the Talk.Origins Archive Post of the Month should give you a taste of what it's like to participate in talk.origins."
Two observations. First, this comment (and much throughout talk.origins) tends to perpetuate the myth that there are two options--evolutionist or creationist--and that these views must necessarily be in opposition to one another. The old black and white, stereotyped, us vs. them approach keeps it clean and simple: creationist vs. evolutionist, science vs. superstition, Christian vs. atheist, etc. In reality, it ain't that simple. Many evolutionists believe God created through evolution (theistic evolutionists and intelligent design advocates), and many creationists (such as myself) accept some evolutionary concepts that seem well established.
Second, the comment off your "Post of the Month" page deceptively implies that you are open to posting articles by creationists. I looked through your listings, and the postings are ridiculously lopsided in favor of pure evolutionists. No doubt you'll pontificate the old cliches that there is no evidence against evolution, and the creationists don't write anything interesting. Well, it's your website and you can post what you want. But please, don't try to convince us that you're seriously open to posting anything that would tend to undermine evolution.
|Response:||The Post of the Month
section is not intended to be a complete summary of the
origins debate, but is meant to highlight posts to the talk.origins newsgroup that
are well-written, well-referenced, highly informative, or
just plain amusing. Nominations of such posts should be
sent to . Also, mention of the nomination should be
made in the newsgroup. If the reader comes across good
posts of whatever position on origins, he should feel free
to submit them.
The maintainers of this archive fully understand that there is a broad spectrum of belief regarding origins. Indeed, we often end up making that point ourselves. (See the God and Evolution FAQ and the Various Interpretations of Genesis FAQ, for example.) In general, this archive is biased towards presenting the view of mainstream science, as is clearly stated on our home page and our welcome message. But we do include some direct links to creationist FAQs (see the Must-Read Files), as well as a long list of links to creationist Web sites. Moreover, many of the articles on this archive provide links to creationist materials that answer, rebut, or supplement them.
In short, I think the reader may be inferring too much from a single sentence.
|Response:||As Post of
the Month editor right now, and therefore as self-appointed
fascist arbiter of what gets put in as Post of the Month, I
merely note that nobody has yet (since January 1998, when I
took up this onerous duty) nominated a post that is clearly
antievolutionist. However, I have under consideration a
post for August that is, and I may yet select it.
Note also that some months I get no nominations, and so it's down to me and my own tastes. Hey, nobody said this was a democracy. However, when I post the requests for nominations, I tend to do this to evolutionists and antievolutionists alike. What they do is up to them.
|Comment:||Although there is much debate about the creation model, and what was the EXACT stages to our existence, I still think that the creationist model stands firm. The Bible is only an overview, as to what sequence it all happened no one really knows, unless one was there to witness it all. But if we say that we evolved, I'am surprised there are still people that believe that our exisitence came from literally NOTHING. Dosen't the EXTREME complexity of our world demand a complex creator? Did our automobiles appear out of the thin air? Anyone I know, knows that things don't just APPEAR out of the thin air, unless you are David Copperfield. And we are not just talking about a complex world, we are talking about an EXTREMELY complex world. Why can't out educational system see this? Have we thought ourselves into a corner? I don't think WE are smart. This website has failed to examine both sides of the coin.|
complexity implies a designer, then does simplicity imply a
lack of design? A baseball bat seems pretty simple to me.
Is the reader proposing that baseball bats appear
non-designed? If not, then how is complexity an indication
of design? And how can the reader explain the many examples
of complexity in emerging systems, where complex features
arise from simple rules?
Like it or not, our common sense idea that "things don't appear from thin air" just doesn't apply to the quantum world. At immensely small scales and at immensely high energies, things do in fact appear out of thin air, and disappear as well. That's why common sense is bad for doing science; common sense is based on our everyday experiences with low energies, medium-sized objects, and moderate lengths of time. Much of what science studies does not take place in that realm, and does not follow the same rules as what we are familiar with. The universe just isn't that simple. And as for bias, please read the archive's welcome message.
|Comment:||Interesting to note that your article on evolution did not get to the heart of the matter, according to me as a homeschooling parent. You referred to creationism as 100% CRAP. That is precisely what I find your whole account of evolution to be. Therefore my child will never be taught that your theory is correct. By the way, who died and left you in charge?!|
Colby's judgment of creationism as "100% crap" (see the Introduction to
Evolutionary Biology FAQ) is perhaps harshly worded,
but it does accurately reflect the opinion of the
overwhelming majority of the scientific community on the
matter. (See, for example, the amicus
curiae brief of 72 Nobel Laureates submitted in the
1987 Edwards v.
Aguillard Supreme Court case.)
I am not sure in what way Chris Colby's article did not "get to the heart of the matter," though it is intended only as an introductory overview of concepts in evolutionary biology and not as a complete treatment of the subject. May I suggest that the reader browse through the other FAQs in this archive? They may provide greater insight as to why "creation science" just isn't science.
I applaud the reader's decision to homeschool. Few of us have the time, money, patience, and commitment to educate our children at home, and that level of contact and commitment can do wonders for a child's intellectual upbringing. I would strenuously caution the reader, however, not to introduce "scientific creationism" into the lesson plans. By heeding the words of deceivers such as Duane Gish, the child will be ill-prepared to make the decisions required of an informed citizen. Moreover, if the child receives any substantive exposure to biology in college, the child will quickly come to see the falsehoods of the scientific creationists" That child may then reject all of the religious training she has received, even that which is unrelated to evolutionary biology. Instead of strengthening that child's faith, the well-meaning homeschooler will have destroyed it. Far better, then, for both parent and child to have a subtler and richer understanding of both the Bible and the world around us. To that end, then, I suggest that the reader obtain and study thoroughly a good evolutionary biology (such as Douglas Futuyma's Evolutionary Biology) in order to learn what biologists actually say, rather than what the scientific creationists say they say.
|Comment:||Hi, I'm wondering if you could briefly explain the difference between the 50% chances of sharing the same genetic makeup (sibling-parent) and the 98% genetic sharing with great apes (humans-paniscus). I've read some books (the use and abuse of biology-Sahlins, Dawkins selfish gene, Krebs/Davies Behavioral Ecology, Rodgers, Hawkes' articles) and yet that point is always overlooked. Also, what's then the coefficient of relatedness between us and great apes? THANKS!|
non-biologist, I'll take a swipe at it. Informed people
will no doubt correct me.
Sibs share 50% of alleles, or alternate forms of gene sequences in the population. Each parent will have some differing alleles to the other parent, and the chances of their progeny getting one or the other alleles is therefore 50%. The vast bulk of genes are shared between conspecifics, although that value is not fixed.
Humans and paniscus share, according to DNA hybridisation studies, anywhere between 95% and 99.8% of their total genetic sequences. This value is in terms of actual DNA sequences, and does not take into account repeated sequences or chromosomal arrangements. Its significance is that the degree of similarity shows molecular relatedness, and helps resolve the phylogenetic "distance" between the two lineages.
completely misrepresents the creationist's position on the
2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Read the Second Law FAQ on
this site and then read this. Steiger in that FAQ says,
"Creationists assume that a change characterized by a
decrease in entropy can not occur under any circumstance."
This is false. Please read The Mystery of Life's Origin:
Reassessing Current Theories. This can be obtained from
the Foundation for Thought and Ethics, P.O. Box 830721,
Richardson, TX 75080.
An open system exchanges both matter and energy with its surroundings. Certainly, many evolutionists claim that the 2nd Law doesn't apply to open systems. But this is false. Dr. John Ross of Harvard University states, "There are no known violations of the second law of thermodynamics. Ordinarily the second law is stated for isolated systems, but the second law applies equally well to open systems." There is somehow associated with the field of far-from-equilibrium thermodynamics the notion that the second law of thermodynamics fails for such systems. It is important to make sure that this error does not perpetuate itself.
Frank Steiger completely disregards the main creationist arguments regarding complexity. Crystals are ordered, but life is complex with all its genetic information. Frank Steiger would have readers believe that all that is needed is "sufficient energy." This is false. Creationists correctly point out that more is needed than an open system and sufficient energy for the spontaneous development of life from non-living matter, let alone fish-to-reptiles evolution.
Law of Thermodynamics is as follows:
dS = q / T
dS is the change in entropy of the system, q is the heat absorbed by the system, and T is the absolute temperature of the system.
That's it. There's nothing there about open or closed systems, about "energy conversion mechanisms," or "controlled energy." This mathematical relation applies to all thermodynamic systems, open or closed. The Second Law is not "overcome" by intelligent design; it applies even when humans construct something.
A consequence of the Second Law is that when it is applied to closed thermodynamic systems, the overall entropy of the total system does not decrease. This means that heat exchanges between parts of the closed system will serve to increase the overall entropy of the system. Again, no "conversion mechanism" is required; indeed, the power of this mathematical relation is precisely that one need not know anything about the way these changes take place in order to make the entropy calculations.
If the reader is to make a convincing point concerning the Second Law and evolution, then the reader must select a well-defined system and perform the numerical entropy calculations to show that the change in entropy of the whole system is not equal to the heat absorbed over the absolute temperature. That's the only way to violate the Second Law.
The requirements that the reader lays out simply aren't thermodynamics as science uses it. Physics recognizes no distinction between "raw uncontrolled energy" and "controlled energy"; there is only energy. Furthermore, plenty of spontaneous things take place without a "control system." Perhaps the reader should learn something of how complex structures can arise spontaneously from systems with simple rules.
Finally, even under the reader's invented thermodynamics, evolution isn't precluded from happening. The "outside supply of energy" is the Sun, the "energy conversion mechanisms" are mutations, the "control system" is natural selection. But this is just invented thermodynamics. The real point to be made is that none of the processes involved in evolution--birth, development, genetic mutation, reproduction, and death--violate the Second Law; in fact, we see them happening spontaneously every day.
See the Thermodynamics FAQs for more a more detailed analysis.
|Comment:||Initially, I was impressed with the vast amount of information represented on this site. However, after poking around for a few more hours it became apparent which view the publishers hold (a few sections are good, however). For instance, all the articles posted in the Flood Geology section of your site are from an evolutionists' perspective. What about the other side of the story for which there is an increasing amount of support? What a joke of a site. Pity, too, because it has such great potential of actually presenting some real solutions. I will make it a point to tell my colleagues to look elsewhere for unbiased publishing.|
|Response:||A pity, instead, that the reader did not consult this archive's home page or its welcome message, both of which clearly state that the archive is biased towards presenting the views of mainstream science. A further pity that the reader did not consult the archive's list of other links, which has links to more creationist sites than one can shake a stick at.|
NOT an issue of religious or not religious. Behe ("Darwins
Black Box") is an irreligious man who believes in
Intelligent Design for scientific reasons. Your mom is a
Christian (i assume) who accepts evolution. The question is
not religion, but scientific plausibility. As for the Pope,
since when is he all-knowing? As for Creationists being a
minority, read the polls: a majority of Americans
disbelieve evolution. As for being politically powerful, we
HAVE no power. That is why evolution is taught as fact in
every public school in the nation. As for trying to change
legislation, welcome to democracy.
controversy between evolution and creationism is not a
struggle of religion vs. irreligion. The battle is over
what constitutes the scientific method- what passes for
evidence and in what manner it should be interpreted. The
battle is between science and psuedoscience.
The following statement, made by Henry Morris, as president of the Institute for Creation Research, illustrates my point: "There is no observational fact imaginable which cannot, one way or another, be made to fit the creation model."
Another example is by Creationist J. Maxwell Miller: "If one is willing to make adjustments in the historical claims of the Bible, they can be correlated with the archaeological evidence, if one is willing to take some liberties with the archaeological evidence."
With these statements in mind, how can creationism be considered science? Should this be allowed into public science classrooms?
|Comment:||I have never read such a unreasonably biased viewpoint in all my time in creation research. Can I ask one question which hasn't been answered in your FAQ. How can life come about by non-living matter? And I'm not interested in your biased assumptions of faith - I only want the scientific facts.|
Indeed, as clearly stated on the home page and the welcome message.
Unreasonably biased? The reader may disagree with the views of this archive, but considering the large quantity of information on this site, and the widespread acceptance of these views in the scientific community and elsewhere, I don't think "unreasonable" is a fair label.
Not answered? Evidently the reader has not consulted the main talk.origins FAQ, the Introduction to Evolutionary Biology FAQ, or the What is Evolution? FAQ, or he would know that the subject of evolution deals with the development and diversity of living things, not the development of living organisms from chemical precursors. Furthermore, if he had read the Interim Abiogenesis FAQ, he would know that although the topic of abiogenesis is currently under much research and debate, some scenarios have been outlined.
are some arguments to which I haven't found a response on
The differences in chromosomal structure that make breeding across certain lines impossible. For instance a horse and a donkey, that produce sterile offspring. Or simians. When humans gain an extra chromosome, they become deformed and sterile. Cats have different GENES, but the same CHROMOSOME STRUCTURE. Thus lions and tigers can be crossed -- and theoretically, all cats could be bred in a testtube. That implies common ancestry. But crossing chimps and humans (supposedly closely related) is genetically impossible -- implying a seperate ancestry.
The Darwinian idea of natural selection implies that superior species prevail. If the links between apes and humans were superior to apes, why are they extinct? They should have prevailed over and dominated the apes. Where are the reptile-bird links? Why did they die off if they were superior to reptiles? Fish amphibian? The answer? Because they were INFERIOR. If they were INFERIOR, why were they selected?
"Ah," you say. "All you creationists have is NEGATIVE arguments. How about some positive ones?"
The smooth layering of the rock strata implies a process called liquafaction -- similar to the process of quicksand -- where water is thrust up from underneath, causing the minerals to sort themselves according to density. A rock dropped in quicksand only sinks to the point where its density is equal to the surrounding sand. This is what is observed -- rather than the chaotic, scrambled sediments that would be expected in a slow process. The observed facts imply a large-scale flood to form the smooth strata.
The latest theories on the dinosaur extinction include an asteroid, massive waves and techtonic activity, followed by an ice age. This is entirely consistant with a global flood. Not with gradualism.
You told me to keep this short, so i will. If you ever run short of Creationists to whoop on, e-mail me. Creationism to not necessary to my faith. God could have used any process he pleased, and i have no right to question him. I am convinced of Special Creation by 5 years of intense personal research.
Thanks. PLC, Andy.
chromosome question I will leave to someone who could
answer it properly. The other questions are simple enough.
I suspect that the answer to that, like the answers to all
your other questions, are somewhere on the site.
Natural selection does not imply that there are superior and inferior species. This is a fallacy. It implies that certain species are more well adapted to a certain environment than other species. If the conditions change, the more well adapted species can suddenly become the less well adapted species. It is like a game of rock, paper scissors (which one is best? It depends!) The reason why certain species are extinct is that they were unable to successfully make a living in the environment in which they lived... they are not simply replaced by another species- like they are playing pieces lifted off the board and replaced by some unseen hand. It sounds like you have a profound misunderstanding of evolution.
"Chaotic, scrambled sediments" are in no way inconsistent with a gradual process. You merely made an assertion. Using YOUR OWN sediment density argument, please explain how heavier, denser strata can come to rest on TOP of lighter sediment... granite on top of limestone, for example? A flood cannot produce this, can it? If the flood hypothesis were true, would you not expect to have only heavy sedimentary layers on the lowest strata, and lighter sedimentary layers only on top? But that is not what is observed. The layers are randomized. Please explain how a flood can allow sediments of different densities to settle without regard to their density.
While you are at it, explain how you can have a layer of vocanic ash in sedimetary strata. Once you have done that, explain how such volcanic ash can have footprints embedded in it, if the world was caught in the midst of a violent, titanic flood. Rather unlikely.
I find the asteroid theory of dinosaur extinction totally inconsistent with a biblical, global flood. There is also no scriptural support for your assertion, nor any scientific support. It is not suggested that all the dinosaurs died in a flood... how you arrive at that conclusion is quite an impressive feat.
Also, no one claims that an asteroid impact is gradualism (that is a straw man argument).
You can be convinced of any religious belief that you like. But that does not make creationism science.
|Comment:||I have read your What is Evolution? page and have the following question: Why are there no quotes from Darwin?|
|Response:||Simply because they are not necessary to a definition of evolution. Although Darwin was the first to clearly set out how selection combined with variation can produce diversity, biologists today have a more complete and comprehensive understanding of the process today. This includes subjects not known by Darwin, such as Mendelian genetics and molecular biology. As such, the definition of evolution as used by biologists today encompasses the work of Darwin, but covers a broader range of phenomena.|