|Comment:||I was recently reading on one of my favorite websites, www.drdino.com, and one of the questions he asks for evolutionists was "Where did all the matter come from? And better yet, where did the space for everything come from?" I was just wondering what the explanation for this was. In addition, if you've been there (since, being a completely pro-evolutionist site, I'm sure you have), I was wondering what the common view on it was?|
Hovind's question does not address evolution. Evolution is
the explanation for the diversity of life on Earth;
it has nothing to say about the age or nature of the
universe or of the Earth. As far as the theory of evolution
is concerned, the universe could have come from God,
nothing, space aliens, or magic pixie dust. And why not?
Many of those who accept evolution also believe that God
created the universe. The two ideas are not mutually
exclusive. See the God and
Kent Hovind's Creation Science Evangelism site is well-known to us at the Talk.Origins Archive. It is on our list of links to other sites. An exhaustive refutation of Hovind's claims by Dave Matson is also on this site. The general consensus from talk.origins regulars is that Hovind's site is of fairly low quality. Hovind does not advance any new arguments; he merely rehashes those of other creationists. The ICR is at least more creative than that.
|Author of:||Creation Science and the Earth's Magnetic Field|
answer your question, nobody knows. The Big Bang
theory is based on the evident observation of an expanding
universe. It is easy to see that if the universe is
expanding now, and you run the cosmic clock backwards (like
running a film backwards), everything comes together into
some initial state that just about defies description. That
is the initial Big Bang. Whether it came from nothing, from
something, or from God is a question that for now has no
Hovind thinks to score points by either ridiculing the notion that the universe came from "nothing" (which he wrongly thinks is a common belief amongst evolutionists), or forcing you to admit that you don't know. But I say so what? Are we all really expected to know the answer to every question? If we don't know the answer, does that automatically make any answer that Hovind puts forth just as good as any other answer? I think not.
As Kenneth Fair points out, the question in any case is not relevant to the Darwinian idea of biological evolution. However, creationists of the young Earth variety use the word evolution in a non-standard way, to mean all change of everything with time. in their view, biological evolution, cosmic evolution, stellar evolution, & etc. are all "evolution", and all equally wrong. it is for this reason that Hovind thinks the question relevant.
|Comment:||Why do you exist? Who created the first cell if we truly evolved? When was the beginning? When will the end be? Does Outer Space ever come to an end? Can you explain eternity? Eternity has no beginning or end. When I was a young boy I pondered these questions and there were not any scientific answers. I came to the conclusion that there is definitely a creator. Since then I have become wiser and these questions seem simple. Why do you hide behind science and the lies? Life is short and before you know it, it will be over. You can't take science with you, especially where you may end up. I will pray for you to repent and ask Jesus Christ as your saviour. I can't wait until I'm in heaven and all of lifes questions are answered. Science is important, but not the science you practice.|
because my parents had sex.
If we truly evolved, who created the first cell? If you are religious, then you can say that God did. If you are not religious, then no one did. The theory of evolution, and science in general, does not speak on the issue.
When was the beginning? To the best of our knowledge, between 12 and 15 billion years ago.
Space probably does come to an end, based on my limited understanding, but may be folded in on itself so as to have no boundary or edge.
Can I explain eternity? No. Can you? Is there such a thing? How do we know? It is possible that all things will come to an end, if the universe is "open".
If you want to believe in a creator, that is your right. But to attack real science, and call us liars, well that is rude and unfounded. Repent of what? Seeking the facts and honestly accepting what appears to be true? Why do you find that your theology and science are at odds? Are you aware that you appear smug and self-righteous?
Please excuse the length. I am writing in response to an answer that you gave me in the March feedback archives where you wrote, “the idea that ‘just because we can’t detect it doesn’t mean it’s false’ doesn’t belong in a scientific discussion.” What are you talking about? That idea is what drives science to make new discoveries and find ways to detect what can’t currently be observed or tested (people such as Pasteur and Einstein). If all scientists believed that there’s nothing out there that we can’t currently detect, we would enter a new dark ages. This idea not only belongs in a scientific discussion, it is foundational.
You also wrote, “Every test that scientists have come up with to test creationism has been sidestepped by creationists through a miraculous intervention by God.” I agree that although God can be credited for many of the major events in origins, creationists need to produce verifiable evidence. Likewise evolutionists must strive to do the same. While God isn’t the scapegoat for evolutionist models, time and chance are. Whenever something can’t be explained it is easy to just blame it on time and chance. I’d also like to deal your brash claim that there is no evidence for creation. While there may be no evidence that convinces you there is quite a bit of evidence to support creation. The problem is that we all interpret the evidence differently. I may look at evidence and see it pointing to creation and you look at the same thing and clearly see evolution. Neither of us is being unscientific we just filter it through a different worldview. You see diversity within a species or between similar species as natural selection at work. I see it as the evidence of a Creator. I feel that evolution can’t explain the origin of the genetic variations within a species. The first two creatures of a species would virtually have to have all of the genetic information of the species, as mutations create very little new information. With creation however it’s easy to see how a species could be created with genetic diversity which it passed on to its heirs. I also see evidence for creation in unique symbiotic relationships. The yucca and the yucca moth are a good example. Neither could survive without the other. I see this as evidence that they had to be created for each other. I also see creatures such as the bombardier beetle. Each of the components in the firing mechanism had to form simultaneously for the mechanism to function safely and effectively. I see this as evidence that it was created. How does evolution explain such a thing? It goes back to the old time and chance standby. Yet creationists are accused of using God as a cop out. I could go on but you get the point. Meanwhile the evolutionary theory is breaking to pieces and this somehow seems to go unnoticed. Of course there are plenty of missing link organisms to show the evolution of the phyla. Where however, are the missing links between fish and amphibians? How do you explain the vast skeletal differences that occurred out of nowhere? Also the birds seem to have come out of nowhere evolutionarily. The famed Archaeopteryx that was thought to be the link between dinosaurs and birds has been found to be just a bird with teeth, which isn’t too impossible. It even has a bony sternum and asymmetrical feathers like modern flying birds. You, of all people, should know how pitiful science’s case is for human evolution. Australopithecines are as different from humans as apes are. Neandertals are as similar to us as other races of humans are, and a large portion of what falls in between was proven a hoax, or is such an insignificant find that it’s precise identity can’t be fully known. “You (and all creationists) should understand something about the way scientifically-minded people come to accept an idea as true. We accept things as true, not based on an automatic assumption of truth, but after careful consideration of all evidence, weighing all sides of an issue, after skeptical criticism and asking a lot of questions of all positions (Ken Harding).” Maybe you need to ask some more questions.
|Response:||I had to
look back and see what the discussion was.
If you cannot detect something, that means it is not observable. If it is not observable, it leaves no evidence, no clues, to it's existence. If it is not observable, it is not testable. If it is not testable, it is not falsifiable.
Science does involve things that are not detectable, such as the the gravitational waves predicted by General Relativity. But here is the difference: You said that "just because we can't detect it doesn't mean it's false". That "shifting" of the burden of proof is not what science is about. It's not enough to say that it's real because we can't disprove it. The party making the claim must substantiate it.
If we can't detect it, we can't prove it's true. If we can't detect it, we can't prove anything about it. If we start accepting such things as science, that would be the start of the new dark ages.
Just because we can't detect the teacup that is in orbit around Neptune, that's not proof that it's not there, right? Do you see the point now? You don't have to prove the teacup is NOT there, you have to prove that it IS there.
|Comment:||I believe that the Bible is true, but not all of it is to be taken literally. Science has proven that a form of evolution has occured but this does not disprove the Bible. I prefer to interpret the Bible through scientific finds. Obviously the people who read the Bible thousands of years ago could not understand some of the things we do now. I believe God kept it simple for them, knowing a person with an open mind could interpret his meaning in the future. I think people who take every part of the Bible as literal are wrong, but the people who think God does not exist have not looked close enough at the Bible in its original language(Hebrew and Greek). An interpretation of the Bible using science will show people the truth.|
|Response:||The reader expresses a position that is not in contradiction with the findings of science, and which is indeed shared by several contributors to this archive.|
|Comment:||I am undecided between creation, evolution and combinations of these. I'm just attempting to test evolution theory here. How can one explain the universal genetic code? The reproductive systems of the first organisms would certainly have been unreliable and therefore almost NEVER yield offspring with the parent's genetic code. It seems very unlikely that all the alternative genetic codes could have been weeded out of existence. The only explanation I've heard merely claims that the current code is less susceptible to mutation by radiation. This explanation seems weak. Many stable nuclides have been produced in the laboratory who's natural abundances are listed as zero in reference works (were these merely rounded down to zero?). Why would the Big Bang and other radioactive processes have failed to produce these? The following is commentary, not questions: It is clear that evolution of some type of life must have occurred. If WE did not evolve, then we evolved with assistence or were created. That creator/assistor ( or his creator/assistor etc. ) must have evolved, since he could not have been around to create himself. If we were created then that creator was alive, and possibly still is. If we are the products of evolution alone, then obviously evolution could potentially occur anywhere suitable conditions exist. With the vast number of stars in the Universe, it is seems statistically probable that there are other planets with environments conducive to the evolution of life. In either case, it is almost certain that "we are not alone." Of all (if any) alien civilizations in existence, we probabaly have an average age and technological level. Mankind (or should I say "Personkind" ?) is probably just a few decades away from being able to create some type of life from scratch, so why couldn't an advanced alien civilization have done so?|
work being done that does support the idea that nucleotides
evolved for the current genetic code. See
Chemical Etiology of Nucleic Acid Structure, Albert
Eschenmoser. Science 1999 June 25; 284:
At this stage it is preliminary, but the results show that not all nucleotides are as stable as each other. However, the likely reason why other forms of nucleotides are rare or non-existent is that they are polymers: that is, molecules made up of repeated units. Any units ('mers') that are naturally occurring will feed into to the processes of the most successful living systems based on one particular form of nucleotide. In other words, the successful life forms will eat the building blocks of other forms, so we won't see them in nature.
The issue of whether alien forms caused us to evolve (a notion sometimes called Panspermia) just puts the problem back a step - how did they evolve? It is unnecessary to invoke this cause unless there are good reasons to think that either evolution of life could not have begun on earth, or there is enough physical evidence to suggest that it first evolved elsewhere. I think it is likely it arose here, but that many of the prebiotic materials may have been created in space. See the article below for a summary:
Life's Far-Flung Raw Materials, Max P. Bernstein, Scott A. Sandford and Louis J. Allamandola. Scientific American, July 1999
For a short summary of research on the origins of life on earth, see
Life's First Scalding Steps, S. Simpson. Science News Online
Having said all that, there's nothing in principle that makes an alien creator impossible, but it is very unlikely.
First of all, Science would not be science if it was always wrong, it would be something else. Science is a study in an attempt to find the truth about a particular field.
However, not every scientific find has stood the test of time, some have been debunked. (Ie. the Theory of Relativity changed the previous believes) Just because Hovind has been shown to have some inaccuracies in his some of his arguments doesn't mean that all of them are wrong, nor does it prove evolution. Nor does it mean that science is always right. Perhaps you could show some real proof for EVERY point where he is wrong, not just the ones that you know. Perhaps Hovind needs to spend more time and hire some more creation scientists to help back up his theories.
I do NOT trust your judgement, so don't just trounce out some PhD's and expect me to believe! Evolution is really just a religion or theory that hasn't been proven. Nothing can be really proven. Now you can name call me and say that I don't know anything, without showing any evidence or without exhaustive proof, you can convince yourselves and your little "elitist" friends that you are right, and every time the media covers you, you can trumpet this aloud. But you have not convinced me or everyone else.
You are quite right when you accuse Hovind and other creationists of "measuring everything against the Bible". This Bible is the standard of truth, in which everything else is to be judged. However, the Bible is NOT a science book, but that in no way takes away from it. And Science is not a religious book either. True Science does not contradict the Bible. However, scientists who hate Christianity have used science as a weapen against the Bible. Here is where you get into beliefs. However, many christians, especially in the dark ages, had incorrect understanding of both the Bible and Science, and tried to force Science through their incorrect knowledge of the Bible. There was a suppresion of Bibilical knowledge by the Church. A lot of people don't really understand the Bible to this day.
How long has Science been around? Has it been around 4000+ years yet? Most of it dates back to 100 to 150 years ago! You expect me to believe that ALL of the ancient books that were written in every culture are wrong, and only scientists living in the 21st Century are right? The Bible can be corroborated by archaelogy and other extra biblical texts that go back for thousands of years! History offers a better reason for why you believe in Evolution: its called Pagan religion. During and after the French revolution there was a very anti-Christianity movement, out to destroy it. It has been shown that Karl Marx, Darwin and others, were really not atheists, but rather connected in some way to various pagan or occult teachings, which they then repackaged into "Evolution" and "Social Darwanism", etc.
Science has a bias against the Creator of the Bible. If you study history, evolution and Communism developed out of Pagan religions, which were, by definition, anti-Christian. Science still, today is NOT neutral, but has a goal of debunking Christianity. It trys to hide this fact, and scientists cannot live with the idea that there is a Creator who will hold them accountable one day. So this is why Science re-interprets every imperical evidence in this world to fit their goals of no Creator and no Redeemer, scrapping all data and measurements and models that support creation. In fact, there is a conspiracy to cover the truth. If this makes you mad, lets see some honest debate on this topic, on your part, instead of just name calling!
I am still waiting for proof of Evolution! Don't tell me that you know better than me, because your a Scientist, and I'm not! If your "theory" is correct you ought to be able to prove it! I have a minor in Math (B.S. in Computer Science) and have studied at lot of science and can understand the consepts. Don't tell me that you are intellectually superior to me, and thus don't need to explain it. I also spend time outside in nature, and know that there is order in the world, which indicates a Design and a Designer. I understand design, because I spend my whole day designing and testing very large logic stuctures. We have human designed software packages that have had thousands of people doing them, taking many years to complete. In no case is there evolution in programming! If anything, there are bugs which is Chaos! Programms do not get better, if left to themselves. They are in constant need of fixing. The whole Cosmos, including humanity, is far more complex than any computer! The human brain is easily the most sophisticated thing known to man (outside of God). How can a human brain evovle and companies still have the need to hire programmers! Why not go to nature to find famous paintings hanging on them? It because nature could NEVER evolve a DaVinci painting or a Mozart peice! It takes thought and much understanding.
When I was a kid, you scientists were talking about the missing link, to totally prove evolution. I never heard back from you guys. And now you insist that it is a fact. Yet, these "facts" have proving evolution have never been published, or shown to anybody but other "convinced" scientists. You scientists are using dishonesty and other tricks to try to win over your opponents. Your arguments wont hold the light of day to someone who is not biased against God. Keep shouting the same thing until everybody believes, you think.
All you need is Statistics or Physics or other maths to completely debunk Evolution! You people have to accept Evolution by faith, at some point, because your views have more statistical holes in them than a sieve! Only a fool would believe that the odds for beauty or usefullness to come out of Chaos! Yet, you do.
How come companies have to hire computer programmers? Why hasn't nature evovled computer software in silcon or germanum chips? Its because it took someone with some "smarts" to make it, stupid! So you can save all of your money on your experiments and your PhD's and just learn a little math, and find out you have been piling it higher and deeper!
If man is an Animal, who evolved from an Ape, why does he need to look out for the animals and the Environment? If the environment or animals cannot adapt to humans, then they should be replaced, so Darwanism implies. But the reality is that God created mankind to be a caretaker of the earth. That is why we should be concerned about the environment.
I could go on and on for the rest of my life pointing out flaws in your theory, and always find another flaw, which you would then come up with lame rebuttals to, like what you said about Hovind's theories. In fact, you need all of infinity to prove your theory of evoloution! And you would offer little, if any, true rebuttals. You rely on "cooked" data and name calling and long titles (like PhD) to prove your points. But I have one thing in my favor: the Bible predicts that your Evolution theories will fall, and there will come a day of reckoning for your false theories mixed with truth! It is enevitable!
has not just shown to have some inaccuracies, he has been
shown to have made no scientifically correct statements at
all. He uses old, discredited data, erroneous inferences,
straw man arguments, misquotes, scare tactics and
He has no foundatation for any of his claims. He makes his statements to soothe his followers and confuse the scientifically illiterate. Dave Matson does a very thorough job in debunking Hovind's nonsense. I also have taken on the task. Enter the land of Hovindia.
You mentioned Hovind's "theories". The truth is that he has never actually introduced a scientific theory. All he as done is spewed out some anti-evolutionary, scientific-sounding jargon.
You might ask yourself WHY you don't trust scientific judgements. It cannot be because you have examined all the available scientific evidence and come to a contrary conclusion. Why then? I suspect it has to do exclusively with fact that you feel your religious beliefs are threatened. I have no Ph.D. to show you. In fact, I'm going to tell you that you should not take any one person's word for a scientific claim. Scientific theories stand or fall by the strength of the evidence that supports them, NOT on the credibility or prestige of any person. And the theory of evolution is standing very well at this time.
For you, the bible may be the standard of truth, in which everything else is to be judged. That is your right. However, you cannot insist that be so for anyone else. The bible should not be consulted in any scientific theory whatsoever. True science does indeed contradict the bible, in many, many ways. The origins of life are not out of thin air. Humans did not originate from the dust, and a rib. The world was never covered with a global flood- there is ample evidence against that outrageous claim. Languages did not originate from the Tower of Babel. The earth is not immoble: it rotates and moves through space. The stars are not for signs and seasons. The earth is not flat.
The roots of modern science can be traced back to the Greek Ionian tradition from the 6th Century B.C.
Your claim that Darwin was some sort of pagan occultist is complete nonsense. And, even if it were true, that would have no bearing AT ALL upon modern evolutionary theory. Most of the scientists who were responsible for modern scientific theories were not anti-christian, atheists or pagans: Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Maxwell, Einstein. You are wrong, and I think you are a paranoid conspiracy nut as well.
You appear to have no knowledge of the mountain of evidence that supports evolution. You make false analogies between the human ability to create, and natural forces. Your arguments hold no weight whatever. Programs and paintings do not reproduce, have no DNA, and therefore have no method by which to evolve. Hence, your analogy is pitifully false.
If you feel that statistics or physics can debunk evolution, then please try to do so. No one from the creationist camp has yet been able to do so. Evolution will not be solved by math. It is understood through biology and geology.
Humans look out for the environment because some of us have the morality to realize that we humans are responsible for the unethical destruction of the environment, and have engaged in hunting species to extinction. From your point of view, if the end of the world is coming soon, why bother saving any animals at all? Armageddon is at hand...
When the evidence contradicts a theory, the scientist rejects the theory. The creationist rejects the evidence.
|Comment:||I don't have
a comment, I just have a question. I am a science fiction
writer, and in trying to create an alien species that is
scientifically viable, I have a single question:
Is the "5-digit Syndrome" something that is specific to genetics, or could other planets have varying numbers of digits?
I am referring to hands and feet. I appreciate any help you can give.
|Author of:||Evolution and Philosophy|
planet had a varying number of digits, and still does.
Birds have three, and various other vertebrates have four
as well as five. Early vertebrates had as many as eight
(see Stephen Jay Gould's essay "Eight Little Piggies" in
the book by the same name).
You are working from at least two false premises: one, that each individual trait is "stored" in the genes - in fact much of the "information" about traits is the result of interactions between and within cells. The presence of growth factors determines what cells will develop into digits or not, and how many digits will occur.
The other, more pernicious fallacy is that the vertebrate "body plan" is somehow the "default" for evolution. This is not true. There are many body plans just here on earth, and it is something of an accident that the vertebrate one is the one in whch intelligence evolved - many body plans could not have evolved intelligence because of the way their nervous systems are configured, but many others might have.
This means that intelligent aliens need not have digits at all - they need not be tetrapodal (four limbed) or even symmetrical. Let your imagination run riot a bit. Constraints on design will be dictated by the environment of the aliens' ancestors.
I hope this helps.
your archive it bothers me as a physicist, that a lot of
what you call evolution is "only" biological evolution. But
evolution in reality - and also concerning fundamentalists
- is also evolution of the whole universe. So astronomers
are talking about the evolution of the cosmos, of galaxies,
of stars, of the solar system ... And this is really part
of the *whole* evolutionary process - like chemical and
biological evolution - but these are only special
evolutions as well. Example : On your web page "Evolution
as a fact and a theory" you are in fact talking about
*only* the biological evolution, which is rather
incomplete. Even on your page "What is evolution?" only at
the beginning it is stated that "In the broadest sense,
evolution is merely change, and so is all-pervasive;
galaxies, languages, and political systems all evolve."
That's all. Then a lengthy discussion of biological
evolution comes. Do you know that the universe is more than
10,000 million years old? That astronomers and physicists
have several methods to determine this kind of numbers? To
measure it? I would like to name only globular clusters and
the hubble constant. In addition the evolution of stars and
galaxies was seen by several telescopes, for example the
famous Hubble Space Telescope. This *must* be very
disturbing for your so called scientific creation fans, why
not discussing it?
"evolution" has many meanings. The Oxford English
Dictionary reports that "evolution" comes from the Latin
evolvere, meaning to unroll or unfold. It means
generally "any process of gradual change," but also can
mean "the process of giving of gas, heat, light, or sound."
In military and nautical terminology, it is a set of
commands to change the disposition of ships or forces. It
can mean a set of deliberate motions, such as those of a
dancer. It used to be a mathematical term for finding roots
of a quantity.
When people discuss "evolution," however, they are most often referring to biological evolution. Stars evolve in the sense that they change, but they do not evolve as biological systems evolve. They do not reproduce, for instance, nor do they pass on traits to their offspring.
Most of those who espouse a creationist viewpoint do not deny that things change. They do not disagree with the word "evolution" in a general sense; they disagree with it as it concerns biological systems. They oppose theories of evolution as explanation for the diversity of life on Earth. This web site is a response to that opposition.
We do, however, discuss the age of the Earth and the universe to some extent on this site. See the Age of the Earth FAQS.
|Comment:||Alchemy on top of spontaneous generation! If this wasn't a state sponsored dogma, who would credit materialistic evolution? Atoms bumping into each other will produce brown dirt, as all our experience has shown. People who believe 'things' will organize themselves without Mind have never done housework!|
|Author of:||Evolution and Philosophy|
bumping into each other do a lot more than that, if you
know any chemistry. It's not alchemy, and it is understood.
Abiogenesis is also not a proper part of the evolutionary
model, since it involves mechanisms we no longer think
Self-organization is an observed and widely studied fact in a range of fields, including chemistry, biology and physics. Whether you think it implies Mind or not is not at issue, but it happens naturally, whatever you think naturally is.
You are arguing out of ignorance of the topics concerned.
As for state-sponsored, yes, science is mostly state-funded in most nations. This is because it takes a lot of hard work, time and technical apparatus to do science. Of course, we could stop doing it and just watch TV or something, but the end result is not likely to be a well-ordered society, particularly if other nations decide they will keep doing science.
AND THE ORIGIN OF GRANITES.
If you have not heard, Dr. Robert V. Gentry, a creationist, has done some remarkable work in studying granitic rocks. He has found that the minerals in such rocks contain some radio halos that indicate that the earth had to have been formed instantaneously and thus sheds serious doubt on the uniformitarian principle of Geology. The presence of Polonium halos in the minerals of the granitic rocks indicates a mystery that cannot be accounted for and explained utilizing only natural physical laws.
This evidence is believed to support, if not confirm, the Genesis account of creation in the Bible.
May God be with you all.
I hope you find his findings interesting.
|Author of:||Creation Science and the Earth's Magnetic Field|
Polonium halo research of Gentry's is already covered in
the FAQ files. See "Evoluton's Tiny Violences - The
PO-Halo Mystery". Links are included to Gentry's own website, as
well as several
additional articles outside the Talk.Origins archive which criticize Gentry's
The bottom line, for me, is that Gentry's research is unconvincing. There are a number of short-lived Polonium isotopes, but the isotopes identified by Gentry are all part of the Uranium-Thorium decay chain, and all of the halos found by Gentry are in proximity to Uranium sources. Compared to the vast and thorough body of evidence that indicate an old Earth, Gentry's results are too soft and too easily criticized to be influential.
comment: I browsed to your website under the impression
that it was an unbiased, or at least presenting an 'equal
time' format. I read your homepage and then the ToC for
Creationism and for Evolution. I went no further because of
the obvious, your site is dedicated to promoting Evolution
and refuting Creationism by not holding Evolution to the
same level of scrutiny nor presenting an equitable balance
of 'pros and cons'.
Nothing wrong with doing that. But it is wrong to represent your website as unbiased and scientific (based on extracting facts and presenting them for analysis, before analysis). A statement of the beliefs of the presenters is an appropriate preface item to allow other researchers an accurate picture of their sources. Keeps things credible for everyone, which is good for all of us.
I am a former Evolutionist, now a Creationist, but always a skeptic confident that if God is God, he can withstand scutiny, and if He can't, He isn't God. He has nothing to hide and welcomes, make that requires, scrutiny from Believers and UnBelievers.
I hope you have found my comments to be given with Respect for you, and with an open door for a respectful response.
|Author of:||Creation Science and the Earth's Magnetic Field|
|Response:||The title page for the archive says:
On the Welcome page we find this:
It seems to me that the purpose for the archive is stated plainly enough right up front. It is clearly stated that the purpose of the archive is to present the mainstream scientific response, and not to present an unbiased or equal-time format. This is not a secret, and is very clearly stated. Evidently you overlooked these introductory remarks.
|Comment:||I only wish Kathleen Hunt had used some of the quotes from Gould et al which show how weak the case FOR evolution really is. To wit:Gould described"the extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record" as "the trade secret of paleontology".Or how about Niles Eldredge:"We paleontologists have said that the history of life supports the story of gradual adaptive change,all the while knowing that it does not".Finally, try this shocker from Colin Patterson(senior paleontologist and author of the British Natural History Museum's general text on evolution) "Can you tell me anything you know about evolution,any one thing....that is true?" the members of the Evolutionary Morphology seminar in the U of Chicago greeted this question with silence until one person eventually said" I do know one thing-it ought not to be taught in high school". Please try to be balanced when having these kinds of debates as only by looking at both sides can we come to a fair conclusion. Lastly, Michael Behe's book (Darwin's Black Box" would seem to render an unanswerable challenge to evolutionists notwithstanding anything your Huxley might have to say. Tks|
|Author of:||Punctuated Equilibria|
One can find Gould and Eldredge describing transitional fossils in their first two papers on punctuated equilibria. Colin Patterson was fond of making statements in gadfly mode.
Isolated quotes are not the basis of scientific research, though. An examination of the evidence is what is needed, and Kathleen Hunt does an excellent job of summarizing some of that evidence.
Michael Behe's concept of "irreducible complexity" does not seem to have any particular effect upon the debate, for Behe himself notes that IC only means that a direct route from initial state to final system, all having the exact same function, is debarred, and indirect routes can indeed produce such IC systems. I don't know of any biologists who have insisted that systems in organisms must all have retained the same function from initial appearance to final form.
|Comment:||I have both
a question and a comment. First the comment. I visited
Organ Cave in Organ Cave, WV. There I was told how the cave
was formed and the tour guide also mentioned after a
comment I made, that evolution is sometimes wrong. It
didn't take long to discover that she was no "believer" in
evolution. I knew by many of her statements that she had a
very poor grasp of evolution and in geology. Let me
emphasize that although I'm not a geologist nor a
biologist, I have a scientific education (aerospace
engineering) and with me on the trip was a lady with a
Masters degree in Biology. It seems to me that this
"conflict" of evolution and creationism is growing with the
evolutionists losing ground at the most important level -
that of the average citizen with little scientific
This story brings me to my question. What can a well informed scientifically literate person do to stop the spread of creationist disinformation? The creationists have an extensive list of literature that basically informs people how to "infect" (my words) the school systems and how to push for the adoption of "balanced" teachings of "scientific creationism" and evolution science. It seems to me that a way to combat this is to educate people in what science really is and what evolution really says about the origin and progression of life and the impacts of science (or pseudoscience) has upon society. What can I and other scientifically literate people do to counter the creationists? "Open" debates such as what I read in your website certainly isn't the way to go. So what do we do to stem the tide of pseudoscience and its deadly effects upon society? We as scientists, educators, and engineers can't seem to afford to turn a blind eye, yet forums for open debates seem limited. What types of grass roots organizations can we start or join to stop the creationists and others advocating the teaching of pseudosciences and basing important decisions upon science illiteracy?
|Response:||What a great
First let me respond by saying that I am a "well-informed scientifically literate person", and not a professional scientist. In addition to volunteering my time responding to these letters, I have my own evolution website, designed specifically for the non-scientist-- the average person of normal intelligence. The Evolution Education Resource Center. It has been reviewed for accuracy by many of the real scientists involved in the production of this website.
I, like you, recognize that the real battle is not in the scientific journals and conferences... it is in the minds of the average person. I actually talk to people, especially young people (with whom I am in constant contact), and help educate them by sharing material and discussing it with them. I must admit, in contradiction to what the creationists always say, evolution is not being taught in all public schools. Many people know next to nothing about it.
You can join the National Center for Science Education, an organization set up specifically to counter the spread of creationism. You can also monitor what happens in your local school. Find out if they are teaching evolution at all, and if so, how much. Find out if they are (illegally) teaching creationism, and if they are, point out to the principal and/or schooboard that it is prohibited. If it does not cease, take the matter to your local ACLU office. They handle these sorts of things.
I am interested in hearing what others have to say on this important subject.
your spirit! Neither Creationism NOR evolution are
scientific fact. Neither have been observed, nor are either
able to be reproduced under any scientific rules. Both are
theories. Both require faith to subscribe to them.
Rarely does one proponent convince the other. Ultimately there may be an answer, but until then, exrordinary leaps of faith are needed to believe either one. The difference is simple, one side believes that ultimately they will be vindicated by their faith, if they're right, then they are the ones who will live in that timeless dimension where mass and time have no meaning. They will get to see what the rest just talk about and yearn to see.
In the meantime, try to explain more substantive things like how the visual system evolved when any of its individual parts have no reason to exist without the others and therefore would have been selected for rejection as a useless mutation! Good luck.
|Author of:||Evolution and Philosophy|
fact means just that it has been observed and evolution has
been observed at all scales, but obviously not through long
periods - for that we must reconstruct the past from
present evidence. However, we can categorically say that
species were neither created at a single time (this was
shown well before Darwin), nor that they were each created
"specially" at different times. Nothing else but an
evolutionary account makes any sense at all.
Faith is not required for evolutionary biology, because faith involves some sense of certainty not available to fallible human science. Faith in a literalistic interpretation of scripture is no foundation for science.
Richard Dawkins, in his Climbing Mount Improbable covers the evolution of the eye nicely.
Funnily enough, this is exactly the argument that Darwin speculatively gave, but now we have a much greater knowledge of heredity and development, as well as the examples of such intermediate steps in quite happy organisms
I do hope this helps you
|Comment:||I was leaning towards the creationist view point when I first visited your site, but the "five major miconceptions about evolution" FAQ put mostly all of my doubts about evolution to rest and my other concerns have been addressed in the other various articles. I thank you for your painstaking scientific research, and I look forward to continued enlightenment in biological information from this page.|
|Response:||We are glad the reader has found our site convincing and informative, but I must stress that the reader should not just take our word for it. We encourage all of our readers to compare the information on our site with that on other sites, but most importantly, to check the primary literature referenced in our FAQs.|
|Comment:||I BELIEVE WE
WERE CREATED FOR ONE REASON AND IT'S NOT THE BIBLE: WE TOO
HAVE THE ABILITY TO CREATE AS WELL.
SCIENCE IS ALREADY CREATING NEW LIFE AND CHANGING THE WHOLE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT. DID SINGLE CELL ORGANISMS HAVE SUCH A STRONG NEED TO KNOW WHERE THEY CAME FROM THAT THEY EVOLVED INTO PEOPLE SO THE COULD GO BACK AND FIND OUT? HOW DISSAPOINTING AND LUDICROUS! HAVE A GREAT DAY
BELIEVE AS YOU WILL. I don't care. But the reason you gave
is a logically fallacy: Non Causa Pro Causa. Because we
have the ability to create does not imply that we were
The notion that single celled organisms had a "strong need to know" anything is INDEED ludicrous. It is a breakdown of logic to even conceive of such a thought.
I did have a great day!
|Comment:||Sirs; Love the site and the material. A couple of comments. Get something more on "The Beak of the Finch" by Jonathan Weiner. This book has totally redefined how I look at evolution and selection. Also, you'll appreciate some lines I heard on a program called "Origins" on religious TV. It does well here at the buckle of the Bible Belt and the guest, Dr. Peters from the Van Ardel(?)Center in Arizona had the gall to exclaim that one the most dangerous groups around is the National Park Service for properly dating much of the landscapes they care for. It's an evolutionist tool. I felt surprised that they would assume scientists would want to control the Park people. Finally. to get a good answer, I am designing a course for this Fall on the development of Darwin's theory and that whole time frame (heaven's to Loren Eiseley, I'm calling it the "Century of Darwin"). Do you know any good site that cover progressionism, the Bridgewater Treatises or Robert Chambers? I'll appreciate any ideas you can give.|
|Author of:||Evolution and Philosophy|
|Response:||You will find a discussion of these topics in chapter two of Robert M Young's Darwin's Metaphor: Nature's Place in Victorian Culture which was published in 1985 by Cambridge University Press and is now entirely online.|
|Comment:||I really disliked what I read. Not only was it belittling the people who believe in Creation, I found it personally offensive. I find it quite amusing that you people think your page is going to convince others of the "truth." Well, I've got news for you...it won't! Your truth, as you like to call it, is nothing but twisted truth and I refuse to believe such garbage. Instead of making your website an attack on creationists, why don't you try presenting the facts. Or just face it, you all find it hard to believe an awesome God could have created every- thing with a word from His mouth and a wave of His hand. Wake up, people. It takes a lot more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in creation. Creationists have their proof. It's called the Bible. What do evolutionists have? NOTHING!|
I find it surprising that you are offended by transitional fossils, radiometric dating, genetics and the like.
I have no faith in evolution whatsoever. It stands or falls on the strength of its evidence. Right now it is standing very well. Yes, the creationists will continue to have the bible. But a book, however worshipped by you, is not scientific evidence, and carries no weight whatsoever. To paraphrase Thomas Paine in the Age of Reason, a revelation is only a revelation to the first person who receives it. No matter how many people he tells of it, to all those other people it is not a revelation, it is hearsay.
|Comment:||Here's my thing. There are two kinds of evolution, macro and micro. we observe microevolution happening over say a thousand years, but macro evolution demands that animals take enormous steps, while offering them no benifit the whole time they take the steps. Couldn't natural selection be a process to keep the population of animals healthy from bad genetic mutations. couldn't natural selection be set up by a creator, wanting to keep the population from being destroyed, rather than a way for natural things to become more advanced? Evolution can happen, but I don't believe it results in speciation. I think the issue with most creationists is not whether or not natural selection occurs, but whether it occurs to create new species, or it was a process set up to keep our bodies (and the bodies of animals) from being destroyed by random genetic mutations.|
"your thing", sir, it is the staple of creationists, who
use it to mislead their followers into thinking that
speciation has never been observed.
Your definition of macroevolution is grossly incorrect. No wonder you cannot accept it. The idea that organisms take enormous steps is wrong; species evolve, not animals. The idea that they have no benefit during these transitions is, again, grossly wrong.
You need to browse the evolution FAQs before you make such statements again.
Tim Thompson wrote in "Meteorite Dust and the Age of the Earth" the following:
"We calculate a layer only 66.18 cm thick after 4.5 billion years, but this is clearly an upper limit for the real thickness. For one thing, the Earth is not flat, and the curvature at the surface of the Earth would cause the real layer thickness to be smaller. Furthermore, we have ignored the fact that the dust is highly porous and very much lacking in mechanical strength. If you actually tried to pile it up 66 cm deep, it would compress significantly due to its own weight."
66 cm is approximately 2 feet of dust that should have accumulated on the moon in 4.5 billion years. Isn't there only about 2 inches worth of buildup on the moon? It seems to me there is still a rather large discrepancy. Also I read somewhere that most of the moon dust is actually made of moon rock, created when asteroids pulvarized the rock into dust. So the actual amount of moon dust created by an influx of dust from space would be significantly less than 2 inches. I don't know how much the 2 feet would naturally collapse down to but it seems to me that it's still too small of an amount for 4.5 billion years. Has that argument been thought of and resolved?
Robb S. Wallace
|Author of:||Meteorite Dust and the Age of the Earth|
the Earth in my FAQ file because the Earth is a lot easier.
But the line of argument you present is not too hard to
deal with. The solution lies in the radically different
surface environments of the Earth and Moon, which make it
evident that the formation of a deep dust layer on the Moon
is essentially impossible, no matter what the flux.
The Earth has a magnetic field and an atmosphere; together they allow for dust to settle calmly on the Earth's surface. But the moon has no such cushion; dust grains do not settle on the lunar surface, they slam into it at high impact speed. The micrometeorites you mentioned are in fact the very dust you are looking for. The dust grains themselves, and the surface they impact, are fragmented by the impact. Micromelting at impact sites prevents the formation of a nice, intuitive, fluffy dust layer. This makes the absence of an Earth style dust layer on the Moon not too surprising.
Another complication is that the lunar surface is exposed directly to the solar wind and ultraviolet radiation. The result is that there is a significant electric charge difference between dust and the underlying surface, resulting in electrostatic levitation of the dust above the surface. This can push dust as high as 10 kilometers, where it can be blown away from the Moon altogether by solar wind and radiation. See Charged Dust Dynamics in the Solar System; Mihaly Horanyi; Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics 34: 383-418, 1996; specifically section 3. Plasma Interactions with Dusty Surfaces, pages 393-398. Also see Large Scale Lunar Horizon Glow and a High Altitude Lunar Dust Exosphere; H.A. Zook & J.E. McCoy; Geophysical Research Letters 18(11): 2117-2120, November 1991.
|Comment:||I have given some 90 minutes to what is wretten .and lost my time!!!for you are so lost in scientific technology that you forgot your subject and purpose on earth.Knoledge and Wisdom are not a result of learning in a school of man credetation. But has it's origion from God!!!and God gives not His wisdom to a man or men that question His revelations or plans or reasons or how He " GOD " performs His works . mans school is puffed up with self pride, ego,and of course you grant a student a deploma ( if that student becomes a clone of his professor!!!)monkey see monkey do... God is Spirit.no way for man to put Him in a test tube get my drift? it is by Faith not by proof with scientific human methods that one comes to God!!! God is The auther,creator, and finisher!!! of all things.period...... end....dont loose prescious time with useless learnings.rather search out the condition of your soul? and its salvation!!! these things matter how old the esrth the beleacer dont care he kows that itsn time is short...will come to its end.but eternity has no time or end.whey are you not occupied about that ( the vail is yet lifted from your hearts) so spiritually you are blind. I pray my God to help you...but the request must come from you!!|
to read what... the Welcome Page?
"It is by faith not by proof with scientific human methods that one comes to God" ...?
Please, please, go tell that to the creationists, and get them to knock it off!
|Comment:||I am having a good time reading and learning from your faq. But in the future you would do better and sound more professional if your emotions were more subdued. The answer to the question about the creationist scientists from sentence 2 onward was emotional and left me wondering about everything else I have read. Unfortunately, scientists have as their own, men and women who are unqualifed and untruthful. These people have embarassed the community with their "Piltdown Man" and other self advancing discoveries. Even the institutes that are thought to be built upon integrity have embarassed themselves through the years trying to advance the importance of science prematurely. In the future just answer the question.|
assuming that the reader is addressing the main talk.origins FAQ,
which presents a highlight of the material on this Web site
in a question-and-answer format. More specifically, I
believe the reader is referring to the following:
I am afraid I don't understand why the reader thinks this is an emotional statement. A number of well-known creationists have lied about their credentials, as is documented in the above FAQs. They are frauds, and should be denounced as such, just as any other fraud ought to be denounced. Other creationists have legitimate and fully acceptable credentials; Kurt Wise, for example, studied paleontology at Harvard under Stephen Jay Gould. A person wih good credentials may or may not be convincing, but one with fraudulent credentials is certainly not to be trusted.
The contributors to this Web site agree that scientific hoaxes such as "Piltdown Man" should be exposed. But Piltdown Man was exposed by science, not by creationism. Moreover, even before its exposure as a hoax, Piltdown Man was considered by science to be an anomaly that didn't fit in with what we understood about anthropological development. See the Piltdown Man FAQ for the full story.
|Comment:||Can you tell me the home page of the flat earth society?|
|Author of:||Isochron Dating|
think they have one. The "flat Earth" movement is basically
a negative overreaction to science and technology. Due to
those roots, they couldn't really be expected to
embrace web technology and appear online. (If you do a web
search on that topic, you'll find mostly parody sites and a
few sites for musicians who have used the title such as
There are a few serious documents about the Flat Earth Society on the web. But these were not written or posted by the flat-Earthers themselves. For example, two papers (one and two) by Bob Schadewald may be helpful to you.
It is apparent to me that you hate God and the Bible. You probably will turn many children and adults away from God by destroying their faith in the Bible. Satan is laughing at you, though. Yes, you are doing his work, but the wages you will receive will be eternal death.
My hope is that you will turn to Jesus Christ before it to late. Perhaps you should read Proverbs 1:7, then read Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, and Romans 10:13.
apparent to me that the reader has not done his homework,
namely, reading the FAQs found on this site. For one, he
must not have read the God and
Evolution FAQ, or he would have known that acceptance
of evolution can be reconciled with a belief in God.
Several other FAQs on this site make the same point, and it
can be seen throughout the feedback. In fact, many people
who have contributed to this site are also devout
It is not the fault of those who maintain this Web site that certain interpretations of the Bible, such as those espoused by "scientific creationists," contradict the physical evidence seen in the world around us. It is also not our fault that the reader has been misled by those who would claim that acceptance of science and religious faith are contradictory.
Spreading the lies of the "scientific creationists" does more to help Satan than this Web site ever could.
right, we ARE doing Satan's work. The problem is that he
doesn't pay us very well and we're thinking about
unionizing. We don't even get a base salary, just
commission (a lousy 10 bucks for every soul we steal!). We
get company cars, but they're Ford Pintos (I think he likes
them because they have a tendency to catch fire). I think
it goes without saying that the benefits stink. And now we
are hearing rumors that he's thinking about moving the
whole operation to Mexico because they'll work for only 5
bucks a soul and they'll all ride in the same Chrysler. Who
would have thought that the Evil One would know how to take
advantage of NAFTA?
Ed Brayton (with tongue firmly in cheek)
|Comment:||Talk.origins, I like your site a lot. I was an anthropology major in college, Wichita State University, before joing the US Air Force. I keyed my interest in biological anthropology. I, though, am also of the Christian faith. Mind you, Christian science, is well, sketchy, I believe that evolution occurs. It is a fact that most anti-evolutionists do not like to accept. That is because it is misunderstood. It is not saying there is not a God, but about a scientific process. I would like to thank you for your diligence in this unique science, through contreversey. God is not in the details. My God is in the process, however and you prove me to be right in my beliefs. Again, my thanks. Continue on in the face of science.|
|Response:||Thanks for the great message.|
|Comment:||hey, I was reading your questions about creationism. first of all, all you need is one real proof that the earth is young to show that it is, (isnt it true that carbon dating tests have been proven wrong? I heard that they did a test on a living clam and it said it was millions of years old.) also, you have a bigger problem if you believe in evolution: where did matter come from? isn't it more likley that god created everything than that billions of years ago nothing exploded (the big bang) and slowly evolved into people and animals? if evolution is true, there is no right and wrong, think about that.|
|Author of:||Creation Science and the Earth's Magnetic Field|
dating is alive and well, and has not been proven wrong.
However, even if it had been, the point would be
irrelevant. Radiocarbon dating is used to measure time
spans less than about 50,000 years, and has to utility
beyond that. While it is valuable for archaeological
dating, it is of no relevance to the question of the age of
Big Bang cosmology does not say that "nothing exploded and slowly evolved into people and animals". So whoever you are arguing with on that point, it's not us. Where the matter came from, where the energy came from, where space came from, where the universe came from, are all open questions. However, the fact that the answers are not known to science does not automatically mean that the answer you offer must be right. It could be right, but it could also be wrong.
Finally, your last comment: "if evolution is true, there is no right and wrong, think about that". I thought about it and this is a dead wrong statement. It is a common ploy for creationists to argue that somehow evolution has a moral foundation of evil. But evolution has no moral foundation at all, because it has nothing to do even with the concept of morality. Whether or not evolution is true has no affect (or effect) on the validity of right and wrong.
received an e-mail from a creationist about an upcoming
"test" to be conducted by the Institute of Creation
Reasearch on radioactive dating, it is described as "the
first ever double blind study" of radioactive dating
methods. Are you aware of such a "test"? I am concerned
about this because since we already know the results will
come out in favor of the creationists, this "double blind
study" will be used in front of school boards (such as
Kansas) which could be compelled to teach creationism. Here
is a quote from the e-mail I received:
Hello, It may interest you to know that the Institute for Creation Research is raising about $500,000 to get the equipment to conduct a proper study of radiometric dating. Having taken a class in radiometric dating, I am familiar with isochron dating and the works you have mentioned. The study that ICR is conducting will include double-blind measurements, which is something that, to my knowledge, has never been done on the radiometric dating methods. I am reserving final judgment until these results are analyzed, which may take about five years. Until then, I still do not see a compelling reason to abandon the young earth view.
|Author of:||Creation Science and the Earth's Magnetic Field|
studies are used in tests where people are the object of
concern, because you want to avoid having attitudes and
pre-conceptions skew the result of an experiment. However,
they are of no value when the study is a purely technical
one, because human conceptions and attitudes are of no
consequence. Creationists, such as the ICR, are convinced
that radiometric dating laboratories skew their results,
intentionally or otherwise, to match the "expected" dates.
They think that people manipulating the data are
responsible for what seems to be a high consistency in
radiometric dates. So, their point is to test the people
doing the dating. Despite the spin they put on it, double
blind testing is irrelevant to the purely technical
question. Radiometric dating stands on strong scientific
turf, and the ICR double blind test has nothing to do with
that and will have no affect on it
Meanwhile, you may want to peruse my Radiometric Dating Resource List. I put the list together as a central clearing house, so to speak, for material relating radiometric dating to the creation/evolution controversy. There are articles there which show strong correlations with other dating methods that leave little doubt about the veracity of radiometric ages.
|Comment:||Obviously I can't and don't have space to answer all of the questions you have about the flood but I'll clear up one fallacy with your arguments now. The question is, "How could all the fresh water fish survive if all the water of the earth was mixed together? Wouldn't it be too salty for them to live?" My good friend Jared keeps several fish in a large tank as a hobby. His tank is a salt-water tank full of fowl smelling sea salts. Many of his fish, however, are fresh-water fish that he has acclimated to live in the salt water. While they were born fresh-water fish, they are living in his salt-water tank quite comfortably. In the same way the fresh-water fish could have survived in a flood of salty ocean water.|
|Response:||There is no
geological evidence that indicates a global flood. All of
the evidence points against it. It's that simple.
What does your good friend Jared have to say about that?
|Response:||I invite the
reader to reread what he has just written. He stated, "Many
of his fish, however, are fresh-water fish that he has
acclimated to live in the salt water." The word
"acclimation" implies to me a gradual process, where his
friend Jared slowly increased the salinity of the
fresh-water fish, allowing them to adapt. Would the raging
waters of a global flood provide a gradual increase in
More to the point, although some fish can adapt to suboptimal salinity levels, many cannot. Many fish have a narrow range of salinity tolerance outside of which they do not survive, period. Those fish would have been wiped out by a global flood.
|Comment:||Darwinian evolution, as I understand it, says that phenotypes arise through small, gradual steps that each add some survival benefit or reproductive advantage. How did the two genders (male/female) and sexual reproduction arise via a Darwinian mechanism? Were there gender-like characteristics that added benefit to organisms? Obviously, it doesn't seem to add a benefit to almost but not quite reproduce sexually. Male-like reproductive organs can't impregnate female-like organs. Did we all originate from organisms that reproduced asexually and sexually? Is there any evidence if so?|
|Author of:||Evolution and Philosophy|
precedes the sorts of gender differences you mention here.
Sexual recombination may be as old as the eukaryotic cell.
If so, any organisms that like us are formed of eukaryotic
cells would have concurrently evolved "lock and key"
arrangements for sexual reproduction for the whole of our
Some pointers to publications and the issues regarding the evolution of sex can be found Origin of Sex, Spatial Heterogeneity and the Maintenance of Sex, (1998) , and more risibly, Sex From FOLDOC.