|Comment:||Just a few
quick comments on a reply from Ken Harding, February 1999,
to a note from someone named "Tammy":
Ken states that "Belief is easy. Knowledge takes effort."
This is not my primary reason for writing, but I thought I'd at least comment. It seems to me that Ken mixed this up a little bit. Belief is quite difficult compared to knowledge. How hard is it to know something that you've seen? Pretty easy. How hard is it to believe something you've not seen. I think that takes a little more "faith" and work. Arguable, but what isn't? ;-)
From Ken again: "Creationism is unsupportable. If creationists were barred from consulting or quoting from their bibles, how could they provide any information on creationism at all? All of their "science" comes from a book written by non-scientific, pre-technological primitives. Where is the evidence for your statement "He spoke it and it was"? Answer: It says so in the bible. How do we know the bible is true? It says so in the bible."
This comment follows many others that I have read in the February 1999 feedback, and comments that have been posted throughout the site. It seems that this whole debate over origins is being carried on by two factions that will not give in to the foundational criteria of the other: staunch creationists believe the Bible is the final authority, not apparent physical evidence; staunch non-theo-evolutionists believe that physical evidence is the final authority, not a silly book. Creationists have nothing to stand on if the Bible is disregarded. Evolutionists (here and following referring to non-theological evolutionists, though I understand there are Christians who believe in evolution), similarly, have nothing to stand on if scientific laws are disregarded. Granted, since we live in a physical world, disregarding scientific laws sounds absurd, but no more so than disregarding the Bible sounds absurd to a Biblical creationist. What's been proved?
Ken states: "...I personally have never seen nor have I ever heard of any authentic event that truly qualifies as supernatural."
So? I've never seen a big bang, a monkey become a man, a world appear by spoken word, or Ken's brain. What does that prove? Nothing, really.
The point to all this rambling is simply that there is a wall between these two factions that will not ever be removed. People will jump from one side of the wall to the other after reading a note here, or a comment there, or devoting their life to the research of one side or the other. But in the end, creationists will not accept physical evidence as an authority over the Bible and evolutionists will not accept the authority of a book over physical evidence. Evolutionists think creationists are illogical for not looking at apparent physical evidence while creationists think evolutionists are niave for trusting so much in the temporary.
Nevertheless, the debate rages, and continues to be a source of amusement! Blah blah blah blah... ;-)
belief or knowledge takes more effort, we are ultimately
arguing opinions here. To sit down and read ten books on
evolution, or to spend ten years in higher education, is
harder than sitting on your sofa and watching TV and saying
"I believe in creationism". To believe is to accept, to not
question. To learn is to spend energy and time in gaining
knowledge. It is far easier to say "I believe in
creationism" than it is to read all the articles on this
website and learn why you should not. Apparently,
many people find it easy to believe in something
they've not seen, wouldn't you agree? To believe is to
abstain from thinking, to think is to refrain from
believing. I am not "mixed up" on the subject.
You have summed up the two camps quite well, actually. But it isn't just evolutionists, but all of the scientific community that has given over to this absurd notion that physical evidence is the final authority. That's why science is science, and faith is faith. What's been proved? Much has, through mainstream scientific methodology.
"So? I've never seen a big bang, a monkey become a man, a world appear by spoken word, or Ken's brain. What does that prove? Nothing, really."
Actually, it proves a lot. When I said I have never heard of any authentic event that truly qualifies as supernatural, that is a broad statement. That includes all the claims of the paranormal and/or supernatural. There has never been any substantial evidence that there even ARE things that could be called supernatural. Think about that. All we know of the world is that it works by natural processes that we (for the most part) understand. The Big Bang has left substantial physical evidence, so much so that those academics who spend their lives studying the subject are of the concensus that it actually happened. A monkey never became a man, but humans did evolve from non-human primates, and there is more than enough evidence to accept that statement. You can hook up electrodes to my skull and see that I have brainwaves... or you can cut open my skull (after I'm dead, please) and see with your own eyes that I have a brain. But the other statement, a world appeared by a spoken word, is something that defies everything we know to be true about the universe, and contradicts a mountain of physical and theoretical evidence. We can never observe such a thing, it is not even suggested by any astronomical research, and we cannot even speculate about the processes by which it might have happened. Is it really a question worth pursuing?
I agree with you that in the end, creationists will not accept physical evidence as an authority over the Bible and evolutionists will not accept the authority of a book over physical evidence.
were a true and acqurate account of life evolving from an
ape then why to this day do we still have the dam things.
Get a life people. God created this world.
Very sadened viewer.
|Response:||I can gain a
clear account of the total sum of your knowledge of
evolution from your statement. How can you be so very
certain that evolution did not happen when you do not know
the first thing about it? Have you given over your very
thought processes to blind subservience to a dogmatic
creed? Try cracking open a science book before making such
absolute proclamations. I could give the explanation of why
there are still apes, but what would be the point. I have
done so dozens of times already.
A very saddened commentator.
|Comment:||I noticed that you're Flood-FAQ page has nothing but Creationist-World Wide Flood bashing articles. What about those of us that do not believe that the flood was world wide, but local instead? I'll reccomend a web site on your page for it, but for whoever reads this, check out this very educational site. Noah's Flood: Global or Local?|
the pointer; I'll pass it along to Our Intrepid Webmaster
in case he isn't reading this.
Generally, pages here address issues which come up a lot; when Noah's Ark comes up, proponents usually insist on a planetary deluge.
Not that a limited deluge is free of problems: why bother with the animals or the ark at all? Noah could have just moved to some nearby high mountain to wait out the flood and then return home. That'd have to be easier and faster than chopping down thousands of trees to build an ark.
Many students of the Bible (myself among them) would rather have a parable about a real planetary flood than a historical account of somebody who built a boat to no good purpose. But that's just my opinion; I could be wrong.
|Comment:||If you have
rejected The Bible and its account of Creation - your
problems have only begun. If you are a Christian and do not
work through this intellectually, find more than the
convenient theory du jour, you will not be able to stand on
any verse of scripture - if some of The Bible is in error,
then what part isn't. You will be a mere cafateria
Christian - picking and choosing that which you please -
double minded you will be unstable in all your ways.
If you are not a Christian - you have your own share or problems - the majority of which will begin when you stand before God almighty and discover what He thinks about those who rejected the truth and lived (even promoted) a lie.
accept something as true that I know to be false? The bible
says that God lost his temper with the world, that he had
no more patience or forgiveness, and sent a great flood to
drown all the little babies and children and helpless
adults, and all the innocent animals. (If you think the
animals are not important, go drown your family pet). He
then put a rainbow in the sky so that he would not forget
that he promised not to kill everyone again by drowning.
Beyond the staggeringly immoral and illogical implications of this horrific story, the alleged Great Flood would have been such a catastrophic event that it would have left unmistakable, unambiguous traces. But none of that evidence can be found. The Flood of Noah is a complete myth, and nothing more.
If you have accepted that the first man was created from dust, and the first woman was made from his rib, YOUR problems have only just begun. Time for a reality check! And it's none of your business what other Christians believe.
What if I am wrong, and everything you believe comes out to be true, and I am standing before some Day of Judgment? What would I do then? I would walk up with a clear conscious and say; "I was mistaken." And if God were about to pass judgment upon me, what would I say? I would say to Him: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Why not? I am told that I must do good for evil, that if I am struck upon one cheek I must turn the other. I am told that I must love my enemies-- and it is acceptable for this God, who tells me to love my enemies, to damn His? No, it will not do.
What is really important is WHY one rejects the bible. If it is clear that the bible contradicts observable evidence, then it should be rejected, at least as a literal history textbook.
|Comment:||Do you have
any adequate for the origin of matter?
The link below seems to shatter the Big Bang Theory: Origin of the Solar System - 1
website is aimed primarily at discussing arguments about
Earth's history. The geological processes which shape
Earth's surface, the biological processes which affect the
development of life, and looking at relevant evidence for
other events alleged to have happened (such as the
planetary deluge in the story of Noah).
All of this assumes that (a) there is a planet, and (b) there are living things on it. Where the planet came from is arguably a relevant tangent, but the development of matter itself isn't really our department.
The web site you refer to talks about "evolutionist's" ideas about the formation of the solar system -- but few of the biologists I'm aware of, and none of the evolutionary biologists I've spoken with, really to know a whole lot about astronomy.
What you may be misunderstanding is that the mainstream scientific view of Earth's history isn't just "evolution" out to get everybody. It's a bunch of largely unrelated fields: astronomy, geology, biology, physics, archaeology, and a few others. Even if you proved conclusively that the astronomers are wrong about the development of the solar system, that wouldn't have much of an effect on biology or geology. In order to upset the modern mainstream views, you'd have to systematically attack dozens of scientific fields, and undermine literally thousands of unrelated scientific results. I don't know any single person who could come close to being an expert on so many disparate topics: in fact, the responsible scientists I've known are generally unwilling to speak authoritatively out of their own field.
You might consider that few books on programming bother to explain how semiconductors work: programmers just need to use the computers. They don't have to worry too much about the physics which makes them possible. Similarly, once you have a geologically-active planet with living things on it, you can study the history of that planet's geology and biology. If it's the existence of matter you're concerned about, I think you probably want to find a debate with a theoretical physicist. We have an astronomer or two, and maybe one of them will get in touch. But most of the people who answer these bits of feedback, if I remember aright, tend toward biology and geology. So any flaws in theories about the solar system don't really have anything to do with us. 8-)
|Comment:||Hello Doctor, I am titling this message "Pertubations in Cosmic Particle Bombardment in Earths History", because I think there must be someone in the field of geology or some other science that has some kind of model or evidence to indicate the fluxuations these particles in centuries past. The only evidence I can find is a reference that an American professor gave me that indicates that ALL these ages of ancient fossils and sediments are assumed from the radioactive decay seen in SOME 5000 year old trees that have been studied. I see this as a colossial leap of faith to assume that the rate of decay during the last 5000 years can be assumed to have been the same for millions or billions of years. I am an electrical engineer, and have a VERY good mathematical understanding of probability and statistics, and I am hoping you might shed some light on the mathematical probability that the fossils that are dated using radiometric methods. Also, please direct my question to other experts or peers you might know of in your field or some other field, that can help me understand where the probabilities REALLY are for assuming the ages of the items. Thanks, Duane Martin|
|Author of:||Creation Science and the Earth's Magnetic Field|
decay rates are not based on any assumptions regarding any
trees, old or young, and never have been. They are based on
a combination of theory (nuclear physics & quantum
mechanics) and laboratory observation of radioactive decay.
The observation is that decay rates are invariant with few
exceptions (see "
How to Change Nuclear Decay Rates" from the usenet
Physics FAQ archive). The exceptions lie in the general
class of "electron capture" decay modes, which involve the
nucleus absorbing one of the bottom shell electrons. But
the only isotope in which any variation has been measured
is Beryllium-7, which has only four electrons in the
neutral atom. While Potassium-40 decays by electron
capture, it has 19 electrons and has never been observed to
vary. Furthermore, the known variation of Beryllium-7 is in
response to environmental conditions that can never be
encountered on or near the surface of the earth (like a
pressure in excess of 200,000 atmospheres). Finally, the
actual variation in half life, even under such extreme
conditions, is about 0.2%, which would induce an error in
the radiometrically derived date of about 0.2%. This is
hardly enough to get from a few billion to a few thousand
years. The bottom line here is that both theory and
observation fail to indicate either the presence of
variation in decay rates, or the liklihood of variation in
the unobserved past. Keep this in mind for later.
The trees come in with regards specifically to radiocarbon dating. Here, it is not the decay rate that is in question, but rather the relative abundance of Carbon-14 in the atmosphere. Radiocarbon dating is based on a measure of the ratio of Carbon-14 to its decay product Nitrogen-14, but requires a knowledge of the initial abundance in the sample of Carbon-14. The Carbon-14 comes from the atmosphere, and is known to be quite variable in abundance over time. Enter the trees. The short story is that the annual growth ring production of many kinds of tree is well understood. By measuring the relative abundance in the tree rings of Carbon-14, one calibrates the system by characterizing the change in abundance over time directly. This process is not limited to living trees, and so is not limited to 5000 years. There are known tree-ring chronologies that go back at least 11,000 years. But more recent research has extended the calibration of radiocarbon dating well beyond that range, by going beyond the limited tree-ring chronologies. See, for instance, "Atmospheric radiocarbon calibration to 45,000 yr BP: Late glacial fluctuations and cosmogenic isotope production", H. Kitagawa & J. van der Plicht; Science 279(5354): 1187-1190, FEB 20 1998). Kitagawa & van der Plicht, and others, have extended the calibration of radiocarbon dating over essentially its entire feasible range of about 50,000 years. While this is interesting, it does not much bear either on the question of the age of the Earth, nor on the radiometric ages of fossils in excess of about 50,000 years old.
Is it a "leap of faith" to assume that radioactive decay rates do not vary? Why? We know that radioactive decay rates do not in fact vary, with the exceptions already noted, under any observed or observable conditions. It seems to me that if we are going to get bothered about assumptions, it makes a lot more sense to assume that what we see is the norm, rather than what we don't see, and that's a big deal to me. Young-Earth creationists are required to assume that radioactive decay rates vary, even when they are in fact never known or observed to do so. Why is this a better and more scientific assumption than the alternative, the assumption that radioactive decay rates behave the way we observe them to behave?
Finally, I make reference to my own Radiometric Dating Resource List. I have put together a thorough listing of every web-accesible resource I could find on the matter of radiometric dating. You can peruse the various resources and learn about radiometric dating in as much mathematical & physical detail as you wish.
|Comment:||I am a 47-year old geologist, and am continually amused and concerned with the notion that man descended from apes - my creationist friends insist that this information can be found in scientific literature. Does anyone have a clue?|
information can be found only in Creationist literature.
It is the sort of straw man argument that forms the basis of creationist propaganda. The more misinformation that they can disperse, the more people they can mislead to their side of the argument.
The correct statement is that humans and apes share a common ancestor.
appalled at your comments on God and any account of the
wonderful writings in the Holy Bible!
How can a man judge or question GOD???
You are not even worthy stand the very presence of God. Do you know that there is NO forgiveness for blasphemy??
Let's get it straight once and for all.
GOD IS THE CREATOR OF ALL LIVING THINGS AND EVERYTHING IN THE BOOK OF GENESIS TO REVELATION IS TRUE AND ACCURATE.
Maybe if you pick up the Bible and read it, you would not have the stupid ignorant views that you have.
Tammy Johnson Baton Rouge, LA
It is unfortunate that your sensibilities were offended, but I'm afraid that cannot be helped. The bible makes statements that can be tested against reality, such as the Great Flood, and examination of the physical world makes it quite clear that the bible is wrong, plain and simple, once and for all. That is, if you take the story literally. Many take it metaphorically.
How can a man judge or question GOD? The same way I can judge or question anything else. With my reasoning mind.
You can rant all you want about blasphemy, but this is America. I will continue to question all I want, and discuss it with others. Hasn't God ever heard of the First Amendment, and the right of free speech?
If you want to believe you are made from Adam's rib, that is your choice. If you think the bible is without error, you need to read it more objectively. Watch the insults, Tammy. What about "Love thine enemies"? Have you read the bible from cover to cover this year? Well I have.
This struck me as odd:
"...for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not
keep anger forever." -Jeremiah 3:12
Have a nice day.
have been reading the May Feedback and groaned all the way
through it. How do you people keep from going crazy
answering the same tired creationist twaddle every month? I
wouldn't be surprised if you guys just packed it in some
day. I must thank you all for doing this rather tiresome
job as it does help stave the tide of irrationality and
anti-science. Keep up the great work.
Miguel A. Garcia
|Response:||Comments like yours, Miguel, keep me and the other contributors going!|
seems too technical for the non-scientist. And the first
part of the thing about evolution does not distinquish
between creationism and evolution. Even the moths in
England do not. No new species was created. Only some
variation that is within a species was observed. That is
consistant with creationism.
In addition, a group of books on biology and evolution seem to be excluded. I learned more about evolution and biology reading Stephen J. Gould's books than I did in my college evolution class. I recommend all (or at least most) of Stephen J. Gould's book be added to the list.
purpose of this Web site was to serve as the repository for
FAQs generated by participants in the talk.origins Usenet newsgroup.
As such, the FAQs are somewhat necessarily technical; their
purpose is to provide detailed, referenced refutations of
common assertions in the newsgroup. We don't want our
readers to take our word for it; we encourage them to read
the primary literature referred to in the FAQs.
The study of evolutionary biology, like any other science, is technical and often complicated. Striking a balance between simplicity and completeness is difficult, and sometimes we fail. We welcome specific suggestions from readers on how to present the information here more clearly. In the meantime, I suggest readers examine the main talk.origins FAQ, the Five Major Misconceptions About Evolution FAQ, the Introduction to Evolutionary Biology FAQ, and the What is Evolution? FAQ.
finished watching the old favorite "Inherit the Wind" which
set me, once again, to ponder the old question "Could the
truth of our evolution and existence not lie somewhere in
the middle of all we've been taught?" I am relieved to
state that your most thought provoking site has laid that
question to rest for me with your particular article about
"God and Evolution." In my own personal estimation, Man
will never lay aside his pride long enough to examine both
sides of the question in an unprejudiced manner. As such,
there will be so few who will ever learn the real truths to
which we might otherwise have been made privy to know.
Thank youfor all of your contributor's efforts in sharing the knowledge and information you have. I feel privileged to have been able to learn from your expertise and the unbiased presentation of all the facts. Keep up the good work. Sometimes, it's worth it!
B. J. Pearce
may or may not lie "somewhere in the middle." But if it
does, how are we to know? The answer is "By the evidence."
If the answer does lie somewhere in the middle, the
evidence will reveal it.
Imagine for a moment, if you can, people looking at the issue of our origins with a very neutral mindset, accepting only what the evidence suggests, not allowing their personal beliefs to influence their theories. Imagine someone who has lain aside their pride long enough to examine both sides of the question in an unprejudiced manner.
You are now looking at the evolutionist, using methodological materialism. He or she can be a Christian of any variety, or a Jew, or a Muslim, or a Hindu, or an atheist. There is no religous dogma to protect. He or she refuses to rely upon supernatural explanations, but only upon that which can be tested and examined, even if he or she believes in the supernatural. That is methodolgical materialism, and it is the only way to honestly proceed in science.
Scientific theories stand or fall by the strength of the evidence over time.
I'm glad you have gotten some benefit from these pages. Keep on questioning.
|Comment:||Within Judaism, there is question as to whether or not there is Jewish bloodline directly connecting present day Jews to the Biblical Jews of the Holyland. I found nothing regarding this in my search of your archives, hence this post. Much in Judaism depends on the idea of a "peoplehood," a majority of Jews believing in this. Other segments of the religion do not believe there is a significant line back to the Jews of the Old Testiment. (See "Jews, God and History" by Max Dimont(?spell) With ability of DNA to actually trace such lineage, I seek to know 1) if there has been work on this, and 2) who could take on a study project like this scientifically. I am not "into" science very much; don't check out web sites too often. So, I would like any helpful E-Mail - in addition to looking forward to any knowledgeable response here. Ralph Dombrower, Richmond, Virginia|
surprising that you could find no information of that sort
on the Talk.Origins Archive. This site is directly
concerned with biology and geology, and it's related
sciences, not the explicit refutation of any religious
doctrine. Only when specific religious claims
contradict mainstream scientific theories and data, are any
Your question would be better directed at Internet Infidels.
work, people. I really appreciate the effort involved in
making this site. It's earned a place in the Life Sciences
folder in my bookmarks.
I first visited talk.origins years ago and found the signal-to-noise ratio way too low to justify my participation. You've distilled a big chunk of what I'm interested in to an easy-to-access format.
|Response:||Marvelous. The reader's statement is the primary justification for the existence of the Talk.Origins Archive, so we are heartened to hear that its purpose has been fulfilled.|
|Comment:||How do u
people explain evolution? You are so mislead. Evoulution is
mot science it is a faith. Mathematically its impossible.
The chances for the big bang are 1 in 10 to the 40,000
It is based completely on chance. Evolution is based on uniformitarianism- present is the key to the past. The major flaw with this is that it doesn't explain the origin of life.
Louis Pasteur came up with the law of biogenesis- living things can originate only from existing living things. This marked the end of spontaneous generation as a scientific possibility. How could animals evolve out of nothing?
There is no proof of a missing link is there? How can u explain that? And if we keep evolving how come we aren't changing now? The key for you is millions of years but actually the world is only 10,000 years old. Louis Aggassiz said there is no fossil record for the change of one kind of living thing into another.
Almost all of what we know is since the 1500's right? You know why? Because of the protestant reformation and the return to the Bible. The Bible isn't a science book but speaks truly and accuratly about science. Want some examples? When did scientist find out that blood sustains life? The Bible has the answer in Leviticus 17:11 "For the life of the flesh is in the blood" Cristopher Columbus said the earth is round right. The Bible had it all along in Isaiah 40:22 It is he that sitteth on "THE CIRCLE OF THE EARTH"
The Bible speaks about all these things and about Creation. How can you shake your puny little fist and deny your Creator? One day you will have to answer to Him.
Hebrews 11:3 proves evolution is false. It reads "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, SO THAT THINGS WHICH WERE NOT MADE OF THINGS WHICH DO APPEAR.
Thank you for reading this and i hope you will realize the truth about creation and God. By the way I'm 12 yrs old and all these facts i learned in school. E-mail me back if you can disprove any of these facts
sure do have a good vocabulary for someone who is just 12
You have a hunger for facts, I can tell. But sadly, it is you who have been misled, away from science.
Evolution is NOT based completely on chance. Louis Pasteur's law of biogenesis has nothing to do with evolution. Your probability calculation is meaningless. There is much more to evolution than you have been told.
There are no real missing links. There are a few undiscovered fossils that will someday fill a few gaps. The theory is in no danger. The world is four and a half billion years old.
I wish I could sit down for a couple hours and have a good talk with you. It's a shame to see this happen.
The circle of the earth that you refer to in scripture is the disc-shaped flat world of the Babylonians. People 3500 years ago thought the world was flat, and made numerous claims of such.
There are many Christians who accept the truth of evolution, and who are not shaking their "puny little fists" at God. In fact, there are far more Christian evolutionists than atheistic ones. What would you say to them?
I hope someday you will be able to break out of your belief system long enough to get a grasp of the real world.
|Comment:||I absolutely love your website! I was raised as a Fundamentalist, with a literal interpretation of the Scriptures. Thank goodness I now live my life by reason! This whole debate exists mainly because most people in this country lack a clear understanding of what science is, and more importantly, what it ISN'T, hence, we have to contend with things like "Creation Science." For those biblical literalists, in particular, they seem to want to have it both ways. They praise the virtues of faith but then try to say that their religious beliefs are scientifically-based (Creation Science). I don't think anyone objects to Christians' religious beliefs. It's only when they try to pass religion off as science that gets them into trouble.|
point I would make is that Christian fundamentalism does
not necessarily require a literal interpretation of the
Scriptures (whatever "literal" means, as different
literalists have different interpretations). Some of those
who have contributed to talk.origins and this web site
are fundamentalist Christians.
I must admit for myself that I have never quite understood why a person would require evidence to "prove" something that should be a matter of faith.
|Comment:||If you want me to believe that everything came from nothing, and to believe scientists over the Bible, well I'm sorry...I just couldn't do that! Furthermore, could you please explain to me why there are people out there so desperately searching for some way to disprove the Bible but none have ever been able to do so. (Keeping in mind how long ago the Bible was written, and written without all of this new technology that todays scientists have at hand). Let me ask a few questions and maybe you can answer them. 1. Why was the Bible written at all? 2. If we came from nothing, where do we expect to go? 3. If we are so brilliant,(putting a man on the moon) why can't we feed ourselves? 4. What are we searching for, why all of the exploration, to make man feel important, to feel like a God? 5. Why was the Bible written at all?|
|Response:||I don't want
any such thing. I don't want you to believe what I say. I
would like to see you question what you have assumed to be
true, and investigate the "evidence" for your own position.
Really dig deep! I want you to examine your own mind, and
ask yourself why you have chosen to accept what you
There are people out there successfully pointing out the problems of the bible because there are other people out there claiming that it is a book without error, and is historically and scientifically accurate. Some scholars estimate that there are at least one hundred thousand errors in the bible.
1) Why was the bible written? Probably to provide laws to the Jewish tribe. It's filled with over 400 Mosaic Laws and punishments.
2) We came from life. Where did that life come from? Read and find out. Where are we going? That's not really the subject of this website. You can still be a Christian and accept evolution.
3) Why can't we feed ourselves? Most importantly, there are too many of us. Y6B is approaching (the Year of Six Billion).
4) What kind of meaningless question is that? I have my own reasons, you have yours, as does everyone else. Is there some reason we should not? What are you trying to prove?
5) That is the same question as #1. Here is another answer: to provide an explanation to savage primitives as to the origins of the world they saw around them. They invented origin myths just like every other ancient culture.
|Comment:||I tried to access the "a Creationist rebuttle of Isaak's FAQ. but i could not access it. Is it still there or was it taken off your page?|
|Response:||That page is not located on this website, so it's no doing of ours. That rebuttal is located off-site, at the True.Origin Archive.|
|Comment:||Before I forget. We are on the dawning of a new age. Check the sun's postion at the moment of solsice.You wil find that it straddles the boarder of tarus and gemini.On the cusp of a new age."The Summer of Tarus"soon it wioll be completly in Tarus at the moment of solstice befoe it moves into gemini. Thank you Mr.Christopoher Mystic|
of changing careers. Is it the right time? (I'm an Aries).
I'm trying to save the $3.99 per minute...
been personally invited to join "The Rationalists WebRing"
hosted by The Truths
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: ra*tio*nal*ist (noun) First appeared 1827 One who finds reliance on reason as the basis for establishment of religious truth; one who holds the view that reason and experience rather than the nonrational are the fundamental criteria in the solution of problems.
As a member you will notice increased traffic to your site...
To apply to join simply visit the following link: The Rationalists WebRing
We hope to have your participation and support, Thanks
really need more traffic :-)
It in my opinion would be inappropriate for this site to affiliate to any site or ring that has a strong position on matters that are religious, because we several times argue that views on religion are not a formal consequnce of scientific theories and investigations.
Since many are offended by rationalism, and not all of them are irrationalists or revelationists, it would send the wrong message to those who merely wish to learn what evolutionary biology is about and what it means.
|Comment:||I am studying the controversial argument of creation and evolution, I believe creation can not be a fact just like evolution can not be a fact. As stated in the Columbia Encyclopedia, (quote) "The progress of science is marked not only by the assimulation of facts but by the emergence of the scientific method and of the scientific attitude. The first step of the scientific method is the gathering of data by the observation of phenomena... ...the validity of deduction that follows logically from a generalization is tested by further observation and experiments." From this, and other studies, I have come to understand that neither evolution nor creation has been observed, nor any real data that proves either to be true. I am a firm believer in God and I do not doubt the bible so I am also a firm creationist. I would love to discuss more of this with you.|
|Response:||What on earth lead you to the conclusion that evolution has never been observed?|
|Comment:||I had an in depth conversation with an acquaintance of mine about the idea of the existence of god according to the bible. This conversation was seemingly endless until I brought up the following question. I remembered that he had told me that god was "all good," and "all powerful." I then asked him this: "Could god end the life of a person for no reason?". His reply was "He wouldn't, but yes he could." But the conversation quickly came to a screeching halt when I brought up the fact that if god could end the life of an innocent person for no reason, he could not possibly be all good. And again, if god could NOT end the life of an innocent person, he could not possibly be all powerful. Thus strengthening my question of gods existence... What are your thoughts on this?|
but off the topic of this website. This site is for the
promotion of science and the defense of our public school
system against psuedo-scientific creationist nonsense. This
site is not about promoting atheism over theism. If you
read the polls, you'll find that most evolutionists are not
You might want to direct it to the Internet Infidels website.
|Comment:||Question, if you had a certain population exposed to extreme conditions over a prolonged period of time (disease, predators, warring, starvation, slavery), could this influence natural selection, leading to, in time, an increase in members who are stronger, quicker, more resistant to the diseases their population is exposed to, more apt to defend against predators? If, so how long would it take for this population to become statistically significantly different from members of the same species that are not exposed to such harsh conditions?|
|Author of:||Evolution and Philosophy|
question cannot be answered without knowing the specifics
of each case, but it is in principle possible that any
population, whether of humans or other organisms, exposed
to long term selection coefficients greater than those of
other populations would be fitter.
But note this: fitter for what? Why, to resist disease, predators, war, starvation and the conditions of slavery, and all the other selection coefficients to which they, but not other populations have been exposed. There is no sense of "absolutely better" that makes evolutionary sense.
The rate of the effects of selection varies according to the selection coefficient (that is, how "hard" the selection is for that trait) and the effective population size (how many are breeding). Smaller populations are more liable to have traits spread just because of chance than bigger ones, and so chance can overwhelm selection.
Speciation, or the divergence of one population from the configuration of the parent species, can take as few as a couple of generations or as many as 10,000. There's no set number. Statistically significant change is also variable, and depends, as I said, on a range of factors.
I suspect a motive for this question, although I cannot tell which way you are wanting to go, so let me say this: there is insufficient variation within the human species for any population to be classed as an incipient species. We are all the same sort of animal, and we vary less overall than a single chimpanzee troop, possibly because we went through a genetic bottleneck around 200,000 years ago.
Jared Diamond's excellent book Guns, Germs and Steel: A short history of everybody for the last 13,000 years outlines how disease resistance may arise from close proximity to pathogen carrying domestic livestock such as pigs, and that populations that have not been exposed to these diseases are susceptible to epidemics that decimate them.
|Comment:||This is more
of a question than a comment.
I am a DJ at my college radio station, and we're required to write and record an ascertainment (PSA) to be played on the air. Since the seeming popularity of creation "science" is one of my pet peeves, I would like to use some information from your pages in making my ascertainment. How would I go about getting permission to do so?
|Response:||The FAQs on
this Web site are copyrighted by the individual authors.
You should contact the author of the article to receive his
or her permission to reprint the article. (How, you ask? By
clicking on their name which should be linked to their
The feedback and responses are also copyrighted by their individual authors. The remainder of this Web site, unless otherwise stated, is the copyright of Brett Vickers, the site maintainer.
I have no authority to speak for everyone who has contributed to this site, but most have no problem with someone reprinting an article without modification, so long as they are given credit. Selected quotations, of course, fall under a "fair use" exception anyway.
|Comment:||I would like
to say that this is a nice site. Your FAQ section includes
an answer to the question of Evolution as fact or theory.
The answer you give is fact.
You state this as fact based on a misrepresentation and a false assumption. I believe there are few that would argue micro-evolution or the evolving within a species. This is readily seen in animal husbandry etc. This is very different than macro-evolution which is species to species evolution. You state that this macro-evolution has so much evidence pointing for it that it must be considered fact. I challenge you to show any fossil record link showing a species to species link. There simply are none, leading to many reaching postulations such as punctuated equilibrium.
never heard that one before... no transitional fossils, eh?
Then what are we doing here on this website?
You have been misinformed by those who would have you believe that there are no transitional fossils. There are. Plenty of them- more than enough to accept the fact of macroevolution.
Please read these (and other) FAQS before again making such a wildly inaccurate and fallacious statement.
|Comment:||I found your
homepage interesting and well-designed, though I don't
believe in evolution. There is a book called the
Risale-i Nur (translated into English from
Turkish) in which there is a section related, more or less,
to evolution or creation. Someone of you may benefit from
it. If anyone is interested, please check risalei nur külliyatý ,
"Twenty-Third Flash" in the
Thanks and regards,
This section of the Risale-i Nur attacks what it
calls "atheistic naturalism." From a quick reading of the
passage, I don't see that it necessarily contradicts
evolutionary theory. Evolution, like other sciences,
operates according to the principles of methodological
naturalism; that is, that its methods do not utilize
supernatural explanations. This is not the same as the
philosophical naturalism which says there are no
supernatural explanations. However, as this is a mistake
made by Christian creationists (especially Phillip Johnson), those who
would interpret the Risale-i Nur in this fashion
could legitimately be called Turkish creationists.
All this is to say that even if evolution were demonstrated to be 100% false, that wouldn't mean Christian-based "scientific creationism" would automatically be true. Why not Islamic Turkish creationism?
|Comment:||Have you any listing for John Warwick Montgomery, author of "Evidence for Faith" (Probe Books)? Thank you.|
Warwick Montgomery is not the author of
Evidence for Faith: Answering the God Question, but
its editor. He contributed the essay "A Juridical Defense
of Christianity" found in that volume, however. A critique
of that essay can be found Critique of
John Warwick Montgomery's Arguments for the Legal Evidence
for Christianity .
The following biography is listed for him:
The University of Luton does not seem to have any listing for him on its faculty pages, but they may just be out of date. A picture of him and a mailing list on his works can be found at John Warwick Montgomery.
|Comment:||I have read the welcome page to the archive. I understand that you do try to present mainsteam scientific thought. You do have Christians on your web site. Why do you not let them answer more of your religous questions? You have articles in the feedback about how there is no evidence for God, why you can't trust the Bible, and why the author is an atheist. You do have an article by a Christian about why he believes in evolution. Why do you not have more articles by evolutionary scientists about why they are Christians? And your anti-Bible articles deserve to be refuted.|
that we "let" certain people respond to certain questions.
Everyone who volunteers time to respond to feedback chooses the questions he or she wishes to address. Maybe they get tired of writing the same thing over and over...
Some of the "anti-bible" articles are written by Christians who view those parts of the bible, such as Noah's Ark, as metaphorical, not literal.
|Comment:||It appears that all creationists want to do is "debate". I've heard enough about their "debates". It really doesn't matter what they say or think. Within the next 25 years the scientific world is going to blow the Genesis creation story out the door. Considering the rapid advances being made it might be sooner than 25 years. Tom|
|Author of:||Evolution and Philosophy|
sooner than that. The creation story as a literal account
of the way living things and geology as we observe them
arose was falsified in the early years of the nineteenth
century, and not by horrible evolutionists either. Neither
Cuvier, the great French naturalist nor the early
geologists could accept it. The only form of creationism
acceptable to scientists at that time was what is known as
"special creationism" - the idea that species were
continuously being created to fill the gaps left by
extinctions, and that had to include the animals listed in
the Genesis Flood account. Evolution came along to explain
what we saw and which could not be incorporated into a
biblical Diluvian accoint.
And that's not to even mention what astronomy and cosmology teaches us about the universe.
annoyingly frequent Creationist distortion is the statement
that "Borel's law says that events with a probability of
less than one in 10 to the 50th power never occur".
Has anyone ever tracked down the source of this particular Creationist legend? Is it based on a misreading/misquote of something Borel actually said or is it a complete fabrication?
|Response:||I have found
two citations to a 1962 book by Émile Borel,
Probabilities and Life. (See
A Mathematical Proof of Intelligent Design In Nature
Evolution: Fact or Fiction?.) Here is the Library of
Congress listing for that book:
Borel died in 1956; 1962 is the date of the translation of his book into English. The original work is from 1943:
There also appears to have been a 1950 edition in French. I'll see if I can obtain a copy of the book.
|Comment:||[A]s an educator, I have a few parents that do not want their kids to learn what they call Darwin's evolution..how do I convey the idea of evolution to these kids without causing mommy and daddy a heart attack? This is not a public school, but instead a class of science for home schooled kids offered through the web and some hands on.|
|Response:||My wife went
to a private Christian school which had a statement of
faith required of faculty that included both Biblical
inerrancy and special creation. Nevertheless, her biology
class specifically covered the theory of evolution: the
professor said that he didn't believe it, but it was a
significant idea in modern biology, anyone going to college
to study biology would be expected to know and understand
it, and not covering it would mean leaving out something
Similarly, when I was in school (when there was still a USSR) we studied about Marx and Lenin and their ideas. Not that they were something we were supposed to adopt, but just that these were important and influential ideas.
Would some variation on that idea suffice?
|Comment:||My IP's newsgroup server doesn't have talk.origins. Could you please tell me the domain name that the newsgroup is kept on so I can get to it directly.|
newsgroups aren't "kept" on any particular server. Since talk.origins is a moderated
newsgroup, messages posted to the group are sent to the
moderator--an automated program that limits the
crossposting of messages--at ediacara.org.
The messages are then propagated from newsserver to
newsserver out from ediacara.org.
If you do not have access to a newsserver that carries the talk.origins newsfeed, the second-best alternative is to access the newsgroup from a Web-based newsservice such as Deja or reference.com. At one time, DejaNews would not allow posting to moderated newsgroups such as talk.origins; I don't know if that is still the case, but reference.com did allow such postings.
publish this, do not simply take words out but rather split
it up into sections.
Many people use the term evolution to describe a transition from the earliest stages of life to the present day. You seem to be using it as a term for the subtle changes that occur from one generation to the next. Using the term evolution may not be totally wrong, but it is misleading. Please think about changing it to something along the lines of "natural selection" instead of "evolution."
Your site mentions "mainstream" ideas. Evolution is not mainstream science. It has grown, true, for the past 50 years, but the idea in itself was not even made publicly known until about 150 years ago! Creation is mainstream, in which you can't just include scientists, because the majority of people in the world, and has been around for not just 200 years, but 6000 years! They may not have a degree in science. You must include everyone in your studies. Then you will find that more people as a whole support Creation over Evolution.
Science vs. Creation. Not possible. There has been more evidence turned over supporting creation from a scientific point of view than there ever has been supporting long-term evolution. People say that the Bible is full of myths, legends just to make us happy and fulfilled. Isn't evolution similar, something that hasn't been thought up in a while to make sense of everything? I'd rather believe I came from the hand of the Almighty God than from the penis of a chimpanzee. Would you?
Science vs. the Bible. Still not possible. Nothing in proven science has said that anything against that which is written in the Bible, when used as a whole (and not just one phrase taken out without mentioning or at least looking at the surrounding verse). The Bible and science support each other, like complements. I have time and time again looked for answers dealing with God through science, and it has worked. I've also tried to find differences, and there are none at all.
I was an atheist for many years, and finally put aside my ignorance to the church. I used to be afraid of going to church, until a friend asked me to come. Every time I went to church, about once a year, just one night made me change my ways for a good while. The absence of church and my laziness caused me to slide back away from those beliefs.
I can't make you change your minds, you are all very smart people. But just go to church, with a few friends, and go there for at least one month. Look up websites, such as www.DrDino.com or www.AnswersInGenesis.org. They have some backing that you may be interested in. Look at the other side. I did, and I changed. I'm not saying that you will, and you don't have to. That is totally your choice. But remember, if you're right, I'm dead. If I'm right, you're forever in Hell.
I'm praying for and truly love you all,
change I made to the letter was to correct a misplaced
Many people may use the term evolution in the fashion the reader describes. Many people also use the term incorrectly. We use the definition that biologists use: Evolution is a change in the genetic makeup of a population of organisms over time. I am sorry if the reader feels misled, but if so, he has been misled by those using the term incorrectly. See the What is Evolution? FAQ, the Introduction to Evolutionary Biology FAQ, and the Evolution is a Fact and a Theory FAQ.
Evolution most certainly is mainstream science. It forms the underpinning of biology; to quote the great naturalist Theodosius Dobzhansky, "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." Without evolution, biology is merely taxonomy; with evolution, biologists see trends, make predictions, and understand the reasons for the evidence we see. The facts upon which evolutionary theory is based have been known for longer than 150 years; relationships between living species and fossil remains were known before Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859. Even the reader's assertion that "creation"--i.e., Christian-based creationism--is the mainstream view worldwide is utterly false; the overwhelming majority of humans are not even Christians, let alone creationists.
Evolution is based on the physical evidence that we see. Scientists from around the world publish their results in peer-reviewed journals; discrepancies and errors usually don't survive long, and when they are found, it is through the uncovering of new evidence. It isn't just made up to make us "make sense of everything." In fact, it doesn't make sense of everything, nor is it intended to.
And I'd rather believe that I am completely bulletproof and won't die if I stick my head underwater for thirty minutes, but wishing just don't make it so. Both we humans and chimpanzees evolved from earlier simian ancestors; this much is clear from genetic evidence, morphological comparisons, and fossil finds. See this comparison of fossil skulls, for example.
One can accept evolution and still believe the Bible, as many of those who have contributed to this site can attest to and as the God and Evolution FAQ discusses. This isn't a theological site, but the reader might want to examine a site discussing Biblical errancy before making such blanket assertions.
The reader also assumes too much in thinking that we don't go to church. Many of those who contribute to this site do so, with regularity. Evolution is not atheism and never has been. For one, atheism has been around much, much longer.
Finally, if the reader had examined our Other Links page, he would have seen that we have links to both sites mentioned. Critiques of Kent Hovind's loopy claims and the slightly more coherent claims of Answers In Genesis can be found in numerous places on this site using the site's search facility. We do invite our readers to examine the claims made on those sites, compare them with ours, and most importantly, check them against the primary scientific literature.
|Comment:||I have a few
simple questions. How much more proof is there for
evolution than for Young Earth, God breathed Creation? You
have to look at both sides, and from both points of view.
If you say "just look at the evidence" I would have to say
that the evidence points toward creation. Let's look on
both sides. here's what each group says
God may or may not exist If God does exist, he wasn't in any way actively involved in our coming into existance Complex life forms may just appear out of no where. The fossil record shows "ancestors to modern day species" Mutations May produce added benefits to survival.
God does exist, and cares a great deal in what is going on down here, especially for those who have placed their trust in His Son, Jesus Christ. God Created each species, and some changes were made after Adam ate the fruit and rebelled (ie. Carnivores, thorns, parasites, etc came into existance) Complex life forms can only come from other complex life forms. The fossil record shows species that became extinct after a major disruption in the world (ie the flood) and also shows modern day animals. Mutations are basically the "degeneration of life" and Natural selection is a Law that God designed to keep the species healthy, but never results in speciation.
But really, it comes down to what you believe. If you believe that God is all powerful, all Knowledgeable, and infinite, Creation is very possible. If you don't believe this about God, than evolution looks right, however, ask yourself, do you think DNA, a very complex system, found in the simplest of cells was just a freak of nature? Howabout this computer I'm typing on. It didn't just spontaniously come into existance. I didn't just leave a pile of silicon, sand, a few chemicals, some iron, copper, etc, and throw all of the equipment required to make it in a box, shake the box for a long, long, long (50 billion years) and wow! My brand new 450 mhz computer, Ready to go!
See how silly it looks? In otherwords, life is no less than the fact that we were designed, and if we were designed, why discredit God for his handywork?
a life-long Southern Baptist, let me respond by suggesting
a parallel which you might find worth considering.
According to the medical texts I have been able to examine, the modern scientific view of the creation of human beings is not unlike your summary of evolution: God may exist, but if so He does nothing we can identify in the formation of human beings. A sperm meets an egg, biological operations take place, and we're done.
Few if any theologians dispute the medical description of the physical operations involved in conception, gestation, and birth -- even though these medical descriptions have in them not one word of space for the actions of God.
Do you believe that you are the result of mechanistic, naturalistic gestation? Or do you reject all this medical "gestation" mumbo-jumbo and claim that you are a creation of God?
Or do you think that God can work through the natural world to achieve his ends?
And if God can create individual people through the biological processes described for us by modern science, why can't he also create entire species through biological processes?
|Comment:||I have just
read your previous feedback section and your answer to the
missing fossil comments. I agree that each shows a great
evidence for natural micro-evolution. The missing fossil
record that I am talking about is the link from one species
to another. Where is the half fish half mammal etc.
I am open to comments and seek understanding. I freely admit that I do not understand everything or even most things. That being said I find no evidence other than speculation and fraud that support macro-evolution.
fish and half mammal??" You really haven't
looked at the FAQs, have you? What you actually mean
is a transition from fishes to first amphibians, then a
transition from amphibians to first reptiles, and then
transition from reptiles to first mammals.
It's all right here. How much more plain does it have to be before you will accept it? Or will you never accept any evidence, no matter how strong it is, because it conflicts with your interpretation of your religious beliefs?
I direct this question to creationists reading this: What would convince you? Anything at all? Or nothing? Are you really open to learning? Or do you pride yourself in your knee-jerk rejection of all things that even remotely conflict with a literalist view of the bible?
How about a half-reptile and half-bird? It really doesn't get any more plain than this.
You mention speculation and fraud. There is always some speculation in all areas of science. What of it? It is through speculation that the truth is obtained. But FRAUD? In the area of transitional fossils? Do you think that Archaeopteryx is a lizard with feathers glued on? Beyond "Piltdown Man" (which was exposed by evolutionists) I challenge you to name one fraud. Or did you just make that up, as I suspect?
If you are open, as you say, I might suggest my Evolution Education Resource Center. It is written for ordinary people with no previous scientific background.
|Comment:||There is no
God. God is dead. F God. F Creationism. Christians are
nothing but ignorant, uneducated, close-minded,
small-minded, HYPOCRIT, prejudists. Why do we have wisdom
teeth, churchies? And why do we have toe nails or separate
digits on our feet? Evolution is real wether you believe in
it or not. Peace out.
|Response:||Not the site for that... There are God believers here advancing the case for evolution as strongly as anyone else. Not all Christians are creationists. By what I've read, probably around half. Show some respect. You make nonbelievers look bad.|
disturbed by the responses given by Ken Harding in your May
feedback concerning school debates over evolution vs.
creationism. His comments seemed mislead, as in one
instance he blames the debates on creationists trying to
infiltrate our schools. In taking a class called Science
Symposium we discussed more or less the politics of
science, in doing so we studied about this debate.
Certainly I see the learning about a popular dividing point
in American society not as a ploy to introduce religious
beliefs to children, but as needed education. One case in
point would be that while in elementary school we debated
over slavery while learning about the civil war. I don't
think you would so quickly jump to the conclusion that this
was a ploy by pro-slavery groups that intimidated our
teacher into holding this event.
understand that you are disturbed, but I am not misled.
Your "slavery analogy" is a false analogy. There are no court decisions preventing slavery from being discussed or debated in history class. Slavery advocates have not repeatedly attempted to bring their teachings into a prohibited environment. Creationism has been prohibited from being taught as science. It is NOT prohibited from being discussed in a comparative religion course. That's where it belongs.
Using debates about creationism vs. evolution IS INDEED a way to sneak creationism back into science class-- introducing its so-called "scientific" arguments against evolution. As far as infiltration... someone first came up with the idea of a debate... and I'll bet it wasn't an evolutionist. We nothing to gain from such an encounter-- our battle's already been won. In my opinion, it was an illegal infiltration. In such a debate, creationists get all their fallacious, religiously-based arguments presented as surely and completely as if they had read them from a textbook. They knew what they were doing.
requites no faith. If I told any of you out there that the
earth is round, you would probably have faith that I was
correct in saying that. But again, I could give you facts
to back this up if you didn't have faith that it was the
truth. Now, If someone told me that god created man, and I
had faith that it was true ... good, dandy, everything
would be great. But what If I didn't? As I said before...
the truth requires no faith, so then. I say give me the
truth, and prove it to me, for I have no faith. You see.
The truth is always there. No matter if someone believes in
it or not. No matter how much time it takes, the truth can
ALWAYS be proven. Now, I shall end with this final question
to you all...
Over the past 150 years or so, science has been proving evolution. Science has also made its share of errors. And how have these been found out? Why, by the scientist that made them. The Creationists, on the other hand, have not yet proved the evolutionists wrong. Let me sum this up for you:
On one side, you have a group of people dedicated to find the truth, and when a mistake is made, they find and correct it themselves. On the other side, you have a group of people dedicated to defending themselves by preaching falsities and attacking the other group. Now tell me this, which side seems more dedicated to finding the truth?
|Response:||Thanks for the summary! At least someone out there is listening...|