What Do Creationists Really Believe?

Creationism is not one set of beliefs - it is a battleground of dramatically conflicting world views.

by Brian Dunning

Filed under Natural History, Religion

Skeptoid #82
January 8, 2008
Podcast transcript | Listen | Subscribe
 

Old Earth Creationism Geology Biology
Theistic Evolution:
Evolution by natural processes is the tool God used
Yes Yes
Evolutionary Creationism:
Adam and Eve were the first spiritually aware humans
Yes Yes
Progressive Creationism:
Humans were a special creation event
Yes Most
Day-Age Creationism:
Six days of creation were six geological epochs
Yes Some
Gap Creationism:
4.5 billion year gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2
Yes Some
Young Earth Creationism Geology Biology
Omphalism:
Earth was created with the appearance of age and of evolution
Yes Yes
Young Earth Fundamentalism:
Invented versions of all natural sciences to explain Earth's age as 6,000 years
No No

If you've listened to the news at all within the last few years, you know that there's one topic which is always in the headlines. It's more lasting than terrorism, more pervasive than politics, and more personal than global warming. It's the war over religion; specifically, having religion taught as scientific fact. Replacing science with creationism. Whether it's Tennessee v. Scopes in 1925 or Kitzmiller v. Dover in 2005, religion versus science is always front and center.

Watching the news you've seen the $27 million Creation Museum in Kentucky, the largest and newest of the several museums throughout the United States depicting Biblical literalism as an alternative view of natural history. Dioramas show early farmers using small dinosaurs as beasts of burden. Dramatic displays show how Noah's flood created the Grand Canyon and all major geological features in a few days a few thousand years ago, and even give insight into how Noah kept all the dinosaur species on board his 600-foot ark. Most reasonable people are shocked by these flagrant attacks against intelligence. Does this mean that everyone who calls himself a creationist is certifiably insane?

As we see in so many aspects of our culture, it's usually the loudest and most outrageous fringe minority that makes the most noise and gets the most headlines. Rest assured that most creationists do not believe that Jesus rode around on a saddled Triceratops. There are, in fact, a number of different types of creationism. These variations conflict with one another and are mutually exclusive, and they are at varying odds with science.

The movement called Intelligent Design is not a type of creationism, or indeed any particular set of beliefs, so it will not be included in this discussion of the various types of creationism. Intelligent Design is a blanket concept intended to show that the scientific method alone is not adequate to explain the natural world, and that a divine creator is a required component for any complete explanation of nature. All types of creationists rally under the banner of Intelligent Design with the explicit goal of getting a foot in the door to force their particular belief system to be taught as fact in public schools.

These types of creationists fall into two main classifications: Young Earth Creationists, who believe that the Earth is between six and ten thousand years old; and Old Earth Creationists, who generally accept the scientific measurement of the Earth's age at 4.5 billion years old. Within these classifications are other irreconcilable differences, which we'll now go through one by one.

Let's start with the forms of Old Earth Creationism. I'm going to describe five basic types. Philosophers and adherents will probably quarrel with my chosen five, as there are others, and there are undoubted overlaps between these, and many believers combine aspects from two or more. But let's stick with these five as being representative. Here they are, in order of how well they reconcile with science, starting with the best:

Tip Skeptoid $2/mo $5/mo $10/mo One time
  1. Theistic Evolution. This is the Catholic Pope's officially stated position, and it's embraced by many real scientists of faith. Theistic evolution accepts both the geologic and biologic records, including modern evolutionary synthesis, and posits that these are simply the tools God chose to create the natural world. Theistic evolution allows and embraces scientific research and permits the acceptance of new information.
  2. Evolutionary Creationism also accepts the geologic and biologic records, and makes its creationist distinction in that there were a literal Adam and Eve who were simply the first spiritually aware humans, though they came into being in the same way as all early humans.
  3. Progressive Creationism goes one step farther. Progressive Creationism accepts the geologic record, and much of the prehistoric biologic record, including the true age of dinosaurs and other early lifeforms, but believes that the creation of humans and perhaps other modern animals was a special creationism event as literally depicted in Genesis. Thus, there can be no biological link between humans and early hominids from the fossil record.
  4. Day-Age Creationism is the belief that the six days of creation were really six geological epochs. Usually some effort is made to reconcile specific days in Genesis to specific epochs in Earth history, but since things didn't really all happen separately and consecutively like in Genesis, such efforts are generally somewhat ham-handed. But at least they're trying. Day-Age Creationism is what Jehovah's Witnesses advocate in their Watchtower pamphlets.
  5. Gap Creationism is about as far as the Old Earth model can be stretched. This model attempts to unify the true age of the Earth as measured by science with the literal Biblical account. Jimmy Swaggart advocates this model. Gap Creationism states that the first verse of the Bible, God created the heavens and the Earth, was followed by a "gap" of 4.5 billion years, during which time not much happened. And then, the literal creation of Genesis took place in six days about six to ten thousand years ago. Necessarily, this model has to abandon evolution completely, although it adheres to proper geology.

Now we move to the other half of creationist models, the Young Earth Creationism. Here we are forced to completely abandon reason and rationality. There are really only two main camps, and as you can see, they are completely at odds with one another, agreeing only on a single point: That the Earth did not exist ten thousand years ago. Let's now examine these two types of Young Earth Creationism, and once again we'll take them in order of how closely they adhere to real science:

  1. Omphalism. This is named after the 1857 book Omphalos, published two years before Darwin's Origin of Species, which explained that the fossil record was God's way of making the Earth appear to be old. Omphalos is Greek for navel, and the Omphalists believe that Adam and Eve were created with navels, thus having the appearance of being created through normal evolutionary biology. Adherents to Omphalism fully accept every scientific measurement of the age of the Earth and every discovery of modern biology, with the important exception that all such discoveries are wrong: God only wanted to make us think that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, and that life evolved from lower forms. A true scientist doing real research can be an Omphalist. He will arrive at the correct conclusions, though he will believe that his measurement is merely what God wants him to see.
  2. Modern Young Earth Fundamentalism. Here is where the train jumps completely off the tracks. Modern Young Earthers, for lack of a better name, are the ones behind the Creation Museum discussed earlier. They honestly believe in alternate versions of virtually every science known, throwing away every shred of modern science that doesn't point to the age of the Earth as 6,000 years. They literally believe in Adam and Eve (without navels) and all the dinosaurs on Day 1, fossilization taking only a few hundred years, and all major geologic features having been created in a few days in Noah's Flood. They reject evolution, cosmology, geology, and every science that supports them; which, by extension, eventually includes every scientific discipline. However, in their minds, they don't reject them at all; they fully embrace completely wrong, misinterpreted, misunderstood, and misrepresented versions of them. Their worldview is based absolutely on the Bible as a perfect, unerring, literal historical account. As a followup, they have invented their own versions of natural sciences that they pretend supports this view. It is not possible to be a thoroughly researched Young Earther and still retain any grasp on rationality. This is the group making the overwhelming majority of noise in the media and modern culture, but it's not clear how large of a group this really is. They have the largest and loudest web presence, with AnswersInGenesis.org and the Discovery Institute, though out of 3.2 million Ph.D.'s worldwide they've only been able to find 700 who agree with their science, according to their list maintained at DissentFromDarwin.org. This represents 2% of 1% of people with advanced academic degrees.
Saddled Dinosaur
It is scary but true - this display at the Creation Museum shows that Young Earth Fundamentalists honestly believe that people rode around on saddled dinosaurs, and that Noah had them all on the ark

So as you can see, the battle is not simply between science and creation. It's really more between the various forms of creationism, and especially between the modern Young Earthers and everyone else. There are perfectly rational ways to blend what we've learned through the scientific method with divine guidance, if that's your cup of tea. There are even reasonably, or at least relatively, rational ways to accept the gist of Genesis and still maintain a grip on reality. The majority of creationists are not entirely disconnected from reason. Even people like the Jehovah's Witnesses, who are often thought of as fringe fundamentalists, make an attempt to keep their beliefs reconciled with modern science. So long as this focus is maintained, we can be reasonably assured that our educational system is not headed for the proverbial rubber room.

Brian Dunning

© 2008 Skeptoid Media, Inc. Copyright information

References & Further Reading

Horn, S.D.S. Stephan (Editor), Pope Benedict XVI. Creation and Evolution: A Conference With Pope Benedict XVI in Castel Gandolfo. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2008.

Isaak, Mark. The Counter-Creationism Handbook. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2007. entire book.

Myers, Paul. "The Creation 'Museum'." Pharyngula. Science Blogs, 10 Aug. 2009. Web. 10 Jan. 2010. <http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/08/the_creation_museum_1.php>

Numbers, R. The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2006.

Scott, Eugenie C. Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2009. entire book.

Strahler, Arthur N. Science and Earth History--The Evolution/Creation Controversy. Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1987. entire book.

Reference this article:
Dunning, B. "What Do Creationists Really Believe?" Skeptoid Podcast. Skeptoid Media, Inc., 8 Jan 2008. Web. 31 Oct 2014. <http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4082>

Discuss!

Omphalism.?

Is that what Willy Wonka gets when he has sex with his migets?

Sounds sore!

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
January 8, 2008 3:27pm

I was a "YEC" at one point in my life, and it is absolutely correct that it takes a belief that the bible is the "inerrant, infallible, inspired word of god." The mindset against rationality and logic is such that, to quote an old preacher friend of mine, "if God said he put all the animals in a can of tuna I would believe it... if the bible said to shinny up a tree backward to attain salvation I would do it." I'm just glad I came to my senses and actually read a book or two... :-)

Alan B., Long Island, NY
January 8, 2008 5:25pm

If only my fellow Christians would realise that the Bible is not a book on science, history or mathematics, but on religion and spirituality. I mean, good grief!

When we find a conflict between our interpretation of the Bible and what is known to be true about reality, our interpretation must be re-evaluated.

Thus, I am a theistic evolutionist.

Damnable YETs. I need some tea.

Kevin Mellis, La Verne, CA
January 8, 2008 9:42pm

Is there any good estimate of how many people are really Young Earth Creationists? I ask because unfortunatley both they and their foes like to exaggerate their numbers -- every poll which shows umpty percent of Americans are "creationists" (mostly some flavor of Theistic Evolution or Evolutionary Creationism, I suspect) is touted as proving that most people in this country are Biblical literalists. The Young Earthers say this proves they're right, and the anti-Christians say this proves most Americans are idiots.

Are there any real numbers on this?

Cambias, Amherst, MA
January 9, 2008 5:42am

Brian,

Yet another great show!

I wonder if you'd planned this topic well in advance, or if you were partly inspired by my recent Skeptalk posts about the Creation Museum, as well as my <a href="http://www.ststblogs.com/archives/50">blog post and photos</a> on the subject.

By the way, regarding Omphalism, isn't there also supposed to be a similar view that says that it was the <em>Devil</em> who made the fossil record appear to be old so as to sway us away from the true accounts of the Bible?

Scott Trimble, Los Angeles, CA
January 9, 2008 10:25am

Hey Scott - Episodes are usually marinating for a few months collecting notes and getting worked on a bit at a time. Yes, I certainly used some of the images from your Creation Museum photographs to inspire the section on YEC. Thanks for that.

Brian Dunning, Laguna Niguel, CA
January 9, 2008 11:05am

Evolutionists, those that believe in molecules to Amoeba, or macro-evolution, would have us believe that the evidence for their theory is of such a grand scale that it is a veritable scientific absolute. When in fact, if held to the same "scientific" standards as are creationist's beliefs, the lack of solid evidence is indeed outstanding. One need only to do an internet search of "evidence proving evolution" and the facts point to this truth. Many great evolutionists were and are honest enough to admit to a total lack of any such evidence in the fossil record and most admit that there is an embarrassingly minor amount of actual scientific evidence supporting the theory. Even that which is considered evidence for the theory is seldom deemed a consensus among evolutionary scientists.
As always, it seems that the best way to prove otherwise is to "say it enough times and maybe it will be believed."

Walt Ransohoff, Detroit, MI
January 9, 2008 3:16pm

Walt, you're doing a good job of demonstrating your own principle: repeating shopworn arguments in the hope that maybe this time someone will believe them.

Exactly what lack of solid evidence are you talking about? Instead of Googling "evidence proving evolution" try Googling, say, the word "Biology" or "science" and see how many hits you get. Then maybe _read_ some of those articles and learn something about the subject, 'kay?

Cambias, Amherst, MA
January 10, 2008 5:39am

I read the article on creationism and what do the creations really believe.

I'm afraid it did not appeal to me. Its like putting more wood into an imaginary fire in an imaginary fireplace in an imaginary house. Mental masturbation?

In short, I think that the creationist do not know what they really believe in, they are making it up as they go along.

First of all, one must not consider the bible, as the old testament (part containing the genesis and creationist thesis) may be a bad translation of the torah ( the jewish holy book). Now, this was probably written in long long sentences that allowed any two jewish scholors to get into a debate of what the possible translation could be. this then becomes nonsence as we all know that god did not write this thesis himself, and that this thesis was written over hundreds of years by multiple persons and styles and socio-cultural backgrounds.

I'm a creationist, for when ..

- I ejeculate, and I could possibly create little babies... the white substance is kind of holy ( monthy phython sings "every sperm is sacred" :-) ). I am not totally sure of this, as I still no not have any babies
- i think, and I could possibly create an imaginary fire in an imaginary fireplace in an imaginary house next to an imaginary lake with a view of the dinausors roaming next to the temple where I was born. I'm sure I will be able to draw this.
- I .....

All this burden, as we are running away from ourselves, seeking reasons in a cartesien mindset..

jinjon, helsinki
January 10, 2008 1:52pm

Cambrian, Should I believe the scientists that believe in evolution or those that do not? True scientific methods demand that we have something that we can observe. No scientist has ever observed new information being added to the genetic make up of creatures as a result of mutations. Mutations are virtually always a loss of information. Unless of course, you have an example to the contrary! Evolution cannot be classified as a result of confirmed observational science. It can only be classified in terms of historical science, which is purely philosophical in nature and subject to personal bias. Molecule to man evolution is a faith position and not a scientific theory from observational science. Evolution is a theory that has not yet been disproved, just like creation science! The proof of evolution is only there if you want to see it there. Evolution remains "unproven and unprovable!"

Walt Ransohoff, Detroit, MI
January 10, 2008 4:20pm

Marius, what are you afraid of?Since when did scientific information become detrimental to truth? Evolutionists are in an absolute hysteria over anyone that dare present any critical analysis of the theory of evolution. Considering that the robust exchange of ideas is the very foundation in the fundamental exchange of ideas, why do evolutionists recoil at discussions and debates regarding the ‘facts’ supporting evolution? If the evidence is really so compelling, why wouldn't evolutionists appreciate opening it up for discussion so they can prove it’s true and end the controversy once and for all? If evolution is so cut and dried, why are there so many scientists against it and why do evolutionists have such a hard time arguing for it?

Walt Ransohoff, Detroit, MI
January 10, 2008 6:47pm

Walt - Biologists ("evolutionists" as you call them) don't have any trouble with the many foundations of evidence; and according to DissentFromDarwin.org, only 2% of 1% of people with advanced scientific degrees have any doubts over it.

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
January 10, 2008 6:54pm

I'm a bit nervous about sharks, as the coast where I dive is also frequented by that excellent example of a well evolved organism, Carcharodon carcharias. I am not particularly concerned about critical analysis of the theory of evolution.All theory needs this, and gets it regularly.It stands up. I have said it before, and at the risk of a delete I will repeat myself. Your position is immovable. Mine is not. I will am inclined to accept what good evidence would point to being the most likely reason for..... lets say how an organism looks like it does, and how it interacts with its environment. For the sake of argument, lets call this evolution. The evidence for "God did it" is quite frankly, absent. The Bible is not in my opinion, evidence of anything other than a visit from Gideons, or a fondness for anecdotes, insest and smiting.
All that being said, if someone unearths a T-Rex with the proofs of genesis stuck to the inside of it's ribcage, and it is real, I might reconsider my position.
Quality of evidence. Thats what we need to be true believers.

Marius vanderLubbe, Nullabor Plain, Australia
January 10, 2008 9:39pm

Walt, could I trouble you to ask which form of creationism you believe?

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
January 11, 2008 12:06pm

Eric, would you have us to believe that all biologists are evolutionists or that only evolutionists are "real biologists". When do we get to read the topic "What do evolutionists believe?" There are, at the least, several alternate theories in the theory of evolution. A few I found are: "Common descent," the notion that all life originated in a common ancestor; "multiplication of species," the splitting of one species into two or more species over time; "gradualism," the idea that evolutionary change happens slowly over a long period of time; and "natural selection," an idea that certain genetic characteristics advance over less desirable ones. There is even one titled "evolution as such," which is the question of whether or not evolution ever took place at all. These anti-theories were widely debated by evolutionary scientists such as Stephen J. Gould by advancing his idea of "punctuated equilibrium," which says that change happens very rapidly and often with catastrophic results. One of Gould's most vehement detractors is Richard Dawkins. His desire is to advance orthodox Darwinism under his moneymaking "selfish gene" label. Many other scientists are foraging bits and pieces of evidence advancing environmental effectives and a parallel evolution in nature that sometimes undermine and sometimes support Darwin's propositions. All of these theories, by the way, conveniently leave out the origin of the first things. This subject is taboo to evolutionists, and indeed left unanswered! Oh, I am a young-earther.

Walt Ransohoff, Detroit, MI
January 11, 2008 3:32pm

Evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life; abiogenesis is a different scientific field. "Taboos" are not really part of that.

Are you familiar with modern evolutionary synthesis? Do you even know what it is? You should, if you speak so authoritatively.

I note you used the term Darwinist. That's fine. Do you prefer that I address you as a Grahamist, a Robertsonist? I mean only to be equally respectful.

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
January 11, 2008 3:42pm

Walt, I would like you to provide the names of these well respected scientists who do not believe in evolution. And when you list them, please include their field of expertise and a reliable site where their denial of evolution can be found. A person with a doctorate in early American literature denying evolution is not exactly a great source of authority.

Even if you do find a few Ph.D.'s who do not believe in evolution, the vast majority of scientists do still believe. Although minority opinions in the scientific community are extremely important, their opinions must be backed by evidence that is just as credible, if not more, as the evidence used by the rest of the community. No such evidence has ever been presented to my knowledge. Once again, if you have access to such things please show me where I can find them.

There are scientists that would have you believe that gray and reptilian aliens are battling on Earth and we are merely their pawns. Other scientists believe that rubbing your feet can cure cancer in your lungs. Are we to believe these claims as well? The title of scientist and an outrageous claim is not all that is needed to sway the minds of the logical. Well researched evidence is needed, and as of yet no such evidence has been provided by those with your beliefs.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
January 11, 2008 4:44pm

Steve, A simple visit to www.dissentfromdarwin.com will provide an ample list of names for your perusal. All of their degrees are listed also. And what version of the evolution tale do you fellows believe? Or just google "Who's who in creation/evolution". To evolutionists "Creation Design" is like an elephant in the living room. It moves around, takes up space, loudly trumpets, bumps into us, knocks things over, eats a ton of hay, and smells like an elephant. And yet they have to swear it isn't there!
And Eric, "Christian" will suffice!

Walt Ransohoff, Detroit, MI
January 11, 2008 7:12pm

I am a little confused.Wasn't the book of Genesis a Jewish document originally?

Marius vanderLubbe, Nullabour Plain, Australia.
January 11, 2008 7:31pm

Walt, I did peruse your list of names and was left rather unimpressed. Several of the degrees listed after names were not at all related to the study of evolution. Civil engineering, theoretical physics, anesthesiology, and mathematics just to name a few. These people making a bold statement about evolution being false is about as impressive as me, an integrative physiologist, making bold claims about quantum physics being false. How can someone speak authoritatively on a topic they know little about. Further, how can they do this without being able to point to any piece of scientific evidence that has been thoroughly studied.

In your posts you continually claim that evolution has no supporting evidence and tout the amazing evidence pointing toward intelligent design. I now challenge you to show me scientific evidence to support creationism that is reproducible. If you would like, I can point you in the direction of a slew of studies, papers, dissertations, etc, that point to and back up evolution.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
January 11, 2008 7:36pm

Walt - Just so you know, the Dissent from Darwin list is an old joke. In years they have not been able to put together more than 700 names, which is 2% of 1% of people with advanced degrees. You'll need to do a lot better than that to show that any significant number of educated people believe in magic.

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
January 11, 2008 9:30pm

The two most telling flaws in evolutionary theory are: First, the fossil record which can be our only documentation of whether evolution actually occurred in the past lacks any transitional forms, and all specimens appear fully-formed when present. The evidence that "pre-men" (ape-men) existed is dubious at best. So called pre-man fossils turn out to be those of apes, extinct apes, fully man, or historical frauds. Secondly, there is no adequate explanation for the origin of life from dead chemicals. Even the simplest life form is tremendously complex. Many scientists, including: Gould; Tahmisian; Lewinton; Dawkins; openly admitted that the universe appears designed. Steve, above you asked for scientific evidence to support creationism that is reproducible. Why do you expect from creationists, that which as an evolutionist you cannot produce? Louis Bounoure said that: “Evolutionism is a fairy tale for grown-ups. This theory has helped nothing in the progress of science. It is useless.” To that I say “Amen!”

Onus Ford, Detroit, Michigan
January 12, 2008 5:49am

Onus, you mention that the fossil record lacks any transitional forms between species. I would have to assume that you have never delved very deeply into fossil studies. The easiest example to site is the fossil history of the horse which is, to my knowledge, the most complete transitional record known to date. Several fossils have been found that are transitions between animals. Mesohippus, miohippus, and parahippus are just a few examples of these fossils showing the horse skeleton evolve over time. One of the most interesting pieces of evidence found by these studies is that horse embryos initially grow three toes, which is seen in ancestors of the horse, and during development two toes become vestigial while the third makes the hoof.

For another sign of evolutionary evidence there are the fossils of mammals who lived both on land and in the water with bodies that were beginning to become streamlined for a life entirely in an aqueous environment. These fossils point to a transition between land mammals and sea mammals such as whales. Ambulocetus, kutchicetus, and georgiacetus vogtlensis are a few examples of these fossils that come to mind.

As for abiogenesis, that is a fascinating field all its own with some pretty interesting evidence and studies, but it is not a weakness of evolution. Evolutionary theory does not try to explain how life arose, just how and why lifeforms change over time. Abiogenesis is another argument completely.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
January 12, 2008 2:54pm

Steve, I have in fact, looked very seriously at the theory of evolution. As a matter of fact, quotes from evolutionary scientists themselves have convinced me that there is no evidence for it. Stephen J. Gould, an avid evolutionist and extreme enemy of Creationism, said this: "The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils." Colin Patterson, late Senior Palaeontologist, for the British Museum of Natural History in London said: "Yet Gould and the American Museum people are hard to contradict when they say there are no transitional fossils." These men were smart enough to admit when they lacked the fossil evidence for evolution. Visit http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/fsslrc04.html#fsslrcrdtrnstnlfsslsntngh: and you will find quotes from plenty of evolutionists stating such. Darwin readily admitted the absurdity of his own ideas, admitting that the fossil record did not agree with him.
As for abiogenesis, I have NEVER had an evolutionist attempt to tackle that issue, for obvious reasons. It always leads them back to the same beginning, before there was anything, and that, is the main reason I began to look at the probability of Creation. It is the only thing that makes sense!

Onus Ford, Detroit, Michigan
January 13, 2008 6:47am

Which of the millions of predictions made by evolution verified in genetics do you find invalid, and why?

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
January 13, 2008 7:34am

Ah Yes, religion, the relentless pursuit of ignorance. You would do well to stop quoting your apologists and lying in an attempt
verify their statements. Combing the bible and other church sanctioned works of fiction does not constitute looking seriously into evolution, or anything else for that matter. You'll find that to see through religion you don't have to look hard, but you DO have to look. Not just pretend to! You
should also remember that text without context is a pretext. You might try actually reading Dawkins or Gould or some actual scientific
research on the subject, not just repeating carefully selected quotes
from your church pamphlets.

Mark Parent, Acton,ME
January 13, 2008 8:46am

Onus, I always enjoy it when creationists use the same few quotes to prove that scientists don't believe in evolution. Sometimes these quotes are taken out of context and their meaning is completely changed from the original context. Other times the quote is pieced together from several different quotes and was never actually said by the person it is attributed too. Another trick used is to take an actual quote where a scientist is arguing against a specific part of the theory and claim that the scientist disagrees with evolution as a whole. If you were to ask the person point blank if they believed in evolution, they would answer "yes" without hesitation.

The quote above by Gould is laughable. Gould was a lifelong advocate of evolutionary theory and tried to spread knowledge of the theory to a wider audience. He did have disagreements with certain specific theories, but his belief in evolution was unshakable.

Another famous quote from Louis Bounoure has already been used by you. This quote was never even said by him. Just check out
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/ce/3/part12.html
to read about how this quote is completely falsified.

I know I will regret this, but I will try to answer any specific questions about abiogenesis that you have. I admit that I am not an expert on the subject but I will do my best and perhaps others will help out as well. I encourage you to look past touted quotes and actually look at the information available.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
January 13, 2008 9:16am

Eric, could you please give examples of the predictions made by evolution verified in genetics? Someone tell me, where did I say that “scientists do not believe in evolution”? I simply showed that some evolutionists are honest enough to admit to the facts! (So much for context, eh boys) Remember, the topic was transitional fossils. Gould even invented a new theory because the evidence was lacking for long transitions. He believed in evolution, but he also had to respond to the evidence. And Talkorigins denied the Bounoure quote? Then it must be a lie!!!!!!!!! Colin Patterson once said that after working on [evolutionary theory] for twenty years there was not one thing he actually knew about it. Is there a consensus of even the basics of evolutionary thought? No. In fact, the scientific community, when it comes to the topic of evolution, is as uncommitted in agreement as is those in the theological debate. Loren Eiseley, Ph.D said in a book: "After having chided the theologian for his reliance on myth and miracle, science found itself in the unenviable position of having to create a mythology of its own: namely, the assumption that what, after long effort could not be proved to take place today, had, in truth, taken place in the primeval past." Steve, where did matter originate? For whatever reason you find that you need to believe in evolution, I must go in the direction of the evidence at hand. True science has not and cannot prove evolution!

Onus Ford, Detroit, Michigan
January 13, 2008 4:41pm

I see little point in discussing evolution with creationists. It's like discussing quantum mechanics with a faith healer. Sure the faith healer will have lots to say about quantum mechanics (usually) but it's all nonsense. They simply know nothing about the subject other than buzzwords and select quotes.

Similarly creationists often talk about evolution, but know little or nothing about it. There is no benefit for the rational person, and there is no benefit for the creationist. It's just annoying for both.

All we can do is hope that someday, something will inspire the creationist to actually seriously read a real book about evolution. You can't make them read one, they have to want to.

Conor, Melbourne
January 13, 2008 4:58pm

Sadly, I must now agree with Conor. Even though I have patiently tried to answer any questions posed to me, it has been to no avail. The answers are ignored, the evidence given is never looked at, and all I get in response are more off topic questions and the same, tired anti-evolution quotes.

Since you asked, I will try to explain why I believe in evolution. If a full pot of spaghetti noodles were to be dropped on the ground, nearly infinite configurations of noodles could arise. If I were to look at one one of these piles, I would not assume that someone had carefully placed each noodle to create the pile. I would assume that the noodles, while falling, impacting, and recoiling, had followed a specific set of rules (physics) and ended up in the random pile before me. I don't see the need to ascribe their organization to some higher intelligence.

Although evolution is on a much grander scale, the same assumption applies. The appearance of complexity does not, in my mind, always suggest the presence of a designer.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
January 13, 2008 6:25pm

The maker of the noodles and the one that dropped them is enough to kill your argument. The fact that the ingredients were mixed and cooked to make them are anti-evolution. Did they jump off the table by themselves? And you would first realize that they have not been organized. These replys are typical of evolutionists arguments. You are willing to overlook the obvious and then redirect the issue toward that which really has nothing to do with the meat of the argument.
I asked where matter originated and get no response. This should be the beginning of your argument. Does matter simply appear and then organize otself? A simple question and in turn I get the argument that I do not understand the theory of evolution. Therein lies the point! I do get it and find it unbelievable.

Onus Ford, Detroit, Michigan
January 14, 2008 5:50am

Why yes,Onus, matter does in fact simply appear. Thats the first thing You've gotten right so far!
In science we don't overlook the obvious. We study it. We test it. We look for clues that might lead us to the truth. We don't simply accept things on faith because we were told to do so. We don't "Beleive" in evolution, we question it constantly. Therein lies the point. We are not afraid to question even our most cherished notions. When we find them to be wrong, we abandon them. We don't call the evidence wrong or try to change it to be more to our liking. I'm sure that this sounds rediculous to you, but hey, for seventy three years, it has made much more sense to me then the notion that it was all put here by an invisible magic man in dimension X.

Steve

Steve Hill, Detroit
January 14, 2008 3:58pm

Whoa, some heated debate going on here ^_^. I'll just drop a line and go my way. Props for Mr. Dunning, the podcast episode was quite open-minded and lighthearted, no bashing necessary to prov a point, right? I loved it.

As for my own beliefs, I like to consider myself a "natural theist". From my reading in cosmology and physics, mainly astrophysics, and unitary mathematics, I'm left to consider with the possibility of an infinite, unknowable essence putting things into motion. Atheists call this essence "the Universe" and that's fine with me. I think it's a bit more than that (not going into details, but let's just say I think the scientific method probably can't apply when the time dimension, and all other dimensions, are non-existent), but hey, we all have our quirks, dependent on our experience, no?

As for the mechanisms in which nature has traversed time, physics (and chemistry) painting the grander picture, and evolution chugging in the little blue planet, creationism does not add anything new to what is already stated, thus, like Steve Hill above said. Add or subtract Dimension X man, everything appears to work exactly the same way. Sure, there's some holes here and there (how did that damn protocell first form?!?!), but that does NOT mean we'll never know, right?

Therein lies the point. While science questions constantly, and is always trying to add new information, creationism, namely Young Earth, tries to push its views while adding this into science: zilch.

David Schwarz, Puerto Rico
January 14, 2008 8:44pm

What do creationists believe? You have left out that which is foremost to a creationist, specifically a biblical creationist. We believe that the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can't see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn't treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They would rather choose a fairy tale than to believe what their good senses tell them. Why would you leave such an important point out of this topic?

Walt Ransohoff, Detroit, MI
January 15, 2008 7:21pm

"They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They would rather choose a fairy tale than to believe what their good senses tell them." -Onus

Couldn't have worded it better. How long have you been an Atheist?

Marius vanderLubbe, Nullabour Plain, Australia
January 16, 2008 12:04am

What do creationists believe? We believe that if you search for the truth, that which is false will readily avail itself. There is no greater witness to the reality within the scientific community concerning the "actual evidence" as to whether or not evolution is or has been "proven". All one need to do is simply look at the statements of honest scientists. All of these are pro-evolution scientists, by the way! Statements such as: "We Paleontologists have said that the history of life supports (the story of gradual adaptive change), all the while really knowing that it does not." Miles Eldredge
"The more one studies paleontology, the more certain one becomes that evolution is based on faith alone." T.L. Moor
"It is, in fact, a common fantasy, promulgated mostly by the scientific profession itself, that in the search for objective truth, data dictate conclusions." "Data are just as often molded to fit preferred conclusions." Roger Lewin
"Evolution itself is accepted by zoologists, not because it has been observed to occur or can be proved by logical coherent evidence, but because the only alternative -- special creation -- is clearly incredible." D.M.S. Watson
The pro-theory posters on this website would have us to believe that there is a consensus in the scientific community as to the validity of macro-evolution, also known as amoeba to man evolution. The ultimate truth is found in a statement by Sir Arthur Keith : "Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it only because the only alternative is special creation which is unthinkable." And in this statement is the sum of what creationists believe to be the driving force behi

Onus Ford, Detroit, MI
January 16, 2008 6:27pm

Many times, it is taken for granted that those that accept the scriptures as inspired, are automatically against science. Charles Darwin once said that he had asked himself whether or not he may have devoted his life to a fantasy. He then said: "I...am ready to cry with vexation at my blindness and presumption." I have often questioned the reasons as to why those that accept evolution tend to resist so vehemently, the possibility that life is just as it seems to be: the product of a creating intelligence! Scientific experimentation would not cease; but, to the contrary, the task would remain of deciphering the languages in which genetic information is communicated, and in general finding out how the whole universe works. Many of the greatest scientists of the last three centuries have been creationists. Scientists would not lose an inspiration to research and experiment, but they may lose their illusions as to the total mastery of nature. In turn (and this may be the rub) scientists would have to come to grips with the possibility that beyond the natural world there is an actual reality which goes beyond scientific theory.

Walt Ransohoff, Detroit, MI
January 17, 2008 12:28pm

Walt:

If scientists felt that they have "total mastery of nature" as you say, there would BE no such thing as science. No need for it.

Why would scientists "have to come to grips" with the possibility of deities? That is irrelevant to their scientific roles. That's only something people like yourself need to be concerned with.

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
January 17, 2008 12:39pm

1 - that a god (who by the way can't make a mountain bigger than 9 km here on Earth!) has 'created' everything, including the 'natural laws'... whatever they are!

2 - that god can make an uncut-table rope AND a 'cut-any-thing' razor... not because it's absurdly illogical, but simply because (quote) "god can do anything!"

3 - that god can make 1 + 1 = 2.3 if it wanted to... bonkers!

Any idiot can come up with that horse - faeces...

Griff...

Who gives a rat's arse what they believe... they can prove nothing!

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
January 17, 2008 4:33pm

"...their illusions as to the total mastery of nature." is the ideology that nature is all that there is, ideologically their god, or "the master". I am not infering that scientists believe that they have mastery over nature, as you apparently suppose I am. Far from it! Creation is so vast, only a fool would see it as something that could be understood fully. And Neil, because you cannot adequately respond to topical debate, I would appreciate if you would not call me an idiot.

Walt Ransohoff, Detroit, MI
January 18, 2008 2:04pm

There is SO MUCH evidence for evolution. Our genes and nucleotide sequences, analagous and homologous structures, the fossil record (though incomplete), carbon dating. My jaw literally drops in horror when I hear/read about people like Onus up there.

If everyone just knew a little more science, a little more history, a little more about how things are in different parts of the world, we as human beings would be so much better off.

Evolution is not a theory in the scientific community. Evolution is without a doubt happening. The debate is over natural selection as the <i>mechanism</i> for evolution; again, the fact that populations are the unit of evolution, and that evolution is happening, is not "simply a theory".

I know this sounds snobby and elitist, but please go take some upper-division biology courses and educate yourself.

Rai Tiffany, Long Beach, CA
January 18, 2008 4:14pm

I think one of the largest problems here is that the majority of scientists are terrible with public relations and don't have enough interest in spreading their new found knowledge to the public.

A great example of this is chromosome 2 in the human genome. It was always peculiar that all of our closest relatives in the evolutionary tree (the great apes) have 48 chromosomes while humans have only 46. Generally speaking, an organism can't survive if an entire chromosome pair is removed from its genome. Experiments looking into this fact found that chromosome 2 is actually two different chromosomes that are fused together. This was discovered because telomeric DNA segments, segments only found on the ends of chromosomes, were found in the middle of chromosome 2. Also, chromosome 2 has two centromeres, one of which has been deactivated.

I only recently learned about this study, mainly because it was not properly conveyed to the public. It appeared in journals and was passed around in scientific circles but the majority of people remained ignorant of its presence. I can think of a few more examples like the one above off the top of my head. Stories like these should be talked about on CNN and not the status of Jamie Lynn Spears. In my opinion, this is one of the greatest challenges the scientific community has to overcome, and much more attention and effort should be directed towards fixing this problem.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
January 18, 2008 5:44pm

It amazes me that so many non-acredited evolutionists openly declare that the evidence for evolution is so amazingly abundant, while multitudes of real, degreed scientists do not!

Onus Ford, Detroit, MI
January 18, 2008 6:02pm

Yes, MULTITUDES! What, 700 on the dissentfromdarwin website? "Then it must be a lie!!!!!!!!!"

Im sure there are more (many many more, even), but I think you'll find that the number of scientists who support evolution will always far outnumber those who don't, since you want to play a numbers game.

I guess I may as well give up and believe that the earth was made in 7 FREAKING DAYS because your evidence, which you so expertly researched on google instead of opening some real scientific books or journals, is just so convincing.

No, i'm not accredited, but neither am I out of touch with reality.

Rai Tiffany, Long Beach, CA
January 19, 2008 10:43am

"It amazes me that so many non-accredited evolutionists openly declare that the evidence for evolution is so amazingly abundant, while multitudes of real, degreed scientists do not!" -Onus.

I put it to you,my fellow logical rationalists, that it is pointless to debate against such ingrained dogmas as this.Up is down, black is white. Were it permitted, and were I a less kind person, I would feel inclined to resort to ridicule.
But it isn't, and I wont.

Marius vanderLubbe, Nullabour Plain., Australia
January 19, 2008 4:56pm

It is common practice among evolutionists and atheists, that when they are confronted with a matter of fact that they cannot argue intellectually, with their so called proof, they attempt to degrade the adversary with disparaging remarks and name calling. All one need to do is go to some of the past posts and read the things that were posted. Marius is a good example. How many times have you been called down, Marius? Do you fellows think that the scientists that have signed the "Dissent from Darwin list" are all there is? I can assure you that there are indeed "many, many, more"! It is common knowledge that many scientists do not agree with evolution, but choose to keep silent, knowing that they will lose millions of dollars in federal grants if they speak up. I am not accredited either. That is why I like to quote the experts, and especially honest evolutionists that have a real problem with their own beliefs! You do not have to believe anything except what your own good senses and proven science declares to you. Does everything come from nothing? Does matter self generate and then become organized? Do the laws of thermodynamics support or resist evolutionary theory? It is really very plain.

Onus Ford, Detroit, Michigan
January 21, 2008 8:43am

Onus, I have not insulted you or Walt once in a single post. I have not, however, backed down from a single specific question that you have asked, and I have tried to keep the argument based on facts and scientific information.

The only thing you have done to support your position is spew quotes from famous scientists without citing their sources. How are we to know if these things were ever said by the person they were attributed to, or if they were taken out of context? Anyone can put quotation marks around a sentence and place a famous name after it.

"The reason I so adamantly defend creation science is to keep my work popular and in the news. I believe little to none of what I say about the topic." Michael Behe

Further, you have repeatedly shown a lack of scientific knowledge on the subject. You claim the laws of thermodynamics oppose the process of evolution. In a closed system, they eventually would, but the earth is far from being a closed system. The sun is constantly supplying the earth with energy so that any decrease in entropy found on earth is more than accounted for by the massive increase of entropy occurring on the sun.

If you have specific questions about evolution, I would be more than happy to answer them for you, to the best of my ability. If you wish to claim something is false without fully understanding what it is or how it works, and you don't wish to learn about it, then I have to ask, are you arguing intellectually?

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
January 21, 2008 9:55am

"Marius is a good example. How many times have you been called down, Marius?" -Onus
What do you mean by this? Please try and use concise, clear language and points.

Marius vanderLubbe, Nullabour Plain, Australia
January 21, 2008 1:39pm

I have to agree with Marius and abandon this argument as hopeless. You cannot educate people who are so enamored with being ignorant.

As Steve points out, how can you say that the science of evolution does not make sense when you do not understand it, nor have you taken the time to familiarize yourself with it? Do you actually know the laws of thermodynamics? Who are these people that say there are no transitional fossils, or that there is no evidence for evolution? Do you KNOW what carbon dating is?? How can the world be 10,000 years old when we know how long it takes to turn a lump of coal into a diamond? Why are we discarding amazing modern scientific discoveries?

I WISH someone could change my mind. I like being wrong, it's a learning experience; every time your opinion changes, you have the double-vision of someone who thinks the way you used to, and also the way you think now. Unfortunately, I have seen absolutely nothing that would sway me from my conviction, held by countless others, that indeed the world is older than 10,000 years and that evolution not only took place but is still happening.

I dont care what your religious beliefs are, but I cannot fathom being catapulted back to the dark ages in the name of god. I cannot BELIEVE that, in the minority at ~30% of the world's population, some Christians are fighting to have this drivel taught to our children as fact, and would have it taught to everyone else. The utter arrogance it takes is amazing.

Rai Tiffany, Long Beach, CA
January 21, 2008 2:11pm

An excellent quote, from an apt debater..."A great example of this is chromosome 2 in the human genome. It was always peculiar that all of our closest relatives in the evolutionary tree (the great apes) have 48 chromosomes while humans have only 46. Generally speaking, an organism can't survive if an entire chromosome pair is removed from its genome. Experiments looking into this fact found that chromosome 2 is actually two different chromosomes that are fused together. This was discovered because telomeric DNA segments, segments only found on the ends of chromosomes, were found in the middle of chromosome 2. Also, chromosome 2 has two centromeres, one of which has been deactivated."

SO... come on all you "young Earthers"

Come on Onus... The onus is on you to read your bible or speak to your pasta (opps - pastor) and pray-tell... enlighten us...

WHY does the Chromo-2 behave like this? What does your god have to say.

Come on Walt. Prove you're no idiot. (not that I actually called you that). Give it your best shot!

A simple "I don't know"... will suffice.

P.S. try!

P.P.S. Your assertion that "increased" genetic info is best and that 'mutation' leads to a lack of genetic info is wrong. Or at least the fact that a decrease is always bad is wrong. A lot of genetic info is simply not needed; much of a genome can be redundant info (not used).There are smaller animals than us with 10x the genetic info, yet I'm sure elitists such as you think you are better!

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
January 21, 2008 5:46pm

One of my favorite examples is urate oxidase. This enzyme catalyzes the final step in purine base catabolism in lots of different species, but not humans. We all have the urate oxidase gene but it has a mutation that prevents its expression into a functional protein. So an intelligent designer gave us a gene that doesn't work! The lack of the gene also is the reason for gout.

Also, great apes can't make urate oxidase either and their urate oxidase gene has the exact same mutation as ours (a CGA to TGA nonsense mutation in exon 2 to be exact).

So I'd like two things explained. (1) Why God gave us this gene that can't possibly work and (2) why if he created us unique, did he give us the same non-functional gene as the apes?

Anyone want to discuss retrotransposons?

D. P. Gardner, Phoenix
January 22, 2008 9:08pm

The argument that you have extended as evidence of evolution does not serve you very well, and may not be well thought out. In another Skeptoid post, it was insisted that evolutionists did not state that we humans are ascended from apes! Remember? "An evolution primer for creationists"! Are you taking as an example what is a beneficial function in one species, of which you contend, I suppose, is less evolved, and in the progressive evolutionary ancestor, that beneficial function is not functioning at all? The creatures that we evolved from has two more chromosomes than we do? Isn't that a "LOSS" of information? This is exactly what one would expect, if, as the bible contends, men were originally created physically and spiritually perfect. Since the "Fall" mankind has been degrading in both of these areas. And you conveniently failed to mention that this is also true of birds, not just humans and apes. Birds do not fit into your evolutionary ladder as do the apes, so they are ignored. You are doing with this argument what has been done time and again in the "vestigial organ" argument. This is what I would expect from a common designer; a common design. As one example, recently researchers have discovered the function of the appendix, which evolutionists have long held as useless to humans. It is just not true! Many researchers in the field of genetics declare that it is far too soon to label many of these "Pseudogenes" as actually useless as you have stated. There are many papers in research that suggest various functions for specific pseudogenes. We shall see.

Onus Ford, Detroit, MI
January 23, 2008 7:07pm

Onus, once again you are mistaken. I said that the great apes were our closest relatives on the evolutionary tree. This means that we have a common ancestor that all 4 species evolved from. You cannot think of evolution as a straight line where one animal turns into another and disappears completely. This is obviously false and evolution doesn't claim that this happens.

Another misconception that you mentioned is that because we have 2 fewer chromosomes we have less genetic information. This is not true and I will give you an example why. Imagine two books, one with 200 pages (pages being analogous to millions of base pairs) and the other with 300. If the two books combine with no other changes, you would get one book with 500 pages and the same amount of information. The only odd thing is that you would have book covers (telomeric sequences) in the middle of the book where they shouldn't be and there would be two separate bindings (centromeres).

Another example like urate oxidase: Humans have over 900 olfactory (smell) receptor genes. This number is generally the same in all mammals and the receptors are more or less the same as well. About 63% of these genes in humans are inactive because smell is not very important in our species. A dogs sense of smell is still very important since they are less visual than humans so they have more active receptor genes (about 70% of total). Their snout is also much larger to make room for the larger olfactory epithelium.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
January 23, 2008 8:02pm

I have a question for the creationists. What evidence would suffice that would make you question your belief in a young earth and supernatural creation of humans?

I can give you hundreds of testable hypotheses that would suggest evolution is not true. For example, if humans are unique and not evolved from a common ancestor with apes, then the location of retroviral integrations in our genome should show no common sites with apes.

If, however, they do show similarities, this would suggest to me that the evidence supports a genetic relationship.

I've not been able to verify your claim that birds lack urate oxidase. Please provide a reference for this data. If they do lack the enzyme, please compare the mutation in their DNA with the mutation in apes and humans. Evolution would suggest that the mutations are different since birds and humans are widely separated. If they are the same, then we can investigate this further.

Lastly, the appendix argument is really old and not worth repeating here. Just so people on the fence on this question realize, the appendix playing a role in immunity is not a problem for evolutionary theory. Evolution suggests that the appendix has lost its original function in humans, which was associated with digesting plant matter.
Also, finding a pseudogene with a function is not a problem for evolution. Pseudogenes have lost their original function. They could certainly gain a new function through evolution.

D. P. Gardner, Phoenix
January 23, 2008 8:20pm

Steve, Macro-evolutionists insist that we are not descended from apes, yet that is exactly where your reasoning leads. A tree trunk branches, but all branches lead to the trunk. According to your theory, by default, everything living had to descend from a common ancestor. And in retrospect, a tree starts as a single entity. Whether it is a seed, or a cutting from another tree, or etc. It then sends out many roots, and the roots in turn, secure the trunk. And even when there are multiple trunks, the multiple trunks are ALWAYS the same tree. They do not become a different species. Kind produces kind!!!
The book story is totally off the wall. The "same" information printed twice in a book? Would you buy it? I have been a nature lover all of my life, and for me to look at what I have observed in nature as simply a chance happening, apart from a specific design, the thought is simply staggering. Civilized man has bred the domestic dog, now of which we have approx. 200 modern varieties. So we have Sheep Dogs, Chihuahuas, Poodles, and Great Danes, but their species classification, Canis familiaris, remains unchanged. And inevitably, unlimited selective breeding of any particular variety leads to dogs with abnormalities and deficiencies which render them weaker, less able to survive. Too much change within a species is always detrimental to that species, and often fatal. I accept micro-evolution, or change within a species, but trans-specie evolution? "…un-proven and un-provable". As for my "young earth" position, why is the oldest "proven" archeological piece of human communication only approx. 4500 years old?

Onus Ford, Detroit, MI
January 24, 2008 10:02am

Onus - cave paintings in Verona date from 35,000 years; France at 32,000 years.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1000653.stm

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
January 24, 2008 10:10am

and what would you call compounded small changes Onus?

The sole reason that we still call the species Canis Lupus Familiaris, is that the definition is VERY vague. We call wolves by another name (Canis Lupus), while they are very similar to some dog breeds.

The argument you're making is very much one of sematics, and doesn't hold much water. The genes can obviously be shown to be different. However, dog breeding is a poor example of natural selection, seeing how we breed on looks, not survivability, nowadays.

I wonder what part you don't understand? Can't you grasp that compound beneficient changes can change a species over time? Or don't you grasp that mutations can be beneficial? Or do you have problems with the fact that small changes can give one organism a small edge over another, which leads speciation?

Because, basically, evolution is relatively simple.

Alcari, the Netherlands
January 24, 2008 11:09am

I'll take "Logical Fallacies" for 100 Alex.

"...for me to look at what I have observed in nature as simply a chance happening, apart from a specific design, the thought is simply staggering."

What is an argument from personal incredulity.

Correct!

D. P. Gardner, Phoenix
January 24, 2008 6:15pm

If evolution is a fact of science, why are there so many statements by evolutionists to the contrary? And how do legal experts trained in evaluating evidence declare it is without evidence? How is it possible that a scientist, Dave Nutting, could intellectually present lectures at scientific conferences with titles like “Fifty scientific reasons why evolution is wrong”? Yale Law School graduate, Wendell R. Bird, argued a major case on this issue before the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a member of The American Law Institute, and is listed in the "Who’s Who in the World". His famous critique of evolution, "The Origin of Species Revisited", has been hailed as one of the foremost evidential reasonings exposing the fact that evolution is without significant evidence and that the theory of abrupt appearance, which would more likely represent creationism, is a better scientific theory. In his presentation of this case, attorneys gathered many thousands of pages of facts and statements from hundreds of evolutionary scientists who had expressed reservations from most scientific fields, and in most areas of evolutionary thinking. Fellas, if it is your desire to believe evolutionary theory over an Intelligent Design, have at it! I simply do not have that much faith. Evolutionists tend to abide more rabidly by Murphy’s Law of Research, which states: "Enough research will tend to support your theory." I must abide by the science at hand. Good luck in the future and God Bless all!

Onus Ford, Detroit, MI
January 24, 2008 7:01pm

I would prefer it, Onus, If you kept your God and his blessings out of it. I for one, don't want or need them.
Hold your hand in front of your face. Can you see it?
Then why cant you accept that this god concept is not responsible for anything, let alone what has come about via evolution.

Marius vanderLubbe, Nullabour Plain, Australia
January 25, 2008 6:39am

Marius, dear boy, I believe the topic is "What do creationists believe?" How can a creationist leave God out of it? Posts such as yours above, are the ones that make Creationists snicker and giggle when evolutionists and atheists are not listening. It is the unwillingness of your ilk to address the issue of cosmology that convinces us of exactly what a dilemma evolutionists find themselves. The American science dictionary defines cosmology as: 1)The scientific study of the origin, evolution, and structure of the universe.
2)A specific theory or model of the origin and evolution of the universe.
I have reviewed the previous topics concerning the evo/creation debate and have yet to find even a reasonable attempt to explain the origin of the universe according to the evolutionary theory. We would love to see it explained. Here is your chance! Please enlighten us.

Walt Ransohoff, Detroit, MI
January 25, 2008 7:13pm

Walt, Walt, Walt.

Such a rhetorical question. Surely you know the answer as that is the basis for how you phrased the question.

As I'm sure you know, the dictionary is using the term "evolution" in an entirely different context than the theory of evolution.

When I state that the theory of evolution makes no statement about the origin of the universe, you will pounce with the "ahah! Just as I said, your theory fails you". "Your theories inability to explain the origin of the universe must mean it is inferior to my theory that does. (Or some such non sequitur)

So here is your opportunity. Go ahead and tell us all how a theory that can't explain the origin of the universe is a flawed theory.

Oh and by the way, the theory of gravitation can't explain how methacillin resistant Staphylococcus aureaus arose. It must be a questionable theory.

I really thought you guys might have something new you could add to the debate. I'm disappointed to see the same old stuff brought up over and over and over. Get some new material and come back with a cogent argument, please.

And I wish Onus would come back and tell me if birds really have urate oxidase or not. The honorable thing to do is admit your mistake, if one has been made.

D. P. Gardner, Phoenix
January 25, 2008 7:49pm

Once again we observe the “evolution of the theory of evolution”. Mr. Gardner, please check this source: “Humans, birds, and higher primates do not express the uric acid degrading enzyme urate oxidase and, as a result, have plasma uric acid concentrations higher than urate oxidase expressing animals.” You can the entire report at the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology @ http://www.fasebj.org/cgi/content/meeting_abstract/21/6/A821-a. We keep posing the same questions because we have yet to receive a cogent answer. You offer the challenge: “Go ahead and tell us all how a theory that can't explain the origin of the universe is a flawed theory.” Darwin was well aware that his theory of gradual evolution by natural selection seemed an impossibility. In his book, 'The Origin of Species', he admitted that: "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organism existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down." It is the development of the “first things” that pose the most improbable opportunities for the success of life. If, as evolutionists claim, original life had no intelligent, intentional creation and/or cause, in light of what we know science has shown to be a vast complexity of even the simplest organisms, what is the chance of the very first lifeforms surviving and in turn reproducing? I ask you, what specific evidence supports the claim of a natural origin of the universe? And, what specific evidence supports the claim of a natural origin of life? By your own standards the examples

Onus Ford, Detroit, Michigan
January 25, 2008 10:32pm

You are correct that birds lack expression of urate oxidase. I apologize for suggesting otherwise. Lacking the enzyme, however, does not require that we place birds into the middle of the evolution of primates. The important question is by what mechanism did they lose this function. That kind of data does not seem to be available at this time.

A detailed sequence comparison is needed.

D. P. Gardner, Phoenix
January 26, 2008 9:30am

""If, as evolutionists claim, original life had no intelligent, intentional creation and/or cause...""

Evolution doesn't claim that. Evolution doesn't say anything about the creation of life, look for Abiogenesis if you want that.

But, no matter where life came from, be it some Creation, or Abiogenesis, it doesn't change the fact that the organisms we see today all evolved from that first form. Now, this leaves Deism, or Atheism as the only two options. As you so nicely quoted, evolution is blown out of the water if you find something that could not have been formed by it. Well, despite decades of trying, nobody has managed to do it, meaning evolution still stands. Creation of the first life, by whatever form, has nothing to do with it.

Wait another 10-15 years, and scientists will be creating life in petry dish, which tosses Deism right out the window as well.

Alcari, the Netherlands
January 28, 2008 8:10am

Alcari has added the exclamation point to my argument. As an intelligent evolutionist he is willing to overlook the reality of what the natural world actually is observed to be, and instead, embrace an unproven “…fact that the organisms we see today all evolved from that first form.” You state that “Evolution doesn't say anything about the creation of life”? You seem somewhat confused at the reality of what evolution teaches. Charles Darwin himself suggested that the original life on this planet “may have” begun in a "warm little pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, lights, heat, electricity, etc. present, so that a protein compound was chemically formed ready to undergo still more complex changes". He also expressed a personal concern that the origin of life would utterly depend on the natural environment of the early earth and considered it, most probably, non-condusive outside the sterile conditions of a laboratory. Abiogenesis is the study of how life might have arisen for the first time in the primordial pond on the young Earth. If there are only two choices, Creation or abiogenesis, and abiogenesis has yet to be observed……? You say: “Creation of the first life, by whatever form, has nothing to do with it.” The bottom line is that evolutionary theory is grounded upon the beginning of all life on this earth, and if that is not important, surely the rest is a moot point. After all, the only thing that seperates atheists and deists after all, is God! And I quote you: “…no matter where life came from, be it some Creation…” I know that that word is very hard to escape when considering our universe! My challenge remains uncontested. And, if, scientists “cre

Onus Ford, Detroit, Michigan
January 28, 2008 9:01am

Abiogenesis has indeed been observed and replicated many times, since the Miller-Urey experiments beginning in 1953.

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
January 28, 2008 9:26am

Eric, could you please cite an example? And are you claiming that the Miller-Urey experiments were successful at "creating" life?

Onus Ford, Detroit, Michigan
January 28, 2008 1:08pm

""unproven “…fact that the organisms we see today all evolved from that first form.”""

Actually, the evidence is there to see in the fossil record and genetics. Or do you have an alternate, fitting theory that matches all the evidence?

"If there are only two choices, Creation or abiogenesis, and abiogenesis has yet to be observed……? "
Yes, then what? Then we have no conclusive answer. That doesn't mean abiogenesis didn't happen, merely that we can't reproduce it yet. In a similar manner, it's not impossible to a 50 mile deep hole, we just haven't done so yet.

""The bottom line is that evolutionary theory is grounded upon the beginning of all life on this earth, and if that is not important ""
Yes, it is rooted upon the fact that there has to be live, but I thought this was about discussing evolution, not discussing ways in which live could have formed itself? The creation of life is critical to evolution, but the manner in which it happened is totally unimportant in the study of the evolution of organisms.

Because I'm no molecualr biologist, and can't contribute much to that discussion, other then to point out that there really isn't a way to say that god didn't do it.

Of course, when the universe work fine without a deity, why should there by one? But that's a question for another time.

Alcari, the Netherlands
January 30, 2008 1:15pm

Alcari, The reality is that although there is "evidence", the problem arises as to what the interpretation of that evidence actually is. You say that the fossil record teems with evidence of evolution; and I am supposing that you have transitional fossils in mind? Just Google "evidence of transitional fossils" and read what many honest evolutionary scientists say about the evidence! Many refuse to declare even a single one. As for genetic evidence, you will have to cite an example before I can respond, as that topic is wide ranging. If we can "reproduce abiogenesis"it will not be abiogenesis, but rather, "creation". I find it quite surprising that dictionary.com defines abiogenesis as "the now discredited theory that living organisms can arise spontaneously from inanimate matter; spontaneous generation."
If evolution is rooted upon the fact there has to be life, as you agree, then you must concede that the beginning of life is even more important than the evolutionary process thereafter. If you are willing to declare my theory of origins as irrelevant, and you offer no substantive evidence to the contrary, I am left to reason that your theory is very much the less irrelevant. If "there really isn't a way to say that god didn't do it", surely there is no way to say that evolution did, even by your own admission. As a Christian, the existence of the universe does not involve "if", but rather "why?" This is the greatest of mysteries!

Onus Ford, Detroit, Michigan
January 30, 2008 5:49pm

I declare this debate pointless. Lets instead focus upon those that are of a more flexible mindset.

Marius vanderLubbe, Nullabour Plain, Australia.
January 30, 2008 10:38pm

Onus, you continuously state that evolution has no evidence supporting it. Since you have consistently ignored the examples that I have provided in this forum, I will ask you to watch a few videos. These videos are of Ken Miller, a highly respected scientist, who was involved in a trial that dealt with the teaching of intelligent design in schools.

The first video talks about evidence of transitional fossils that have been found. You have, again and again, said there are no such things while citing quotes from scientists. I wonder what your reaction to this will be.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9a-lFn4hqY

The next video addresses genetic evidence of the existence of evolution. He explains, in detail, the example of chromosome fusion that I mentioned earlier.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zi8FfMBYCkk

The final video talks about the idea of irreducible complexity and shows why it is untrue. The example that is used has been pointed at often when trying to disprove the theory of evolution.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQQ7ubVIqo4

Please take the time to watch these videos as they are very informative and Ken Miller is a rather entertaining speaker. The total time of the videos is less than fifteen minutes so I am not asking much of you. Once you have watched them, I would encourage you to comment on how you can either discredit this evidence, or why you do not believe it.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
January 31, 2008 12:40pm

Steve, let's consider each video on its own merit. Video #1: Fossil remains of Pakicetus inachus, were first discovered in 1983, immediately claiming that it was a "primitive whale," even though only two pieces of a skull were found. In 2001, more complete fossils were discovered, implicating Pakicetus as more terrestrial and minimally aquatic. In spite of Mr. Miller's comments on the ear structures, I found a very telling statement on an evolutionist website that admitted, "Although no post-cranial bones of Pakicetus were found, -it seemed logical to assume-, from the teeth and ear structure, that the animal spent a great deal of time in shallow water looking for food, but returned to the land to rest, somewhat like a modern sea lion…In living whales, the ears contain large sinuses that can be filled with blood, allowing the animal to maintain pressure while diving. Modern whales also transmit sound vibrations to the inner ear using a "fat pad," which allows them to hear directionally underwater. Pakicetus lacked both of these features, indicating that it was unable to dive deeply and that it could not hear well underwater." At the present it is believed to have possessed goat-like legs and was primarily a quadrupedal, running land animal. Many paleontologists have even labeled it as a "goat-wolf".
A reconstruction of Pakicetus by Carl Buell, based upon the actual skeletal structure and published in "Nature" magazine, clearly demonstrates this. Rarely do scientists have all the necessary scientific data. Additional evidence comes in all the time. Missing-link claims are usually based on fragments of bones; and when more bones are discovered, the specimen t

Onus Ford, Detroit, Michigan
January 31, 2008 7:11pm

Onus, I am beginning to think that you deliberately ignore what I say, and launch into attacking facts that I never presented. The video didn't mention Pakicetus inachus. It talked about Ambulocetus natans. As far as the conclusions about the middle ear coming from two pieces of skull, that is also false. Here is part of the abstract of a paper named:

"Sound transmission in archaic and modern whales: anatomical adaptations for underwater hearing"

The whale ear, initially designed for hearing in air, became adapted for hearing underwater in less than ten million years of evolution. This study describes the evolution of underwater hearing in cetaceans, focusing on changes in sound transmission mechanisms. Measurements were made on 60 fossils of whole or partial skulls, isolated tympanics, middle ear ossicles, and mandibles from all six archaeocete families. Fossil data were compared with data on two families of modern mysticete whales and nine families of modern odontocete cetaceans, as well as five families of noncetacean mammals. Results show that the outer ear pinna and external auditory meatus were functionally replaced by the mandible and the mandibular fat pad, which posteriorly contacts the tympanic plate, the lateral wall of the bulla. Changes in the ear include thickening of the tympanic bulla medially, isolation of the tympanoperiotic complex by means of air sinuses, functional replacement of the tympanic membrane by a bony plate, and changes in ossicle shapes...

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
February 1, 2008 9:28pm

Well there you go...

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
February 2, 2008 8:55am

I was not considering having to explain the logic of my previous post, or I would have done so. I apologize! My purpose for using the Pakicetus as an example was because it is touted as the first of the missing cetacean forerunners, preceding Ambulocetus natans. By OSHA standards, if the first link in a chain is faulty, the whole of the chain is faulty and it must be destroyed as useless. But, I realize now more than ever, evolutionists are willing to bet the farm on what they believe to be true, with little or no corroborating evidence. But, thank God for the internet! The truth is always just a mouse click away. Have you really looked at the skeleton of this creature? How do they know what the ear canal looked like? In addition, some of the bones were buried five meters below the others. "Although Ambulocetus looked like a furry crocodile or a giant otter, it was actually an early whale" and "Its back legs in particular seemed to be used for propulsion, and its feet had long, probably webbed toes (each ending in a tiny hooflet)…" as described by the BBC's "Science and Nature" webpage. Where are the webbed "hooflets" on the skeleton? These features are non existent! I am utterly amazed at statements such as these. Is it a common problem to get Giant Otters and furry Crocodiles (with webbed hooflets) mixed up? They do look a lot alike!?!?
Robert Carroll and Russian whale expert G. A. Mchedlidze, although both are evolutionists; unwillingly and in evolutionist language, insist that "It is not possible to identify a sequence of mesonychids leading directly to whales." Neither do they support the description of Pakicetus, Ambulocetus natans, and similar four-legged

Onus Ford, Detroit, MI
February 2, 2008 2:16pm

I just finished reading "A Whale Fantasy from National Geographic" by Harun Yahya. In it, he single handedly dismantles any and all concept of the Neo-Darwinian idea of the evolution of whales from "Ambulocetus natans" fossils, using the fossils themselves as the evidence! It is a very enlightening article. At the close of the article, he includes a quote from "Niles Eldredge, the well-known paleontologist at American National History Museum, where the schemes of horse evolution were exhibited and where they are still kept in a basement, has this to say about them: “There have been an awful lot of stories, some more imaginative than others, about what the nature of that history [of life] really is. The most famous example, still on exhibit downstairs, is the exhibit on horse evolution prepared perhaps fifty years ago. That has been presented as the literal truth in textbook after textbook. Now I think that is lamentable, particularly when the people who propose those kinds of stories may themselves be aware of the speculative nature of some of that stuff." In closing he proposes that: "The evolution of whales fairy story, so fiercely defended by National Geographic, is another of these fantasies of natural history. Like its predecessors, it too will soon find itself in the waste bin of science."

Sonny Gladman, Windsor, Canada
February 4, 2008 4:10pm

Sonny -

Harun Yahya, whose real name is Adnan Oktar, had a small amount of education in interior design before dropping out. He spent 19 months in the Bakırköy Mental Hospital. One of his books was a holocaust denial called "Holocaust Lie". He is a Muslim extremist who equates evolutionary theory with Nazism, Communism, and Freemasonry.

He seems an usual source for information on biology. I am curious, why do you choose him an as authority?

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
February 4, 2008 4:31pm

If you will reread my post, I did not hold forth Harun Yahya as an authority on biology. I stated that I had read an article by him and found his argument against the skeleton as interesting. I read many subjests by authors that I might disagree with philosophically and theologically.
The authoritive quotes I directed you toward were from Niles Eldredge, unless of course you do not accept his credentials. Perhaps it is easier to avoid what is so glaringly clear than to face the facts. One must have an open mind to really find truth.

Sonny Gladman, Windsor, Canada
February 4, 2008 6:03pm

I am curious as to how you would answer this argument: One of the best proofs against the possibility for the "evidence" of evolution is the established historical archeological fact that there is absolutely no recorded history prior to 4,000 B.C. The world's recorded history has been defined by six major world powers evidenced by historical scholars. They are: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Since Rome's downfall in 476 A.D., there have been no world-powers (many super-powers; but, no world-powers). At the time of Moses, Egypt ruled the world. The Israelites were used as slave labor by Pharaoh to build the pyramids. Before Egypt, there is absolutely nothing recorded in history about a world-power. We absolutely know that many recent civilizations have advanced from primitive tribes, to modern achievements in just a little over 150 years. Why did it take mankind 100,000,000 years, or even 100,000 years to develop such elementary skills and then such a relatively short time to develop the technology of our modern time?

Tommy Lendly, Baltimore, MD
February 6, 2008 7:20pm

I have heard the argument by evolutionists that cave paintings have been dated as millions of years old, but, Wikipedia declares the very earliest to be dated at a mere 32,000 years old! The discoverers actually said that "They looked like they were painted yesterday!" Cave paintings are considered artistic in nature and not necessarily historically valuable. How do evolutionists account for a cave painting that was drawn by North American Anasazi Indians that lived in the Utah state area approximately 150 B.C. - 1200 A.D? Confirmed archeologically by way of a quote from an evolutionist: "There is a petroglyph in Natural Bridges National Monument that bears a startling resemblance to a dinosaur, specifically a Brontosaurus, with a long tail and neck, small head and all." (Barnes and Pendleton, Canyon Country Prehistoric Indians - Their Culture, Ruins, Artifacts and Rock Art, 1995.) How is this possible if humans never had contact with dinosaurs?

Will Easley, Dayton, OH
February 7, 2008 9:39am

Thats certainly a new one for me. Which evolutionists were espousing this cave painting age exactly?
You didnt just make that one up did you?

Marius vanderLubbe, Nullabor Plain,Australia
February 7, 2008 3:36pm

The article can be read at this site:http://www.dinosaursandman.com/research/THE_DINOSAUS_OF_WHITE_RIVER_CANYON.pdf
A picture can be viewed at this site:http://www.ineffingham.com/creation/dinopix/AncientDinos.htm

Tommy Lendly, Baltimore, MD
February 7, 2008 4:50pm

Tommy - As you know those are Young Earth creationist web sites, hardly a credible source for unbiased research. The oldest known cave paintings are those in Verona at 35,000 years. No reasonable researcher has ever made claims as absurd as Will Easley charges. I have to suspect that your own motivations might not be the genuine pursuit of hard evidence, but rather to further a religious agenda. You've certainly not presented a convincing case that the scientific consensus maintains that Jesus rode around on a saddled dinosaur, as depicted in the Discovery Institute's childish Creation Museum.

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
February 7, 2008 5:08pm

Eric, In the previous several posts, you were given ample opportunity to pick a subject and elaborate or argue them. Out of all of them, you picked the least intellectual argument and responded as such. Could you try and offer a valid proof of the non-existence of this cave painting? And please cite the source so that we can research the evidence.
Also, I visited Discovery Institutes website and could not find the picture you mention above. Could you post a link to it? Thanks.

Tommy Lendly, Baltimore, MD
February 7, 2008 6:07pm

Eric was probably referring to photographs such as those seen in this article.

http://arstechnica.com/articles/culture/ars-takes-a-field-trip-the-creation-museum.ars

At the bottom of the page, there is a picture of a triceratops with a saddle on it which was taken at the creation museum. More pictures of the museum are available on the Flickr account that is linked to on the page.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
February 7, 2008 9:28pm

This link does not contain the picture (Jesus riding a dinosaur)that you refer to and is clearly non-existent. This is just one more example of an "evolution fraud", equal to Haekel's embryos or Piltdown man. I call it "hit and run". Just put it out there avoid the real meat of the issue!The evidence asked for in the previous posts is clearly being avoided. I am assuming from your response, that only evolutionist approved websites may be cited as accurate sources for authoritive evidence!

Tommy Lendly, Baltimore, MD
February 8, 2008 11:58am

"Could you try and offer a valid proof of the non-existence of this cave painting?" Tommy.
I cannot offer proof of the non existance in the same way as I cannot offer you proof that the tooth fairy and the easter bunny live together in a bisexual love triangle with Santa. Proving a negative is difficult.
The onus for proof is on those making the claim, that being the claim that evolutionists argue cave paintings have been dated as millions of years old, and how is this possible if humans never had contact with dinosaurs?. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Please, if you are going to make these wildly out of left field claims, have the moral fortitude to back it up with evidence, not fantasy.

Marius vanderLubbe, Nullabour Plain, Australia.
February 8, 2008 1:44pm

The picture does clearly show a triceratops with a saddle on it. The Creation Museum assumes not only that man and dinosaur coexisted, but also that man tamed, perhaps even domesticated, dinosaurs. Eric was sarcastically exaggerating this claim hence "Jesus riding a dinosaur." Do you believe that dinosaurs were tamed animals that humans used to ride? This is being presented as a fact in the Creation Museum. If you do believe this, what evidence do you have to back up this claim?

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
February 8, 2008 5:52pm

Gentlemen, I have been to the Creation Museum in N. Kentucky, and trust me when I tell you that the dinosaur with a saddle on it is not even in the exhibit area. It is in a hallway/waiting area and is solely a photo op fixture for those waiting to enter the museum proper. The kids love it and it is entirely for hoots! Marius, You cannot offer a valid proof of the non-existence of this cave painting, simply because it does exist. And the argument is not so much with the age of 32,000 years. The question to you is how did the drawer ever see a Brontosaurus to draw it? According to evolutionists, all that was available were fossils, and those were not discovered until quite recently. In fact there are many such cave drawings, but I doubt that you will investigate their validity. In kind, could you please offer valid proof for the existence of life on this planet from inanimate matter?

Will Easley, Dayton, OH
February 8, 2008 9:50pm

I presume you're kidding, WIll. The Miller-Urey experiments are replicated in practically every college o-chem class. If you could not locate Wikipedia yourself I'll help you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
February 8, 2008 10:09pm

Eric, Please follow this link and carefully read the article titled "Creating Life in a Lab"
http://www.hno.harvard.edu/gazette/1996/09.12/CreatingLifeina.html
The very first fact that should be noted is the word "creating", of which you do not believe happened. Notice carefully that I asked for proof of life from "inanimate matter", not intelligent design! After you have read the article which is fraught with words like "perhaps, maybes, and may haves", take special note of this last statement: "If we make something everyone agrees is alive, that would provide a plausible scenario for the great event. But, because the trail is billions of years cold, we'll never really know for sure if we're right." If Miller-Urey created life, what are these fellows hoping for? This then, is simply old hack! Show me proof that a single scientist believes that Urey-Miller actually created life. All it provided were a few amino acids, and not life. Many have accepted it as an utter flop and entirely non-viable. A scientist in a sterile laboratory creating life proves evolution? Absolutely breathtaking!!!!!!

Will Easley, Dayton, OH
February 9, 2008 4:42am

Onus... couldn't have put it better myself!

Some slight changes:-

"By Our Sane Human-Ape standards, if the first link in a chain is faulty,(the god hypothesis), the whole of the chain is faulty (religion) and it must be destroyed as useless.(here-here!) But, I realize now more than ever, 'Faithers' are willing to bet the farm on what they believe to be true, with little or no corroborating evidence."

Griff-myster!

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
February 9, 2008 4:31pm

As he is always prone to do, Griffiths brazenly passes over many myriads of opportunities to make a substantive argument for his cause, only to succumb once more to his blind hatred of God and religion. Modern Christians are becoming bolder and more reasonable in their apologetics, not only for creation, but, against Neo-Darwinism, and the evolutionists that have had a free ride in this area for so long are now forced to more accurately argue their positions and many cannot successfully accomplish that task. In return, they resort to name calling and useless argumentation instead of honestly facing the issues. There have been many honest issues that could have been addressed in the previous posts but they went unattended and ignored. Griffiths last post simply said “well there you go.” Surely you can do better than that! I have been printing these out and posting them on the bulletin board for the Philosophy students to read, just to show them that creationism is indeed arguable. Thanks all and keep them coming.

Onus Ford, Detroit, MI
February 9, 2008 6:48pm

Onus, I have objectively and honestly faced the issues in every single post. Why do you only attack those who are obviously only trying to get a rise out of people while ignoring every shred of evidence I have put forth?

The best argument you have come up with, so far, to counter the evidence that I have supplied is "Well this guy doesn't believe that." In every case, you have failed to cite where you found this information, what context the quote is in, and what the person's stance on the evidence is. I have yet to hear from you regarding chromosome 2 and the obvious faults in the theory of "irreducible complexity."

It is easy to point at those who are just throwing insults and say "Look! Evolutionists are unwilling to debate." It is much harder to actually stay on topic with someone who is patiently trying to answer all of your questions and trying to fulfill your requests. So far you have not been able to do this. Before you insult the debating techniques of others, you should be sure that your style is solid.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
February 10, 2008 9:48am

Steve, Let us look at your argument as to the genetic commonality between man and apes. Consider these two statements: “Almost all modern scientists do believe in the Neo-Darwinian or macro-evolutionary theory of molecules to man development of human beings from lower forms”, as opposed to “Almost all modern scientists do not believe in the Neo-Darwinian or macro-evolutionary theory of molecules to man development of human beings from lower forms.” Although these two statements are 96-97% alike, it is the remaining 3-4% that makes them diametrically opposite each other. According to the Human Genome Center’s website “Genes make up less than 2 percent of human DNA; the remaining DNA has important but still unknown functions that may include regulating genes and maintaining the chromosome structure.” The real question is, How much information does the dissimilar 3-4% of the genetic material contain? According to Nat. Geographic.com, scientists have identified 40 million differences among the three billion DNA molecules, or nucleotides, in EACH genome. Are you aware that a potato has 48 genes, just like an ape? So, reason should tell us that a potato is a much closer match! Comparing the “minor genetic differences” between humans and apes takes is really not so minor in light of the fact that the DNA in a single human cell carries enough high-level information to fill over 1000 sets of Encyclopedia Britannica!

Onus Ford, Detroit, MI
February 11, 2008 7:34am

Onus, how do you account for you knowing more about genetics than hundreds of thousands of trained, educated professional geneticists?

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
February 11, 2008 7:40am

Where am I incorrect? Give me the facts and I will address them. I don't believe that you have any idea of just what my field of expertise is as I have never declared it on this website.

Onus Ford, Detroit, MI
February 11, 2008 8:24am

Or, you could answer my question.

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
February 11, 2008 8:27am

Eric, I do not feel a need to acknowledge your queries as they are totally off the topic. At least Steve exhibits a willingness to address the issues that are meaningful to this debate. I will allow the facts to speak for themselves. If you have proof, not merely opinion, that contradicts what I propose, please submit them and they will be summarily addressed. And Eric, it is not necessary to know everything about any given topic; just the overall facts will suffice. You will notice that I rarely quote creationists in answering Neo-Darwinists arguments. I find that evolutionists' own words are sufficiently informative as to the accuracy of the theory. Often enough, their own words are very telling as to their degree of conviction in relation to the adherence they may proscribe. As I stated before, the internet may end up being the stake in the heart of macro-evolutionary thought. It is not as easy to hide or suppress the truth as it used to be. Malcolm Muggeridge once said that "I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially the extent to which it's been applied, will be one of the great jokes in the history books in the future. Posterity will marvel that so very flimsy and dubious a hypothesis could be accepted with the incredible credulity that it has. I think I spoke to you before about this age as one of the most credulous in history, and I would include evolution as an example."

Onus Ford, Detroit, MI
February 11, 2008 1:28pm

Onus, once again you show that your misconceptions about science lead to your misunderstanding of evolution. There are a few problems in your logic and I will point them out.

1. The potato doesn't have 48 genes, it has 48 chromosomes. These chromosomes are not at all analogous to those found in apes.

2. Quantity of genetic information and number of chromosomes is not what is used to determine the genetic similarities between animals. It is looking at the similarities in the genes and their location on chromosomes. For instance, the insulin gene is on chromosome 11p in humans, it is also located on chromosome 11p in apes. Also, mutations in certain genes can be looked at to determine genetic similarities.

3. You can't use word meaning to disprove similarity in DNA having meaning. Example "Nearly every researcher today ascribes to the theory of evolution where abiogenesis and natural selection are used to explain the ancestral origins of modern man." That sentence is nothing like the one you used as an example above but means the exact same thing. The same can't be done with DNA. You can't change the entire sequence and end up with the same protein, making your argument null and void.

4. Lastly, you never addressed why chromosome 2 would be perfectly analogous to ape chromosomes 12 and 13 after a head to head fusion. The genes match up, telomeric DNA is in the middle of chromosome 2, chromosome 2 has two centromeres one being inactive. How do you explain this?

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
February 11, 2008 2:24pm

Firstly, you are correct in that I mistyped: A potato has 48 genes, just like an ape. I meant chromosomes! In citing the number of chromosomes of potatoes, my point is that the number, or the similarities or differences thereof, may have very little to do with similarities or differences of species, which is, instead, governed more by the actual information contained therein. Your statements such as: "Quantity of genetic information and number of chromosomes is not what is used to determine the genetic similarities between animals" and "Lastly, you never addressed why chromosome 2 would be perfectly analogous to ape chromosomes 12 and 13 after a head to head fusion", betray your evolutionary interpretation and oversteps its own boundaries in that it doesn't demonstrate common ancestry, it assumes it! Can you prove "a head to head fusion"? The idea that humans originally had a complete set of chromosomes that correspond to ape chromosomes, rather than only 23 out of 24 is merely speculative. Earths living things' basic life processes are the same, and since human beings inhabit the same environment, they cannot be expected to have a vastly different DNA structure than other creatures. If evolutionists want to prove their theory of evolution from a common ancestor, then they have to show that creatures alleged to be each other's common ancestors have a direct line of descent in their molecular structures, and not simply a similarity in design.

Onus Ford, Detroit, MI
February 11, 2008 5:54pm

Onus, you keep side stepping the main question. A typical chromosome has one centromere and only has telomeric DNA on the ends of the chromosome. Human chromosome 2 has two centromeres and has telomeric DNA both on the ends and in the middle. Other than a head to head fusion of two chromosomes,why would the chromosome be like this?

It is not overstepping the bounds of science to point out when data fits into a theory. That is what theories are designed for,to explain a set of observations and have predictive value on situations that have not yet been observed.

When the scientists decoded the human genome,they knew the chromosome difference between humans and apes needed to be explained. Using the theory of evolution, they predicted that they would find a human chromosome with the characteristics explained above. Failure to find such a chromosome would throw a huge wrench into the theory of evolution, but locating the chromosome (as they did) would further strengthen the evidence pointing towards evolution as a valid theory.

You continually ask for evidence, but when given that evidence you disregard it and ask for more, so I will take a different approach. I can think of several experiments and observations that would destroy, if not seriously discredit, evolutionary theory. I have yet to see one of these damning pieces of evidence, but keep my mind open for new discoveries. Can you think of evidence that would shake your faith in creation theory? What would it need to be?

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
February 11, 2008 6:59pm

I have to say that Steve has shown exceptional willingness to educate and argue rationally.

Well done.

Me on the other hand:-

Onus; go and read the right sort of books (or web pages)!

I liked your analogy of potatoes and apes though...

That's like comparing the now infamous Encyclopedia Britannica with Penthouse!

I prefer the pictures in the former!

Keep trying Onus...

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
February 12, 2008 10:33am

I noticed a small glitch in your acceptance of chromosome fusion. Please account for the following statement from Wikipedia: "Telomeres protect a cell's chromosomes from fusing with each other or rearranging. These chromosome abnormalities can lead to cancer, so cells are normally destroyed when telomeres are consumed. Most cancer is the result of cells bypassing this destruction. Biologists speculate that this mechanism is a tradeoff between aging and cancer." If ""Telomeres protect a cell's chromosomes from fusing with each other or rearranging", how are you depending that the survival of an entire species, not only has occurred without degradation of that specie, but has now attained the highest evolutionary rung of all the species? And you ask, "Other than head to head fusion of two chromosomes, why would the chromosome be like this?" Again, you openly declare your bias! How can you be sure that two human chromosomes have fused and be assured that the chimp chromosomes have not split? According to biologists: fusion bad; splitting good! Is this event predicted by evolutionary theory? If this is the evidence that you hold forth in favor of Neo-Darwinian evolution, this is exactly the evidence that confirms to me that it is utterly impossible. It is one more example of taking a mutational occurrence, proven to be detrimental by your own biologists, and deeming it to be the vehicle for human evolution.

Onus Ford, Detroit, MI
February 12, 2008 4:56pm

It is true that telomeres are designed to keep chromosomes from fusing, but it is also true that not everything in the body works perfectly 100% of the time. Cells have tumor suppressor genes, but people still get cancer. The body has an immune system, but people still get sick. The article you reference even says that chromosomes occasionally fuse.

Also, the article says, "...can lead to cancer, so cells are normally destroyed..." meaning that fusion doesn't always lead to cancer and the cell is not always destroyed. If the fusing of the two chromosomes had no detrimental effect on the animal, there would be no reason that the animal couldn't survive, and even thrive.

The reason this particular fusion would have gone unnoticed by the cell is that usually when fusion occurs, the telomeres have been degraded and no longer exist. A chromosome without telomeres is recognized as broken by the cell and would cause the cell to destroy itself. If the telomeres were still in tact, the cell would have no way to identify the chromosome as damaged and would continue working normally.

Finally, I can't believe that you have the audacity to accuse me of making assumptions and using bias. Young earth creationists assume that the Bible is literally true and was written by an infallible, supernatural creator, and only look for ways to disprove evidence of evolution without providing evidence for the contrary. Your entire argument is based on assumptions and uses nothing but bias.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
February 13, 2008 1:01pm

Let’s try this approach and see where we go. I’m a scientist and I’m intrigued with your new scientific hypothesis of creationology. As a scientist, I’m interested in the evidence for your hypothesis. I’m not interested in what’s wrong with evolution and how evolution can’t explain this or that. I’m interested in what evidence you can show me that indicates that a god-even better, specifically your God and not Thor or the FSM- created everything around us pretty much the way we see it now and that that occurred about 6000 years ago. Please show me the scientific evidence that supports your hypothesis.
Lastly, what experiments would you recommend I do in order to test the hypothesis that a god created everything? I am a scientist so I can’t simply accept your word for it, or the word of someone else. I need to try and test the hypothesis. This may be putting the cart before the horse, but also please tell me what outcome from these experiments suggests that a god did it vs. a god didn’t do it?

DP Gardner, Phoenix
February 13, 2008 2:42pm

Steve, According to Neo-Darwinian theory, chromosomal aberrations, and/or genetic mutations, are generally assumed to be random and unguided. Every article on genetics will include discussion concerning the myriads of diseases spawned from these events. Chromosomal fusion becomes even more suspicious when we ask how a natural, random, or unguided chromosomal fusion can become fixed into an individual, much less a population, and, result in viable offspring. Biology has proven that individuals with the randomly-fused chromosome may appear to be normal, but it is highly probable that their offspring will ultimately have genetic disorders. Such is the case in those with Downs Syndrome. Thus the reason cells are normally destroyed when telomeres are consumed. Abnormality, not evolution! There are serious consequences when they are not destroyed. A difference in chromosome numbers usually results in sterility, in that, the fused chromosomes no longer line up with their un-fused counterparts. Experimentation in mammalian genetics shows that chromosomal aberrations commonly result in a non-viable, mutant offspring. Neo-Darwinism does not and cannot explain how a random fusion event is somehow, or has ever been, advantageous. I am always amazed at what evolutionists are willing to overlook in favor of their beloved theory. Sometimes their faith can be awe inspiring!

Onus Ford, Detroit, MI
February 13, 2008 4:07pm

Onus - I forget, did you prefer to be called a Grahamist or a Sharptonist? I want to be sure we're being as equally respectful to you as you are to biologists.

And please publish your results. I'm sure it will really astound all those tens of thousands of trained and educated professionals who have always managed to miss these amazing discoveries of yours.

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
February 13, 2008 4:12pm

Steve, Please do not be drawn into the mudslinging and personal attacks that some of the posters on this site have displayed. Remember, the topic here is "What Do Creationists Really Believe", and I have attempted to express that. I have not asked you to agree with me, but have simply tried to set forth my views. But, when a moderator sets the tone for a topic with phrases such as: "Most reasonable people are shocked by these flagrant attacks against intelligence. Does this mean that everyone who calls himself a creationist is certifiably insane?", it is destined to draw radicals into the fray. An idea that Brian tried to express in the opening: "As we see in so many aspects of our culture, it's usually the loudest and most outrageous fringe minority that makes the most noise and gets the most headlines", believe me when I say that, in the future, we hope to change that! From many of the polls of recent times, it has already begun.

Onus Ford, Detroit, MI
February 13, 2008 4:59pm

Onus, it's not true at all that you've tried to discuss what YEC's believe. All you've done is attack biological science, which neither supports creationism nor addresses what YEC's believe.

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
February 13, 2008 5:04pm

Eric, I will explain exactly what I believe as a YEC. I believe that God created the earth "ex nihilo" or "out of nothing", in 7 chronological, 24 hr. days approx. 6000 yrs. ago, as Genesis expresses. Every creature was created "after it's kind", and there was no macro-evolution involved. I do believe that all creatures were created with the genetic ability for variation within the separate species. For example, I believe there was a bovine specie; canine; feline; etc. From within those separate species, a variety of creatures arose. From within the bovines: all varieties of cattle; oxen; water buffalo; etc. Canine: wolves; coyote; foxes; dog; etc. Feline: Tigers; Lions; leopards; Cheetah: etc. Man and woman were created as is and was given dominion over all of creation, but chose disobedience and because of it, sin, and with it, death, entered into the creation. The earth existed as was for approx. 2000 yrs. and because of "violence" caused by the disobedience of the humans; God brought a worldwide flood of judgment upon the whole face of the earth, destroying all life but that aboard the Ark; and some un-judged sea life. It was during this flood, that I believe the entire environment of the planet was changed from its original "greenhouse" environment. The flood was so catastrophic that the very geography of the surface of earth was changed in the upheaval of the oceans and seas. This is what I believe to be the history of the first 2000 yrs. of this planet.

Onus Ford, Detroit, MI
February 13, 2008 5:55pm

How can a random fusion can become fixed in a population? The okapi,a rare,short-necked giraffe,species has individuals with 22 pairs of chromosomes,23 pairs,and even 22.5 pairs. In the last case the organism has 45 chromosomes in all,in which case two chromosomes from one parent must be paired with one fused chromosome from the other parent. So a mutation that produced the first human with a chromosome 2,rather than the ancestral chromosomes 2a and 2b,would not have prevented that individual from mating successfully. This sets the stage for that organism having a reproductive advantage and integrating the fused chromosome into the general population.

Downs Syndrome is not caused by fused chromosomes. It is caused when chromosome 21 doesn't separate properly during meiosis and the individual ends up with 3 copies of the chromosome. When and how has biology proven that an individual with fused chromosomes will appear normal but will have offspring with genetic disorders?

Although the vast majority of genetic mutations are not advantageous,it only takes one that is to start the wheels of change in motion. Just look at the bacteria that can now digest nylon production byproducts. A mutation in a gene made it 2% as efficient as the original,but gave the organism exclusive access to a food source that was not able to be utilized previously.

I find it odd that you accuse me of mudslinging when you have referred to me as an Evolutionist and Darwinist, clearly derogatory terms.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
February 13, 2008 6:34pm

Steve, Good luck in your future endeavors and I hope you the best. I appreciate your sincere comunications and honest attempts to be civil.

Onus Ford, Detroit, MI
February 13, 2008 8:37pm

Does that mean you are done?

Marius vanderLubbe, Nullabor Plain,Australia
February 14, 2008 3:48pm

It appears that Elvis has left the building.

D. P. Gardner, Phoenix
February 14, 2008 6:05pm

Marius, I have appreciated your deeply intellectual input into this topic. Please keep fighting for your side! Steve, Just for the record, translocation, in which extra material from chromosome 21 is attached to another chromosome, is in fact, a cause of Downs Syndrome, and that is why I used it as an example. According to your theory, all humans have fused chromosomes, and as such are normal, by your own admission. Yet, science has affirmed the reality of mutational events due to chromosomal fusion that only show up in offspring. And, if you will reread the post, I never accused you of mudslinging. I simply asked that you not take that road, and you have not. I am somewhat confused as, you are in fact a Darwinian evolutionist, are you not? I have no trouble with being called a biblical creationist, as that is actually what I am. No matter! I can see that these debates have reached the point of uselessness and find no need to continue them. Best of luck!

Onus Ford, Detroit, MI
February 14, 2008 8:36pm

That would be a no, then.
I see the use of sarcasm is allowed by your congregation. This is good, as it is a useful tool.

Marius vanderLubbe, Nullabour Plain, Australia.
February 15, 2008 1:30am

I can provide some technical background that may prove useful. Onus is referring to cases of Down syndrome (about 5% of the total) that are the result of a parent having a Robertsonian translocation. This is the fusion of two small chromosomes to produce a larger chromosome. This has been estimated to occur in about 1/1000 live human births. These people lose the short p arms of the acrocentric chromosomes but these arms contain redundant genetic material and show no phenotype from this change. When these people attempt to reproduce, they have reduced fertility because some of the germ cells they generate have abnormal numbers of chromosomes. However, 1/6 of their germ cells will have a normal complement of chromomes and 1/6 will have the same translocation as the parent. Both of these germ cells can produce phenotypically normal offspring. 1/6 of the germ cells would yield a translocation Down syndrome phenotype. 3 of 6 yield a lethal genotype. A person with a Robertsonian translocation will have reduced fertility, but not infertility. Interestingly, if two people mate that both have the same Robertsonian translocation they will have full fertility and will produce offspring with the chromosomal fusion. As the population of individuals with the fusion increase, more of these matings will occur. Given enough time, they could come to represent the entire population. So through this mechanism, it is possible for the human population to change from 48 to 46 to 44 chromosomes.

DP Gardner, Phoenix
February 15, 2008 8:56am

As usual, if you read the above posts very carefully, you find an interesting mix:-

A Scientists approach - discuss facts and draw relevant conclusions, and,

A Y.E.T.I.'s approach (Young Earth near-Total Ignoramus) - discuss those facts that are most likely to support your god hypothesis, and, when the going gets tough and you can't explain relevant questions......

DO AS ONUS DOES - A RUNNER.

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
February 15, 2008 12:50pm

Or, Neil, It simply may be that as a Christian, it is a case of "Don't cast your pearls before swine, where they are trampled underfoot." After submitting a reasonable argument against every argument in support of these ideas of "evolution", it has become increasinly clear that no matter, even if I am able to successfully argue against this Neo-Darwinian fairy tale, it is clear that no amount of "proof" will redirect evolutionist thinking. I will be the first to point out that there comes a time when I am no longer responsible to defend my point of view. It is similar to the story of "the Rich man and Lazarus" in the bible. After finding out that everything that he had heard in life about the reality of hell was true, the rich man asked that Lazarus the begger be sent back to tell the rich man's brothers the truth. But he is told, "They have the Law and the Prophets, let them hear them!" We all have the witness of nature as a testimony of design and creation as Romans 1 says. Compare the Space Shuttle, which is arguably the greatest achievement of human ingenuity in all of history, with a small cockroach living in a sewer, and tell me which of the two is more complex? No comparison! Hands down, the cockroach wins. I could never convince you that the Shuttle was not designed and created by an intelligent mind! Scientifically, consider the absurdity of such an idea, just as many famous evolutionists have readily admitted. Evolutionary theory is not truly scientific!

Onus Ford, Detroit, MI
February 16, 2008 10:12am

Onus, just when we were actually getting somewhere in this debate you turn around 180 degrees and go back to the same tired arguments for creation science. You were asking very pertinent and directed questions about evolution, and I was answering them to the best of my ability. You were looking at evolution with a skeptical yet scientific mindset and trying to get answers about things you either didn't understand or found improbable.

What caused the drastic turn around? I could have said that I could no longer argue the side of evolution because you were ignoring my reasonable arguments, but I didn't. I answered your questions and pointed out flaws in your logic. It is a bit of a cop out to say, "You don't agree with me so this is pointless."

Finally you never provided evidence in support of creation science. The closest you came was trying to punch holes in the theory of evolution. Even if you had been successful, that doesn't prove creation science correct. That is like saying if you prove a painting was not done by Monet, you have just proven it was done by Van Gogh. This is obviously a false dichotomy, but is the same assumption you are making about evolution and creation science.

I would love for you to show me evidence that supports creation science and doesn't just cast doubt on evolutionary theory. I love learning and would enjoy looking into your claims, with a skeptical eye, to test their validity.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
February 16, 2008 10:51am

Onus and the like will never be convinced of evolution in the same way that 9/11 conspiracy theorists will never believe that the towers were not brought down by our own government. I present arguments for those silent individuals that are observing and hopefully learning about evolution and contrasting that with what is presented from the other side. Those who have a critical mind will be the ones that will see the logic or lack thereof regarding what is presented. For those that are watching from the sidelines consider that science is our tool for understanding the natural world. It requires the development of an hypothesis and the testing of that hypothesis. To test, you must know the difference between a positive and a negative result. What Onus presents is not science. There is no hypothesis and there is no test and there is no positive versus negative result. What Onus has is belief and that is fine. What Onus does not have is science. We need to understand the difference and keep the two separate. For those wishing to learn more about Evolution, I strongly recommend the Evolution 101 podcast as a great place to start.

DP Gardner, Phoenix, AZ
February 16, 2008 4:58pm

of course Onus does not use science. Try using creation science:
"If creation is true, we should see... uhm... created things." Oh wait, that doesn't proof anything, let's try again.
"If creation is true, we should see... well... uhhh... God would have told, and he did in the bible so it's true."

See what's happening there?

So Onus, if you can pose me any method of testing creationism at all, I'll be very impressed.

Alcari, the Netherlands
February 17, 2008 2:30pm

Macro-evolutionists would have us believe that their view is scientific and that creation isn't. Evolution has never been proven by experimentation and observation, the only true scientific tests, so it is not a scientific view. I am sure that evolutionists would not consider prayer scientific, although many doctors and scientists have proven that it is beneficial in the healing processes of many sick individuals! Every piece of evidence declared by evolutionists has amounted to mere conjecture, not proven facts. In reality, the true evidence supports design, not evolution. All known life forms are shown to reproduce after their own kind, and no new life forms are proven to have evolved. This in itself, scientifically contradicts the macro-evolutionary theory which has life continuously evolving with new species being produced by natural processes. Radioactive dating has proven to be unreliable time and time again. Various rocks from Russia, when tested radioactively, were dated at 100 million to 10 billion years, yet they are known historically, to have been formed by volcanoes less than 200 years ago. Still living mollusk shells were dated at 2,300 years old. A sample of Sicily's, Mt. Etna basalt was misdated by a whopping 250,000 years. Selected parts of a frozen mammoth were dated at 40,000 years, while other parts were dated at a much younger 26,000 years; then the wood found around it was tested and declared to be an even younger 10,000 years or less. Scientific?

Wilhem Avery, Plano, TX
February 18, 2008 4:33pm

Exactly what experiments and observations have proven creation science to be correct?

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
February 18, 2008 6:50pm

We have, as politely as possible, asked for specific details that are necessary for creation to be considered as science. I also requested that this be framed without attacks on evolution. Those requests were completely ignored. What we get instead is on exhibit above. Wilhelm, please give us what we asked for days ago rather than more attacks. Please!

I'd be interested in whether the creationists among us would agree or disagree with the following statement.

"No apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record."

D. P. Gardner, Phoenix
February 18, 2008 7:34pm

Here are 3 examples: 1)In the book of Isaiah 40:22, written circa 746-680 BC, we read: “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers:” This verse declares that the earth is a round or a circle and not flat as was once thought. 2)Written around 935 BC, Ecclesiastes 1:6 reads: “The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.” The Jet Stream, which was first discovered by airmen during WW II, matches the biblical description very nicely, and exists from altitudes of 32,800 and 164,100 feet. 3)With the modern technology of today, many physicists agree that the entire universe is "waxing old" or running down according to entropic principle and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. In the book of Psalms 102:25-26, written around 1000 B.C., it reads: “Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens [are] the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed.” This was a profound statement from the author who lacked the modern technology of today to back up or prove what he wrote. These are only three of the many scientific facts found in the bible. They are very recent discoveries compared to when they were written.

Wilhem Avery, Plano, TX
February 18, 2008 9:37pm

Sorry.What about the six day creation thing? As a historical or scientific document, The Bible is shite.
Please come back when you actually have something to say that is not ridiculous.

Marius vanderLubbe, Big conspiracy headquarters, Inside the hollow Earth.
February 18, 2008 11:38pm

The recent update to this post is a typical example of Neo-Darwinian revisionism, which declares that, if the facts prove to be incorrect, change them to fit the ideology. The cute little dinosaur picture is intended to portray young earthers as unreasoning clowns, I gather? If you have been to the Creation Museum in Kentucky, you know that the saddled dinosaur sculpture is not even in the exhibit area. It is located in a long waiting area and is exclusively intended for taking childrens pictures while waiting to enter the museum exhibit area. Most young earth creationists believe that the evidence that is held forth as proof of macro-evolution, is the same evidence held forth as proof of designed creation. The differences lie in the actual interpretation of that evidence. Neo-Darwinists are so willing to overlook the falliciousness of their theory, as was the Apostle Darwin. "Charles Darwin's discussion of actual origins in the Origin of Species always puts me in mind of Sherlock Holmes's response in the story "Silver Blaze." Upon being asked if there were any points of note, he replied: "The dog that barked in the night." But the dog didn't bark in the night." "Precisely!"
"But Darwin didn't discuss the Origin of life in the Origin of Species." "Precisely!" He knew that he had no answer and that getting into a discussion of the topic would lead only to tears, so he stayed away from it altogether." The beginning; this is the evolutionists' quagmire! Let's discuss.

Missy Valiente, Macon, GA
February 19, 2008 3:29pm

Simple:

In classical physics we have the observational evidence that matter/energy can not be either "created" or destroyed merely transformed.

So, there is no need to explain a creation, since there was none. Only transformation.

There is no "nothing" or an "infinite".

As for "fitting up" the peace-meal evidence {if that's what you can call it}...

Wilhem... I think you'll find that a "circle" is a 2-D shape, and if they actually knew the Earth was a Sphere, then they would have said so.

Instead they were uneducated/unknowing ignoramuses of their time.

AND the jet stream--- oh please!

Mind you I love a good joke !

And isn't it funny how these Faithers always relish the thought of the Earth, nigh the Universe being "utterly destroyed-eth!"

Plod help us all!

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
February 19, 2008 4:02pm

Wilhem you are cherry picking details from the bible. These passages only have scientific relevance in hindsight. They have no predictive value and are only proven accurate when someone pours over piles of bible scriptures to see if something can be loosely interpreted to match a current discovery.

Creationists always say that evolution theory is wrong because it changes. How long ago was it that religious people used the Bible as evidence that the earth was flat? They pointed to the several references to the "four corners of the Earth" and the "ends of the Earth" to prove that the Earth was flat (some, funny as it may seem, still believe this). Now years later you simply pick a different Bible verse and claim that it predicts the Earth to be round. That is quite a large change to just ignore.

Missy, although I am not an expert on abiogenesis, I could point you in the direction of a few good sources to learn about it, and will if you would like. This would probably be a waste of my time though seeing that you will most likely ignore or dismiss any evidence that I present to you.

I once again go back to my original request. I would like to see scientific evidence that supports creation science. This does not include misinterpretations of current research that you believe to disprove evolution. I want a study, a paper, a theory, something testable that can be used to give evidence supporting creation science.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
February 19, 2008 4:07pm

No need to point me to a few good sources, as I already have plenty. By your own admission, you may want to peruse them yourself though. I could give you plenty of evidence from "professional evolutionists" that will vehemently disagree with the evidence that you hold forth, but you would not accept that either, so what is the use? No one ever used the bible to try to prove that the earth was flat. That theory was simply the ideas of some folk living in fear of the unknown. It is tantamount to what the early evolutionists did in trying to "produce" a missing link, all of which have shown to be fraudulant! Neil, Thou should really considerest your thoughts before thou speakest! You say "There is no "nothing" (which is simply a double negative meaning that there is something)or an "infinite". No something or no infinite? Do we have a third choice? Prey tell, what was before the transformation?

Missy Valiente, Macon, GA
February 19, 2008 6:04pm

Claim
Living snails were C14 dated at 2,300 years old, thus proving that carbon-dating is totally unreliable.

Response
Creationists who use this claim fail to note that the snails lived in an environment that did not have access to atmospheric C14 (a pool formed from a limestone sinkhole). The C14 that the snails did have access to was dissolved out of the limestone, itself, and as a result, was "old" C14.
The scientist didn't measure the living snails themselves. He measured their shells. The whole point is that the process through which the mollusks builds its shell (taking carbon from the water it lives in and NOT the atmosphere) doesn't "reset" the C14 "timer".

Source: EvoWiki http://wiki.cotch.org/

One "fact" refuted. 1500 character limit restricts the abilitiy to refute other claims, however they can be refuted as well if someone wants.

D. P. Gardner, Phoenix
February 19, 2008 7:38pm

I would like to see this "evidence from "professional evolutionists" that will vehemently disagree with the evidence that you hold forth" with citation going to either the original study or entire quote you would like to use. If this evidence proves to be opposed to evolution, I would be willing to change my views. I never ignore information that is given to me, regardless of the source. Some creationists have asked me some very interesting questions that I did not know the answer to. It forced me to look further into the research on the subject of evolution to find answers and helped me to learn.

It is true there is no "Missing Link", because no one fossil can fully illuminate the evolution between two species. If you are looking for a series of transitional fossils that show the evolution of a species there are a few examples I can think of off of the top of my head (humans included).

I, again, reiterate my request. I would like to see scientific evidence that supports creation science. This does not include misinterpretations of current research that you believe to disprove evolution. I want a study, a paper, a theory, something testable that can be used to give evidence supporting creation science.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
February 19, 2008 8:00pm

I can give you that right now, Steve. She'll list some of the people who signed DissentFromDarwin.org, who represent some 2% of 1% of PhD's; and/or she'll grab some of those out-of-context quotes from Gould or other great evolutionary biologists.

There are always a few cranks in every profession. I submit that if the presence of a few cranks invalidates an entire scientific field, then the presence of a massive number of cranks should MORE than invalidate christianity!!

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
February 19, 2008 8:22pm

Here's the challenge, short and sweet: I believe that the existence of life is the only evidence needed to prove creationism, as opposed to evolution. Science clearly proves that absolutely nothing comes from nothing. Abiogenesis has never been witnessed, nor reproduced. A scientist in a controlled laboratory mixing chemicals in a beaker would be intelligent design, not abiogenesis. But, as always, macro-evolutionists cannot argue cosmology because it inevitibly leads to a "cause". If macro-evolution happened, we should be knee deep in transitional fossils, but alas, nothing! We have many fossils of the simplest lifeforms and we have many fossils of the most complex lifeforms, so where are the intermediates? Simply explain the beginning of all things and in that explaination, I contend, that you will eventually be forced to set "true science" aside and accept an unproven theory at some point. That is why I insist that creationism is as scientific as neo-Darwinian theory. You can call your theory scientific; examine and test your hypothesis, and interpret evidence to fit it; but "scientifically" it is not proven and is unprovable. True science is not simply a theory, but proving the theory. So, all you have to do is successfully "prove" the beginning of the universe from an undesigned, random event, and then became organized into life creating matter, resulting in what we see in our world now, and I will accept your theory as a viable alternative to creation science.

Missy Valiente, Macon, GA
February 21, 2008 6:31am

I had one simple request,and you couldn't do it. You wrote one sentence,which wasn't scientific or backed by any research, before launching into an attack on evolution. I have no problem with you believing in creation. I only get riled when people mistake their beliefs as a valid means of attacking established science.

The fact that you argue that no intermediates have ever been found is almost laughable. In this day and age,you need to have your eyes closed and ears plugged to come to that conclusion. If you check my posts above,you will see that several examples of intermediate fossils have been given already. You want every species that ever existed to be logged in the fossil record,when it takes very specific circumstances for fossilization to occur. Why do you hold science to such lofty standards when your own theory hasn't provided a single shred of credible evidence?

You expect science to find mountains of tiny fossils (some of which have already been found) when no one from your realm of thought has even found the arc. If it is so easy to find these things,how is it that a boat large enough to carry every animal on Earth is so elusive.

You argue that abiogenesis research is,in fact,intelligent design itself. The scientists do not mix chemicals and try to make cells. They recreate new Earth conditions and observe what can form under those conditions. The formation is not guided so where is the intelligence, other than deducing what new Earth conditions were.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
February 21, 2008 8:18am

Bravo Steve.....

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
February 21, 2008 3:38pm

Let’s look at a few examples of your “established science”. The bedrock on which most of our science and technology are built, bets the farm that macro-evolution will not and cannot happen. Our entire food industry depends upon the fact that after food is canned or preserved, it cannot evolve into something else. You will then respond that “evolution requires a vast amount of time!” So, scientists started using species such as fruit flies, because they reproduce very quickly and offer many generations of experimentation in a relatively short amount of time. But in many lab experiments that evolutionists cite as proof, it has been shown again and again that the only mechanism the evolutionists have is a combination of random variation and natural selection (ironically, they have used sterile labs and highly controlled environments to prove this) illustrated, for example, by the survival of insects that happened to be resistant to an insecticide. These mechanisms have never been to be capable of creating any new genetic information or a new complex body parts such as wings, or eyes or brains. Without a mechanism that can be demonstrated to be capable of the necessary creation, the theory of evolution is just a fairy tale with no real scientific basis. And every time the controlled variations are removed the species always revert back to its original state. And you may want to review the Miller-Urey experiments! The scientists did not mix chemicals?

Missy Valiente, Macon, GA
February 23, 2008 8:47am

Missy Valentine, your comments are the world record setters for the highest concentration of BS in a piece of writing. You say that we [us evolutionists] have only circumstantial evidence. I personally do not see any proof, circumstantial or otherwise, supporting creationism. NEWS FLASH! Nothing as monumental as the evolution of a body part can happen in a matter of days, unless it is in bacteria. You say that because we can't reproduce it in a lab that it is false? try creating a lion out of nothing in a lab.

There are two things I want you to do.

1) Listen to the episodes on logical fallacies; what you did in your second comment is a textbook example of one.

2) Reproduce creationism in a laboratory setting, and publish the results in a legitimate, peer-reviewed scientific journal. Not a creationism research journal, a REAL science journal.Maybe then I will believe you.

If a few gaps in evidence makes an entire science invalid,than Christianity should be far more invalid by now!

Happy belated Darwin Day!

Kevin the Aspergan, B'ville, NY
February 23, 2008 5:09pm

Missy, your last post shows such a gross misunderstanding of evolution that it is almost sad. You are arguing against things that evolution has never claimed to be possible. Evolution does not claim that an organism can morph in the span of its lifetime. It proposes that a population can change over time due to selective pressures present in the environment. When did evolution predict that corn, after being cut and canned, might just turn into peas?

If you are looking for drastic change in an organism outside of lab conditions, look no further than the bacterium that can digest nylon waste. A random mutation, that according to creationists can't create new information, gave the bacteria a new gene/protein that allowed it to utilize a previously unusable food source. Scientists weren't controlling the bacteria or trying to make mutations. This happened naturally outside of a lab.

With respect to the Miller-Urey comment, of course they mixed chemicals. They did not, however, mix chemicals and try to make a specific molecule (ie. amino acids, nucleic acids). They mixed chemicals to recreate what was hypothesized to be new Earth conditions and added simulated lightening (also present on new Earth) and measured what molecules came out. They were testing if it was possible to create organic compounds from non-organic compounds under those conditions. The answer was a resounding yes. The experiment has been done many times with basically the same result. It's possible.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
February 24, 2008 2:12pm

I'm curious. Is creationism a North American phenomena, or is it worldwide? When the Dover Trials were going on, my impression was that most of the foreign press were surprised that such an anachronism has survived into the 21st Century. On the other hand, I haven't heard anything about European creationists, do they exist?

Willie Warholm, Calgary, Alberta
February 24, 2008 5:49pm

You are a little behind the times as to the facts you present. The scientists that did the research in 1975 later said that this phenomenon was probably present in the plasmids in bacteria and is a feature intended to allow bacteria to adapt to varying environments and needs. In Darwin's day, cells were thought to be very, very simple. But modern research has revealed that all life is dependent upon DNA, a four-letter amino acid language that dictates everything about an organism. The amount of unrealized information is amazes geneticists of our time. So called "Junk DNA" for example. It is now well established that there have been colonies of bacteria that have developed resistance to antibiotics resulting from a mutation that actually simplifies the bacteria's DNA instructions. The bacteria are then able to eat more types of food, including the antibiotic that would have killed them beforehand. And, these mutations are only helpful for bacteria developing in the presence of antibiotics. In normal, natural environments, these bacteria are less viable than those without the mutation. The mutation does not add any information, but rather, subtracts from the DNA content of a bacterium and is not a step toward its becoming a toad, an ape, or a human being, but a step toward a less complex bacterium. This also applies to insects in becoming insecticide resistant. They commonly revert back, when the environment is returned to its original state.

Missy Valiente, Macon, GA
February 24, 2008 6:42pm

http://www.sciohost.org/ncse/kvd/Padian/Padian_transcript.html#direct
I would advise all young earthers to put that into their browser.It is the fossil evidence testimony at the Dover trial.

Marius vanderLubbe, Nullabour Plain, Australia.
February 26, 2008 1:57am

Simple Refutation
Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the ID claim is that it can be refuted from first principles without needing specialized knowledge/evidence! Suppose there exists a simple nucleotide sequence called sequence A:TACACACCCAAGACC
This sequence actually codes for the last five amino acids of the human insulin alpha-chain, but any other gene would suffice for this refutation. Suppose some particular mutation (mutation X) can transform sequence A into sequence B:TACACACCCAAGGCC
This will change the insulin product into one that features a threonine instead of an alanine as the final amino acid of the insulin alpha chain. This will decrease the binding of the insulin in humans, but not enough to actually render it ineffective (pigs and cows have a threonine instead of an alanine in this position, and insulin-dependant diabetics are able to utilise porcine and bovine insulin). In any case, if a human had such a mutation, it would be almost certainly considered a loss of information by any creationist.
Suppose that this human reproduces and the child has another particular mutation (mutation Y) which transforms sequence B back into sequence A. If mutation X is one which subtracts information from a sequence, it follows that sequence A must contain more information than sequence B -- and mutation Y must, therefore, be one which adds information to a sequence. We have a mutation with a gain in information...

Credit to EVO-Wiki.org
The Valentine massacre...

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
February 26, 2008 4:25am

Missy,I have several problems with your post.

1. DNA does not dictate everything about an organism. Example:There are about 100 trillion synapses in the brain but only about 6 billion base pairs in the human genome. It is impossible that DNA could give instructions for forming each synapse. DNA does play a large role in determining how the body turns out,but so does the environment. For example,a person with DNA to be tall could end up short because of malnutrition during childhood.

2. You assume that because uses have been found for some junk DNA that all junk DNA has a use not yet found by science. Although some junk DNA may have functions,it is very unlikely that all DNA is important and necessary. This is illustrated nicely by the pufferfish who have the shortest vertebrate genome(due to a general lack of junk DNA)but function perfectly well and even flourish in their environment.

3. Whether the bacterial gene was made by an adaptable portion of a plasmid,or by a phase shift of an existing gene,the fact remains that the bacteria created novel information through random mutations. The DNA did not degrade and the organism is no less likely to be able to adapt again. Several DNA replication "mistakes" add extra DNA to a genome which can then be used to adapt and create new genes. Just because a genome is temporarily simplified does not mean it will always remain that way. Gene duplications,gene-pseudogene interactions,trinucleotide repeats,etc all add genetic info to DNA

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
February 26, 2008 12:04pm

Why do creationists love the idea that less 'is' less...

Sometimes less can be 'more'.

A convertible Ferrari is no 'less' of a car than one with a roof.

It depends upon the environment only.

In the rain, the Roof species does better. In the sun the T-bar species is the winner.

I imagine Missy in a Mini.

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
February 27, 2008 6:35am

Steve, is point #1 an argument for macro-evolution? Can a person with DNA to be short gluttonize themselves to be tall? Now that would be impressive! Point #2 suggests that you are privy to genetic research that, according to Wikipedia, disagrees with recent evidence suggesting that "...junk DNA may in fact be employed by proteins created from coding DNA. An experiment concerning the relationship between introns and coded proteins provided evidence for a theory that "junk DNA" is just as important as coding DNA. This experiment consisted of damaging a portion of noncoding DNA in a plant which resulted in a significant change in the leaf structure because structural proteins depended on information contained in introns." Point #3 exhibits a fundamental problem in that the Neo-Darwinian theory does not predict an increase in anything genetically beneficial. Macro-evolutionary pundits have been unable to scientifically prove that adaptation to environmental circumstances, driven by natural selection, has lead to any continuing change, much less a progressive evolvement. Some directional changes can be expected, but they end up as a selective circumstance change or an opportunity for further adaptive improvement that is usually reversible if needed. Science is disclosing that your "junk DNA" holds an amazing ability to allow for wide ranging variation within a species and an uncanny ability to become very adaptable, as needed. Creation is a beautiful thing to behold!

Missy Valiente, Macon, GA
February 27, 2008 5:47pm

Point 1 was just pointing out that you overestimate the power of DNA. The vast majority of traits in complex organisms are not 100% penetrant. A person with genes to be fat can turn out thin. A person with genes for a genetic disease may never get it.

If you believe that all junk DNA is necessary,then I do know of research to refute that. In 2004, researchers reported the creation of mice lacking approximately 3% of their genome. The resulting mice were healthy in every way assayed by the researchers,including longevity and reproduction. If all DNA is necessary,then why were the mice perfectly viable?

I'm not sure what point you are trying to make with your last argument. Any increase in genetic information that is free to mutate and possibly create new genes is inherently beneficial. This new flexibility allows the organism to adapt to changes in the environment.

What would it take to shake your faith in creation science? You admit that science has observed the creation of new genes out of either old genes or adaptable genetic junk. You admit that animals can vary and change to suit their environments. Is it so hard to believe that these changes,compounded over the course of time,could eventually lead to an organism different enough from the original to be called a new species? How exactly can you point to certain parts of science to support your claim while completely denying other parts (ie radiometric dating)?

PS You still have not given evidence supporting creation.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
February 28, 2008 3:25pm

The research that I quoted was not my own, but the evidence that the experts found to be true. This statement, from you, is the gist of my argument against Neo-Darwinian evolution: "You admit that science has observed the creation of new genes out of either old genes or adaptable genetic junk. You admit that animals can vary and change to suit their environments." This is not an example of "proof" of what you believe macro-evolution to be. As I said before, “no new genes, but reconfigured, existing genes”. I demonstrated that I believe that there is a designed variation within all living things, and no new species evolves from another. You ask, "Is it so hard to believe that these changes, compounded over the course of time, could eventually lead to an organism different enough from the original to be called a new species?" Although it is restated time and time again, this scenario has never been proven to have happened. This is why there is no where near a consensus, even among evolutionists, as to the true scientific evidence for the theory. Many of the radiometric dating methods are subject to a preconceived outcome that is to be determined at the whim of the tester. If the intended outcome is not achieved, the test is performed again and again, under differing sets of guidelines, and this goes on until the desired date is reached. And, I will say once more, my “proof of creation, is creation itself”! The entire universe is organized, and that does not happen by chance.

Missy Valiente, Macon, GA
February 28, 2008 10:43pm

Claim:
No new species have been observed.
Response: (via Talkorigins.org)

New species have arisen in historical times. For example: 

A new species of mosquito, isolated in London's Underground, has speciated from Culex pipiens
Helacyton gartleri is the HeLa cell culture, which evolved from a human cervical carcinoma in 1951. The culture grows indefinitely and has become widespread 

A similar event appears to have happened with dogs relatively recently. Sticker's sarcoma, or canine transmissible venereal tumor, is caused by an organism genetically independent from its hosts but derived from a wolf or dog tumor. 

Several new species of plants have arisen via polyploidy (when the chromosome count multiplies by two or more) . One example is Primula kewensis
Incipient speciation, where two subspecies interbreed rarely or with only little success, is common. Here are just a few examples: 

Rhagoletis pomonella, the apple maggot fly, is undergoing sympatric speciation. Its native host in North America is Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.), but in the mid-1800s, a new population formed on introduced domestic apples (Malus pumila). The two races are kept partially isolated by natural selection.
The mosquito Anopheles gambiae shows incipient speciation between its populations in northwestern and southeastern Africa.
Silverside fish show incipient speciation between marine and estuarine populations.
References and more: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB910.html

DP Gardner, Phoenix
February 29, 2008 10:40am

Gardner, Every example you copy/pasted above is only evidence of variation within species, not macro-evolution. You are holding forth various sub-species of already existing species to try to advance Neo-Darwinian evolution. Please explain this one: "Sticker's sarcoma, or canine transmissible venereal tumor, is caused by an organism genetically independent from its hosts but derived from a wolf or dog tumor." Genetic independence is what makes cancer-----a cancer! We have already established that we all agree in specie variation. But, Darwin's finches have been proven to be genetically identical and many of them have cross bred, as with ring salamanders. Dog remains dog; mosquito remains a mosquito; virus remains a virus; fish remains a fish: etc. Show me a virus that becomes a mosquito or a fish, and I am on board.

Rhyle Glensing, Omaha, Nebraska
February 29, 2008 5:16pm

Darwin was well aware of several problems of his theory and expressed ideas that he felt would solve them. Firstly, if numerous examples of species in transitional stages could be displayed, the evidence would seal the deal. Darwin actually believed that such fossils were very numerous and would eventually be unearthed. Unfortunately, as many evolutionists are well aware, this is not the case. Frauds exposed, we know that the fossil record is void of transitional forms. What we find are fully formed creatures. Has anything ever been found with partial eyes? If each transitional function is to be useful to the species, this is difficult to imagine. What good is a partially formed eye? A partially formed eye is useless and according to macro-evolutionary theory it would be selected out. The existence of complex organs poses a huge problem for Neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory, as partially formed organs are useless. And the problems involved when considering the evolution of reproductive organs is utterly impossible. If these developed over millions of years, we are faced with the same considerations. What good are partially developed reproductive systems? They serve no purpose and would be selected out. And how did a species reproduce during the millions of years these functions were developing? If a species was able to reproduce without them, why then would they evolve at all? This is indeed an untenable and embarrassing problem for all evolutionists!

Missy Valiente, Macon, GA
March 1, 2008 7:49am

OMG Missy - If you're using the ancient eyeball fallacy, it's clear that you have not been exposed to the most of information. I suggest you read Skeptoid #65, but I expect you won't, as I do not believe for a minute that are interested in learning anything about science.

You also don't seem to be very interested in promoting creationism. As you know, trying to find flaws with science in no way supports religion.

Eric Shultheiss, Corona, CA
March 1, 2008 8:27am

Rhyle,

The claim was clearly made by Missy that no species evolves from another. I provided evidence that this is not the case. There is ample evidence that new species have evolved during historical times. These examples and more fit the definition of a separate species. What you want is a straw man. I think you've been watching too many Kirk Cameron videos on you tube. No evolutionary biologist would ever suggest the existence of a transitional fossil that was half one species and half another. So to believe in evolution all you would need to see is something that has never been proposed in evolutionary theory. Nice.

Missy,

As a scientist I take great offense to your suggestion that scientists doing dating experiments manipulate their data to fit their hypothesis. This is the most serious charge that can be leveled at any scientist. Either show your evidence, or leave the personal attacks out of this. While were at it, why don't you let us know what you do for a living so we can make accusations of serious ethical lapses in judgement among your colleagues.

Your last post isn't worthy of comment. All I can say is that Kent Hovind would be very proud. Rather than simply attack evolution with logical fallacies, why don't you give us some evidence that would compel us to believe in your creation story? That's what we're all still waiting for.

DP Gardner, Phoenix
March 1, 2008 2:01pm

The flaws that I most commonly find in debating this topic, is never with science, but with scientists. You guys act like there is absolutely no doubt among scientists as to the validity of the so called "evidence of evolution". As I stated before, the interpretation of the evidence matters not in establishing the truth. What matters is what the evidence actually displays, apart from any biased interpretation. If the universe appears designed, why not admit it? How many "evidences" have there been over the last 100 years, that are now proven to be incorrect or downright fraudulent? Can you honestly say that you believe everything that is stated by evolutionary scientists is in fact, scientifically accurate? I have quoted many evolutionists that have openly admitted that the facts of evolutionary Neo-Darwinian theory is often misrepresented by scientists that are so zealous of the evolutionary doctrine, that they do indeed tip the scales toward their ideology. When I present you with the factual and well published quotes of well known evolutionists, you simply ignore them as if I made them up. The most beneficial aspect of the internet is its ability to provide information in mass amounts, and in doing so, we must interpret those things that are true, and those that are not. The tag of scientist does not make one above being human. The topic of scientific integrity is addressed in the book "Conduct Unbecoming" by David Weatherall. It is very well worth reading.

Rhyle Glensing, Omaha, Nebraska
March 2, 2008 1:59pm

I was reading "Invertebrate Zoology" by R.D. Barnes and I came across an interesting section that piqued my interest and raised several questions. I was perusing the section that looked at an example of what has been called the "Lazarus effect". He cited as an example, a mollusk called "Neoplina", which was found only in Cambrian and Devonian layers. In the early 1950's several fossils were dug up and, by radiometric dating were determined to be 350 million years younger than those discovered previously, yet were exactly the same! They resurfaced again from the Cambrian, in the Devonian, yet, they remain unchanged and separated by over 100 million years; every fossil fully formed. They were thought non-existent from the Devonian period until discovered in the present, and they are absolutely unchanged. Charles Darwin realized this as one of the major problems of his own theory, and asked the following question: "Why, if species have descended from other species by insensibly fine graduations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms? Why is not all nature in confusion?" Would someone offer the answer to this question and do you believe that there are species in transition now? And please cite an example.

Missy Valiente, Macon, GA
March 2, 2008 6:26pm

As to your response to the scientific validity of radiometric dating, here are just two of hundreds of quotes by honest researchers: (1)"Certain assumptions presuppose that the concentration of uranium in any specimen has remained constant over the specimen's life...groundwater percolation can leach away a proportion of the uranium present in the rock crystals. The mobility of the uranium is such that as one part of a rock formation is being improvised another part can become abnormally enriched. Such changes can also take place at relatively low temperatures." (J.D. Macdougall, “Shifty Uranium”, Scientific American, Vol. 235:118) (2)"There has been in recent years, the horrible realization that radio-decay rates are not as constant as previously thought, nor are they immune to environmental influences. And this could mean that the atomic clocks are reset during some global disaster, and events which brought the Mesozoic to a close may not be 65 million years ago but, rather, within the age and memory of man." (Frederic B. Jueneman, FAIC, Industrial Research & Development, p.21, Tune 1982) Both of these quotes confirm the well known fact that there are unknown variables that cannot be accounted for when attempting to establish the truth of what the tests actually provide for. Radiometric dating is a very un-verifiable process outside a controlled environment.

Rhyle Glensing, Omaha, Nebraska
March 2, 2008 11:06pm

The scientific validity of radiometric dating has been proven time and time again. Since the discovery of this method, it has been tested time and time again and has always shown that it is accurate with a margin of error of a few percent. The half life of atomic particles has been shown to be so reliable that they are now used to make the most accurate clocks in the world (atomic clocks).

Both of you make it sound as if a scientist finds one radiometric reading they like and quit there. There are over 40 different radiometric dating techniques. In any given measurement, several different techniques are used to ensure that each gives results within an acceptable range to confirm the age of the item being tested. There would need to be an error of several orders of magnitude for the idea of Young Earth Creationism to even be feasible.

I understand that my presenting these facts will do little to change your mind. Instead, I found a paper written on the subject by a man who is a Christian and, from the context of the article, probably a creationist as well. The paper is a little long but very informative, and it is written in a way that is easy to read.

http://www.asa3.org/aSA/resources/Wiens.html

PS. I have yet to see a quote that is cited on this thread, much less a quote that, in its full context, shows a respected scientist casting doubt on the overall idea of evolution and not just a particular theory regarding its mechanisms.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
March 3, 2008 7:38pm

I am curious as to how you justify a statement such as this? "No matter how far back we go in the fossil record of previous animal life on earth, we find no trace of any animal forms which are intermediate between the major groups of phyla. Scientists have sometimes come up with a few things that they have elected as candidates as transitions, but on a later closer examination these have been seen to be misinterpretations. There are no such things as missing links. ... Missing links are misinterpretations." This statement was made by Austin Clark, the leading biologist of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, and I find it amazing that a scientist of his stature could make this statement if, in fact, there are multiplied thousands of transitional forms. I find thousands of such statements in the writings of evolutionary scientists, yet evolutionists insist that they are anomalies. And, in lieu of more modern techniques in “true” scientific investigation, this will become more common and very widely accepted. The 1990’s discovery of a T-Rex skeleton that contained soft tissue and even blood vessels. Mary Schweitzer, the discovering biologist, shockingly admitted that "This is fossilized bone in the sense that it's from an extinct animal but it doesn't have a lot of the characteristics of what people would call a fossil. It still has places where there are no secondary minerals, and it's not any more dense than modern bone; it's bone more than anything."

Missy Valiente, Macon, GA
March 3, 2008 10:16pm

Missy, this time you have got to be kidding me. Are you seriously quoting Austin Clark, as in the late Austin Clark born 1880 died 1954. This quote is from about 1930. That is almost 80 years of scientific advancement and discovery. If you are going to try to disprove evolution with a quote, you should probably use one a little more recent. Also, try including where the quote is originally found so that people can see the context that it is in.

You are still claiming that no transitional fossils exist. Although there are mountains of evidence that contradict your statement, some of which I have talked about in previous posts, I will repost a short video that addresses that very point. (Interesting fact: Ken Miller is also a Christian)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9a-lFn4hqY

Your example about the fossil is a perfect example of leaving out relevant facts to come to a false conclusion. The reason they found these things inside the fossil was because the fossil was so large that it had to be broken into two pieces to be airlifted from the dig. They then examined the inside and found that it was remarkably well preserved. They did not conclude that the bone wasn't old, they were just surprised the soft tissues did so well in the fossilization process. Typically, when you find a perfect fossil you don't crack it in half to see what is inside, so this was an interesting find. It did not, however, go against anything said in evolutionary theory.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
March 4, 2008 9:19am

Steve, you have missed the point of my argument. The quote can be found in “The New Evolution; Zoogenesis” byAustin H. Clark. When Mr. Clark made this statement he was going against the early neo-Darwinian pundits that were already vigorously spreading the gospel of evolution. Consider some of the many "proofs" that were being declared by that time: In 1856, the discovery of the original Neandertal skeleton; In 1861, Archaeopteryx discovered; 1863, The National Academy of Sciences was founded and publication of first books on human evolution by Lyell and Huxley; 1865, Gregor Mendel published the results of his hybridization studies and were ignored; 1891, discovery of Homo erectus; 1925, Australopithecus africanus; 1927, discovery of Peking man; just to name a few. It is amazing that this man had the foresight to realize the truth that lay before his eyes and then to have the fortitude to challenge the early evolutionist establishment. And what has become of these “missing links” in lieu of the facts that are now known? It must be considered now as then, “Since we have not the slightest evidence, either among the living or the fossil animals, of any intergrading types following the major groups, it is a fair supposition that there never have been any such intergrading types." Out of curiosity, what is the greatest example of a transitional form, in your opinion? And do you believe in God?

Missy Valiente, Macon, GA
March 4, 2008 11:30pm

I don't think anyone's missing your point, Missy - it's quite clear. You believe that finding what you believe are weaknesses in biological science somehow constitutes evidence of God, which is entirely fallacious. Showing that Colonel Mustard didn't do it is not proof that Mr. Green did. You have utterly failed, thus far, to offer any evidence for your religion.

The horse record is generally considered to be the most complete in terms of transitional fossils. But as you know, fossils are only one minor pillar of evidence of evolution -- genetics being the biggest and most obvious.

You didn't ask me, but no I don't believe in God, ghosts, psychic powers, Athena, or anything else that violates natural laws and is unsupported by either evidence or even a reasonable hypothesis.

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
March 5, 2008 6:33am

Your compulsion for holding creationism to a different standard of what is or is not evidence betrays your blind faith in neo-Darwinism. When you make a statement such as "You believe that finding what you believe are weaknesses in biological science somehow constitutes evidence of God, which is entirely fallacious. Showing that Colonel Mustard didn't do it is not proof that Mr. Green did." You don't even realize the error of your statement. You instinctively call macro-evolutionary theory, "biological science". Sir Francis Bacon, the founder of the modern scientific method, defined true science thusly: Observation; induction; hypothesis; test of hypothesis by experiment; proof or disproval; knowledge. Showing that Colonel Mustard didn't do it is not proof that Mr. Green did, but it is proof that Colonel Mustard did not! Evolution is not proven fact, so it should not be promoted dogmatically. You simply fail to acknowledge the weaknesses of your doctrine. "The horse record is generally considered to be the most complete in terms of transitional fossils." That is why it has been hidden away in the basement of a museum for the last few decades. Genetics are so relatively new a study that many early opinions cannot be counted as correct. The truth remains to be seen! We cannot prove many of the complex functions within the human brain: thought; love; hate; dreams; etc., but we are sure that they exist. We do know that life cannot come from non-life, and that has been proven.

Missy Valiente, Macon, Ga
March 5, 2008 9:48am

I think you're repeating yourself.

I have a question for you. Given the chart at the top of this page, why is it important to show that speciation is not a natural process?

Eric Shultheiss, Corona, CA
March 5, 2008 9:55am

Missy,this is going to come as a shock to you,but there is no such thing as a missing link. The missing link is a straw-man created by creationists to draw attention away from the piles of transitional fossils that have been found and are well documented. Evolution doesn't predict that a fossil should exist that is exactly half mammal and half reptile,perfectly between the two. Several fossils do show transitions in important structures between lineages. Did you even watch the video I linked to?

I did not miss the point you made in your previous post. I am simply saying that an 80 year old conclusion from a man(probably brilliant)with incomplete information is not a convincing argument against evolution. Using that logic,I could disprove modern psychology by noting that Hippocrates didn't believe the brain played a role in psychological disease. Instead,he believed that a woman's uterus wandered to the wrong place in the body and prescribed marriage as a cure(hence we are left with the term hysteria). He didn't have the knowledge we have now,and although he was brilliant,came to a poor conclusion.

My favorite transitional series is the evolution of the whale inner ear. The beautiful transition between a terrestrial tuned and aqueous tuned inner ear is astounding. I do not believe in religions,because they all tell me that I should shun my older sister and younger brother(for reasons I won't state here). I'm still not sure about the reality of a god, but probably not.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
March 5, 2008 10:20am

To address Eric's question, answering from the young-earth perspective as to the problem that I find with speciation in light of the biblical account of creation, the problem lies in the necessity of millions of years of death and disease needed for the range of speciation from molecules to amoeba to man evolution, before the act of sin in the Garden of Eden. The bible explicitly states that death is a result of sin and did not exist before Adam disobeyed God.

Missy Valiente, Macon, Ga
March 5, 2008 2:36pm

So you are starting with a conclusion, and then seeking to support it with evidence.

You understand that's the opposite of the way science is done, I trust.

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
March 5, 2008 2:44pm

"No apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record."

Part of The AiG Statement of Faith

If you agree with the above statement, there is absolutely nothing that will make you consider what anyone has to say that in any way contradicts your beliefs.

Missy, do you agree with the above statement?

(BTW, I expect to be ignored.)

One more thing. Evolution can ultimately be boiled down to a change in allele frequencies in a population over time. This is what evolution is. What causes a change in allele frequencies in a population over time is what evolutionary biologist are interested in. So has the hypothesis that allele frequencies change been proven? Absolutely, in thousands of different species. Not even a creationist should argue this point. So, if this is evolution, doesn't it follow then, that evolution has been proven? The obvious argument is that this isn't evolution this is microevolution. Micro/macro are creationists terms. The only difference between them is the element of time.

DP Gardner, Phoenix
March 5, 2008 4:06pm

I will simply declare my position to be: "that no scientifically proven evidence will contradict the Scriptural record." You insist that because a scientist makes a declaration of supposed evidences in support of neo-Darwinian evolution that makes the evidence valid. I contend that it is merely opinion, and because the vast majority of scientists are atheists, they refuse to "allow a divine foot in the door", no matter what common observation states to the contrary. As I have stated before, the use of the word "evolution" has been misappropriated, in that we all agree that genetic variation and natural selection within a species is an observed fact, but macro-evolutionists have high-jacked the term and have used it to incorrectly try to invalidate the creationist stand "scientifically". You say that "The obvious argument is that this isn't evolution this is microevolution. Micro/macro are creationists terms. The only difference between them is the element of time." Time isn't the deciding issue, but degree! Micro and macro are descriptive terms as to their usage when considering the limits of "evolution". If it was shown to me that there was scientifically valid evidence in support of your version of evolution, I would have no choice but to accept it.

Missy Valiente, Macon, GA
March 5, 2008 5:54pm

Missy,I am beginning to believe that every time I make a valid point on a subject,you simply ignore it and begin to attack evolution from another angle. One post on radiometric dating and you move onto the "Missing Link." I explain that the missing link is a straw-man and point to a well documented fossil series that shows the transition of the whale inner ear and you move on to all science that you disagree with being invalid. You refuse to face any one arguement head on because you do not have any facts to back up your argument. You simply jump from one topic to the next making unfounded assumptions,hoping that at some point you will hit something relevant.

You ask for valid evidence of evolution,but each time an example is given,you turn up your nose and call it bad science,or an opinion,or a poor interpretation. How do you propose we should convince you of evolution if every shred of evidence we can produce you can deny by claiming,"I don't believe that."

It is funny that you brought up the point about most scientists being atheists. Although there are several prominent atheist scientists,my last two examples of proof come straight from Christian scientists. Furthermore,both have stated their belief in a form of creationism. There are several people who have faith in the supernatural without having to deny a monstrous chunk of modern science.

Similar to your statement,I can think of evidence that would force me to believe in creation,but you have provided none.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
March 5, 2008 6:52pm

The overwhelming majority of scientists are people of faith. Most faiths do not require a rejection of natural sciences. See the chart at the top of this page.

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
March 5, 2008 7:00pm

Someone is not very educated as to the foundation of their evolutionary fairy tale. Remember this above: "Missy, this is going to come as a shock to you, but there is no such thing as a missing link. The missing link is a straw-man created by creationists to draw attention away from the piles of transitional fossils that have been found and are well documented." Why does Wikipedia say this: "Numerous examples exist, including those of primates and early humans. According to modern evolutionary theory, all populations of organisms are in transition. Therefore, a "transitional form" is a human construct of a selected form that vividly represents a particular evolutionary stage, as recognized in hindsight. Contemporary "transitional" forms may be called "living fossils", but on a cladogram representing the historical divergences of life-forms, a "transitional fossil" will represent an organism at the point where individual lineages (clades) diverge." (By the way, this term was first used by journalists to describe "Lucy, and not by Christians) Who do we believe? And how can you declare that "the mountains of evidence in support of evolution prove it to be true." Are any of you aware of what "evolution" actually declares? As far as whether a scientist is a "christian" or not, Jesus said that "by their fruits, ye shall know them." If it quacks and waddles and messes in the yard, it's probably a duck!

Rhyle Glensing, Omaha, NE
March 5, 2008 7:02pm

Hi Rhyle - I'm not sure I follow what you're trying to say above, but maybe I can ask you the same question Missy tried to answer.

Why is it important to prove that speciation is not a natural process?

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
March 5, 2008 7:09pm

I am sure that Missy will agree that speciation is a natural process, as she stated above, and I am not sure how you misunderstood her answer. The difference is in the definition. We believe that it is designed into the DNA of living things, as stated above, described as genetic variation. It is what Genesis refers to when it says "after its kind." For example: Wolves, coyotes, foxes, and dogs, are all canines, but wolves will not breed with coyotes or foxes, but will breed with dogs. Coyotes will breed with dogs, but not wolves or foxes. The original was most probably a wolf, and the others are speciations of it.

Rhyle Glensing, Omaha, NE
March 5, 2008 10:16pm

Speciation is the process of the formation of new species, not the static differences between existing species.

Given that most Christians worldwide believe that species evolved naturally from common ancestors, why do you consider it important to prove that this one natural science is invalid?

What about other natural sciences? Geology? Mathematics? Chemistry? Organic chemistry? Biology? Where do you draw the line to decide what sciences are OK and which are evil?

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
March 5, 2008 10:25pm

A quote from above to show how the Faither truly 'believes' what they say...

"Dog remains dog; mosquito remains a mosquito; virus remains a virus; fish remains a fish: etc. Show me a virus that becomes a mosquito or a fish, and I am on board."

Credit: Rhyle Glensing, Omaha, Nebraska
February 29, 2008 5:16pm

This is exactly how they rationalise everything. Even when presented with the evidence, which is widely available to look up concerning macro evolution - if you can be bothered - they will still claim that:-

1 - what evolution says is that a monkey morphs into a Human in a few years - which is rubbish.

2 - even if an ape genome shares +90% of its genome with a Human's, they will say that that is how god designed it. They will ignore the fact that they are related. They will ignore that similar (decreasing) percentages apply to all other animals, not just apes, and even plants.

If challenged to explain why every large animal has 4 limbs or 2 eyes their unintelligent, unimaginative answer is always the same... IT did it.

Well it appears they follow IT's lack of imagination.

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
March 6, 2008 7:20am

If I was a young earth creationist the following things would really nag at me.

There are a lot of people who seem to be pretty smart but must be wrong for what I believe to be right.

1. The vast majority of experts in astronomy and cosmology must be wrong.

2. The vast majority of experts in geology must be wrong.

3. The vast majority of experts in biology must be wrong.

4. The vast majority of experts in genetics must be wrong.

5. The vast majority of experts in molecular biology must be wrong.

6. The vast majority of experts in physics and mathematics must be wrong.

7. All the experts in evolutionary biology must be wrong.

One could simply dismiss all of this as an argument from authority and they could be justified. However, when you must go against so many people who spend their lives studying these areas, doesn't it give you pause?

Wouldn't it be better to say "Maybe they're right. However, my faith doesn't require that every single thing in the Bible be literal truth. Maybe the messages it contains that I hold dear are more important than 6 literal days.

I have a lot of respect for Dr. Ken Miller. He is a biologist and a Roman Catholic. He has no problem integrating his science with his faith. Couldn't you guys do the same?

DP Gardner, Phoenix
March 6, 2008 11:58am

To quote Missy:-"I believe that there is a designed variation within all living things, and no new species evolves from another."

If you read this carefully, you will see the 'Mis' in Missy comes from the 'Mis' in Mis-understanding.

I don't think 'any' evolutionist would say that "a new species" evolves from "another"...

It's really a case of "a species" evolving through "it's own germ line" and giving rise to a variation, compounded over time so that the single germ line gives rise to 2 species and then 2 germ lines.

And of course this is why all the 'links' look very similar. There, I'm sure, some (missing) links to the puzzle (and that may always be), but the fact is there is no proverbial 'missing link'.

Correct me if I'm wrong...

Another quote from 'Herself', Missy above:-
"What we find are fully formed creatures. Has anything ever been found with ##partial eyes?## If each transitional function is to be useful to the species, this is difficult to imagine. What good is a partially formed eye? A partially formed eye is useless and according to macro-evolutionary theory it would be selected out."

This shows the extent of lowly thinking from the creationist camp....

I rest my case....

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
March 8, 2008 11:48am

Neil, you've invited us to "correct [you] if [you're] wrong", so Neil, you are wrong. Your claim of "I don't think 'any' evolutionist would say that "a new species" evolves from
"another"..." I believe that you have quoted Wikipedia regularly, have you not?
You need to revisit your concept of what you believe evolution to be. Remember the evolutionary tree? One trunk and many branches! You are typical of a "revisionist Darwinist" and as such you realize how flawed the theory is, and now wish to re-define it's original views. And please explain the development of the eye in macro-evolutionary theory. Creationists love it when someone like you makes an argument for evolution!

Rhyle Glensing, Omaha, NE
March 9, 2008 5:55pm

Neil makes a better argument against macro-evolutuion than most creationists. I guess the eye evolved fully formed? Please explain further. "And of course this is why all the 'links' look very similar. There, I'm sure, some (missing) links to the puzzle (and that may always be), but the fact is there is no proverbial 'missing link'." There is no missing link, period! But that is what I have said all along. Thanks , Neil.

Missy Valiente, Macon, GA
March 10, 2008 6:00pm

Missy, why are you so proud when people admit that there is no missing link? I explained above why the missing link is a straw-man and explained why it has no bearing on the evolution debate. It is all about the transitional fossils which I have provided several examples of, and which you have never commented on.

As for the evolution of the eye, interesting question. I believe the eye to be one of the best arguments for evolution seeing that there is very little intelligence evident in its design. The human eye has the photosensitive portion behind a layer of blood vessels as well as all of the neurons that carry the information collected to the brain. Basically, imagine a camera where all the wiring is placed directly between the lens and the film. It isn't the smartest way to design it, but because of the way it evolved, that is what we are left with.

As to the actual evolution of the eye, getting a general understanding is as easy as visiting Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_the_eye

I am not saying that Wikipedia is the end all, know all, but it is a good start. The article has a simple to read explanation on how evolution of the eye came about.

Why is it that you will only attack misquotes from people on the board, but when you are given a chance to debate with facts and studies, you back down?

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
March 11, 2008 9:40am

According to your beloved Wikipedia, "Missing link is a popular term for transitional forms. Numerous examples exist, including those of primates and early humans.” But according to Jeffrey H. Schwartz, University of Pittsburgh professor of anthropology in the School of Arts and Sciences, there is no missing link and says that "The history of organ life is undemonstrable; we cannot prove a whole lot in evolutionary biology, and our findings will always be hypothesis. There is one true evolutionary history of life, and whether we will actually ever know it is not likely.” How can you have all this evidence and this poor professor considers that it cannot be known? I love this Wikipedia (evolution of the eye) post: “The fossil record suggests that eyes appeared during the lower Cambrian period (about 540 million years ago). This period saw a burst of apparently rapid evolution, dubbed the "Cambrian explosion". One of the many hypotheses for "causes" of this diversification (backed up by scant evidence) holds that the evolution of eyes initiated an arms race that caused a rapid spate of evolution. Since the fossil record, particularly of the Early Cambrian, is so poor, it is difficult to constrain the rate of eye evolution.” Backed up by scant evidence? This statement covers much of your evolutionary theory, according to many scientists. I had never before noticed how many times the phrase “citation needed” is used in posts of evolution topics.

Missy Valiente, Macon, GA
March 11, 2008 10:28pm

Missy, I'm still not clear where you're going with all this. Is your only point to convince us that you're at odds with science, or do you actually have anything to say in support of your religious beliefs?

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
March 11, 2008 11:14pm

Missy, I told you that Wikipedia was not the end all, know all. I wanted to give you something that was easy to read and not overly technical. You then took this statement, twisted it around, and assumed that Wikipedia is the only source available and call it unreliable. If you would like a much more in depth and well cited article, maybe you could browse through this review by nature.

http://www.nature.com/nrn/journal/v8/n12/full/nrn2283.html

It still has to speculate to fill in some gaps, but points out several interesting findings in the evolution of the eye.

Why is it that you didn't even attempt to explain the poor design of the eye? Why would an infallible creator make such a flawed organ to deal with the most important sense that humans have? For an example of a better design, check out the squid eye. Just by chance, the eye happened to be wired exactly opposite (the efficient way) of the human eye.

Speaking of citation needed, you once again used a quote from a person without putting it in its original context. Quotes out of context are the closest you have come to making a valid point. I am still waiting for you to support your beliefs in some way, other than saying the Bible says so.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
March 12, 2008 10:18am

The human eye has a blind spot in its field of vision. It lies on the point of the retina where the optic nerve leads back into the brain. The retina has no light-sensitive rods or cones at this point, and so a small object in the field of vision's blind spot becomes invisible.

Evidence for intelligent design?

The human vocal tract is unique among animals in that the larynx lies low in the neck and requires closing of the air passage during swallowing. Thus humans cannot simultaneously swallow and breath at the same time. Most animals can. Try it some time and see what happens.

Evidence for intelligent design?

DP Gardner, Phoenix
March 12, 2008 3:19pm

Again, you have automatically insisted that because I do not adhere to neo-Darwinian doctrine, I am being “un-scientific”. My belief in a designer has everything to do with my religeous belief, and it’s utterly foolish to point to a complex series of “evolved” eyes in nature, and then argue that this presents an evolutionary sequence. This is like arranging a number of different types of automobiles in an arranged order of value, and then claim that the cheaper ones evolved into more expensive ones, as opposed to being designed as such. Eyes can’t evolve from other eyes, in reality, organisms pass on genes for certain organs to their descendants. Evolutionists totally ignore this when exampling the Nautilus eye, often compared to a pinhole camera. This cannot possibly be an ancestor of the vertebrate lens, which is comparable to a camera eye, simply because, even according to evolutionists, the Nautilus is not considered an ancestor of the vertebrates. As for our “poorly designed eyes” modern technology has revealed that the retina alone is one the most complicated tissues in the human body. It is now established that the retinas millions of nerve cells are interconnected in an amazing number of ways and actually form a miniature “brain”. Vast amounts of what the photoreceptors ‘see’ is interpreted and processed in and by the retina, before it ever enters the brain proper. Simple? This is my proof of creation. It is established, scientifiically.

Missy Valiente, Macon, GA
March 12, 2008 10:53pm

Do you really believe that you, having no knowledge of biology, understand it better than hundreds of thousands of trained PhDs and researchers who spend their whole lives at this stuff - developing vaccines, treating cancer, tracing the genome? Isn't that a little arrogant?

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
March 13, 2008 6:52am

Missy:

"As for our “poorly designed eyes” modern technology has revealed that the retina alone is one the most complicated tissues in the human body. It is now established that the retinas millions of nerve cells are interconnected in an amazing number of ways..."

Well, yes we know, but the fact is that science has given us that info.

You, on the other hand, have given NO response to the simple question given to you above (or any of you other Faithers out there)...

Why did 'IT' design the human eye the wrong way round? Why design-in the blind spot?

And your misunderstanding of what evolution says viz-a-viz that one eye can give you another, is on a par with your utter misunderstanding of the "tree of life".

There's an old saying:"Empty vessels make most noise".

Thanks for all those personal attacks. I know they are well meant!

After all the 'IT' teaches you love and compassion, right?

Looks like 'IT' may have failed there too.

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
March 13, 2008 8:13am

I do not recall ever mentioning my vocation or whether or not I am qualified to post here. As to the question "Why is it that you didn't even attempt to explain the poor design of the eye?" Time and character restraints! I am only allowed 1500 characters and this is a hobby that I enjoy between lectures. Again, your facts are outdated. Jerry Bergman of Northwest State College; a Fellow of the American Scientific Affiliation, declares that, "It is often claimed that the human retina is poorly designed because it appears to be placed in the eye backwards. Its design therefore, requires that light travel through the nerves and blood vessels to reach the photoreceptor cells located behind the eyes wiring. We now know that specific functional reasons exist for this so-called backward placement of the photo receptors. A major reason for the retinal reversal is that it allows the rods and cones to interact with the retinal pigment epithelial cells that provide nutrients to the retina, recycle photopigments, provide an opaque layer to absorb excessive light, and perform other functions. This design is superior to other systems, because it allows close association with the pigmented epithelium required to maintain the photoreceptors. It is also critical in both the development and normal function of the retina." Many animals have keener eyesight, but lack the color perception that humans enjoy; a beautiful flower; a snow capped mountain; a rainbow; etc. And sorry if I hurt feelings!

Missy Valiente, Macon, GA
March 13, 2008 12:21pm

I know this is ad hominem, but thought it was still worth mentioning. The person you bring up to defend the structure of the eye is Jerry Bergman, a YEC who teaches at a 2 year community college. It gets better, his Ph.D. in human biology is from Columbia Pacific University which was ordered to close for several reasons including, "failing to meet various requirements for issuing Ph.D. degrees" All of his other degrees from accredited universities are in mostly in psychology and sociology. On top of this, you did not provide the study where he proved these assertions about the human eye.

The nautilus eye is not an ancestor of the vertebrate eye, it evolved separately. A little thing known as convergent evolution. Speaking of which, the photoreceptors in the nautilus eye are able to recycle their own opsin and don't need the pigment epithelium to do so. Another extra step that seems to lack intelligent design.

Another fault of the design of the human eye is the ease at which the retina detaches from the eye. This can cause severe vision problems including blindness. The lifetime risk of this is around 1 in 300 in a pair of normal eyes. If the eye were wired the other way around, the blood vessels and neurons would anchor the retina to the tissue behind it making this much less of a problem. Why would an intelligent designer create that problem unnecessarily?

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
March 13, 2008 1:33pm

Missy, I applaud your right to your beliefs, but you should not attempt to dabble in science.

Just for one example among tens of thousands: Researchers trying to cure AIDS are currently studying the evolution of HIV. It's essential to understand the process by which it evolved into a virus well suited to chimps but poorly suited to genetically similar humans. Evolutionary biology is a fundamental of medical research. You're not going to convince anyone that such research should be dropped because it's at odds with ancient texts written before anything was known about science.

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
March 13, 2008 1:40pm

I think what Missy fails to understand is that if you hold up the eye as an example of intelligent design because it appears so well designed, then if it can also be pointed out that there are elements that do not appear so intelligently designed then the two essentially cancel each other out.

Reminds me of the "creationists nightmare", i.e. the banana! Ray Comfort shows all the ways that the banana shows evidence that it was designed for the purpose of being eaten by us. (It was, through human selection.)
(Do youtube for "Ray Comfort and banana" its hilarious.)

One other way this argument falls apart is the pineapple. We eat pineapples, does the pineapple show evidence of being designed for us to eat it? Grab a pineapple and take a bite, I dare you. Can't consider one example and not the other. Cherry-picking is what is being done here.

And anyway, evolution suggests that through natural selection, natural processes will appear "as if" they were designed. That's how the process works. That's also why you cannot compare the eye with a bunch of cars. Life evolves, cars do not.

Lastly, before you are too impressed with what Jerry Bergman has to say, do a search on our most wonderful of resources, Wikipedia for his name. Then ask yourself if he has any inherent bias. Also do a Pubmed search for "Gerald Bergman" and "Eye".

DP Gardner, Phoenix
March 13, 2008 1:49pm

Who writes the articles in Wikipedia? So now you claim that Wikipedia is to be the standard by which truth is established? Your posting of this sentence: "It gets better, his Ph.D. in human biology is from Columbia Pacific University which was ordered to close for several reasons including,
"failing to meet various requirements for issuing Ph.D. degrees", is intentionally deceptive as Bergman received his degree in 1993. And how about the "citation needed" you conveniently left out? Does "bias" ring a bell?

Vern Rumbnell, Darrtown, MI
March 13, 2008 3:48pm

Darwin worked as a physician’s assistant and two years as a medical student and was fromally educated as a clergyman and then trained in taxidermy. He was called a naturalist, but had no credentials in biology. Why do evolutionists consider Darwin a viable scientist if his only degree was in theology? And, he only had a B.A. at that. How does that qualify him as a scientist? Therefore, the very foundation of macro-evolutionary theory is proven to be un-scientific according to your own arguments. So, you have accepted the teachings of an accredited theologian, and in turn, disavow the theory in which he was accredited! Here is an example of Darwin’s science: “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time, the anthropomorphous apes…will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.” (Charles Darwin -“The Descent of Man”) And this is the evolutionists standard for scientific theory!

Missy Valiente, Macon, GA
March 15, 2008 10:46pm

Missy,

An ad hominem argument is a logical fallacy. Everything you present is an ad hominem argument and I, for one, will not argue against logical fallacies.

When you have a valid argument, please post again.

DP Gardner, Phoenix
March 16, 2008 4:29pm

The evolutionists spent three consecutive posts arguing ad hominem, and now you consider it as non significant. The information that I have stated about Darwin are facts, not logical fallacy, as you demand. Your problem is that now you must confront those facts and nothing you can post will disavow their truths. The argument was whether or not the credentials of the one quoted is the determining factor as to the truth of what is stated. Which standard are you now requiring?

Missy Valiente, Macon, GA
March 16, 2008 7:10pm

Any testable evidence AT ALL to support your position.

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
March 16, 2008 7:39pm

Eric, are you now insisting that only testable evidence is to be considered as proof? As “evidence” to support your theory, you quote books and articles on macro-evolution referenced to other books and articles that also support macro-evolution. I have spent a great deal of time examining these sources and simply find a circle of documentation, each pointing to the previous source as “proof.” By adding plenty of scientific terms and classifications, it sounds scholarly, but the actual science behind it is non-existent. There are many of these "proofs", which have been silently abandoned to the trash; science disproving them! It is almost impossible to locate any support for your theory with any actual, testable, scientific, first generation evidence. The overwhelming majority of the material was and is based on the assumption that evolution can be the only mechanism though which life arose. Ultimately, each document traced its beliefs back to Darwin’s unscientific philosophical writings. If you examine the documentation yourself, you will find that this is indeed the case. There are many online versions of Darwin’s books available for reading at no cost. Why are these very unscientific books so readily available? Because they are in fact the primary foundation of and evidence for the theory of evolution! "All life on Earth is united by evolutionary history…Unfortunately, history is not something we can see."(University of Berkeley website) I agree!!!!!

Vern Rumbnell, Darrtown, MI
March 17, 2008 5:20pm

Well Vern, I guess you'd better run to the nearest pharmaceutical R&D center and tell them to drop all their research, because you know their subject so much better than they do.

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
March 17, 2008 7:16pm

I would like to point out that I havent listened to this episode. I have only read the comments, & here is what I see. The evolutionists say they are the fact because somebody says they are. The creationists say they are the fact because something said the are. Both sides are arguing till they are blue in the face and neither is backing down. Lets take a calm look here, if the evolutionists are right there is no problem, no rules, just live like you want. If the creationists are right then we (humans) have really pissed off the wrong being. In my own opinion after watching the birth of my daughter & finding out all the "little" things that go on during the pregnancy & birth. I cannot say that I buy the "fact" that things evolved over millions of years. They seem more like a design to me. I dont have a phd or any kind of college degree, but I know why humans are here, to reproduce & survive. We are not here to question our creator be it god or chance. From what I can see, evolution is not a fact.It's own name says it isnt(theory) What I think you call evolution, is what I would call variation. You dont need to be an educated person to look at our beutiful planet and say that this had some direction. You do have to be an educated idiot to say that this happened all by chance. Please answer as openminded that you say you are, if there is a god & you are standing at his feet being judged for destroying the faith of the innocent children, will you ask for forgiveness or deny him?

Ryan Ridenour, Williamston, MI
March 18, 2008 12:53am

Eric, what is the point of your last statement? There are things that we can prove and things that we cannot prove. Your retort is typical neo-Darwinian drivel! Because someone believes that macro-evolution is foolishness you, again, tag them with the dreaded "ignorant" label. I do not disavow science, but I do disavow un-scientific and unproven theories of molecules to man evolution, better known as "through the goo; to the zoo; to you". There are plenty of scientific discoveries yet to be revealed, but the fact is, no matter how many times you say it, macro-evolution has yet to be witnessed or observed.

Vern Rumbnell, Darrtown, MI
March 18, 2008 6:49am

Since when are there no evidence based studies on evolution? Who actually believes that only a circle of references supports the theory? Seeing that I only have 1500 characters, will only list one example that disproves that thought,but there are many,many more.

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/114265699/HTMLSTART

Ryan,I have a question for you. What if when you die, you stand at the feet of Zeus and find that you have never sacrificed a goats leg in his name? Will you tremble before his might? You instantly assume that your religion is correct when there are hundreds of religions with rituals and beliefs that contradict each other. Even if everyone in the world was religious,there would still be billions of people worshiping in the wrong way. Also,believing in a god in order to hedge your bets is very hypocritical.

Vern,how do you expect modern science,a trade that is hundreds of years old at best,to directly observe something that takes hundreds of thousands,or millions of years. That is obviously impossible,so we are forced to look at what we have. Fossils,genetics,biochemical data,and all of these have been studied extensively and point to evolution being true. We can also look at things and see that an intelligent designer would not have made them that way. Above child birth was mentioned. How do you see intelligent design in a process where something so big is pushed through something so small that the vagina tears and the babies head is deformed?

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
March 18, 2008 8:00am

Firstly, Wiley Interscience is not a scientific entity, it simply provides axccess to documents of requested topics. Again, you expect me to accept the ideas of an evolutionist as proof of the theory, as usual. Ryan did not explicitly cite any certain diety, simply that the universe appears and seems to be designed. You must choose your own God. I believe in a Creator because that is where the evidence leads. And evolutionists are the ones that claim to know the history of the millions of years in the past, not creationists. You are absolutely correct, "that is impossible"! And childbirth only became painful, after the fall in the Garden. Everything was created perfect. Only after sin, did death and disease; and with it, suffering, manifest itself, just for the record. Again, correct interpretation of the evidence is what is vital in deducing scientific fact. You cannot simply add information willy-nilly and come up with truth, because that is the intended outcome you are hoping for.

Vern Rumbnell, Darrtown, MI
March 18, 2008 10:17am

Steve,
You skirted around my question like a politicion.Yes I would tremble, but since Zeuis a charactor in greek mythology I will not fear him, nor is he the subject of this discussion. We are dicussing 2 therories that neither side can prove to the other it is fact.
Fact: Carbon dating cannot be proven to provide the proper age of a rock.
Fact: Anybody can make a fossil with water and a microwave(Hello sun?)
Fact: Fence posts have been dug up that are petrified in a few years.
Fact: Babies are sqeezed throught the birth canal of all animals to expel the embryonic fluid from the lungs. You did go to high school right?
Fact: You saw with your own 2 eyes that we "evolved" from a rock millions of years ago? Oh, sorry you believe, retract that fact.
I BELIEVE that there is a god & he madeeverything in 6 days.
Why is it so hard for you to say you BELEIVE in evolution, and quit trying to shove it down everybodies throats as a fact? Evolutionists have been very vocal to defend their religon over the last hundred years, now you must be upset that the creationists are putting up one hell of a fight. The point I make is that evolution is a religon because it is a theory not fact. So back to the question, no dodging this time. I played nice and answered yours first. What would you do, beg or deny?

or are you too afraid to admit that their could be a god because if there is that means you should be playing by his rule and not your own? Hmmmm......

Ryan Ridenour, Williamston, MI
March 18, 2008 10:43am

When I die, I will be dead. That is what I believe. No man with a white robe and long beard will judge me, no pearly gates will appear before me. I will simply cease to be. If, and that is a big if, I do appear before god when I die, I would ask him why he deceived me my entire life. Why would he give me logic and reason and then command that I not use them? Why would he make me naturally inquisitive, give evidence contrary to what is said in Genesis, and then expect me to blindly believe what was written in an old book? That is what I would do if I were placed before god.

Your comments show your utter misunderstanding of science in general. Carbon dating would not be used to date a rock. Carbon dating can only be used on lifeforms composed of carbon that are a max of around 50,000 years old. Other methods of radiometric dating are used when it comes to older and non organic materials. Before you make a sweeping generalization about an established practice in science, you might want to look into it next time.

I have said this before, and I will say it again. You have a right to believe in anything you want to believe in. Only when you begin to attack established science do I speak out in defense. If your child came down with TB, would you go to the doctor and get an antibiotic, or would you only pray and look in the Bible for answers? How can you embrace parts of science as true, and then completely ignore other, equally credible parts?

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
March 18, 2008 1:21pm

Steve, If given an innoculation against a certain illness, and I become immune to that illness, do you consider that evolution; and macro-evolution more specifically?

Vern Rumbnell, Darrtown, MI
March 18, 2008 1:40pm

No, that's a well understood and well documented function of our bodies' auto-immune response.

Lars Hubbell, Seattle, WA
March 18, 2008 5:51pm

That has nothing to do with evolution. It is not a change in allele frequency in a population, it does not even cause a change in DNA. It is not a heritable trait so why would anyone call that evolution. Considering a vaccine evolution is much like considering a tattoo evolution.

Just because something permanently changes a person, does not mean that caused the person to evolve. It must be a change that is heritable (ie dealing with genes) and one that confers some sort of reproductive advantage.

About an earlier statement you made about the nature of the inner ear study, it was initially published in Nature magazine. This is a respected, peer-reviewed publication. I linked to the study through the site above because they had the full text available for free. Did you even read the study, the abstract even? How am I supposed to provide evidence for evolution if everything I present, you simply discard by saying, "that is someones opinion" or "that isn't scientific." If a paper published in Nature magazine isn't scientific, then what is?

You also mentioned above that all the evidence leads to the existence of a creator. I have two questions regarding that statement. First, what evidence, other than the Bible, points to evidence of a creator? Second, if there is a creator, why couldn't the creator use evolution as a tool to create everything it desired? This belief is held by several prestigious supporters of evolution, namely Dr. Ken Miller.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
March 18, 2008 8:18pm

We are well aware that the Law of Conservation, or 1st Law of Thermomodynamics, obviates the notion of matter and/or energy coming into existence by natural means. Also, the Law of Entropy, or 2nd Law, obviates the notion that matter and/ or energy could have been here forever. If either were the case, there would be no energy left for useful work. We could not exist. Any theory of the beginning of matter considered "natural", would have to set aside either one or both of these laws. Evolutionism has no theory for the origin of matter. Whatever violated this 1st Law of Thermodynamics, either created a lot of matter ,or, in fact, all the cosmos, and did it often. I believe that we also have another example of empirical evidence, wherein matter clearly exemplifies a complex system. It is so complex that science has only theories trying to explain it. In fact, most scientists suspect that these theories are ultimately ad hoc and will eventually be overturned. But, whether the current theories of matter are ultimately true or not, we have personally observed billions of complex systems, in the form of technologies as simple as mouse traps up to complex space shuttles. Each of these are in existence due to creation involving planning and construction by intelligent living beings. Furthermore, we also know from empirical science that the creators of these “creations” are always outside of, unlike, and always greater than the created thing. This is proof of a Creator!

Vern Rumbnell, Darrtown, MI
March 18, 2008 9:58pm

Gee how come you chose to only hit on one of the "facts" I mentioned and it was one that smacks evolution in the ass! In your own words you admit that we cannot state that the earth is billions of years old. I quote" Carbon dating can only be used on lifeforms composed of carbon that are a max of around 50,000 years old." Plus you started off "When I die" I didnt say anything about dying, god said he will judge every person, not when they die but when he destroys evil. That means you could still be alive.God hasnt deceived you, he made you inquistive and he didnt command you not to use it. He never commanded anybody to be dumb, he told Adam not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil! That means knowing the difference from right and wrong. He said that because there was no reason to know "wrong" in the garden! Quote"How am I supposed to provide evidence for evolution if everything I present, you simply discard by saying, "that is someones opinion" or "that isn't scientific." Isnt that the opposite of what the evolutionists have been doing to the creationists for the last 50+ years? Steve I havent been to any church since'93, I am not a practicing religon of any kind. No phd,very happy,read the bible only 2x,I beleive in god and his creation. From your comments all over this thread, I deduct that you are not as openminded as you say you are. It's not healthy to lie to yourself like that. I hope life gets better for you. Have you seen a therapist?

Ryan Ridenour, Williamston, MI
March 18, 2008 10:30pm

Why do you not consider the immunization to certain diseases as evolution in humans, but evolutionists often cite the ability of malaria to fight medication as such. You have worded it as "that's a well understood and well documented function of our bodies' auto-immune response.." This is my argument for the ability of living things to adapt. Programmed abilities to chemically react and respond to environmental changes are exactly what I consider natural adaptation to be. The malaria does not become something other than malaria. The reason that I cannot accept evoloution along with biblical creation is that in order for evolution to be true, death would have had to existed before man and his sin. The scriptures explicitly state that sickness and death are the result of sin, and before sin, everything was "very good".

Vern Rumbnell, Darrtown, MI
March 18, 2008 11:04pm

Quote"First, what evidence, other than the Bible, points to evidence of a creator? Second, if there is a creator, why couldn't the creator use evolution as a tool to create everything it desired?" All you have to do is observe your earth. Can we prove their is another planet like it anywhere in the universe? No, we can only assume. Everything on this planet is connected, if you cant see that you are blind or in denial. He could have used evolution, but he didnt. What you perceive to be evolution could possibly be variation. One can tell that by observing the varitey of plants and animals on the earth. What I dont understand is why you believe in a consensus of assumptions as being fact, yet you cannot believe in a supernatural being that created everything. You cant touch or see gravity, does it not exsist?Perhaps we have educated ourselves to the point of saturation. We cant understand something that is not bound by our dimensions, so therefore it doesnt exist? No, we have to believe in it. My wife & I are opposites on this subject. She believes in evolution & you know my stance. We are still married with 2 great children(1 on the honor roll)but we still get along great & are happy. Why cant that happen with most people? I dont know. And just because I dont have a peice of paper sayin I am smart doest mean that I dont understand science. I do understand science, well enough to see that it punches more holes in it's own "facts" than the bible and god does.

Ryan Ridenour, Williamston, MI
March 19, 2008 12:02am

You pair (Vern and Ryan) follow the uaual role of illogocail fallacy Faithers.

So sincere are your posts and so wrong!

The watch gets designed by a man, the man by a god ... and the god? by a ... man!

QED

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
March 19, 2008 4:04am

Neil,
My point is very simple. I would have thought that scientists who say they are objective would have figured it out. But I am wrong, their arrogance of this subject shows their ignorance of being objective and looking at all variables as they so eloquently profess they do in every "scientific study".
The point is that one side is right & the other is wrong. Which one, no one really knows for sure. But to "accept" that one is fact & the other is fantasy simply because a bunch of people got together & says it is, is inherrontly wrong & not scientific by their own terms. That is my argument. That one side says it is fact and tries to force it down everybody elses throat as one, when nearly everyday their own science proves the previous wrong! I havent heard any creationist say that it was fact. I have heard them say they believe! That is my point! And to answer your question,
man did not make god. God is a supernatural being that is not bound by our human world & it's laws. That is what I BELIEVE! If you knew me you would know that I am not a biblethumper in anyway. But I do have beliefs based on my own observations. I used tobeleive in evolution, I am very big into dinosaurs. But I started to notice the holes in the theory & scientific facts. All on my own without a church, college, preacher, or a scholar to tell me. A hypothesis is an idea, theory is an assumption & a fact is still a fact. Until a true fact is presented on evolution, I will stick with BELIEVING in GOD!

Ryan Ridenour, Williamston, MI
March 19, 2008 6:55am

A theory is not an "assumption".

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
March 19, 2008 6:58am

Yes it is, it cannot be proven as a fact.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory
You will notice that this definition tries to give science a free pass. But it still says that that a theory is based on facts, just being based on a fact does not make it a fact. The second line says it all.
"In science, a theory is a mathematical or logical explanation, or a testable model of the manner of interaction of a set of natural phenomena, capable of predicting future occurrences or observations of the same kind, and capable of being tested through experiment or otherwise falsified through empirical observation." Please explain to me how that is a fact. Sounds more like you assume it is true unless you can prove it wrong. That is an ASSUMPTION! Looks like science just shot itself in it's foot again. Please, do explain.

Ryan Ridennour, Williamston, MI
March 19, 2008 7:59am

I'm not sure how you're getting "assumption" from that. But if you're truly interested in learning the difference between fact and theory (which I strongly doubt), it's the first point discussed in episode 65:
http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4065

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
March 19, 2008 8:09am

I am getting assumption from that because it says in the definition it is an explanation or a model capable of being tested through an experiment . It is then accepted as being being true until it is proven wrong through"empirical observation". In other words, one must accept it is fact until proven otherwise. So it is in ones interpretation of the text. (Like the bible)
Yes I am interested in the true difference between theory & fact, but I highly doubt that episode 65 would be an authority on the subject since the host has a disclaimer saying that you shouldnt take anything on the show to be true. BTW, I did listen to the episode we are discussing & the host obviously already had his mind made up. Using words like "true age of dinosaurs". We already disproved that because carbon dating only goes to 50,000 years. So the true age of dino's is 65 MILLION? Fact? Nope. The host is obviously an evolutionist, you would think that a true skeptic would have been as skeptical of evolution considering it is the one proclaiming it is the FACT(that contradicts itself as much if not more than creation) and not a BELIEF! All an evolutionist has to say is "I believe it happened this way" and I wouldnt have a problem with them or their theory. Maybe the answer lies in an AA meeting, the first step is admitting the truth. :) Lol. We are still humans, we should be laughing our heads off about how immature we are acting, not arguing about what we neither side can prove.

Ryan Ridennour, Williamston, MI
March 19, 2008 9:23am

You've said you don't have a degree. How do you explain your claim to knowledge of biology and geology superior to that of all trained professionals in the field?

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
March 19, 2008 9:27am

#1)I dont claim that my knowledge is superior to anybodies. You just did. I have done my own education beyond high school for my own interest. I have looked at all angles of this subject I can find. I have read just as many books on both sides.
#2)Why should I have to explain that? I'm not the one touting beliefs as facts. I am just calling them as I see them from my un-educated view. From what I, an average american human,
have read of the evidence.And the evidence rules in favor for creation from my view. It is the only concept that makes sense and nails most of the questions with logical answers. We all have free will and can believe what we want to. Sorry, am I being too skeptical here? :)
This is turning out to be rather fun, I do hope I'm not coming off as harsh. I love an engaging debate, as long as it doesnt get too childish.

Ryan Ridennour, Williamston, MI
March 19, 2008 10:53am

As to whether Creationism is as valid an assumption as Evolution, from a scientific perspective, we must go where the data leads us. At the same time we must be keenly aware of what our assumptions are when looking at the data, realizing that any of our chosen assumptions may attempt to draw us away from what the data actually supports. In a round about way, from my Christian worldview, I test my beliefs with my research, by also testing my assumptions. Testing our assumptions must be a vital part of scientific progression. As the data can often go in many directions, it is often our assumptions that determine which direction the data will take us. The answers that have been ignored too long by those who direct their thinking within the Evolution paradigm can be answered within the Creationism model of life. Too many weak or unsupported "proofs" have been used in convincing the world that the macro-evolutionary story is correct. Many have fallen by the wayside as not factual, as many more will in the future. Great strides have been made in the field of Creation Research and it is still relatively early in its beginnings. Did all things come about by natural processes or, is there a God who created all things? Science cannot determine which assumption is true. Scientists can only make the assumptions! The basic assumptions that both Evolutionists and Creationists choose to assume as being true, is "scientifically un-testable". Science cannot determine which is correct.

Missy Valiente, Macon, GA
March 19, 2008 11:54am

Ryan,your misunderstanding of radiometric dating is so profound,I'm not sure where to start. It is true that carbon dating is accurate to about 50,000 years,but other methods are accurate for up to billions of years. Here is an article on the topic,written by a Christian,that simply explains how this works.

http://www.asa3.org/aSA/resources/Wiens.html

Calling a theory an assumption is completely wrong. Gravity is still a theory,but you wouldn't ever jump off a cliff and hope to go up. When something has been proven to be correct time and time again,it gains more and more credibility regardless of still being called a theory. Evolution has stood up to study after study and has provided predictive information in the study of organisms such as viruses.

When you speak of malaria,the immunity to an antibiotic is evolution. An immunization is not,and I will explain the difference. Malarial resistance comes from changes in malarial DNA which gives it a protein or enzyme that counters the action of the antibiotic. This adaptation can be passed to future generations of the bacteria. An immunization creates B and T memory cells in the body that allow the immune system to react faster and more powerfully to future infections. There is no change in DNA,and the child of a person immunized against a disease will not also be immune.

I can't answer every question in 1500 characters. If you would like to take this discussion to the JREF forum, I would gladly go much more in depth.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
March 19, 2008 12:12pm

Ryan, thanks for your reply, I hope honesty is a trait of yours.

Would any of the faithful like to try this one...?

Question: Why would your god 'design' these poor girls like this?

http://www.mixx.com/stories/157977/the_girls_with_too_much_skin_with_video_

http://library.digiguide.com/lib/episode/The+Girls+With+Too+Much+Skin-645006

Where is their quality of life?

Was this in fact a poor design, by an incompetent creator?

Or, was this a design by your god, to give these poor girls a sickening condition (deliberately) which they have shown immense strength in coming to terms with (no thanks to god).

An evolutionist may answer simply: There is no plan and what has happened is not controlled or directed for any meaning or outcome.

A mutation occurred in a common ancestor of the girl's mothers, which was pointed out by the geneticist, which was then confirmed by the historical records when they traced both their family trees, and were contacted by people whom they had never met, who could confirm their relatedness.

Evidence, you see.

Personally, I shed a tear for these girls.

I wonder if god did?

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
March 19, 2008 5:02pm

I'll be very brief, I am pressed for time. Steve, The forums you mention, are those the skeptoid forums? I will check them out.
Neil,
Without watching that video I would answer that two part. 1) God didnt create those girls like that. He didnt create anybody like that. I know that is a standard answer, but he does say that he would leave us to ourselves for time.
2)I believe that if & when things like that happen that it was for a reason. Whether it converts one person or for some other reason, honestly only god knows. Are you part of those forums also? I will check them out later tonite. Hope to see you there.

Ryan Ridennour, Williamston, MI
March 19, 2008 6:03pm

Those girls are that way because we live in a fallen world, not as it was created, but as a result of sin. This is closer to what real macro-evolution would exhibit. A random mutation that adds no new information, instead, decreasing information and in turn, the organism is less likely to survive. In many civilizations of the past, these people would not likely survive. Occurences such as these cannot be blamed on God, either by the atheist or the believer!

Vern Rumbnell, Darrtown, MI
March 19, 2008 7:42pm

The JREF forum is linked to at the top of this page.

Although you are correct in assuming that a random mutation caused the disease shown in the video, all random mutations do not decrease information. Several mutations actually increase the amount of information in the genome. Sometimes this information is meaningless, but other times the information is very advantageous. Occasionally something like a gene duplication will leave a portion of the genome unused and therefore able to freely mutate with no harm to the organism. These mutations can create new proteins with specialized functions that differ from the original protein. For an example of this, just do a little research into the development of hemoglobin and myoglobin, or you can look into the creation of the several different types of hemoglobin chains.

Also, sometimes mutations change an existing protein in an advantageous way. A mutation in the CD4 protein of T-cells is one such mutation. The HIV virus recognizes cells with CD4 on the surface as targets. The CD4 mutation prevents HIV from recognizing these molecules, so it can't attack the cells and the person is immune to HIV. There are no other deficits in the function of the gene and the person is completely normal in all other respects.

As shown above, sometimes random mutations give people a better chance of survival. For a much better example of this, look into sickle cell and thalassemia prevalence in countries with high malaria risk.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
March 19, 2008 9:28pm

Steve, that was a very interesting article on carbon dating. I do see where one can conclude the age, but it is not enough on it's own to change my belief. I will join the forums so we can discuss it in depth.
Neil, I havent had time to watch the video yet, but I will.
Vern, couldnt have said it better myself.

Ryan Ridenour, Williamston, MI
March 19, 2008 10:13pm

Faith is an integral part of the human experience, even as it pertains to the field of science. The science of psychology and the mind is largely conjecture; is based upon patterns of human cultures, and in theories like the “archetypes” of Jung, or the concepts of the Id and Ego communicated by Freud. We cannot prove that we dream. Actual proof of historical fact is highly relative unless you are an actual eyewitness. Science cannot prove that electrons actually exist, are considered “theoretical entities”, but few do not believe in their existence. The things we call "the soul" and "consciousness" cannot be exibited scientifically. Science cannot, and will never, define the essence of what beauty in music, art, or nature, actually is. We cannot prove that love exists, yet the majority of humans believe in love. Science cannot absolutely prove that the universe started in a massive explosion called the Big Bang. Many argue that there is a great deal of evidence in support of the Big Bang, and while it is strong enough to convince the scientific community, it does not absolutely prove the Big Bang actually occurred. Some faith is required to believe in the Big Bang. Many more examples could be cited as things science believes to be true that cannot be proven. So why does the possibility of a Creator God, that cannot be defined by His finite creation, shake the intellectual foundations of those that believe in Neo-Darwinian theory, if not for atheistic tendencies?

Vern Rumbnell, Darrtown, MI
March 19, 2008 11:02pm

Ok I have joined the forums under the name of "Evolution Disbeliver" and am awaiting the approval of the moderator. What topic should our discussion be under or is there a thread started already? I am willfully throwing myself into the proverbial lions den to see if I can convince the evolutionists they are a belief system or if they can prove to me there is no creator. This should be very interesting either way. Sounds like a good idea for a reality show, lol!

Ryan Ridenour, Williamston, MI
March 19, 2008 11:18pm

In the meantime, you guys should be prepared to recognize that your definition of faith is very different from that of the science minded. Acceptance of well-evidenced, well-founded scientific concepts is not the same as irrational belief in paranormal phenomena that violate known physical law. The second one requires faith, the first one merely requires rationalism.

Brian discusses this in his episode "Revisionist Darwinism" and you might want to prepare yourselves by giving it a listen.

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
March 20, 2008 4:04am

I understand your concern Eric. But I do understand the difference you speak of. What you call faith in the context of scientific law, I would call that fact in the context of our world. Since humans canot understand exactly what lies beyond the 3 dimensions of our "reality" yet
I would agree that is a totally different definition of faith.
I am now finally getting the chance to pull up the video you mentioned earlier.
Vern, are you going to the forums also?

I noticed something in genesis chapter 1 earlier today that I will talk about on the forums, that I hadnt thought of before, dealing with carbon dating & possibly the gap theory. If I'm not on there tonite I definatly will be for most of the night tomarrow.
Till then...

Ryan Ridenour, Williamston, MI
March 20, 2008 7:10am

Eric, to prove that you use faith as I do, where did all life originate? Please try to just answer the question and resist the debate as to whetnher or not it is integral in context of your theory of the evolutionary advancemnet of life on this planet. I simply would like to know your opinion as to cosmology. Thanks. Ryan, time constraints will not avail me to sit in a forum for extended periods. I usually do my posts in Word and submit them when I get a chance. I do appreciate your invitation.

Vern Rumbnell, Darrtown, MI
March 20, 2008 8:52am

OK, you are taking this argument into a realm that I never intended to go. I am not arguing against the existence of a god. I would never try to rob someone of their faith. I feel that people who confuse the argument for evolution with an argument against the existence of a god are making a huge mistake.

As I have stated before, many prominent scientists believe in theistic evolution, where god is the driving force behind evolution. The entire process is his creation and he guides it. I could care less if you involve or exclude god from the evolution equation, I am simply arguing that evolution is supported by hundreds of well done studies and should not be treated as a wild guess.

I also take offense when people comment that the theory changes so it must be wrong. All good theories change as new evidence is found. Although the specifics about exactly how evolution takes place is hotly debated, the idea that it does occur is pretty much universally accepted in the scientific community.

If you intend to take the evolution debate and change it into a debate about god, count me out.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
March 20, 2008 8:59am

Enough said, and I realize that you wish not to enter into a debate as to the beginning of things simply because you are aware of where it will lead you. I have never had a neo-Darwinian that was willing to answer this question. They continually insist that the beginning of life is non essential to evolutionary theory, which of course is absolutely rediculous. If you cannot know the beginnings of life on earth, how do you propose to state its history and that it did not originate any other way? Thanks.

Vern Rumbnell, Darrtown, MI
March 20, 2008 11:59am

Wow - if that's not the straw man attack of the decade, I don't know what is.

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
March 20, 2008 12:33pm

How does the beginning of life have anything to do with evolution? Why do you not find it possible that god produced the first cell and then evolution took it from there? I am not saying that this is what I believe, but it being true wouldn't change the theory of evolution. If aliens planted the first living cell on earth millions of years ago, it still wouldn't change the theory of evolution. Evolution does not discuss the beginning of life, it discusses how living things change. If you want to discuss abiogenesis, it is a completely different, albeit interesting, topic altogether.

As I said in the post above, I do not wish to debate for or against the existence of a god. This is a philosophical question and not a scientific one. If you would like to discuss parts of evolution you disagree with, parts of evolution you do not understand, parts of evolution that you find completely improbable, then I am all ears. If you wish to dodge the evolution debate by pretending that god and evolution cannot coexist, I cannot stop you from doing so. But, as you can read above, viewpoints such as theistic evolution believe that god created evolution as a tool in order to create everything on Earth. Belief in a god and belief in evolution are not mutually exclusive.

PS: The JREF forum, where I started a topic, works exactly like this forum. You don't have to sit on them for extended periods. Just read the posts, and compose your reply. I hope to see you there.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
March 20, 2008 2:33pm

If life is created, it is designed, probably for a purpose. It makes life all the more precious. We are forced to ask "What is the purpose?" And does our existence go beyond this life? If it is simply a chance, unguided, and random event, life actually has no purpose except as far as our reasoning goes. Why must I obey the laws of others when my standard of morality does not measure up to yours? Christianity adheres to the special creation described in Genesis. Biblical Christianity cannot concur with the theory of evolution, and here is why: Romans 5:12 declares that sin entered the world through one man, and through sin, death, and death has spread via inheritance from the one, to the whole human race. The whole justification of Jesus' life and death is predicated on the existence of Adam and the disobedience he and Eve committed. Apart from this "original sin", who needs to be redeemed? Without Adam's fall into a life of constant sin terminated by death, what purpose is there for Christ's death? None! Evolution, as most define it, is a development from one form to the next to meet ever changing challenges from an ever changing environment. There is no fall from a world created perfect and "very good". Without Adam, and the original sin, Jesus Christ is reduced to a man with a wrong headed mission. That is why it matters to Christianity. God and evolution could co-exist, but there would be no need for the gospel message, and that is the difference.

Vern Rumbnell, Darrtown, MI
March 20, 2008 3:05pm

Steve, I am not discussing the god, I want to discuss the difference between creation & evolution. It truly does interest me. Because both theories have their self contradictions.
What topic is your thread under I dont see it.

Ryan Ridenour, Williamston, MI
March 20, 2008 9:50pm

It is amazing that the question posed by Vern above, was considered the "straw man attack of the decade", and no attempt was made to actually answer it, as usual. I am reminded of the old vampire movies; as the vampires are slowly creeping up on their victims; snarling and growling; and suddenly one of the victims pulls out a crucifix and all the vampires flee in fear into the darkness! Why do evolutionists consider it unnecessary that they contemplate the origin of life when their entire belief system is built upon a foundation of random, chance events, and while many scientists have declared it to be an improbable impossibility? If the original creation was designed and organized, which “appears” to be true throughout the universe, why would one think that the continuance of that life could survive otherwise, and then declare questions as to its likelihood a moot point? It is undoubtedly because they know where it will lead them, as confirmed by many scientists who have stated such in their writings. The truth of the beginning of all things forms the bedrock of our history and should not so easily be swept under the rug as meaningless. It’s all about the truth.

Missy Valiente, Macon, GA
March 21, 2008 7:10am

Ryan,the link at the top of this page"Skeptoid Forum (Hosted by JREF)"will take you to JREF. My topic should be one of the first (Evolution or Creationism, Where does the evidence lead?). Otherwise,do a tag search for"evolution"and"skeptoid".

I am not saying that the beginning of things is meaningless. It is very important but not relevant to the debate of evolution. If a stork brought you to your mom,or if she gave birth to you,you still go through the same processes while growing up. The context of the beginning does not change what happens after the beginning.

If god used physics and time to create the universe instead of magic and infinite power,you still end up with a universe in the end. If god controls everything or if he created the laws of physics so that things work the way he wants them to,you end up with the physics understood today. If god created the first cell himself,and then used evolution to create everything on earth,you still have an all powerful being who controls everything on Earth. Believing in science does not destroy belief in a god.

I understand that parts of the Bible,such as those cited above,would no longer be literal. I understand this to be your sticking point. But Jesus loved to use parables to teach difficult lessons. Is is such a stretch to think that his father would also use parables in order to teach the world important lessons in his book? The lessons,not the literal interpretations,are emphasized in the Bible.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
March 21, 2008 8:33am

Missy,
It was called the straw man attack because Vern did not go into great scientific detail about it. I can tell you the answer you would get would be WAY more than 1500 characters in length. So Eric gave his best abbreviated answer. Similar to what the creationist gives to them
You do have to understand that we are speaking 2 different "languages"
here. I dont know what branch of religion you are, nor does it really matter, but the bible tells everybody that you will not fully understand it unless you have your faith "in" him. So we have to translate it to the unbelievers. Which is something that has been very poorly done over the last several centuries. And creationists are fueling their own fires by screwing up the translation, in other words they are pulling the trigger before they get the proverbial gun out of the holster.

Besides, evolution is not a study of how life started, it is a study of how it has changed & where it is supposedly going to, after it was already going. The study of life's start is not technically part of it.
Sorry for picking on our side but..I do call them like I see them.

Ryan Ridenour, Williamston, MI
March 21, 2008 8:46am

I think this will be my last post on this topic.

First, I'd like to say thanks to Steve for doing such a nice job of calmly and rationally presenting the scientific point of view.

Second, I can respect what Vern wrote above. To paraphrase, his world-view is not compatible with an acceptance of evolution. Fine. No problem with that. The problem is to take that world-view and attack science and try to conform science to your world-view. That's when you get a response from scientists. Hate to tell you, but science ain't going there. As a scientist, I'm not going to try and tell you about your deity and I don't want you, as a religious person, trying to tell me about my science. There is a good reason why science and theology don't mix.

My recommendation-live your faith and be content with it. Don't be so insecure in your faith that you must bolster it by attacking things that don't mesh with that faith.

Nice talking to all of you. Cheers!

DP Gardner, Phoenix
March 21, 2008 9:05am

The topic is "What creationists really believe!", right? Creation is the operative word. This is the problem with the evolutionist arguement, that you simply disconnect your theory from the origin of life, when in actuality, if the foundation is weak, the house is destined to fall. It always becomes a debate, not of whether or not evolution is actually what is observed in nature, but as to whether or not creationism is scientific. I have never stated that I believe that divine creation can be proven by the scientific method, rather, that science does not and will not ever disprove an intelligent design. I do contend however, that evolution has not and cannot be proven scientifically as well. Simply do a web search using the words "Is evolution proven scientifically?"

Vern Rumbnell, Darrtown, MI
March 21, 2008 10:11am

Vern, when you do a search like that, you are bound to find sites claiming evolution is not scientific. What you must look at is the evidence they put forth. As an interesting contrast, go onto a search engine such as PubMed (PubMed searches papers published in established scientific journals) and do a search for evolution. These are well done studies using the scientific method and you won't find just a hand-full, you will find over 200,000 papers.

If you believe that evolution is not scientific, then please tell me exactly what is unscientific about it. Then we have something to discuss.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
March 21, 2008 12:04pm

This actually isn’t the old argument of religion vs. science; this is now science vs. science. Dr. George Gaylord Simpson, an avid and well known evolutionist, said in 1962 that “Sometimes theories go beyond that which is testable, by means now available, at least. Such aspects of theories are, for that reason, not scientific in fact, and the disagreement is in the field of philosophy and not of science.” He was speaking even then of the theories in an around the reality of whether or not Darwinism could be scientifically observed, which is needed for true scientific confirmation. Not all problems are approachable, nor can many hypotheses be tested by the experimental method of science. This poses the problem in that it involves too vast a scale for experimentation, if only in time and materials alone. There exists no laboratory massive enough, and no scientist has enough time to create the universe, and everything in it, in which to perform the tests of his hypotheses concerning the origin of our earth and the life on it. I will no longer post on this topic, as apparently you are convinced that you have adequate proof of its validity. In some weird sort of way, I admire the faith that you exhibit in order to believe it. Best wishes for your future!

Vern Rumbnell, Darrtown, MI
March 21, 2008 3:29pm

Cripes! You turn your back for 5 mins and look what happens.

First and for most "Vern"... sorry to see you go and a pity you won't read this.

You are completely and utterly wrong.

And, I could care less for Dr.Simpson.

What is he a doctor in - silliness?

Einstein's theory, was a theory that is and was not accepted by many people (for me, the jury are still out!) but time and again his work has been confirmed: Mercury's orbit, identical atomic clocks that run slow and of course bending light... well even I predicted that one, for Pete's sake!

The point is, if a theory is sound then it is true {whether or NOT is is ever proved correct).

This is like saying: I have this 'theory' that 1+1=2. There ARE maths proofs to show this. Yet a Faither would say - "If 'a god' wanted 1+1=3 then so it would be, amen."

As I said - Utter Rubbish.

Back to evolution and Darwin: He describes 2 species of Lizard [Amblyrhynchus], 1 sea going, the other a land lubber! The aquatic one ate mostly 'sea weed' and could stay submerged for long periods. However, when frightened it would "not enter the water". The land species doesn't have webbed toes but is a herbivore, too.

So, can't we use a bit of 'theory' and suggest that the land lubber had a mutant offspring with webbed toes (as sometimes happens in Humans too!) who was able to make use of the sea.

As Darwin himself stated (but I can't find the quote - it's a big book) - genetics will lead the way to salvation...

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
March 21, 2008 5:45pm

Darwin was an accredited theologian, not a proper scientist, and it is obvious that either is Neil. "In common usage, the word theory is often used to signify a conjecture, an opinion, or a speculation. In this usage, a theory is not necessarily based on facts; in other words, it is not required to be consistent with true descriptions of reality. This usage of theory leads to common incorrect statements." A theory that is proven as fact then becomes a "Law", such as gravity or centrifical force, or 1+1=2. You can use all the "theory" and suggest anything that you like, but do not call it fact until it is "proven"!

Missy Valiente, Macon, GA
March 21, 2008 6:45pm

Missy, you might want to check into something before you call it proven. I'm not sure what centrifical force is, perhaps you were trying to reference centrifugal force. Even if you were, centrifugal force is technically a pseudo-force that is only observed when a rotating frame of reference is used (at best it is a reaction force). Centripetal force is the actual force acting on a rotating body. Also, gravity itself is still a theory that cannot be proven, hence being called Newtons Theory of Gravitation.

The common definition of theory does not apply to evolution. In science, a theory is a mathematical or logical explanation, or a testable model of the manner of interaction of a set of natural phenomena, capable of predicting future occurrences or observations of the same kind, and capable of being tested through experiment or otherwise falsified through empirical observation. Although evolution, just like gravity, has never been proven, enough different disciplines and fields of study have shown evolution to be an accurate description of natural events that it can be accepted as true.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
March 21, 2008 8:14pm

Missy & Vern,
I like to think that I am part of the creationist crowd, but I am telling you that our argument is with the wrong people. We should be arguing with the big bang guys, not evolutionist. Like somebody already mentioned "why wouldnt god use evolution as a tool?" He never said he didnt. Please, dont make me pick on people that are on the same side as I am. I can point out many flaws in the creation theory. The problem with arguing creation & evolution is that there are too many "armchair quarterbacks" that will pick out what they want to tear down and ignore the rest of it & say that one little speck is proof the rest is flawed, on both sides. So please, before we try to stop one theory, make sure we dont destroy our own in the process. Rome wasnt built in a day, but it was torn down virtually over night, by it's own doing.

Ryan Ridenour, Williamston, MI
March 22, 2008 5:18am

Steve, Because I fat fingered the keyboard and hit an i instead of a u, or mis-spelled a word nullifies "the Law of Centrifugal Force"? And there is no "Newton's Law of Gravitation"? Gravity is unproven???? Talk about revisionism to make your theory work! I agree that evolution is more of a religion than an actual theory though. And Ryan, if you are finding evolutionary theory in the bible, the least of your worries is proving creation to be true. You seem to have fallen into the "If I deny the theory of evolution, I must not be an intellectual" crowd. Evolution is not compatible with the gospel of Jesus Christ, as Vern so aptly argued previously. I am not sure if you are convinced which "side your on."

Missy Valiente, Macon, GA
March 22, 2008 6:04am

I didnt say I found it in the bible. It doesnt say anyting about it. Duh! So how is evolution not compatable with the gospel of Jesus when there is no mention of it in the gospel? Besides, I think I did say that I chose the creation side because it made more sense to me and contradicts itself less than evolution does. Yes gravity is a theory but it does exsist and god created it. If creationists take the bible as serious & literal as they say they do we wouldnt be discussing this on a computer or internet.The main reason for creationists to have an arugment with them is because we think it removes god from the from the table, when it actually enhances the evidence of his existance. This all happened by chance? No way! It is all designed & created. Remember it was created perfect, we ruined it. What we have is garbage compared to the origional design. The most amazing thing about the bible is that it is a chronological account of human history showing that problems in day to day life of civilised human beings reins true through the years. We have the same problems now as in Noah's, Moses', and Jesus' times. We still need interaction between each other and God, who has & will continue to guide us through life. I never proclaimed to be part of the intellectual crowd. In fact I went to great lengths to make it known that I wasnt!Another thing creationists do to hurt their argument is to talk in circles such as your post on assumptions taking 1500 charactors to say...nothing. Huh?

Ryan Ridenour, Williamston, MI
March 22, 2008 6:59am

Just for fun: A 'proof' that 1=2...

Step 1: -1/1 = 1/-1

2: Taking the square root of both sides: sq root(-1/1) = sq root(1/-1)

3: Simplifying: sq root(-1)/sq root(1) = sq root(1)/sq root(-1)

4: In other words, i/1 = 1/i.
Divide by 2
5: Therefore, i / 2 = 1 / (2i),
And
6: i/2 + 3/(2i) = 1/(2i) + 3/(2i),
'x'by i, so
7: i (i/2 + 3/(2i) ) = i ( 1/(2i) + 3/(2i) ),

8: , i^2/2 + 3i/2i = i/2i + 3i/2i

9: (-1)/2 + 3/2 = 1/2 + 3/2,
So,
10: 2/2 = 4/2 and this shows that 1=2.

In which step does the fallacy lie? See how many tries it takes you to correctly identify the fallacious step!
Here's the link:http://www.math.toronto.edu/mathnet/falseProofs/second1eq2.html

Yes, I got it the first time and didn't need the explanation.

Now for Darwin (my Hero!):

From 'The Voyage of the Beagle', page 269: And I quote the great man, thus:"Reviewing the facts here given, one is astonished at the amount of 'creative force', if such an expression may be used, displayed on these small ... islands (Galapagos Archipelago)..."

My point is simple, so Missy gets it once and for all; people of Darwin's era my have studied theology but if He was a 'Faither' I don't think for one second that He would question creation or the application of a creative force! Do you?

In the same way, He was a naturalist, yet thought nothing of 'bagging' a few specimens.

And, Missy, I have an Honours Degree in Chemical Engineering (for the record).

And oh look, no errors!

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
March 23, 2008 5:48pm

Neil, I dont know whether you were trying to word that as hateful or lighthearted, If it was the latter that was funny.
I am begining to think that if one is a "faither" or not that the point of evolution should be even be in the arguement between the two sides. With a god or without a god the vehicle by which we got here is the same. It should be who turned the key to start it. For some (like me) think that it will never be proven & it only strengthens our faith. Although I am starting to see & agree with evolution more & more I will never believe that it all happened by chance. And while the evidence for evolution may be overwhelming as long as there is a public school system funded by tax dollars they should at least be required to teach multiple angles or none at all, whats fair is fair. Just as taking out prayers to god for christians, but allowing muslims to do their prayers to Mohammed. School is for an education and one cannot get a well rounded education without learning about all aspects. I'm not saying remove evolution, keep the facts, but the starting point should have the opposing views heard. This is where being scientific about it should be the most critical, open minds do make the best decisions because they observe everything with a critical eye. Not a bias.

Ryan Ridenour, Williamston, MI
March 23, 2008 9:54pm

Ryan, I have to agree that no one will ever be able to prove whether random chance or a divine creator was the force behind evolution, but I am glad to hear that you are coming around on the evidence behind evolution itself. If by "multiple angles" you mean that intelligent design should be taught in classrooms, I must disagree with you. The explanation as to why is really quite simple. Evolution is taught in school because someone came up with a theory, they then tested that theory, they then submitted their theory to a scientific community who debated about the theory, they then convinced the scientific community that their theory was sound. Only after all this was evolution taught in schools.

The side of intelligent design is trying a different route. They came up with a theory, they want it taught in schools. Do you see all the steps they are skipping? If they were to do serious studies and convince scientists of the theories validity, it would be taught in schools. Instead they try to use courts and school boards to get their ideas taught in school. If a loud enough group of Holocaust deniers protests, should we teach in public schools that the Holocaust might have never happened?

As to prayer in school, anyone is allowed to pray in school, regardless of religion. No one is allowed to lead a public prayer in school, regardless of their religion. This protects the rights of everyone.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
March 24, 2008 10:07am

Wow.. what a great article, it answered a lot of questions I had on creationists, nice work!
I started reading the reply posts thinking "deep down no-one really, truly, honestly believes in creationism, surely!" I am surprised to read that some people are so brainwashed to the point where they abandon logic and common sense for an out of control case of Chinese Whispers!…anyway each to their own I guess.

I agree with the post from Steve regarding keeping creationism out of schools, that is a crazy idea. Although I like the idea of a large enough group creating a noise about something to the point that it's fast tracked into schools..Who’s with me for a curriculum based on the mechanics of the Millennium Falcon and the Death Star?!?!?

Oh by the way, I recall reading that the owner/creator of that crazy arse museum is an Australian.. so on behalf of all Aussies I apologise to the world for this man, I guess he thought if he tried to open that kind of thing here, he would have to compete with Steve Irwins croc park. LOL

MJ, Melbourne, Australia
March 25, 2008 10:49pm

I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THIS IS BLASPHOMEY AGAINST THE BIBLE blah blah blah... I would like to say though this is a very intresting article you have put up, and I love this site now even though I've just heard of it about an hour ago.

Yes I'm Atheist

I am Death/Life, Washington State
March 26, 2008 5:31pm

Once again, the inane rants of evolutionists have have driven this topic to the point of irrelevance, and, as usual, this is exactly where they have intended to bring it. They are not interested in civil discourse and as always, are allowed to post one side of the issue, biased and unfettered; allowed to post as they please. I don't expect this post to make it as well!

Mills Frellpirs, Houston, MI
March 27, 2008 9:26pm

Mills, you can look through all 259 posts, and you will notice that I have not once gone off on a rant. I have kept the conversation relevant and on topic, and I have been extremely civil with everyone who posted to the thread. Several posts have been made that either try to support the creationist argument or try to punch holes in the theory of evolution. If you would like to give me a reason why I should trust creation theory, I would be happy to look into it. If you would rather debate about perceived flaws in evolution, I can do that as well. As long as your posts remain civil and directed at the topic at hand (not at the posters), none of your posts will be removed.

If, on the other hand, you simply wish to make a completely unfounded statement and fail to back it up with any shred of evidence, congratulations, you have succeeded. I look forward to hearing from you.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
March 28, 2008 12:49am

I could not help but notice the unwillingness of evolutionists to address the topic of the origin of life. Steve, are you alone in your idea that "I have to agree that no one will ever be able to prove whether random chance or a divine creator was the force behind evolution..."? If you cannot disprove a creator, why is it that you are so vehemently dispossessed and eager to reject the idea of design? If evolution is from a creator, is it not then designed? It seems that it is just as the creationists contend, that the problem is not with your acceptance of the design, but the total rejection of a designer!

Mills Frellpirs, Houston, MI
April 1, 2008 11:02am

Mills - Speaking to evolutionary biologists about abiogenesis is like talking to a chef about engine mechanics. Why not direct your questions to the appropriate science?

By your logic, the chef's reluctance to express expertise on engines means that they must therefore run by magic.

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
April 1, 2008 11:08am

The Design:-

1- Downs Syndrome - god got that one right, did it?

2- Conjoined twins - oops!

3- Me...

4- Those lovely kids with too much skin? What's that about...?

5- People born with their twins inside them? Eh?

6- Just for kicks....! Babies born without brains, so that their heads are sunk-in at the back and they die soon after birth....!

In any of the above, if you can spot the design, let us know!

If, on the other hand, you can spot the near-random expression of indifference of nature, then you are a genius. Like ME!

However. I can see design when it comes to the god hypothesis.

The design is in the actual idea and presentation of the fake god. The way it is 'fitted' to suit 'our' every need, and, how it evolves with our changing needs.

Griff:-

putting the '0' into g0d = zer0. n0thing. g0ne. n0nexistant.

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
April 1, 2008 5:31pm

Eric, thanks for the confirmation. You have made my point very clear. Neil, if what you believe is true, what's the big deal about a few genetic mistakes? They are simply weaklings that need to be swept out of the pool. Does that count toward "spotting the near-random expression of indifference of nature"? It may behoove you to re-read the history of medicine, so that you may be reminded of the many advances forwarded by creation believing scientists. And Eric, have you read the topic here? "Creationists" being the operative word! Steve, please repeat the sermon you preached on creationists only trying to belittle the fairy tale of evolution, but before you do, please read the first several posts to this topic. Should you not practice what you preach? You promised to be fair and balanced right? So, as an "evolutionist", you are at a loss as to where everything came from, and you don't care; but you are positive of the rest of human history? Ponderous, indeed!

Mills Frellpirs, Houston, MI
April 1, 2008 6:26pm

Mills, I have no problems with the majority of creationists. If you believe that a god had a hand in the design or implementation of evolution, that is what you choose to believe. I will not debate on that topic because it is philosophical and not scientific. My problem lies with young earth creationists who deny almost all of modern science.

I never tried to belittle creationism. Throughout this forum I have simply corrected peoples' misunderstandings of evolution and defended evolution against attacks stating that it is invalid.

I am not at a loss as to where everything came from. There are several interesting studies and experiments in the field of abiogenesis that lead me to believe that life could have been spontaneously created. These studies have not proven anything but bring up interesting insights into how the first self-replicating molecules could have come into existence. I find this field extremely interesting and care very much about the origins of life.

When you say that creation believing scientists have made great contributions to science, you are correct. You are incorrect in assuming that they are all young earth creationists. Several, like Ken Miller, believe in Theistic evolution and have no problem considering that the idea of a divine creator and evolution are both true. I would be interested in hearing why you do not believe the theory of evolution.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
April 2, 2008 9:51am

Firstly, let me correct one statement from your post. Instead of "My problem lies with young earth creationists who deny almost all of modern science", it should have stated that "My problem lies with young earth creationists who deny the interpretations of modern evolutionists as to the actual science involved in the relevancy of macro-evolutionary theory". Your beliefs about evolution do not even agree with all other evolutionists ideas. Which of the following views of evolutionary thought is your cup of tea: gradualism, punctuated equilibrium, macro-mutation? Or do you prefer one of the metaphysical ideologies of evolution, such as: theistic evolution, deterministic evolution, or spontaneous evolution? When you categorically state that “Throughout this forum I have simply corrected peoples' misunderstandings of evolution and defended evolution against attacks stating that it is invalid”, which “it” of all the theories are you defending, and are you declaring the others to be as equally scientific as yours or is yours simply the most scientifically feasible? Do you agree with Darwin, Gould or Misai Landau? And I am curious as to this statement: “I am not at a loss as to where everything came from. There are several interesting studies and experiments in the field of abiogenesis that lead me to believe that life could have been spontaneously created.” Do you consider this declaration to be based upon scientific evidence or it this more of a philosophical ideology? Thanks.

Mills Frellpirs, Houston, MI
April 2, 2008 6:10pm

Mills writes, "Firstly, let me correct one statement from your post. Instead of 'My problem lies with young earth creationists who deny almost all of modern science', it should have stated that 'My problem lies with young earth creationists who deny the interpretations of modern evolutionists as to the actual science involved in the relevancy of macro-evolutionary theory'."

No, Mills, he had it right the first time. YECs reject almost all of modern science. Period. As Brian Dunning correctly states in the podcast, "They reject evolution, cosmology, geology, and every science that supports them; which, by extension, eventually includes every scientific discipline. However, in their minds, they don't reject them at all; they fully embrace completely wrong, misinterpreted, misunderstood, and misrepresented versions of them."

Exactly so.

If you disagree, I invite you to come and attempt to make your case at http://forum.DarwinCentral.org. There are many folks there who will be able to educate you on this matter.

As for your question about "views of evolutionary thought", you ask about gradualism, punctuated equilibirum, and macro-mutation as if they were mutually exclusive. They are not, and all three are correct. Similarly for your "Darwin or Gould" choice. Both are much more right than wrong, and Gould does not refute Darwin.

Drop on by DarwinCentral and I'll also be glad to bring you up to speed on abiogenesis.

Ichneumon, DarwinCentral.org
April 3, 2008 12:51am

Ichneumon, it's very interesting that you make a statement that declares "They (YEC's) reject evolution, cosmology, geology, and every science that supports them; which, by extension, eventually includes every scientific discipline..." Let's talk about cosmology, since you brought it up: Where do you think all matter originated and by what process do you believe that live began? Remember the topic! "Creation" is cosmology.

Mills Frellpirs, Houston, MI
April 3, 2008 2:55pm

Ah...Mills (above):"Neil, if what you believe is true, what's the big deal about a few genetic mistakes? They are simply weaklings that need to be swept out of the pool."

Religious Faither sentiments, maybe, but moral and ethical? I'll leave others be the judges!

I note (with disdain) that you Faithers have failed to account for your god's crappy designs, as outlined above....

PLEASE RESPOND to them.

Or are they simply going to be:"swept under that carpet"?

#
As for cosmology (the BIG ONE that Faithers love to throw into the pot when loosing a debate!)...

Basic physics teaches that energy is converted into matter & matter back into energy, and that neither can be created or destroyed, only converted from one form to the other.

This has been 'proved' countless times by scientific observation & experimentation.

But - wait for it - the Faither rhetoric is then to ask:"But 'where' did it all come from?"

Scientist:"It's always been there."

Then, after calling the scientist an uneducated childish idiot, the Faither proceeds to proclaim that a god put it there, where the god is the Thing that has "always been there".

Rhetoric indeed - not to mention ironic.

But they don't get the joke - no - they really... believe!

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
April 4, 2008 4:36pm

Astronomer Karen Masters, PhD from Cornell and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics said that “We cannot know what is outside of our observable universe (since we can't observe it), but we think that physics works the same everywhere and so we think that it should be very similar to the observable universe. We actually think that the universe might be infinite in extent, and so goes on forever, even though we can only see a finite part of it. We can speculate in meta-physics or in religion about what was before the Big Bang, but again, we cannot use science to tell anything about it as physics as we understand it breaks down at that point.” Take note of the many times that the word “think” is used. She could just as easily used the word “believe”. We cannot use science to tell anything about it… If you cannot use science to prove it, is it then scientific? The reasons for sickness, disease, and calamities in the world have been discussed time and again on previous posts and you have willfully ignored them. I will not waste time revisiting them as it is obvious that you have either not read them or simply do not wish to accept them. And as for “faithers” caring for the sick and poor, how many atheist hospitals and orphanages have there been in the history of humanity Neil? Please cite an example!

Mills Frellpirs, Houston, MI
April 5, 2008 6:29am

What do Creationists think? Creationists think that atheists and neo-Darwinian evolutionists are willing to believe anything that will assuage the guilt that they feel when their own conscience tries to convince them of a Creator! Romans 1:19-20 states: "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness, because what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse." Claiming to have such a stranglehold on science, I would expect much more pure science to prove your fairytales, when in actuality, most scientists are well aware that many things that we believe to be true cannot actually be proven scientifically, as the previous post presents so aptly.

Marshall Preston, Dearborn, MI
April 5, 2008 3:32pm

Neil, If you would visit Jefferson labs website (jlabs.org) you will see that you are incorrect in saying that matter is neither destroyed or created. “A high energy X-ray can collide with the nucleus of an atom and disappear and two particles, an electron and an anti-electron (a.k.a. positron), will appear in its place. So, extra matter is being produced from no matter. The important thing is that the amount of total energy stays the same, but the energy can change its form from electromagnetic radiation (the X-ray) to matter (the electron and positron). Also, an electron and positron can collide with and annihilate each other, producing X-rays.” Just wanted to make sure that true science is defended!

Mills Frellpirs, Houston, MI
April 7, 2008 9:55pm

Mills, your above example is indeed interesting. I have to point out that you misunderstand its meaning though. In the example, matter is not created or destroyed. I will try to explain this to you, but it is a rather complex matter and relates to Einstein's E=mc^2 equation.

Basically, (and this is horribly oversimplified) the above equation states that energy and matter are actually different forms of the same thing. Think of heat energy and electrical energy. They are different forms of the same thing, and are interchangeable. When running an electric heater, you are not actually creating heat. You are converting electrical energy into heat energy. The same principal applies to matter and energy.

The high energy X-ray in your example is converted into matter. The matter was not created out of nothing, it was created from a large amount of energy. When the electron and positron collide they are not destroyed. They are converted into a relatively large amount of energy. The conservation of energy and matter applies throughout these conversions.

You mentioned above that "The reasons for sickness, disease, and calamities in the world have been discussed." What reasons for sickness and disease are you talking about? Bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungus are the causes of disease I know about.

Why are you attacking atheists instead of sticking to the topic at hand? Evolution does not require or forbid belief in a supernatural being.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
April 9, 2008 9:55am

Steve, Take it up with the physicist that I quoted. How do you know that I misunderstood the meaning? And by the way, what is your degree and from where was it received? The reasons for the sickness and disease is what I was refering to, not the direcdt causes. The inferences to atheists were in response to "what creationists believe", and biblical creationism is not conducive to millions of years of evolutionary life and death, as already stated.

Mills Frellpirs, Houston, MI
April 9, 2008 1:03pm

Mills, you were trying to prove Neil wrong when he said, "matter is neither created or destroyed." You tried to do this by giving the above example, meaning you believe that matter was created and destroyed in the example. I just pointed out why that was a misunderstanding of what was truly going on.

I have a degree in Integrative Physiology from the University of Iowa and am currently working on becoming a Physical Therapist. I don't see what this has to do with anything seeing that anyone can learn the basics of science with a computer and some curiosity. I don't believe you ever mentioned your degree and alma mater. Would you be willing to tell me what they are?

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
April 9, 2008 1:51pm

Why make the statement: "I don't see what this has to do with anything seeing that anyone can learn the basics of science with a computer and some curiosity" and then ask what my credentials are? Either it matters or it doesn't! I am a Design /Manufacturing Technician, employed by Ford Motor Co., with a M.Sc. from the University of Windsor. As for matter, Einstein showed that as a result of his special theory of relativity, in a closed system one could actually create or destroy matter, provided that a rational exchange is made between the energy and matter. Energy can be converted to matter, subtracting from the universe's store of energy and adding to the total number of atoms. Conversely, atoms can be destroyed, subtracting from the total count but thereby adding to the universe's store of energy. Now, consider this equation in the realm of our opposing worldviews! Apart from a Creator, where did the energy needed to begin the processes of life in our universe begin? Either it is eternal, or it had a beginning. If it is eternal, “it” must then be God! If it had a beginning, what was its cause and from where did it originate? This is the problem that I find in the evolutionists theories.

Mills Frellpirs, Houston, MI
April 10, 2008 9:18pm

Steve, I don't know how you do it?

BRAVO!

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
April 12, 2008 12:14pm

Mills,

As usual, i'll have to point out that evolution doesn't have anything to say about the creation of the universe. Your problem is with the Big Bang theory, not evolution.

Also, Einstein, in all his wisdom and intellect, didn't have the slightest clue about quantum physics.

Quantum indeterminancy (among other things) defies relativity, which is the major problem with building a Grand unification theory.

Alcari, Reykjavik, Iceland
April 21, 2008 10:32am

Alcari, I am well aware of "evolutionists" desire to distance themselves from the cosmological argument of creationism, (because of where it leads them) but if the beginning of life is an ordered event, most probably, its subsequent development is as well. I attended the viewing of "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" last evening and be assured that this problem, as posed to evolutionists, is only going to become more of an issue in this debate. The entire theater giggled at Richard Dawkins failure to adequetly address the question of first things. Remeber, "science is about questions!" Will your theory stand up to true scientific investigation, as it has not thus far.

Mills Frellpirs, Houston, MI
April 21, 2008 11:01am

How can you possibly say that evolution has not stood up to"true scientific investigation"? To believe this you need to be completely ignorant of the last 100 years of science or just ignoring it. Evolution has been challenged countless times in countless fields and has always passed the test.

Since the theory of evolution was first proposed,new disciplines have been discovered that could have easily proven evolution wrong. Biochemistry and genetics,two monsters in the realm of science,both could have shattered the theory. Instead,both continue to give evidence in support of the theory. Advances in paleontology and archeology have had the opportunity to disprove the theory. If a chicken from the Jurassic period or a rabbit from the Cambrian period is found,evolution is done for. No such evidence has ever been found,and the fossil record continues to support and bolster the theory.

You keep alluding to the fact that people who believe in evolution avoid the beginning of all things "because of where it leads them." Where exactly does it lead us? Why is the possibility that the energy in the universe has been here forever so perplexing to you,when you are more than willing to believe that a god has been here forever?

Last,try holding the theory of intelligent design to the same standards you hold evolution. Where evolution has hundreds of thousands of studies supporting it. So far ID has one book that supports it,a very old one at that. Which sounds more credible to you?

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
April 21, 2008 3:18pm

What am I to believe when a scientist like David Raup, who is both an avid evolutionist and paleontologist from the University of Chicago and the Field Museum, admits that the fossil record has been misinterpreted if not outright mischaracterized. "A large number of well-trained scientists outside of evolutionary biology and paleontology have unfortunately gotten the idea that the fossil record is far more Darwinian than it is. This probably comes from the oversimplification inevitable in secondary sources: low-level textbooks, semi-popular articles, and so on. Also, there is probably some wishful thinking involved. In the years after Darwin, his advocates hoped to find predictable progressions. In general, these have not been found— yet the optimism has died hard, and some pure fantasy has crept into textbooks" (Science, Vol. 213, July 1981, p. 289). Yet, evolution adherents such as you, refuse to consider such a statement and dismiss it without flinching. Who do I believe, you or them?

Mills Frellpirs, Houston, MI
April 21, 2008 6:33pm

What are you to believe? Well, you might try reading his work, rather than relying on one or two cherrypicked quotes you found on a religious website that offer no context. For example, Raup is best known for his contributions to theory of mass extinctions about every 26 million years. Hardly the work of someone who is convinced that the Earth was created by an invisible sky wizard by magic 6000 years ago.

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
April 21, 2008 6:48pm

Eric is a case in point, as he has done exactly what I said Darwinists do. I started off by stating that he is "an avid evolutionist". Read all the big words, Eric! The quote was in reference to transitional fossils, not "an invisible sky wizard"! If you guys want to believe in evolution have at it, but don't use the revisionist Darwinism backstep method of arguing in favor of your beloved fairytale. Many of your own experts refute the very arguments that you use. You guys should really try to bone up on just what you actually believe to be scientific affirmation of evolutionary theory. The heat is beginning to be turned up! Good luck.

Mills Frellpirs, Houston, MI
April 21, 2008 9:35pm

Thank you so much for the wish of good luck, and as always, you remain the shining light of all who want to understand science better.

And, as you are so courteous to call me a "Darwinist", I can only offer to extend the same gesture. Do you prefer to be called a Sharptonist or a Grahamist?

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
April 21, 2008 10:23pm

Maybe, when they find a fossil of god, we'll know for sure, eh?

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
April 22, 2008 2:03am

Mills, there is no heat being turned up. You have yet to provide one shred of evidence that goes against evolution. The closest you have come is spouting quotes from people without giving their context or source. This is hardly enough to change an educated persons mind when it comes to evolution.

In order to challenge a theory, you need to have a competing theory that has its own body of evidence, or you need solid evidence that the current theory is inadequate and false. I have debated several creationists and not once has one of them provided any such evidence. They believe that piles of useless, out-of-context quotes they pluck off of religious sites and a link to answersingenesis.com is more than enough to disprove the theory. Whenever they are asked for solid evidence that challenges the theory of evolution, they change the topic or shy away.

So far you have followed this pattern exactly. If you have solid evidence that opposes evolution, I would love to hear it. I enjoy looking into new information and theories because it usually results in me understanding something better. If, on the other hand, you have no such evidence, I suggest you look into the science behind the theory of evolution. This will teach you more than reading cherry-picked quotes. Regardless of the outcome, it will give you another point of view and that is never a bad thing.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
April 22, 2008 1:33pm

Isn't this what they believe in?

Job 38
1Then the LORD answered Job from the whirlwind and said,

2Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?

3Gird up now thy loins like a man for I will demand of thee and answer thou me.

4Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare if thou hast understanding.

5Who hath laid the measures thereof if thou knowest? Who hath stretched the line upon it?

6Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Who laid the corner stone thereof;

7When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy

WELL...to answer IT (directly) which is more than IT does for anyone else...

Point 1-3 For a THING that insists that we don't eat from the tree of knowledge and do nothing but follow IT's whim, IT 'demands' an awful lot of answers!

P-4 pre-scientific talk of the Earth being like a house seems wholy to show the ignorance of the THING writing this passage (a man, not a god)!

P-5 Science has! Science has measured the diameter/circumference/volume/surface area of the Earth and much much much more!

Science has "laid the measures" of the entire Universe!

Science has measured the Greatest and the Smallest!

P -6 and 7 speak for themselves, vizaviz utter rubbish.

"6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened?"...WHERE you may ask god, but science has answered that simple question!

"or who laid the corner stone thereof?"

A 'corner' of a sphere?

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
May 12, 2008 4:44am

I just want to jump in and say as a creationist what i believe, it seems appropriate for the channel. As a creationist i believe that the eternal god of the bible created the earth, a set of species of animals differnet from the ones today, and man, and then things advanced over time and advancements through heredity happened along withe the bettering of our environment, also called evolution, i see evolution as that. And all i have to say is that scientists tell you how life works, and the bible tells you how it started and the purpose of life, and hope of afterlife, not wish for afterlife but hope of it, meaning we will have it.

mike, pittsburgh
May 13, 2008 11:48am

Well let me tell you what I think.

After(MY)life I hope my children will live well when I am gone to dust. I hope they will realise the obviousness of my death and appreciate their 'one and only' life for the wonder that it is.

I hope they 'live their lives to the full', not let themselves be tormented by guilt and pressurised into feelings of conformity.

I like to think they will never 'want' for an "after-life" but will, instead, live this 'one-and-only' life to its maximum, as I have tried to.

To me the very fact that a person 'wishes' fancifully for an after-life has many horrific, fearful and sad repercussions, for us all, including genocide and religious terrorism.

"The purpose of life" - as usual - how dare any Faither claim the exclusive right to knowing the purpose of life. That pathetic book, like others of its ilk, is exactly the opposite in terms of giving meaning to a 'good' life.

Let each person decide for themselves what is a good life: and most certainly not the worship of a pathetic ideology that requires sacrifice or obedience.

I teach that the purpose of life is simple:-

TO LIVE

There is no beginning nor an end, ergo there is no creation and no after life.

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
May 20, 2008 3:28am

Now look hear Neil, I've had enough of your nonsense!

But I have to admit, the Universe was a bit of a challenge....

I had never made one before!

Ah yes, why did it take me 6 days?

Mmmm good question...

I know! Because that's exactly how long I wanted it to take!

And Mike; that prayer you sent me about Neil. Let's just say it's taken care of!

The plagues should be there about ......now!

P.S.

Brian, this is not really GOD, it's Neil....

Don't ask me how I can do this but I think I'm Neo (part deux)!

GOD, HEAVEN
May 20, 2008 5:31am

And to prove it's me, here's my GOD; see the writing's the same as above!

It's funny really that you can't talk sense to a Faither.

Boy, is god in for a sUrprIse when heaven is full of loonies!

You know...

I'D LIKE IT if any loony toon Faither would like to put forward a suggestion as to why it did take an all-powerful IT 6-whole days to build such a small thing as the Universe.

Come on Creationists all over the world -

1- WHY DID god TAKE 6 DAYS TO DO A SIMPLE THING?

2- What does IT do with the rest of IT's time?

Ha, ha, ha Lol-ly lol-ly pop!

Now try to stick to the point.

Don't get defensive about god.

Just breath - and answer the questions.

...................... waiting...

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
May 23, 2008 8:34am

To answer Neils questions...

1. I think 6 days is pretty impressive to create an entire universe when anti-creatitionists like you believe that it took MILLIONS of years to get where we are today!

2. I don't know why you're so afraid to say GOD instead of IT. Perhaps because you know that he is real but you're in denial because you fear his judgement and law. Now to answer the question...God is EVERYWHERE at ALL times where he hears, sees, and judges everything.

I would just like to know why it is so hard for you all to except a creation theory. It makes a lot more sense than everything on this Earth coming from absolutely nothing from absolutely nowhere. It would make a lot more sense than spending your entire life searching for answers and finding nothing!

Brittany Webb, Ohio
June 9, 2008 10:51am

Okay then;

1- I think 6 days, if that is the fact as you see it, simply means that your IT is limited in IT's power; oh yes, of course there is IT's free will to think of:'IT simply wanted to take 6 days'. Of course, how silly of me.

But, usually that would imply a conscience decision about time scales or economic variables. Pointing to a less than 'ALL' powerful IT, yet again. QED.

Actually 4.5 billion.

2- I'm not afraid of writing G.O.D. I merely prefer to describe IT in a more useful way. The male pronoun being especially out-dated.

As for denial: YES - Of course I 'must' deny something that doesn't exist! Otherwise I'd be like millions of Faithers who waste their time living false lives.

You make me laugh. You give IT human-like attributes and 'fear' IT's judgement.

Jesus was right on the money when he said:"Let IT who has not sinned, cast the first judgement!"

IT sins against Humanity every time IT "creates" a baby with 2 faces:-

Maybe that's what they mean when they say:"Turn the other cheek!"

Evolution simply explains such an event in terms of variations (not random chance).

Whereas your IT hypothesis tells us that that little girl has sinned!

What a narcissistic view point!

IT, in my opinion, is beneath contempt.

I will judge IT; not IT judge me.

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
June 11, 2008 11:51am

Well Neil I see you've read you're Bible since you quoted Jesus Christ! I sure hope that is the case because it could do you a whole lot of good to know the truth. Maybe you should give the book of Matthew or Revelation a read since it perfectly states the effects of the end times which if you watch the news you can see is clearly present today. Now if that book(the Bible) is made up, then how can it be perfectly and flawlessly written, thousands of years ago at that!?!

Brittany Webb, Ohio
June 11, 2008 6:25pm

I'm fascinated by how much effort and study is put into knowing what all of the different types of creationist believe.....Hmmmm....but tell me...what do evolutionist believe about sin?

I guess they couldn't technically believe in sin.
Apart from God's law there is no sin, so if you don't believe in God's law (since you believe there is no God), you can't possibly believe that a person can sin. Right?

Chris Ramirez

Chris Ramirez, San Diego, CA
June 12, 2008 12:03am

Chris -
http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4009

Covered in detail. Sin is a religious term, so without a religious context, it is meaningless.

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
June 12, 2008 12:06am

I think I can see where Chris is off to with this one; if we don't believe in sin, then we 'allow' ourselves to live a life of sin which we think is justified. Right?

Then what about those priests who claim to believe and then have sex with minors?

There's a kettle in here somewhere calling a pot black!

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
June 12, 2008 2:12am

well, actually no, I wasn't going there. Im just wondering by whose standards do atheist live? Their own? Just wanted to know who makes the rules that's all. In the atheist world who gets to say "this is right" or "this is wrong"? I could never understand how that works....

Anyway,since you brought up the priest thing allow me to give my thoughts on the matter.

The priests to me, in my opinion, are a mirror image of the religious leaders in Jesus' day. Jesus despised them. He called them hypocrits because their "religion" was outward not inward....claiming to be Godly but instead very far from Him,
just like the priests your talking about. Not to mention most of what the catholics teach are not even based on scripture to begin with. They are based on tradition and man made ideas. It was for that reason that in the 16th century or so, Martin Luther
broke away from Catholism and began the Protestant movement. It was also somewhat incorrect in its teaching as well, claiming that all you have to do is "believe" and you're saved hence the word "believer" lol!
The Bible says even the demons "believe". Believer is too loose a term these days when applied to so called Christians. It is not the "belief" in ones mind...it is the action of ones heart. Jesus made that perfectly clear in Matthew 7.

Chris Ramirez, San Diego, CA
June 12, 2008 4:12am

Well said Chris! I very much agree with what you've said! Many people claim to follow the Christian faith or believe in it but don't outwardly show that. It gives those of us who do follow the Bible to the best of our abilities in our everyday lives a bad name and reputation for the entire Christian faith.

Brittany Webb, Ohio
June 12, 2008 6:24am

1. When was it ever proven or shown that the Bible is "perfectly and flawlessly written"? Not only do parts of the Bible (when taken literally) absolutely contradict mountains of scientific evidence, but the Bible also contradicts itself on occasion. Within the first book of the Bible there is a contradiction. What order were things created in? One of the most important stories in the book, that of Jesus' birth, contains contradictions between the gospels. The Bible is far from being flawless.

2. Religion is not needed to have a moral compass. There is an entire episode on this site dedicated to that topic. As someone who does not believe in god, I do what I feel is right. The basic moral guidelines are present in everyone from birth, regardless of their religious background. Then cultural standards are taught, and vary from place to place. All religion does is add superfluous moral guidelines that are unneeded and create unnecessary and confusing conflicts in the lives of those who try to follow them.

3. You seem to assume that all people who believe in evolution do not believe in god. You could not be more wrong. Some of the most famous champions of evolution also believe in god. They are able to mix what they believe to be true with what they have seen to be true. Just look into the work of Ken Miller if you don't believe me. He is merely an example of what is quite common in the scientific community.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
June 12, 2008 4:12pm

What Do Creationists Really Believe?

I'll tell you...

1- that an uncreated god created everything from nothing, even though to do so means that the everything that originally existed (ie IT) couldn't have been everything, because there'd be no room for anything else!

2- that they are better than everyone else; have better moral standards and are IT's favourites, simply because they claim to "be good christians", yet in the same breath criticise and belittle others.

3- that they are right and every body else is wrong.

It's so easy, isn't it, to distance themselves from religious terrorists or Hitler or paedophile priests - simply by saying these people are acting out of character. Yet weren't they all raised to be good christains?

Well, you should try reading the book of Moses, you know the one where IT tells them to raise armies and kill every man, woman and child in those countries! Yet leave the cattle and goats because they are of some use!

Genocide's okay then is it? I mean since it's in the bible and all! And since it was IT's orders that they were following, I guess that makes it okay?

Funny. The Nazis used to say that:-

"I was just following orders".

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
June 12, 2008 5:23pm

The book of Moses? What Bible are you reading from? Isn't that LDS...the cult founded by Joseph Smith?

Chris Ramirez, San Diego, CA
June 12, 2008 11:51pm

Ha, ha, ha... When I read that statement it just about summed everything up:-

"What Bible are you reading from?"

The bible I was reading was in my hotel room in Florida {it helped me sleep!}

I think it was Gideons.

It basically described (in the usual, laborious manner) page after page of repeated accounts of various armies being raised to do battle, at the command of their god, with the instruction "leave not a soul alive. Kill all the men, women and children - but leave the cattle, because they are of some use!"

What exacting moral advice for any army of god!

Nevertheless, isn't that the whole point about "what religious people believe" - they believe which ever story they prefer and hence which ever bible it appears in. Even the curan.

Funny, if you read a physics book, F=ma is the same equation, in which ever book you read. Even when 1/2 mv^2 was 'updated' by adding E=mc^2, it still made perfect sense; and can be tested by others, independently.

How unlike science, is religion!

How absurd the rationale behind it.

And in fairness to Mr J Smith - All religions are cults.

Do they not control your lives and take your money - ah yes, free choice...?

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
June 13, 2008 12:39pm

I have to express my gratitude to Mr. Dunning for clarifying that not all Christians are radicals who choose to completely ignore all science.

Many Christians, such as myself, work in scientific professions where denial of the facts that we achieve through research and hypothesis testing, would be very contradictory of us.

Religion is certainly in itself not a science. You cannot know whether or not religion is real, you can only believe. Religion is based on faith, science is based on fact. Since I cannot claim to know everything about all of creation myself, I must judge the evidence presented to me by others and make rational decisions on whether or not to believe it.

Charles Randall, New Harrisburg, Texas
July 3, 2008 10:40pm

A pupil of mine related a fact to me about a xian in her group:"I went to church and god touched me." My rational pupil told her she was nuts. The girl's response was that "there were others there too!" So this girl's idea of evidence of the 'super' natural is that her friends were doing it too!

The fact is that if the 'super' natural can interact with the natural, then it remains natural, and, science can test and measure it. The only thing we can't test for is a fabricated event, one which never really happened and isn't worth spit.

On the other hand. My pupil gave the correct response; a rational response, determining the hoax immediately and not allowing the hype of emotion to rule her brain.

I understand the feelings of people like Charles above, and others here I have debated with.
Let me give another example.

At the same pupil's house {who has now become famous= Laura} we found a moth on her UPVC door handle. I have never seen one so intricate. We all agreed it's wings looked exactly like a leaf and the abdomen looked like a bud. I think it was trying to hide using the key barrel as a mimic{not too successfully, as we saw it easily!}

My point is that for a split second even I thought "Wow, look how that resembles a leaf-it must have been designed." (Sorry to any fans).I then explained to Laura that moths vary in structure, as we do, and those most resembling a leaf are more likely to survive and not be eaten, and breed. Mind you it was grey not green!

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
July 13, 2008 8:58am

Brian, I enjoy your shows.

I was curious about a claim you made in this show: on what do you base your classification of the Discovery Institute as a YEC organization? I believe it is a supporter of the Intelligent Design point of view, which you stated at the beginning of this episode "is not a type of creationism." Here is the Discovery Institute's page for their "Center for Science and Culture" where they have links to ID-related papers and an ID discussion forum: http://www.discovery.org/csc/

Also, I believe you may have mistated the position of Intelligent Design theorists when you said, "Intelligent Design is a blanket concept intended to show that the scientific method alone is not adequate to explain the natural world, and that a divine creator is a required component for any complete explanation of nature." According to ID adherents, "The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection." (http://www.intelligentdesign.org/whatisid.php). No mention is made of the scientific method being inadequate to explain life nor is any reference made to a creator.

Overall, this was a good, though somewhat contemptuous, overview of the various flavors of Creationism.

As I said, I enjoy your shows very much - I attempt to (gently) expose much of the same ignorance, misconceptions, and myths as you do. Keep up the good work.

Patrick Park, Napa, CA
August 27, 2008 12:59am

As a skeptic and a man of faith, I often wonder why God would speak in literal facts about the creation of the universe, then go on to teach in parables when he was Jesus.

Morgan Z., Tracy, CA
August 27, 2008 9:36am

I'm not an expert or an advocate but I think you misrepresented Omphalism. Gosse's idea wasn't that God is trying to fool scientists or anyone else. The idea was that science shows biology works as an ongoing process, and that life couldn't exist without the history behind it. As such God would have needed to create Adam with a navel, and the world as if it were generated by 4.5 billion years of natural processes.

Paul, Walnut Creek, CA
September 7, 2008 11:31am

What I can't figure out is why Men have nipples?

I don't care if Adam never had them or if he did.

The point is why does any man need them?

God, HEAVEN
September 17, 2008 5:40pm

Its a convenient place to attach the electrodes.

Marius vanderLubbe, Nullabour Plain, Australia
September 17, 2008 5:54pm

There is an episode of the show "Family Guy" where they implement a creationist teaching program in the public schools and they let the children know "...and dinosaurs will now be referred to as Jesus-horses".
You post is wonderful, as is your site (I just now came across is for the first time) but first thought after seeing the picture above was "holy shit, it's not a joke, they actually believe this."
So if there is in fact a God, hopefully he can save us from this nonsense.

Ryan Zyskowski, Mashpee MA
September 17, 2008 7:59pm

I have just discovered your illuminating analysis of Creationism; I am preparing a series of talks on Geological controversies and mysteries for the Sixth Form (18 year olds) at the school where I teach. Creationism is barely mentioned in our curriculum so it should prove fascinating to them, especially since it does seem to be allied to US politics and the Election is imminent. I did once coach a little boy who was of a fundamentalist family for our entrance exams and set him an English creative writing story called "The Last Dinosaur". To my astonishment he said that he could not do this and he lent me a Science book in which everything that we take for granted in Science was re-explained in Creationist terms. The most striking explanation was for the demise of dinosaurs; they were on the Ark but conditions after the flood were not right for them and so they died. Odd, that, for if they had co-existed with other species before the Flood, how come the other animals could adapt and did not die too?

Maggie Jarman, Dulwich, London
September 20, 2008 4:27pm

I myself wonder if there were dinosaurs living along side humans, like some evangelicals believe, how come we have not found the evidence for it? Why aren't there human bones with clear signs of being killed by dinosaurs, I.E. crushed bones?

Conversely, how come there are no signs of tool marks on any of the dinosaurs? Afterall, humans have hunted and killed mammoth and other megafauna, as well as almost everything else in the world, we would have hunted dinosaurs too. Any animal weighing over 15 tons would be too tempting a food source despite the risks. We would have hunted dinosaurs just as easily as they would have hunted us.

Joseph Furguson, Brawley, ca
October 27, 2008 5:59am

Really enjoyed this podcast, it's good to hear that this issue can be discussed intelligently without each side just trying to shout down the other. I am a Christian and I have never had any issue with my faith conflicting with science. Given that the majority of posters here are not well learned in Christian theology and do not attend church, i don't think posts which point out "what creationist believe and why they're wrong" have much weight. Likewise Christians who are not well educated in evolutionary science are only hurting their own cause by putting forward stupid arguments or denying the blatantly obvious. I am..saddened? To hear of the creation musem, I cannot think of a worse use of church money. Being a Christian myself, i feel i should be able to justify the massive amount of money spent building the museum. But i can't and nor do i want to. It is unthinkable to me that money could be spent on this while there are millions of dissadvantaged people in need of aid.

I do not have a problem with any of the current scientific theories of evolution big bang etc, i must stress that. But is it so hard to believe that some thing must have created that singularity before the big bang? I find it harder to believe that for all eternity it was just always was.

Thanks everyone

Matt, Australia
October 27, 2008 8:59pm

Matt,

You can belive that someone/something created the big bang all you want to. I want to believe that the FSM touches our lives all the time. But there is no evidence for such a thing, so we can't make a decision on it. Besides, if a creator did set such an event into motion, it would still be irrelevent because the fact is that it did.

I get that there is no direct evidence for a big bang too, but the universe is behaving as though such an event occurred. Explosions send debris in all directions and astronomers have proof the universe is expanding.

Joseph Furguson, Brawley, Ca
October 30, 2008 5:48am

Hey Joseph, i've not heard of the FSM, flying spaghetti monster right? I've been wikipedia-ing it and thats all i could find that seems to fit. This isn't as much of an issue in australian schools though so i'll let myself off.

I feel i should clarify myself, It sounds like you read that i don't support the big bang theory on grounds of a lack of evidence. I have read into thiss as much as any lay person and i actually feel that there is substantial evidence in support of the big bang theory.

What i really wanted to say was that i can't get my head around the fact that all the matter and energy in the universe was always in existance. I can't think of another scenario where energy and matter are created from nothing. I know this is probably over simplified but i feel the point remains.
Why isn't there spontaneous generation of energy anywhere else? i know that the "just because i don't understand it, its impossible" argument is often used but i know a bit about thermodynamics and i don't understand this. I think it is more illogical to conclude that all matter has always been in existance simply because the idea of a god is apparently the more ridiculous theory of the two. So I am not sure what you mean by "if a creator did set such an event in motion, it would be irrelevent because..it did". I have to disagree with point, i think this would actually be quite significant.

Matt, Australia
October 31, 2008 1:36am

It's not a spontaneous generation of energy. When Hydrogen atoms in the sun fuse together to create helium atoms, that process gives off tremedous amounts of energy. That energy travels in all directions and goes on practically forever unless it is blocked by a planet, say the earth. We have done this in labs on earth, so it is hardly sponteneous.

2nd law of thermodynamics only applies to a closed system, such a engine, power grid or whatever. When you have an infinite source of energy, such as the SUN, all sorts of evolutionary changes can occur. We know about this infinite energy source because plants can use the suns energy to create all the food it needs, which animals use for their own purposes. If we did not have our infinite energy source, we would not be here.

It is not a one shot occurence, there are billions of stars out in the universe. Each of them circled by planets with equally infinite sources of each having the potential for life to grow.

Again, it does not matter how the universe began because it's here. We exist and this universe exists. Even if someone created the universe, it still functions as though a creator was never there. It is like that screen saver on the computer: until you mess with it, it functions. In other words, having a creator is meaningless to the universe. Now it might rob your life of meaning, but that's irrelevent to the rest of the unverse.

"Praise his noodly appendage! Ramen!"

Joseph Furguson, Brawley, Ca
October 31, 2008 6:24am

Joseph, I think that you are misinterpreting what Matt is saying. He is not arguing against evolution, as long as I am understanding him correctly. For him, it seems that it is hard for him to wrap his mind around the matter and energy required for the big bang having been in existence for all eternity.

Matt, I agree that this is a hard thing to fathom. The human mind is not very good at dealing with ideas of the infinite. Think of this, there are an infinite amount of whole numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.). There are also an infinite amount of real numbers (1.1, 1.11, 1.111, etc). Even though logically their must be more real numbers than whole numbers, there is nothing larger than infinity. So is the infinity of real numbers larger than the infinity of whole numbers? I don't know the answer, I am just showing that the idea of infinity is hard to fully comprehend.

Though your explanation of a god seems to make more sense to you, that god must have existed for eternity. So what makes a god able to exist for eternity but not matter? Again, I don't have the answer. Mainly because this is a philosophical question and not a scientific one. Just something to ponder on a beautiful Friday Halloween.

Steve Loeffelholz, LeClaire, IA
October 31, 2008 11:04am

Steve, he made a claim about thermodynamics that was wrong. I was referring to this part of matt's claim:

"Why isn't there spontaneous generation of energy anywhere else? i know that the "just because i don't understand it, its impossible" argument is often used but i know a bit about thermodynamics and i don't understand this."

I told him the sun is not a spontaneously generating energy. In fact, the energy produced is the result of a natural phenomena. When you crush things together with enough pressure, it produces heat. The sun is bigger example of this. The energy comes from a predictable, testable, verifiable source. We can make it in a lab: that's the principle behing fusion power.

You can believe your god all you want. It does not bother me one bit. Even if God does exist, the universe does not need him to function. It might make us feel good knowing he/she/it is there, but that is irrelevent. The explainable universe still go on whether or not God is true or not.

Joseph Furguson, Brawley, Ca
October 31, 2008 11:39am

Hey Steve, you've hit the nail on the head.

You've read my comments wrongly joeseph, i'm not sure how we got onto the SUN or stars because i didn't mention them. You are correct in saying that a star doesn't spontaneously generate energy, but i wasn't trying to say that they did. I was more trying to pose the question that has bothered me for years. As steve wrote, "So what makes a god able to exist for eternity but not matter?" What a question, my brain might just explode.

Thanks joeseph, steve

Matt, Australia
October 31, 2008 6:30pm

Eh. I got into reactive mode. I have been having this discussion with many people who do not understand what they are talking about. I overreacted, and I apologize.

Joseph Furguson, Brawley, Ca
October 31, 2008 7:22pm

Using the "know" laws of physics [& common sense], god is clearly impossible [& the 2nd law of thermo is a good example]!

For the 2nd law to work you need a "sink" into which the energy or whatever can disperse. A god clearly would have to be at the top, flowing into the sink. Thereby degenerating IT's self. Therefore IT is not eternal.QED

Matt, you may like this one...

Qu:" If a god is everything, then how can it create anything?"

If IT is already the whole 'everything' then is stands to reason that IT could not make 'anything' else; as that would increase the already huge 'something' that IT is! QED.

What this 'proves' is that either IT exists and we don't, or we do and IT doesn't... Well I for one do! What about you? Oh I guess you do too. So what of IT then?

And of course what of logic? If we can't use logic then we're doomed-to more Faither domination for ... oh well eternity I guess.

I once debated a Faither who insisted that IT could make a piece of paper both white & black ... at the same time!

When pressed he replied - "I think this because god can do anything!"

It's sad for a Bright like me to reflect upon this fact - The World Is Full of Faithers, and some control our lives... [eek!]

Search "Brights" Matt and never look back!

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
November 4, 2008 5:11am

I am sorry Matt and Steve, but while Joseph may apologize for his mistake, I do not think he should have. I do not like the notion that people need to shoehorn god into any place where our understanding is laxing. It kind of begs the following: If god exists in the in the gaps of understanding, why do we need him in the first place?

I am sorry, but this all powerful and understanding deity, who supposedly created life, the universe, and everything in it, has been conning you. He has been conning you for centuries.

At first, he's been saying that he created everything. And we believed him because we did not know any better. Over the centuries, as humans discover more and more about the universe, God had been saying, "Okay, well maybe I did not create that one. Or that one. No, not that one either. You got me there. I was lying on that one too."

As our understanding grew, we became less dependant on him. He now exists in that void where we do not quite understand how things work. He is now acting like a bully, telling us to go back. Soon we will get past him.

Now, I hear that God is trying a new weaseling ploy: "I created the universe, but I used natural laws to accompolish this. That is is weak it is laughable.

So, yeah, I reject that idea that Just because we do not know, that must mean God did it. It just means we did not find the answer, yet. I refused to be conned anymore.

Jakob Ambrose, Holtville Ca
November 4, 2008 7:33am

I must have missed the bible mk.II, god hasn't changed his position, the people who run the church have changed his position. The bible is the work of men about god, not a work by god about god.

I can't actually prove god, so i don't think we're going to get any further with this. I don't think attacks on 'god' are constructive. Obviously, faith is quite a personal thing and it is easy to offend people. I do not mind hearing a different point of view, but don't talk like i'm only a christian because some clever person hasn't explained to me that noah didn't actually get two of each animal on the ark and a talking snake doomed man kind. I'm not stupid because i am a christian, likewise you are not intelligent because you are an atheist.

Matt, Australia
November 4, 2008 5:58pm

Bravo Jakob!

So Matt, now you know what IT intends, nay thinks, even without reference to the bible: in fact you disregard the bible as 'just' a book by men!

Which of course is true!

This is typical of the "pick'n choose" mentality of Faithers, as to what to do & what to believe.

Matt, many people say they understand what Science has discovered, but they still 'believe' in something they can't possibly prove: I not going to lecture you there.

What Faithers have a big problem with is switching off the Wow and the Ahhh when some one tells them a fantastic story.

I don't just mean religious people, I mean pseudo intellectuals also. Like a friend of mine who insists ghosts, aliens etc. are real.

Did you know there's a lake in the Siberia, Russia that contains 1/5 the fresh water of the planet! Yet there are people running off shouting about Nessy, Scotland, who allegedly lives in a tiny lake there!

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_biggest_fresh_water_lake_in_the_world&alreadyAsked=1&rtitle=Biggest_fresh_water_lake

Just like food makes us salivate, fiction makes us curious.

Food for thought!

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
November 10, 2008 5:20am

You should try to get your facts straight. The dinosaur with a saddle is nothing more than a photo op. It's not different than taking your kid to a park and putting letting them ride on any given animal mounted on a giant spring. It is not part of any display or teaching. Nor are any farmers shown using dinosaurs as beasts of burden.

MC, Gem City
December 14, 2008 7:23pm

I have been to places like that. It is not a photo op. It is a actual representation of the things they believe as one visit to their website can tell you. I have read their literature and it is true to what they believe.

Joseph Furguson, Brawley Ca
December 14, 2008 10:58pm

Yeah, I watched the video of the creation museum opening. There are definitely exhibits that show people and dinosaurs coexisting. One of the staff seemed very enthused about the exhibit.

Those aren't nearly as funny as the Noah's Ark exhibits. Small boat, millions of species of animals. How do people put this stuff together with a straight face. Come on, join the 21st Century.

Craig, Washington DC
December 18, 2008 1:40pm

The only way that you can deliver this sort of wisdom, Craig, is to maintain a 17th century outlook.
Thats not easy, and requires a large amount of commitment to block out all the learning since then.

Marius vanderLubbe, Nullabour Plain, Australia
December 18, 2008 2:51pm

Good job of describing different types of creationism. But why do you group the signers of DissentFromDarwin list as Modern Young Earth Fundamentalist? The .02%er's found there could be any type of creationist you describe. "We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged." Seems even the Theistic Evolutionist could say that.

Robert Bailey, San Diego, U.S.A.
December 29, 2008 1:11pm

Rather than "random" [which has a specific meaning] I think the term "unguided" is somewhat more suitable.

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
January 6, 2009 11:27am

I remember watching this program a while ago which I thought was interesting.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/06/0624_050624_spencerwells.html

Wells' theory is based on the fact the Y chromosome in humans' which basically distinguishes a man from the woman genetically, gets passed on from father to son, then to his son so on and so forth. So any mutation or genetic changes in the Y chromosome of the father gets carried on to the son too. From this information a son can prove that he is related to the father.

Using this theory he has examined the genes of men from all parts of the world and conclusions are startling. Apparently, there are certain genetic changes which can be found in all of the men indicating that all of the men did emerge out of a family tree whose pioneer was the "Scientific Adam". That is quite a discovery or let us say at least a claim which is startling. Wells, also claims that this person would have hailed from East Africa around 2000 generations ago.

So this research pointed to a single source - one man.

Steve, et al. Would you subscribe to this idea of "localised" evolution to modern man?

Or does this lead us to believe that this indeed lines up with the idea of creation?

bear grylls, belfast
February 27, 2009 3:01am

Here is an interesting intellectual read that ties it all together.

onelight.com/forster/mutothule.doc

Kina, USA
March 7, 2009 4:32am

Let's make a deal.

We'll all leave creationists alone and let them be.

The price? It's cheap!

No medicine.
No advanced surgery (amputations are OK).
No GPS.
No flight.
No microwave ovens.
No TV.
No computers.
No plastic.
No cars.

Because if you're right about the age of the Earth, so much of our science must be wrong that none of the above would be possible.

That's the pact you make when you support creationism.

That's just the beginning. Who can think of more?

James Cane, London, UK
March 10, 2009 11:26am

The idea of a Y-Chromosomal Adam does not mean that all people came from one man 6000 years ago. If you look into the actual research, you will see that it is believed that many other strains of Y chromosomes were alive before and at the same time as Y-Chromosomal Adam. It is believed that these lines died out so that all modern Y-chromosomes can be traced back to that one individual.

This theory obviously doesn't support YEC when you take into consideration the theory of Mitochondrial Eve. This is believed to be the woman who gave rise to all current mitochondrial DNA. She is believed to have lived tens of thousands of years before Y-Chromosomal Adam.

It is good that you are looking at scientific research to gain insight into your beliefs. The problem comes when you blind yourself to any facts that counter your belief and focus on anything that supports it. This research clearly does not support a literal Garden of Eden or Biblical literalism. To be honest, I am not even sure how well evidenced this research is, so I cannot fully weigh in on the subject.

Steve Loeffelholz, LeClaire, Iowa
March 29, 2009 10:17pm

As a creationist, I avidly beliecve in science. I have no choice, you see. Science doesn't lie. Facts are facts. Problem is, there isn't a single fact out there to support the theory of Evolution. Not a single fact! I challenge anybody to quote just one...yes, one single solitary fact. Not a conjecture, not a "scientific guess" or "observation", just a plain concrete irreproachable fact. I can give you plenty of pure irreproachable facts to support Creation. One or the other is true, not both. Science (and real scientists) have repeatedly proved special creation. End of discussion.

Joe Boudreault, Hanover, Ontario, CANADA
April 12, 2009 5:36pm

1.no one can go to the place that we go after we die show me 1 person who died and back again and show us the pics and movies of the other side and tell; hey look this is the place that we go after we die. i go there and see my familly there
if scientist can make the way that we can travell that place and back gain its good. 2)why we cant see god why he is invisible im sad i cant trust the other place or...3)
Could Cloning Bring Dead people Back To the Life if we have only their hair?

. someone i love, dead seven month a go. he is buried not freezing but i have his hair,.befor he die he was try# tell me many things but he was suddenly died.my parents are doctors and i n the hospital someone we know told us : his fmilly told us ;tell to the reporters he dead by heart attack . but its not truth.we know he was killed by his familly we know that his familly send him to late in this hospital and they are note care about him(they said). but this is a long story, .can scientists help me to bringing him back to life. , is there any way that scientists can do this ?
pls.give me the name of that scientist or someone who searching about bringing back a life to the dead bodies (try and searching to make alive someone dead long time ago or dead month ago)and how we can contact with them .its very important .thanks.
how can i talk with dr zavos and send him email?

Is there any human cloning lab in dubai (Middle East)? azita_balo@yahoo.com

azita, ir teh
May 7, 2009 5:38am

James Cane - you are obviously in ignorance of where all those things that you think the world would have WITHOUT creationists being around came from. Your list is just a tiny bit of all the other stuff invented and manufactured and thought up down throughout history. And guess what? Practically all of human inventions and progress came from men and women who believed in some way or another in the Bible. Make a lit of history's great thinkers and inventors and you will find that they are mostly Christians and Jews. See my very recent blog on Skeptoid # 65...

And don't try to say that these people were not creationists - they respected the Bible, which by the way supports creationism. There you go - all the comfies and mod-cons of your life came to you courtesy of Bible believing creationists.

Science simply does not need eons of time and a wacked-out theory to be valid. God made man, man can think, man can invent. God has enormously blessed the Judeo-Christian civilization.

Now: what great contributions has Evolutionist scientists given to us?

Joe Boudreault, Hanover, On, Canada
May 29, 2009 7:54pm

TRUTH

neil griffiths, Cardiff uk
June 12, 2009 6:00pm

"TRUTH"?

...and that would be...???

Joe Boudreault, Hanover, On, Canada
June 12, 2009 6:58pm

The truth about reality that is testable, verifiable and can be demonstrated through interactions with it.

The truth about a reality that does not require a weak, ailing magic man to live in gaps of understanding that only exists in your mind because you cannot fathom a world without your safety blanket.

A truth free from the machinations of your cosmic dictator that uses people like you as its personal plaything.

When you learn to embrace reality and see that there is no cosmic dictator watching over you, you will start to see the truth in the world.

That is the truth that science offers.

Joseph Furguson, Brawley, Ca
June 12, 2009 11:29pm

Joseph,
Can you prove that God/cosmic dictator/weak ailing magic man does not exist? Can you do it with testable, verifiable, demonstrable processes? If you can, the world waits with bated breath for your Breakthrough.

"The truth that science offers" was given to us by a long list of scientists who nevertheless believed in "magic man in the sky"...

If you can't restrain yourself from ad hominem attacks, why come to this site?

Joe Boudreault, Hanover, On, Canada
June 14, 2009 7:28pm

It is not up to me to prove that claim. In a debate, it is the person that is making the positive claim to prove his side of the argument.

Do not shift the burden of proof onto me. It is up to you to prove the claim because you are the one that making the assertion that your magic man is real.

Are you going to prove that your God is real?

Actually, you know your cosmic dictator is not real because you never tried to prove it. So far, in the numerous posts that you have posted, all you are trying to do is poke holes into the side you disagree with. Do you really think your posting of the 7 known frauds is really going to hold a candle to the millions of other pieces of evidence.

When you cannot disprove it, you dismiss it with some flimsy excuse that only works to placate you.

So far, all the examples and claims you made have been disproved by other people. But you play the shell game with us. As soon as one of use gives you an explanation, you move the pea and ask another question. When we explain it away, you move it again and so on.

Now, I ask again. Where is your proof that your magic man exists? You made the claim it exists, you prove it. =

Joseph Furguson, Brawley, Ca
June 16, 2009 9:36am

Well, Joseph, that's not very hard to do. You are the one who is moving the pea in the shell game, by ignoring the real issue and shifting the focus to another sphere. For example, you and the other evolutionists are continually telling me that evolution has nothing to do with the age of the universe or moon dust and the moon's recession and light speeds and erosion rates etc.

I place the burden of proof fully on your shoulders because so far you have totally failed to give me a single example of evolutuionary change where one species becomes another species (and that's just biology)! Not to mention the billions of years of time you evolutionists claim exists, which involves all of geology and cosmology and physics...

Your claimed 'evidence' is something that is mere speculation and elongated guesswork, and don't tell me about my claims being "disproved by others". You are guilty of every charge you lay against creationist (above).

If you want proof God exists, try reading some real science. Yes, science can prove God, because He created it all. Go to the "In The Beginning" website with the articles by Walter Brown to see an honest and thoughtful assessment of the geology of planet Earth. Oh, and no scriptures or God there to scare you off, poor skeptic!

I have read more books on evolution than on creationism in my lifetime - do you think you owe creationists a fair read in their literature, or are you the one who likes to move your goal posts against us?

Joe Boudreault, Hanover, On, Canada
June 16, 2009 6:38pm

Nice to see your true colors showing. You started off trying to be friends with everyone now you are getting angry.

You keep bringing in evolution as though it has something to do with cosmology. It show s to me that, if you read a ton of science books, you have never read them.

Whose playing the shell game now?

The burden of proof does not rest on my shoulders. The burden of proof rest on yours. You are making the positive claim, so you do it.

Nice dodge of the point, BTW.

"Science can prove God because he created it all." Circular reasoning anyone? That statement is just as valid as me saying God created this glove because of how easily it fits into my hand. Now, --and this is not the shell game, BTW, this is me asking the next logical step of this argument-- demonstrate that God did it.

The only only "in the beginning" website that I found is filled with a ton of scriptures

Scriptures scare me off? Right. Wasn't I the one that that use scriptures to prove your points about the Bible being accurate? Remeber how you used the line from Job about the earth being hanged up and I countered with the line from Job about how the earth was resting on the pillars.

Scared of the scriptures, please! I have read the bible. I read all of it and not the just the good parts. I also read the parts that are downright evil.

Now are you going to demonstrate your proof of God. That circular reason thing you did earlier is merely an assertion. Show me your proof please.

Joseph Furguson, Brawley, Ca
June 17, 2009 11:43am

Joseph,
Once again, the accusations you throw out so liberally here are the same accusations which you are guilty of.

Go here:

http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/IntheBeginningTOC.html

Read this for a mnonth or so, absorb, contemplate it and come back to me. Otherwise I will ignore the poor evidence you have given for the stupid theory you espouse.

I have no time for infidels, Joseph. Those are the colors you currently wear.

Joe Boudreault, Hanover, On, Canada
June 17, 2009 5:28pm

Wow, Joe. Nice attack on Joseph - calling him an infidel? That really gets you a win...

Joe, what books on evolution have you read?

John, New York
June 17, 2009 8:26pm

Let Furguson answer for himself. He called me worse. Infidel means "unbeliever" and that re;ates to religion, by the way...so it fits him.

Let's start with one book at a time. My first feature-length book was of course Darwin's "On The Origin of Species". I was obliged to read it or else be heaved out of school. Nice democracy, this evolution, eh?

Now: your turn. A book on creationism..?

Joe Boudreault, Hanover, On, Canada
June 17, 2009 8:34pm

How about...the Bible.

I find it hard to believe you read Darwin with an open mind. You have yet to present yourself with an understanding of the theory of evolution. Not that I claim to fully understand it, but what I do know is that the scientific method does not require blind faith and can be defended logically whereas creationism, at some point, requires blind faith and cannot be defended logically - nor does it stand the test of the scientific method. Therefore I feel no urgent requirement to devote my time to reading further religious propagandists trying to shore up their flimsy belief system.

John, New York
June 17, 2009 9:21pm

John, I do not accept your reply of "the Bible" as a valid scientific or secular book for creationism. Creationism deals with real science, believe it or not. Creationists have never said that our God created something that was not Science. You don't seem to understand this portion of this discussion. Creationism states that everything we see and observe and encounter with our senses is real - it just originated with a creator. How hard is that? we still accept all of the science.

Now... my understanding of the THEORY of evolution is (in brief): "biological life has its origins in the far distant past from slow changes that have evolved over the ages from a formation of amino acids etc in the seas and gradually led to the formation of single-celled creatures, which gradually over time evolved into multi-celled organisms and eventually into separate species of life-forms, both animal and plant. This evolving process is ongoing and its main mechanism is adaptation through natural selection, and also and mutations." That's a very brief summary. My most recent readings of evolution books and articlea have indicated that this view is mostly unchanged to this day.

So, John, name me a secular book which explains the theory of creationism in a scientific sense, please.

Joe Boudreault, Hanover, On, Canada
June 18, 2009 7:12pm

Joe, explain to me the "science" behind blind belief in a supreme being?

Evolution is a proven theory, with evidence behind it. Creationism leeches off that credibility by attempting to meld religion and a proven scientific theory.

As long as Creationism requires a suspension of logic (blind faith), it is not, and cannot be, a true science. As such, I will not waste my time reading a book written by propagandists attempting to further their movement. I fail to see what else I need to know about creationism to realize that it's a bunch of hooey. Explain to me how my concept of creationism is wrong, Joe. (I know, I know...that's what the secular book based on religious writings - the bible - is supposed to teach me).

One day, Joe, I hope you really come to understand that religion and science are oil and water - they cannot mix.

Again: Science is based on factual evidence, Religion is based on the lack of factual evidence.

John, New York
June 18, 2009 9:07pm

John,
You use such a
sad
sad
sad
form of argument.

But you use such a terrific form of Avoidance.

I have tried to be graceful and ask you a question in science. I have tried to point out that creationists use nothing but science. I have attempted to be clear in the fact that no evolutionist to this day has ever showed that alleged evidence of his/her theory.

Yet... you insist in dragging God into the picture just to muddy the clear scientific waters that a creationist wants to use.

Yes, science is based on actual fact (NOT surmised, guessed, assumed fact). Answer my scientific questions, one at a time if you prefer.
Or just go away.

Your choice.

Joe Boudreault, Hanover, On, Canada
June 21, 2009 5:45am

Joe, how can creationism be discussed without discussing god? For creationism to be a theory of any kind, it MUST, by the definition of creationism, depend on the existence of a god.

Now, that being the case, how am I avoiding you? You're the one arguing for creationism without admitting that there is no proof of a god.

Joe, the evidence for creationism is the EXACT same evidence as there is for evolution - i.e. that species have evolved over time into the creatures/plantes we see around us now. The ONLY difference is that creationism presents the argument that this is manipulated by a supreme being where evolution says it happens through natural means.

Now, how exactly was I avoiding the argument? Isn't that what you're doing right now? I'm asking you to prove that creationism is more likely than evolution - and you can't do that. Occum's razor applies here - and it says shave off whatever is unnecessary. Given that creationism and evolution use the same fossil record as evidence, I would argue that evolution is the simpler explanation and therefore more desirable.

Evolution does not require blind faith - creationism, BY DEFINITION, does. Creationism without blind faith in a supreme being is evolution.

John, New York
June 21, 2009 3:09pm

John,
Creationism can easliy be discussed without discussing God.
I asked you to consider an alternate interpretation of science, based purely on scientific principles, and you totally avoided it all. Everytime that you (or any other evolutionist) is asked to sit down and look at science in any other view than the status quo of evolutionism, you always back off and inject the "God principle" into it. When I presented a brief list of scientific problems/topics, you avoided it all. This is really tiring. If you can't give a straight answer, in your own words, to a straight question, you have a huge problem in dealing with reality.

And yes, evolution does indeed require a tremendous amount of blind faith, because you cannot prove to me it's basic alleged conclusion: that a species can be observed and proven to change into another species, ad infinitum, so that a single cell, over time , became a man.

I suppose now, you're ready to go after another Avoidance? You never did mention a single book by a creationist that you have read. I can name one for you to try, and it is 100% science and 0 % God. Are you ready, John?

Joe Boudreault, Hanover, On, Canada
June 21, 2009 3:39pm

Quit avoiding the part of god in your discussion of creationism. It's quite simple, Joe. Without a god, creationism cannot have happened. As such, it's only to be expected that god would be discussed when discussing creationism. Quit the dodge.

I would love to try your book, Joe. Really, I would. But, here's the problem. You CANNOT DISCUSS CREATIONISM WITHOUT DISCUSSING THE ROLE OF GOD. That's just plain and simple the definition of creationism. If you think that creationism can be proven without discussing faith in a higher being, then you don't really know what creationism is.

Definition courtesy of dictionary.com:
cre⋅a⋅tion⋅ism
  /kriˈeɪʃəˌnɪzəm/ Show Spelled [kree-ey-shuh-niz-uhm]
–noun
1.the doctrine that matter and all things were created, substantially as they now exist, by an omnipotent Creator, and not gradually evolved or developed.
2.(sometimes initial capital letter) the doctrine that the true story of the creation of the universe is as it is recounted in the Bible, esp. in the first chapter of Genesis.
3.the doctrine that God immediately creates out of nothing a new human soul for each individual born.

As for evolution, there is far less faith required than belief in a god that cannot be proven through any kind of testing. Given that studies using fruit flies (short generations) have proven the theory of evolution, I'm going to stick with science.

John, New York
June 21, 2009 5:11pm

John, you never did answer my last two paragraphs of my June 21st post. It’s true, God (in my opinion) has to be behind creationism. But that doesn’t have to negate any of the science which we know. You said “I would love to try your book, Joe. Really, I would. But… you cannot discuss creationism without discussing the role of God.” Not true, John. Creationism states how things started, not how things now operate. A supreme God who got it all going would not insert lies into evidence, if He were indeed supreme. If science is happenstance (evolutionary) or special (creationism) isn’t it still science? Otherwise, we would not believe in Him – His supremacy would be a fallacy. You seem to skip some mental logic here (by which I suppose I mean the concept that a supreme deity could be possible – emphasis on ‘supreme’, mind you)…
I accept the creationism definitions you give here. No conflict for me. Just don’t condescend and think that creationists don’t understand science. That really offends us, John. Give me YOUR definition of evolution and I would offer my opinion as to why it also requires faith (ie “any kind of testing”). By the way, there’s nothing wrong, John, with faith on either side, and it’s not blind. It is trusting on what others have experienced.
Hmm… fruit flies…evolutionary proof? How so? Canadian popular biologist David Suzuki started a career in this – he never could prove evolution from fruit flies.
Think outside the box. You can do it; I already do.

Joe Boudreault, Hanover, On, Canada
June 23, 2009 4:00pm

Joe, if your creationist theories and evidence are as compelling as Brown's, I'm going to say (again) that I have no desire to read any creationist book. Here's why: Science based on proving a religion to be correct is fallible science. I can cherry pick my science as well - that does not mean my hypotheses are correct, just that I'm ignoring how they're not. I've already explained the problems with Brown's writings in a different podcast, but I can do so again here.

You seem to have this fear of accepting science when it doesn't fit in with your religion. And this is why creationism exists - because it caters to people who want to believe in a higher power without forcing them to argue against scientific discovery. Religion and science cannot mix. Science requires proof, religion requires a lack thereof. In order for religion to maintain it's hold, new hypotheses must evolve to represent what the scientific community has come to accept as proven theory (a.k.a. facts) closely enough for them to not be denying all of science, but far enough away that a divine being may still be presented - a la creationism.

John, New York
June 23, 2009 7:39pm

John,
I agree that arguing a Creator seems not to fit in behind a scientific viewpoint. But the opposite is also true. You can have a strong belief in the possibility of something and then formulate a theory to see if it supports it. Evolutuionists do this too, and there's nothing wrong with that, as far as I can see.

As for a "hidden agenda" of creationism, I disagree. Oh, there's an agenda alright, but it's hardly hidden. I guess the difficult part is to have anybody sit down and seriously discuss science in any format, aside from religion, and think about what comes up. I have total respect for all science, and I am not afraid of its discoveries. Truth is truth.

Would you consider looking at these two YouTube videos (if you've not already seen them):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrdNW4E7gM0&feature=related

AND

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHEGe2rrR-A

One is how to talk with an evolutionists decently, the other is how to talk with a creationist decently. I agree with both of those. There's too much mud-slinging out there, John. There need not be. There should be mutual respect - we are looking at the same science, aren't we?

Joe Boudreault, Hanover, On, Canada
July 6, 2009 11:30am

I think the problem is that we don't know nor can prove what the beginning was.

We even don't know if this universum ends/begins somewhere and if it is not an omniversum.

We called a small part atom and discovered there is more in it.
So we can prove that science don't know everything and there is always more.

Dubbelaar, Veenendaal (NL)
July 7, 2009 4:14am

"I have total respect for all science, and I am not afraid of its discoveries. Truth is truth."

Funny that you stated this 2 weeks ago, and yet now you won't discuss the physics-based refutation of Brown's hypothesis. Nor will you discuss the fossil record. So, what science do you have a respect for? Only the science that supports your beliefs? That's not exactly being open to the "truth is truth" bit nor being unafraid of the discoveries of science, Joe...

John, New York
July 21, 2009 7:20pm

Thank you John, you keep take the words right out of my mouth. The poorest practice in science and research is working with an agenda.

Kevin, Boston
July 22, 2009 7:23am

Once again, I get the feeling from listening to your podcasts that you are treating religion less harshly than a lot of other subjects you've covered. I've heard you call other groups who believe in irrational things 'silly' or 'kooks'. You positively ripped the Raelians a new one.

Yet here you're saying that it's possible to believe in the gist of Genesis and still hold on to rationality. Really? You're saying that someone who believes that a fictional book is real can still be considered rational? What would you say to someone who believed that Jurassic Park was based on a real incident that was covered up by the government? Would you be accepting of this belief? Or would you mock him?

I don't know whether you're just trying to make peace with the religious, or if you are simply afraid to confront them as directly as you do other, less powerful, groups. If it's the former, I can respect that. If it's the latter, I absolutely cannot.

ALL irrational beliefs are irrational, regardless of how many people worldwide believe in them. Someone who believes in a version of the world that does not exist is potentially dangerous, ESPECIALLY when their beliefs are reinforced by others who choose to share the same delusion.

AlexReynard, Michigan, USA
August 21, 2010 4:21pm

Brian, really? Not to sound too radical or anything, but this article is purely insulting. Your attempts at explaining how creationists are irrational is a sorry attempt at best. Your supposed goal of "science" and logic lacked in this article because simply stating what creationists believe is not sufficient to prove them wrong. You are relying on the heavy influx of evolutionist readers who come in the name of "pure science" for support. Evolutionary science today is just as lacking in evidence for the origin of life on this planet and the existence of the universe as you claim creationist's is.

There are many holes in the science of evolution that are radically irrational and illogical to believe. For instance, the origin of life on Earth- probiotic soup? Really? This soup just spontanteously began to form amino acids, which then turned into chains of amino acids which BY THE WAY must have all been LEFT HANDED in order to have formed any life at all (unless we are going to turn away from observable science and pretend like "long long ago, life must have been different") Now add these amino acids to make proteins and then add the proteins together in such an intricate way that it is humanly impossible to replicate and call it chance. There ya go! Now you've got evolutionary science.

Moreover, had Earth's atmosphere contained oxygen (as was assumed in the Miller-Urey experiment), it would've killed life; had it not, the sun would've killed it. This is not irrational!

Keilah, CSU Stanislaus
August 24, 2010 12:49am

No; there you have abiogenesis.

Brian Dunning, Laguna Niguel, CA
August 24, 2010 3:23am

That's nice. You haven't addressed anything in the theory of evolution. The theory of evolution doesn't address abiogenesis.

Got any evidence that life began much as it did today? How did you determine that point? What is the evidence?

Craig, Washington DC
August 24, 2010 11:42am

"There are many holes in the science of evolution that are radically irrational and illogical to believe."

Not only what others have said, but it's a bad version of abiogenesis. Tell me, what do you konw of biogeochemistry? Geology? Paleontology? Biochemistry? Those, among other fields, are necessary to even begin to discuss this topic, at a layman's level.

"This soup just spontanteously began to form amino acids,"

This isn't a flaw. We've found amino acids in space, indicating that they A) didn't need to arise from the soup, and B) aren't that hard to build. As for the handedness, that's an artifact from how life arose (certain minerals atract left-handed amino acids to certain faces; calcite, for example).

The rest of it sounds like Mr. Garison's explination of evolution in South Park. Just a suggestion, but you may want to pick a different person to model your arguments after.

Gregory, Alabama
August 24, 2010 12:39pm

Not humanly possible to create single celled life? Pah!

News.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/326825.stm

Tom H, Kent, UK
August 24, 2010 2:14pm

Have any creation scientists responded in this discussion.

I would like to see their theory. I don't see it anywhere in journals.

Henk van der Gaast, Sydney
October 9, 2010 4:41pm

Here's a real live creation-er...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1279988/Artificial-life-created-Craig-Venter--wipe-humanity.html

Neil Griffiths, uk
November 6, 2010 6:46pm

I think the funniest thing I have read on this site...possibly anywheree... is that when pressed for "proof" of evolution happening today, the only repsonse was a supposed "leg bone" in a whale. Good response for "I don't know what it is there for, must be leftover from evolution."

Matt W, Greenville, SC
November 8, 2010 9:12am

You have a very strange idea of the word "only" matt, look at the discussion threads here and in the other evolution topics for discussion of genetic evidence, transitional fossils, and evolutionary traits found in the human body (like the appendix). If you think whale ankles are the "only" evidence (and that alone is more than creationists have proven) then you ignored a LOT of comments.

Tom H, Kent, UK
November 24, 2010 10:46am

Science attacks itself far more efficiently than the general public.

You dont nee Joe blow's rhetoric to discredit discovery, you need a better scientist.

Sorry Matt, what ever flaws that are in our understanding of evolution, they are flaws in our understanding not flaws in the theory. After all, Darwins work pre-dated chemistry and biology. It also predicted genetics and is the over arching theory of biology.

With it came an astounding amount of prediction and an incredible amount of application. You eat it, you wear it and you live longer because of it. Biochemistry would be ridiculous if evolution had not occurred.

I actually heard Kent Hovind absolutely stumped when confronted by this and avoids talking to anyone who can possibly throw these at him again.

Even more, the geologies that led to evolutionary pathways are very well establishe. With it, the predictions and applications again.

The and cosmology within science has no room for a deity either.

The question does not become, did evolution occur? It is in fact, is god a scientific question?

Matt, that is philosophy and the pundits in the argument adress it out of ignorance at times. Why? well its never been established that there is a deific effect, its just sumerian and semitic story.

Redacted in the Babylonian exile to form genesis.

This is a basis for belief, observation, prediction and application is the basis for theory.

Henk van der Gaast, Sydney
November 24, 2010 4:57pm

What Do Creationists Really Believe? As a young earth, literal six-day creationist, I am convinced that the single most problematic facet of science that the universal church of Darwinism will find to be its Achilles heel, is that the fossil record is distancing itself ever farther from any evidence in support of naturalistic evolution. In spite of Stephen Gould's desperate attempt to counter the obvious absence of any transitional specimens, (which, of necessity, if evolution is true, we should be walking neck deep in such fossils) today, many honest evolutionists freely acknowedge that it is just not factual. In 1981, evolutionist Mark Ridley, who currently serves as a professor of zoology at Oxford University, was forced to confess: "In any case, no real evolutionist, whether gradualist or punctuationist, uses the fossil record as evidence in favour of the theory of evolution as opposed to special creation." What do creationists really believe? We believe that, as with all fairy tales, Darwinian evolutionary theory will soon be given its proper place in history.

Garry Webb, Hamilton, Ohio USA
January 14, 2011 10:55pm

I firmly believe in the Bible, and was raised to do so. I also was raised to question everything, including what I was raised to believe. As a result, I tend to have some very different views on certain things than the people I worship with every Sunday.

The question of Creation is something that has never been a big issue for me, but I have given it quite a bit of thought nonetheless.

The entirety of Creation is summed up in the Bible in about 600 words (depending on version). That's a pretty deep and complex subject to summarize in such a short space. But consider the audience. I do believe that the Bible was written indirectly for all mankind in all time, but I also recognize that it was written directly for people who lived a few thousand years ago and didn't have the science we have today. The subject was necessarily simplified to make it easier for its audience to comprehend.

Take a very complex subject (How was the space shuttle designed and built?). Summarize the entire process in 600 words in a way that covers all the main points but that an average 3rd grader would understand. Now hand it to the head of NASA and, without telling him that the limitations of this writing task, ask him if your document is accurate.

Chances are, he will point out a lot of inaccuracies; not because your summary was wrong, but because in simplifying you had to leave a lot of information out.

I believe the Biblical account of Creation is a simplified summary of a very complex process.

Candace, Southern California Desert
January 15, 2011 11:45pm

I did a quick search on evolution on this site and could not find one article showing scepticism about that theory’s assertions or predictions. I would like to suggest that one should be sceptical about evolution.
Examples:
No origin of life experiment has yet succeeded in creating something living from dead matter without extensive human intervention (RNA world hypnosis and experiments included).
The fossil record shows sudden appearance of new life forms.
The information in DNA requires an origin blind chance cannot produce new information, this can be shown by simple experiment.
I am often disappointed by so called sceptic writers as they seem just to be apologists for atheism rather than truly questioning everything. Incidentally on day age creationism as Jehovah’s Wittiness see it : The bible accounts (There or two versions in Genesis chap 1 and 2) of creation allows for the blurring of the day-ages and what appeared during them.

Ivan de Villiers, South Africa
January 22, 2011 11:39am

Ivan:

A skeptical look at the Theory Of Evolution will probably follow a skeptical look at another two highly controversial theories - the round earth theory, and the heliocentric solar system theory.

Joking aside though, there is a good discussion (evo/creation debate) going on at the mo in the skeptoid forums, with rebuttals and info on your points, and probably to any future points also.

As for your remark about skeptics being apologists for atheism, rather than questioning everything, the same can be said for religious apologists - however in this case the remark would be more accurate.

The very reason science has arrived where it is (eg TOE, QED) is because by its very nature it questions everything, requires evidence, self critiques. Its truly a brutal process. This in stark contrast to religion, which actively discourages criticism or certain questions.
And thats what youre trying to do here isnt it - suggest that religion (your version no less) is an equally valid theory.

Its said theres still a place for religion, as it fills a different and very real need, but its going to have to find a way to accept reality, and many have adapted and found ways - I admire that.

Take a critical/skeptical look at the bible - I mean, really, really ask some questions; you can still be a believer, but dont some things just really mystify you?

Jon, Auckland,NZ
January 23, 2011 1:54am

Jon

Thanks for the response:
The round earth and Sun location has been proven and is a law of nature where evolution when honestly reviewed barely if at all makes it out the gate as a good scientific theory.
What I trying to do is point out that scepticism toward evolution is valid and that a belief in special creation has experimental and observation validity. Religion has nothing to do with that. As for a sceptical look at the bible I have done this and I am not mystified at all. I do appreciate your acknowledgment on religion. I agree with the mathematician Kurt Gobel to paraphrase “Religions are mostly bad, religion is not”. I don’t like religious apologists much either.

I don't see the Evo/creation debate here as definite. My points are not addressed adequately in peer reviewed literature as are a number of others points, I have not mentioned. Science is not the clean clinical honest search for truth it sells its self as with dogmas and politics in it’s intuitions. A good exercise that would demonstrate this, if one wishes, is an investigation into why the big bang is accepted today. Lookup Hilton Radcliff as a start. For a bit of humour: “I know god exists and want men to happy as he gave us beer” B Franklin; we must be skeptical that he actually said that.

Ivan de Villiers, South Africa
January 23, 2011 12:19pm

That individual institutions may have dogma or agenda is exactly why science uses anull hypothosis to test theories then open the hypothosis to peer review. A scientist may display a bias, but "science" will not. It is why evolution as a theory adapts and changes overtime as new evidence is gathered. On the other hand "creationism" fails to be "science" exactly because of the static nature. That does not make religion bad or unworthy, it just makes creationism bad science that misrepresents things because of the nature of the dogma, and fails to self correct through "the method". If you can sweperate the objective evidence from the subjective view point you can make your way towards "science", but again, creationism fails as it starts from a subjective view that God is real, and not a null.

TomH, Kent, UK
January 25, 2011 6:52am

TomH:

Science is a human made method to discover things about the natural world but standard theory is administered by people who can be biased or have various ideological commitments. So published papers and peer reviews my reflect bias and ideology, a number of examples exist. See my bit on the big bang on the earlier post. Hence I am sceptical about a thing that does not have an observational or experimental basis. i.e various aspects of evolution.
I don't agree with creationism in general. I just objected to the article’s explanation of day-age creationism on the issues of day-age matching.

Ivan de Villiers, South Africa
January 26, 2011 1:18pm

And again Ivan, individuals may be biased, but the method is designed not to be. We call it objective reasoning, and if an idea is placed for peer review in any given journal you can bet that biases, selective evidences, flawed procedures and other errors, intended or otherwise would be noted and disputed by the peers doing the review. It takes very little effort or training to learn how to look for good practice in most forms of research. Was the hypothosis formed then evidence gathered to prove it, or was the hypothisis based on the evidence gathered by an experiment. Was it blinded, double blinded, subjective or objective? How was the evidence chosen to be presented?

Science is not with out controversy and differing opinions, neither are scientists. Individual papers however are with out bias if good practice is followed, for the simple reason that bad practice is easily spotted and shot down. See the laughable "research" into the connection between Autism and the MMR jab as a good example for the system working. While newspapers were still startled by the claims of "danger", five other studies had been launched to highlight the flawed process and repeat the experiment in controlled conditions (not taking "samples" from a kids party for example) with a null hypothosis, and exposed the massaged figures claiming a false level of danger. While tabloids were in panic, scientists looked bemused because a clear bias had made the original claim worthless.

TomH, Kent, UK
January 27, 2011 3:17am

TomH:
I invite you to take a look at this site senseaboutscience.org.uk
And “I don’t know what to believe...” Making sense of science stories” a document that is a short explanation of peer review see page 7 under the heading “Does peer review detect fraud and misconduct?” If peer review can’t detect these things then unintentional errors or bias might also be missed. Also maybe take a look at this book review, and comments about science delivering the goods drjbloom.com/Publicfiles/Lewontin_Review.htm. On a Carl Sargan's book The Demon-Haunted World
What my ultimate points are:
That it would be correct that a thinking person be critical and sceptical about matters scientific as of any other domain of knowledge. You reinforce this view by correctly pointing out that controversies exist in science. The Common man looks for certainty in an uncertain world and puts faith in what and where he perceives to have found it (most often religion),it is human nature to vigorously defend the object of security especially when it has given benefits to it’s holder.
Never the less I have enjoyed commenting here as although we disagree we have not stooped to insults as often happens on internet discussions.

Ivan de Villiers, South Africa
January 27, 2011 4:49am

Ivan, with all due respect if you really examine the nature of the scientific process you will come to see its self-correcting and always improving over time. If you stray off the path in a scientific endeavour your collegues will only be too happy to call you on it in a public, open forum. It isnt perfect, but it works a hell of a lot more often then it does not.

This isnt a case about having to defend good science. Tom is emgaging in a case of presenting how it works and stands up for itself.

This is a markedly different practice from religion which does not grow and adapt to new information, which keeps many secrets, which has to interpret present day facts in a way to suit its ancient theories in order to remain relevant.

Due to the nature of the scientific endeavour, the ONLY way somebody cannot see how evolution works is to deny large sectors of the existing science in how evolution developed. YEC ppl are profoundly guilty of misinterpretation in every respect. Indeed the only way their proposals about the flaws in evolution can ONLY stand based on willful misinterpretation.

Good science speaks for itself and one does not need to have faith because evidence exists. Religions often need to shoot other ideas down and ignore various facts to keep the edifice up, and can only exist BY faith. Big difference.

Dont be part of the problem, be part of the solution. Become properly informed on the process before making these kinds of statements.

Cam, Thunder Bay
January 27, 2011 8:48am

Unfortunately most the critiques of Demon Haunted World have had little concern with the process of science and every concern with saying "It doesnt matter if the process is good I bet scientists have an agenda". Or "I prefer to have faith", which seems to match Ivans comments. I have no quibble with faith. I dislike faith being misrepresented as science, or rather the process of how science works.

Ivan makes it sound in his statement as though the controversy in science, the disagreement of opinions is a weakness in the process, so we should look for answers in religion instead. My view is the opposite.religions tend to believe they have the answers, and those answers are locked firmly in the stance or bias of that religion. If I want a moral answer i ask a priest or holy man. If i want knowledge of how and why the world works i look to science and I use the method. It IS the controversy, the disparity in the framework of the method that is not static and allows our understanding to progress.

In its purest form the method is not biased by opinion because those opinions are built after the evidence has been gathered. If a preacher is told he is wrong he listens. But when a mathmatician is told he is wrong he learns, because all peers hold the findings not the author to account.

TomH, Kent, UK
January 27, 2011 10:50am

Tomh:

Richard Charles "Dick" Lewontin (born March 29, 1929) is an American evolutionary biologist, geneticist and social commentator. He has an agenda?
My links will provide readers with a place to go so they can decide the merits of what was discussed.
Farewell

Ivan de Villiers, South Africa
January 28, 2011 4:25am

I am a "creationist". I suggest you check out: Lee Strobel's "The Case for a Creator", Guillermo Gonzalez & Jay Richards "The Privileged Planet", and many other resources at equip.org.

matrix1004, Pittsburgh
February 2, 2011 12:59pm

Tom says: "If I want a moral answer I ask a priest or holy man" Now isn't that interesting for what he is in fact doing here is effectively stating that "Religion is necessary to a good moral centre?"

But Tom you refuse to admit that is actually how you view morality on the appropriate thread "Religion as a Moral Center" - You also in this thread here describe a priest as "listening" when he is told he is wrong but not learning. That is often true, so maybe in moral questions you are asking the wrong man.

You describe the mathematician as different because his peers hold the findings not the author to account and seem to consider that is how it should be. Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, for so it must be in social and moral questions

In a democracy EVERY individual is a peer in fundamental moral, economic and social questions. But you seem to want hierarchies of elitist "ability" recognised here, That is how a class system operates, That is precisely how we end up with a hideous division between rich and poor which worldwide leaves hundreds of millions starving

Creationism is the imposition of a blatant lie by a group considering itself to be an elite - and indeed a moral elite - on the general population. It corrupts the peoples spirituality through institutions promulgating fraud

Project that into the field of social order, economics and morality and you will reach your starting point knowing it for the first time

Done that - Dad was a Baptist :-)

Phi, Sydney
March 19, 2011 4:32pm

No Phiona, morals are a technique to argue what you want about human behaviour.

Should you peruse other terms as "ontological and logical absolutes" in failed philosophy 101 you will find that moral is a term of convenience for those too lazy to accept that what they do would be immoral if "moral" was a fair use word in grammar and our current lexicon.

If I wanted a moral opinion, I too would seek a religious persons advise. Not because I think they are the cradle of "moral" behaviour (quite the opposite) I would need clarification on a new blither that is currently being disseminated through the general community.

Seeing the existence every god invented by religion is very disputable, the moral argument is beautiful to garner when trying to dispute the fall back position of religion.."God is supernatural".

That is a point that you have to bear in mind, not a single religion has claimed their god is supernatural and science is not in the business of garnering views on what this new 50 year old phenomenon is.

I blame it on the boogie..

Henk V, Sydney Australia
March 30, 2011 4:24pm

Henk say: "If I wanted a moral opinion, I too would seek a religious persons advise." I need a big quote here. At the time of the rise of nazism Reich wrote often on this kind of fixed attitude. These were his great days

Irrationality, said Reich, enables people to reinforce their existing prejudices, and it is therefore very difficult to counter irrationality through reason.

" the conclusion is always there ready-made before the thinking process; the thinking does not serve, as in the rational realm, to arrive at a correct conclusion; rather, it serves to confirm an already existing irrational conclusion and to rationalize it.

This is generally called "prejudice"; what is overlooked is that this prejudice has social consequences of considerable magnitude, that it is very wide-spread and practically synonymous with what is called "inertia and tradition"; it is intolerant, that is, it does not tolerate the rational thinking which might do away with it; consequently, the thinking of the emotional plague is inaccessible to arguments; it has its own technique within its own realm, its own "logicality," as it were; for this reason, it gives the impression of rationality without being actually rational." (Character Analysis first edition 1933)

I also recommend his "Mass Psychology of Fascism" Reich qualified in medicine in Vienna and worked with Freud. His later work is questionable. His earlier brilliant

Phi, Sydney
April 8, 2011 2:17pm

can u answer my usion wht do they really believe

reuben, exeter
May 11, 2011 6:46am

I appreciate your condensed overview of the different types of creationism, esp. pointing out that it is the fundamentalist Young Earthers (some of which who can be quite rude I might add, forgetting Christ's admonitions and teachings about loving one another) that seem to get all the media hype. This gets incredibly frustrating for someone like myself, a deeply committed Christ follower and daughter to an exceptionally gifted scientist father who helped me to see that scientific study and faith do not have to battle against one another. I'm curious to know if you are familiar with the national organization Reasons to Believe? My father was chapter president in Houston and so my entire family has been involved with their efforts to bridge the gap between science and Christian faith with respectful and open dialogue amongst the scientific and faith communities.

Karen Koenig, Springfield, IL
May 12, 2011 11:58am

Now I know who Tom H is... Jonofan Woss...

My evidence...?

Quote:"If you can {sweperate} the objective evidence from the subjective view point you can make your way towards "science"..."

#My brackets to highlight!

Joking...

But I must address Ivan's point...

Life, molecular self replicating DNA, has been manufactured in the 'lab'...or don't you follow current affairs in Africa?

Neil Griffiths, uk
September 20, 2011 5:57pm

Why is there this dichotomy in the religious community? Science and religion can be reconciled if the belief in Christianity is joined with a belief in God (of any religion). Muslims, Jews, etc. also believe in God, but have little use for Jesus as a Son of God. We can accept the Big Bang theory, but still believe God lit the fuse. What is the issue that we have to accept the Bible as the word or God, when all believe it was written by man. By Christian belief, all people are sinners, therefore, all they have written must contain some small sin, such as exaggeration, lying, omission, etc.

Bruce, D.C.
November 3, 2011 4:31am

My religion says that the universe created itself. and all of the systems that exist here. Human life is just a recent culmination.

AP, Iowa US
January 28, 2012 2:40pm

Omphalism makes God out to be a liar! This is totally unacceptable. As I have discovered recently, by trying to have a discussion with one, Young Earth Creationists are bibliolaters. That too, is just wrong...

Debby, Auckland New Zealand
April 28, 2012 8:55pm

As someone who graduated from a fairly well-known and conservative seminary, I think this is a pretty good article! However, I think it overstates the extent to which most "learned" "creationists" would hold to any particular view. Most of us hold very strongly to the notion that God created. Beyond that, however, we are generally open to discussion. Very few would hold staunchly to a young earth view, which is based on what certainly appears to be a flawed hermeneutic of the first few chapters of Genesis. Clearly, these chapters are typical of Hebrew poetry and should be read as such. Which is not to say they convey no truth; but rather, that the truth they convey is allegorical. What the allegory refers to is up to debate, but given the role of general revelation (what the universe has to say to us by its very existence), the idea of a literal 6-day period of creation some 6,000 years ago is neither necessary nor seemingly defensible.

In the end, science can neither prove nor defeat religious belief. So the zealots of either camp are essentially slapping at windmills.

John, Colorado Springs
May 4, 2012 8:14am

It always distresses me when I read these very 'educated' explanations about religion and life. Religion to me is some form of escapism into an unreal world, a world of make belief so wonderful especially for the poor who desperately seeks something better they have been told they will find in an unknown place called heaven. Then we have those that believe the entire endless universe was created by someone nobody ever saw or knew within six days ... why the hurry when we are told that he exist from eternity to eternity. Then we also come across a bloke by the name Noah that took two of each animal, insect, bird and perhaps some plants as well and drifted around for 40 days on a huge boat he and his sons built whilst the entire earth was covered in a 40 days rain storm. Just image all that water mixing with the salty seawater how long that would take to dry up ... to what level ... and how it would have effected plant growth afterwards. Religions are wishful thinking. Man developed some sort of other world every time he was confronted with something he did not understand. Something out there must have made it, control it, etc because they could not understand what it was. And, so we are today confronted with literally hundreds of religions from every corner of the earth ... they all adopted something from one another ... everyone claiming that their religion is the 'true' religion. For in Christians religion were turned upside down when St Paul came on the scene

G Rademeyer, Sydney, Australia
July 12, 2012 4:59pm

gallery@darwinfish.co.uk

The above link can be used to give feedback on where and when you spotted a "DARWIN FISH"... I've seen 2 in Cardiff, and soon I'll have one on the back of my cars.

I believe in ... COD not GOD.

Neil Griffiths, uk
July 14, 2012 4:44pm

Weare all Darwin fish Neil...for the sake of consistency we say "Cod be with you (and also with you)).

But I know its a whiting...

Cheers, beers and many great meals for you...

Mud, At virtually missing point, NSW, OZ,
December 18, 2012 1:49am

When you say, 'reconcile with science', don't you for the most part mean, 'reconcile with the popular interpretation of science'?

Most models of cars are similar to each other. This is true, not because they evolved, but because they were designed similarly. It is therefore indisputably true that, not just evolution, but also design, can be a cause of similar features. So when a creationist says, "I accept the scientific finding that a monkey and a man are similar, but consider design rather than evolution to be a better explanation for that fact," what science have they rejected? Surely the only thing they have rejected is an argumentum ad populum, not a scientific piece of evidence.

Surely creationists would be equally - if not more - justified in accusing evo-psychologists of trying to reconcile evolution with science, with every story they make up about how our social actions are based on how primitive humans acted, despite the fact that even if we were really connected to so-called 'primitive humans', there would be no way of knowing how they acted socially!

And you misrepresent intelligent design somewhat - rather than saying science cannot fully address the question, ID points to how science CAN identify recognisable patterns in what happens when things are designed (like I just did with the example of the cars) and considering how these patterns can be used to scientifically determine if something is the result of an intelligent act.

David, UK
December 19, 2012 8:14am

I think the definition of science has just (and again) been popularised.

That view, David, was exemplified by a misunderstanding of anthropology.

Its a popular past time.

No, ID is shown to be a posit that has failed. Probably because a similar argument to technology (as above) was profoundly falsified.

Be my guest to review.

Is ID similar to anthropology? No, anthropology bases its argument on a different data set (actual data).

Is Creationism similar to anthropology, no, its the marketing arm of westernised ancient asian religions. The marketing arm being rapidly being made redundant over the past 200 years.

Religion doesnt need creationism and religion certainly likes to tell us it doesnt need it.

Let creationism argue with head office before it trots out a febrile posit.

ID jumped the shark on the day it went reconciling with "popular science"..

Moral Dolphin Back in Mud Suit, Greenacres by the sea Oz
May 29, 2013 8:33am

A quote from this article: “It is not possible to be a thoroughly researched Young Earther and still retain any grasp on rationality”

The irony of Mr. Dunning’s article is amazing. I have studied creationism for years; and discoveries over the last 5-10 years have lead me to conclude the Young Earth Creationism (YEC) is now MORE logically solid than evolution. Yes you read that correct: MORE logically solid.

Here’s why I say that: a few years ago I started researching arguments AGAINST it, out of curiosity. Long story short: I estimate that I have read EVERY argument against YEC that exists. And the results of my search have been GREATLY encouraging. It really is a logically solid model!

At the same time, I’ve researched arguments against evolution. Again encouraging, because the logical flaws in evolution WELL outnumber the VERY few challenges to creationism.

So when I read statements like: “certifiably insane”, “completely abandon reason and rationality”, and “[not] maintain a grip on reality”, I can’t help but ponder, is Mr. Dunning writing out of ignorance, or simply out of emotions. Perhaps he doesn’t really understand YEC. Perhaps he hasn’t done that same level of research behind challenges to his own belief model (evolution).

I have no need to defend my belief, but did want to point out that incredible irony.
This wouldn’t be the first time small groups were ridiculed for their belief, only later to be found correct.

Jeff, Alabama
September 30, 2013 11:21am

Jeff, I think Brian referred to rationality of any argument and seeing the above I am glad some strove so hard to exhibit that.

Congratulations.

Magnetic Dowser, Pho's diner, Greenacres by the Sea
September 30, 2013 4:18pm

The really strange thing is that in the USA it is considered necessary to have a debate about creationism.
In the rest of the world,educated people rightly just laugh at the idea,it's a Bronze Age superstition invented by a small tribe in the Middle East,and hardly relevant to any aspect of life in the 21st century.

nick cox, singapore
October 2, 2013 12:09am

...confirming my last line.
Did you actually read my post BTW?

Jeff, Alabama
October 2, 2013 11:44am

Yes Jeff, many people who ARE rational read your post. Creationists are not a small group: they have mega-churches with thousands of worshipers. It is a great pity that so many people in a developed country are not well enough educated to be able to differentiate between the real and the make-believe.

Rosella Alm, West Covina, CA
October 2, 2013 10:18pm

"Young Earth Creationism (YEC) is now MORE logically solid than evolution."
Tell us about it.

"I have no need to defend my belief"
Nuff said, Jeff.

Honey, YEC was popular in 16th-century Europe.
Also, geocentrism was popular in medieval Europe.

Welcome to te 21st century.

Welcome to te 21st century, NY
October 3, 2013 12:42pm

Rosella: Good point. Although YEC has had its ‘growing pains’, it is growing, and that is encouraging.

BTW, fellow YECs, I highly encourage you to do like I did, don’t be afraid to read all the challenges to YEC. Many are simply written from a naturalistic perspective and aren’t challenges after all. Others, if you’ll research them, have decent answers. It’s a good feeling to know you’ve done something few evolutionists are willing to do. I now ENJOY reading arguments against YEC. I always walk away encouraged.

“Welcome to te 21st century”: Not interested really. I don't know your motives. I’ve learned no matter how solid the evidence, if some want to argue it…they will. People always find what they’re ‘looking’ for.

If you (or others) really are curious, you're more than welcome to research it yourself.

Jeff, Alabama
October 7, 2013 7:16am

Jeff,
I understand that the people of Alabama recently believed that people of African origin wer a lower life form, and forbid people of Caucasian heritage to marry these lower life forms. Now you are professing that you find our scientists to be marginally rational, by believing that their scientific methods are just skewed due to God's will. The God I believe in does ot consult with Jeff on His will. If Jeff believes he knows God's will, then Jeff believes he is very important, or that God is very petty. I don't think He needs to consult with anybody on this planet about his will for us, and anybody that claims to know His will is very arrogant.

Wingrider, Virginia
October 17, 2013 5:41am

I’m actually from Colorado (exiled to AL) . And yes, racism is wrong.

Fellow YECs, I just finished and EXCELLENT book on young earth creationism: ‘The Global Flood: Unlocking Earth's Geologic History’ by Dr. John Morris. If you’re only planning on reading one creationism book, this is it! Although it primarily focuses on the global flood, it touches on everything from astronomy to genetics.

As I mentioned before, I have read every argument against YEC I can find. While reading this book, I was impressed at how many of the supposed challenges to YEC this one book answers.

Read it and be encouraged at how solid the YEC model is.

Then after reading it, go back and read Brian Dunning’s comments above about YECs … and try not to laugh.

Jeff, Alabama
November 19, 2013 10:01am

Wow, Jeff, I am amazed that you have come to believe this. You are telling me that the Earth is only 6 to 10 thousand years old, and that the human race was formed in six days. SIX FREAKING DAYS! Why don't you read through your own comments and try not to laugh. You are not helping YEC's case. You think that all major features on Earth were formed in a few days, as according your comments, and, and, and, yeah. All I got to say. Sorry, but I cannot believe how far the human race has fallen. A favorite quote. The human race can be separated into two groups, those who are crazy, and those who won't admit it. ( I can't sleep tonight. That's why, bleh)

Rowan Dunn, Olympia, Washington
December 31, 2013 1:01am

He could have done it in six milliseconds.

What’s amazing Rowan, is the general public’s ignorance of both the Creation model, and the depravity of evolution. Evidence is building up against evolution every year. If you disagree, it’s only because you haven’t done the research.

Speaking of doing research, I just finished another good book I’d like to recommend: “Creation Basics & Beyond: An In-Depth Look at Science, Origins, and Evolution” by the Institute for Creation Research (August 5, 2013). Read that book, and you’ll realize why creationists know they have a better model.

Jeff, Alabama
January 2, 2014 8:04am

To debate an individual's faith or present evidence to show that there are other solutions to how we and our world evolved or orginated is almost as pointless as trying to talk a die hard Pittsburgh Steeler fan into pulling for the Cleveland Browns. .obviously its impossible for our earth to be 10,000 years old and it has taken millions of years for mankind to evolve and yes earth is over 4 billion years old...It's futile to confront old world faith that is still unfortunately being taught to young people today.

dave festa, florida
January 22, 2014 1:30pm

"obviously its impossible for our earth to be 10,000 years old..."

Crud, someone better let God know that!

Jeff, Alabama
February 17, 2014 5:48am

Wow this is a touchy subject and full of passion from both sides.

However when one chooses to take a breath and look at what both die hards say on both sides you come to realize that BOTH SIDES ARE "FINATICS" on a religious scale.

Lets look at the two extreams.
One says the bible with 7 day creation is the truth. That is silly.
Even jesus was stated as saying "1000 years to you is but a day to my father".
However the other "evolution/scientific" side with the big bang theory along with the random chance is also EQUALLY SILLY.

Let me clarify on this.
Science INSISTS that something CANNOT COME FROM NOTHING.
However they suscribe to the big bang theory which in cold hard truth SAYS THAT VERY THING.
Then they claim that all life came from basic elements that just happened to combine right and every variety of life from plants, animals, ect came from the same microbes.
Yea that would be a random chance that defies logic. Like saying (as close as I can) that you would be in just the right spot in the open when 3 nukes go off and unharmed.
Possible but unquestionably unlikely.

I tend to think that the truth is somewhere in the middle and why the theory of intelligent design is taking hold.

Maybe a god/alien/other as it were started the process then let nature (aka evolution) take its course?

In conclusion while unpopular again BOTH sides have more than a few glaring factual holes in their argument that all the name calling and passion CANNOT JUSTIFY.

Eric, Northern IL USA
March 3, 2014 11:00pm

Just curious what are the silly points about the bigbang your referring to? Also you may want to spend time researching what nothing is to quantum physics and vacums compared to the philosophical veiws of nothing... though if you think that something cant come from nothing you lets assume that you feel that there was always something. ..if there was always something ,are you claiming something evolved from something ?,do think something is a continuous loop? With no begining. If your trying to imagine nothing..good luck there's nothing to imagine...

dave festa, florida
March 7, 2014 2:13pm

Dave,

Interesting post that uses alot of words but in practicality says nothing.

I presented clear and easy to follow evidence of BOTH SIDES being as zelot to their cause as any religious finatic using arguments that have clear holes in them.

By your "big bang" tirade you clearly did not want to address the issues I presented and instead (as BOTH SIDES extreamist do) hope to belittle the person as a way to win your argument.

The earth was not created in the literal 7 24 hour days (as die hard creations say).

As for all life comming from some basic life building blocks, forming microbes and all life (be plant, animal, human) evolved from this "ooze" is also as silly (and theoretically possible but realistic impossible).

The truth is somewhere inbetween.

But as usual dave wants to name call, belittle or fill a post with comments that do not speak to the topic at hand.

Eric, Northern IL USA
March 13, 2014 11:59pm

Nice try macky

dave festa, florida
March 14, 2014 7:13am

Haha I didn't see this before because I haven't posted on this subject.

I notice dave is still thinking that Eric and myself are one and the same, as at March 2014.

I might as well throw in my 2-cents worth, I guess.

Belief is belief, that's it. It does not require "proof" of a scientific nature, and the world is full of it, on all fronts.

Even many scientists are believers. They believe that their process is the only definitive method for establishing "what is, and is not".

For the "believers" I recommend not trying to "prove" their beliefs by trying to use science to back them up.

God for example cannot be proven or disproven by science, which is the investigation of nature, because He is a supernatural being (or not) therefore outside the realm of science. There are many scientists who have a belief in the God of some religion or other.

As for the Big Bang, my belief is that it is only a continuing process of space/matter/energy/time condensing down to a theoretical point (not in space because space itself is that point) before expanding out again with another Big Bang in the "day" of the universe, until at some point, the process of universal expansion slows, and then everything starts to contract again over billions of years until it condenses back down to a point once more, the "night" of the universe, and then another Big Bang, a continuous "breathing in and out" of "All That Is".

I got no proof for this, it is simply my belief. That is all.

Macky, Auckland
August 5, 2014 2:45am

"Science INSISTS that something CANNOT COME FROM NOTHING."

No, not quite. Conservation of Energy says that in a closed system, energy cannot be created. The universe is not a closed system. In fact, it is a very complex system where energy can be transferred from various places giving the appearance of energy creation in a given system.

"However they suscribe to the big bang theory which in cold hard truth SAYS THAT VERY THING."

No, in fact the Big Bang Theory does not say that. The Big Bang posits that at a moment 13.8 billion years ago, all that is was compressed to a singularity, unfathomably hot and dense, and then began rapidly expanding. The Big Bang Theory explains the formation of the modern universe, but does not necessarily explain the actual origin of the elements of the universe. For all the Big Bang Theory cares, the singularity could have been put there by a divine being. That simply isn't something the Big Bang Theory is designed to explain.

To be continued... Gonna need more room to type the next thing out...

Eric Payne, Maryland, USA
September 14, 2014 6:36am

"Then they claim that all life came from basic elements that just happened to combine right and every variety of life from plants, animals, ect came from the same microbes."

Again, close, but not quite. Dancing around the cosmos are all the elements that eventually form life. Banging around in the dense heat of the sun, light elements cook to become heavy elements. These elements are periodically ejected from the solar furnace and, over 10 billion years form the Earth. Over the next billion years, more atoms of various elements bombard the new Earth and combine to form new molecules or various elements held together via chemical bonds, like water.

And, yes, we get lucky* and various simple molecules combine until we get replicating molecules, like DNA and RNA. And these replicating molecules combine until we get the first microbes. Life. Simple, single-celled life. A billion years of elements combining into molecules to eventually get any life.

...Next up: Microbes to People.

Eric Payne, Maryland, USA
September 14, 2014 6:53am

So, these single celled microbes are floating around, with their DNA and RNA, being bombarded with cosmic rays. UV mostly, since the atmosphere hadn't fully formed either. One of the things we know can happen is mutation after exposure to UV radiation. In humans, we call it Skin Cancer.

So, these microbes are floating around in the relatively fresh water of the Earth, being bombarded with UV light. Some of the microbes develop a mutation from all this UV light: the ability to detect the presence of light; a primitive ability to "see". These microbes shy away from the light and, thus, the UV radiation that is killing its "brothers". The microbes that live are able to reproduce and, over time, more microbes are able to "see" than not. This is called Natural Selection; via natural processes, the most beneficial mutations are passed down and non-beneficial mutations are lost.

Over the next 3.5 billion years, this keeps happening until we get the complex, multi-cellular life that we have now.

"Yea that would be a random chance that defies logic."

Well, no. It's not random chance; a chance, yes, but not random. And, if you're going to bring logic into this: yes, it does defy logic, but so does creationism. So, you're left with two opposing ideas that defy logic. In the absence of logic, we look to evidence. We can observe and test processes that lead us to the Big Bang Theory. Y-E-Creationism has a book of anecdotes. It isn't testable.

Keep your faith. I have no use for it.

Eric Payne, Maryland, USA
September 14, 2014 7:15am

Oh, and a bit about the * a few posts back:

I think the biggest reason that people cling to faith in the face of evidence is luck. Specifically, the idea that life happened due to an unfathomable stroke of luck is scary. It tells most people that we aren't special; that there is no greater purpose. Yup, there doesn't seem to be a greater purpose, except that which we make for ourselves. This is terrifying; going through life, witnessing the horrors that we inflict on each other, with no end goal? Yeah, it's terrifying, to say the least.

But that doesn't mean we aren't special.

We are a one in an infinitesimal chance that hit big.

We are a stroke of luck that logic says should be impossible.

We are when nothing else seems to be.

We are; terrifying and beautiful.

Eric Payne, Maryland, USA
September 14, 2014 7:25am

"Dancing around the cosmos are all the elements that eventually form life."

"we get lucky* and various simple molecules combine...".

All these are an evolutionist's nice bedtime stories (they help them sleep at night), but founded in empirical evidence?? Hardly. Evolutionist Richard Lewontin admittedly calls these 'unsubstantiated just-so stories'.

If you researched challenges to abiogenesis, you'd understand that 'luck' and time don't help. The basic laws of chemistry will ENSURE that correct starting molecules repeatedly randomly thrown together will NEVER create a living cell. Every time, you are guaranteed to NOT get a cell.

"Keep your faith, I have no use for it" - Incredibly ironic statement from someone who as faith that we 'got lucky' and the impossible (abiogenesis) really happened!

BTW, you posted 4 comments in row. Did you read not read the request below: "please try to keep it brief & to the point"

Jeff, Alabama
September 30, 2014 9:39am

"Dancing around the cosmos are all the elements that eventually form life."

"we get lucky* and various simple molecules combine...".

All these are an evolutionist's nice bedtime stories (they help them sleep at night), but founded in empirical evidence?? Hardly. Evolutionist Richard Lewontin admittedly calls these 'unsubstantiated just-so stories'.

If you researched challenges to abiogenesis, you'd understand that 'luck' and time don't help. The basic laws of chemistry will ENSURE that correct starting molecules repeatedly randomly thrown together will NEVER create a living cell. Every time, you are guaranteed to NOT get a cell.

"Keep your faith, I have no use for it" - Incredibly ironic statement from someone who as faith that we 'got lucky' and the impossible (abiogenesis) really happened!

BTW, you posted 4 comments in row. Did you read not read the request below: "please try to keep it brief & to the point"

Jeff, Alabama
September 30, 2014 9:41am

How every tiring. I'm not going to even attempt to explain what has been explained within this thread a thousand times already.

I have a question.

If creationism is true, provide evidence and no proving A to be wrong does not make B correct.

I'll wait... and wait......

Stephen, Boston
September 30, 2014 1:41pm

"If creationism is true, provide evidence"
Over the years I've learned with evolutionists, it's not worth the effort.

Listen, since origins deals with the past, it all comes down to confidence levels, and I've come to the conclusion that evolutionists cannot have the same confidence level I have in Creationism. Here's why:

There is no better indication of confidence in a belief than being willing to research arguments AGAINST your belief. That's exactly what I've done. I have read, and continue to read every argument against Creationism I can find. And each time I walk away more confident in how solid it is. I've also read the arguments against evolution. Evolution is pathetic, and I'm not exaggerating.

Over the years I've challenged evolutionists to do the same. I have yet to find ONE who has done so, and remain excited about evolution. Not ONE.

But you can break that trend Stephen. Go research every argument against evolution you can find, and come back and tell us you're still glad to be an evolutionist.

We'll wait... and wait...

Jeff, Alabama
October 2, 2014 1:03pm

Jeff,

That's a pretty strange response. You are making a lot of assumptions, first of whick that I somehow have to prove A beyond and reasonable doubt for B to be false. Your also assuming that I'm a proponant of eveolutions. I said nothing of the kind.

I have simply asked you why I should give your world view consideration.

Peace,
Stephen

Stephen, Boston
October 8, 2014 8:16am

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