Whales, and understanding evolution


Partly because Kenneth Miller in his recent Dallas appearance made such a big deal about his “aha!” moment with whale evolution and the charts in Carl Zimmer’s stuff, and partly because of several conversations I’ve had, including in blog comments and e-mail, whale evolution is on my mind. (Must write about what Miller said, soon.)

To the chagrin of Dr. McLeroy and all other anti-science creationists, whale evolution offers some outstanding evidence of evolution, and the stories about whale evolution offer great chances to students of the science to understand what’s going on.

Carl Zimmer at the Loom has a great, short post answering questions he’s gotten about the recent publication of the discovery of another whale ancestor that both offers information about evolution, and also shows how such knowledge fits into the puzzles that need to solve about the diversity of life. The new find, indohyus, is dated at about 47 million years ago (MYA), about the same time as whale ancestor ambulocetus. How can two ancestors be contemporaries? some people asked.

Chart showing key events in whale evolution, and in which genera

Of course, this is a scientific hypothesis that needs to be tested. And the way to test it is to find more species like Indohyus. If paleontologists are lucky, they’ll be able to draw more branches at the base of the whale tree. And if the current hypothesis is right, a lot of the species belonging to those deep lineages will be a lot like Indohyus. They may turn out to have lived before the oldest whales, or they may have lived millions of years later. But that’s not the heart of the matter. What matters is kinship.

In the annals of misleading science reporting, this may be pretty small potatoes. But mistaking relatives for ancestors does lead to confusion, and it gets in the way of appreciating some very elegant research. And, of course, some people pretend that the fact that relatives are not direct ancestors means that evolution is false. So it’s worth getting right–not just for whales, but for humans, flowers, or any other organism.

Zimmer is the calm, collected end of evolution advocates. Never any heated language, no heated exchanges with Discovery Institute stalking horses — just the science, in lay terms. Always.

And good illustrations. Are those drawings of indohyus out of Carl Buell‘s studio?

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71 Responses to Whales, and understanding evolution

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    The Bible doesn’t set itself up to be disproven. Those who claim the Bible must be literal do that setting up. At least, they set it up for easy disproof.

    The Bible isn’t a science text. It was never intended by its authors to be a science text (and I’ll allow you to include God in the set of authors). So it’s unfair to the Bible to use it as a science text. Bible abuse.

    The Bible doesn’t need the crutches of errors, mistakes and lies, but when creationists add them, they certainly slow it down, effectively crippling it.

    It’s not scrutiny I disagree with. It’s demanding scrutiny of the wrong things. Nowhere in scripture is there any claim about the age of the Earth being anything other than fantastically old. Nowhere is there a claim that creation presents a false face to mislead scientists and others. Those are foolish additions to scripture.

    I’m low on time, too. I haven’t answered your questions on theology mostly out of lack of time to answer them fully. Please don’t assume answers I haven’t given.

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  2. lowerleavell says:

    Ok Ed, I’ll give you another shot at fully answering my posts from January 17th and then we could talk about how the Bible sets itself “up to be disproven.” Anything worth proving and true must set itself up to be disproven. If it needs the crutches of errors, mistakes, and lies, then how is it worth anything more than the Book of Mormon or the Quran? If it is afraid of scrutiny and verifiability then how could it possibly be true? It is God who makes the claims, not me.

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  3. Ed Darrell says:

    For me, this issue is one that will always be there. There will always be those, like you, who will try very hard to disprove the Bible, even cunningly and convincingly.

    You’ve misunderstood my actions. I’m trying to keep the Bible from being set up to be disproven. Those who argue that the Bible must be right versus nature set it up so that the Bible takes precedence over God. That’s theological error, in my book. That’s the error that creationism requires of its adherents.

    So, I think I’ll come back in a few years or so and see what the “latest” claim will be that will be “damning” to the Christian faith. Somehow I get the picture that though people have brought false claims against the Bible for centuries, the Bible will continue to hold its own, as it has in this discussion, and in theology, science, history, and any other matter in which it speaks, because it’s author is Divine. So, I’m leaving it in His capable hands. Without God being the author, and God being true, it’s just another book on my shelf, is it not?

    The only false claims we’ve discussed here are the false claims of creationists against God’s creation. I hope those will change in a few years, too — I hope they stop.

    But I’ll wager they won’t.

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  4. lowerleavell says:

    Ed,

    I’ll try to make this quick because I have a lot of work to do today.

    It’s clear that I will receive no answers from you on these questions. Why? I believe it’s because there are hotter topics elsewhere that you have ready answers for. So, when questions are asked like if God is the cause of evolution, wouldn’t He be culpable for suffering and death? No response on any of these questions except about the soul.

    So, anyway, I checked out the web site you cited. Again, a Christian pointing me to an atheist for the answers to life’s most difficult questions? Sounds kind of ironic doesn’t it? You should read the reviews of “The Case for Faith.” I’m telling you plain Ed, you’ve chosen some interesting bed-fellows. Regarding the substance, it’s basically the same old that we’ve already been talking about.

    For me, this issue is one that will always be there. There will always be those, like you, who will try very hard to disprove the Bible, even cunningly and convincingly. So, I think I’ll come back in a few years or so and see what the “latest” claim will be that will be “damning” to the Christian faith. Somehow I get the picture that though people have brought false claims against the Bible for centuries, the Bible will continue to hold its own, as it has in this discussion, and in theology, science, history, and any other matter in which it speaks, because it’s author is Divine. So, I’m leaving it in His capable hands. Without God being the author, and God being true, it’s just another book on my shelf, is it not?

    It occured to me why there aren’t perhaps more creationists who are scientists and doing the lab work, etc. Perhaps (and I could be wrong) it is because once you come to know Christ, the debate because less important than people. If people’s eternal future is at stake, then finding out how all the fossils etc. works is pretty much a lesser cause. Maybe it’s why they become preachers instead of scientists. It’s that way for me anyway, and that’s why I think I need to bow out here and continue to make people that God has entrusted me with, my number one calling.

    God be with you and yours Ed. It’s been a blessing. I hope we can continue this discussion on the other side (though you still haven’t told me if you believe in heaven!) :-) or perhaps sooner if I am able.

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  5. Ed Darrell says:

    Joe, another post on another blog that you may want to check out:

    http://tinyfrog.wordpress.com/creationismevolution/

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  6. lowerleavell says:

    I appologize for not writing back sooner but we have had a friend visiting the past few days.

    Thank you for your kind words. I know I haven’t lived up to them, but thank you anyway. I very much believe that the manner in which we conduct ourselves in a discussion is almost if not as important as the discussion itself. My message on Sunday was how we can be right and have the truth and still be in the wrong at the same time. If a Christian believes that Jesus is the Savior and then runs over and disrespects the people that He loves and died for then it is the Christian who is in the wrong. Ephesians 4 tells us to “speak the truth in love.” A missing ingredient in much of Fundamentalism. Many younger generation fundamentalists have realized this and are seeking to obey the words of Christ when He said that people would know we are His disciples by our love one for another…not just right doctrine (which is still very important), a good song service, a good youth group, and a Starbucks in the lobby of the church. Anyway, I’ll stop preaching and say I understand your frustration with many creationists. I talked about this to my friend who was here and he totally agreed that fundamentalists have a major love problem. Be patient, God’s not done with us yet. :-)

    Regarding what you said about souls and miscarriages and so forth, we are very close to a conversation on abortion. While it may not seem totally related, I believe it is fruit of belief in evolution and creation. I rarely find (actually not met one myself) a creationist who believes abortion is ok. On the flip side, it is mostly evolutionists who believe abortion is ok. From their fruits, this would be one area I believe Creationism is far superior to Evolution. Those evolutionists who think abortion is wrong have a hard time defending it without God being the Creator of man. What are your thoughts?

    I don’t totally disagree with you on the soul. I think you could safely infer where I would stand on this subject. One thought…have you ever considered the mathmatical odds of getting a fertilized human embryo? It is statistically near impossible, but it happens every day. How? It’s an amazing thing, and honestly it’s hard to look at the reproductive system without seeing an amazing design that would have more than likely failed to evolve in evolution. I am sure I do not buy into a “universal soul” concept like this Gaia hypothesis thing either.

    I was thinking that by your silence on God writing the Bible, etc. that you are either still thinking about it, disagree but are going to disregard it, have changed your mind completely but don’t want to admit it (I’m sure this is the case) :-) or are really busy and haven’t gotten around to it.

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  7. Ed Darrell says:

    One quick question: If we all came from one ancestor, where does the soul come into play? Why would we be any different than a dog’s soul? Why would Christ die for us and not the crocodile, especially since Mr. croc and I have the same great-great etc. grandpa? We seem to be the only ones who are capable of sin (though my dog sure used to disobey me and I swear she knew better!) and capable of worship. Why?

    Quick answer: Souls are instilled by God at God’s choosing, not by genes. Souls are not contained in genes.

    This has been an interesting controversy in Christianity and Judaism for more than two millennia. When does ensoulment occur? Catholics finally came down saying ensoulment occurs at conception. That leaves messy theological issues with miscarriages (about half of all human conceptions abort spontaneously, probably much as a result of developmental errors).

    Do dogs have souls? Without going into all the jokes about the design of the Pearly Gates to leave dog-haters out of heaven, I prefer the philosophy of Ecclesiastes 3:17-21 (giver or take a verse). It’s not for us to worry about. No human can say. In my discussions with theologians at both Perkins School of Theology at SMU and Brite Divinity School at TCU, I have been pointed to OT verses on Balaam’s ass and the fish that swallowed Jonah. Especially for literalists, these theologians point out, there is theological difficulty if animals are said not to have souls and not to attain salvation, since typically God would provide a place in heaven for anything that is a tool of His work — such as the ass telling Balaam what was what, or the fish that delivered Jonah to Ninevah.

    Gaia hypothesists might argue that there is something in life that connects all living things, perhaps all matter. But I prefer to leave the concept of ensoulment to God, and not to worry that there’s any chance souls are passed genetically. Too many difficulties that way — theological difficulties. You are what you eat, after all.

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  8. Ed Darrell says:

    Seven months? That may be a new record for a creationist leaning person to be civil as you have been, Joe. There’s hope!

    I’ve learned I should have held more tightly to the files accumulated from the creationism/evolution debates in the 1990s on AOL. I regret that I’ve not had more time to devote to more complete and thorough answers.

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  9. lowerleavell says:

    BTW, we’ve been discussing this for almost seven months. I don’t take your time for granted. I’ve really grown from this as a person and as a Christian. I think the Lord’s been using you for good in my life. Thanks Ed.

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  10. lowerleavell says:

    You said that creationism refuses to allow for spiritual creation. You said, “Creationism refuses to acknowledge a spiritual world outside of the physical world we can see.”

    Please, on this one, I’m asking for some citations. I do not have any idea whatsoever how you got this view of creationism, but it simply is false. Especially after we’ve been talking about the hope of heaven (well I’ve been talking, you haven’t yet answered), etc. I can’t believe you made this claim. I remember hearing Ham talking about the fact that this isn’t a battle against people; it’s a spiritual battle for the hearts and souls of men. Christ didn’t die for our bodies. He died to give us life and life more abundantly.

    One important note too: is that creationists believe that pain and suffering is a result of sin. Evolutionists teach that pain, death, and suffering are a part of evolution and it’s just the way it is. If God started the process of evolution, and death, pain, etc. aren’t a result of Adam’s sin, then wouldn’t that implicate God for being the cause of death, suffering, and pain?

    You may be surprised, but I totally agree with you that it is the soul that God is concerned with, not just the body. The body is tainted with sin and will die. The soul will live (or die) forever in one of two places. I agree what you said, “Christ didn’t die to save us from the latest rhinovirus. Christ died to save our spiritual beings from the penalties of sin. Its not evolution that worries God, its sin.” Amen to that one Ed! Yet, God does still care about us, and even though He didn’t die to heal our bodies, He does care about them and healed many, many people while He was on earth. I really believe it pains God to see people suffering because of cancer, pain, and suffering. Again, Creationists believe He didn’t originally create it that way. It appears a theistic evolutionist believes that He is the one who set up the process of death, pain, and “survival of the fittest”. Yet, you are 100% correct. No arguments whatsoever on the priority of the soul.

    “If God’s concern is for the soul, physical form can be created by evolution – regardless the form.”

    Again, I agree with you. I’m happy to hear you say these things because this is really where the crux of the matter lies. You, my friend, are in the minority among your peers who readily reject God entirely and use evolution as the vehicle.

    For me, I’ll agree that God could have used evolution. He’s God; He can do whatever He likes. My point is simply that He said He did otherwise and I believe the evidence backs up what Genesis says. Both of us are saying that it was God who did it, and that to me is very comforting to know.

    One quick question: If we all came from one ancestor, where does the soul come into play? Why would we be any different than a dog’s soul? Why would Christ die for us and not the crocodile, especially since Mr. croc and I have the same great-great etc. grandpa? We seem to be the only ones who are capable of sin (though my dog sure used to disobey me and I swear she knew better!) and capable of worship. Why?

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  11. lowerleavell says:

    I think that you are correct in saying that God didn’t say “how” He did it, because in evolution or creation we’d have no clue “how” He could have pulled it off. I think the word “how” should be understood as His description of the events of creation (to a limited degree of understanding).

    You said, “God didn’t write the Bible.”

    Wow. How can you have read it and still say that God doesn’t make the claim. Did He use man? Definitely! But let me quote for you several places where God claims to have “written” the Bible: 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God…”; Hebrews 3:7 gives the Holy Spirit credit for what is written in 95, “Therefore as the Holy Spirit says…” and then quotes Psalms 95:7-11; Acts 1:16 says, “Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas…” It was God speaking by someone’s mouth; 2 Peter 1:21 is a good one, “for prophesy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” The Bible is described as being the “Book of the Lord (Isaiah 34:16), “Law of the Lord” (Psalm 1:2; Isaiah 30:9), Oracles of God (Romans 3:2; 1 Peter 4:11); “the Sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17); “Word of Christ” (Colossians 3:16); and “Word of God” (Luke 11:28; Hebrews 4:12). There are many more references that refer to the Bible being authoritative, etc. but these directly claim to be from God. So…..are you sure God didn’t write the Bible? Because if He didn’t write it, He made the claim and then lied. Read Psalm 119 which is beautiful poetry by an unknown poet (probably David) about the Bible; 176 verses that say “Your Law,” Your commandments”, etc, 176 times. Read that and tell me the Bible doesn’t fit the description of “God’s Word.” (By the way, John 1:1 is talking about Jesus, not the Bible.)

    Verse 160 of Psalm 119 says this, “The entirety of Your Word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgements endures forever.” This amazing Psalm makes the claim that the entirety of God’s Word is truth! Wouldn’t that include Genesis 1? Jesus says in John 17:17, praying to God the Father, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” What God says is true. Since Scripture makes the claim of being from God and being the Words “breathed” by God through man, then what God says is true. Again, I will say it clearly; it is not me who is setting God up for a fall, it is the Bible.

    Here’s another question: why were the church fathers in the Council of Nicaea so careful about what book was or wasn’t “allowed” into the text? The answer is that they only recognized as Biblical what was “inspired” by God. They didn’t want these other apocryphal books and the Gnostic gospels which had a lot of error in them and were not consistent to be condoned as “God’s Word” (though the canon was merely affirmed at the council not decided). If portions like Genesis 1 are merely a Jewish reaction to Babylonian thinking, then shouldn’t it be rejected as being part of the canon and not part of God’s Word?

    I have another theory: Genesis 1 is consistent with all the other creation accounts (which tell various aspects of the same event) and tells us literally what happened (though not all the details obviously) when God created the earth and how long He took. If it is not true, according to Jesus and Psalm 119 it should be rejected because God does not lie.

    I do not dismiss Job’s account. We’ve been down that road before and have discussed it. Job does not contradict the Genesis account at all and I don’t know why you’re obsessed with thinking that the different accounts cannot be various angles of the same thing. It’s no different than the differences between the Gospels! Those are all the same account and yet we have variations of what happened because it was from different aspects of the same thing which included various emphases.

    How can you say it is the creationists that accept God conditionally and it has to be done my way or no way? It’s almost like you took the words out of my mouth that I was thinking about you. It is creationists who accept what God did as He said He did and even though it isn’t popular and isn’t prestigious, it’s simply taking God at His word and accepting what the Bible clearly states as truth. It makes God the authority and not me. If it said we came from Mars then we either did or God lied. It is simply my responsibility as a Christian to trust the word of God. He’s never let me down in regards to every other aspect of Scripture. Again, I will ask (and again I’ll pry not get an answer), if you simply read the Bible without knowing anything about evolution, would you come away an evolutionist or a creationist? If the answer is creationist, then how am I imposing my beliefs and taking God conditionally? I am merely taking God at His Word.

    I do not reject what creation demonstrates, which I’ve said time and again. I reject what evolutionists assume and infer (i.e. billions of years and molecule to man, etc.). If you have solid evidence that man from soup transformation is even possible, I’d sure like to see it. If you have solid evidence that chaos to order on a universal (literally) scale by “natural selection” is possible, I’d like to see it. If you have evidence for life from non-life, I’d like to see it. You’re making the claim that it is possible and yet it isn’t the creationists waving a magic wand my friend. God is the Creator and He tells us in His word what He did and it was He who did it. Bottom line, this is about believing what man has told you or believing what God has told you. No apology here, 100% of the time I’m siding with God over you all. Who was it who said, “me plus God equals a majority.”?

    You said that Genesis 1 was not intended to be a scientific explanation of creation. How do you know that? Where does it say anywhere that it wasn’t really what happened? Why would He go into such detail about the six days and the events of each one if He was simply…I don’t know what He’d be doing otherwise. Please don’t brush this next question by: If God were truly giving us a scientific description of His creation, what would you suggest He do different? Put the words, “Oh by the way, this is to be taken literally! No, I’m serious, take this word for word!”? How would you have done it any better or clearer? It is crystal clear. Please, read it again and tell me how God could have been any plainer without going into scientific detail that doesn’t matter a hill of beans for accepting Him as Creator?

    You said, “The Jewish priests countered by taking that story and putting in Jewish theology…” How well do you know Jewish people? I cannot for the life of me imagine Jewish people doing this when Moses strictly forbade them from incorporating the customs and traditions of the Gentiles. They had just been kicked out of the Promised Land for worshipping the gods of the Gentiles and you are suggesting that the first thing they do after being slaughtered and then deported for their sin would be to run right back to incorporating pagan beliefs into their own traditions? There is no record after the Babylonian Captivity of the Jews wanting anything to do with the Gentiles after this captivity for over 400 years when Christ told them to love their enemies. Their strict adherence to rules regarding the Gentiles after their captivity really leads me to thinking that your logic just doesn’t fit their scenario. They simply wouldn’t have taken the Babylonian’s customs and beliefs and there is no evidence for it whatsoever. It just doesn’t fit at all!

    It’s interesting you said, “Babylonian ‘scientists’ were considered the world’s best, and they had the 7-day creation story (based on no real science of course)…”

    I think this may be an area like the flood where a very ancient people had the story which had been embellished time and time again until you have the account. Yet have you read the Babylonian account? It bears very, very little resemblance to the Genesis account. It is almost laughable that you suggest the Jewish account comes from the Babylonian one.

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

    If you get a chance, read some of these descriptions of creation from around the world. Every corner of the earth has a creation tradition. None of them bear any resemblance to evolution. It is even interesting that many claim that in the beginning the earth was under water (sounds familiar). It leads me to believe, like the flood mythologies, that something actually happened that got passed down generation after generation and got embellished quite a bit from the real account. I believe Genesis describes the real account as given by God to mankind so we would have an idea of what really happened (though not all the details obviously) and give God the glory for what we see around us.

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  12. Ed Darrell says:

    Joe said earlier:

    Theologically, where you are attempting to go does not mix with Christianity in any Biblical form. I can cope with you saying that God started it all, or that He directly created Adam after the earth had been here millions of years (while I still would disagree), but I can’t understand theologically how you can say that God is not our Creator, or the earth’s Creator without getting yourself into a quagmire trying to reconcile being a follower of a Christ who died for an earth He didn’t make. I cited at least 50 times where God claims to have created (in and outside of Genesis) and asked you to reconcile it with your beliefs. What are your thoughts?

    One of the difficulties I have is with creationists insisting that God cannot be God unless God is the creator of human bodies. Scripture talks about souls. The Bible tells us God knew us before we were born, before we were even conceived. Creation, then, must refer to spiritual creation, too. Creationism refuses to allow for that. Creationism fails to acknowledge a spiritual world outside of the physical world we can see. Nowhere does the Bible claim that God created each physical form of each little thing personally. Especially in the case of humans, and human souls, the Bible does not claim that God has much to do with physical form. God’s not responsible for smiting unborn children with spina bifida, except in animist cultures, ancient, now unused religions, and in creationism. Too close to voodoo for me.

    If God’s concern is the soul, physical form can be created by evolution — regardless the form. That squares with scripture, and it squares with God’s testament in the form of creation. Science can’t invalidate it, and it doesn’t require that we stand in the pulpit to denounce reality.

    Christ didn’t die to save us from the latest rhinovirus. Christ died to save our spiritual beings from the penalties for sin. It’s not evolution that worries God, it’s sin.

    And, by the way, I think failing to teach the truth to children, failing to teach evolution, is a sin.

    None of the mentions of God being the creator contradicts any part of what I just wrote.

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  13. Ed Darrell says:

    Genesis 1 was not intended by the authors — by God, if you wish to make that unwarranted assumption — to be a scientific explanation of creation. It was intended as a religious touchstone, a hymn to be repeated so that Israelites held captive in Babylon for — then — God knows how long, to keep the faith of their ancestors from Jerusalem. In Babylon, many of the Israelites learned Babylonian customs, and began to adopt them. Babylonian “scientists” were considered the world’s best, and they had the 7-day creation story (based on no real science, of course) to explain the creation of the several deities of Babylon. First the major deities, then the minor and subordinate deities.

    The Jewish priests countered by taking that story and putting in the Jewish theology, that each of the Babylonian deities was actually created by, and therefore subordinate to, the one God of the Jews — and, in fact, most of the things Babylonians called gods the Jews merely regarded as part of nature.

    It is only in the “fundamentalist” revival of the U.S., in the 20th century, based on Darby’s teachings, that we get a firm drive to claim that the Bible is a science authority. So, ironically, creationism is a latter-day departure from traditional Christianity as well.

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  14. Qwerty says:

    Ed, you said: “The Bible makes no claim to describe creation exactly as it happened. Genesis 1 we know was written as a rebuttal to the Babylonian theology, written by Jewish priests, during the Babylonian captivity. It’s false to claim Genesis 1 as God’s words.”

    I also recall reading (perhaps somewhere in this comment thread, or maybe in your ID post way at the top) that you believe that there’s no reason we should take Genesis 1 literally. Why not? Since, after each phase/day of creation, it says “And there was evening and morning, the (nth) day,” and since the text describes God creating a distinct group of organisms (e.g. plants) on each day, this strongly suggests literal, 24-hour days. Why? Answer: Then explain, please, how we expect plants to function without sunlight for half an age, and with sunlight for another half.

    “If we accept the Bible as THE authority in this case, we have made the Bible an idol, and rejected God.”

    Answer: If the Bible is the Word of God, then read John 1:1ff and still manage to claim that the Bible is not an idol.

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  15. Ed Darrell says:

    Perhaps I can get back to the rest, but this is really the nub of the thing:

    Yet, the reason I don’t believe it is the way it happened is because He tells us how He did it. You sacrifice the authority and credibility of the Bible. I’m going to side with God here.

    God didn’t write the Bible. It’s theological error to claim that “He tells us how he did it” apart from studying creation itself, which is what science does. It’s not scientists who sacrifice the authority of the Bible here, it’s creationists. That’s why I wonder whether creationism is even Christian.

    The Bible makes no claim to describe creation exactly as it happened. Genesis 1 we know was written as a rebuttal to the Babylonian theology, written by Jewish priests, during the Babylonian captivity. It’s false to claim Genesis 1 as God’s words. (God’s Word is a slightly different matter, but not relevant here.) Genesis 2 contains a different story, but neither is there a claim there, from the Bible or anywhere else, that it’s God’s description.

    In fact, the only place where there is even a hint of a claim of being God’s description is Job, which describes a completely different creation story. You dismiss God’s description, and then have the gall to claim others reject the “authority” of the Bible? That’s some chutzpah, and great error.

    If creation is from God, it must be accurate, according to Christian theology. You reject what creation demonstrates, which is evolution, in every possible way. There is no scriptural or other authority to claim either story in Genesis, or any other creation story in the Bible, as the one and only scientific explanation. Don’t reject what the Bible says, and tell us what the Bible doesn’t say is authoritative. That’s just self-deception.

    The question is, do we accept God as creator or not? Creationists accept God conditionally, on the condition that God agree to do it their way only. Not even Abraham had the temerity to try to lay conditions on God when Abraham argued with him.

    If we accept the Bible as THE authority in this case, we have made the Bible an idol, and rejected God. Creation, from God’s own hand, has the answers. Do we have the eyes and ears to see and listen? Scientists do, creationists do not. It’s really that simple.

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  16. lowerleavell says:

    I don’t have much time left here:

    Ed, it would take a monumental task to find your exact quotes in the slew of posts we’ve had. I think on this one thread we’re up to about 75 pages or so, on a word document. We need to publish this into a book or something. :-)

    Anyway…how I got the idea: 1) what you have said about the horrible design of Giraffes/other creatures and have said if there is a designer, He is a cruel designer. 2) How adamantly you have fought against Intelligent Design. I can imagine taking a theistic evolution stand and fighting against creationism, but I would have guessed that ID would be really close to your position and yet you have had a lot of online debates with ID proponents saying that there is no evidence for intelligent design. 3) I can’t find the exact quote in this mess, but you did say that you didn’t think that God was the Creator, or something to that affect. If you are taking it back and don’t remember saying it, I’ll not hold you to it at all. I’m not trying to pin you in a corner, I’m trying to get you to vocalize your beliefs with me. You tend to be very quiet in your views of who God is and what He has done in Creation.

    You said, “Creating a process that results in life is no small matter.” Yet you are believing something without any evidence anywhere that this is how life began. As a Christian, I am compelled to believe that God did it how He said He did it. Since there is no evidence to show how life began, why are you refusing to believe God didn’t do it how He said? Your beliefs regarding God taking billions of years to get the balls of gas into planets, etc. in order for life to perfectly work on earth, etc. and the origins of all life from one ancestor are found nowhere in the Bible…anywhere. If all life came from one ancestor, I don’t understand why God came as a human necessarily.

    I absolutely love what you said, “the creation of such algorithms would require a major deity.” Wow! That’s incredible!! You are admitting to me that apart from God’s intervention, that evolution is impossible? Is that right? You are attributing the things that evolution cannot ever explain (like the origin of life, the origin of the big bang, natural selection, etc) to God? And how, may I ask is that belief any different than claiming that God “waved a magic wand” etc.? It would require even more faith than simply taking God at His word, IMO because even God doesn’t make the claims you do.

    By the way, I want to make it clear, that since I believe God is all powerful, I believe He COULD have done it the way you suggest (which is why I believe you can be a Christian and believe in evolution to some degree—I have known many who believe the Gap Theory, etc.). Yet, the reason I don’t believe it is the way it happened is because He tells us how He did it. You sacrifice the authority and credibility of the Bible. I’m going to side with God here.

    Wish I could write more, but I’ve got to get going.

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  17. lowerleavell says:

    Meson said, “The problem with creationism has nothing to do with faith. It is a problem of mixing science with religion. In science, one most be objective. In this respect, it doesn’t matter if you’re a saint, atheist, nazi or whatsoever, as long as you can remain objective, you can profess to be a good scientist.”

    Ok, Meson, here’s the issue: the problem isn’t with the evidence because all parties agree with the evidence. The problem is what is censored from the conclusions to keep science from mixing with religion. No scientist can come out in a peer reviewed journal and argue for the existence of God because he’ll be torn to shreds that he’s lost his objectivity. Yet God’s existence IS a matter of objectivity. He either exists or He does not, independent of our thoughts and beliefs. Can we study that scientifically? Where does the evidence point? Logically it points to a God from cause and effect. Biologically it points to a God because life cannot come from non-life (it has never been observed and goes 100% against the laws of nature). Physically it points to a God because the amazing laws of nature require a source (cause and effect again). Again, the fact that we are dependant beings shows that we require something independent to sustain our existence. The fact that we have design shows a designer. The fact we have intelligence demands an all knowing Creator. These are a few of the many, many good arguments for a Creator. It’s not God’s existence that is a matter of religious faith. It is His character and attributes that are a matter of faith and religion which should be debated and tested in religious rather than school settings; not His existence.

    It is censorship to say God’s existence cannot be taught as a substitute to an accidental Big Bang. In my line of work, truth needs no censorship. The fact that “science” fights so hard to keep ID and creationism out of the textbooks makes them look scared and weak, honestly. What do you have to hide that kids can’t know? From what I’ve seen, kids are hungry for the truth and are not finding the evolutionary explanation to the question, “why am I here?” satisfactory.

    “The nazi’s are the best examples we have on what happens when a nation intermix their belief sytem with public governance and eventually science. The result eventually leads to the massacre of Jews and proposterous claim of Aryan superiority.”

    Really, I myself thought the US was the best example of the harmony between the two (religion and science). Nazism is what happens when you make a man your authority rather than God. There were many, many good Christians even within Germany who opposed Hitler and hid Jews! Our great nation is a result of our beliefs system; the belief that all men are CREATED equal and that all should have the freedom to worship how they choose without the state imposing their beliefs on the people. These are Christian, specifically Baptist (look up John Leland; though the beliefs are not Baptist exclusively) beliefs that made their way into the constitution and its amendments and have gone a long way in making sure we have the freedom to even have this conversation. I think in China this conversation would be censored.

    “Separating religion and science isn’t optional; it is a requirement to make good science. By allowing creationism in our education sytem [sic] will only cause confusion. If that happens, the least of the consequences is stagnation. The worst is the repeat of world war 2.”

    How many times must I hear this from atheists and others who say that if ID or creationism were taught in school we’d have another world war or some horrible holocaust like the world’s never seen? Really! It was taught freely in our schools for over 100 years and I think we were fine and science progressed adequately. You owe a lot to Bible believing, Christian scientists and to suggest that their dominance in our academic world would cause stagnation or a world war is absurd! I believe if even Darwin lived today he would be censored by our board of education as being “un-objective”! Come on!

    Ok, I think I’ve replied to everything.

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  18. Ed Darrell says:

    You have repeatedly said that God is not the Creator and if He is then he did a bad job on the Giraffe, etc. So, whether you believe God did it by direct Creation or used evolution to accomplish it, you still believe God is the Creator? How then is He the Creator if He is not the designer?

    I’ve never said God is not the creator. I can’t imagine what I said that would mislead one into that conclusion, either.

    I think you’re suffering from a syndrome a lot of creationists I run into suffer from, thinking that creation is not so large as it is. You seem to think creation is just life on Earth — and that’s a tiny speck on a mote of dust on a bump on the rear of the universe. Creating a process that results in life is no small matter. Setting in motion a process that results in intelligent life is no small matter, either.

    Evolution, especially development in embryoes, is driven by algorithms, we discover more and more. The creation of such algorithms would require a major deity, if they are created. It would be an act of creation far more important, and huge, than mere waving of magic wands to make dust dance to life.

    The design is not in the giraffe’s neck. The design is in the process that results in a giraffe to have a need for a neck.

    Like

  19. lowerleavell says:

    “I think you’re trying to keep God in a box. You refuse to allow that evolution and the other processes that take substantial time can be God’s. You refuse to consider that God could have been patient enough to invest four billion years in making a planet and conditions ripe for life as we know it. While I have faith that God is behind it, you’re saying you don’t think God can be creator unless God did it in an impossibly short time with magic that violates all the laws of the universe, and then God covered His tracks so no one could see what happened.”

    You have repeatedly said that God is not the Creator and if He is then he did a bad job on the Giraffe, etc. So, whether you believe God did it by direct Creation or used evolution to accomplish it, you still believe God is the Creator? How then is He the Creator if He is not the designer? You are almost arguing for Deism, Fideism, or even Pantheism. You are claiming faith apart from evidence and reason and you are arguing that God started the process and is some mysterious impersonal force guiding the universe called “natural selection”. I like what you said, “God did it in an impossibly short time with magic that violates all the laws of the universe.” I’m sorry, I laughed when I read that. Ok, who are we talking about here? Oh yeah, God! I don’t know about you, but the God I serve is all powerful, all knowing, and all present. He would be more than able to simply speak and the universe would exist as we know it right this second and only be five seconds old even though we retain our memories (not saying it happened that way btw, I’m saying God is powerful). Basically, I’m saying He can do anything He dern well pleases because He’s God. By definition, there is nothing “impossible” or “magic” that He cannot do. Only the law-giver, who is outside the laws of nature, can break its laws at will. And, may I add, it is only those who do not wish to submit to His authority who cannot find evidence He left. The very fact we have design, information, dependent beings, and intelligence, shows that there must have been a designer, an informer, an independent being, and one who is all intelligent. How could it be otherwise?

    “In no place where God claimed to create did God say He didn’t use evolution and take more than 4 billion years with this planet. It appears to me you won’t allow that as a possibility, though, so God can’t be God except He agrees to be God on your terms.”
    Oh, that’s true, except when He says more than once that He did it in six days. Trust me; my terms would have been a lot different. I rather like Tolkien’s Simarillion myself. One of the best mythologies I’ve read, and it almost makes it sound plausible. That would be how I would do it, myself. No, I’ll agree with God when He says “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

    “I think you’ll find scripture that makes it clear that we take God on God’s terms, not on ours.”

    Ok, so you are conceding to me? We take Genesis and the whole of Scripture on God’s terms and not infuse man’s ideologies into them? Tell me honestly, if you had never heard of evolution and you read the Bible, would you come away as an evolutionist or a creationist? Who is infusing their beliefs and ideologies into the Bible here?

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  20. lowerleavell says:

    “Can you name any part of creation that creationists have not dismissed as false? I’m not jesting, and I’m not exaggerating. ICR denies the truth of each and every part of creation, from the smallest atomic particle to the universe itself. Please find for me any part of creation creationists defend as truthful and accurate, and give me a citation. I doubt you can. I’m telling the truth.”

    I’m not 100% sure what you’re trying to ask mere here to show. Creationists haven’t dismissed any part of creation as “false.” They’ve dismissed radioactive dating indicating the earth is billions of years old because it wouldn’t work in a young earth model (and any time they find carbon 14 in fossils they attribute it to contamination too), they’ve dismissed the molecules to man hypothesis with the common ancestor theory, they’ve dismissed the Big Bang Theory (only the results of it taking billions of years to evolve mind you—creationists believe that God spoke and a Big Bang happened from nothing, which formed the universe and then He took six days to form it into maturity and harmony), creationists dismiss sin/death before Adam…and that’s about it if I’m not mistaken. So, I’m not sure what kind of quotes you’re looking for. They don’t adhere to the assumptions put forth by evolutionists, but I’m not sure how you’re getting that they don’t adhere to the truth of any part of creation. Before checking for citations, I would ask if you believe the same is true of me, since I am a creationist. Do you believe I deny all truth in every part of creation? Honestly though, I’m not sure what you’re asking me to find.

    Here’s one article where creationists have actually done research on the human gene as well as “beneficial” mutations. And, it’s up to date (which I’m thankful for)!

    http://www.icr.org/article/3466/

    Here is an example of the evolutionists denying the data and “the smallest atomic particle.” Looking up examples of observed “beneficial” mutations (the other side of the argument before posting this) is almost hilarious to look at! Maybe 15-20 examples like yeast, nylon, lactose, one person one time in 1983 says they saw a single cell turn into a multi cell, etc. It’s hilarious! If molecule to man were true, we’d observed small, beneficial mutations all the time considering there are millions of genetic differences between each species. And considering the amount of life on the earth to what it was 2.7 billion years ago, I would think the amount of evolution that we witness would be steadily on the rise, not non-existent. Beneficial mutations would be everywhere! And yet I hear the crickets chirping…

    “Beliefs don’t belong in textbooks. That’s what distinguishes scientists from preachers.”

    I agree with you that “beliefs” should be as limited to the facts as possible. Yet, what do you call history books? The winners get to write history, Ed. History books are crammed full of “belief.” Why do we predominately study US History in school instead of the history of Armenia for example? It’s because we’re Americans and we believe in our country. Science books today are produced by the “winners” in the science debate (though the battle is not over). It is a product of “belief” because no one knows how life began, how the Big Bang occurred, and even to ask those kinds of questions in school is discouraged. You are told (at least I was in public school as far back as 1st grade) not to question the millions of years or question the textbook. I got in big trouble at the age of six for saying I didn’t understand how the dinosaurs could have lived 65 million years ago or more. My teachers’ answer, “they just did!” That’s how I got introduced to evolution, and my experiences of it went downhill from there and made it very easy for me to question. Don’t tell me that beliefs are not in the textbook and that scientists are somehow “above” preachers by only putting what are just facts in the textbooks. There are huge leaps in logic in our science books (i.e. primordial soup to man).

    “The leading biology textbook in the U.S. has Kenneth Miller as its chief author. Miller is a lifelong Christian, every-Sunday-in-church sort of guy. The Human Genome Project is headed by Francis Collins, a convert to Christianity. While neither of them would put a belief in a textbook of evidence because it would be out of place, both of them have written books about their faith.”

    I have to say I have been somewhat impressed with Collins’ testimony. You’d think more scientists would pay attention to the guy that mapped our DNA who believes that there must be a God. I am not 100% familiar with where he stands on everything (though I do know he is probably a lot closer to you than me) nor do I know Behe or Wells that well. I have only read one or two books that have them in them or have talked about their positions.

    “But Darwin and Collins have never been on the same page as Behe, nor especially Wells. They stick to the facts. They honor the evidence. They don’t tie God down with unnecessary miracles designed to make preachers feel good about misleading their congregants.”

    Wow. I wonder where you would put the resurrection on that list. Would that be some “unnecessary miracle designed to make preachers feel good about misleading their congregants”? I’ve talked with atheists who believe so. While I don’t think that a literal six day creation is on par with the resurrection, I do believe Jesus has to be the Creator to be our Redeemer and the resurrection is not an unnecessary miracle. Yet, it is necessary theologically, not for our existence on earth and thus “unnecessary”?

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  21. meson says:

    The problem with creationism has nothing to do with faith. It is a problem of mixing science with religion. In science, one most be objective. In this respect, it doesn’t matter if you’re a saint, atheist, nazi or whatsoever, as long as you can remain objective, you can profess to be a good scientist.

    The nazi’s are the best examples we have on what happens when a nation intermix their belief sytem with public governance and eventually science. The result eventually leads to the massacre of Jews and proposterous claim of Aryan superiority.

    Separating religion and science isn’t optional, it is a requirement to make good science. By allowing creationism in our education sytem will only cause confusion. If that happens, the least of the consequences is stagnation. The worst is the repeat of world war 2.

    Like

  22. Ed Darrell says:

    I can cope with you saying that God started it all, or that He directly created Adam after the earth had been here millions of years (while I still would disagree), but I can’t understand theologically how you can say that God is not our Creator, or the earth’s Creator without getting yourself into a quagmire trying to reconcile being a follower of a Christ who died for an earth He didn’t make. I cited at least 50 times where God claims to have created (in and outside of Genesis) and asked you to reconcile it with your beliefs. What are your thoughts?

    I think you’re trying to keep God in a box.

    You refuse to allow that evolution and the other processes that take substantial time can be God’s. You refuse to consider that God could have been patient enough to invest four billion years in making a planet and conditions ripe for life as we know it. While I have faith that God is behind it, you’re saying you don’t think God can be creator unless God did it in an impossibly short time with magic that violates all the laws of the universe, and then God covered His tracks so no one could see what happened.

    In no place where God claimed to create did God say He didn’t use evolution and take more than 4 billion years with this planet. It appears to me you won’t allow that as a possibility, though, so God can’t be God except He agrees to be God on your terms.

    I think you’ll find scripture that makes it clear that we take God on God’s terms, not on ours.

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  23. Ed Darrell says:

    I said: “Darwin thought God to have dominion over the Earth, and that the Earth would reveal itself in all its majesty and glory, accurately. Creationists believe the Earth lies, typically. Or they feign blindness to the extent of the testament that is geology.”

    lowerleavell said:

    Fallacies of character assassination and association don’t become you Ed. You’re basically saying Darwin was a saint and Creationists are evil with your generalities here. “Creationists believe the Earth lies, typically.” Come on! Creationists aren’t saying “don’t trust God’s revelation!” They’re saying that those who are making bold assumptions from the evidence in order to make it fit their point of view so that they can take God out of the equation cannot be trusted. Two totally different things!

    Can you name any part of creation that creationists have not dismissed as false? I’m not jesting, and I’m not exaggerating. ICR denies the truth of each and every part of creation, from the smallest atomic particle to the universe itself. Please find for me any part of creation creationists defend as truthful and accurate, and give me a citation.

    I doubt you can. I’m telling the truth.

    In fact, Darwin wouldn’t have taken his theory near as far as atheistic scientists today want to take it. Darwin, as you say, believed that God has dominion over the Earth. Find me a mainstream evolutionist today who believes that and would be willing to put those beliefs into a text book and you’ll get what intelligent design proponents are trying to do (which you know God’s creative abilities a lot farther than they do). From what you’re saying, it sounds like Darwin, Colins, Behe, Wells, and others would have been on the similar pages.

    Beliefs don’t belong in textbooks. That’s what distinguishes scientists from preachers.

    The leading biology textbook in the U.S. has Kenneth Miller as its chief author. Miller is a lifelong Christian, every-Sunday-in-church sort of guy. The Human Genome Project is headed by Francis Collins, a convert to Christianity. While neither of them would put a belief in a textbook of evidence because it would be out of place, both of them have written books about their faith.

    But Darwin and Collins have never been on the same page as Behe, nor especially Wells. They stick to the facts. They honor the evidence. They don’t tie God down with unnecessary miracles designed to make preachers feel good about misleading their congregants.

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  24. lowerleavell says:

    “Darwin thought God to have dominion over the Earth, and that the Earth would reveal itself in all its majesty and glory, accurately. Creationists believe the Earth lies, typically. Or they feign blindness to the extent of the testament that is geology.”

    Fallacies of character assassination and association don’t become you Ed. You’re basically saying Darwin was a saint and Creationists are evil with your generalities here. “Creationists believe the Earth lies, typically.” Come on! Creationists aren’t saying “don’t trust God’s revelation!” They’re saying that those who are making bold assumptions from the evidence in order to make it fit their point of view so that they can take God out of the equation cannot be trusted. Two totally different things! In fact, Darwin wouldn’t have taken his theory near as far as atheistic scientists today want to take it. Darwin, as you say, believed that God has dominion over the Earth. Find me a mainstream evolutionist today who believes that and would be willing to put those beliefs into a text book and you’ll get what intelligent design proponents are trying to do (which you know God’s creative abilities a lot farther than they do). From what you’re saying, it sounds like Darwin, Colins, Behe, Wells, and others would have been on the similar pages.

    “Is it so difficult to understand? I don’t think so. Is it difficult to “believe” when we consider time on such a vast, Godly scale? Sure.”

    No, it’s not difficult to understand. I do see the logic behind it and again, even though it’s virtually mathematically impossible, it could happen. I have greater odds getting hit by a meteor while I write this, but sure, it COULD happen. I think too that you hit the nail on the head when you used the word “believe”. I know evolutionists shy away from the word because they want people to think everything’s wrapped up in a nice little undisputable package, but the word “belief” is very appropriate when it comes to evolution. It is a system of belief/faith/trust (whatever you want to call it).
    Understanding it isn’t too hard, but it is a real tough pill to swallow considering “the God theory” is much more logical and has been put into our consciences by our Creator which is hard to extinguish.

    “For almost all of those precursors, we have even older fossils of creatures that could be or assuredly were the ancestors of the fossil ancestors of current life.”

    Ok, here’s an example of the jump in logic. We don’t know “assuredly” that these fossils point to a common ancestor or if each was simply following its own lineage or what. It is the jumps in logic and the assumptions that are made in evolution that many are having a hard time swallowing. Deductive reasoning is usually not the best argument in science and yet evolutionists use it on a regular basis. Evolution vs. Creation becomes more of a philosophical argument than anything because the evidence that is present is accepted by both camps. It is the assumptions that are in dispute.

    “There is no study that shows a decline in genetic information over generations.”

    Really? Try breeding a poodle back into a wolf. You can’t? Why not? Oh, that would be a loss of genetic information over generations, wouldn’t it? Why can’t I have Asian kids? I don’t have the DNA! Yet, in our common human ancestor, that ancestor had the DNA that Asian people now have. It isn’t new information that make Asian, black, white, etc. It’s a loss of information; otherwise I’d have the ability to have Hispanic kids; or some new color or form or design that had never been seen before with brand new information. Yet, I am limited to the genes that I have from my parents and the genes that are passed down through my wife. Animals are limited in the exact same way. No new information added that wasn’t already a part of the parents. This would be the second law of thermodynamics if I’m not mistaken. Order to disorder; loss of usable energy, etc. This law doesn’t go the other direction, and this is where Darwin got messed up! You don’t get more complex over time without intelligence and design, and effort. It doesn’t happen by random chance or selection; if that’s how you put molecules and genes together, you’d just get a jumbled mess the more you randomly put them together. Bottom line: loss of information over time is what is observed; not the other way around.

    For evolution to happen, some outside force (you call it natural selection if I’m not mistaken) must intervene to cause the species to add information to help progress a species into a more complex and refined creature. You say that there’s a new species of grape fruit? You know what you have? Grape fruit! When you have something different, I’ll give you my phone number so you can gloat. Also, with generation after generation of flies, you know what we still have? Flies! It even talks about flies in Exodus, so (we’ll use your dates) they’ve been around since at least 600BC. Given the very conservative amount of ten to twelve generations of flies a year, that’s about 26,000 to 31,000 plus generations in that time. And you know what we still have? Flies! In human generations, that’s about 1.5 million years. That’s plenty of time to see some evolution to something else. And yet…flies. If this is how many generations it takes to see evolution from one species to another, 2.7 billion years (that’s the date I looked up anyway) doesn’t seem like enough time to get the massive forms that we see today and in the “millions of years” past. Even to get a worm (and they seem simple, but they’re not; I sure can’t get cut in half and survive!) requires an awful lot of information! So, you’ve got roughly 2.7 billion years to get all the millions upon millions of complexities that are and have been on the earth. 2.7 billion years just does not give enough time to get the needed information for human DNA with the massive amounts of tiny innovations required for us to be us. Possible? I suppose anything is possible if you want it to be bad enough. Probable? Not very likely.

    “So it really comes down to time. You concede the processes, but say there wasn’t enough time.”

    I concede the process is possible, but only be a larger leap in logic than the leap from a single cell to man. But it’s possible. Molecule to man is a far, far greater stretch than a literal Genesis, but yes, it’s possible. Even though the odds of it happening are about the same as dropping a silver dollar into a three foot deep pile of silver dollars the size of Texas and then picking up the right one again randomly, sure it’s possible.

    Interesting quote by Darwin. Wouldn’t you have loved to interview Darwin? I bet he would have been fascinating to talk to. I would have loved to ask him his views on God’s existence and input into our creation. Anyway, I think it strange that he thought that evolution was the result of struggle for survival. If that is true, then it isn’t a slow methodical process, it only occurs when there is need for adaptation for survival. What are your thoughts? I would also think that (and I don’t say this flippantly for their situation, but for the purposes of our discussion) in Darfur, we would be seeing some signs of evolution.

    Ok, I’ve really got to get going!

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  25. lowerleavell says:

    Ed,

    I was waiting to see if you were going to reply to the more theological questions that I asked before I replied. But, it looks like you are going to pass them by. I do want you to understand that I believe it to be crucial to having any hope for heaven that God be our Creator. It is also important in that God has no right to tell us how to live our lives or have any more input on our morality than Satan would, if He is not our Creator. Theologically, where you are attempting to go does not mix with Christianity in any Biblical form. I can cope with you saying that God started it all, or that He directly created Adam after the earth had been here millions of years (while I still would disagree), but I can’t understand theologically how you can say that God is not our Creator, or the earth’s Creator without getting yourself into a quagmire trying to reconcile being a follower of a Christ who died for an earth He didn’t make. I cited at least 50 times where God claims to have created (in and outside of Genesis) and asked you to reconcile it with your beliefs. What are your thoughts?

    I also asked this question: “Natural selection: this is something that I don’t understand about your world view. Will you define, in your own words, natural selection? Do you believe God is the genius behind natural selection or is some mystical force or what? I’ve heard it said many times “nature selects them for evolution/survival/extinction” etc. Yet what is nature? Is it an impersonal force? Is it our Mother? Is Pantheism our national religion now? If that is true, then Romans 1:18-20 is totally fitting!”

    Ok, to reply to what you did answer:

    You said, “I should be more precise. Massive innovation from one generation to the next doesn’t pan out, nor does massive innovation to get a frog from a cat, or a cat from a frog, in one generation.”

    I understand that this is a debate that has been going on within evolution camps for quite some time. Is the water starting to settle back on small innovations over large amounts of time? I have heard several say that it was sporadic, rapid changes every umpteen generations or so and so the transitions were not small, but violent, rapid innovations. Apparently, I’m not the only one who saw the absurdity of that argument. It sounds like you and I agree this isn’t what happened (although it was an attempt to show the huge transitions in between the fossils).

    Ok, so small, slow, transitions that aren’t even noticeable for hundreds and even thousands of generations until you’ve got something different. Got it!
    “Almost every incremental change required from single cell to the most complex modern species is viewable in fossils, and has been observed in real time in development.”

    Really? You mean we’ve seen transitions from simple to complex in real time? From what I understand, we’ve seen flies transition into different flies, viruses transition to mutated forms of the same virus, but that’s about it. Am I missing very many others? I’m talking “new species” here, not just changes that add no new information that wasn’t in either one of the parents. I’m not just talking about grapefruit making another kind of grapefruit, I’m talking about one species going into a different kind of species.

    There’s a fine line of distinction between what you are saying and what Jobe is saying about the Giraffe. You are rightly assuming (and I believe Jobe would agree) that there can be shorted necked Giraffes; no problem. It still sounds like a Giraffe to me and would be no different than a tall man and a short man. Evolution would suggest that it would slowly over millions of years grow another vertebrate or some other function that would enable him to be more efficient and complex. What you are suggesting isn’t evolution from one species to another species, and is easy to show from the fossil record and what we’ve observed that species do change according to breeding (just look at the dog). That’s not a problem at all for any creationist that I know of. What Jobe is saying is that if a species (that starts out with a short neck and doesn’t have the heart/valve system that a Giraffe requires to survive) is having a hard time getting those top branches and so makes sure his descendents have longer necks, then they’ll die waiting for their heart and valves and everything to be just right. Basically, his point is that adaptation doesn’t work the way evolutionists are portraying it does. You have to start with a perfectly, fully functioning species in order for the animal to work. You can’t start with an animal that is half a Giraffe and half something without killing the creature. That’s Jobe’s point.

    “Not the same great grandfather. But you share an ancestor many thousands of generations back. Maybe millions of generations. If you don’t have a problem with giraffes and their smaller-necked cousins, then you’ve conceded Darwin’s observations. Jobe DOES have a problem with that, so you’re not exactly with Jobe, either.”

    No, again, Jobe does not have a problem with smaller necked Giraffes, (all Giraffes have various sized necks; no individual animal is exactly the same). Yet again, his point is that it must all function together or the animal falls apart. You can’t have a partially formed lung or a partially formed heart and still have a working creature. It all has to be there at the same time to get the animal. With the Giraffe, you have to have everything just proportionately right or the creature dies. Those functions cannot evolve because they’re needed for survival. Is that observation wrong?

    “And why can’t those cousins be cousins with other ungulates? Hippos are even-toed ungulates, same as giraffes. So are whales. Why is it so difficult to think all ungulates share a common ancestor?”

    The reason is because there are some bridges that are too large to jump one baby step at a time (which is where the giant leaps within evolution theory comes in). If I jump across a ten foot chasm one foot at a time, I’d die! The same is true with the theory that it took millions upon millions of baby steps to produce the creatures we see today. How can you have a partially formed blow hole (especially since it has no tie to the mouth)? How can you have a partially formed lung, or heart, or kidney and still function? The question isn’t in the species; the question is in the transitions. How could they survive with a half vestigial function and a half working function? If it is slowly developing, what does a fish do for food while it’s waiting for its scales to become teeth? How does a bird fly if it’s waiting for its feathers to come in? How does a Giraffe survive waiting for its heart to catch up with its growing neck? How does a penguin species survive learning how to hold its egg on its feet? How does a polar bear survive waiting for his body to produce more fat and fur? How does a caterpillar survive learning how to do metamorphosis and then once it’s a butterfly miraculously know which leaves it can and cannot eat (which are different than the caterpillars)? How does the vanilla orchid survive waiting for the only kind of bee that can pollinate it to evolve (or vise versa since I don’t know which would have come first)? How many horses had to die waiting for circulation to develop in their hooves? How many hummingbirds had to die learning how to migrate from the US to the Caribbean (scientist still don’t know how they do it without eating or resting)? How many humpback whales died learning how to shut down and change portions of their circulatory system while they dive or be crushed by the change in water pressure? How many mussels in Oregon had to die waiting for it to develop a minnow looking function that lures a correct type of fish so it could shoot exactly at the right moment it’s young into the fish’s mouth where they grow and develop? How many bears had to die trying to adapt a system where they could nurse their young for five months without taking a drink of water or going to the bathroom? How many worms just lay their without moving, waiting to develop anchors on its body to help it propel itself through its tunnels? How many elephants got stuck in the mud waiting for their foot to evolve so it could shrink as it pulls its foot out of the mud? This is just a small, small sample of the transitions that would be impossible for creatures to wait for in order to evolve to being what they are.

    The answer to all of these questions is that adaptation from one species into another is simply absurd! If all of this relied on change and “trial and error” then life on our planet wouldn’t have made it past the first generation! You have to start with a fully functioning creature with all the DNA information and instinct that each particular creature needs in order to survive and be in perfect balance with the rest of nature. To say it all developed from a single celled creature is mind numbing! How can you all profess to be scientists and seriously hold to these levels of logical impossibilities?

    I’m not sure what you want me to say regarding Darwin and Lord Kelvin. Many scientists make embarrassing claims at one point or another. From what I understand, Lord Kelvin also claimed that “heavier than air flying machines are impossible.” Well, it didn’t take long for that theory to be falsified. Again, creation doesn’t stand on one of its proponents. My beliefs don’t rest with Ken Ham or anyone at ICR. We are only human after all. Creation rises and falls on “special revelation” (the Bible) and “natural revelation” (creation). If the Bible didn’t make the claim, how dare I? If the earth didn’t point to design and intelligence, we’d not be having this conversation right now.

    “If common ancestry as the Bible describes and okays, then evolution, Darwin said.”
    The Bible describes common ancestry; definitely! Common ancestry “after its kind”. What were the original creations? I wasn’t there, so I don’t really know. Yet, it being in the plural shows that it started with more than one. Genesis one describes differences between birds, sea creatures, land animals, and plants, and lastly He created mankind “in His image.” By the second generation of mankind (Cain and Abel) the Bible already had talked about distinctively fish, cattle, flocks, and birds. So, basically, if you’re trying to get common ancestry of all things from the Bible, don’t bother. It gives fully functioning creatures that are able to reproduce. It gives common ancestry to the first generation of creatures; not one single celled creature.

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  26. Ed Darrell says:

    The great chain of creation and being: From so simple a beginning, endless forms most beautiful:

    Breeding could have that affect in the size of the animal. Yet breeding does nothing to explain how the Giraffe and the centipede have the same ancestor because in breeding, no new information is gained beyond what the parents already possess. If anything, there is a decline in information as generations progress.

    That depends on whether one trusts the Earth to tell the truth. Darwin thought God to have dominion over the Earth, and that the Earth would reveal itself in all its majesty and glory, accurately. Creationists believe the Earth lies, typically. Or they feign blindness to the extent of the testament that is geology.

    Do the giraffe and centipede have the same ancestral population? It’s possible there were a small handful of species in populations, different each one, that diversified. But the principles are exactly the same, and the evidence for evolution is overwhelming. Certainly giraffes and snakes and birds have the same ancestor. The best evidence we have is that giraffes and centipedes share an ancestor, too.

    Is it so difficult to understand? I don’t think so. Is it difficult to “believe” when we consider time on such a vast, Godly scale? Sure. Darwin “confessed” that. He had difficulty putting full credence in the story the evidence told him. But when he examined each chapter, and each preceding chapter, the changes were so small that they made sense. They only boggle us when we look at the entire chain of being. This time scale is wholly beyond human comprehension.

    So we must trust what God gives us, the evidence in stone and DNA. That evidence shows evolution. For every creature now alive, we have fossil precursors. For almost all of those precursors, we have even older fossils of creatures that could be or assuredly were the ancestors of the fossil ancestors of current life. And so on, back to rocks we know from God’s Clocks (radioisotope dating) to be more than 3.5 billion years old.

    As I noted earlier, it is simply false to say that “information” in genes cannot increase. Mutations happen. Beneficial new features have been observed to arise, spontaneously in nature. We now have microbes that eat nylon, using enzymes that are coded by genes that did not exist — the microbes have ancestors, but none that digest artificial substances like nylon. Mosquitoes digest DDT as food.

    There is no study that shows a decline in genetic information over generations. Especially with extraneous DNA from unused over-replication, or from whatever cause, information tends to increase dramatically through time. How creationists ever got the idea information declines, I can’t figure — again, it’s an area that would be ripe for creationist research if creationists had the conviction of the their claims and any willingness at all to do serious research to back their claims.

    For this level of transformation from a single celled creature (that no one knows how it came into a living existence or why) to what we see today and in the fossil record, innovations on a gargantuan scale must have been accomplished.

    Gargantuan only if we count the millions of tiny innovations. No single gargantuan innovation. Once we get multicelled critters, and once they differentiate with a front and a back end, which is after symmetry kicks in, each innovation is tiny.

    Breeding alone doesn’t cover it because breeding doesn’t introduce any new information.

    New information can enter in breeding, or be selected by breeders. I’ve already offered the example of the red grapefruit. It’s a sport mutation, new information of exactly the sort you just denied possible. No one could have bred for it, since it was wholly unknown before its spontaneous rise. But once it was found, breeders then could use it.

    Once a more efficient beak form happens, females select males for it. Droughts select both males and females for that beak form.

    New information introduces itself. Tiny advantages are preserved, odd leaps are preserved, too.

    The only way it would be accomplished on this level is an enormous level of chance, beneficial mutations that would miraculously result in design. Sorry Ed, while it’s possible (virtually impossible on a mathematical scale), I don’t believe it’s the scientifically easiest explanation.

    But of course, that’s a belief, not backed by evidence that you have. All the evidence is that exactly those small, beneficial mutations did exactly what the rocks and DNA say they did.

    Darwin put it best, I think, in the final paragraph of Origin of Species:

    It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the external conditions of life, and from use and disuse; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.

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  27. Ed Darrell says:

    You said that, “the claim that there must be massive innovation just doesn’t pan out in nature.”

    Exactly! That’s the whole point! And yet it is evolution that is teaching that all life originated from a single celled species! Yet, this level of evolution cannot be proven because as you said, “massive innovation just doesn’t pan out in nature”!

    I should be more precise. Massive innovation from one generation to the next doesn’t pan out, nor does massive innovation to get a frog from a cat, or a cat from a frog, in one generation.

    Evolution works with incremental changes. Almost every incremental change required from single cell to the most complex modern species is viewable in fossils, and has been observed in real time in development.

    My point with the giraffe was that your guy, Jobe, assumes the giraffe has to make a leap from lump of protoplasm, or perhaps from a rather amorphous, spaniel-sized mammal, to giraffe, in one leap. That doesn’t happen.

    Before the long-necked giraffes, there were shorter-necked giraffes. The difference is just not so great that it requires much of anything new — the sixth vertebrae got more massive, say.

    Evolution says “small changes, easy leaps.” That’s what fossils show. That’s what the DNA shows. There is no evidence contrary.

    Adaptation within a species is something that almost (I’m sure there’s probably someone out there who would) no one argues against. Even saying that the Giraffe used to has smaller necked cousins and that originally it had a smaller neck, I have no problem with those claims and I doubt anyone else would either. What I have a problem with is saying that the Giraffe and I have the same great-grandpa.

    Not the same great grandfather. But you share an ancestor many thousands of generations back. Maybe millions of generations. If you don’t have a problem with giraffes and their smaller-necked cousins, then you’ve conceded Darwin’s observations. Jobe DOES have a problem with that, so you’re not exactly with Jobe, either.

    If giraffes can have smaller-necked cousins, why can’t they have smaller cousins? And why can’t those cousins be cousins with other ungulates? Hippos are even-toed ungulates, same as giraffes. So are whales. Why is it so difficult to think all ungulates share a common ancestor?

    How about even-toed and odd-toed ungulates? How about all mammals?

    It’s just a question of carrying back the family tree. The nested hierarchy that develops with every family tree we start, in humans, in other apes, in ungulates, in carnvores — in all mammals — eventually goes back to the same branch.

    And at each speciation, the change was small. Mammals came out of the reptiles with four limbs, lungs, heart, brain, liver, stomach, intestines, etc. Each change is a small one. Fur — all mammals have fur. One branch went vivaporous, but that branch split into pouched and wombed, marsupials and placentals. A third branch still lays the eggs for external hatching (the monotremes). What is the difference at each point? Small differences at each branching, but they add up after a few hundred thousand years, and after a few million hears, and a few dozen million years.

    Breeding could have that affect in the size of the animal. Yet breeding does nothing to explain how the Giraffe and the centipede have the same ancestor because in breeding, no new information is gained beyond what the parents already possess. If anything, there is a decline in information as generations progress.

    For this level of transformation from a single celled creature (that no one knows how it came into a living existence or why) to what we see today and in the fossil record, innovations on a gargantuan scale must have been accomplished. Breeding alone doesn’t cover it because breeding doesn’t introduce any new information. The only way it would be accomplished on this level is an enormous level of chance, beneficial mutations that would miraculously result in design. Sorry Ed, while it’s possible (virtually impossible on a mathematical scale), I don’t believe it’s the scientifically easiest explanation.

    Vestigial organs and so forth are not an area I’m not well versed on, except a few banters I’ve heard back and forth about the appendix. Yet at this point I would say that the point that you made about vestigial organs is a moot point. I don’t think it is indicative for or against evolution or for or against a Creator. For instance, I have yet to discover the evolutionary value of fingerprints. They don’t make my fingers any stickier or grip better. There’s no value in them whatsoever, yet they didn’t just evolve in our digital world where we use them to identify individuals. They have great value, and marvelous design I may add, in that no two are alike! How do you explain that level of design with evolution? Did my fingerprints evolve because 100,000 years ago females were drawn to circular thumb prints? No, because women have prints too. There’s no evolutionary reason for them evolving! It’s something that appears vestigial (although I’m not sure from where) and yet something good and purposeful and amazing has come because of it. Now if you had asked 2,000 years ago what the point was to having a thumb print, besides showing the design of God, no one would have any idea. I don’t believe vestigial organs help or hinder God being the Creator because we do not know His motivation and purpose for every creature. Asking why He did things the way He did is sometimes not in our power to understand (and I cite Deuteronomy 29:29 as God telling us that it would be so). And yet God simply asks for our trust in His character and His sovereignty. How could I grant Him that trust for my salvation and not that level of trust for the construction of the Giraffe (which to me is not a miraculous design, not a horribly flawed one)?

    This is heritage. Common ancestry. I’m amused that creationists put so much stock in it for a brief period of human history, but then frantically try to deny it everywhere else. All human experience confirms common ancestry. There is no evidence anywhere to the contrary.

    So it really comes down to time. You concede the processes, but say there wasn’t enough time. That was the great fight between William Thompson, Lord Kelvin, and Darwin. Darwin figured the diversity of life we see took considerably more than 200 million years. Lord Kelvin said the Sun and Earth could be no more than 200 million years old, based on current temperatures.

    It turns out Darwin was right. Lord Kelvin assumed the Earth, mostly iron, cooled constantly. He didn’t know about radioactivity to heat the interior of the planet. He assuemed the Sun also to be made of iron — he didn’t know it was hydrogen.

    Darwin died without getting the issue resolved. By Lord Kelvin’s death, however, radiation was well known, and Rutherford has a touching story about making a presentation on radiation with Lord Kelvin in the audience, and realizing halfway through that he was falsifying Lord Kelvin’s life’s work on the issue, and giving the victory to Darwin. Lord Kelvin was a gentleman about it.

    If Newton didn’t kill creationism, it should have died with the falsification of Lord Kelvin’s model of the age of the solar system. If common ancestry as the Bible describes and okays, then evolution, Darwin said. The rocks agree.

    Why don’t the creationists admit the facts?

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  28. lowerleavell says:

    By the way, do a word search on create, created, made, etc. in the Bible and you will find well over fifty times from Genesis, Exodus, Jeremiah, Malachi, John, Colossians, Revelation, etc. where God claims to be our Creator. It doesn’t just rise and fall on Genesis. God makes the claim all through the Bible. I’m not setting God up for a fall. He is setting Himself up for a fall. Yet, I believe He is telling the truth and that He is indeed our Creator. If you choose not to trust Him, it’s between you and God.

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  29. lowerleavell says:

    Ok, busy day so this will have to be pretty short:

    You said that, “the claim that there must be massive innovation just doesn’t pan out in nature.”

    Exactly! That’s the whole point! And yet it is evolution that is teaching that all life originated from a single celled species! Yet, this level of evolution cannot be proven because as you said, “massive innovation just doesn’t pan out in nature”! Adaptation within a species is something that almost (I’m sure there’s probably someone out there who would) no one argues against. Even saying that the Giraffe used to has smaller necked cousins and that originally it had a smaller neck, I have no problem with those claims and I doubt anyone else would either. What I have a problem with is saying that the Giraffe and I have the same great-grandpa.

    Breeding could have that affect in the size of the animal. Yet breeding does nothing to explain how the Giraffe and the centipede have the same ancestor because in breeding, no new information is gained beyond what the parents already possess. If anything, there is a decline in information as generations progress.

    For this level of transformation from a single celled creature (that no one knows how it came into a living existence or why) to what we see today and in the fossil record, innovations on a gargantuan scale must have been accomplished. Breeding alone doesn’t cover it because breeding doesn’t introduce any new information. The only way it would be accomplished on this level is an enormous level of chance, beneficial mutations that would miraculously result in design. Sorry Ed, while it’s possible (virtually impossible on a mathematical scale), I don’t believe it’s the scientifically easiest explanation.

    Vestigial organs and so forth are not an area I’m not well versed on, except a few banters I’ve heard back and forth about the appendix. Yet at this point I would say that the point that you made about vestigial organs is a moot point. I don’t think it is indicative for or against evolution or for or against a Creator. For instance, I have yet to discover the evolutionary value of fingerprints. They don’t make my fingers any stickier or grip better. There’s no value in them whatsoever, yet they didn’t just evolve in our digital world where we use them to identify individuals. They have great value, and marvelous design I may add, in that no two are alike! How do you explain that level of design with evolution? Did my fingerprints evolve because 100,000 years ago females were drawn to circular thumb prints? No, because women have prints too. There’s no evolutionary reason for them evolving! It’s something that appears vestigial (although I’m not sure from where) and yet something good and purposeful and amazing has come because of it. Now if you had asked 2,000 years ago what the point was to having a thumb print, besides showing the design of God, no one would have any idea. I don’t believe vestigial organs help or hinder God being the Creator because we do not know His motivation and purpose for every creature. Asking why He did things the way He did is sometimes not in our power to understand (and I cite Deuteronomy 29:29 as God telling us that it would be so). And yet God simply asks for our trust in His character and His sovereignty. How could I grant Him that trust for my salvation and not that level of trust for the construction of the Giraffe (which to me is not a miraculous design, not a horribly flawed one)?

    You said, “Brand new genes have been observed to rise in real time.”

    Surely it has been observed in fruit flies, bacteria, and viruses (if I’m not mistaken). And yet, we’ve looked at the fruit fly before, and even though it has such a short span of twelve days and we have roughly ten to twelve generations of fruit flies every year, and even though we’ve had roughly three thousand generations of fruit flies in my lifetime, what do we still have? Fruit flies. Adapted? Changed? Perhaps. And yet I would understand there to be more development and growth in the fly beyond anything we could imagine, even within the last 1,000 years because of evolution. And yet they remain…..flies. This is the point, and the difference between Creation and evolution. Viruses change and adapt, and yet they remain viruses. Flies change and adapt and yet they remain flies. Humans have changed and adapted, even within our lifetime, and yet we will remain human. This is one of the main differences which we draw from the same data. Adaptation within a species compared to adaptation from single cell to man.

    Natural selection: this is something that I don’t understand about your world view. Will you define, in your own words, natural selection? Do you believe God is the genius behind natural selection or is some mystical force or what? I’ve heard it said many times “nature selects them for evolution/survival/extinction” etc. Yet what is nature? Is it an impersonal force? Is it our Mother? Is Pantheism our national religion now? If that is true, then Romans 1:18-20 is totally fitting!

    You said, “Why do we need to pose a creator in that process? There is no evidence of a creator, but there is a lot of evidence of the natural selection process.”

    I have a couple of vitally important questions for you as a theistic evolutionist. Who is this God that you worship? If God is not the Creator, why would you be a Christian? If Christ is God come in the flesh, then wouldn’t He have needed to do some creating to come into this world and to break natural laws that He didn’t design in order to raise from the dead? This question may not seem tied, but it is: do you believe in a literal heaven? This one is important because if there is a heaven as Jesus said in John 14:3 that He was going to prepare (create) a place for us, then we have a God that creates. If He is in the creative process as we speak, then there is evidence that He at least has had the ability to create in the past, as He claims in John 1 where He says, “All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made.” If there is no literal heaven, what hope do we have beyond the grave, what was the sacrifice of Christ beyond the admonish to good morals, and if this is all there is, then as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, “we of all men are the most miserable…”? This is why I see God being the Creator and keeping His Word as being of vital importance. Without God being our Creator, we have no hope of His work beyond the grave and no reason to worship God for anything beyond imposing His moral standards with no sovereign authority to give them anyway. I could respect Jesus, but surely even many atheists do this. In other words, if God is not my creator, He has no right to tell me how to live my life and I have no reason to worship Him.

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  30. Ed Darrell says:

    I am really running tonight — but a short response:

    I’ve got to say, I believe you made a mistake in your logic when it comes to the giraffe and you can feel free to change your argument if you wish. You said that the giraffe must “make do with what it has.” You also said, “Evolution has to work with what it has.” That’s all fine and dandy, but it isn’t evolution; its creationism. Evolution requires new data and information to be correct.

    Read the first two chapters of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. One of the key things Darwin realized is that most species have enough variability within the species that nothing new needs to be invented/created/mutated in order to get a new species. The claim that there must be massive innovation just doesn’t pan out in nature.

    While new genetic information is created all the time, mutations that mark species often are mutations that occurred after the speciation event.

    But in any case, there is usually no need for “new” information get get a new species.

    In the case of the giraffe, what distinguishes it from earlier ancestors is the length of its neck. How did that happen? The bones got bigger. How, exactly, we aren’t sure (though DNA analysis will probably reveal it). It may have been that some developmental HOX gene triggered earlier, or the gene that tells the bones to stop growing got knocked into a new place. My point is that evolution had to produce a longer neck with what it has, not by saying, “Oh, we need to get the vagus nerve out of the brachial arch so it will only have to travel 11 inches instead of 15 feet in the giraffe.” There’s no thought to good design — it’s obviously a vestige left over from ancestors long past, and the fact that there has never been a mutation that moves that nerve in the developing embryo.

    If you’re posing God as the designer, then there is no problem, except trying to explain why the designer did such a poor design — hates giraffes? doesn’t know any better? Any explanation will pose theological problems.

    Whether it’s through mutation or reproduction (though neither explanation explains where new data comes from) or whatever, new data must come into existence for evolution to be true.

    And so it does, through mutation. This is a dead issue. Brand new genes have been observed to rise in real time. Gene theory perfectly explains where “new information” comes from, and the mechanism has been observed to work in the wild and in the lab.

    Getting a longer neck is an issue of selection. The mystery that Darwin resolved was, how can an animal be selected for a longer neck without an intelligent breeder intervening? His answer was sexual and natural selection — which adequately explains the longer necks on giraffes. Females select males with longer, stronger necks now. The food supply — or more accurately, lack of it, lower down — also selects for longer necks.

    Why do we need to pose a creator in that process? There is no evidence of a creator, but there is a lot of evidence of the natural selective processes.

    MOr later, maybe

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  31. lowerleavell says:

    Meson said, “Never attribute our non-understanding to the mysterious.” Saying it was God is not attributing it to the mysterious. There is ample evidence for design and intelligence for our existence. For a creationist, the evidence (not just non-understanding), points to the Creator. If it were all simply Fideism, I know for one, I sure wouldn’t be a Christian!

    I think you misunderstand Jobe as well. You seem to think Christians say, “Well, God did it! We can all go home now.” No! Not at all! For a Christian, our life goal is to better know our Creator. What better way to do that except through science, history, and other forms of learning. Creationism and Christianity doesn’t advocate a cessation of learning and understanding, it merely changes the motivation.

    You said, “Our scientific progress in the last 400 years are achieved by separating the concept of GOd (sic) from science. It is not because scientists are godless, but rather because we like to see God in its purest form without all the misleading teachings of religion.”

    I will definitely agree with the last half of your statement. People who are religious are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. Honestly, I personally don’t like organized religion very much. The reason is because Jesus saved His harshest criticisms for those who were religious hypocrites. Jesus and the disciples did much to define what true religion entailes. The Catholic Church was wrong to oppose Copernicus, Galileo, etc. The churches of today would be wrong to oppose scientific progress and understanding. Yet I draw a huge distinction between men like Newton and Galileo who were drawing closer to their Creator with their discoveries, and those of today who seek to find no room for the Creator in any scientific discussion. Even Darwin would role over in his grave if he knew how recklessly we have abandoned all semblance and adherence to God. Surely, at the very, very least, great minds like Ed’s are correct in wagering toward the existence of God rather than the exclusion by any means necessary.

    My apologies, I probably won’t get to write for about another week or so. I have some other pressing responsibilities to attend to. Thanks for the discussion guys!

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  32. lowerleavell says:

    Ed,

    Thanks for your response. I really appreciate how well versed you are on all these areas. Not to make too close of a comparison lest you think I believe this is a game, but this is how I like to play chess as well; with someone better than I am. I learn more from people who know more than me. Thanks again for this discussion.

    I just found out yesterday that Dr. Gish is coming to a Bible college in my area in March so I may go see what he has to say. According to talkorgins, they say he is still giving inaccurate information about the bombardier beetle as of 1990, but that’s a long time ago. Anyway, I looked at the article on talkorigins. I found their explanation a more interesting explanation than anything I’ve read in a while. For the evolution for this little beetle to be possible, it needs a 15 stage development or basically it will die. Some of the stages aren’t life threatening, but others, if they aren’t just so, the bug would die. I believe Jobe’s point was that the species would have gone extinct in the intermediate stages while getting to this present stage of development. Is it possible on to get here on paper? I suppose you can make almost anything possible on paper. Is it probable? If you’re an evolutionist, it HAS to be.

    I think you misunderstand what I was saying about Jobe. I didn’t give enough info I think. I think his point was not that diversification is impossible, it is that the precise calculations that it takes for a chick to be hatched or die in its egg are astounding. How does the chick know to get that air at 19 days or die? How does it know it only has six hours of air to poke a hole in the egg or it will die? How has the egg developed to provide those holes when the egg isn’t even a thinking creature? His point was that the egg process (and he simply just used the chicken as an example) is near miraculous in and of itself and shows intelligence behind it rather than simple natural selection. He never says on the DVD I watched that it is mathematically impossible for it to happen by natural selection. It simply goes totally against the norm and defies natural selection. His point is found in Romans 1:18-20, that God has revealed himself to people through creation (though it is heavily tainted from the fall), that He’s there, yet people refuse to give Him the glory. Are there alternative hypothesis? Of course! If you don’t want to recognize God’s authority or give God the glory then obviously you’re going to come up with something else; even something plausible. Yet there is enough there to show the hand of a masterful designer and intelligence behind creation, not just random chance. I’ve only watched one DVD so far. There are three. The creatures I gave were only an example of the ones I thought were the coolest. Others were the beaver, a yellowish spider in Texas, a bird in Australia that makes huge piles for their nest. That one is pretty neat because it’s young hatch several feet below the top of the pile. No one tells them how to get out, but by instinct (which no one knows how that develops or happens) it gets to the surface and never meets Mom and Dad. Without ever coming in contact with its parents it knows how to get food, and the next year, without any contact with its parents builds its own nest. Amazing! How can I be a Christian and NOT give God the glory for something so cool?! There were many other animals as well.

    The article that you gave on eggs didn’t really give a lot of info on the evolution of the egg, just what they do now and how they are diverse. I understand those things, but does science provide an explanation on how the egg process began, not inferring that it “just happened” by evolution. This goes back to another thing that evolution cannot explain: the origin of sexual reproduction. We could go off here I know, and we obviously don’t need to (we’re talking about a lot already), but while science can show that there are lots of different kinds of eggs, etc. from what I understand, they cannot show how the process began.

    I’ve got to say, I believe you made a mistake in your logic when it comes to the giraffe and you can feel free to change your argument if you wish. You said that the giraffe must “make due with what it has.” You also said, “Evolution has to work with what it has.” That’s all fine and dandy, but it isn’t evolution; its creationism. Evolution requires new data and information to be correct. Whether it’s through mutation or reproduction (though neither explanation explains where new data comes from) or whatever, new data must come into existence for evolution to be true. If evolution were true, the giraffe should have the ability to grow another neck bone or something we haven’t thought of to make his design more practical and helpful (although I understand evolution teaches that not all mutations are beneficial). Why would it grow such a long neck to begin with in evolution? Why wouldn’t it just become carnivorous or adapt to eating things closer to the ground? Why change its form to something even more disadvantageous where it becomes life threatening? That’s not the survival of the fittest; it’s setting itself up for extinction. You said, “Giraffes are mammals and mammals are pretty much stuck with seven neck bones.” Again, why did the Giraffe not evolve into another classification of animal that had more if it is beneficial?

    While it is similar to what we have, we take it for granted because it doesn’t seem as big of a deal in our systems. In the Giraffe, it’s a much bigger deal. Giraffes cannot have a smaller heart or they would die. Giraffes cannot have a smaller neck with their size heart or they would die. Giraffes must be proportionately exactly the way they are or they would die. While Giraffes may be fairly easy prey when they get a drink, you’d think they wouldn’t be able to run right away or they’d die. Yet their system enables them to flee without their brain exploding. How many Giraffes would have had to die in order for this perfect balance to take place? It must have been there from the beginning. You are right that Jobe makes a big deal about the Giraffe’s blood pressure controls.

    Regarding what you said about the sixth arch and vestigial things. I couldn’t find anything but medical articles online that talked about it. I’m not a member of the MSN chat group so I couldn’t access your link either. From what you said though, I don’t get how it this nerve can be perfectly straight in a fish, and then be really long, looping through this sixth arch in us, and we still be from the same ancestor. I had thought that fish ancestors for humans was a lot less popular with the faking of embryo development to make them more fishlike, was discovered.

    I obviously didn’t read all the posts from Panda’s thumb, but I read all of yours, and I don’t think you’ve shown even there that the Giraffe is probable with evolution. It is virtually unexplainable as to how or why it would have developed the way it did through evolution. With a Creator, it attests to His amazing ability for unique designs. It certainly is an amazing animal, you have to agree. Why else He would create a Giraffe like He did, I’m not God, and so I don’t know? One thing I do know; can you imagine how hard far the Giraffe would have to spread its feet if it didn’t have a long neck? It’s got some pretty long legs!

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  33. meson says:

    Never attribute our non-understanding to the mysterious. That is the most important rule in Science. Yes of course some things will baffle scientist, but the merit of the mystery should never be placed on God, aliens, magic, ghost, devil and all other superstition. Science is a process of discovering truth, not some wishful thinking that attempt to take a shortcut of this learning process.

    Science is the culmination of a 3 thousand years work while a new sect of the church or religion with complete teaching and philosophy can be established in a few hours or days and never more than a lifetime. It take just a single declaration by Henry to create the Anglican Church and Martin Luther needs only a single book. Science however are discussed, verified and improved continually and this process are never finished.

    What Jobe has done is eliminating the need to study science. Why? because according to him, there is no need to study them since everything eventually leads to God. Our scientific progress in the last 400 years are achieved by separating the concept of GOd from science. It’s not because scientist are godless, but rather because we like to see God in its purest form without all the misleading teachings of religion.

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  34. Ed Darrell says:

    Jobe Martin is a walking encyclopedia of creationist fuzzy-headed thinking. Wow. So much error, so much compounding of error, in such short space.

    The examples he picks of animals that “defy” evolution were state-of-the-art creationism for 1972 or so. You will find explanations for each of them at the Talk.origins index, I suspect. I haven’t actually heard anyone use the bombardier beetle example in five or six years, at least. There are several well-established evolutionary paths to the beetle, and there is a lot of misunderstanding of basic chemistry, insect anatomy, insect development and evolution, and basic evolution theory, in that mosh up.

    Eggs? How is that a difficult concept? There is amazing diversity in egg and egg fertilization and egg development. Is Jobe saying that diversity is impossible? Or is he ignoring the spectrum of egg varieties, and pretending that it’s a long way from, say, a reptile egg to a bird egg? I haven’t found his argument, but from what you note, it appears he doesn’t account for different incubation times for eggs in different species, for different styles and hardness of eggs, for the oxygen transfer from egg exterior to interior, and that he thinks every step of embryo development impossible to develop from any other step or any other species. It’s clear to me he doesn’t understand how evolution works, or what evolution theory is.

    Do you really think that chicken eggs could not develop from guinea fowl eggs? Do you believe there is so much difference between ostrich eggs and hummingbird eggs that the two birds are unrelated? Or are you arguing that ostriches and hummingbirds are really the same species?

    Jobe’s arguments there are an amazing muddle, completely uninformed by ornithology, embryology, or evolution, so far as I can determine.

    There is a good, simple explanation of egg evolution at a site at Stanford University; I think you’ll see Dr. Jobe’s arguments simply don’t begin to account for what is really going on, or the diversity of life among egg-laying creatures:

    http://www.stanford.edu/group/stanfordbirds/text/essays/Eggs.html

    Jobe doesn’t know much about mammals, either — especially about giraffes. A lot of the little things he knows, he extrapolates incorrectly to bizarre and incorrect conclusions.

    Giraffes are wonderful creatures, it’s true, but they are disasters of design. The great distinguishing feature of the giraffe is its long neck. This allows them to graze higher fodder, which keeps them out of competition with elephants and other grazing animals. But this feeding advantage comes at a high price — if the giraffe was designed by a designer, that designer is a cruel joker.

    The giraffe neck has just seven bones. In order to span the great distance, each of those bones must be massive. Because they are massive in size, they are massive in weight, too. Giraffes have necks too heavy for easy living, and too long for easy living. For example, giraffes cannot simply bend over to get a drink of water. Instead, they must splay their front hooves to the side, and lower their heads toward the water. In this position, they are sitting prey for predators like lions. Worse, because of their unusual vascular design, they are at high risk of heart attack in this situation. A high percentage of giraffes die trying to drink, especially if they are older. They bend down, and cannot rise again. Generally their hearts burst trying to keep their heads out of water, but a few simply drown. Similar disasters can occur in other cases — look up the famous 1970s case of Victor, a giraffe in England who was trying to mount a female when she moved. He fell over, and could not rise. For more than a week we had hourly updates on the efforts to get him standing up; eventually the excitement was too much, and he had a heart attack and died.

    Now, why not give the giraffe a whole bunch more, smaller neckbones? Alas, giraffes are mammals, and mammals are pretty much stuck with seven neckbones. In contrast, the hummingbird has 14 neckbones, and they are pneumatized, rather airy matrices of hard bone that allow birds to have the strength of bones with much less weight. A kind designer would have given giraffes a neck more like a hummingbirds — 14 bones instead of 7, lighter bones instead of heavier.

    But giraffes had to evolve from their proto-giraffe ancestors. Evolution has to work with what it has. Seven neckbones, make the bones bigger to make them longer, etc.

    Jobe appears wholly unaware of the okapi, by the way, which is a giraffe cousin with a much shorter neck, a cousin who shows what the transitional giraffes looked like, as borne out by fossils.

    Jobe also makes much of the giraffe’s blood pressure controls. He appears unaware that all mammals have similar blood pressure controls. You have valves in your arteries and veins that do the same things the giraffe’s valves do — lesser in effect, for sure, but since the valves were already there in the ancestral giraffes, it’s no big stretch to get a giraffe with a bit greater control. It’s an easy solution, evolutionarily.

    But if we’re going to talk about blood vessels, let’s talk about the harder evidence of evolution. What about the brachial arch that holds the giraffe’s vagus nerve captive?

    I’ll quote from the venerable Encyclopedia of Animal Evolution by Berry and Hallam:

    A curious anomaly. During evolution a structure is sometimes carried over into a new group or species without itself being “redesigned.” An interesting example of this is found in the homology of certain nerves and blood vessels of fishes and mammals.

    In fishes, which are comparatively ancient in evolutionary terms, branches of a nerve from the brain (the vagus nerve) loop around each of the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th blood vessels which run between the gill slits.

    Only two of these branches remain in mammals, as the anterior and recurrent laryngeal nerves, connecting the brain to the larynx. However, the recurrent laryngeal nerve still loops around the remnant of the 6th arterial arch, now known as the ductus arteriosus; so from the brain to the larynx the nerve runs down the neck, round the ductus, and back up the neck. This nerve is far longer than it needs to be to connect the brain and larynx. In the giraffe the nerve is about 4.5 m (15 ft.) long.

    So what is a very short, almost straight line run in a fish or a shark, in a mammal is much longer due to the looping of the nerve through the 6th arterial arch (you have that same nerve, looping through the same arch). This is a pure vestige of evolution, an anatomical tie that shows our fishy origins.

    And wastes tissue in the giraffe.

    So where Jobe sees a miracle of design, a serious engineer or mammalian anatomist sees bad design that is a hallmark of evolution, which makes do with what it has, and cannot use optimum design.

    I have to wonder whether Jobe has ever studied giraffe anatomy seriously. We had a similar discussion, about another creationist using the giraffe, over at Panda’s Thumb back in 2005:

    http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2005/03/the-neck-of-the.html

    In short, evolution explains the giraffe’s neck, how it got the marvelous adaptations it got, and how it got the lousy design it got which makes giraffes risk their lives just to get a drink. It’s a grand system that gets a giraffe, bad design and all, to populate huge sections of Africa over millions of years. Creationism can’t seem to get the basic facts right.

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  35. lowerleavell says:

    Hey Ed,

    If you want to delete any of my umpteen posts of the same thing up there, be my guest. The one post is on there like ten times. :-)

    Well, I’m not sure if I can answer all your questions, that’s for sure. I’m not sure why there hasn’t been the lab work and research done that there should be. I think that there is some research being done, just not to the extent or in the way that it needs to be done. Of course, I can’t say I really blame the creationists for spending money on their image for as much as they get smeared, even if you think it’s deserved. But you are right that they need to be doing research. Much that I have read has been reactionary. Of course, if you look at history, that’s how Christianity has usually been; reactionary. It’s sad, that’s for sure. Even the Fundamentalist movement in America didn’t get started until liberalism moved in. Christianity in America is in pretty bad shape, though the mega church pocket book says otherwise. Read Revelation 3 about the church in Laodacia and see if you can find some parallels to our American churches.

    One thing that you have to remember too is that creationists have no problem with a lot of the research or even the findings. The only main issues really are the millions of years, common ancestry, and life from non life. Besides that, I think most creationists would agree with 90% of what evolutionists teach about biology and so forth. A lot of good HAS come from evolution because a lot of what we find in nature is consistent with it, as you said. I think that while evolution was unwelcome by the church, it has done a good job of pruning out a lot of error that the church held for years. I think creationists and evolutionists would now (probably wasn’t the case 50 years ago) would handle a lot of diseases and problems in the same way. You were talking about the different researches, like AIDS, and anthrax, etc. Creationists don’t have any problem with the research or development of cures, etc. You make it sound like creationists are heartless animals (which if evolution is totally true then we’re not created in God’s image anyway, so what would it matter?). Creationist’s don’t have a problem with the research, they have a problem with the inferring and assumptions that are taken from the research. As even one of the web sites you gave me indicated, if you start with a premise you can defend it. Evolutionists try to make the claim that they are unbiased and start with no premise, but that’s not true. Both sides have a bias and both sides are plausible if you hold to one bias or the other. I simply have chosen to give God the benefit of the doubt (I think He deserves it) and not give random chance the benefit of the doubt (which there is definitely a lot of room for doubt in that camp too. It does come down to a matter of faith, on either side of the equation.

    I’ll have to answer the 13 questions that you posed that creation can’t answer later. Let me just say that the fall of man answers a lot of those questions.

    Both you and I agree that there is a God, do we not? So you do see some credence to some level of faith. Both you and I agree that Jesus Christ had a physical resurrection, do we not? So you and I agree that there is again some level of faith that is healthy. This is an area which I believe there is enough room for informed faith as there is for the resurrection (though the resurrection is a lot more important, that’s for sure). Are there good arguments against creation? Yep. Are there good arguments for creation? Yep. Are there good arguments against the existence of God and the resurrection too? Yep. Are those who hold to one position or the other imperfect humans who make mistakes? Yep. That’s why I’m putting my buck on God, not just on AIG or ICR.

    One person that I’ve recently heard of is Dr. Jobe Martin who was “converted” from an evolutionary standpoint to creationism. Have you ever heard of him? I hadn’t until a few days ago. He basically lectures on the animals that defy evolution. Animals like the Bombadier Beetle, the Giraffe, the development in a chicken egg, the suction cups and the shape of a gecko’s foot, and about another hundred other animals. All these are animals that couldn’t possibly survive the process of evolution. For instance, the Giraffe couldn’t survive if the bloodflow in its system was just exactly the way it was. The chick in its egg has to gain access to it’s air sack at exactly 19 days or it dies. It has around 5-6 hours to get a hole in its shell or it dies. How could the egg process evolve from nothing? It’s impossible! Pretty intriguing stuff. Have you seen anything about the impossibility of the survival of some animals through the process of evolution? While I don’t think either side has it all figured out yet, I do wonder how these creatures could have evolved to their present form through evolution. It just isn’t possible with some of them.

    BTW, you can download Jobe Martin’s story here if you wish:

    http://www.evolutionofacreationist.com/excerpts.html

    One other thing I don’t think I’ve got your side on is life from non-life? Do you think it was God that sparked life on planet earth? In what form did that life take? I’m a primary issue person and I think that the laws of biogenesis are big arguments for God being the Creator. Is it God that is “natural selection?” Or what do you think? One thing you’ve said before is that we’ve observed evolution in every stage. Yet, what about life from non life. That has not been observed.

    One last things: have you ever heard of a Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, etc. hospital? There are many people who reject chemical to creature evolution who are doing a lot of good in this world. Just because someone holds to evolution doesn’t by itself make them a saint. Just because someone holds to creation doesn’t make them cruel and want diseases either. Your reasoning is fallacious. There are good people, even Christians, on both sides of the issue.

    The only thing I have time left to answer is the claim that creationism is only from the late 19th century and in it’s present form from the 20th century. While I totally agree that Morris re-popularized it, you have to at least give credence back to at least the 6th century BC when you say Genesis was written (though I believe it was much earlier). Also, we have the writings of the early church fathers who were mixed in their views of creation. If you look at the history of Christianity, things were held by the “orthodox” but were never really formulated until a “heresy” arrived where they had to combat the viewpoint. That’s why you find the different counsils and not much written on the subject before the problem came up. The belief was never seriously challenged before that point and therefore a counsil was needed. You find this to be true in the doctrines of Christology, Bibliology, Soteriology, etc. in the early church. Creation wasn’t seriously challenged within the church until Darwin popularized the idea and so when it got to be a real problem, Christians (probably too late since our churches have gotten lazy) started to speak out against it. Don’t say that creationism is new because the reason it wasn’t formulated the way it is now, is because it never has been seriously challenged until the 19th and 20th centuries. It’s just that it never was challenged to this degree before that time and so it was never seriously written about.

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  36. lowerleavell says:

    Ed, I don’t have a lot of time today. I’m going to try and just that post one more time and see if it works.

    Ok, there are several things to reply to, so I’ll reply in shorter posts as well.

    You said, “Creationists should do their own research, like scientists do. But short of that, the data are generally available. Federally-funded research must be available by law, for example. The Grants at Princeton have made all of their data available for other scientists — no creationist has ever asked to see it. I do not know of any scientist who wouldn’t be happy to have someone else look at the data and try to replicate the experiment. Science is a brotherhood. Some people are put off by such collaboration — but surely, no Christian would be, would she?”

    Is it only Princeton, or are you claiming that Creationists never look at data and research because they’re lazy or afraid they’ll find the “truth” or something like that? My only point was that Creationists have to rely on schools and groups like Princeton and they get the evidence second hand. I’m not sure how to track it down, but I doubt there is any grant money going to any creationist group as I can imagine the ACLU would have a field day with that one. AIG, ICR, and other groups all require private funding to keep things going. Even the creationist museum I believe is fully funded by private donations. Separation of church and state aside, I’d love to see what would happen if creationists had the same budget as evolutionists. I wonder too if evolution would go extinct if it didn’t receive government funding like it does. Yet, I doubt that a level playing field would ever be granted.

    “Especially after the Arkansas trial in 1981, creationists were told flat out that they could get creationism into the textbooks simply by doing research and publishing it. Since that time, creationists have spent by my count more than $30 million in public relations, and less than $2 million on research.”

    Wait a second! Is that just in Arkansas or the whole USA? If ID is having such a hard time getting into the textbooks even as an alternate choice, then how on earth is creationism going to get into public textbooks?

    “Don’t pity creationists. Such ethical missteps carry their own penalties. In this case, no research, no publications, no mention in science textbooks.”

    No, I don’t pity creationists at all. There are research and publications. My only complaint was that there was a plethora of articles on whales, but nothing later than 2001 or so. I simply believe that they need an update.

    Obviously there is no mention in science textbooks. Again, the ACLU would have a field day. Surely you and I would agree that if creationism ever made a serious attempt at being in a public school textbook, you can just rip every dollar from every creationist’s hand because the lawsuits would be endless!

    “Creationists make it hard on creationists. The stories of Scott Minnich, Michael Behe, Jonathan Wells, Bill Dembski and others make it very clear that creationists can earn the research degrees and get papers published, when they do the research. Behe has more than 40 good papers to his name, for example, most in prestigious journals. But Behe told me about 6 years ago now that he does not plan to do any research in creationism issues.”

    You know Behe??!! Wow! I’ve got to say that’s pretty cool.  I wish I could get the context to what Behe was saying. It’s strange that he told that to you six years ago since he was interviewed in the book “The Case for a Creator” by Lee Strobel which was published in 2004. Reading that book actually was where I started to get really interested in this discussion. From what I understand, Behe has been pounded pretty hard for stepping up to the plate like he did. From what I understand, reading the transcripts from that trial that you talked about, I still don’t think he was proven to be mistaken. I simply think he’s better suited for writing than talking with a slick lawyer.
    “All we know for certain, from two federal trials where witnesses were deposed under oath, is that creationists do not do research. The Bible says “seek and ye shall find.” Creationists refuse to seek.”

    I beg to differ with you here. I think that creationists would love it if scientists could find whole fossils instead of taking “educated guesses” on what they think the creature looked like. It’s always been a big complaint of creationists that evolutionists take one or two bones and compile a whole creature that fits and, in this discussion, put webbed feet and so forth on it to make it fit their ideas. I personally believe the more bones they find (and I know you’re going to disagree with me, but bear with me) the more they will have to modify and scramble to change their understanding to be compatible with evolution.

    “One of my heroes of science, Richard Feynman, said that real science is done on the lab bench. It doesn’t require an advanced degree. It doesn’t require a fancy vocabulary. It requires scrupulous honesty and the willingness to prove one’s self wrong.”

    That’s a good quote. I think I agree, but I am not a lab bench right now making the claim, so I guess I can’t be conclusive.

    “It seems to be that creationists lack the last two qualities much more than they lack the lab benches.”

    Not to turn the tables back on evolution too much, but it isn’t creationists that are saying it would be horrific and confusing if ID or creationism were taught in school. Equality for all in this country? Freedom for ideas? Apparently not in school. You can’t even pray to any deity of any kind. It’s not just creationism that’s being repressed in our country, it’s anything that has the word “God” in it at all! No, it is not the creationists who are afraid of a “fight.” It isn’t the creationism who refuses an alternate viewpoint a voice. Creation was taught in this country before evolution and we still emerged as a great nation, even though we gave God the glory instead of “Mother Nature.” Even, at the very least, as a matter of history of belief, creation should get a voice in schools.

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  37. Ed Darrell says:

    [My earlier post], “Creationists should do their own research, like scientists do. But short of that, the data are generally available. Federally-funded research must be available by law, for example. The Grants at Princeton have made all of their data available for other scientists — no creationist has ever asked to see it. I do not know of any scientist who wouldn’t be happy to have someone else look at the data and try to replicate the experiment. Science is a brotherhood. Some people are put off by such collaboration — but surely, no Christian would be, would she?”

    Joe said: Is it only Princeton, or are you claiming that Creationists never look at data and research because they’re lazy or afraid they’ll find the “truth” or something like that?

    The data are available, by law if its under federal grant, for almost all research published. Generally scientists are rather happy to share their data, especially with someone who thinks they may have found a problem with it. Creationists keep claiming the research that supports evolution is flawed, but they never, never get the data to check it. The next good thing to do would be to replicate the observations, but creationists don’t do that, either. In the famous cases of all the creationists canards against Lucy, for example, no creationist ever bothered to ask for access to the bones the first time they were in the U.S., or any time they were in Kenya. Never. Not once.

    You tell me why. It’s the way science is done, but creationists avoid it like the plague. Why?

    Joe said:

    My only point was that Creationists have to rely on schools and groups like Princeton and they get the evidence second hand. I’m not sure how to track it down, but I doubt there is any grant money going to any creationist group as I can imagine the ACLU would have a field day with that one.

    ACLU would have no say whatsoever. There is no ban on religious groups running research — there are federally-funded researchers at Notre Dame, SMU, TCU, Baylor, and even Brigham Young these days. Brigham Young always cooperated. Federal funding is now much less than 50% of the money available. Federal support for paleontology is practically nil. So outside of federal funding, most of the research money lies. And creationists appear to be happy to let it lie there.

    AIG, ICR, and other groups all require private funding to keep things going. Even the creationist museum I believe is fully funded by private donations.

    $27 million for the creation museum — enough to run serious paleontology at a major university for 35 or 40 years. You’re right, creationists use private funding, as almost all other researchers do. But creationists suck up a much larger share than their work justifies — in fact, they do no research work at all. The sort of scientific work done over the past 200 years by staff from the British Museum, or the American Museum of Natural History in New York, or the Field Museum in Chicago (privately funded), or the National Museum of Natural History in Washington (mostly privately funded), or the Museum of the Rockies (privately funded), or the Black Hills Institute (privately funded), is not done at the Creation Museum. There isn’t even room for scholars of scripture.

    It’s not lack of funding. It’s lack of will. I think the lack of will is probably due to a clear understanding that there is no science there — but I don’t know.

    You tell me: Why do creationists appear to be allergic to the research that would establish their claims as true, if true?

    Separation of church and state aside, I’d love to see what would happen if creationists had the same budget as evolutionists.

    If we reduced the Discovery Institute and Creation Museum to science standards, Ken Ham would starve to death, Bill Dembksi would have to kill and eat Jonathan Wells. You’re laboring under a misconception that there is a lot of money to burn in science; the money burning is done on the creationism side. Discovery Institute blows $2 million a year on public relations alone, to fight evolution. That is about 4 times the entire budget of the National Center for Science Education (privately funded); there really is no other public relations done in favor of evolution. That $2 million would fund Paul Sereno for several years. It would have been enough to keep a good creationism astronomy program at Iowa State University.

    It hurts to see good research on evolution issues that would save lives go underfunded, while these big public relations spectacles have no difficulty, it seems. It used to be that Christians would support research for things like fighting cancer; now it seems they put it into fighting the fight against cancer. I can’t understand it.

    I wonder too if evolution would go extinct if it didn’t receive government funding like it does.

    We know the answer: No. Evolution works on the lab benches. There is very little government funding, if any, put into anything other than practical applications of evolution theory on issues that must be solved, like creation of vaccines, production of vaccines, treatments for HIV, and the like. Most of the expensive stuff is done on private funding, such as from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

    Your assumption that the government supports evolution over creationism in any significant way is just not accurate.

    Yet, I doubt that a level playing field would ever be granted.

    Well, no, the government is never going to be able to be biased toward useless work. Philosophy research on the government dime is extremely rare outside of “philosophy of war” by the Defense Department. The federal government isn’t going to pay for people to sit on fancy chairs and conjecture about how evolution might be wrong, if it were wrong, in ways that no one will ever test.

    For all practical purposes, the playing field is perfectly level. But creationism doesn’t work in the lab, so scientists don’t use it. Creationism doesn’t explain reproduction of bacteria. It doesn’t offer any insight into the origins or potential treatment or cure for cystic fibrosis. Creationism is dead wrong on anything it could say about HIV. Creationism becomes voodoo if we try to apply it to malaria, though evolution offers several paths of assault on the vectors that carry the disease from human to human, on the parasites themselves, and on the vulnerability of humans, as well as the environmental factors that allow the disease to spread.

    On the important stuff, creationism is sterile. It’s inert. Intelligent design is worse, if anything. Anthrax is one of those things in nature that offers solace to ID advocates, as appearing too perfect to have evolved. We desperately need insight into anthrax, to create a really good, less harmful but effective vaccine, and to create treatments. Since the need got urgent, in late 2001, intelligent design advocates have backed away from medical research, if anything. Why? You tell me — it’s a place that ID would be welcomed, if it’s not totally worthless.

    Creationism doesn’t need a level playing field, and the politicos in creationism know it. That’s probably why they concentrate on political solutions that keep the playing field tilted, in Congress, in state legislatures, in state and local school boards — everywhere but the science labs.

    Like

  38. Ed Darrell says:

    Grand Canyon: Joe, take a look at this site:

    http://www.nps.gov/grca/photosmultimedia/rangermin200703howold_mov.htm

    Get the .pdf on Canyon geology:

    http://www.nps.gov/grca/photosmultimedia/upload/geologyfaq.pdf

    And take a look at this stuff about Frenchman Mountain, near Las Vegas:

    http://www.birdandflower.com/rainbowgardens/index.html

    That last site talks about geology that may be more accessible than the Grand Canyon, and it’s from a professional geologist (one of the guys working on Yucca Mountain; alas, the government’s position is not always a reflection of the geologists’ hard work — Dave’s good, though, you can trust his stuff). Dave’s stuff notes his irritation at creationism, which ignores basic geology often, and which provides absurd, God-denying miracles to explain what simple geology explains by time and natural processes.

    You may especially want to look at Dave’s listing of the layers of the area (this is at the mouth of the Grand Canyon, and there is a lot of geological overlap):

    http://www.birdandflower.com/creationistcanyon/gc_pt12.html

    This gives you an idea of how many types of layers there are — some types will have a million or more layers themselves — and how some of those layers were deposited, then later eroded away, then new stuff put down on top.

    I hope you can find a drawing somewhere that shows the unconformities and faults that make it possible for layers to be gone on one side of the canyon, but present on the other side — clear evidence that the layer did exist, but was eroded away.

    Like

  39. Ed Darrell says:

    I’ll try to clean up the multiple posts issue at some point — it’s late, I got a big day coming, etc. You were right, Joe, the spam filters got ‘em. I can’t figure out why. I can’t find any trigger words in the posts.

    I do want to note this, quickly; you said:

    Not to turn the tables back on evolution too much, but it isn’t creationists that are saying it would be horrific and confusing if ID or creationism were taught in school. Equality for all in this country? Freedom for ideas? Apparently not in school. You can’t even pray to any deity of any kind. It’s not just creationism that’s being repressed in our country, it’s anything that has the word “God” in it at all! No, it is not the creationists who are afraid of a “fight.” It isn’t the creationism who refuses an alternate viewpoint a voice. Creation was taught in this country before evolution and we still emerged as a great nation, even though we gave God the glory instead of “Mother Nature.” Even, at the very least, as a matter of history of belief, creation should get a voice in schools.

    Freedom for idea, yes, if people will defend them. That’s my point on the research. Creationism can get into textbooks without any operation of law, if only there were creationist research to go there. There are two parts to this problem: The research would have to demonstrate the claims of creationists; the research has to actually be done.

    Now, I suspect that, were one to test creationist claims, to actually do the research, one would falsify the claims. That’s been true for all creationist claims science once held — fixity of species, no hybridization, constancy of life from creation to now, geologic stability, flood geology, etc. Creationists like to pretend those things have not been disproven, but denial won’t even buy a cup of coffee these days. If the disproofs are in error, there is a rich field there for a creationist researcher or thousand. Why are there no creationists rushing in? You tell me. The courts discovered that such research is eminently publishable, and the history of ID shows it usually gets published.

    So, to what do we attribute the lack of creationist articles?

    That’s the other part: Creationists have to actually do the work, and write it up.

    But is there a creationist anywhere on Earth working on creationism? I’ve found none. I’ve been looking for nearly three decades.

    It’s not enough to hold the views. If creationists want to defend them as science, they have to do what Feynman said: Go to the lab bench and show they work.

    The marketplace is free in the sense that anyone can compete. It’s not free in the sense that the market will tout any fool idea that comes along. Ideas have to have value, and evidence to back them. Creationism lacks both value and evidence.

    The law of the U.S. is that any student may pray to any deity the student chooses at any time it doesn’t pose a hazard to others — no kneeling to pray on the stairway when trying to evacuate the building due to a fire. Other than that, student prayer is required to be protected, by most states, and by federal law.

    Whoever told you students cannot pray lied to you. Don’t trust anything else that person says.

    Social studies cannot be done without discussion of religion, and of the influence of God and gods on history. Not only is it not banned, such discussions are part of national suggestions for standards, and state standards in every state (plus Guam and the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, where NCLB monies go). If anyone tells you “God” cannot be mentioned, make them remove their tinfoil hat. Thus unprotected, they will flee your presence and vex you no more.

    And, check history: Creationism is an invention of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In point of fact, Christians studied nature, assuming (as Darwin did) that God was behind it, and so study of nature was close to divine, at least a window into the divine. Creationism as a reaction to modern biology did not develop until the social upheavals of the 1880s and 1890s. Creationism as a rejection of all science didn’t begin until the Fundamentals Movement of the early 1900s, and didn’t progress to rejection of all science until after 1970 by my calculation.

    Creationism, as a rejection of science, has only been taught in the 20th century. We nearly got rid of it after 1957, but the propagandists at ICR managed to bring it back, though it seriously damages our national competitiveness.

    Fortunately, pure creationism has never legally been taught in the U.S. — though, from my experience, it has been taught sub rosa. Teaching the history of the development of scientific and religious thought is in the Texas social studies standards. But teaching creationism as potentially correct science would be a sin, and it is not a part of standards in any state, praise God.

    Repeated surveys show that creationism IS taught in U.S. schools, contrary to the laws, contrary to standards. Good surveys indicate that teachers catch holy hell for teaching evolution, even in biology, and so they don’t, even those who understand it.

    This is part of the reason U.S. achievement in science lags the industrialized world.

    Like

  40. Ed Darrell says:

    Very cool pages to look at. It would be every man’s childhood dream come true to have that job. One thing that didn’t make sense is what you said, “they literally found the fossils popping out of the ground, clearly visible.” Is there an explanation for that fact in evolution? Shouldn’t they be buried in layers of the earth indicating they are millions of years old? What are they doing there on the surface? I watched a video on youtube:

    The explanation is erosion, millions of years of it. One more disproof of creationist geology.

    That’s a great video — I think it’s from the PBS series “Evolution.” You can see clearly that Gingerich is looking for whales in a desert in Pakistan. In one clip, it looks as if he and his team are looking at rocks coiled in the shape of a spine, just lying on the ground. Some of the finds made in Pakistan have been that shallow. Same with Sereno’s team’s findings in the Niger desert, and in Argentina (see of you can find some pictures of the great egg fields in South America); and of course, the T. rex now known as Sue and on display at the Field Museum, was also starting to erode out of the ground when she was found.

    Because the layers of the sediments have been upended, twisted, folded, and slanted, over millions of years, and because the layers on the surface are always subject to weathering, we have fossils literally popping out of the ground in many places. The fossiles were buried in layers of the Earth millions of years ago; rock movements have pushed them around (the whale ancestors from the ancient Tethys Sea, for example, now are hundreds or thousands of feet above sea level — the sea was closed when the Indian subcontinent rammed through it, and the sediments of the sea are now part of the Himalayas and its foothills); weathering has stripped away rocks on top.

    This is geologic time, Joe. I think I mentioned before that there are areas around the Grand Canyon where we know there were sediments a thousand feet thick, but which have been eroded away, and new sediments put on top of the old rock. We know the old rock was there because we can match up the formations on opposite sides of faults, and we can trace them as the once-flat layers now undulate from the surface to under the Earth. I’m not familiar with the area of Pakistan where Gingerich worked; it may have had a thousand feet of sediment on top, now eroded away. If erosion took away a foot a year, it’d be a thousand years of erosion. But we know it’s more like a foot every ten million years, with hard rock being eroded to desert sand, in a dry climate. (These rates vary a lot depending on the hardness of the rock and the kind of weathering.)

    And — voila! — now the fossils are on the surface, again, just waiting for someone to find them, or to be weathered away into dust (dust to dust to rock to dust — it’s a longer and more dramatic cycle than the authors of scripture imagined!)

    Here’s a teachers guide to the Gingerich material in the PBS series: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/educators/teachstuds/pdf/unit3.pdf .

    Nice video find. Thanks for looking. Gingerich is one of several dozen people in the U.S. doing the same sort of work. If there is a creationist bothering to do the research, I haven’t found her in 30 years of looking.

    Like

  41. lowerleavell says:

    Ok, here’s try number 13!

    There are several things to reply to, so I’ll reply in shorter posts as well.

    You said, “Creationists should do their own research, like scientists do. But short of that, the data are generally available. Federally-funded research must be available by law, for example. The Grants at Princeton have made all of their data available for other scientists — no creationist has ever asked to see it. I do not know of any scientist who wouldn’t be happy to have someone else look at the data and try to replicate the experiment. Science is a brotherhood. Some people are put off by such collaboration — but surely, no Christian would be, would she?”

    Is it only Princeton, or are you claiming that Creationists never look at data and research because they’re lazy or afraid they’ll find the “truth” or something like that? My only point was that Creationists have to rely on schools and groups like Princeton and they get the evidence second hand. I’m not sure how to track it down, but I doubt there is any grant money going to any creationist group as I can imagine the ACLU would have a field day with that one. AIG, ICR, and other groups all require private funding to keep things going. Even the creationist museum I believe is fully funded by private donations. Separation of church and state aside, I’d love to see what would happen if creationists had the same budget as evolutionists. I wonder too if evolution would go extinct if it didn’t receive government funding like it does. Yet, I doubt that a level playing field would ever be granted.

    “Especially after the Arkansas trial in 1981, creationists were told flat out that they could get creationism into the textbooks simply by doing research and publishing it. Since that time, creationists have spent by my count more than $30 million in public relations, and less than $2 million on research.”

    Wait a second! Is that just in Arkansas or the whole USA? If ID is having such a hard time getting into the textbooks even as an alternate choice, then how on earth is creationism going to get into public textbooks?

    “Don’t pity creationists. Such ethical missteps carry their own penalties. In this case, no research, no publications, no mention in science textbooks.”

    No, I don’t pity creationists at all. There are research and publications. My only complaint was that there was a plethora of articles on whales, but nothing later than 2001 or so. I simply believe that they need an update.

    Obviously there is no mention in science textbooks. Again, the ACLU would have a field day. Surely you and I would agree that if creationism ever made a serious attempt at being in a public school textbook, you can just rip every dollar from every creationist’s hand because the lawsuits would be endless!

    “Creationists make it hard on creationists. The stories of Scott Minnich, Michael Behe, Jonathan Wells, Bill Dembski and others make it very clear that creationists can earn the research degrees and get papers published, when they do the research. Behe has more than 40 good papers to his name, for example, most in prestigious journals. But Behe told me about 6 years ago now that he does not plan to do any research in creationism issues.”

    You know Behe??!! Wow! I’ve got to say that’s pretty cool.  I wish I could get the context to what Behe was saying. It’s strange that he told that to you six years ago since he was interviewed in the book “The Case for a Creator” by Lee Strobel which was published in 2004. Reading that book actually was where I started to get really interested in this discussion. From what I understand, Behe has been pounded pretty hard for stepping up to the plate like he did. From what I understand, reading the transcripts from that trial that you talked about, I still don’t think he was proven to be mistaken. I simply think he’s better suited for writing than talking with a slick lawyer.
    “All we know for certain, from two federal trials where witnesses were deposed under oath, is that creationists do not do research. The Bible says “seek and ye shall find.” Creationists refuse to seek.”

    I beg to differ with you here. I think that creationists would love it if scientists could find whole fossils instead of taking “educated guesses” on what they think the creature looked like. It’s always been a big complaint of creationists that evolutionists take one or two bones and compile a whole creature that fits and, in this discussion, put webbed feet and so forth on it to make it fit their ideas. I personally believe the more bones they find (and I know you’re going to disagree with me, but bear with me) the more they will have to modify and scramble to change their understanding to be compatible with evolution.

    “One of my heroes of science, Richard Feynman, said that real science is done on the lab bench. It doesn’t require an advanced degree. It doesn’t require a fancy vocabulary. It requires scrupulous honesty and the willingness to prove one’s self wrong.”

    That’s a good quote. I think I agree, but I am not a lab bench right now making the claim, so I guess I can’t be conclusive. 

    “It seems to be that creationists lack the last two qualities much more than they lack the lab benches.”

    Not to turn the tables back on evolution too much, but it isn’t creationists that are saying it would be horrific and confusing if ID or creationism were taught in school. Equality for all in this country? Freedom for ideas? Apparently not in school. You can’t even pray to any deity of any kind. It’s not just creationism that’s being repressed in our country, it’s anything that has the word “God” in it at all! No, it is not the creationists who are afraid of a “fight.” It isn’t the creationism who refuses an alternate viewpoint a voice. Creation was taught in this country before evolution and we still emerged as a great nation, even though we gave God the glory instead of “Mother Nature.” Even, at the very least, as a matter of history of belief, creation should get a voice in schools.

    Like

  42. lowerleavell says:

    Here’s try number twelve. This is what I originally posted and after what I wrote above, I noticed the original things hadn’t posted. Here goes!

    Ok, there are several things to reply to, so I’ll reply in shorter posts as well.

    You said, “Creationists should do their own research, like scientists do. But short of that, the data are generally available. Federally-funded research must be available by law, for example. The Grants at Princeton have made all of their data available for other scientists — no creationist has ever asked to see it. I do not know of any scientist who wouldn’t be happy to have someone else look at the data and try to replicate the experiment. Science is a brotherhood. Some people are put off by such collaboration — but surely, no Christian would be, would she?”

    Is it only Princeton, or are you claiming that Creationists never look at data and research because they’re lazy or afraid they’ll find the “truth” or something like that? My only point was that Creationists have to rely on schools and groups like Princeton and they get the evidence second hand. I’m not sure how to track it down, but I doubt there is any grant money going to any creationist group as I can imagine the ACLU would have a field day with that one. AIG, ICR, and other groups all require private funding to keep things going. Even the creationist museum I believe is fully funded by private donations. Separation of church and state aside, I’d love to see what would happen if creationists had the same budget as evolutionists. I wonder too if evolution would go extinct if it didn’t receive government funding like it does. Yet, I doubt that a level playing field would ever be granted.

    “Especially after the Arkansas trial in 1981, creationists were told flat out that they could get creationism into the textbooks simply by doing research and publishing it. Since that time, creationists have spent by my count more than $30 million in public relations, and less than $2 million on research.”

    Wait a second! Is that just in Arkansas or the whole USA? If ID is having such a hard time getting into the textbooks even as an alternate choice, then how on earth is creationism going to get into public textbooks?

    “Don’t pity creationists. Such ethical missteps carry their own penalties. In this case, no research, no publications, no mention in science textbooks.”

    No, I don’t pity creationists at all. There are research and publications. My only complaint was that there was a plethora of articles on whales, but nothing later than 2001 or so. I simply believe that they need an update.

    Obviously there is no mention in science textbooks. Again, the ACLU would have a field day. Surely you and I would agree that if creationism ever made a serious attempt at being in a public school textbook, you can just rip every dollar from every creationist’s hand because the lawsuits would be endless!

    “Creationists make it hard on creationists. The stories of Scott Minnich, Michael Behe, Jonathan Wells, Bill Dembski and others make it very clear that creationists can earn the research degrees and get papers published, when they do the research. Behe has more than 40 good papers to his name, for example, most in prestigious journals. But Behe told me about 6 years ago now that he does not plan to do any research in creationism issues.”

    You know Behe??!! Wow! I’ve got to say that’s pretty cool.  I wish I could get the context to what Behe was saying. It’s strange that he told that to you six years ago since he was interviewed in the book “The Case for a Creator” by Lee Strobel which was published in 2004. Reading that book actually was where I started to get really interested in this discussion. From what I understand, Behe has been pounded pretty hard for stepping up to the plate like he did. From what I understand, reading the transcripts from that trial that you talked about, I still don’t think he was proven to be mistaken. I simply think he’s better suited for writing than talking with a slick lawyer.
    “All we know for certain, from two federal trials where witnesses were deposed under oath, is that creationists do not do research. The Bible says “seek and ye shall find.” Creationists refuse to seek.”

    I beg to differ with you here. I think that creationists would love it if scientists could find whole fossils instead of taking “educated guesses” on what they think the creature looked like. It’s always been a big complaint of creationists that evolutionists take one or two bones and compile a whole creature that fits and, in this discussion, put webbed feet and so forth on it to make it fit their ideas. I personally believe the more bones they find (and I know you’re going to disagree with me, but bear with me) the more they will have to modify and scramble to change their understanding to be compatible with evolution.

    “One of my heroes of science, Richard Feynman, said that real science is done on the lab bench. It doesn’t require an advanced degree. It doesn’t require a fancy vocabulary. It requires scrupulous honesty and the willingness to prove one’s self wrong.”

    That’s a good quote. I think I agree, but I am not a lab bench right now making the claim, so I guess I can’t be conclusive.

    “It seems to be that creationists lack the last two qualities much more than they lack the lab benches.”

    Not to turn the tables back on evolution too much, but it isn’t creationists that are saying it would be horrific and confusing if ID or creationism were taught in school. Equality for all in this country? Freedom for ideas? Apparently not in school. You can’t even pray to any deity of any kind. It’s not just creationism that’s being repressed in our country, it’s anything that has the word “God” in it at all! No, it is not the creationists who are afraid of a “fight.” It isn’t the creationism who refuses an alternate viewpoint a voice. Creation was taught in this country before evolution and we still emerged as a great nation, even though we gave God the glory instead of “Mother Nature.” Even, at the very least, as a matter of history of belief, creation should get a voice in schools.

    Like

  43. lowerleavell says:

    You might want to check your spam filter because I’ve posted the same thing about ten times now and it won’t work.

    Like

  44. lowerleavell says:

    Here’s try number seven! This is what I originally posted and after what I wrote above, I noticed the original things hadn’t posted. Here goes!

    Ok, there are several things to reply to, so I’ll reply in shorter posts as well.

    You said, “Creationists should do their own research, like scientists do. But short of that, the data are generally available. Federally-funded research must be available by law, for example. The Grants at Princeton have made all of their data available for other scientists — no creationist has ever asked to see it. I do not know of any scientist who wouldn’t be happy to have someone else look at the data and try to replicate the experiment. Science is a brotherhood. Some people are put off by such collaboration — but surely, no Christian would be, would she?”

    Is it only Princeton, or are you claiming that Creationists never look at data and research because they’re lazy or afraid they’ll find the “truth” or something like that? My only point was that Creationists have to rely on schools and groups like Princeton and they get the evidence second hand. I’m not sure how to track it down, but I doubt there is any grant money going to any creationist group as I can imagine the ACLU would have a field day with that one. AIG, ICR, and other groups all require private funding to keep things going. Even the creationist museum I believe is fully funded by private donations. Separation of church and state aside, I’d love to see what would happen if creationists had the same budget as evolutionists. I wonder too if evolution would go extinct if it didn’t receive government funding like it does. Yet, I doubt that a level playing field would ever be granted.

    Like

  45. lowerleavell says:

    Ok, it worked so I’m going to try posting this way:
    I keep posting this and it doesn’t post. I don’t know why. Here’s try number three. This is what I originally posted and after what I wrote above, I noticed the original things hadn’t posted. Here goes!

    Ok, there are several things to reply to, so I’ll reply in shorter posts as well.

    You said, “Creationists should do their own research, like scientists do. But short of that, the data are generally available. Federally-funded research must be available by law, for example. The Grants at Princeton have made all of their data available for other scientists — no creationist has ever asked to see it. I do not know of any scientist who wouldn’t be happy to have someone else look at the data and try to replicate the experiment. Science is a brotherhood. Some people are put off by such collaboration — but surely, no Christian would be, would she?”

    Is it only Princeton, or are you claiming that Creationists never look at data and research because they’re lazy or afraid they’ll find the “truth” or something like that? My only point was that Creationists have to rely on schools and groups like Princeton and they get the evidence second hand. I’m not sure how to track it down, but I doubt there is any grant money going to any creationist group as I can imagine the ACLU would have a field day with that one. AIG, ICR, and other groups all require private funding to keep things going. Even the creationist museum I believe is fully funded by private donations. Separation of church and state aside, I’d love to see what would happen if creationists had the same budget as evolutionists. I wonder too if evolution would go extinct if it didn’t receive government funding like it does. Yet, I doubt that a level playing field would ever be granted.

    “Especially after the Arkansas trial in 1981, creationists were told flat out that they could get creationism into the textbooks simply by doing research and publishing it. Since that time, creationists have spent by my count more than $30 million in public relations, and less than $2 million on research.”

    Wait a second! Is that just in Arkansas or the whole USA? If ID is having such a hard time getting into the textbooks even as an alternate choice, then how on earth is creationism going to get into public textbooks?

    “Don’t pity creationists. Such ethical missteps carry their own penalties. In this case, no research, no publications, no mention in science textbooks.”

    No, I don’t pity creationists at all. There are research and publications. My only complaint was that there was a plethora of articles on whales, but nothing later than 2001 or so. I simply believe that they need an update.

    Obviously there is no mention in science textbooks. Again, the ACLU would have a field day. Surely you and I would agree that if creationism ever made a serious attempt at being in a public school textbook, you can just rip every dollar from every creationist’s hand because the lawsuits would be endless!

    “Creationists make it hard on creationists. The stories of Scott Minnich, Michael Behe, Jonathan Wells, Bill Dembski and others make it very clear that creationists can earn the research degrees and get papers published, when they do the research. Behe has more than 40 good papers to his name, for example, most in prestigious journals. But Behe told me about 6 years ago now that he does not plan to do any research in creationism issues.”

    You know Behe??!! Wow! I’ve got to say that’s pretty cool.  I wish I could get the context to what Behe was saying. It’s strange that he told that to you six years ago since he was interviewed in the book “The Case for a Creator” by Lee Strobel which was published in 2004. Reading that book actually was where I started to get really interested in this discussion. From what I understand, Behe has been pounded pretty hard for stepping up to the plate like he did. From what I understand, reading the transcripts from that trial that you talked about, I still don’t think he was proven to be mistaken. I simply think he’s better suited for writing than talking with a slick lawyer.
    “All we know for certain, from two federal trials where witnesses were deposed under oath, is that creationists do not do research. The Bible says “seek and ye shall find.” Creationists refuse to seek.”

    I beg to differ with you here. I think that creationists would love it if scientists could find whole fossils instead of taking “educated guesses” on what they think the creature looked like. It’s always been a big complaint of creationists that evolutionists take one or two bones and compile a whole creature that fits and, in this discussion, put webbed feet and so forth on it to make it fit their ideas. I personally believe the more bones they find (and I know you’re going to disagree with me, but bear with me) the more they will have to modify and scramble to change their understanding to be compatible with evolution.

    “One of my heroes of science, Richard Feynman, said that real science is done on the lab bench. It doesn’t require an advanced degree. It doesn’t require a fancy vocabulary. It requires scrupulous honesty and the willingness to prove one’s self wrong.”

    That’s a good quote. I think I agree, but I am not a lab bench right now making the claim, so I guess I can’t be conclusive.

    “It seems to be that creationists lack the last two qualities much more than they lack the lab benches.”

    Not to turn the tables back on evolution too much, but it isn’t creationists that are saying it would be horrific and confusing if ID or creationism were taught in school. Equality for all in this country? Freedom for ideas? Apparently not in school. You can’t even pray to any deity of any kind. It’s not just creationism that’s being repressed in our country, it’s anything that has the word “God” in it at all! No, it is not the creationists who are afraid of a “fight.” It isn’t the creationism who refuses an alternate viewpoint a voice. Creation was taught in this country before evolution and we still emerged as a great nation, even though we gave God the glory instead of “Mother Nature.” Even, at the very least, as a matter of history of belief, creation should get a voice in schools.

    Like

  46. lowerleavell says:

    Ed, it won’t let me post anything. Here’s hoping this will work:

    Like

  47. Lowerleavell says:

    Ed, for some reason it’s not letting me post. It’s really weird, so I am signed out of my screen name and seeing it if will let me post this way. Sorry.

    Here’s try number three. This is what I originally posted and after what I wrote above, I noticed the original things hadn’t posted. Here goes!

    Ok, there are several things to reply to, so I’ll reply in shorter posts as well.

    You said, “Creationists should do their own research, like scientists do. But short of that, the data are generally available. Federally-funded research must be available by law, for example. The Grants at Princeton have made all of their data available for other scientists — no creationist has ever asked to see it. I do not know of any scientist who wouldn’t be happy to have someone else look at the data and try to replicate the experiment. Science is a brotherhood. Some people are put off by such collaboration — but surely, no Christian would be, would she?”

    Is it only Princeton, or are you claiming that Creationists never look at data and research because they’re lazy or afraid they’ll find the “truth” or something like that? My only point was that Creationists have to rely on schools and groups like Princeton and they get the evidence second hand. I’m not sure how to track it down, but I doubt there is any grant money going to any creationist group as I can imagine the ACLU would have a field day with that one. AIG, ICR, and other groups all require private funding to keep things going. Even the creationist museum I believe is fully funded by private donations. Separation of church and state aside, I’d love to see what would happen if creationists had the same budget as evolutionists. I wonder too if evolution would go extinct if it didn’t receive government funding like it does. Yet, I doubt that a level playing field would ever be granted.

    “Especially after the Arkansas trial in 1981, creationists were told flat out that they could get creationism into the textbooks simply by doing research and publishing it. Since that time, creationists have spent by my count more than $30 million in public relations, and less than $2 million on research.”

    Wait a second! Is that just in Arkansas or the whole USA? If ID is having such a hard time getting into the textbooks even as an alternate choice, then how on earth is creationism going to get into public textbooks?

    “Don’t pity creationists. Such ethical missteps carry their own penalties. In this case, no research, no publications, no mention in science textbooks.”

    No, I don’t pity creationists at all. There are research and publications. My only complaint was that there was a plethora of articles on whales, but nothing later than 2001 or so. I simply believe that they need an update.

    Obviously there is no mention in science textbooks. Again, the ACLU would have a field day. Surely you and I would agree that if creationism ever made a serious attempt at being in a public school textbook, you can just rip every dollar from every creationist’s hand because the lawsuits would be endless!

    “Creationists make it hard on creationists. The stories of Scott Minnich, Michael Behe, Jonathan Wells, Bill Dembski and others make it very clear that creationists can earn the research degrees and get papers published, when they do the research. Behe has more than 40 good papers to his name, for example, most in prestigious journals. But Behe told me about 6 years ago now that he does not plan to do any research in creationism issues.”

    You know Behe??!! Wow! I’ve got to say that’s pretty cool.  I wish I could get the context to what Behe was saying. It’s strange that he told that to you six years ago since he was interviewed in the book “The Case for a Creator” by Lee Strobel which was published in 2004. Reading that book actually was where I started to get really interested in this discussion. From what I understand, Behe has been pounded pretty hard for stepping up to the plate like he did. From what I understand, reading the transcripts from that trial that you talked about, I still don’t think he was proven to be mistaken. I simply think he’s better suited for writing than talking with a slick lawyer.
    “All we know for certain, from two federal trials where witnesses were deposed under oath, is that creationists do not do research. The Bible says “seek and ye shall find.” Creationists refuse to seek.”

    I beg to differ with you here. I think that creationists would love it if scientists could find whole fossils instead of taking “educated guesses” on what they think the creature looked like. It’s always been a big complaint of creationists that evolutionists take one or two bones and compile a whole creature that fits and, in this discussion, put webbed feet and so forth on it to make it fit their ideas. I personally believe the more bones they find (and I know you’re going to disagree with me, but bear with me) the more they will have to modify and scramble to change their understanding to be compatible with evolution.

    “One of my heroes of science, Richard Feynman, said that real science is done on the lab bench. It doesn’t require an advanced degree. It doesn’t require a fancy vocabulary. It requires scrupulous honesty and the willingness to prove one’s self wrong.”

    That’s a good quote. I think I agree, but I am not a lab bench right now making the claim, so I guess I can’t be conclusive.

    “It seems to be that creationists lack the last two qualities much more than they lack the lab benches.”

    Not to turn the tables back on evolution too much, but it isn’t creationists that are saying it would be horrific and confusing if ID or creationism were taught in school. Equality for all in this country? Freedom for ideas? Apparently not in school. You can’t even pray to any deity of any kind. It’s not just creationism that’s being repressed in our country, it’s anything that has the word “God” in it at all! No, it is not the creationists who are afraid of a “fight.” It isn’t the creationism who refuses an alternate viewpoint a voice. Creation was taught in this country before evolution and we still emerged as a great nation, even though we gave God the glory instead of “Mother Nature.” Even, at the very least, as a matter of history of belief, creation should get a voice in schools.

    Like

  48. lowerleavell says:

    I keep posting this and it doesn’t post. I don’t know why. Here’s try number three. This is what I originally posted and after what I wrote above, I noticed the original things hadn’t posted. Here goes!

    Ok, there are several things to reply to, so I’ll reply in shorter posts as well.

    You said, “Creationists should do their own research, like scientists do. But short of that, the data are generally available. Federally-funded research must be available by law, for example. The Grants at Princeton have made all of their data available for other scientists — no creationist has ever asked to see it. I do not know of any scientist who wouldn’t be happy to have someone else look at the data and try to replicate the experiment. Science is a brotherhood. Some people are put off by such collaboration — but surely, no Christian would be, would she?”

    Is it only Princeton, or are you claiming that Creationists never look at data and research because they’re lazy or afraid they’ll find the “truth” or something like that? My only point was that Creationists have to rely on schools and groups like Princeton and they get the evidence second hand. I’m not sure how to track it down, but I doubt there is any grant money going to any creationist group as I can imagine the ACLU would have a field day with that one. AIG, ICR, and other groups all require private funding to keep things going. Even the creationist museum I believe is fully funded by private donations. Separation of church and state aside, I’d love to see what would happen if creationists had the same budget as evolutionists. I wonder too if evolution would go extinct if it didn’t receive government funding like it does. Yet, I doubt that a level playing field would ever be granted.

    Like

  49. lowerleavell says:

    I keep posting this and it doesn’t post. I don’t know why. Here’s try number three. This is what I originally posted and after what I wrote above, I noticed the original things hadn’t posted. Here goes!

    Ok, there are several things to reply to, so I’ll reply in shorter posts as well.

    You said, “Creationists should do their own research, like scientists do. But short of that, the data are generally available. Federally-funded research must be available by law, for example. The Grants at Princeton have made all of their data available for other scientists — no creationist has ever asked to see it. I do not know of any scientist who wouldn’t be happy to have someone else look at the data and try to replicate the experiment. Science is a brotherhood. Some people are put off by such collaboration — but surely, no Christian would be, would she?”

    Is it only Princeton, or are you claiming that Creationists never look at data and research because they’re lazy or afraid they’ll find the “truth” or something like that? My only point was that Creationists have to rely on schools and groups like Princeton and they get the evidence second hand. I’m not sure how to track it down, but I doubt there is any grant money going to any creationist group as I can imagine the ACLU would have a field day with that one. AIG, ICR, and other groups all require private funding to keep things going. Even the creationist museum I believe is fully funded by private donations. Separation of church and state aside, I’d love to see what would happen if creationists had the same budget as evolutionists. I wonder too if evolution would go extinct if it didn’t receive government funding like it does. Yet, I doubt that a level playing field would ever be granted.

    “Especially after the Arkansas trial in 1981, creationists were told flat out that they could get creationism into the textbooks simply by doing research and publishing it. Since that time, creationists have spent by my count more than $30 million in public relations, and less than $2 million on research.”

    Wait a second! Is that just in Arkansas or the whole USA? If ID is having such a hard time getting into the textbooks even as an alternate choice, then how on earth is creationism going to get into public textbooks?

    “Don’t pity creationists. Such ethical missteps carry their own penalties. In this case, no research, no publications, no mention in science textbooks.”

    No, I don’t pity creationists at all. There are research and publications. My only complaint was that there was a plethora of articles on whales, but nothing later than 2001 or so. I simply believe that they need an update.

    Obviously there is no mention in science textbooks. Again, the ACLU would have a field day. Surely you and I would agree that if creationism ever made a serious attempt at being in a public school textbook, you can just rip every dollar from every creationist’s hand because the lawsuits would be endless!

    Like

  50. lowerleavell says:

    This is what I originally posted and after what I wrote above, I noticed the original things hadn’t posted. Here goes! I keep posting this and it doesn’t post. I don’t know why. Here’s try number three.

    Ok, there are several things to reply to, so I’ll reply in shorter posts as well.

    You said, “Creationists should do their own research, like scientists do. But short of that, the data are generally available. Federally-funded research must be available by law, for example. The Grants at Princeton have made all of their data available for other scientists — no creationist has ever asked to see it. I do not know of any scientist who wouldn’t be happy to have someone else look at the data and try to replicate the experiment. Science is a brotherhood. Some people are put off by such collaboration — but surely, no Christian would be, would she?”

    Is it only Princeton, or are you claiming that Creationists never look at data and research because they’re lazy or afraid they’ll find the “truth” or something like that? My only point was that Creationists have to rely on schools and groups like Princeton and they get the evidence second hand. I’m not sure how to track it down, but I doubt there is any grant money going to any creationist group as I can imagine the ACLU would have a field day with that one. AIG, ICR, and other groups all require private funding to keep things going. Even the creationist museum I believe is fully funded by private donations. Separation of church and state aside, I’d love to see what would happen if creationists had the same budget as evolutionists. I wonder too if evolution would go extinct if it didn’t receive government funding like it does. Yet, I doubt that a level playing field would ever be granted.

    “Especially after the Arkansas trial in 1981, creationists were told flat out that they could get creationism into the textbooks simply by doing research and publishing it. Since that time, creationists have spent by my count more than $30 million in public relations, and less than $2 million on research.”

    Wait a second! Is that just in Arkansas or the whole USA? If ID is having such a hard time getting into the textbooks even as an alternate choice, then how on earth is creationism going to get into public textbooks?

    “Don’t pity creationists. Such ethical missteps carry their own penalties. In this case, no research, no publications, no mention in science textbooks.”

    No, I don’t pity creationists at all. There are research and publications. My only complaint was that there was a plethora of articles on whales, but nothing later than 2001 or so. I simply believe that they need an update.

    Obviously there is no mention in science textbooks. Again, the ACLU would have a field day. Surely you and I would agree that if creationism ever made a serious attempt at being in a public school textbook, you can just rip every dollar from every creationist’s hand because the lawsuits would be endless!

    “Creationists make it hard on creationists. The stories of Scott Minnich, Michael Behe, Jonathan Wells, Bill Dembski and others make it very clear that creationists can earn the research degrees and get papers published, when they do the research. Behe has more than 40 good papers to his name, for example, most in prestigious journals. But Behe told me about 6 years ago now that he does not plan to do any research in creationism issues.”

    You know Behe??!! Wow! I’ve got to say that’s pretty cool.  I wish I could get the context to what Behe was saying. It’s strange that he told that to you six years ago since he was interviewed in the book “The Case for a Creator” by Lee Strobel which was published in 2004. Reading that book actually was where I started to get really interested in this discussion. From what I understand, Behe has been pounded pretty hard for stepping up to the plate like he did. From what I understand, reading the transcripts from that trial that you talked about, I still don’t think he was proven to be mistaken. I simply think he’s better suited for writing than talking with a slick lawyer.
    “All we know for certain, from two federal trials where witnesses were deposed under oath, is that creationists do not do research. The Bible says “seek and ye shall find.” Creationists refuse to seek.”

    I beg to differ with you here. I think that creationists would love it if scientists could find whole fossils instead of taking “educated guesses” on what they think the creature looked like. It’s always been a big complaint of creationists that evolutionists take one or two bones and compile a whole creature that fits and, in this discussion, put webbed feet and so forth on it to make it fit their ideas. I personally believe the more bones they find (and I know you’re going to disagree with me, but bear with me) the more they will have to modify and scramble to change their understanding to be compatible with evolution.

    “One of my heroes of science, Richard Feynman, said that real science is done on the lab bench. It doesn’t require an advanced degree. It doesn’t require a fancy vocabulary. It requires scrupulous honesty and the willingness to prove one’s self wrong.”

    That’s a good quote. I think I agree, but I am not a lab bench right now making the claim, so I guess I can’t be conclusive.

    “It seems to be that creationists lack the last two qualities much more than they lack the lab benches.”

    Not to turn the tables back on evolution too much, but it isn’t creationists that are saying it would be horrific and confusing if ID or creationism were taught in school. Equality for all in this country? Freedom for ideas? Apparently not in school. You can’t even pray to any deity of any kind. It’s not just creationism that’s being repressed in our country, it’s anything that has the word “God” in it at all! No, it is not the creationists who are afraid of a “fight.” It isn’t the creationism who refuses an alternate viewpoint a voice. Creation was taught in this country before evolution and we still emerged as a great nation, even though we gave God the glory instead of “Mother Nature.” Even, at the very least, as a matter of history of belief, creation should get a voice in schools.

    Like

  51. lowerleavell says:

    I keep posting this and it doesn’t post. I don’t know why. Here’s try number three. This is what I originally posted and after what I wrote above, I noticed the original things hadn’t posted. Here goes!

    Ok, there are several things to reply to, so I’ll reply in shorter posts as well.

    You said, “Creationists should do their own research, like scientists do. But short of that, the data are generally available. Federally-funded research must be available by law, for example. The Grants at Princeton have made all of their data available for other scientists — no creationist has ever asked to see it. I do not know of any scientist who wouldn’t be happy to have someone else look at the data and try to replicate the experiment. Science is a brotherhood. Some people are put off by such collaboration — but surely, no Christian would be, would she?”

    Is it only Princeton, or are you claiming that Creationists never look at data and research because they’re lazy or afraid they’ll find the “truth” or something like that? My only point was that Creationists have to rely on schools and groups like Princeton and they get the evidence second hand. I’m not sure how to track it down, but I doubt there is any grant money going to any creationist group as I can imagine the ACLU would have a field day with that one. AIG, ICR, and other groups all require private funding to keep things going. Even the creationist museum I believe is fully funded by private donations. Separation of church and state aside, I’d love to see what would happen if creationists had the same budget as evolutionists. I wonder too if evolution would go extinct if it didn’t receive government funding like it does. Yet, I doubt that a level playing field would ever be granted.

    “Especially after the Arkansas trial in 1981, creationists were told flat out that they could get creationism into the textbooks simply by doing research and publishing it. Since that time, creationists have spent by my count more than $30 million in public relations, and less than $2 million on research.”

    Wait a second! Is that just in Arkansas or the whole USA? If ID is having such a hard time getting into the textbooks even as an alternate choice, then how on earth is creationism going to get into public textbooks?

    “Don’t pity creationists. Such ethical missteps carry their own penalties. In this case, no research, no publications, no mention in science textbooks.”

    No, I don’t pity creationists at all. There are research and publications. My only complaint was that there was a plethora of articles on whales, but nothing later than 2001 or so. I simply believe that they need an update.

    Obviously there is no mention in science textbooks. Again, the ACLU would have a field day. Surely you and I would agree that if creationism ever made a serious attempt at being in a public school textbook, you can just rip every dollar from every creationist’s hand because the lawsuits would be endless!

    “Creationists make it hard on creationists. The stories of Scott Minnich, Michael Behe, Jonathan Wells, Bill Dembski and others make it very clear that creationists can earn the research degrees and get papers published, when they do the research. Behe has more than 40 good papers to his name, for example, most in prestigious journals. But Behe told me about 6 years ago now that he does not plan to do any research in creationism issues.”

    You know Behe??!! Wow! I’ve got to say that’s pretty cool.  I wish I could get the context to what Behe was saying. It’s strange that he told that to you six years ago since he was interviewed in the book “The Case for a Creator” by Lee Strobel which was published in 2004. Reading that book actually was where I started to get really interested in this discussion. From what I understand, Behe has been pounded pretty hard for stepping up to the plate like he did. From what I understand, reading the transcripts from that trial that you talked about, I still don’t think he was proven to be mistaken. I simply think he’s better suited for writing than talking with a slick lawyer.
    “All we know for certain, from two federal trials where witnesses were deposed under oath, is that creationists do not do research. The Bible says “seek and ye shall find.” Creationists refuse to seek.”

    I beg to differ with you here. I think that creationists would love it if scientists could find whole fossils instead of taking “educated guesses” on what they think the creature looked like. It’s always been a big complaint of creationists that evolutionists take one or two bones and compile a whole creature that fits and, in this discussion, put webbed feet and so forth on it to make it fit their ideas. I personally believe the more bones they find (and I know you’re going to disagree with me, but bear with me) the more they will have to modify and scramble to change their understanding to be compatible with evolution.

    “One of my heroes of science, Richard Feynman, said that real science is done on the lab bench. It doesn’t require an advanced degree. It doesn’t require a fancy vocabulary. It requires scrupulous honesty and the willingness to prove one’s self wrong.”

    That’s a good quote. I think I agree, but I am not a lab bench right now making the claim, so I guess I can’t be conclusive.

    “It seems to be that creationists lack the last two qualities much more than they lack the lab benches.”

    Not to turn the tables back on evolution too much, but it isn’t creationists that are saying it would be horrific and confusing if ID or creationism were taught in school. Equality for all in this country? Freedom for ideas? Apparently not in school. You can’t even pray to any deity of any kind. It’s not just creationism that’s being repressed in our country, it’s anything that has the word “God” in it at all! No, it is not the creationists who are afraid of a “fight.” It isn’t the creationism who refuses an alternate viewpoint a voice. Creation was taught in this country before evolution and we still emerged as a great nation, even though we gave God the glory instead of “Mother Nature.” Even, at the very least, as a matter of history of belief, creation should get a voice in schools.

    Like

  52. lowerleavell says:

    Ok, I posted and then it didn’t post. Weird. Here is the first thing I posted: The one above this is acutally my second post. Maybe it’s in the spam filter or something:

    Ok, there are several things to reply to, so I’ll reply in shorter posts as well.
    You said, “Creationists should do their own research, like scientists do. But short of that, the data are generally available. Federally-funded research must be available by law, for example. The Grants at Princeton have made all of their data available for other scientists — no creationist has ever asked to see it. I do not know of any scientist who wouldn’t be happy to have someone else look at the data and try to replicate the experiment. Science is a brotherhood. Some people are put off by such collaboration — but surely, no Christian would be, would she?”

    Is it only Princeton, or are you claiming that Creationists never look at data and research because they’re lazy or afraid they’ll find the “truth” or something like that? My only point was that Creationists have to rely on schools and groups like Princeton and they get the evidence second hand. I’m not sure how to track it down, but I doubt there is any grant money going to any creationist group as I can imagine the ACLU would have a field day with that one. AIG, ICR, and other groups all require private funding to keep things going. Even the creationist museum I believe is fully funded by private donations. Separation of church and state aside, I’d love to see what would happen if creationists had the same budget as evolutionists. I wonder too if evolution would go extinct if it didn’t receive government funding like it does. Yet, I doubt that a level playing field would ever be granted.

    “Especially after the Arkansas trial in 1981, creationists were told flat out that they could get creationism into the textbooks simply by doing research and publishing it. Since that time, creationists have spent by my count more than $30 million in public relations, and less than $2 million on research.”

    Wait a second! Is that just in Arkansas or the whole USA? If ID is having such a hard time getting into the textbooks even as an alternate choice, then how on earth is creationism going to get into public textbooks?

    “Don’t pity creationists. Such ethical missteps carry their own penalties. In this case, no research, no publications, no mention in science textbooks.”

    No, I don’t pity creationists at all. There are research and publications. My only complaint was that there was a plethora of articles on whales, but nothing later than 2001 or so. I simply believe that they need an update.

    Obviously there is no mention in science textbooks. Again, the ACLU would have a field day. Surely you and I would agree that if creationism ever made a serious attempt at being in a public school textbook, you can just rip every dollar from every creationist’s hand because the lawsuits would be endless!

    “Creationists make it hard on creationists. The stories of Scott Minnich, Michael Behe, Jonathan Wells, Bill Dembski and others make it very clear that creationists can earn the research degrees and get papers published, when they do the research. Behe has more than 40 good papers to his name, for example, most in prestigious journals. But Behe told me about 6 years ago now that he does not plan to do any research in creationism issues.”

    You know Behe??!! Wow! I’ve got to say that’s pretty cool.  I wish I could get the context to what Behe was saying. It’s strange that he told that to you six years ago since he was interviewed in the book “The Case for a Creator” by Lee Strobel which was published in 2004. Reading that book actually was where I started to get really interested in this discussion. From what I understand, Behe has been pounded pretty hard for stepping up to the plate like he did. From what I understand, reading the transcripts from that trial that you talked about, I still don’t think he was proven to be mistaken. I simply think he’s better suited for writing than talking with a slick lawyer.
    “All we know for certain, from two federal trials where witnesses were deposed under oath, is that creationists do not do research. The Bible says “seek and ye shall find.” Creationists refuse to seek.”

    I beg to differ with you here. I think that creationists would love it if scientists could find whole fossils instead of taking “educated guesses” on what they think the creature looked like. It’s always been a big complaint of creationists that evolutionists take one or two bones and compile a whole creature that fits and, in this discussion, put webbed feet and so forth on it to make it fit their ideas. I personally believe the more bones they find (and I know you’re going to disagree with me, but bear with me) the more they will have to modify and scramble to change their understanding to be compatible with evolution.

    “One of my heroes of science, Richard Feynman, said that real science is done on the lab bench. It doesn’t require an advanced degree. It doesn’t require a fancy vocabulary. It requires scrupulous honesty and the willingness to prove one’s self wrong.”

    That’s a good quote. I think I agree, but I am not a lab bench right now making the claim, so I guess I can’t be conclusive.

    “t seems to be that creationists lack the last two qualities much more than they lack the lab benches.”

    Not to turn the tables back on evolution too much, but it isn’t creationists that are saying it would be horrific and confusing if ID or creationism were taught in school. Equality for all in this country? Freedom for ideas? Apparently not in school. You can’t even pray to any deity of any kind. It’s not just creationism that’s being repressed in our country, it’s anything that has the word “God” in it at all! No, it is not the creationists who are afraid of a “fight.” It isn’t the creationism who refuses an alternate viewpoint a voice. Creation was taught in this country before evolution and we still emerged as a great nation, even though we gave God the glory instead of “Mother Nature.” Even, at the very least, as a matter of history of belief, creation should get a voice in schools.

    Like

  53. lowerleavell says:

    Ed said,
    “Finding the fossils is sometimes difficult, but sometimes not. You should follow the exploits of Paul Sereno from the University of Chicago. His team uses computers to plot where rocks are from certain ages, that should be fossil-bearing. Then every summer they go check things out. Most summers they find at least one new spectacular species. In Niger and Egypt, areas where fossils were found early on but then ignored through much of the 20th century, they literally found the fossils popping out of the ground, clearly visible. In a few cases, they’ve found fully articulated, complete skeletons. One must look in order to find (what was that Bible quote?). (Take a look here at how fossil finds confirm plate tectonics — such corroboration is common in science, completely absent in creationism.)”

    Very cool pages to look at. It would be every man’s childhood dream come true to have that job. One thing that didn’t make sense is what you said, “they literally found the fossils popping out of the ground, clearly visible.” Is there an explanation for that fact in evolution? Shouldn’t they be buried in layers of the earth indicating they are millions of years old? What are they doing there on the surface? I watched a video on youtube:

    One thing which I thought was interesting about Gringrich’s (sp) research (among many other things) was that some of the fossils again, were found close to the surface. Is there any explanation for that after 40-50 million years? That’s a long time to still be there on the top!

    “And, yes, fossils are found “stacked on top of each other, in order,” if one simply pays attention to the rock layers. The only close-to-exceptions would be when there is a geologic fold, and a fossil-bearing layer was folded back on top of a later laid layer of rock. Those circumstances are generally easy to determine — and never, never, in more than 200 years of fossil hunting, have fossils been found jumbled up in one kind of rock. Never.”

    So I take it you don’t like creationist’s explanation that it is the logical way that they would be deposited with a flood (i.e. some rapid burial and some floating carcasses on top of the water, and then sinking to the bottom in the order in which we find them with the rock layers separating them as they sank).

    “Creationists like to deceive innocents, and they will sometimes cite the foot of a cliff which has exposed layers from several eras or epochs, with fossils from several different times falling to the foot of the cliff. Of course, one cannot use the fossils at the foot of the cliff as an example — that’s not how they were deposited. This is one more piece of dishonesty on the part of creationists.”

    Do you have a source for this claim? I’d like to know who did that. Shame on them if they did.

    Regarding what you said about the 25 places in the world that do have the complete geologic column. This may be a case where I was relying on very old data. Even the talkorgins article you mentioned was from 98, so I think has been before even that, that I got my info, if memory serves me right. I do remember it was from ICR. I’m not sure if they’re still teaching it. A quick look at the ICR website and it shows that Morris put that out in the 80s. I wonder if at that point if they hadn’t found any place that was complete or not. I don’t see anything from ICR that still shows that any later than the 80s too, so talkorigins was a little outdated it looks like.

    Here’s my question, and for me this is big. If (and I know this is a big if for you, but go with me here), if there was a worldwide flood, would the geologic column be the logical way the columns would have been deposited or would we have expected to find them in a different arrangement? Are the layers all wrong for a flood model, in other words? AIG uses this argument a lot and so I was wondering what you thought. It would explain why there is something of predictability within the columns as you are suggesting if water would deposit strata in this way. I haven’t read any rebuttal to this line of thinking on any web sites against creationism, so I was wondering if there was a problem with it.

    “In the Grand Canyon area, for example, there are huge areas where an entire layer of rock was deposited, say 1,000 feet thick — and then eroded away, and then other rock was deposited on top of the place the first rock was.”

    From what I understand, there is no evidence to show that there was any erosion that took place. The creationist’s argument I’ve seen is that the layer was never there to begin with and the evidence backs it up. We’ve gone down the Grand Canyon road though already.

    “Geology is not a guessing game. Geology is a highly refined science. That these falsehoods about geology continue to circulate among creationists is a great vexation to geologists, and should be a point of shame to creationists.”

    If I had gotten this from current ICR data, you would have reason to be concerned. I haven’t talked with anyone about that subject since I was about 15. Told you I was an amateur. Don’t associate my lack of understanding on this subject with all creationists. Again, I’m fairly new to this discussion.

    “You’re right, I don’t have high regard for creationism. I have little respect for any form of propaganda that is intended to mislead innocent people. Creationism is one of the more effective propaganda sets this world has ever seen — and ultimately I fear it is one of the more destructive.”

    Do you really feel it’s propaganda that is intentionally designed for that purpose?! I find it strange to hear a conspiracy theory from someone who is usually pretty even keeled.

    Like

  54. Ed Darrell says:

    AiG’s answers are embarrassing. Rather than try to make a case against evolution, they call the evidence ‘the usual old canards,’ or something similar, and they try to ridicule evolution. I don’t have a lot of patience with people who ridicule knowledge: Forced ignorance is a tool of oppression used on slaves for thousands of years, a key tool of totalitarian regimes, and uncool. If AiG doesn’t have an answer, they should just retire from the field.

    NAS and the Institute of Medicine don’t say that people who don’t understand evolution can’t practice medicine. What they say is that medicine is very much based on evolution theory. As the rain falls on the just and unjust alike, so evolutionary medicine works for the knowledgeable and ignorant alike. It’s just that those ignorant of evolution won’t do much for allergy treatments, cancer cures, or vaccine development.

    For example, here’s a list of 13 questions about health and medical care. Evolution theory helps to answer all of them, and provide treatments for the maladies. Intelligent design and other forms of creationism can’t answer ‘em. There simply is no “God designed it that way” answer that is suitable, that doesn’t lead to more suffering instead of effective treatment.

    Stephen Bratteng of Austin put this list together: Here are questions that evolution can answer, but intelligent design cannot:

    13 Questions

    1. Why does giving vitamin and mineral supplements to undernourished anemic individuals cause so many of them to die of bacterial infections.
    2. Why did Dr. Heimlich have to develop a maneuver to dislodge food particles from people’s wind pipes?
    3. Why does each of your eyes have a blind spot and strong a tendency toward retinal detachment? But a squid whose eyesight is just as sharp does not have these flaws?
    4. Why are depression and obesity at epidemic levels in the United States.
    5. When Europeans came to the Americas, why did 90 percent of the Native Americans die of European diseases but not many Europeans died of American diseases?
    6. Why do pregnant women get morning sickness?
    7. Why do people in industrialized countries have a greater tendency to get Crohn’s disease and asthma?
    8. Why does malaria still kill over a million people each year?
    9. Why are so many of the product Depends sold each year.
    10. Why do people given antidiarrheal medication take twice as long to recover from dysentery as untreated ones?
    11. Why do people of European descent have a fairly high frequency of an allele that can make them resistant to HIV infection?
    12. And close to home: Why do older men often have urinary problems?
    13. And why do so many people in Austin get cedar fever?

    Like

  55. lowerleavell says:

    Ed, I just have a few minutes this weekend so this will be “relatively” short and I’ll answer the other stuff next week.

    Regarding your links. I’m not sure what post you were trying to link on Jan. 3rd but it came up as an article on James Madison and freedom of religion (which I am very thankful for.) It was dated from 2006 so I was thinking that wasn’t the article you were trying to link so my questions still remain.

    This is AIG’s response to the new book:

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2008/01/04/creation-evolution-battle-resumes

    Regarding cephalopod evolution, From what I have read from creationist about cephalopods the only thing I could find regarding that issue was that the comment that they are still cephalapods and that worms, etc. that they have found in the Cambrian show that “variation on a theme” is more appropriate than “common ancestor.” BTW, from a satyrical point of view, the ID chart was kind of funny, though a misrepresentation the ID viewpoint.

    Like

  56. Ed Darrell says:

    For example, here’s a chart of cephalopod evolution. How come IDists/creationists never talk about cephalopod stuff? Could it be that there is no rational rebuttal?

    In any case, this is one of a dozen or more such family bushes available that creationists hope you never learn about:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/01/cephalopod_phylogeny_made_simp.php

    Like

  57. Ed Darrell says:

    lowerleavell, you really need to read this:

    http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=11876

    I’ve got a post up about it today (January 3, 2008).

    It should answer most of your questions.

    Like

  58. Ed Darrell says:

    I had said:

    “The other issue you may want to contemplate is this: While one can make arguments for one chain of species, we have these evolutionary family bushes for dozens of species — bovines, porcines, pachyderms (600 different species!), deer, rhinos, giraffes, fish, lizards, snakes, horses, cats, bears, and monkeys and apes. One simple explanation provides a guide to find new fossils and explains why the fossils are as we find them — evolution. Nothing else does that.”

    lowerleavell said:

    Let me say once more that I have no problem with a lot of this. What I’m arguing against is that these things all have a common ancestor. Sure, we can find the line and the history of cats, but can we find where they branched off and became felines from reptiles or wherever? Each family should all go back to the common ancestor, which of course, they don’t. We can find something of a history of each species, but you can’t find where they all merge into one.

    Yes, they do go back to common ancestors. This is one place that there are a fair number of “missing links.” But if it were not true, then the links that are known shouldn’t be so clear — that we do have the transitionals showing reptiles to mammals, carnivora coming out of the proto mammals, and the splits for canines, felines and ursines, among others, I think it’s difficult to argue that since we only have 60% of the links we cannot or should not infer the other 40%. Especially when DNA fills in almost all of the gaps, but from the genetics end, the inferences are based on science, not conjecture. Creationists are stuck with the deceitful God issue again — were evolution untrue, it’s because God is a deceiver. That’s untenable, theologically.

    Like

  59. Ed Darrell says:

    lowerleavell said:

    I think in your analysis of my position, you forgot to incorporate a world-wide flood in there somewhere as well as a concession on adaptation within natural boundaries. What I believe evolutionists are arguing for is near supernatural adaptation. While I don’t think the flood is the answer to all the issues, it does resolve many of them.

    You’re right. Since there are so many disproofs of the hypothesis of a worldwide flood, I never keep that in consideration. Too much physical evidence contradicts the idea. I think it’s dishonest to even urge a consideration of such an event.

    Like

  60. Ed Darrell says:

    lowerleavell said:

    I do like the rosy picture you’ve painted of how fossils are found. Again, I’m not an expert, but I do know it’s a little bit harder and more difficult to put all the pieces together than just saying they all go in sequence, as if you can go somewhere and find the fossils stacked on top of each other in order. It’s like it all happens so neatly and in order as you are portraying. From what I understand, there is no place on earth anywhere that even has all the layers that are portrayed in science books and they aren’t always in order either.

    Finding the fossils is sometimes difficult, but sometimes not. You should follow the exploits of Paul Sereno from the University of Chicago. His team uses computers to plot where rocks are from certain ages, that should be fossil-bearing. Then every summer they go check things out. Most summers they find at least one new spectacular species. In Niger and Egypt, areas where fossils were found early on but then ignored through much of the 20th century, they literally found the fossils popping out of the ground, clearly visible. In a few cases, they’ve found fully articulated, complete skeletons. One must look in order to find (what was that Bible quote?). (Take a look here at how fossil finds confirm plate tectonics — such corroboration is common in science, completely absent in creationism.)

    And, yes, fossils are found “stacked on top of each other, in order,” if one simply pays attention to the rock layers. The only close-to-exceptions would be when there is a geologic fold, and a fossil-bearing layer was folded back on top of a later laid layer of rock. Those circumstances are generally easy to determine — and never, never, in more than 200 years of fossil hunting, have fossils been found jumbled up in one kind of rock. Never. Creationists like to deceive innocents, and they will sometimes cite the foot of a cliff which has exposed layers from several eras or epochs, with fossils from several different times falling to the foot of the cliff. Of course, one cannot use the fossils at the foot of the cliff as an example — that’s not how they were deposited. This is one more piece of dishonesty on the part of creationists. Clearly someone told you that was the case — and to put it kindly, they were misinformed. Nor did they bother to check the facts to see if they were right. Sloppy research is almost as bad as a lie, since the result is the same.

    If someone told you there is no place on Earth that there is a full geologic column, they were also misinformed. You can find this, generally in the centers of continental cratons where erosion has not wiped out one or more eras once they were laid down — like North Dakota, and Russia. Talkorigins carries this note:

    There are very few parts of the world that contain a complete geologic column, though there are at least 25.

    25? Who was it told you there were none? Go ask them why they didn’t know about this.

    Even the incomplete columns correlate and corroborate others. In the Grand Canyon area, for example, there are huge areas where an entire layer of rock was deposited, say 1,000 feet thick — and then eroded away, and then other rock was deposited on top of the place the first rock was. This is made clear in comparing columns from around the region. Such comparisons are everyday work of petroleum and mineral geologists, people who make a living providing materials for our daily life by accurately determining geological columns as your source says is impossible.

    I can think of no example I’ve ever found where geologists were not able to determine the order of the layers of rock they have found. Moreover, were that accurate, we’d probably have run out of coal and oil a couple of decades ago.

    Geology is not a guessing game. Geology is a highly refined science. That these falsehoods about geology continue to circulate among creationists is a great vexation to geologists, and should be a point of shame to creationists.

    You’re right, I don’t have high regard for creationism. I have little respect for any form of propaganda that is intended to mislead innocent people. Creationism is one of the more effective propaganda sets this world has ever seen — and ultimately I fear it is one of the more destructive.

    Like

  61. Ed Darrell says:

    Yeah, you wrote that much, and no need to apologize.

    I’ll answer ad seriatum.

    You said:

    Ed, as far as the creationism research, I have seen many articles, but of course it is difficult for creationists to get access to primary data. What evolutionistic scientist would let a creationist anywhere near the fossils and primary data for “another side” to look at it? For this discussion, I think that creationists have been at the mercy of whatever they’re being told by the secular scientists and then analyzing their claims as best they can. Maybe I’m wrong, but I do believe that those who hold to evolution have made it very difficult on creationists to have a level playing field when it comes to primary research. Your argument tries to discredit the research they have been able to do and your contempt for creationism is very obvious.

    Creationists should do their own research, like scientists do. But short of that, the data are generally available. Federally-funded research must be available by law, for example. The Grants at Princeton have made all of their data available for other scientists — no creationist has ever asked to see it. I do not know of any scientist who wouldn’t be happy to have someone else look at the data and try to replicate the experiment. Science is a brotherhood. Some people are put off by such collaboration — but surely, no Christian would be, would she?

    Especially after the Arkansas trial in 1981, creationists were told flat out that they could get creationism into the textbooks simply by doing research and publishing it. Since that time, creationists have spent by my count more than $30 million in public relations, and less than $2 million on research.

    Don’t pity creationists. Such ethical missteps carry their own penalties. In this case, no research, no publications, no mention in science textbooks.

    Creationists make it hard on creationists. The stories of Scott Minnich, Michael Behe, Jonathan Wells, Bill Dembski and others make it very clear that creationists can earn the research degrees and get papers published, when they do the research. Behe has more than 40 good papers to his name, for example, most in prestigious journals. But Behe told me about 6 years ago now that he does not plan to do any research in creationism issues.

    Why not?

    I think it’s because someone who has that amount of education in sciences understands the futility of the creationism idea, and they don’t want to waste time embarrassing themselves. But that’s just conjecture on my part.

    All we know for certain, from two federal trials where witnesses were deposed under oath, is that creationists do not do research. The Bible says “seek and ye shall find.” Creationists refuse to seek.

    No one is obligated to give credence to research that is not done, to ideas that are not tested in the crucible of natural observation and lab bench testing. Creationists do not get special privileges in science. If one has the data, one can upset an entire wing of science (like Einstein did, like Wegner did, like Darwin and Wallace did). But one cannot do that without data.

    One of my heroes of science, Richard Feynman, said that real science is done on the lab bench. It doesn’t require an advanced degree. It doesn’t require a fancy vocabulary. It requires scrupulous honesty and the willingness to prove one’s self wrong.

    It seems to be that creationists lack the last two qualities much more than they lack the lab benches.

    Like

  62. lowerleavell says:

    Yikes, did I write that much? Sorry…..

    Like

  63. lowerleavell says:

    Ed, as far as the creationism research, I have seen many articles, but of course it is difficult for creationists to get access to primary data. What evolutionistic scientist would let a creationist anywhere near the fossils and primary data for “another side” to look at it? For this discussion, I think that creationists have been at the mercy of whatever they’re being told by the secular scientists and then analyzing their claims as best they can. Maybe I’m wrong, but I do believe that those who hold to evolution have made it very difficult on creationists to have a level playing field when it comes to primary research. Your argument tries to discredit the research they have been able to do and your contempt for creationism is very obvious.
    You said, “One of the issues on whales is that the fossils are found in sequence, with features changing as time goes on as measured by the records in the rocks….Evolution explains why we find the fossils neatly arrayed through time in the rocks, why we see the changes in a step-by-step process, with no changes of mind, no do-overs, and newer species carrying features not found on older species, and as in the case of whales, with there being a gradual change over time.”
    I do like the rosy picture you’ve painted of how fossils are found. Again, I’m not an expert, but I do know it’s a little bit harder and more difficult to put all the pieces together than just saying they all go in sequence, as if you can go somewhere and find the fossils stacked on top of each other in order. It’s like it all happens so neatly and in order as you are portraying. From what I understand, there is no place on earth anywhere that even has all the layers that are portrayed in science books and they aren’t always in order either.
    “If a creator made the whales, why did the creator keep killing them off and replacing them with new, slightly changed species? If the creator didn’t want them to evolve, why use DNA on more than one species? Wouldn’t it be easier to lock creation in place without genes that make evolution inevitable without constant intervention to stop it? I think you’re assuming that there’s no particular reason to think one species followed another…”
    I think in your analysis of my position, you forgot to incorporate a world-wide flood in there somewhere as well as a concession on adaptation within natural boundaries. What I believe evolutionists are arguing for is near supernatural adaptation. While I don’t think the flood is the answer to all the issues, it does resolve many of them. I also think your arguments are a bit fallacious. You seem to have gone with an “A, B” fallacy where it’s either “A” natural selection evolution, or “B” an inept, unloving God. I do believe there are other alternatives to those view points, wouldn’t you agree? Again, I think you believe you’ve got an interesting view of a literal God of the Bible when you compare Him to nature. I’ve said something similar to this to the atheists on Gospel of Reason, but I think it applies here: you’re taking issue with God’s character more than anything else. His existence isn’t the real issue, because cause and effect and other things have made it clear that there is something out there greater than us, so the existence of God isn’t a matter of faith, His character is a matter of faith. Do I understand just how and why He has done everything He has? No. But am I going to trust that He has a plan and program as well as a perfect character that is 100% trustworthy? You bet! If God is not trustworthy and He lies in His Word, then why would I serve Him? I could admire Christ and still be a “Christian” because of Jesus’ great character, but I would never devote my life to a dishonest God. A dishonest God is an oxymoron IMHO. A misunderstood God is a common occurrence.
    “…but if gravity works, and if atomic theory works, then we can date the fossils relatively by which is deepest in the rocks, or found in oldest rocks, and we can date some of the rocks with a high degree of precision (+/- 5%) with various radioactive isotopes…”
    I have had enough reason to doubt these dating methods could be accurate if someone were hypothesizing a young earth. I thought we’d discussed that they are inaccurate to date anything younger than a couple million years. So if the earth is really younger than what is needed for evolution to be possible, then the dating methods wouldn’t work accurately on dating the rocks.
    One thing that I have been taught is that scientists in part date the rocks by the fossils found in them, and they date the fossils by the strata their found in. The argument is that the dating method used is circular reasoning. Is this a valid argument? I’ve only heard one side to this argument and was wondering your take on it.
    “This is one place you should go see what Darwin said. Darwin thought there was probably a clue in the fact that armadilloes were found only in those areas where their ancient ancestors, the giant armadilloes ranged…How much more sense it makes to think a modern armadillo, absent from fossils, is descended from the fossil armadilloes.”
    I would agree with you and Darwin on this subject and I think that you’re arguing creationism with this observation. Armadillos give birth to armadillos and they were descended from armadillos. As you said, Darwin rightly said that the Bible supports that idea, and I have no problem going there at all. It’s not the creationists that are saying that they came from somewhere else, it’s the evolutionist that says armadillos, birds, fish, monkeys, dinosaurs, and I all come from the same ancestor that branched out. I don’t think that makes God incompetent or unloving at all to say that kind produces kind. I think it would make Him rather incompetent to leave the forming and structure of the universe to random “natural” chance. So, sure there are tons and tons of variations on a theme, and adaptations and so forth, but I’m not arguing against that. In this particular discussion, I’m arguing that it is not possible for a deer like creature to eventually morph into a blue whale. Maybe it’s my finite brain, but it just doesn’t compute. Even the loss of information needed for the process to occur, maybe I can handle…but the needed new information and skeletal changes needed to make an entirely new and unique species from ungulates is mind numbing.
    So another problem that I see is the demonstration of how the new information came into being. Just simple mutations couldn’t have caused a blow hole, a whole new tale structure, etc. How could it have happened?
    “But, you could be right. God might be an incompetent or cruel designer. God may not really love life, and randomly kill off species only to create something similar to it in a drive to finally get it right, or in a fit of sorrow at having slain the whole species. Theologically, it’s not Christianity — but maybe Christianity is in error in posing a loving and caring God.”
    Wow where did that come from? I wasn’t arguing that at all. Again, I think some species may have adapted in some of the fossils we see, no problem there. But again, you’re discounting the flood, which was not and act of random killing, it was an act of both mercy and justice that life on earth was permitted to continue its existence at all. God didn’t just kill off species and then recreate an adapted version, trying to get it right, that’s just absurd and not what anyone I’ve ever heard is saying. What got killed off is gone, but the one pair that survived started new adaptations, which is why you see so many different kinds of dogs. What I’m saying is that some adaptations might have been within the same species where some of the others might have been completely different species with some similarities to other species as is the case with all animals.
    “It’s possible, I suppose, that there are multiple creations. Christians rejected that in the 19th century, however, as inconsistent with scripture, and ultimately, as inconsistent with the idea of God, particularly a non-capricious God.”
    Not arguing for multiple creations. I’ve heard a few people attempt it trying to reconcile creation and evolution with the Bible, but I don’t think it holds up either scientifically, historically, ecumenically, or Biblically.
    “The other issue you may want to contemplate is this: While one can make arguments for one chain of species, we have these evolutionary family bushes for dozens of species — bovines, porcines, pachyderms (600 different species!), deer, rhinos, giraffes, fish, lizards, snakes, horses, cats, bears, and monkeys and apes. One simple explanation provides a guide to find new fossils and explains why the fossils are as we find them — evolution. Nothing else does that.”
    Let me say once more that I have no problem with a lot of this. What I’m arguing against is that these things all have a common ancestor. Sure, we can find the line and the history of cats, but can we find where they branched off and became felines from reptiles or wherever? Each family should all go back to the common ancestor, which of course, they don’t. We can find something of a history of each species, but you can’t find where they all merge into one.
    One thing that I will definitely say is that evolution IS a well thought out theory. Hat’s off to those who have been able to keep it going since before and now long after Darwin, though there have been more adaptations in the theory than there would be in the fossil record if evolution were true. But it is well thought out and it has done a lot of good in our society, though I think it has done more harm on our civilization than good (loss of the value of life, etc.). Yet it still continues to be a house of cards, as is creationism. We can have this discussion till we’re blue in the face (maybe an adaptation that would be beneficial for my looks) but I think we’re missing the foundational arguments with which our whole line of thinking depends on. We can talk about whales, and that is great, no problem, but if I look at it through creation I’ve got some good answers to why it is the way it is. If you look at it through evolution, you’ve got some good answers to why it is the way it is. I really believe though that we’re not going to reconcile these differences by simply talking about whale evolution (though I’m not advocating giving that discussion up), but rather on our foundational principles and starting points with which our whole world views depend. That to me is the most beneficial line of discourse.
    “Your argument is that we can’t really trust DNA, though, since God may be fooling around with it. Your argument is that we might be able to test your children, and have the tests show you are not their father, nor your wife their mother, because DNA might not show kinship, but just a choice of the creator, which choice may not reflect truly in the ancestry of the animal.”
    How many times must I say that DNA is trustworthy and that there is no problem in kinship between ungulates and whales? Yet I am maintaining that they were created with enough similarities (all species have DNA, don’t they?) that you can either trace the similarities back to one creature (definitely not proven) or one Creator (for me, a more logical choice than random chance). Many could have come from the same line, while other could be a variation on a theme of the Creator. Perhaps the whale is God’s aquatic version of a land bound ungulate and he wished them to have similar characteristics so He gave them similar DNA. Again, both theories depend on your world view, but both are arguable. But I think you mischaracterize my argument by saying I don’t believe that DNA shows kinship and should be thrown out of the court system.
    I am learning through this that the DNA evidence is a powerful ally and argument for God, not evolution. DNA is way too precise to be the product of chance and “natural selection” and I fail to see how those amazing stands could evolve from nothing.
    “You’re arguing that all of our animal husbandry and botanical understandings are so extremely tentative that we cannot count that the next generation of carrots won’t be deadly poisonous.”
    I am? That’s news to me. What I’m saying is that all peas and carrots may not be from the same vegetable but that they were created with similarities to show design and intelligence.
    “…but I can’t believe God rolls dice with the universe on every fertilized egg in creation. And if God doesn’t do it now, what would have been motivation for God to do it in the past? Wouldn’t that rather invalidate the ideas in Psalms of a steadfast God?”
    I have no idea how you can say that and hold to natural selection, chance, and evolution. Mainstream evolution sees no hand of God anywhere.
    “It’s no fun being a creationist and honest at the same time.”
    I believe the two are completely compatible, otherwise I wouldn’t hold to a literal creation. I am frustrated with the lack of research, but I think I understand why. I think that creationists are spending their time trying to show the roots of the issues and not trying to always keep up with the latest change in the theory, because they would never sleep if that was their goal. I think you have spent a lot of time debating some “mean spirited” creationists, and for that I do apologize, because we’re not all like that. I’ve discovered that a sinful heart can be found on both sides of this issue and that it is possible to try to be pleasing to God and still hold to a non-literal view of creation. Yet for the life of me, I can’t understand why I’d serve a god of evolution.
    One question I did have for you, which may be a discussion for somewhere else perhaps, is how do you differ from atheistic evolutionists in your views? Perhaps I am analyzing you too closely, and if I am let me know, but the only thing I have seen that you differ from is that you believe God is the cause of Big Bang, (which I’m not even sure you hold to that with how much you argue against ID) and that you believe in the resurrection of Christ by faith. You say you’re a theistic evolutionist, but for the life of me, I can’t see much difference between you and any other moral atheist who admires Christ as a good teacher. How are you different?

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  64. Pam says:

    I’ll be– I can re-read it

    GenesisMan – http://www.brow.on.ca/Articles/GenesisMan.html

    Like

  65. Pam says:

    It’s possible, I suppose, that there are multiple creations. Christians rejected that in the 19th century, however, as inconsistent with scripture, and ultimately, as inconsistent with the idea of God, particularly a non-capricious God.

    In the early 70s Christianity Today talked about the “late date Genesis Man” (late date something– I can’t remember the exact title) which argued that until Man (hominids) were capable of recognizing God, they weren’t really human. Thus, when this is seen in the archaeological record and the calculations are done, the world really is 6,000 years old.

    That’s probably a bad recollection of the thesis, but i do remember thinking it was an interesting way to reconcile the fossil record with one (or both) of Genesis’ creations.

    Like

  66. Ed Darrell says:

    There’s no creationism research at all, let alone something that shows it more current. If you found an article three or four years old, it’s not in a refereed journal, and/or it’s not new research, and/or it’s not on any major part of evolution theory. But I digress.

    One of the issues on whales is that the fossils are found in sequence, with features changing as time goes on as measured by the records in the rocks. If a creator made the whales, why did the creator keep killing them off and replacing them with new, slightly changed species? If the creator didn’t want them to evolve, why use DNA on more than one species? Wouldn’t it be easier to lock creation in place without genes that make evolution inevitable without constant intervention to stop it?

    I think you’re assuming that there’s no particular reason to think one species followed another — but if gravity works, and if atomic theory works, then we can date the fossils relatively by which is deepest in the rocks, or found in oldest rocks, and we can date some of the rocks with a high degree of precision (+/- 5%) with various radioactive isotopes. This is one place you should go see what Darwin said. Darwin thought there was probably a clue in the fact that armadilloes were found only in those areas where their ancient ancestors, the giant armadilloes ranged. Now, one could argue that God created each of these creatures separately, but one runs into the incompetent or brutally cruel creator God when one goes down that path. It’s more likely that modern armadilloes are descended from ancient armadilloes. As Darwin noted, the Bible supports that idea, since humans are descended from humans (but not as clones), and humans don’t give birth to other species randomly. How much more sense it makes to think a modern armadillo, absent from fossils, is descended from the fossil armadilloes.

    But, you could be right. God might be an incompetent or cruel designer. God may not really love life, and randomly kill off species only to create something similar to it in a drive to finally get it right, or in a fit of sorrow at having slain the whole species. Theologically, it’s not Christianity — but maybe Christianity is in error in posing a loving and caring God.

    It’s possible, I suppose, that there are multiple creations. Christians rejected that in the 19th century, however, as inconsistent with scripture, and ultimately, as inconsistent with the idea of God, particularly a non-capricious God.

    Evolution explains why we find the fossils neatly arrayed through time in the rocks, why we see the changes in a step-by-step process, with no changes of mind, no do-overs, and newer species carrying features not found on older species, and as in the case of whales, with there being a gradual change over time.

    The other issue you may want to contemplate is this: While one can make arguments for one chain of species, we have these evolutionary family bushes for dozens of species — bovines, porcines, pachyderms (600 different species!), deer, rhinos, giraffes, fish, lizards, snakes, horses, cats, bears, and monkeys and apes. One simple explanation provides a guide to find new fossils and explains why the fossils are as we find them — evolution. Nothing else does that.

    Remember, too, the fight between the paleontologists and the molecular guys. The molecular guys argued that whales are more related to deer, to ungulates, and specifically to even-toed ungulates, while the paleontologists argued for something closer to a wolf, since the ancestor looked like a wolf. The argument was a standoff until Thewissen’s group — the paleontologists — found the fossil evidence that confirmed the molecular group’s claim, the whale with the ankle bones, including the one bone that is unique to even-toed ungulates.

    The DNA evidence is pretty powerful. To the extent of our testing — and that’s very far — DNA always shows kinship. Our justice system accepts the DNA evidence as the most accurate and compelling evidence possible. We take people convicted of murder and condemned to death, and we let them out of jail, on the basis of DNA evidence. It is that certain, that sure. In millions of tests, DNA has not failed to be that accurate.

    Your argument is that we can’t really trust DNA, though, since God may be fooling around with it. Your argument is that we might be able to test your children, and have the tests show you are not their father, nor your wife their mother, because DNA might not show kinship, but just a choice of the creator, which choice may not reflect truly in the ancestry of the animal.

    Were it not for the fact that DNA has never failed in showing kinship, were it not for the fact that in the millions of gene pairings, random distributions would be off by orders of magnitude, I could almost accept your argument.

    I say almost, because even then evolution offers a more simple and complete explanation.

    But I just cannot believe the creator to be so venal or incompetent or stupid as to foul up the processes of life that way. You’re arguing that all of our animal husbandry and botanical understandings are so extremely tentative that we cannot count that the next generation of carrots won’t be deadly poisonous.

    Einstein may have been a wrong, maybe God does roll dice with the universe on the issue of non-locality, but I can’t believe God rolls dice with the universe on every fertilized egg in creation. And if God doesn’t do it now, what would have been motivation for God to do it in the past? Wouldn’t that rather invalidate the ideas in Psalms of a steadfast God?

    It’s no fun being a creationist and honest at the same time. I understand why you’d be frustrated at the lack of research. But I tell you, it’s not your fault. There is no science there. Don’t bank on it for science, and it’s a good idea not to bank on it for theology either.

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  67. lowerleavell says:

    Ed, I tried your link on two different computers and I couldn’t get it to work. However, I did do a little bit of research and listened to Thewissen.

    This web site was very helpful on getting where you’re coming from:

    http://www.neoucom.edu/DEPTS/ANAT/whaleorigins.htm

    This is a topic that I would definitely classify myself as a beginner on! Before I did any research for this discussion (and our previous one) the only research I’d done was watching the Discovery Channel claim that whales evolved from land dwellers, and that was the extent of my knowledge. So, basically, calling me an amateur is being nice.

    So, despite my bias for creation and the Bible, I’ve tried to set that aside as much as possible and study this topic with an open mind and see if the evidence really stacks up one way or the other.

    We’ve talked about the DNA, and the fossil evidence, but I don’t think we’ve discussed the geology and the “hard paleontology” as you put it. From what I’ve seen, the other evidence, while compelling and interesting, do not demand that these fossils are all from the same ancestor or that the modern whale descended from them. Again, from what I understand, there is plenty of room for change within a species (canines are a great example, and I see no problem having the different whales within the species being related to each other), but I’ve yet to see anything, even from these web sites, that shows how transitions from deer like creature to blue whale is even scientifically possible or observable/testable, let alone that it happened at all. I can see how, if you embrace evolution withthout questions it could work, but I don’t see how it works from a practical, unbiased standpoint without really wanting to see it work. As I’ve heard before, you can make fossils tell just about whatever story you want them to tell.

    The idea I’m getting from the evidence is that 1) common Creator created many animals very similar and very cool, which even extended to similar DNA; 2) scientists have wrongly assumed that because they are similar they are descended from a common ancestor and have put them in a chart of “evolution” showing how they changed and developed from deer to humpback, even though there is no tie from these fossils to modern whales (the trail is 40 million years [supposedly] or so, cold). If the hypothesis of a common ancestor fails, then at least the current adaptation of Darwin’s views would crumble, so needless to say, they do have good reason to make this thing work and not be proven wrong. These are smart people, they know how to make it look as convincing as possible because they want to be right real bad. Wouldn’t you want to be right? I know I do. :-)

    The fact is, these fossils could very well be simply extinct, very cool animals that have no tie whatsoever to whale evolution or modern whales. From what I’ve read on this subject (which continues to grow), I’m just not seeing the glue that holds the arguments for whales to evolve from deer like creautes to killer whales together. Again, I’m a beginner on “whale evolution”, so take my arguments as such.

    One thing I will vocalize and grumble about :-) is that I wish there was more creation research that was a little more current. I did see some articles that are only three or four years old, but that’s as close as it gets.

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  68. Ed Darrell says:

    There is no evidence linking them together apart from a couple of fossils that have been “connected” as family by scientists who are eager to be right.

    No fewer than 23 different species, many specimens in some species. Thousands of fossils, not “a couple.”

    Go take a look at this film at the website of Nature:

    http://www.nature.com/nature/videoarchive/ancientwhale/index.html

    A clue or two, from the whale’s mouth, as it were.

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  69. Ed Darrell says:

    Get in here and post more. Our original thread sorta died, but the issues are still quite alive.

    Check out the posts at Zimmer’s site. Follow his links to Thewissen’s site.

    You’re assuming, I think, that these guys are looking at morphological similarities of fossils and drawing the conclusions, but that’s a small part of the story. There is no assumption of ancestry where the evidence is not very, very powerful. Generally one line of evidence would not be enough to make it work. There are corroborating lines of evidence in DNA where we have a living relative that can be compared; where geology gives us other animals in the ecosystems; and the hard paleontology is very hard to dismiss, once you’ve seen the many tests and the care Thewissen puts to this stuff. Go see.

    Miller was using the chart that came out with the first edition of Zimmer’s book, which showed seven links from ambulocetus to modern whales. As Miller tells the story, Zimmer introduced himself after Miller did a presentation near Zimmer’s home, and just like the creationists sometimes do, Zimmer told Miller that the chart was wrong. The way Miller presents it, you think there’s some error that creationists would jump on — Zimmer notes that there are 14 or 15 more links in the picture.

    So, it’s wrong to say the links are very clear. The evidence is much stronger than that: The links are nearly air-tight.

    Go see.

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  70. lowerleavell says:

    Ed, if you don’t want me posting anymore, let me know, but I thought this was something that I would like to jump in on because it is something we’ve discussed in the past.

    From what I read, I got the impression that because of this find there is more confusion in the “whale” tree now than before the discovery. Is the correct?

    One thing that I still can’t, and maybe will never understand (maybe it’s just me, which I wouldn’t doubt) is how scientists can equate the fossils of four foot creatures with snouts, etc. with modern day whales. There is no evidence linking them together apart from a couple of fossils that have been “connected” as family by scientists who are eager to be right. I could do the same thing with skeletons of modern animals and make it look like a snake came from a giraffe just linking species together until I got the result I wanted. The question isn’t, “can you make it work,” the question is did it really happen that way or are scientists reading into the evidence to fit their hypothesis? From what you seem to be suggesting, this is 100% how it happened and there is no room for disagreement.

    We talked a lot about the DNA evidence and how hippos are shown to be “cousins” of whales and so the fossils are seen to be a “link” between the two, is that right? Yet there is no DNA evidence (nor can there be, from what I understand) which suggests that these fossils are linked anywhere to modern whales. So, even though you are sharing in your thread that whale evolution is one of evolution’s strongest arguments, I don’t see it as being all that strong. The result is not a result of simply the evidence, but started from the presupposition that all animals must have a common ancestor and now scientists will do anything to prove their hypothesis is true.

    I guess I may be a “pretender” because I would think that there would be some lines between the animals of today and the animals of years gone by, not just lines from one extinct animal to another extinct animal with similarities to animals today. I think the struggle comes in when scientists find all these links between the species and then assume that they all came from the same ancestor. Yet, there is no evidence that shows that we are all from a common ancestor. You yourself Ed, a strong support of evolution, have told me that there are at least four or five different lines that all animals come from and that they don’t all come from the same ancestor.
    From what I am reading, it looks as if whale evolution is more of a mess and a guess than a real test of the evidence. It also shows me that scientists have started with the premise that there is no Creator and will never factor God into any equation. For Christians, leaving God out of nature is like leaving Da Vinci out of the Mona Lisa.

    PS, I hope you and yours had a great Christmas.

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