Anti-Darwin speaker gagged at Vatican evolution conference

March 4, 2009

Pontifical Gregorian University in RomeThe start of a high-powered Vatican-sponsored acadmeic conference on evolution was anything but fossilized.The third STOQ International Conference, called Biological Evolution, Facts and Theories, began on Tuesday at the Pontifical Gregorian University (picture right) under the patronage of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture.The conference, which has been organised together with the University of Notre Dame to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, had barely gotten underway when charges of censorship and undemocratic and unacademic behaviour began flying.At the end of the first session Oktar Babuna, a Turkish doctor and collaborator of prominent Turkish anti-Darwin campaigner Harun Yahya,asked for the floor to put forward a question. Babuna, a proponent of the Islamic creationist campaign against evolution, spoke about his view that there were insufficient transitional forms from species to species to support the theory of evolution.After he began speaking two professors on the dias, Francisco J. Ayala of the University of California at Irvine and Douglas Futuyma of the State University of New York were visibly irritated. Someone in the hall can be heard saying “turn the microphone off” and seconds later two organisers approached Babuna. One of them abruptly took the microphone away from Babuna and another ordered him to go back to his seat. Watch it all here“After I walked back to my seat someone said “only evolutionists can ask questions,” Babuna told Reuters afterwards. “This is very anti-democratic and very unacademic. If this is a scientific meeting … if you have scientific questions to ask, they should be responded to scientifically, everybody accepts that … if you force people to shut up and don’t let them ask any question … then it is not a scientific theory but an ideology.” The spat was filmed by Babuna’s associate Dr Cihat Gundogdu, who put Atlas of Creationan edited version on the Harun Yahya website.Both men attended the conference with English and Italian versions of Harun Yahya’s super-slick mega-book Atlas of Creation (picture left) in hand. We have done numerous blogs on Islamic creationism, its proponents and its opponents. Some of the links are listed below. But what do you think about the debate and, more importantly, do you think officials at the Gregorian University were right or wrong to yank the microphone from Babuna at a scientific conference?http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2009/02/05/just-before-darwin-day-pew-reviews-faith-and-evolution-in-us/http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2008/12/24/a-one-stop-shop-for-the-latest-on-islamic-creationism/http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2008/11/25/harun-yahya-dangles-big-prizes-for-creationism-essays/http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2008/10/27/richard-dawkins-rips-into-harun-yahya-and-muslim-creationism/http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2008/06/19/harun-yahya-preaches-islam-slams-darwin-and-awaits-jesus/http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2008/04/07/harun-yahyas-islamic-creationist-book-pops-up-in-scotland/

196 comments

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GPete writes: “Does anyone – even Berthault – claim in a peer-reviewed paper that this IS what happened, or just that, under certain circumstances, it MAY have happened? And did it occur everywhere, or just in some cases? And if so, how can he prove it… »The proof is found on Berthault’s website in his 2002 peer-reviewed paper:ANALYSIS OF THE MAIN PRINCIPLES OF STRATIGRAPHY ON THEBASIS OF EXPERIMENTAL DATAHere is the abstract:Abstract – Stratigraphy, the basis of geological dating, was founded in the 17th centuryon the three well-known principles assumed by Nicolas Stenon: superposition, continuity,original horizontality. Successive observations and experiments show that Stenon\’sstratigraphic model was not in line with experimental data, because it had \”overlooked\” themajor variable factor of sedimentology: the current and its chronological effects.Experiments were performed simulating the formation of layers of sediment. The layers were generated at variable current velocities from different sized particles. On the basis of the experiments Stenon\’s stratigraphy was shown only to apply in the particular case of deposition at a nil current velocity.It should be recalled that geology is still based upon Stenon’s principle of superposition. Moreover, as geologists know, it is sufficient for a principle to be invalidated on one occasion for it to be no longer considered as a principle. Berthault’s experiments showed it was inapplicable in all the parameters testedThe field observations confirming the laboratory results are reported in the 2006 peer reviewed paper by sedimentologist A. Lalomov:\”Reconstruction of Paleohydrodynamic Conditions during the Formation of Upper Jurassic Conglomerates of the Crimean Peninsula\”So far there have been no scientific refutations of these experiments or their application on the terrain. Nonetheless, Berthault has been the subject of virulent ‘ad hominem’ attacks.As I pointed out before:\”Of course the scientific community is not falling head over heels to embrace such an advance in science, but who would if their entire world view based upon evolution is put in question? Has any previous breakthrough in science threatened belief in the existence of cave-men? Moreover, ongoing experiments continue with current velocities of 20 metres per second and more.”Credit must be given to JSL for having gone to Berthault’s website.Peter

Posted by Peter Wilders | Report as abusive

Galapagos Pete, how can you make fun of imagination when that is the only thing that supports evolution theory? I tend to drink about a bottle of beer and late at night is not an issue. You have to remember that the scientist who discovered DNA or maybe it was RNA did so late at night while staring into a fire. Both ends of the candle are required. And no way are you really denying that evolutionary biologists lack imagination, right? Without it, you can’t even come up with a hypothesis. Now you claim that the only thing that connects the artifacts is the latest theories, not simply if they’ve been proven, but if their proof has been accepted. And you’re telling me that belief has no place in science? Let us see you make a statement that does not rely on belief.

Posted by JLS | Report as abusive

G.Pete, I don’t know if you’ve ever been in experimental science labs. If you have, then you ought to know how so much of it is driven by money.As for your idea that determining the validity of an experiment depends upon further experiments or discussion of the experiment is missing a link or two. I’ll let you figure it out.BTW, are there any reasonable theoretical missing links that you can come up with? Cartoonists do it all the time; but they never come up with any reasonable ones. Have the serious scientists?No doubt they’ve been trying; no doubt there are artistic renderings of such evolutional “movements”. So, what is the best one you are informed of?

Posted by JLS | Report as abusive

We know that species are going extinct all the time. But we also know that no new ones have come into existence … we have good records for at least thousands of years, and no indications of any new species, or what could be called “transitional” forms have been identified. Thousands of years of human record keeping and nothing evolutionary at all! All that exists are artifacts, which are “brought to life” by the imagination.What if Lucy’s bones were morphed a bit in a computer? What do they come up with? But no one has found any such morphings among the artifacts. Every type of artifact is radically different, with no smooth gradation among any of them.

Posted by JLS | Report as abusive

Dr Babuna is absolutely right..It is asserted that species evolved into one another by successive minute variations, and that this happened over billions of years, then evolutionist have to show us these slow minute changes in the fossilized examples of those species. They must show us half-fish half-reptile half bird fossils. These imaginary species are called transitional forms. There can be no doubt that if there is no such fossil proof concerning changes among the fossil of stable species, then there is nothing left to discuss as regards the theory of evolution…But the number of the so called transitional forms transitional species must be much higher than that of the stable species we observe today.But the fact is fossils show that each species appeared abruptly, complete and perfectly formed.And this definitely means that living beings are Created by God.

Materialism absolutely rejects the existence of anything beyond matter. Science itself is not obliged to accept such a dogma. Science means exploring nature and deriving conclusions from one’s findings. if these findings lead to the conclusion that nature is created science has to accept it. That is the duty of a true scientist; not defending impossible scenarios by clinging to the outdated materialist dogmas of the 19th century.

Life is only generated from life. Each living cell is formed by the replication of another cell.In this respect the first life on earth must have originated from other life. This is a reflection of Allah’s epithet of Hayy (the owner of life) Life can only start continue and end by his will. As for evolution not only unable to explain how life began it is also unable to explain now the materials essential for life have formed and come together.

“The proof is found on Berthault’s website in his 2002 peer-reviewed paper…”Strangely, even though his papers have been published in French, Russian and Chinese geological/scientific journals, none of those countries have adopted his assertions in place of modern geological theories. Their geology is still based upon [the modern synthesis of] Stenon’s principle of superposition. Probably because they don’t want to becoming the laughingstocks of the scientific world. They shouldn’t worry. If they adopted Berthaultism, no one would laugh; I think horror would be the actual reaction.Berthault makes a point on his website that, after presenting his paper at the 4th National Conference of Lithology at the Institute of Geology in Moscow, “The presentation was warmly applauded by the audience and the principle members of the Institute. It should be emphasised that no criticisms or objections were voiced or recorded.” No one criticized it, but did anyone there agree with his own assessment that he’d made a fundamental breakthrough in geological science that invalidated everything geologists thought they knew?If so, he forgot to mention it.But the best refutation I’ve seen of Berthault, and in plain English, is atwww.evolutionpages.com/berthault_criti que.htmThe author explains why Berthault’s work is, at best, only trivially significant. He points out that Berthault’s leap from “this could have happened this way” to “absolutely it happened this way” is utterly unjustified. “One cannot simply extrapolate the findings of size-sorting from a sedimentation experiment in a flume, carrying at most a few feet depth of water, to conclude that the whole post-Cambrian geological column, more than a mile thick in some places, was laid down rapidly in a single event.”

Posted by GalapagosPete | Report as abusive

“Galapagos Pete, how can you make fun of imagination when that is the only thing that supports evolution theory?”No, imagination is a starting point for science, but after you imagine a possible explanation – called an hypothesis – for a phenomenon, you then have to find evidence to back it up or you must abandon your hypothesis.

Posted by GalapagosPete | Report as abusive

“Materialism absolutely rejects the existence of anything beyond matter. Science itself is not obliged to accept such a dogma.”And science doesn’t. If there was valid evidence that pointed to non-material origins for natural phenomena, science would absolutely accept it. So far that hasn’t happened, in spite of assertions to the contrary.

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GPete’s view that the test of the validity of scientific proof depends upon the subjective response of the scientific community (he uses such words as “laughing stock” and “horror”) is unfortunately indicative of the evolutionary mindset. When presented with the means of determining whether Berthault’s empirical proof is an absolute refutation of a geological principle, he refers to a non-scientific mainly ad hominem critique (rebutted point by point with the refusal of the critic to post the rebuttal on his web site). For the umpteenth time, all one has to do is to show (experimentally) the validity of the principle of superposition in forming successive strata in water driven by a current. None of Berthault’s innumerable critics have been able to do this. On the contrary, and without ambiguity, he has shown the impossibility of them forming in this way. Remember over 75% of the earths crust is involved.Please, let’s stick to science and forget polemics.Peter

Posted by Peter Wilders | Report as abusive

G.Pete: You say, “you then have to find evidence to back it up or you must abandon your hypothesis.”: Do you see the irony here? You imply a time limit as to when to shut down a hypothesis for lack of evidence. What theory decides such a time limit?

Posted by JLS | Report as abusive

G.Pete: ““Materialism absolutely rejects the existence of anything beyond matter. Science itself is not obliged to accept such a dogma.”And science doesn’t. “, you say.Yet evolutionary theory relies on the dogma that an immaterial force causes one distinct form to morph into another distinct form, when there are no artifacts demonstrating a transition.

Posted by JLS | Report as abusive

G.Pete, Let us examine the title of your link for it\’s objective merit:The Curious Case of the One-Man BandThe work of Guy Berthault: Revolutionary Geology or Extravagant Hubris?Alec MacAndrewA. This title shows that the evolutionists have no respect for any other ideas by calling such things \”extravagant hubris\”.B. Ditto in that Berthault is called a \”one man band\”.Why read such a biased article? The title gives away the author\’s ad hominem motive, and says nothing about science.

Posted by JLS | Report as abusive

G. Pete’s referenced critique of Berthault includes a reference to the geological column having, with some enigmas, all artifacts arranged according to evolution theory. This author claims that this arrangement contradicts Berthault’s hypothesis. He also claims that there is no explanation that argues this reasonably.The author cites only a couple sources he claims deal with “young earth”, and dismisses them with ad hominem insults. So much for objectivity and the capacity to argue science.

Posted by JLS | Report as abusive

Peter, Do the Russians, Chinese or French teach Berthault’s ideas in their schools as a replacement for, and a rejection of, current theory?

Posted by GalapagosPete | Report as abusive

Peter, you should post the link to Berthault’s point-by-point response to Alec MacAndrew’s critique.

Posted by GalapagosPete | Report as abusive

“Yet evolutionary theory relies on the dogma that an immaterial force causes one distinct form to morph into another distinct form…”What immaterial force is that? Science makes no claims about immaterial forces driving evolution.

Posted by GalapagosPete | Report as abusive

“G. Pete’s referenced critique of Berthault includes a reference to the geological column having, with some enigmas, all artifacts arranged according to evolution theory.”What “enigmas” are those? Please list them. The author said nothing of the kind.”This author claims that this arrangement contradicts Berthault’s hypothesis.”No, this author – Alec MacAndrew – is not arguing this all by himself. He is explaining the position being taken by virtually all geologists in the world. It isn’t just MacAndrew, as you apparently believe–it’s basically everyone who thinks Berthault is wrong.”The author cites only a couple sources he claims deal with “young earth”, and dismisses them with ad hominem insults.”The author cites 34 sources.”So much for objectivity and the capacity to argue science.”So much for your ability to understand a scientific argument when it’s presented in plain English.And “ad hominem” doesn’t mean what you seem to think it does. It isn’t merely insulting someone or their argument; it’s basing your refutation on irrelevant insults. For example, saying “Berthault is French, so his science must be wrong” would be ad hominem. However, saying “Berthault is an incompetent hack because he confuses the principle of superposition with the principle of original horizontality” would be strong language, but it wouldn’t be ad hominem.

Posted by GalapagosPete | Report as abusive

“GPete’s view that the test of the validity of scientific proof depends upon the subjective response of the scientific community (he uses such words as “laughing stock” and “horror”) is unfortunately indicative of the evolutionary mindset.”Where did I say, or even imply, that scientific proof is dependent on subjective responses? That is a seriously twisted interpretation of my post. And why do you keep calling geologists “evolutionists”? That doesn’t make any sense either. But I guess that’s indicative of the YEC mindset: it can’t possibly be true so all the scientists – except a brave few – must be part of a vast conspiracy to deny God. Sad.”…he refers to a non-scientific mainly ad hominem critique…”Read my response to JLS explaining what ad hominem means. Simply saying that Berthault is wrong, even colorfully, isn’t ad hominem. And while the title of the article is colorful, the article itself isn’t even insulting, much less ad hominem–except that it tells the truth and explains why Berthault is wrong. Berthault–and you may find that infuriating, but it isn’t insulting.”…rebutted point by point with the refusal of the critic to post the rebuttal on his web site.”When we see the link to the rebuttal, we can judge it. Until then we have only your word it even exists, much less that it’s effective.”For the umpteenth time, all one has to do is to show (experimentally) the validity of the principle of superposition in forming successive strata in water driven by a current. None of Berthault’s innumerable critics have been able to do this.”Do you mean demonstrate that it doesn’t happen, i.e.e, refute him experimentally? For the umpteenth-and-first time, no one is arguing that it doesn’t happen, only Berthault’s unwarranted assertion that it did happen that way on a large scale. It’s known and accepted that it happens from time to time, but not in a significant way, geologically speaking.”On the contrary, and without ambiguity, he has shown the impossibility of them forming in this way.”How has he shown this? The whole point is that he has proven nothing (well, nothing new, anyway), and disproved nothing. Unless he has hidden pages on his website. Specify just how he’s shown current theory is even questionable, much less impossible. If you understand it, you explain it, and in layman’s terms.

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GPete believes his views are not subjective, that is to say based upon opinion, belief or personal conviction. If they were objective he would produce some scientific proof to the contrary of the scientific evidence he believes is incorrect. One should point out that asking questions is not proof to the contrary. For instance, asking whether anyone agrees with Berthault’s assessment doesn’t equate to a valid criticism of his work.GPete believes a good refutation of Berthault’s experimental research is given in a web critique posted several years ago by Alec MacAndrew. As Berthault pointed out in his rebuttal no scientific explanation is given of why his critic believes the experiments are inadequate.Here is Berthault’s response.Dear Mr. MacAndrew,In view of the language problem, I am replying to your critique on behalf of Guy Berthault. Please let me know if you can manage French, if so you can respond to him in his mother tongue. If not I will act as translator.Berthault’s initial observations are as follows:1. The references you give are not recent and your name is not among them.2. He asks if you have written any peer reviewed paper on sedimentology, and if so to please let him have references?3. You refer to Stenon’s work “Prodromus” defining the three principles of stratigraphy. However, you do not mention the main one upon which Berthault’s experimental work focuses, “Canis Calchariae” stating that layers of sub-soil are ‘strata’ of ancient successive ‘sediments’; it is from this affirmation that all the principles of stratigraphy proceed.4. In your second paragraph you write: “The assertion that his work has fundamental implications for geology was made later, in informal presentations”. This is incorrect. The conclusion of the 1993 paper Experiments in Stratification of Heterogeneous Sand Mixtures (Julian, Lan , Berthault published by the Geological Society of France (with three sedimentologist referees) states: Rather than successive sedimentary layers, these experiments demonstrate that stratification under a continuous supply of heterogeneous sandy mixtures results from segregation for lamination, non-uniform flow for graded beds and desiccation for joints. Superposed strata are not, therefore, necessarily identical to successive sedimentary layers. These experimental results provide empirical evidence directly challenging Stenon’s interpretations in “Canis Calchariae” which he based upon his observation only.5. The geological principles challenged by Berthault and explained in his official publications result from experiments show that under the effect of a turbulent current of fluctuating velocity, stratification develops vertically and laterally upstream and downstream at the same time. As explained to Dr. Henke, unless he or anyone else can provide experimental evidence that such is not the case, they should refrain from criticising.6. The principles of stratigraphy challenged are featured in his first Russian publication. Stenon recognised that: strata owe their existence to sediments in a fluid, but without the facilities offered by modern hydraulics laboratories he was unable to determine that the time needed for sediments to deposit is a function of the velocity of current. Moreover, that the “hiatuses” (surface erosion, stratification slope change) are found experimentally in all deposits resulting from variable current velocity.7. Great numbers of varves can form given a sufficient supply of sediment and multiple changes in current. Bijou Creek flash flood is an example.8. You write: ” Berthault has criticised radiometric dating technology, but has consistently failed to explain why the dates produced by radiometric dating are consistent with the consensus view of geology”. Two examples demonstrate his reasons for explaining why radiometric dates cannot be used to confirm classical geology. The assumption in radiometric dating is that when rocks form they have the same abundance of the daughter element.(i) In 1996, a sample of dacite from the 1980 Mt. St. Helens eruption was reduced to its component parts of feldspar, amphibole and pyroxene. The whole rock and the component minerals were dated by Geochron Laboratories. The results were as follows:Mineral Age (yrs) Argon ppmDacite 350,000 0.0018Feldspar 340,000 0.0024Amphibole 900,000 0.0027Pyroxene 1,700,000 0.0015 to 0.0025The quantity of radioactive Argon which comes from the magma is not, therefore, homogeneous according to the constituent parts; varying from 0.0015 to 0.0027. This fact is contrary to the principal assumption of the radiometric dating method.(ii) Dalrymple and Hamblin’s report (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 95 (1998) states:”We measured K-Ar on all three flows that form the Prospect Dam. The 1.86 Ma result from one sample of the oldest flow is clearly anomalous when compared with the results of the other two samples of this flow, and we suspect that the anomalous sample may have contained an undetected xenolith. If we exclude the one anomalous result the weighted mean age of the three Prospect flows is 0.679 +/-0.047 Ma. If the anomalous result is included the weighted mean age is 0.684 +/- 0.019 Ma.”Flow 1 Age (Ma) Argon %1,190 +/- 0.480 2.71.410 +/- 0.890 1.70.469 +/- 0.324 1.60.992 +/- 0.082 12.3In this example the content of argon varies from 1.6 to 12.3; the basic assumption is again shown to be incorrect.9. You write “The suggestion that fossil organisms are sorted, not chronologically, but ecologically and hydraulically, is not credible”. Guy replies, at least at the sequence level according to Walther’s law on correlation of facies and biotopes the current can drag ecologically sorted fossils into superposed biozones.10. Romanovsky (1988) demonstrates the time of deposition can be 0.01% of the ascribed geological time. Such independent sources confirm the results of our research leaving unanswered the question; how in such a short time can evolution take place?Although Berthault is prepared to debate any objective authority in sedimentology/geology, he considers the tenor of your remarks and their lack of scientific substance hostile to such an exchange. Your obvious attempt to introduce a religious element is foreign to his professional work and suggests a wish to denigrate his research by whatever means.Your disparaging comments regarding an Academy of Sciences publication being inferior to “main stream scientific journals” is inexcusable and should be beneath the standards of an informed critic. Your attempt to inform the public that Russian professional sedimentologists are inferior to their American counterparts should turn any knowledgeable scientist from your ill-informed assertions.Trying to make a case that experimental research done 20 years ago has no longer any value, apart from exposing your lack of information on research taking place at the present time, is a sad reflection upon the scientific knowledge of the author of the “refutation”. Your lack of awareness of recently published paleohydraulic analyses by professional sedimentologists showing rapid formation of upper Jurassic conglomerates is a further reason why your critique cannot be taken seriously.Sincerely – Peter Wilders (for Guy Berthault)

Posted by Peter Wilders | Report as abusive

GPete, when you say “Science makes no claims about immaterial forces driving evolution”, you are dealing with the question of how one form evolves into another discrete form. “Discrete” means that there is an abrupt variation. All artifacts display an abrupt difference, and do not necessitate any evolutionary change of the Darwinian type, ie a gradual genetic change.When D. evolution theory presupposes a particular explanation for what it sees as a geological record, this is no more than an idea imposed on a collection of artifacts. Are you not aware of other constructs that explain the facts?

Posted by JLS | Report as abusive

“The whole rock and the component minerals were dated by Geochron Laboratories…”A lab that said at the time that their equipment was not capable of reliably making the measurements being requested. In fact, probably due to this event, they no longer do K-Ar work.”The results were as follows: [350,000 to 1.7M years]“And yet, strangely, none of them registered 6,000-10,000 years old, so while there may be anomalies due to impurities, testing error or due to the use of an inappropriate dating technique it still in no way supports YEC religious beliefs.”Romanovsky (1988) demonstrates the time of deposition can be 0.01% of the ascribed geological time. Such independent sources…”Actually that’s one – creationist – source, not “sources.”"…how in such a short time can evolution take place?”You still haven’t demonstrated that this happened on a large enough scale to matter. Geologists have known for years that it DOES happen, but physical evidence shows it is relatively – or maybe very – rare.”Trying to make a case that experimental research done 20 years ago has no longer any value, apart from exposing your lack of information on research taking place at the present time, is a sad reflection upon the scientific knowledge of the author…”You mean, something like saying, “The references you give are not recent…”, Berthault’s first comment; THAT sort of sad reflection? Anyway, no one is saying that work done 20 years ago no longer has any value; that would be ridiculous. A great deal of work that is much older – such as Darwin’s work – is fantastically valuable, even world-changing. What is being said is that Berthault’s work is trivial, no matter how old it is, and here’s why:1) It wasn’t new; others had already, at the very least, suggested that layers could be laid down by moving water. Geologists accept this as a fact, and even know what characteristics to look for.

Posted by GalapagosPete | Report as abusive

2) Berthault still hasn’t demonstrated or even explained why his idea is a better – or even as good – explanation than then the currently accepted one.Why is is better? What conditions existed that make his idea more likely? Or make the accepted theory “impossible”, as claimed earlier?And don’t say, “Go look over there.” Quit ducking the question. Why is his idea better? Be specific. You claim to understand it, so you explain it.

Posted by GalapagosPete | Report as abusive

“All artifacts display an abrupt difference, and do not necessitate any evolutionary change of the Darwinian type, ie a gradual genetic change.”Either, gradualism or punctuated equilibrium, is evolution, a natural process not involving unsupported supernatural beings.”When D. evolution theory presupposes a particular explanation for what it sees as a geological record, this is no more than an idea imposed on a collection of artifacts.”The geologic record comes from geologists. Evolution theory exists independently of the geologic record, though it WOULD have been awkward had geology demonstrated an Earth too young for evolution to have occurred. Good thing it doesn’t.”Are you not aware of other constructs that explain the facts?”I am aware of people who invoke mythical supreme beings that can do anything to “explain” the facts, but I am aware of no other scientific explanations.

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“GPete believes his views are not subjective…”It doesn’t matter what I believe. It doesn’t matter what YOU believe, or Berthault, or JLS, or Richard Dawkins, or Charles Darwin.The difference is that Dawkins, Darwin and I know that belief isn’t reality. You think it is. You “believe” in a god, therefore that god exists, therefore everything that support the belief is true and everything that does not is false. For you, belief = reality.But there’s no evidence supporting your view, as much as you wish there were or believe there is.So let’s stick to science, not beliefs.

Posted by GalapagosPete | Report as abusive

G.Pete, here is one of your latest desparate claims: “The difference is that Dawkins, Darwin and I know that belief isn’t reality.” So, then, what is belief? According to you, it does not exist.

Posted by JLS | Report as abusive

Now, G.Pete, why do you incessantly switch from reality to faux reality? Here you go trying to bait a trap by insisting that the academic goal is to determine which idea is better, rather than address the claim that Berthault’s idea is valid. It is not a matter of “better” but of validity. How could you miss this? Tricky rhetoric is irrelevant to science, and here I thought you were purporting to be operating in the realm of science and not politics. So explain to me how you do science by employing political rhetoric.

Posted by JLS | Report as abusive

“So, then, what is belief? According to you, it does not exist.”JLS, re-read the post. If you still don’t understand the context, you shouldn’t be participating in discussions with grown-ups.

Posted by GalapagosPete | Report as abusive

JLS,Why do you think Berthault’s idea fits the evidence better than current theory?And if it isn’t a better explanation, why should it replace current theory?

Posted by GalapagosPete | Report as abusive

GPete, sorry to hear that you have reached that stage of grown up-ness where your thinking has become ossified … now don’t tell me it’s from staring at all those old bones.But onward to the second point you’re making: How is it that science consists of the best fit and not all fits?

Posted by JLS | Report as abusive

Reading through GPete’s posts it becomes clear that instead of responding to answers such as those of Berthault to his critic, he resorts to polemic.A classic example is his statement:“It doesn’t matter what I believe. It doesn’t matter what YOU believe, or Berthault, or JLS, or Richard Dawkins, or Charles Darwin. The difference is that Dawkins, Darwin and I know that belief isn’t reality. You think it is. You “believe” in a god, therefore that god exists, therefore everything that support the belief is true and everything”Please note, however, nobody apart from GPete was speaking about a god or the oxymoron of belief being a reality.He says:“The geologic record comes from geologists. Evolution theory exists independently of the geologic record, though it WOULD have been awkward had geology demonstrated an Earth too young for evolution to have occurred. Good thing it doesn’t.”Confronted with the empirical proof that the fossil record allows insufficient time for evolution to have occurred, GPete simply states (his “belief”, and that of a others) that it does. He follows up with my previous plea “let’s stick to science, not beliefs”, as if his subjective position was scientific: whilst being the opposite.No doubt, without providing proof to the contrary he will again turn to polemics to defend his disagreement unsupported by science. But for the benefit of other readers, the laboratory and field proof (not evidence), already given several times in this blog, is that the fossil bearing sediments deposit too rapidly for fossils in the rocks to show any species change. The fossils provide evidence of organisms living together at the same relative time.The logic of this conclusion lays in the fact that sediments deposit as a function of current velocity.Incidentally, GPete says:“Romanovsky (1988) demonstrates the time of deposition can be 0.01% of the ascribed geological time. Such independent sources…”He comments: “…actually that’s one – creationist – source, not “sources.””If GPete had looked more carefully at Berthault’s website he would have seen that paleohydraulic analyses by professional sedimentologists (not creationists) in subsequent years show other geological formations dated at a maximum of 0.01 of the stratigraphic time-table.Peter

Posted by Peter Wilders | Report as abusive

And yet, strangely, Berthault still isn’t taken seriously by anyone who matters. Probably because he keeps insisting that he’s right but provides nothing to back it up.Everyone already knows that some layers are deposited by moving water. What’s his evidence that moving water is a significant source of all layers on Earth?

Posted by GalapagosPete | Report as abusive

Gpete continues his polemic. His points have been addressed in numerous previous posts. Berthault’s website http://www.sedimentology.fr provides all the proof one could wish. His experiments have been proved empirically both in the laboratory and the field. No proof to the contrary has been forthcoming in over 20 years. No evolutionary scientist wants to know the truth that these experiments produce. They refute the evolutionary paradigm they cling to and its associated theological and philosophical implications. A non-evolutionary world is the last place in which a non-believer can dwell.Peter

Posted by peter wilders | Report as abusive

I’ll say this yet again, since it doesn’t seem to be getting through to you.No one is disputing what he did in his flume.No one is disputing that layers do sometimes get laid down in the real world by moving water.OK? Those things are not in dispute, and those things are all he can show evidence for.However, his conclusion that most of not all of the layers in the world were laid down by moving water in a few thousand years so the world obviously isn’t as old as some – OK, most – OK, the staggeringly overwhelming vast majority of – scientists think it is?Nah.He still hasn’t convinced anyone who matters. Like geologists, for example.And “polemic” STILL doesn’t mean what you apparently think it does.

Posted by GalapagosPete | Report as abusive

And just to be clear, when you say that my points have been “addressed” in previous posts, “addressed” doesn’t mean answered. I can “address” the topic of fairies in the garden. Doesn’t mean they’re there.You’re provided nothing of substance to support Berthault’s conclusion. Neither has he.

Posted by GalapagosPete | Report as abusive

“Polemics is the practice of disputing or controverting significant, broad reaching topics of magnitude such as scientific matters” This definition based on one from Wikipedia seems to fit. In GPete’s case the words “A controversy unsupported by empirical proof” should be added.Berthault’s scientific experimental results having passed the peer review process makes them part of the official scientific data. The fact that they are given a low profile by most scientists does not change the fact they represent current sedimentological/geological knowledge and a refutation of basic geological principles. Principles are defined as general law with no exceptions. They cannot be taken as valid in a limited context and not in others. The fact that his work is ignored by most scientist illustrates the latter’s unwillingness to recognise the experiment’s far reaching implications for evolution theory and the fossil record.Seen in this light GPete’s latest post is a continuing polemic.Peter

Posted by peter wilders | Report as abusive

So, you agree that mainstream geology doesn’t accept his conclusions that all or most layers were laid down by moving water. That being the case, obviously it is you that is practicing polemics, since what I say represents the mainstream view.No one is denying that some strata were laid down by moving water; however, virtually no professional geologists accept that this was a significant factor in the laying down of strata.www.evolutionpages.com/berthault_ critique.htm

Posted by GalapagosPete | Report as abusive

I suspect, some people have planned to stop Mr. Babuna to speak before. This might be considered as a ‘countermeasure’ for what Harun Yahya did to them. This ‘evil action’ is purely inability to respond what next ‘bomb’ that would Mr. Babuna deliver to them… This is the stereotype of a liar!

Gpete writes:”So, you agree that mainstream geology doesn’t accept his conclusions that all or most layers were laid down by moving water. That being the case, obviously it is you that is practicing polemics, since what I say represents the mainstream view.”Laboratory experiments backed by field analyses demonstrate strata form by sorting of sedimentary particles in moving water. The only exceptions are those formed in currentless water: a very rare phenomenon. So the mechanism for the vast majority of strata is sediemts sorted by turbulant water. If mainstreal geology disagrees all it has to do is to produce a single experiment that proves the contrary. This it has not done. Arguments to the contrary are therefore pure polemic by those who see this new knowledge brings an end to evolution theory.Please provide the experiments and drop the polemic.Peter

Posted by Peter Wilders | Report as abusive

the vatican was very wrong to yank the microphone.they should have just had the security guards shoot him dead on the spot!imagine the temerity of asking questions about the gospel of nihilism according to charles darwin!

“If mainstreal [sic] geology disagrees all it has to do is to produce a single experiment that proves the contrary…Please provide the experiments and drop the polemic.”Hey, I don’t need to do anything. I’m not trying to disprove anything, you and your friend Berthault are. And so far you’re failing miserably.Until Berthault submits his research for legitimate peer review in a major publication – not some conferences or publications in Russia, China and France – he’ll continue to be ignored.

Posted by GalapagosPete | Report as abusive

Darwinism is a pagan religion which regards chance as a creator. Darwinism is dead.

Roger, Darwinian evolutionary theory neither depends upon chance or regards it as a creator, and is not only *not* dead, but is becoming stronger every day. On the other hand, you have demonstrated that you don’t understand evolutionary theory, paganism, or religion.

Posted by GalapagosPete | Report as abusive

I feel that few of your contributors can have attended a genuine scientific conference.
The delegates here were serious scientists, who came to hear presentations given by advertised speakers. They gave up considerable time and money to be there.
There was time for discussion at the end of the presentations, where delegates could pose questions to the speakers. This is usual at such conferences and Babuna tried to hijack this process, which was rude and unprofessional of him.
After a short time, Babuna was clearly and politely asked to pose his question and he simply continued with his ridiculous rant. The organizers were completely correct to remove him and I’m sure that the serious delegates were relieved when he went.

Posted by cnocspeireag | Report as abusive

Oktar Babuna is a member of the leading creationist cult in Turkey led by the infamous Adnan Oktar. Google them to see what kinds of people we are talking about here. Babuna is also the perpetrator of a huge fraudulent scam where approx. 150,000 samples of blood DNA were collected from the Turkish population under fraudulent excuses. When the scam was uncovered and the Turkish government banned their export to the US 120,000 samples magically “disappeared”. As far as his participation in this meeting it is akin to a conference of world geologists where a heckler takes the microphone to declare that the world is actually flat. He should never have been allowed in to the meeting in the first place. These people had the Richard Dawkins web site banned in Turkey for several years under the charge of defamation against the infamous Adnan Oktar. And now they claim that they were censored during this conference. In short, a very well funded cult of creationists who would otherwise be dismissed from any circle of intelligent human beings under any circumstances.

Posted by blackbrow | Report as abusive