FaithWorld

Facts and false equivalence – reporting on evolution disputes

October 5, 2009

greatestshow_jacketBritish biologist Richard Dawkins, one of the leading voices of the “neo-atheist” movement, has taken the latest book-sized shot at the “intelligent design” movement. You can read my interview with Dawkins’ here about his new book: “The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution.”

For a scientist of Dawkins’ caliber, intelligent design is a barn-door sized target. In a nutshell, it maintains that life is so complex that it must be the work of a creator. Its boosters claim their view is based in science and not influenced by religion, but it is widely seen as a thinly-veiled attempt to give a scientific gloss to creationism. That claim to science is the key here — most religions believe that God created the world, of course, but they state this as an article of faith and not a scientific fact.

On this blog, we often report on issues related to science and religion. We have to remain agnostic on the biggest question of all — does God exist? — and take fundamental dogmas as the starting point for each faith. This sometimes strikes readers as strange or biased. Some think it already shows a prejudice against belief. But just imagine what would happen if we took sides on teachings such as the resurrection of Jesus or the divine origin of the Koran. We would not be practicing journalism anymore, but some kind of theological analysis or deconstruction, and our readers would not be getting the information they want about religion news around the world.

That said, we can’t just take everything on faith alone.  As journalists, we have to stick to facts on the ground. It’s hard to question some beliefs, but we can hold people responsible for what they profess. For example, if a Catholic priest has an affair with a woman, that violation of his vow of celibacy makes his affair different from one between two lay people or two non-Catholics. And if he is prominent enough, like the charismatic Miami television preacher Father Alberto Cutié, it’s worth reporting. The same applies to Islam. The scriptures of most if not all religions can be vague and sometimes seemingly contradictory, so Reuters cannot say whether the phrase  “Islam is a religion of peace” is true or false. But we can report if a Muslim known to preach that belief is found to be involved in some violent activity. In both cases, we don’t question the basic tradition or belief but we hold the believers responsible to it in their actions.

darwinm-portraitWhich brings me to the question of evolution. While preparing this post, I had a lively Dallas-to-Paris email exchange with Religion Editor Tom Heneghan about how we cover an issue in which two sides are so opposed.  We agree with how we’ve been doing it so far, but setting outour approach in words took some consultation. Here’s our view of the issue.

(Photo: Portrait of Charles Darwin, 12 Feb 2009/Gordon Jack)

All serious scientists accept evolution as a fact because of the overwhelming and verifiable evidence that supports it. Much of this evidence is laid out in Dawkins’ new book and a book published earlier this year by University of Chicago scientist Jerry Coyne called “Why Evolution is True.” I regard the latter, by the way, as more readable, especially for a layman. These came out now because this year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 150th of the publication of his major work “On the Origin of Species,” which originally laid out the case for evolution by natural selection. They have also come out because the authors are clearly irritated by the intelligent design movement.

How does that play out when we report about evolution? For example, when we write about the wildlife of Madagascar, we usually include a background paragraph saying something like: “Madagascar separated from the rest of Africa tens of millions of years ago and so its species evolved in isolation from its mother continent.” In a story about its lemurs, we don’t write: “Scientists say Madagascar broke off from Africa tens of millions of years but some people, taking the Bible as their reference, believe it can only be 10,000 years old and that its lemurs were made in their current form by a supernatural creator.” That would create a false equivalence between the two views. The scientists have empirical evidence for their view of these natural phenomena but the religious view is based on scripture and does not stand up to empirical analysis. This is a case of comparing apples and oranges.

Does this mean we have taken sides and are not being balanced? Hardly. In fact, we would lay ourselves open to that charge if we did give equal credence to arguments such as intelligent design. For instance, some boosters for intelligent design, trying to get their perspective taught alongside evolution in U.S. public schools despite repeated defeats, have shifted their approach and argued that for the sake of balance it is necessary to “teach the controversy” between evolution’s supporters and skeptics. But the world of science sees no serious issue to discuss, just a false equivalence created by campaigners trying to claim the seal of scientific approval for arguments that do not stand up to empirical testing.

creation-museumSo why do we “report the controversy” if we think one side has no case? We do it because creationists are numerous and politically and culturally influential in parts of the United States. They’re challenging science teaching in some states and opening museums that claim to prove evolution never happened. We also do it because their influence is spreading to other countries, most notably to Muslim countries through the work of Islamic creationists like Harun Yahya. And we do it because their arguments, flawed though they may be in the eyes of science, challenge scientists, religious leaders, philosophers and other thinkers to refine their arguments for whichever view of mankind they support. These are serious adult questions and attempts to wedge them into high school biology lessons miss the mark by a mile.

(Photo: Ken Ham, president of the group Answers in Genesis, at a creation museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, 26 May 2007/John Sommers II)

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Comments
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The problem I see with your argument is that you equate “scientific fact” with all “facts,” and you assume the only arguments/data to be considered are “empirical.” Historical data, documents, oral histories, etc… are all data. Men were discovering and understanding the world long before “science” came along.Also, the statement “all serious scientist accept evolution as a fact” (if you are regarding macro-evolution and not just changes within a species) is patently untrue. There are many scientist who reject macro-evolution and have published many rebutals through the years. The statement reflects a “bias” of sorts that you say you are claiming is absent from your articles.

Posted by Danny | Report as abusive
 

The question is not whether ID is connected to a religious viewpoint. “All” ideas are connected to some “religous viewpoint” about the world. Neither should something be rejected just because it arises with roots in philosophy, physics, or literature. The only question concerning the science of ID is, “Do the examples cited represent “irreducible complexity?” If they do we either have to abandon rationality and reach for a possibility that we have no evidence of existing (ie. that organized systems can somehow be created without intelligence, or accept that a higher intelligence produced the system. The debate is whether irreducible complexity exists. If it does, then evolution fails to explain it, and has a potentially fatal piece of evidence to consider.

Posted by Danny | Report as abusive
 

“You have essentially admitted that your argument is based on a logical fallacy. I feel we have finally made some progress. Most ID supporters will never admit such, and ignore the issue. Kudos to you.”Wrong again. Firstly, my statement:”Design CAN be implied by the existence of a design. That is NOT circular reasoning, rather an evidence based conclusion. But you might term it, ‘begging the question’, since it is not proof. But nobody claimed that ID WAS truth. It’s merely an hypothesis to investigate.”When I stated that “you might term it ‘begging the question’, (since it is not proof),” I was referring to what YOU, Hmmm might bray about. The same applies to most other evolutionists. In a sense it is still a ‘question’, since it is offered as an alternate hypothesis for the mechanism of radical change, rather than absolute proof. Begging the question can also mean that it’s an hypothesis that requires further investigation.My concluding statement (“But nobody claimed that ID was truth … “) admits that it is hypothetical, but logical to pursue. (see the plethora of interpretations of that phrase, some of which differ widely from Aristotle, Fowler and others, all the way from ‘logical fallacy’, to simply an unanswered or unproven premise).So why is it not a fallacy? A fallacy is defined as “a misconception resulting from incorrect reasoning and argumentation”. Begging-the-question does NOT imply that, meaning instead that the ID premise raises questions. Only if that premise is stated as fact (which I have not done) can it be considered fallacious.Consider this: If I were to INSIST that ID was truth, I would be proceeding from an a priori belief, similar to a religious viewpoint. My admittance that it was still up-for-grabs denies that, and demos my objectivity. No, I’ve never called ID hard fact, as prior comments will show.On 11/27/07 at Huffington Post I stated:”Challenging its validity is *not* attacking science, but rather using science as intended; to follow new evidence. Intelligent Design is a hypothesis, soon to be accepted as theory, that is intent on pursuing that evidence.”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ users/profile/leebowman?action=commentsO n 12/14/08 at Panda’s Thumb I wrote:”If ID is accepted as valid science, and not religion, it must remain objective and open. I am open to ‘ALL’ of the tentative causative mechanisms that have been posited [emphasis added], and open to more as scientific evidence may provide.”http://pandasthumb.org/archives  /2008/12/texas-op-ed-ain.htmlOn 9/11/08 I again stated my position of striving for objectivity (five comments), and gave some reasons why it constitutes ‘good science’, something not always attained.”ID postulates on evidence, not a religious position. Arguing that it is a tactic or a guise, simply because it may be in some cases, fails objectivism. It is more of a deterministic stance, i.e. arrogance.”http://www.opposingviews.com/ questions/does-intelligent-design-have-m erit/commentsAnother place I discuss scientific objectivity was the Citizen, and I also give reasons why ‘banana man’ gave up too easily. Yes, all edible fruit, as well as the teeth-and-toungue, show features of a mutual synergism. Made-to-order if you will.http://www.thecitizen.com/~citizen0  /node/34653Also here:http://www.andrewpatrick.ca/skeptic ism-and-beliefs/intelligent-design-and-s shrc-scientific-belief-in-canadaAt scienceblogs, Michael M wrote [post 32]:”Intellect is something gained by accepting new facts as they become available and making them fit together. You can’t do that if you pretend to know everything already because one book told you so.”"Making them fit together? MAKING THEM FIT TOGETHER?!” I’m afraid that that’s what scientist sometimes do when they support a theory/ hypothesis that they intend to verify at-all-costs. Not falsify. Nev-er. Any evidences of a competing theory/ hypotheses would end up in the circular file. No, objectivity is difficult to muster; impossible actually, if one has an ‘a prior’ belief (or a dedicated support of evo by natural causes). My partial response [post 61]:http://scienceblogs.com/mikethemadbi ologist/2009/08/how_creationism_and_othe r_idio.php“Intellect is something gained by accepting new facts as they become available and making them fit together. You can’t do that if you pretend to know everything already because one book told you so. “No, it appears that in this case, ‘intellect’ is to first accept evolutionary claims as ‘hard fact’, then try to make the data fit the naturalistic paradigm.But to qualify as objective science ‘If it don’t fit, you must acquit!’Johnnie Cochran was wrong about the gloves, but right in principle.

 

Nice try, RickK,I checked out the links “Evolution observed”. Evolutionists try to obfuscate the issue by equating natural selection with evolution. But, that is doing exactly what I said: making natural selection evidence of evolution by first assuming that evolution has occurred. No knowledgeable creationist denies that natural selection results in slightly different creatures but we’re still waiting to see a genuine, undisputed (even in the evolutionist community) example of a truly transitional fossil.But, in case you hadn’t noticed in your links, the microbes in your links were still microbes; the lizards were still lizards; the finches were still finches. When they can come up with a lizard sprouting wings, let me know.

Posted by Wayney | Report as abusive
 

Wayney did exactly as I predicted: “show me a lizard sprout wings”. In other words, Wayney doesn’t believe anything it proved unless we can WATCH it happen.So by Wayney’s logic:- no criminal can be convicted unless the judge and jury watch the crime;- mountains, diamonds, oil and many other natural phenomena were probably created by divine magic because that’s what you assume when you can’t WATCH something happen;- the island of Tuvalu probably doesn’t exist because Wayney has never actually been there to prove it.But Wayney goes one step further and openly lies when he says: “we’re still waiting to see a genuine, undisputed (even in the evolutionist community) example of a truly transitional fossil.”YOU may be waiting, Wayney, but there isn’t a paleontologist or rational, educated person who would agree with you.With this statement, Wayney puts himself firmly in the same camp as Ray Comfort and is “crocoduck” or Harun Yahya and his “half sparrow, half starfish.”Wayney demonstrates that he is the kind of reality-denialist so well described in this video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qfo je7jVJpU&feature=PlayList&p=258CAE2F4546 AA95&index=8

Posted by RickK | Report as abusive
 

It is quite simple really.-Fossil forms.-Genetics.-Natural Selection.-Common DNA.-Branching development of organisms.Evolution is not an assumption. It is the logical conclusion on the facts that exists.If you are going to state that “complexity is proof of design” and use this assumption to colour all evidence you consider, then you need to have actual evidence that this is the case. Otherwise it is an illogical conclusion.The fact that ID is logically flawed is not my assessment. It is the objective assessment. Circular reasoning and arguments from ignorance are not things you can hide. Nor are they considered science.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arg ument_from_ignorancehttp://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Begging_the_questionYou have repeatedly stated that you are not out to prove that ID is true. And I believe you. Because the purpose of ID is not to prove itself, but to attack evolution. That is its goal, and has always been.The evidence for this is the fact that you refuse to prove a designer exists, or that complexity is actual proof of design, or tell us who designed the designer.Instead you keep attacking evolution’s evidence. Which as any logical person knows, has no actual bearing on whether ID is true. Leading a person to question why you waste the time doing so.The conclusion? Because your goal is not to prove ID as science. But to take part in ID’s attempts to wedge the issue and compromise scientific standards.

Posted by Hmmm | Report as abusive
 

Sick of Evolutionist misinformation?Want to understand the actual logical reasoning behind Creationism and Intelligent Design?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sw lsqkAyxqY&feature=channelNSFW-Contains adult themes.]

Posted by Gad | Report as abusive
 

It’s very amusing to see a religious person try to use logic in an argument. You can’t do this!!Because every point of logic you attempt to use can SO easily be used to tear down the foundations of your own story..Stop pretending to have any respect for logic as a way of proving things! For you guys it’s just a blunt tool in your bag of tricks against sinners and infidels.

Posted by brian | Report as abusive
 

Leebowman.Logical fallacies are not something you can really disagree with. If they are there, they are there. And ID (as with all theist belief) are based on logical fallacy.You have now admitted that ID is a hypothesis. And I agree with you 100%. It IS a possibility, and it IS something which can be explored further.But as there is no positive evidence that complexity equals design, there is no reason for the scientific or educational community to give it the time of day. And until the ID supporters can find some positive evidence, this is how it will remain.Until then, the ID-ists will continue to spout dishonest comments such as:-No transitional fossils have been found.-No missing link has been found.-No evidence of branching development.-Irreducable complexity.But all ID arguments contain a common factor. They only work when you accept them at face value, and don’t bother to read the rebuttal. Because ID arguments are either based on faulty reasoning, omission of information or blatent falsehood.

Posted by Noah Idea | Report as abusive
 

Leebowman.You have claimed that you are not seeking to prove ID as a fact. And you have failed to provide any positive evidence for ID, choosing instead to attack evolution. And you have made statements which are knowingly or unintentionally incorrect such as “there has been no discovery of any transitional fossils”.The purpose of this debate has been whether ID should be legitimised as equal to evolution, and whether there is any scientific basis for doing so.So with that in mind, would you consider the following statement accurate?”The goal of Intelligent Design is not to prove itself true or logical as a scientific theory, but rather to attack evolutionary theory using arguments based on misinformation or faulty reasoning”

Posted by Hmmm | Report as abusive
 

One of my major problems with ID is that it has an inherently Judeo/Christian basis. You never hear about Buddhist or Hindus arguing that that their views of creation and the universe should be taught in science class as an alternative to evolution. This is probably one of the clearest signs that ID does not have a scientific basis, but is instead a philosophical world view.That being said, when viewed as a philosophical school of thought, ID has a lot going for it, such as an inherent ethical framework that implies both a duty towards environmental conservation and preserving human life, worth and dignity (Everything was created by some greater being so therefore everything and everyone has value). These are good things, and almost every major religion and school of thought include some element of this moral framework. However, these issues of ethics and philosophy are unrelated to scientific theory (they are related to the application of scientific theory, but again that’s ethics not science). This isn’t to say however that they are any less important than science, just that the two unrelated subjects, much like math and grammar. No one would say that math is more important than grammar or vice versa, then again I don’t see people insisting that plural nouns be taught as an alternative to multiplication tables.In my opinion the real problem is that the current public school curriculum does not include even an introductory philosophy/ethics course. This would be the perfect medium for presenting concepts such as intelligent design along side other philosophical theories and view points. The fact that young people are being taught history, social studies and the three RS, without even a glimpse of the ideas and concepts that are the foundation of human thought is kinda ridiculous.Creating a basic philosophy curriculum for public schools would allow children the opportunity to understand some of the wonderful ideas and viewpoints that are humanity’s philosophical legacy, which include among other things, the principles and ethics underlying the philosophy of intelligent design. Plus, it would do so in an environment completely separate from scientific theory, which is based upon a completely unrelated set of principles/goals (again math vs. grammar).I’d like to think that at their hearts, intelligent design proponents would be much more fulfilled with the opportunity to impart the ethical and philosophical values of their school of thought upon young People than with the somewhat petty goal of “disproving” evolution and scientific thought. Incorporating basic philosophical education into the public school curriculum would create a forum for teaching intelligent design as a philosophical theory (as opposed to a scientific theory, which one must accept that it is not) as well as other philosophical theories and schools of thought. This would be much more constructive and enriching to students than engaging in a pointless and somewhat silly debate.I really think that this is the best answer to this ridiculous argument, as it recognizes the value of both evolution as a scientific theory and Intelligent Design as a philosophical theory. Plus it allows Intelligent Design to be taught in schools in an appropriate setting along with other philosophical theories and viewpoints (and if you’ve ever sat in a philosophy class, you’d find that the basic ethical concepts and principles of different philosophies often overlap and reinforce each other). Most importantly, creating a basic philosophy curriculum would be enriching and valuable to students.If ID proponents really want to enrich students by expanding the scope of public education, they would accomplish a lot more by promoting the addition of a basic philosophical curriculum than by continuing to insist that intelligent design be taught in science class. Similarly, scientist should also rally around this cause as a way to finally end a petty squabble that has cost a lot of time and energy and has a lot more to do with politics than with science.To intelligent design proponents:On the one hand you have the opportunity to create an enriching “revolution” in education that allows you to present you views in an environment free of controversy that actually impacts student’s thoughts and viewpoints. On the other hand you continue a petty dispute that is little more that a “no it’s not!” argument.To evolutionary proponents:On the one hand you can help create a generation of people with a better understanding of ethics (including scientific ethics) while distinguishing between scientific theory and philosophical thought. On the other hand you can continue to have to deal with a distracting and incessant political concern that often distracts from real scientific discovery and ethical issues.

Posted by Tony Nguyen | Report as abusive
 

“The purpose of this debate has been whether ID should be legitimised as equal to evolution, and whether there is any scientific basis for doing so. So with that in mind, would you consider the following statement accurate?”"The goal of Intelligent Design is not to prove itself true or logical as a scientific theory, but rather to attack evolutionary theory using arguments based on misinformation or faulty reasoning’”No, of course not. “Attack evolutionary theory using arguments based on misinformation or faulty reasoning?” That is not only “not accurate”, but blatantly false.If you’ve read my comments, you must know that I support evolution, but not as currently stated. The data that it is based on, sometimes referred to as ‘facts’, is evidence of an evolving panorama in which multiple biologic forms (beetles alone, 350k species!) have befalled the landscape. No argument there, and no disagreement that it unfolded over vast time periods.As to the question, ” … should ID be legitimized as equal to evolution … ” I would rephrase it thusly: Should ID be considered as a ‘component’ of evolution? And the answer is yes. My purpose here is not to prove it, but to provide reasons why it is a logical premise, and thus to include it within NDE for further study.Virtually all of the args against its inclusion fall within the category of logical fallacies. Here are a few of the oft repeated ones:- It is not falsifiable. // Nothing of a historical nature is absolutely verifiable or falsifiable, including both ID and RM+NS as the means of speciation (excluding allopatric, sympatric, parapatric, or hybridization). Karl Popper admitted that falsifiability by empirical meas was not always possible. Implied falsification of ID would be demonstrations of speciation experimentally, which has failed numerous attempts. But even if it succeeded, intervention would still be a possibility in other speciation events.- It is not empirically demonstrable. // It actually is, by employing genetic engineering, an evolving science. The time will likely come when a radical new species can be fashioned by intelligent means, by in vitro alterations of an embryo’s coding to produce such.- Supernaturality (if it even exists) is not within the purview of science. // ID does not predict supernatural causation.- Evolution by RM+NS has been widely demonstrated. // It has not. Mayr and Dobzhansky essentially moved the goal posts by allowing sexual and geographical isolations that prevent breeding within a species to be classified as ‘new’ species. While this allowed evolutionists to declare that “numerous speciation events have been observed in a relatively short time”, it has added to the complexity of species classifications, and corrupted reality. In essence, many of so-called new species are merely micro evolutionary alterations.Much of the remaining objections to ID, are merely philosophical garbage, based on circular inductive reasoning. A few …- Bad design. An omniscient creator wouldn’t do it that way. // Mere conjecture. Optimal or sufficient isn’t necessarily ‘best’, but in most of the examples I’ve viewed, the design serves its purpose well. Remember folks, nothing (including my Edsel) is designed to be perfect, or to never break down.- Predator/ Prey, Parasite/ host, evil in the world. // Maybe life on earth was meant to be competitive, and with perils. The question of theodicy has many possibilities and implications, but does not rule out a designer or multiple designers.- “The designer would have to be more complex than [its designs]“, the God Delusion. / Easily refuted by simple deductive logic.- “Who designed the designer?” / As unanswerable as asking what lit off the Big Bang.To conclude, there ARE reams and reams of data to support evolution, but the falling point is where man’s intellect is the means of parsing it. An example: Micro evolution is observable by natural selection, lineages evolve and speciate, thus speciation is due to natural selection. One man proffered it (Darwin), science accepted it (the consensus view), end of story.I’m afraid you can’t escape reality by simply denying it. Based on today’s accumulated data, ID has essentially falsified natural causation as the means of bona fide speciation.

 

@ Tony Nguyen”One of my major problems with ID is that it has an inherently Judeo/Christian basis.”Actually, it has little support from fundamentalist Christians. Whether YEC or OEC, they tend to feel that it demeans God. Some have use the ID term in place of creationism to get around court decisions. In actuallity, they don’t see guided evolution as being in harmony with Biblical theology, and therefore oppose it. Muslims seem to embrace it more these days, possibly due to a more mechanistic view of creation. Although there ARE philosophical implications, these are not the basis of intelligent designYou have some good suggestions regarding US primary grade education. I would agree, and add human anatomy and physiology as well, since eight out of ten don’t know where their liver is, or how it functions. If they did, there’d be less drug and alcohol use. Maybe now, since health care is so expensive and its merits and methodologies becoming questionable, a better education in those areas would lessen the need for ‘big pharma’ and unnecessary surgery, a plus for society in my view. And yes, ID if valid does have implications of a purposeful existence (insects and rats included), more emphasis on cultural and moral reform just might follow.”To intelligent design proponents:On the one hand you have the opportunity to create an enriching “revolution” in education that allows you to present you views in an environment free of controversy that actually impacts student’s thoughts and viewpoints. On the other hand you continue a petty dispute that is little more that a “no it’s not!” argument.”The ‘revolution’ that follows ID validation will likely be a lessening of atheistic trends, with some converting to TE, some to organized religion. But the points that ID refutes, rather than petty, are fundamental to an understanding of how things came about, and thus far from trivial. ID’sts don’t argue for the sake of arguing, at least I don’t, since my only objective to remove some of what I view as dishonesty and thus a kind of ‘imposed’ belief in materialism, a subjective position. If this lowers the bar to some finding ‘faith’, so be it. That would be their choice.”To evolutionary proponents:On the one hand you can help create a generation of people with a better understanding of ethics (including scientific ethics) while distinguishing between scientific theory and philosophical thought.”Once again, I AM an evolutionary proponent, so I guess that places me (and most ID’ists) in both categories. Regarding ethics, that’s really an aside issue from a materialist world view, although some has used a corrupted view based on materialism to abuse societies. Materialists, which includes both soft and hard atheists as well as TE’s, are just as moral as any others, so I feel that that view is overblown. You conclude with:”On the other hand you can continue to have to deal with a distracting and incessant political concern that often distracts from real scientific discovery and ethical issues.”Yes, and I am with them as well, in keeping science and technology objective and deductive regarding the data, and making sure that religion never enters the science classroom. Except for a ‘chosen few’, design theorists are in agreement on that point.

 

Leebowman.I claimed that ID is based on misinformation and faulty reasoning. You claim that this is “blatently false”. Unfortunately, it is all too true.1. Your assertion that complexity equals design is baseless. There is no positive evidence that a designer exists, or that complexity can only exist by design. So such an assumption has no real relevence in science or evolution, until positive evidence of such is discovered.2. Long term evolution is testable. Over the last few decades, countless fossils and species have been discovered. Scientists made predictions that new species linking these fossils existed, predictions which have been confirmed by further fossil discoveries down the track. And through the genetic testing of species existing today, these predictions can be confirmed twice.3. Even if humans find the ability to make new species through experiments, this would not have any bearing on whether a designer was involved in the creation of life on this planet.4. The concept of a designer is simply the creationist god with a paper bag over it’s head. It contains the same amount of positive evidence as that supporting theism (ie. none at all). This is why they are treated as the same.5. You underestimate just how many fossils and species have been discovered. The major groups of links in the evolutionary chain have been discovered, and each is technically a transitional fossil between other species.6. Your default claim on any evidence is “it’s not macro-evolution, it’s micro-evolution”. You can choose to ignore the fact that feline, reptile and simian groups are branched into a variety of species. But just as a species is considered the transitional phase between two others, the micro-evolutionary alterations are the transitional phase between species. Given time and microevolution, it is logical to conclude that such changes will eventually cause enough genetic diversity to justify the arbitary designation of a new species.7. The question of who designed the designer is perfecly valid, because it points out the flaw in ID’s reasoning. However, the question IS unscientific. Because it assumes a designer exists, something which there is no positive evidence of in the first place.8. You state that ID has succeeded in falsifying evolution. Yet all of the evidence currently discovered by science either confirms or supports current evolutionary theory. You claimed yourself that you can’t escape reality by denying it. Yet you have just done so, by making claims about the evidence discovered which simply has no basis in reality.9. Each argument created by ID from “there has been no transitional fossils” to “complex organs are irreducable” to “evolution only means mutation” have been easily rebutted by the scientific community and the evidence which exists. These arguments have been proven to be false, misleading, or based on faulty reasoning. The mistake that ID supporters make is that they take Discovery Institute arguments at face value, and never bother to check the scientific counterargument.So in conclusion when I say that ID is based on misinformation, logical fallacy or dishonesty, it is not designed to be an insult to those that believe in it’s validity. It is simply a fact, which has been proven true.

Posted by Hmmm | Report as abusive
 

Why Intelligent Design fails:-It starts with a conclusion, based on no evidence, and then seeks to prove the conclusion true. And has failed to find any direct evidence proving it correct.-It operates on an argument from ignorence, using negative proof in lieu of actual proof.-It is not capable of being tested, nor does it have any ability to make testable predictions.-It implies the existance of the supernatural, which has no basis in scientific thought.-It implies that supernatural interference is needed, for events that can simply be explained by natural cause.-It’s chief promoter (the Discovery Institute) has been found to frequently participate in misinformation, quote mining, misquotation and deliberatly misleading arguments for why scientific evidence should be ignored.Why Evolution succeeds:-It considers the evidence, and reached a conclusion grounded on the positive evidence which was used to reach that conclusion.-It operates on the assumption that if any evidence contradicts part of evolutionary theory, the theory must be altered to comply with this new evidence.-It has made predictions on the existance of transitional fossils. Predictions which have been confirmed by the later discovery of many different transitional fossils, from a variety of evolutionary branches, even though according to ID logic none of those fossils should exist.-It’s information is published in peer reviewed scientific journals and the positive evidence for it’s conclusions are clearly set out.

Posted by Noah Idea | Report as abusive
 

LeeBowmanFurthermore, please look at the following. I hope you find it interesting. Hopefully it sums up what I have repeated often on this forum, and what you have difficulty understanding.In fact, I would recommend you watch all of the other connected clips. They pretty much deal with all the main issues of Creationism and ID-ism, and answer the questions you have asked (and we have repeatedly answered).In fact, I strongly encourage anyone looking at this debate (whether or not you support evolution) to watch the clips.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGm LDKQp_Qc&feature=PlayList&p=258CAE2F4546 AA95&index=13(This clip, and all Amon-Ra’s clips, may be considered Safe for Work)

Posted by Hmmm | Report as abusive
 

“1. Your assertion that complexity equals design is baseless.”Do you understand the difference between complexity (snowflake or fractal) and specified complexity (functional and organized complexity such as a visual system)? Or do you, like so many others, mix and match the two. Specified complexity utilizing co-dependent systems for primary function, metabolic replenishment, and repair systems are way too complex to fall into place by chance events, even if ‘selected’ by NS. The systems are co-dependent, and in most instances would have no function separately. Do you know what Müller cells (radial glial cells) are? Due to their specified dimensions, specified refractive index, and their specified location to align with photo receptors, they bear the hallmarks of design, as nothing of that precision would self develop without intelligent input.In the middle ear, loud sounds are mediated by muscles that contract to lessen the amplitude applied to the connecting bones, therefore avoiding damage that would otherwise occur at an early age. And not to mention that there is a lot more to the middle ear than hearing, i.e. vestibular functions for birds and mammals, and barring that, there could be no flight, and certainly no bipedal or quadrupedal motion (rolling on the floor but not laughing). Both linear and rotational motion sensing from utricle and otolithic sensors, that along with visual input, calculate both postural and motional functions, while serving to maintain visual fixation on objects as bodily movements occur. Think for a moment what’s involved in playing soccer, despite all the incumbent head bumps. And of course, all of these functions evolved via chance events, and progressively functioned in their intermediate stages, sine according to Hmmm, design is ruled out as improbable.”2. Long term evolution is testable. Over the last few decades, countless fossils and species have been discovered.”Why are you citing something we both agree on?”3. Even if humans find the ability to make new species through experiments, this would not have any bearing on whether a designer was involved in the creation of life on this planet.”Why then do I frequently hear the assertion that there is no proposed method of producing new species via intelligence? That is the method I propose, and it is empirically demonstrable.”4. The concept of a designer is simply the creationist god with a paper bag over it’s head.”Will the straw men setups and attacks never cease? Breathtaking inanity, to quote Judge Jones. That absurd argument has been demolished long age, but you guys still keep bringing it up.”5. You underestimate just how many fossils and species have been discovered.”And many are simply sub species and hybrids. By Mayr’s revised classification system, there are multitudes classified as ‘species’ that should not be. And as I’ve stated before, those variants are due to minor ‘diversity alterations’ and ‘adaptive traits’, an apparent designed-in function, and do not correlate with major species events. The preceding are my predictions, and time will tell regarding.”6. Given time and microevolution, it is logical to conclude that such changes will eventually cause enough genetic diversity to justify the arbitrary designation of a new species.”Micro events may contribute to a new species, but are insufficient to produce radical new functions (bird flight). Intermediates would never get off the ground, nor would they know to try.”7. The question of who designed the designer is perfectly valid, because it points out the flaw in ID’s reasoning.”Designers or no, it is still unanswerable as I have stated, and is as silly as the turtles-all-the-way-down syllogism. Why is it not only unanswerable but illogical? As far as we know, only bioforms need to be designed. A quark based designer may have always existed. IOW, don’t stoop to illogic to try and make a point.”8. You state that ID has succeeded in falsifying evolution. Yet all of the evidence currently discovered by science either confirms or supports current evolutionary theory.”It only supports phylogenetic progressions (morphologies and genetics), something ID’ists also accept. Where it fails is in its explanatory power, the mechanisms of speciation.”9. Each argument created by ID from “there has been no transitional fossils” to “complex organs are irreducible” to “evolution only means mutation” have been easily rebutted by the scientific community and the evidence which exists.”Another straw man, since only some ID’sts, and primarily YEC Creationists make that claim. Over ten years of blogging, I have never denied transitionals in toto. When the term is too loosely defined however, practically ‘every’ sub species is viewed as transitional! The key issue is of valid transitionals in areas where radical redesigns are requisite, i.e. land mammal to whales, fish to walking reptiles (Titaalik fins to fingers open to debate) and dinos to birds (dino feathers are not flight feathers). There is a growing number of ID’sts who accept ‘some’ transitionals, which would logically constitute an incremental design attempt. The evidence for design is that it has been incremental in some (or all) cases, rather than an instantaneous creation event.”The mistake that ID supporters make is that they take Discovery Institute arguments at face value, and never bother to check the scientific counterargument.”I do my own research.”So in conclusion when I say that ID is based on misinformation, logical fallacy or dishonesty, it is not designed to be an insult to those that believe in it’s validity. It is simply a fact, which has been proven true.”At one time, some of what you say was true, and even today, there are young earth creationists attempting to validate a number of misconceptions. The Old Testament is a historical document, with anecdotal tales, diet and social rules, and the creation account. I disagree with its literal translation in some areas, in particular those that fly in the face of reason and observable science. But science does not have the answers it thinks it has regarding origins. To validate Darwinian evolutionary theory, it often provides biased and distorted interpretations of the data, with a measure of simply ‘wishful thinking’. Natural explanations for the complexity and aesthetic features of the world remain a dream, even when viewed via present day analyses, and will likely remain so to some, until the next comet impact.Of all the science disciplines, zoology is the one most revealing of the wonder of life. And while biologic life is indeed the greatest show on earth, I would go one step further and call it theme-park earth, a place for bio adventures. As any zoologist knows, there’s not a single creature that does not partake of life’s journey, and with apparent purpose and meaning. If indeed, terra firma is a biotic workshop of sorts, then by extension it may have become a stage, with we as merely actors. Was Shakespeare jesting, or intuitive? I think the latter.Do not we put things together, then observe how they work? Do we not watch our children in a vicarious way? And do we not get off on sports, even if the outcome is bad, and I include serious injury and death on occasion. Evolution occurs, but it is an adaptive process, incorporated within the embryo, administered in part by HOX genes, and designed as an aid to species survival; nothing more. It’s rather easy to lump it into a stepwise process leading to radical innovation, and extend that illogic to all life forms. Why did fruit evolve? Because they had a desire to provide food for animals? Au contraire mon ami, they were needed (necessity), and somehow designed as the need progressed. But like all life forms, they were designed to meet a ‘specific’ need (specified / ordered complexity), then reproduce on their own. If they did it via random natural processes, and without phyla to consume them, they would have expended a huge amount of wasted effort!Then there’s embryogenesis, more complex than the life forms it produces. And as we all know, life just happened. But if you are an engineer, a surgeon or a zoologist, you ought know better.

 

Tony, Intelligent design IS taught in schools. It is as you said, the philosophical concept that an intelligent designer created life. THAT’S IT! One sentence, there is no more to teach…Anything other than that is religious education, such as creationism. Teaching creationism = teaching Christianity.If you want to teach different religions versions of creation, that would fall under the study of religion, theology.There has always been every opportunity both inside and outside schools to learn about religion.What is being demanded from the Christian fundamentalists is that religious material be forced into a science class.Preposterous! How would you like it if teachings on evolution were forced into church preaching.You know this could be great, we should make a deal to allow religion into the science classroom in exchange for allowing science in a church. I think I know who has more to lose from that trade.Alternative theories in churches!! Protect our children!

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I almost think Intelligent Design SHOULD be taught in schools. If only so teenagers can be exposed to the hypothesis.With the intention that all the logical fallacies, bad reasoning, dishonesty, misinformation and poor arguments can all be pointed out in detail. Preventing those teenagers from being confused or tricked by those things.But at the same time, having it anywhere near a science class is always dangerous. Should one safely disarm pseudoscience before it causes harm? Or just take the safe route and simply treat it as irrelevent and not worthy of discussion?For safety and science’s sake, I suppose the latter is the better path. Those who fall for it in the first place would probably fail the classes anyway…

Posted by John | Report as abusive
 

No. RickK, I didn’t lie–I’m still waiting. And, I don’t care how many paleontologists or rational, educated persons disagree. Just reference the ‘undisputed transitional fossil’ and I will refer you to quotes by evolutionists who don’t agree.And,FYI. the dictionary definition of science is:the observation, identification,description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of natural phenomena. And please note, it says and, not or, theoretical explanation. You may ridicule my insistence on observation, if you wish, but observation is an integral part of real science.Your references to my “logic’ are irrevelent. Eyewitnesses are the most reliable evidence. No criminal is convicted purely on hearsay. Acceptable material evidence is what the jury can see.How do evolutionary “explanations” differ from “divine magic”? The idea that life originated from some chemical interactions eons ago sounds very much like ‘magic’ to me.If the island of Tuvalu exists, I accept it because SOMEONE has seen it. I don’t have to see it myself. But, can you refer me to anyone who has seen a dinosaur gradually turn into a bird? The fossils (claimed to be dinosaurs) that have been promoted as showing ‘primitive feathers’ have, upon further examination, been shown to be either true birds or frauds.I do not deny reality. I only reject philosophical. theoretical claims that profess to be science.

Posted by Wayney | Report as abusive
 

I would only allow creationism to be taught in schools if all creationist theories were given equal weight from all religions in the world.I would love to see little Johnny and Susan come home to their well to do bible thumper family about how they learned all about Indian creation myths and the Great Turtle or the Great Ear of Corn created the world, or some six armed chicka with 8 breasts.That would get those creationists to shut up in a heartbeat mark my words.

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Wayney.-Transitional fossils-The argument that there are no transitional fossils is incorrect. Scientists have discovered many different transitional fossils, from a variety of branches.The only issue is that creationists declared that the fossil record was insufficient, and listed requirements for a “true” transitional fossil. Each time such a fossil was then found, they would then claim the fossil was “insufficient” and list new requirements.Now we have reached the point where creationists know they shouldn’t ask for certain qualities in a transitional fossil. Because these fossils have a habit of being found, forcing creationists to change their demands yet again.You underestimate just how many types of fossils have been discovered.-Observation-Your conclusion on observation is flawed. Scientific observation involves the observation of actual evidence. Not always the conclusion itself.For example the theory of the big bang is based on observation. The doppler effect indicates that the universe is moving apart. Which means logically, reversing the process leads to a singularity point.Atomic theory is based on observations of evidence and effects. Yet we have no way of directly observing the process. But we know the process must be correct, or else nuclear bombs would not explode, air molecules could not bond with water, and chemistry and physics would never work.Likewise with evolution. Unless you exist for thousands of years, you are unlikely to see even a fraction of the evolutionary process. Which is why science is instead concerned with the real physical evidence which exists, such as natural selection, genetics and modern biology.-What is logical and what is not-You claimed “How do evolutionary explanations differ from divine magic”Evolution takes all the concrete physical evidence which exists and then reaches a conclusion based on that evidence. At all times, it restricts itself to the physical evidence which exists and the natural laws of the universe.Evolution is science, because it is bound by the scientific method. It is capable of being tested by the evidence which exists. It can make predictions which can be verified by current or later evidence.Creationism and Intelligent Design is based on an assumption. It assumes that complexity is design, and assumes there is a designer. There is no positive scientific evidence that either assumption is correct.Creationism and Intelligent design cannot be tested on evidence, because it doesn’t rely on any evidence. If you are going to assume a designer exists without evidence, it doesn’t matter what actual evidence exists in the universe. Nor do these theisms make any predictions or have any utility in scientific thought.And while it almost goes without saying, I will say it anyway. What you believe to be true, or what you believe to be ridiculous, has no bearing on what is actually true.

Posted by Noah Idea | Report as abusive
 

Wayney,OK, so, how much nonsense did you just post? Let’s add it up, shall we?Nonsense #1: Forensic evidence (like DNA) doesn’t put people in jail, only eyewitnesses.You say a jury believes evidence it can see. I’m sorry, are fossils invisible?Wayney, I’ll bet you worship God with all your heart every Sunday. Tell me, what does He look like?Nonsense #2: Geology, astronomy, epidemiology and paleontology aren’t sciences because they don’t involve controlled experiments and only involve analyzing data after the fact.Have you tried that line on anyone from, let’s say, an oil company?Nonsense #3: The dinosaurs found with fossil imprint or chemical evidence of feathers are false or fakes.That is enormously ignorant. We’ve found evidence of feathers for 23 genera of dinosaurs. Did you ever bother to read something other than answersingenesis?Wayney – there was one fake – archaeoraptor – and it was paleontologists, not lying creationists, that uncovered the fake and announced it to the world. I know you can’t relate to such open honesty, but it does exist.Nonsense #4: There are no fossils of transitional species.We have quite nice examples of transitions between transitions between transitions between species after species. The “no transition fossils” statement, as AronRa’s video clearly shows, is a young earth creationist marketing slogan no different than Philip Morris executives saying “cigarettes are good for you.” If repeated enough, the gullible will believe it.As you say, logic is not relevant to you. Apparently, neither are evidence or intellectual integrity.Why are you so afraid of the thought that you might be just one more small part in a vast web of life stretching back billions of years?It does make me angry that people like you not only close your eyes tight to any evidence that might upset your 2000-year-old superstitions, but you also target America’s children to make them hate and fear science and discovery.In the long run, who does more damage to the viability of our country – the 9/11 terrorists, or people who convince our children to reject learning?

Posted by RickK | Report as abusive
 

Wayney, so for those exact same set of reasons you don’t believe in religion either??Don’t pretend to use logic as something you use to form your beliefs when you only use it SELECTIVELY to believe whatever you want.

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Anybody ever heard of the Anthony Flew affair? He was a top devout academic atheist who has now turned agnostic due to what he sees from the intelligent design science paradigm.I would say this is a HIGH level endorsement for the scientific merits of ID.It’s hilarious to see evolutionists try every tactic they can think of to discredit ID. Absolutely hilarious!!! I would hate to try to get somewhere while swimming upstream against the river’s current!

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Anthony Flew is not and has never been a Christian.This is an issue of teaching Christian creationism in a science classroom.Science and the philosophical theory of Intelligent Design are completely compatible. In fact science is in constant pursuit of evidence for intelligent design, unlike religion.

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Noah idea, you say ” Evolution takes all the concrete evidence which exists and then reaches a conclusion based on that evidence.”Sure, and when Dr. Mary Sweitzer discovered red blood cells in fossil dinosaur bone she immediately concluded that dinosaur fossils are not 65,000,000 years old because red blood cells could not last 65,000,000 years, didn’t she? (Previous to this find, no scientist would have said blood cells could last that long.) And they reached the conclusion that dinosaurs have existed quite recently when they found still pliable tissue, didn’t they? And, what about the so called ‘living fossils’ which are unchanged from those “millions of years old fossils? Have evolutionists come up with an explanation of how evolution got stopped in it’s tracks for millions of years? Sorry, Noah idea, but the fact is that evolutionary scientists examine the evidence and reach conclusions which support their beliefs.RickK, Have fun setting up straw men and then knocking them down. I did not say that logic is irrelevant, I said YOUR REFERENCE to my logic was irrelevant.You say “We have quite nice examples of transition between transition between transition between species after species.” Have you heard of Dr. Colin Patterson, who is/was the senior paleontologist at the British museum of Natural History. He said,” Fossils may tell us many things but one thing they can never disclose is whether they were ancestors of anything else.”Your ‘examples” are really nothing more than speculation which itself is based on your settled belief that evolution occurred.

Posted by WayneY | Report as abusive
 

WayneDr. Mary Sweitzer did find soft tissue in that bone.But the tissue was still found inside a fossil that was 68 Million years old.Logically this must mean either:1. The tissue was fake (and not relevent), or2. The tissue is also 68 million years old, preserved by some unique process yet understood.That is not belief. It is logic. Taking the evidence and reaching the logical conclusion.Your assumption that the tissue must be more recent then the fossil it was found inside is baseless, and goes against logic. It certainly doesn’t prove the existance of a designer or creator.You also show an inability to understand basic terms such as “living fossil”.Evolution doesn’t mean that one species virtually turns into another. It means species today have common ancestors.In some rare cases, an ancestor species will continue to exist even after new species divert from the original species.In other cases, an ancestor species will spawn new species who out-compete the original. In those cases the original species may die out.And in rare cases, very old species will exist as they are now, virtually the same as they were millions of years ago. Because they possessed genetics which suited them and hence didn’t require much change as a species.Sorry Wayne, but the fact is that even as you try to attack evolution, you show you don’t even understand basic concepts about it.Instead of attacking evolution, why not try to show your evidence for the existance of a creator/god/designer?Oh, I forgot. You have no evidence. So all you can do is vainly try to pick holes in the piles of evidence for evolutionary theory.The truth? Nothing you say, nothing at all, can stand even a simple rebuttal. Because all of your arguments are based on faulty reasoning or bad logic.And there is no point debating with a person with faulty reasoning or logic.

Posted by Noah Idea | Report as abusive
 

Noah idea, You say “Evolution doesn’t mean that one species virtually turns into another. It means that species today have common ancestors.” I’m not sure what you imply by “virtually”. But evolution surely means one species eventually turns into another. Otherwise, how could discrete species have a common ancestor. Since you consider me so ignorant, please explain this to me.As for ‘living fossils’, I certainly understand that they are living animals, fish, insects, that are easily identified with fossils supposedly millions of years old. You say:”And in rare cases, very old species will exist as they are now, virtually the same as they were millions of years ago. Because they possessed genetics which suited them and hence didn’t require much change as a species.” How do you know that? Is that a scientific fact or an evolutionist assumption? You offer two “logical” possibilities. You ignore the third option: the fossil is NOT 65 million years old.You evidently are unaware of or unwilling to acknowledge the unreliability of radiometric dating. In 1990, Dr. August Long, professor of Geosciences at the University of Arizona, reported a bone fron an Allosaurus dinosaur was sent to his university for testing. It tested from 9,890-16000 years (not million years). So, where does the idea of 65 million years come from?Mt. Ngauruhoe in New Zealand erupted from May 1954 to March 1955. There were 17 distinct lava flows in 1954. Samples from those flows were sent to the Geochron Laboratories at Cambridge, Boston, Mass. They were tested by the K-Ar method. Rocks that were OBSERVED to have cooled from lave 25-50 years ago tested from <0.27 to 3,5 (+or -.2) million years. If the K-Ar method could be that far off from the KNOWN age, why should we trust the 65 million years?

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Wayney I’d love to hear your theory on how things came about??? Please grace us with your genius on the issue and provide a counter theory, or are you just here to throw stones?

Posted by brian | Report as abusive
 

Brian, I don’t have any theories. There are only two possibilities to explain the existance of our world and the universe: evolution (without any help from any ‘god’, or special creation by the all powerful God of the Bible. If you know of a third possibility, I would love to be informed.I am a Christian who believes the Bible–including the Creation account in Genesis. But, the fact of creation is repeated and/or affirmed throughout the Bible. As I look at our world, I find it incredible that anyone should think it all came about by chance. Almost every day new scientific facts are uncovered that evolutionists simply cannot explain by trying to apply evolutionary theory.The website http://www.evolution-facts.com supplies thousands of scientific facts that contradict the theory of evolution. The logical conclusion is that if evolution is false, special creation must be true.So, Brian, I offer my faith in the dependability of the Biblical account coupled with the support of real scientific facts. The controversy is between my faith in God’s ability to accurately tell us what He did and how and your faith in evolution and the credibility of that theory.

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oh….”there are only two possibilities to explain the existance of our world and the universe:-evolution (without any help from any ‘god’,-or special creation by the all powerful God of the Bible.If you know of a third possibility, I would love to be informed.”ahh… there’s this one theory I heard of.. and again this is just a possibility but… its called every other religion and philosophy in the world.I think you need to get out more.. look if you haven’t discovered that yet I don’t think what you call “real scientific facts” are going to help you.By the way, evolution is not a theory that attempts to explain our existence. It’s a theory that attempts to explain the development of living things over millions of years. You’re not very good at interpreting science are you..?Science does not claim that the world or anything for that matter came about by chance, that’s just what your church tells you.. Science is not even interested in chance, it is interested in cause and effect and does not presume to know the origin of the universe like Christianity does. Although it did discover we were actually living in a universe =) Unfortunately the church then had to again change it’s story..you say: “The website http://www.evolution-facts.com supplies thousands of scientific facts that contradict the theory of evolution. The logical conclusion is that if evolution is false, special creation must be true.”I’m sure I can guess what kind of anti-science religious site this is, but the fact is that you can all stop being so scared of science and stop attacking it because it does not conflict with intelligent design, unlike the church it makes no claims on the origins of creation.The only reason science is so desperately attacked by the Christian community is because true facts are devastating to the church which spreads untrue information. Most accounts in the bible and especially Genesis have been proven absolutely false by a wealth of evidence and information available to most in the developed world.Not as an attack on religion, but simply in doing the job of science, which is to discover facts, religion which needs to suppress facts in order to survive is naturally in danger of anyone who discovers the truth.One more thing, there is no evidence of the god your religion speaks of, NONE. So don’t speak of the importance of evidence and logic in forming your beliefs and making your decisions because it obviously comes a distant second to obligation.

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WayneyYou evidently are unaware of or unwilling to acknowledge the principles behind the different forms of radiometric dating.Radiocarbon dating is quite accurate, except for fossils older then approx 60000 years. So trying to sneak a dinosaur bone into a lab will create a nonsense result.Potassium-Argon dating is quite accurate, except for rocks younger then a thousand years old. So trying to test month-old volcanic rock will likewise create a nonsense result.You are free to look this information up. It is easily accessible.I am surprised you didn’t know this already. I fear you may have been hoodwinked by the website you are relying on for your information. Their arguments are clearly inaccurate and dishonest.Either that, or you are being actively dishonest. But in your defence, there is no evidence this is the case.

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Wayney provides more creationist anti-evolution nonsense, no doubt lifted from the pages of answersingenesis:1) “There are only two possibilities to explain the existance of our world and the universe: evolution (without any help from any ‘god’, or special creation by the all powerful God of the Bible”Correct information: Evolutionary theory has NOTHING to do with the existence of our world or of the universe.2) “Almost every day new scientific facts are uncovered that evolutionists simply cannot explain by trying to apply evolutionary theory.”Correct information: There have been no facts to seriously naturalistic evolution of the species in the 150 years since the theory developed.3) “The website http://www.evolution-facts.com supplies thousands of scientific facts that contradict the theory of evolution.”Correct information: That website does nothing more than link to other advertising sites like shopping.com. *sigh* Come on, Wayney.4) “when Dr. Mary Sweitzer discovered red blood cells in fossil dinosaur bone she immediately concluded that dinosaur fossils are not 65,000,000 years old because red blood cells could not last 65,000,000 years, didn’t she? “Correct information: Dr. Mary Schweitzer’s research shows that it is just possible that organic soft tissue can, in rare cases, last much longer than we thought. It’s an amazing line of research.In addition, Dr. Mary Schweitzer is an Evangelical Christian who can believe in God without lying about science.Dr. Mary Schweitzer DESPISES creationists who use her findings to further their young Earth nonsense. She doesn’t believe lying about science is a particularly good example of Christianity. In one interview, after listening to a Christian creationist like Wayney, Dr. Schweitzer said “No wonder many of my colleagues are atheists.”5) “Your ‘examples” [of transitional fossils] are really nothing more than speculation which itself is based on your settled belief that evolution occurred.”Correct information: Natural evolution requires intermediate forms, creationism does not. Therefore all the intermediate forms (transitional fossils) we find are strong evidence for evolution.Wayney, you’re arguing for a Biblical creation and saying fossils aren’t evidence of evolution?? Please, tell us, where are fossils in the Bible? Where are dinosaurs in the Bible? Where in Genesis are Ediacaran fauna described? Why does a creator need to work through trial and error? Why does a creator need random mutation at all????Here’s an analogy of your logic:- We know people can walk.- We several signs of evidence that indicate people migrated from Alaska, down through North American and into South America.- But since we don’t have actual sightings of them walking, we can’t assume they walked – we can assume they were magically transported.Sorry, but honesty and logic are not dispensable, no matter how much you wish to defend your faith.Perhaps you should contact one of the 12,000 Christian clergy who signed the Clergy Letter petition saying:”We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as “one theory among others” is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children.”

Posted by RickK | Report as abusive
 

Oh, and Wayney – here is a factual and fair account of the example you gave criticizing radiometric dating:http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4146

Posted by RickK | Report as abusive
 

Oh dear, where to start?Noah idea: Transitional fossils? Some early ones were the Piltdown man, the Nebraska man, the Neanderthals, ramapithecus, Lucy, plus many more, and most recently Ida. All these were hailed with “Aha, we’ve finally discovered the missing link”. But, after the initial media hoopla, the scientific community has quietly rejected them. Why doesn’t some famous evolutionist say “What’s the big deal? We’ve got millions of them”.”Unless you exist for thousands of years you are unlikely to see—” Stephen J.Gould came up with the conclusion that it would take more than many thousands of years. So, he adopted the “punctuated equilibrium” theory. The old concept was so slow you couldn’t see it; his new concept happened so fast you couldn’t see it. A sensible conclusion, don’t you think?Hmmm, radio carbon dating is accurate only for fossils younger than 60,000 years. Why? Because after that time the half-life of carbon is too low to be measured. So, a fossil with a measurable amount of carbon 14 must be younger than 60,000 years.So, a dinosaur fossil with measurable carbon 14 must be younger than 60,000 years. Please explain to me, what’s so sneaky about that?Your confidence in radiometric dating seem to be in that the many assumptions to make it work are all ‘carved-in-stone’ facts. Those assumptions seem to be a secret carefully hidden from the general public. But, unless they are all 100% correct, the ‘ages’ they come up with are seriously skewed.Brian, regarding that ‘third option’, please describe explicitly what “every other religion and philosophy in the world” supplies.RickK, In 150 years there have been no facts to seriously naturalistic (sic) evolution of species? Man, get your head out of the sand, The cell Darwin thought was “simple” has been discovered to be more complex that the most advanced modern factory. Evolutionists can come up with no credible way to explain it. That is only one example.I am impressed with your ‘objective’ comment about the http://www.evolution.facts.com website. You obviously did not open the ’3 volume encyclopedia’ link. Perhaps you just overlooked it, or maybe you thought that by your flippant dismissal of it you could discourage anyone else from going there.”Dr. Mary’s research shows –it’s possible–that organic tissue–can–last much longer than we thought.” Could it be possible that her “research” started with the “fact” that it was 60 million years old?I’ll be back on Mon., the 2nd. I’ll be in Phoenix over the weekend to attend the memorial service for my deceased brother.

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Wayney,Regarding your brother, I’m sorry for your loss.Regarding Darwin thinking the cell was simplistic. Are you still arguing against pure Darwinism, or are you arguing against evolution? Darwin got a LOT of things wrong – so did Einstein, so did Newton. But Darwin’s fundamental concept is unchanged: species evolve, and mutation directed by natural selection is a major force in that evolution.Re your 3-volume encyclopedia, I really tried to find it on this web page and couldn’t. I found out how to improve my gas mileage, how to address depression, a NOVA special on human evolution (that’s pretty interesting, but it supports my case, not yours), and a free booklet on how to prove creation. Is that what you meant as your evidence? The free booklet from Good News Magazine?And I notice when discussing “transitional fossils” that you only focus on early hominids, and then you focus on the frauds like Piltdown and Nebraska (both of which were exposed by scientists, by the way).Why do you ignore transitionals like the all of those intermediate species between fish and amphibian, reptile and mammal, dinosaur and bird, land mammal to whale, etc.?And when discussing homind fossils, why do you ignore:Sahelanthropus tchadensisOrrorin tugenensisArdipithecus ramidusAustralopithecus anamensisKenyanthropus platyopsAustralopithecus africanusAustralopithecus garhiAustralopithecus aethiopicusAustralopithecus robustusAustralopithecus boiseiHomo habilisHomo georgicusHomo erectusHomo ergasterHomo antecessorHomo heidelbergensisHomo neanderthalensisHomo floresiensisHomo sapiens sapiensThere isn’t one missing link, there is a spectrum of transitional fossils, as evolution predicts.As for why Evangelical Christian Paleontologist Dr. Mary Schweitzer refutes YOUR interpretation of her work, why don’t you write to her and ask her? Please explain to her how her discovery proves that all the life represented by all the fossils in all the layers of the Earth, representing all the ages from the pre-Cambrian through the Pleistocene, how all that life came and went in a few thousand years.I’d be very interested in her response. I’m betting her response will be similar to Buzz Aldrin’s response to lunar landing deniers.I know none of this could ever convince you. I just want to ensure that anyone reading this will see how your evolution denial is easily and completely contradicted by the evidence.

Posted by RickK | Report as abusive
 

RickK,Thanks for the condolences. You must have blinked. The ’3 vol. encyclopedia’ link is immediately to the left of the picture of the iron hammerhead embedded in stone. Try again.

Posted by WayneY | Report as abusive
 

Wayney: Your original email referred to:http://www.evolution-facts.comThis is a nonsense site full of nothing but advertising links.Now you’re referring to:http://www.evolution.facts.comwhich is a hostname that doesn’t resolve for me.Perhaps we can shorten this by simply summarizing the single best piece of evidence presented in the 3-volume encyclopedia.

Posted by RickK | Report as abusive
 

wayney – “Brian, regarding that ‘third option’, please describe explicitly what “every other religion and philosophy in the world” supplies.”Oh dear… there are hundreds, if not thousands of different religious and philosophical versions of creation. I’m sorry but if you think there’s only 2 then I don’t think I can help you.. there’s no way I’m going to post every religion and philosophies’ version of creation for you to prove they are out there.Are you actually denying they are out there?For your information the christian version of creation is actually a minority opinion in the world, sorry to break the news to you..

Posted by brian | Report as abusive
 

And those links change to different links every time you load the page…Anyway I think the 3 most important illusions of the argument, in my opinion are:1) Evolution does not attempt to explain the origins of life. Although it explains evidence that is dangerous to the church because it DISPROVES the origins of Christianity.2) The church is not fighting for the acceptance of intelligent design. It is already an accepted concept that scientists are doing more research into than anyone else. The church is instead fighting for the acceptance of the Christian / Genesis version of creation. And trying their hardest to discredit the facts that disprove their version, or at least to confuse people on the issue.3) The Christian church and advocates of creationism are incorrectly and incoherently using the lack of scientific evidence for intelligent design to somehow prove creationism despite their own lack of evidence for intelligent design.

Posted by brian | Report as abusive
 

Sorry, fellows, I goofed. The correct address is http://www.evolution-facts.org, NOT .com. I checked out the .com site and you are right, RickK, in your evaluation of it. But, please go to the .org site and read the 3 vol. encyclopedia link. There are thousands of ‘best evidence(s) there.O.K., Brian, please tell me where I can get the info on those “hundreds, if not thousands” of other versions of creation. But, if what you say is correct, they are versions of CREATION, not any third alternative.You say that evolution does not attempt to explain the origins of life. Since when? Where did the ‘life began in some warm puddle/ocean’ story come from?FYI, the “Christian church” is not an organization with a unified opinion. Your comments about the “Church” are neither accurate nor relevant.

Posted by Wayney | Report as abusive
 

You can get them from the books that have been written about them (eg. The Koran, The Torah, Hindu scriptures, etc.. etc..), you can find most of them them online by searching the different religions of the world, or by approaching the people who teach these various beliefs, or in the places of worship or religious study. Finally you can consult a theologian.Were you really unaware of these options?They are all different versions of creation, yes that’s exactly what I’m saying.. you were saying there are only 2 different versions.The theory of evolution traces all forms of life back into the past yes, to their beginning on earth if it could, but unlike the church it makes no claims as to where the universe comes from or where life began.The theory that life originated from single celled organisms evolving into more complex forms still does not attempt to say where those organisms originated, nor is it a major scientifically accepted theory.Christians LOVE!!! to refer to this minor theory as – we evolved from ‘pond scum’ or ‘green slime’, thus that is what scientists are telling us we are. This is a complete distortion of the science and manipulation of the facts.I didn’t say the Christian church was an organization with a unified opinion. Neither is science.But the people I am speaking of ARE ALL christians and belong to a branch of the christian church.Would you indulge me my favorite question to ask a Christian..When you became a religion, the fundamental way you see the world around you, and the laws and morals that govern your life.. how many other religions did you study first before you made your choice??

Posted by brian | Report as abusive
 

Sorry typo, should read:When you became a CHRISTIAN, the fundamental way you see the world around you, and the laws and morals that govern your life.. how many other religions did you study first before you made your choice??

Posted by brian | Report as abusive
 

Brian, I did not say there were two VERSIONS; I said there were only two POSSIBILITIES, either special creation or evolution. From what you say, all the other religions have some kind of creation story. So, where or what is any third possibility?No, you didn’t SAY the church was an organization with a unified opinion, but you implied it with ” the church is fighting for the acceptance of the Christian/Genesis version of creation.” The Christians who are defending the Bible account of creation are a definite minority in the ‘Christian’ community. Others claim they believe the Bible, but in accepting evolution, they dishonor the Lord Jesus Christ who is declared, in the Bible, to have created all things.You say “(Evolution) makes no claims as to where the universe comes from or where life comes from.” No, the theory of evolution claims to say HOW the universe began (The Big Bang) and that life DID begin (but it can only spin a fantastic tale about how it began–a chemical reaction that resulted in the first living cell. Reference Stanley Miller’s experiment) That experiment supposedly duplicated conditions that made it possible. However, it didn’t come close. In the primordial world there were no sophisticated laboratories or intelligent minds to direct the process.I was born into a Christian home, was born again at a Christian school. I had not examined any other religion before that. However, since that time, I have become acquainted with the tenets of the major religions and their holy books and have found none that have the authenticity that the Bible has or provides the peace and joy that Jesus Christ gives. Have you given Him a chance in your life?

Posted by Wayney | Report as abusive
 

You said: “There are only two possibilities to explain the existance of our world and the universe:- evolution (without any help from any ‘god’,- or special creation BY THE ALL POWERFUL GOD OF THE BIBLE.If you know of a third possibility, I would love to be informed.”Don’t try to change what you said now it’s all here on record.I didn’t imply that the church was an organization with a unified opinion, I generalized certain things coming from the church and its followers which can easily be generalized. Never did I imply that every single person belonging to the church has the exact same opinion, the very idea of that is moronic…You say:”the theory of evolution claims to say HOW the universe began (The Big Bang)…”This is absolutely false.. they are two totally different theories. You really have no grip on the realities of science.Also smaller independent scientific theories on the origins of life such as the experiment you describe are just that, smaller independent theories with little acceptance. They are not at all representative of the scientific community though they do help us understand a little more about that branch of science.Finally about your choice of Christianity, so you made the greatest decision of your life WITHOUT first even studying the options??Well don’t feel bad, it’s a rigged question anyway because the fact is that you don’t LEARN religion, you are indoctrinated.. NO-ONE actually studies religions before they choose one.Personally I was born into a christian family but luckily they were very relaxed about it and they stopped forcing us to go to church at about age 12 thankfully. None of us are now religious.From what I saw being raised for a short time as a christian, in hindsight now equates to a form of child abuse and absolute cult indoctrination.You should never force your religious beliefs on innocent defenseless children, it should be illegal.

Posted by brian | Report as abusive
 

Brian, it is amusing how you try to dance around the issue. You are the one who tried to change what I said. Because I did not give an entire quote of what I said does not constitute an effort to “change what I said”.I don’t know where you are getting your information, but to say that the Big Bang is a totally different theory than the beginning of the universe, that it is an absolutely false statement that evolutionists promote the Big Bang as the beginning of the universe simply shows your ignorance of the history of evolutionists efforts to explain what we see without any help from God. If the Big Bang is not an effort to explain the beginning of the universe, then exactly what are the ‘Big Bangers’ trying to prove?You have my sympathy for your early experience with ‘Christianity’. I don’t blame you from turning away from what you perceive as ‘child abuse and cult indoctrination.’ If you would read the Bible for yourself with an open mind, you would see something entirely different from what you experienced.

Posted by Wayney | Report as abusive
 

Wayney…I don’t expect you to quote yourself, but the reason you’re changing what you said.. is because you completely changed what you said, and I quoted you to prove this.No where did I say that the big-bang was a totally different theory than the beginning of the universe.I said Evolution and the big bang are two totally different theories, because you said:”the theory of evolution claims to say HOW the universe began (The Big Bang)…”Which is absolutely false..You’ve really got no understanding of how science works do you?? I’d say that neglect of critical thinking are clearly affected your ability to analyze information, judging by this conversation so far..I have read the bible by the way, I told you I was raised a christian for about 12 years. It is the single most propaganda filled text I have ever read in my life to this day. It makes Nazi Germany propaganda look as innocent as a child.It reads like this: And so jesus, our lord and savior and son of god blessed he be, went for a walk to the park, in a manner of godliness because he is our lord and we shalt worship him forever, and in the park jesus our master lord and savior and son of god the almighty ruler of mankind found a man sitting under a tree. And jesus, our lord and savior son of god, divine and wise son of the almighty ruler of the heavens and the earth, spoke to the man, because he is our lord and we love him and will worship him and his father our god…….etc etc etc…

Posted by brian | Report as abusive
 

You stated in the article that evidence for evolution is verifiable and irrefutable. It isnt, there isnt a shred of evidence for the theory of evolution whatsoever. There is conjecture and assumption but no proof. There is quite a bit of science that disproves evolution. Now that is repeatable, verifiable science.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive
 

Matt, since when did evidence ever matter to a Christian??I’m sure your crusade.. sorry ‘opinion’, will be held in high regard by intellectuals everywhere.

Posted by brian | Report as abusive
 

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