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Star Children for Darwin 02/28/2009
Feb 28, 2009 Why should we be looking for alien intelligence around other stars when
it is right behind your eyeballs? You may not have known that you are a star child,
but thats what a leading astronomer called you. As a good star child, you
need to pay tribute to Charles Darwin.
Scientist, Lawrence Krauss called on children of spaceship Earth to
Celebrate evolution as only star children can. In this, he
tied together the International Year of Astronomy 2009, the 400th anniversary of
Galileos first use of the telescope on the night sky, with Charles Darwins
200th birthday. He recounted the epochal discoveries in astronomy and biology
that he feels neatly combine in modern evolutionary theory, the theory of everything:
Darwins theory of evolution, and the science of genetics which followed, demonstrate that humans and the rest of life on Earth share not just a common heritage, but virtually everything else. At a molecular level, the distinction between humans and bacteria seems almost superficial. All forms of life on Earth share a common genetic method of replication and energy storage. Yet it is truly remarkable that from so simple a set of molecular building blocks such diversity can arise.
Krauss did not seem to consider the theistic alternative at all that explains the
same evidence: the same God who created stars also created mankind from the dust
of the ground. Both worldviews produce the same observations. Stars
and humans are made of atoms and molecules. Actually, he did quote Darwins
ending sentence in The Origin about originally breathed by the Creator
into a few forms or into one, but he had just described cosmic evolution
leading seamlessly into biological and human evolution. Somehow global
politics emerged in his conclusion:
Accordingly, the two discoveries we herald this year carry an important message for our future: the intimate connections between humanity and the entire cosmos, as illustrated by both evolution and astronomy, suggest that the only sensible perspective of humanity is a global one. The need for a global perspective is of vital importance now, as we are the first generation in history that must seriously confront global limits to our future on Earth, from energy to climate change.
Christians might call this a non-sequitur or
a half-truth. They do not deny our connectedness,
but explain it in terms of all creation (stars and humans) being the handiwork of a
single Creator. And instead of seeing a global perspective as the only sensible
option for humanity, they might take the very same observations and point out the
duty of each individual to its Maker.
The same mythology gets repeated over and over
in the media. Carl Sagan was talking this starstuff lingo back in the 1980s.
Its all glittering generalities and logical
Can anything in nature approach 100% efficiency? Something inside you does.
Read about it in the 02/23/2005 entry.
Darwinism and the U.N. are not the only perspectives that
explain the observations. Krauss begs the question. What does the
connectedness imply? If there are at least two competing explanations for
that connectedness (i.e., that stars and humans are both made of atoms), he cannot
simply assume that his worldview is the only sensible perspective. In what
other contest does a contender declare himself the winner before competing in the
Dont follow his bluff like robots toward socialism and
global politics. Thinking is done by individuals. If you follow the
global crowd after the Darwin bandwagon, and it
falls into a sinkhole, you will not be able to shift responsibility to them;
you took the steps. Think for yourself.
You might even think a profound thought:
that thought cannot emerge from stars, or else it wouldnt be thought at all.
It would be a hodgepodge of contingency and determinism. The essence of thought
is to purposely order ones conceptual resources, independently of the material
substrate that conveys them, toward principles that obey the laws of logic.
Our theories and explanations of stars employ logic, but stars dont.
Do stars take philosophy and hold debates? Of course not. Then what
kind of twisted logic can believe that logic is an emergent phenomenon of matter
in motion? If that were so, how could any human brain have any confidence that
its reasonings were true? It leads to that horrid thought that
plagued Darwin: whether the convictions of mans mind, which has been
developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy.
Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkeys mind, if there are any
convictions in such a mind? he said. If a monkey doesnt have a mind or
convictions, you can be sure that stars dont. Stop thinking horrid
thoughts. Think wise thoughts. Daniel the statesman wrote,
(Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those
who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever
Next headline on:
Cell Motors Play Together 02/27/2009
Feb 27, 2009 If one molecular machine by itself is a wonder, what
would you think of groups of them playing in concert? Recent papers and news
articles are claiming thats what happens in living cells: molecular motors
coordinate their efforts.
Daily led off a story on this by saying, Even within cells, the left hand
knows what the right hand is doing. Researchers at the University of Virginia
said they found that molecular motors operate in an amazingly coordinated manner
when simple algae named Chlamydominas need to move with flagella. This
contradicts earlier models that pictured the motors competing with each other like
in a tug-owar. The new U.Va. study provides strong evidence
that the motors are indeed working in coordination, all pulling in one direction,
as if under command, or in the opposite direction
again, as if under strict instruction. It almost requires imagining
a conductor or foreman guiding the process. Understanding it could help
with treatments of neurodegenerative disorders. The article did not mention
evolution. The researchers published their work in PNAS.1
Another cellular system reported by
Daily refers to coordination of independent parts. DNA transcripts made
of messenger RNA emerge from the nucleus in 3-D clumps. These need to be
straightened out into a linear code that can be read by the ribosome.
Research at Rockefeller University shows that one of the 30 kinds of proteins in the
nuclear pore complex magnetically attaches to the transcript when it
passes through the gate, joining an unwrapping machine called a helicase
to form a machine that unpacks balled-up messenger RNA particles so that they can be translated.
Heres how Andre Hoelz described the action: We found that the messenger
RNA protein package and Nup214 competitively bind to the helicase, one after the other.
Each binding strips one protein off as it passes through. The process is
akin to a ratchet mechanism for messenger RNA export, Hoelz said.
Failures in the mechanism, again, were said to be implicated in disease.
Once again, also, the article said nothing about evolution.
1. Laib, Marin, Bloodgood and Guilford, The reciprocal coordination and mechanics of molecular motors in living cells,
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
USA, published online February 12, 2009, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0809849106.
The Darwinists have their chance to show up and
explain the evolution of coordinated action of multiple parts needed for function,
the failure of any component of which leads to disease or death. The
intelligent design team showed up. Wheres the evolution team?
Its like in sports. Fail to show up and you forfeit.
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design by Dr. Jonathan Wells (Regnery, 2006)
is a handy-dandy resource to learn intelligent design principles and how to debunk Darwinism.
Dr. Wells has been one of the leading lights of the intelligent design movement and
has a gift for explaining concepts clearly without oversimplifying. All the important
subjects are here in this moderate 250-page volume: evidences, definitions, fossils,
microbiology, genetic information, education, philosophy of science, implications,
the history of Darwinism, and the battle over ID. The
appealing cover and layout make this an enjoyable readgreat for the high
school or college student facing the Darwin propaganda barrage at school.
Available from Access
Next headline on:
Motive Mongering: Does It Belong in Science? 02/26/2009
Feb 26, 2009 Amanda Gefter, a book reviewer and science editor,
felt the need to warn the world about the creationists. She wrote a blog
called How to spot a hidden religious agenda. Aiming to share
a few tips for spotting what may be religion in sciences clothing, she exposed
buzzwords and buzzphrases she felt only creationists, not scientists, would use irreducible
complexity, Darwinism, scientific materialism, and blind, random, undirected process
In addition, Gefter listed concepts and emphases that she felt betray
a hidden agenda: an emphasis on complex molecular machines, the reference to quantum
physics in support of free will, and calls for academic freedom (which she says
can be translated as the acceptance of creationism). Lastly, she
disclaimed any connection between the truth of a scientific theory (like evolution)
with its social consequences (like the Holocaust), as explored in the movie
Bottom line: It is crucial to the publics intellectual
health to know when science really is science. Those with a religious agenda
will continue to disguise their true views in their effort to win supporters,
so please read between the lines. See a previous article by Gefter
Motive-mongering and subversion is a game anyone
can play. It means you dont have to listen to the arguments of someone,
you can just label them and expel them in advance. No intelligence required. To show how fair and
balanced we are, we invite you to go
Amandas scare tactics
then read the following rebuttal, essentially the same article with some changes of
a few words and phrases. Links to supporting material are included for convenience.
Can Evolution Keep You Safe? 02/25/2009
As a science reporter at Creation-Evolution Headlines, I often come across so-called science articles which after a few lines reveal themselves to be harboring ulterior motives. I have learned to recognize clues that the author is pushing a materialist agenda. As evolutionists in the US continue to lose in polls over whether to have Darwinism alone taught as science in federally funded schools, their strategy has been forced to... well, evolve. That means ensuring that references to pseudoscientific concepts like materialism are more heavily veiled. So I thought Id share a few tips for spotting what may be materialism in sciences clothing.
See? Its easy. Now, Amanda, how about a calm, rational discussion
about THE EVIDENCE.
Red flag number one: the term intelligent design in scare quotes
(03/08/2007). Intelligent design in scare quotes is most often used in contrast to something else
something mindless and purposeless. Proponents of materialism frequently lament the scientific claim that the products of intelligence can be detected empirically
10/12/2008). At the same time, they never define how aimless, Darwinian forces might create complex specified information
cartoon). I have yet to find an article by an evolutionary biologist that defines intelligent design
(09/11/2008) the way its proponents define it.
The invocation of kinship selection (09/30/2007)
where natural selection is transferred to populations is also a red flag.
And if an author describes altruism (01/23/2009, bullet 13),
or any moral value for that matter, as a product of game theory
(12/21/2005), let the alarm bells ring.
Misguided personifications of evolution are a classic hallmark of pseudoscience
(01/12/2009), usually of the New Age variety,
but some materialist groups are now appealing to aspects of personality to account for evolution as a
(01/13/2006). Beware: this is nonsense.
As William Provine has explained, if Darwinism is true, there is no free will, and as Dawkins described it,
Darwin described a world of blind, pitiless indifference.
When you come across the terms religious or religiously motivated
(08/10/2005), take heed. True scientists rarely consider the motivations for a theory, and instead opt for examining the quality of the evidence. When a scientific theory like ID is described as religiously motivated
(04/09/2008), be warned. Genetic mutations are random, and natural selection is an aimless process.
Believing that mindless processes can produce a mind
cannot logically follow from materialist presuppositions
(02/14/2007). When cells are described as
astonishingly complex molecular machines
(04/04/2002), it is generally only breathless defenders of
Darwinism who make up stories about them
(02/24/2009, bullet 8)
and assume that such a machine is explainable by numerous, successive, slight modifications
(11/21/2003). If an author tries to argue against academic freedom bills
(07/10/20008), it is usually materialist code for
insulating Darwinism from scientific criticism
Some general sentiments are also red flags. Authors with materialist motives ignore reason in favor of slogans,
from the staid mantra Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution (Dobzhansky,
12/19/2008) to the unscientific assertion
Even if there were no actual evidence in favor of the Darwinian theory, we should still be justified in
preferring it over all rival theories (atheist Richard Dawkins, see
Descent). If scientists use their intelligence, it is self-contradictory to define science to preclude
(01/04/2006). Methodological naturalism
is another red flag
(02/18/2006). Materialists think they can restrict their
materialism to methods of scientific inquiry, but always wind up extending their materialist philosophy
(12/21/2005) into all branches of inquiryincluding history,
politics, economics, ethics and even the evolution of religion
Materialistically-motivated authors also have a bad habit of ignoring the cultural implications of a theory
(02/17/2008). The materialist crowd, for instance, abhors any linkage from Darwin to the Holocaust,
as shown in the documentary film Expelled: No intelligence allowed
(04/16/2008). Even if a straight line from Darwin to
Hitler could not be drawn, it would have zero relevance to the historical fact that German scientists
strongly affirmed Darwinian materialism as a philosophy supporting German militarism in the decades leading up to the Holocaust
(02/03/2005), and Hitler appealed to natural selection in his racist writings
(11/30/2005). Le Fanu writes that Darwins On the Origin of Species
articulated the desire of many scientists for an exclusively materialist explanation of natural history that would
liberate it from the sticky fingers of the theological inference that the beauty and wonder of the natural world was
direct evidence for A Designer. Philosophers of science have agreed that scientists cannot
be blind to the social implications of their beliefs (01/15/2009).
It is crucial to the publics intellectual health to know when materialism is merely masquerading as science.
Those with a materialist agenda will continue to disguise their true views in their effort to win in the courts,
so please read between the lines (04/30/2005,
Next headline on:
Feb 25, 2009 A new practical use for Darwinism has come to light: natural
security. Two recent articles claim that we can learn from evolution how
best to protect ourselves.
These two presentations were given in Chicago at a symposium paying tribute
to Charles Darwin a day after the 200th anniversary of his birth, the second article said.
Blumstein advised, A lesson from biology and evolution is we need adaptable systems.
It is not clear if the presenters believed President Bush should have
used natural selection or intelligent design when planning national security.
- Natural security: Darwinism can be practical, thinks
Rafe Sagarin, an ecologist at Duke University.
Daily reported that he is using Darwinian principles to
write and speak about Natural Security: A Darwinian Approach to a Dangerous World
(see also Duke University
Sagarin thinks the Department of Homeland Security is going about it all wrong.
More guards, guns, and gates this is not how organisms defend themselves, he said.
Invoking a mode of thinkinginformed by Charles Darwins insights
into lifes struggle for survival and fecundity, Sagarin is looking
at security from the point of view of the evolutionary arms race: If Im
an adaptive organism, how would I cope with this?
In nature, a threat is dealt with in several ways. Theres collectivism,
where one meerkat sounds the alarm about an approaching hawk, or camouflage, where
the ptarmigan hides in plain sight. Theres redundancy, like our wisdom
teeth, or unpredictable behavior, like the puffer fishs sudden, spiky pop.
He portrayed organisms learning to live with risk, not trying to eliminate it.
Remarkable as animal defenses are, its not clear what Darwin has to do with
them. Sagarins proposal seems to owe less to Darwinism than to biomimetics
copying natures designs. He spoke of what organisms doimplying that they have
a purpose behind whatever process originated their protections. That would be
a very un-Darwinian mode of thinking. He gave no indication of how a complex,
interrelated system of multiple factors, such as the human immune system, could
have arisen in a haphazard, gradual way.
Under the unyielding pressure of 3.5 billion years of evolution, the
variety of defenses is beyond counting. But they all have a few features in
common. A top-down, build-a-wall, broadcast-your-status approach is
exactly the opposite of what organisms do, Sagarin says.
Sagarin also seemed to beg the question that his preferred animal strategies
would work fighting intelligent enemies. Hiding like
a ptarmigan seems unlikely to deter a nuclear strike. Popping into spikes
like a puffer fish seems unlikely to scare a drone bomber. Redundancy, true,
might be a worthwhile option; but he did not explain if wisdom teeth
are a manifestation of a Darwinian security strategy. Were the only pre-humans who
passed on their genes the lucky ones with a spare set of molars when punched in the mouth?
In addition, guards, guns and
gates do seem to get used often in nature. Guard bees manage security in beehives.
Spitting cobras, octopi, pistol shrimp and skunks are pretty good sharpshooters.
And cells are filled with authenticating gates to protect their interiors and nuclei.
The Department of Homeland Security could certainly learn from nature, such as
diversifying their portfolio of security strategies, and learning to anticipate
adaptive behavior of enemies. But singling out the methods that make the DHS look
incompetent can be considered a case of card stacking.
- Risk management: A similar article was posted today on
Daniel Blumstein (UCLA) thinks we can each learn personal
safety tips by studying evolution. Blumsteins presentation was apparently
given at the same AAAS meeting in Chicago. This seems to be a new spin-off theme
evolutionary biologists are advertising. Heres Blumsteins main idea:
Species that dont figure out ways of dealing with threats go extinct, said the
UCLA associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, who studies fear, risk assessment
and management, and anti-predator behavior. Species that persist are those that figure
out how to manage risk. From the paleontological record, we can see evidence of
successful strategies. We can learn fundamental lessons from animals and plants
lessons from biology and evolution that are applicable to managing security
threats. Evolution has given us a wonderful historical record and series of
experiments that have been replicated again and again.
Intriguing as this approach sounds, it seems to attribute conscious decision-making
skills to plants, and risk management to simple animals. Whats evolution
got to do with it? Evolution and the diversity of life show us there are
many strategies to solve problems and respond to risk, he said.
If the lesson is to have a plurality of strategies and learn to adapt quickly,
who is the teacher? Who runs the experiments?
How do you manage risk? How do you decide to allocate energy to
defense versus other things? These are fundamental trade-offs that all organisms face,
he said.One possible reason for extinction is that individuals are making
incorrect decisions about how to manage the risks they face....
A problem all organisms face is how not to allocate too much energy
to defense, he said. All animals have to live with risk.
Over evolutionary time, we can use life as an experiment that gives us insights
into what might work and what might not work. There are commonalities that humans
and nonhumans face when dealing with threats.
Blumstein quickly turned his biological thesis into a political one.
He criticized the Department of Homeland Security because bureaucracies tend to be
inflexible. Improving communication and coordination among existing agencies
could have worked better with less cost, the article said. Heres more
political application of Darwinian security:
Having a specific agency tasked to, say, biodetection identification is not as good
as a generalizable defense,Blumstein said. Why not just increase
our health infrastructure? Why not increase first responders training capabilities
and communication among first responders so that if an outbreak of a disease occurs,
hospitals around the country will quickly detect it whether it is terrorism or not?
That approach has the added benefit of increasing the overall
health of the citizens and does not have an extra cost that is looking only for a
low-probability, but admittedly high-consequence, event. A strong public
health system has the bonus of helping us respond to natural pandemics, as well as
Heres another hopeless attempt for Darwinists
to look useful. This one is no better than Darwinian medicine (see
04/25/2007, bullet 3,
and 01/13/2003). If you needed Darwinian
medicine like a hole in the head, you need Darwinian security like a bulls-eye
painted on your shirt.
What could be more opposite Darwinism than the Golden Rule? Even that is not
sacred any more: a Darwinist tried to explain the evolution of the Golden Rule in
the 02/22/2004 entry.
Beware the day when Darwinists become advisors to the
Department of Homeland Security. Have you ever in your life
heard advice as foolish as this coming from scientists? Blumstein thinks that
instead of preventing a nuclear war, we should just build better triage units to deal
with the aftermath. Please tell us, Dr. Blumstein, how hospitals are
supposed to treat hundreds of thousands of people vaporized by a nuclear blast.
This could get real funny in no time. Incoming Iranian ICBM!
Make like a ptarmigan! If you dont evolve fast enough, it could
ruin your whole day.
Their whole argument is ridiculous. It is self-contradictory in a Darwinian world view.
Whatever evolution did is supposed to be mindless and undirected. Animals and plants did
not get together and form a government and decide how to respond to threats.
Their highly-sophisticated defense systems are built in. If Sagarin and
Blumstein were consistent, they would realize it is absurd to expect humans, who are
also products of natural selection in their view, to
apply intelligent design to their own survival. Lots of species have gone
extinct. If humans lack the equipment to prevent their extinction, because
natural selection did not properly equip them to adapt to nuclear attacks and
biological warfare and bus bombs, then so be it.
plant species do you know that terrorize their own kind? Our main problem is not so
much with other species, despite the occasional shark or grizzly attack,
but with evil human beings (including corrupt government officials) who, without
the restraint of laws and law enforcement and national defense, would
deprive us of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The authors
of the Federalist Papers, a collection of essays that constitute the epitome of scholarship
on political science, recognized that it was human depravity that makes
constitutional government necessary. If we were angels, or if we were ruled
by angels, they would not have needed a Constitutional Convention. The reality of evil in the
human soul is the reason for national defense and intelligently-designed protections
against selfish ambition. One only has to see the horrors produced by the likes of
Robert Mugabe and Kim Jong Il to thank God for the American ideals of limited
government of the people, by the people and for the people; separation of powers;
checks and balances; free elections; and the vision of
a nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Where did you read the words liberty or justice in the Darwinists advice?
Our critique does not overlook the presence of security adaptations in
the human body it just denies that they evolved mindlessly. When threatened,
all kinds of physiological responses come into play: adrenaline, hair standing on
end, goose bumps, increased heart rate, shivering, and the fight-or-flight response.
These are all automatic responses designed for our survival. Nor do we
disparage the value of self-defense instruction (e.g., defensive driving, martial
arts, and personal threat avoidance). But then, is not
bravery the act of consciously defying the automatic response and doing, by choice
of purpose, the right thing? Is not altruism the ideal of denying ones
self? We can train dogs and horses to go against their
instincts, but they do not purposely choose to do so based on moral ideals,
Lassie notwithstanding. Even if an animal trainer believed they could, that
would not imply those capabilities evolved. If a Darwinist wishes to
believe that all those wondrous defense systems and the ability to choose
bravery or altruism are products of evolution, he or she has no empirical basis
for it. It is a choice to fit observations into a preselected world view
(see 01/23/2009, bullet 13, and
05/02/2008). It also means they really
had no choice in the matter because natural selection made them believe that.
(In case you didnt notice, their belief, therefore, self-destructs.)
Consistent with their amoral Darwinian stance, Sagarin and Blumstein
put the onus on the victims, not on the perpetrators. Its no longer
the fault of the gunman, the terrorist, or the tyrant. No point in risking
ones life, fortune or sacred honor for an American revolution. No sense in fighting
crime any more. Crime happens thats the reality of Darwinian selfishness.
Its not the criminals fault he shoots you; its your fault that
you didnt adapt the skill of dodging bullets. Too much of this
doctrine and there will be no use for preachers and teachers who try to instill
moral values in the populace, or American statesmen who will advocate our values
of freedom and democracy around the world, to shame those countries where
dictators run roughshod on individual human rights. How do you evolve human rights
A close reading of the opinions of these self-appointed Darwin Party
political advisors reveals their liberal bias along with their stupidity
(those factors are often correlated; see 12/02/2004).
You can see a hint of their advocacy of socialized medicine in Blumsteins advice. He wants
to increase our health infrastructure (government-sponsored, of course), presumably
instead of expenditures for the war on terror. If he thinks bureaucracies tend
to become rigid, wait till he needs emergency heart surgery and some bureaucrat takes six months to decide whether
or not he gets it. A strong public health system has
the bonus of helping us respond to natural pandemics, as well as terrorist attacks,
Blumstein said. There again, he wants to just respond to the horrific aftermath
of a terrorist attack instead of preventing it.
President Bush went after the sources of terror before they could reach us.
Darwinists want Obama to socialize our health care so that you can stand in a long
line to get your nuclear radiation burns treated, if you dont die
of anthrax first. God help us.
Next headline on:
Evidence for Inflation, or Inflating the Evidence? 02/24/2009
Feb 24, 2009 Cosmic inflation has become an accepted truth in cosmology,
but its appeal is primarily philosophical and theoretical. Something as weird
as a universe jumping 26 orders of magnitude in size in one trillion trillion trillionth
of a second (see 02/21/2005)
should raise eyebrows in any scientific circle. Is there any evidence for it?
reported that a new search for its smoking gun is being planned.
Researchers from the University of Chicago are placing an instrument
on a telescope at the South Pole to look for gravitational waves. These elusive
waves should propagate from any high-energy event in space, such as the formation of
a black hole. Its not clear if cosmic inflation would show a gravitational
wave signature, but they hope to know in 10 years. Its possible that
inflation theory is entirely wrong, wrote Robin Lloyd for Live Science.
So discovery of gravity waves would be a big deal and go a long way toward
validating the theory, as well as the big bang and some other big cosmological claims.
What would it mean if no evidence is found? Surprisingly, the
same thing as a positive detection. The absence of gravitational waves is
completely consistent with inflation, said Lawrence Krauss of Arizona State.
How, then, can inflation be confirmed if either answer is consistent with theory?
Krauss can only hope that a positive detection would allow a real possibility
of pinning things down enough so that one could perhaps convince every physicist
that inflation happened. This implies that a positive detection could
have multiple interpretations.
First, though, they have to invent new physics.
Three key components of modern cosmology have no evidential or physical basis
right now. We have these key components to our picture of the universe,
but we really dont know what physics produces any of them, said Scott Dodelson
[U of Chicago], referring to inflation, dark energy and dark matter the
proposed stuff that makes up the universes missing mass.
The goal of the next decade is to identify the physics.
What are outside observers of modern cosmology
supposed to conclude when its proponents admit that ignorance of the key components of the theory
This is crazy. Its like the lobbyist for a defense contractor promising
a Senator theyll have that Buck Rogers space-based weapons surveillance system
they promised, once they figure out how to build rockets, computers and remote-sensing instruments,
after they discover the physics behind them all.
Its all just a story right now. They like the plot, but what basis does
it have in reality? Zilch.
Inflation doesnt solve anything, anyway.
Sean M. Carroll said that the initial conditions that would make inflation possible are
even more finely-tuned than the cosmic coincidences it was concocted to explain away.
Remember? He said in that classic paper, Is Our Universe Natural,
reported here 05/11/2006,
The fact that the initial proto-inflationary patch must be smooth and dominated
by dark energy implies that it must have a very low entropy itself; reasonable estimates
for this entropy SI range from about 1 to 1020.
Thus, among randomly chosen initial conditions, the likelihood of finding an appropriate
proto-inflationary region is actually much less than simply finding the conditions of
the conventional Big Bang model (or, for that matter, of our Universe ten minutes ago).
It would seem that the conditions required to start inflation are less natural than
those of the conventional Big Bang. The whole big-bang shebang is barfed up
out of their empty naturalistic gut feelings.
What does explain the fine-tuning of the cosmos? Creation, naturally.
Next headline on:
Detector cartoon Subject: BANDWAGON
by Brett Miller!
Click the icon.
Evidence for Evolution Found Or Claimed 02/24/2009
Feb 24, 2009 It seems that in this Darwin Bicentennial year, some reporters
are overeager to find confirming evidence for Darwins theory.
Here are some recent reports where it is not clear the evidence presented would convince
Darwins defenders continue to take their Bicentennial show on the road.
Daily and MSNBC
reported on a show by Sean B. Carroll about Adventures in Evolution,
a recounting of the rip-roaring adventure tales behind the great advances
in the theory of evolution. Interesting as the stories are, adventure is not
the same thing as scientific evidence. Undoubtedly the alchemists had their
share of adventures (exploding flasks, etc.).
- Survival of the weakest: Add a new catch-phrase to Darwins
arsenal: survival of the weakest. Sure enough,
Daily reported on experiments at LMU in which
in large populations, the weakest species would with very high probability
come out as the victor. Almost without exception, their simulations
of a scissors-paper-rock game-theoretical ecology showed the weakest species coming out the
survivor. They call this the law of the weakest. They did not
explore the philosophical question of whether a theory that can simultaneously explain the survival of the fittest and
the weakest opposite outcomes explains anything at all (see the
Stuff Happens Law, 09/15/2008
- Psychedelifish: A freaky fish species was found offshore
of Indonesia, reported Robin Lloyd for
The yellow-and-white-striped swimmer uses jet propulsion thrusters as well as fins to swim, has eyes that
face forward, a fleshy chin and cheeks, and stripes that mimic the venomous corals
among which it feeds. Despite having mysterious origins,
Histiophryne psychedelica was immediately Darwinized by its classifier:
It is just an absolutely fantastic example of what natural selection can produce.
- Sharks in living color: Primitive deep-sea fish may
have viewed the world much as we do, announced
Scientist. The elephant shark, which evolved about 450 million years ago,
is the oldest vertebrate to have the colour vision system we know as humans,
says David Hunt at University College London. The article goes on to
point out that the finding pushes the earliest known color vision back by 76 million
- Yeast is yeast and guessed is guessed: The genomes of some 70
species or varieties of yeast have been sequenced.
News reported that this gives scientists a text on the origin of
subspecies that helps to bring the small branches of Darwins
Tree of Life into focus. The new data enables the
scientists to study genetics in much finer detail than was ever possible for
Darwin. Readers may find it surprising that Darwin studied genetics,
since the word was not invented till 1905, after Darwin was dead, but the
sentence might be understood to mean it would not have been possible for
Darwin to study it in such detail. But then, neither would it have been possible for
Louis Pasteur, Mendel or any other great biologist of the 19th century to do so.
Creationists probably wonder what this has to do with
Darwin anyway, since they accept significant variation within created kinds. They
might also note the significance of this line in the story:
The basic machinery of yeast is surprisingly similar to that of humans....
How Darwin could be vindicated at all by this research seems questionable.
The article went on to say, They found that rather than all being derived
from one common ancestor, humans have domesticated yeast strains at many points
in history and from many different sources. (Readers are expected to
ignore the dangling reference.)
- Fast-moving plants: Darwins theory relied on slow, gradual
accumulation of small variations. To him, the abrupt appearance of the flowering plants
(angiosperms) in the fossil record was an abominable mystery.
chose to ignore these facts and boasted, Rapid Burst Of Flowering Plants Set Stage For Other Species.
The article spoke of a burst of diversification, rapid
emergence, and a series of explosions of adaptive radiation.
Gradualism was getting blown up everywhere: A new University of Florida study
based on DNA analysis from living flowering plants shows that the ancestors of
most modern trees diversified extremely rapidly 90 million years ago, ultimately
leading to the formation of forests that supported similar evolutionary bursts in
animals and other plants.
Any hint of ancestry required divining fine details in molecules.
Because the diversification happened so quickly, at least in evolutionary terms,
molecular methods were needed to sort out the branches of the rosid clades
phylogenetic tree, a sort of family tree based on genetic relationships,
the article explained. Only after sequencing many thousands of DNA
base pairs are genetic researchers able to tease apart the branches and
better understand how plant species evolved, not whether they
evolved. Would it be clear to a neutral observer, though, when teasing apart the twigs in a
hedge, that there is only one root below?
- Evolution completed: Charles Darwin got praise again at the
beginning of a press release from the
University of Washington:
As the world marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwins birth,
there is much focus on evolution in animals and plants. But new research
shows that for the countless billions of tiniest creatures -- microbes -- large-scale
evolution was completed 2.5 billion years ago. Are they saying that
evolution stopped dead for the majority of the worlds biota two billion years before the
first multicellular animal emerged? Apparently so. Roger Buick, a paleontologist
and astrobiologist at the university, added a remark that casts doubt on how
human beings could ever know this: it appears that almost all of their major
evolution took place before we have any record of them, way back in the dark mists of
prehistory. That being the case, it is not clear how any of the
subsequent statements in the press release about microbe evolution have any footing
in empirical science.
Most of the work revolved around the
amazing ability of living microbes to fix nitrogen. Molecular nitrogen, with
its triple bonds, is a tough nut to crack, but microbes do it with ease by means
of complex molecular machines (see 09/06/2002
and 11/18/2006). Think how a Darwin skeptic
might interpret this quote: All microbes are amazing chemists compared to us.
Were really very boring, metabolically (compared to microbes).
Somehow, this press release was intended to convey the idea that
evolutionary thinking leads to understanding: To understand
early evolution of life, we have to know how organisms were nourished
and how they evolved (not whether they evolved). But that is just
what Dr. Buick had said is lost in the dark mists of prehistory.
- The power of suggestion: A news item on
Daily shows a photo of Mars with geological deposits that resemble, in a
superficial sense, the hot spring deposits on Earth. No life has been found,
but a lot of suggestion emerged.
The photos from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter indicate
sites where life forms may have evolved on Mars.
Most astrobiologists doubt that life evolved at hot springs.
They would say that the thermophiles found in Yellowstones geyser basins
became adapted to that extreme environment long after life was well established.
Nevertheless, the article states that the Mars photos have great
astrobiological significance, as the closest relatives of many of the most ancient
organisms on Earth can thrive in and around hydrothermal springs.
- Getting together: A press release from
University of Arizona
discerned evolution in some colonies of green algae. Volvox is a
well-known colony of cells that has a division of labor and thrives in community
instead of individuality. Now, research by Matthew Herron suggests that
Some algae have been hanging together rather than going it alone much longer
than previously thought. In a geological eyeblink of
35 million years, he claimed, single-celled algae took the leap to
multicellularity 200 million years ago. Why? Some things
cant eat you if youre bigger. That seems odd, because the
majority of organisms have remained microscopically small throughout the history
of life on earth.
Herron showcased Pleodorina starrii, a colonial alga with
an incomplete division of labor. All the macroscopic organisms we see
around us trace back to unicellular ancestors, he proclaimed Darwinistically.
Each of those groups had to go through a transition like this one.
He did not think it necessary to explain why they took that leap 200 million years
ago, nor why, if being bigger confers a security advantage, the simple colonies
(and indeed the plethora of microbes) stepped off the evolutionary conveyor belt to
remain essentially the same for the next 200 million years.
In some unspecified way, cell
colonies invented the extracellular matrix, a kind of goo that binds
the parties together. Herron ascribed evolutionary game theory to the
strategy of group-think: Overcoming that conflict is essential to becoming a
multicellular organism, he said. The benefits of cheating have to be reduced
for the cells to cooperate successfully. Apparently even Darwinism
has a doctrine of original sin.
- Evolution as un-design: One of the most remarkable new papers
giving evolution the glory for complex design is a piece by Forterre and Gadelle1
about DNA-processing molecular machines called topoisomerases (see
08/14/2007, bullet 5).
They used the E-word evolution 18 times in an attempt to explain how these
machines evolved. Surprisingly, there is very little homology to hang a
phylogeny on: similarities crop up between different kingdoms, and differences are
seen where there should be homologies. Topoisomerases are essential enzymes that
solve topological problems arising from the double-helical structure of DNA,
they explained. As a consequence, one should have naively expected to
find homologous topoisomerases in all cellular organisms, dating back
to their last common ancestor. However, as observed for other enzymes working
with DNA, this is not the case. Has Darwinian universal common
ancestry, therefore, been falsified? Not so fast. In the evolutionary scenario,
evidence is no longer a requirement. The story is the thing:
Topoisomerases could have originated by combining protein modules previously involved in RNA metabolism, such as RNA-binding proteins, RNA endonucleases or RNA ligases. Alternatively, they could have evolved from protein modules that were already working with DNA, if the first steps in the evolution of DNA genomes occurred in the absence of any topoisomerase activity, i.e. before the emergence of long double-stranded DNA genomes. Two arguments favour the latter hypothesis: first, whereas RNA polymerases and RNA-binding proteins are obvious candidates to be direct ancestors of DNA polymerases and single-stranded DNA-binding proteins, RNA topoisomerases that could be direct ancestor of DNA topoisomerases are unknown. Secondly, it is likely that double-stranded DNA genomes with complex DNA-replication mechanisms (i.e. concurrent symmetric DNA replication) were preceded by single-stranded or even short double-stranded DNA genomes replicated by simpler mechanisms, such as asymmetric DNA replication, and/or rolling circle (RC) replication (75) (Figure 3). These simple systems probably did not require topoisomerases, as it is still the case for their modern counterparts (the RC replication of some replicons require supercoiled DNA, hence gyrase activity, but only for the recognition step of the initiator protein). If this scenario is correct, topoisomerases probably originated when more complex DNA genomes (long linear or circular DNA molecules) were selected in the course of evolution, together with more elaborate replication machineries.
Their viral-origin hypothesis required the word suggest 26 times,
possible 16 times, could 14 times, and might 10 times.
Of one thing they were sure, however. These complex molecular machines were
not intelligently designed. Its rare for a scientific paper to
even mention intelligent design. Heres what they said about it: An intelligent
designer would have probably invented only one ubiquitous Topo I and one ubiquitous
Topo II to facilitate the task of future biochemists. Whimsical
as that statement is, it represents
a remarkable turnaround. Usually, evolutionists claim that similarities
disprove intelligent design. These scientists are claiming that differences
disprove it. ID cant win for losing.
is one of few news organizations giving a platform to both sides of the Darwin-ID debate (see
Evolution News report).
recently let creationists have both barrels. Attacking an earlier piece by neurosurgeon
by Michael Egnor,
Coyne had no patience with Forbes giving any credibility to evolution-deniers, which he likened to Holocaust-deniers.
a member of the National Academy of Sciences, wrote the most recent post about
the dangers of overselling evolution. Even
got a word in for Biblical creationism in this typically economics-focused venue.
1. Forterre and Gadelle, Phylogenomics of DNA topoisomerases: their origin and putative roles in the emergence of modern organisms,
Nucleic Acids Research,
published online on February 9, 2009, doi:10.1093/nar/gkp032.
For those who need a refresher course on the
Darwiniac storytelling strategy (see 10/11/2006),
it goes like this: (1) Assume evolution. (2) Observe a fact. (3) Make up
a story to fit the fact into the assumption. For step 2, we have just shown
you many contrary facts that should falsify evolutionary theory, but step 3 (the
non-sequitur) remains invariant.
This is how the Darwinians get away with murder (11/30/2005).
The robust storytelling ability of the Darwinists is their most legendary trait.
It provides the foundation for the entire naturalistic political/economic/legal/educational/spiritual programme.
Adult Stem Cells, +2; Embryonic Stem Cells, -1 02/23/2009
add a Step (4): Hate creationism. Rant, rave and blather about how evil and
wicked creationists and intelligent design proponents are, and how the Discovery
Institute is conspiring to return America to the dark ages by substituting religion
for scientific evidence. This is supposed to provide subliminal reinforcement
that Steps 1, 2 and 3 are scientific. Step (5) is to outlaw
challenges to Steps 1-3 in the courts.
Now that you know the Darwinian storytelling strategy, you understand
about 95% of evolutionary biology. The remaining 5% is microevolution, which is
not controversial even for Ken Ham. One would think Ken would be overwhelmed
by the mounds of solid scientific evidence displayed in the articles reported
above. Does he know something Jerry Coyne doesnt?
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolutionary Theory
Origin of Life
Feb 23, 2009 Two more successes were chalked up for adult stem cell therapies
Daily said that sufferers from Crohns disease may have a new treatment option
by getting injections of their own bone marrow stem cells. This
now constitutes a treatment option to cure an intestinal disease that
sometimes does not successfully respond to drugs and requires highly complex
surgery that does not provide a cure.
Those afflicted with type 2 diabetes also have hope, thanks to adult
stem cells. Science
Daily also reported that progenitor cells exist in the adult pancreas.
It is now clear that progenitor cells, with the capacity to become insulin
producing cells, reside in the adult pancreas, said researchers from UC San
Diego and the Burnham Institute for Medical Research. They found that the
Wnt signaling pathway is implicated in the development of type 2 diabetes.
By understanding these protein-signaling pathways, they can begin to take their
stem cell research toward therapeutic treatments.
Not so good for embryonic stem cells.
reported, Hybrid embryos fail to live up to stem-cell hopes.
Heidi Ledford explained, The creation of human-animal hybrid embryos
proposed as a way to generate embryonic stem cells without relying on scarce human
eggs has met with legislative hurdles and public outcry.
But a paper published this week suggests that the approach has another, more
fundamental problem: it may simply not work. Researchers could not
get them to grow past the 16-cell stage, and they failed to become pluripotent.
The problem seems more fundamental than trying over and over again.
Some ethicists may be glad for that.
Follow the money. Smart investors are
backing adult stem cell research at major universities and research centers,
because the procedures work. Embryonic stem cell programs are sold to
taxpayers with tear-jerking stories and promises of miracle cures, but to date,
no cure is even in sight. Help your taxpayer friends not to be suckers
when the next embryonic stem cell hucksters come to your state (e.g., Michigan,
Living engineers: plant stems follow Murrays Law, not Murphys (02/28/2003);
diatoms withstand huge crushing forces (02/19/2003);
a protein machine does gymnastics (02/13/2003);
your body runs 522 amps of electricity (02/05/2003).
Next headline on:
Politics and Ethics
Assassins Roam Our Highways 02/22/2009
Feb 22, 2009 Slinking surreptitiously through our blood streams, the assassins
prowl about, looking for their targets. These are not terrorists or vigilantes.
They have a license to kill. Be glad they are there; they have saved your life
many times. They are called natural killer cells.
on work going on at Howard Hughes Medical Institute to understand this part of our
immune system (see prior work reported 08/05/2005).
Natural kill (NK) cells are usually the first responders.
They get a license to kill in the form of a molecular tag. Scientists
do not yet fully understand, the article said, how NK cells recognize friend from foe, and how they
remember an infection to speed up their response the second time. What scientists
do know is that once they find the bad cells, they can poke holes in their membranes
and inject poisons into them, neutralizing the invaders.
Personifying cells is a useful pedagogical aid, but can be
misleading. Its fun to turn cells into good guys and bad guys. The scene is
like the action miniseries 24, with Jack Bauer playing the NK cell against the foreign terrorists, the
disease germs. Cells, of course, have no brains and personalities.
The forces at work between agonists and antagonists in a cell do not have moral overtones.
The reality, nonetheless, is amazing. It is instructive in two ways.
First, the presence of molecular tags as codes that grant privileged access is a hallmark of
intelligent design. The NK cells are robotic, in the sense of operating on design
principles to perform a function. Second, the need for destructive mechanisms (in this case,
agents that can poke and poison a harmful invader), might inform theodicy.
Defending the Christian Worldview Against All Opposition is a lively set of lectures
by the late philosopher and theologian Greg Bahnsen. In this audio series, recorded live at an
apologetics workshop for college students, Bahnsen showed how every non-Biblical
belief system, from atheism to the cults and other religions, implodes when its own
presuppositions are examined. He explained the transcendental argument
for the existence of God (not just any God, but the God of the Bible).
We know that some pathogenic bacteria sport needle-like machines
that inject toxins into healthy cells, causing disease (e.g., the Type III secretory
system, TTSS; see 10/11/2005 and
11/30/2006, bullet 5).
Suppose these were originally created for benign purposes. Is it possible they
have gone awry, and like the robot cowboys in Westworld, have turned their guns against
the visitors? Gun advocates are quick to point out that guns are not
intrinsically evil; it depends on how they are used. The same is true for cellular
mechanisms that have the power to dismantle other cells.
Suppose they originally provided environmental information to
organisms migrating into new habitats, or worked with the host immune system like
cooperative intelligence agents in friendly countries, only to find themselves at
war after a falling out of diplomatic relations. There are many push-and-pull
forces at work in the machinery of life. All it takes is for the balance to
shift, and disasters can happen. The competing forces might drift further
apart in an escalating war: the human immune system vs. the invaders run amok (see
If God designed everything to be originally good, but gave man a choice
to trust Him or not, why should He maintain the order of a creation that rejected
Him? Should a software designer continue to support an installation of his product for a customer
who violated the license agreement? No; if bugs arise through mutations,
a designer would be under no obligation to fix them, even if the software was mostly
robust and able to handle a wide range of contingencies. A programmer would
even be justified in coding booby traps for violators. This simplified analogy cannot answer
all questions about the origin of natural evil, obviously, but it might provide
a heuristic model to incorporate into a larger theodicy. Whats
remarkable is how many systems continue to function as designed in a world under judgment
for rebellion against its Maker. One creationist biology professor remarked,
The surprising thing is not that we get sick. It is that we are ever well.
The happiness we do enjoy are indications of Gods common grace to the
undeserving (see Acts
The evolutionist is in no better position to explain the observations. Darwinians
personify the world while denying the existence of personhood. In Darwins world, everyone is selfish.
There are no good guys and bad guys; just random organisms, each looking out for number one.
In their Hobbesian war of all against all, some organisms, whether bacteria or
humans, band into confederations to trade security for freedom. Its the
defectors that spoil the game and cause trouble. David Sloan Wilson thinks
evolutionary game theory provides an elegant solution for the way the world works
Is it really a better scenario than the Biblical account? Its glaring weakness
is that it provides no explanation for the specified
complexity of codes and networks that permeate biology. Even Richard Dawkins
expresses staggering amazement at lifes appearance of having been designed for a purpose
All he can say is: stuff happens, and we were lucky. His NK cells have saved
his life many times, but he has no one to thank but Lady Luck for the good health
he usually enjoys in his democratic society. Someone needs to warn him that if you want to play with
Hobbes instead of Calvin, best beware Leviathan.
Dawkins, Wilson and other atheistic evolutionists freely invoke axioms of morality,
while denying the foundations for morality. They cannot produce documentation for
their right to shoot down intelligent design, so they steal the credentials of theists,
and obtain their weapons on the black market: truth, logic, and virtue.
They take good, designed weapons and turn them against the source of the design.
A license to kill is a good thing in the hands of an honest cop or
certified espionage agent. When the bad guy steals the gun, though, watch out.
Thats true in philosophy as well as in cell biology and civilization.
Next headline on:
PhD in philosophy specialized in the theory of knowledge (epistemology). Anyone seeking wisdom in dealing with people in debates
about God and the Christian faith would profit from this mind-exercising series. Bahnsen skillfully dismantles
all question-begging positions that, unlike the Biblical worldview, collapse in
contradictions and arbitrary beliefs when their proponents are required to be consistent
with their fundamental assumptions. Available from
Books; other internet sites may have lower prices.
Note: while Bahnsen championed the presuppositional approach to
apologetics, he made clear that he also believes that evidences are essential.
But he posed a vivid analogy: if you had to defend yourself from a murderous gunman
in a locked room, would you be better off learning how to dodge bullets, or learning
how to get the gun out of his hands? Note also: we recommend this series for its
apologetics value against atheism and evolution, not necessarily to endorse every
theological or political position held by Dr. Bahnsen. A final word:
in Genesis recently rediscovered Dr. Bahnsens material and is promoting it
in a new web series.
Back to Nature, Back to Health 02/20/2009
Feb 20, 2009 People need access to nature. Thats what an article
Daily argued, based on work by Frances Kuo, a professor of natural resources and
environmental science and psychology at the University of Illinois. Why?
Humans are evolved organisms and the environment is our habitat, she said.
The E word evolution did not show up elsewhere in the article, though.
Mostly, it discussed how her work showed that elderly adults, college students,
and children with ADHD all do better in natural settings as opposed to urban
settings devoid of trees and grass. The article paraphrased Kuos reasoning
why getting outdoors is healthy: Humans living
in landscapes that lack trees or other natural features undergo patterns of social,
psychological and physical breakdown that are strikingly similar to those observed
in other animals that have been deprived of their natural habitat, Kuo said.
As you know, CEH is a strong advocate of hiking
and outdoor activity
but the reasons have nothing to do with clueless evolutionary psychology
The original good creation put man and woman not in a city, but in a garden.
The first people were surrounded by plants and animals. Even today, the
beauty of a forest, the fresh air and the sight of other creatures tends to bring
positive reactions in people. We think that is not because we evolved with
them, but were created with them, and were created with an innate sense of the
good, the true, and the beautiful.
Darwinism as Religion in a Holy War 02/19/2009
What is nature, anyway? Why does Kuo distinguish between people
and nature? This goes to show that nature is an equivocal word.
It can mean many things. Evolutionists have no logical way to distinguish humans
from nature including their works. The artificial gets
subsumed under the natural. To a consistent evolutionist, our cities, global warming,
over-hunting, and other traits must necessarily be incorporated into the category products of unguided,
purposeless natural selection. This also means that humans are already
in their natural habitat in the urban jungle, just as termites are in
their hives. So if we are evolved organisms, why do we need access to nature?
Whatever calls us back to nature in appreciation of its beauty
and order is a natural response of human nature; but that response is spiritual in nature. See?
We told you that nature has multiple meanings.
Next headline on:
Feb 19, 2009 It might be expected that media attention on Darwin would be exceptionally
high this month because of his bicentennial, but some of it seems downright religious.
The adulation he has been receiving is almost embarrassing sometimes.
It is only exceeded by the righteous indignation Darwins fans frequently express against intelligent
design. In any other context, their fighting words would be described
as hate speech. Here are some recent examples:
Speaking of Expelled, Casey Luskin has put together a long list of rebuttals to the criticisms
of the movie put forward on the NCSE website Expelled Exposed.
Called Expelled Exposed Exposed, Luskins list is available on
News and Views. Luskin also on Evolution
News took on MSNBCs pro-Darwin reporting, which he called three puff-pieces about the evidence for evolution.
He said, With Darwins 200th birthday recently upon us, the media is pushing Darwinism harder than ever.
- Shrine to Darwin: That was Science magazines title
for a short entry in Random Samples this week.1
Will Charles Darwins house and its gardens soon be mentioned in the same breath
as Stonehenge and the pyramids? the article began. Following a Ł1 million refurbishment, Down House
in Kent, U.K., has been put forth by the government for designation as a UNESCO
World Heritage site. Darwins desk, his sand path where he took
daily strolls, and his chair are to be exhibited. Sarah Coelho reported on this
in more detail on Sciences origins blog,
The Down House shrine, if declared,
will be in addition to Darwins crypt in Westminster Abbey and the Darwin Station at the
Galapagos. It might be noted that Stonehenge and the pyramids were both
constructed for cultic reasons.
- Darwin Rap: English Lit students of the future may be switched from reading
Chaucers Canterbury Tales to a new classic, something like Charlesbury Tales.
Rap artist Baba Brinkman has turned to Darwin for inspiration, reported Science in its
Newsmakers segment.2 Microbiologist Mark Pallen
(U of Birmingham) approached Brinkman with the idea of recasting the rap artists
version of Chaucer with an evolutionary twist. Brinkman latched onto the idea
and immersed himself in Darwins words and recent books on evolutionary
biology, the article said, and has been honing rhymes on sexual selection,
altruism, and the battle with intelligent design.
The result: He swallowed the idea and turned it into a work of genius,
according to Pallen. Viewers of the rap videos are treated to icons of Richard
Dawkins reading from The Origin of Species, while the rapper chants artistic
lines of genius like these from Natural Selection:
Okay, its time to reveal my identity
Im the manifestation of tens of millions
Of centuries of sexual selection, best believe
Im the best of the best of the best of the best
Of generations of competitive pressure genetically
But dont get upset, cause weve got the same pedigree
You and I will find a common ancestor eventually
If we rewind geological time regressively
And I could say the same for this hibiscus tree
And this lizard and the flea and this sesame seed.
The comparison with Do the Evolution seems apt (see
08/31/2006) with its similar
references to progress, survival of the fittest and selfishness.
This one adds the phrase, best believe.
On the Science blog Origins,
Brinkman answered some questions about his work. Asked what the most difficult
evolutionary topic to rap about, he said, Evolutionary topics are not so much
of a challenge as anti-evolutionary topics. He added, my biggest
challenge was to engage with Darwins detractors in a way that was
not overly derisive, while at the same time speaking plainly about the
misconceptions that are still attached to his work. Its apparently
OK to be derisive just not overly so. Brinkmans education included
works by staunch Darwinians and ID critics Jared Diamond, E. O. Wilson, Richard
Dawkins, and David Sloan Wilson, in addition to Darwins own holy writ.
A previous entry about Brinkman on
touted his concert tour as one of the hottest gigs in the Darwin-satiated London.
It includes lyrics of more of his songs and some video clips, too. One of them
overtly attacks the Genesis story and intelligent design in its religiously-zealous
presentation of Darwins theory: the truth shall set you free (an
non-subtle twist on the words of Jesus). The clip ends on a note that could
have had Malthus, Spencer, Haeckel and Galton tapping their feet:
What do you know about Natural Selection? Go ahead
And ask a question and see where the answer gets you
Try bein passive aggressive or try smashin heads in
And see which tactic brings your plans to fruition
And if you have an explanation in mind, then youre
Wastin your time, cause the best watchmaker is blind
It takes a certain base kind of impatient mind
To explain away nature with intelligent design
But the truth shall set you free
From those useless superstitious beliefs
In a literal Adam and Eve, and that Edenic myth
Cause their family tree is showin some genetic drift
Take it from this bald-headed non-celibate monk
With the lyrical equivalent of an elephants trunk
Its time to elevate your mind-state
And celebrate your kinship with the primates.
Science described his lyrics as sometimes sly, often hilarious,
and always smart and thought-provoking.
Reporter John Travis sounded like a salesman on steroids:
Brinkman gave a mesmerizing performance, one that would probably do more to
convince school children of evolutions validity than any BBC or PBS special could....
Scientists, science teachers, and anyone evolution has provided with an open mind
and a hint of musical rhythm should rush out to see this show if theyre
fortunate enough for it to make an appearance nearby.
The weak and the strong, who got it goin on?
We lived in the dark for so long
The weak and the strong, Darwin got it goin on
Creationism is dead wrong.
- Not in your back yard: Better not let your governor sign an
Academic Freedom bill: the Darwinians are likely to pull up their stakes and move their
conference dollars elsewhere. The Science blog
reported that the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology announced
it would not hold its 2011 annual meeting in New Orleans because of the states
antievolution policies. Governor Bobby Jindal last year had signed
the Louisiana Science Education Act, preventing critics of evolution from being censored or
harassed for their views. The bill had passed unanimously in the state senate
and 93-4 in the state legislature, indicating overwhelming bipartisan support (see
- A time for anger: Robert Pennock has long been an opponent of
intelligent design, but in an essay for
he really let the fur fly when responding to an earlier editorial by Casey Luskin in
US News. Pennock titled his piece Creation of Christian Soldiers a Chilling Sidelight of Darwin Bashing,
scaring readers at the vision of an army of fundamentalists
destroying the whole institution of science. In the article he challenged statements
by Phillip Johnson, Ralph Seelke, Casey Luskin and others associated with the
Discovery Institute, calling them propagandists, false martyrs and fomenters of
violence by the mentally unstable all while denying charges he was writing
with a poison pen of intimidation. Portraying the Darwinians as defenders of
truth, and abandoning any appeal for negotiations, he ended by calling for a holy war:
As I wrote in a recent op-ed about Expelled and the ID culture wars, it
is hard to know how to respond in a civil manner to such ignorant extremism.
Let me go further here: Such views (and I do here mean views, not people) do
not deserve a civil response. They deserve more than disapproval and ridicule.
They deserve the moral outrage of all who are friends of reason and truth.
Pennocks did not explain how righteousness, truth, morality and conscience
(better angels of our nature) arose by a Darwinian mechanism of blind
selection acting on mutations.
Darwin shares his birthday with Abraham Lincoln, and the famous conclusion of Lincolns
first Inaugural Address3 is relevant to the culture war that creationists
and other extremists would inject into our childrens science classes.
Let us forthrightly reject those false and polarizing views and hope
that the better angels of our nature will eventually prevail and bring this war to an end.
- Expelled star expelled: Has it come to this? A champion of
free speech and academic freedom has been expelled from an academic platform.
Sure enough, Ben Stein, the lovable droll professor, usually seen on economic panels,
has been shafted from a commencement speech opportunity at the University of Vermont.
President Dan Fogel reversed his invitation because of Steins highly controversial
views about evolutionary theory, intelligent design, and the role of
science in the Holocaust, as shown in last years documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence
Allowed. Read the whole account of what happened on
News #1, #2
Steins primary message in the film was to open up discussion on Darwin and break
down the barriers that insulated Darwinism from criticism and forced critics of Darwinism
to remain silent lest they lose their jobs. His ending appeal was focused on freedom of speech
in academia. Now that he has been denied his opportunity to speak to the students,
the University selected someone they apparently felt was less controversial: Howard Dean
1. Random Samples, Science,
Volume 323, Number 5917, Issue of 20 February 2009.
2. Newsmakers, Science,
Volume 323, Number 5917, Issue of 20 February 2009.
3. I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends.
We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our
bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield
and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land,
will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be,
by the better angels of our nature.
Is there any doubt that Darwinism is a religion?
Look at this. We should save the word hysteria for milder situations.
Darwinists are beside themselves with euphoria over their bearded Buddha and with
rage over anyone who would shine some reality on their religious experiences.
While claiming to be champions of truth, they tell lies. While claiming to
be victims of harassment, they persecute. While claiming to be naturalists,
they steal Christian armaments like truth, morality and righteousness and wield
them against those who do not bow down at their shrines. We should also save
the word hypocrite for milder cases than this (see David Klinghoffers piece
News, What is hypocrisy, after all?).
Read again the shocking news from February 2007 that Darwins tree of life
has been toppled by evolutionists (02/01/2007).
If you are confused over this scuffle and cant see the light
for the heat, notice one thing. Here at Creation-Evolution Headlines,
we constantly read and report the very best the Darwin Party has to offer (excluding
P.Z. Myers, because, this being a family site, we dont wish to expose the
young to profanity).
We quote more top evolutionists here than ID or creationist sources. We
analyze and examine as charitably as possible all their very best arguments from
their very best thinkers, and provide you with extensive quotes and links to original sources where you
can read them and make your own decisions. Our cartoons and humor may be
satirical, but they are not hateful and vindictive and you can easily see from
the context when it was deserved (e.g., we award Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week,
not Stupid Evolutionist of the Week). What do they do? They prevent you from hearing
the other side, and misrepresent it in sound bites
intended for instant emotional reaction. They use intimidation,
over substance, card stacking,
and subversion all geared to make people
hate intelligent design before even knowing what it is. The put Creationism
is dead wrong to a rap beat. They tell the media that their opponents are not even
worth the expenditure of their contempt (05/12/2008 bullet 5).
They use profanity (see recent despicable example reported on
News). They show no shame for silencing opposition indeed,
they pride themselves on their bigotry
(yes, bigotry: see 12/16/2008).
They apply to themselves silly self-contradictory labels like anyone evolution has
provided with an open mind while refusing to allow other people to exercise their God-given open minds.
They appeal to the better angels of our nature when they believe neither
in spirits nor in conscience. And while
worshiping at holy shrines of the bearded Buddha, they say that the ignorant
extremism of Darwin doubters is not even worthy of a civil response.
Let the better angels of your nature enlighten you to what is really going on.
Next headline on:
Bible and Theology
Language Is Not a Simple Genetic Matter 02/18/2009
Feb 18, 2009 It sounds so simple. The title on an article in
PhysOrg announced, in
Kipling Just-So Story Format, How gorilla gestures point to evolution
of human language. Because gorillas have an extensive repertoire
of over 100 gestures, human conversation was only a matter of evolutionary time.
Is this mere storytelling, or do such explanations have scientific validity?
Can the changes necessary for human language be found in the genes?
The FOXP2 gene is often singled out as crucial to the evolution
of human language, because mutations in that gene lead to speech defects in humans.
The recently published Neanderthal genome (see
Geographic News) showed that Neanderthals had the same FOXP2 gene we have.
This gene is involved in linguistic development, suggesting that Neanderthals could talk,
the article said. No one has shown, however, that FOXP2 is a necessary
or sufficient cause for the origin of language such an inference is hopelessly
simplistic (see 05/26/2004,
02/21/2008). For example, a defective power supply
in a radio that renders it inoperable does not explain the communication heard when it works.
Is there more than genetics involved in the origin of our language capacity? How could we know?
Cultural selection and synergy
In an essay in Nature,1 Eörs Szathmáry and
Szabolcs Számadó argued that Language evolved as part of a uniquely human group
of traits, the interdependence of which calls for an integrated approach to the study
of brain function. Its more than the ability to recognize words.
Your dog can do that. They said, more than any other attribute,
language was probably key to the development of the set of traits that makes humans unique.
These two authors proposed that social factors were much more important than genes
in the development of language. Cultural evolution has shown us that one
word can be worth a thousand genes, they said. But how can that explain
language in a Darwinian paradigm? It almost sounds Lamarckian the
discredited hypothesis of inheritance of acquired characteristics. Heres how
they tied it in to Darwinism:
That the genes involved in a cognitive trait affect other traits, and
have effects that interact with each other, is business as usual for complex
behaviour. But the result is likely to be a network of interacting effects,
in which evolution in one trait builds on an attribute already
modified as a by-product of selection acting on another. The nature of
the gene networks underpinning complex behaviour suggests that several
genes will have been selected for because they enhanced proficiency
in a range of tasks whether in social, linguistic or tool-use domains.
Language emerged, they said, at the same time humans were learning to fish and hunt
big game and make stone tools. It was a by-product of the co-option of
existing genes for vocalization being selected for new uses, they suggested.
This all happened at a time when major evolutionary changes were occurring simultaneously:
The probable emergence of modern language in the context of these other capacities
points to the evolution of a uniquely human set of traits. Weve barely
begun to probe the architecture of this suite, but there is little to
suggest that each capacity evolved one by one, or that they could be lost
independently without harming at least some other traits in the set.
But is this explanation helpful for elucidating what actually happened, or does
it shield itself from falsification in the noise of complexity? Creationists
would say God designed all these traits to work together. These evolutionists did appeal
to evidence, but then only for the interdependence of the traits, not their
origin: Evidence supporting the close-knit evolution of traits comes,
for example, from experiments showing that people who struggle with grammar also
have difficulties drawing hierarchical structures, such as a layered arrangement
of matches. They also said that tool-making and language appear related.
But such linkages do not necessarily point to evolution as the only explanation.
Szathmáry and Számadó used their hypothesis to weave a seamless story
of the transition from genetic evolution to cultural evolution:
The evidence strongly suggests that language evolved into its
modern form embedded in a group of synergistic traits. However, language
almost certainly holds special status over the other traits in the set.
More than any other attribute, language is likely to have played a key role
in driving genetic and cultural human evolution.
It appears they just said that their own reasoning evolved from cultural evolution
which evolved from genetic evolution. Can those gaps be bridged so easily?
Can one shift the hot potato of explanation between genes and culture as required
to keep the story going?
Language enables us to pass on cultural information more
efficiently than can any other species. Its taken about 40 million years,
for example, for five agricultural systems to appear in fungus-growing ants.
Human agriculture diversified on a massive scale in just a few thousand years.
Language makes it easier for people to live in large groups and helps drive
cumulative cultural evolution the build-up of complex belief systems,
and the establishment of laws and theories over several generations.
It has allowed us to construct a highly altered social and physical world,
which has in turn shaped our evolution. Cultural evolution has shown
us that one word can be worth a thousand genes. Language was the key
evolutionary innovation because it built on important cognitive prerequisites
and opened the door to so much else.
Exaptation: Dissing Darwin
Robert Berwick raised questions about this in a commentary in PNAS,2
What genes cant learn about language. He opened with this
very issue: Human language has long been viewed as a product of both
genes and individual external experience or culture, but the key puzzle has always
been to assess the relative contribution of each. He asked whimsically if
language evolution is more like hemline fashions (culture) or the fingers on ones hand (genetics).
There must be an interplay of both, because we know every child is born ready to learn a language,
but those who learn Hindi cannot understand those who speak Mandarin.
Berwicks solution leaned toward cultural evolution.
The reason is that genetic evolution is too slow to keep up with the rapid changes
known to occur in human language. One finding he cited runs counter to
one popular view that these properties of human language were explicitly selected
for,... instead pointing to human language as largely adventitious, an exaptation,
with many, perhaps most, details driven by culture. (An exaptation
means a trait not acquired by natural selection presumably through a
trait that predisposed a creature toward an adaptation). The upside is that it
means the set of genes devoted to language can be greatly reduced.
There is no need, and more critically no informational space, for the genome
to blueprint some intricate set of highly-modular, interrelated components for
language, just as the genome does not spell out the precise neuron-to-neuron wiring
of the developing brain. The downside is that classical Darwinian
natural selection had little to do with it.
Berwick recognized the controversy this position is likely to raise:
such a result may prove surprising to Darwinian enthusiasts who
see the hand of natural selection everywhere, he admitted, but he had
an even more startling ramification to unleash: a convergence between
the views of two groups often at variance with one another: cultural evolutionists
and theoretical linguists. Recent models by subsets of these camps can
make do with a minimal human genome for language. Is this an
String Theory and Semantics
One thing remains: explaining the hallmark of human
language, recursive concatenation. This is our unique ability to combine
words into new entities that can be treated as a single object, then combined
again over and over. This ability, which provides us an infinity of
possible meaningful signs integrated with the human conceptual system, is lacking in
animals. With it, though, we have the algebraic closure of a recursive operator
over our dictionary. We have infinite use of finite means.
How could genes or culture explain this capability?
Berwick merely states that it does: the claim that human language is an exaptation
rather than a selected-for adaptation becomes not only much more likely but very
nearly inescapable. Believe it or not.
Actually, the coup is not over yet. Berwick ended with two caveats
about What models cant tell us about language evolution.
The cultural-evolution model would expect all aspects of human language to rise and
fall like hemlines, but Indeed, as far back as we can discern, human languages
have always been just as complicated and fixed along certain dimensions.
Theres a difference, for example, between a sound and its value. There is
no necessary connection between what our genes allow us to pronounce and what we mean by the
sound. Exaptation merely assumes what it needs to prove: the
promiscuous recursion harnessed to our conceptual dictionary that makes
language so endlessly expressive.
Why Confirm What We Already Know?
The second caveat is even more alarming. Berwick said we can
never know how language evolved:
Second, there remain inherent restrictions on our ability to ferret out biological adaptation generally and see into the past, more so than is sometimes generally acknowledged, simply because of limits on what we can measure given the signal-to-noise ratio of evolution by natural selection, and similarly constraining what computer simulations like the one in this issue of PNAS can ever tell us. Since the pioneering study in ref. 11 we know that cultural evolution can sweep through populations as quickly as viral infections. By comparison, evolution by natural selection is orders of magnitude slower and weaker, its effects on gene frequencies easily swamped by the migration of even a few individuals per generation. Practically, this means that although we know without a doubt that adaptive selection has been involved in the shaping of certain traits, language being one of them, the data to establish this fact conclusively remains methodologically out of reach simply because it is infeasible to collect the requisite experimental evidence. To take a far more secure case than language, although we have long known that human blood group differences confer certain reproductive evolutionary advantages, geneticists have estimated we would require the complete age-specific birth and death rate tables for on the order of 50,000 individuals to confirm what must certainly be true. Given the great costs coupled with the relatively small benefits of confirming what we already know, the pragmatic nature of science wins out and there is simply little enthusiasm in carrying forward the exercise.
By portraying language evolution as something we already know, Berwick has
insulated it from the need for empirical evidence. Indeed, he generalized this
to all cases of evolutionary adaptation, not just language. If the signal-to-noise ratio of natural
selection is so low as to be undetectable, is evolution a science, or a belief?
Notice the phrase story line in his ending paragraph:
Consequently, it is probably safe to say that neither this nor any other confirmation of adaptive advantage for one or another particular evolutionary story line about human language, no matter how compelling or how internally consistent its computer simulation logic, will be immediately forthcoming. To be sure, computer simulations can still establish boundary conditions on evolvability via the Balwin–Simpson effect or set directions for further inquiry, and Chater et al. succeed admirably. Nonetheless, we should remain ever alert that there are always restrictions on restrictions, that neither this study nor others like it can tell us how human language actually evolved.
1. Eörs Szathmáry and Szabolcs Számadó, Being Human: Language: a social history of words,
456, 40-41 (6 November 2008) | doi:10.1038/456040a.
2. Robert C. Berwick, What genes cant learn about language,
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
February 10, 2009, 106:6, pp 1685-1686, doi:10.1073/pnas.0812871106.
Those last two block quotes are worth reading carefully.
For Darwin skeptics, the evidence could hardly be more clear: evolution is a belief
imposed on the evidence, not a belief derived from the evidence.
Since there is no way they could possibly test their belief,
evolutionists begin with the assumption of evolution and work everything into their chosen
paradigm: fragmentary evidence, elusive hints of signal in a noise (like the FOXP2 gene,
inferences from which are as likely to deceive as enlighten), and copious amounts of
imagination and storytelling. Since we already know by
collective agreement that Darwin reigns and creationism is out, what need have we
of proof?, they think. They have tossed verification out the window.
Like communist dictators behind a wall, they have awarded themselves offices for
life and comfy quarters for speculating endlessly without fear of contradiction.
Evidence, like the peasantry, becomes subservient to the State. Damaging
evidence has been filtered out by the State-run press. The regime is
self-promoting, self-serving, and self-perpetuating.
Disease Genes Play the Wrong Tune 02/18/2009
Time for a revolution.
Next headline on:
Feb 18, 2009 How did disease originate? It might seem that large
changes in genes would be required to turn a benign cell into a pathogen, but
an article on Science
Daily says it might just be a good cell playing a bad tune.
Bacteria have more genes than they use at any one time. What determines the
behavior is how these genes are regulated. A piano has 88 keys, but they
can be played in many different combinations. The researchers found that bacteria
can develop into illness-causing pathogens by rewiring regulatory DNA, the
genetic material that controls disease-causing genes in a body, the
article said. Previously, disease evolution was thought to occur
mainly through the addition or deletion of genes.
This means that the genetic information doesnt change that much when a good cell goes bad.
The difference between being able to cause disease, or not cause disease,
lies in where, when and what genes in this collection are turned on,
said Brian Coombes, the lead author of a recent study.
Weve discovered how bacteria evolve to turn on just the right
combination of genes in order to cause disease in a host. Its
similar to playing a musical instrument you have to play the right
keys in the right order to make music.
Could disease arise from a mutation in a regulatory network turning a waltz
into a dirge?
In Biblical theological history, a world that
was pronounced very good, filled with life and health and beauty, was
cursed due to sin. One can see possibilities in this finding that the curse
might not involve radical reconstruction of the creation, but just slight
degenerations of existing systems. Power tools can build houses or they can
cut flesh. Maybe all God did was remove some of the protective measures
on a world that had rejected His rule.
Darwin as Compassionate Buddhist Ape Descendant 02/17/2009
Do evolutionists have a better
explanation? Some of them, maybe even Darwin himself, thought they could
rescue God by removing the origin of evil from His domain. What they did,
however, was remove the categories of good and evil altogether. In a Darwinian world,
stuff happens, and thats that. Go suffer. Something in our
conscience revolts against evil as something out of order. Claiming there
was no order in the first place begs more questions than it answers.
Like a finely crafted instrument, the world was made to play harmony, not noise.
Because of the fall, ugliness and pain often overpowers the music that is still
audible in the background. By turning from the source of that noise (sin),
and accepting Gods free tickets to The Creation
each individual can receive noise-cancelling headphones and hear the music in its
original glory. He will put a new song in your mouth a hymn of praise to the
Lord (Psalm 33:3,
Next headline on:
Feb 17, 2009 It seems odd to call a secular scientific theory like
Darwinism a Buddhist belief. Thats what
Geographic claimed today. Darwin the Buddhist? Empathy Writings Reveal Parallels,
wrote Christine DellAmore about new ideas about Darwin by Paul Ekman, psychologist.
What could Darwin possibly have to do with Buddhism? Ekman told
an audience at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement
of Science in Chicago that Charles Darwin was fascinated with facial expressions
of emotion. Indeed, he wrote a book on it: The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals
(1872), in which he hired photographers to film faces of people expressing happiness,
rage, sadness and other feelings. Darwin suggested that empathy was a universal
trait that had evolved in humans.
Ekman said the idea of universal empathy meshes with Buddhist beliefs
about compassion. Ekman also suggested its also possible that
Darwin encountered Buddhist teachings through letters from other scholars of the time.
To strengthen the Darwin-Buddha connection, Ekman shared an inside story: the Dalai
Lama had told him that he would consider himself a Darwinian.
Ekman did not explain how this new compassionate Darwin relates to
the old picture of evolution as a process of pitiless indifference by a natural world red
in tooth and claw. Nor did he explain why compassion, if genetically inherited
in some people and not others, needs to be cultivated
a role seemingly more suitable for religion. The article simply stated point
blank, Until psychologists figure out why the disparity exists, he said,
the survival of our planet depends on cultivating compassion.
This begs the question whether even survival is a good thing in a universe of
pitiless indifference. Nevertheless, the article suggested people could go
to compassion gyms to improve their empathy fitness.
Somehow, this makes sense to Ekman as he imagines primates becoming
more self-aware. The NG article ended with a quote to this effect by Barbara
King, an evolutionary anthropologist at the College of William and Mary in Virginia.
She said, We wouldnt be human in the ways we are human today if apes
were not deeply emotional creatures and deeply social ones. We are ... products
of our past.
This article reinforces recent attempts to portray a kinder, gentler
Darwin, who opposed slavery (see
Descent). Some Darwinists, though, dont appear to have inherited the compassion gene.
Jerry Coyne slammed neurosurgeon Michael Egnor, who had criticized evolution earlier on
by calling him a charlatan and comparing him to a holocaust denier.
Egnor has had a running rebuttal to Coyne on
News and Views, continuing with
and part 3.
OK, Darwin skeptics, charge! Theyre
exposing their true colors: Darwinism is a religion. It may be
politically-correct religion, but its religion nonetheless.
Is it any wonder we portray Darwin as the Bearded Buddha? Even the
Dalai Lama worships at his shrine. Caution: dont offer the prescribed
sacrifice! You will need your brain to understand what is going on:
Darwin evolves to fit the rhetorical needs of the Darwin Party propaganda
machine. 30 years ago it was the Malthusian, red-claw Darwin of pitiless indifference.
Now its the compassionate Buddhist Darwin. Behind the facade its
the same Blunderful Wizard of Flaws.
The Darwin bomb squad tried to disarm the Cambrian Explosion (again) two years ago.
Did they succeed? See the 02/14/2006
entry and decide if hand-waving is a successful defense against flying shrapnel.
Next headline on:
Songbirds Sing on a Fast Wing 02/17/2009
Feb 17, 2009 Purple martins and wood thrushes are common songbirds of the
eastern United States. Until recently, it has not been possible to follow
their movements accurately. Now, a team of biologists in Toronto, Erie
and Cambridge was able to track them with tiny geolocators. They found that
the little birds fly farther and faster than previously known.
Reporting in Science,1 the ornithologists found that most
of the purple martins made it from Pennsylvania to the Yucatan (2500 km) in 5 days.
Thats 500 km, (over 300 miles), per day. Then the birds stopped over
there for 3 to 4 weeks before moving south to the Amazon basin. Some of the wood thrushes that migrated from
Pennsylvania spent a 2-4 week stopover in the southeastern United States before
crossing the Gulf of Mexico. A couple of the monitored thrushes stopped also
in the Yucatan before reaching wintering grounds in Honduras or Nicaragua.
As if that were not amazing enough, the return flights were 2 to
6 times faster. One female martin made the 7500 km trip from the Amazon Basin
to Pennsylvania in 13 days averaging 577 km (360 mi) per day. That
includes 4 stopover days. The wood thrushes took 13 to 15 days to get home.
One of them, oddly, took the overland route instead of crossing the Gulf of Mexico,
requiring 29 days to complete the 4600 km route.
How do these new studies enhance our understanding of bird flight
capabilities? Previous studies appear to greatly underestimate the true
flight performance of migrating songbirds because spring migration speed has
typically been estimated at under 150 km/day.
Geographic News reported on the story with pictures and a video.
The lead author commented on the purple martin front-runner, Maybe
this is some kind of super-bird, but still I was really impressed that any bird
can do this. These birds are traveling really fast and breaking all the rules.
Daily also reported on the research. The geolocators, it said, are smaller
than a dime and mounted on the birds backs with thin straps around the legs,
hopefully not interfering with flight. One can only wonder if the record-setting
female martin might have bested her own time without the backpack.
1. Stutchbury, Tarof, Done, Gow, Kramer, Tautin, Fox, and Afanasyev,
Tracking Long-Distance Songbird Migration by Using Geolocators,
13 February 2009: Vol. 323. no. 5916, p. 896, DOI: 10.1126/science.1166664.
This bird didnt break any rules. God
didnt put speed limit signs on the route. He equipped these amazing
creatures with awe-inspiring capabilities and let them loose to fly like they
were designed to do at their own pace. We can watch the race like sports fans.
Here is another story that owed nothing to Darwin. Neither
the original paper or the popular write-ups even mentioned him. Darwinists keep
saying that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. This science
project did just fine in natural ambience without the black lights
(see 02/10/2009 commentary, last line).
Next headline on:
Detector cartoon Subject: REPETITION
by Brett Miller!
Click the icon.
The Uses of Wood Rot 02/16/2009
Feb 16, 2009 Wood rot fungus doesnt sound like a useful thing.
Most people would rather get rid of it especially those who have seen their
houses decay because of it.
Some scientists, however, are intrigued by it. It may have properties that
could some day help power your car.
Daily reported that the US Department of Energy and Department of Agriculture
are trying to figure out how wood rot fungus decomposes wood. Cellulose and
lignin in wood are tough to break down. Few organisms in nature can
efficiently breakdown lignin into smaller, more manageable chemical units amenable
to biofuels production, the article says. The basidiomycetes fungi are
rare exceptions. Their ability to decompose wood is actually essential to
the ongoing life of the forest, and to the carbon cycle of the whole planet.
The genomes of these little wonders have recently been released.
Learning the tricks of wood decomposition might just help reduce Americas
dependence on foreign oil.
This type of information may empower industrial biotechnologists to devise
new strategies to enhance efficiencies and reduce costs associated with biomass
conversion for renewable fuels and chemical intermediates.
Theres a purpose to everything, at least in its original design, and everything
is designed to fulfill its purpose. Rots, molds, rusts and other fungi are
given bad names to reflect their bad rap. Thats just because we dont
understand their place in the natural scheme. We can learn to live with them
when their natural purposes run up against our artificial ones. You wouldnt
curse a little organism that is keeping our planets carbon cycle going, would you?
Its ability to decompose wood is a clever trick that challenges scientists.
Your challenge is to keep it out of your house and in the outdoor ecology where it
does its job. With a little respect for our fellow creatures, we can actually
improve our lives by learning about their designed secrets.
Slaughter of the Dissidents by Dr. Jerry Bergman will make you angry.
This compendium of Darwinist intolerance and persecution, the result of years of
research and interviews by a multi-PhD scientist who has felt that pain himself,
tells unbelievable true stories of how the secular progressives who have invaded
academia destroy careers and ruin reputations of anyone who will not tow the
Darwin party line. If you saw the movie Expelled, that was just a
foretaste of what you will find here. Some of these scientists could have
won a Nobel Prize but they were summarily ousted from the clique for espousing
non-Darwinian views. Teachers, students, journalists provide further
testimonies. Not just a gruesome collection of tragedies, this book is also
a call to action for academic freedom. Available at
where you can find additional information.
Next headline on:
The Nature of Natures Darwin 200 02/13/2009
Feb 13, 2009 As could be expected for yesterdays Darwin Day February 12, Nature devoted
almost its entire 2/12/09 issue to Charles Darwin with at least 20 Darwin-related articles.
The caption for the special edition states,
The latest edition of Nature to celebrate Darwins life and work looks at the human side of evolution. We have features on looking for Darwin in the genome, and on what evolution has done to shape human nature, while our editorial and two commentaries look at some of the problems inherent in applying biology to questions about humanity. We also have an essay on Darwins pigeons and poetry by his great great grand-daughter Ruth Padel. And in a special insight we bring together reviews by a range of experts on current hot topics in evolution.
One can safely assume that this issue in the worlds leading science journal,
written by scientists for scientists, published in Darwins homeland, represents the best
defense of evolutionary thought available today on this special occasion of Darwins Bicentennial.
Most of these articles are available online at a special page of
In order to cut to the chase without getting bogged
down in analysis of every claim in every article, lets focus on what really
matters: is Darwinism true? Is it established, beyond reasonable doubt, by evidence, that humans have
bacteria ancestors? Major on majors. The only Darwinian claim of concern is whether
all life descended from one or a few single-celled organisms (and most Darwinists claim also
from nonliving chemicals) via chance variation and unguided natural selection.
Even young-earth creationists incorporate a lot of microevolution in their views.
That means all of the following points are mere distractions:
None of that matters. Youve got to stay focused on the central issue in
any debate, and the central issue here is whether Darwinism is true. If it has
been falsified, if it is self-refuting, or has after 150 years failed to deliver on its
scientific pretensions, then who cares about these other things? The interpretation
and significance of all those things would change if Darwinism were disqualified as
science. It makes an interesting story, thats all.
- Whether Darwins beard made him look like Moses.
- Whether he was a good pigeon breeder and field naturalist.
- Whether Darwin impacted culture, politics, religion, philosophy, and science.
- Whether creationist opponents have a religious agenda.
- Whether Darwin felt God wouldnt have created life the way we find it.
- Whether intelligent design proponents lost at Dover.
- Whether microevolution and change over time occurs.
- Whether some species have gone extinct.
- Whether Darwins voyage on the Beagle makes a nice adventure story.
- Whether scientists have good imaginations.
- Whether video libraries are loaded with highly-animated documentaries teaching Darwins ideas.
- Whether Darwinians are good at bluffing that the evidence for evolution is overwhelming.
- Whether evolutionary biologists are good at promising to deliver their vaporware on back order.
- Whether it was wrong for U of Leiden to slash their evolutionary biology budget.
- Whether evolutionists publish in peer-reviewed journals and creationists
- Whether Darwin was a proper British gentleman of basically honest character.
- Whether Darwin disliked slavery.
- Whether Darwin was buried in a church and has received adulation from religious people.
- Whether a scientific consensus exists that Darwin was a secular god.
OK, so here is our rapid-fire baloney detection exercise. Picture an intelligent alien
reading these articles. He (or it) is highly educated, skilled in philosophy
and logic, and respectful of observation and experiment, but unfamiliar with Darwins
hypothesis that humans (and aliens) have bacteria ancestors through a long process of
impersonal selection of chance variations. Our alien friend finds this
proposition somewhat dubious at the outset, but being an amiable chap of sound character and discernment,
is willing to judge the evidence in support of it. What Would Alien Do? Here goes:
What we find are endless exercises in imagineering brought about by Charlies research program
that provided job security for storytellers. The few appeals to empirical support
require willing suspension of disbelief and heavy imports of Judeo-Christian values.
ended, surprisingly, with more praise for Lincoln than for Darwin. Listen carefully:
No evidence here, but lots of morality. Notable quote: The history of arguments about humanity
based on biology both Darwins biology and that of others who have come after
provides a sorry rehearsal of pretexts and apologias for everything from unthinking
prejudice to forced sterilization and genocide. Did you hear that, Eugenie?
Richard Weikart could have said that. Theres an even worse Darwin-damaging quote later (see below).
- The other strand:
Irrelevant. History of Wallace, speculation, guesswork, controversy, futureware. Notable quote: No real
silver bullet has emerged to say, This is the human uniqueness gene.
- Human nature: the remix.
The blind leading the blind; with some leaving the pack and stumbling around elsewhere. Controversy,
things that are poorly understood, speculation, disagreement over definitions;
confusion of observations with causes. Nothing solid.
- A flight of fancy:
Asks whether history would have been written differently had Charles Darwin given in to
pressure from his publisher to rewrite Origin of Species into a popular book about pigeons.
Disqualified; irrelevant speculation. Notable quote: At every page, I was
tantalized by the absence of the proofs
Whitwell Elwin, on examining a pre-publication draft of The Origin.
- Dutch U slashes evolution staff.
Who cares? Lots of people are getting laid off these days. Go get a real job.
- Debate over IQ
Only a scientism-ist would think this question belongs in science. Irrelevant to Darwin.
Sacred Cause book review: Dud. Darwins personal morality is irrelevant to his hypothesis.
- Poetry by Darwins
great-great-granddaughter: Move this to English Lit.
- Jerry Coynes
book review on freaks of nature: Freaky, but no help to Charlie; just an intramural squabble over
evo-devo vs orthodoxy. Move this to Comparative Religion.
Notable quote: In the end, the problem with these explanations is
not so much that they are wrong, or of no potential importance in evolution. Rather, it
is that Blumberg gives the impression that they are established truths rather than hypotheses
that have remained unconfirmed for three decades. Speak for yourself, Jerry.
- Segmental duplications
research: A live one? Similarities in primate genes would only convince the converted.
Circular reasoning. Appeals to convergent evolution, and other Darwin-incestuous assumptions.
- Mammoth genome:
Nothing about Darwin; more circular reasoning and futureware.
- Unnatural selection:
Whether humans are causing unnatural evolutionary changes by hunting. Arent humans claimed to be
products of natural selection, too? Technical foul; borrows Christian morality.
- Henry Gee:
Just a Gee-whiz hymn of praise to Darwin over the simplicity of his theory. Simple, or simplistic?
The Stuff Happens Law is simple and explains a lot, too (09/15/2008
- Natural selection 150 years on:
Mark Pagels history of the tweaks to Darwins theory to keep it in sync with observations.
The Gumby defense doesnt cut it in science (01/23/2009).
This article is full of Tinker Bell,
Stuff Happens, paradox, controversy, Happy happy Darwin, the power of suggestion and a theory moving
with the times. Honk if you found anything substantive here.
- Origin of arthropods:
Cambrian explosion, imaginary emergence, futureware. Notable quote:
Arthropods emerged near the base of the Cambrian. No plausible
transitions in the Precambrian. Instant complexity. Game over! OK, Darwinism disqualified;
time to celebrate across town at the other Bicentennial.
- Shubin, Tabin, Carroll on
Deep homology and the origins of evolutionary novelty. Why are we still
playing this game when Darwinism has already fouled out? For the overkill perhaps. This is all
homology arguments, Darwin praise, Tiktaalik (Shubin pushes his fish-a-pod everywhere he goes),
beetle horns (microevolution), co-option, tree-thinking, parallel evolution, and the whole
Darwinian toolkit of circular explanatory gimmicks, using evolution to prove evolution
- Beagle in a bottle:
Experimental evolution this should be good, some real, experimental science!
But its all microevolution, artificial selection, controversial kin selection and
other model-dependent traps like co-evolution, the Stuff Happens Law and weird science like
the evolvability of evolution. Nice try. Give them a courtesy clap for
at least considering five serious caveats and criticisms.
- Adaptive radiation:
Island diversity, finch beaks, the role of contingency (Stephen Jay Gould vs Simon Conway Morris),
controversy over sympatry and allopatry, extinction, circular reasoning, exceptions to every rule.
Fails to deliver on this empty promise:
A particularly powerful approach is to combine studies of ongoing natural selection
and microevolutionary change with phylogenetic analyses of evolutionary patterns in deeper,
macroevolutionary, time, an approach that in some cases can even be experimental.
(Notice that the macroevolutionary time was assumed, not demonstrated.) Macroevolution
not demonstrable in any non-question-begging way. For Science Magazines problem
with adaptive radiation, see 02/10/2009, bullet 4.
- Darwins bridge between
microevolution and macroevolution by Reznick and Ricklefs: The hyped title
fails to deliver. Question-begging generalities,
the Gumby defense (evolutionary theory keeps getting modified to fit the observations), gaps galore,
and futureware everywhere. Quote-miners can find some good ones here to embarrass Charlie worshipers!
Like, Macroevolution posed a problem to Darwin because his principle of descent
with modification predicts gradual transitions between small-scale adaptive changes
in populations and these larger-scale phenomena, yet there is little evidence for
such transitions in nature. Instead, the natural world is often characterized by gaps, or discontinuities.
By the end of the article, you realize that nothing Darwin suggested 150 years ago
about the origin of species has been confirmed! Its still vaporware on back order.
- Plant domestication:
Artificial selection is intelligent design. Irrelevant. Appeals to co-evolution,
parallel evolution and futureware would not convince a young-earth creationist who
accepts microevolution and variation anyway.
The scientific enterprise as a whole has to pay particular heed to the risk that preconceptions will creep in whenever what is being said about human nature has political or social implications.
Wow! Science is unnatural. Does that mean it is supernatural? Where did it
cross the line, if nature is all there is?
Pray tell, Mr. Darwin, how you get truth, right, moral codes, equality, charity and values from
screeching apes or mutations in a primitive cell. Morality cannot emerge from mechanism.
The editors of Nature are apparently oblivious to the fact that, by espousing
eternal truths and values, they have just falsified evolutionary naturalism.
Thanks for saving us a lot of work. It would be nice to call in them for support in the altruistic
fights against genocide, eugenics, communism and abortion.
This is particularly the case when science begins to look, as moral psychology is doing, at the mechanisms by which people make decisions about right or wrong. Here it becomes peculiarly hard and at the same time especially important to resist the naturalistic fallacy of inferring what ought to be from what is. Science may be able to tell us why some values are more easily held than others. But it cannot tell us whether taking the easy path in terms of which values we espouse is the right thing to do.
In fact, it provides us with a worked example to the contrary. The scientific endeavour itself is founded on values which natural selection would have seemed unlikely to foist on a bunch of violent, gregarious upright apes. Science tries to place no trust in authority; to some extent, society has to. Science tries to define its membership on the basis of inclusion, rather than exclusion; work on altruism suggests, worryingly, that communities more normally need an outgroup to form against. Science insists on the value of truth even when it is inconvenient or harmful; most peoples beliefs tend to reinforce their self-interest.
In this unnaturalness lies the great strength of science. It is from this it derives its power as a way of understanding the world. And this is also what allows it, at its best, to resist, not reinforce, mores and prejudices that pose as truths of nature. This demanding, artificial code is what gives engaged, passionate and all-too-fallible human beings the collective power to produce results that are dispassionate, objective and reliable. And if science stays true to that code, it can act as a stern restraint on anyone seeking to go from the study of how people evolved to conclusions about how they should be treated now to go, that is, against the values that both Darwin and Lincoln espoused.
Science can never prove humans alike in dignity, or equally deserving under the law; that is a truth that cannot be discovered. Like the ideals of malice towards none and charity towards all, it is something that must be made real through communal will.
Whew, what a disaster. OK, now that the Darwin-Party-sponsored
Darwin Party is over, help clean up the mess as we move Charlies cubicle from the Science Department
to the History Department.
Next headline on:
Whereas, on the twelfth day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine,
a proclamation was issued by the people of the world, containing, among other things,
the following, to wit:
That on the twelfth day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine,
all Darwin doubters held as captives within any scientific community or designated
part of an academic institution, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion
against the Darwin Party, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the
administration of any institution, including the hiring and firing authority thereof,
will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or
acts to expel such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for
their actual freedom of inquiry.
That on this day, hereby to be designated Academic Freedom Day, that inquiries
into the actual nature of the living things, including their design, and their
functional information, and their origins, shall henceforth be decoupled from any
and all slavish requirement of metaphysical naturalism, or any other such limits
on free and honest investigation toward following the evidence where it leads, as
befits the quest to discover and understand the sources and operations of nature.
And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the
principles of noble science, upon academic necessity, we invoke the considerate
judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.
The Spirit of A. Lincoln
Academic Freedom Day
Tip Links: Some Darwin Day essays:
Casey Luskin in the US News.
Jonathan Wells in the Washington Times.
Gailon Totheroh in the CBN News.
Chuck Colson on BreakPoint.
Guess who founded the National
Academy of Sciences?
Speaking of the National Academy of Sciences, dont waste your time reading
Francisco Ayalas Darwin-kissy article in PNAS;
its so full of worn-out talking points, mantras, refuted arguments, creationist-bashing,
elitist chutzpah and obsequious Charlie fondling, the editors should be embarrassed. Its incredible they
couldnt find something more meaty, better informed, more respectable to print.
Knows he nothing of the issues and debates? Where has he been all this time?
This drippy eulogy, in the genre of the Science News ecstatic trance,
aint worth a Lincoln penny unless it was intended as an
experiment in an echo chamber, i.e., Ayalas skull.
One can only groan over what NAS founders like Agassiz and Joseph Henry
would think of what has become of their originally Abe-honest, fair-minded, noble institution.
Darwin Losing in the Polls 02/12/2009
Feb 12, 2009 Many scientists are celebrating Darwin as the greatest scientist
in history on his Bicentennial, but public support for his theory is slipping.
A new Zogby poll shows significant erosion over the past few years over the question
of whether evolution only should be taught, and a new Gallup poll shows only a minority
believe in evolution.
The results of the Zogby poll are
explained on Evolution
News with graphs. The demographics indicate that it is not just church-goers
who support academic freedom to teach the strengths and weaknesses of
evolutionary theory; a large majority of those calling themselves liberals,
college grads and Democrats also responded affirmative to the question,
Would you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree
that teachers and students should have the academic freedom to discuss both the
strengths and weaknesses of evolution as a scientific theory? Young
adults were among the strongest in agreement.
In another article, Evolution
News pointed out that the Zogby poll shows support for teaching strengths and
weaknesses of evolution has risen 9 percentage points since a similar poll
in 2006. They said that even after the Dover trial, the public remains unconvinced
that the scientific debate over Darwin is over. Indeed, support for the
Darwinists position has dropped significantly while support for teaching the
controversy over evolution has risen. The original Zogby report has been
reprinted on the Discovery
News commented on Richard Dawkinss reaction to the poll. Dawkins
called it a stupid poll because it presumes there is scientific
evidence against evolution. Dawkins does not accept that premise.
He said the Discovery Institute ought to go into the lab and publish such evidence
if it is out there. But as
Anika Smith pointed out, whenever Darwin doubters do that, the evolutionists
cover it up or prevent them from publishing it in the first place.
Fox News reported
on a separate poll by Gallup that revealed, Fewer Than 4 in 10 Believe in Evolution.
The percentages show that this feeling is not limited to the religious; 24% of those
described as weekly church attenders said they believe in the theory of evolution,
while 39% of all respondents believe it. See also the British poll reported last week
So on the eve of the Darwin Bicentennial, there is still only a small minority in the
public that believe in Darwins theory as the explanation for life. 36%
responded that they dont have an opinion one way or the other.
Eugenie Scott, Ken Miller, Richard Dawkins, William
Provine and the other Darwin bulldogs need to face up to the fact that 150 years
of indoctrination has failed to convince the public of evolutionary naturalism.
They are an elitist minority. What gives them the right to dictate to the
world what the public shall hear? Is it philosophy of science? No; one
cannot presume their definition of science rules, when no one has ever come
up with a satisfactory definition of science. Is it
the evidence? No; as we document day after day, week after week, month after
month, the evidence must be twisted or put off into the future to support the
neo-Darwinist position. Is it religion vs science? No; Darwinism is
just as religious as theism; it is an all-encompassing world view that goes far
beyond observation. Is it naturalism vs supernaturalism? No; the
definitions of nature and natural are as slippery as a greased eel.
Is it the privileged status of scientific institutions?
No; some of the best science has been done outside the institutions and by
bucking the consensus.
Surely one needs to be well-trained in mathematical physics to speak credibly on
quantum mechanics or nuclear fusion, but Darwinism is not that hard to understand:
spontaneous variation (which everyone can see), and survival of the fittest (which is as
intuitively obvious as Boys will be boys). When they say this
combination of intuitively-obvious statements produced giraffes from bacteria,
that is not intuitively obvious. They know you cannot get from here
to there, PhD or not.
Teachers: Read our response to an assertion by the SETI Institutes
Director of Education that evolution is so obvious, we must enforce the No Darwin Left Behind Act.
See the 02/11/2005 commentary for a free 8-point
In spite of the public demand for academic freedom, the Darwin elitists
continue their biased propaganda.
Darwin 200 website of Londons
Natural History Museum, and the
Nature Darwin 200
celebrations, for instance, contain only gushy praise for the Bearded Buddha written
by Darwin Party operatives, without a hint of dissent.
They completely ignore the criticisms of Darwins ideas coming from many directions (even
some from within the camp, like the 01/28/2009
and 01/22/2009 entries show).
If scientists want to get public support for the DODO policy
(Darwin-only, Darwin-only), they must deal honestly with the strengths and weaknesses of
the theory in open debate. They must tear down the Berlin Wall (as explained
in Expelled) that protects one side from criticism, imprisons the citizenry
and punishes those trying to escape. They must face the strong
critiques from intelligent design, the fossil record, the fine-tuning of the universe, epistemology, the
logical fallacies in philosophical naturalism, the philosophical critiques of
methodological naturalism, and much more. They cannot just go to a judge in
Pennsylvania for a local ruling pushed by the ACLU, and announce the debate is over.
They must stop the persecution and expulsion of well-reasoned alternative viewpoints.
They must stop the Stalinesque indoctrination in the schools.
They must own up to the bitter implications of evolutionary naturalism on society
(01/15/2009) and explain why altruistic
humans should tolerate destructive ideas.
They cannot act like a religious tribunal. Science is all about debate,
open discussion, and thinking outside the box. As long as the Darwin-only
dictators arrogate to themselves to sole right to speak on such topics, they are
going to continue to erode their support.
The public sees them for what they are: elitist totalitarians who
want to dictate not only what you can say, but what you can think.
The ivory-tower Darwin bulldogs need a concentrated and sustained dose of humility.
Lets celebrate Lincoln, who emancipated slaves, and Darwin, who understood
that facts could be adduced for the opposite conclusions to his viewpoint, and
therefore promoted balanced debate on both sides of each question (see quote above).
To the Darwinists we ask, why dont you celebrate Darwin Day by following
his advice? What could possibly go wrong if we all had that spirit?
Next headline on:
Politics and Ethics
Darwins Wrong Turn in Argentina 02/12/2009
Feb 12, 2009 When the Beagle was sailing the coast of Argentina in
1834, it stopped at the mouth of the Santa Cruz River. 25-year-old Charles Darwin,
who had been reading Lyells Principles of Geology, got out and explored
the area on foot as the crew made camp on the cliffs. Darwin was impressed by
the six-mile-wide canyon with its comparatively small river. He was led
from his reading of Lyell to assume that this was another example of the cumulative
power of small processes to produce big changes over vast periods of time.
Geologist Steven Austin recently visited Camp Darwin at the Santa Cruz canyon.
He examined the basalt cliffs and cobbles with a geologists eyes and came
to a quite different interpretation.
What I saw at Camp Darwin utterly shocked me, he said.
I saw abundant evidence for a colossal flood that must have rapidly performed
significant erosion in the valley. His results can be found at
ICR, where he explains that the
nature of the cliffs, the basalt being on one side and not the other, and the
large rounded boulders on top of the cliff (some as big as 15 feet in diameter), and
other evidences speak clearly of catastrophism, not uniformitarianism.
This incorrect assumption, he believes, was young Darwins first
wrong turn that led him to view the world evolving through slow, gradual accumulations
of small changes. Dr. Austin has posted a 10-minute video on
explaining his findings, with footage shot on location where he points to evidences
you can see for yourself.
This is a good example of how the glasses through
which you view the world can color everything. Darwin read the world with
his Lyell glasses on. Because those glasses blocked certain wavelengths,
he failed to see evidence that was right in front of his nose. Watch this
short video and spread the link to friends today on the Darwin Bicentennial.
Hurry! Only one more shopping day till the Darwin Bicentennial!
See our activity brainstormer after the
02/13/2008 entry, and the shopping list from
contain whimsical ideas for games like Malthus Food Fight and
Pin the Feather on the Dinosaur,
sure to keep your guests entertained. Be sure to photocopy enough
prints of the Evolution Songbook for each and
every carbon unit.
Next headline on:
Can You Have Evolution Without Darwin? 02/11/2009
Feb 11, 2009 It might seem crass to diminish the reputation of a historical
figure right before his Bicentennial, but its happening. There are some who are trying to chuck
Darwin. In the New
York Times, Carl Safina shocked readers with his title,
Darwinism Must Die So That Evolution May Live.
Safina was appalled at the religious devotion some people have to Charles
Darwin. We dont call physics Newtonism, and we dont call astronomy
Copernicanism, he said. In the same way, we need to ditch the term Darwinism
and move attention to the modern theory of evolution. The focus on Darwin is
actually hurting the cause of promoting evolutionary theory, he asserted: our understanding
of how life works since Darwin wont swim in the public pool of ideas until
we kill the cult of Darwinism. Only when we fully acknowledge the subsequent
century and a half of value added can we really appreciate both Darwins genius
and the fact that evolution is lifes driving force, with or without Darwin.
Even pro-Darwinist Robert Roy Britt
on Live Science
joined in the campaign.
The terms Darwinian evolution and Darwinism used
frequently by scientists, teachers and the media are misleading, he said.
Scientists have failed to let Darwin die, even as the theory he birthed grew up,
some scientists now say. With a play on words, Britt continued: Evolutionary
biology has evolved greatly since Darwin first generated the controversy with
the 1859 publication of On the Origin of Species, and some think its
time to divorce his name from the theorys name. He referred to
Carl Safinas article in the New York Times, but also got support from
Eugenie Scott and Glenn Branch of the NCSE, who also favor dropping the
term Darwinism as a synonym for evolutionary biology. They complain that the word Darwinism
fails to convey the full panoply of modern evolutionary biology accurately,
and it fosters the inaccurate perception that the field stagnated for 150 years
after Darwins day. Scott and Branch always find ways to criticize the
tactics of their enemies, the creationists: Compounding the problem of Darwinism is the
hijacking of the term by creationists to portray evolution as a dangerous
ideology an ism that has no place in the science
classroom, they said, conveniently ignoring the title and thesis of atheist Daniel Dennetts
book, Darwins Dangerous Idea and Richard Dawkinss honest admission on
camera in the movie Expelled that Darwinism tends to produce atheism which is
the worst possible thing to say for Darwin defenders like Eugenie Scott.
John Hawks is upset at the upsetters. On his
Weblog, adorned by artwork of a thoughtful-looking Neanderthal, he took offense
at Safinas calling Darwinism a cult. Does this kind of statement
remotely help the cause of evolutionary biology, in any way? he asked
(emphasis his). He agreed that evolutionary biology has moved on since Darwin,
but called it unseemly to kill the dead man. The
critics have obviously not read Darwin, he claimed. Darwin provided a wealth
of detail that continues to guide research today. Darwin went out on a limb
and proposed tests that could falsify his ideas. Thats good enough to
preserve his name and reputation, Hawks ended: If someone wants [sic]
to call herself a Darwinist, or a neo-Darwinist, or even a crypto-Darwinist, well,
thats just fine by me. Robin Lloyd on
reminds us that the guy was only mortal and had his quirks.
Meanwhile, the religious implications of Darwinism have not escaped
the notice of atheists behind a recent billboard campaign to promote their views.
Daily reported on the ads by Freedom From Belief Foundation, such as the stained-glass-decor
billboard in West Hollywood, adorned with Charles Darwins portrait, proclaiming,
Praise Darwin: Evolve Beyond Belief.
Views printed an article by the FFBF about another copy of this billboard posted
in Ohio. Local activist David Russell explained why the iconic image of Darwin
was central to their atheist campaign: Darwin not only researched extensively
how life evolved through succession, but his work helped shape the modern interpretation
of evolutionary theory, Russell said. He almost single-handedly
took the world from blind faith of unproven dogma to an enduring theory that has
withstood 150 years of scrutiny. Other atheists submitted
their ideas for slogans appropriate for Darwin Day,
like Honk if youre evolving, Dont start evolution
without me, and Nonbeliefthe natural selection.
The battle of the billboards had begun.
Ray Comforts Christian ministry raised funds to put a billboard near the
Los Angeles airport defining an atheist as Someone who believes that nothing
made everything a scientific impossibility. The billboard,
which advertises a new website Pull the Plug
on Atheism, also displays Darwins portrait. It seems the Darwin beard
has become an icon of a world view that goes far beyond scientific quibbles within biology.
As such, its not likely the growth of atheism will get shaved off anytime soon.
This is hilarious. Our shaming of the
Darwin Party and their Blunderful Wizard of Flaws (09/05/2008)
is working! The Darwin Castle is in disarray about what to do
with their idol during the uprising (02/01/2007).
The priests still adore Charlie and worship him, but they
cant agree on whether to display the idol or hide it because of bad P.R.
Science Special Issue on Darwin: Is Ignorance Evidence? 02/09/2009
Eugenie and Glenn, stop blaming the creationists for this.
Darwin worship is rampant throughout the Darwin camp. Dont you remember
how your former employee Kevin Padian defended Darwin Day last year? (see
Darwin represents the standard, the leader, the sacred cause of secular
unintelligent design. It started with Darwin himself.
Oh, he was clever at deflecting it with false humility, but Janet Browne described it
in detail in her excellent biography Charles Darwin: The Power of Place (Princeton, 2002;
and the footnotes from 02/11/2006).
She exposed how Darwin manipulated the worshipers who made pilgrimages to Down House to
get them to feel the numinous awe of his greatness. Darwin would pretend to be ill, or to need to get back to his studies,
accentuating to the visitors how precious was their brief opportunity to kiss his
feet. Emma and the whole family played along with the game. It was disgusting
After his death, the Four Musketeers (01/06/2004)
and other Darwin Party operatives manipulated politicians to inter
Darwins remains in Westminster Abbey, a religious building.
His august statue stands like a monumental shrine in the British Natural History Museum,
and the Pope Darwin call to worship is making the rounds of museums in America.
It is undeniable, also, that Darwin and his followers have continued to use theological
arguments for their viewpoint i.e., the God wouldnt have done it
this way defense, the either-or ploy,
God could not have designed the shape of my nose, so
everything must be the result of chance, or,
since it seems implausible that God would have created all these species
separately, therefore humans have bacteria ancestors. They even wear
little WWDD (What Would Darwin Do?) pins (e.g., WWDD article on
Live Science, and
What would Darwin think of global warming?, found on Science Daily).
There has been no shortage of quotes over 150 years exalting and sanctifying Darwin as the
Father of a secular religion. Face it; Darwinism is a cult. His visage
haunts biology. Hes still Big Daddy to the current crop of cultists
(see 07/18/2006). He has
his own guardians of the flame
should they go unemployed?
What other evolutionary biologist could possibly take Charlies place?
William or Julian Huxley? Bill Hamilton? J.B.S. Haldane? John Maynard Smith? Ha!
Read what Steve Jones thought about these toffs, misanthropes and communists
(09/02/2004). Charlie was the only one
decent enough to present at least a facade of likability.
Evolution without Darwin would
be like Buddhism without Buddha. The Buddha didnt want his name
attached to a religion, either, but how could Buddhism function without the
shrines? Where would the disciples light their incense and make their
sacrifices? What face could replace Darwin to grace the stained-glass billboards
of the atheists? Marx? Stalin? Dawkins? William Provine? P.Z. Myers? Eugenie, your own politicos have
done this. Theyve marketed Charlies special brand of hallucinogenic
incense, and the faithful would experience severe withdrawal without it. Only Charlies blend
provides the psychedelic trip of feeling like an intellectually fool-filled atheist.
They depend on the incense to get sufficiently incensed at the creationists.
An evolutionary biology without Charlies Story-Inducing Smoke would require facing reality.
It wouldnt be possible to dream of observed design as only apparent design any other way.
When the Darwin idol eventually gets dismantled, tree and all (01/22/2009),
storytelling will be disqualified (see recent foul on
and openness and honesty will again be required in science (02/09/2009).
Its OK to grant Charlie a moment of silence
(see YouTube; explanation on
Then, please, give the poor old man
a final rest by preserving his legacy honorably with his own advice,
(spoken in an apparent moment of sobriety),
a fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the
facts and arguments on both sides of each question.
Celebrate Darwin Day the proper way: as Academic Freedom Day.
Abe Lincoln, also enjoying a Bicentennial, would be glad to know that intellectual
slavery has been vanquished, that academia is enjoying a new birth of freedom, and that science of
the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolution
Feb 10, 2009 Its fair to confess that scientists cannot be expected to know
everything. Often, though, ignorance is presented as evidence that a paradigm
needs to continue. The idea is that by following the consensus paradigm,
scientists can hope to one day fill in the blanks in our knowledge. How long should this
practice continue with a theory as important as Darwinism, whose central claim for 150 years has been
that all living organisms have descended from a common ancestor by an unguided process
of natural selection? If ignorance of that process is
widespread and deep, is it time to think outside the box?
Maybe some recent
examples can refine thinking on this question. Science celebrated
Darwins birthday with some Review articles on issues in speciation.
Each author is convinced of evolution. None of them were trying to cast doubt
on Darwins theory. But how important are the following instances of
ignorance they outlined?
The remaining articles and book reviews in the special issue of Science on
speciation, in honor of Darwin, also refer to controversies, debates, questions, and calls for further
research. The only exception was
Massimo Pigliuccis review of Jerry Coynes Why Evolution Is True
(Viking, 2009). Pigliuccis title bluffs proudly: The Overwhelming
Evidence.7 Pigliuccis homage to Darwin
was matched by his disdain for creationists and other aspects of American
anti-intellectualism. For example, he scoffed, there is no dearth of
obtuse minds when it comes to creationism. Scientific evidence, Pigliucci
argued, is the domain of evolutionary biologists. The problem with the
creation-evolution issue, however, is that it is not about the evidence.
The clash is not a scientific debate, it is a social controversy.
His certainty over evolution, notwithstanding, did have some chinks:
- Kingdom ignorance: Five scientists from London and Harvard examined
the Bacterial Species Challenge: Making Sense of Genetic and Ecological Diversity.1
Heres how they contextualized their challenge:
The Bacteria and Archaea are the most genetically diverse superkingdoms of life, and techniques for exploring that diversity are only just becoming widespread. Taxonomists classify these organisms into species in much the same way as they classify eukaryotes, but differences in their biologyincluding horizontal gene transfer between distantly related taxa and variable rates of homologous recombinationmean that we still do not understand what a bacterial species is. This is not merely a semantic question; evolutionary theory should be able to explain why species exist at all levels of the tree of life, and we need to be able to define species for practical applications in industry, agriculture, and medicine. Recent studies have emphasized the need to combine genetic diversity and distinct ecology in an attempt to define species in a coherent and convincing fashion. The resulting data may help to discriminate among the many theories of prokaryotic species that have been produced to date.
They discussed several approaches to the problem, but none was unproblematic.
This indicates that for microbes, which comprise the vast majority of organisms on
Earth, and have occupied the majority of the evolutionary timeline, scientists do
not even know what constitutes a species let alone how to describe the
origin of species.
The species debate in microbiology is not only about a human desire to catalog bacterial diversity in a consistent manner, but is also a fundamental argument because of what it reveals about our ignorance of how evolutionary forces form, shape, and extinguish bacterial genetic lineages, of the mechanisms of differentiation between subpopulations sharing common descent, and of the process of adaptation to new niches and changing environments.
- Selection ignorance: Elisabeth Pennisis essay had a revealing
title: Evolutionary Biology: Agreeing to Disagree.2
Natural selection is the keystone of Darwins hypothesis, but on what does it
act the individual, or the group? or the gene? Pennisi investigated
the ongoing controversy about kin selection, the idea that selection operates on
family groups. This idea has received mixed
acceptance by other Darwinians who favor individual selection (see, for
instance, the 09/30/2007,
and J.B.S. Haldane expounded the idea of kin selection in the 1960s to explain social behavior in
insects. How could nature select drones that cannot pass on their genes?
It must act at the group level, they argued. Darwin himself was flummoxed
by the phenomenon of social insects, Pennisi said, and worried that this special
difficulty might topple his theory. For a solution, he had suggested that selection
might operate on families.
After Hamiltons work in the 1960s, kin selection became the traditional
explanation for eusociality in insects. Edward O. Wilson was an advocate for the idea
in the 1970s but now feels it is ineffective. The theory that traditionalists
use leads them anywhere they want to go, he complained. To make [a theory]
really stand [up], you have to show that thats the only result that can come
from your theory, and they havent done that. Such comments have made
kin selectionists very unhappy. The situation remains at a standoff. Pennisi
described it as a rift between evolutionary biologists, with both sides agreeing to disagree.
- Queens and jesters: How about the pace of evolution? Do biologists
agree about that? Michael J. Benton described two ways of viewing evolution
in his essay.3 The Red Queen model portrays
lots of change occurring under the hood, but little outward sign of progress like
the Alice in Wonderland character who had to keep running just to stay in one place
(see 09/07/2006 and 05/16/2004).
The Court Jester model says that evolution, speciation, and extinction
rarely happen except in response to unpredictable changes in the physical environment,
recalling the capricious behavior of the licensed fool of Medieval times.
Traditionally, he said, biologists have tended to think in a Red Queen, Darwinian,
intrinsic, biotic factors way, and geologists in a Court Jester, extrinsic, physical factors way.
Benton portrayed the relative importance of these models as an unresolved debate that
will require further research. In the future, the identification
of diversification shifts across numerous taxa may provide evidence for the
relative importance of the Red Queen and Court Jester worldviews, he said.
If the majority of diversification shifts are coordinated, and associated with
particular climatic, tectonic, and geographic drivers, then the Court Jester model
of macroevolution would prevail.... If, on the other hand, the majority of diversification
shifts are unique to particular clades, and not coordinated temporally with others,
then the Red Queen worldview might be considered. Its surprising to
think that such a basic question remains unresolved; the options seem mutually exclusive.
It is evident there is no clear choice between these worldviews after so many
decades of evolutionary theorizing and evidence-hunting. Benton hoped for a compromise:
The realization that the Red Queen and Court
Jester models may be scale-dependent, and that evolution may be pluralistic, opens
opportunities for dialog. It is not clear just how two models based on capricious
mechanisms might provide a stronger theory.
Earlier, Benton had opened with, A key question about the origin of modern
biodiversity is how todays 10 million species arose from a single ultimate
species of microbial life 3500 million years ago (Ma). Wasnt that
the very question Charles Darwin had answered?
- Maladaptive radiation: Another suggestive title adorned an essay
by Gavrilets and Losos: Adaptive Radiation: Contrasting Theory with Data.4
Adaptive radiation refers to situations where a founder population invades a new
habitat, and the descendents radiate into a plethora of diverse species. Adaptive
radiation is often claimed as the explanation for biodiversity in a region, but how solid is the evolutionary
theory behind it? There are good cases, and there are poor
cases, the authors said, but, In almost all cases, more data are needed.
Future progress in our understanding of adaptive radiation will be most successful
if theoretical and empirical approaches are integrated, as has happened in other
areas of evolutionary biology. Presumably they were not referring to the
success of the other three stories (above).
Gavrilets and Losos listed 10 patterns of adaptive radiation, then
offered some general conclusions. Remarkably, all three conclusions bemoaned
the lack of evidence and the need for further study: e.g., The number of adaptive
radiations that have been extensively studied from the many different perspectives
relevant to our discussions is surprisingly small. More detailed studies,
integrating across a variety of approaches and disciplines, is needed to build
a reservoir of case studies from which generalizations can be drawn.
They retold the story of Darwins surprise at the diversity of Galapagos animals.
Since the voyage of the Beagle, they said, adaptive
radiation has astonished scientists and the public alike for 150 years.
But how exactly radiation occurs, and how it differs among taxa and in different
settings, as well as why some lineages radiate and others do not, are still unclear,
they ended. Most likely this is because there is no single answer:
Lineages vary in manifold ways, various evolutionary factors act simultaneously,
similar evolutionary outcomes can be achieved via alternative paths,
and the contingencies of place and time play a large role in guiding
the evolutionary process. And yet contingency and guidance seem
poles apart. What Darwin had tried to do was explain the phenomena of life
with reference to laws of nature, not contingencies. 150 years
later, these authors show, biologists seem to have made little progress.
- Speciation challenges: Another paper in the Science special issue
on Speciation dealt with Evidence for Ecological Speciation and Its Alternative,
by Dolph Schluter.5 His opening paragraph
will suffice to show there is lack of certainty in this subject, too:
Natural selection commonly drives the origin of species, as Darwin initially claimed. Mechanisms of speciation by selection fall into two broad categories: ecological and mutation-order. Under ecological speciation, divergence is driven by divergent natural selection between environments, whereas under mutation-order speciation, divergence occurs when different mutations arise and are fixed in separate populations adapting to similar selection pressures. Tests of parallel evolution of reproductive isolation, trait-based assortative mating, and reproductive isolation by active selection have demonstrated that ecological speciation is a common means by which new species arise. Evidence for mutation-order speciation by natural selection is more limited and has been best documented by instances of reproductive isolation resulting from intragenomic conflict. However, we still have not identified all aspects of selection, and identifying the underlying genes for reproductive isolation remains challenging.
Schluter did not seem to notice that his statements assume evolution to demonstrate evolution.
He used a bandwagon argument for support: It took evolutionary biologists nearly 150 years,
but at last we can agree with Darwin that the origin of species, that mystery of mysteries,
really does occur by means of natural selection. If that is true,
the next question seems puzzling: The main question today is how does selection lead to speciation?
The essay explored progress on the species question since Darwin. For one thing, the whole concept
of species has changed, altering what biologists mean by speciation in the first place.
The nature and role of natural selection has been revised several times.
There are still holes in the theory: At this point, the most glaring deficiency
is our knowledge of the impact of selection on genes. That seems a pretty
major deficiency. Again, later, he reiterated this point: The most obvious
shortcoming of our current understanding of speciation is that the threads connecting
genes and selection are still few. We have many cases of ecological selection
generating reproductive isolation with little knowledge of the genetic changes that allow it.
What if, as in the 01/28/2009 entry,
natural selection theory itself is being called into question? What would
that end of the thread hold onto?
Nevertheless, Schluter beamed over the prospect that Darwin, if he
were alive today, would be pleased. He would find the discoveries made
in the 150 years since the greatest book ever written (not the Bible,
obviously) staggering. He continued, Mostly, I expect that
he would be chuffed by mounting evidence for the role of natural selection on phenotypic
traits in the origin of species. This is really what On the Origin of Species
was all about. Problems? Gaps? No worries. Theres
plenty of time. But we hardly have time to complain. So many new model
systems for speciation are being developed that the filling of major gaps
is imminent, he crowed. By the time we reach the bicentennial of
the greatest book ever written, I expect that we will have that much more to celebrate.
When knowledge is put in future tense, it suggest that ignorance is in the present tense.
Ignorance seems hardly a cause for celebration this year.
- Predictable evolution? Another paper in the special issue put most
of the knowledge in the future. David L. Stern and Virginie Orgogozo asked,
Is Genetic Evolution Predictable?6
They discussed the idea that mutations cluster around certain hot-spot genes,
making it somewhat predictable, in theory, which way the genome will go. That remains to
be determined, though, because further understanding of this predictability
requires incorporation of the specific functions and characteristics
of genes into evolutionary theory. Genes might change, in other words,
with no apparent change to the creature or its fitness.
In the conclusion, they cast some doubt on the thesis. Seeming patterns may
be noise, or due to artificial selection by scientists.
These emerging patterns in the distribution of mutations causing phenotypic
diversity derive, however, from a limited set of data culled from the published literature.
It is possible, they said further, that these patterns reflect biases
in the way scientists have searched for evolutionarily relevant mutations.
Resolution of the question will require more research.
Coyne subscribes to one species concept (based on reproductive isolation) and one
chief mode of speciation, allopatry. He and I disagree on this and on other
aspects of current evolutionary theory, but this is not the place to entertain technical
arguments at the cutting edge of the field. Still, readers of Coynes book
will get a fairly conservative version of evolutionary theory, with occasional
hints about the many heated discussions that characterize any live science and
that eventually fuel its progress toward a better understanding of the natural world.
Whether science is progressive or not is a big debate among philosophers and historians
of science. Nevertheless, Pigliucci called philosophy into his court when pointing
out a criticism of one branch of evolutionary theory he shares with Coyne:
Coyne admits that the issue goes far beyond science, into philosophy and questions of meaning and morality. Which is why philosophers have been very helpful in this arena during the past several years. It is a matter of explaining to the public not just the power but the limits of science. Coyne is critical, for instance, of much evolutionary psychology and the facile just-so stories that have abounded of late to explain all sorts of human behaviors, from rape to depression. Im with him on this. The point is not that aspects of human behavior did not evolve by natural selection, but rather that the usually high standards of behavioral genetics are simply not met by most, though not all, the evolutionary psychology literature.
Perhaps the reader can find those high standards in the six papers listed above.
1. Fraser, Alm, Polz, Spratt and Hanage, Bacterial Species Challenge: Making Sense of Genetic and Ecological Diversity,
6 February 2009: Vol. 323. no. 5915, pp. 741-746, DOI: 10.1126/science.1159388.
2. Elisabeth Pennisi, Evolutionary Biology: Agreeing to Disagree,
6 February 2009: Vol. 323. no. 5915, pp. 706-708, DOI: 10.1126/science.323.5915.706.
3. Michael J. Benton, The Red Queen and the Court Jester: Species Diversity and the Role of Biotic and Abiotic Factors Through Time,
6 February 2009: Vol. 323. no. 5915, pp. 728-732, DOI: 10.1126/science.1157719.
4. Sergey Gavrilets and Jonathan B. Losos, Adaptive Radiation: Contrasting Theory with Data,
6 February 2009: Vol. 323. no. 5915, pp. 732-737, DOI: 10.1126/science.1157966.
5. Dolph Schluter, Evidence for Ecological Speciation and Its Alternative,
6 February 2009: Vol. 323. no. 5915, pp. 737-741, DOI: 10.1126/science.1160006.
6. David L. Stern and Virginie Orgogozo, Is Genetic Evolution Predictable?,
6 February 2009: Vol. 323. no. 5915, pp. 746-751, DOI: 10.1126/science.1158997.
7. Massimo Pigliucci, The Overwhelming Evidence,
6 February 2009: Vol. 323. no. 5915, pp. 716-717, DOI: 10.1126/science.1168718.
Coyne and Pigliucci tell us (again) that there is
such overwhelming evidence for evolution. OK, put up or shut up. They
dont know what a species is, they dont know what the target of selection
is, they dont know if natural selection is a queen or a jester,
they dont know what adaptive radiation is, they dont know how speciation
operates (the main reason for Darwins little storybook), and they cant
connect mutations to any actual benefit to an organism. Other than those
little minor matters, evolution is so supported by such mountains of evidence that
only a fool with an agenda could dare question it.
How the Darwinists strategized in 2006 to improve Darwins image: it was all
about strategy, not evidence (02/10/2006).
Colin Patterson of the British Natural History Museum once posed a
question to his fellow evolutionary biologists: Can you tell me anything about
evolution, any one thing that is true? He got a surprised silence.
He told them, I had been working on this stuff for twenty years, and there was
not one thing I knew about it (see ARN).
Notice he asked if they knew anything something they knew was
true not what they thought about it, what they guessed about it, what stories
they could tell about it. Would that more evolutionary biologists would ask
that question. All we see in paper after paper is competing guesses, modified
models, controversies, debates, changing definitions, and the inevitable,
future research should be able to shed light on this question.
The articles above show that basic, fundamental tenets of Darwinism are no more
nearer solution than they were to Darwin. What has increased is not their
knowledge, but the sophistication of their ignorance. Then Pigliucci and
Coyne pompously blast away about the overwhelming evidence for evolution
and how stupid the creationists are. This is not good salesmanship.
Are you a good shopper? Of course you are. Youve
learned to check the specs, not the hype. When a salesman comes to you
shouting, Acme Widgets are superior to all the other garbage out there,
and the testimonials are so globally unanimous, that only a complete idiot would
even look at the competitors product, which is produced by evil, wicked,
stupid ignoramuses who only want to make a buck out of your gullibility.
You know that you have to blow off the bluff of the
chuff (chuff, n.: a boorish, proud, insensitive fellow) and look at what the
product can do.
Evolutionists dare not allow you to do that with their product because the
competitor will always win hands down. Thats why they must have a
monopoly in marketing. The special effects in the evolutionary ads require rigging
and selective illumination to highlight the glow and keep other things in the dark.
When you ask to see the goods, you get vaporware on back order.
Evolutionary biology today is a sad case of what happens with
protectionism and totalitarianism in the marketplace of ideas. To get the
good stuff you have to go to the black market, which is really the white market
when the black light is turned off, the doors are opened and the sun shines in.
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolutionary Theory
Evolutionists Hunger for Morality 02/09/2009
Feb 09, 2009 Nature is completely sold over to naturalistic evolution,
yet cannot escape the question of morality. Science depends on morality, but
it is not clear in their statements that they acknowledge any universal moral standard.
Christian standards of honesty seem to be assumed. But if everything in biology (including
human behavior) emerged by natural selection, then so did morality. Can one
derive honesty, trust, or responsibility by an unguided natural process?
Incidentally, yesterday was Darwin Sunday at some churches.
Robert Roy Britt on MSNBC News
reported on the growing number of liberal churches honoring Darwin and apologizing
for misunderstanding his ideas (see 02/11/2006). Britt
did mention opposing views, like those of the Discovery Institute and the book
by John West, Darwin Day in America.
- Responsibility index: Nature thought it would be good to
devise a responsibility index for emerging nations who want to join
the science club.1 To reduce fraud, plagiarism and
fabrication of data, the Editorial suggested better investigation, openness about
violations, avoidance of discrimination, and other moral motions.
- History of scientific morality: In the same issue of Nature,2
Jerome Ravetz reviewed a new book by Steven Shapin, The Scientific Life: A Moral
History of a Late Modern Vocation (U of Chicago, 2008). Both author and
reviewer had things to say about the honesty of scientists past and present.
Science is supposed to be the embodiment of objectivity, Ravetz said.
In The Scientific Life, historian Steven Shapin asks if contemporary
high-tech science is a moral enterprise. Does objectivity render scientific
achievement less personal than that in the humanities, and does the scientist
possess any special moral virtue? Shapins thesis is that civility
between scientists is the key. Ravetz pointed out that there have been some
glaring shortcomings of that ideal. Using the world of finance as a comparison,
he had a final reflection: Had Shapin chosen to study the mathematicians who
are employed in the world of finance, he might well have found similar patterns of
civilized interaction and similar evidence of individual moral virtues,
he said. Yet we now know that the collective endeavour of these other
very nice entrepreneurial scientists has resulted in the creation of a mountain of
toxic fake securities. This sobering thought seemed calculated
to cast doubt on the value of civility alone to produce a moral fellowship.
- Robotic morality: Another interesting book review, in the same issue
of Nature,3 discussed whether robots could have
morality. Peter Danielson reviewed Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong
by Wallach and Allen (Oxford, 2008). He believes it is premature to know whether
robots will ever be able to make autonomous moral decisions. Hal, the rogue computer
in 2001: A Space Odyssey comes to mind. He also considered it an open
question whether robot morality should be modeled on human morality. In the meantime,
best subject our robots to human oversight. Words like values, trust and
moral agents peppered the review, but it seemed both the authors and the
reviewer were begging the question of what constitutes a moral standard. Danielson
spoke of functional morality, but even that phrase presupposes a function that
is good in some moral sense; otherwise, one could consider Nazi morality functional.
- Spencers legacy: One other book review in Nature4
highlighted the problem of deriving morality from evolutionary theory. Andrew Read
reviewed Banquet at Delmonicos: Great Minds, the Gilded Age, and the Triumph of Evolution in America
by Barry Werth (Random House, 2009). Werths book covers the elites
battle for ideas during the turbulent years of the 1870s and 1880s, climaxing
in an eponymous banquet at a Manhattan restaurant shortly after Darwins
death, attended by 200 of the most powerful men in the United States, and celebrated
[Herbert] Spencer at the end of what was to be his last US trip. Thats
a tale for the interested reader. What concerns morality and evolution was
stated here by the reviewer:
The audience found a new idea only in John Fiskes speech: he asserted that humans
acquired a sense of morality not from God, but from natural selection. The only
speech that might resonate today was Spencers own. Worried about the
countrys well-being and health, he railed against the national work
ethic, arguing that Americans should spend less time striving for a future
good, and more time enjoying what the passing day had to offer. The idea
baffled his audience and was poorly received.
Early evolutionists were giving a conflicting moral standard, it seems. Andrew
Read summed up that we moderns have no such excuse, because we understand evolution
much better now:
We have yet to fully comprehend the consequences of what Darwin did to humanitys
view of itself. Werths picture of what his great minds of the gilded
age were thinking, of how far they tried to stretch Darwinian insights, and
of the personal and moral lessons they drew, makes a forceful argument that the causes
of biological diversity and humankinds place within it really
matter. The fact that many of these thinkers conclusions were based
on such a poor understanding of evolution also shows why everyone deserves proper
schooling in evolutionary biology. The Victorians had the crippling disadvantage
that they did not understand inheritance or units of selection. Today,
humanity has no such excuse.
1. Editorial, A responsibility index,
457, 512 (29 January 2009) | doi:10.1038/457512a.
2. Jerome Ravetz, Morals and manners in modern science,
457, 662-663 (5 February 2009) | doi:10.1038/457662a.
3. Peter Danielson, Can robots have a conscience?,
457, 540 (29 January 2009) | doi:10.1038/457540a.
4. Andrew F. Read, Natural selection and the nation,
457, 663-664 (5 February 2009) | doi:10.1038/457663a.
Evolutionists want it but cant get it.
They dont have the natural resources for morality. It must
be imported. An embargo of Christian morality would make them starve.
Expanding Web: CEH welcomes the services of a volunteer translating some of our articles into
Hungarian! See 6nap.com and spread the
They are like bad boys sneaking into the Christian smorgasbord.
While nobody is looking, they come in and pretend they belong. Ill
have some responsibility, and oh... that honesty looks delicious. Give me some
of that truth for dessert. They slurp up all these healthy values with
bad manners, and without a dime in their pockets.
Letting them get away with this only perpetuates their delinquency.
Tough love requires a gentle but firm manager looking them straight in the eye and
demanding, Sorry, boys, you cannot come in and enjoy the banquet without
the price. That would be immoral, now, wouldnt it?
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolutionary Theory
Politics and Ethics
Panspermia Discounted: Life Had to Start Here 02/08/2009
Feb 08, 2009 Some prominent biologists have pointed to a back door on the
stage of lifes origin. They have argued that even if the probability for the
first cell was unlikely on Earth, life could have been brought here from space.
Francis Crick promoted this view; so did Fred Hoyle. Most recently, even the
ardent atheist Darwin promoter Richard Dawkins allowed room for this view.
In the movie Expelled, he told a surprised Ben Stein that biologists might
be able to detect the presence of intelligent design in Earth-based life as a sign
it was brought here by aliens but he reassured him that it would have had
to originate on another world by a Darwinian means. Is there really a back
door entrance for life on Earth?
Leslie Mullins wrote on this for
Her article includes a picture of Louis Pasteur;
she described how he had disproved spontaneous generation. The challenge
facing molecules-to-man evolution is to get life started in spite of Pasteurs
Law of Biogenesis (life begets life). Mullins pointed out that Pasteur and
Darwin came to opposite conclusions. Pasteur had experiments to back up his
belief; Darwins theory only implied something that Pasteurs
Pasteurs experiments and Darwins theory led to opposing conclusions
regarding the origin of life on Earth. Pasteur claimed that his work lent support
to the belief that God created life. Just as life could not arise spontaneously
from inanimate matter, the first life on the early Earth could not have arisen
without the aid of a divine creator. Yet Darwins theory of life evolving
over time implied that the first life on Earth could have evolved naturally from inanimate matter.
For those committed to following Darwins implication, Mullins explored the options.
You may not have known that there are several flavors of Panspermia.
She described the work of Iris Fry who had written on the history of the idea.
The 19th-century Panspermia proposed that packages of life were pushed to the planets
by radiation. Transpermia is the more modern version that arose after it was
discovered that the universe had a beginning. A third option hypothesizes
that only the building blocks of life (e.g., amino acids) were delivered from space.
Mullins ended up discounting these ideas: life would have to
endure quite a lot to get here, she said. The conditions in space
are extremely hostile to Earth-based life, which tends to die when exposed to
an airless vacuum and extremes of temperature and radiation. Whats
more, tests by European scientists have cast doubt that the material, alive or not,
could survive the fiery entry through the atmosphere.
That leaves one option: life began here. She finds that not
so implausible. Some scientists even question whether organic material
delivered by comets and meteorites was necessary for lifes origin, since the early
Earth may have had plenty of organic material of its own. Iris Fry
takes that position: I dont see why life couldnt have started here.
Iris and Leslie dont see why because they havent
read our online book. If they were regular readers
of CEH, they would be filled with despair trying to keep hope alive that life could
arise on this planet (or anywhere in the universe) without a Creator.
The gig is up. Its time to face reality.
Passing: CEH mourns the death of Dr. Michael Majerus, who worked
tirelessly preaching that peppered moths prove evolution (see
Network and the 09/03/2007
entry). We grieve that a skilled scientist devoted at least 8 years of his life trying to
promote a thesis that wouldnt have helped his naturalistic world view even if he had
found that birds did prey more often on the moths with higher contrast (see
Discovery article). Would that
he had focused instead on the amazing design features exemplified in the moths.
Man knows not his time. Are you investing your time wisely?
Next headline on:
Origin of Life
Modeling Solar Cells on Butterflies 02/07/2009
Feb 07, 2009 Sunlight is free if we could just learn how to use it
better. For decades, engineers have been trying to improve the
efficiency of solar cells. Why not look at nature?
Daily reported on work going on in China and Japan:
The discovery that butterfly wings have scales that act as tiny solar collectors
has led scientists in China and Japan to design a more efficient solar cell that
could be used for powering homes, businesses, and other applications in the future.
Artificial solar cells struggle to attain 10% efficiency.
The scientists are finding that butterfly wings not only collect light more
efficiently, they are easier to work with. The fabrication process is
simpler and faster than other methods, and could be used to manufacture other
commercially valuable devices, the researchers say.
Dont let Charlie take credit for these
kinds of stories. Biomimetics has intelligent-design science written
all over it.
Tip Link: Just in time for Darwin Day, Charlie has his own website!
Go to CharlesDarwin.org and look around.
Unlike the one-sided Darwin sites, this one actually lets you hear the arguments on both
sides, just like Charlie preached (see quote above).
For a feast of biomimetic wonders, see
The 15 Coolest Cases of Biomimicry at
Many of these examples have been reported in our pages.
Next headline on:
A Tale of Two Sites: Moby Dog and The Claw 02/06/2009
Feb 06, 2009 Discoveries portrayed as major evolutionary missing links were
announced this week. One is a putative transitional form from land animal
to whale, and one is a Cambrian trilobite-like creature said to be evolving the first claw.
- Moby dog: The current evolutionary scenario for the origin of whales
is that they evolved from dog-like hoofed animals that took gradually to water at the seashore.
Another fossil in the theoretical sequence has been found in Pakistan. The news
media, like National
Geographic and Live Science,
are calling this a big find, because it is the most complete skeleton of a
protoceratid yet discovered. National Geographic remarked, Its an
evolutionary discovery Darwin himself would have been proud of.
The discovery by Philip Gingerich and team was published in PLoS One
this week.1 A mostly complete articulated male was
found, and a kilometer away, a pregnant female. The female was most exciting because it
indicated the embryo, already with teeth, would have been born head first.
To Gingerich, this indicates that the creature had not yet evolved the tail-first
birth pattern in modern whales. There also appeared to be significant sexual
dimorphism. Gingerich inferred from the legs that it was semi-aquatic, probably
hunting in the water with paddling, and returning to the land to sleep. Another
paleontologist said, These complete limbs are almost exactly intermediate
between a seagoing creature and a land animal. In many respects, the
new creature, dubbed Maiacetus inuus, resembles the already-known
protocetid Rodhocetus, but with some differences in the ankle, and minor differences
in ratios of some skeletal parts. A paleontologist at SMU remarked,
It is a missing link of the most informative sort. Charles Darwin would delight.
The paper did not say much about the circumstances of burial other
than that the female appeared to be floating belly-up, probably due to buildup of
gases during decomposition. The strata are described as marine marl and shale
dated to middle Eocene, 47.5 million years old. Other Eocene whales
such as Artiocetus clavis (GSP-UM 3458), Rodhocetus balochistanensis (GSP-UM 3485),
Protosiren eothene (GSP-UM 3487), and Makaracetus bidens have been found
in the same general area. The paper says, The specimens described here
were found near the top of the major flooding sequence in the early Lutetian
stage of the middle Eocene, calibrated to approximately 47.5 Ma.
Gingerich is convinced these specimens provide information on an important evolutionary transition
from land to water for the ancestors of whales. The precocial development of the
partially-mineralized teeth in the
fetus indicated to him a preparation for life in the water, while the head-first delivery
orientation indicated a land-animal life habit. The sexual dimorphism suggested
a limited competition between males. The slightly shorter legs told him the
creature was a slightly less specialized foot-powered swimmer than its
look-alike Rodhocetus. The team summarized the importance of the discovery
in this paragraph from the paper:
Discovery of a near-term fetus positioned for head-first delivery provides important
evidence that early protocetid whales gave birth on land. This is
consistent with skeletal morphology enabling Maiacetus to support its weight on
land and corroborates previous ideas that protocetids were amphibious.
Specimens this complete are virtual Rosetta stones providing insight
into functional capabilities and life history of extinct animals that cannot
be gained any other way.
- The Claw: It looks like a trilobite with appendages coming out of its
head. What is it? Look at the picture at PhysOrg.
They say it shows the origin of claws. Found in Germany, the four-inch-long critter dubbed
Schinderhannes bartelsi is said to be 390 million years old. This fossil was also described as a
missing link a missing link in the evolution of the front claw of
living scorpions and horseshoe crabs. It seems to have a head similar
to that of the terror of the Burgess Shale, Anomalocaris, even though that
animal was thought to be extinct a hundred million years earlier. As with many
trilobites and arthropods, The eyes are covered in numerous tiny, close-packed, hexagonal lenses.
describes it further: The fossils head section has large bulbous eyes,
a circular mouth opening and a pair of segmented, opposable appendages with spines
projecting inward along their length. The trunk section is made up of 12 segments,
each with small appendages, and a long tail spine. Between the head and trunk,
there is a pair of large triangular wing-like limbs that likely propelled
the creature like a swimming penguin, according to [Derek] Briggs [Yale].
Its the only known member of its species. It was found in
a quarry near Bundenbach in Germany, a site that yields spectacularly durable
How does this fossil help evolution? Is it really a missing link?
The original paper in Science made no such claim. They only used the word
evolution once, and nothing about transitions or links. If anything, they said
it indicates stasis and decline of good fossilization opportunities:
The discovery of Schinderhannes emphasizes the importance of exceptionally preserved deposits (Konservat-Lagerstätten) in revealing the evolutionary history of arthropods. It shows that features of the giant Cambrian anomalocaridids survived for about 100 million years after the Middle Cambrian. The Hunsrück Slate also yields examples of Marrellomorpha, a clade well known from the Cambrian and more recently discovered in exceptionally preserved fossil deposits from the Silurian and the Ordovician. Thus, the rarity of post-Cambrian great-appendage arthropods may be a result in part of the decline of Burgess Shale-type preservation after the Middle Cambrian.
1. Gingerich et al, New Protocetid Whale from the Middle Eocene of Pakistan: Birth on Land, Precocial Development, and Sexual Dimorphism,
Public Library of Science One,
4(2): e4366. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004366, published Feb 4, 2009.
2. Kuhl, Briggs and Rust, A Great-Appendage Arthropod with a Radial Mouth from the Lower Devonian Hunsrück Slate, Germany,
6 February 2009: Vol. 323. no. 5915, pp. 771-773, DOI: 10.1126/science.1166586.
Lets begin with the second creature.
There are already many weird extinct animals known from the Burgess Shale and other parts of the
Cambrian. One more does not indicate an evolutionary ancestry. This fossil
does not help Darwin for several reasons. We already know that the Burgess
fauna were complex and varied, and we have seen that trilobites showed the most diversity
in the lowest layers, and less in the higher (see 07/28/2007).
Another problem is that this critter suggests stasis of Burgess characteristics for
100 million years, according to the evolutionary timeline. A worse problem is that
horseshoe crabs, similar in some respects to this creature, show no evolution from the time of their
first appearance in the Ordovician. They survive today as living fossils
no evolution for 350 million years!
None of this fits the slow-and-gradual branching tree of diversity Darwin predicted.
So what do we have here with Schinderhannes? Another complex creature with
elegant compound eyes and a symmetrical body, well suited to its environment, that is now
extinct. Thats all one can say before leaving the realm of natural science
and talking worldview.
Does Darwinism matter? Dont ignore the implications of Darwins
dangerous idea, as Daniel Dennett called it. This months
ICR Newsletter takes off on that theme, exploring
what it has done to medicine, education, astronomy, geology and every branch of inquiry.
If you dont mind getting worked up about evolution, read The Long
War Against God by Dr. Henry M. Morris, Jr. (d. 2006), founder of ICR, available at the
This was one of Morriss finest books showing why this issue is so vital. Warning:
When you read about the havoc that Darwinian doctrine has wreaked on the world,
despite all the scientific evidence against it, you are likely to get really grieved
or angry. Youll see why Morris, a soft-spoken man in person, had such
a powerful influence on the world. His pen was mightier than the sword. Why?
The truth was on his side.
For the whale story, the new fossil adds very little to what was already
known. It is not that different from Rodhocetus (notice how the naming
of these extinct animals, like Protocetidae, embeds the whale stem cetus
into the name, begging several questions right there). Like the pregnant
ichthyosaurs, this amazing fossil of a pregnant female indicates rapid burial under
flood conditions. Why should that fact not be the highlight of the story?
Its not like such conditions were the norm for these
animals. A flood over a vast region, rapid burial, extreme preservation sounds almost
Biblical. Does it mean evolution? Why are finds qualifying for the coveted
term missing link so rare? There should be thousands upon thousands
of finely graded forms throughout the record, not one here and one over there.
The Darwin Tree paradigm has already been falsified, so its a waste of time to
look for missing links anyway. The Cambrian explosion falsified it before The Origin
was even published, and more Darwinists have been speaking out that the tree was a
myth all along (01/22/2009). Theres no need
to discuss this further. But we shall, for the overkill of it.
Suppose we knew seals, sea lions, manatees, beaver and otters only
from fossils. Suppose further that clever storytelling geologists managed to put them into
a timeline claiming they died tens of millions of years ago. How many of you
would want to bet that a Darwinist storyteller would be able to rig up a complex,
plausible-sounding, jargon-laden scientific paper showing an evolutionary progression
between them? The variation between living sea lions (seals, elephant seals,
harp seals, big ones, small ones, fat ones, skinny ones) exceeds the variation
between Maiacetus and Rodhocetus. Without soft parts and
behavior and habitats available, it would be very tempting for Darwinists to arrange these and other
unrelated fossils from around the globe into an ancestral tree. Is a beaver or sea lion becoming something
else, just because it has webbed feet and spends a great deal of time in the water?
Orthogenesis went out of style a hundred years ago.
For Gingerich and his Darwinist friends to believe Maiacetus was on the
fast track to whalehood, they have to also believe that otters, beaver, sea lions
and manatees decided to resist the evolutionary force and remain happily half-evolved.
What kind of law of nature says that if you are an artiodacytl, youll go all
the way, but if a dog, you will stop at navy seal? Or if a rodent, you will
leave it to beaver? Evolutionary theory is so flexible it explains anything.
The grouping called Artiodactyla contains animals as diverse
as pigs, hippos, camels and dog-like animals. What does such a composite class
signify? (see 01/29/2009
entry). The differences between members of this class are arguably more
significant than the traits they share. Does it indicate that they evolved
from a common ancestor? Could it not equally well illustrate a pattern of
nested hierarchies in nature that resists evolutionary theory? Walter ReMine,
in The Biotic Message, theorized that the nested hierarchies do just that:
they show a common Designer (one God, not many), but the lack of evolutionary ancestry.
Darwins picture is not the only way to look at these patterns nor is it the best.
We already know from fossils that the ancient world contained many more species
and families of animals than we have today. Evolutionary sequences are
made up by humans, not by the data. The data just as well describe the Creators
love of variety. He designed the basic kinds of
animals and allowed them to diversify within limits, after their kind.
Groups of animals share similarities; this does not mean they evolved from one
another. Evolutionists are very choosy about which similarities they want to
relate by common ancestry and which they want to explain with hand-waving
(see The Convergence
Concoction by Brett Miller for many examples).
A worldwide cataclysm sent as judgment on sin left the current postdiluvian world
impoverished of its former diversity, yet sufficiently adorned to speak powerfully
of intelligent design so that men are without excuse. The data fit this
picture. We have an eyewitness testimony telling us this is what happened.
If you choose to disbelieve that evidence, then you are not better off, nor more
scientifically grounded. For one thing, you have not gotten rid of miracles
you have multiplied them! The whole animal kingdom becomes miracle after
miracle of accident and happenstance, going against what we know is true about the
way laws of nature operate. For another, you are not engaging in observable,
repeatable, verifiable science, but in narrative with a good bit of imagination
and worldview preference mixed in. To top it off, you have to assume Biblical principles
(rationality and morality) to do science. It cannot be done from an evolved
monkey brain that reduces to particles (see top right quote by Darwin). If
sensible people forced the Darwinists to be consistent with their own beliefs,
they would turn into a caricature of the Three Monkeys: see no science, hear no
science, speak no science.
The supposed evolutionary sequence from dog-like hoofed animal to right whale
exists only in the imaginations of Darwinists. A variety of amazing, complex
animals, well adapted to their habitats, has lived on this planet. We have
a subset of them still alive today. Arranging them into an ancestral sequence
is just a game played by certain persons addicted to divination
Next headline on:
Evolution as Efficiency Expert 02/06/2009
Feb 06, 2009 Who would have thought that a lowly bacterium is a
master of industrial efficiency? Thats what a researcher
at the Weizmann Institute of Science
called it. E. coli, the best-studied microbe, can be thought of as a
factory with just one product: itself, a press release said.
It exists to make copies of itself, and its business plan is to make them
at the lowest possible cost, with the greatest possible efficiency.
Dr. Tsvi Tlusty at Weizmann marveled at the efficiency of the machinery
in the factory: RNA polymerase, which transcribes DNA into messenger RNA, and
ribosomes, which translate the RNA into proteins. He described with equations the optimum
cost of construction of a bacterium. The model accurately predicted how the
bacterium would alter its construction strategies under stress. Experiments
showed that is what happens.
But then, Dr. Tlusty assigned its origin to chance the opposite of efficiency:
Evolution, in other words, is a master efficiency expert for living factories,
meeting any challenges that arise as production conditions change.
For personifying a mindless process, for breaking the Darwinist
rules against teleology, and for stating self-contradictory nonsense, Tlusty has earned Stupid
Evolution Quote of the Week.
The Weizmann Institute is located in Rehovot,
Israel, within a triangle formed by ancient cities Gezer, Ashdod and Lydda.
During the Bronze Age, this was a Canaanite area. In the Iron Age it was Philistine.
passed through here briefly during the Conquest, and Solomon later made
Gezer a fortified
city, during much of its BC history it was a pagan cultural center on the north-south coastal
highway through which Egyptian pharaohs and Mesopotamian conquerors passed.
What Mean These Observations? 02/05/2009
Canaanite and Philistine priests attributed the wonders around them to their idols.
They believed the wonders around them had emerged through the spirits of natural forces
the storm god Baal and his consort Ashtoreth.
Even Israelites living in the area frequently compromised with the their pagan neighbors
and joined in their idolatrous practices. They worshiped Baal and sacrificed
their children to false gods. They persecuted the prophets of the Lord, who warned them of the
evil of refusing to acknowledge their Maker and obey His word.
History repeats itself.
Todays apostate Israelites worship Baal-Charlie, the god of natural selection,
and sacrifice to Ashtoreth-TinkerBaal, the goddess of sexual selection. They sacrifice
their children to their idols in the public schools. They practice divination
They think they are so smart and enlightened as they turn the glory of the Creator
of the masterly-designed living things around them into offerings for their chosen
idols, not realizing how silly they sound calling Evolution a master efficiency expert
with a business plan. They have polluted this holy land with their pride and foolishness.
God is not mocked. Near Rehovot a long time ago, Philistines
captured the Ark of the Covenant and placed it in front of their fish-idol Dagon (modern Tiktaalik) in the
Temple of Dagon at Ashdod (I
Samuel 5). The priests found their idol fallen over the next morning in
obeisance to the Ark, a symbol of the true God, Maker of heaven and Earth.
They set their idol up again, only to find it fallen once again the following morning with its head and
hands broken off. Perhaps theres a parable here for modern idolaters.
Skip the Weizmann Institute and join the Wise Man institute. Wise men still seek Him.
Wise men do better science.
Next headline on:
Feb 05, 2009 Science news outlets report many interesting findings every week.
Its not always clear, though, whether the conclusions drawn from them are warranted
by the data. Here are some recent cases:
Mistakes in explanation happen. Observations cannot speak for themselves.
There will always be some slippage between what we see and what it means.
For example, in Nature this week,6 Laurence Hurst
bemoaned the fact that a diagnostic marker for positive selection in genes may be
due to other causes not so benign. Genes with accelerated evolution
have been long inferred to be hotspots where positive natural selection is working overtime.
Berglund et al in PLoS Biology,7
proposed, instead, that hotspots may be artifacts of biased gene conversion (BGC) the
leftover damage from repair processes trying to correct mutations. It leads to
mutations getting fixed in the genome due to biased interactions between repair mechanisms
and purifying selection the genomes attempt to maintain stability.
This will influence standard tests for positive selection and possibly lead to
false inference of positive selection at the protein level, they said.
- Jaws of steel: A skull labeled Australopithecus robustus
was studied for the force its jaws could generate. Interpretation: Early
humans had jaws of steel. With this title, Science
Daily is assuming this skull tells us about our ancestry, even though it is
similar to apes and the linkage to human evolution is questionable at best.
Researchers at Arizona State assume this animals teeth could really crack a
nut. What does it mean? New research ... reveals nut-cracking
abilities in our 2.5-million-year-old relatives that enabled them to
alter their diet to adapt to changes in food sources in their environment.
It is not clear that they found any fossil nuts or fossil menus, but one of the researchers
knew just what our great-great-grandparents were facing in their own great depression: These fall-back foods hard
nuts and seeds were important survival strategies during a period of
changing climates and food scarcity. Apparently they had not yet evolved
the ability to hit the big nuts with a rock and save their teeth.
- Spongy Cambrian fuse: Since the time of Darwin, the Cambrian explosion
has been one of the biggest problems for the theory of evolution. All the animal
phyla appear abruptly in the fossil record without ancestors, despite over a century
of looking for precursors. This week in Nature,1 researchers reported traces of a steroid
in Precambrian rock in Oman said to be 635 million years old. They said this
chemical (24-isopropylcholestane, or lpc24) is diagnostic of sponges, and must mean
that true sponges had evolved 100 million years before the Cambrian explosion.
Brocks and Butterfield pointed out, though, in the same issue of Nature,2
that the claim by the discoverers that the steroids indicate the presence of mature sponges overlooks the
evolutionary nature of biological taxa and the incremental assembly of defining
characteristics along (now-extinct) stem lineages. In the
evolutionary world view, one cannot assume the existence of mature sponges in rocks 100 million years
earlier. They must have been 100 million years less evolved. Did the assumed ancestors even have
the same characteristics of Cambrian sponges? No clear evidence of spicules, for instance,
has been found in the periods prior to the Cambrian.
The absence of convincing spicules in the Ediacaran or Cryogenian fossil record
implies that the modern poriferan classes were not fully defined until the Cambrian,
they said. So not only was the original paper vulnerable to charges of question-begging,
the criticism by Brocks and Butterfield was similarly theory-laden with Darwinian ideas.
Nevertheless, the news media jumped on the evolutionary interpretation with dramatic headlines
like Oldest Fossil Evidence for Animals Found (Live
Science), Ancient sponges leave their mark (BBC
News, and Earliest Evidence for Animal Life Discovered
- Bible food fight: Last month a theologian at the University of St. Andrews
announced that the Biblical diet was unhealthy. PhysOrg
reported him claiming that people living in Bible times did not enjoy a balanced diet,
contrary to portrayals of Israel as a land flowing with milk and honey. This
conclusion was based on his comparison of Biblical texts, comparative anthropological
evidence, and archaeological finds. He admitted that Biblical texts were not
necessarily intended to give dietary advice, but left unanswered the question whether
the land was capable of providing a balanced diet, and even if so, whether the practices
of the people matched the precepts of the Old Testament. Even today, many people
do not eat what they know they should. To what extent modern
conceptions of what constitutes a good diet should be imposed on ancient people
seems also open to question. Every so often the modern food pyramid
gets rearranged. And some living tribes, like Eskimos, seem to get along fine
with diets that contradict modern notions of the balanced diet. The judgment call
in the article, therefore, seems moot on several counts.
- Tranquil flood: A report on
called into question the Black Sea Flood theory for the origin of legends of Noahs
Sediment cores on the Danube River were adduced to cast doubt on the Ryan-Pitman
hypothesis that was popular a few years ago (04/21/2001,
04/26/2002). Their questioning suggests additional
questions, though. Did the Ryan-Pitman hypothesis even
qualify as an explanation for a Biblical flood that is described in Genesis 6-9 as
covering all the high mountains? And can sediments limited to a small region
such as the Danube inform any interpretation of a flood of much vaster extent?
Geographic interpreted this, anyway, to cast doubt on the Bible: Noahs Flood
Not Rooted in Reality, After All? The only thing it was casting doubt on
was the Ryan-Pitman hypothesis. In that regard, yes, it could be called a
mythical flood, but not necessarily a Nail in Noahs-Flood Coffin
like National Geographic intimated.
- Protein evolution: Pyrrolysine, an amino acid outside the standard
20-amino-acid library of letters making up lifes protein code,
has been studied in more detail by researchers at Yale. This uncommon amino
acid, found in only 7 microbes, is modified after the protein has been translated
in the ribosome. Science
Daily said the research team feels this fact gave the researchers a
molecular handle by being an extreme example of an amino acid that evolved to
serve a highly specific need. Apparently the microbes have
molecular systems that manage this particular amino acid. To the reporter, this can only
mean that these molecules have evolved to work together.
Teleology is supposed to be forbidden in Darwinian explanations.
- Monkey politics: Some chimpanzees are big and use physical attacks
to get their way. Others are smaller and more docile, grooming others to win
favor. One chimpanzee named Freud in Tanzania was observed to use both
strategies. According to Science
Daily, this can only mean one thing: monkeys evolved politics. The brief
article did not mention this as evidence for the origin of human politics, but
the lead author is the McKnight Distinguished Professor in the College of Biological Sciences
department of ecology, evolution and behavior (EEB) at the University of Minnesota.
The human-evolution angle is apparently part of the motivation for the study, because she
said, We plan to study more alpha males to determine if grooming is a common strategy
that small-bodied males use to placate rivals or cultivate cooperative alliances.
- Red message: Some ochre-colored markings were found on a cave wall
in Africa said to be 100,000 years old. This must mean that human culture
evolved 70,000 years earlier than thought, reported Michael Balter in
Science last week.3 One researcher nearly
fell off his chair at the suggestion that the simple cross-hatched
lines represented deliberate, symbolic designs. If so, Balter
commented, the timeline for the earliest known symbolic behavior must once
again be redrawn, even if scientists dont know what they symbolized,
or even if they were symbols in the first place. What If not so?
- RNA world lines: Mexican researchers publishing in PLoS One think
they found fossils of the long-lost RNA world in the genetic code.4
How did they discern this? They modeled on a computer the kinds of relationships
of purines and pyrimidines in the DNA and RNA in some species of Archaea and bacteria.
Remarkably, they remarked, the scaling properties of the distance series
of some codons from the RNA code and most codons from both extended RNA codes turned
out to be identical or very close to the scaling properties of codons of the SGC
[standard genetic code]. What does this mean? Therefore, we conclude
that most current prokaryotes may still contain relics of the primeval RNA World
and that both extended RNA codes may well represent two plausible evolutionary paths
between the RNA code and the current SGC. This, of course, assumes that
the RNA World even existed. They referred to it as a possible thing
and a notion. The word notion appeared six times in the paper,
most notably here: The notion that present genomes may still retain
remnants of their ancestry for more than three billion years has been a subject of
controversy. Nevertheless, they concluded, Our results support
the notion that evolution did not erase all vestiges typical of the RNA World
in today prokaryote genomes, not only in terms of an enrichment of RNY codons,
but also revealing the existence of an underlying ancient fractal structure.
The notion of a fractal structure in DNA played heavily in the paper.
- Snakes alive: A giant boa fossil has been discovered in Colombia.
Matthew Huber in Nature took this to mean that tropical climate in the
past was not buffered from global warming.5
He did ask some questions about this inference proposed by discoverers Head et al
in the same issue,5 namely:
All that said, these implications are based on a new type of proxy: Head and
colleagues findings are the result of probably the first study in snake
palaeothermometry, and as such must be viewed with caution. Is the empirical
link between size and temperature really generalizable and accurate? Could the
ability to lose heat be an important limitation for these giant snakes, rendering Head
and colleagues extrapolations moot? Can a few vertebrae truly provide
accurate estimates of snake size? Why have similarly giant snakes not been
found in other warm intervals?
The popular press, however, did not hesitate to say that the giant snake fossil is
a lesson for humans about global climate change
Hurst said the work undermines the assumed connection between fast evolution
and pervasive positive selection. Instead, it seems that hotspots have
probably accelerated evolution by means of a biased DNA repair process, not because
the changes were good for us. This new inference is 180 degrees out
of phase with the old one. It means we are devolving: Indeed, many changes are
probably detrimental. As a result, inferring positive natural selection in the genes will
require more rigor:
More disturbingly, the results bring into question the usefulness of
the standard tool kit for identifying hotspots of changes that are beneficial
to organisms. Convincing demonstration of positive selection now requires
both evidence that the changes were not caused by BGC and scrutiny of
the impact of the amino-acid changes.
That last sentence implies that evolutionists had looked for rapid change in a
gene, without tying it to some functional benefit for the organism (see
The take-home lesson: dont assume an observation has one and only one interpretation.
A corollary is that competing explanations may all be wrong.
1. Love et al, Fossil steroids record the appearance of Demospongiae during the Cryogenian period,
457, 718-721 (5 February 2009) | doi:10.1038/nature07673.
2. Jochen J. Brocks and Nicholas J. Butterfield, Biogeochemistry: Early animals out in the cold,
457, 672-673 (5 February 2009) | doi:10.1038/457672a.
3. Michael Balter, Early Start for Human Art? Ochre May Revise Timeline,
30 January 2009: Vol. 323. no. 5914, p. 569, DOI: 10.1126/science.323.5914.569.
4. Marco V. José, Tzipe Govezensky, José A. García, Juan R. Bobadilla,
On the Evolution of the Standard Genetic Code: Vestiges of Critical Scale Invariance
from the RNA World in Current Prokaryote Genomes,
Library of Science One, 4(2): e4340. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004340.
5. Head et al, Giant boid snake from the Palaeocene neotropics reveals hotter past equatorial temperatures,
457, 715-717 (5 February 2009) | doi:10.1038/nature07671.
6. Laurence D. Hurst, Evolutionary genomics: A positive becomes a negative,
457, 543-544 (29 January 2009) | doi:10.1038/457543a.
7. Berglund, Pollard and Webster, Hotspots of Biased Nucleotide Substitutions in Human Genes,
Library of Science: Biology, Vol. 7, No. 1, e26 doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000026.
Evidence can be badly misinterpreted, as any lawyer knows.
What do observations mean? Humans are prone to jumping to conclusions.
Science is supposed to be a more rigorous process of
linking causes to effects, in hopes of providing reliable explanations for natural phenomena.
Scientific reasoning usually does a better job than intuition, but it is not infallible.
A lot of questions have been raised about scientific reasoning over the last century.
Radicals have questioned the connection between scientific reasoning and the real world
as it is out there apart from our sensations of it. Most scientists today
help themselves to the concept of scientific realism which assumes a connection.
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
says, Scientific realists hold that the characteristic product of successful scientific
research is knowledge of largely theory-independent phenomena and that such knowledge
is possible (indeed actual) even in those cases in which the relevant phenomena are not,
in any non-question-begging sense, observable. But how justified is scientific realism?
Scientists may assume it, but on what grounds? Are they just begging deeper questions, even
when they claim something as an observation? Notice the articles conclusion:
Learn about the horse catapult in the 01/02/2003 entry.
Scientific realism is, by the lights of most of its defenders, the sciences
own philosophy of science. Considerations of the significant philosophical challenges
which it faces indicate that it can be effectively defended only by the adoption of a
metaphilosophical approach which is also closely tied to the science, viz., some version
or other of philosophical naturalism.
Metaphysics is unavoidable, therefore. Can it be minimized? Science does have a lot
of success stories to its credit. If scientists can fly a spacecraft around Saturn, applying
widely varying findings accumulated through years of careful research in disparate fields, they must be doing something right.
Theres a strong link, however, between the successful explanations and phenomena that are
observable, testable, and repeatable. Origin stories are in different domain.
How successful can a theory about a universal common ancestor be if no observer was present?
Early scientists were scrupulous in cashing out their explanations in empirical
evidence. Darwin came along and relaxed the rules.
In the Origin, he made one long argument, employing analogies,
using, for instance, artificial selection (a form of intelligent design) as a proxy for natural selection (chance
masquerading as law of nature). He also pieced together widely disconnected snippets of observation
into a grand mythical story that merely sounded plausible. There are no laws of
plausibility. How do you test plausibility? If the intellectual world gets swept off its feet
by the apparent plausibility of Darwins Myth because it fits with their Victorian values
of progress in an age of criticism of establishment religion, does that make it the Truth?
Darwin got away with substituting hypothesis and narrative
for scientific explanation. He did so, ironically, by helping himself to moral
and intellectual concepts not derivable from his universal law of natural selection.
This intellectual coup, achieved more through rhetoric than demonstration, prostituted the noble advance of science that had long sought
understanding through rigorous observation and testing. These articles (above) are examples of
that legacy. Getting science back to its founding principles is as difficult
as getting Americas entitlement-minded culture back to the limited government specified
in the Constitution. Without it, though, any justification for reliable inference about
the world and its natural history is compromised.
Letting storytellers in science is like letting hackers on the internet.
When hackers run rampant on the science network, its hard to tell what is real anymore.
Only suckers broadcast excited messages that shout, Send this to everyone you know!
Next headline on:
Origin of Life
Darwin Still Doesnt Do Well in Polls 02/04/2009
Feb 04, 2009 British Darwin defender Richard Dawkins is gnashing his teeth
over the latest poll in Britain that shows More than half of the public believe that the
theory of evolution cannot explain the full complexity of life on Earth, and a designer
must have lent a hand, according to the
UK Guardian and
Telegraph. Dawkins said the result indicates a worrying level of scientific
ignorance among Britons. In his words, much of the population is pig-ignorant
about science. But what does the poll mean?
In The Problem with Evolution Surveys on
Robert Roy Britt said the announcement should not worry those who know evolution
to be a solid scientific theory so much. Only 10%, he pointed out, subscribe
to Biblical creationism and a young earth. Another 12% subscribe to intelligent
design, which Britt called not a theory (like evolution is, in his view).
Britt says this means only 22 percent reject evolution outright.
From there, Britt went on to discuss the way questions are framed in polls and the
complex interplays between science and religion in public opinions. He also
chalked up results to ignorance of what evolution is. He asserted that
the theory of evolution is one of the most well-supported theories of science,
and scientists and most science teachers think it should be taught in science class
without religious ideas such as creationism and intelligent design.
A different interpretation was offered by Dr. Michael Egnor on
News, an ID blog from the Discovery Institute. He noted that more people
doubt Darwinism than go to church. The meaning, he said, is obvious:
support for intelligent design extends far beyond the segment of the population
that is traditionally religious. A similar proportion holds in America.
In addition, he noted how surprising this poll was for the land in which Darwin lived
and wrote the country that honors him as one of their most famous offspring:
After generations of Darwinist indoctrination in public schools, more than
half of the British public doubts Darwinism as an adequate explanation for life.
Egnor took umbrage at the arrogance of Dawkins calling his fellow-citizens
pig-ignorant of science. Dawkins had also tried to distance Darwins
views from chance. The Telegraph quoted him as follows:
Obviously life, which was Darwins own subject, is not the result of chance, he said.
Egnor called this assertion disingenuous. An outcome can be entirely
determined by natural laws which is what he means by evolution and yet
can be chance, he explained. ....Chance in physical science
refers specifically to events that lack intelligent design, or teleology.
Coming back to the poll, Egnor said most people perceive the design in nature and
cannot attribute it to chance. He took pleasure in a comment by Lord Carey (a theistic evolutionist)
who accused Dawkins of evolving into a very simple kind of thinker.
Egnor said, Finally, we have an example of evolution that is undeniably true.
Any fool can see that. Natural selection is the very antithesis of chance.
The error is to think that God is the only
alternative to chance, and Darwin surely didnt think that because he
himself discovered the most important non-theistic alternative to chance,
namely natural selection.
Polls are interesting but not definitive. Better
to be right than follow a crowd. Nevertheless, it must remain utterly frustrating
to the Darwinists that they cannot sell their ideas to the public after 150 years of nonstop
indoctrination. Why dont they just admit that doubting Darwinism produces
Is this evolution? This is no better than bubbles accumulating
in an eddy along a stream.
We dont see any combination of laws of nature and chance producing engineered systems performing
a function for a purpose. Natural selection, therefore, is indistinguishable from chance. The laws
dont care what the beach balls do, and the beach balls are at the whim of
whatever pushes them around at the moment. The bars and the balls have no mind,
no eyes, no care about what happens. Without a mind directing things toward an outcome,
it really is all about chance; chance overrules the law-like elements.
The flaw in evolutionary thinking is to postdict
their own teleological minds onto a history of this planet and re-interpret the design they
see as the outcome of chance. They are not being consistent. If it
were really mindless, you would have rocks, but not corn (see next entry).
We need to understand some oft-used tactics of the Darwin
defenders to avoid being deceived. First, consider the claim by Richard
Dawkins that natural selection is the very antithesis of chance. Notice that Dawkins
feels impelled to distance Darwins theory from chance, because otherwise it
would degenerate into the Stuff Happens Law an abandonment of any and all
claim to scientific explanation (see 09/15/2008 commentary).
He tries to portray natural selection as a law-like process that guarantees organisms
will evolve toward increasing fitness. (He knows he cant portray this as
progress or he will incur the wrath of fellow Dar-wino Michael Ruse.) Is it
really possible to spin evolution as un-chance?
Lets imagine a generic law-governed situation,
say a set of equally-spaced steel bars that punch downward like hammers from a ceiling onto a
concrete floor. Each bars rate and interval can be measured and found to
be predictably law-like. No intelligence seems to be guiding them; they just
hammer away mindlessly but regularly. Now we see that beach balls are scattered
around the floor. Many get popped by the bars, but some are blown this way or
that by the wind from the hammering, or by glancing blows. In a sense, one could
say that the beach balls that dont go extinct are the fittest because they
survive. They have been naturally selected. This is the only kind of
law-like, non-chance behavior Dawkins can appeal to. If there is no intelligent
guidance, nothing interesting is going to happen. A few balls will outlast
the others, but that is it. Can Dawkins appeal to anything else? Lets
add the ability of balls to spontaneously vary in shape a little
another element of chance. Over a period of time, it is observed that there
is a slight preponderance of oblong balls accumulating survival of the
fittest. Add another law-like element: a steady wind blows from one
direction. Oblong balls accumulate at the far end of the field (the ones that didnt get
Other evolutionary propaganda tactics are evident in these articles,
especially Robert Roy Britts screed. This was sad for a guy who used to try to make
a pretence of objectivity but is evidently now a hardened Darwiniac. For one,
he and the others associate Darwinism with science.
Associating anything with the magic word science grants it an air
of respectability, earned or not. For another, they use the
bald assertions of dogmatism (BAD) strategy:
evolution is one of the most well-supported theories of science.
Why? Because I said so!
Another is equivocation: what do they mean by
evolution? Britt referred to antibiotic resistance as evidence for evolution,
something no young-earth creationist would reject. To extrapolate
that into the belief that philosophy came from bacteria is another thing entirely.
Another trick is the either-or fallacy; you are
either a Darwin worshiper or you are pig-ignorant of science. Thats
also a case of ridicule. Dawkins is good at
that. If he were a righteous man, he would be saying, Come now, and let us
reason together. We would reply: Reason, what a capital idea. Cheerio.
Tell us, Dr. Dawkins, how did reason evolve? Some tea, perhaps, while you ponder that?
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolutionary Theory
Bible and Theology
Tip Link: For a view into the degree of teleological design visible in
the simplest living things, watch a mind-boggling animation detailing the assembly of
the bacterial flagellum on
produced by a Japanese nanotechnology team.
Corn Is Fuel in More Ways than One 02/03/2009
Feb 03, 2009 Theres been controversy lately about the diversion of
corn crops from food for humans to ethanol for engines. Why not both? A new pilot program
announced by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
saves the corn cobs for eating but makes ethanol out of the straw. If so,
this would make the whole plant an energy factory for the human and the car he or
she drives. Whats more, the test facility produces ethanol from the
stalks with 30 percent more efficiency, in less than half the time. One of
their secrets is using enzymes to break down the cellulose before the fermentation
process begins. The bio-gas and heat produced can be captured in fuel cells to power
If this invention works as good as the press release,
it sounds great; more power to them. The thing that deserves more praise is the
cornstalk. That wobbly plant blowing in the wind is an energy marvel.
Practically the whole plant can be converted into useful energy. Think about
all the designs that make these energy conversions possible. All the benefits
depend initially on molecular machines that capture the energy of sunlight and
convert it into high-energy substances the plant uses to grow and make more machines.
Then, humans or animals can eat parts of the plant, using their machinery to extract
that energy for their needs. The remainder, which used to lie on the ground and
decompose via the machinery in insects, bacteria and fungi, can now be utilized
to replace oil and natural gas. This sounds like an all-around benefit.
If you shine sunlight on a rock, it will
capture energy, too heat energy. Then it will release it back at night
at a rate defined by its thermal inertia. But that energy is of little use to man,
other than for warming your hands at night for a short time; the energy is stored
simply as vibration of molecules in the rock. The high yield of
useful energy in corn is achieved because plants contain complex, highly-efficient mechanisms
for capturing sunlight, passing ions delicately down prescribed biochemical pathways
according to a program that converts the energy into useful forms that can
be stored and released for a purpose. That is why rocks fall down
but corn grows up, producing seed and food.
The scientists may have had corn for dinner the day they thought of
their invention. If so, the corns energy went into intelligent design.
This story has a biomimetics tag, but its really biotechnology.
Its taking off-the-shelf technology in plants and enzymes and reworking the design to achieve a goal
desired by humans. The scientists were spared the hard work of inventing photosynthesis
and enzymes. All they had to do was adapt existing systems in new ways. Its
like hitching a plow to an ox, only with more finesse.
Next headline on:
Detector cartoon Subject: GLITTERING GENERALITIES
by Brett Miller!
Click the icon.
The Early Bird Gets the Just-So Story 02/03/2009
Feb 03, 2009 If a catastrophic world event wiped out the dinosaurs, why
did birds survive? Theyre smaller and more delicate, it seems.
Geographic published a new hypothesis: they out-thought the doomed dinosaurs.
Birds survived the global catastrophe that wiped out their dinosaur relatives
due to superior brainpower, a new study suggests.
A couple of seabird skulls alleged to be 55 million years old show a larger
and more complex brain, researchers said in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.
This explanation, however, is not alone. Other reasons why birds survived the
extinction include the location hypothesis (that they were distant from the catastrophe),
and the coastline hypothesis (that coastal habitats were not as impacted as others).
These hypotheses seem to ignore the dinosaur species living in the same lucky habitats.
The proponents of the bigger-brain hypothesis noticed that some birds went extinct,
so it wasnt feathers or warm-bloodedness that gave modern birds a leg up.
It must have been the bigger brain, they said, even though, pound for pound, a T rex brain
would seem much bigger than a hummingbird brain. Maybe it was the software, not the
hardware though by all accounts, dinosaurs must have had pretty good programming, because
they showed a remarkable flexibility and tenacity in a variety of habitats for a long
time. Why the Dodo emerged and Velociraptor perished is just one of
those things that happens in evolution.
National Geographic ended the article with, As well as providing
valuable new evidence for the evolution of birds... the latest study offers an
intriguing new theory that will motivate paleontologists to look harder and
farther to find more fossils. They desperately need more fossils, the
lead author said. We can only get so close to understanding the
brains of the earliest birds with the sample of known species currently available.
We sincerely hope you enjoyed this bedtime story.
Some day, if you think real hard, you might survive an extinction, too.
You might outlive the bobble-headed professors who teach Darwinist nonsense in
academia, oblivious to the fact that it is imploding.
Evolutionists were telling just-so stories about birds back in 2002. See
the 1/29/2002 entry:
Birds Evolved Flight out of Love. You might also enjoy
How the Bird Got its Feathers (10/30/2002),
How the Peacock Got its Tail (09/10/2002),
How the Fossil Bird Found Fossil Seeds to Eat (07/24/2002),
and How the Tree Found the Early Bird (02/06/2002).
Next headline on:
Titan Methane Age Still a Problem 02/02/2009
Feb 02, 2009 Our new map provides more coverage of Titans poles,
but even if all of the features we see there were filled with liquid methane,
theres still not enough to sustain the atmosphere for more
than 10 million years. So said Elizabeth Turtle, lead author of
a paper in Geophysical Research Letters,1 in an
article on the Cassini Imaging
Team [ISS] website. She added, How long Titans atmosphere has
existed or can continue to exist is still an open question. The
press release was written up by Space.com
A comparison of older and newer images suggests that cloudbursts of
liquid methane may occur. Some of the polar lakes may dry up and others
refill as the seasons change. Cassini is exploring Titan at its equinox.
One goal of another extended mission would be to study seasonal changes until the
next solstice in 2017.
Cassini instruments have difficulty characterizing the lakes.
They could be very shallow. The Huygens probe landed in 2005 on a flat playa
that appeared to have ice boulders that had tumbled out of canyons possibly carved
by flash floods. Scientists in the 1990s had predicted that Titans surface
might be submerged in a global ocean of liquid ethane and methane; that did not
pan out. Instead, most of the equatorial region of the planet-size moon is
blanketed with dunes. All the low-albedo features, assumed to be lakes,
discovered to date have been in the polar regions.
How is the absence of methane explained? The press release
said, the new observations suggest that underground methane reservoirs must exist.
To what extent that conclusion was inferred from the need to keep Titan billions of years old was not stated.
The original papers introduction referred to the quandary about methane
destruction rates in the atmosphere, but then hid the solution underground:
Photochemical processes acting in the atmosphere convert methane into
more complex hydrocarbons, substantial quantities of which may have precipitated
from the atmosphere over Titans history [Yung et al., 1984; Lorenz and Lunine, 2005].
These processes create Titans atmospheric hazes and destroy methane over
relatively short timescales, ~107-108
yr [Yung et al., 1984]. Therefore, Titan is hypothesized to have reservoirs
of liquid methane to resupply the atmosphere [e.g., Lunine, 1993].
Knowledge of the distribution of liquids on Titans surface and clouds in its
atmosphere, as well as any changes in either, provides constraints that
are essential to furthering our understanding of Titans methane cycle, its
atmospheric dynamics, its total methane inventory and, thus, the sustainability
of its current atmosphere.
The constraints so far make it difficult to extrapolate Titans methane lifetime over
another 1-2 orders of magnitude. After stating the problem, the paper focused
on observations of changes in the lakes, but revisited the age problem in paragraph 10:
The low-albedo features observed by ISS at both poles cover over 600,000
km2, almost 1% of Titans total surface area;
however, even if all of these features are currently liquid-filled, they do not
appear to provide enough methane to keep Titans atmosphere resupplied for a
substantial amount of time [Lorenz et al., 2008]. Thus, although Mitri et al. 
have demonstrated that evaporation from lakes covering 0.002–0.02 of the surface
could maintain the current methane relative humidity over short timescales,
only a relatively small fraction of the liquid reservoirs required to
replenish atmospheric methane over geologic timescales currently appears to exist
on the surface.
No evidence for subsurface reservoirs was provided. Atmospheric methane is
not a closed system. The solar wind depletes the methane and converts the remainder
to ethane and complex hydrocarbons that should have been accumulating on the surface
to extreme depths, if the process has been ongoing for billions of years.
(This is a problem at Mars, too: see 01/16/2009).
Instead, Titan appears to be mostly a dry world with very few craters and low
relief, blanketed with icy sand dunes.
The popular write-ups either did not mention the problem or suggested the answer
is underground. They focused instead on the
fascinating idea of methane cloudbursts on a strange world. National
Geographic not only avoided the subject, but ended with a tie-in to global warming:
It may be that global warming on Earth will take us slightly
in a Titan-like direction, with heavier downpours separated by longer droughts.
The original paper said nothing about global warming.
1. Turtle et al, Cassini imaging of Titan's high-latitude lakes, clouds, and south-polar surface changes,
Geophysical Research Letters,
VOL. 36, L02204, Jan 29, 2009, doi:10.1029/2008GL036186.
Weve been bringing up this problem for years.
This latest paper shows that no solution has been forthcoming for over two decades;
in fact, the problem has only gotten worse. The consensus Age of the Solar
System (A.S.S.) is 4.6 billion years. 10 million years is 1/450th of that
value, and that is the maximum that the empirical evidence permits.
If planetary scientists truly followed the evidence where it leads, as scientists are
supposed to do, they would have to conclude Titan is young. Evidence from Enceladus, Iapetus,
Mercury, comets, Mars, the moon and many other bodies that showcase evidence of youth could
be adduced for support.
The ramifications of that conclusion would be so far-reaching and unpalatable to
the old-age, evolution-inebriated materialistic community, they have to resort to
distraction to keep people from thinking about it.
CEH thinks the sidestep is the most interesting part of the dance.
Darwin Praise Service Begins 02/01/2009
The comeback argument is that scientists know the solar
system is old from other lines of evidence, e.g., radiometric dating of meteorites
and rock units on Earth, and so forth. But they dont know these
things without making assumptions. Planetologists used to know
that planets required billions of years to form from a solar nebula. That
was before the revolution in thinking caused by the discovery of extrasolar planets.
Their properties suggest some say require rapid formation to prevent
destruction by migration. Indeed, a whole new heretical
disk-instability hypothesis proposes that giant planets can form much more rapidly
than thought. When you find a number of bodies in the solar system today
with upper-limit ages converging at the recent end of the evolutionary timescale,
it becomes increasingly implausible to believe we live at a special epoch when
all these phenomena are observable. It should call into question the
For reasons philosophical rather than empirical, many in the old paradigm dont
wish to think along those lines. Others, from years of indoctrination in the
paradigm, cannot even begin to think outside the box. They just chalk up
the mysteries as anomalies. Anomalies are the stuff of which scientific revolutions are made.
Next headline on:
Feb 01, 2009 The celebrations in honor of Charles Robert Darwin for his
200th birthday (Feb. 12) and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his
influential book On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection (Nov. 29th)
are well underway. It is hard to think of any other scientist who gets the
kind of gushy adulation heaped on this one man. It borders on religious
euphoria. Some examples:
It should be understood that these adulations sit on top of daily, weekly, yearly
expressions of praise and admiration for Charles Darwin in the scientific journals
and popular press. Often these expressions are stated in opposition to
religious views or scientific arguments for design. A question few of the modern
Darwins seem to be asking, though, is how could a scientist possibly design
a theory that removes design from the conceptual realm? (See quote at top right
- Science News: The January 31 cover of
News shouts Happy Birthday Darwin against a backdrop of his famous
tree of life sketch from the Origin. The website contains
a 36-page tribute to Darwin. Editor-in-Chief Tom Siegfried led off with an
opening editorial entitled, Modern biology owes unpayable debt to Darwin.
Who is the greatest practitioner of all time in sports or the physical
sciences? Siegfried says the question is likely to end in a divided vote.
That was his lead-in to this announcement:
But then theres biology. The greatest biology of all time?
Theres only one answer. Any other vote invalidates the voter as
unqualified. Its Darwin.
He doesnt tell you just what he thinks about Darwin. He tells you what you have to
think to be considered qualified to have an opinion.
Voting for Pasteur, for instance, would not only
invalidate your vote; it would disqualify you as a voter.
Continuing on with the Dobzhansky mantra (12/19/2008),
Siegfried added, No scientists birthday warrants more hullabaloo
and hoopla. On the inside back cover, Siegfried took quotes from Darwin
about religion and converted them into an interview. He asked Darwin questions
about atheism, religion, design and God, and picked out quotes guaranteed to
make natural theology and intelligent design look bad. If Darwin is being voted
worlds greatest biologist, why would his theological opinions matter?
- National Geographic: Another cover story for the Darwin Bicentennial, from
Geographic Magazine (Feb. 2009), teased with the line, What Darwin Didnt Know.
Inside, two lengthy articles discussed Darwins original ideas and those of the
Modern Darwins who have extended them. If Darwin didnt know
something, it wasnt his fault the sciences of genetics and molecular
biology hadnt been invented yet. Any errors he made were due to his
being imprisoned in the 19th century.
Quasi-religious adulations continued inside with Matt Ridleys
article, Modern Darwins
Ridley portrayed todays Darwinists as precocious children who would make their daddy proud.
Darwins core idea of mindless, purposeless, unguided natural selection was presented as unquestionable fact:
Could such a man ever make a mistake? Yes; Ridley said Darwin did
not understand inheritance.
Mendels work had never reached his attention.
The monks fate was to die years before the significance of his discovery
was appreciated, Ridley lamented. But his legacy, like
Darwins, has never been more alive. Darwin scores even when in error.
- In 1953, Francis Crick, together with a young American named James Watson,
would make a discovery that has led inexorably to the triumphant vindication of
almost everything Darwin deduced about evolution.
- To understand the story of evolutionboth its narrative and its
mechanismmodern Darwins dont have to guess. They consult
- Darwins greatest idea was that natural selection is largely responsible
for the variety of traits one sees among related species. Now, in the beak
of the finch and the fur of the mouse, we can actually see the hand of natural selection at work....
- Darwin, who assumed that evolution plodded along at a glacially slow rate,
observable only in the fossil record, would be equally delighted by another
discovery. In those same Galapagos finches, modern Darwins can watch
evolution occur in real time.
- What better evidence for Darwins belief in the commonality
of all species than to find the same gene doing the same job in birds and fish, continents apart?
- In The Origin of Species, Darwin tactfully left unspoken how his theory would extend that commonality to include humankind. A decade later he confronted the matter head-on in The Descent of Man. He would be delighted to know that a certain gene, called FOXP2, is critical for the normal development of both speech in people and song in birds.
- His notion of sexual selection was politely ignored by most Victorian opinion, which was mildly scandalized by the thought of females actively choosing a mate, rather than submitting coyly to the advances of males.... But we now know Darwin was right all along.
- In one of his flights of fancy, Darwin argued that sexual selection might account for human racial differences.... The jury is still out on that particular idea, but there are hints that Darwin might be at least partly right.... Either way, the explanation leads straight back to Darwins two theoriesnatural and sexual selection.
- Just as Darwin drew lessons from both fossil armadillos and living rheas and finches, his scientific descendants combine insights from genes with insights from fossils to understand the history of life.
The magazines celebration began with
retelling the Darwin adventure tale on the Beagle, followed by
a timeline of events and theories by Darwin and the Modern Darwins.
Quammen corrected some misconceptions about the mythic account of
Darwins voyage, and the timing of his conversion to evolutionism. But in the end, he praised his book to
high heaven: Almost inarguably, its the most significant single scientific book ever published. After 150 years, people still venerate it, people still deplore it, and The Origin of Species continues to exert an extraordinary influencethough, unfortunately, not many people actually read it.
- Sacred Cause: A new book by Adrian Desmond and James Moore,
Darwins Sacred Cause, elevates Darwin further by claiming he was
an abolitionist like his birthday-mate Abraham Lincoln. The
says that abolition was a driving force behind Darwins theory.
This idea might seem surprising to readers aware that Darwin announced in The Descent of Man
that it was inevitable the fitter races would eventually exterminate the weaker
races. After all, wasnt the subtitle of Darwins Origin
The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life?
An English gentleman, Darwin was clearly repulsed by the cruelty toward slaves
he witnessed. His belief in the common ancestry of all races of mankind stood
against the racist views of those who attributed human races to separate origins.
In that respect, Darwins unification of humanity is like the Biblical
view that all men are descendents of Adam, except that Darwin has mankind arising
from apes, and the Bible has mankind falling from grace. Desmond and Moore seem to omit,
though, whether survival of the fittest could promote racial equality.
Common ancestry aside, the Haeckels, Brocas and Hitlers to follow certainly ranked the human races by fitness and
intelligence using Darwins law of nature for support.
Is it possible for the world to go crazy?
If you dont think so, look at history. Look at what some ancient civilizations
thought about the world, the universe, and life. Despite great achievements
in architecture and technology, they held beliefs that strike us as absurd
yet in their day, those beliefs were intuitively obvious. Sometimes they
were enforced by the state with severe punishment, even the ultimate punishment. Darwin today
serves as a kind of prophet of Marduk who brings enlightenment and explains the world.
Youre not entitled to have opinions about him.
Failure to honor the Marduk of the age, or his prophet, is not only insane, it is a capital crime.
Lack energy? Try the cave man diet (02/04/2002).
Like they say, evolve or perish (02/15/2002).
We found that bit of wisdom in the trash can (02/15/2002).
One method for detecting absurdity is to find self-refuting
arguments. These can never be overturned by more evidence, because they
are self-refuting they are false by definition. Evolutionary
theory is full of them. (1) Darwin built a law of nature on chance, which is
the contradiction to law. (2) Darwin reasoned that the mind is an evolved
artifact of blind accident, undermining the very basis of reason.
And (3) Darwin rendered design an illusion, using his intelligence to design this claim this about his own
brain. In these and other ways, Darwin tricked the world into thinking he
had come up with a stunningly elegant unification of biology in alleged
natural terms, when those very ideas refute themselves. How could
this happen? One reason is that tautologies are always intuitively obvious.
To say, Life evolved because natural selection brought them into existence,
sounds perfectly fine, till you realize the sentence conveys no information. It
begs the question it is supposed to answer. Darwins adventure tales, his admittedly detailed
observations, his Mosaic visage, and his gift of eloquent rhetoric were all dandy things,
but they cannot rescue his doctrines from collapse. They are self-refuting.
Hullabaloo and hoopla can be fun. Fantasyland has good fireworks, too.
But no amount of celebration can save a self-refuting belief system.
Can self-refuting doctrines really fool a world of scientists and
smart people? It happens. Absurdities have fooled the elite of many a civilization.
Were only human. We dont know everything. Were gullible.
For certainty, we need a revelation from the One who knows all things.
Having an anchor in eternal, immutable things is a prerequisite for consistency.
You cannot build a progressive system from the ground up without assuming the
very thing you need to prove: that there are absolutes against which one can
measure progress. Even if one could pull oneself up by ones own bootstraps,
the effort would be vain without ground to stand on. Darwinism is anchored in the
quicksand of contingency.
Its aspiration to provide understanding, the opposite of contingency, is doomed.
Lacking an absolute, the hullabaloo and hoopla around Darwin is full of sound and fury,
Next headline on:
Darwin and Evolutionary Theory
Scientist of the Month
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|Guide to Evolution
I would assume that you, or anyone affiliated with your website is simply not
qualified to answer any questions regarding that subject [evolution], because I can almost
single-handedly refute all of your arguments with solid scientific arguments....
Also, just so you know, the modern theory of evolution does not refute the existence
of a god, and it in no way says that humans are not special. Think about that
before you go trying to discredit one of the most important and revolutionary scientific
ideas of human history. It is very disrespectful to the people who have spent
their entire lives trying to reveal some kind of truth in this otherwise crazy world.
(a university senior studying geology and paleontology in Michigan)
Hi guys, thanks for all that you do, your website is a great source of information: very comprehensive.
(a medical student in California)
You are really doing a good job commenting on the weaknesses of science, pointing
out various faults. Please continue.
(a priest in the Netherlands)
I much enjoy the info AND the sarcasm. Isaiah was pretty sarcastic at times, too.
I check in at your site nearly every day. Thanks for all your work.
(a carpet layer in California)
I just wanted to write in to express my personal view that everyone at Creation
Evolution Headlines is doing an excellent job! I have confidences that in the
future, Creation Evolution Headline will continue in doing such a great job!
Anyone who has interest at where science, as a whole, is at in our current times,
does not have to look very hard to see that science is on the verge of a new awakening....
Its not uncommon to find articles that are supplemented with assumptions and vagueness.
A view point the would rather keep knowledge in the dark ages. But when I read over the
postings on CEH, I find a view point that looks past the grayness.
The whole team at CEH helps cut through the assumptions of weary influences.
CEH helps illuminate the true picture that is shining in todays science.
A bright clear picture, full of intriguing details, independence and fascinating complexities.
I know that Creation Evolution Headlines has a growing and informative future before them.
Im so glad to be along for the ride!!
(a title insurance employee in Illinois, who called CEH The Best Web Site EVER !!)
Thank you very much for your well presented and highly instructive blog [news service].
(a French IT migration analyst working in London)
Please keep up the great work -- your website is simply amazing!
Dont know how you do it. But it justs eviscerates every evolutionary
argument they weakly lob up there -- kind of like serving up a juicy fastball
to Hank Aaron in his prime!
(a creation group leader in California)
I just want to thank you for your outstanding job. I am a regular reader of
yours and even though language barrier and lack of deeper scientific insight play
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(a pathologist in Missouri)
I have read many of your creation articles and have enjoyed and appreciated your website.
I feel you are an outstanding witness for the Lord.... you are making a big difference, and
you have a wonderful grasp of the issues.
(a PhD geneticist, author and inventor)
Thank you for your great creation section on your website. I come visit
it every day, and I enjoy reading those news bits with your funny (but oh so true) commentaries.
(a computer worker in France)
I have been reading Creation Evolution Headlines for many years now with ever increasing astonishment....
I pray that God will bless your work for it has been a tremendous blessing for me and I thank you.
(a retired surveyor in N.S.W. Australia)
I totally enjoy the polemic and passionate style of CEH... simply refreshes the
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flooded with on a daily basis. The baloney detector
is just unbelievably great. Thank you so much for your continued effort,
keep up the good work.
(an embedded Linux hacker in Switzerland)
I love to read about science and intelligent design,
I love your articles.... I will be reading your articles for the rest of my life.
(an IT engineer and 3D animator in South Africa)
I discovered your site about a year ago and found it to be very informative,
but about two months back I decided to go back to the 2001 entries and read through the
headlines of each month.... What a treasure house of information!
....you have been very balanced and thoughtful
in your analysis, with no embarrassing predictions, or pronouncements or unwarranted
statements, but a very straightforward and sometimes humorous analysis of the news
relating to origins.
(a database engineer in New York)
I discovered your site several months ago.... I found your articles very
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thank you for making these articles available and to encourage you to keep up the good work!
(a software engineer in Texas)
Your piece on Turing Test Stands (09/14/2008)
was so enlightening. Thanks so much. And your piece on Cosmology
at the Outer Limits (06/30/2008) was
another marvel of revelation. But most of all your footnotes at
the end are the most awe-inspiring. I refer to Come to the light
and Psalm 139 and many others. Thanks so much for keeping us grounded in the
TRUTH amidst the sea of scientific discoveries and controversy. Its so
heartwarming and soul saving to read the accounts of the inspired writers testifying
to the Master of the Universe. Thanks again.
(a retired electrical engineer in Mississippi)
I teach a college level course on the issue of evolution and creation.
I am very grateful for your well-reasoned reports and analyses of the issues that
confront us each day. In light of all the animosity that evolutionists
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the other side can maintain our civility even while correcting and informing a
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of the day.
(a faculty member at a Bible college in Missouri)
Congratulations on reaching 8 years of absolute success with crev.info....
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and is appreciated by all who read it.
(a computer programmer from Southern California)
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I appreciate the work youve been doing with the
Creation-Evolution Headlines website.
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Thanks again for one of the most valuable websites anywhere.
(a retired biology teacher in New Jersey, whose blog features beautiful plant
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(a software development team leader in Texas)
I want to express my appreciation for what you are doing. I came across
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(a Bible scholar and professor in Michigan)
I enjoyed reading your site. I completely disagree with you on just
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He left off at one point, saying, You have given me much to think about.)
I have learned so much since discovering your site about 3 years ago.
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(a homeschooling mom in Mississippi)
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(a web application programmer in Maryland)
I would like to express my appreciation for your work exposing the Darwinist
assumptions and speculation masquerading as science.... When I discovered your site
through a link... I knew that I had struck gold! ....Your site has helped me to
understand how the Darwinists use propaganda techniques to confuse the public.
I never would have had so much insight otherwise... I check your site almost daily to
keep informed of new developments.
(a lumber mill employee in Florida)
I have been reading your website for about the past year or so.
You are [an] excellent resource. Your information and analysis is spot on, up to
date and accurate. Keep up the good work.
(an accountant in Illinois)
This website redefines debunking. Thanks for wading through the obfuscation
that passes for evolution science to expose the sartorial deficiencies of
Emperor Charles and his minions. Simply the best site of its kind, an
amazing resource. Keep up the great work!
(an engineer in Michigan)
I have been a fan of your daily news items for about two years, when a friend pointed
me to it. I now visit every day (or almost every day)... A quick kudo: You are
amazing, incredible, thorough, indispensable, and I could list another ten
superlatives. Again, I just dont know how you manage to comb so widely, in so many
technical journals, to come up with all this great news from science info.
(a PhD professor of scientific rhetoric in Florida and author of two books, who added that he was
awe-struck by this site)
Featured Creation Scientist for February
1824 - 1907
William Thomson, Scottish physicist, mathematician and engineer, later awarded the barony Kelvin of Largs which gave him the
more familiar title Lord Kelvin, was the most eminent scientist of his day in the British Isles. He was professor of mathematics and natural philosophy at the University of Glasgow in Scotland for over 50 years.
Lord Kelvin was largely responsible for the rise of engineering, taking the meteoric discoveries being made by 19th century
scientists to practical uses for man. He supervised the first successful transatlantic cable that brought
instantaneous communication across the ocean for the first time. This succeeded only with his invention
of signal amplifiers and sensitive receivers. With James Joule, he discovered the
Joule-Thomson effect that ushered in the invention of refrigerators. His name is also commemorated
in the Kelvin temperature scale, that begins at absolute zero (a concept he originated), which is widely
used in physics and astronomy. Perhaps Lord Kelvins most significant achievement was defining
the concept of energy and formalizing the laws of thermodynamics.
Applying the Second Law to the universe as a whole, he predicted the heat death of the universe in the
future, which also ruled out an infinitely-old universe.
Everyone has their moments of embarrassment. Historians still get a
chuckle out of Kelvins off-the-cuff remark that heavier-than-air
flying machines are impossible. Each of us has made remarks that,
in hindsight, we would hastily and silently retract if it were possible
(Kelvin lived to learn of the Wright brotherss success at Kitty
Hawk and the rapid advance of aeroplane technology.) Some of Kelvins
theories did not work out, and he never made a big, original breakthrough
discovery quite as profound as those of Maxwell, his friend and correspondent.
But we quibble about champions. Kelvin earned his place in the
hall of fame, as much as an inventor, co-discoverer of fundamental laws,
clarifier of prior discoveries and motivator of students and fellow scientists as
an original thinker himself.
As a Christian, Lord Kelvin was a gentle, wise and generous family man, faithful in his church, an ardent student
of the Scripture and a promoter of Christian education. He believed church members should study the maps
in the back of the Bible and understand history. He often expressed awe at the beauty, design and orderliness of
creation and natural law.
But he also recognized the rise of Darwinism both
for its weak science and evil influence. Accordingly, he got personally into the
battle. Many other prominent scientists of the period, like Richard Owen,
Rudolph Virchow, St. George Mivart and Whitwell Elwin, protested against Darwins
claims with scientific and philosophical rebuttals. But it was
Kelvin who launched a scientific attack that sent Darwin and his supporters
reeling. To his dying day, Darwin considered it the most serious and
unsettling criticism of his theory, because it pulled the rug
out from under his requirements, and it appeared to have strong scientific
Thomson applied his expertise in physics and thermodynamics to argue
that the earth could not be as old as Darwin required for evolution.
Darwin needed many millions of years to produce a man from a warm
little pond of chemicals. Janet Browne explains the seriousness
of Thomsons challenge, and describes how combatting anti-Biblical claims
(and bad science) was not a new avocation for the physics professor:
While working on this fifth edition [of The Origin
of Species], Darwin also encountered major intellectual problems over
the age of the earth. William Thomson (the future Lord Kelvin)
had asserted on the basis of experimental physics that the earth was
not sufficiently old to have allowed evolution to have taken place.
To some extent, Thomson was tilting at Lyellhe had never liked
Lyells endless geological epochs stretching back into eternity.
Earlier on, he had attacked Lyells gradualism and uniformitarianism,
saying that geologists ignored the laws of physics at their peril
and that the earth was much younger than usually thought....
thoroughly frustrated by what he regarded as pig-headed
obtuseness from the Lyellian-Darwinian fraternity, and
propelled by anti-evolutionary, Scottish Presbyterian inclinations,
Thomson launched a vigorous polemic against the lot of them,
stating that 100 million years was all that physics could allow for the
earths entire history. As Darwin noted, Thomson intimated
that the earth had a beginning and would come to a sunless end.
(Browne, Charles Darwin: The Power of Place (Princeton, 2002, p. 314; emphasis added).
(Its interesting to note the parallels with 20th-century cosmology,
with evolutionary astronomers facing the philosophically repugnant conclusion
that the universe had a beginning see Robert Jastrows book
God and the Astronomers for details.)
This excerpt from Brownes excellent biography of Darwin is just
one of many that shows evolutionary doctrine came primarily out of
a fraternity, a kind of socio-political party of liberals, who had an agenda to
undercut the historicity of the Bible and usurp science with their pet philosophy
of naturalism. It also reveals that Thomson, though
a Bible-believing Christian, was morally indignant not only over their
denial of the Bible, but over their refusal to accept the clear laws of
physics when they contradicted their beliefs. It was not that
Thomson himself believed the earth was as old as 100 million years. But he was
convinced that physics itself set an upper limit on the age of the earth
that falsified Lyells and Darwins claims.
Browne next describes the hubbub this caused in the Darwin fraternity.
Lyell tried to answer Thomsons challenge in the tenth edition of his
Principles of Geology. Huxley, in what Browne calls one of
his froth and fury speeches, tried to claim that it didnt
matter, because all Darwin would have to do was speed up the rate of
variation. That, she claims, was just what
Darwin could not do
In the first edition of the Origin of Species
he had calculated that the erosion of the Sussex Weald must have taken
some 300 million years, a breathtaking length of time that, taken with
the rest of the stratigraphic table, provided ample opportunity for
gradual organic change. But Darwins calculations were
wrong. The actual time was much shorter.
Those confounded millions of years, he had
complained to Lyell and deleted the entire example.
So no wonder that Thomsons views of the recent age of
the world have been for some time one of my sorest troubles.
The 100 million years that Thomson allowed was not nearly long enough
for the exceeding slow rates of change Darwin envisaged in
nature. The fifth edition of the Origin bore witness
to his discomfort. Rattled, he tried various ways to
speed up evolution. He was aware that he was becoming more
environmentalist, more Lamarckian, as it were, and producing a
poor-spirited compromise. He roped in George [his son],
with his Cambridge mathematics, to make alternative calculations,
telling him that the age of the earth was the single most intractable
point levelled against his theory during his lifetime.
Five years later Darwin was still protesting that
Thomsons shortened time-span was an odious spectre.
(Ibid., pp. 314-315, emphasis added).
Respected geologists, like Archibald Geike, James Croll and Clarence King,
confirmed Thomsons calculations. The evolutionists were up
a creek and running scared. Alfred Russell Wallace,
the co-claimant to the notion of natural selection, proposed a solution
based on climate changes and tilting ecliptics that Darwin grasped at
in hope, but it was regarded as unworkable by physicists and
naturalists alike (Browne, ibid.). Darwins son
tried to get more time out of the estimates, and Although
Georges relationship with Thomson was close, he warned scholars
not to accept all of Thomsons results (ibid.)
It is clear the younger Darwin was biding for time, not having any empirical
or mathematical support, but probably just trying to protect
his famous father from embarrassment and the downfall of his theory.
Thomson kept up the attack. To make matters worse for the Darwinians,
he calculated a maximum age for the sun, based on calculations of energy
due to gravitational potential energy, resulting in a sun far too young for
their requirements. He demonstrated irrefutably that the laws of
thermodynamics dictated that the universe and the sun and the earth had
a beginning, requiring a Creator, and would come to an utter end
a heat death barring a supernatural intervention.
Darwinians could not assume an infinitely old universe.
Darwin was so squeezed by Thomsons evidence, he was willing to
consider radical proposals to keep his theory of natural selection
alive. Though cautious about claims of spontaneous generation,
he grasped at a suggestion by Henry Bastian in 1872 that there was no
real difference between organic and inorganic substances.
Bastian intimated that Lamarcks notion of a constantly
replenished source of primitive organisms might be accurate.
Not convinced by the evidence, Darwin nevertheless grasped at the
possibility as a way out of Thomsons trap:
suggested that these rapid transformations of simple matter could
quicken evolution to the point where Thomsons warnings about
the shortened age of the earth could safely be ignored. Darwin
saw the value in this. He would like to see spontaneous generation
proved true, he told Wallace, for it would be a discovery of
transcendent importance. For the rest of his life he
watched and pondered. (Browne, pp. 393-394.)
Darwin died in 1882, never finding a way
out of this vexing corner Thomson had put him in.
Browne wraps up this episode, saying,
Decades of continuing debate over the age of the earth were
resolved only with the discovery of radioactivity early in the
twentieth century, that, broadly speaking, allowed the earth to
be as old as evolutionists needed it to be (Ibid.,
p. 315, emphasis added). In addition, the age of the sun became
extendable to billions of years when thermonuclear reactions were
discovered. Darwinians breathed a collected sigh of relief.
Some even felt this was the last stand for creationism, and they
must now declare defeat (see views of Stephen Weinberg,
They need to understand that claims
of its early demise are a bit premature.
argument for a maximum age for the earth and sun were made before the discovery of radioactivity and
thermonuclear reactions, and have been discounted unfairly on that basis. In actuality,
the age of the earth and sun are difficulties for evolution even today.
In addition, modern creationists have continued to exhibit additional prima facie scientific
evidences for a young earth and solar system: phenomena like the lifetimes of comets
and planetary rings, the amount of salt in the oceans, the amount of helium
remaining in deep earth sediments, and the presence of carbon-14 in presumably
million-year old fossils when it should be long gone. Evolutionists were so desperate to find a way to stretch out
the age of the earth, they leaped on radioactivity as if it were a panacea.
Thus inoculated against Kelvins odious spectre, they have
since presumed that the earth can be as old as evolutionists needed
it to be. Its time to turn up the heat again.
thermonuclear reactions have complicated the argument Lord Kelvin used, but not
destroyed it. Early geologists were not physicists, but now there
are geophysicists who use their expertise to argue that the earth is billions of years old.
Much of their argumentation, however, assumes that Darwinism is true; it does
not constitute independent evidence. The bar was raised for creationists.
It takes more learning to confute their abstruse math and convoluted arguments.
Yet much of their belief is predicated on preserving Darwins required
long ages. Once that is understood, it is remarkable how clear the evidence
for a young solar system appears to one not already biased to think in terms of
long ages. Modern creationists should continue Kelvins challenge, not standing
for pig-headed obtuseness from the Lyellian-Darwinian fraternity.
It is still necessary to insist that geologists ignore the laws of
physics at their peril.
There are other lessons from Kelvins battle over the age of the earth.
Though a Christian, Kelvin understood the power of scientific arguments.
He knew the Darwinian scoffers would ridicule Biblical reasoning, but they
had to respect science, because they were claiming to be the voice
of science in their culture. You want science? he seemed to
be saying; Here, have some. Lord Kelvin respected science, too,
and he was well qualified as a scientist. That should be a challenge
to those wishing to do battle with evolutionary philosophy. Its
important to know your field. Darwin, Lyell, Wallace and the other
frat members simply could not ignore the man or his arguments.
Another lesson is that Kelvin fought like a gentleman. Even his
adversaries respected the fact that he never became personally vindictive.
Even Darwins bulldog Thomas Huxley, praised Kelvin as a gentleman, a scholar, and a
formidable opponent: he called him the most perfect knight who ever broke a lance.
But a gentleman can be a warrior, too.
Known for his self-confidence, Kelvin held the Darwinists feet to the fire of scientific rigor and didnt let
them get by with mere storytelling. His students respected him for his skill at demonstrating
underlying, unifying principles (rather than requiring memorization of facts), and motivating them to do their best.
Physics students know of the Kelvin temperature scale, but should know about this
mans measure on the scale of greatness. William Thomson, Lord Kelvin published over 600 research papers and served as president of the Royal Society. Showered with 21 honorary doctorates from around the world (perhaps these could be referred to
as degrees Kelvin), he had right to more letters after his name than any of
his contemporaries. He received numerous other awards and was knighted by the queen.
Not only did Lord Kelvin advance science in fundamental ways himself,
he mentored Joule, Maxwell, Tait and other eminent scientists. He was buried in Westminster Abbey
after a long and successful career.
It was Biblical faith that gave Lord Kelvin confidence in a glorious future
despite what the cold laws of physics dictated. Referring to both
Scripture and science, he said, We have the
sober scientific certainty that the heavens and earth shall wax old as doth
a garment1 ... Dark indeed would be the prospects for the human
race if unilluminated by that light which reveals new heavens
and a new earth.2
If you are enjoying this series, you can
learn more about great Christians in science by reading
our online book-in-progress:
The Worlds Greatest
Creation Scientists from Y1K to Y2K.
A Concise Guide|
You can observe a lot by just watching.
First Law of Scientific Progress
The advance of science can be measured by the rate at which exceptions to previously held laws accumulate.
1. Exceptions always outnumber rules.
2. There are always exceptions to established exceptions.
3. By the time one masters the exceptions, no one recalls the rules to which they apply.
Nature will tell you a direct lie if she can.
So will Darwinists.
Science is true. Dont be misled by facts.
Finagles 2nd Law
No matter what the anticipated result, there
will always be someone eager to (a) misinterpret it, (b) fake it, or (c)
believe it happened according to his own pet theory.
3. Draw your curves, then plot your data.
4. In case of doubt, make it sound convincing.
6. Do not believe in miracles rely on them.
Murphys Law of Research
Enough research will tend to support your theory.
If the facts do not conform to the theory, they must be disposed of.
1. The bigger the theory, the better.
2. The experiments may be considered a success if no more than 50%
of the observed measurements must be discarded to obtain a correspondence
with the theory.
The number of different hypotheses erected to explain a given biological phenomenon
is inversely proportional to the available knowledge.
All great discoveries are made by mistake.
The greater the funding, the longer it takes to make the mistake.
The solution to a problem changes the nature of the problem.
Peters Law of Evolution
Competence always contains the seed of incompetence.
An expert is a person who avoids the small errors while sweeping on to the grand fallacy.
Repetition does not establish validity.
What really matters is the name you succeed in imposing on the facts not the facts themselves.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.
Thumbs Second Postulate
An easily-understood, workable falsehood is more useful than a complex, incomprehensible truth.
There is nothing so small that it cant be blown out of proportion
Hawkins Theory of Progress
Progress does not consist in replacing a theory that is
wrong with one that is right. It consists in replacing a theory that is wrong with one that is
more subtly wrong.
The best theory is not ipso facto a good theory.
Error is often more earnest than truth.
Advice from Paul|
Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle
babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge by
professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.
I Timothy 6:20-21
Song of the True Scientist
O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made
them all. The earth is full of Your possessions . . . . May the glory of the Lord endure forever. May the
Lord rejoice in His works . . . . I will sing to the Lord s long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my
being. May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the Lord. May sinners be
consumed from the earth, and the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul! Praise the Lord!
from Psalm 104
Through the creatures Thou hast made
Show the brightness of Thy glory.
Be eternal truth displayed
In their substance transitory.
Till green earth and ocean hoary,
Massy rock and tender blade,
Tell the same unending story:
We are truth in form arrayed.
Teach me thus Thy works to read,
That my faith, new strength accruing
May from world to world proceed,
Wisdoms fruitful search pursuing
Till, thy truth my mind imbuing,
I proclaim the eternal Creed
Oft the glorious theme renewing,
God our Lord is God indeed.
James Clerk Maxwell
One of the greatest physicists
of all time (a creationist).
Like your site especially the style of your comments.... Keep up the good work.
(a retired engineer and amateur astronomer in Maryland)
I really enjoy your website, the first I visit every day. I have a
quote by Mark Twain which seems to me to describe the Darwinian philosophy of
science perfectly. There is something fascinating about science.
One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment
of fact. Working as I do in the Environmental field (I am a geologist
doing groundwater contamination project management for a state agency) I see that
kind of science a lot. Keep up the good work!!
(a hydrogeologist in Alabama)
I visit your website regularly and I commend you on your work. I
applaud your effort to pull actual science from the mass of propaganda for Evolution
you report on (at least on those rare occasions when there actually is any science
in the propaganda). I also must say that I'm amazed at your capacity to
continually plow through the propaganda day after day and provide cutting and
amusing commentary.... I can only hope that youthful surfers will stop by
your website for a fair and interesting critique of the dogma they have to
imbibe in school.
(a technical writer living in Jerusalem)
I have enjoyed your site for several years now. Thanks for all the
hard work you obviously put into this. I appreciate your insights, especially
the biological oriented ones in which I'm far behind the nomenclature curve.
It would be impossible for me to understand what's going on without some
interpretation. Thanks again.
(a manufacturing engineer in Vermont)
Love your site and your enormous amount of intellectualism and candor
regarding the evolution debate. Yours is one site I look forward to on
a daily basis. Thank you for being a voice for the rest of us.
(a graphic designer in Wisconsin)
For sound, thoughtful commentary on creation-evolution hot topics go to
(Access Research Network
Your website is simply the best (and Id dare say one of the most important) web sites on the entire WWW.
(an IT specialist at an Alabama university)
Ive been reading the articles on this website for over a year, and
Im guilty of not showing any appreciation. You provide a great service.
Its one of the most informative and up-to-date resources on creation available
anywhere. Thank you so much. Please keep up the great work.
(a senior research scientist in Georgia)
Just a note to thank you for your site. I am a regular visitor and I use your site
to rebut evolutionary "just so" stories often seen in our local media.
I know what you do is a lot of work but you make a difference and are appreciated.
(a veterinarian in Minnesota)
This is one of the best sites I have ever visited. Thanks.
I have passed it on to several others... I am a retired grandmother.
I have been studying the creation/evolution question for about 50 yrs....
Thanks for the info and enjoyable site.
(a retiree in Florida)
It is refreshing to know that there are valuable resources such as Creation-Evolution
Headlines that can keep us updated on the latest scientific news that affect our view of
the world, and more importantly to help us decipher through the rhetoric so carelessly
disseminated by evolutionary scientists. I find it Intellectually Satisfying
to know that I dont have to park my brain at the door to be a believer
or at the very least, to not believe in Macroevolution.
(a loan specialist in California)
I have greatly benefitted from your efforts. I very much look forward
to your latest posts.
(an attorney in California)
I must say your website provides an invaluable arsenal in this war for souls
that is being fought. Your commentaries move me to laughter or sadness.
I have been viewing your information for about 6 months and find it one of the best
on the web. It is certainly effective against the nonsense published on
Talkorigins.org. It great to see work that glorifies God and His creation.
(a commercial manager in Australia)
Visiting daily your site and really do love it.
(a retiree from Finland who studied math and computer science)
I am agnostic but I can never deny that organic life (except human) is doing a wonderful
job at functioning at optimum capacity. Thank you for this ... site!
(an evolutionary theorist from Australia)
During the year I have looked at your site, I have gone through your archives and
found them to be very helpful and informative. I am so impressed that I forward link
to members of my congregation who I believe are interested in a higher level discussion
of creationist issues than they will find at [a leading origins website].
(a minister in Virginia)
I attended a public school in KS where evolution was taught. I have
rejected evolution but have not always known the answers to some of the
questions.... A friend told me about your site
and I like it, I have it on my favorites, and I check it every day.
(an auto technician in Missouri)
Thanks for a great site! It has brilliant insights into the world of
science and of the evolutionary dogma. One of the best sites I know of on
(a programmer in Iceland)
The site you run creation-evolution headlines is
extremely useful to me. I get so tired of what passes
for science Darwinism in particular and I find your
site a refreshing antidote to the usual junk.... it is clear that your thinking and logic
and willingness to look at the evidence for what the
evidence says is much greater than what I read in what
are now called science journals.
Please keep up the good work. I appreciate what you
are doing more than I can communicate in this e-mail.
(a teacher in California)
Although we are often in disagreement, I have the greatest respect and admiration for your writing.
(an octogenarian agnostic in Palm Springs)
your website is absolutely superb and unique. No other site out
there provides an informed & insightful running critique of the current
goings-on in the scientific establishment. Thanks for keeping us informed.
(a mechanical designer in Indiana)
I have been a fan of your site for some time now. I enjoy reading the No Spin of what
is being discussed.... keep up the good work, the world needs to be shown just how little the scientist
[sic] do know in regards to origins.
(a network engineer in South Carolina)
I am a young man and it is encouraging to find a scientific journal
on the side of creationism and intelligent design....
Thank you for your very encouraging website.
(a web designer and author in Maryland)
GREAT site. Your ability to expose the clothesless emperor in clear language is indispensable to
us non-science types who have a hard time seeing through the jargon and the hype. Your tireless efforts
result in encouragement and are a great service to the faith community. Please keep it up!
(a medical writer in Connecticut)
I really love your site and check it everyday. I also recommend it to everyone I can, because there is
no better website for current information about ID.
(a product designer in Utah)
Your site is a fantastic resource. By far, it is the most current, relevant and most frequently
updated site keeping track of science news from a creationist perspective. One by one, articles
challenging currently-held aspects of evolution do not amount to much. But when browsing the archives,
its apparent youve caught bucketfulls of science articles and news items that devastate
evolution. The links and references are wonderful tools for storming the gates of evolutionary paradise
and ripping down their strongholds. The commentary is the icing on the cake. Thanks for all your
hard work, and by all means, keep it up!
(a business student in Kentucky)
Thanks for your awesome work; it stimulates my mind and encourages my faith.
(a family physician in Texas)
I wanted to personally thank you for your outstanding website. I am intensely interested in any
science news having to do with creation, especially regarding astronomy. Thanks again for your GREAT
(an amateur astronomer in San Diego)
What an absolutely brilliant website you have. Its hard to express how uplifting it is for me
to stumble across something of such high quality.
(a pharmacologist in Michigan)
I want to make a brief commendation in passing of the outstanding job you did in rebutting the
thinking on the article: Evolution of Electrical Engineering
... What a rebuttal to end all rebuttals, unanswerable,
inspiring, and so noteworthy that was. Thanks for the effort and research you put into it.
I wish this answer could be posted in every church, synagogue, secondary school, and college/university...,
and needless to say scientific laboratories.
(a reader in Florida)
You provide a great service with your thorough coverage of news stories relating
to the creation-evolution controversy.
(an elder of a Christian church in Salt Lake City)
I really enjoy your website and have made it my home page so I can check on your latest articles.
I am amazed at the diversity of topics you address. I tell everyone I can about your site and encourage them to
check it frequently.
(a business owner in Salt Lake City)
Ive been a regular reader of CEH for about nine month now, and I look forward to each new posting.... I enjoy the information CEH gleans from current events in science and hope you keep the service going.
(a mechanical engineer in Utah)
It took six years of constant study of evolution to overcome the indoctrination found in public schools of my youth. I now rely on your site; it helps me to see the work of God where I could not see it before and to find miracles where there was only mystery. Your site is a daily devotional that I go to once a day and recommend to everyone. I am still susceptible to the wiles of fake science and I need the fellowship of your site; such information is rarely found in a church.
Now my eyes see the stars God made and the life He designed and I feel the rumblings of joy as promised. When I feel down or worried my solution is to praise God the Creator Of All That Is, and my concerns drain away while peace and joy fill the void. This is something I could not do when I did not know (know: a clear and accurate perception of truth) God as Creator. I could go on and on about the difference knowing our Creator has made, but I believe you understand.
I tell everyone that gives me an opening about your site. God is working through you. Please dont stop telling us how to see the lies or leading us in celebrating the truth. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
(a renowned artist in Wyoming)
I discovered your site a few months ago and it has become essential reading via RSS to
(a cartographer and GIS analyst in New Zealand)
I love your site, and frequently visit to read both explanations of news reports,
and your humor about Bonny Saint Charlie.
(a nuclear safety engineer in Washington)
Your site is wonderful.
(a senior staff scientist, retired, from Arizona)
Ive told many people about your site. Its a tremendous service to
science news junkies not to mention students of both Christianity and
(a meteorology research scientist in Alabama)
...let me thank you for your Creation-Evolution Headlines. Ive been an avid reader of it since I first discovered your website about five years ago. May I also express my admiration for the speed with which your articles appearoften within 24 hours of a particular news announcement or journal article being published.
(a plant physiologist and prominent creation writer in Australia)
How do you guys do it--reviewing so much relevant material every day and writing incisive,
(a retired high school biology teacher in New Jersey)
Your site is one of the best out there! I really love reading your articles on creation evolution
headlines and visit this section almost daily.
(a webmaster in the Netherlands)
Keep it up! Ive been hitting your site daily (or more...).
I sure hope you get a mountain of encouraging email, you deserve it.
(a small business owner in Oregon)
Great work! May your tribe increase!!!
(a former Marxist, now ID speaker in Brazil)
You are the best. Thank you....
The work you do is very important.
Please dont ever give up. God bless the whole team.
(an engineer and computer consultant in Virginia)
I really appreciate your work in this topic, so you should never stop doing what you do,
cause you have a lot of readers out there, even in small countries in Europe, like Slovenia
is... I use crev.info for all my signatures on Internet forums etc., it really is fantastic site,
the best site! You see, we(your pleased readers) exist all over the world, so you must be
doing great work! Well i hope you have understand my bad english.
(a biology student in Slovenia)
Thanks for your time, effort, expertise, and humor. As a public school biology teacher I
peruse your site constantly for new information that will challenge evolutionary belief and share much
of what I learn with my students. Your site is pounding a huge dent in evolutions supposed
solid exterior. Keep it up.
(a biology teacher in the eastern USA)
Several years ago, I became aware of your Creation-Evolution Headlines web site.
For several years now, it has been one of my favorite internet sites. I many times check your
website first, before going on to check the secular news and other creation web sites.
I continue to be impressed with your writing and research skills, your humor,
and your technical and scientific knowledge and understanding. Your ability to cut through
the inconsequentials and zero in on the principle issues is one of the characteristics that
is a valuable asset....
I commend you for the completeness and thoroughness with which you provide
coverage of the issues. You obviously spend a great deal of time on this work.
It is apparent in ever so many ways.
Also, your background topics of logic and propaganda techniques have been useful
as classroom aides, helping others to learn to use their baloney detectors.
Through the years, I have directed many to your site. For their sake and mine,
I hope you will be able to continue providing this very important, very much needed, educational,
humorous, thought provoking work.
(an engineer in Missouri)
I am so glad I found your site. I love reading short blurbs about recent discoveries, etc,
and your commentary often highlights that the discovery can be interpreted in two differing ways,
and usually with the pro-God/Design viewpoint making more sense. Its such a refreshing difference
from the usual media spin. Often youll have a story up along with comment before the masses
even know about the story yet.
(a system administrator in Texas, who calls CEH the UnSpin Zone)
You are indeed the Rush Limbaugh Truth Detector of science falsely so-called.
Keep up the excellent work.
(a safety director in Michigan)
I know of no better way to stay
informed with current scientific research than to read your site everyday, which in turn has helped me understand
many of the concepts not in my area (particle physics) and which I hear about in school or in the media.
Also, I just love the commentaries and the baloney detecting!!
(a grad student in particle physics)
I thank you for your ministry. May God bless you! You are doing great job effectively
exposing pagan lie of evolution. Among all known to me creation ministries [well-known organizations listed]
Creationsafaris stands unique thanks to qualitative survey and analysis of scientific publications and news.
I became permanent reader ever since discovered your site half a year ago. Moreover your ministry is
effective tool for intensive and deep education for cristians.
(a webmaster in Ukraine, seeking permission to translate CEH articles into Russian to reach
countries across the former Soviet Union)
The scholarship of the editors is unquestionable. The objectivity of the editors is
admirable in face of all the unfounded claims of evolutionists and Darwinists. The amount
of new data available each day on the site is phenomenal (I cant wait to see the next new
article each time I log on). Most importantly, the TRUTH is always and forever the primary
goal of the people who run this website. Thank you so very much for 6 years of consistent
dedication to the TRUTH.
(11 months earlier): I just completed reading each entry from each month. I found your site about
6 months ago and as soon as I understood the format, I just started at the very first entry
and started reading.... Your work has blessed my education and determination to bold in
showing the unscientific nature of evolution in general and Darwinism in particular.
(a medical doctor in Oklahoma)
Thanks for the showing courage in marching against a popular unproven unscientific belief system.
I dont think I missed 1 article in the past couple of years.
(a manufacturing engineer in Australia)
I do not know and cannot imagine how much time you must spend to read, research and
compile your analysis of current findings in almost every area of science. But I do know
I thank you for it.
(a practice administrator in Maryland)
Since finding your insightful comments some 18 or more months ago, Ive
visited your site daily.... You
so very adeptly and adroitly undress the emperor daily; so much so one
wonders if he might not soon catch cold and fall ill off his throne! ....
To you I wish much continued success and many more years of fun and
frolicking undoing the damage taxpayers are forced to fund through
unending story spinning by ideologically biased scientists.
(an investment advisor in Missouri)
I really like your articles. You do a fabulous job of cutting through
the double-talk and exposing the real issues. Thank you for your hard
work and diligence.
(an engineer in Texas)
I love your site. Found it about maybe
two years ago and I read it every day. I love the closing comments in
green. You have a real knack for exposing the toothless claims of the
evolutionists. Your comments are very helpful for many us who dont know
enough to respond to their claims. Thanks for your good work and keep it
(a missionary in Japan)
I just thought Id write and
tell you how much I appreciate your headline list and commentary. Its
inspired a lot of thought and consideration. I check your listings every day!
(a computer programmer in Tulsa)
Just wanted to thank you for your creation/evolution news ... an outstanding educational
(director of a consulting company in Australia)
Your insights ... been some of the most helpful not surprising considering the caliber of
your most-excellent website! Im serious, ..., your website has to be the
best creation website out there....
(a biologist and science writer in southern California)
I first learned of your web site on March 29.... Your site has far exceeded my expectations and is
consulted daily for the latest. I join with other readers in praising your time and energy spent to educate,
illuminate, expose errors.... The links are a great help in understanding the news items.
The archival structure is marvelous.... Your site brings back dignity to Science conducted as it
should be. Best regards for your continuing work and influence. Lives are being changed and
sustained every day.
(a manufacturing quality engineer in Mississippi)
I wrote you over three years ago letting you know how much I enjoyed your Creation-Evolution headlines,
as well as your Creation Safaris site. I stated then that I read your headlines and commentary every day,
and that is still true! My interest in many sites has come and gone over the years, but your site is
still at the top of my list! I am so thankful that you take the time to read and analyze some of the
scientific journals out there; which I dont have the time to read myself. Your commentary is very,
very much appreciated.
(a hike leader and nature-lover in Ontario, Canada)
...just wanted to say how much I admire your site and your writing.
Youre very insightful and have quite a broad range of knowledge.
Anyway, just wanted to say that I am a big fan!
(a PhD biochemist at a major university)
I love your site and syndicate your content on my church website....
The stories you highlight show the irrelevancy
of evolutionary theory and that evolutionists have perpetual foot and
mouth disease; doing a great job of discrediting themselves. Keep up
the good work.
(a database administrator and CEH junkie in California)
I cant tell you how much I enjoy your article reviews on your
websiteits a HUGE asset!
(a lawyer in Washington)
Really, really, really a fantastic site. Your wit makes a razor appear dull!...
A million thanks for your site.
(a small business owner in Oregon and father of children who love your site too.)
Thank God for ... Creation
Evolution Headlines. This site is right at the cutting edge in the debate
over bio-origins and is crucial in working to undermine the
deceived mindset of naturalism. The arguments presented are unassailable
(all articles having first been thoroughly baloney detected) and the
narrative always lands just on the right side of the laymans comprehension
limits... Very highly recommended to all, especially, of course, to those who
have never thought to question the fact of evolution.
(a business owner in Somerset, UK)
I continue to note the difference between the dismal derogations of the
darwinite devotees, opposed to the openness and humor of rigorous, follow-the-evidence
scientists on the Truth side. Keep up the great work.
(a math/science teacher with M.A. in anthropology)
Your material is clearly among the best I have ever read on evolution problems!
I hope a book is in the works!
(a biology prof in Ohio)
I have enjoyed reading the sardonic apologetics on the Creation/Evolution Headlines section
of your web site. Keep up the good work!
(an IT business owner in California)
Your commentaries ... are always delightful.
(president of a Canadian creation group)
Im pleased to see... your amazing work on the Headlines.
(secretary of a creation society in the UK)
We appreciate all you do at crev.info.
(a publisher of creation and ID materials)
I was grateful for creationsafaris.com for help with baloney detecting. I had read about
the fish-o-pod and wanted to see what you thought. Your comments were helpful and encouraged me
that my own baloney detecting skill are improving. I also enjoyed reading your reaction
to the article on evolution teachers doing battle with students.... I will ask my girls to read your
comments on the proper way to question their teachers.
(a home-schooling mom)
I just want to express how dissapointed [sic] I am in your website. Instead of being objective, the
website is entirely one sided, favoring creationism over evolution, as if the two are contradictory....
Did man and simien [sic] evovlve [sic] at random from a common ancestor? Or did God guide this evolution?
I dont know. But all things, including the laws of nature, originate from God....
To deny evolution is to deny Gods creation. To embrace evolution is to not only embrace his creation,
but to better appreciate it.
(a student in Saginaw, Michigan)
I immensely enjoy reading the Creation-Evolution Headlines. The way you use words
exposes the bankruptcy of the evolutionary worldview.
(a student at Northern Michigan U)
...standing O for crev.info.
(a database programmer in California)
Just wanted to say that I am thrilled to have found your website! Although I
regularly visit numerous creation/evolution sites, Ive found that many of them do
not stay current with relative information. I love the almost daily updates to
your headlines section. Ive since made it my browser home page, and have
recommended it to several of my friends. Absolutely great site!
(a network engineer in Florida)
After I heard about Creation-Evolution Headlines,
it soon became my favorite Evolution resource site on the web. I visit several times a
day cause I cant wait for the next update. Thats pathetic, I know ...
but not nearly as pathetic as Evolution, something you make completely obvious with your snappy,
intelligent commentary on scientific current events. It should be a textbook for science
classrooms around the country. You rock!
(an editor in Tennessee)
One of the highlights of my day is checking your latest CreationSafaris creation-evolution news listing!
Thanks so much for your great work -- and your wonderful humor.
(a pastor in Virginia)
Thanks!!! Your material is absolutely awesome. Ill be using it in our Adult Sunday School class.
(a pastor in Wisconsin)
Love your site & read it daily.
(a family physician in Texas)
I set it [crev.info] up as my homepage. That way I am less likely to miss some really interesting events....
I really appreciate what you are doing with Creation-Evolution Headlines. I
tell everybody I think might be interested, to check it out.
(a systems analyst in Tennessee)
I would like to thank you for your service from which I stand to benefit a lot.
(a Swiss astrophysicist)
I enjoy very much reading your materials.
(a law professor in Portugal)
Thanks for your time and thanks for all the work on the site.
It has been a valuable resource for me.
(a medical student in Kansas)
Creation-Evolution Headlines is a terrific resource. The articles are
always current and the commentary is right on the mark.
(a molecular biologist in Illinois)
Creation-Evolution Headlines is my favorite
anti-evolution website. With almost giddy anticipation, I check
it several times a week for the latest postings. May God bless you and
empower you to keep up this FANTASTIC work!
(a financial analyst in New York)
I read your pages on a daily basis and I would like to let you know
that your hard work has been a great help in increasing my knowledge
and growing in my faith. Besides the huge variety of scientific
disciplines covered, I also enormously enjoy your great sense of humor
and your creativity in wording your thoughts, which make reading your
website even more enjoyable.
(a software developer in Illinois)
THANK YOU for all the work you do to make this wonderful resource! After
being regular readers for a long time, this year weve incorporated your
site into our home education for our four teenagers. The Baloney Detector
is part of their Logic and Reasoning Skills course, and the Daily Headlines
and Scientists of the Month features are a big part of our curriculum for an
elective called Science Discovery Past and Present. What a wonderful
goldmine for equipping future leaders and researchers with the tools of
(a home school teacher in California)
What can I say I LOVE YOU!
I READ YOU ALMOST EVERY DAY I copy and send out to various folks.
I love your sense of humor, including your politics and of course your faith.
I appreciate and use your knowledge What can I say THANK YOU
THANK YOU THANK YOU SO MUCH.
(a biology major, former evolutionist, now father of college students)
I came across your site while browsing through creation & science links. I love the work you do!
(an attorney in Florida)
Love your commentary and up to date reporting. Best site for evolution/design info.
(a graphic designer in Oregon)
I am an ardent reader of your site. I applaud your efforts and pass on
your website to all I talk to. I have recently given your web site info
to all my grandchildren to have them present it to their science
teachers.... Your Supporter and fan..God bless you all...
(a health services manager in Florida)
Why your readership keeps doubling: I came across your website at a time when I was just getting to know what creation science is all about. A friend of mine was telling me about what he had been finding out. I was highly skeptical and sought to read as many pro/con articles as I could find and vowed to be open-minded toward his seemingly crazy claims. At first I had no idea of the magnitude of research and information thats been going on. Now, Im simply overwhelmed by the sophistication and availability of scientific research and information on what I now know to be the truth about creation.
Your website was one of dozens that I found in my search. Now, there are only a handful of sites I check every day. Yours is at the top of my list... I find your news page to be the most insightful and well-written of the creation news blogs out there. The quick wit, baloney detector, in-depth scientific knowledge you bring to the table and the superb writing style on your site has kept me interested in the day-to-day happenings of what is clearly a growing movement. Your site ... has given me a place to point them toward to find out more and realize that theyve been missing a huge volume of information when it comes to the creation-evolution issue.
Another thing I really like about this site is the links to articles in science journals and news references. That helps me get a better picture of what youre talking about.... Keep it up and I promise to send as many people as will listen to this website and others.
(an Air Force Academy graduate stationed in New Mexico)
Im a small town newspaper editor in southwest Wyoming. Were pretty
isolated, and finding your site was a great as finding a gold mine. I read
it daily, and if theres nothing new, I re-read everything. I follow links.
I read the Scientist of the Month. Its the best site Ive run across. Our
local school board is all Darwinist and determined to remain that way.
(a newspaper editor in Wyoming)
have been reading your page for about 2 years or so....
I read it every day. I ...am well educated, with a BA in Applied Physics
from Harvard and an MBA in Finance from Wharton.
(a reader in Delaware)
I came across your website by accident about 4 months ago and look at it every day....
About 8 months ago I was reading a letter to the editor of the Seattle Times that was written
by a staunch anti-Creationist and it sparked my interest enough to research the
topic and within a week I was yelling, my whole lifes education has been a lie!!!
Ive put more study into Biblical Creation in the last 8 months than any other topic in my life.
Past that, through resources like your website...Ive been able to convince my father (professional mathematician and amateur geologist), my best friend (mechanical engineer and fellow USAF Academy Grad/Creation Science nutcase), my pastor (he was the hardest to crack), and many others to realize the Truth of Creation.... Resources like your website help the rest of us at the grassroots level drum up interest in the subject. And regardless of what the major media says: Creationism is spreading like wildfire, so please keep your website going to help fan the flames.
(an Air Force Academy graduate and officer)
I love your site! I **really** enjoy reading it for several specific reasons: 1.It uses the latest (as in this month!) research as a launch pad for opinion; for years I have searched for this from a creation science viewpoint, and now, Ive found it. 2. You have balanced fun with this topic. This is hugely valuable! Smug Christianity is ugly, and I dont perceive that attitude in your comments. 3. I enjoy the expansive breadth of scientific news that you cover. 4. I am not a trained scientist but I know evolutionary bologna/(boloney) when I see it; you help me to see it. I really appreciate this.
(a computer technology salesman in Virginia)
I love your site. Thats why I was more than happy to
mention it in the local paper.... I mentioned your site as the place
where..... Every Darwin-cheering news article is
reviewed on that site from an ID perspective. Then
the huge holes of the evolution theory are exposed,
and the bad science is shredded to bits, using real
(a project manager in New Jersey)
Ive been reading your site almost daily for about three years. I have
never been more convinced of the truthfulness of Scripture and the faithfulness of God.
(a system administrator and homeschooling father in Colorado)
I use the internet a lot to catch up on news back
home and also to read up on the creation-evolution controversy, one of my favourite topics.
Your site is always my first port of call for the latest news and views and I really appreciate
the work you put into keeping it up to date and all the helpful links you provide. You are a
beacon of light for anyone who wants to hear frank, honest conclusions instead of the usual diluted
garbage we are spoon-fed by the media.... Keep up the good work and know that youre changing lives.
(a teacher in Spain)
I am grateful to you for your site and look forward to reading new
stories.... I particularly value it for being up to date with what is going on.
(from the Isle of Wight, UK)
[Creation-Evolution Headlines] is the place to go for late-breaking
news [on origins]; it has the most information and the quickest turnaround.
Its incredible I dont know how you do it.
I cant believe all the articles you find. God bless you!
(a radio producer in Riverside, CA)
Just thought I let you know how much I enjoy
reading your Headlines section. I really appreciate
how you are keeping your ear to the ground in so
many different areas. It seems that there is almost
no scientific discipline that has been unaffected
by Darwins Folly.
(a programmer in aerospace from Gardena, CA)
I enjoy reading the comments on news articles on your site very much. It is incredible
how much refuse is being published in several scientific fields regarding evolution.
It is good to notice that the efforts of true scientists have an increasing influence at schools,
but also in the media.... May God bless your efforts and open the eyes of the blinded evolutionists
and the general public that are being deceived by pseudo-scientists.... I enjoy the site very much
and I highly respect the work you and the team are doing to spread the truth.
(an ebusiness manager in the Netherlands)
I discovered your site through a link at certain website...
It has greatly helped me being updated with the latest development in science and with
critical comments from you. I also love your baloney detector
and in fact have translated some part of the baloney detector into our language (Indonesian).
I plan to translate them all for my friends so as to empower them.
(a staff member of a bilateral agency in West Timor, Indonesia)
...absolutely brilliant and inspiring.
(a documentary film producer, remarking on the
I found your site several months ago and within weeks
had gone through your entire archives.... I check in several times a day for further
information and am always excited to read the new
articles. Your insight into the difference between
what is actually known versus what is reported has
given me the confidence to stand up for what I
believe. I always felt there was more to the story,
and your articles have given me the tools to read
through the hype....
You are an invaluable help and I commend your efforts.
Keep up the great work.
(a sound technician in Alberta)
I discovered your site (through a link from a blog) a few weeks ago and I cant stop reading it....
I also enjoy your insightful and humorous commentary at the end of each story. If the evolutionists
blindness wasnt so sad, I would laugh harder.
I have a masters degree in mechanical engineering from a leading University. When I read the descriptions, see the pictures, and watch the movies of the inner workings of the cell, Im absolutely amazed.... Thanks for bringing these amazing stories daily. Keep up the good work.
(an engineer in Virginia)
I stumbled across your site several months ago and have
been reading it practically daily. I enjoy the inter-links
to previous material as well as the links to the quoted
research. Ive been in head-to-head debate with a
materialist for over a year now. Evolution is just one of
those debates. Your site is among others that have been a
real help in expanding my understanding.
(a software engineer in Pennsylvania)
I was in the April 28, 2005 issue of Nature [see 04/27/2005
story] regarding the rise of intelligent design in the universities. It was through your website
that I began my journey out of the crisis of faith which was mentioned in that article. It was an honor to see you all highlighting the article in Nature. Thank you for all you have done!
(Salvador Cordova, George Mason University)
I shudder to think of the many ways in which you mislead readers, encouraging them to build a faith based on misunderstanding and ignorance. Why dont you allow people to have a faith that is grounded in a fuller understanding of the world?...
Your website is a sham.
(a co-author of the paper reviewed in the 12/03/2003
entry who did not appreciate the unflattering commentary. This led to a cordial
interchange, but he could not divorce his reasoning from the science vs. faith dichotomy,
and resulted in an impasse over definitions but, at least, a more mutually respectful dialogue.
He never did explain how his paper supported Darwinian macroevolution. He just claimed
evolution is a fact.)
I absolutely love creation-evolution news. As a Finnish university student very
interested in science, I frequent your site to find out about all the new science
stuff thats been happening you have such a knack for finding all this
information! I have been able to stump evolutionists with knowledge gleaned from
your site many times.
(a student in Finland)
I love your site and read it almost every day. I use it for my science class and
5th grade Sunday School class. I also challenge Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers to
get on the site to check out articles against the baloney they are taught in school.
(a teacher in Los Gatos, CA)
I have spent quite a few hours at Creation Evolution Headlines in the past week
or so going over every article in the archives. I thank you for such an informative
and enjoyable site. I will be visiting often and will share this link with others.
[Later] I am back to May 2004 in the archives. I figured I should be farther
back, but there is a ton of information to digest.
(a computer game designer in Colorado)
The IDEA Center also highly recommends visiting Creation-Evolution Headlines...
the most expansive and clearly written origins news website on the internet!
(endorsement on Intelligent Design and Evolution
Hey Friends, Check out this site: Creation-Evolution Headlines.
This is a fantastic resource for the whole family.... a fantastic reference library with summaries,
commentaries and great links that are added to
dailyarchives go back five years.
(a reader who found us in Georgia)
I just wanted to drop you a note telling you that at www.BornAgainRadio.com,
Ive added a link to your excellent Creation-Evolution news site.
(a radio announcer)
I cannot understand
why anyone would invest so much time and effort to a website of sophistry and casuistry.
Why twist Christian apology into an illogic pretzel to placate your intellect?
Isnt it easier to admit that your faith has no basis -- hence, faith.
It would be extricate [sic] yourself from intellectual dishonesty -- and
from bearing false witness.
Sincerely, Rev. [name withheld] (an ex-Catholic, apostate Christian Natural/Scientific pantheist)
Just wanted to let you folks know that we are consistent readers and truly appreciate
the job you are doing. God bless you all this coming New Year.
(from two prominent creation researchers/writers in Oregon)
Thanks so much for your site! It is brain candy!
(a reader in North Carolina)
I Love your site probably a little too much. I enjoy the commentary
and the links to the original articles.
(a civil engineer in New York)
Ive had your Creation/Evolution Headlines site on my favourites list for
18 months now, and I can truthfully say that its one of the best on the Internet,
and I check in several times a week. The constant stream of new information on
such a variety of science issues should impress anyone, but the rigorous and
humourous way that every thought is taken captive is inspiring. Im pleased
that some Christians, and indeed, some webmasters, are devoting themselves to
producing real content that leaves the reader in a better state than when they found him.
(a community safety manager in England)
I really appreciate the effort that you are making to provide the public with
information about the problems with the General Theory of Evolution. It gives me
ammunition when I discuss evolution in my classroom. I am tired of the evolutionary
dogma. I wish that more people would stand up against such ridiculous beliefs.
(a science teacher in Alabama)
If you choose to hold an opinion that flies in the face of every piece of evidence
collected so far, you cannot be suprised [sic] when people dismiss your views.
(a former Christian software distributor, location not disclosed)
...the Creation Headlines is the best. Visiting your site...
is a standard part of my startup procedures every morning.
(a retired Air Force Chaplain)
I LOVE your site and respect the time and work you put into it. I read
the latest just about EVERY night before bed and send selection[s] out to others and
tell others about it. I thank you very much and keep up the good work (and
(a USF grad in biology)
Answering your invitation for thoughts on your site is not difficult because
of the excellent commentary I find. Because of the breadth and depth of erudition
apparent in the commentaries, I hope Im not being presumptuous in suspecting
the existence of contributions from a Truth Underground comprised of
dissident college faculty, teachers, scientists, and engineers. If thats
not the case, then it is surely a potential only waiting to be realized. Regardless,
I remain in awe of the care taken in decomposing the evolutionary cant that bombards
us from the specialist as well as popular press.
(a mathematician/physicist in Arizona)
Im from Quebec, Canada. I have studied in pure sciences and after in actuarial mathematics.
Im visiting this site 3-4 times in a week. Im learning a lot and this site gives me the opportunity to realize that this is a good time to be a creationist!
(a French Canadian reader)
I LOVE your Creation Safari site, and the Baloney Detector material.
(a reader in the Air Force)
You have a unique position in the Origins community.
Congratulations on the best current affairs news source on the origins net.
You may be able to write fast but your logic is fun to work through.
(a pediatrician in California)
Visit your site almost daily and find it very informative, educational and inspiring.
(a reader in western Canada)
I wish to thank you for the information you extend every day on your site.
It is truly a blessing!
(a reader in North Carolina)
I really appreciate your efforts in posting to this website. I find
it an incredibly useful way to keep up with recent research (I also check science
news daily) and also to research particular topics.
(an IT consultant from Brisbane, Australia)
I would just like to say very good job with the work done here,
very comprehensive. I check your site every day. Its great
to see real science directly on the front lines, toe to toe with the
pseudoscience that's mindlessly spewed from the prestigious
(a biology student in Illinois)
Ive been checking in for a long time but thought Id leave you a
note, this time. Your writing on these complex topics is insightful,
informative with just the right amount of humor. I appreciate the hard
work that goes into monitoring the research from so many sources and then
writing intelligently about them.
(an investment banker in California)
Keep up the great work. You are giving a whole army of Christians
plenty of ammunition to come out of the closet (everyone else has).
Most of us are not scientists, but most of the people we talk to are not
scientists either, just ordinary people who have been fed baloney
for years and years.
(a reader in Arizona)
Keep up the outstanding work!
You guys really ARE making a difference!
(a reader in Texas)
I wholeheartedly agree with you when you say that science is not
hostile towards religion. It is the dogmatically religious that are
unwaveringly hostile towards any kind of science which threatens their
dearly-held precepts. Science (real, open-minded science) is not
interested in theological navel-gazing.
Note: Please supply your name and location when writing in. Anonymous attacks
only make one look foolish and cowardly, and will not normally be printed.
This one was shown to display a bad example.
I appreciate reading your site every day. It is a great way to keep
up on not just the new research being done, but to also keep abreast of the
evolving debate about evolution (Pun intended).... I find it an incredibly useful
way to keep up with recent research (I also check science news daily) and also
to research particular topics.
(an IT consultant in Brisbane, Australia)
I love your website.
(a student at a state university who used CEH when
writing for the campus newsletter)
....when you claim great uncertainty for issues that are fairly
well resolved you damage your already questionable credibility.
Im sure your audience loves your ranting, but if you know as much
about biochemistry, geology, astronomy, and the other fields you
skewer, as you do about ornithology, you are spreading heat, not
(a professor of ornithology at a state university, responding to
the 09/10/2002 headline)
I wanted to let you know I appreciate your headline news style of
exposing the follies of evolutionism.... Your style gives us constant,
up-to-date reminders that over and over again, the Bible creation account
is vindicated and the evolutionary fables are refuted.
(a reader, location unknown)
You have a knack of extracting the gist of a technical paper,
and digesting it into understandable terms.
(a nuclear physicist from Lawrence Livermore Labs who worked
on the Manhattan Project)
After spending MORE time than I really had available going thru
your MANY references I want to let you know how much I appreciate
the effort you have put forth.
The information is properly documented, and coming from
recognized scientific sources is doubly valuable. Your
explanatory comments and sidebar quotations also add GREATLY
to your overall effectiveness as they 1) provide an immediate
interpretive starting point and 2) maintaining the readers
(a reader in Michigan)
I am a huge fan of the site, and check daily for updates.
(reader location and occupation unknown)
I just wanted to take a minute to personally thank-you and let
you know that you guys are providing an invaluable service!
We check your Web site weekly (if not daily) to make sure we have
the latest information in the creation/evolution controversy.
Please know that your diligence and perseverance to teach the
Truth have not gone unnoticed. Keep up the great work!
(a PhD scientist involved in origins research)
You've got a very useful and informative Web site going.
The many readers who visit your site regularly realize that it
requires considerable effort to maintain the quality level and
to keep the reviews current.... I hope you can continue your
excellent Web pages. I have recommended them highly to others.
(a reader, location and occupation unknown)
As an apprentice apologist, I can always find an article
that will spark a spirited debate. Keep em
coming! The Truth will prevail.
(a reader, location and occupation unknown)
Thanks for your web page and work. I try to drop by
at least once a week and read what you have. Im a
Christian that is interested in science (Im a mechanical
engineer) and I find you topics interesting and helpful.
I enjoy your lessons and insights on Baloney Detection.
(a year later):
I read your site 2 to 3 times a week; which Ive probably done for a couple
of years. I enjoy it for the interesting content, the logical arguments, what I can
learn about biology/science, and your pointed commentary.
(a production designer in Kentucky)
I look up CREV headlines every day. It is a wonderful
source of information and encouragement to me.... Your gift of
discerning the fallacies in evolutionists interpretation of
scientific evidence is very helpful and educational for me.
Please keep it up. Your website is the best I know of.
(a Presbyterian minister in New South Wales, Australia)
Ive written to you before, but just wanted to say again
how much I appreciate your site and all the work you put into it.
I check it almost every day and often share the contents
(and web address) with lists on which I participate.
I dont know how you do all that you do, but I am grateful
for your energy and knowledge.
(a prominent creationist author)
I am new to your site, but I love it! Thanks for updating
it with such cool information.
(a home schooler)
I love your site.... Visit every day hoping for another of your
brilliant demolitions of the foolish just-so stories of those
who think themselves wise.
(a reader from Southern California)
I visit your site daily for the latest news from science journals and other media,
and enjoy your commentary immensely. I consider your web site to be the
most valuable, timely and relevant creation-oriented site on the internet.
(a reader from Ontario, Canada)
Keep up the good work! I thoroughly enjoy your site.
(a reader in Texas)
Thanks for keeping this fantastic web site going. It is very
informative and up-to-date with current news including incisive
(a reader in North Carolina)
Great site! For all the Baloney Detector is impressive and a
great tool in debunking wishful thinking theories.
(a reader in the Netherlands)
Just wanted to let you know, your work is having quite an impact.
For example, major postings on your site are being circulated among the
Intelligent Design members....
(a PhD organic chemist)
opening a can of worms ... I love to click all the related links and
read your comments and the links to other websites, but this usually makes me late
for something else. But its ALWAYS well worth it!!
(a leader of a creation group)
I am a regular visitor to your website ... I am impressed
by the range of scientific disciplines your articles address.
I appreciate your insightful dissection of the often unwarranted conclusions
evolutionists infer from the data... Being a medical
doctor, I particularly relish the technical detail you frequently include in
the discussion living systems and processes. Your website continually
reinforces my conviction that if an unbiased observer seeks a reason for the
existence of life then Intelligent Design will be the unavoidable
(a medical doctor)
A church member asked me what I thought was the best creation web site.
I told him CreationSafaris.com.
(a PhD geologist)
I love your site... I check it every day for interesting
information. It was hard at first to believe in Genesis fully, but
now I feel more confident about the mistakes of humankind and that all
their reasoning amounts to nothing in light of a living God.
(a college grad)
Thank you so much for the interesting science links and comments
on your creation evolution headlines page ... it is very
(a reader from Scottsdale, AZ)
visit your site almost every day, and really enjoy it. Great job!!!
(I also recommend it to many, many students.)
(an educational consultant)
I like what I seevery
much. I really appreciate a decent, calm and scholarly approach to the
whole issue... Thanks ... for this fabulous
It is refreshing to read your comments. You have a knack to get to the heart of
(a reader in the Air Force).
Love your website. It has well thought out structure and will help many
through these complex issues. I especially love the
I believe this is one of the best sites on the Internet.
I really like your side-bar of truisms.
Yogi [Berra] is absolutely correct. If I were a man of wealth, I would
support you financially.
(a registered nurse in Alabama, who found
us on TruthCast.com.)
WOW. Unbelievable.... My question is, do you sleep? ... Im utterly
impressed by your page which represents untold amounts of time and energy
as well as your faith.
(a mountain man in Alaska).
Just wanted to say that I recently ran across your web site featuring science
headlines and your commentary and find it to be A++++, superb, a 10, a homerun
I run out of superlatives to describe it! ... You can be sure I will
visit your site often daily when possible to gain the latest information
to use in my speaking engagements. Ill also do my part to help publicize
your site among college students. Keep up the good work. Your
material is appreciated and used.
(a college campus minister)
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