Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Darwin Day

On a site called Darwin Day Celebration, I discovered this wealth of information about the great scientist.
Darwin Day is a global celebration of science and reason held on or around Feb. 12, the birthday anniversary of evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin. This year marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth.

I especially appreciate that they said "on or around Feb. 12," because as usual I'm a day late and a dollar short. I guess I've been reading about guns too much again.

One of my other favorite subjects is the, what I always find a bit shocking, debate between the creationism crowd and the evolution folks. One of the fascinating aspects of this debate is that often it seems that both sides argue as if it's an either/or situation. Why can't both be right? Why couldn't there be a God who created the beginnings of life, I guess it would have been around the time of the Big Bang, and oversaw the entire business in a sort-of Divine Omnipotence, allowing evolution to run its natural course all the while, including the development of men's free will which accounts for so much trouble?

What do you think? Is it an either/or discussion?

I myself can actually see the atheistic scientist's argument better than I can the hard-line creationist's. What about you?


  1. I dunno about God, but I certainly am not above thinking SOMETHING might have started this big ball rolling.

  2. SOMETHING might have started this big ball rolling.

    I will agree with your choice of pronoun here, Weerd.

    I was thinking of a Darwin Day post, too, mike, but Lincoln preempted him.

    Darwin is the bane of the funides, of course. If they accept evolution their ancient diary goes onto the dustbin of history. Thus the disdain of the scientist [and science in general.]

  3. there is an either/or situation here, but it's more subtle than that. the conflict is between the underlying worldviews; between empirical materialism and mystical spiritualism/dualism. those two cannot be reconciled, cannot peacefully coexist, and the former has (thankfully) been winning and winning big ever since the enlightenment.

  4. "I will agree with your choice of pronoun here, Weerd."

    See, we aren't all that different, Man.

    "Darwin is the bane of the funides, of course. If they accept evolution their ancient diary goes onto the dustbin of history. Thus the disdain of the scientist"

    A little more pointed then I would have put it, but rather eleoquent none-the-less.

  5. Hang on to your hats --it's a long one and it has scripture. Bear with me, open-minded, intelligent bloggers:

    Trouble is, the materialists are having one heck of a time getting that book into the dustbin of history --how long should it take?
    Even in China and Islamic countries, Christianity is rising and thriving -just like Jesus Christ 2000 years ago. SAT 7 Christian programming, including colorful programs for kids, made by the Lebanese Christians is coming out of Lebanon as we speak, 24-7, and they are hearing from Muslims all over the middle east who are converting.

    What can you say about a resurrected man??? who demonstrates powers over matter and makes a claim to Divinity and by his peers is said to be sinless? You look at the event 2000 years later and say, "Impossible --didn't happen!"

    Then what WAS it that made cowering disciples like Peter who denied that he even knew the man before his death --CHANGE and become the one who said this (in spite of the possibility of martyrdom --why bother if it were not true?) --Peter said this to a multitude of Jews who gathered from all over the world on the Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem after the crucifixion and the alleged resurrection: (from Acts 2)

    22"Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men,[d] put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. 25David said about him:
    'I saw the Lord always before me.
    Because he is at my right hand,
    I will not be shaken.
    26Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will live in hope,
    27because you will not abandon me to the grave,
    nor will you let your Holy One see decay.
    28You have made known to me the paths of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence.'[e]

    29"Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ,[f] that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. 32God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. 33Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. 34For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said,
    " 'The Lord said to my Lord:
    "Sit at my right hand
    35until I make your enemies
    a footstool for your feet." '[g]

    36"Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."

    37When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"

    38Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call."

    40With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." 41Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

    I fear that you guys, whose brains, scientists say, are hard-wired for religious belief, are going to continue to rail against faith and persons of faith (in Mudrake's case) until you die --because that hard-wiring makes you religious folks at heart --who sometimes wonder if this life is all there is --and if there is a divine intelligence who created the material world --as claimed by most religions.

    the mystery of our existance on this wonderful, rare planet just isn't explained adequately by Darwin at all. The mystery of our amazing bodies and minds is not fully accounted for by evolution. HIs is a pathetic explanation to account for brain, eyes, healing skin, skeletons, the sexes, reproduction, languages, DNA codes--and our sense of "I" ness --and so much more that makes up life on earth.

    Even with God and the Book, there is still mystery to ponder. Paul wrote that we now see through a glass darkly --but someday we shall see Him face to face.

  6. And like today, Christians became missionaries and were persecuted for their proclamation about Jesus:

    Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3explaining and proving that the Christ[a] had to suffer and rise from the dead. "This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ,[b]" he said. 4Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women.
    5But the Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason's house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd.[c] 6But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city officials, shouting:
    "These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, 7and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar's decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus." 8When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil. 9Then they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go.

    Acts 17

  7. I know, people say the Bible is irrelevant to them because they are sure it isn't true --but have such persons READ the book to see how credible it reads? The Bible in the NIV is easier to understand and follow than Shakespeare and some of the writings of early American lit. It seems just like history to me.

    One more: Acts 17, also:

    16While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. 18A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to dispute with him. Some of them asked, "What is this babbler trying to say?" Others remarked, "He seems to be advocating foreign gods." They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.

    19Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, "May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we want to know what they mean." 21(All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)

    22Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.

    24"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'

    29"Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man's design and skill. 30In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead."

    32When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, "We want to hear you again on this subject." 33At that, Paul left the Council. 34A few men became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.

  8. And finally:

    Ben Stein's film, "No Intelligence Allowed" disproves the allegation that every scientist --and all of science --disdains the "ancient diary of the fundies."

    Many brilliant men of science throughout history --and today --believe in God --and the Bible. Take my husband, e.g. and many science profs and MD's and others in science-related fields.

    Granted, it isn't politically correct for universities to hire people who are skeptical about aspects of Darwinism. It's a problem for materialists when such people are outstanding, making discoveries, publishing papers.

    Go to ID and creation websites and you'll see lists of credentialed scientists who believe in intelligence design behind the existance of life and the universe.

    Granted, there are some God-believers who think Darwin's method is how God did it all. But just as many believing scientists debate that Darwin's theory isn't scientifically credible on all points.

  9. About Lincoln and Darwin, to Mudrake:

    Darwin's theory was used by racists to suggest that white men were the most evolved and the black race, the least. Hitler and Marx believed in survival of the fittest in their creepy Social Darwinism.

    Thankfully, Lincoln, with his biblical roots, believed that all men are CREATED equal --none more biologically evolved than others--and thus none created to enslave others by either biological or divine right.

    There is a cultural evolution, however, whereby some cultures are more civilized and advanced than others. And the Bible does aid cultural evolution --as people become committed to love, family, forgiveness, rule of law, law enforcement, compassion, generosity and peace--all Biblical values.

  10. ...then again, us intelligent adults could just go read about Darwin Day at the blog of an actual biologist.

    speaking of scienceblogs, did you guys catch the one-off special Blogging the Origin? sort of like reading a classic work of natural science without having to slog through hundreds of pages of victorian prose that's in large part been obsoleted by later discoveries. maybe some day i'll find the time to read Origin of Species, but until then, mr. WHitfield's chapter summaries will do quite well.

  11. Nomen, I understand that for you it's either/or, since you're an atheist. But, for the believer, don't you agree that both ideas could be reconciled?

    What about you, Barb? Much of what you wrote is fine with me. But, I wasn't sure if I understood you to say you do not believe in evolution. Is it straight creationism for you?

  12. Creationists are accused of not believing in dinosaurs (how could they not? there IS fossil evidence --whole skeletons) and of not believing in natural selection/adaptation/survival of the fittest. They do within a "kind" of creature--major classifications by whatever name. ("Species" doesn't work as there are many species to each "kind," e.g. dogs, flowers, etc.)

    but the scientists who believe in creationism or intelligent design theory really aren't stupid, aren't ignorant --and they do understand evolution with the best of the evolutionists --more than laymen like me. They've had to "get it" to get their phD's and MD's and so on. I've read a lot about it, but I am not a scientist. My father was a chemist however, and my husband is an MD and neither of them believes in evolution per se.

    They thought we should still be able to observe it occuring in some creatures if it were factual. Some offspring should be different from its ancestors --observeably --even if only incrementally. But that's not been proven. Even in bacteria, the bacteria are STILL bacteria after gazillions of generations--and likewise with the viruses. They mutate or adapt rapidly, overnight! and yet they don't change to new categories. They are still bacteria or viruses.

    Much that has been claimed and demonstrated in museums and text books has been proven fraudulent or mistaken and ADMITTED so by scientists. They find ancient remains of humans that were supposed to be primitive and have decided they were really not some half-animal/half-human as thought --or half bird, half fish, or whatever.

    Just because an extinct creature found in fossil form shares features with a modern creature, does not make the fossilized creature an ancestor or a transitional form. It could have been created that way from the beginning and become extinct --rather than evolved from a similar creature. We share similarities in DNA with the ape, but that doesn't mean that the Designer didn't just give us both DNA in common for the common features of mammals.

    It's just as rational, in my view, to think that God had a Divine Design Team and a celestial computer lab and they said, let's make this world and creatures and life forms in it --in 6 days!! Maybe they had a contest for the biggest, the funniest, the most colorful, the ugliest -- and so on.
    and they tinkered with our DNA --and started the whole process which we co-participate in by mating and genetic engineering ourselves.

    And it doesn't matter to me whether those days are 24 hours or longer --but I don't buy the millions and millions of years speculation (radiometric dating doesn't really go back that far) about the age of the earth. Maybe it is that old; maybe not. they need the years to "evolve" all the life forms by Darwin's slow tedious process.

    Yet, I believe in a God who performed miracles and raised others from the dead and arose HImself from the dead. the Bible said He spoke and there was light --He said, "Lazarus --Come forth" out of the tomb --and he came forth. They haven't stopped talking about this YET! He healed ten lepers; raised the lame and healed the blind --with a touch or a word --quickly in every case. Why does he need Darwin's method?

    He wouldn't.

  13. for the believer, don't you agree that both ideas could be reconciled?

    well, religious believers are people who habitually believe a multitude of impossible things before breakfast, so they might be able to try...

    but honestly, the two underlying worldviews i spoke of are mutually contradictory. to attempt to hold them both would be a classical example of doublethink; it would be quite unhealthy, and likely to fail.

    what more often happens is that believers incorporate evolution into their worldview the same way they incorporate electricity, sanitation, and decent healthcare --- by becoming hypocrites about whichever parts of their religion is incompatible with it. or else they don't incorporate it at all, instead flatly denying its reality, like the "christian scientists" do with modern healthcare.

  14. much to do about nuthin. I read the old testament, then read the new testament. That was a long time ago. The only worthwhile thing I got out of it is to be able to claim that I read it. I preffer to be free. I don't want to belong to any 'lifechanging' club, party, religion . . . I can make up my own mind.

    oh and btw - Darwin's theory is not a theory ;-)

  15. Okay Mr. Potato,

    I'll bite...if the Theory of Evolution isn't a theory, what is it?

  16. Oh WOW, I ducked out when the scripture started flying. But now I can't WAIT to hear this one.

  17. Mr. Potato,

    I missed that announcement in all the newspapers (TV & Radio also), could you help me out and show where the Theory of Evolution has now been upgraded to the Fact of Evolution?

  18. Evolution is a Fact and a Theory

    in general, read all of it'll make you smarter, and might even enable you to pass high school biology.

  19. Sorry, as a beliver in evolution, I'm still a scientist, and a theory is still a theory.

    At least until somebody can derive a new species in a controlable and repeatable lab environment.

  20. I guess it would be the LAW of Evolution, if the evidence were proof.

    Evidence is interpreted --and so far, all of the evidence in favor of evolution gets refuted by ID and creation scientists --refuted by scientific evidence which doesn't fit Darwin's theory by ANY interpretation.

    Two sites that "prove" that creationists aren't scientific illiterates, merely theologians, lacking science degrees.

    AND here is a video by Dr. Jonathan Wells --biologist who says there has never been the origin of a new species by natural selection(species meaning a broader category than within the same "kind." Of course, natural selection produces "micro-evolution," i.e. different kinds of dogs --but not a new creature that is part dog and part cat like a "catadog." )

  21. I'm still a scientist, and a theory is still a theory.

    as a scientist, you ought to know most branches of science don't use the word "theory" in quite the same way an everyday dictionary might define it. that link i posted for bob might make good reading for you, too.

    At least until somebody can derive a new species in a controlable and repeatable lab environment.

    what's wrong with these species?

  22. Just look at your link's discussion of species of bluegills --and whether they are different species which can or cannot breed or not --

    For Pete's sake, Nomen, they are FISH --no matter if they can breed or not--they'll never breed anything but FISH! This fellow calls my view a "folk" view that says species can be recognized for what they are --either cats or dogs --and that we just don't see crossover.

    And we do not see cross-over. Even the sterile offspring between horse and donkey can't procreate --but of course we think of them and the mule as all 3 in the horse family. But the mule is as far away from the parent species as he is going to get --since he can't procreate.

    But that's beside my point --I know you can cross different members of the dog family to get a new "species" or breed which CAN procreate. But it will still be a dog. All this talk about molds --do they stop being molds with the properties of molds --or do we get a new organism in these changes? Or just a mold by a new name. Slime stays in the slime and mold category (yes, my terminology for ooey-gooey things that grow where we don't want them) and humans will always be humans --no matter what inter-breeding is attempted --no matter what mutations with their harmful effect occur (like that one hairy Mexican family) --no matter how many billions of years pass by, no matter how many usually harmful mutations--humans will be humans. Can God create something that is inbetween ape and human? Yes, but not by mere natural process without his tweaking the genes.

    I was just reading about evolution in Newsweek --or Time--can't recall which--last night. And they say ALL of DNA is made up of 4 "letters" or building blocks. Wow. This just happened without brilliant design intelligence behind it, of course --and without purpose. I've heard ID guys talk about the "language" of DNA, the "communication" of it, the irreducible complexity of it --the genius of it, and yet, we are supposed to believe this is just a happenstance after the big bang --a one celled live creature that parented every living organism.

    Dream on.

  23. Granted, God may have invented earthly life forms by starting with one simple one-celled organism as Darwin suggests --but He had to do a lot of designing, tweaking, manipulating with that cell to get the myriad of life forms we see today -- but I think it's more that His celestial MIND can imagine it and speak it --like we can draw on a computer and create things with the stored knowledge in the microchips. Similarly, at a much more advanced level of intelligence, God formed us and spoke us into being. He designed the flowers, the colors, the eyes that see color, the beauties of earth, the compatibility of earth for our lives. He INVENTED the refreshing water that refreshes, cleanses, sustains life, grows food, provides transportation, looks beautiful, provides recreation and food from the sea. We are the right distance from the sun to sustain life --we have our sun by day and our night-lite in the moon.

    to realize that we are intelligent designers, creators ourselves --who yet had no creator/designer to make us --it's preposterous. Brains like ours don't just "happen" --no matter how many billions of years of genetic trial and error occur. We are warned by our Maker not to worship nature or created things --that is precisely what Darwinism does.

  24. that article starts out with a several kilobyte long discussion of just what makes a "species", and what it might mean for us to say "a speciation event has occurred", and how we're supposed to tell in the first place, so what does our fundamentalist do? blithely pretend that ALL FISH are a single species.

    you can lead a right-wing nutcase to the library, but you can't make them read.

    you can watch them put up a goalpost, but if you ever bother to walk up to it --- they'll just move it for you, further away, fast as they can run with it.

    (hey weerd, what taxonomic group do "all fish" belong to again? is that a phylum or a superfamily? me being but a poor fool computer programmer, i forget.)

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  26. It was interesting to me, Nomen, that your author dealt with the issue of what is a species --I figured the scientists had that all figured out and I was using the term loosely if not erroneously. I think the common use of the term today (and my use) refers to all the different varieties of a larger sub-category of animal --such as horse, dog, cat, human, ape --we speak of species (breeds) of these animals who all belong to their respective major "families"--and of course mammals are a larger, broader category of many species and "kinds." I realize I'm not talking here as one who has recently studied the issue in a science class --I'm just using common sense terms as a lowly layman.

    I do NOT say fish are a single species --I say there are many species of fish--but they are all fish and will never evolve to be anything other than fish --no matter what mutations or mating take place. I call the fish category a "kind" of animal--as in the Bible --each multiplies after its own "kind." Fish will always be fish and never transition to fowl or hominid. If God ever made a flying fish --or a walking whale as is claimed for pakistani fossils, so be it. Those would be certain species of fish that fly or whales that walked on land, which have since become extinct. But it would not prove transition or common ancestry--which has never been observed in the way that Darwin and his devotees assume. Science is supposed to ultimately be about observation.

    You will say we Observe creatures who appear to have common traits and have dna in common and must therefore have common ancestry. I will say we observe creatures whose traits and design formulas in the DNA are shared by many living things --just as they were designed to be from the beginning. Mammals share DNA, not because they are "related" by mating of ancestors, but because they were designed from the 4 basic building blocks in God's celestial lab/plan and given similar formulas for their traits they share.

    No one has observed a transition from one "kind" of creature to another. No Catadogs! No virateria! And you will say, Of course not --it occurs slowly and incrementally. Right. And seems to be unobserveable --and unproveable.

    Your people always refer to some obscure life form like mold as an evidence --but they never are anything but some new variant of their former self upon examination. Not really a gradual transition to a whole new 'kind' of creature.

    Fossils don't prove transition and common ancestry --you only interpret them as proof.

    Evolutionists, theistic or otherwise, are so steeped in their language and their dogma --so impressed with their complex descriptions and explanations and high sounding arguments and vast accumulated knowledge--but the bottom line is this:

    "Professing themselves to be wise, they became as fools." "They exchanged the truth about God for a lie --and worshipped the creature instead of the Creator."

    I know --some theistic evolutionists are sincere --bamboozled by the white collars in their ivory towers and labs at the uni's--and I don't think God will hold it against them that they bought the evolutionary lie.
    They observe DNA and conclude evolution itself is God's design--other theists observe DNA and still find macro-evolution unproven. We really can only speculate --we cannot know the how's of creation if we can't observe it.

    but we certainly have a new understanding of the genius behind life when we see the DNA strand and observe the ingenious mechanisms as demonstrated in the Expelled movie.

  27. but they are all fish and will never evolve to be anything other than fish -

    why not?

    all your other blathering is really beside the point next to this one blatant assertion.

    (really, all your other blathering could be boiled down to "i don't understand it, therefore it must be impossible". that's all you're effectively saying, in your whole post. well, barb, by that standard i challenge you to prove the CPU in your computer is possible --- do you understand it?)

    you're saying that there exists some classification of forms of life beyond which it is impossible for lifeforms to evolve naturally. you're also saying, implicitly, that all "fish" belong to one such classification.

    you don't want to use the term "species" as your name for this classification, even though that is the name we have traditionally used for "kinds of lifeforms that are irreconcilably different". but that is of no concern; we'll just use some other term instead.

    it's clear enough why you don't want to use that term any longer --- because it can be proven that organisms do in fact evolve beyond the limits of "species". (i didn't even have to bring up ring species to do it, either... that might have caused your head to explode; maybe i should try...)

    even so, you still insist there exists some other --- larger than "species" --- classification of lifeforms past which evolution can no longer act; some boundary past which natural selection on descent with modification cannot go. you just don't want to call that boundary a "species boundary", but that's just semantics in this case, because i'm arguing the existence of such a boundary in the first place.

    you're not saying what prevents lifeforms from evolving out of such a classification. nor are you, as far as i can tell, giving any very clear definition of where the boundaries of these classes are drawn.

    why can't fish evolve to become non-fish? what stops that?

    for that matter, what exactly is a "fish"? what do all fish have that no non-fish have got, and/or vice versa?

    (cladistically speaking, of course, humans are fish... but i'm not planning to take barb there quite yet. soon, but not until she tries to answer a few more questions.)

  28. Don't ask stupid questions --like the one about fish. Fish are, well, fish! they "breathe" under water and swim underwater. We swim under water but are not fish. A whale may breathe above and below water and nurse its young with mammary glands --but it's not a human--and not a fish --Since it shares traits with us and other land animals, it's been deemed a mammal. but still marine life.

    You say the reason I don't believe it is that I don't understand it. There are many scientists and laymen who understand and can teach evolution quite well--and yet, do not believe in it as a theory of origins. Natural selection, survival of the fittest, adaptation (really just another name for natural selection --as creatures don't adapt genetically because of their NEED; they survive with certain traits because they have certain traits for survival that make them the fittest to pass on their genes --but they remain in their category/family/KIND of creature. Virus are always viruses; bacteria, bacteria and humans are humans --no matter what mutations or natural selection occur. )

    NO NO NO -- it's what I do understand that makes me not believe --and no matter how much more I would study evolution --I would not believe the basic premise of evolutionistic origin from one celled creature by natural processes over great amounts of time without a designer/God. Also because the transitions have never been observed --where one creature crosses over to be in another "kind", I don't think evolution was God's design process. I think it was a divine mental process that started natural processes --a design of creatures using math and engineering with the 4 building blocks of life in infinite combinations which were brought into being by this celestial mind we call God.

    My use of "species" is correct for the popular, common use -- different species (breeds) of dogs and cats, e.g. Yet they are still dogs or cats and will not become catadogs. If we who refer to multiple species of dogs, e.g., are wrong to do so, I don't mind being corrected. If all dogs belong to ONE species, i.e. dogs --fine. It doesn't contradict my main point --that dogs are always dogs --no matter what nature or we can do genetically.

    Our God of Resurrection and Christ's divine miracles is too powerful to need the slow and random process of evolution as understood and taught by Darwin devotees. Darwin's whole point was to explain origins without a Creator --not how god did it, but how nature evolved after a big bang and created itself through natural processes --from one celled creature to all the myriad of life forms we see today and the extinct forms as transitions.

    It's a fantasy. He was right to observe the different "kinds" and did a great work to organize them--to observe survival of the fittest --but the rest is unproven speculation, conjecture.

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  30. Yes, I read your interesting ring species defense of evolution in the laymen's wikipedia.

    Various horses can breed with others to make new breeds--and with the donkey --but the mule offspring cannot breed with anyone --last I heard. But they are all equine family.

    And the examples in your link were all still birds. Where is the evidence of transition out of major classification? The fact that there is infinite variety within a class and that some can breed and some cannot, doesn't prove your basic premise --and doesn't prove all of life from one-celled amoeba.

  31. if my questions are stupid, they should be easy to answer.

    Fish are, well, fish! they "breathe" under water and swim underwater.

    except lungfish. they can crawl across dry land and breathe air.

    as well, some amphibians can absorb oxygen from water through their skin; heck, some arthropods need moisture for gas exchange, because they've got the equivalent of "gills" instead of lungs.

    but the question was not specifically "what is a fish" (although that is an interesting question), but rather "why can't a fish evolve into a non-fish". what, exactly, stops that?

    My use of "species" is correct for the popular, common use -- different species (breeds) of dogs and cats

    but that's not how the word "species" has been commonly used by non-biologists. a breed is not commonly considered a "species"; that's why the word "subspecies" was invented in the first place!

    the mule offspring cannot breed with anyone --last I heard.

    you haven't been listening much, though.

    the ancient Romans had a saying, "cum mula peperit". it was used to mean something like our english "once in a blue moon", but the literal translation is "when a mule foals". it's rare as hen's teeth (well, not really --- hen's teeth are even rarer still, though also extant) but it still happens.

    the key, however, is what this all means. namely, that "species" are not necessarily separated by uncrossable bright lines; that the difference between organisms that can freely interbreed and ones that can't is not sharp and fixed, but a seamless grey scale.

    and if that difference can be a greyscale, what about larger differences? why not them, too? hint: this is where you tell me why not!

  32. oh, and since this thread has calmed down quite a bit, might as well toss in another of my links. enjoy!

  33. Again, Nomen, one does not have to believe Darwin's atheistic premise or his belief in transitions (macroevolution) by natural selection, in order to teach science, do science, understand science, make discoveries, publish in peer-reviewed journals, earn science PhD's and be excellent in faculty postitions --though the pressure is against these fellows to conform to Darwinian orthodoxy. Darwinians are religious in their beliefs --and just as unable to prove them as I can't prove to you that the Bible is true. Darwinians claim their abundance is evident in all that is made; we know that God's existance is abundant in all that is so beautifully designed, intricately interdependent, highly complex as anything is that has engineering function.

  34. Again, Nomen, one does not have to believe Darwin's atheistic premise or his belief in transitions (macroevolution) by natural selection, in order to teach science, do science, understand science, make discoveries, publish in peer-reviewed journals, earn science PhD's and be excellent in faculty postitions and medical science --though the pressure is against these fellows to conform to Darwinian orthodoxy. Darwinians are religious in their beliefs --and just as unable to prove them as I can't prove to you that the Bible is true. Darwinians claim that the evidence of macroevolution is abundant in all that is made; creationists do believe that God's existance is abundant in all that is made and so beautifully designed, intricately interdependent, highly complex-- as anything is that has engineering function and interdependent complexity. Design requires designer.

  35. Darwin's atheistic premise

    where on earth did Charles Darwin make any presupposition of atheism?

    seriously, show me. his works are all out of copyright and all the books are on the web for free; give me a link.

    or, better yet, try to answer that question of mine you're so obviously dodging. what's that? can't do it? no surprise there...

  36. Nomen, Darwin's premise is an explanation of how life began "naturally" --accidentally.

    He doesn't suppose that maybe God made it all happen. His theory is fodder for atheists. Many have assumed that if evolution is true, the Bible can't be true. Others try to reconcile Darwin's theory as how God did it --but as I always say, the God of miracles and resurrection didn't need Darwin's method. he can think it and speak it --and it will happen. For sure, all of creation comes from design and plan from a source of infinite knowledge and power. But ours is a God who CAN do anything --but will not often cross man's free will --thus our sin and our conflicts and self-destruction. The Book speaks of a better day and a Christ who returns in a cloud. "Stand and lift up your heads; your redemption draws nigh!"

    What happened that you had to moderate --have you been doing that all along? I didn't remember so....I've been out a few days with the flu.

  37. Darwin's premise is an explanation of how life began "naturally" --accidentally.

    no, it isn't.

    He doesn't suppose that maybe God made it all happen.

    nor does he suppose that the Great Green Arkleseizure sneezed it all out of his nose, either. failing to suppose that your opponent is right, is no indication that you yourself are wrong.

    Newtonian mechanics doesn't presuppose invisible angels pushing on things as the reason why things fall in a gravitational field, either. denounce Sir Isaac for an atheist, too, why don't you?

    His theory is fodder for atheists

    actually, there were plenty of us unbelievers centuries before Darwin. nor do we today need evolution to be atheists --- evolutionary biology would be mighty thin gruel, were it all we had to subsist on; why, it never once mentions gods, nor does it so much as attempt to show that --- or why --- gods don't exist.

    the crux of atheism is the (non)existence of gods, not how living organisms reproduce and diversify. all of evolution is nothing but an interesting, but essentially irrelevant, footnote in any textbook on atheistic philosophy. us atheists aren't concerned with changes in life from one generation to the next, we're concerned with divinity.

    now, how about you try to explain to me why living things can't evolve to become other things...?

  38. Nomen says "now, how about you try to explain to me why living things can't evolve to become other things...?"

    quoting Rob: "Because of the variables of irreducible complexity and other possible statistical issues.
    Natural selection may not ALLOW one kind of animal to "adapt" all the way to another kind of creature."

    by Divine Design. we have no evidence that natural selection HAS ever allowed such transtion.

    MANY atheists will cite evolution as their reason for atheism. If nature can create itself by natural processes without a superintending, guiding, controlling "hand," then all the more reason to think there is no God.

    but, in fact, you all haven't proven the transitions alleged by Darwin ever happened. So you don't/can't prove the origin of species by Darwin's method ever occured as he theorized; I can't prove to you that God exists --though I think the evidence is abundanct. We look at the same things and draw opposite conclusions. I look at nature and see divine design, engineering and intelligence behind all the complexity of life; you look at nature and conclude it created itself after the big bang.

    But you've never seen nature do this between 2 kinds of creatures. you see no real changes in humans going back in history --even the prehistoric finds prove to be more like modern man than they thought -- with all the modern variables in the human race today. There is diversity in humanity --no fossils of low-browed people with rickets and genetic or nutritional deformities will ever prove the existance of a hairy common ancestor for us and apes.

  39. Nomen wrote, “now, how about you try to explain to me why living things can't evolve to become other things...?

    I asked Rob to answer this, and he says, “there are barriers in terms of irreducible complexity or other sorts of statistical barriers. The effect of irreducible complexity is that adaptation or natural selection would not allow transitions from one kind to another kind of creature.”

    MANY atheists see Nature both as the evidence of evolution –and as a reason to not believe in a Creator.

    Of course there were atheists before and after Darwin. The issue of origin of life is not irrelevant or small peanuts to atheists. If evolution is true, than God is unnecessary, and therefore probably man-made---so thinks the atheist. If evolution doesn’t even hold up scientifically (which it doesn’t), then maybe there is a God of Creation after all.

    Atheists see nature as evidence that Nature creates itself. Believers see nature as evidence that it could not have created itself. We have here a difference in interpretation of the evidence.

  40. I just attempted the same answer twice --thinking I had lost it, forgetting that you were moderating. Might as well print both for their slight differences? since I think Nomen and I are the only ones still following this old thread.

  41. "irreducible complexity" isn't.

    really, what you probably should be doing is looking up everything you say to me in the index of creationist claims, and if it's in there, just don't say it. any claim in that list can be solidly refuted with no more than five minutes of googling.

    "or other sorts of statistical barriers" ...

    NAME THEM. show me the statistics. if these are "statistical barriers", show me the math.

  42. Nomen and Barb, First I wanted to explain about the moderation. Older posts get that and it's useful for me not to lose a comment just because it's not on the first page of recent posts.

    Secondly, I wanted to tell you about a book I'm reading right now. The Goldilocks Enigma by Paul Davies. I'm only half way done with it, but I think he's driving at pretty much what I believe in - sort of a combination of your two systems. He says, basically, there are too many coincidences in the early development of the universe for it to be chance. He calls these things "the big fix," and without spelling it out, I think he's talking about God.

    Maybe you know about this book or its author already, but in case you didn't I wanted to mention it. I'll tell you more as I read more.

  43. i thought that was what the moderation was about. i've seen spammers target old blog posts with still-open comments before, so i figured moderating old threads would be a handy tool to address that.

    Paul Davies' name very vaguely tickled a memory; i had to google him to find out more. his wikipedia page seems relatively fair.

    i've never read any of his works, so can't comment directly on his arguments. what you're paraphrasing does sound suspiciously like one of the anthropic arguments, which are quite far from convincing to me, but of course Davies may be saying more than you could fit into a paraphrase.

    the classical counterargument to the anthropic principle is the puddle of water wondering that its hole in the mud should be shaped so perfectly to fit its own outlines; surely that hole must have been custom-made just for it. we don't find puddles of water on top of convex surfaces, no, but that's no argument that any or all of the concave ones must exist for to hold a puddle.

  44. It's one scientist's word against another, Nomen. My MD husband recognized, with the help of a biology prof (phD from secular U.) that there was irreducible complexity--though they didn't call it that. And that was 38 years ago. You can refute with 5 minutes worth of googling, but refuting itself isn't proof of your refutation. A scientist on the ID side can refute your refutation quite well. That's what they do--creationists and ID theorists --and they do it eloquently and clearly.

    All comments on my blog come to my email account, Mike, so I always know if an old post is getting interest --without moderating. that's a blogger option.

    The best way to see current action is to have the new additions appear on top of page one. My son set that up for me --I don't know if blogger tells us how....I couldn't find it with them --rob thinks he googled "recent posts" and figured it out from there --but our programs is slow to bring up the latest comments --a day late.

  45. Just don't know how anyone could regard the universe, our planet, the myriad of life forms only on our planet, our amazing bodies, amazing nature --and not see intelligent design behind it all. That still leaves much mystery about the whereabouts and nature of God --quite reasonable, seems to me, that this intelligence would reveal Himself to us in some way --through prophets and a Messiah, e.g.

  46. It's one scientist's word against another, Nomen.

    no, it's not. the folks i'm quoting and posting references to generally are scientists; the folks who come up with your dogma are not. you might like to think they are, but they're not.

    Just don't know how anyone could regard the universe, our planet, the myriad of life forms only on our planet, our amazing bodies, amazing nature --and not see intelligent design

    this is known as appeal to ignorance. look it up.

  47. Nomen, there really are outstanding scientists who refute evolution --who just don't think it's evidenced today--and therefore, why should we think macroevolution ever occured if it isn't observeable? To me, the fossils aren't proof of the claims. You know that I consider my husband a real scientist and he never did believe in evolution. And he can explain why better than I, probably --but he shuns computers.

    By the way, I appreciate your non-hostile discussion.

  48. name three. then mention what disciplines their doctorates are in, along with when and where they earned same. then i'll go find you current experts in the relevant fields dissecting the works of those people --- but you should know by now that'll always be my next move no matter what you do...

    and, hey, remember when i posted all those links to one of them went to a document full of observed instances of macroevolution. that latter word is defined as "evolution at or above the species level", so once you've seen speciation --- and we have, plenty of times --- you've seen macroevolution.

    as for non-hostile --- i don't need to get overtly aggressive when i can beat you silly six ways from sunday with the evidence alone. as in fact i have been. believe me, that's quite satisfying enough to me.

  49. Well, Nomen, we both satisfy ourselves, I guess. : D

    I can find the PhD's in biology and some who hold very responsible, respectable positions/science careers --and so what if there are people out there dedicated to shooting them down? What counts is their careers and their degrees and their published works in peer-reviewed journals in scientific fields --including biology.

    but you have no idea how too busy I am --my mother seems to have come to live with us on an "extended visit" we're calling it. My daughter is having kidney stones and just completed directing her h.s. musical Jekyl and Hyde which we attended both nights and she still is dealing with a stent and upcoming lithotripsy and preparing students for competition--and church was yesterday, teaching my S.S. class and having choir practice in the evening --and giving piano lesson and baby sitting today --and I'm just too frazzled to do any research. We know I'm not changing my mind --and I suppose you aren't budging either. but it's been nice chatting.

    And the most ding-busted aggravatin thing in my life right now is my new Whirlpool Cabrio top loading clothes washer --which showers clothes and whirls them --and barely cleans --and things still stink! I'm so aggravated --my husband wanted to get me the best and they sold him this overpriced piece of junk --if I were a swearing woman, this would be the time! x0j%&*^)(__

    I don't really know how to swear on line --even with typed characters. Is there a formula for that???

  50. yeah, you're too busy getting voted onto PZ Myers' ban list.

    and come to mention that blog --- it's run by an actual biologist, who's more than competent to judge the qualifications of biologists whether creationist or otherwise. tell you what: once you find enough time to respond to my simple questions (you know, like the one about just what stops forms of life from evolving into other forms of life), run those names and credentials past PZ before you wave them in my face. if you can impress him --- even if just enough to not get booted off his blog --- then little old me should be easy.

    besides, impressing him should matter more to you. he's got qualifications in biology --- i'm a mere computer programmer.

  51. I'm not trying to impress anyone --just weighing in on the discussions.

    No list of names is going to impress PZ because of his deep bias. He knows there are impressive people with educated minds weighing against macro-evolution. He has no desire to give them respect or support their credibility. He's religious about his biases --he has great faith.

    Faith in macro-evolution is very important to atheists --and PZ is the latter more than he's famous for his professorship in biology.