Evillution

Evillusion in a Nutshell pt 2

Evillusion in a Nutshell pt 2

 

Let us tackle the old wives’ tale that conservatives, the Right, or Republicans are anti-science and only want to discredit anything that does not conform to the creationist point of view.

A healthy democracy depends on science.  The pursuit of truth, having an informed citizenry and the free and open exchange of ideas are all cornerstones of our democracy.  That’s one thing that always made America truly great—the fact that, when all is said and done, evidence and the truth would always win the day in America.  Without that, we join the league of ordinary nations.

This is not a partisan thing.  Scientists are not—and shouldn’t be!—worried about which political party is in power.  It rarely matters: There has always been a long tradition of bipartisan support for science and a fact-based world view. In fact, the Union of Concerned Scientists has ranked both Republican and Democratic presidents as being exceptional supporters of science.

Instead, let us first acknowledge that leftists  have been guilty of “science abuse.” We have three main areas: 1) opposition to genetically modified foods, which has stifled research; 2) the campaign by animal-rights activists against medical researchers, whose work has already been hampered and; 3) the resistance in academia to studying the genetic underpinnings of human behavior refusing to account for recent research in genetics and neuroscience.

Each of these abuses is far more significant than anything done by conservatives, and there are plenty of others that can be talked about.  The only successful war on science is the one being waged by the Left.

The danger from the Left does not arise from stupidity or dishonesty; some surveys show that Republicans, particularly libertarians, are more scientifically literate than Democrats are, but there is plenty of ignorance all around.  Both sides cherry-pick research and misrepresent evidence to support their agendas.  Scientists of all ideologies exaggerate the importance of their own research and seek results that will bring them more attention and funding.

The narrative that Republicans are anti-science has been fed by well-publicized studies reporting that conservatives are more close-minded and dogmatic than liberals are.  However, these conclusions have been based on questions asking people how strongly they cling to traditional morality and religion—dogmas that matter a lot more to conservatives than to liberals.  A few other studies—not well-publicized—have shown that liberals can be just as close-minded when their own beliefs are challenged

Social psychologists have often reported that conservatives are more prejudiced against other social groups than liberals are.  However, Jarret Crawford of the College of New Jersey recently noted a glaring problem with these studies: they typically involve attitudes toward groups that lean left.  When Crawford (who is a liberal) did his own study involving a wider range of groups, he found that prejudice is bipartisan.  Liberals display strong prejudice against religious Christians and other groups they perceive as right of center.

Conservatives have been variously pathologized as unethical, antisocial, and irrational simply because they do not share beliefs that seem self-evident to liberals.  For instance, one study explored ethical decision making by asking people whether they would formally support a female colleague’s complaint of sexual harassment.  There was no way to know if the complaint was justified, but anyone who did not automatically side with the woman, was put in the unethical category.  Another study asked people whether they believed that “in the long run, hard work usually brings a better life”—and then classified a yes answer as a “rationalization of inequality.”  Another study asked people if they agreed, “the Earth has plenty of natural resources if we just learn how to develop them”—a view held by many experts in resource economics, but the psychologists pathologized it as a “denial of environmental realities.”

Scientists try to avoid confirmation bias by exposing their work to peer review by critics with different views, but it is increasingly difficult for liberals to find such critics.  Academics have traditionally leaned left politically, and many fields have essentially become monocultures, especially in the social sciences, where Democrats now outnumber Republicans by at least 8 to 1.  The lopsided ratio led to another well-documented phenomenon: people’s beliefs become more extreme when they’re surrounded by like-minded colleagues.  They come to assume that their opinions are not only the norm but also the truth.

How to promote ideological diversity among scholars is a major problem.  Even if a science department added a few conservatives, they would still be immersed in progressive academic communities becoming less tolerant of debate because of pressure from campus activists and federal bureaucrats enforcing an ever-expanding interpretation of Title IX.  In addition, their work would still be filtered to the public by reporters who lean left, too—that is why the press has promoted the Republican-war-on-science myth.  For instance, when Obama diplomatically ducked a question on the campaign trail about the age of the Earth (“I don’t presume to know”), the press paid no attention. When Marco Rubio later did the same thing (“I’m not a scientist”), he was lambasted as a typical Republican ignoramus determined to bring back the Dark Ages.

The Lefts most rigid taboos involve the biology of race and gender.  The Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker chronicles in his book The Blank Slate  what has become dogmatic that “any differences we see among races, ethnic groups, sexes, and individuals come not from differences in their innate constitution but from differences in their experiences.”  This dogma constricts researchers’ perspective—“No biology, please, we’re social scientists”—and discourages debate, in and out of academia.  Early researchers in sociobiology faced vitriolic attacks from prominent scientists like Stephen Jay Gould, who accused them of racism and sexism for studying genetic influences on behavior.

The Leftist dogma has perpetuated a liberal version of creationism: the belief that there has been no evolution in modern humans since they left their ancestral homeland in Africa some 50,000 years ago.  Except for a few genetic changes in skin color and other superficial qualities, humans everywhere are supposedly alike because there has not been enough time for significant differences to evolve in their brains and innate behavior.  This belief was plausible when biologists assumed that evolution was a slow process, but the decoding of the human genome has disproved it dramatically.

New analysis has revealed five distinguishable races that evolved in response to regional conditions: Africans, East Asians, Caucasians, the natives of the Americas, and the peoples of Australia and Papua New Guinea (which could have a Biblical connotation also).  Yet social scientists go on denying the very existence of races.  The American Anthropological Association declares race to be “a human invention” that is “about culture, not biology.”  The American Sociological Association calls race a “social construct.

Some genetic differences are politically acceptable on the left, such as the biological basis for homosexuality, which was deemed plausible by 70 percent of sociologists in a recent survey.  But that same survey found that only 43 percent accepted a biological explanation for male-female differences in spatial skills and communication.  How could the rest of the sociologists deny the role of biology?  It was no coincidence that these doubters espoused the most extreme left-wing political views and the strongest commitment to a feminist perspective.  To dedicated leftists and feminists, it doesn’t matter how much evidence of sexual differences is produced by developmental psychologists, primatologists, neuroscientists, and other researchers.  Any disparity between the sexes—or, at least, any disparity unfavorable to women—must be blamed on discrimination and other cultural factors.

American women are doing much better than men academically—they receive the majority of undergraduate and graduate degrees—yet education researchers and federal funders have focused for decades on the few fields in science where men predominate.  It was bad enough that the National Science Foundation’s grants paid for workshops featuring a game called Gender Bias Bingo and skits in which arrogant male scientists mistreat smarter female colleagues.  Then, these workshops nearly became mandatory when Democrats controlled Congress in 2010.  In response to feminist lobbying, the House passed a bill requiring federal science agencies to hold “gender equity” workshops for the recipients of research grants.

It might seem odd that the “party of science” would be dragging researchers out of the lab to be re-educated in games of Gender Bias Bingo.  Nevertheless, politicians will always care more about pleasing constituencies than advancing science.

Moreover, that brings us to the second great threat from the Left: its long tradition of mixing science and politics.  Stay tuned for the next segment.

 

      

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Evillution

Evillusion in a Nutshell pt-1

Evillusion in a Nutshell

Evillusion deserves our opprobrium because scientists and their theories are not immune from assumptions, prejudices, and biases.  They seem to assume that “science” is a single, unified front, always striving for objective truth in the face of religious or philosophical obscurantism.  However, although observation and experimentation are the crux of the scientific method, there are many different kinds of science, some more reliable than others.

The central problems of the theory of evolution have been known from the beginning.  With growing scientific knowledge, the problems have only increased. Darwinism turned to neo-Darwinism and now we are in a post-neo-Darwinian era, even as biologists wedded to a designer-free theory offer up various new and ancillary hypotheses to save the idea of blind evolution.

The ideal concept of science — the objective search for the truth that sets aside all assumptions, presuppositions, and biases in favor of observation and experimentation — is certainly laudable.  We should pursue this ideal.  Let us not delude ourselves into thinking that scientists can entirely lay aside all their biases, assumptions, and worldview that might taint their ideas and theories.  Science is a good thing but do not turn it into another religion by insisting that whatever is considered “consensus science” is always the gospel truth and anyone questioning the scientific consensus is a heretic worthy of scorn (or worse).

Evillusionists believe the only acceptable creation story is materialistic evolution. “A key symptom of ideological thinking is the explanation that… cannot be tested,” says Stanford University physicist and Nobel laureate professor Robert B. Laughlin. He calls “such logical dead ends antitheories” and says that “evolution by natural selection… has lately come to function more as an antitheory, called upon to cover up embarrassing experimental shortcomings and legitimize findings that are at best questionable and at worst not even wrong.” (Robert B. Laughlin, A Different Universe (New York: Basic Books, 2005), 168– 169).  Laughlin’s use of the phrase “at worst not even wrong” echoes theoretical physicist Wolfgang Pauli’s use of the term, which has passed into common usage in science writing to refer to a theory so speculative and muddled that one cannot rigorously examine or test it.

The Darwinian theory of evillusion is festooned with a myriad and growing number of patches:

  1. Evillusion is slow and gradual, except when it is fast.
  2. It is dynamic and creates huge changes over time, except when it keeps everything the same for millions of years.
  3. It explains both extreme complexity and elegant simplicity.
  4. It tells us how birds learned to fly and how some lost that ability.
  5. Evillusion made cheetahs fast and turtles slow.
  6. Some creatures it made big and others small.
  7. Some gloriously beautiful, and some boringly grey.
  8. It forced fish to walk and walking animals to return to the sea.
  9. It diverges except when it converges.
  10. It produces exquisitely fine-tuned designs except when it produces junk.
  11. Evillusion is random and without direction except when it moves towards a target

Without a willingness to consider an alternative model, a wrong assumption in a dominant model may persist in the face of mounting experimental evidence, since the proponents of the model will either attribute the experimental results to error or add an ancillary patch to explain away the results.  It’s unreasonable to argue for a blind watchmaker and to insist that arguing for a seeing watchmaker is verboten. Evillusionary theory speaks to the question of biological and human origins, and the question is worth grappling with fairly, both for its scientific import and for the issue’s wider philosophical implications.

Some atheists frame the discussion debate as faith vs. reason, but that is a muddled— indeed, unreasonable— way to frame the controversy.  Both sides have a presupposition about the nature of reality.  Each side thinks that his own view is reasonable and fits the facts. However, neither side can prove with mathematical certainty their own starting point.  Understand, my point is not that our two views are wholly equal or necessarily irrational.  I am convinced that the evidence for the intelligent design of nature is far stronger and more reasonable than the alternative.  It is simply that both views, at the end of the day, reach beyond the seen to the unseen, and each side trusts in something that cannot be proved one way or another.

Evillution

Why Evillusionists don’t want to be called that.

Why Evillusionists don’t want to be called that.

Stephen B. Lyndon, DDS writes a blog at www.evillusion.net  and several books about his change from being a neo-Darwinian to a discussion about the scientific validity of evolution.  I agree with much of what he has written and I am especially intrigued by his many discussions with avid evolutionists who refuse to accept any questioning of their premeditated beliefs.

He writes on his blog: “Evolution believers universally hate that term.  It’s commonly used by creationists and anti-evolution arguers to refer to evolution supporters.  And it’s a term that is commonly detested by them.  Evolution believers somehow think it represents them as “religious”, probably because of the       –ist suffix.  They see it as similar to the names of some religions such as Bapt-ist or Method-ist.  Every time I got a complaint for the usage of the term evolutionist, I asked what they would like to be called.  I never got an answer.  Never.”  I have encountered this same problem so I thought I should explore a reasonable rational explanation of the terminology.

EVOLUTION

NOUN

  1. the process by which different kinds of living organisms are thought to have developed and diversified from earlier forms during the history of the earth.

synonyms: Darwinism · natural selection

  1. the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form.

“the forms of written languages undergo constant evolution”

synonyms: development · advancement · growth · rise · progress · progression · expansion · extension · unfolding · transformation · adaptation · modification · revision · reworking · reconstruction · recasting · change · transmogrification · evolvement

  1. chemistry

the giving off of a gaseous product, or of heat.

  1. a pattern of movements or maneuvers.

“silk ribbons waving in fanciful evolutions”

-IST

NOUN   Informal, derogatory

  1. a follower of a distinctive practice, system, or philosophy, typically a political ideology or an artistic movement.

“you can’t be born an ist”

EVOLUTIONIST

NOUN

  1. a person who believes in the theories of evolution and natural selection.

ADJECTIVE

  1. relating to the theories of evolution and natural selection.

“an evolutionist model”

 

Under Evolution part 3 and 4 probably does not apply, but when you put the other sections together, it clearly seems to indicate that evolutionist means what it means: “A follower of a distinctive practice.”  And what is the practice: take your pick from choice 1 or 2.

Dr. Lyndon has gone head to head (or probably toe) with many expounders of evolution on several of their premier websites (i.e.  www.richarddawkins.net  ).  He gets the same responses from this group that I get from those who troll my blog sites and Facebook.

“….Calilasseia.  This person is quite famous in online evolution circles.  He is a pretty big hero and attack dog, and is called on when evolution believers are having trouble debating their opponents.

“  Now, if there is one guaranteed way for a creationist to establish that he or she is here for no other reason than to propagandist for a doctrine, it’s the deployment of that most viscerally hated of words in the lexicon, namely, evolutionist. I have posted about this so often here……… now is the time to nail this one to the ground with a stake through its heart once and for all.

There is no such thing as an “evolutionist”. Why do I say this?  Simple. Because the word has become thoroughly debased through creationist abuse thereof, and in my view, deserves to be struck from the language forever.  For those who need the requisite education, there exist evolutionary biologists, namely the scientific professionals who devote decades of their lives to understanding the biosphere and conducting research into appropriate biological phenomena, and those outside that specialist professional remit who accept the reality-based, evidence-based case that they present in their peer reviewed scientific papers for their postulates. The word “evolutionist” is a discoursive elision, erected by creationists for a very specific and utterly mendacious purpose, namely to suggest that valid evolutionary science is a “doctrine”, and that those who accept its postulates do so merely as a priori “assumptions”.  This is manifestly false, as anyone who has actually read the peer reviewed scientific literature is eminently well placed to understand. The idea that there exists some sort of “symmetry” between valid, evidence-based, reality-based science (evolutionary biology) and assertion-laden, mythology-based doctrine (creationism) is FALSE. Evolutionary biology, like every other branch of science, tests assertions and presuppositions to destruction, which is why creationism was tossed into the bin 150 years ago. When creationists can provide methodologically rigorous empirical tests of their assertions, the critical thinkers will sit up and take notice.

Furthermore, with respect to this canard, does the acceptance of the scientifically educated individuals on this board, of the current scientific paradigm for gravity make them “gravitationists”? Does their acceptance of the evidence supporting the germ theory of disease make them “microbists”? Does their acceptance of the validity of Maxwell’s Equations make them “electromagnetists”? Does their acceptance of the validity of the work of Planck, Bohr, Schrödinger, Dirac and a dozen others in the relevant field make them “quantumists”? Does their acceptance of the validity of the astrophysical model for star formation and the processes that take place inside stars make them “stellarists”? If you are unable to see the absurdity inherent in this, then you are in no position to tell people here that professional scientists have got it wrong, whilst ignorant Bronze Age nomads writing mythology 3,000 years ago got it right.”

Therefore, they do not like the term and do not opine as to an appropriate term to use.  I personally prefer evillusionists.  It is a term I coined several years ago and Dr. Lyndon follows suit with it using this explanation: “a term I coined to describe what evolution really is: an illusion.  Ev-illusion makes people, and particularly students, think they see what really isn’t there.  Evolution is much like the works of an illusionist or magician who can fool an audience into thinking a certain event happened that really didn’t.  Once the audience is fooled with the first event, they can then be fooled by quite absurd and seemingly impossible follow up events” I take it a step further and call them evillusitonists for evil- being very evil in trying to make their entire worldview (which is an illusion) the dominant belief in there and everyone’s concept of life as we are supposed to know it.

I could make the same point that “creationists” is a viscerally hated propaganda term, a discursive elision, erected by ev-illusionists for a very specific and utterly mendacious purpose, namely to suggest that valid biblical science is a “doctrine”, and that those who accept its postulates do so merely as a priori “assumptions”.  

Evillution, Intelligent Design

Richard Dawkins Greatest Hoax in Science

This will be the first article detailing many of the “popular” so-called Atheists currently writing and confusing individuals today.  I promise not to be fair- it is only right to point out stupidity when one steps into and cannot get it off your shoes easily.

Clinton Richard Dawkins is probably the most famous evolutionist, anti-creationist and atheist today, and a staunch admirer of Charles Robert Darwin (1809–1882) the beginner of the muddling mess of science today.  His father  was an agricultural civil servant in the British Colonial Service in Nyasaland (now Malawi). His father was called up into the King’s African Rifles during World War II and returned to England in 1949, when Dawkins was eight.  This background may have had an influence on his further development.  Living in a dusty, sparse area with less than perfect sanitation and then being transported into the luxury of a 100 acre farm in England.

He gained his degree in Zoology at the Balliol College, Oxford, in 1962.   he was tutored by Nikolaas Tinbergen (1907–1988), who shared the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discoveries about instinct, learning and choice in animals.  Dawkins continued to study under Tinbergen, at the University of Oxford, receiving his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in 1966.

Dawkins then took a position of assistant professor of zoology at the University of California, Berkeley, which in late 60’s was a hotbed of radicalism, I know, I spent some time rioting there.  He returned to Oxford as a lecturer in 1970 and he researched animal decision-making.  Since the 1970s, he has concentrated on improving his writing skills for popular audiences, for which he is far more famous than for his scientific research on animal behavior.

Dawkins’ first book, The Selfish Gene (1976), advocated a gene-centered view of evolution.  In other words, life first began from a ‘replicator’ that could make approximate copies of itself, which would therefore predominate in some kind of primordial soup that no one has been able to duplicate.  Those copies that could make internal biological machines to help them copy better and then would reproduce more.  Dawkins claims that these replicators are our genes, and our bodies are just ‘gigantic lumbering robots’ which are their ‘survival machines’.  This book also independently introduced the idea of the ‘meme’, a set of ideas that is replicated in other minds. (This has had an explosion with the advent of Facebook).

Dawkins regards his second book, The Extended Phenotype (1982), as his most important contribution to evolutionary biology.  This was kind of sequel and defense of The Selfish Gene; whereas in his first book, Dawkins argues that the organism is the gene’s survival machine, in his second he extends the genes’ influence to the environment modified by the organism’s behavior.  If this behavior helps the organism’s survival, then the genes ‘for’ that behavior will reproduce best.  His examples include beaver dams and termite mounds, as well as animal behavior that benefits a parasite afflicting it, hence the genes of that parasite. He also forgot one of his beloved Darwinian concepts, that the environment could have an effect on the organism to change the gene.  How he could forget that is anybody’s guess.  Mine is the advance on the book.

In 1986, Dawkins wrote The Blind Watchmaker, an attack on the argument that design in the living world demonstrates an intelligent Designer.  Instead, apparent design is the result of evolution by natural selection.  He regards that as a vital argument for his own Atheistic faith:

“An Atheist  before Darwin could have said, following Hume: ‘I have no explanation for complex biological design. All I know is that God isn’t a good explanation, so we must wait and hope that somebody comes up with a better one.’ I can’t help feeling that such a position, though logically sound, would have left one feeling pretty unsatisfied, and that although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” (BW, p.6)

Dawkins participated in the Huxley Memorial Debate at the Oxford Union one of very few.  He was opposing the proposition, “That the doctrine of creation is more valid than the theory of evolution.”  With him was the leading English evolutionist John Maynard Smith (1920–2004), and they were opposed by two biblical creationist scientists: triple doctorate organic chemist and pharmacologist A. E. Wilder-Smith (1915–1995) and Edgar Andrews (1932– ), then Professor of Materials at the University of London.

The audience of Oxford students voted and it  was a modest win for the evolution side, 198–115. Yet Dawkins was not happy—in his closing comments, he had “implored” the audience (his word) not to give a single vote to the creationist side, since every such vote “would be a blot on the escutcheon of the ancient University of Oxford[i].”  Ironically, it would be a return to Oxford’s roots, since it was founded by creationists.  After that, he is on record refusing to debate any biblical creationist. Somewhat like a baby throwing a hissy fit.

In 1995, he was appointed the Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford. This was an endowment by leading Microsoft software designer and billionaire Charles Simonyi (b. Simonyi Károly, 1948) explicitly done just for Dawkins. The endowment stated, “The aim of the Professorship is “to communicate science to the public without, in doing so, losing those elements of scholarship which constitute the essence of true understanding.”  It was established with the express intention that the holder “be expected to make important contributions to the public understanding of some scientific field.”  Whether Dawkins lived up to that lofty goal is debatable.

One report said: “Evolution’s first great advocate, 1860s biologist Thomas Henry Huxley, earned the nickname ‘Darwin’s bulldog’ from his fellow Victorians. I n our own less decorous day, Dawkins deserves an even stronger epithet: ‘Darwin’s Rottweiler, perhaps,’ Simonyi suggests[ii].”  Dawkins retired from this post in September 2008.  You will be unable to find any example from this period were Dawkins aided the public understanding of any real science such as physics or chemistry, or even of the history or philosophy of science. However, during this professorship, Dawkins wrote seven books on evolution/atheism.  It is not surprising that British author Paul Johnson called it “Oxford’s first Chair of Atheism.[iii]

One of them, Climbing Mount Improbable (1996), Dawkins’ admits is one of his own favorites and is aimed to defend slow and gradual evolution. The title is a parable: many structures in living organisms are so complex that there is a vanishingly small probability of producing them in a single step—this corresponds to leaping the high Mt Improbable in a single step.  However, Dawkins says, this mountain has a gently upward-sloping terrain on the other side, where a climber can ascend gradually, constantly progressing to the top.  This corresponds to the neo-Darwinian mechanism of evolution—mutations + natural selection.  Mutations produce gradual improvements, and natural selection means that organisms which have them are slightly more likely to leave offspring provided they are in the right spot at the right time and are compatible to intertwine their chromosomes through what every process is available.  So a later generation of organisms is slightly more complex, or higher up the slope of Mt Improbable.

In his largest book, The Ancestor’s Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution (2004, 688 pages hardcover), Dawkins aimed to illustrate the history of life on Earth.  This was a series of 40 tales, from the point of view of man’s alleged evolutionary precursors[iv], and the name is a play on the Middle English classic The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343–1400). This has made him probably the best known exponent of evolution in the world.

Richard Dawkins not only regards Darwinism as compatible with atheism, but that atheism is a logical outcome of evolutionary belief- which I tend to agree with.  He has long promoted atheism both individually and as part of Atheistic organizations.  Dawkins is an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society, a vice-president of the British Humanist Association (since 1996), a Distinguished Supporter of the Humanist Society of Scotland, a Humanist Laureate of the International Academy of Humanism, and a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. In 2003, he signed Humanism and Its Aspirations, published by the American Humanist Association.

In his 1991 essay “Viruses of the Mind”, Dawkins singled out theistic religion as one of the most pernicious of these viruses, that is, he regards theism as a kind of disease or pathology, and parents who teach it to their children are, in Dawkins’ view, supposedly practicing mental child abuse  But the sorts of criteria Dawkins applies have led critics to wonder whether Dawkins’ own strident atheism itself could be a mental pathology—or ‘atheopathy’- A neologism, coined by Jonathan Sarfati, which combines the word “atheist” and the suffix “-path” (“one afflicted by a specified disorder”) to create a word meaning something like “one afflicted by atheism.

Dawkins criticized those who resorted to prayers after 9/11.  Somehow he overlooked the record-breaking tens of millions killed by Atheistic regimes last century.  This was thoroughly documented by Rudolph Rummel (1932– ), Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Hawaii, who coined the term democide for murder by government (I have written about it at: https://iamnotanatheist.wordpress.com/2017/03/28/religious-wars-vs-democide/ )

This antitheism continued in the presentation of a Channel 4 program in the UK, called The Root of All Evil?  (2006). The title was Channel 4’s choice, not Dawkins’, but he argued that humanity would be better off without belief in God.  In this program, Dawkins interviewed a number of Christian leaders, and visited several holy sites and communities of major religions.  However, some critics attacked the program for not having informed Christian responses.  For example, Dawkins’ fellow Oxford PhD, Alister McGrath (1953– ), Professor of Historical Theology (with a PhD in molecular biophysics), claimed that after his responses Dawkins seemed uncomfortable, so he was not surprised that his own contribution to the show remained on the cutting room floor[v].

Dawkins’ defense of atheism produced his best-seller to date, The God Delusion (2006), with 1.5 million copies sold.  Many high-profile Atheists praised it, and naturally Christians criticized it.  For example, Philip Bell, M.Sc. and former cancer researcher, published a detailed review[vi], and there are other books responding to it[vii]. However, leading logician and Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga (1932– ), currently “John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame”, was not impressed with Dawkins’ excursions outside biology into philosophy, claiming that they could be called sophomoric were it not a grave insult to most sophomores[viii].  Now, I am not sure about you, but since it is my money, before I buy a book I read as many reviews, both positive and negative that I can before buying it. Stupidly, I bought this one and was not disappointed.

Prof. McGrath himself responded to the book (co-authored with his wife)[ix]. This also revealed that Dawkins’ support among Atheists was not universal—famous evolutionary philosopher Michael Ruse writes in the blurb, “The God Delusion makes me embarrassed to be an Atheist, and the McGraths show why.”  Ruse also said that the “new Atheists” led by Dawkins are “a b****y disaster”[x], and said the following about the book:

“Question: What do you think of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins? Your approach is a lot milder? (The book lays open on his bed in the hotel room in Amsterdam where Ruse is interviewed.)

“Answer: I am just as critical of this book as of the work of Intelligent Design authors like Michael Behe, despite the fact that I, as an agnostic, am closer to Dawkins, and am 99% in agreement with his conclusions. But this book is stupid, politically disastrous and bad academics.  If someone spoke about biology and evolution as he does on theology, Dawkins would react without mercy.

“A good academic will inform himself in depth in a subject he is writing about. Dawkins did not. He is neither a philosopher nor a theologian. I am not a biologist myself, but at least I study the subject in depth before I write about it. And that arrogance and that pedantic attitude of his. …

“Dawkins’ book confirms my analysis of evolution as pseudo-religion.  His secular humanism has quasi-religious characteristics.[xi]

Another Atheist , Terry Eagleton, Professor of Cultural Theory at the National University of Ireland, Galway, began his review of The God Delusion with these words:

“Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology[xii].”

Eagleton continues:

“… does he imagine like a bumptious young barrister that you can defeat the opposition while being complacently ignorant of its toughest case? Dawkins, it appears, has sometimes been told by theologians that he sets up straw men only to bowl them over, a charge he rebuts in this book; but if The God Delusion is anything to go by, they are absolutely right.12

Dawkins publicly debated his book with John Carson Lennox, Professor of Mathematics at Oxford.  Lennox is also a Christian apologist and Intelligent Design supporter, and teacher of Science and Religion at Oxford, and the author of several books on the relations of science with religion and ethics.  This debate did not cover evolution, but the wider Christianity vs atheism topics covered in The God Delusio[xiii]n. Dawkins seemed quite red-faced and uncomfortable during the debate.

However, Dawkins refuses to debate best-selling author Dinesh D’Souza, author of What’s So Great about Christianity[xiv] among others, even though D’Souza is a theistic evolutionist not a creationist[xv]. Yet many of Dawkins’ fellow ‘new Atheists’ such as Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett have been willing. In an open letter, D’Souza contrasted Dawkins’ eagerness to entrap non-scientist Christians on his TV shows with a refusal to debate a strong opponent on level terms:

“To be honest, I find your behavior extremely bizarre.  You go halfway around the world to chase down televangelists to outsmart them in an interview format that you control, but given several opportunities to engage the issues you profess to care about in a true spirit of open debate and inquiry, you duck and dodge and run away. …

“If you are so confident that your position is right, and that belief in God is an obvious delusion, surely you should be willing to vindicate that position not only against Bible-toting pastors but also against a fellow scholar and informed critic like me!

“If not, you are nothing but a showman who takes on unprepared and unsuspecting opponents when you yourself control the editing, but when a strong opponent shows up you manufacture reasons to avoid him.[xvi]

Now for a little rehash of what has been covered so far.  We will go into his next book on another post.  It is the information age- little information at a time. Dawkins started off as a “real scientist” and then moved on the showbiz aspect of popularity.  If even his own “kind” (Atheists) have harsh words for him you can image what others believe.

——————————

[i] Cooper, G. and Humber, P., Fraudulent report at AAAS and the 1986 Oxford University debate, http://www.samizdat.qc.ca/cosmos/origines/debate_gc.htm.

[ii] Downey, R., in Eastsideweek, 11 December 1996.

[iii] Johnson, P., If there is no God, what is the Oxford atheist scared of? Spectator, p. 19, 16 March 1996.

[iv] See review by Weinberger, Lael, Long tails, tall tales, J. Creation 22(1):37–40, 2008; creation.com/ancestors-tale.

[v] McGrath, A., “Do stop behaving as if you are God, Professor Dawkins”, Mail Online, 9 February 2007.

[vi] See Bell, P., Atheist with a Mission: Critique of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, J. Creation 21(2):28–34, 2007; creation.com/delusion.

[vii] Slane, R., The God Reality: A critique of Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion, Day One, UK.

[viii] Plantinga, A., The Dawkins Confusion: Naturalism ad absurdum, Christianity Today (Books and Culture), March/April 2007; http://www.christianitytoday.com/bc.

[ix] McGrath, Alister and McGrath, Joanna Collicutt, The Dawkins Delusion? Atheist fundamentalism and the denial of the divine, SPCK, UK, 2007.

[x] Kumar, J., http://talk.thinkingmatters.org.nz/, 19 August 2009

[xi] Ruse, Michael, interview with De Volkskrant (Netherlands), p. 7, 7 April 2007, (translated by Frans Gunnink).

[xii] Eagleton,T., Lunging, flailing, mispunching, London Review of Books 28(20), 19 October, 2006, last accessed 25 January, 2007; http://www.lrb.co.uk.

[xiii] See The God Delusion Debate (DVD), available from CMI.

[xiv] Regnery, Washington DC, 2007.

[xv] See review by Cosner, L., Mostly masterful defence of Christianity; pity it’s slack on creation, J. Creation 22(2):32–35, 2008; creation.com/souza.

[xvi] D’Souza, cited in: The rout of the New Atheists, http://voxday.blogspot.com, 21 July 2008..

Evillution, Intelligent Design

Why ID part 2

Why ID 2

In the first installment (https://larryemarshall.wordpress.com/2016/11/21/why-intelligent-design/ ) we left off with the concept of opposite worldviews.  We will still discuss some of the philosophy behind how these worldviews came to be at opposite ends of the spectrum with each other.

rainbow-spectrum

The main theory that pervades all scientific disciplines is that simple material entities governed by natural laws eventually produce chemical elements from elementary particles.  Then these elements swirling around in some kind of primordial environment (most call it soup) created complex molecules from these   simple chemical elements.  Then somehow, these inanimate chemicals became ALIVE!  These simple life forms survived all kinds of improbable events to combine into life that was more complex.  Finally conscious living beings developed and eventually morphed, mutated, naturally selected into YOU and ME.  In this view, matter comes first, and conscious mind arrives on the scene much later as a by-product of material processes and undirected evolutionary change.  “Chance” they say; “goo to you” mutation with natural selection picking the best of the lot by CHANCE.

The Greek philosophers (who were called atomists), such as Leucippus and Democritus, were perhaps the first Western thinkers to articulate something like this view in writing.[1]   The Enlightenment philosophers Thomas Hobbes and David Hume also later espoused this matter-first philosophy.[2]

Following the widespread acceptance of Darwin’s theory of evolution in the late nineteenth century, many modern scientists adopted this view-why is the subject for another series of articles, but essentially it is when in doubt anything should make sense.  This worldview has been called several things, depending upon which scientific study you have majored in:  naturalism or materialism, or sometimes-scientific materialism or scientific naturalism, in the latter case because many of the scientists and philosophers who hold this perspective think that scientific evidence supports it.

So this is brings up a number of questions.  Not for most of you who are reading this.  You have probably never imagined that such questions existed, let alone have or have not been answered.  That is the reason for my series; to open everyone’s minds to the facts that are out there but you are unaware of.  What are these questions?

Can the origin of life be explained purely by reference to material processes such as undirected chemical reactions or random collisions of molecules?

Can the origin of life be explained without recourse to the activity of a designing intelligence?

Who needs to invoke an unobservable designing intelligence to explain the origin of life, if observable material processes can produce life on their own?

On the other hand, if there is something about life that points to the activity of a designing intelligence, then that raises other philosophical possibilities.

Does a matter-first or a mind-first explanation best explain the origin of life?

Either way, the origin of life is an infinitely interesting scientific topic, but one that has raised incredible philosophical issues as well.

My insatiable desire for information when I was in high school and college blinded me to the only methodology bring taught at the time.  It was taught as the TRUTH with very little supporting information.  You might say they wanted us to believe what they were saying on a hope and a prayer.

key-to-life

So let us start unlocking the mystery of the mystery of all things.

Many of the founders of early modern science such as Johannes Kepler[3], Robert Boyle[4], and Isaac Newton[5] had deep religious conviction.  They believed that scientific evidence pointed to a rational mind behind the order and design they perceived in nature, which is so easy to observe all around us.

Many late-nineteenth-century scientists came to see the cosmos as an autonomous, self-existent, and self-creating system- matter was the most important thing.  It appeared to them that the cosmos required no transcendent cause, no external direction or design. Several of these nineteenth-century scientific theories actually provided some support for this perspective despite the fragility of the knowledge the theory was based upon.

In astronomy, for example, the French mathematician Pierre Laplace[6] offered an ingenious theory known as the “nebular hypothesis” to account for the origin of the solar system as the outcome of purely natural gravitational forces[7].

In geology, Charles Lyell[8] explained the origin of the earth’s most dramatic topographical features— mountain ranges and canyons— as the result of a slow, gradual, and completely naturalistic processes of change such as erosion or sedimentation[9].  This brought about the theories of plate tectonics.

In physics and cosmology, a belief in the infinity of space and time obviated any need to consider the question of the ultimate origin of matter- if it has always been there, then it never originated.  That obviously brings about many other questions, but it was and is easier to avoid them.

In biology, Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection suggested that an undirected process could account for the origin of new forms of life without divine any intervention, guidance, or design.  Again, the questions left unanswered and only partially explained were left until sometime in the future.

Collectively, these theories made it possible to explain all the salient events in natural history from before the origin of the solar system to the emergence of modern forms of life solely by reference to natural processes— unaided and unguided by any kind or type of designing mind or intelligence.  Matter has always existed and could in effect, arrange and rearrange itself into any combination that, by chance, would become more complex as time went on.

But does it!  Here we need to dive more into the philosophy of science and the underlying premises of how scientists determine things. We will be delving into some areas of history and science that many of you have never, ever thought about.  Fortunately, others do and what they have formulated is a deeper understanding of how and why you believe the way you do- whether rightly or wrongly.

mystery-of-unverse

Continue on enigmatic of challenge of seeking the mystery of the mystery.


continued at:


[1] Kirk and Raven, The Presocratic Philosophers.

[2] Hobbes, Leviathan; Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.

[3] a German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer. A key figure in the 17th century scientific revolution, he is best known for his laws of planetary motion, based on his works Astronomia nova, Harmonices Mundi, and Epitome of Copernican Astronomy. These works also provided one of the foundations for Isaac Newton’s theory of universal gravitation.

[4] a natural philosopher, chemist, physicist and inventor.  Boyle is largely regarded today the founder of modern chemistry, and one of the pioneers of modern experimental scientific method. He is best known for Boyle’s law, which describes the inversely proportional relationship between the absolute pressure and volume of a gas, if the temperature is kept constant within a closed system

[5] an English physicist and mathematician who is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time and a key figure in the scientific revolution. His book Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (“Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy”), first published in 1687, laid the foundations for classical mechanics. Newton made seminal contributions to optics, and he shares credit with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz for the development of calculus.  Newton’s Principia formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation, which dominated scientists’ view of the physical universe for the next three centuries. By deriving Kepler’s laws of planetary motion from his mathematical description of gravity, and then using the same principles to account for the trajectories of comets, the tides, the precession of the equinoxes, and other phenomena.

[6] an influential French scholar whose work was important to the development of mathematics, statistics, physics and astronomy. He translated the geometric study of classical mechanics to one based on calculus, opening up a broader range of problems. In statistics, the Bayesian interpretation of probability was developed mainly by Laplace. He restated and developed the nebular hypothesis of the origin of the Solar System and was one of the first scientists to postulate the existence of black holes and the notion of gravitational collapse.

[7] Laplace, (Vietnamese) Exposition du système du monde.

[8] a British lawyer and the foremost geologist of his day. He is best known as the author of Principles of Geology, which popularized the concept of uniformitarianism—the idea that the Earth was shaped by the same processes still in operation today. His scientific contributions included an explanation of earthquakes, the theory of gradual “backed up-building” of volcanoes, and in stratigraphy the division of the Tertiary period into the Pliocene, Miocene, and Eocene. He also coined the currently-used names for geological eras, Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic.

[9] Lyell, Principles of Geology..

Evillution

Charles Darwin’s birthday

Americans Support Teaching Students the Evidence For and Against Darwin’s Theory by Overwhelming Margin

Mad_Darwin_BDay

Just in time for Charles Darwin’s birthday on February 12, a new nationwide survey reveals that 81% of American adults believe that “when teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution, biology teachers should cover both scientific evidence that supports the theory and scientific evidence critical of the theory.” Only 19% of Americans believe that “biology teachers should cover only scientific evidence that supports the theory.” Finally, parents are becoming aware of the BS that is being taught their children.

Support for teaching the scientific evidence for and against Darwin’s theory is overwhelming regardless of age, gender, religious affiliation, geography, party affiliation,and household income:
79% of men and 83%of women support teaching the evidence for and against Darwin’s theory
85% of theists, 65% of atheists, and 79% of agnostics support
this approach.
79% of Democrats support teaching the evidence for and against Darwin’s theory,and so do 82% of independents and85% of Republicans.
85% of middle-aged Americans (ages 45-59) support teaching the evidence for and against Darwin’s theory,and so do 81% of young adults (ages 18-29) and senior citizens (ages 60 and older).

To read the full article:

http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/filesDB-download.php?command=download&id=11961

Evillution, Intelligent Design, The Science of it All

Detailed Geology

Can plate tectonics happen quickly? Clues from mineral physics and Venus

I will admit that I am not an expert in this field- however, I have read two recent books on Geology and one on Paleogeology1. It doesn’t make me an expert, but it can at least help me explain some of the difficult terminologies and concepts that will follow in this article. I am happy to discuss anything in further detail with anyone – as long as I can use my reference books.

As far back as the early 1960s, it was known that for materials whose effective viscosity is described by an Arrhenius-like relationship2 the phenomenon of thermal runaway can potentially occur. The Arrhenius equation is a formula for the temperature dependence of reaction rates. It can be used to model the temperature variation of diffusion coefficients, creep rates, and many other thermally-induced processes/reactions. It also expresses the relationship between rate and energy.

Arrhenius_Eq

The viscosity of such materials varies as e(E*/RT), where T is absolute temperature, E* is the activation energy, and R is the gas constant. A large variety of materials including silicate minerals behave in this manner. A graphic representation of the equation would be like this:

In particular, Gruntfest in 1963 showed that, with this type of temperature dependence of viscosity, both the deformation rate and the temperature of a viscous fluid layer subject to constant shear stress increase without limit, that is, it becomes out of control.3   What does this mean? It shows that what is required is that the time constant associated with viscous heating of rock material is much smaller than the characteristic thermal diffusion4 of the layer. Confusing? Read on.

Several investigators explored the possibility of thermal runaway of lithospheric slabs in the mantle in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Anderson and Perkins, for example, suggested that the widespread Cenozoic volcanism in the southwestern US might be a consequence of thermal runaway of chunks of lithosphere in the low viscosity upper mantle with resulting surges of melt expressed in episodes of volcanism at the surface. 5 Such lithospheric slabs, because of an average temperature some 1,000 K (1,340 F) or more lower than that of the upper mantle but with a similar chemical composition, are several percent denser than the surrounding rock and therefore have a natural ability to sink.

The gravitational body forces acting on a slab lead to high stresses, especially within the mechanical boundary layer surrounding the slab. As a slab sinks, most of its gravitational potential energy is released in the form of heat in these regions of high stress. If conditions are right, the weakening arising from heating can lead to an increased sinking rate, an increased heating rate, and greater weakening. This positive feedback can result in runaway.6

Experimental studies of the deformational behavior of silicate minerals over the last several decades (by a variety of secular and Biblical scientists) have revealed the strength of such materials also depends strongly on the state of stress. At shear stresses of the order of 10-3 times the low-temperature elastic shear modulus and temperatures of the order of 80% of the melting temperature, silicate minerals deform by a mechanism known as dislocation creep in which slip occurs along preferred planes in the crystalline lattice.7

dislocationmovement

(The above diagram kind of shows how the crystal shape can deform without losing its actual structure. Now how scientists can actually calculate this and determine it for a fact is a mystery to me, and I read all the articles and am trying to provide a summary for you folks. If you can’t make ‘hide nor hair’ of it then please read the articles referenced by 6 and 7 above and tell me how you can explain it better. All of the reference articles can be loaned to your local library or community college library. Thank you. LEM).

In this type of solid deformation, the deformation rate depends on the shear stress in a strongly nonlinear manner, proportional to the shear stress to approximately the third power. At somewhat higher levels of shear stress, these materials display a plastic yield behavior, where their strength decreases in an even more nonlinear way, in this case inversely with the deformation rate. When these stress-weakening mechanisms are combined with the temperature weakening discussed above, the potential for slab runaway from gravitational body forces is enhanced dramatically. A point many people fail to grasp is that these weakening mechanisms can reduce the silicate strength by ten or more orders of magnitude without the material ever reaching its melting temperature.7

(Basically what he is saying that with a large crystal silicate structure that is under a great deal of stress it can become a runaway structure without reaching it’s melting point).

The NASA Magellan mission to Venus in the early 1990s revealed that Earth’s sister planet had been globally resurfaced in the not so distant past via a catastrophic mechanism internal to the Venus mantle.8 Magellan’s high-resolution radar images showed evidence of extreme tectonic deformation that generated the northern highlands known as Ishtar Terra with mountains having slopes as high as 45°.9

ishtar

(The outline of the United States is superimposed on the radiographic image of Ishtar Terra to give an indication of its size. It’s slopes are at a 45 degree angle. By comparison on the U.S. Interstate highway system the steepest grade allowed is 7 %

Finland_road_sign_115.svg

Some roads that I know of, the Wickenburg to Prescott highway, Salt River Canyon road, and the Guadalupe pass in Southwest New Mexico are up to 15% and have ‘runaway truck exits at most corners going down hill.)

More than half of the Venus surface had been flooded with basaltic lava to produce largely featureless plains except for linear fractures caused by cooling and contraction. Runaway sinking of the cold upper thermal boundary layer of the planet seems the most plausible mechanism to explain such catastrophism at the surface.10 Given such clear and tangible evidence for runaway in a planet so similar in size and composition as Venus, it is not unreasonable to consider lithospheric runaway as the mechanism behind the global scale catastrophism so apparent in the Earth’s Phanerozoic (of, relating to, or denoting the eon covering the whole of time since the beginning of the Cambrian period, and comprising the Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic eras) sedimentary record.
Numerical methods now exist for modeling and investigating this runaway mechanism. Considerable challenge is involved, however, because of the extreme gradients in material strength that arise. 11,12 W.-S. Yang focused much of his Ph.D. thesis research effort at the University of Illinois on finding a robust approach for dealing with such strong gradients in the framework of the finite element method and an iterative multi-grid solver. He showed that what is known as a matrix dependent transfer multi-grid approach allows one to treat such problems with a high degree of success. Although his thesis dealt with applying this method to 3-D spherical shell geometry, he subsequently developed a simplified 2-D Cartesian version capable of much higher spatial resolution within current computer hardware constraints. 13

cptp301_10

cptp301_25

cptp301_40

 

Figure 1. (Three snapshots from a 2-D mantle runaway calculation in a box 11,500 km wide by 2,890 km high at problem times of 5, 12.5, and 20 days. Arrows denote flow velocity and are scaled to the peak velocity ‘umax’. Contours denote temperatures in the upper panel and base 10 logarithm of viscosity in the lower panel of each frame. Numbers on the contours correspond to a scale from 0 to 10 for the range of values indicated beneath each plot. A viscosity of 1013 Pa-s, corresponding to the minimum value in the viscosity plots, represents a reduction in the viscosity by a factor of one billion relative to the strength of the rock material when the velocities are negligible. Much of the domain exhibits viscosity values near this minimum during the runaway episode. Deformation rate-dependent weakening, observed experimentally in silicate minerals, is the crucial physics underlying the runaway process.)

Note that runaway diapirs ( a domed rock formation in which a core of rock has moved upward to pierce the overlying strata) emerge from both top and bottom boundaries. The upwelling from the lower boundary releases gravitational potential energy stored in the hot buoyant material at the base of the mantle. Such upwelling’s from the bottom boundary have dramatic implications for transient changes in sea level during the Flood since they cause a temporary rise in the height of the ocean bottom by several kilometers.

Baumgardner showed that a 3-D spherical shell model of the Earth’s mantle initialized with surface lithospheric plates corresponding to an approximate Pangean configuration of the continents and bands of cold rock along the Pangean boundary yields a pattern of plate motions that resemble in a remarkable way the inferred Mesozoic-to-present plate motions for the Earth.14 This solution was obtained simply by solving the conservation equations for mass, momentum, and energy in this spherical shell domain starting from relatively simple but plausible initial conditions. Such a calculation confirms that a subduction driven mantle flow, with very few other assumptions, generates the style of plate motions recorded in the rocks of today’s ocean floor.

Although this calculation simply adopted the reduced viscosity observed in high resolution 2-D calculations during runaway, with continued improvements in computer technology it should soon be feasible to achieve the required resolution in the 3-D spherical model to capture the runaway behavior in a fully self-consistent fashion. The advantage of a 3-D spherical model, of course, is that its output can be compared directly with geological observation. Realization of this crucial objective is an extremely high priority for those who desire a credible defense of the Flood to a skeptical world. (Unfortunately, the computer industry is concentrating on tablets and play laptops instead of advancing high-end heavy duty computers.)

 


 

EndNotes:

1 The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet by Robert M. Hazen;

Geology by James Geikie and ; The Holocene: An Environmental History 2nd Edition by Neil Roberts.

2 Levine, I.N., Physical Chemistry, 4th Edition, McGraw-Hill, New York, pp. 517–521, 1995.

3 Gruntfest, I.J., Thermal feedback in liquid flow; plane shear at constant stress, Trans. Soc. Rheology 8:195–207, 1963. Currently working at Microsoft.com as an Research Scientist in Analytic Chemistry.

4 A phenomenon in which a temperature gradient in a mixture of fluids gives rise to a flow of one constituent relative to the mixture as a whole. (In other words, the solid rocks move at different speeds than the molten ones and molten granite flows at a rate different than molten basalt.

5 Anderson, O.L. and Perkins, P.C., Runaway temperatures in the asthenosphere resulting from viscous heating, J. Geophys. Res. 79:2136–2138, 1974.

6 Baumgardner, J.R., Numerical simulation of the large-scale tectonic changes accompanying the Flood; in: Walsh, R.E., Brooks, C.E. and Crowell, R.S. (Eds), Proceedings of the International Conference on Creationism, Vol. II, Creation Science Fellowship, Pittsburgh, pp. 17–28, 1987.

7 Kirby, S.H., Rheology of the lithosphere, Rev. Geophys. Space Phys. 25:1219–1244, 1983.

8 Strom, R.G., Schaber, G.G. and Dawson, D.D., The global resurfacing of Venus, J. Geophys. Res. 99:10899–10926, 1994.

9 Ford, P.G. and Pettengill, G.H., Venus topography and kilometer scale slopes, J. Geophys. Res. 97:13103–13114, 1992.

10   IBID Strom, R.G.

11 Baumgardner, J.R., 3-D finite element simulation of the global tectonic changes accompanying Noah’s Flood; in: Walsh, R.E. and Brooks, C.E. (Eds), Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Creationism, Vol. II, Creation Science Fellowship, Pittsburgh, pp. 35–45, 1991.

12 Baumgardner, J.R., Runaway subduction as the driving mechanism for the Genesis Flood; in: Walsh, R.E. (Ed.), Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Creationism, Technical Symposium Sessions, Creation Science Fellowship, Pittsburgh, pp. 63–75, 1994.

13 Yang, W.-S. and Baumgardner, J.R., Matrix-dependent transfer multigrid method for strongly variable viscosity infinite Prandtl number thermal convection, Geophys. and Astrophys. Fluid Dyn. 92:151–195, 2000.

14 Baumgardner, J.R., Computer modeling of the large-scale tectonics associated with the Genesis Flood; in: Walsh, R.E. (Ed.), Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Creationism, Technical Symposium Sessions, Creation Science Fellowship, Pittsburgh, pp. 49–62, 1994.

 

Evillution, Intelligent Design

Little Furry Humans?

Little furry humans?

chimp_man

How often have you heard the ‘humans and other animals’. This seems intended to attack the notion that people are special, being made in the image of God.

Is man an animal?  This is not exactly a simple question to answer, despite what many will think. The progressives really try to avoid discussing in detail the actual facts and just make the simple statements and hope that you will accept it as a fact- even if you kind of know that it isn’t quite right. So let us get in to the more technical biological world to answer the question. If we use the man-made classification criteria instituted by Linnaeus (did I mention he was a creationist) 1, the answer would seem to be ‘yes’.

Man is obviously not a plant, or mold or coral and does not live in the water or in the soil, and does not fly without any assistance, etc. All creatures are grouped together using a variety of criteria of similarity, which does not have any evolutionary overtones. Humans have backbones, which would place us in the biological group known as vertebrates. Humans give birth to live young, suckle our offspring, and maintain a type of herd mentality. This places us in the category of mammals, specifically the placental mammals. Interestingly these features are shared more or less in common with an order known as primates. The order Primates, with its 300 or more species, is the third most diverse order of mammals, after rodents (Rodentia) and bats (Chiroptera).

The problem is not with the technical classification as with the progressive effect that labeling people as ‘animals’ tries to achieve. The real point that evolutionists try to make, and which needs to be resisted, is that man is ‘just one more animal’.

The reason for confusion is strong when you consider that the word ‘animal’, in the understanding of most everyday individuals, means something other than a human being.        For instance, when people say (which used to be a big ‘thing’ for the progressives), ‘animals are used to test cosmetics’, it is obvious that man is not included in this use of the term ‘animals’. Similarly , fish, insects and birds, though technically ‘animals’, are not usually talked about in that way ‘The fire injured many animals and birds’.

People are definitely not ‘animals’ in any normal sense of that word, nor are they related to any other animals by a “common descent”. Humans have been made in the very image of their Creator, and an incredible gulf separates them from even the most similar of any other living creatures.

The solution might be to set up a separate kingdom in the technical classification system to adequately reflect that fact. This is unlikely to appear anytime soon in a world dominated by evolutionary thinking.

Over the past half-century or so, dozens of dedicated Darwinists have devoted decades of their lives to studying the behavior of apes and monkeys. The public is flooded with stories about the likes of Jane Goodall and Dianne Fossey living with chimps and mountain gorillas and trying t prove how “human-like” they are. The social structures, behaviors, communication and so virtually every aspect of apes and monkeys are scrutinized for the slightest evidence that they have thoughts and minds like our own. We are bombarded with ‘facts’ designed to get us to conclude that the differences between humans and these alleged ‘close relatives’ of ours are really minor ones of degree, and not of kind.

Two developments in particular have comforted and reinforced the masses in such evolutionary notions. One is the high percentage of genetic (DNA) similarity which primates hold in common with humans. Chimp DNA is supposed to be anywhere from 96% to 98.7% identical to that of humans, depending on who is telling the story. The reason for the variation is that no one has yet sequenced an ape’s DNA; other, much cruder techniques are used to give a ‘guesstimate’ of the similarity.2

Baboons are said to share 92% of their DNA with us. Granted a high degree of shared DNA, even if it were 92%, would that make them 92% human or us 92% baboon, as most interpret this? It is worth repeating what prominent evolutionist Steve Jones reminded his audience of recently in the context of man/chimp DNA-sharing: “We also share about 50% of our DNA with bananas and that doesn’t make us half bananas, either from the waist up or the waist down.”3

The other development has to do with the issue of language. The chimpanzee Washoe and the bonobo Kanzi “have become famous for their ability to respond to human language in surprisingly complex ways”.4 There are ‘severe limitations on intelligence and communication in monkeys’. It must be a great disappointment, then, for committed evolutionists to read of the latest work by two of the most dedicated primate behavior researchers in the world.5 Robert Seyfarth and Dorothy Cheney are a husband-and-wife team who have performed many ingenious experiments with vervet monkeys and baboons, plumbing the depths of their social knowledge and mental processes.

They have occasionally revealed previously unknown ‘richness’ in a monkey’s social knowledge, overall their results have caused them to give a massive ‘thumbs down’ to the ‘monkeys are almost human’ view. They have gradually come to the conclusion (no surprise to Bible-believing Christians) that there are ‘severe limitations on intelligence and communication in monkeys’.6

Examples: baboons walking past a recently dismembered buffalo carcass do seem to understand that lions are in the vicinity. They only act alarmed once they spot the actual lions. When baboons see an antelope carcass stuffed high up in a tree, they show no signs of concluding the obvious—that their mortal enemy, the leopard, is in the vicinity. Baboons from a foraging troop which has spread out so that some are on either side of a forest are known to give barking calls. It has long been assumed that they were keeping ‘contact’, saying, in effect, ‘Hey, we’re over here, where are you?’ like humans would. But ingenious experiments have shown that the monkeys were only wailing about their own “lostness”.

Seyfarth and Cheney say that, unlike humans, “monkeys don’t actually recognize that other monkeys have minds”.7 Whatever thoughts and emotions they may have, they cannot project them outside of themselves, as humans do all the time. Thus, a chimp may grieve due to loss, but chimps do not seem to comfort others that are grieving. This inability to put themselves in another monkey’s place was starkly demonstrated when a monkey named Sylvia made a deep water crossing with a baby clinging to her underside, causing it to drown. Since she could breathe, she could not relate to the fact that her baby could not.

So what does all this do to the ‘genetic similarity’ issue? The writer of the Smithsonian article (who is definitely a non-creationist) concedes that these results remind us that ‘just a few percentage points can translate into vast, unbridgeable gaps between species’.8 Of course, we have long known that a few percentage points means many millions of base pair differences—which are likely to be in much more crucial ‘controlling genes’. And I will be producing a very in depth discourse on the most likely causal effect of chromosomal complexity- I will try to explain the cellular biology and physiology as effectively as I can, it is very complex.

When apes were created they had more similarities to humans than to jellyfish. Since all of our bodily construction reflects our ‘basic’ DNA ‘recipe’, it is perfectly logical and consistent that apes would also be genetically more similar to humans than to jellyfish—or bananas, for that matter.

And what about the much-vaunted ape language abilities? These researchers remind us that the circumstances were artificial. Seyfarth says, “You can teach a monkey to ride a bicycle in the circus, but it doesn’t tell you much about what monkeys learn to do in the wild.”9 Furthermore, “even in the laboratory, no animal has attained anything like true language”. Whereas humans “embody a theory of mind in wild excess”. We are aware that we, and our minds, exist and that other humans have thinking minds also. Humans, and humans alone, “know what we know, and we know that we know it. We possess the playful, curious, strange and sympathetic entity called human consciousness”.9

This is because we are made in the image of God. Made to think, reason, love and communicate with our Creator. Apes and monkeys, no matter how superficially similar are not.

As Seyfarth concludes, “They’re not furry little humans. They’re just monkeys.”6

In the meantime, if you are asked whether man is ‘an animal’, the best way to avoid promoting evolutionary notions would be to:

  1. Carefully point out the different definitions of the term.
  2. Affirm that man is not an animal in any common usage of the term, nor in any evolutionary sense whatsoever.

 


 

ENDNOTES:

  1. A Swedish botanist (1707-1778), physician, and zoologist, who founded the modern system of naming organisms called binomial nomenclature. He is known by the epithet “father of modern taxonomy”.
  2. Batten, D. (Ed.), The Answers Book, Brisbane, Australia, pp. 102–106, 1999.
  3. Jones, S., interviewed at the Australian Museum on The Science Show, broadcast on ABC radio, 12 January 2002, abc.net.au.
  4. Conniff, R., Monkey wrench, Smithsonian 102–104, 2001.
  5. Reported in ref. 4, pp. 97–104
  6. 4, p. 97
  7. 4, p. 102.
  8. 4, p. 98.
  9. 4, p. 104
Evillution, Glossary, Intelligent Design, The Science of it All

MYA vs YAE

Now let us get into the more difficult part: Million Years Age vs Young Age Earth

Today’s science relies on empirical analysis— that is, verification through repeated measurement and testing. It is the basis for what is known as the “scientific method,” the common steps that biologists and other scientists use to gather information to solve problems. These steps include observation, hypothesis (prediction), data collection, experimentation to test the hypothesis under controlled conditions, and conclusions.

Empirical analysis is a wonderful testing tool but its application is limited to the present— the way things are and the way they work in the present. Empirical science cannot deal directly with the past, as most people have been led to believe.

It is most important to realize that secular scientists assume evolution and old age as their foundation or basis for reconstruction or interpretation— evolution and an old earth are assumed to be true. An individual fact is accepted or rejected as valid only if it fits the old earth, evolutionary model. This is a very important concept to understand. The presumption of evolution “as fact” exists in many sciences including biology, geology, astronomy, paleontology, and anthropology.

If you set aside preconceived notions, and openly read and try to understand different viewpoints, you will soon realize that the preponderance of scientific evidence refutes evolution and overwhelmingly supports the creation model— not evolution.

When compared, the young earth model (creation and a worldwide flood) fits the data perfectly while the old earth model (evolution with ‘slow and gradual’ geologic events) has continual flaws— it is essentially upside down science.

The First Law of Thermodynamics, on the other hand, simply states that matter/ energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can be transferred from one form to another. This law confirms that creation is no longer occurring— but it also implies that creation occurred at sometime in the past!

The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that matter/ energy in the universe available for work is decaying or running down. Entropy is a measure of disorder or unusable energy— it represents energy that is no longer available for doing work. Every energy transformation reduces the amount of usable or free energy of the system and increases the amount of unusable energy. It is essentially a mathematical formula of the useless energy in a system.

(see detailed discussion at: https://larryemarshall.wordpress.com/2016/01/29/laws-of-thermodynamics/ )

Every energy transformation reduces the amount of usable or free energy of the system and increases the amount of unusable energy. In other words, while usable energy is used for growth and repair, it is “irretrievably lost in the form of unusable energy.”1

What’s the difference between Laws of Science and Theory? “Scientific laws must be simple, true, universal, and absolute. They represent the cornerstone of scientific discovery, because if a law ever did not apply then all science based upon that law would collapse.” The First and Second Laws have always proved valid whenever they could be tested— there are no exceptions to these laws. A theory is an explanation of a set of related observations based on hypotheses and verified by independent researchers— but theories are not laws, and they are often disproven and replaced with other theories. A “law” differs from theories, hypotheses, and principles in that a law can be expressed by a single mathematical equation with an empirically determined constant.

Then God said, ‘Let the waters below the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear’; and it was so.”— Genesis 1: 9, NAS

The doctrine of uniformitarianism maintains that geological and other physical processes operating in the world today have remained constant throughout earth’s history. Catastrophism maintains that normal geological and physical processes of the earth have been interrupted by a cataclysmic worldwide flood. According to the Bible, there have been two great worldwide upheavals since the beginning of time: Original Creation (Genesis 1) and Noah’s Flood (Genesis 6-8).

In the early 20th century, Alfred Wegener, a German meteorologist, noted that the continents (including the continental shelves) fit together as a single supercontinent. This antediluvian (pre-flood) landmass is commonly called Pangaea, from the Greek root word for “all lands.” The northern part of Pangaea is called Laurasia and the southern part is called Gondwanaland.

panagea

 

 

 

This is the process of the separation of the

Pangaea into the continents as we now know them.

 

 

Although no one could have observed the separation of Pangaea into the present-day continents, the evidence which supports the splitting of this ancient supercontinent is substantial. This includes not only the physiographic fit of the continents but also the alignment of major fault zones when the continents are placed together. The questions are, how long did it take, and when did the splitting occur?

Tectonics is concerned with the processes which control the structure and properties of the Earth’s crust, and its evolution through time. In particular, it describes the processes of mountain building, the growth and behavior of the strong, old cores of continents known as cratons, and the ways in which the relatively rigid plates that comprise the Earth’s outer shell interact with each other. Tectonics also provides a framework to understand the earthquake and volcanic belts which directly affect much of the global population.

HeezenTharp_900

The separation or splitting apart of this ancient landmass took place about 4,400 years ago, during a catastrophic worldwide flood— a global event described in Genesis 6-8. This catastrophic shifting of landmasses and flooding can be separated into three phases (each phase overlapping into the next) which took place within a span of just one year— NOT millions of years as maintained by uniformitarian geologists.

At the end of the approximately 1,600-year antediluvian1 period just before the flood , it is believed that the population was more than 250 million people and the society was sophisticated, perhaps comparable to the early Egyptian culture.2

Also, climatic and topographic conditions were much different from our current world. Although the supercontinent had mountains, rivers and seas, its topography was much less prominent than we know today3 —the oceans weren’t so deep and the mountains weren’t so high (i.e., high hills and plateaus). There were other significant differences. The climate was similar to today’s temperate regions with moderate seasonal variations (Genesis 1: 14, 8: 22).

The splitting apart of the Pangaea landmass took place about 4,400 years ago, during Noah’s flood which was catastrophic and worldwide — described in Genesis 6-8. This catastrophic shifting of landmasses and flooding can be divided into three overlapping phases taking place within a span of just one year— NOT millions of years as maintained by uniformitarian geologists.

Events leading to our current land features were catastrophic rifting and subduction, uplift of ocean basins, flooding of the continents, sedimentary deposition, burial of uprooted forests (creating the coal and oil we find today), mountain and continental uplift, and torrential erosional drainage of the floodwaters. Horizontal movement— seafloor spreading and continental drift— was the main tectonic force during the first phase of the flood event, and vertical movement (uplift and subsidence of ocean basins, and mountain uplift or orogeny) was predominant in the latter two phases of the flood.

Click here for Phase 1: https://larryemarshall.wordpress.com/2016/01/31/phase-1/


ENDNOTES:

1 Adjective: of or belonging to the time before the biblical Flood

2 I am not going to discuss the worlds population at this time and how far it had advanced. Many, many articles have been written and I do plan a follow up article on just that subject alone. Email me if you want more information.

3 Dillow, Joseph C. (1982). The Waters Above. Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 141. Also see Whitcomb, J.C. (1988). The World That Perished. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 41-46.

Evillution, The Science of it All

Laws of Thermodynamics

Laws of Thermodynamics

The first law of thermodynamics doesn’t actually specify that matter can neither be created nor destroyed, but instead that the total amount of energy in a closed system cannot be created nor destroyed (though it can be changed from one form to another). It was after nuclear physics told us that mass and energy are essentially equivalent – this is what Einstein meant when he wrote E= mc^2 – that we realized the 1st law of thermodynamics also applied to mass. Mass became another form of energy that had to be included in a thorough thermodynamic treatment of a system. (For a very important note on the difference between matter and mass, see here: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/equivME/#2.1).
The first thing we have to do is determine what a “closed system” is. When we look at a physical situation and draw an imaginary circle around it, we’re defining a system. A refrigerator, for example, can be a thermodynamical system. But once we’ve specified that the system is closed, it means that everything inside the system at that moment – the total amount of energy, be it potential energy (mass can be thought of as a kind of potential energy) or kinetic energy or both – must stay at that same, constant level. If the amount goes up or down, either the system isn’t closed, or we’ve neglected to account for energy (for instance, heat) coming into the system or leaving the system. If we draw our imaginary circle around the universe, we can call the universe a closed system, but it means the total amount of energy in the universe has to remain the same – from its beginning until now.

You may be hesitant to believe that the total energy in the universe is constant because there appears to be so much of it, or because science seems to indicate that the universe is expanding. There are stars, planets, galaxies, globular clusters – everywhere, matter and energy seem to exist, and it’s constantly rushing off in all directions. But for starters, the expansion of the universe doesn’t have to take more energy – as the universe expands, the distances between stars or galaxies increases, and thus the gravitational energy between them decreases to compensate. And more importantly, thermodynamics doesn’t state what value the total energy should have. It could be a huge, but constant, number (this is what’s known as an “open” universe, where the amount of matter/energy in the universe exceeds a certain “cut-off” density: see http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/astro/denpar.html). It could be, as most physicists now believe, zero (this is called a “flat” universe, where the matter density in the universe is equal to the cut-off density). It could be negative, even (a “closed” universe, where the amount of matter is less than the cut-off density). It could be anything, but whatever value it is now, it was at the very beginning! According to physics, all of the matter and energy in the universe now existed in some form at the Big Bang.

The conservation laws in thermodynamics, for example, proscribe certain outcomes. The first law tells us that energy is never created or destroyed. The second tells us that the entropy of a closed system will never decrease over time. Those who claim that such “proscriptive laws” do not constitute knowledge because they are based on past but not future experience will not get far if they try to use their skepticism to justify funding for research on, say, perpetual motion machines.

So the UNIVERSE is a closed system, unless you are one of those who believes in multi-verses (strictly lame-brained theories) or that the universe is not infinite (many interesting thoughts and unbalanced equations to prove it).  If the universe is not a closed system, then you have to account somehow someway for the addition of mass or energy to it, so that there is no entropy.  If you have the intelligence to dream up all these wild ideas and try to prove it with unsubstantiated concepts (fuzzy matter, black matter, white matter, wormholes, etc) then I have to ask a simple question-Isn’t easier to believe in God as the Creator of all things?

Return to :  (MYA vs YAE to be finished)