Want Some Answers ???Evolutionism
To. The Editor, Science, Technology & Medicine. BBC World Service.
Thanks for the mail. I still can’t understand why the BBC has a blind bias for evolution. The public continually receive a one sided evolutionary hype without balance. We never hear reports of anything that questions the theory of evolution. We are bombarded with evolutionary ‘proofs’ as though it's a fact. You write –
>>“I get the impression that you are forcing a very narrow definition of science by suggesting that scientific method cannot be used to study events that are not directly tangible or capable of reproduction in the the lab. Apart from anything else it's a rather artificial boundary”<<
An authoritative dictionary describes science as “the systematic study of the nature and behaviour of the material and physical universe, based on experiment and measurement”. I wrote - “Science can only deal with things that can be observed or measured. It depends on measuring or watching something happen, and checking it by doing it again”. The boundaries of real science are not based on speculative theories that are not tangible nor tested scientifically. You wrote -
>>“Much of science (eg most of astronomy) is concerned with putting constructs on events for which we have only remnants, or that took place billions of years ago”.<<
To theorise with ideas is one thing, but to broadcast them as facts is another. You say, “Billions of years” Were you there, how do you know? The “billions” or “millions” of years is only speculation and assumption because there’s no proof or evidence. There’s no scientific method available to positively prove the earth is very old. Evolution “forces [this] very narrow definition” by demanding “billions” of years. The earth’s magnetic field is one convincing fact that the earth is young. We know the earth, moon and sun must all be the right age for life to exist. You wrote,
>>Much of what happens at the quantum level can hardly be observed in the conventional sense. For that reason, a lot of science consists of creating best-fit theories and being prepared to change them as required. That is a perfectly respectable activity that has its counterparts in mathematics, humanities and religion. etc. Evolution is not automatically rendered unscientific because you can't make it happen to order"<<
Mathematics is a precise science, and unworkable calculations are observed as simply unworkable. I agree we can’t make evolution happen and there’s no evidence and that’s why it doesn’t “fit”. We know ‘planes fly’, if a theory claims ‘pigs fly’, I’m happy to “… automatically render [pigs fly] unscientific” because of poor lab evidence. Yet you rendered creation "unscientific because you can't make it happen to order". You write -
>>If by Darwinism, you mean its modern variants, I cannot agree with you that scientists who accept it are bending their observations.<<
I was quoting Prof.H.S. Lipson [FRS Physics, Univ. of Manchester]. He wrote, “In fact, evolution became in a sense a scientific religion; almost all scientists have accepted it and many are prepared to ‘bend’ their observations to fit in with it” [A Physicist looks at evolution’ Physics Bulletin vol.31 1980 pg.138]. And S.J Gould “Facts do not speak for themselves; they are read in the light of the theory” [Ever Since Darwin. Burnett Books 78 pg.161-162]. Gould (evolutionist) also wrote, “…yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study” [Evolution erratic pace. Natural History vol.LXXXVI May.77 p.14]. You write -
>>“In 30 years as a science journalist I have met many (inc. believing christian) biologists who approach their work with humility and honesty. So do an even greater number with no particular religious persuasion. I also think that the majority of science begins with speculation"<<
Yes but wrong evolutionary speculation needs correction. “For nearly 30 years working with recent geological graduates, I have to teach each one to forget the theories he was taught, just observe what is actually there and record it” [The Australian Geologist Newsletter no.48 19/3/84 pg.7 Dr.C. Laing [Geologist]. You say,
>>“In my experience it is the lateral thinkers, rather than the dogmatists, who kick the subject along”.<<
“But alas, how frequent, how almost universal it is in an author to persuade himself of the truth of his own dogmas”. [C. Darwin. Letter to a colleague, John’s Lofton’s Journal, Washington Times. 8/2/84]. Speculating evolutionists have tried to prove evolution for years without success yet still remain dogmatic. You write,
>>I've often heard the notion that evolution supposes the existence of transitional species. Why should it? That's surely as speculative and 'religious' a viewpoint as any!”<<
The “most obvious and serious objection” against Darwin's theory is the absence of intermediates. [‘On the imperfection of the geological record’ ch.5 Origin Species Dent & Sons Lon.1971 pg292-293]. So you believe it without evidence?
>>Lots of things, from quantum energy levels to macro-politics seem to progress in a punctuated sort of way. It is also questionable science to make deductions from any absence of fossil evidence. You and I are unlikely to become fossils, but it would be a pity if future generations conclude, therefore that we didn't exist.”<<
Whether gradualist or punctuationist the "fossil evidence" is the ONLY historical, documentary evidence life MAY have evolved from simple to complex forms. The true nature of the "fossil evidence" is that there is NONE to support it. So 'punctuated equilibrium' is widely accepted, not because of a compelling theoretical basis but because it appears to resolve this dilemma.
We don’t find gradual morphological trends predicted by Darwin, so some argue change occurs with sudden new species - not gradual but rapid. This is a more ad hoc explanation than theory, and rests on shaky ground. So the truth about evolution – has it occurred at all? Why is it proven by a totally separate set of arguments without evidence?
The "fossil evidence" proves species continue unchanged. No changes, mutations, trans-mutations, etc. Fossil bones of men have always been fossil bones of men. Calculate 100 or 500,000 years, the fact is, they haven’t changed. Those with no evidence to prove their theories are away with the fairies. You wrote,
>>In any case, new fossil finds are forcing new thinking almost annually”<<
Billions of tax dollars are spent yearly trying to solve evolution related problems. And every new 'find' overturns the previous idea. But can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing that is true? The answer I will get will be silence. You wrote,
>>Complex things manifestly don't require intelligent design. This was the fallacy of William Paley and is now almost universally rejected. Much of biochemistry is about self-organising complexity of mind-boggling proportions. Read Richard Dawkins if you want the detailed reasoning<<
Dawkins wrote, “The more statistically improbable a thing is, the less can we believe that it just happened by blind chance. Superficially the obvious alternative to chance is an intelligent Designer” [Necessity of Darwinism. New Scientist vol.94 15 April 82 pg.130]. And – “We have seen that living things are too improbable and too beautifully ‘designed’ to have come into existence by chance” [Blind-watch Marker pg.43]. The 'reasoning' life began by chance and 'self-organized' itself from simple to 'complex things' cannot be scientifically proved due to limitations of the scientific method and evidence.
Prof. Prigogine [Physics] wrote, “All our research would still leave us quite unable to grasp the extreme complexity of the simplest of organisms”. Prof. Asimov [Biochemist Boston Univ] wrote, “…in man is a three-pound brain which, as far as we know, is the most complex and orderly arrangement of matter in the universe”. [Smithsonian Institute Journal Jun.1970 pg.10]. This complexity you dismiss lightly is beyond the greatest complexity in man made technology. Man-made you accept as “intelligent design” the other you think could not possibly be “intelligent design”. Is this not narrow-minded-BCC-ness? ‘See, speak or hear no evidence against evolution’ - the golden rule of the BBC.
Once you realize the probability of life originating at random so utterly minuscule, it becomes sensible to think that the favourable properties of physics on which life depends are in every respect deliberate. Even the simplest living system is far too complex to result from primitive chemistry. Consider books piled from earth to moon and their information. Hundreds of times that can be stored on DNA in the volume of a pinhead. One tiny accidental change [mutation] in the DNA is a downward step, not an increase of information and complexity. Read “Not By Chance” [Judaica Press Brooklyn. NY 97 Dr. L.Spetner] "if you want detailed reasoning". You write -
>>Why do you say that it should be easy to show evolution [if it were correct] in action? The very fact that timescales of millions of years are proposed would surely make the amount that happens during my lifetime tiny? (Along with global warming, changes in daylengths, etc.)<<
Why? Because there would be no 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. This proven and observable law explains why everything runs down. Evolution masquerades as the grand mechanism producing all natural things from simple to complex. Yet it's unobservable and unproven. Ever visited the mud-springs at Swindon Wiltshire? - like a fossil conveyor belt with pristine fossils supposedly “165 million years old”. Surprise! Many still have shimmering mother-of-pearl shells, and retain their iridescence, and bivalves still have their original organic ligaments. So even more amazing is the millions of years mindset that blinds hard-nosed rational scientists from seeing the obvious. You write-
>>There's abundant evidence of organisms 'evolving' (ie. acquiring genetic differences) in response to their environment. Moths in the UK industrial areas are the classic examples. Evolution to the point of speciation, one would hardly expect to see, though I recall years ago reporting some evidence from work at Macquarie Uni in Australia of some NT marsupials that were on the verge of speciation”.<<
'Organisms' evolving genetic differences? When germs already resistance to a chemical survive, this results in drug resistant germs. They haven’t evolved. Bacteria becomes resistant through mutation [information-loss], results from a loss of a control gene. While called ‘Supergerms’ are not super, but weaker and don’t survive outside a hospital. Some germs directly transfer resistance [information existing already] to others. No new genetic information [codes for 'complex things'] is added. We could argue for a minute of natural selection but not "millions of years" of evolution. So in the Neo-Darwinian automobile the engine is missing.
In the UK when skies were fill of industrial smoke, tree bark was darker. The birds could not see dark "moths" so ate light coloured moths and dark-moths increased. When the skies became pollutant free the situation changed. Nothing to do ‘organisms evolving’. When non-resistant mosquitoes in a population are killed by DDT and the population breeds from survivors, some of the information carried by those in the [now dead] majority is not present in the surviving minority. So lost forever to that population. "Australia"? Please BBC explain the platypus. Fur like a mammal, beak like a duck, tail like a beaver, venom like a snake, lays eggs like a reptile, yet suckles its young. But not a ‘half way house’ between any two of those creatures. You write,
>>In studying the claims and counterclaims you refer to, I must disagree that the evidence against evolution is 'colossal and persuasive'. I have read many of the books you refer to and find the 'evidence' presented highly selective and emotively presented. I have to say that (in general) I find them less intellectually satisfying than the works of their heavyweight critics, such as Dawkins, Nelkin, etc. I also have to say that I find many creationist writers arrogant and lacking in the humility of those who are genuinely open-minded about the wonderful world we live in<<
You have NOT read any "of the books" I referred to. Or you would never claim they’re “emotively presented” [that's nonsense]. I have been honest with you, so this disappoints me. They are well written with good facts and evidence. You will also find “Creationist writers” are more appreciative of this “wonderful world” while evolution writers belittle design. GET them and READ.
I was going to wish 'Merry Christmas' but of course you don’t believe that.
His Reply -
I will reply to you final point. Here (with respect) you make a unwarranted assumption, namely that it isn't possible to accommodate science and religion. I'm one of many who do. It's hard, but no harder intellectually than the reverse. As a committed christian, I most definitely DO believe in Christmas. So here's wishing you a good one!
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