T Nation

Fighting Fire With Fire


#1

I'm honestly tired of seeing this forum become a platform for ego masturbation of ultra-conservative "christians"; before, out of respect for the liberal Christians over here, I refrained from posting this great article, but it gets to a point where I just can't refrain anymore.

So here it goes:


from http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2005/04/30/dawkins/index_np.html


The atheist

April 30, 2005 | Richard Dawkins is the world's most famous out-of-the-closet living atheist. He is also the world's most controversial evolutionary biologist. Publication of his 1976 book, "The Selfish Gene," thrust Dawkins into the limelight as the handsome, irascible, human face of scientific reductionism. The book provoked everything from outrage to glee by arguing that natural selection worked its creative powers only through genes, not species or individuals. Humans are merely "gene survival machines," he asserted in the book.

Dawkins stuck to his theme but expanded his territory in such subsequent books as "The Blind Watchmaker," "Unweaving the Rainbow" and "Climbing Mount Improbable." His recent work, "The Ancestor's Tale," traces human lineage back through time, stopping to ponder important forks in the evolutionary road.

Given his outspoken defense of Darwin, and natural selection as the force of life, Dawkins has assumed a new role: the religious right's Public Enemy No. 1. Yet Dawkins doesn't shy from controversy, nor does he suffer fools gladly. He recently met a minister who was on the opposite side of a British political debate. When the minister put out his hand, Dawkins kept his hands at his side and said, "You, sir, are an ignorant bigot."

Currently, Dawkins is the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, a position created for him in 1995 by Charles Simonyi, a Microsoft millionaire. Earlier this year, Dawkins signed an agreement with British television to make a documentary about the destructive role of religion in modern history, tentatively titled "The Root of All Evil."

I met Dawkins in late March at the Atheist Alliance International annual conference in Los Angeles, where he presented the alliance's top honor, the Richard Dawkins Prize, to magicians Penn and Teller. During our conversation in my hotel room, Dawkins was as gracious as he was punctiliously dressed in a crisp white shirt and soft blazer.

Once again, evolution is under attack. Are there any questions at all about its validity?

It's often said that because evolution happened in the past, and we didn't see it happen, there is no direct evidence for it. That, of course, is nonsense. It's rather like a detective coming on the scene of a crime, obviously after the crime has been committed, and working out what must have happened by looking at the clues that remain. In the story of evolution, the clues are a billionfold.

There are clues from the distribution of DNA codes throughout the animal and plant kingdoms, of protein sequences, of morphological characters that have been analyzed in great detail. Everything fits with the idea that we have here a simple branching tree. The distribution of species on islands and continents throughout the world is exactly what you'd expect if evolution was a fact. The distribution of fossils in space and in time are exactly what you would expect if evolution were a fact. There are millions of facts all pointing in the same direction and no facts pointing in the wrong direction.

British scientist J.B.S. Haldane, when asked what would constitute evidence against evolution, famously said, "Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian." They've never been found. Nothing like that has ever been found. Evolution could be disproved by such facts. But all the fossils that have been found are in the right place. Of course there are plenty of gaps in the fossil record. There's nothing wrong with that. Why shouldn't there be? We're lucky to have fossils at all. But no fossils have been found in the wrong place, such as to disprove the fact of evolution. Evolution is a fact.

Still, so many people resist believing in evolution. Where does the resistance come from?

It comes, I'm sorry to say, from religion. And from bad religion. You won't find any opposition to the idea of evolution among sophisticated, educated theologians. It comes from an exceedingly retarded, primitive version of religion, which unfortunately is at present undergoing an epidemic in the United States. Not in Europe, not in Britain, but in the United States.

My American friends tell me that you are slipping towards a theocratic Dark Age. Which is very disagreeable for the very large number of educated, intelligent and right-thinking people in America. Unfortunately, at present, it's slightly outnumbered by the ignorant, uneducated people who voted Bush in.

But the broad direction of history is toward enlightenment, and so I think that what America is going through at the moment will prove to be a temporary reverse. I think there is great hope for the future. My advice would be, Don't despair, these things pass.

You delve into agnosticism in "The Ancestor's Tale." How does it differ from atheism?

It's said that the only rational stance is agnosticism because you can neither prove nor disprove the existence of the supernatural creator. I find that a weak position. It is true that you can't disprove anything but you can put a probability value on it. There's an infinite number of things that you can't disprove: unicorns, werewolves, and teapots in orbit around Mars. But we don't pay any heed to them unless there is some positive reason to think that they do exist.

Believing in God is like believing in a teapot orbiting Mars?

Yes. For a long time it seemed clear to just about everybody that the beauty and elegance of the world seemed to be prima facie evidence for a divine creator. But the philosopher David Hume already realized three centuries ago that this was a bad argument. It leads to an infinite regression. You can't statistically explain improbable things like living creatures by saying that they must have been designed because you're still left to explain the designer, who must be, if anything, an even more statistically improbable and elegant thing. Design can never be an ultimate explanation for anything. It can only be a proximate explanation. A plane or a car is explained by a designer but that's because the designer himself, the engineer, is explained by natural selection.

Those who embrace "intelligent design" -- the idea that living cells are too complex to have been created by nature alone -- say evolution isn't incompatible with the existence of God.

There is just no evidence for the existence of God. Evolution by natural selection is a process that works up from simple beginnings, and simple beginnings are easy to explain. The engineer or any other living thing is difficult to explain -- but it is explicable by evolution by natural selection. So the relevance of evolutionary biology to atheism is that evolutionary biology gives us the only known mechanism whereby the illusion of design, or apparent design, could ever come into the universe anywhere.

So why do we insist on believing in God?

From a biological point of view, there are lots of different theories about why we have this extraordinary predisposition to believe in supernatural things. One suggestion is that the child mind is, for very good Darwinian reasons, susceptible to infection the same way a computer is. In order to be useful, a computer has to be programmable, to obey whatever it's told to do. That automatically makes it vulnerable to computer viruses, which are programs that say, "Spread me, copy me, pass me on." Once a viral program gets started, there is nothing to stop it.

Similarly, the child brain is preprogrammed by natural selection to obey and believe what parents and other adults tell it. In general, it's a good thing that child brains should be susceptible to being taught what to do and what to believe by adults. But this necessarily carries the down side that bad ideas, useless ideas, waste of time ideas like rain dances and other religious customs, will also be passed down the generations. The child brain is very susceptible to this kind of infection. And it also spreads sideways by cross infection when a charismatic preacher goes around infecting new minds that were previously uninfected.

You've said that raising children in a religious tradition may even be a form of abuse.

What I think may be abuse is labeling children with religious labels like Catholic child and Muslim child. I find it very odd that in our civilization we're quite happy to speak of a Catholic child that is 4 years old or a Muslim of child that is 4, when these children are much too young to know what they think about the cosmos, life and morality. We wouldn't dream of speaking of a Keynesian child or a Marxist child. And yet, for some reason we make a privileged exception of religion. And, by the way, I think it would also be abuse to talk about an atheist child.

You are working on a new book tentatively called "The God Delusion." Can you explain it?

A delusion is something that people believe in despite a total lack of evidence. Religion is scarcely distinguishable from childhood delusions like the "imaginary friend" and the bogeyman under the bed. Unfortunately, the God delusion possesses adults, and not just a minority of unfortunates in an asylum. The word "delusion" also carries negative connotations, and religion has plenty of those.

What are its negative connotations?

A delusion that encourages belief where there is no evidence is asking for trouble. Disagreements between incompatible beliefs cannot be settled by reasoned argument because reasoned argument is drummed out of those trained in religion from the cradle. Instead, disagreements are settled by other means which, in extreme cases, inevitably become violent. Scientists disagree among themselves but they never fight over their disagreements. They argue about evidence or go out and seek new evidence. Much the same is true of philosophers, historians and literary critics.

But you don't do that if you just know your holy book is the God-written truth and the other guy knows that his incompatible scripture is too. People brought up to believe in faith and private revelation cannot be persuaded by evidence to change their minds. No wonder religious zealots throughout history have resorted to torture and execution, to crusades and jihads, to holy wars and purges and pogroms, to the Inquisition and the burning of witches.

What are the dark sides of religion today?

Terrorism in the Middle East, militant Zionism, 9/11, the Northern Ireland "troubles," genocide, which turns out to be "credicide" in Yugoslavia, the subversion of American science education, oppression of women in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and the Roman Catholic Church, which thinks you can't be a valid priest without testicles.

Fifty years ago, philosophers like Bertrand Russell felt that the religious worldview would fade as science and reason emerged. Why hasn't it?

That trend toward enlightenment has indeed continued in Europe and Britain. It just has not continued in the U.S., and not in the Islamic world. We're seeing a rather unholy alliance between the burgeoning theocracy in the U.S. and its allies, the theocrats in the Islamic world. They are fighting the same battle: Christian on one side, Muslim on the other. The very large numbers of people in the United States and in Europe who don't subscribe to that worldview are caught in the middle.

Actually, holy alliance would be a better phrase. Bush and bin Laden are really on the same side: the side of faith and violence against the side of reason and discussion. Both have implacable faith that they are right and the other is evil. Each believes that when he dies he is going to heaven. Each believes that if he could kill the other, his path to paradise in the next world would be even swifter. The delusional "next world" is welcome to both of them. This world would be a much better place without either of them.

Does religion contribute to the violence of Islamic extremists? Christian extremists?

Of course it does. From the cradle, they are brought up to revere martyrs and to believe they have a fast track to heaven. With their mother's milk they imbibe hatred of heretics, apostates and followers of rival faiths.

I don't wish to suggest it is doctrinal disputes that are motivating the individual soldiers who are doing the killing. What I do suggest is that in places like Northern Ireland, religion was the only available label by which people could indulge in the human weakness for us-or-them wars. When a Protestant murders a Catholic or a Catholic murders a Protestant, they're not playing out doctrinal disagreements about transubstantiation.

What is going on is more like a vendetta. It was one of their lot's grandfathers who killed one of our lot's grandfathers, and so we're getting our revenge. The "their lot" and "our lot" is only defined by religion. In other parts of the world it might be defined by color, or by language, but in so many parts of the world it isn't, it's defined by religion. That's true of the conflicts among Croats and the Serbs and Bosnians -- that's all about religion as labels.

The grotesque massacres in India at the time of partition were between Hindus and Muslims. There was nothing else to distinguish them, they were racially the same. They only identified themselves as "us" and the others as "them" by the fact that some of them were Hindus and some of them were Muslims. That's what the Kashmir dispute is all about. So, yes, I would defend the view that religion is an extremely potent label for hostility. That has always been true and it continues to be true to this day.

How would we be better off without religion?

We'd all be freed to concentrate on the only life we are ever going to have. We'd be free to exult in the privilege -- the remarkable good fortune -- that each one of us enjoys through having been being born. An astronomically overwhelming majority of the people who could be born never will be. You are one of the tiny minority whose number came up. Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one. The world would be a better place if we all had this positive attitude to life. It would also be a better place if morality was all about doing good to others and refraining from hurting them, rather than religion's morbid obsession with private sin and the evils of sexual enjoyment.

Are there environmental costs of a religious worldview?

There are many religious points of view where the conservation of the world is just as important as it is to scientists. But there are certain religious points of view where it is not. In those apocalyptic religions, people actually believe that because they read some dopey prophesy in the book of Revelation, the world is going to come to an end some time soon. People who believe that say, "We don't need to bother about conserving forests or anything else because the end of the world is coming anyway." A few decades ago one would simply have laughed at that. Today you can't laugh. These people are in power.

Unlike other accounts of the evolution of life, "The Ancestor's Tale" starts at the present and works back. Why did you decide to tell the story in reverse?

The most important reason is that if you tell the evolution story forwards and end up with humans, as it's humanly normal to do so because people are interested in themselves, it makes it look as though the whole of evolution were somehow aimed at humanity, which of course it wasn't. One could aim anywhere, like at kangaroos, butterflies or frogs. We're all contemporary culmination points, for the moment, in evolution.

If you go backward, however, no matter where you start in this huge tree of life, you always converge at the same point, which is the origin of life. So that was the main reason for structuring the book the way I did. It gave me a natural goal to head toward -- the origin of life -- no matter where I started from. Then I could legitimately start with humans, which people are interested in.

People like to trace their ancestry. One of the most common types of Web sites, after ones about sex, is one's family history. When people trace the ancestry of that name, they normally stop at a few hundred years. I wanted to go back 4,000 million years.

The idea of going back towards a particular goal called to my mind the notion of pilgrimage as a kind of literary device. So I very vaguely modeled the book on Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales," where the pilgrims start off as a band of human pilgrims walking backward to discover our ancestors. We are successively joined by other pilgrims -- the chimpanzee pilgrims at 5 million years, then the gorilla pilgrims, then the orangutan pilgrims. Starting with humans, there are only about 39 such rendezvous points as you go back in time. It's a rather surprising fact. Rendezvous 39 is where we meet the bacteria pilgrims.

The idea that evolution could be "random" seems to frighten people. Is it random?

This is a spectacular misunderstanding. If it was random, then of course it couldn't possibly have given rise to the fantastically complicated and elegant forms that we see. Natural selection is the important force that drives evolution. Natural selection is about as non-random a force as you could possibly imagine. It can't work unless there is some sort of variation upon which to work. And the source of variation is mutation. Mutation is random only in the sense that it is not directed specifically toward improvement. It is natural selection that directs evolution toward improvement. Mutation is random in that it's not directed toward improvement.

The idea that evolution itself is a random process is a most extraordinary travesty. I wonder if it's deliberately put about maliciously or whether these people honestly believe such a preposterous absurdity. Of course evolution isn't random. It is driven by natural selection, which is a highly non-random force.

Is there an emotional side to the intellectual enterprise of exploring the story of life on Earth?

Yes, I strongly feel that. When you meet a scientist who calls himself or herself religious, you'll often find that that's what they mean. You often find that by "religious" they do not mean anything supernatural. They mean precisely the kind of emotional response to the natural world that you've described. Einstein had it very strongly. Unfortunately, he used the word "God" to describe it, which has led to a great deal of misunderstanding. But Einstein had that feeling, I have that feeling, you'll find it in the writings of many scientists. It's a kind of quasi-religious feeling. And there are those who wish to call it religious and who therefore are annoyed when a scientist calls himself an atheist. They think, "No, you believe in this transcendental feeling, you can't be an atheist." That's a confusion of language.

Some scientists say that removing religion or God from their life would leave it meaningless, that it's God that gives meaning to life.

"Unweaving the Rainbow" specifically attacks the idea that a materialist, mechanist, naturalistic worldview makes life seem meaningless. Quite the contrary, the scientific worldview is a poetic worldview, it is almost a transcendental worldview. We are amazingly privileged to be born at all and to be granted a few decades -- before we die forever -- in which we can understand, appreciate and enjoy the universe. And those of us fortunate enough to be living today are even more privileged than those of earlier times. We have the benefit of those earlier centuries of scientific exploration. Through no talent of our own, we have the privilege of knowing far more than past centuries. Aristotle would be blown away by what any schoolchild could tell him today. That's the kind of privileged century in which we live. That's what gives my life meaning. And the fact that my life is finite, and that it's the only life I've got, makes me all the more eager to get up each morning and set about the business of understanding more about the world into which I am so privileged to have been born.

Humans may not be products of an intelligent designer but given genetic technologies, our descendants will be. What does this mean about the future of evolution?

It's an interesting thought that in some remote time in the future, people may look back on the 20th and 21st centuries as a watershed in evolution -- the time when evolution stopped being an undirected force and became a design force. Already, for the past few centuries, maybe even millennia, agriculturalists have in a sense designed the evolution of domestic animals like pigs and cows and chickens. That's increasing and we're getting more technologically clever at that by manipulating not just the selection part of evolution but also the mutation part. That will be very different; one of the great features of biological evolution up to now is that there is no foresight.

In general, evolution is a blind process. That's why I called my book "The Blind Watchmaker." Evolution never looks to the future. It never governs what happens now on the basis on what will happen in the future in the way that human design undoubtedly does. But now it is possible to breed a new kind of pig, or chicken, which has such and such qualities. We may even have to pass that pig through a stage where it is actually less good at whatever we want to produce -- making long bacon racks or something -- but we can persist because we know it'll be worth it in the long run. That never happened in natural evolution; there was never a "let's temporarily get worse in order to get better, let's go down into the valley in order to get over to the other side and up onto the opposite mountain." So yes, I think it well may be that we're living in a time when evolution is suddenly starting to become intelligently designed.


#2

Interesting read. Thanks.

Makkun


#3

Ah yes eveolution.....where a fish becomes a monkey....over a long period of time...

Yes...yes that makes perfect sense.

LOL


#4

way, way, way, too easy...

I think I`ll pass that one...


#5

What a complete and utter schmuck you are.


#6

Thank you for making his point so well! Really appreciate it.


#7

Interesting read. I believe in ID, what ever the method. As for designing our offsping, that is Pandora's Box. Sounds like Gattaca to me.

Me Solomon Grundy


#8


HOW non-politically correct of you guys and including the author! You should all be ashamed. Where is your open mindedness? Where is your tolerance? Or are you guys still ?Evolving? ?

Me Solomon Grundy


#9

We tolerate you, don't we?


#10

Wow an attack post from harris.....

:slight_smile:


#11

Oh I'm sorry, when did evolution become "fact?"

Oh that's right it didn't!


#12

You must be confused.

Tolerance is only something that the left wants to RECEIVE. It's nothing that they ever actually practice themselves...

:slight_smile:


#13

Yes, that is the mindset we need. That type of thinking has gotten us as technologically advanced as we are today. I mean, gravity was not a fact at one point, but now it is. Better yet, it was a "fact" that the sun revolved around the earth, oh, wait.....


#14

First off, to Solomon Grundy: that t-shirt kicks so much ass.

Second, ZEB: You never disappoint. As soon as I started to read hspder's post, I thought "how long until ZEB and steveo show up?"

As much as some folks don't want to hear it -- I'll refrain from calling y'all "retards" as the author of hspder's article suggested -- evolution is a solid fact. I'm sorry, it is. Everyone in this forum knows why there are some who think and say otherwise, and honestly... so what?

People believe in all kinds of goofy shit, and the world continues to turn. If you guys want to believe that everything magically appeared out of thin air, then that's fucking fantastic. Knock yourselves out, I think it's great and wonderful that so many people are so funny. So often we see hate spewing from the mouths of the rational, non-superstitious crowd because our sensibilities are offended by y'all's... simplicity... but such spite is completely unnecessary.

Until you start to fuck with us and our kids.

I've said it a gazillionty times: keep your foolishness to yourselves, and everyone will get along just fine. I won't force you to believe in stuff that isn't real if you don't force me to believe in stuff that isn't real. If science is too scary for you, put your kids in a christian evangelist church school and brainwash all you want -- it's a free country.

However, how much fun is it to isolate us from each other to avoid confrontation? This just isn't feasible or fun for an internet forum, so I humbly propose something along the lines of the Geneva Convention for dealing with Religion and Evolution threads in the poli forum that maybe we could call the "Tubesteak Doctrine" or something.

Let's call the Pro-Creationist side the Repentants, or maybe just "Reps" for short, and let's call the Pro-Evolution side the Scientific Ethical Types or maybe just "Sets" for short.

Article 1:
Reps and Sets should agree that starting or continuing threads based on Evolution or Religion by their very nature invite scoffing and ridicule from the opposing viewpoint, and are advised to participate in such threads at their own risk.

Article 2:
If it turns out you really are stupid enough to participate in a Religion or Evolution thread, no whining about being heckled or disrespected shall be given any serious consideration. Remember the timeless adage: "If you don't like to cough, don't smoke crack."

Article 3:
Personal attacks, while fun and entertaining, do not make for good debate. So, Reps and Sets should try to agree to keep such things down to a minimum unless the poster is pretty darn sure it's gonna be funny as shit. Perhaps a good benchmark for an acceptable personal attack comedy value could be to ask yourself: "Is this as funny as the flaming bag of dog poo on the doorstep gag? Or am I gonna flop?"

Article 4:
If you want to be taken seriously by anybody in the Poli forums, please try not to post some retarded list of rules of engagement. Nobody gives a flying fapping fuck about what your opinion is. Stick to fart jokes.


#15

This is the best you've got? Those are your big guns? Name calling? Anger? Insisting that you are right and if everyone was just a little more educated and sophisticated they would agree with you? The hero of your cause is a man so spiteful that he won't even shake the hand of a person with a different view? I wouldn't call that fire. It's just plain sad.

Evolution is a theory. It is not proven and it is not provable. Screaming at the world that it is a fact does not make it so. There are many scientists out there who believe in the theory, but are honest enough to admit the many places where the theory is lacking.

"The pathetic thing is that we have scientists who are trying to prove evolution, which no scientist can ever prove."
(Dr Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize winner and eminent evolutionist)

"Modern apes ... seem to have sprung out of nowhere. They have no yesterday, no fossil record. And the true origin of modern humans ... is, if we are to be honest with ourselves, an equally mysterious matter."
(Lyall Watson, Ph.D., Evolutionist)

"Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and palaeontology does not provide them."
(David Kitts, palaeontologist and Evolutionist)

"It is good to keep in mind ... that nobody has ever succeeded in producing even one new species by the accumulation of micromutations. Darwin's theory of natural selection has never had any proof, yet it has been universally accepted."
(Prof. R Goldschmidt PhD, DSc Prof. Zoology, University of Calif. in Material Basis of Evolution Yale Univ. Press)

"No matter how numerous they may be, mutations do not produce any kind of evolution."
(Pierre-Paul Grasse, Evolutionist)

"As is well known, most fossil species appear instantaneously in the fossil record."
(Tom Kemp, Oxford University)

"The curious thing is that there is a consistency about the fossil gaps; the fossils are missing in all the important places."
(Francis Hitching, archaeologist)

"The fact that a theory so vague, so insufficiently verifiable, and so far from the criteria otherwise applied in 'hard' science has become a dogma can only be explained on sociological grounds."
(Ludwig von Bertalanffy, biologist)

"Micromutations do occur, but the theory that these alone can account for evolutionary change is either falsified, or else it is an unfalsifiable, hence metaphysical theory. I suppose that nobody will deny that it is a great misfortune if an entire branch of science becomes addicted to a false theory. But this is what has happened in biology: ... I believe that one day the Darwinian myth will be ranked the greatest deceit in the history of science. When this happens many people will pose the question: How did this ever happen?"
(S Lovtrup, Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth (London:Croom Helm, p.422))

"It is easy enough to make up stories, of how one form gave rise to another, and to find reasons why the stages should be favoured by natural selection. But such stories are not part of science, for there is no way of putting them to the test."
(Luther D Sutherland, Darwin's Enigma, Master Books 1988, p89)

"Eighty to eighty-five percent of earth's land surface does not have even 3 geological periods appearing in 'correct' consecutive order ... it becomes an overall exercise of gargantuan special pleading and imagination for the evolutionary-uniformitarian paradigm to maintain that there ever were geologic periods."
(John Woodmorappe, geologist)

"That a mindless, purposeless, chance process such as natural selection, acting on the sequels of recombinant DNA or random mutation, most of which are injurious or fatal, could fabricate such complexity and organisation as the vertebrate eye, where each component part must carry out its own distinctive task in a harmoniously functioning optical unit, is inconceivable. The absence of transitional forms between the invertebrates retina and that of the vertebrates poses another difficulty. Here there is a great gulf fixed which remains inviolate with no seeming likelihood of ever being bridged. The total picture speaks of intelligent creative design of an infinitely high order."
(H.S.Hamilton (MD) The Retina of the Eye - An Evolutionary Road Block.)

"My attempts to demonstrate evolution by an experiment carried on for more than 40 years have completely failed."
(N.H.Nilson, famous botanist and evolutionist)

"None of five museum officials could offer a single example of a transitional series of fossilised organisms that would document the transformation of one basically different type to another."
(Luther Sunderland, science researcher)

"Not one change of species into another is on record ... we cannot prove that a single species has been changed."
(Charles Darwin, My Life & Letters)

"To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree."
(Charles Darwin, Origin of Species, chapter "Difficulties")

"The intelligent layman has long suspected circular reasoning in the use of rocks to date fossils and fossils to date rocks. The geologist has never bothered to think of a good reply."
(J.O'Rourke in the American Journal of Science)

"In most people's minds, fossils and Evolution go hand in hand. In reality, fossils are a great embarrassment to Evolutionary theory and offer strong support for the concept of Creation. If Evolution were true, we should find literally millions of fossils that show how one kind of life slowly and gradually changed to another kind of life. But missing links are the trade secret, in a sense, of palaeontology. The point is, the links are still missing. What we really find are gaps that sharpen up the boundaries between kinds. It's those gaps which provide us with the evidence of Creation of separate kinds. As a matter of fact, there are gaps between each of the major kinds of plants and animals. Transition forms are missing by the millions. What we do find are separate and complex kinds, pointing to Creation."
(Dr Gary Parker Biologist/palaeontologist and former ardent Evolutionist.)

"Fossils are a great embarrassment to Evolutionary theory and offer strong support for the concept of Creation."
(Gary Parker, Ph.D., biologist/palaeontologist and former evolutionist)

"I admit that an awful lot of that [fantasy] has gotten into the textbooks as though it were true. For instance, the most famous example still on exhibit downstairs [in the American Museum of Natural History] is the exhibit on horse evolution prepared fifty years ago. That has been presented as literal truth in textbook after textbook. Now, I think that that is lamentable, particularly because the people who propose these kinds of stories themselves may be aware of the speculative nature of some of the stuff. But by the time it filters down to the textbooks, we've got science as truth and we have a problem."
(Dr Niles Eldredge, Palaeontologist and Evolutionist)

"The chance that useful DNA molecules would develop without a Designer are apparently zero. Then let me conclude by asking which came first - the DNA (which is essential for the synthesis of proteins) or the protein enzyme (DNA-polymerase) without which DNA synthesis is nil? ... there is virtually no chance that chemical 'letters' would spontaneously produce coherent DNA and protein 'words.'"
(George Howe, expert in biology sciences)

"...An intelligible communication via radio signal from some distant galaxy would be widely hailed as evidence of an intelligent source. Why then doesn't the message sequence on the DNA molecule also constitute prima facie evidence for an intelligent source? After all, DNA information is not just analogous to a message sequence such as Morse code, it is such a message sequence."
(Charles B Thaxton, Walter L Bradley and Robert L Olsen: The Mystery of Life's Origin, Reassessing Current Theories)

"Evolution lacks a scientifically acceptable explanation of the source of the precisely planned codes within cells without which there can be no specific proteins and hence, no life."
(David A Kaufman, Ph.D., University of Florida, Gainsesville)

"Once we see, however, that the probability of life originating at random is so utterly minuscule as to make it absurd, it becomes sensible to think that the favourable properties of physics on which life depends are in every respect deliberate....It is therefore almost inevitable that our own measure of intelligence must reflect ...higher intelligences...even to the limit of God...such a theory is so obvious that one wonders why it is not widely accepted as being self-evident. The reasons are psychological rather than scientific."
(Sir Fred Hoyle, well-known British mathematician, astronomer and cosmologist)

"The notion that ... the operating programme of a living cell could be arrived at by chance in a primordial soup here on earth is evidently nonsense of a high order."
(Evolutionist Sir Fred Hoyle)

"We have had enough of the Darwinian fallacy. It is time that we cry: 'The emperor has no clothes.'"
(K.Hsu, geologist at the Geological Institute at Zurich)

"The theory of Evolution ... will be one of the great jokes in the history books of the future. Posterity will marvel that so flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could be accepted with the incredible credulity it has."
(Malcolm Muggeridge, well-known philosopher)


#16

In case you missed the metaphor, it basically means that this article uses the exact same anger and hatred that conservative "christians" have been showing in this board. And with the above you basically prove my point without even noticing: you accuse me of name calling, anger and self-righteousness and proceed to respond again with... name calling, anger and self-righteousness. Brilliant!

So thank you for making my point.

Interestingly, you seem to have a lot of time to find quotes, but not enough time to actually read the article. For example -- and this is just ONE example -- a good chunk of your quotes talk about how absurd it is to say evolution is random. Well, in case you missed it, here's what Dawkins had to say about that:

So, before you attack evolution and label the people who believe in it as fact as idiots, try actually UNDERSTANDING what it says -- because you clearly do not. I have attempted to explain it to you, and you failed to even give it a second thought. Dawkins explains it too, and again you fail to actually look into it and read it. So either you reading comprehension skills suck (which I doubt) or you're really not trying.

I believe I can criticize conservative "christian" beliefs because I have studied them extensively. I was baptized (when I was 12), I grew up surrounded by Christians, most people in my circle of friends and extended family are Christians (in the case of my wife and her side of the family, Born Again Christians) and I've read the Bible cover to cover many times and still study it regularly. I have a pretty good idea of what it says, how it is interpreted and what it stands for. I admire and respect many of Jesus' teachings. I've sat through many sermons, by all kinds of pastors, including some famous -- like Billy Graham, Jesse Duplantis and Joyce Meyer -- and some less famous.

You, however, aren't even TRYING to understand the most basic principles of Evolution, which you just made quite apparent by posting a bunch of quotes which are completely out of left field and based on an equally misunderstanding of Evolution.

WHEN you do open your mind and sit through a bunch of panels on Evolution, read a few books -- including all of Dawkin's books -- if you then still disagree and believe Evolution is not fact, then come back and we can have an intelligent discussion -- based on what Evolution actually explains, not some stuff you come up with it to make it sound silly. But until then, as long as you keep responding with nonsense that has nothing to do with Evolution, you're just making yourself look ignorant. You're better than that.


#17

This is the problem, pal. If they question the magic, it's spoiled. That's what faith is all about, right?

Asking a superstitious person to let go of their superstitions for a second and "think outside the box" is most likely a waste of time. The superstitions are accepted as fact before anything else is considered -- especially if there are magical powers to be gained from doing so. The only viable worldviews to them are ones which incorporate the superstitions into them. Thus we have ID and other such nonsense.

It CANNOT occur to them that a basis for reality which is reliant upon faith might be a stumbling block. Here we see that need to be "special" overruling the truth of the matter which is simply the fact that we are nothing more than animals that have the "magical" ability to think -- no more "magical" or special than a bird which has the "magical" ability to fly, or a fish which has the "magical" ability to breathe underwater.

Faith is chemical reactions in your brain; just like love, hate, envy, and all other metaphorical things. Does the fact that I have faith protect me from death? Duh. No. Just like any other imagining, it is something internal in my brain which has no effect on anything but my ideas and my behavior that arises from my ideas.

But you can't explain this simple logic to them, because they MUST discard such a thing out of hand. Their primary motivation is the reinforcement of the superstition. All other mental stuff is tacked on in various different ways, depending on the kind of superstition, how they were raised, and what they have learned from their life experiences, and so forth.

It's all very fascinating to me. The fundies especially. They are fucking fun.


#18

hspder,

No thank you. I briefly considered torturing myself with your theory but then I realized that I would much rather read the Word of God.

You seem like a nice person though, and I hope one day the Lord will save you as He did me.


#19

I get tired of the endless evangelical threads myself and have stated so, but I've always thought the best way to fight fire is with water.

Hspder, another thread - even one from the opposite side - does nothing to steer us away from that exhausted debate.


#20

This works well like this too...

Creation is a theory. It is not proven and it is not provable. Screaming at the world that it is a fact does not make it so.