Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Some creationist arguments I do disagree with

Architect-426, who occasionally posts at EvC, believes that volcanoes played a much bigger role in the history of the earth than is normally recognized, specifically related to the worldwide Flood, and that the theory of plate tectonics is simply wrong. In a brief exchange I had with him I did find out that there has been a great deal more volcanic activity on this planet than I had any idea, so he could be right about volcanism as an unsung major player, but plate tectonics is just too reasonable an idea to dismiss and I don't know how he got so convinced it's wrong. He's been arguing along on this point on this thread at EvC for some time now:
Architect-426 says: Since the (nil) velocity of "plates" truly cannot even be defined as velocity per se, much less translated into energy to "build" anything, then indeed plate tectonics is false in terms of creating geological features.

Thus my entire argument regarding vertical tectonics and volcanism vs. "plate" tectonics, or the idea that land masses move with enough horizontal speed and "crash" into another landmass. This alleged plate tectonic notion is sheer nonsense as shperical mechanics and displacement completely negate this "lateral" type of motion, and is only supported by colorful diagrams to "explain" how this supposedly happens.

Yet the fact remains; no velocity = no energy = no "plate" tectonic construction.
Floodists believe that the separating of the continents by plate movement started out rapid and then slowed down. The movement wasn't always so slow.

But also it seems that even very slow movement of such huge bodies would have quite a bit of crunching force when they impact another body, slow but devastating.

However, a rapid splitting of the continents would generate enough friction or resistance to push up the strata into high mountains at some distance from the exerted force -- Rocky Mountains, Alps -- but more gently buckle the land at the edge of the split -- Appalachians. Architect wants to attribute all mountain-building to volcanism, but I don't see it myself -- the way some mountains are formed, the way the strata were pushed up or buckled, is consistent with the kind of lateral force tectonic movement would exert.

Coyote isn't helping matters in this discussion:
You seem to be trying to force reality to fit within your religious beliefs. Problem is, it doesn't fit. Your religious beliefs are flatly contradicted by reality.

The earth is old, giving the small annual movement of the plates plenty of time to do all sorts of things. You may not like it, but that's the way it is.
I don't think it's Architect's religious position that has him rejecting plate tectonics, it's just the way it looks to him for whatever reason -- based on his experience of the engineering tasks necessary to architecture. That is, it's a scientific position he's taken although one with little credibility it seems to me.

But an old earth isn't necessary. Plate movement fits just fine into the Flood scenario and the Young Earth scenario, does not require an old earth at all. The separating of the continents had to be faster at first and slow down over time of course and some argue that's impossible, but that's all speculation on their part. There's enough evidence for the Flood anyway and tectonic movement explains what happened to the strata AFTER they were all laid down in the Flood. We see them buckled and upended and twisted and split into canyons all over the world. The Flood laid down the strata, then disturbances of the earth such as earthquakes -- caused by tectonic movement anyway -- account for the distortion of the strata. So many Floodists believe that the continents split after the Flood because of forces released in the Flood, and have been moving apart ever since.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

New Poster at EvC gives creditable evidence for the worldwide Flood only to be met with the usual flat-out denial

So I guess I have to recognize that I'm still occasionally tempted to join in the scientific part of the evolution discussion despite my generally pulling back from it.

Brand new poster at EvC, Danielcp makes a very intelligent observation that supports the Flood:
I am brand new to this sight and as such may post something that has been discussed already, but I have something that amazes me about the flood.

I have traveled into the western U.S. on several occasions. When I was at the Grand Canyon (AZ, national park), I took note of the very clear explanations of its watery past, as presented in the visitor center. Also, when I was once driving through the desert of western TX, I stopped at a national park, and they also mentioned that particular parks watery past (Guadalupe park). Now these are only two of many places like this, places that had watery pasts, with a fossil record proving it.

After those visits, a thought came to mind. "If I took a world map, and put a simple pin in every place that has a fossil record denoting a watery past, would I be able to cover the earth with pins on my map?" ...need to put that on the "to do" list.

Anyway, we debate the validity of a biblical flood. We, or you, or somebody, argues that it didn't happen. But, there is so much evidence that clearly shows that the world was can one argue that there was not a world wide flood? Clearly sea life fossils in desert places around the world point to a flood. Those fossils certainly didn't visit the desert in a car at some point in the past.

Yes, the watery past that figures in ALL the strata and ALL the fossil beds IS evidence for the Flood and I hope he'll continue to collect this sort of data. But then along comes jar, of course, who pronounces as from on high that the Flood simply never happened. How he gets away with his flat-out assertions that are against the forum rules is a mystery, but anyway, he's to be ignored.

Then bluescat48 says:

There are at least 2 reasons for the fossils found in deserts & on mountains, climate change & plate tectonics.

At several times in the ancient past, the world climate was much warmer, with no ice cap. The sea level was several hundred meters higher than it is now, Much of the eastern & central North American was under water. When the climate cooled forming the ice caps the water receded leaving the bottom silt, containing dead organisms, in place. Plate tectonics, the plates colliding built up mountains carrying the remains of life with it. The point is this occurred millions of years ago and not all at once.
Note how he says it, as if it is absolute fact, as if there could be no question about it, although all he's done is offer an alternative interpretation that has no more explanatory power than the Flood as Danielcp has shown.

The actual facts he mentions fit quite nicely with Danielcp's observations and with the Flood in general, yet he apparently fails to notice. That is, before the Flood, and during, according to Floodists, quite in agreement with his statement, "the world climate was much warmer, with no ice cap." Certainly sea level was much "higher than it is now" although "several hundred meters" is probably more than the Flood description requires, and if it WERE that high how could you possibly NOT be talking about a worldwide drowning of the land anyway? Not completely covered if we're talking about present altitudes, but worldwide nevertheless, pretty much what we might expect of the last stages of the Flood before it had completely receded. Yes, such statements are evidence in favor of the Flood, observations or speculations completely consistent with the Flood interpretation, and just because mainstream science has a different way of interpreting their observations doesn't make them any the less consistent with the Flood.

Certainly "eastern and central North America" were under water because the entire world was under water. Then, as a result of the Flood "the climate cooled forming the ice caps" and "the water receded" leaving not just the "bottom silt" but all the layers of the geologic column, "containing dead organisms," and after the Flood "the [tectonic] plates colliding built up mountains carrying the remains of life with it."

All of this is in keeping with the Flood scenario and yet he goes on and on as if it contradicts it!

The only difference is in the timing: "The point is this occurred millions of years ago and not all at once." Well, the evidence for the millions of years is just not there, while the evidence is overwhelming that it DID occur "all at once:" The evidence for this is in the fact that strata all over the planet were obviously laid down one on top of another BEFORE all the tectonic activity distorted them, because they are distorted -- twisted, upended, broken, upraised or sunk, cut or carved -- AS A UNIT, several layers at a time (the entire depth of them in the Grand Canyon), keeping their original parallel relation to one another. Grand Canyon, Grand Staircase, entire Southwest and elsewhere around the world it's incontestable, and it is NOT hard to see that the "unconformities" that are often taken to be evidence for long time gaps between layers are merely layers that were displaced from beneath after the strata were all in place. You just have to open your eyes.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Does creationism turn people away from the gospel?

dwise1 at EvC puts up this thought-provoking post :

Conrad Hyers, The Meaning of Creation: Genesis and Modern Science, John Knox Press, Atlanta, Georgia, 1984, page 26:
It may be true that scientism and evolutionism (not science and evolution) are among the causes of atheism and materialism. It is at least equally true that biblical literalism, from its earlier flat-earth and geocentric forms to its recent young-earth and flood-geology forms, is one of the major causes of atheism and materialism. Many scientists and intellectuals have simply taken the literalists at their word and rejected biblical materials as being superseded or contradicted by modern science. Without having in hand a clear and persuasive alternative, they have concluded that it is nobler to be damned by the literalists than to dismiss the best testimony of research and reason. Intellectual honesty and integrity demand it."
Gregg Wilkerson, co-founder of Students for Origins Research and former young-earth creationist, at the 1990 International Conference on Creationism:
"Creationism by and large attracts few to the gospel, but it turns many away."
It certainly seems to be true at first glance, to the point that it could make a person feel guilty for arguing for creationism at all.

Certainly it's true that there are some very bad creationist arguments, but that doesn't seem to be the problem. There are also some good creationist arguments that nevertheless also turn people away. I've seen this happen over and over at EvC for instance. Science is very sure of itself, but science as it defends evolution is nevertheless a gigantic delusion -- and the distinction between science and scientism in this case is meaningless. Research and reason are not the road to reality they are touted to be.

Then it seems to be worth considering that Christians should only present the gospel, keep the focus on the unbeliever's need for salvation, and leave creationism aside as a sort of secondary issue that only takes the focus away from what matters most.

I can't claim to have given this a lot of thought so I might change my mind eventually, but I think this is a false concern. I think that Biblical creation is intrinsic to the gospel, absolutely essential, and if a person rejects it they would also reject the gospel anyway. I think this is demonstrated on the "deconversion" thread at EvC where I think it could be shown that all those who supposedly deconverted on the basis of the claims of science really never were converted -- born again -- in the first place, never really grasped the gospel, never knew Christ. It was all merely an intellectual assent to a list of propositions or a cultural habit, deeply ingrained habit but not spiritual reality. Another clue to this is that in genuine revivals there are always some proportion of lifelong Christians who realize as a result of the powerful presence of God in the revival that they never were born again, so then they get born again and that's when their Christian life actually begins. They could have been dedicated churchgoers and even preachers for fifty or more years to that point, even knowing the Bible better than most.

There may be both good and bad scientific arguments employed in the service of creationism, but Genesis 1 is always the underlying foundation if we're talking about BIBLICAL creationism. It is mainstream evolutionary science that discredits Genesis 1, FALSE science, that turns people away, but it also discredits the gospel at the same time. That is, the assumptions that contradict Genesis 1 are the same that contradict the supernatural claims of the gospels. If a person is convinced by those assumptions -- the materialist assumptions of modern science -- the gospel won't make any more sense to him than Genesis 1.

Again, "reason and reality" in the service of evolution are a snare and a delusion, seductive to the fallen mind and SO hard, maybe impossible, to break. People must have their spiritual eyes opened, either to recognize the gospel or to recognize the creation.

Also, the implication that nothing but the gospel should be presented pretty much eliminates the role the Christian is to play as salt and light in the world, which is usually understood to mean being an influence against the moral deterioration of the culture. Certainly if the gospel is making converts the culture will deteriorate less anyway, even spontaneously improve as in the case of revivals, but this fact doesn't preclude the separate work of being salt and light. This is what William Wilberforce did in Britain as he worked year after year to eliminate the slave trade. He didn't preach the gospel, he lived the gospel in that work of changing the culture.

Likewise, attempting to defeat the claims of evolution is a worthy endeavor for the good of society, especially in the proper valuing of all life but especially human life as made in the image of God. So is attempting to prevent the murder of the unborn. So is attempting to prevent the corruption of marriage which is the linchpin of a stable society and a protection of human dignity, which should include a lot more than just working to defeat efforts to establish homosexual marriage but does include that for sure. ALL of it is about valuing human life when it comes down to it. That's the work the church -- born-again Christians -- has always done from the very beginning.

Pagan societies promoted human sacrifice, promoted the devaluation of women (one of the "curses" of the Fall), discarded unwanted infants and the sick and elderly. All this was reversed by the influence of Jesus Christ. There are former cannibals who thank Jesus Christ that He changed their culture (one stood up in the audience at a debate with atheist Christopher Hitchens -- it's on You Tube somewhere). Christianity inspired the salvaging of infants exposed to die, promoted the care of the sick and elderly. Christians took in abandoned children, built orphanages, built hospitals, and also promoted science because of its coherent view of a law-giving Creator God, which is far from the pagan gods. Pagan science could only go so far before it would break down in chaotic speculations, it took the Biblical God to inspire productive empirical science.

And on and on and on. Society in the West was gradually changed over the centuries by Christians. Not everybody believed the gospel, but society was changed for the better anyway. We are now reverting to paganism again with our devaluation of life as expressed in the theory of evolution in general (yes it DOES devalue life and reverse all the moral gains of the last twenty centuries), as expressed in abortion which is a callous devaluation of human life in the name of materialist science (it's just a bunch of meaningless tissue), with our devaluation of marriage (at least partly a result of the now-embedded notion that we are "just animals"), which leads to chaos, poverty and insecurity. The increase in the influence of pagan religions in the West over the last half century is all part of this degeneration from our Christian cultural foundations.

It is the church's job to oppose these things.

I think if we are not succeeding at these efforts any more this is simply a sign of the deterioration of the church itself, the growing apostasy in various branches of the church, even compromises that have crept into the best of the churches and even into the minds of Christians who are attempting to be the salt and light (if you feel you have to compromise with science to the extent of inserting a few million years between a couple of verses in Genesis, accepting the idea of suffering and death before the Bible says Adam and Eve's disobedience brought it into the world, you've already lost the moral high ground).

It's not the fault of the attempt to change the culture in itself in other words, it's the fault of the churches that we have lost the supernatural power to do that work OR effectively preach the gospel, either one.

Which is why revival is so desperately needed, as I've argued on my other blogs.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Yoo hoo, Dr. Adequate.

Dr. Adequate is a frequent poster at EvC forums, which I suspect functions as some sort of therapeutic outlet for his endless supply of nastiness, sometimes cleverly or "wittily" packaged, against creationists. In this post he liberally slathers his contempt over creationist Fred Williams (of the website Evolution Fairytale), which also gives him the opportunity to use the term "gormless stupidity" in a sentence, but he seems to have abandoned all attempt at accuracy in his zeal to craft a bon mot.
[Williams] Last Friday, Dec 3, we discussed this article on our half-hour 'Real Science Friday' show. We are interested in giving evolutionists the opportunity to call in and comment on either the article, or what we discussed on the radio.
[Dr. A] While there are a few questions I'd like to ask you, I can't comment on what you said on the radio last week because I wasn't listening. Nor, indeed, do I have a radio.

While I can spot numerous instances of gormless stupidity in your article, in order to comment accurately on it in toto, I should need to read the fifteen papers referenced in the original article, and I do not currently have access to Nature.

Nor, I presume, do you, since you never quoted a single word of any of the papers; and while this did not inhibit you from forming a view on their content and validity, it would provide me with certain difficulties, since I prefer to base my opinions on the facts.
Tch, tch, the facts, eh? He complains that he doesn't have access to the "fifteen papers" in Nature supposedly referenced in Williams' article, completely having failed to notice the link to the ONE AND ONLY article at Nature that Williams referenced (from which he can also link to the original sources for each of the fifteen "gems" they cover), or the link to the radio program, given in the EvC post itself, which is ONLINE and doesn't require possession of a radio.

Since I would like to encourage him to read and hear all the relevant material in the hope that he might choose to participate in the upcoming radio discussion, here are the links again:

Fred Williams' article,

The Nature article (singular),

The radio program .

Just wanted to get this much posted for the sake of Dr. A and anyone else who might like to follow that discussion, but I may make my own comments on this topic myself eventually, although, as I've recently said, I've pretty much abandoned the effort to deal with the science questions because the deck is stacked in such a way as to make it futile.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Dean Burgon's Fiery War on Modernist Science-so-called, Part 2

Continuing with some Burgon quotes from Inspiration and Interpretation:



DESTROY MY CONFIDENCE IN THE BIBLE AS AN HISTORICAL RECORD, AND YOU DESTROY MY CONFIDENCE IN IT ALTOGETHER; FOR BY FAR THE LARGEST PART OF THE BIBLE IS AN HISTORICAL RECORD. If the Creation of Man, -- the longevity of the Patriarchs, -- the account of the Deluge; -- if these be not true histories, what is to be said of the lives of Abraham, of Jacob, of Joseph, of Moses, of Joshua, of David, -- of our Saviour Christ Himself? ... Will you then reject one miracle and retain another? Impossible! You can make no reservation, even in favour of the incarnation of our Lord, -- the most adorable of all miracles, as it is the very keystone of our Christian hope. EITHER, WITH THE BEST AND WISEST OF ALL AGES, YOU MUST BELIEVE THE WHOLE OF HOLY SCRIPTURE; OR, WITH THE NARROW-MINDED INFIDEL, YOU MUST DISBELIEVE THE WHOLE. THERE IS NO MIDDLE COURSE OPEN TO YOU (Sermon II, p. 46).



[The above are all copied from David Cloud's For Love of the Bible, pp. 131, 135, 136, 137. All the emphases are his. Where I've put a question mark after a page number, what I've copied is only a portion of a long segment and I don't know which of the page numbers noted refers to what I copied out.].

Cloud sums up, p. 137:
What we see in the previous excerpts [from which I've taken the few quotations above] is one of the most brilliant scholars of the nineteenth century boldly testifying of his faith in a perfect Bible before the student body of the university. We can be sure that such a testimony has not been heard at that university in many a decade, probably not in this century. Burgon's views did not prevail. His earnest pleas were ignored. The soul-destroying gloom of rationalism has long settled over Oxford.

[p. 138] Burgon was a scholar, but he refused to dance to the scholar's tunes. We will see that today's Rationalists -- Metzger, Bruce, Kenyon, Aland, and that gang -- treat Burgon as if he were some kind of tradition-bound crank. In fact, a great many who profess to be evangelical today hold rationalistic views on the Bible, denying the literalness of the first three chapters of Genesis, rejecting the absolute perfection of the inspired text, claiming that the Bible is inaccurate when it deals with "scientific matters." Burgon's defense of the verbal-plenary inspiration of Holy Scripture steps on the toes of the vast majority of today's Christian scholars and theologians.
Often we worry about how many are drawn away from the truth by the claims of science, which is what motivates many Christians to try to argue against those claims scientifically. But as I've reported recently, I've finally pulled back from that effort because no matter what one says, no matter how telling a point you make on that level, they will deny it one way or another. The evidence for the Flood is everywhere, for instance, but they are blind to it and rationalize it away. The evidence for the degeneration of life is good but they deny it and won't even consider doing what it would take to demonstrate it. They are under the spell of their theory, perhaps irrevocably doomed to delusion.

It must be God's will, then, that we simply hold up His Word to them instead of spending so much time on the scientific questions. God's Word is sharper than a two-edged sword and if they ignore it they will be finally judged by it. Burgon's defense is a wonderful model for us.

There is no doubt also a great deal of pride and fear of man that motivates those who abandon parts of the Bible to Science-so-called while claiming they can hold onto the rest. This is a great snare. We have to hold to the Bible no matter what they say against us, no matter what it does to our reputation in the eyes of the worldly. God's word is "foolishness" to fallen humanity. They lack the "ears to hear" and we can't give them that, we can only give them the Word and either they can hear it or they can't. That's just the way it is. They will call us "morons" and worse, and eventually they may even persecute us here in the Land of the Free, just as they do in the rest of the world. When we are called to Christ we are called to die to this world, and this is one way we must die to it.

What a glorious testimony Burgon has. We should all aim for that faithfulness to God's word in denial of our standing in this world.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dean Burgon's Fiery War on Modernist Science-so-called should be our model

John William Burgon has so far figured in my blogs only on the subject of the Bible versions as an inspiring and passionate scholar and writer against the revisionist Bible put out by a cadre of modernist Anglican churchmen in the 19th century. But now I've been introduced to another of his writings through David Cloud's wonderful history of the Bible versions controversy, For Love of the Bible, in which he discusses Burgon and quotes at length from Burgon's book in response to a modernist tract of his day, which puts Science-so-called above God's word. Oh how I love Dean Burgon. The more I read of his writings the more I love the man whose mind produced them. He is, as David Cloud calls him, indeed a "warrior," a warrior for truth over lies, in this case the truth over the lies of modernism, the lies of Science-so-called. I found his book online at CCEL but I'll probably mostly be quoting from David Cloud's book.

[Sometimes I think I won't be much interested in seeing ANYONE I know from this life in heaven, not family or friends -- oh a few exceptions do come to mind (and of course we'll all be perfected and love each other completely) -- but there are plenty of people I know only through their books or books about them that I could follow around for eternity, and Burgon is one of them. If of course one can have eyes for anyone besides the Lord]

The fire with which Burgon writes offends some, though it's a quality I've always particularly enjoyed in his writings, and here he defends this style:

When a few words have been added concerning the manner in which I have executed my task, this Preface shall be brought to a close. ... A man feels strongly and warmly; writes fast and freely; is determined to be clearly understood: IS WEARY OF THE DIGNIFIED CONVENTIONALITIES UNDER WHICH SCEPTICISM LOVES TO CONCEAL ITSELF WHEN IT COMES ABROAD. ... Some respectable persons, I doubt not, will think my treatment of them harsh and uncharitable. ... If I may declare my mind freely, PUNCTILIOUS COURTESY IN DEALING WITH SUCH OPINIONS, BECOMES A SPECIES OF TREASON AGAINST HIM AFTER WHOSE NAME WE ARE CALLED, and whom we profess to serve. Seven men may combine to handle the things of God, it seems, in the most outrageous manner; while themselves are to be the objects of consideration, tenderness, respect! I cannot see their title to any consideration at all. (pp. xxiii, xxiv).[Cloud 131-2][all caps are Cloud's, large type and bolding are mine]
Right. THAT is the spirit in which we SHOULD respond in defense of the word of God against those who attack it, not against nonChristians who don't know any better, but certainly against those who call themselves Christians (or who at least know what Christianity teaches) and yet support modernist attacks on the Bible.

These days if you dare to call a heretic a heretic you may be denounced as harsh and unloving by the heretics who call themselves Christians, and the heretic will even be supported by people you know to be Christians, very weak Christians, who think Christian love is a flabby thing that amounts to always being nice to everybody. No, Burgon is right. We are NOT to be nice to people who claim to be Christian but attack God's word and allow dangerous lies to go unchallenged. Yet, even when one attacks only the lies and not the person today's shrinking "Christians" may find that too "harsh." No wonder the church is so weak.

He goes on:

This is no literary misunderstanding, or I could have been amicable enough ... No other than an attempt to destroy Man's dearest hopes, is this infamous book: no other than an insult, the grossest imaginable, offered to the Majesty of Heaven; an attack, the more foul because it is so insidious, against the Everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ. IN SUCH A CAUSE I WILL NOT SO FAR GIVE IN TO THE SMOOTH FASHION OF A SUPPLE AND INDIFFERENT AGE, AS TO PAY THESE SEVEN WRITERS A SINGLE COMPLIMENT WHICH THEY WILL CARE TO ACCEPT (Preface, pp. xxvi, xxvii). [Cloud, 132][all caps are Cloud's, bolding is mine]
And then he goes on to defend the Book of Genesis -- THE BOOK OF GENESIS, THE VERY FIRST VERSES OF GENESIS -- against the claims of "Science." Oh happy day, he makes me weep for joy at his bold defense of truth, at the same time weep in mourning over the lies that have taken over our formerly Christian civilization ever since Darwin.

The arguments he is answering are the same arguments we are called upon to answer now -- the insertion of thousands, millions of years into the Creation Week for instance.

I want to post this now as I need a break, although I may want to come back later and add more as he gets into the meat of the argument.

But here I want to quote his own motto at the beginning of his book because it is so apt and so true to his character:


{That's from Jeremiah somewhere]. How I wish there were more true Christians now with his spirit. How I wish he had won the war, for the sake of the Church which is now laboring under a miserable load of modernist garbage, in the form of the modernist Bibles at least, and under a spell of some kind of mealy-mouthed nicey-niceness too. But he didn't win -- except I know he won the praise of our Lord and will enjoy it for eternity and that makes me happy.

He didn't win. The idiots won. The unbelieving modernists won. They took over the Anglican church for one thing. They are behind all the modern Bibles for another.

Later. As I've come back to this after my break, reading along in the Preface at CCEL, I just want to report again how happy Burgon makes me. And his writing has almost the same effect as Scripture itself on me, obviously because he is so utterly devoted to God's word -- the peace that passes understanding comes over me at times as I read him, just as it does as I read Scripture, undoing knots in my muscles, even putting me in a state of worship.

But also sometimes I burst into laughter at his ability to capture the sheer evil stupidities of his opponents, as here:
There is a certain form of fallacy of statement in which this Gentleman’s writings abound, which calls aloud for notice and signal reprobation. He has a marvellous aptitude, (one would fain hope through some intellectual infirmity,) of connecting together in the same sentence two or three clauses; one or two of which shall be true as Heaven, while the other XXIXis false as Hell. The reply to such a sentence is impossible, without many words,—far more than Mr. Jowett’s sentences commonly deserve.—Sometimes he strings together several heads of thought; of which enumeration the kindest thing which can be said is that it betrays an utter want of intellectual perspective. To unravel even a part of this tangled web so as to expose its argumentative worthlessness, soon fills a page. . . . . But there is another kind of fallacy which the same gentleman wields with immense effect, and in the use of which he is a great master; which, because it was absolutely impossible to handle it fitly in the proper place, shall be briefly adverted to, here. I proceed to describe it not without indignation; for I am profoundly struck by the intellectual perversity, not to say the moral obliquity, which has so entirely made this vile instrument its own.

The fallacy then is of this nature. When Professor Jowett would put forth something especially deserving of reprehension,—some sentiment or opinion which he either knows, or ought to know, that the whole Church will resent with unqualified abhorrence,—he assumes a plaintive manner, and puts himself into an interesting attitude; sometimes even folds his hands, as if in prayer. He then begins by (1) throwing out a remark of real beauty, and so conciliating for himself an indulgent hearing; or (2) he goes off on some Moral question, and so defeats attention; or (3) he delivers himself of some undeniable truth, and so disarms censure; or (4) he says something of an entirely equivocal kind, and so leaves his reader at fault. Candour, of course, gives him the benefit of the doubt. XXXIt is not till the sentence is well advanced, or till it is examined by the fatal light of its context, that one is shewn what the ambiguous writer really was intending. A cloven foot appears at last; but it is instantly withdrawn, with a shuffle; and you experience a scowl or a sneer, as the case may be, for your extreme unkindness in inquiring whether it was not a cloven foot you saw? . . . . Meanwhile, the learned Professor has gone off in alia omnia, with a look of earnestness which challenges respect, and a vagueness of diction which at once discourages pursuit and defeats inquiry. The fish invariably ends by disappearing in a cloud of his own ink.
What a satisfying description of the methods of such sanctimonious liars. The devil certainly does know how to guide his captives into such mind-twisting exercises.

This is almost at the end of his Preface. The end goes:
It shall suffice to have said thus much. These pages must now be suffered to go forth; not without a hearty aspiration that a blessing may attend them from Him sine Quo nihil est validum, nilil sanctum; and that what was intended for the strength and help of those who want helping and strengthening, (I am thinking particularly of what has been offered on the subject of Inspiration,) may not prove misleading or perplexing to any.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Science rejects THE source of truth and prides itself on its trek down the primrose path.

At EvC today,
Percy writes:
Dembski writes:
As a biblical inerrantist, I believe that what the Bible teaches is true and bow to the text, including its teaching about the Flood and its universality.
An inerrantist of any type, whether Newtonian, Darwinian, Einsteinian or Biblical, cannot be considered a scientist.
This is of course a foundational principle at EvC, though to one who knows the Bible as the Word of God, very odd, as if Science had consciously chosen to be misled. Consciously or not, of course, they ARE misled.

The thread to this point has questioned whether Dembski is really true to the Bible, but I don't have an opinion about that and it doesn't make a difference on this particular point. Dembski claims to believe that the Bible is inerrant and Biblical inerrancy is the point in question.

Percy doesn't seem even to recognize that his statement is based on nothing but a raw assumption, the assumption that the Bible is on the same level as the writings of Newton, Darwin and Einstein, a mere human work. But of course to a believer the Bible is truly the word of God, and as the word of God it can instruct us in EVERYTHING as whatever God says is foundational to ALL truth, including science. It's not a scientific text but it says just enough to make science a liar if it ignores it.

If you start with the Bible you can't go wrong, scientifically or any other way, as long as you recognize that your take on what the Bible implies on scientific questions may not be right. But if you make your own fallible intellect your foundation you will forever be finding what seem to you to be contradictions with the Bible. The problem with scientific thought over the last oh 150 years or so, particularly about origins -- origin of the cosmos, origin of the planet, origin of life -- is that it has progressively rejected God's word because fallible intellect is unable to reconcile its own impressions with the Bible's often veiled hints.

Early scientists had some strange ideas about what sort of evidence the Biblical Flood would have left, for instance (and science is stuck still with those strange ideas), so when science pointed out a fact or two that did not square with their strange ideas they jettisoned not just the strange ideas but the Bible itself, as if those strange ideas came from the Bible, which they didn't.

Same with Galileo. The Roman Church was enamored with the teachings of Aristotle through Aquinas, mixing pagan belief with God's word (just as they do with their worship of the "saints" and the "Queen of Heaven" and relics and indulgences and all that pagan superstition along with their lavish pagan paraphernalia and unholy wealth), and Aristotle's pagan religion put the earth at the center of the cosmos. So it was Aristotle, not the Bible, that Galileo's findings contradicted, but people still have the mistaken impression, since the Roman church taught that mistaken impression, that it was the Bible he contradicted. Now they have accepted Galileo and rejected the Bible, although there is no contradiction, and they have accepted evolution and rejected the Bible, although it should be the other way around.

The early geologist Hutton took a look at a formation on the coast of Scotland and declared off the top of his own fallible head that it proved that the earth was ancient, far more ancient than the age determinable from the Bible, and scientists ever after have accepted that declaration from his fallible head and added their own fallible conjectures to it, declaring it all fact as they went, as well as their conjectures about some supposedly objective scientific procedures they believe confirm it.

God will laugh in the end.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Evolutionist bias lurches on

I suppose Coyote might be offended that I'm going to call his example of skulls arranged in a subjectively graded series supposedly representing various types of human beings an abuse of intelligence, but that's what I'm going to call it.

To know whether some of the less human-looking skulls really are human or not I'd have to see their possessors walking around. Human beings come with quite a wide range of skull shapes and sizes but I don't trust paleontologists to be able to distinguish a human skull from a "hominid" or an ape skull. There is no such thing as a hominid, so it's either an ape or a human and since they have that fantasy category mixed in there I don't trust any of it.

So his question to ICANT is meaningless:
OK, if changes at the species level are "still mice" then what do you make of the six figures in the upper left half of the figure below? They are a similar level of change to the "mice" you are so fond of.
And how exactly have you determined that they represent this similar level of change? These are SKULLs, not living creatures. You can't look at their DNA, you can't decide anything really. Some of the flatter skulls don't look very human to me, you just put them in a series that fits your belief that human beings evolved from something apish and got yourself convinced that you can treat this as evidence. You are blowing smoke. Those who arranged those skulls are blowing smoke.
Do you agree that they are all the same?
By which I have to suppose he means Are they all human beings? Well, the answer is that IF they are all human beings, then yes they ARE "all the same" in the sense ICANT meant that the mice are still mice. But again, I don't know if those are all human skulls or not. Sorry.

Then Theodoric accuses creationist Dawn Bertot:
ICANT has ignored this question from frako. It seems you are too. Is this part of your vaunted debating skills? Ignoring the difficult questions.
Frako writes:
How much of a difference in your mind must 2 species have to be called 2 species and not the same species? The minimum difference please
How is a creationist supposed to answer such a question since we don't think in terms of differences the way evolutionists do? Nobody's evading anything, it's just that the question is meaningless. It's an artifact of the evolution fantasy.

However, I did answer in an earlier post today that perhaps Macroevolution should be defined as occurring WHEN SANE PEOPLE (INTUITIVELY AND SPONTANEOUSLY) RECOGNIZE THAT A NEW "SPECIES"/VARIETY NEEDS TO BE CALLED BY A NEW NAME. If it's still a mouse or a horse or a fruitfly then it's a mouse or a horse or a fruitfly no matter how many Latin subtitles you string after it -- and that's microevolution, not macroevolution (which of course doesn't exist).

Wit ought to be acknowledged I suppose

Dr. Adequate is of course on the wrong side of this debate as are the vast majority at EvC but you do have to admit he has a knack for well-wrought zingers as here .
That was incoherent, but I believe you intended to be insulting.

You're not very good at that, either, are you?

I wonder what you are good at? I suppose with the right armature a taxidermist might make you into a passable hatstand.
Hate to have to appreciate the nasty mean wit but he forced it out of me. Too funny.

Unfortunately too many of the creationists at EvC ARE frequently incoherent, or get their terminology mixed up or just don't understand the issues. When they do make a good point I'd at least like to acknowledge it myself, but I have to wonder why it is that the quality of creationist argument has been declining there over the years.

Unfortunately I'm sure I know why. For all the wit and IQ points on the other side their arguments ARE spun out of cobwebs and word fraud enforced by ridicule and put-downs, and serious creationists won't stick that out forever. In fact there have been a few pretty good ones there in the last few months but I haven't seen them there for some time.

Evolution has been killed dead a zillion times but they keep following its ghost around pretending it's alive

Oh BROTHER. This would be funny if it weren't so pathetic. Now they are accusing ICANT and other creationists on the thread "Can I disprove Macro-evolution" of being off topic. Hoo boy, what will they think of next? But then it turns out it's not that they're off topic, it's that they haven't disproved Macroevolution, which is what the title of the thread supposedly demands of them, which of course the evos wouldn't recognize if it bit them, and they have teeth marks all over them but don't seem to notice. Case of genetic entropy perhaps -- nerve degeneration radiating out from the gluteus maximus?
The problem is that Dawn Bertot and JRTjr and ICANT are happily leading you and others down those oh so attractive rabbit holes.

The topic is NOT whether Macro-Evolution happened, it is an assertion that they can disprove Macro-evolution.

It is their assertion that it did not happen, and until they provide a model that better explains what is seen than the current model, they have failed.

Stop letting them change the subject and lead you guys astray.

It is up to them to provide convincing evidence that Macro-Evolution did not happen.
Nothing would qualify as convincing evidence for them, obviously. They are just wilfully blind to the good evidence that HAS been provided. There's nothing wrong with ICANT's evidence.

And the latest in this string of nonsense posts on that thread:
i know i would poste the latin name of that new mouse and the house mouse but he would still say they are still mice
Of course he would because that IS the evidence against Macroevolution and he has fulfilled the requirement of the title of the thread with a resounding Yes he CAN disprove Macroevolution and he did. Because you can't just redefine reality and call it science, folks, if mice are still mice no matter what new Latinized characteristics a particular strain of them may have you have not achieved Macroevolution. AND again, they will have reduced genetic diversity TOO, which is THE real-world actual-fact killer of evolution.

I guess this is a place to tack on a reaction to a later post by ICANT: This is a post where he and I disagree:
I also understand that there will be sub-species that will arise due to malfunctions in errors in DNA information resulting in mutations.
Sub-species arise from the simple shuffling of the genetic possibilities that God built into the DNA, a very abundant array of possible variations, far MORE abundant in past generations and extravagantly abundant in the pre-Flood world, losing diversity over time thanks to the Fall and the Flood.

The reason offspring are different from parents is not mutations, it's the shuffling of the alleles for the various characteristics in the parents' DNA and this is how new varieties get formed too, as limited populations become isolated from the greater population and their smaller gene pool is the source of their own characteristics.

I'm sure science is right that we do all have mutations, even our own unique mutations, but I can't think that is a good thing since there are thousands of genetic diseases in the human genome, no doubt caused by mutations, and I'm also convinced that "junk DNA" is -- mostly -- the result of mutations, basically a killing off of formerly functioning genes.

Evolutionsts ASSUME that all the DNA was the result of mutations but that's just an article of faith; there is no evidence that that is so. Mutations are errors in the DNA and must be a consequence of the Fall. Of course evolutionists aren't going to do the necessary tests to really pin it down and I don't know how many creationists are looking in this direction either.

Mutations are not necessary, and I personally doubt that they ever contribute anything positive to the development of varieties or sub-species.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Word Magic, Definitional Abracadabra is how evolutionism wins the Micro/Macro-evolution Debate

This is HILARIOUS. Oh Crashie, you've outdone yourself. Post of the Month material here.

Creationist ICANT (whose posts I have to admit to not being able to follow much of the time, and I think he and I disagree on some major points as well, but I've lost track) has been hitting the theme of microevolution as the limit of evolution pretty well lately in my opinion, emphasizing how inability to interbreed is an arbitrary definition of Species, with some good examples from his own experience with animals. He's been holding up tenaciously (he doesn't lose his temper the way I do, forgive me Lord), against the evos for some time at EvC.

So here's crashfrog showing how evolutionists think , and it ain't pretty:
[ICANT} You can call it anything you want to call it. But if you start with two mice and a billion years later you got trillions of mice and billions of them can not breed with each other because of changes or habits you still got trillions of mice, whether they can breed with each other or not.
[crash] Right. And again - macroevolution is not the prediction that mice will ever stop being mice; it's that the group called "mice" will come to refer to more and more different species.

"Ape" referred, once, to only a single species. Now it refers to dozens, including hominids like us. "Hominid" once referred to a single species; now, it refers to dozens, including Homo hablis, Homo neandertalis, and Homo sapiens.

Do you understand, yet? Mice will still be mice, apes will still be apes, tetrapods will still be tetrapods, birds will still be birds - yet, macroevolution will still be occurring, species will still be changing, and new species will still be emerging from old ones. Mice will never turn into birds - but evolution doesn't say that they ever did.

Do you understand that?
So what he's doing here is trying to pull the rug out from under all attempts to make the point ICANT has been making by simply redefining his point out of the contest. Definitional abracadabra. WORD MAGIC. I dunno, what's the very best analogy? Shell and pea game maybe?

Oh yes macroevolution IS exactly what he says it is not: ...macroevolution is not the prediction that mice will ever stop being mice. It most certainly IS, Crash, and that should be the definition of macroevolution.

What crash is saying amounts to total denial that the Theory of Evolution says all living things came from OTHER living things with OTHER NAMES. We don't dispute that microeveolution occurs, many varieties of the same species, some of which cannot interbreed with one another, which is ICANT's point. But MACROevolution begins where the NAMES CHANGE. Come ON crash, this is word games you are playing here. Or really it's Evolutionism that's playing the word games. You are FORCING your view of things on us this way rather than making a rational case for it.

We know the difference between a mouse and a marmot, between a lizard and a bird, crash, AND SO DO YOU! The words clearly designate an objective reality that all recognize, so don't tell us about 5000 species of mice or lizards when the question at hand is whether the processes of variation could ever produce something that we would no longer CALL by the name of its originating species, something we'd no longer call a mouse or a lizard. THAT's WHAT THE QUESTION IS, CRASH, AND YOU KNOW IT.

We even concede the term "species" to you all, and why not? since all those words are synonyms -- Kind, Species, Class, Variety, etc. Clarity depends on having a fixed meaning for their specific uses but unfortunately Evolutionism has co-opted the terms to their own meanings, which they designate as Correct of course, leaving Creationists to make awkward convoluted efforts to distinguish one meaning from another, which evos can then pounce on with their trimphalist denunciations. We try to use the terms to convey the reality we have in mind and it's hard under the best of circumstances to be clear in that effort, but you and your evo friends seem to want to go out of your way to be as unclear as possible. There is no honest effort at debate here. Or, to be fairer than is warranted, at the very least you are so completely bamboozled by your own paradigm you can't think any other way and won't give the benefit of the doubt to so many who are trying to make the opposite case, just because it doesn't fit into your terminological and conceptual system. Of course it doesn't, it is a DIFFERENT MODEL COMPLETELY from evolution's. PARADIGM conflict, Crash.

Yes, WORD MAGIC. That's most of what Evolutionism is and Crashie has demonstrated it here. The Geology wing labels the strata in ways guaranteed to mystify anyone just starting out trying to understand some of these things, and more knowledgeable people as well who memorize it all as if it meant something. The labels serve only to obscure the reality the inquirer is looking for. What we have is slabs of rock but since they've been given fancy names to designate them as Time Periods it's very hard even to remember that they are just slabs of rock. This bit of word magic prevails despite the fact that over the decades since these labels came into fashion their boundaries have been pushed around quite a bit, mostly back and back -- as if nobody has a clue what they're talking about, which they don't.

Then the Biology wing pulls this kind of trick described by crashfrog. And the Paleontology wing does it by making sure the latest fossil discovery is carefully defined by supposed age and supposed evolutionary lineage so you can't get a clear picture of exactly what it is they found, thus begging the very question creationists are trying to address, co-opting the facts for the ToE, making it as hard as possible to think outside their carefully constructed theoretical box.

Yeah, shell and pea game, you can't lose if you keep shifting the definitions -- surreptitiously moving the pea from one shell to another. If you get all the definitions completely blurred together in the service of Evolution eventually we won't be able to think at all and we'll all just nod and smile and lockstep along with whatever you say.


Postscript: The thread continues:
[ICANT] At no time did the piney-woods-rooter cease to be the same creature that I started with.

Well, it's not the same creature you started with. The creature you started with, presumably, died long ago, and the piney-woods rooters you have now are his descendants.

And, again - if "piney-woods rooter", as a term, can now encompass two species where before it encompassed one, why can't that be happening in nature? Why can't that have happened in the past?

Why can't "mammal", for instance, at one time have encompassed only a single kind of creature, and then over time come to have encompassed a large number of related creatures?
At least you need to begin to become aware of something you are just blithely skipping over here, Crashfrog, which is that there is a real problem with thinking you can prove evolution by definitional changes.

Consider this: Children are all different from their parents and from each other in describable ways. Are they separate species from their parents?

This is what you are implying when you say that the descendants of wild hogs selected by ICANT are a different species because they weigh much more than their ancestors, which he described here in Message 136 :
I am a farm raised person who has taken wild hogs we called piney-woods rooters that could survive on little food and water who weighed less than a hundred pounds. Through selective, breeding produced animals that weighed over 700 pounds that could survive on small amounts of food and water.
Where are you going to draw the line? Or are you going to refuse to draw one at all, and make every individual human or ape or horse into a separate species? Perhaps you want to eliminate the entire concept of Species altogether so that we'll have no names for anything any more and can go back to living in caves.

I know, you draw the line at inability to interbreed any more. But again, sorry, I've already shown that that one is just as arbitrary and meaningless. "Species" always meant creatures with different names. That's what it meant in Darwin's day and up until recently, at least until all this definitional hooha started taking over.

Let's stick to that definition. We'll have macroevolution when ALL SANE PEOPLE AGREE to call ICANT's new hog something other than a hog or a pig, not until. Meanwhile the changes within a species that lead to differentiating a new population from an old population, including inability to interbreed, are still only microevolution. Otherwise the debate is meaningless, words mean nothing, and we might as well all check into the loony bin.

Yet later:
And now Dr. Adequate chimes in.
[ICANT] I don't see how the big stallion and the little mare in my avatar can breed and produce an offspring.

They are both classified as horses.

So where is the difference other than size?
[Dr. A] The difference other than the very obvious difference? Well, if they can't breed, the other difference is species.
WRONG! You've just shown your adherence to the definitional destruction of truth, the Word Magic corruption of Reality, to mystification, to obfuscation. It's only macroevolution because you say it is, not because it is.

Friday note:
Can't believe I left out the usual word on what the real reality actually IS. It's the fact that all new "species" that are highly specialized -- of mice, of hogs, of horses -- OUGHT to have the ability to further "evolve" into new varieties and "species" IF EVOLUTION IS TRUE, but the FACT is that in order to get such variations or "species" their genetic potentials must be REDUCED as those for their peculiar characteristics are refined and elaborated. It's what MUST happen when you (or Nature) isolate a small number from the greater population in order to develop a new variety, and you MUST reduce the numbers to get such new species so there's no way to avoid the genetic reduction. It does not happen any other way. I've made this point over and over and over. You can't get from any new highly "evolved" or specialized species to further species, whether this is brought about by domestic breeding or by the various forms of selection and isolation that operate in the wild, and that is the end of Evolution right there.


Yeah, you CAN wait around until Judgment Day if you MUST to find this out if you don't want to acknowledge it now.

Evidence for the Flood succinctly put

Want to emphasize: MAJOR EVIDENCE FOR THE FLOOD OF NOAH is that the strata of the geological column were all laid down before being sunk into basins, raised into mountains, buckled into anticlines, sculpted into hoodoos or mesas or buttes, carved into cliffs or canyons. The layers are all parallel to each other and shaped or displaced as a unit. I've been trying to make this point for a long time with the Grand Canyon area, where it is dramatically obvious, but it's also true of the salt formations, and indeed ANYWHERE strata are exposed.

The theory of millions of years per each layer as a particular "time period" is utter nonsense as each of the layers should show some of these disturbances in such a long period, in fact many such disturbances given the common belief that conditions in the past were much the same as in the present, but instead they all lay quite quietly until they were all in place to a great depth. That is because they were all laid down in the single catastrophe of the Flood, AFTER which they were subjected to various forces, tectonic pressure, sinking, uplifting, volcanoes, earthquakes, and the rushing cataracts of Flood water as it receded.

More about salt

[click to enlarge]

Been looking around the internet for more on salt formations. It appears from all the cross sections that except where it is being formed on the surface it IS laid down as a layer just like all the other layers of the geologic column, so there's no reason to think it had any special origin. That is, the usual scenario of its having been on the surface millions of years ago forming just like any salt lake does today doesn't fit with its similarity to all the other strata -- at least its original similarity: Since salt doesn't behave like all the other sediments, that is, because it is lighter it does rise, and it is subject to dissolution as well, it may not remain in its original horizontality, but clearly originally it was just another layer like all the others.

The Flood scenario generally supposes sediment-heavy water that got deposited into layers -- the mechanism is not all that clear since there are a few different ways it could happen -- brought in on waves, or precipitated out of standing water among others, but whatever the mechanism they all got laid down originally in horizontal layers.

Apparently salt layers are laid down exactly the same way. But salt has the peculiar property of rising wherever it can find space to rise, which is the explanation for the salt domes that occur wherever there is a buried layer of salt. The salt domes can be huge, rising to near the surface and big enough to be occupied by mine tunnels and equipment.

I've had to learn that salt is a rock. Like all the other formerly water-soaked sediments that make up the layers of the geologic column it hardened into rock, hard enough to build with. I also learned that there are many different kinds of salts and they are mined for different purposes. Didn't know anything about the history of salt mining until now, or that I would probably not have had salt on my table if it weren't for modern mining techniques. Odd to think people ever went without salt.

Also found out about something called a karst formation. If the salt is exposed to certain kinds of conditions, certain temperatures or acidity of water, for instance, it may dissolve, even dissolve and run out of its layer, leaving a space into which the land above may sink. Depressions and basins are in fact very common in the areas of the huge salt layers.

But the main thing I want to get said here is that there's no reason to think salt rock wouldn't have been formed in exactly the same way all the other layers were, which of course was by the action of the Flood waters. In surface basins it is created by evaporation, and there also had to be evaporation even of the deepest layers of the Flood strata too as it all dried out, but the idea that it had once to be a surface basin, as current geology assumes, isn't necessarily so.

In reading about all this, first you have to ignore the ridiculous flat-out assertions about the AGE of the formation -- talk about interpretation being treated as if it were fact! Then you have to ignore all the time-determined labels for the layers {Jurassic etc.} -- or translate them if you can, because all that is just evolutionist bias imposed on the facts to make the facts hard to recognize. Why can't they describe formations in terms of their actual properties? Why do they prefer this obfuscating terminology? Because they HAVE to make us all believe what they believe because they have no actual science, just hypothesis after conjecture after assumption after supposition. Does science behave that way? If it's a layer of sandstone a hundred feet thick beneath six other layers of other kinds of rock, use a word that gets that across, the time-frame mystification doesn't serve the lofty claims of science.

Evidence that it wasn't originally a basin: Looking at the cross sections of salt giants you usually see a basin formation but you ALSO see layers of OTHER sediments laid down OVER the salt, and NOT the way wet sediments would be laid down if the basin were already there, because they follow the contour of the sides of the basin rather than settling into the lower part. In the diagram above it appears there was some settling, somewhat more sediment apparently collecting in lower levels, suggesting it wasn't completely hardened when the sinking occurred, but still the layer as a whole follows the contour of the basin showing it was already there and the whole stack sank together.

This phenomenon can be seen wherever there is a cross section of layers -- the layers were ALREADY there, naturally laid down horizontally, being made of wet sediments, and then after some hardening had occurred, then and only then was the whole stack affected, whether by uplift or sinking or buckling or canyon cutting or whatever. That's true in the Grand Canyon and it appears also to be true in the various salt formations. Yes I know there is the question of reef formation associated with them in some cases, and that fits better with the slow evaporite theory, but since in general the whole picture fits the Flood layering scenario the reefs have to fit into that somehow.

The way the salt domes rise straight up through all the layers is further evidence that they were all laid down at the same time. If the layers had been laid down a bit at a time over the multiplied millions of years all those time-period labels stand for we wouldn't be seeing the domes rising so straight up through them all; starts and stops and displacements would be more likely.

The layers were there first, and this is also true wherever you see a deep salt layer among them. In fact, the diagram at top, the cross section of the area of the Gulf of Mexico, suggests that first the layers were laid, then there was a breach of some sort, or the area that became the gulf sank -- and the south end of the salt layer rose right in the middle of the gulf where there seems to have been a break, cutting off the other layers to the north and south and making what is really a gigantic salt dome out of the entire end of the salt layer. The whole south end of the salt layer obviously rose in one action through all the layers at once as the entire area sank under the Gulf.

I thought at first that Dr. A was saying a saline giant, that is, a deep salt layer, was itself four kilometers thick, but I see by the diagram above that he must have meant that it is LOCATED very deep but in itself it's just a layer like all the other layers. In the diagram you can see the fingers that push up through the other layers above it, which indicate the formation of "salt domes" as salt rises, being lighter than the other layers.

As I was looking up more information about salt it occurred to me that Dr. A might have in mind the depth of a large salt dome rather than the entire layer. I found out that Morton Salt runs a mine within a large salt dome -- a huge dome that rises from some kilometers deep almost up to the surface, but the salt layer itself as not particularly deep, was laid down at that depth and has many other sedimentary layers over it. The huge dome that was formed at the south end of the layer in the diagram above would be kilometers deep as well.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

29+ Evidences or just a collection of conjectures?

There's a thread at EvC called Can I Disprove Macro-Evolution? on which a link to another evolution debate site has been given a number of times, The Scientific Case for Common Descent , otherwise referred to as "29+ Evidences for Macro-Evolution." To give a link and ask the opponent to respond to it is in fact against the rules of EvC, as posters are required to spell out an argument and use a link only for reference. But when they are in a mood to drown their opponent, who obeys the rules? They even insist they aren't disobeying the rules, as Evolutionist Crashfrog so cheekily and wrongly does here.
Creationist: The rules says I should not have to and you should not present
Evolutionist: In fact the rules state the exact
Points should be supported with evidence and/or reasoned argumentation. Address rebuttals through the introduction of additional evidence or by enlarging upon the argument.
In fact he's completely wrong. Can he be serious? Where are the moderators? Yet he even adds a a typical taunt:
Just one more thing you're completely wrong about.
Rule 5 says:
Bare links with no supporting discussion should be avoided. Make the argument in your own words and use links as supporting references.
Perhaps I'm wrong and someone has offered some supporting discussion somewhere, but what I've seen is just the bare link put up over and over on this thread and a complete refusal to address anything at the link, insisting that the creationist address what's there.

I wasn't intending to get into that but it's kind of typical of EvC tactics so I'll leave it.

All I wanted to do was give a very brief answer of my own to that Talk Origins link.

As usual there is little evidence there that is any more evidence for evolution than it is for creation.

As usual all they are doing is elaborating the theory, not producing validation for it. They have no actual evidence for their claim that all these "evidences" are evidences, what they have is statistical probability models and logical deductions from some genetic observations, all of which amount to no more than the usual Observation + Hypothesis. They just go on multiplying hypotheses or elaborating the Theory. They have no smoking gun evidence, NONE.

Just a few points:

The five "transitionals" aren't transitionals at all, they are simply life forms that existed before the Flood that happen to have characteristics evolutionists think they can fit between other life forms. The transitionals that the theory of evolution has always required are not a few creatures here and there like this, but a blur of gradations that just about makes the whole idea of a species irrelevant. That is what Darwin understood should be the case if evolution were true, and it's what was generally understood until this recent attempt to make a very few striking fossil finds suffice. They don't. And anyway, again, the entire fossil record was created in the Flood and represents the amazing abundance and variety of living things in the pre-Flood world.

Anatomical vestiges , wings that don't fly, eyes --of the mole for instance-- that don't see very well, and so on, are easily accounted for by the creationist hypothesis of Genetic Entropy, the fact that the genome is deteriorating. The creatures that develop these features don't really "need " them so that they can survive without them, so they don't get weeded out. But there is no evidence for evolution in any of this.

The pseudogenes are another good example of Genetic Entropy, the deterioration of genetic functions. The similarities found in a few of these nonfunctioning genes between apes and humans are probably determined by the similar body structures. In any case we know we are not genetically related so some other explanation is needed.

In general, where evolution hypothesizes descent based on observations of slight structural differences -- or slight genetic differences -- creationism first needs to point out that the evidence for this is conjectural, merely elaboration of the Theory, then to go on to hypothesize similarity of design as the explanation.

Where the fossil record is the source of the observation creationism needs to point out that the best explanation for the fossils is the worldwide Flood, which of course makes all the geo timetable explanations null.

In general, where evolution points out anatomical or genetic deterioration creationists should agree, it IS deterioration, predicted by the law of entropy, which began with the Fall.

It's all observation + hypothesis, that's as far as either side can go with Scientific Method. What they are calling evidence is simply further conjecture.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tunnel-visioned focus on the present and on details misleads Evolutionists away from the truth of Genetic deterioration (entropy)

Waste of a post perhaps, just to comment on one little remark at EvC, but it's typical of this poster Coyote that he makes this kind of assertion and it seems to have some interesting ramifications. Here's the exchange between him and Taq:
[Coyote] If I am reading that correctly, there is a mechanism that limits the effects of genetic entropy?

Is that how you read it?
[Taq] Yes, and that mechanism is natural selection. By comparing the same endosymbiont across several lineages you can determine the substitution rate (i.e. fixed mutation rate) over time. The substitution rate decreases over time indicating that more and more mutations were selected against over time. The strongest candidate for negative selection is deleterious mutations.

The creationist model assumes steady accumulation of deleterious mutations across the entire population, but the evidence in the paper above argues against that. The evidence suggests that the population only carries a certain amount of deleterious mutations, and that any additional deleterious mutations that occur are selected against and do not spread in the population like the slightly deleterious mutations that occurred before them.

[Coyote] Thanks, that's what I thought it said.

That confirms the results we see in the real world, where there are several billion years of evolution without this "genetic entropy" causing it all to go extinct.

This also supports my idea that you have to believe in a young earth and "the fall" to support the kind of genetic entropy that creationists are pushing.

This is almost funny. As if we SEE "in the real world" anything that could be described as "several billion years of evolution." He's simply stating the party line, he's not seeing anything though he states as if it were fact, this evolutionistic theory of billions of years, at every opportunity.

But of course what I "see" in the real world is evidence for the Young Earth construction. Yes, you do have to believe the Bible's doctrine of the Fall to begin to see the world in terms of genetic entropy I suppose. It opened my eyes to the reality around me. Thanks to the Bible I also see evidence for Noah's Flood almost everywhere I look.

Genetic entropy is implicit for one thing in the difference between the relative paucity of living things on earth today by comparison with the extravagantly various and abundant life forms in the fossil record, which is the record of life that was destroyed in the Flood.

It's not all extinct YET, but we don't believe in your billions of years, Mr. Coyote, and wouldn't expect "it all to go extinct" in the actual few thousand years the earth has been in existence, although extinctions are occurring all the time and are evidence in themselves that this is the trend.

But what Taq said also needs an answer:
[Taq] Yes, and that mechanism is natural selection. By comparing the same endosymbiont across several lineages you can determine the substitution rate (i.e. fixed mutation rate) over time. The substitution rate decreases over time indicating that more and more mutations were selected against over time. The strongest candidate for negative selection is deleterious mutations.
I'm glad to hear it, as that means there is some protection against the inexorable processes that are leading to extinction. God knows what He is doing. However, there is a negative to this of course, which I'll get to.

I'd also point out, however, that since this sort of study can of course only be done in the present (though it is usually rashly assumed that what they see now has always been the case), any increase over time in the processes that produce deleterious mutations isn't going to be noticed. But we DO know that thousands of genetic diseases exist in the human gene pool. There's also a blindness that is due to the theory itself: Evolutionism believes -- it's ASSUMED, not KNOWN -- that the MAIN thrust of mutations is in the creative direction so they don't think the disease list means a lot and just don't look in the direction that might show their errors. But from the creationist perspective it means a GREAT deterioration from the initial perfection of living things.
[Taq continues] The creationist model assumes steady accumulation of deleterious mutations across the entire population, but the evidence in the paper above argues against that. The evidence suggests that the population only carries a certain amount of deleterious mutations, and that any additional deleterious mutations that occur are selected against and do not spread in the population like the slightly deleterious mutations that occurred before them
DOES the creationist model assume this? Seems to me we've OBSERVED that there has been quite an accumulation of deleterious mutations -- in fact, in reality. This isn't an assumption. Of course this is good news that they don't spread as much as one might expect, but keep in mind that selecting out such negatives either means the failure to reproduce, OR the death of individuals who carry them. That's good in the abstract, for the total population and for the slowing down of such negatives therein, but death itself -- or even the failure to reproduce -- isn't good news and in itself is evidence for the overall deterioration of life due to the Fall.

The MAIN reason we can expect deterioration over time, in the genome and in our physical capacities, and in all other living things, isn't any particular mechanism such as deleterious mutations, but DEATH. Death over time eventually eliminates genetic possibilities -- from ALL living populations. The GREAT DEATH at the Flood, which is so dramatically represented in the "fossil record," wiped out an amazing multitude of variations that no longer exist. Evolutionists like to arrange those varieties in hierarchies as evidence for descent of one from another, but in reality they all co-existed as variations at the same time, and all died together in the Flood.

Living things now are continuing to survive on a drastically reduced genetic potential, even occasionally approaching such genetic depletion that no further variation is possible -- witness my favorite example, the cheetah. Such is the God-given vitality of life that life continues nevertheless, but if we could see what it was like before the Flood I think we'd be awestruck at the variety and the strength and powers of all living things, and especially human beings.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The ToE has been Falsified many times over but residents of Wonderland need not notice; and a note about forensics

I keep thinking I'm going to run out of interest in the evolution debate again soon or just run out of topics to keep me going, but EvC is a goldmine of such topics at the moment. Somehow I'd overlooked this thread inviting Potential Falsifications of the Theory of Evolution .

As I've been saying so frequently lately, all Evolution has is Hypotheses, it has no other credentials from the Scientific Method, it's nothing but a subjectively elaborated mental exercise in the end. THEREFORE it cannot be falsified. But by asking for falsification they give the illusion that it is science and that it's those who can't come up with an ironclad falsification who are at fault, not the theory.

Again, this is a competition of hypotheses, it's a matter of judgment calls not science, not any of the methods of science. Creationists have the better hypotheses and the better judgment calls but since it's all a matter of who believes which system this can forever go unnoticed. It's all a matter of who has the power and Old Earth and Evolution have the power.

The geologic timetable is laughable and without it the foundations of evolutionary theory are destroyed but they don't need to notice because there is no way to scientifically prove or disprove any of this. The Flood beautifully and elegantly accounts for all the phenomena that are so awkwardly and ridiculously interpreted by evolutionists as time periods, the disparate layers undisturbed until all were in place, for instance, but this need not be noticed because there is no way to scientifically prove or disprove it one way or the other, It remains observation and hypothesis. It SHOULD falsify evolution just because it's a better explanation, the observation is rational as evolution's is not, and the hypothesis makes sense while evolution's is a weird concoction, but since they are deluded that any of this has anything to do with the Scientific Method they've protected themselves from ever having to recognize it.

The fossil record is beautifully explained by the worldwide Flood, as there is no other way so many living things could have been buried so as to meet the conditions for fossilization, and the immense variety of fossilized life forms, many of which no longer exist, is completely in keeping with the Biblical record of the Flood, but again, since there is no way to scientifically prove this no matter how much more reasonable an explanation it is than the geo timetable /evolution explanation, they can go on blindly in their delusion. Again, this SHOULD falsify evolution just because it's a better explanation, but since they require creationists to meet impossible criteria that they themselves can't even meet, though they think they do, alas, they can sustain their fantasy by aggressive ridicule and flat-out assertion forever.

And then there is the genetic delusion as well, that mutations just keep on a-building the genetic code although the evidence in hand is clearly against this assumption -- and it is, as usual, nothing BUT an assumption, again at best a hypothesis, upheld by belief in it, not evidence. The evidence shows that in small populations genetic deterioration is the norm, but they still believe that in bigger populations mutation saves the day although there is NO evidence for this and simply studying the DNA in ring species would show their assumption to be wrong.

All these things falsify the Theory of Evolution but since the Theory of Evolution is constructed out of pure fantasy like the Emperor's New Clothes, they simply can't see the falsification because their fantasy is so beautiful and so real -- really, so NECESSARY -- to them.

Interesting, a contributor to that same thread, named Michael McBride, has said pretty much what I've said above but unfortunately instead of keeping to the particulars of evolution he went way back to the origin of the universe to make his point. It's the same point, which is that the past is not subject to the Scientific Method, so that all evolution can be is a theory / hypothesis (so is Creationism but it's the better hypothesis and we have a written document on our side too). Alas, the poor lock-step pedantic evolutionists aren't going to give him the slightest benefit of the doubt. I suppose, to be fair, that they can't, simply because they ARE locked into their assumptions and their false belief that SCIENCE has anything to do with any of this.

Sorry, Michael McBride. Good try. Start a blog. It's wonderful for exploring the truths that the world rejects.

Oh but then a bunch of them jumped on him with all their smug pedantic irrelevant pronouncements about how it's not just that the ToE can't be proven, it's that science itself can't be proven, falsely implying that the ToE is science. Some science IS proven, if not to the unrealizable perfection these pedants keep insisting on, at least proven in a way the ToE can never be proven, because real science is subject to the Scientific Method while the ToE is not, and Newton's law IS an example of real science. The ToE simply IS NOT SCIENCE and IS "just a theory" in a sense Newton's Law is not, but they'll NEVER EVER stop to see how that is true, they'll just go on with their prissy definitional / credal chants on the word "theory" and miss the whole reality.

Anyway, here's another bit of Evo pedantry, or sophistry, that needs to be taken down, by subbie in Post #71:
There is no way to Observe the origin of the universe
There is nothing preventing us from observing the evidence left behind from the origin of the universe and develop scientific theories based on those observations. In the exact same way, there's nothing preventing us from observing the evidence left behind from the history of life on this planet and develop scientific theories based on that evidence.
Right, you can make those observations and you can develop theories / hypotheses about them, both about the origin of the universe and about the history of life on this planet, AND THAT IS THE END OF WHAT YOU CAN DO SCIENTIFICALLY.

You CANNOT TEST THEM because you cannot REPLICATE them, you cannot do EXPERIMENTS to prove or disprove them. The only conclusions and consensus you can achieve are purely a matter of subjective persuasion, politics, NOT SCIENCE. You cannot, in a word, subject them fully to the Scientific Method. You are left ONLY with your theories in the end, and with theory in a sense that Newton's Laws were not, or that Einstein's were not, or any of the rest of the "hard" sciences whose propositions are testable and replicable, because they CAN apply the Scientific Method in full and others can replicate their work.

It's irrelevant that new data might eventually change the scientific picture in those cases, because what is in hand CAN BE SUBJECTED TO THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD and valid conclusions can be drawn to the extent of current knowledge; but THAT CANNOT BE DONE WITH THE PAST, whether with the history of life on the planet or with the origin of the universe and it is sheer delusion that the scientific method applies here as applies to the laws of physics. If you apply what you know about the present to the past you are making an unwarranted leap of pure blind assumption because you have no way of knowing how different the past might have been.

If you'd just PAY ATTENTION to what Creationists have been TRYING to say forever, and really THINK about it instead of just rattling off your nitpicking objections and your canned creeds, you might NOTICE that we are saying something you need to hear.

But I won't hold my breath.

And on a similar point, let's see if we can put to rest another bit of sophistry that keeps coming up in this regard, the idea that criminal forensics is the right scientific model:
Why can't the origin of the Universe be observed?
time travel hasn't been invented yet
Police solve crimes that have no eyewitnesses all the time. Things that have actually happened leave evidence behind.
First it needs to be pointed out when you resort to forensics for your model that you are abandoning classic Scientific Method -- you know, the observation-hypothesis-conclusion-testability-replicability-falsifiability-consensus model. I probably got some of that out of order but you get the idea. Forensics is a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT investigative model. So which is it, Scientific Method or Forensics?

Well, the Scientific Method cannot be applied to questions about the UNWITNESSED past.

So let's see if the Forensics method can be.

You say the crime leaves evidence behind. And so do events in the very distant unwitnessed past. So far so similar. Maybe we're on the way to abandoning the Scientific Method conceit if nothing else.

However, there are huge clues available to criminal forensics that are not available to the study of the distant past because the crime occurred in a present in which other crimes are known. The investigator can't perform tests to be replicated, but he can count on other cases he's studied for clues, hundreds of them. He can remember and usually go back and read about all those in which similar patterns are discernible. There is no such thing for the distant past, there are no anchor points, you are in completely unknown territory.

The criminal investigator can make reasonable guesses amounting to assumptions about the habits and motivations of people who live in his own time and place. This isn't the case for the investigator of the distant past. Even the historically known past can't be approached without a lot of study of history, and then your own experience often has to be set aside in order to understand situations that are radically unfamiliar in your own contexts. Then when you are studying a past that has not been recorded in history at all (except of course in the Bible which you all discount), the origin of species for instance, you have nothing to go on. Nothing. As far as observation is concerned, Natural Selection takes you no further than microevolution, known for millennia, you have only unverifiable/unfalsifiable assumption that makes the leap to macroevolution.

The criminal investigator is most likely familiar with any objects that happen to occur in connection with the crime and if he's not he has sources of information he can go to for help. Even human artifacts from the distant historical past may take lifetimes of study to comprehend and there is no guarantee that they will ever be understood. But even the creatures found in the fossil record are different from what we are familiar with today and we have NO examples of fossilization on such a scale, or sedimentary layering on such a scale, and no matter how much we know about DNA in the present, all extrapolations to the past are pure guesswork since we don't know how different DNA may be now from what it was thousands of years ago. YOu think you have an objective measure in various atomic dating methods but how can you when you can't know anything about how THEY behave in the past either? EVERYTHING you assume about the past is ONLY an assumption and not subject to the methods of science so not falsifiable, and forensics methods can't offer any more reliable information either.

I'm sure I can come up with more differences that make the forensics model just as useless to justifying evolution as the scientific method but I'm getting tired and this should go a long way to making the point as is.

However, I do think creationists do better forensic reasoning about the distant past than evolutionists do. More later.

Once again: The natural processes that bring about "evolution" have a natural end point

Another round proposed to address the ongoing question, What prevents micro evolution from becoming macro evolution?

This is what I argued at EvC off and on from my very first post: What is called "evolution" is merely the variations that occur in species of living things from generation to generation, a phenomenon which has been known from the beginning of history and exploited by farmers and husbandmen all that time to maximize chosen qualities in their animals and plants.

Yet a century and a half ago some decided to pretend this well-known phenomenon isn't limited to each of the species but is open-ended so that species may keep on varying into other species over time. The same processes that ALWAYS brought about the variations, simple sexual reproduction for starters but also selection processes that isolate portions of a population from the rest, including what came to be called Natural Selection, were now made to justify the claim that all species come from former species.

As I've said before here many times, this is an hypothesis, fine, but it cannot be proved and has never been proved.

As for the question what prevents micro-evolution from becoming macro-evolution, it's the simple fact, a fact which is testable and falsifiable, that the processes that bring about new variations require the elimination of competing genetic potentials until a particular "evolving" line of a population may end up quite a striking variation in itself, highly specialized but with no further ability to evolve at all, even with fixed loci and no ability to breed with the mother population, no genetic options to develop in its own line.

Soon as someone gets around to making the necessary test, either in the field or in the laboratory, I have no doubt this will be demonstrated.

Meanwhile, yes, it is just an hypothesis, just as their answer is: oh but MUTATIONS enter in to prevent this kind of dead-end fixation of genetic variation. Based on what? On observation? Nope, never seen this, it's merely assumed. On testability? Nope. Just stuff with bacteria that have not been shown to have any bearing on this development in sexually reproducing animals. Nope, it's all purely hypothetical, yet as usual they assert it as if it were fact.

The fact is that IF mutations DID keep interfering with the isolating processes that are necessary to developing new variations / or species, you'd never GET new variations or species, you'd just get a continuing hodgepodge of genes that keep on blending back into the general species characteristics and never differentiating. NOT evolution.

Nope, the natural processes that bring about variation -- mistaken for open-ended evolution -- NATURALLY lead to genetic depletion. Conservationists know this only too well and it is an endless headache to them. It's the natural built-in mechanism for variation to occur within species but undesirable as well as desirable variations may be the result of random natural processes.

If death had never entered the world back in Eden, life forms would simply continue to vary and genetic depletion would not be a problem, merely a mechanism for variation, exhibiting the creative potentials of life in wondrous ways. But since death entered, all life is gradually approaching extinction -- some ways off yet I trust -- and the natural isolating processes that bring about variations only speed up its approach.

That's my answer and I stand by it. But here's another on that same thread I link above, from another creationist, who takes them up on their mutations theory:
I'll put it in the most basic form I can think of.
Both groups observe Mutations happening. Both group realize that these muations are copying errors during the transcription of the genetic code.

Both groups will observe that some of these mutations will become fixed in a population. This is what both will call micro-evolution

Both group will observe that therefore, these copying errors will accumulate in a population, driven sometimes by factors such as natural selection, but also sometimes simply through genetic drift.

But each group has a different opinion on the eventual outcome of all this accumulation of mutations:

- Neo-Darwinian evolutionists will say that these will accumulate to the point that new features, organs, etc. will appear in the population, showing an ever evolving and changing trend in biological populations. This is what they will cal macro-evolution.

- Creationists will say that these will accumulate to the point that the mutational burden will become much too high, and this will lead the population down a spiralling path to genetic meltdown. Macro-evolution will therefore never happen.

Creationist will often complain when evolutionist use examples of micro-evolution to prove that macro-evolution will happen, because it simply does not discard the possibility that accumulating mutations could lead to genetic meltdown.
Translation: To the extent that mutations ARE observed happening, they do not supply the kind of positive variations that evolutionists assume (and cannot demonstrate). The actual evidence is that mutations overall play a destructive role, either by replacing a functioning part of the genetic code with non-coding gobbledygook, or by actually coding for something harmful. Very very occasionally the harmful change may happen to have a beneficial side effect but it's always a trade-off. This is not the kind of upward-and-onward life vigor that the theory of evolution requires. In other words, one way or another mutations only contribute to the death processes that the Fall introduced.


And along come the evolutionist answers of course:

Starting with Percy :
This isn't an accurate characterization of what evolutionary biologists say. Through natural selection, deleterious mutations are removed and advantageous mutations retained. It is advantageous mutations (and to be more complete, also mostly neutral mutations) that accumulate, not all mutations.
- Creationists will say that these will accumulate to the point that the mutational burden will become much too high, and this will lead the population down a spiralling path to genetic meltdown. Macro-evolution will therefore never happen.
Because your characterization of the position of evolutionary biologists was incomplete, this characterization of the position of creationists fails to address the fact that deleterious mutations are removed from populations by natural selection and are not included among the mutations that accumulate.
Sure sounds good in theory. In actuality it appears that genetic diseases accumulate in the population faster than they are removed. And that is just a partial list of all the genetic diseases too.
There are thousands of genetic disorders in humans. Some are common whereas quite a few are rare. Whatever be their incidence, what is most vexing about these disorders is that scientists are still trying to find cures for these disorders. While some headway has been made in the direction, a lot more research is required.
THOUSANDS. THOUSANDS. Documented thousands of deleterious mutations that DIDN'T get selected out and continue to plague their possessors. And meanwhile the notion that it's the advantageous mutations that accumulate as Percy states above, has NO evidence for it WHATEVER, it is purely an assumption based on the theory that says it must be that way. Another Hypothesis that cannot be tested, alas.

But all those genetic diseases are sure a reality. Wonder how that happened if it's advantageous mutations that accumulate but deleterious ones don't? Oh I'm sure they have a rationalization, of course, they're good at that, but the plain facts OUGHT to make the party line spelled out above a laughing stock.


But then Wounded King comes through with some common sense and agrees with what I say above, that the reality doesn't meet the theory as Percy states it, a common sense he does occasionally show in spite of his diehard evolutionist commitment:
[Percy] Because your characterization of the position of evolutionary biologists was incomplete, this characterization of the position of creationists fails to address the fact that deleterious mutations are removed from populations by natural selection and are not included among the mutations that accumulate.
[WK] I'm not sure why you think this. There is plenty of pop. gen. and comparative genetic evidence for fixation of deleterious mutations. Certainly the trends for beneficial and deleterious mutations are as you desribe, but in the real world there is plenty of evidence of deleterious mutations accumulating.

The real question is, as Slevesque posits, whether such mutations are balanced by compensating beneficial mutations or conversely whether organismal fitness is in an irreversible decline, for which there is no evidence except in some organisms with drastically reduced population sizes.
At least there IS that evidence, and as I keep saying it would not be hard to get the evidence that it is generally the case wherever selection and isolating processes are operating, however less drastically. Collect a good number of samples from various populations of a ring species, or set up your own ring species in a laboratory, and look at their DNA, and you'll get the necessary evidence. But at least there IS that much evidence from the drastically reduced populations, and there is NO evidence WHATEVER that BENEFICIAL mutations accumulate, NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE. ALL they have is the THEORY which tells them that they MUST and they believe it to the point of declaring that it actually occurs in reality when there is NO evidence for it. They will call creationists all kinds of names for suggesting that they don't have evidence because they really have deluded themselves that they do.


Then WK goes on to chide the creationist for not getting all his terminology accurate. Oh come on, if you want to talk to molecular biologists then stop talking to creationists, we do the best we can to get the terminology straight, and beyond that it's your obligation as the expert to translate if necessary. We'll learn that way but not by being told we have to get a degree in the relevant science first. It's clear that you DO understand what slevesque was saying and are only nitpicking about the words to pull rank. The important thing is the topic. Clarify if you really don't understand, but it's clear that you do, WK, so cut the guff.


And a last point for this thread: Coyote chimes in mentioning a creationist, Sanford, who argues that the genome is deteriorating. I didn't know about this man, but obviously he is on the right track. If I can ever afford it I'll get his book, but that will be a while the way things are going lately.

Here's the Wikipedia article on John C. Sanford :
Sanford has written a book entitled Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome (2005)[3] in which he claims that the genome is deteriorating and therefore could not have evolved in the way specified by the Modern evolutionary synthesis. Sanford's claims have received little attention from the scientific community. Sanford has published two peer reviewed papers modeling genetic entropy.[4][5]
And here's his book at Amazon . There's a great review of it by someone who calls himself Saint and Sinner, posted in December 2006. Here's an excerpt:

Chapter 2
Here is where we start getting into the analysis of NDET [Neo-Darwinian Evolutionary Theory]. Sanford discusses the statistical distribution of mutational effects (i.e. the magnitude of good and bad mutations affecting fitness) and their frequency. Sanford points out a number of differences between NDET and reality:

A. NDET posits that most mutations are neutral. However, Sanford argues that there is no such thing as a truly "neutral" mutation. Rather, most mutations are "near-neutral" (whether increasing fitness or decreasing fitness). Even a single point-nucleotide mutation in a minor area of the genome disrupts the genetic code to some degree (no matter how small). This is key for the rest of his book.

B. The naïve view of mutational distribution is a bell curve (though many Darwinists recognize that the actual distribution found in nature is nothing like it). The real distribution is a Kimura curve (named after the *Darwinist* population geneticist who created it) where the *vast* majority of the curve is near-neutral. Sanford notes that if the normal distribution (i.e. "bell curve") was true, then an increase in complexity would be inevitable. However, with the Kimura curve, it is hard to see any substantial increase in fitness "getting off the ground" so-to-speak. [note: "naive" means theoretical, hypothetical, pure assumption, untested; "real" means what has been observed in reality. Clearly tons of evolutionary theory is a mere assumption or reification of theory that is untested. AS I KEEP SAYING.]

C. NDET acknowledges that most mutations are harmful, but doesn't suggest that the ratio is so small as to never allow an increase in fitness that would affect a population. Contrary to that assumption, the actual ratio, as noted by the population geneticists (most of whom are Darwinists!) whom Sanford cites, is so small that population geneticists don't even place the beneficiary curve on the distribution graph! The ratio that Sanford cites (again, from the population geneticists) is between 10,000 to 1,000,000 harmful mutations for every one beneficial (though probably closer to the former figure rather than the latter). Sanford chooses to be conservative, and for the rest of the book, he assumes the 10k ratio. Keep this in mind when the next point is cited.

D. NDET assumes that natural selection will take out all of the bad mutations and leave only the good (notice that that was a near quote of Darwin himself). However, citing the population geneticist, Kimura, for support, Sanford notes that there is a "zone of near-neutrality" on both the beneficial and harmful sides of the curve in which natural selection doesn't select for or against. This is due to the fact that most mutations are point-nucleotide mutations. These only cause an ever-so-slight decrease in fitness that natural selection can't "see" them 99% of the time. It would be like a single pixel on your television screen going out. Would you really be able to tell a difference? Furthermore, since the beneficiary mutations curve is so small (see point C. above), the "zone of near-neutrality" (a.k.a. the "no-selection box") covers 99% of the beneficiary mutation side of the distribution! This ensures that natural selection will never see 99% of the good mutations while allowing the bad (which are vastly greater in number) to accumulate. Thus, the genome will suffer from "genetic entropy" (and hence the title of the book).

Now, a typical reply (which is, in fact, found below in one of the negative reviews) is that biologists have witnessed and documented such beneficiary mutations that have given great benefit to organisms in their environment. However, many biologists are becoming aware that the vast majority of these changes in phenotype are due to "pre-programmed" changes in the genome, not random ones as NDET demands. Secondly, as Sanford points out in Appendix 4, many of these "beneficial" mutations actually end up giving the organism a net decrease in fitness (as in the case of homeostasis in cold-climate creatures to warm climates or drug-resistant bacteria) making them deleterious in reality!

Sounds to me like Sanford is right on, the bias-blinded Scientific Community's prejudices notwithstanding.