Monday, November 26, 2012

More on UK Creationism

Turns out there are Creationist organizations in the UK, such as the Biblical Creation Society which is described by Wikipedia as ===
... a United Kingdom-based creationist organisation founded in 1977 by Scottish minister Nigel M. de S. Cameron and a group of evangelical students, who were concerned about the popularity of theistic evolution among conservative Christians, but were repelled by the "wholly negative" attitude of the Evolution Protest Movement. Although inspired by the scientific creationism of John C. Whitcomb and Henry M. Morris (authors of The Genesis Flood), it refused to limit its membership to only Young Earth creationists, and in its name rejected American attempts to separate scientific creationism from its Biblical roots (a separation rendered unnecessary by the lack of constitutional barriers to teaching creationism in the United Kingdom).[1] The organisation is based in Rugby, Warwickshire.
I'm not entirely sure what this paragraph is saying (in whose name rejected what?) but I gather at least that their beliefs are disputed by other creationist organizations.

Here's another UK-based organization called Biblical Creation Ministries which the site explains is an offshoot of the organization above. This one is headed up by Paul Garner, whose talk on the Grand Canyon I've embedded in the post below.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

British creationist Paul Garner's analysis of the Grand Canyon as Evidence for the Flood

OK, I think I'm going to post some creationist stuff that I like for a change. My main use of my blog is for thinking things through for myself because that's FUN and I think I've come up with some good stuff in spite of my obvious handicaps and amateur status. Most of it ends up being in accord with creationist thinking out there and that's certainly a good sign but I also have the chutzpah to think I have some original ideas of my own. Well, that's a lot of what makes it fun.

I've been watching this film at You Tube of a talk by creationist Paul Garner about the formation of the Grand Canyon. GREAT talk. You'll never find this sort of information at EvC.

The talk is all about the evidence in the Grand Canyon for catastrophic deposition of the layers as opposed to deposition over hundreds of millions of years.

He presents a creationist division of the layers into pre-Flood, which is the Precambrian or basement rocks of the Canyon, Flood-deposited, which is the main body of the strata above that to the rim at the Kaibab Plateau, and post-Flood, which is those strata which can be seen in the Grand Staircase but no longer exist over the Grand Canyon. (I was very happy to see him affirm that the layers that constitute the Grand Staircase to the north are understood to have originally covered the Grand Canyon area as well.) 

This dividing of the layers into time units is the sort of system I've always found hard to accept because I see no difference in the presentation of the layers themselves to the naked eye that would suggest any reason to attribute different mechanisms of deposition to them. But the "PreCambrian" basement rocks do present a different appearance so I can see how they can be thought of as a separate kind of deposition that pre-existed the Flood.  .

He organizes his talk to address five kinds of evidence demonstrated in the canyon for its formation by the Flood of Noah:
  1. Fossils of marine organizsms high above sea level
  2. Rapid burial of fossil organisms
  3. Extraordinary extent of the sedimentary rock layers
  4. Rapid or no erosion between the layers
  5. Many strata deposited in rapid succession
On the subject of rapid burial of fossil organisms, item No. 2, he spends quite a bit of time on the nautiloid layer in the Redwall Limestone, spelling out the research by Steve Austin on that layer that demonstrates that the nautiloids had to have been rapidly buried. 

On No. 3 He gives the evidence of the enormous horizontal extent of the different layers, the lowest Tapeats sandstone that rests on the basement unconformity, for instance, extending across the entire continent of the US and up through Canada, also being found on other continents although he doesn't give an illustration of that. Same with the Redwall Limestone, which has an enormous range across the North American continent, and he mentions that the same basic formation can be found in England as well. The Coconino sandstone covers the Southwest into Colorado and Texas, as deep as 800 feet in some places. Such a huge extent of the layers is evidence that they were not laid down by any processes known to be occurring today, which is the usual claim.

Addressing No. 4 he points out the knife-edge contact between some layers conventionally explained as unconformities which assumes there to be layers missing between them.  He also discusses the erosion between the Great Unconformity and the lowest horizontal layer that rests on it, the Tapeats sandstone, as having to have been PHYSICAL erosion. He says there is no evidence of the chemical erosion of weathering that would have occurred if the lower layer had been exposed as land surface for millions of years, which is the usual theory, and he shows an embedded boulder that suggests the erosion was caused by a rapid catastrophic debris flow that "simultaneously broke up and transported blocks of the underlying precambrian rocks in a matrix of sandstone."

I've had my own theory about this boundary as the level at which the force of the underground volcano along with the tectonic force which triggered it, met the resisting weight of the more-than-two-mile depth of wet layers that were at that time all laid out above. I see this collision of forces as having formed the basement rock, including the metamorphic rock or schist and of course the granite, and the Great Unconformity itself, all confined beneath the stack above under great heat and pressure, the force being enough to uplift the stack above into its current position, cracking the uppermost layers which permitted the rushing in of the water which scoured out the canyon.

EVIDENCE that the strata were all in place when the uplift occurred is the fact that the strata conform to the curved sides of the uplift instead of butting into them, which is what would have happened if they'd been laid down at any time afterward.  THEREFORE the tectonic-volcanic action that caused the uplift came after all the strata had been deposited, or at or after the end of the Flood.

The abrasion at the boundary between the basement rocks and the Tapeats layer would have been violent in the extreme, easily accounting for the kind of erosion he's talking about.

His analysis is great just as it stands, but I still like my explanation for how the canyon got cut in the first place as a result of the tectonic-volcanic uplift from beneath, which also explains how the uppermost layers got broken up and washed away, their also being the major agent of the scouring of the canyon as they went, and it's also another way of explaining the erosion between the Tapeats and the Precambrian rocks that he explains in terms of a catastrophic debris flow. His explanation has a different cause and different timing but is the same kind of violent physical action I pictured.

He observes that the bend in the whole stack of strata over the East Kaibab Monocline is evidence for their simultaneous deposition, which I've also observed in north-south diagrams of the conformation of the whole stack over the uplift. The conformation of the strata as a whole stack to any such curve is evidence for rapid deposition. So I'm showcasing this as both a great well documented thoroughly scientific presentation of the evidence for the Flood that is so nicely exhibited in the Grand Canyon, and a confirmation of some of my own ponderings on the subject.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Evolution theory as God's judgment? Hutton and Darwin as God's judgment?

Why isn't evolution yielding at all to the arguments against it?  I got to pondering this recently.  On the one hand I think Why should it?  The arguments against it aren't really very good when you look at the whole range of creationism out there, especially when you look at the creationist arguments at a site like EvC.  But on the other hand I do think there are some very good arguments that should be compelling, should cause some stopping and thinking even among people committed to evolution, instead of the predictable wall of objections. 

After some thoughts about how the nation is under judgment, that I wrote about last night, the idea that evolutionary science itself is judgment started forming more clearly in my mind.  Our current political situation is God's judgment, and it's judgment first of all on the Church for our compromises, as Chris Pinto was talking about the last couple of days, compromises with the apostate churches, the false churches that teach a distorted gospel, with pseudoChristianity such as Mormonism, with Catholicism, compromises that come down to a failure to separate ourselves from the world and from false teachers, a failure, in a word, to maintain holiness.  So if evolution is judgment it too is judgment on the Church.

And some things I've written here before pretty much say that.  The creationist explanations in geology and biology in Hutton's day and later in Darwin's day were not biblical, explanations for the fossils and the Flood for instance, and later particularly the idea that God went on creating new species long after the Bible says He rested from His creative work.  Such denials of His word would in themselves be enough explanation for why He allowed Hutton to come along with an idea about an old earth that completely eclipsed the Biblical timetable of a young earth, and why He later allowed Darwin to come along and answer the unbiblical notions about species formation with his denial of the Biblical account of God's creation of the separate Kinds, and his supposed evidence that man was made in the image of animals rather than God.

I think we should think of these developments as God's judgment on the Church along with the subsequent developments that have only entrenched these ideas all the more firmly in the scientific and public mind.  And if that's what they are then creationists need not so much to keep producing arguments that challenge the scientific establishment but repentance from our abandonment of God's truth.

The creationism I've seen at EvC is a serious breach of God's revelation.  How many of the people there who argue on the side of creationism are really Christians is a question to begin with but most of them present themselves as Christian even if they believe some awfully distorted ideas of what the Bible teaches.  Their arguments deny the timing that's given in the Bible and some of them get into some really bizarre ideas that have to relation whatever to anything biblical OR scientific.  But I don't keep up with them for that reason, so I can't really characterize them except to say that a departure from a biblical perspective is the norm among creationsts at EvC, and there's where repentance should start.

It should be expressed in identification with the corporate church as a whole, all of us praying as one body no matter who in particular is guilty of what aspect of the problem, but as if we all are guilty as the corporate church.   I think we all need to stop arguing for anything at all, which certainly applies to me, stop saying anything at all, just stop and seek the Lord and pray for His will to be revealed and we all be brought into conformity with it.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

BBC Video Part 2: a whale on the ark, a chimp, skulls, dinosaurs, bacteria etc.

I'm just going to tick off the rest of my objections to the ridiculous excuse for a "scientific" presentation in that video, Creationism Road Trip,.

They got evolution writer Jerry Coyne to answer the claims about Noah's ark as being able to contain all the animals.  The usual stupid misrepresentation is the assumption that all the creatures called "species" TODAY would have been on the ark, which is ridiculous.   All the supposedly new "species" since the ark are really just what used to be called varieties, or breeds.  Yes, even when they can no longer breed with the parent population.  So there have been 4300 years during which the various creatures on the ark have split into many new populations of varieties or breeds, hundreds in some cases from the few represented there.

So I have no idea where Coyne got his claim that it would have had to accommodate "16,000 animals"  but since that number has to be made up of breeds that developed since the ark, in the dozens to hundreds to possibly thousands in some cases, and probably even including sea creatures (which were not taken on the ark), or even plants, since I've seen them listed as species in other debates on this subject, the number is bogus.

But the stupidest thing said in this connection was his "challenge" about how a WHALE could have been accommodated on the ark.  

Creatures that live in the water were NOT accommodated on the ark.   Why would they need to be?  And why didn't any of the creationists know that?  They all looked a bit stunned it seemed to me.  Maybe the idea was just too absurd.  Or maybe they were just intimidated, as in "This guy is a hotshot scientist, so maybe he knows something we don't."

A main problem with this film is that they got "creationists" who don't know much, apparently either about science or about the Bible.  So they should have confronted them with science students rather than professors if they had any interest in being fair and balanced. 

So no whales on the ark.  Duh.

Then there was the idiotic presentation of a chimp as human ancestor and the focus was on how everybody FEELS about being related to a chimp.  When I believed in evolution I had no objections whatever.  Why would I?  I believed it so I accepted it, hardly gave it a thought.  Who CARES how anybody FEELS about such a thing?  This is supposed to be SCIENCE, so the questions should be about claims that we ARE related.

We aren't.

Bacteria at some sort of fountain in the desert was supposed to prove WHAT?    Scratch that one, it made no sense whatever.


The interpretation of evolution through those supposedly pre-human to human skulls, that were found in the fossil order from least to most human from the bottom up, depends on the assumption that the fossil order represents TIME.    But if it only represents the fossil contents of layering as a result of the Flood then the position of all the skulls is accidental.


I was recently reminded that according to the Bible people ate no meat until after the Flood.  While I've never seen any problem with humans occupying the planet with dinosaurs since we share it with other predators, but still it would be easier to live together if they also ate no meat.  They were originally created to eat plants, and it's not clear when they became meat-eaters, at the Fall which was the first drastic change in the world, or after the Flood when people also started to eat meat. 


If such an excursion is to make any sense at all it should involve people who are both STRONG Bible believers and know a fair amount about science as well.  Getting together a bunch of average Christians who have been taught a smattering of creationism, not a lot of Bible, no science, and have no experience with the debate about these things, proves nothing at all.

JoJo is no Bible believer, she's for gay rights and easily caved in the face of the so-called "evidence" because she really doesn't know the Bible.  She has a sentimental form of "Christianity" which isn't Christianity at all. 

Bronwyn seems to have a strong faith but not necessarily a lot of Bible knowledge.  NOBODY carried a Bible that I noticed, I thought that telling.  She has the right attitude, however, that when you know the Bible is God's word you know the evidence against it is false.

Phil seems like a strong believer but he didn't seem to know any science or even have much of a grip on the usual creationist arguments.  He's right that it's not fair to pit an evolutionist geologist against a bunch of nonscientists.

I couldn't make much out of Sam.  Except the sense that he like Bronwyn was depending more on a determined grip on a blind faith than on a real grasp of either Christian principles or science.

Ahmed made some good points.  He was right to say the skull argument was nothing but conjecture even in the face of the claim that it's "evidence."  Because the assumption that the fossil record reflects millions of years of time is conjecture.

BBC video attempt to undermine creationist faith, Part 1, HOW THE FLOOD CREATED THE GRAND CANYON

There's a thread up at EvC to discuss a BBC-produced video, Creationism Road Trip, about an attempt to present five British creationists with scientific evidence for evolution, by taking them on a bus trip to various locations in western America where scientists present their case for evolution and against creationism.  The creationists are five "fundamentalists," made up of four Christians and one Muslim. 

The poster found the video to be "both entertaining and enlightening."  I watched it and found it to be a maddeningly misbegotten project. 

The first leg of the trip is from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon and is titled
Theory One:  The Grand Canyon Was Made By Noah's Flood, in which creationist Phil is to be confronted about his belief that the canyon was formed by the Flood of Noah something over 4000 years ago.  Phil has made it clear that he believes the Bible is THE authority on all things.

At the rim of the Canyon the five creationists and the producer are met by geologist Don Prothero who starts out by rather defensively informing them that he's a scientist and that scientists "deal only with natural forces and things that we can observe and test in nature."

He goes on to say
You can see the layers of the Earth piled up one on top of another in a place like this better than just about anywhere else.  Immense amounts of time are required to deposit that, cement it into hard sandstone and shale, tilt it, erode it.  Your miniman estimate is hundreds of millions of years.
What's wrong with this is something I've covered many times and I'm still astonished that people think it makes sense that thousands of square miles of flat horizontal sediments could have been built up over long periods of time and not show any sign of disturbance of their relatively neat straight horizontality.  Oh except the teeny bit of "erosion" between the layers that almost requires a microscope to see it, which is really laughable when you think about what REAL erosion does to land in even only one year.  One rain will make gullies in a flat field.  There are no gullies in these slabs of rock.  They'd be visible to the naked eye.  The sediment above would have settled into them.  No, the joints between the layers are straight and flat.  So they say well they were deposited under water.  Well, yes they were, all at once, one on top of another over at the maximum a few months during the Flood.  Not over hundreds of millions of years.

Phil the creationist then remarks that the scientist holds the assumptions of naturalism and uniformitarianism and Prothero answers that all scientists share those assumptions and that creationists aren't scientists, so Phil doesn't pursue that line further.

The producer then says that as he understands it, creationists believe the Canyon was created by the Flood of Noah.  They all agree and Maxwell paraphrases Prothero's answer:
If the Biblical Flood really did create the Grand Canyon, it would need to have carved out curved valleys, like here at Horseshoe Bend.  Don thinks this is impossible because flood water cuts along straight lines.

Horseshoe Bend is a typical "meander," a sharp curve in a river that I read about some time ago, that is created by differing pressures in the running water due to small obtacles and whatever debris it is carrying, such that it cuts into the shore on one side and deposits the debris on the other, and this action forms the curve.  There is nothing about draining flood water that would prevent this typical formation from occurring. 

But Prothero thinks he's being very scientific when he says:

If your flood waters drain off they're going to drain off and form a sharp straight canyon, that's simple physics.
Doesn't it depend on the surface it's draining off, how much water there is and how much time it takes to drain off, what sort of obstacles the water meets along its path and what sorts of debris it picks up as it moves? 

He gets Phil to pour a bucket of water on a downsloping piece of ground and claims that is sufficient to demonstrate what a worldwide flood would do in the draining phase. 

This is a scientist?

Here's a satellite picture from Wikipedia showing that water running on a FLAT SURFACE doesn't just flow flat and straight:

For any kind of test, what is needed at the very least, and this would hardly be sufficient to represent the draining of a worldwide flood, is a continuous stream of water over a fairly long period of time, LOTS of water, not a mere bucket full that is rapidly exhausted.  If you don't have a way to produce a sheet of water, at least get a hose and let it run down that little slope for a while.  Even a sheet of water would encounter some obstacles that affect how it flows, and as soon as it carves any kind of shape in the surface the water will begin to follow that shape and that will change its speed and pressure at various places that will further shape the surface.  But use a hose at least and see if possibly it creates some meanders, which, according to what I've read on this subject, it could well do even on a flat surface.  Here's a You Tube video about how Meandering Rivers are created.   

Meanders such as created Horseshoe Bend are VERY likely to have occurred as the Flood waters drained. 

But I think what's needed to explain how the draining Flood waters carved the Grand Canyon is my very own observation that first a crack -- or more probably many cracks -- was opened in the upper strata, caused by the volcanic eruption beneath that area after the strata were laid down to at least a mile higher than the current rim of the canyon.  The volcanic eruption could have been brought about by tectonic movement but in any case the land, the stack of sediments recently laid down in the Flood, was upraised by the force.  The upraised land is shown on all diagrams of the area I've seen.  There is a sort of mound over the area and the canyon slices right into it.  Also shown on diagrams is the displacement of the lowest layers as the volcanic force pushes them up under the whole stack, and the intrusion of magma into them, showing the effect of the underground volcano. 

As I put it together, the upraising of the land would have cracked the uppermost layers and the still-standing Flood waters would then have poured into the cracks, widening them and washing down huge quantities of the sediments from the upper layers that had been in place until the volcanic disruption.  The first rush of that enormous quantity of water must have carved out a very wide area, and as the water slowed to a mere cataract flowing in from all sides of the gap it would have begun shaping the formations such as Horseshoe Bend, moving rapidly around the various islands of still-standing strata and carving them to their present shape and so on.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thread at EvC about DNA

Maybe nobody will see this, but want to report that I agreed to join in a thread at EvC that I proposed to Admin there, of questions I have about DNA, but I am unable to log in, and he hasn't yet responded to my email about that.  I assume he'll get to it eventually. 

So I'm not ignoring the thread, and I appreciate the response it's had so far.  I don't want to be there for debate, just to try to clear up some questions about DNA and Admin agreed to that.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Some ponderings on Darwin's views of domestic variation, showing again how the processes of evolution are naturally limited

In a copy of Darwin's Origin of Species that I have from 1979, a heavily abridged "coffee table" type book featuring lengthy commentary by Richard E. Leakey and lots of glossy pictures of animals, Leakey gives the following introduction to Chapter 3, Variation Under Domestication:
Darwin's idea that domestication can, in itself, cause greater variability to arise between individuals is now known to be wrong.  The greater varaibility which is seen in domesticated plants and animals is the result of their not having been subjected to natural selection which, if the environment is stable and the species well adapted, tends to eliminate those which depart from the norm.  Gene recombination and mutation are what give rise to variation, and these will occur at the same rate in the wild as under domestication.  But in the wild, variations will usually be far more ruthlessly weeded. out.
Thus goes the evolutionary explanation of 1979 and it sounds pretty familiar so I have no reason to think things have changed much if at all since then.  Of course he's right that Darwin was wrong to think domestication in itself causes greater variability than occurs in the wild, but his own explanation is just as wrong.  It's basically a recitation of The Creed, which is what an awful lot of evolutionist writing really comes down to.  "Not having been subjected to natural selection" is nothing but The Creed.  So is the inclusion of "mutation" in the explanation of what gives rise to variation.  Neither such drastic weeding by natural selection in the wild state, nor variation as the cause of such weeding, nor mutation as the basis for normal variation, is supported by actual evidence.  It's all speculative assertion.  The Creed.  Gene recombination, yes, that IS what gives rise to variation in both nature and under domestication, and yes, this WILL "occur at the same rate in the wild as under domesticatiom."  That much IS known for sure.

This topic particularly interests me because I've had my own explanation of how variation occurs for some time now, and it differs from both Darwin and Leakey's view, although it is quite compatible with some observations by evolutionists -- it just depends on which source you are reading. 

Darwin's discussions of variation, both in domestic plants and animals and in nature, are interesting because he had no knowledge whatever of genetics. Although Mendel was his contemporary, Mendel's studies of inheritance were not known until after both were dead.

So here's Darwin from this chapter:
When we compare the individuals of the same variety of our older cultivated plants and animals, one of the first points which strikes us is that they generally differ more from each other than do the individuals of any one species or variety in a state of nature.  And if we reflect on the vast diversity of the plants and animals which have been cultivated during all ages under the most different climates, we are driven to conclude that this greater variability is due to our domestic productions having been raised under conditions of life not so uniform as, and somewhat different from those to which the parent-species had been exposed under nature.  It seems clear that organic beings must be exposed during several generations to new conditions to cause any great amount of variation;  and that, when the organization has once begun to vary, it continues varying for many generations.  Our oldest cultivated plants, such as wheat, still yield new varieties;  our oldest domesticated animals are still capable of modification.
I'm sure breeders today could answer Darwin on this point if they were not brainwashed with the evolutionist notion of mutation as a major agent of change.  Genetic recombination explains it all quite nicely and all mutation does is interfere.  It may occasionally produce an unanticipated but benign anomaly (I'm not really convinced this happens though), and that could be exploited if one wanted it to be passed on, but it is hardly THE method that gives rise to variation, or even A method.

What brings about variation or change in the phenotype, change, that is, in the appearance or function of the creature itself, is REPRODUCTIVE ISOLATION.  Period.  Reproductive isolation simply means that a specific number of individuals of any species are separated from others of the same species and gathered together in an exclusive population of themselves alone, so that they only breed among themselves, and so that therefore their offspring carry only the genes and traits of the members of their relatively smallish circle, which over generations of such inbreeding can intermix all the genes/traits of all the original individuals so as to produce a very specific and unique appearance or set of traits that becomes characteristic of that overall population.  This is recognized in the field called Population Genetics but it gets confused with too many irrelevancies it seems to me and therefore isn't given the emphasis it deserves.  Natural Selection, which probably occurs to some extent but nowhere near the extent attributed to it, is just a form of reproductive isolation. 

Reproductive isolation is what happens under domestication, and it's THE reason for the development of a characteristic new breed.  Originally I'd suppose a portion of a wild species was brought under domestication, say of herd animals, cattle, sheep, goats or whatnot, some smallish number I would assume, or at least small compared to the original population, and the new domesticated population would then inbreed for generations until a new phenotype or particular set of traits would come to characterize the domesticated herd. 

This would occur over and over in different places as different portions of the wild herd were brought under domestication by different owners, or split between them so that they got isolated and inbred over time.  Their different gene pools eventually develop into separate herds each with its own characteristics that differentiate it from both the original wild herd and those of the other domesticated herds taken from that same wild herd.  This occurs over some number of generations of inbreeding.

THIS is why there are so many varieties of domesticated animals even when special breeding programs are not pursued, not Darwin's notion that somehow domestication itself produces variation, but simple reproductive isolation of a part of the original wild gene pool, which naturally occurs as part of that gene pool gets selected out for the purpose of domestication.  It's interesting to look up various animals on Wikipedia to get a list of the domestic breeds of each species.  Cows, pigs, sheep, goats -- there is an enormous number of varieties of each species.  Variation of course also happens in the wild but not nearly to such a dramatic extent as there is so much more intermingling of the individuals in larger populations, known as "gene flow" which is what DOESN'T happen with reproductive isolation.  Nothing to do with Leakey's affirmation of the Creed of Natural Selection as "weeding out" variations that arise.  The variation in nature is of course also due to reproductive isolation, which probably most often occurs through migration that leads to geographic separation of portions of a population from others, such as for instance the successive populations of ring species demonstrates.

It's nothing but reproductive isolation of the newer part from the older main population that brings about the many interesting differences between the different populations.  The smaller the new population and the more complete the isolation the more dramatic will be the differences. 

What's going on here GENETICALLY is that reproductive isolation of a small portion of the original gene pool brings about a CHANGE IN THE GENE FREQUENCIES in the new smaller gene pool (sometimes also the "parent" gene pool as well if it's not extremely large) so that new traits or phenotypes emerge in the new population as it inbreeds over some number of generations, mixing the new frequencies.  That's another well known principle of evolution. 

{Clarification:  Rereading this post (Wed Nov 7) I realize Darwin was thinking of variation among the INDIVIDUALS and I haven't said enough about that as I've been thinking of the amazing variety of BREEDS that occur under domestication and focusing on explaining that.  But I think an explanation of greater individual variation is implicit in the discussion in that the first few (how many?) generations of genetic recombination within the new herd or population would naturally turn up new traits among the various individuals because of the new gene frequencies in the population as a whole, and this individual variation should increase until at some point the gene pool starts to get more blended through continued inbreeding, and starts tending toward the establishment in all the individuals of the traits that eventually come to characterize the breed as a whole.   It's this final blending I've been thinking of as taking some number of generations to get established, but it's in those early generations that new variations would keep appearing as the new gene frequencies get played out.  I mean there are going to be fewer of some alleles and many more of others for many different genes so there will be more pairings that don't fit the blended trait picture of the original wild population, or whatever population was the parent.  I'm sure the word "blended" isn't the best but I don't think it's far off the mark of what must really happen.}

Founder Effect or Bottleneck are the most drastic examples of what happens genetically with the inbreeding of a new gene pool of new gene frequencies, although it happens in any isolated population that starts with smaller numbers than the original, it is just much more dramatic an effect when the population starts from extremely few individuals and has a drastically reduced gene pool that gets inbred.  Founder Effect or Bottleneck is when there are only a very few individuals that are the basis for the new population.  This has often happened in domestic breeding when a particular trait is sought and the elimination of types without that trait are carefully eliminated in favor of breeding only those that have the trait.  This has proved to have genetic drawbacks over time as it multiplies the opportunities for genetic diseases to occur in a drastically inbred population, but the principle is clear enough:  new phenotypes emerge to characterize a new population when competing phenotypes are kept from breeding with the desired breed or stock.

It seems to me that Darwin's observation that this occurs over generations is true and important.  It takes the inbreeding within the new gene pool to bring about a new reliable breed or variation.  How many generations this takes I don't know, but breeders may. 

I was reading up on some of the breeds of cattle and the Hereford is an interesting read.  Apparently it took a while to develop its characteristic appearance, at least a hundred years, its white face for instance.
Until the 18th century, the cattle of the Herefordshire area were similar to other cattle of southern England, being wholly red with a white switch, similar to the modern North Devon and Sussex breeds. During the 18th and early 19th centuries, other cattle (mainly Shorthorns) were used to create a new type of draught and beef cattle which at first varied in colour, different herds ranging from yellow to grey and light brown, and with varying amounts of white. However, by the end of the 18th century the white face characteristic of the modern breed was well established, and the modern colour was stabilised during the 19th century.[7]
Of course usually what breeders want is a breed that "breeds true," so that all the individuals born among the herd have the same characteristics.  Apparently this takes some number of generations to get established.

From other things I've read on this subject, for a breed to "breed true" means that there is a large proportion of genetic homozygosity in the gene pool for the breed's most desired characteristics.  This can happen in any population but again the most dramatic example of how it happens is the drastic bottleneck or founder effect.  A huge number of homozygous genes is characteristic of an inbred population that began with a very few individuals but again, the same condition can develop over successive population splits into new reproductively isolated populations.  It just gets there faster in the drastic cases, such as what happened with the cheetah and the elephant seal.  As long as they don't succumb to genetic disease they can be quite healthy and produce large populations but they lack the ability to vary further. 
Darwin's final line that many of the oldest domesticated varieties "are still capable ogf modification" suggests that they retain sufficient genetic variability, which really amounts to sufficient heterozygosity, to develop new varieties from further splits into new reproductively isolated populations and it suggests also that there is such a thing as reaching a point where further modification or variation ceases to be possible -- which occurs when there are a great many fixed loci or homozygous genes such as are possessed by the cheetah and the elephant seal.

A point IS reached eventually along any such line of continued "selection" of a relatively small portion of a population from a larger, and it must be reached if the process continues, where variation simply cannot occur further because of the great percentage of homozygosity, or lack of genetic variability, in the breed.

This is how EVOLUTION DEFEATS EVOLUTION, or in other words, how evolution comes to a screeching halt simply through the very processes that bring about the variations, or through evolution itself.  Variation can occur within a species, but that's all that is allowed by the laws of genetics built into the organism.  Simply due to the nature of genetics, Evolution Writ Large, or "macroevolution," or evolution/variation beyond the boundaries of the genome of a particular species CANNOT occur. 


Later:  Still rereading this post to try to clarify and correct and felt like adding this You Tube video of a wonderful breed of horses I only recently learned about, The KFPS Royal Friesian Horse, a horse with such an amazing natural elegance it's like something not born of this planet, truly a Royal breed, a heavenly breed even.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Evolution is INHERENTLY racist, Darwin didn't invent it he merely applied it

Racism is implicit in the theory of evolution.  Darwin didn't invent it, he merely found a theory to account for it.  The theory is full of holes but since there's no way to prove it or disprove it that's not recognized.

It was commonly held by Europeans and Brits that the cultural differences they'd seen among the various tribal peoples around the world were really biological differences, differences of substance rather than differences of accident of time and place, differences that defined peoples as inherently inferior or superior.  I'm not up enough on that literature to know if perhaps some were regarded as not human at all, but I wouldn't be surprised.  At least they must have put them on that Linnaean tree in various biological "stages" of evolution, degrees of humanness.   There was that ridiculous "science" of phrenology that compared different human skulls to show their evolution from something less than human to the human.  This idea still persists in the notion of "hominids" that they've pieced together from bits of bone, but they refuse to recognize this as racist in essence.  It's just Science don't you know. 

This view of the human spectrum simply fitted in with the ideas of evolution that were already accepted among those who had rejected God for the supposed infallible standard of human reason.  Hard not to laugh at that, but they believed it -- and sadly, most still do.  The devil had done his work well.  We love to be gods and find our greatness in ourselves rather than in a God we are required to worship and bow down to.  Oh how lovely He is when you know Him though.

So anyway, all those ideas were already there.  Racism was already accepted in the culture, and already intrinsic to the ideas of evolution that were floating around.  Well, clearly, they'd reason, if there are human beings at such different levels of civilization and accomplishment as they could see from their explorations of the world, then there must be some sort of biological principle that explains such differences.  Their bias was MATERIALISTIC, hence biological.  It must not have occurred to them that it was culture that made the difference among the various tribes of humanity, and specifically that it was the CHRISTIAN culture that had raised Europe to its level of civilization.  I'm sure there were Christians who saw this but even the Christians in the scientific arena were getting things all wrong based on a biblical standard so it probably wasn't many.

And Science was all the rage, you know, Science is what overturned the idea of God in the first place:  We can explain everything from a materialist perspective, there is no evidence for anything supernatural, blah blah blah.  So of course the people with a scientific bent, the naturalists like Darwin and Wallace, were looking for the principle that would scientifically establish WHAT THEY ALREADY BELIEVED about the different varieties of not only animal life but human life. 

The biological assumption was already solidly in place, the hierarchy of human groups was already solidly in place, they'd been around the world and taken careful copious notes about animal species and human "species" as they thought of them.  All that remained was finding that biological principle that would justify it all.

Well, both of them found it, as it were, that is, they both came up with the Likely Story of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Races.*  As Darwin came to it, he inferred it from Domestic Selection, that is, from what breeders from farmers to pet owners had known for millennia, that you can direct the expression of traits in animals by "favoring" them or keeping them from breeding with animals with traits you do not desire, and can create amazingly wonderful new breeds by this simple method.  Darwin argued this from his experience with breeding pigeons.  He simply extrapolated from that known effect to the possibility that nature itself must have ways of "selecting" different biological expressions by the mere fact of "favoring" those better able to survive and reproduce.

Now, from a strictly biological point of view, all that means is that races or breeds of any living thing become established through their natural biological advantage, through their natural biological ability to survive and reproduce given their genetics and their environment.

And of course once you've decided that human beings are just animals in various stages of development you apply the same formula there. It's a racist formula in that context, of course, and that needs to be recognized.   Evolution is INHERENTLY racist.  The THEORY itself is inherently racist.  You can't help but think of all living things as on some hierarchy of development -- even if you don't accept the idea of upward progress.  You still have to think of us as all BIOLOGICALLY different in some fundamentally crucial sense.

This of course flies in the face of a BIBLICAL view of humanity which defines us as all descended from Adam and Eve, all brothers and sisters racially.  There never was any evolution, that was the brainchild of the anti-God rationalists.  Darwin didn't invent it, he merely gave it scientific validation. 

God created all life to VARY, He didn't put any of it on a hierarchy.  The "races" are varieties, breeds, etc. This includes humanity in our strictly biological life as well.  No two human beings are exactly alike and we do create "races" when groups of us go off and occupy isolated parts of the world and marry only within our group, which creates a unique racial type. 

We see a wonderful diversity of biological forms, not a ladder from inferior to superior.  In this fallen world some fail to thrive and die out.  That is ONLY because this world is fallen, because death entered with the entrance of sin and God made animals subject to the curse same as human beings.  For our sake.  So all life is subject to diseases and deformities and many are subject to predators, and different environments can be hostile.  Had the Fall never occurred we'd have myriads of beautiful variations of all living things, all happily thriving.  Period.

I don't feel I've yet said this as well as it needs to be said. 

Just have to mention here that my own favorite argument against evolution, which I've argued in many posts here, is that what happens genetically when you have any kind of selection is that the possibility of further evolution is reduced.  Whether the selection is domestic or natural, when any breed is isolated and inbreeds within its own gene pool, this very process, including natural selection itself, but ANY form of selection, REDUCES genetic possibilities, in fact the very creation of new breeds REQUIRES a reduction in genetic possibilities.  So that if this trend continues, as it does in domestic breeding programs, further reducing and refining the gene pool of the breed, which can also happen in the wild when successive populations become more and more isolated from their former population, what happens is that evolution becomes LESS AND LESS possible.  The very processes that bring about variations eventually lead to the genetic inability to create more variations.  "Evolution defeats evolution." 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The bad "creationism" of the 19th century unfortunately gave an excuse for the idea of evolution

Here is a letter by Wallace to the British Quarterly about controversy being raised over Darwin's theory. What interested me in particular was his remark in the first paragraph that shows that the standard "creationist" understanding of the day was very far from a Biblical understanding.  They asserted that God created AGAIN AND AGAIN, though the Bible is clear that God RESTED after creating all things.

The 'British Quarterly' and Darwin (S107: 1865)
   [[p. 77]] Allow me to call the attention of your readers to a very gross attempt, in the last number of the British Quarterly Review, to mislead the unscientific public. At p. 143, in an article on the 'Supernatural,' after disposing of Hume, Strauss, Baden Powell, and such small fry, in a few lines each, the reviewer claims physical science as his ally, and calls into the witness-box 'the geologist' (one of a type now happily almost extinct), who, he says, will tell us that again and again the special interference of a Creator has been required, and who finally 'will tell you that this same "development" or "origin of species by natural selection" is an unblushing intruder into the domain of science, unlicensed and unrecognized.'
Darwin commented on this wrong creationist thinking in his Origin of Species, which I mention in a post about Darwin a while back.  This is unbiblical and it needed to be criticized and overthrown, for which we could even thank Darwin since it forced Christians back to the Bible.  Darwin of course didn't criticize it as unbiblical, nor does Wallace here, but that is what was wrong with it. 

If the creationists had been true to the Bible it might have been possible to prevent the theory of evolution from ever happening!

It is certainly true that the forces of evil are going to treat Christianity as inferior anyway, but in this case it's pretty clear that such unbiblical approaches to science did give them an excuse. I don't know if the liberalizing influences had simply undermined Biblical doctrine to such an extent or what.

It's sad to read the rest of that letter Wallace wrote because he just goes on and on about the stupidity of another witness they were able to muster for the "creationist" side:
This, however, is not strong enough. The model 'geologist' is sent down, and a new witness is specially called in a note, which is so 'unblushing' that I give it entire.
'Let us hear a word on the subject of development from one who has won scientific laurels by a life of study and thought:--"All the great living and recently deceased masters of physical science reject it. Does it appeal to anatomy and physiology? Cuvier, Owen, and Carpenter cry out against it. Does it evoke the aid of chemistry? Berzelius, Turner, and Liebig see its shallowness. Does it call on zoology for aid? Agassiz and Ehrenberg can refute its claims. Does it search the archives of geology for support? Sedgwick, Miller, Lyell and D'Orbigny can show how certainly it will fail. Or, finally, does it appeal to botany? Hooker and Lindley, Torrey and Gray, know that it will certainly glean nothing to sustain it in that flowery field. The fact is that it is only here and there a second-rate naturalist will sympathize at all with such dreamy views." (Dr. E. Hitchcock, in "Bibliotheca Sacra," vol. xi. p. 789.) We do not think anything in this extract unwarranted, even though Mr. Darwin has added his name to the roll of non-theistic theorists; for though he is distinguished as a naturalist in the department of [[p. 78]] observation, his book exhibits philosophic abilities of the lowest order. Nothing can be more significant than his entire abandonment of geology; nothing more foolish than the supposition that some strata are so lost that no trace of them can be found; and nothing more unscientific than to help his theory to take its absurd shape out of the barely possible but utterly unknown.'
Either the writer of this article knew that at least four of the persons here mentioned--Carpenter, Lyell, J. Hooker, and A. Gray--so far from rejecting or crying out against 'development' and 'the origin of species by natural selection' are its strongest supporters, or he did not know it. He is, therefore, either imposing a deliberate and wilful misstatement on the public, or he is incredibly ignorant of the subject he is writing upon. Again, when he talks of Darwin's 'entire abandonment of geology,' does he know that almost all the great modern geologists are converts to his views? and when he stigmatizes Darwin's work as 'foolish' and 'absurd,' does he know that John Stuart Mill has adduced it as one of the most wonderful examples of logical reasoning extant?
It is hardly worth while to break such a fly upon the wheel, but it is well to make known as widely as possible to what weak subterfuges those who attempt to stem the flood of modern thought with the worn-out theological mop are at last driven.
At the very least can it be said that the abandonment of an aggressive BIBLICAL creationist argument, along with abandonment of scholarship in general by Christians, gave license to this sort of attack?

I think so, and I also think this same abandonment of Biblical creationism and general ignorance of the scientific context are all too apparent these days as well. In fact you may get called all sorts of names by Christians for simply trying to keep up with these things at all.  

The weakness and irrelevance of creationism today is demonstrated all too clearly at the debate forum, EvC, or Evolution versus Creationism, where the "creationists" are a sad and sorry lot of misinformed people, and many of them argue from wildly unbiblical positions.  Very few hold to the Biblical Young Earth position (earth around 6000 years old), hardly two of them agree with each other about anything at all, and the few who do seem to be truly biblical creationists who also know their science get into such technical areas of discussion the average Christian couldn't possibly follow their arguments anyway.  I know I can't. 

Some information about Alfred Russel Wallace

This is a page of links to writings by and about Alfred Russel Wallace, Darwin's counterpart and competitor in the search for a theory to justify the idea of evolution.  The following are from a page called "Texts of Some of Wallace's writings" from the right-hand list at the above link.  There are no separate URLs to the separate pages [well, there are if you know how to find them and I did finally, but don't know if I'll get them posted here.]

There are some fascinating titles that ought to be very revealing of the mentality of the 19th century.   Wallace is a spiritualist for one thing, as many were in that century, since God had been abandoned, so you'll find the occasional article referring to seances and that sort of thing.  And the incredible number of writings on various species he studied around the world shows him to be a consummate naturalist. 

I may not yet have found the main writing that shows his thinking along the same lines as Darwin but the first one I quote from below is obviously in that direction:

On the Law Which Has Regulated the Introduction of New Species (S20: 1855
This law agrees with, explains and illustrates all the facts connected with the following branches of the subject:--1st. The system of natural affinities. 2nd. The distribution of animals and plants in space. 3rd. The same in time, including all the phænomena of representative groups, and those which Professor Forbes supposed to manifest polarity. 4th. The phænomena of rudimentary organs. We will briefly endeavour to show its bearing upon each of these.  
If the law above enunciated be true, it follows that the natural series of affinities will also represent the order in which the several species came into existence, each one having had for its immediate antitype a closely allied species existing at the time of its origin. It is evidently possible that two or three distinct species may have had a common antitype, and that each of these may again have become the antitypes from which other closely allied species were created. The effect of this would be, that so long as each species has had but one new species formed on its model, the line of affinities will be simple, and may be represented by placing the several species in direct succession in a straight line. But if two or more species have been independently formed on the plan of a common antitype, then the series of affinities will be compound, and can only be represented by a forked or many-branched line.

Now, all attempts at a Natural classification and arrangement of organic beings show, that both [[p. 187]] these plans have obtained in creation. Sometimes the series of affinities can be well represented for a space by a direct progression from species to species or from group to group, but it is generally found impossible so to continue. There constantly occur two or more modifications of an organ or modifications of two distinct organs, leading us on to two distinct series of species, which at length differ so much from each other as to form distinct genera or families.

These are the parallel series or representative groups of naturalists, and they often occur in different countries, or are found fossil in different formations. They are said to have an analogy to each other when they are so far removed from their common antitype as to differ in many important points of structure, while they still preserve a family resemblance.

We thus see how difficult it is to determine in every case whether a given relation is an analogy or an affinity, for it is evident that as we go back along the parallel or divergent series, towards the common antitype, the analogy which existed between the two groups becomes an affinity. We are also made aware of the difficulty of arriving at a true classification, even in a small and perfect group;--in the actual state of nature it is almost impossible, the species being so numerous and the modifications of form and structure so varied, arising probably from the immense number of species which have served as antitypes for the existing species, and thus produced a complicated branching of the lines of affinity, as intricate as the twigs of a gnarled oak or the vascular system of the human body.

Again, if we consider that we have only fragments of this vast system, the stem and main branches being represented by extinct species of which we have no knowledge, while a vast mass of limbs and boughs and minute twigs and scattered leaves is what we have to place in order, and determine the true position each originally occupied with regard to the others, the whole difficulty of the true Natural System of classification becomes apparent to us.

We shall thus find ourselves obliged to reject all those systems of classification which arrange species or groups in circles, as well as those which fix a definite number for the divisions of each group. The latter class have been very generally rejected by naturalists, as contrary to nature, notwithstanding the ability with which they have been advocated; but the circular system of affinities seems to have obtained a deeper hold, many eminent naturalists having to some extent adopted it. We have, however, never been able to find a case in which the circle has been closed by a direct and close affinity. In most cases a palpable analogy has been substituted, in others the affinity is very obscure or altogether doubtful. The complicated branching of the lines of affinities in extensive groups must also afford great [[p. 188]] facilities for giving a show of probability to any such purely artificial arrangements. Their death-blow was given by the admirable paper of the lamented Mr. Strickland, published in the 'Annals of Natural History,' in which he so clearly showed the true synthetical method of discovering the Natural System.

If we now consider the geographical distribution of animals and plants upon the earth, we shall find all the facts beautifully in accordance with, and readily explained by, the present hypothesis. A country having species, genera, and whole families peculiar to it, will be the necessary result of its having been isolated for a long period, sufficient for many series of species to have been created on the type of pre-existing ones, which, as well as many of the earlier-formed species, have become extinct, and thus made the groups appear isolated. If in any case the antitype had an extensive range, two or more groups of species might have been formed, each varying from it in a different manner, and thus producing several representative or analogous groups. The Sylviadæ of Europe and the Sylvicolidæ of North America, the Heliconidæ of South America and the Euplœas of the East, the group of Trogons inhabiting Asia, and that peculiar to South America, are examples that may be accounted for in this manner.

Such phænomena as are exhibited by the Galapagos Islands, which contain little groups of plants and animals peculiar to themselves, but most nearly allied to those of South America, have not hitherto received any, even a conjectural explanation. The Galapagos are a volcanic group of high antiquity, and have probably never been more closely connected with the continent than they are at present. They must have been first peopled, like other newly-formed islands, by the action of winds and currents, and at a period sufficiently remote to have had the original species die out, and the modified prototypes only remain. In the same way we can account for the separate islands having each their peculiar species, either on the supposition that the same original emigration peopled the whole of the islands with the same species from which differently modified prototypes were created, or that the islands were successively peopled from each other, but that new species have been created in each on the plan of the pre-existing ones. St. Helena is a similar case of a very ancient island having obtained an entirely peculiar, though limited, flora. On the other hand, no example is known of an island which can be proved geologically to be of very recent origin (late in the Tertiary, for instance), and yet possesses generic or family groups, or even many species peculiar to itself.

When a range of mountains has attained a great elevation, and has so remained during a long geological period, the species [[p. 189]] of the two sides at and near their bases will be often very different, representative species of some genera occurring, and even whole genera being peculiar to one side only, as is remarkably seen in the case of the Andes and Rocky Mountains. A similar phænomenon occurs when an island has been separated from a continent at a very early period. The shallow sea between the Peninsula of Malacca, Java, Sumatra and Borneo was probably a continent or large island at an early epoch, and may have become submerged as the volcanic ranges of Java and Sumatra were elevated. The organic results we see in the very considerable number of species of animals common to some or all of these countries, while at the same time a number of closely allied representative species exist peculiar to each, showing that a considerable period has elapsed since their separation. The facts of geographical distribution and of geology may thus mutually explain each other in doubtful cases, should the principles here advocated be clearly established.
Another interesting title:

Comments on the Effect of Contact Between the Higher and Lower Races of Man (S87: 1864)

Again, DarwinISM is a great evil way beyond anything we can attribute to Darwin himself personally

Finally I've calmed down about being accused of supporting Darwinism because I tried to correct a misimpression about what he wrote.  Nothing has otherwise changed, I've merely calmed down, put it in the Lord's hands -- read some in George D. Watson's Tribulation Worketh, good for dealing with this sort of thing, also sang some lines from Be Still My Soul, also good for it.  I still believe as I did and I'm apparently still regarded as an evil supporter of Darwinism same as I was.  If I think about it too much it could get to me again, so I won't say more.  I'll just read some more Watson if it gets too hard to deal with.

There's still more to say on this subject.  In a nutshell, DarwinISM has had a horrifically evil influence in this world, and I've remarked on this many times, but that doesn't mean that Darwin himself intended any of those effects, and he most certainly didn't. 

It is well documented, though probably not as well known as it should be, that the murderous racist philosophies of Hitler and others such as Margaret Sanger, took their inspiration from Darwin's Theory of Evolution.  Believers in evolution try to deny that, but Christians at least ought to be well informed of it.

I still believe that none of that derived from Darwin's own personal attitudes, only from his theory, whose deadly inhumane implications he hadn't foreseen.  He was a man who had rejected belief in God and set himself to pursue a scientific ambition that he knew was contrary to Christian teaching, which is actually a very common story in the times in which he lived, which was a time in which "science" was supplanting the Christian religion in England and in fact the west in general.  That alone is enough to account for his coming up with a theory that could be put to all kinds of destructive uses, and particularly because it contradicted the biblical view of God's creation of humanity, but this doesn't mean that he himself was personally inclined toward such uses. 

He was certainly aware that treating human beings as descended from animals was going to put him at odds with the Christian culture, but like most godless scientists he didn't envision anything destructive from that idea, he only anticipated that he would be ostracized for going against religion in the pursuit of what to his mind was scientific truth.  He expected resistance out of religious bigotry, which is the usual stance of science against religion. 

But that his ideas could justify racist murder?  I really don't think so.  He had the prevailing attitude:  Science is good, you see, it's truth, it's enlightenment, and the more of that the better for all of us.  Opponents are simply narrow-minded and tradition-bound opposers of the noble enterprise of discovering Truth.  Murder?  No. 

Anyway, The Origin of Species promoted no ideas that could be called racist, although the theory of natural selection does carry implications that a racist mentality could twist to their purposes  by applying it to human beings, and the idea of evolution does apply it to human beings, just not in The Origin of Species.  In the context of that book, which doesn't even mention human beings but deals only with animals -- finches, turtles, bats, horses, pigeons -- the subtitle "preservation of favored races" --another way of saying "natural selection" --refers to breeds of animals, and to get all indignant over the word "races" in that phrase is simply to demonstrate ignorance of how a naturalist would use terms in those days.  He COULD have used the word "breeds" because that is exactly what he meant by the word "races" -- would that get anyone worked up about racism in the theory?

Here is Webster's 1828 Dictionary (that's Noah Webster, a strong Christian) on  

 [L. radix and radius having the same original. This word coincides in origin with rod, ray, radiate]

1. The lineage of a family, or continued series of descendants from a parent who is called the stock. A race is the series of descendants indefinitely. Thus all mankind are called the race of Adam; the Israelites are of the race of Abraham and Jacob. Thus we speak of a race of kings, the race of Clovis or Charlemagne; a race of nobles, Hence the long race of Alban fathers come.

2. A generation; a family of descendants. A race of youthful and unhandled colts.
3. A particular breed; as a race of mules; a race of horses; a race of sheep.
Yes, again, if the idea of race in the sense of breed is applied to human beings as if we are merely animals, which is of course what Darwin does when he gets to that subject in his next book, then it can become a basis for all kinds of racist thinking. 

And there are some more directly racist ideas in Darwin's next book The Descent of Man.  Since I haven't read that book I would only have supposed that there could be such implications because of the context of applying natural selection to human beings, but in fact he does express a racist view of the sort that must have been prevalent in his time:

Here is an online copy of Darwin's Descent of Man of 1871.  And the following is from Chapter Six of that book, On the Affinities and Geneaology of Man.
At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated.

The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla." [Descent of Man, Chapter 6 ]
So here we do have racist ideas in connection with Darwin's theory.  The "Australian" is the aborigine of that continent, which he identifies as a "negro." 

But note how he is discussing this:   He is not presenting some new idea here but clearly referring to a concept that he assumes his readers would readily recognize and agree to.  The idea of "savage races," the idea of a big gap or difference between "civilised" man and other races he clearly regards as inferior, are being used as if they were well known, as no doubt they were.  There is clearly an idea of higher and lower, better and worse, implied here, but not as something Darwin himself invented.  He refers to the racial group "Caucasian" as superior to others, particularly the "negro," implying that all the usual categories of human races were clearly already established in the public mind of the time. 

Again, Darwin did not invent these.  He is referring to them as if they were accepted facts in his day.

The idea of evolution was itself also not new in Darwin's time, so the idea of human relatedness to the apes was not invented by him either. 

What Darwin did was try to put these already-accepted ideas on a scientific footing, to explain how one "species" could have "evolved" into another -- "scientifically."  That's what his whole theory is about.  He came up with the idea of natural selection as the necessary mechanism to explain this.   And he wasn't the only one:  Alfred Russel Wallace came up with the same idea at the same time.  And I thought this statement from a page on that site where the author tries to answer wrong ideas about Wallace was interesting:

Wallace did not coin the phrase "survival of the fittest"--Herbert Spencer did. It was Wallace, however, who suggested that Darwin use the phrase as a means of conveying the basic idea of natural selection to nonspecialist readers.
So "survival of the fittest" was not invented by either Darwin or Wallace but made use of because they thought it might get more difficult concepts across to nonscientists.  Unfortunately the term only succeeded in confusing the subject even more.

Back to the racist comment in Darwin's Descent of Man, one thing that is clear about the theory of evolution is that the idea of progress, of more "highly evolved" and less highly evolved races, of superior and inferior, better and worse, was clearly implicit in it, and this notion was reinforced by the idea of natural selection which implies that all "races" are in differing stages of evolution.  Though it is often denied now, it does encourage classifying different races as superior and inferior.  This was in Darwin's mind, as well as his readers' minds, and all those who already held to a belief in evolution and were ready wholeheartedly to embrace the theory that supposedly explained what they already thought anyway.

Today defenders of evolution often go out of their way to insist that as a scientific theory it does not imply progress, that the changes that take place biologically that supposedly lead to the formation of new species, occur only in relation to the neutral standard of what promotes survival and reproduction.  This idea is in Darwin's writing too, and yet we find him discussing human race in the above quote in clear terms of superior and inferior.

Evolutionists today try to erase the whole idea of race from their thinking on the basis of the theory's referring only to neutral changes, but you CAN'T erase this concept from the theory because the whole thing depends on an idea of biological changes forming new groups or races as the stepping stones of evolution itself.   I guess you can try to deny the idea of progress in a blind biological system, but you can't deny that the idea of progress was inherent in the original thinking about evolution.

However that is all to be finally sorted out, it ought to be clear from that quote that Darwin himself did give at least some cause for the racist doctrines that based themselves on his theory, did give cause to Hitler, did give cause to Sanger, although he himself might have deplored what they made of his remarks had he known about them. 

True, he doesn't deplore the possibility of the extermination of the "lesser" races, he treats it as a "scientific" inevitability that the higher will ultimately replace the lower.  Perhaps the real evil of such a theory is that it allows for such cold "neutral" or "objective" assessments of human beings.  This cold way of reckoning justifies abortion too:  It's not really a human being, or if it is, human beings are just animals anyway, or an unborn infant is less than human just because it's not yet fully formed, so it's not really murder,  and so on and so forth.  Hitler therefore wasn't committing murder, he was merely ridding the world of "vermin," a good and noble deed from that twisted perspective. 

It's interesting, as an aside, that in Darwin's frame of reference it was the "negro" who was lower -- a term which no doubt included all the "savage races" and primitive tribes that had been encountered by Europeans over the previous centuries as they extended their explorations to all parts of the world -- but Hitler didn't go after the black races (though Margaret Sanger did), Hitler set himself to rid the world of Jews, an obviously successful and civilized "race," which on Darwin's scheme should put them in the more highly evolved category, and Slavs, who are Caucasians and therefore also in the highly evolved category, according to Darwinian racialism which again was really the standard racism of his day.  Hitler obviously had his own "Darwinian" theory to serve his own purposes.  How much responsibility for THAT should be put at Darwin's doorstep?

I think Darwin was a pawn of the philosophical leaders of his day, men including Thomas Huxley for instance, who aggressively promoted his theory.  As far as his own beliefs go he was a typical representative of the "enlightened" thinkers of his time.  If it hadn't been his version of natural selection that became the justification for the evolutionism that was already accepted by the "enlightened" ones, it would have been Alfred Russel Wallace's, just another misguided godless scientist.  The 19th Century brought all the evils of the Enlightenment to a critical mass, the elimination of God for starters, followed by the works of Rationalism which in that intensified form could only express the fallenness of human nature to the horrific level of Nazism -- and it still isn't over, there's more and even worse evil to come unless we turn back to God.

So now I suppose I've only compounded my sins in the eyes of my Christian critics.  Back to reading George Watson, good for the soul.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Morality without God

Somebody has started a new thread at EvC on the subject of Morality without God, and of course because morality IS compromised without God he doesn't even capitalize the word "God."

Often one hears from the religious side that one cannot have morals without god or holy scriptures, and they seem to be baffled how you just dont run around killing people torturing them and whatnot.

Morality is a part of us a part is imbeaded in our genes, a pack of wolves does not eat and kill each other because its counter-productive to their society.

And a part of it is learned from our social interactions when we are children and it evolves as we grow up. If we where to grow up in ancient Rome we would find it perfectly socaly acceptable that people are killing each other in an arena for our enjoyment, or if we grew up in an ancient Israel tribe we would find it perfectly acceptable to beat a slave to an inch of his life, our behaviour in that instance would also be religiously and morally idealised, as we where adhering to the rules of our religion.
Two things are true about this subject: Without God -- by which I mean the true God not the gods of paganism such as in ancient Rome -- 1) we still have a conscience because morality is built into us, and 2) at the same time we are far less moral than if we acknowledge God.  (His remark about ancient Israel is some kind of monstrous lie, where did he get it?)

In a way this is funny.  The originator of the thread writes some of the most obnoxious obscene stuff at EvC, and in general such "freedom of expression" is allowed there.  HIS morality sure is intact.   Laws against public indecency,obscenity and profanity in the west did derive from our former Christian mindset and are still just barely applied and not to the kind of language you encounter at a place like EvC.  But THAT's not immoral is it?

No, because mainly the way morality continues without God is by redefining what's right and wrong.  What used to be good is now evil, what used to be evil is now good.  Oh not totally.  Yet.

Yes, there is conscience and yes there are social restraints, all quite true, or the human race couldn't have survived as long as it has.

But our once-Christian societies  have drastically deteriorated morally over the last few decades and this IS because God has been banished.

To the mentality at EvC all kinds of former moral standards simply are no longer standards:  It isn't a problem to them I'm sure that so many don't bother to marry these days but live together with the expectation that it can be a temporary arrangement;  even have children under those circumstances as if it were all quite acceptable; that fornication is not regarded as a sin but is freely exercised probably by a majority these days; that adultery is only slightly restrained by the fact that it hurts somebody, usually meaning it's done in secret;  that divorce is easy upon demand (God hates divorce); that homosexual sex is no longer a sin but in fact regarded as normal and even as deserving to be treated like a heterosexual union, even paraded in the public square.  But no, there hasn't been any deterioration of morality since God was thrown out of our public life. 

People are less concerned about financial fraud when they have rejected the idea of God, less concerned about any form of cheating, from school exams to taxes, about lying, about getting away with anything. 

It's considered some sort of crime these days to punish any class of criminals with the death penalty and God is subjected to accusations of immorality Himself for exacting capital punishment as reported in the Bible.

Abortion is regarded as a right rather than as murder, socially sanctioned murder, legally sanctioned murder.  It's OK to murder one person to save another, such as stem cell research on dead infants, in fact it's demanded in tones of moral indignation.  But we don't need God to be moral.

All this has resulted from the "death of God" in western society.  Really, we've sunk even lower than the pagan societies.

Should also point out that Darwinism WAS made the philosophy that justified mass murder under Nazism, and by the founder of Planned Parenthood whose motive for promoting abortion was to rid society of people she considered to be "unfit" according to her way of construing Darwin, which meant the black race.   Darwin's theory in itself promoted no such views,* but since the theory of evolution was an aggressive attack on Biblical standards, making human beings into mere animals, it did give license to such racist murdering ideas.

The idea that we're just as moral without God is a black joke, but I'm sure even after reading this they'd still admire today's godless morality.  They just consider God's morality to be wrong and their own to be right.  Funny how that works.

Much more could be said.

*At least not in Origin of Species, although I'm now aware that in the Descent of Man there are racist implications, which I'll post on soon.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Hitler-Darwin connection continues to be confused

I don't know how Chris Pinto has managed to so completely misread my remarks to him but judging from today's radio show it's so extreme I may have no hope of ever straightening it out.

I'll try it yet one more time and then just do my best to forget about it.

I did NOT say anything to imply that I don't agree that Hitler built his racist doctrines on Darwinism, I have repeatedly said that I know he did.   And all the references Chris makes on this program sound very valuable, but none of them deals with the specific remark I made. 

If Hitler built his doctrines on Darwin's idea of "race" it was on a MISREADING of that idea, apparently in the same way Chris Pinto is misreading it. 

Again, as I said in the previous post, the reduction of humanity to animals is sufficient excuse for it, but ALL I've focussed on is Chris Pinto's specifically misunderstanding the title to Darwin's book, nothing else.  The "preservation of favored races" did NOT mean the same thing to Darwin that it means to Chris Pinto, or to Hitler either. 

This does NOT mean that Nazism did not make use of Darwinism, and I never said otherwise.  I certainly did NOT say THAT is an embarrassment to the Church that such views are held.

ALL I SAID WAS THAT Darwin himself did not use "race" the way Pinto and Hitler and Sanger read it, Darwin himself did not understand "favored race" the way Hitler and the others did, and did not understand "fittest" the way the others are reading him.  Darwin's frame of reference was NATURALISM, or biology, he was using those terms strictly in the scientific sense of his day. 

I explained all this on the previous post more thoroughly, I'm merely outlining it here.

AGAIN, AGAIN, AGAIN:  to say this does not mean that Darwinism did NOT form the foundation of Nazism.  OF COURSE IT DID.  But it wasn't DARWIN's idea of "race" that did so. 

Now if I'm still being misunderstood so be it, I'll just bow out of all discussion on the subject and leave the whole thing to the Lord. 

Here's what I wrote on his comments page, edited to clean up my mistyping:

I have NOT denied the connection between Darwinism and Hitler, EVER.  You are NOT disagreeing with what I said because you have not yet grasped what I said.
I said ONE thing and ONE THING ONLY:  I said that you MISREAD that one line about the preservation of favored races as Darwin was using those words. 
 That's ALL I said.  And that sort of misreading DOES make you look foolish. 

If you still misunderstand that's too bad, I'll have a bout of high blood pressure and get over it.

Also, the Catholic has not agreed with me, he simply appreciated my fairmindedness in pointing out a misreading of Darwin's title.

This is really upsetting but I'll try not to be upset. 

No you aren't being unkind you're just wrong, about me and about the Catholic and about the whole mess.
That remark about the Catholic who I studiously avoided responding to is really low of you, Chris.  But you're wrong about that too.

Too bad, I was trying to be helpful, and I've SO appreciated Chris Pinto's stuff.  Now it's going to have a poisoned atmosphere about it, can't be helped although I'll try not to let it get to me.  I've heard he's also now siding with the critics of The Harbinger too. 

Oh well, I guess the Lord doesn't want me to be understood for some reason. 

Darwin and Hitler: Blame where blame is due but don't overdo it

No good deed goes unpunished, said some wag.  Oh well.

Chris Pinto's radio shows have been a very inspiring resource for me for months now, mostly on the historical role of Rome and the Jesuits in plots to undermine the Protestant Reformation. 

A couple days ago on his show he addressed the racism promoted by the theory of evolution, something I've written on myself at times, but in this case he quoted the subtitle of Darwin's Origin of Species as if it actively promotes racism, which it doesn't.  The original complete title of his book was

On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life

Because "race" in common language today, and even in Darwin's day, usually refers only to human beings, and often implies racist attitudes, Chris read this title to be racist as if Darwin himself had promoted the racist doctrines that used the theory of evolution to justify them.

Make no mistake, evolutionism WAS used for that purpose, but this was based on a misrepresentation of the theory, a straw man version of the theory which had nothing to do with Darwin's strictly naturalistic or biological thinking in the Origin

Perhaps Sanger misread that same subtitle, and Hitler too and others, and took off on their own projects to rid the world of the "unfit" on the basis of their absurd misreading of Darwin's work.  Darwin's notion of "fitness" was not their idea of "fitness" and his use of "race" had nothing to do with their racist notions. 

As he used those terms, "race" was simply another word for "breed" or "species" or "variety," as in a "race of penguins" or a "race of sweet peas," and the idea that a "race" could be "favored" referred only to the circumstances of inherent qualities and environmental conditions that made it possible for a living creature to thrive and reproduce.  This was the basis for his observation of natural selection, the fact that life conditions may favor one kind of creature over another.  Those "races" that thrive and reproduce in healthy numbers are the "favored races" and are the "fittest" in the "struggle for life."

This has NOTHING to do with racism.  Obviously.  Mice and cockroaches thrive and reproduce quite well in their environmental niches, better than the nobler tiger no doubt.  Another confusion that has lions as more "fit" than zebras because lions prey on zebras also misses the same point:  Zebras survive and reproduce quite well in spite of the lions.  Which creature does better at these standards of "fitness" I have no idea but it COULD be the zebras.

Again, the Darwinian use of these terms has NOTHING to do with racism.

Certainly the theory of evolution itself does unfortunately lend itself to the brutal racist thinking of Hitler and Sanger, by two of its tenets:  1) by reducing human beings to mere animals, and 2) by the implication that if all life is evolving from lower to higher (which is also a misreading of Darwin although it's not necessarily an irrational conclusion) then all living things including human beings are in different stages of evolving, and Hitler and friends felt quite free to decide who is more evolved than whom and seek to eliminate the less "fit" --SO much less "fit" by their absurd definition that they could call them "vermin" and dispose of them as vermin are disposed of.  All for the sake of improving the human race and life on this planet.  Yes, this kind of thinking DID have quite a bit of influence at one time, and it WAS attributed to Darwinism.  Apparently even Hitler's book, Mein Kampf, or "My Struggle" took off from Darwin's title about the "struggle for life." 

Pinto is quite right about all those historical derivations from the idea of evolution, but he misread Darwin's title apparently in the same way Hitler and Sanger did, and what bothered me most about that was that it makes Christians look foolish.

So I wrote a comment at Chris Pinto's site hoping to correct his misunderstanding.  What happened is that I got preached at by others there for supposedly defending the infidel Darwin against the truths of Christ, and didn't succeed in persuading Pinto either, who actually referred to my comment on his next radio show, Darwin and Hitler, as most likely the result of my having been influenced by godless evolutionists to defend Darwin from the charge of racism. 

I wasn't going to bring it up here until it seemed to me that his description of the show needed to be answered:
Chris discusses the controversy over the influence of evolutionary teaching in the Nazi movement of the 1930's and 40's. Today, many evolutionists have tried to deny the connection, and insist that Darwin's theory is not "the science of racism" as many have said. But what does the record of history tell us?
Well, the record of history tells us that evolutionism was certainly made the excuse for horrific mass murder in the early part of the 20th century, and as I say above, not without justification as it reduced human beings to mere animals rather than creatures made in the image of God, and contributed to the rejection of biblical standards so that they could do this without feeling the bite of God's Law on their conscience. 

And by the way, the idea that we're all evolving from lower to higher is still alive and well in the New Age movement, where even there they are willing to propose the elimination of those they consider to be less "evolved" than themselves.  Often Christians are regarded as the inferiors in their system.  We hold to this ancient tradition you see, while they have transcended all such inferior views and have been enlightened by the channeled teachings of "higher" beings in this universe.  Which Christians know as demons and their doctrines, but try telling them that. 

Anyway, all this racist stupidity is WRONGLY attributed to Darwin himself.  It probably never even occurred to him that his ponderings about natural selection could be misused in such ways.  I suspect he was -- rightly -- more worried about how people were going to pounce on him for reducing human beings to animals.  I see torment in his face in the most familiar portrait of him.  It's sad when a brilliant man lives and dies without Christ.  There's no need to make him guiltier than he was.