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Evolutionists on Evolution 1/3 Evolutionists on Evolution 1/3
by Jack Wellman
2009-04-05 08:53:56
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To search for conclusions about theories, it is necessary to ask the experts in the field of those same theories. When searching for conclusive proof, one stone cannot be left unturned upon another. It is by empirical knowledge that scientific theories and hypothesis are confirmed. And it is the business of science to move forward and continually modify or eliminate particular scientific theories or axioms that have been either proven true or proven false, conclusively. However, belief systems and scientific facts are not always the same thing.

Let’s put the theory of evolution under experimental, observational or scientific testing to empirically, conclusively prove it. Or is this possible? I suggest that it is not. I give you this example. The test of whether something is scientific is as follows [1.]:

1. Observable. The act of seeing with the human eye the phenomena in question.

2. Falsifiable. The ability to setup a test or experiment to determine the validity of the thesis.

3. Repeatable. Any experiment must be repeatable to be valid and produce data that can be accepted.

4. Null hypothesis. Statistical analysis of the data to fall within a given acceptable range that makes the data of use and value. This allows further predictions based on the model used in the experiment.

5. Laws of operation. The laws of science (physics, chemistry etc.) must apply to both the phenomena and the thesis.
 
Darwin struggled with the fact that the fossil record failed to support his conclusions. "Why," he asked, "if species have descended from other species by fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms? . . . Why do we not find them imbedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth? [2.]" So evolution does not appear observable, nor repeatable, etc. The Cambrian explosion, where the major flora, fauna, phyla and most life forms first appear, fully formed already!
 
Darwin continued, "The number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed, [must] be truly enormous," he wrote. "Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory" (Darwin, pp. 260-261). Darwin acknowledged that the fossil record failed to support his conclusions. Darwin believed that evidence would show up later. It has not. Since there is not sufficient transitional fossil evidence for evolution, where does this leave the opinions of the experts?
 
The lack of fossil evidence is not a paleontologist trade secret anymore. Science writer Richard Milton is not alone in noticing that the missing links are "…included in every part of the animal kingdom: from whelks to whales and from bacteria to Bactrian camels. Darwin and his successors envisaged a process that would begin with simple marine organisms living in ancient seas, progressing through fishes, to amphibians—living partly in the sea and partly on land—and hence on to reptiles, mammals, and eventually the primates, including humans [3.]."
 
The Curator of the invertebrates department at the American Museum of Natural History, Niles Eldredge, and who is also adjunct professor at the City University of New York, is a vigorous supporter of evolution, however he openly admits that the traditional evolutionary view is not supported by the fossil record. He says, "No wonder paleontologists shied away from evolution for so long," he writes. "It seems never to happen. Fastidious collecting of fossil, from the bottom upward, up sheer cliff faces, zigzags, minor oscillations…“all showing the same results. That life forms all appear, fully formed, complete in body parts, at their first discovery [4.]. "When we do see the introduction of evolutionary novelty, it usually shows up with a bang, and often with no firm evidence that the organisms did not evolve elsewhere! Evolution cannot forever be going on someplace else. Yet that's how the fossil record has struck many a forlorn paleontologist looking to learn something about evolution“ (p. 95).
 
Scientists who go about teaching that evolution is a fact of life are great con-men, and the story they are telling may be the greatest hoax ever. In explaining evolution we do not have one iota of fact." (Dr. T.N. Tahmisian. Atomic Energy Commission, The Fresno Bee, August 20, 1959. )
 
"...most people assume that fossils provide a very important part of the general argument made in favor of Darwinian interpretation of the history of life. Unfortunately, this is not strictly true." (Dr. David Raup, Curator, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago. Quoted from "Conflicts between Darwin and paleontology," Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin, Vol. 50 (1), 1979.)
 
Since the facts do not prove evolution, since the fossil record does not show any transition from one species to another, since "scientific" dating methods have been proven unreliable, it is no surprise that A. Lunn summed it up saying, "Faith is the substance of fossils hoped for, the evidence of links unseen." (The Collapse of Evolution, by Dr. Scott Huse.)
 
Evolution is no omniscient scientist axiomatic truth. It remains both empirically and evidentially, inconclusively proven. Perhaps Professor George Wald (Harvard University) has an explanation, saying “I will not accept that (creation) philosophically because I do not want to believe in God. Therefore, I choose to believe in that which I know is scientifically impossible, spontaneous generations arising to evolution”.
 
There is more than ample evidence to support the conclusion that the spontaneous generation of life from nonliving matter is not possible. "One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task," Professor Wald of Harvard University acknowledges, "to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible." But what does this proponent of evolution actually believe? He answers: "Yet here we are - as a result, I believe, of spontaneous generation. [5.]" Does that sound like objective, rational science? It sounds like it requires a great deal of faith.
 
Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate in Physics, said at the moment of this explosion, "the universe was about a hundred thousand million degrees Centigrade...and the universe was filled with light." The universe has not always existed. It had a start...what caused that? Scientists have no explanation for the sudden explosion of light and matter.
 
There is general consensus in the scientific community that matter did not exist 14 billion years ago. We have evidence from the background radiation and other tests, for example, that the sky is dark at night that at that time there was said to be a “Big Bang.” Prior to that, there was no matter. It seems ironic that the term “big bang” came from Hoyle who maintained till his death that we had a steady state universe, even though no scientist accepts the eternal state of matter, today. So the belief that matter is eternal must come from some outdated concepts. Knowing this, the new Biology textbooks state that “The General Theory of Evolution (macroevolution) states that matter is eternal” while general scientific consensus is that it isn’t [6.].
 
Entropy is an example of energy being used up and then running out. It is defined as “when a system's energy is defined as the sum of its ‘useful’ energy (energy that can be used, for example, to push a piston), and its "useless energy" (that energy which cannot be used to do external work), then entropy may be visualized as the ‘stray’ or ‘lost’ energy whose magnitude over the total energy of a system is directly proportional to the absolute temperature of the system. is a measure of the disorder of a system (See here).”
 
Belief in a theory" is theology, not science. Even belief in the scientific method is stretching the point. Science works by observing phenomena, creating a hypothesis, and testing that hypothesis. If the test fails, a new hypothesis is constructed. It is time to speak openly and honestly about this theory - a theory that by scientific definitions and standards can never be proven conclusively. Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate in Physics, said at the moment of this explosion, "the universe was about a hundred thousand million degrees Centigrade...and the universe was filled with light." The universe has not always existed. It had a start...what caused that? Scientists have no explanation for the sudden explosion of light and matter. Here they can only theorize too.
 
If you read Webster’s definition of the word “theory”, you will likely not find more subjective terms and descriptions given to describe a single word in the entire dictionary. Notice all of the subjective terms that Webster uses to define the word theory: General principle “drawn from” anybody of facts; is “plausible” or scientifically “acceptable”; “general principle” offered to explain observed facts; “hypotheses“; “guess“; “abstract thought” [my favorite].
 
There are yet more experts in the field of science yet to quote on evolution than just Darwin who bluntly said, “Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory". I will not choose to use Darwin’s own words against his own theory, even though there are a plethora of such statements in his “Origin‘s“. No, there are biologists, anthropologists, nuclear physicists, astrophysicists, many Nobel Prize winning scientists…even Richard Dawkins and others who also have difficulties reconciling the evidences with the theory. And those problematic difficulties will be covered in due time.

* * * * * *

1. This is from the Helen Curtis (Macmillan Publishing) book Biology used for the past 28 years as the standard text for AP biology in high school and Bio 101 & 102 in most colleges and universities.
 
2. The Origin of Species, 1859, Masterpieces of Science edition, 1958, pp. 136-137.
 
3. Shattering the Myths of Darwinism, 1997, p. 253.
 
4. Reinventing Darwin: The Great Debate at the High Table of Evolutionary Theory, 1995, p. 95.
 
5. Life: How did it get here?, 1985, page 51 Reference to: Scientific American.
 
6. (Helen Curtis (Macmillan Publishing) book Biology used for the past 28 years as the standard text for AP biology in high school and Bio 101 & 102 in most colleges and universities.)


  
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Emanuel Paparella2009-04-05 22:53:03
I think it was Popper who in his falsicability theory proposes that to prove every law of nature one would have to conduct an infinite number of experiments and therefore one can never wholly sure of any scientific theory; one can only declare that it is in principle falsifiable. Hume, the father of empiricism, postulated that the fact that the sun comes out every morning does not mean it will come up tomorrow; it is just that we are confident it will since it has come up plenty of times before but nobody has seen cause and effect walking about. And Kant added that it was a category of the reasoning mind just as time and space were. But it was Thomas Khun who shocked the scientific community when he pointed out in his The Nature of Scientific Revolutions that the “priesthood of science” works within paradigm which are taken for granted and those paradigms or belief systems shift from time to time. We are now in the midst of one such: from Newtonian mechanics to quantum subatomic mechanics. What scientists found hardest to accept of Khun’s theory is that behind those shifting paradigms there were always belief systems which the scientists took for granted but never mentioned overtly. For example, if the ancient Greeks had not possessed a faith in the ability of human reason to reach truth, they would never have begun the enterprise of science in the first place. This is of course very shocking to Cartesian rationalists out to efficiently order the world and debunk imaginative works of the mind such as myths and fairy tales with clear and distinct ideas, but the fact remains that behind science there has always been a belief system of sort. Thomas Aquinas understood it perfectly, modern man in search of his soul and caricaturing faith and religious systems with its mocking skepticism no longer does. That, I dare say, is not progress; it is regression of the first order and the results are apparent.


A biologist2009-04-06 03:26:42
Wow, what a bunch of rank dishonesty. Well, fortunately, creationists never come up with anything original, they simply repeat the same talking points over and over again.

Let's see, to deal with all your dishonestly used quotes: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/project.html

and to deal with the actual claims themselves: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html

hrm. I guess even an amateur could have dealt with your article. My degree is wasted on it.


Critical Reader2009-04-06 16:54:52
The author either shows such a complete lack of understanding of science that it should be dismissed or it is such a painfully shallow attempt at obfuscation and fraud that the author should be ridiculed by others who share his opinion for making them look bad.

The author correctly states the test for a scientific hypothesis, and the article goes downhill in terms of correctness from there. First, the author cites to a quote from Darwin on transitional fossils. At its most basic, citing to a quote that is roughly 200 years old to evaluate the current status of a particular discipline is risible. Darwin had no understanding of the genetic relationships between species that have come to light since the discovery of DNA. The author then goes on to selectively quote, taking things out of context to make it appear as if scientists support his point, combining this with quotes from scientists that are either antiques or come from people talking about something outside their discipline.

For example, one of the author's accusations against those who teach the Theory of Evolution comes from a member of the Atomic Energy Commission and was published not in a peer reviewed journal but in the daily news in 1959. One might imagine that a member of the AEC is most likely a physicist and would not deal with evolutionary biology. At least, we'd hope to have physicists in the government agency responsible for licensing nuclear reactors.

The author then moves into the concepts of the origin of life and the origins of the Universe, without even pausing to note that he has stepped outside the realm to which the Theory of Evolution applies. Abiogenesis and cosmology are two completely different fields. The author brings them into play in a convoluted attempt to use thermodynamics to discredit a supposed quote from a biology textbook relating to the nature of matter. The supposed quote, "The General Theory of Evolution (macroevolution) states that matter is eternal” is bizarre even if it does come from a textbook (which I doubt). The Theory of Evolution makes no assertion about the nature of matter. A statement that "matter is eternal" sounds more like a shorthand version of the law of conservation of energy.

The author then attempts to use the dictionary definition of the word "theory" to impugn its use in the scientific context. If the author does not understand the scientific definition of the word, then he has no business writing an article of this type. His lack of knowledge of even the most fundamental use of language within a scientific discipline disqualifies him. On the other hand, if the author does understand the difference between the scientific use of the word and the non-scientific, colloquial uses of the word, then the author is fraudulently attempting to lead the ignorant astray.

The author of this article is either wrong through ignorance or intentionally attempting to deceive, and, in either case, does his cause no credit.


Seth2009-04-07 23:09:49
The unidentified "critical reader" mentioned that "the Atomic Energy Commission was published not in a peer reviewed journal but in the daily news in 1959." That's just what the man said (wrote)! The Fresno Bee is a daily paper! I saw him make no reference to it being in a peer reviewed journal. And how can the man being lying about the fossil record. It is what it is, isn't it?


Critical Reader2009-04-09 18:26:07
Seth, in science, experimental results and hypotheses get published in papers, and the underlying methodology gets reviewed by experts in the field - the process known as "peer review." If the reviewers agree that the methodology was sound, and the conclusions of the paper are supported by the experimental evidence, then the paper gets published in a peer-reviewed journal. This is the quality control aspect of science. The quote from Dr. Tahmisian came from the daily news. My point was that while he is entitled to his belief, (a) the quote was 50 years ago, and there has been an awful lot of scientific research done in that period and, (b) there is no evidence provided that he has any qualifications to evaluate any aspect of evolutionary theory or biology, in general. Why would his position with the Atomic Energy Commission provide such qualifications? It's like those fake computer virus alerts that say someone at Microsoft said "this is the worst virus EVER!!!!!!!" It's known as an appeal to authority, and in this case it's a logical fallacy (wikipedia has a good explanation of it here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_authority). If Dr. Tahmisian published a paper in a peer reviewed journal that demonstrated that the Theory of Evolution is false, then his statement would be credible (not to mention the fact that he would have won the Nobel Prize). But simply getting quoted in the daily paper 50 years ago doesn't cut it. See the difference?


Seth2009-04-11 20:38:42
I see your point now. Thanks. I still see unresolved a significant lack of archeological evidence that still remains troubling to me.


Critical Reader2009-04-13 23:54:48
Seth, a lot depends on what you mean by "troubling." If you're using that to indicate that you think there are pieces of history and evolutionary biology that have not been fully explained, every scientist would agree with you. There are competing hypotheses for a number of things in evolutionary biology (as well as most other areas of science), and each side has its passionate advocates. However, they are all arguing within the framework established by the Theory of Evolution, in the same way that cosmologists argue over competing hypotheses, but have to deal with the Theory of Relativity. If you are using "troubled" to indicate that you have difficulty accepting the Theory of Evolution, the fossil record is only part of the picture, and those who appeal to the fossil record to challenge the Theory of Evolution usually attempt to point to what they call "gaps" in the record. Whenever something is discovered that "fills" a so-called "gap," they gleefully point out that now there are TWO "gaps" where there only used to be one.

Finding fossils is a challenging task, at best. For example, when we're talking about dinosaurs and the first proto-mammals, we're talking about creatures that lived more than 65 MILLION years ago. Given the effect that predators eating things and spreading any pieces that are left all over the place (including cracking bones for marrow), plants and bacteria growing off of any decaying pieces, weather eroding/dissolving things and geology shifting (including plate tectonics moving large bodies of water around), it's actually pretty incredible that we can find whole examples of creatures that existed millions of years ago, and rather unrealistic to expect to fill every so-called "gap". Despite that, paleontology and now evolutionary biology, has done an incredible job of figuring that out using genetics to explain the relationships between different species and evolutionary stages.

If you have about half an hour, there's an excellent series of three videos discussing paleontology and genetics and the evolutionary record at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xX_AUm6HS

If you're still wondering about the Theory of Evolution versus the concept of creationism or so-called "Intelligent Design," I'd urge you to watch the NOVA series about the Dover School board case at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9R54LGX5_10.

Hope this helps, John.


Critical Reader (John)2009-04-15 16:14:54
Just as a follow up, here's an excellent article that discusses anthropological research, various fossil finds, and the conclusions we can draw from them. http://internetlooks.com/humanorigins.html


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