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Think not!
by Jack Wellman
2008-09-02 08:55:51
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The recent report by the National Academy of Sciences and its Institute of Medicine almost demands that evolution alone should be taught as the explanation of life. It does not address the origin of matter which makes life possible. But some advocates continue to demand that “various forms of creationism be taught together with evolution in science classes," the report says.* Evolution is a continuing topic of debate in some states. Florida officials are considering revisions in state science standards that would add the word "evolution" to the standards. The state Board of Education plans to vote on the guidelines next month. *

In Texas, the state's director of science curriculum, Chris Comer, maintains she was forced to resign recently due to evolution politics. Comer said she came under pressure after forwarding an e-mail that her superiors felt made the agency appear to be biased against the instruction of intelligent design, an alternative to evolution favored by some religious conservatives. The Texas State Board of Education is expected to begin a review of the state science curriculum soon.

Josh Rosenau, a spokesman for the California-based National Center for Science Education, which supports the teaching of evolution, said the new report is important because the debate over evolution in school is not going away. Casey Luskin, program officer for the Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based think tank that supports teaching students about the criticism of evolution, was critical of the document. "Students should learn about the evidence for and against evolution," he said. *
Incidentally, this deprivation of critical thinking skills applies to history (or as some might say, mis-history), economics, philosophy, business administration, etc. My college advisor always told me that after ten years, most prior educational teachings are irrelevant. Too many educational institutions put “Critical Thinking”, as part of the reasoning process, to the periphery. It’s more “memorize this!” However, when only one possibility is taught in the classroom on any given subject, then there is little room for debate or open discussion. And thereby, learning! The objective after all. Instead, it is more like being spoon fed (or force fed) only one food in the cafeteria. This type of “my way” or “high way” educational philosophy requires only rote memorization and de-emphasizes critical analysis.   It is the same as being told "think not" just memorize.  In today's classrooms, critical thinking is in critical condition.

My wife, her colleagues and I (like most educators) highly value abstract, critical and independent problem-solving skills in students that enable them to perform various functions and navigate particular difficulties that they will face latter in life. It ignores that each student, young or old, are unique individuals, with different beliefs and backgrounds. If they are forced to believe in only one possibility in a particular subject, and especially in one which has never been proven with 100% accuracy (i.e., evolution & still why it’s regarded only as a theory), then they are not being taught…they are being assimilated Like the Borg did to Captain Picard in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" - better to just let them think!
Their reality is more than their perception, it is who they are, what they believe. The Creationist’s are treated like they threw their brains in the trash and their scientific classmates who believe otherwise (even if likely from peer pressure) or even their teacher, laugh at them for their beliefs. What type of learning environment is that! IT is most common I am sad to report. Laughing at someone’s different beliefs to their face and in front of others, is like calling them a liar.
What is not a lie are the huge gaps in evidence of the missing transitional fossil links of other species evolution‘s Achilles' Heal, and perhaps the reason it is still called a theory and not a law (like other scientific theories later, proven as fact, i.e., E=mc²). In fact, Einstein's theory has now been repeatedly proven by modern scientific observation and documentation.

For example, the gradual morphing of one type of creature into another that evolution predicts is nowhere to be found. There should have been millions of transitional creatures if evolution were true. In the "tree of life" that evolutionists have dreamed up, gaps in the fossil record are especially huge between single-cell creatures, complex invertebrates (such as snails, jellyfish, trilobites, clams, and sponges), and what evolutionists claim were the first vertebrates, fish. In fact, there are no fossil ancestors at all for complex invertebrates or fish. That alone is fatal to the theory of evolution. The fossil record shows that evolution never happened and that only an (Cambrian) explosion of species and fossils appeared.

The platypus has a duck-like bill, swims with webbed feet, and lays eggs, yet nobody calls it a transitional creature between mammals and ducks. I assure you they would if it were extinct. In his introduction to The Origin of Species, Dr. W. R. Thompson recognizes the barrenness of Darwin's system, the injury it did to the progress of science and the fact that Mendelism owes nothing to it, and therefore does not belong to it.

Sir Bertram Windle [The Catholic Encyclopaedia (Vol. X)], produces evidence to show that Fr. Mendel's experiments have in fact exploded the main points of Darwin's theory. In it he writes: “Bateson (in Mendel's Principles of Heredity) claims that "his experiments are worthy to rank among those which laid the foundations of the atomic laws of chemistry"; and Lock, that his discovery "was of an importance little inferior to those of a Newton or a Dalton." Punnett also states that, owing to Mendel's labours, "the position of the biologist of today is much the same as that of a chemist of a century ago, when Dalton enunciated the law of constant proportions." ...T.H. Morgan does not hesitate to say that Mendel's laws give the final coup de grace to the doctrine of Natural Selection“. (op. cit. p. 182).

With regard to the claim made by evolutionists that the origin of the various species now existing in the world can be explained by the science of genetics (which as is admitted by all biologists, is but a development of Mendelism), Douglas Dewar writes in Man a Special Creation as follows: “Modern experimental work indicates that variations in organisms appear in consequence of 1) the duplication or multiplication of the chromosomes that occur in the cell nucleus, 2) in the translocation or displacement of parts of chromosomes, 3) the loss of chromosomes or parts of chromosomes, 4) gene mutations, which appear to be the result of the rearrangement of the molecules that make up the gene, or the action of inhibitors or stimulators of the genes, 5) loss of genes, 6) cross-breeding varieties“.

All the above causes are simply a shuffling or rearrangement of parts of the chromosomes or of genes. Such rearrangements may be expected to yield a considerable amount of variation, but clearly must be within the type. If species are defined as a freely interbreeding community, no new animal species has yet been bred by any experimenter. This is very remarkable in view of the fact that breeding experiments lasting over some 30 years have been made with the vinegar fly, Drosophila melanogaster. This produces about 25 generations in a year, hence some 900 successive generations of this species have been bred in the laboratory in the unsuccessful attempt to convert it into another type. This corresponds to about 30,000 years of human existence. There appears to exist no mechanism whereby a new type of organism can arise from an existing one. This explains why all breeds of dogs, pigeons, etc., despite their great diversity are still dogs, pigeons, etc.

That it is impossible to change a dog or a pigeon into anything else but a dog or a pigeon is evident from such facts as the following which are taken from the work of Dr. Hurst, already quoted: "1) The gene is the sole basis of hereditary transmissions. 2) In every case that has been investigated more than one pair of genes are concerned in the development of each character...Genetic experiments show that in the simplest case, at least four pairs of genes are concerned in the organization and development of the wild agouti coat color of rabbits, and many other genes are also concerned."

The rearrangement of the molecules that make up one or more of the genes that regulate the color of the rabbits' fur is likely to effect some change in that color, but even if there be a simultaneous arrangement of the molecules of all such genes, the effect on the animal's coat is confined to the color; all such changes are necessarily within narrow limits, and this applies equally to the genes that regulate other parts of the rabbit, and those of all other animals.

I hope the school textbook writers are able to hire the best graphic designers and artists that they can find, since they will need them to continue to adorn beautiful pictures and graphics for us all to see, rather than the real life transitional fossils of one species into another. Pictures are more readily available since photographs of the alleged multiple transitional fossils to display just don‘t exist. You might get lucky and see one or two different fossils as "proof" in the books, all the while ignoring the fact it is simply another species. My college textbooks and my children’s textbooks are just the same today...just 1 or two pictures of one fossil or specie claimed to be a transitional species. Since evolution is regarded as extremely slow, there should be thousands upon thousands of the different species from say amphibians to mammals…not what they show as one fossil of one mammal, so very much is left up to the imagination.
Believe it or not, in this year of 2008, the demand by the scientific or evolutionistic agenda’s excluding all other possibilities into their scientific agenda’s in the classroom reminds me on an earlier time, when scientists thought themselves enlightened.  And there was no room for criticism.  A dark time in reality;  made demonstrative by narrow-mindedness to the exclusion of such ideas as “there earth really wasn’t flat, you couldn't sail off the edge of the earth, the earth was not the center of the universe, that doctors “blood-letting” practices did not really help the patient and in fact were more harmful…I could go on. These too thought that they were right, dogmatically, and to the exclusion of any other possibilities.  Yet they were all clearly proven wrong latter.  The clear distinction remains:  theories are just that… theories, laws (E=mc²) are laws. They are not to be confused.

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Emanuel Paparella2008-09-02 10:23:34
Indeed, Jack, the tragedy is not the scarcity of theories about the origin of life and its development but the narrow-mindedness that pits one mind-set against another and refuses to engage in an honest dialogue. Here is a personal anecdote which perhaps yields an insight in this regard. Some 40 years ago following my father’s death I took responsibility for my eight years old sister, twenty years my junior. I was at the time teaching at the University of Puerto Rico where I enjoyed tenure. A friend recommended what he considered a good grammar school for my sister to continue her studies. I enrolled her. In looking over her science books I noticed that what was being taught at this school was merely the crudest of creationism lifted verbatim from the Bible. In other words the Bible was being taught as a science book. Therefore one of the statements in those pseudo-scientific books was that the earth was merely some ten thousand years old. I went to speak to the principal, which turned out to be an evangelical protestant denomination school, and confronted him with my perplexity. I told him that one of the things I expected my sister to learn in his school, or indeed any school, was respect for the truth. I asked him if he really believed that dinosaurs whose skeletons we have as evidence roamed the earth less than ten thousand years ago and the fossil record is a delusion of the scientific community. His reply was: the Bible tells us so and we do not argue the truth of the Bible. At that point I told him that I came from a tradition which with Thomas Aquinas believes that reason does not contradict faith and vice versa, and if it does there is a problem that needs to be solved. Needless to say, I took my sisters out of that school. (continued below)

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-02 10:24:06
I suppose there is another side to this argument: the side of the atheists and the materialists and the logical positivists and the “pro-choicers” so called that also needs to be entertained and examined. That’s what I like about Barack Obama. He has the kind of mind which is capable of entertaining both sides and then arrive at a point of view instead of putting one’s ideological glasses on and declaring that the world is just ten thousand years old.

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-02 14:36:59

In more modern time we have the tradition of Theilard De Chardin who addressed the issue of Man's evolution vis a vis faith and reason. See the above link in Ovi.

Jack2008-09-03 22:54:14
In 1952 a graduate student in Chicago attempted to emulate prebiotic conditions on a young earth "billions of years ago." However, organic life and DNA were never "created." *

What biochemists cannot do, after repeated attempts, and given almost unlimited funding, time, and contact with the brightest and best scientific minds in the world is to concoct a "simmering, primordial stew". There have been several other simulation experiments over the years, yet not even one time, has any one, any where, ever been able to make the sugar like molecules "dioxy-ribose" and "ribose" necessary to build DNA and RNA molecules.

Random chemical reactions are not what any biochemist would bet on when making something as detailed as DNA, even in the fullness of time. And recent discoveries are adding even more woes to the primordial stew hypothesis.

If the origin of DNA/RNA continues to remain one of the greatest scientific unsolved mysteries, then the door is wide open to other explanations. Questioning, unbiased scientists should be free to go down that path, unrestricted by peer-pressure, institutional-pressure or preconceived notions or prejudices about the origins of life.

And as your readin this, evolutionist’s are still waiting...and hoping, after 50 years of trying, that some day a purely chemical explanation for the origin of the complex DNA molecule will miraculously appear. Just like the theory, 150 years old and counting, or should I say, holding...as a theory.

* Kerr, R. A. October 6, 2006. Has lazy mixing spoiled the primordial stew? Science 6 314:36-37.

Jack2008-09-04 00:56:58
Evolution itself is divided. First, neo-Darwinism proposes that millions of tiny changes made new creatures over a long period. When they could not find these tiny changes between one type of creature and another in the fossil record, some evolutionists “theorized” that change must have occurred by occasional, gigantic leaps, called punctuated equilibrium. Even these two groups disagree with each other.

Hypothetically, beneficial mutation could only make a slight change. Any more than that would be so disruptive as to cause death due to the irregularities in their DNA. So punctuated equilibrium is not really one giant leap at a time or it may become a leap to the death. Anyway, this punctuated equilibrium envisions a lot of slight changes over many thousands of years, then nothing happens for millions of years. However, fossil records indicate otherwise. There are no fossils that have been found from a leap such as this, because thousands of years is too fast in the billions of years of "geologic time" to leave any. On the other hand, without fossils there is no evidence that any leaps ever happened in the first place, and today, there remains no evidence that leaps or gradual changes are happening in any of the millions of species that still exist.

Constant change is what evolution is all about, whether gradual or in gigantic leaps. The problem for evolution is that we do not see the “leaps” or “creeps” in the fossil record. All fossils are of complete animals and plants, not works in progress "under construction". That is why we can give each distinct plant or animal a name. If evolution's continuously morphing, then every fossil should show the change that is underway throughout the creature, with parts in various stages of completion. They are not there.

Jack2008-09-04 00:58:02
In conclusion, Charles Darwin described the problem with his theory. In The Origin of Species he says, "The number of intermediate varieties which have formerly existed on Earth must be truly enormous. 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 gravest objection which can be urged against my theory."

The more fossils that are found, the better sense we have of what lived in the past. The number of fossils that have been collected, documented and categorized, has grown tremendously since Darwin’s day [estimates over half a million], so we now have a pretty accurate picture of the earth’s former and present inhabitants. The gradual morphing of one type of creature to another that evolution predicts is nowhere to be found and with the time span, why not in the millions? There are already fossils under Mt. Saint Helen’s 1980 eruptive ash. So there should have been millions of transitional creatures. Even the so-called "tree of life" used by evolutionists show enormous gaps in the fossil record, particularly huge between the single-cell creatures and the complex invertebrates (such as snails, jellyfish, trilobites, clams, and sponges), and what evolutionists claim were the first vertebrates, fish. In fact, there are no fossil ancestors at all for complex invertebrates or fish. Where’d they come from? The fossil record seems to be the most condemning of evolution, for it doesn’t support the theory.

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