Students Challenge to Learn All They Can About Evolution

imagesbannerscp_150x601Reprinted by permission of the Christian Post

By Nathan Black
Christian Post Reporter
Wed, Aug. 26 2009 10:45 AM EDT

As students step foot on campus for another school year, an intelligent design proponent has offered a few tips for the millions who will face the teaching of evolution in their science classrooms.

Tip number one, “never opt out of learning evolution,” says Casey Luskin, co-founder of the Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness (IDEA) Center, according to the Discovery Institute.

“In fact, learn about evolution every chance you get.”

EvolutionStepsHaving attended public schools from kindergarten through his master’s degree at the University of California, San Diego, Luskin was taught a “biased and one-sided origins” curriculum – basically, the neo-Darwinian theory.

There was virtually no debate or dialogue on the theory when he was learning it and “neo-Darwinian evolution was always taken as a given.”

But Luskin does not regret having studied evolution as much as he did. He says the more evolutionary biology he took, the more he became convinced that the theory “was based upon unproven assumptions, contradictory methodologies, and supported weakly by the data.”

So he encourages students not to be afraid to study evolution.

His advice comes as a new report reveals that the treatment of biological evolution in state science standards improved dramatically over the last decade. According to the National Center for Science Education, which defends the teaching of evolution in public schools, 40 U.S. states – including the District of Columbia – received satisfactory grades for the treatment of evolution in their state science standards. Only 31 states had received such grades in Lawrence S. Lerner’s 2000 study Good Science, Bad Science, conducted for the Fordham Foundation.

Meanwhile, five states – Alabama, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia – received an “F” and another six states received the grade of “D.”

Texas was recently in the national spotlight when the state board of education revised science standards in March to encourage students to “critique” and examine “all sides” of scientific theories.

Denouncing the inclusion of “creationist jargon” – language to justify the use of teaching material that casts doubt on the theory of evolution – in science standards, the NCSE report’s authors, Louise S. Mead and Anton Mates, believe creationists have strategized to insert more “innocuous language” such as “critical analysis” and “strengths and weaknesses” into the standards.

Mead and Mates contend in their report, “It is simply not true that there are credible scientific alternatives to evolution, nor that evolutionary theory has ‘weaknesses’ that make it unlikely to be true, nor that scientific work has been done that casts doubt upon it. Students should be left in no doubt on this score.”

Luskin thinks otherwise.

He challenges students to be critical in their thinking when approaching evolution and be proactive in learning about other credible scientific viewpoints that are likely censored by teachers.

“[Y]ou must be careful to always think for yourself,” he cautions. “Everyone wants to be ‘scientifically literate,’ but the Darwin lobby pressures people by redefining ‘scientific literacy’ to mean ‘acceptance of evolution’ rather than ‘an independent mind who understands science and forms its own informed opinions.'”

For Luskin, critical thinking and his own independent study led him to conclude that neo-Darwinian evolution was a set of questionable assumptions, and not facts.

He also discovered that there were “credible scientific views that dissent from neo-Darwinism” that were never disclosed to him.

“Yes, take courses advocating evolution. But also read material from credible Darwin skeptics to learn about other viewpoints. Only then can you truly make up your mind in an informed fashion.”

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43 Responses to “Students Challenge to Learn All They Can About Evolution”

  1. Luskin says he found that the evolutionary “theory” (a better word would be “hypothesis”) “was based upon unproven assumptions, contradictory methodologies, and supported weakly by the data,” and that there are “credible scientific views that dissent from neo-Darwinism.”

    Anyone who has *not* found the same as Luskin either has not really learned about evolutionism vs. creationism/ID, or has accepted inadequate ways of explaining away what has been learned.

    Evolutionism keeps getting sold as objective science, but it's nothing but atheistic philosophy in scientific clothing. Anyone who doesn't see that either doesn't want to or isn't paying attention. Evolutionism is every bit as closely tied to atheism as creationism is to Christianity, and any glimpse into what atheists & evolutionists say behind their public faces will show this.

  2. Luskin is funny. You ought to hear him explain how seven koala bears got off the ark and slowly, very slowly, made their way to the bowels of Australia which accoeding to his flood geology beliefs, had already separated from the once contiguous earth. Thousands of miles of mountains, deep gorges, rivers, at least two seas or oceans, deserts , great plains and more. I guess the only reason they perservered is becase Australia is the only only continent where eucalyptus ( the mainstay of their diet ) grows in enough abundance to support them

  3. I find myself in the unusual position of agreeing with Casey Luskin. I too think that students should invest the time and intellectual capital to fully understand the theory of evolution. I suppose we would also agree that those same students should understand the philosophy of intelligent design and to know how it differs from the modern approach to science (as defined by Karl Popper). Only then will they be able to rationally distinguish between the two approaches to understanding the diversity of life on Earth.

    However I strongly disagree with the comments of DCM. Evolutionary theory, and science in general, is mute on the matter of theism. In the purest sense of the word science is agnostic, yet is often painted as being an atheistic philosophy in an effort rally the troops against it.

    Notable atheists like Richard Dawkins also happen to be evolutionists. But so too is Francis Collins, and as an evangelical Christian who has given his life to the glory of God he would strongly object to being labeled as an atheist. If you object to evolution fine. But if you do so because of your strong theistic leanings then you are guilty of doing something that science never pretends to do.

    A most unChristian thing to do.

  4. “unproven assumptions, contradictory methodologies, and supported weakly by the data”

    Name one? Just saying that means nothing.

    “credible scientific views that dissent from neo-Darwinism.” (neo Darwinism is a culture war term like micro and maco evoluton that means nothing, Evolution is the accepted theory for speciation)

    Any scientific design theory that does not have a scientifically provable designer can not be regarded as science. ID goes out of its way to not name the 'designer' but proponents always add “But I think it is God.” As the Dover trial stated (as has every other examination of these theories) for ID to be accepted as science, science would have to be redefined. If you read the Discovery Institutes wedge document you would know they are soley devoted to this very dangerous outcome. Science cannot function outside reality and will never prove your faith. Why do you need phony science in order to have faith?

  5. Rutledge – Mocking someone's viewpoint proves nothing invalid about it.

    Mafarmerga – “Evolutionary theory” is not the same as “science in general” in the first place, partly because of how much it involves the unobservable past. And your argument about the philosophical neutrality of evolutionism is a common one, but it doesn't match the actual behavior of evolutionists who fight to keep any thought of an intelligent designer out of “science.” The “neutrality” is in words, not actions. True, many non-atheists do accept evolutionism, but they're generally going with the popular flow or assuming someone else has “proven” this stuff.

    Allen – Who defines “science” so as to exclude a Designer anyway? In order to study how computers work, do you need to know all about the people who invented them? Not really. But that doesn't mean no one invented them. The “designer-free” definition of science is arbitrary and concerned with being “natural” rather than necessarily being “true.” You also make the mistake of assuming only the “religious” have “faith”, and that “faith” involves believing things so unprovable that they could be totally false and no one would ever know. But “faith” is just a starting point, and both the atheist and the theist have to start with their own faith and go from there.

    I have found that most people who defend evolutionism and/or attack creationism are not even working with an accurate picture of the latter — i.e., they accept the popular media caricature rather than actually learning anything about it. It speaks volumes that evolutionists increasingly rarely attempt to defend their beliefs with evidence, but usually resort to mockery, distortion, politics, etc.

  6. Dr. R., would you help me find the story about koalas told by Dr. Luskin. I have looked, but can't seem to find any reference to it. Thanks.

  7. “Any scientific design theory that does not have a scientifically provable designer can not be regarded as science.”

    I'll bet this would be news to most archeologists. They find artifacts all the time that are clearly not the result of random, undirected processes. They assess, make assumptions, interpret, and draw conclusions from these artifacts without any hope of ever determining who was the designer or creator. So, by your definition, archeology is not a scientific pursuit.

    Of course, that is absurd. Science is the search for truth about our world. Anything that constrains that pursuit is arbitrary and “unscientific.” I have always contended that science should be as neutral as humanly possible in regards to politics and religion, but should follow the evidence wherever it leads. If the evidence suggests a designer, as even Dawkins admits, then that possibility should not be eliminated simply because “that's not science.” That's BS.

  8. DCM Believe it or not, I am not mocking Luskin, because he truly believes that the koalas traveled over 15,000 miles (9000 as the crow flies) from where the Ark landed to Australia. Considering the speed at which they walk and taking time to rest, forage for food etc. , it would take them over 100 years minimum to make that journey. I saw him give a talk in Austin, Texas and this question was ask of him and he went on a long explanation of how they could make such a journey including riding on tree logs across the seas. When ask why Australia, he said because that’s where the designer wanted them and then changed their diet to eucalyptus once they arrived. He stated that they bred along the way and it took many generations of koalas to make it. When ask if he had one shrivel of proof, he said no, but how else could it have happened. To me that was funny, not mockery.

    Also, how do you know that the people who believe in God and evolution just are going with popular belief or just assuming and accepting that someone else ‘proved’ evolution. The ones I know or read about take this subject quite seriously and have delved into all sides of the issue deeply. Isn’t it presumptuous of you to say that about the millions who believe in both?

  9. I have never had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Lufkin speak, but I have read quite a few of his writings for the Discovery Institute and your account of his koala story just doesn't quite match up with the intellectual rigor displayed in his writings. Sometimes stories lose something in the re-telling and sometimes people hear a story with a mind to some pre-conceived notions. I won't presume to speak for Dr. Lufkin, but many scientists that believe in a creator have speculated about the migrations and even evolution (adaptation at the level of species and genus) that may have occurred and I suspect Dr. Lufkin was speaking more in those terms than the seemingly silly and simplistic account that you present, Dr. R.

  10. I don't mean to be the Grammar Nazi, but since you wrote it three times in your comment above, I should point out that the past tense of 'ask' is 'asked.'

  11. Hello dr theo,

    I have a small problem with your argument. We know, it is a 100% certainty, that the artifacts,like a broken plate or utensil, archaeologists study come from man. We know it because we make similiar objects today or can see or read about them in ancient pictures and writngs. We know who the designer is beforehand, which is inturn why the objects are studied-to learn about that designer( man). No assumptions are made about the fact that man made the artifact. Assumptions are made about what that man was like , but not that he made it.

    If an object is found that that has qualities of man made design and natural features as well, then the archaelolgist must say he doesnt know if it is designed. So since we know don't know and cant know if a “who' designed the cosmos, we can never corroborate or validate it.That's why science states that a god or a designer is immaterial. It makes no difference to science if a god created a complex cell or not. Science just is interested in how it works. Math and physics and chemistry dont need a god to help explain them. either does the rest of science. Can you name one field of science where it matters if there is a God or not?

  12. Luskin has demonstrated time and again the his understanding of evolution, and science in general, is abysmal.

    “But also read material from credible Darwin skeptics”

    There's a little problem with that: there are no credible “Darwin skeptics,” just a small collection of religious zealots like Luskin who are lacking in both scientific understanding and honesty.

  13. Your description of archaelogy is nonsense. Archaelogists must have an idea of the intent, capability and methodology of a “designer” if they are to attribute artifacts to him.

  14. dr theo I do appreciate you pointing out my misspelling of 'asked' and I am sure Mrs. Melton, my 7th grade English teacher, is embarrassed for me. As for Luskin, he is a lawyer for the Discovery Institute. He has no scientific credentials. I heard him about two years ago in Austin, Texas where the Discovery Institute had landed to try and push their agenda onto the state school board. Stephen Meyer was there as well and they held a public lecture, debate etc. hopefully to teach citizens about ID. Many men of science from U. of Texas were there and the koala question was asked by one and Mr. Luskin gave his opinion. From my recollection( which I hope is better than my spelling) The talk was answer was quite simplistic and things like migratory patterns and the length of time it takes to develope them were not part of his knowledge base. His writngs are indeed sharp, but his basic depth of science, to me, was and is quite shallow.

  15. Brian and Reggie, you are both being obstinate and refuse to see the situation in its fundamental nature. The fact that we “know” an artifact comes from a human does not change the situation.

    The “Astrolabe of Anticythera” when found defied all the conventional wisdom about what ancient technology was capable of producing and their degree of understanding of mechanics and astronomy. In other words, scientists could not make it fit into their preconceived notions. You would argue that, since we “know” that ancient man couldn't produce such a device, it must have happened by the chance accumulation of tin and copper acted upon by the erosive power of the sea; to attribute it to a creator would be unscientific. You don't believe that, do you?

    I have an artifact in my collection that so far has defied explanation as to its construction or purpose. It is a pink granite bi-concave disc about 3.5 inches in diam. and 2.5 in. thick. It is highly polished and nearly perfectly circular and consistent in thickness and depth of the concave surfaces. No one would suggest it is anything other than a man made object. I do not know who or why or how it was made, but I know that it was produced by an intelligent designer.

    When I study the structure of DNA or the behavior of the bird of paradise or the miracle of a baby's birth I see complexity and specificity that puts my little rock to shame. And you are telling me that since we don't know why or how or who we have to reject the possibility of a designer!?

    I am an amateur archeologist and have worked on a couple of digs associated with Northwestern University, particularly the Koster Site in south central Illinois. I believe I can look at a stone and determine with a fairly high degree of accuracy whether it has been 'worked' by human hands. Without exception, no matter how simple or exquisite, no matter whether I understand the purpose of the design or not, no matter whether I am able to determine an age of the artifact or not, I know than an intelligent agent had a hand it its existence.

    When we see evidence of design in nature it is a willful deception to deny it. As a scientist I have a responsibility to be honest in my assessments whether they support or hinder my prior belief system.

    When SETI antennae picked up what is now called the “Wow” signal in 1977 and prematurely speculated that it could be of an intelligent source outside our solar system, was this counter-scientific? After all, Reggie, they had no “idea of the intent, capability and methodology of a “designer.'” The math, physics and chemistry of the signal was pretty well understood, Brian, so you say they should not “be interested in how it works?”

    Both of your counter arguments are specious and without substance and I think you'll realize that on reflection.

  16. You heard what you heard. I won't argue the point. Mr. Luskin has a B.S. and M.S. in Earth Sciences from University of California, San Diego so it's not quite accurate to say he has no scientific credentials.

  17. “Can you name one field of science where it matters if there is a God or not?”
    I am sorry, Dr. R., I neglected to answer your question in my remarks below. I think all of science depends upon the truth. If all of nature was created by a superior being that holds the power of death and eternal life, then it is imperative that we determine that because everything else would be moot. If the truth is that the universe has always existed without any intelligent direction and we are all just a random collection of chemical reactions and their by-products (like emotions, thought, beauty, love, rationality, truth, etc) then none of it matters and we are all wasting time contemplating and arguing the equivalent of dancing angels on the head of a pin.

  18. I stand corrected I would still question what expertise he has in knowing how a koala could make such as journey logically and state it so emphatically, but could be wrong about that as well. Incorrect spelling and Luskins degrees- I am having a bad day.

  19. If it is true that a superior being doesn't exist and that we don't matter, that in and of itself has no relationship to science. It is just bad luck for our souls( if they exist). The cell is just as complexed either way and I am fascinated by that and find great value in reading and reasearching the mechanisms that explain it( I read the reasearch, not do it). It sounds cold, but whether or not a superior being is reaponsible for complexity doesn't change the fact that things are complex and man wants to what the mechanism is. If man wants to know 'who', then you get into religion.I find that since I don't believe eternal life exists, that life is quite valuable to me. It is my only shot..Believing that I will never see my children again after I die, makes my feelings and concern for them quite strong. I value everything they do.

  20. First of your basic premise is wrong. I would never say that ancient man was incapable of anything much less creating a device like an astrolabe if I were the one too discover the ancient device. I would simply realise that I needed to rethink what ancient man was capable of doing and look for more evidence to increase my knowledge. not sure of your point.

    You are certainly free to look at a bird of paradise and believe a designer is responsible. Don't want you to reject the possiblity of a designer at all. It just isnt science. A beautiful bird of paradise is beautiful and has the same shape and color whether designed or not.And remeber, the geologist might find your rock more beautiful,complex and specific than a bird of paradise. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

  21. “Anyone who has *not* found the same as Luskin either has not really learned about evolutionism vs. creationism/ID, or has accepted inadequate ways of explaining away what has been learned.”

    Obviously, then, you should be able to justify the assertion that the theory of evolution is based upon “unproven assumptions” and “contradictory methodologies”. Please do so.

    ” Evolutionism is every bit as closely tied to atheism as creationism is to Christianity”

    Please explain the beliefs of Dr. Kenneth Miller and Dr. Francis Collins.

  22. I don't think you quite got my point, Dr. R. Simply put, pertaining to a Creator:

    If it's true, it's science. If it's not true, it's irrelevant.

  23. I think I got your point.A worldview issue. All things, including science, are irrelevant if there isn't a Supreme Being. Does that sum it up ?

  24. “Science is the search for truth” Since when? Define truth? Truth isn't faith. Science seeks to explain observations in reality. It can't be neutral on religion because the only real thing about religion is faith which is real and observable as any human behavior. There is no real world evidence of any gods. Evidence that leads to designer presumes a designer exists in the first place before the evidence is examined. So it is a cherry picking exercise to reach a desired conclusion. For ID to be science the designer must be a scientific reality whose behavior and capabilities are known and observable. Then science could decide whether obervations fit which causality. Science is constrained. Constrained by reality. It is impossible for it to reach supernatural conclusions.

  25. “Science is the search for truth” Since when? Define truth? Truth isn't faith. Science seeks to explain observations in reality. It can't be neutral on religion because the only real thing about religion is faith which is real and observable as any human behavior. There is no real world evidence of any gods. Evidence that leads to designer presumes a designer exists in the first place before the evidence is examined. So it is a cherry picking exercise to reach a desired conclusion. For ID to be science the designer must be a scientific reality whose behavior and capabilities are known and observable. Then science could decide whether obervations fit which causality. Science is constrained. Constrained by reality. It is impossible for it to reach supernatural conclusions.

  26. dr theo Your artifact serves a great purpose in this discussion and I propose you have been trained all your life to who, how and why it was made. It has been ingrained into your your thought process that most all things you see that are highly polished are man made. The same is true of circular, uniformly thick objects. Also true of concave. disc-like structures.You have also been trained that rough,irregular objects like rocks are not man made.We are often unawrae of this training, but it is ongoing since we were infants.This observational learning and training accelerates in childhood and if the training continues, a chard of pottery( or your artifact) that you and I might not know who,why or how it came about exactly, is easily recognized by the more highly trained eye.

    The mystery that you propose isnt a mystery at all. Of course you know it has a designer. Your whole life has taught you to think like that. We have proof that there are men( designers) and we have proof there are artifacts(your object). The problem with making the analogy between man made designed objects and stating that therefore a complexed,specific object must be the work of a supernatural being, is that we dont have proof of that particular designer, do we ? The analogy isn't valid.

  27. Let me make sure I've got this right, Brett. Science does not concern itself with truth. Science can only apply to things we already know. Science is constrained only by reality so the study of things like quarks and string theory and quantum theory and gravity are not scientific, since we cannot conceptualize them according to the our reality.

    So you would agree that the whole SETI project is a waste of time and money since any signal that we receive, no matter how complex and specific it might be, cannot be attributed to an intelligence or designer whose “behavior and capabilities” are unknown. Since there is “no real evidence” for life beyond our planet, it is clearly unscientific to search for evidence of extraterrestrial life because to do so would presume the existence of said life and would thus be an act of faith, not science.

    Excuse me Brett, I have to stop now. I'm getting a headache.

  28. DCM writes ” “Evolutionary theory” is not the same as “science in general” in the first place, partly because of how much it involves the unobservable past.”

    Uh, sorry, but yes it is. Please note that I clearly stated that modern science is based on a Popperian philosophy of falsifiability. While an experimental approach to science (complete with controls etc.) is certainly one way to falsify a theory, so are obervational or deductive approaches valid. As Haldane would say “Show me a rabbit fossil from the Cambrian and evolutionary theory as we know it would be falsified” The fact that the “experiment” cannot be repeated or even directly observed, is not a reason to exclude evolution from the realm of science.

    As for the neutrality of science, again, I feel that if science does not remain neutral on the subject of faith then both science and faith are harmed. People of faith should be arguing for this exclusion as enthusiastically as do the atheists. Can you think of an experiment to prove or disprove the existence of God? To me, a scientist of faith, I think that even contemplating such an experiment constitutes blasphemy. It is in everyone's best interests to keep the two ways of knowing separate from one another.

    For these, and many other reasons, I fight hard to exclude the role an intelligent designer may have played out of the realm of science. This is not to say that I deny the existence of such a designer (the spiritual side of me actually allows for it) but we cannot confuse this with science. I think that Ken Miller and Francis Collins would agree with me on this point.

    Otherwise we risk turning “God” into a magic word to invoke everytime we can't figure something out. To do so harms both science AND it harms faith.

  29. dr. theo Take a couple of Tylenol. Science does concern itself with the truth with the caveat that this truth is in the realm of the natural world. You know that for anything to be scientific, it must be able to be disproved.That deletes the supernatural.Using the 'truth' argument is a little disingenuous because you know science does deal with the truth within its own confines-the natural world.

    I would also beg to differ about things like gravity and quarks not being able to be conceptualized within our reality. You and I may not, but the physicists do and are refining their concepts of these entities. Gravity can be crudely measured and we know quarks have charges. Can't do that with the supernatural.

    Many scientists feel the SETI is quasi-science, because while the instruments being used are scientific and a lot of science knowledge has spun off of it, its methodology of contacting extraterrestrials is not scientific at all. Hawkings feels this way and if you notice it is reffered to as a project. And most importantly, they say up front that they are in no way presuming 'space life' exists. They make it clear that they are trying to send radio signals to the cosmos WITHOUT presuming life exists. Sort of life fishing. you might have a feeling or faith that your going to catch something, while i'll boil it down to a mere mathematical percentage. i never presumed i will catch a fish, but there is a percentage chance( just like SETI). Bet you never thought of fishing as a scientific endeavor.No presumptions, just numbers

  30. To assert that science can only consider the causes the we understand is arbitrary and unreasonable. When Heisenberg and Planck began work on their quantum theory they described particles that were both particle-like or wave-like simultaneously and yet could not be located at any precise moment not their velocity determined relative to their position. The known laws of mechanics did not apply. Einstein and others were very much troubled by this to the point that Einstein considered it an incomplete theory (see EPR paradox). By your reasoning, Dr. R., since there was something going on that had the appearance of being supernatural (beyond what we understood of natural laws) scientist should have turned-tail, burnt all the notebooks and deferred the question to the theologians.

    Physicists do NOT have conceptual understanding of many of these phenomena except in a mathematical context (which I greatly admire!) but they can “see” these things in their mind's eye no better than the rest of us. Yes, we can measure many things, but that doesn't constitute understanding. We can measure the fundamental forces in nature (electromagnetic, strong forces, weak forces and gravity) but we are very far from understanding what they are.

    SETI is an acronym for Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence and they make no bones about what they are 'fishing' for. Their website begins with :
    “The mission of the SETI Institute is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe.

    We believe we are conducting the most profound search in human history — to know our beginnings and our place among the stars.”

    SETI is sponsored by
    Institute projects have been sponsored by:

    •NASA Ames Research Center
    •NASA Headquarters
    •National Science Foundation
    •Department of Energy
    •US Geological Survey
    •Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
    •International Astronomical Union
    •Argonne National Laboratory
    •Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
    •David & Lucile Packard Foundation
    •Universities Space Research Association (USRA)
    •Pacific Science Center
    •Foundation for Microbiology
    •Sun Microsystems
    •Hewlett Packard Company
    •William and Rosemary Hewlett
    •And many others

    I think they would be disappointed to hear that you and “many scientists feel SETI is quasi-science.”

    The SETI web site states “Project Phoenix is a passive experiment, designed only to look for signals, not to send them.” They do not broadcast signals but simply listen with arrays of radio telescopes in various locations. It kind of sounds like they presume extra-terrestrial life exists. Surely you've heard Carl Sagan expound on this subject; he sounded very much like a Southern Baptist preacher in the certainty of his beliefs (I believe he has discovered the truth finally).

  31. Once upon a time, the religious community had a problem with another scientific theory*, the theory of gravity, because it seemed to conflict with religious doctrine. The Catholic Church decided “heliocentism” (the notion that the earth revolves around the sun) was “false and contrary to Scripture”** in February 1616 and sentenced Galileo to house arrest.

    *By the way, the strongest notions in science are called “theories.” In order to qualify as a theory, a concept must have predictive power– that is, to show that a theory is true, it must predict outcomes that are then objectively observed. The theory of gravity accurately predicts where the earth and sun will be relative to one another, Einstein's theory of general relativity correctly predicted the finding of black holes, and the theory of evolution accurately predicts fossil finds, mutations of viruses, and the existence of varieties of plant and animal life that people observe on a daily basis.

    ** You can read about Galileo in Galileo: Decisive Innovator by Sharratt, Michael, published by the Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England UK in 1994.

  32. Theories are what most people think they are–unproven speculation that may or may not have supporting evidence and may or may not be accurate. The most certain declarations of scientific truth are called Laws, such as the Law of Gravity, or the Second Law of Thermodynamics (which evolution, were it true, would violate).

    I don't think anyone is arguing about gravity or Relativity and these do indeed have great predictive value, not because we understand them entirely but because we have observed and measured their natures at great length. We know, for instance that light travels at 300,000 Km/sec. But we don't know why. Why not 150,000 Km/sec? Why does a given mass have the gravitation pull that it has? Why isn't it more or less? Why can't it be variable?

    Darwin never predicted fossils. He observed them and built his theory upon them, at least in part. Can evolution tell us how fossils formed? How did billions upon billions of herring become fossilized in a single strata spanning more than 500 square miles with even their soft tissues nicely preserved for study? Why are 90% of these fish oriented in the same direction? Are fossils being formed today in any significant quantity? Where? How did fossil jellyfish form? How can we observe the great diversity of life in the Cambrian deposits (supposedly the earliest) without any precursor fossils in earlier layers?

    Darwinian evolution or neo-Darwinism if you prefer cannot predict a thing about viruses or plant and animal evolution. We certainly can observe variations and we can observe how bacteria and viri adapt by exchanging genetic material (and very rarely by mutation) but this has little to do with generation of new genetic information by random nucleotide base errors.

  33. dr. theo I don't believe that I have ever asserted that science can only concern utself with the causes that we can understand. That's what science is all about. If Planck and Einstein wrestled with phenomena that seemed to defy all known laws of physics, They simply knew there was another explanation which could disrupt all current laws of physics or that the particular 'new theory' was wrong. it was one or the other.
    I personally don'tt think in terms of ” something that has the appearance of being supernatural ” and I doubt Planck tec. thought that way either. Somethings in science just aren't understood yet and may never be, but to even use the word supernatural or even think it is absurd when it comes to science which has indeed limited it self to a nonsupernatural field of study. I believe religion has done its part as well since it claims that its supernatural status is beyond the natural laws we have to work with.
    When Planck and Einstein realised the complexity of there findings, they just dug in harder. That's why I don't understand when some look at the complexity of the cell, they jump to the supernatural.Don't they just realise that our simple minds just can't conceive it at this present time ? I stand by the belief that bringing in the supernatural in any form has never and never will advance science in any way, so why even let it enter
    into the discussion. The supernatural belongs in religion or philosophy. If it inspires some people-great. How the supernatural helps us understand or explain quantum mechanics or help with understanding the cells complexity is beyond me .
    The 'who' factor is irrelevant. It doesn't help you with long division and it doesn't in the advanced sciences. It's the 'how' that matters.

  34. Definition 4a of the word “Theory” in the Oxford English Dictionary.

    “4. a. A scheme or system of ideas or statements held as an explanation or account of a group of facts or phenomena; a hypothesis that has been confirmed or established by observation or experiment, and is propounded or accepted as accounting for the known facts; a statement of what are held to be the general laws, principles, or causes of something known or observed.”

  35. 1) “Science does not concern itself with truth” No I said that is not a definition of science, that does not mean the opposite is true.
    2) There such things as super colliders that have detected sub-atomic particles and quantum effcets have been observed. As for string theory, it, like other such theories, are based on maths and physics which are tools to examine reality. Without a real world observation they can't be regarded as the final science on the issue but if a graviton is detected then string theory does get more credence.
    3) SETI probably is a waste but at least it seeks a reality to confirm an educated guess. Not quite the same as clinging to a discredited theory to confirm a supernatural belief.
    4) Sarcasm needs to come from a superiorly argued position. The twisted unlogic of creationism will give you the headache.

  36. need a feed subscribe

  37. I personally don’t see any disagreement between the Bible and evolution.

    Evolution says that all life began in the primordial soup and the Bible says Adam came from ‘dust’ (mud, earth, ashes) of the ‘ground’ (earth, mud, etc.).

    It’s the reason the human body requires ‘elements’ from the ‘ground’ – because we came from it!

    Evolution science says the ancestor of human beings was a ‘single’ primate.

    Gen. 2:7 says that God made Adam who was initially only a ‘soul (animal principle/brute animal – first Adam)’ – only ‘after’ Adam was put into the supernatural garden (Gen. 2:8) did he gain a ‘spirit (God’s image because God is The Spirit)’ and ‘changed (second Adam)’.

    Genome evidence clearly shows that human beings share a large percentage of DNA with Chimpanzees. Which means that Adam (in his first state) had to have been a primate.

  38. There is a feed-subscribe link in the upper right section of the page near the banner for all Dakota Voice content. There is also a similar but smaller orange button below the comments entry box where it numbers the comments to subscribe to comments.

  39. I once believed the Bible and evolution could be reconciled, but I only believed that because I was very ignorant of the teachings and implications of both.

    To touch briefly on the comparisons you made, while it is essentially true that both evolution and the Bible say humans came from basic inanimate elements, the process of attaining life is VERY different.

    Evolution requires life to come from lifeless elements, and it requires it to do so according to the laws of nature–only this has NEVER been observed to happen, and no one can come up with a plausible way for it to happen, which means it isn't even a “scientific” theory according to it's own framework of assumptions and requirements.

    According to the Bible, the same being who created all the universe–matter itself–also animated some of that matter into life (plant and animal), and not only animated human beings, but instilled some of his same unique essence into humanity, so that humanity–unlike all other life–is created in his image, i.e. with eternal life, a spirit, and free will.

    Also, the similarity between primate DNA and human DNA proves nothing. Did the Cadillac Eldorado spontaneously evolve from a VW Bug? After all, they share most of their essence in common: both made of metal, paint and cloth, both have 4 wheels, both have an internal combustion engine, both have a steering wheel, both have a windshield, etc. In other words, it should come as no surprise that God used many of the same physical and structural elements to create many life forms–but as I stated above, humanity has a few key and critical differences.

    As I'm short on time, I'll leave you with a few links regarding why theistic evolution is incompatible with the Bible and foundational Christian doctrine:

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2008/0

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v20/i1

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v17/i2

  40. I believe that the purpose of science is to realize ultimately that God does exist and that He is the designer of the universe in which we live.

    If the scientific definition of matter is anything that has form and occupies space and is what composes all of the things around us then it requires a designer.

    Example: An air plane did not exist 2,000 years ago, yet the matter to create it already existed.
    Some one had to invent, design, engineer, create the air plane to bring it into existence.

    Every thing around us including the computers we use to post these comments consist of matter, but matter is nothing with out a designer.

    Matter does not matter if there is no one to give it form,shape,mass,density and properties ( for it's use).

    There is no doubt in my mind that God is the master Creator and designer. That he made us in His image and that like Him we are able to take matter and create it and give it form ,density, and properties. Just look arournd you it is evident everywhere you look. Things dont just haphazardly get there. They are given a form by a designer. Mankind is still continuing to take matter and design , engineer and create things that have not yet come into existence but will in the near future.

    Technology is taking the matter that already exist and designing it and giving it form and denisty and properties pertaining to it's function and use to improve our lives in the present and the future.

  41. rebec

    Since you believe that God has always just 'been here' then you believe in the concept that it is possible that a power of some type( God in your view) can 'just always' have existed. In other words, it's' possible for something to 'just always exist'. Why couldn't matter or energy 'just always' have existed.

    Matter( mass as you refer to it) has substance and is the same as energy, which has no mass or substance. it just depends on how fast mass is traveling. When it hits the speed of light, mass becomes energy which has no substance to it.Just pure matterless energy. Since we know energy can't be created or destroyed,so why couldn't it just have always been here. If it's possible God was always 'just here', why couldn't energy always just have been here as well

  42. I believe that the purpose of science is to realize ultimately that God does exist and that He is the designer of the universe in which we live.

    If the scientific definition of matter is anything that has form and occupies space and is what composes all of the things around us then it requires a designer.

    Example: An air plane did not exist 2,000 years ago, yet the matter to create it already existed.
    Some one had to invent, design, engineer, create the air plane to bring it into existence.

    Every thing around us including the computers we use to post these comments consist of matter, but matter is nothing with out a designer.

    Matter does not matter if there is no one to give it form,shape,mass,density and properties ( for it's use).

    There is no doubt in my mind that God is the master Creator and designer. That he made us in His image and that like Him we are able to take matter and create it and give it form ,density, and properties. Just look arournd you it is evident everywhere you look. Things dont just haphazardly get there. They are given a form by a designer. Mankind is still continuing to take matter and design , engineer and create things that have not yet come into existence but will in the near future.

    Technology is taking the matter that already exist and designing it and giving it form and denisty and properties pertaining to it's function and use to improve our lives in the present and the future.

  43. rebec

    Since you believe that God has always just 'been here' then you believe in the concept that it is possible that a power of some type( God in your view) can 'just always' have existed. In other words, it's' possible for something to 'just always exist'. Why couldn't matter or energy 'just always' have existed.

    Matter( mass as you refer to it) has substance and is the same as energy, which has no mass or substance. it just depends on how fast mass is traveling. When it hits the speed of light, mass becomes energy which has no substance to it.Just pure matterless energy. Since we know energy can't be created or destroyed,so why couldn't it just have always been here. If it's possible God was always 'just here', why couldn't energy always just have been here as well