Creationists to Distribute 1 Million Copies of Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species’

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By Nathan Black|Christian Post Reporter

One million more copies of a special pro-Intelligent Design edition of On the Origin of Species will be given away to college students, Ray Comfort announced.

The announcement by the Living Waters ministry founder was made Tuesday, which marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.

“It’s our aim to get this edition into the hands of students in every university in the United States, then Europe, and then the rest of the world,” Comfort said in a statement.

On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, by Charles Darwin (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, by Charles Darwin (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Comfort and 1,200 other Christians already distributed more than 100,000 copies of the special edition at some of the country’s top universities last week. The giveaway, however, has been met with an angry backlash from atheists who have denounced Comfort for “altering” another person’s book.

The ministry leader, who co-hosts “The Way of the Master” television series with actor Kirk Cameron, has stressed that the books they’re handing out are reproductions of Darwin’s work, with no alterations. It just features an alternative introduction, which includes a rebuttal to evolution and links the theory of evolution to Hitler and racism.

“The exchange of ideas is healthy,” he said.

Comfort has reported threats of “unilateral resistance,” book burnings, and protests with students ripping out the introduction to the special edition. But the evangelist says he’s determined to continue giving away the books and offering people two points of view on the origin of man.

Amid the verbal disputes, Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine – a quarterly journal that examines a wide variety of social, scientific, and pseudoscientific controversies – argues on the anniversary day that religion and evolution can live side by side.

In a CNN column, Shermer contends, “[I]t should not matter how God created life, whether it was through a miraculous spoken word or through the natural forces of the universe that He created. The grandeur of God’s works commands awe regardless of what processes He used.”

“Believers should embrace science, especially evolutionary theory, for what it has done to reveal the magnificence of the divinity in a depth never dreamed by our ancient ancestors.”

But for many theologians, it’s impossible to reconcile evolution and Christianity.

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has noted that the theory of evolution “suggests that natural selection is indeed the mechanism and that it is entirely natural and in no case supernatural.”

“There is no way for God to intervene in the process and for it to remain natural,” he pointed out.

“God was not merely fashioning the creation of what was already pre-existent, nor was He merely working with a process in order to guide it in some generalized way, nor was He waiting to see how it would turn out,” Mohler argued earlier this year. “As Genesis indicates, He created the world in order that the world might be the theater of His glory for the demonstration of the Gospel of Christ and He created human beings as the only beings made in His image, as His covenant partner,”

The 150th anniversary of On the Origin of Species has been marked with celebrations throughout the year among fans of Darwin who consider his 1859 publication one of the most important books and ideas in the history of humanity. Creationists have also marked the anniversary with conferences refuting Darwin’s theory.

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47 Responses to “Creationists to Distribute 1 Million Copies of Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species’”

  1. Nathan Black wrote: “The giveaway, however, has been met with an angry backlash from atheists who have denounced Comfort for “altering” another person's book.”

    The great majority of the “angry backlash” has come not from atheists but from scientists and others who are appalled at Comfort's intellectual dishonesty of hijacking a venerable science text for narrow sectarian purposes – and altering it and then denying altering it. But he's gotten a lot of attention for it, as was obviously his intention. He has also made it abundantly clear that there is essentially no distinction between intelligent design creationism and good old-fashioned creationism.

  2. “Angry backlash” comes whenever someone blows a little wind at the philosophically-based house of cards that is evolutionary pseudo-science. This particular thing may not be the best way to challenge evolutionism, but note how the anti-evolutionists in this case let the evolutionist (Darwin via his book) have his say along with them having their own. This is quite typical of creationists/ID-ers. In sharp contrast, evolutionists work very hard at stifling the voices of those who challenge them (generally avoiding even quoting them piecemeal), while highly misrepresenting them (often quite knowingly). When the proponents of an idea cannot tolerate the exchange of ideas but have to resort to censorship, that's a bright flashing red light warning you not to believe them.

  3. I recommend Richard Dawkins's “The Greatest Show on Earth” as a companion book.

  4. I am pleased that we Christians are beginning to show some intestinal fortitude. As a scientist, artist, and minister, I intend to spread the truth of creation through my personal website without fear. We no longer have to defend ourselves from intellectuals even God called fools because of their disbelief. I have dismissed evolution entirely and have my own theory called “biomatrixgenesis”.

  5. “DCM” wrote: “”Angry backlash” comes whenever someone blows a little wind at the philosophically-based house of cards that is evolutionary pseudo-science.”

    The anonymous “DCM” says that evolution is pseudo-science, as do many non-scientists. Unfortunately, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Sciences and essentiall ever actual science organization in America say evolution is the basis of biological science and that intelligent design creationism is pseudoscience. (And good old-fashioned creationism is not even good enough to be pseudoscience – it’s religion.)

    So what do we have here? Every actual science association says evolution is science, and one anonymous person hiding behind an initialism says evolution is pseudoscience. Who do you think is right?

    And if “DCM” calls in reinforcements, it’s going to be something like Answers In Genesis or the Institute for Creation “Research” that he says agree with him. Do you want science organizations to define science, or do you want religious people and organizations to define science? Think about your answer, and think of the corollary: Do you really want science to define religion? If you liked Ray Comfort’s bastardization of Origin of the Species, how would you like Richard Dawkins’ introduction to a new edition of the Bible?

  6. Guess what – creation scientists can refute that book as well. Dawkins actually uses the DEvolution of flying birds into flightless birds as an example to “prove” evolution! Either he doesn't know that that example fits into creationism perfectly (i.e., because all genetic change is either lateral or downward, but never “upward”), or (more likely) he's counting on those he hopes to influence to be too uninformed to know that! (I'd say the book's title evokes a circus and therefore “clowns” but I don't think I want to be quite that snarky.)

  7. So you can have religious people defining science, or anti-religious people defining science. Either way, if you're going to allow a philosophical/religious viewpoint to define the science itself, you're going to end up not having true science.

    It would be nice if we could go back to having science be the examination of the facts rather than taking a lot of guesswork about what theoretically happened millions or billions of years ago and calling that “science.”

  8. See comment below.

  9. Many of the scientists that make up the organizations that you mention have made private statements among themselves that clearly reveal their own doubts about Darwinian evolution. You'll find few of these quotes in biology textbooks because the AAAS (of which I was once a member) cannot allow any cracks to form in their favored theory knowing that they would grow rapidly and threaten a complete collapse of a silly 19th century fairy-tale that has outlived any usefulness it might have had.

    Paul Davies: “The laws [of physics] … seem to be the product of exceedingly ingenious design… The universe must have a purpose”.

    Alan Sandage (winner of the Crawford prize in astronomy): “I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing.”

    Vera Kistiakowsky (MIT physicist): “The exquisite order displayed by our scientific understanding of the physical world calls for the divine.”

    Robert Jastrow (self-proclaimed agnostic): “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

    Stephen Hawking (British astrophysicist): “Then we shall… be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we would know the mind of God.”

    Ed Harrison (cosmologist): “Here is the cosmological proof of the existence of God – the design argument of Paley – updated and refurbished. The fine tuning of the universe provides prima facie evidence of deistic design. Take your choice: blind chance that requires multitudes of universes or design that requires only one…. Many scientists, when they admit their views, incline toward the teleological or design argument.”

    Henry “Fritz” Schaefer (Graham Perdue Professor of Chemistry and director of the Center for Computational Quantum Chemistry at the University of Georgia): “The significance and joy in my science comes in those occasional moments of discovering something new and saying to myself, 'So that's how God did it.' My goal is to understand a little corner of God's plan.”

    “The Darwinian theory of descent has not a single fact to confirm it in the realm of nature. It is not the result of scientific research, but purely the product of imagination.”—*Dr. Fleischman [Erlangen zoologist].

    ” `The theory of evolution is totally inadequate to explain the origin and manifestation of the inorganic world.' “—Sir John Ambrose Fleming, F.R.S., quoted in H. Enoch, Evolution or Creation (1966), p. 91 [discoverer of the thermionic valve].

    “I think, however, that we must go further than this and admit that the only acceptable explanation is creation. I know that this is anathema to physicists, as indeed it is to me, but we must not reject a theory that we do not like if the experimental evidence supports it.”—*H. Lipson, “A Physicist Looks at Evolution,” Physics Bulletin, 31 (1980), p. 138.

    “I am not satisfied that Darwin proved his point or that his influence in scientific and public thinking has been beneficial . . the success of Darwinism was accomplished by a decline in scientific integrity.”—*W.R. Thompson, Introduction to *Charles Darwin's, Origin of the Species

    “Evolutionism is a fairy tale for grown-ups. This theory has helped nothing in the progress of science. It is useless.”—*Bounoure, Le Monde Et La Vie (October 1963) [Director of Research at the National center of Scientific Research in France].

    “Scientists have no proof that life was not the result of an act of creation.”—*Robert Jastrow, The Enchanted Loom: Mind in the Universe (1981)

    “In fact, evolution became in a sense a scientific religion; almost all scientists have accepted it and many are prepared to `bend' their observations to fit in with it.”—*H. Lipson, “A Physicist Looks at Evolution,” Physics Bulletin, 31 (1980)

    “The irony is devastating. The main purpose of Darwinism was to drive every last trace of an incredible God from biology. But the theory replaces God with an even more incredible deity—omnipotent chance.”—*T. Rosazak, Unfinished Animal (1975), pp. 101-102.

    “Paleontologists [fossil experts] have paid an exorbitant price for Darwin's argument. We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life's history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we almost never see the very process we profess to study.”—*Steven Jay Gould, The Panda's Thumb (1982), pp. 181-182 [Harvard professor and the leading evolutionary spokesman of the latter half of the twentieth century].

    “Unfortunately, in the field of evolution most explanations are not good. As a matter of fact, they hardly qualify as explanations at all; they are suggestions, hunches, pipe dreams, hardly worthy of being called hypotheses.”—*Norman Macbeth, Darwin Retried (1971)

    ” `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.' A tangled mishmash of guessing games and figure juggling [Tahmisian called it].”—*The Fresno Bee, August 20, 1959, p. 1-B [quoting T.N. Tahmisian, physiologist for the Atomic Energy Commission].

    “I doubt if there is any single individual within the scientific community who could cope with the full range of [creationist] arguments without the help of an army of consultants in special fields.”—*David M. Raup, “Geology and Creation,” Bulletin of the Field Museum of Natural History, Vol. 54, March 1983

    These are just a sampling of hundreds of similar comments that can easily be found on any number of web sites, but will never be found in the official documents of the radical fundamental Darwinists.

  10. “dr. theo” wrote: “Many of the scientists that make up the organizations that you mention have made private statements among themselves that clearly reveal their own doubts about Darwinian evolution.”

    Is this from the Dishonesty Institute's pitiful list of 700 Darwin Dissenters? Define “many,” “dr. theo” – that's one-half of per cent of the AAAS' 130,000 members. I see you have quotes dating from the 1950's and 1960's – care to come up with any quotes from the 21st century?

    “dr. theo” wrote: “These are just a sampling of hundreds of similar comments that can easily be found on any number of web sites.”

    But they are essentially all religious websites, not science websites! Any organization will have a few dissenters – that's how Christianity has wound up with so many different denominations.

  11. It is disingenuous of you to complain that some of the quotes were from scientists in the 50s and 60s when your whole belief system depends on the writings of a man who knew nothing of genetics, biochemistry or microbiology and wrote about his speculations 150 years ago. At any rate, evolutionists have come up with nothing to advance their theory in at least 100 years, that is why Patterson and Gould had to come up with some alternate theory (“punctuated equilibrium” [sic]) because the old Darwinian notions were found to be outdated, fabricated, based on erroneous assumptions and just untenable in the light of modern genetics, microbiology, biochemistry and information theory.

    Whether the quotes came from “religious” websites is irrelevant because they are true and accurate. The real question is why don't the evolution web sites address these? Speaking of websites, your own references to sites like PBS, ACLU, talkreason.org, talkorigins.org, skeptic.com, etc. hardly make for objective discourse.

    Compunding the situation is the fact that “scientific” journals routinely reject any submissions that question any of the dogma of Darwinism and then they complain that intelligent design proponents don't publish in peer-reviewed journals. (The recent revelations regarding the “science” behind the global warming scam exposes the same techniques as those used by evolutionists.)

    You are beating a dead horse, Mr. Burnett. Darwinian evolution is on its last legs and and that is why your camp has become so angry and viscious in its attacks on skeptics. You may dismiss us as ignorant religionists but fewer people believe in Darwinism today than in the 1960s so we apparently have had some impact. Evolutionists would do well to engage the arguments rather than beating their chests and insisting that they alone have the answers and any dissent is tantamount to religious heresy.

  12. It is disingenuous of you to complain that some of the quotes were from scientists in the 50s and 60s when your whole belief system depends on the writings of a man who knew nothing of genetics and wrote about his speculations 150 years ago. At any rate, evolutionists have come up with nothing to advance their theory in at least 70 years, that is why Patterson and Gould had to come up with some alternate theory (“punctuated equilibrium” [sic]) because the old Darwinian notions were found to be outdated, based on erroneous assumptions and just untenable in the light of modern genetics, microbiology, biochemistry and information theory.

    Whether the quotes came from “religious” websites is irrelevant because they are true and accurate. The real question is why don’t the evolution web sites address these? Speaking of websites, your own references to PBS, ACLU, talkreason.org, talkorigins.org, skeptic.com, etc. hardly make for objective discourse.

    Compunding the situation is the fact that “scientific” journals routinely reject any submissions that question any of the dogma of Darwinism and then they complain that intelligent design proponents don’t publish in peer-reviewed journals.

    You are beating a dead horse, Mr. Burnett. Darwinian evolution is on its last legs and and that is why your camp has become so vociferous and viscious in its attacks on skeptics. You may dismiss us as ignorant religionists but fewer people believe in Darwinism today than in the 1960s so we apparently have had some impact. Evolutionists would do well to engage the arguments rather than beating their chests and insisting that they alone have the answers.

  13. The creationism (or intelligent design creationism?) sympathizer hiding behind the username “dr. theo” regurgitates some laughably ancient creationist chestnuts such as “At any rate, evolutionists have come up with nothing to advance their theory in at least 100 years…” and “Darwinian evolution is on its last legs…”

    Is this a joke? Creationists have been predicting the immediate demise of evolution for almost as long as it's been around, and instead it has grown stronger and stronger, as findings from every branch of science – not just biology, but geology and astronomy and paleontology and others – continue to reinforce evolution. Essentially every issue of such respected journals such as “Science” and “Nature” and “Cell” and “Genetics” and many others contain articles advancing our species' understanding of the fact of evolution.

    (Unfortunately evolution denialists such as “dr. theo” don't / can't read journals such as “Science” and “Nature” and “Cell” and “Genetics” because they don't have disclaimer statements such as “The people who have prepared this book have tried consistently to put the Word of God first and science second.” – (from the Introduction, “Biology for Christian Schools”).)

    Here are some questions for “dr. theo” to answer before we can get any further: (1) How old is the earth? Is it closer to 6,000 years old or 4 billion years old? (2) Did Noah's Flood cover the entire earth with water a few thousand years ago, with all terrestrial inhabitants perishing except for those on one wooden boat?

    (Apologies all around, but I'm trying to figure what we're dealing with here – whether “dr. theo” is a good old-fashioned creationist history denialist (following in the footsteps of Morris and Gish et al), or an intelligent design creationist – a dupe or minion of the Dishonesty Institute.)

    Okay, “dr. theo” – (1) age of the earth and (2) Noah's Flood? Your comments, please. (I predict silence or waffling…)

  14. I'll answer your questions simply and directly, Mr. Burnett. I take Genesis to be a literal account of God's creation and other events during the period discussed.

    Now, may I ask you a few simple questions? How do you know that the earth is billions of years old? Please list for me all of the examples in which the First Law of Thermodynamics is violated (other than the existence of you and me and the universe). Likewise, please list the examples of the Second Law of Thermodynamics being negated (except in accounts of evolutionary ascent). Lastly, the DNA code of even the simplest one-celled organism has been likened to the information contained in four gigs of computer code. Where did that information come from? Please give other examples of information arising from anything other than intelligence.

    Your use quotation marks implies some doubt as to whether I am in fact a doctor of anything. I have a BA in Zoology, an MS in microbiology and an MD. Besides working in an emergency department, I teach human anatomy and physiology three days per week in a professional school at a well-known Indiana university. I have my reasons for using a nom de plume, but Mr. Ellis and others at Dakota Voice know me and my credentials and can verify that what I am telling you is true.

  15. I have independently verified Dr. Theo's educational and professional credentials, and what he is telling you about them is true.

  16. Dr. Theo (whose credentials I accept) wrote: “I take Genesis to be a literal account of God's creation and other events during the period discussed.”

    Okay – creation in 4004 BC, and Noah's Flood – check. Dr. Theo is a full-blown Young Earth Creationist (YEC), and proud of his denial of modern science. That may be a problem, as YECs reject essentially all of modern science, but let's try.

    Dr. Theo asks: “How do you know that the earth is billions of years old?” The oldest available rocks are just under 4 billion years old, as verified by several different tupes of radiometric dating – which is supported by actual science, but rejected by YECs. See http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-age-of-eart… for a thorough discussion of the age of the earth – but again, YECs deny the efficacy of TalkOrigins, preferring the Bronze Age creation myths of Genesis.

    Dr. Theo asks about the first and second laws of thermodynamics. Creationists do not seem to understand that energy input from the Sun to the earth offsets the decay proposed by the laws of thermodynamics in systems without energy input.

    Dr. Theo asked “Where did that information (in DNA) come from?” It accumulated in an evolutionary process over a period of billions of years in the crucible of billions of cubic miles of biosphere. I realize this process would not work in a 6,000-year-old earth, but the formal explanation makes far more sense than a simple “Goddidit.”

    Dr. Theo, with your BA in Zoology and your MD, are you aware of the Plantaris muscle in humans, a vestigial structure in the human leg? What is its use in humans? Are you aware of its use in other creatures? With your rejection of evolution, can you explain why humans have this useless muscle which other primates use for grasping with their feet? (Or do you deny humans are primates?) What is the creationist explanation for the plantaris muscle?

    And I trust you are aware of the recurrent laryngeal nerve, which in all mammals loops around the aorta in order to get from the brain to the larynx. In the giraffe, this nerve is thus about 15 feet long, whereas the larynx is about one foot from the brain. Evolution has a good explanation for this design flaw: (per Matt Ridley) The laryngeal nerve is, anatomically, the fourth vagus nerve, one of the cranial nerves. These nerves first evolved in our fish-like ancestors, over 300 million years ago. Successive branches of the vagus nerve pass, in fish, behind the successive arterial arches that run through the gills. Each nerve takes a direct route from the brain to the gills. During evolution, the gill arches have been transformed; the sixth gill arch has evolved in mammals into the ductus arteriosus, which is anatomically near to the heart. The recurrent laryngeal nerve still follows the route behind the (now highly modified) gill arch: in a modern mammal, therefore, the nerve passes from the brain, down the neck, round the dorsal aorta, and back up to the larynx. What is the creationist explanation for this absurdity?

  17. I also know dr theo's credentials are vaild, but I have mentioned to him that I just have trouble comprehending how a man of science can not accept what 99% of other scientists accept.No disrespect meant, but it seems the YEC's with science backgounds will accept what science has to say in almost all aspects until it comes to any science related to evolution, which conflicts with their religious views. Then it is total rejection. For instance they will accept all that the chemist or physicist has to say about the natural world, but completely reject them when they use radiometeric dating(99.9% scientists accept) because it contradicts religious views.

    To me that would be like developing a leukemia that requires that four chemotherapeutic agents are needed and accepting everything the oncologist says about blood work, tests, nutrition etc but refusing to accept that one of the drugs will help because a small, small group of doctors say it won't.

    I understand what is at stake for the YEC's–that is their entire belief system is being challenged, but some of the arguments seem specious to me. The one you hear a lot and is even shown at the Creation Museum is two men of science looking at a fossil and coming up with different explanations of it's age. Well, in the real world,that isn't what is happening.It is not two men looking at fossils but thousands and thousands of scientists observing them of which 99.9% come to the conclusion that it is very , very old. It is a false argument and a deliberate misinterpretation that it is merely two equal groups having a scientific disagreement

  18. I understand your contention that the gain in entropy of the sun more than makes up for the losses seen in biologic systems, but you miss a fundamental point. Show me another example in which simply adding energy into a system results in a loss of entropy? In every case that you can cite we would also see an input of information as an organizing factor. I can use the sun’s energy to power the tools to build my house but simply placing the boards, the wiring and the pipes out in the sun would produce nothing but a deteriorating pile of junk (and a citation form the local authorities). Adding energy into a system without organization, i.e. information, yields an accelerated rate of decay, or an increase in entropy.

    The radiometric dating of rock is imprecise and depends upon assumptions that have not been proven. Most assume a particular level of parent elements at an arbitrary beginning point, then assumes continuous and constant decay rate over immense geologic time, unaffected by other external conditions. It also assumes that the level of daughter elements were zero at the hypothetical beginning. Almost all rock amenable to such dating techniques is formed from a previous molten state, such as granite, which formed from cooling of magma. Is it really possible to know what the chemical composition was when this rock formed?

    Your explanation of DNA forming by random processes is absurd. A probability of 10-50 is considered a practical impossibility. The probability of an average-sized polypeptide forming from random aggregation of amino acids (also containing information, but much less complex than DNA) has been calculated by Walter Bradley, Ph.D., and Charles Thaxton, Ph.D. to be 4.9 x 10-191!

    Sir Fred Hoyle, Ph.D. astronomy, and Chandra Wickramasinghe, Professor of Applied Math and Astronomy, calculated that the probability a simple prokaryotic cell forming by chance process to be 1 x 10-40,000!

    These enormous numbers are far beyond any human concept, but to give a little perspective, the number of electrons in the known universe is estimated to be about 10130. The bottom line is that what materialists propose are hundreds of thousands of impossible events to occur just to get the ball rolling for natural selection to do its magic.

    The discussion above has dealt only with the structural probabilities. When we consider the information content or DNA and proteins the complexity of the problem becomes insurmountably complex.

    The plantaris muscle is a small muscle that originates on the lateral condyle of the femur and inserts, via a long tendon, on the calcaneous or heel bone. It has been found to contain an inordinate number or proprioceptive nerves that provide feedback information on position, stress, and movement to the central nervous system. A favorite of evolutionists intent upon finding “vestigial” structures, especially since their other candidates (like the appendix, the thymus gland, the pineal gland, the coccyx, the tonsils, etc.) have been disqualified, the plantaris muscle has now been shown to have subtle but definite functions and cannot be called “vestigial” without redefining the term (which evolutionists have now done).

    The recurrent laryngeal nerve is a motor branch from the vagus nerve (Cranial nerve X not IV) and it does indeed originate inferior to the great vessels in the mediastinum and then ascends to the larynx. This redundancy provides some “slack” for the wide range of movement of the neck. A shorter nerve would be dangerously stretched with extreme movements of the neck. Additionally, a direct branching from the vagus to the larynx in the cervical region (as in fish) would necessitate a path under the muscles of the anterior neck, further risking undue tension on the nerve under some conditions. The arrangement of the recurrent laryngeal nerve is a perfect solution to the problem of innervating the voice box in a highly flexible neck.

    There are many examples of embryologic homology between different animal types, but this can be interpreted as evidence of a common Creator as easily as common descent.

    Your arguments and challenges are typical uninformed assumptions and misconstructions that can be found on any number of pro-evolution sites, and most of this has been discussed at length here at Dakota Voice. I suggest, Mr. Burnett that you broaden your sources of information and get a better understanding of what the other side has to say, rather than assuming that we are all “ignorant, stupid, or insane (or wicked).”

    (I noticed that exponential notations do not reproduce in this format, but I trust readers who have gotten this far understand what is meant bu 10-130.)

  19. By your definition of numerical superiority=correct, the first men to believe the earth orbits the sun were wrong because they were in the minority.

    Correct is correct, logical is logical, and illogical is illogical, regardless of whether a billion believe it or only one. (And I don't think it's as high as 99% believing evolution and materialism–though the silence from those intimidated by the evolutionist blowhards and elitists might make it seem that way to some).

  20. Dr. Rutledge, please read my response to Mr. Burnett above. These are some main points that have caused me to question the “science” behind the materialists arguments.

    Again, you bring up the fossil record and I know that so much of what evolutionists believe depends upon it, but this is treacherous ground for a committed evolutionists. Even great and notable paleontologists have said as much–Gould, Patterson and Raup to name a few.

    How did it come to be that virtually the entire earth is covered with a fossil layer? Why is it the the fossil sequences claimed in the fossil record does not exist anywhere in the world? The fact is in almost every case studied there are significant anomalies where whole groups of phyla are out of place. What about fossils that span supposed millions of years of fossil deposition without any evidence that the layers have been disturbed. How do fossils form anyway? Are they forming today? Where? How do creatures get fossilized in the act of copulation or with their moths full of food? There is a fossil at the Creation Museum that has a large fish half swallowing a smaller one? How can this happen? I have SCUBA dived and examined the bottoms rivers, lakes, ponds and oceans and have yet to see anything that could remotely be considered a incipient fossil (except, perhaps the shells of mollusks). How does soft-tissue fossilize so perfectly that we can count scales, examine the stomach contents, differentiate species of jellyfish, etc. I know of only one mechanism–rapid and total encasement in dense sediment at one time and on a global scale.

  21. For Dr. Theo: So the plantaris muscle and the recurrent laryngeal nerve in other species have no relationship to those in humans? Fascinating. So are you even willing to admit that humans are primates? Or do you deny that humans are related to primates?

    I’m almost surprised you didn’t mention Fred Hoyle’s “tornado in a junkyard,” another old creationist chestnut. The improbability calculations of creationists make wilder assumptions that the theorizing of actual scientists attempting to understand how evolution actually happened. Again, I will refer innocent bystanders to http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/abioprob.html for what actual science thinks about life came to be, as opposed to trying to rationalize Bronze Age creation mythology.

    And yeah, the blog software doesn’t seem to handle exponents well, does it…and yet it was intelligently designed.

    Sorry to cut this short, but we’re headed out this morning to cut down our Christmas tree (which I realize is a pagan / non-Christian tradition). Later.

  22. Bob Your first sentence makes my point and your analogy is incorrect. I never said the first men to propose a theory ( like those who proposed the earth travels around the sun ) were wrong because they were in the minority.That would be idiocy and a history denier. I say that it isn't 'accepted' until the vast majority of other scientists accept it also. This was true of Einstein and Newtonian physics and the Curies etc., etc., as well. Others examine their works and if rational and convincing, then it becomes accepted and taught. . It isn't just a straight vote 'up and down' but rational men looking at others ideas and gradually agreeing with them by independantly studying these new ideas . It is that gradual and rational approach that has lead the vast, vast majority to accept evolution and speciation. No science is 'correct' in the sense it is absolute truth( that's the beauty of it ), but it is 'accepted' until something comes along that the majority agrees with at that moment in time.You maintaining that my 'definition' would mean that ALL new and nascent ideas are wrong because only one or a few have proposed them is an anathema to my brain

  23. dr theo I quit quoting the Bible becasue I realised that I frequently didn't understand the context and setting from which a quote came. I believe that is what many YEC's do when they quote the likes of Gould, Eldredge etc. Gould, Eldredge etc. were passionate evolutionists and felt the fossil record was consistant with evolution. What they questioned was if the fossil record supported 'gradual' evolution.

    What they said was that the fossils and their transitional forms showed dramatic documentation of rapidly evolving bursts of multiple speciation events which they called 'adaptive radiations' (or that the fossils support evidence for a few species bursting rapidly into many species).There was no treacherous ground for Gould as far as the fossil record not supporting evolution. Only that to him, it supported a bursting then staic evolutionary process which was confirmed by the fossil record he studied.

    Your question of fossilization of soft tissues is interesting. Usually the fossils we find are mineralized bones and teeth of vertebrates and the exoskeleton of some invertebrates. The soft tissue was carnivored or decayed. So fossils revealing soft tissue are rare as you know. Of course a rapid sedimentary event like a local flood or entrapment in ice does explain why some can be found.It also explains why not many are found because these were relatively rare( in the case of local flooding) or gradual ( like being trapped in snow and ice,but some were) . It would seem to me that if a global flood occurred and rapid sedimentation happened all over the world that soft tissue fossil finds would be a dime a dozen and found all over at all depths. but they are not. Local environmental events well explain the rarity of soft tissue fossils, while a rapid global flood would predict soft tissue fossils abundant.

    Back to Gould etc.-read in depth what he said about adaptive radiation and punctuated evolution . He again believed the fossil transition record supported his idea rather than slow gardual process. It is merely an argument of mechanisms( gradual vs. punctuated) and not a refutation of fossils and their transitional forms

  24. I realize you never said that, but that is the logical conclusion of the formula you presented. You were incredulous that Dr. Theo would hold fast to a theory that was rejected, in your words, by 99% or 99.9% of others in the scientific community. The ramifications of your statements were clearly to imply that Dr. Theo must be wrong if he is in the minority.

    You see, this is a fundamental element of logic which I've been trying to point out here for a long time. We must be ready to follow the logical implications of our ideas and philosophy where ever they reasonably lead. And materialism/naturalism leads not only to some inconsistencies in evolution theory, but it is also very hard to find meaning or a foundation for the moral code by which most of today's society operates.

    Christian ethics are illogical under a naturalist scenario. Insisting that we live by them in a worldview where they have no logical foundation is like trying to have your cake and eat it, too.

  25. In researching backgrond for a response to Dr. Theo's belief in Young Earth Creationism, I've come across something I'm surprised he hasn't mentioned: The Dishonesty Institute-sponsored “Physicians and Surgeons who Dissent from Darwinism,” a list with several hundred signatories, representing an earth-shattering 0.02 per cent of the membership of the American Medical Association. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physicians_and_Sur… for the article.

    I was looking to see if the American Medical Association has issued a statement similar to those issued by the AAAS and the NAS supporting evolution and condemning intelligent design creationism as a pseudoscience – surp[risingly, they apparently haven't.

  26. If you can't refer to the Discovery Institute by its proper name, you won't be commenting here anymore. There's only so much closed-minded ignorance I'm wiling to put up with.

  27. I find Christian ethics very reasonable, because I follow them as well. Just don't believe they are supernatural in origin, which we have discussed at length before. I disagree with the scientific views that some Christians believe in, not their moral beliefs

    I only find it incredulous that any man of science would accept almost all of science except that which pertains to evolution, because it means rejecting what large parts of geology, biology, archaeology,paleontology,anthropology, physics, molecular genetics, cosmology holds true. That is a lot to reject and very few people have the expertise and depth in each of these unrelated fields to understand the intricacies of all of them all and then claim to be knowledgeable enough to reject certain aspects of them all.To me, that in and of itself would take a lifetime( or more) of intense study to master.

  28. But according to your worldview, Christian ethics are very unreasonable, downright irrational and illogical. There is simply no practical reason why, in a naturalistic worldview, one animal should put another animal's welfare above their own. There is no reason for one human animal to give its life for another human animal (if nothing else, it's counter to the survival instinct), no need to make sacrifices for another human animal, no reason to place one's self in danger for another human animal.

    There is also no reason to care for the young, the offspring of a pleasurable rutting. These young require a huge investment of time, effort and resources from the adult human animal with no return whatsoever for many, many years. One might possibly say, “Well, it's necessary for the perpetuation of the species.” But why should that matter the slightest bit to the human animal?

    As for why any man of science would accept almost all of science except that which pertains to evolution? That's because evolution is not em>science but rather a em>philosophy about science. Evolution theory attempts to go beyond the mere examination of the scientific evidence to attempt an explanation of em>why–with the only acceptable answer ironically being “no particular reason–just blind, clumsy chance.”

  29. Bob Ellis wrote: “If you can’t refer to the Discovery Institute by its proper name, you won’t be commenting here anymore. There’s only so much closed-minded ignorance I’m wiling to put up with.”

    I apologize – I will refer to the Discovery Institute by its actual name. Are you okay with my use of the term “intelligent design creationism” or shall I restrict myself to the Discovery Institute’s official term, “intelligent design”?

    I can assure you, my feelings on “closed-minded ignorance” may be as strong as yours.

    On a previous topic, here’s an experiment: Let’s see if exponential notation such as 10^130 works. Or use FORTRAN’s system and write 6.02214E23 for the Avogadro constant.

    And here’s an astronomy and astrophysics question for Dr. Theo: Where do you stand on stopping and restarting the rotation of the earth? “Then spake Joshua to the LORD… Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed… So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.” (Joshua 10:12-13)

    The stopping of the Earth’s rotation would have noticeably severe planet-wide consequences, including the utter destruction of all life on the planet. Also, it would appear that the writer of this passage believed that the sun and moon moved above the surface of the earth, rather than that the earth moved around the sun. Your comment, please.

  30. I find Christian ethics very reasonable, rational and logical to the Christian and the naturalist, because they promote empathy,compassion and altruism. The Christian believes these morals come from a supernatural source and to the naturalist, they come from within the species. If you look around at animals and mankind, you will see a pattern where each shows tremendous capacity for empathy and compassion. The human mother, the gorilla mother and the elephant mother are great examples. The elephant and gorilla's( just two examples) care go way past basic needs of an offspring. Since man is further evolved, then his innate ability to show compassion is more advanced.

    You keep going back to the word 'reason' i.e. there would be no reason for such and such if one holds the naturalist view. The REASON we are still here is because we adapted these features of compassion and empathy. Yours is a 'top down' system where 'the reason' we have have morals is because God gave them to us. The naturalist has a bottom up approach that says 'the reason' we are still here is because we adapted morals, compassion,empathy etc in order to survive.

    For these innate morals to be brought out,taught, and reinforced to man, ,mankind did this by parental instruction,creating laws, societies, cultures and being superstitious by nature,created religion. They all serve a purpose to foster our innate moral leanings. Again 'THE REASON' we have such moral tendencies is because we adapted them to get where we are.Top down vs. bottom up

    Concerning your last paragragh, I am not talking about the philosophy of evolution, but just basic science.Take just one like radiometric dating. The process of radioactive decay of atoms wasn't developed to prove or disprove evolution. Chemists and physicists all over the world believe that this decay occurs at a constant rate because nothing has led them to believe otherwise. Just good old basic scientific discovery accepted by 99.9% of all physicists. The man of science creationist says in order for the world to be only 6000 years old, then these rates of decay must have been vastly different in the past. That type of thought is what I find incredulous. The scientists who discovered isotopic decay didn't discover it to fit into evolution, but because they measured it and noticed it happens at a constant rate particular to that atom. The creationist, having no data or proof to the contrary, says the decay rate must vary so it will fit into their 6000 year old earth belief. When evidence is shown that decay rates can vastly change with time, then that will have to be entertained. That is what I find incredulous for a creationist man of science to want to be accepted as science. I don't say they can't CLAIM' it, but only that it can't be ACCEPTED until evidence is provided.

  31. I would prefer you refer to creation science and intelligent design theory separately because, while they have similarities, they are not the same thing.

  32. I think I've beat the horse of reason and purpose in a naturalistic universe enough that I choose not to take another run at it right now.

    Radiometric dating makes several assumptions which all must be as assumed in order for the reading to be reliable (e.g. no change in the rate of decay for the duration of the assumed millions or billions of years, no contamination of the specimen, no leeching from the specimen, etc. None of these assumptions can rationally or reliably be made for even the last 1,000 years, much less an assumed million or billion years. The erroneous readings (e.g. 20 year old rock dated at 2.8 million years, living and/or freshly killed organisms being dated at thousands of years old, etc.) often obtained from verifiable specimens illustrate the unreliability of the assumptions required to attempt to date something assumed to be millions or billions of years old.

    Creation scientists reject certain assumptions and theories, not the scientific evidence itself.

  33. It would then seem by your line of reasoning that each of the 'days' of creation could have been millions or billions of years, because you are assuming a day of creation was 24 hours . If I can't assume radioactive decay was the same 6000 years ago as today, then you certainly can't assume a day was 24 hours at creation just because it is so today.Would that not be fair to say ?

  34. As I explained, there is reason to believe that one or more of the assumptions surrounding radiometric dating are erroneous.

    As to the length of creation days, some people conjecture that these days may have been millions of years. However, as with all written communication, context is key. With the context of the language used in Genesis 1 clearly conveys the typical 24 hour cycle of day and night:

    “He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

    Ideas and possibilities can be interesting, but when it comes to the real world, we have to have reasonable justification for them. Every contextual evidence points to normal 24-hour days; the genealogies of the Bible, which start with the years of Adam, reinforce this.

  35. I believe the Bible context mentions evening and morning but not any reference to 24 hours. Even the 'day' in the time of Adam could have been years, because the earth could have had a much slower revolving rate and also a longer journey around the sun.But I agree that it is reasonable to assume a day was indeed 24 hours, as it is now.

    I also think it is reasonable to assume that the pull of gravity was the same then as it is now, that two atoms of hydrogen combined with one atom of oxygen to form water then as now, that NaCl + H2O= HCL + NaOH etc etc. That also is 'the real world'. Why would it be reasonable to consider that decay rates would be different?Wouldn't we then have to seriously consider that water could have had a different composition or that gravitational pull was different 6000 years ago.

    The geneologies in the Bible don't mention hours, but we assume a day was 24 hours then as it is now.God's laws of the universe dictate that one rotation of the earth is 24 hours. Why then should we consider that the other laws of God's nature would vary.

  36. Wow, you sure are desperate to shore up unverifiable assumptions while trying to undermine something that's pretty clear. 🙂

    I'm glad agree that it is reasonable to assume a day was indeed 24 hours during the creation week, although you return to a rejecting attitude toward that in your last paragraph. I included enough text in my previous comment that it should make that day/night, evening/morning cycle pretty clear that, as are most uses of the word “day” in the Bible, we are contextually talking about a 24 hour cycle.

    But getting to the decay rate, scientists already know that the decay rate of various elements can change based on a range of circumstances including solar radiation, cosmic radiation, and even humidity.

    And I haven't even spent any significant time mentioning that this is only ONE of the assumptions which must be verified unchanged over the course of millions of years. Others include the assumption that we know how much parent element was present at formation, the assumption that no daughter elements were present in the specimen at the time of formation, that nothing has happened along the way to introduce more of the daughter element into the specimen during the intervening time, nothing has happened along the way to leach away daughter or parent element, etc.

    These assumptions could not be reasonably embraced in an unobserved specimen over the course of 1,000 years, much less a million or a hundred million.

    In other words, it's based on a lot of “ifs.” If seven or eight different things happen to be just the way you imagine them to be over the course of a few million years, then yes, maybe radiometric dating can be accurate.

    If.

    Big if.

  37. Bob Ellis wrote: “I would prefer you refer to creation science and intelligent design theory separately because, while they have similarities, they are not the same thing.”

    I will certainly comply – thanks for the warning. So are you (and possibly Dr. Theo) closer to the Institute for Creation Research position, the Creation Research Society position or the Answers In Genesis position on creation science?

  38. I'll leave it to Dr. Theo to speak for himself, but as for me I am a young-earth creationist. While I have only a vague familiarity with CRS, I am more familiar with ICR and AIG, and from what I know of them both, there is no significant difference in their positions with regard to young-earth creation.

    I also have no significant disagreement with the key tenets of Intelligent Design; I just don't think it goes far enough in acknowledging who the most likely intelligent designer of the universe is.

  39. Physicists have done studies that show that decay rates might be capable of very minute changes, but not in the magnitude of order you are suggesting- 4.65 billion years to 6000 years. Also the decay rates of moon rocks and meteors from outer space have been measured which agree with the decay rates we find on the planet earth. So your argument would have to say that they are also exposed to the exact same influences like humidity and temperature that the earth was exposed to.

    Astrophysics and ice core sampling,using totally different techniques than radioisotopic decay rates, also reveal a very old earth. Are they full of the same 'ifs' that you suggest are present. You are taking on a lot of science. There are now over forty different methods of atomic radioactive decay measuring techniques that reveal an old earth. Are you suggesting they all are equally affected by leaching, temperature, humidity etc. Again you have taken a lot of science on.

    I Wish you would take the time to google the study by Christian physicist Dr.Roger Wiens entitled 'Radiometric Dating: A Christian Perspective' and let me know what you think.

  40. Errors in radiometric dating have been seen with a very wide spread, e.g. the aforementioned 20 year old rock dated to 2.8 million years…and when different radiometric dating methods were used on that same rock, different methods gave wildly different readings.

    As for ice core samplings, again you're dealing with assumptions about the amount of time being measured–assumptions that one layer=1 year, etc.

    I'll try to take a look at the study you mentioned as soon as I can and let you know what I think.

  41. Or, you could just let scientists, both religious and non-religious, define science. And then you don't have a philosophical/religious viewpoint defining science, but facts and observations defining science. And what happens when you do that…Evolution is the most widely accepted fact in biology, physiology, anthropology, paleontology, and geology.

  42. Unfortunately that is exactly what we have with the theory of evolution passing itself off as “science.” People with a religious view that believes God doesn't exist, desperately looking for a way to convince themselves that this incredibly complex and ordered universe “just happened” so they can feel as if they have moral autonomy.

  43. Mr. Burnett, you summarily dismissed my reasoned and sound responses to your prior claims about the plantaris muscle, the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics, the recurrent laryngeal nerve and infinitesimal probabilities. You can only refer us to a biased, anti-Christian and willfully deceptive web site for your response.

    You might have noticed that I have not referenced any Bible verses or appealed to any supernatural power in my discourse, although I believe in both. I am able to defend my position on scientific principles, but you, evidently are unable to do the same. I cannot say that I am surprised, because, in the end, in every discussion I've had with Darwinists they are reduced to expounding their absolute FAITH that there are naturalistic explanations for the immense scientific contradictions inherent in their belief system if we are only patient.

    You, Mr. Burnett, have shown yourself to be truculent, insincere, uninformed and dishonest. You have no desire to exchange ideas and debate the merits of each. You have failed in this little debate not so much by the force of my arguments but by your own failure to give yours any substance beyond a few tired canards common to freshmen biology students who think they have uncovered the deepest mysteries of life with their elementary exposure to Darwinism. Good day, Mr. Burnett.

  44. dr theo I hope you reply to my 11/28/09 comments made arond 6:25 P.M. concerning Gould et al. You left the impression and other creationists have as well , that Gould was skeptical of the fossil record by misrepresenting what he actually was saying and plucking out individual quotes which is always misleading if the entire context isn't quoted

  45. Unfortunately that is exactly what we have with the theory of evolution passing itself off as “science.” People with a religious view that believes God doesn't exist, desperately looking for a way to convince themselves that this incredibly complex and ordered universe “just happened” so they can feel as if they have moral autonomy.

  46. Mr. Burnett, you summarily dismissed my reasoned and sound responses to your prior claims about the plantaris muscle, the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics, the recurrent laryngeal nerve and infinitesimal probabilities. You can only refer us to a biased, anti-Christian and willfully deceptive web site for your response.

    You might have noticed that I have not referenced any Bible verses or appealed to any supernatural power in my discourse, although I believe in both. I am able to defend my position on scientific principles, but you, evidently are unable to do the same. I cannot say that I am surprised, because, in the end, in every discussion I've had with Darwinists they are reduced to expounding their absolute FAITH that there are naturalistic explanations for the immense scientific contradictions inherent in their belief system if we are only patient.

    You, Mr. Burnett, have shown yourself to be truculent, insincere, uninformed and dishonest. You have no desire to exchange ideas and debate the merits of each. You have failed in this little debate not so much by the force of my arguments but by your own failure to give yours any substance beyond a few tired canards common to freshmen biology students who think they have uncovered the deepest mysteries of life with their elementary exposure to Darwinism. Good day, Mr. Burnett.

  47. dr theo I hope you reply to my 11/28/09 comments made arond 6:25 P.M. concerning Gould et al. You left the impression and other creationists have as well , that Gould was skeptical of the fossil record by misrepresenting what he actually was saying and plucking out individual quotes which is always misleading if the entire context isn't quoted

    Reply to Dr. Rutledge:You are correct that Eldridge and Gould never refuted their belief in evolution, but the clearly acknowledged a major weakness in the theory when they proposed “punctuated equilibrium” (sic). They acknowledged the absence of transitional forms and the sudden appearance in the fossil record of completed forms that remained remarkably static through their tenure on earth. In keeping with their devout adherence to materialism, they refused to consider any other possibility but that evolution had occurred in fits and starts leaving no record of the gradualism that predecessors had proposed. Dawkins was livid with Gould over this, saying Gould had given “ammunition” to the hated creationists.
    There were no transitional forms and “rapidly evolving bursts of multiple speciation events which they called 'adaptive radiations [see below]’” Gould made a point to say so. He invented the notion of “adaptive radiations” and bursts of evolution that left no fossil trace precisely because the fossil record provided no evidence in support of evolutionary changes, gradual or otherwise.
    You are wrong, Dr. Rutledge in your contention that soft-tissue fossils are rare. There are fish fossils that layer almost the entire earth that reveal scales, eyes, even the thin rays of the fins. I have a couple dozen of these in my small collection. There are billions of flower and leaf fossils that are preserved in pristine condition; billions of bird fossils that have every feather intact and viscera clearly visible. The green River formation alone encompasses hundreds of square miles of billions of herring fossils densely packed and oriented in the same direction.
    Local flooding cannot explain the wide distribution and sizez of these fossil beds. Nor can it explain the Cambrian layer that also covers the entire earth, even mountain tops! The Cambrian “explosion” shows the sudden appearance of nearly every phyla of the animal kingdom, including chordates. Many of these fossils are primarily soft-tissue yet survive in such condition that we can determine different species within a genus.
    In your last comment you say “[Gould] again believed the fossil transition record supported his idea rather than slow gradual process.”
    Well, let’s look at what Gould had to say on the subject (from stephenjaygould.org):
    “If evolution almost always occurs by rapid speciation in small, peripheral isolates—rather than by slow change in large central populations—then what should the fossil record look like? We are not likely to detect the event of speciation itself. It happens too fast, in too small a group, isolated too far from the ancestral range. We will first meet the new species as a fossil when it reinvades the ancestral range and becomes a large central population in its own right. During its recorded history in the fossil record, we should expect no major change[catch that, Brian]; for we know it only as a successful, central population [Do you understand that he is saying that the fossil record reveals only stasis and resistance to change?]. It will participate in the process of organic change only when some of its peripheral isolates species to become new branches on the evolutionary bush. But it, itself, will appear ‘suddenly’ in the fossil record and become extinct later with equal speed and little perceptible change in form.” [Gould is quite clear about how he interprets the fossil record, exactly as creationists do– sudden appearance of complete organisms without evidence of significant change over time.]

    Gould then adds: “I emphatically do not assert the general ‘truth’ of this philosophy of punctuational change. Any attempt to support the exclusive validity of such a grandiose notion would border on the nonsensical. […] Nonetheless, I will confess to a personal belief that a punctuational view may prove to map tempos of biological and geographic change more accurately and more often than any of its competitors — if only because complex systems in steady state are both common and highly resistant to change.”Gould retreats from his theory almost as fast as he proposed it, but maintains that it is the best explanation for what is seen in the fossil record (well, except for creation, but we mustn’t consider that).