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South Korea surrenders to creationist demands
Nature ^ | 06/07/2012 | Soo Bin Park

Posted on 06/07/2012 2:46:26 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

Mention creationism, and many scientists think of the United States, where efforts to limit the teaching of evolution have made headway in a couple of states1. But the successes are modest compared with those in South Korea, where the anti-evolution sentiment seems to be winning its battle with mainstream science.

A petition to remove references to evolution from high-school textbooks claimed victory last month after the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) revealed that many of the publishers would produce revised editions that exclude examples of the evolution of the horse or of avian ancestor Archaeopteryx. The move has alarmed biologists, who say that they were not consulted. “The ministry just sent the petition out to the publishing companies and let them judge,” says Dayk Jang, an evolutionary scientist at Seoul National University.

The campaign was led by the Society for Textbook Revise (STR), which aims to delete the “error” of evolution from textbooks to “correct” students’ views of the world, according to the society’s website. The society says that its members include professors of biology and high-school science teachers.

The STR is also campaigning to remove content about “the evolution of humans” and “the adaptation of finch beaks based on habitat and mode of sustenance”, a reference to one of the most famous observations in Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. To back its campaign, the group highlights recent discoveries that Archaeopteryx is one of many feathered dinosaurs, and not necessarily an ancestor of all birds2. Exploiting such debates over the lineage of species “is a typical strategy of creation scientists to attack the teaching of evolution itself”, says Joonghwan Jeon, an evolutionary psychologist at Kyung Hee University in Yongin.

The STR is an independent offshoot of the Korea Association for Creation Research (KACR),

(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...


TOPICS: Education; Religion; Science; Society
KEYWORDS: creation; creationism; evolution; southkorea
In early 2008, the KACR scored a hit with a successful exhibition at Seoul Land, one of the country’s leading amusement parks. According to the group, the exhibition attracted more than 116,000 visitors in three months, and the park is now in talks to create a year-long exhibition.

Even the nation’s leading science institute — the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology — has a creation science display on campus.

“The exhibition was set up by scientists who believed in creation science back in 1993,” says Gab-duk Jang, a pastor of the campus church. The institute also has a thriving Research Association for Creation Science, run by professors and students, he adds.

1 posted on 06/07/2012 2:46:35 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

BTW, after reading this article, I personally get the impression that the entire story is not being presented here.

This article :

http://www.koreabang.com/2012/stories/evolutionary-theory-to-disappear-from-science-textbooks.html

Seems to give the entire issue some context and paints a somewhat different story...

Basically, what appears to have happened, is that South Korea, like many other countries, has science textbooks that include arguments FOR evolution and ideas about evolution that evolutionists themselves have disowned.

That means since evolutionists have disowned them, the information presented is OUT OF DATE.

A group petitioned to have the arguments removed that have been discredited by the evolutionists themselves. Then the arguments were removed, and, in some cases, replaced by newer, better arguments.

What Nature failed to tell you, for instance, is that one textbook publisher agreed that the horse series was a bad example, and put in the whale series instead.

In fact, many of the textbooks did reviews and agreed that the examples were out of date. What did they do? Removed them or updated them! Isn’t that what is *supposed* to happen with out-of-date material?

Here’s the last paragraph of the article from Korea:

“The experts blame the passive and reactive approaches by the scientific community. The professor of genomics at Seoul National University Jang Dae-ik said ‘the problem is that the writers of the science textbooks have neglected the new materials on the theory of evolution over the several decades. It even contains the references to Ernst Haeckel’s recapitulation theory (ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, get it?) which has been disproven a long time ago. This kind of lapse in up-to-date knowledge invites such an attack [from the CREIT].”


2 posted on 06/07/2012 2:59:13 PM PDT by SeekAndFind (bOTRT)
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To: SeekAndFind

Sloppiness like that wouldn’t ever be tolerated in, say, electromagnetic or subatomic particle physics. If it were, textbooks would still be talking about the ether.


3 posted on 06/07/2012 4:18:55 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Let me ABOs run loose Lou!)
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To: SeekAndFind
Exploiting such debates over the lineage of species “is a typical strategy of creation scientists to attack the teaching of evolution itself”, says Joonghwan Jeon, an evolutionary psychologist at Kyung Hee University in Yongin.

Isn't it a bit of a stretch to call creationists "scientists"? To date, so-called creation "scientists" have yet to make a scientific discovery, propose a testable hypothesis, or formulate a theory. That rather disqualifies them as "scientists", IMHO.

4 posted on 06/07/2012 4:33:46 PM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: exDemMom

If I understand the reasoning of creationists, they make a distinction between different types of science:

They make the distinction between:

* origins science and

* operational science.

Operational science involves discovering how things operate in today’s word —— repeatable and observable phenomena in the present. This is the science of Newton.

However, origins science deals with the origin of things in the past—unique, unrepeatable, unobservable events. There is a fundamental difference between how the two work.

Operational science involves experimentation in the here and now. Origins science deals with how something came into existence in the past and so is not open to experimental verification / observation (unless someone invents a ‘time machine’ to travel back into the past to observe). Studying how an organism operates (DNA, mutations, reproduction, natural selection etc.) does not tell us how it came into existence in the first place.

With this distinction in mind, creationists argue that both evolution and creation fall into the category of origins science.

Both are driven by philosophical considerations. The same data (observations in the present) are available to everyone, but different interpretations (stories) are devised to explain what happened in the past.

At least, that’s the way I understand their argument.


5 posted on 06/07/2012 4:53:33 PM PDT by SeekAndFind (bOTRT)
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To: SeekAndFind
Studying how an organism operates (DNA, mutations, reproduction, natural selection etc.) does not tell us how it came into existence in the first place.

Yes, I'm aware of the attempts at discrediting evolution by claiming that it's all based on examination of evidence of things that occurred in the past. By that criterion, we can't solve murders, either, because we can only look at evidence in the presence and have no ability to look in the past to see what "really" happened.

Very few scientists that I am aware of are actually trying to look at how life started. That isn't to say that they can't make hypotheses about it that can be tested in the lab. Most of us look at the ongoing process of evolution. Public health, for one thing, depends on it.

With this distinction in mind, creationists argue that both evolution and creation fall into the category of origins science.

Both are driven by philosophical considerations. The same data (observations in the present) are available to everyone, but different interpretations (stories) are devised to explain what happened in the past.

Creationists would get a lot further if they could come up with plausible alternative (and testable) hypotheses to explain the fossil record, phylogenetic trees, genetic drift, etc. Instead, they just deny that the evidence exists. That doesn't give them a very strong case.

6 posted on 06/09/2012 4:21:15 AM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: exDemMom

RE: By that criterion, we can’t solve murders, either, because we can only look at evidence in the presence and have no ability to look in the past to see what “really” happened.

___________________

I don’t think the creationists are saying that at all. If I understand them correctly ( and I do try so that I don’t miscomprehend them), they are saying that because origins science deals with the origin of things in the past—unique, unrepeatable, unobservable events, one’s INITIAL PHILOSOPHICAL PRESUMPTIONS will come into play regarding how one interprets the data, such as fossils.

They argue that both evolution and creation fall into the category of origins science. Both are driven by philosophical considerations. The same data (observations in the present) are available to everyone, but different INTERPRETATIONS are devised to explain what happened in the past.

So, they insist that Creationists produce scientific theories but the Biblical account is used as a starting point, just as Evolutionists produce scientific theories but pure materialism without any reference to any external intelligent being are their starting point.

Creationists then insist that their resulting theories make TESTABLE predictions many of which have been successful.

Example of creationists theories with successful predictions include Dr Russell Humphreys’ model of planetary magnetic fields which successfully predicted planetary magnetic field observations, including the recent measurements of Mercury’s magnetic field.

So, Creationists see the Bible as an historical Document. That is events described in the Bible are real historical events. The Bible is not just a collection of religious stories or a collection of myths, neither is it history mixed with myth. When possible historical documents are the best way to study the past, and the Bible is the best preserved ancient historical document known. In fact archeologists in Israel often use the Bible as a guide.

So Creation Science can be defined as the study of history and the physical sciences in light of the Bible. The key is not confusing scientific evidence with a particular interpretation.

At least, that’s how I understand their arguments.


7 posted on 06/09/2012 9:52:10 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (bOTRT)
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To: SeekAndFind
don’t think the creationists are saying that at all. If I understand them correctly ( and I do try so that I don’t miscomprehend them), they are saying that because origins science deals with the origin of things in the past—unique, unrepeatable, unobservable events, one’s INITIAL PHILOSOPHICAL PRESUMPTIONS will come into play regarding how one interprets the data, such as fossils.

They argue that both evolution and creation fall into the category of origins science. Both are driven by philosophical considerations. The same data (observations in the present) are available to everyone, but different INTERPRETATIONS are devised to explain what happened in the past.

As much as possible, scientists try not to bring philosophy or any other preconceived notions into their work. The best scientist is a disinterested observer, who gathers data and applies logic to deduce the most likely physical mechanism causing the observed effects. That is about as removed from creation "science" as possible. Literal creationists--those who believe that the earth and all life were created almost instantaneously from nothing around 6,000 years ago try to either apply unscientific interpretations of the data or deny the data even exists.

From what I have seen literal creationists say, the attempt to pigeonhole science into "past" and "present" categories is all about trying to cast doubt--"You weren't there, you didn't see it, you're just guessing!" It's not about the science at all. Creation "science" has nothing to offer in the way of useful science, so, being unable to compete on an even playing field, they try to erode people's trust in the scientific method. They aren't alone in that effort; it's a common tactic among all those who are anti-science, and there are many anti-science efforts out there.

So, they insist that Creationists produce scientific theories but the Biblical account is used as a starting point, just as Evolutionists produce scientific theories but pure materialism without any reference to any external intelligent being are their starting point.

Creationists then insist that their resulting theories make TESTABLE predictions many of which have been successful.

Example of creationists theories with successful predictions include Dr Russell Humphreys’ model of planetary magnetic fields which successfully predicted planetary magnetic field observations, including the recent measurements of Mercury’s magnetic field.

Scientific investigation must deal with the physical world; there is no other option. If you want to call that "materialism", fine. The "starting point" of science is observation of the physical world and phenomena. In a scientific context, it is impossible to take a metaphorical creation story and make any real predictions from it--at least, any that pan out. I could certainly make predictions based on a belief that all life sprang up from the soil on the word of a supreme being--but it's unlikely I would find evidence of such an event upon investigation.

Likewise, a literal creationist astrophysicist might claim he developed hypotheses on planetary magnetic fields based on the biblical creation story--but I find that highly unlikely, since the Bible contains no discussion of magnetic fields, planetary composition, cosmic rays, the solar wind, or any of those other phenomena which must affect magnetic fields. Any predictions he made were based on his deep understanding of the current knowledge of planetary magnetic fields, and nothing else.

The Bible is full of metaphorical stories. It's not necessary to be a scientist to realize that both versions of its creation story are metaphorical; the clues are intrinsic to the story.

8 posted on 06/10/2012 4:45:22 AM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: exDemMom

RE: The best scientist is a disinterested observer, who gathers data and applies logic to deduce the most likely physical mechanism causing the observed effects. That is about as removed from creation “science” as possible.

_____________________________

Well in this case, if one is a real disinterested observer, one will have to be OPEN to all possible explanations, not simply materialistic ones. THAT is what creationists argue.

In which case, I will have to say that the accusation that one is “disinterested” should not simply be leveled against creationists. Many hard core evolutionists are not disinterested observers themselves IMHO.

Creationists do not disregard Scientific investigations that deal with the physical world. In fact THAT IS PART OF THEIR OBSERVATION. Neither do they deny that the The “starting point” of science is observation of the physical world and phenomena. They DO observe the physical world but look at it differently.

What they insist on however is this -— The argument that materialist evolution can explain the origins of the universe or of life on earth ultimately is a philosophical one, not a testable scientific proposition.

I understand creationists as challenging the presumption of non-intelligence in popular & natural science – the idea that no designing mind or minds are or were responsible for most aspects of nature.

Those who are not 6 day creationists in fact want to follow all evidence regardless of whether this mind was natural or not, material or not.

In fact, creationists insist that all of the following areas of science use evidence of an intelligent maker as the major or sole means of study.

They insist that the principles involved in studying these areas of science can be applied to the study of :

Archeology: Is that rock formation slow or catastrophic?

Anthropology: Do sharp, pointed rocks occur naturally or are they designed by someone intelligent?

Forensics: Intelligent cause of death or natural circumstances?

SETI: Are those radio signals natural or caused by intelligent beings?

So, What are the characteristics of a successful creation model?

A reasonable creation model can possess all of the following characteristics:

Intelligence is identified

The model is detailed

The model can be refined

The model is testable and falsifiable

The model can make predictions

How does the biblic model score on the above characteristics? The intelligent Designer is identified as the Creator God of the Bible

The biblical model of creation is detailed in that the major creation events are listed in a temporal sequence.

Dozens of creation passages make specific claims about the nature of the world. The model can be refined by putting together all the biblical creation passages into a coherent, detailed model.

Creationists complain that many skeptics claim that ID models cannot be tested, but then go on to state that the biblical descriptions of nature are incorrect. You can’t have it both ways!

Creationists thus insist that a biblically-based ID model is eminently testable and falsifiable. Contrary to the claims of opponents, they insist that a biblical model does make predictions.

For example, it claims that all men are descended from one man, Noah, whereas women come from up to 4 different blood lines (see Genesis 6). One would predict from this claim that males would have lower genetic variability on their y-chromosomes, compared to the mitochondrial DNA ( mtDNA), which is passed on exclusively through women. Published scientific studies confirm this biblical prediction, since the last common ancestor dates for the y-chromosome tend to be less than that for mtDNA.

Again, I am just presenting their arguments, not saying that I am an advocate for them. I am still on the fence on this one.


9 posted on 06/10/2012 6:59:34 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (bOTRT)
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To: SeekAndFind
Well in this case, if one is a real disinterested observer, one will have to be OPEN to all possible explanations, not simply materialistic ones. THAT is what creationists argue.

We're open to any explanation that fits the available evidence, and which is consistent with known physical law. That's the catch, of course: science can ONLY deal with the physical. If it can't be observed, measured, and tested, then it isn't science.

I find a huge contradiction in creationists who reject science because it is not metaphysical, but then want scientists to use a metaphorical text as the basis for their physical investigations.

Trying to force science to operate according to an ideology doesn't work; Lysenkoism was disastrous for the Soviet Union. There is no reason to think that trying to force scientists to practice "creation science" would work any better.

10 posted on 06/10/2012 3:04:16 PM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: exDemMom

RE: We’re open to any explanation that fits the available evidence, and which is consistent with known physical law. That’s the catch, of course: science can ONLY deal with the physical. If it can’t be observed, measured, and tested, then it isn’t science.

___________________________

Then alas, most of what purports to be evolutionary science cannot fit the above criteria.

It has been noticed for instance that many dogmatic Evolutionists will often argue that the theory has predictive value.

They will come up with some predictions and ‘hey presto!’ our observations match those predictions. What they don’t tell you is that the observations actually CAME FIRST, then they thought up a way to explain those observations in evolutionary terms. Those explanations turned into predictions, but they can only predict the observations they were invented to explain.

I will concede that of course that there was one prediction made using the theory of evolution. It was predicted that the fossil record would show a smooth transition from species to species. Noe that is an eminently falsifiable prediction which can be observed.

Alas, the fossil record contradicts this prediction.

The fossil record actually shows that species tend to remain the same for very long periods of geological time, then undergo a burst of rapid change (none of which is caught in the fossil record) then emerge as a completely different species.

But being so adaptable, the theory of evolution was simply changed to match this observation. Thus, the current version of the theory of evolution can be successfully used to ‘predict’ trends in the fossil record.


11 posted on 06/10/2012 6:00:21 PM PDT by SeekAndFind (bOTRT)
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To: SeekAndFind
Then alas, most of what purports to be evolutionary science cannot fit the above criteria.

It has been noticed for instance that many dogmatic Evolutionists will often argue that the theory has predictive value.

They will come up with some predictions and ‘hey presto!’ our observations match those predictions. What they don’t tell you is that the observations actually CAME FIRST, then they thought up a way to explain those observations in evolutionary terms. Those explanations turned into predictions, but they can only predict the observations they were invented to explain.

Paleontologists will say that they can predict where to look for certain kinds of fossils. Then they can look and find the fossils. I'm a molecular biologist; my interest during graduate school was to better understand a certain metabolic pathway. Because the fossil record and genetic analysis of modern species shows that mammals all have a common ancestor, we predict that all mammals have that same pathway. So far, every time someone has looked at a different mammal, they have found that pathway. There was even a group of researchers who hypothesized that bony fish might also have that pathway--and when they looked for it, they found it. It was slightly different (in a manner consistent with evolutionary theory), but it *was* there. Now that we know bony fish and mammals have that pathway, we can hypothesize that *all* vertebrates have it. We can further hypothesize that it is present only in bony vertebrates, or that the pathway arose in primitive vertebrates (those with a notochord, but no skeleton). Those are all testable predictions, and only research will show which is right.

That is just one example of how I, as a molecular biologist, use evolutionary theory to make predictions. Whenever I have made a prediction (i.e. hypothesis) based on evolutionary theory, my experiments have always shown that my prediction was correct.

For scientists to try to do experiments without making a prediction first is... well, unimaginable. I keep trying to think of a way one could conduct research in a methodical fashion without a hypothesis, and I just can't do it. The order of research always is:

  1. consider previous knowledge
  2. apply the theoretical considerations to that knowledge and make a hypothesis
  3. design an experiment to specifically test the hypothesis
  4. do the experiment and analyze the results
  5. determine whether the results support the hypothesis or not
    • if yes -> go back to step one and devise a new hypothesis
    • if no -> go back to step two and figure out how the hypothesis did not fit the theory, then revise the hypothesis

I will concede that of course that there was one prediction made using the theory of evolution. It was predicted that the fossil record would show a smooth transition from species to species. Noe that is an eminently falsifiable prediction which can be observed.

Alas, the fossil record contradicts this prediction.

No scientists ever made that prediction; that is a young-earth creationist misrepresentation of both the theory and the fossil record. Most dead animals completely decay within a few weeks--a fact that anyone can see, if they drive along a road where an animal was killed, and animal control never stops by to pick up the carcass. The conditions for preserving any part of a carcass so that it fossilizes are exceedingly rare. Therefore, we predict that the fossil record is spotty, and that fossils will only be found in certain types of geological formations. We can make other predictions about the fossil record, too--for instance, we can predict that we will not find vertebrate fossils from a few million years ago lodged within billion year old fossils of bacterial mats in a manner that suggests they co-fossilized; indeed, no one has ever found that.

The fossil record actually shows that species tend to remain the same for very long periods of geological time, then undergo a burst of rapid change (none of which is caught in the fossil record) then emerge as a completely different species.

No, what the fossil record shows is that, at a specific point in time, there were certain species, and at another specific point in time millions of years later, there were other species that resemble the first species but are not the same. The observation that there are bones of animals that do not exist, which was made long before there were systematic sciences, was what led to the various evolutionary theories. Even the ancient Greeks had a theory about it.

If you want to know what the fossil record really shows, and what the theory of evolution really says, you need to read the various scientific articles on those subjects. The articles on Wikipedia are fairly accurate. Creation "science" websites only present pseudoscience; they care more about getting your money than they do the truth.

But being so adaptable, the theory of evolution was simply changed to match this observation. Thus, the current version of the theory of evolution can be successfully used to ‘predict’ trends in the fossil record.

First of all, keep in mind that the process of evolution is what we observe happening; the theory is our best explanation of how it happens. The process itself does not change because we revise the theory.

I would actually be pretty surprised if Darwin had devised a theory that explained everything there is about evolution, and there was no need to revise it. While the "creation science" websites try to imply that revising the theory as new facts are revealed is a weakness, in actuality, it's pretty common to revise theories. In medicine, for example, a physician who makes a presumptive diagnosis at your initial visit might completely change the diagnosis after lab results come back.

In evolution, all species continuously undergo a process called "genetic drift." On occasion, however, a massive die-off occurs, then new species emerge to fill the gaps. Stephen Jay Gould put these facts together to come up with the theory of punctuated equilibrium. To illustrate this, consider two species living in a field. The mice eat grains and the rabbits eat blades of grass. Once in a while, a rabbit might give birth to a baby rabbit that prefers to eat grain, but that mutant rabbit has little chance of surviving to reproduce, because mice are already eating the grain. So, the two populations are kept in equilibrium. But now cats move into the field, and kill all the mice. In the absence of competition for the grain, the grain eating rabbits can survive and reproduce. The field ends up populated with two different kinds of rabbit.

Now, I will give an example of what I would expect if I were to try to make scientific hypotheses based on the creation stories of Genesis:

1. Adam and Eve were genetically identical. Presumably, the only difference was that Adam's Y chromosome was replaced with a duplicate X chromosome in Eve.
2. Because God is perfect, He would not create anything that is imperfect. Therefore, the medium used to carry "blueprints" from parent to child must be perfect.

My hypothesis, then, is that all humans are virtually identical. Some minor differences might occur (for instance, larger lungs at higher altitude to make up for lower oxygen). Hmm, I don't see that...

12 posted on 06/12/2012 4:43:39 AM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: exDemMom

RE:

consider previous knowledge

apply the theoretical considerations to that knowledge and make a hypothesis

design an experiment to specifically test the hypothesis
do the experiment and analyze the results

determine whether the results support the hypothesis or not
if yes -> go back to step one and devise a new hypothesis
if no -> go back to step two and figure out how the hypothesis did not fit the theory, then revise the hypothesis

_______________________

I am not sure if those who doubt the theory of evolution and are seeking an alternative explanation of origins are NOT using the same methodology you just described.

The scientific method is commonly described as a four-step process involving observations, hypothesis, experiments, and conclusion.

Those who doubt Darwin’s theory begin with the observation that intelligent agents produce complex and specified information (CSI). That is a consideration of PREVIOUS KNOWLEDGE as you put it. If I see a complex design such as a computer or a program using the principles of neural network, I KNOW that it was designed by an intelligent CREATOR. How is that not a consideration of previous knowledge?

Now, if I observe the human body and its numerous intricate working parts more complex than anything I have ever seen designed, how is that not a consideration of previous knowledge?

Those who believe in an intelligent creator then, based on this previous knowledge hypothesize that if a natural object was designed, it will contain high levels of COMPLEX SPECIFIED INFORMATION (CSI).

Scientists then perform experimental tests upon natural objects to determine if they contain complex and specified information.

One easily testable form of CSI is irreducible complexity, which can be discovered by experimentally reverse-engineering biological structures to see if they require all of their parts to function.

When such researchers find irreducible complexity in biology, they conclude that such structures were designed.

I see that as using scientific principles based on information theory and observations about intelligent action.

Those who believe in an intelligent Creator make inferences based upon observations about the types of complexity that can be produced by the action of intelligent agents vs. the types of information that can be produced through purely natural processes to infer that life was designed by an intelligent being.

Now, I will concede that some 6 day creationists would insist that this is the creator God of the Bible. But hey, I’ve spoken to others who are not Christians who leave the identity of this creator (or even creator(s)) open.

Even the atheist zoologist Richard Dawkins says that intuitively, “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

Now Dawkins would say that natural selection is what actually did the “designing,” however Those who oppose Dawkins notes that in all cases where we know the causal origin of ‘high information content, experience has shown that intelligent design played a causal role.

So, I don’t see how those who believe in an intelligent creator are being unscientific in their approach at all. They in fact BEGIN empirical observations from the natural world.

RE: FOSSIL RECORDS

I have heard many Darwinists say that 99.99% of species that have ever lived have gone extinct.

Well, I am not sure about that really.... There are roughly 250,000 species that have been identified in the fossil record, and well over 1,000,000 species that exist today.

Taken at face value, even if every species in the fossil record has gone extinct (which they haven’t), that means that 80% of species that ever existed ARE STILL ALIVE.
That’s quite a stretch.

So where do Darwinists get their number? By assuming that innumerable species existed in the transitional spaces. Why? Because they _must_ have existed there for their theory to be true.

Those who oppose Darwinism insist that it is simply an unnecessary hypothesis.

We should take the fossil record AS IT COMES TO US, measure its completeness on its own terms, and determine its limits as we can determine apart from Darwinism.

After doing so, we might find certain features of the fossil record to be consistent with Darwinism, or we might not.

The problem is that the Darwinists interprete what they see to fit into their picture of Darwinism.

There are also a set of Silurian trackways which were thought to be arthropods…why? Because it was thought that tetrapods hadn’t existed yet.

Basically, Darwinism has been forcing the way in which we view the fossil record and earth history. When it is in conflict with the data, over and over again, the data gets modified to fit with Darwinism.

So the alternative view makes a clean break with the Darwinistic picture, and would allow us to take the animal distributions within the fossil record much more on its own terms.

As for common descent, well, how about common DESIGN? I am not sure if that idea is as repugnant as some people think.

Consider this : A software engineer creates a new program. Shortly thereafter, another program enters the market that is very similar. Turns out that the underlying programming is very similar ( after all, Object Oriented programming is all about polymorphism and code inheritance )

In a suit for copyright infringement, a jury would infer that it is likely that there is common design in the programming, and therefore plagarism. This is a reasonable inferrence.

With those who believe in creation, the only possible way to make any scientific determination about the designer(s) or specific processes used- in the absence of direct observation or designer input - is by studying the design in question.

IOW based on PREVIOUS OBSERVATION, they try to demonstrate that intelligent agencies can put together irreducibly complex machines and produce Complex Specified Intelligence.

We have direct observation and a vast amount of experience with that.

However no one has ever observed blind and undirected processes doing that.

Going back to the fossil records, I sadly conclude that Paleontologists have paid an exorbitant price for Darwin’s argument.

For several years, Niles Eldredge of the American Museum of Natural History has been advocating a resolution to this uncomfortable paradox.

The history of most fossil species includes two features particularly inconsistent with Darwinian gradualism:

1. Stasis. Most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear in the fossil record looking much the same as when they disappear; morphological change is usually limited and directionless.

2. Sudden appearance. In any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and “fully formed.”

Unfortunately, the fossil record is proving to be less and less Darwinian as we examine the details. We have modern body plans where there should be primitive body plans. We have primitive ‘relict’ species living on when they should have become extinct. We have to invoke ‘convergence’ to explain similar structures that do not fit the linear model. (But convergence is ubiquitous – here).

I am not sure if we should we live with such an unwieldy interpretative framework.

But hey, if people want to stick with this paradigm, this is a free country....

I am personally FOR teaching Darwinism in school. What I am against is BANNING the teaching of alternative explanations.

I would be just as opposed to creationists lobbying to ban the teaching of evolution.


13 posted on 06/12/2012 6:19:44 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (bOTRT)
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To: exDemMom
Now, I will give an example of what I would expect if I were to try to make scientific hypotheses based on the creation stories of Genesis:

Which examples are specifically designed to be counter-factual to justfy discounting the creation hypothesis out-of-hand.

I don't deny evolution per se, but evolutionists have to come up with a better mechanism than pointing to broken rocks at the bottom of a hillside to explain the Pyramids.

14 posted on 06/12/2012 6:45:51 AM PDT by papertyger ("And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if..."))
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To: SeekAndFind
I am not sure if we should we live with such an unwieldy interpretative framework.

Global Warming = Evolution 2.0

15 posted on 06/12/2012 6:53:42 AM PDT by papertyger ("And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if..."))
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To: SeekAndFind
Basically, Darwinism has been forcing the way in which we view the fossil record and earth history. When it is in conflict with the data, over and over again, the data gets modified to fit with Darwinism.

Planck's dictum is still in force ;o)

16 posted on 06/12/2012 6:59:24 AM PDT by papertyger ("And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if..."))
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To: SeekAndFind

“Now Dawkins would say that natural selection is what actually did the “designing,” however Those who oppose Dawkins notes that in all cases where we know the causal origin of ‘high information content, experience has shown that intelligent design played a causal role.”

Very true. Isn’t it rather strange that while, to date, the only observed explanation for the origin of complex, specific information is the action of intelligence, this explanation is not allowed in the science classroom as an explanation for the origin of complex, specific information in origins and diversity of lifeforms?


17 posted on 06/13/2012 8:45:04 PM PDT by Mudtiger
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To: SeekAndFind
I am not sure if those who doubt the theory of evolution and are seeking an alternative explanation of origins are NOT using the same methodology you just described.

First of all, the theory of evolution is *not* evolution: it is the best explanation we have so far devised to describe the process of evolution. While the theory describes our observations about the apparent progression and diversity of biological life over time, it really doesn't explain how life began. We only have hypotheses for that.

That said, those who "doubt" the theory of evolution (ToE)give no indication that they actually have a science-based alternative to the accepted explanation of the evidence. It is clear that the only alternate explanation they have, whether they overtly use the word "creator" or "intelligent designer", or avoid the use of such words altogether, *is* the creation story of Genesis. The totality of young earth creationist (YEC) objections to the ToE consist solely of misinterpretations or misrepresentations of the science involved; no one has ever scientifically established that evolution does not happen.

Put it this way, had the Genesis story of creation been devised to explain observations, there would be similar stories from all over the world. But there are not. Creation stories seem as diverse as the cultures that produced them.

Now, if I observe the human body and its numerous intricate working parts more complex than anything I have ever seen designed, how is that not a consideration of previous knowledge?

Those who believe in an intelligent creator then, based on this previous knowledge hypothesize that if a natural object was designed, it will contain high levels of COMPLEX SPECIFIED INFORMATION (CSI).

The whole problem with this example is that it takes a preconceived belief and interprets evidence to fit the belief. That isn't science.

This whole concept of "complex specified information", which I gather from your text is another way of saying "irreducible complexity", is not a scientific concept.

As for your example of reverse-engineering biological systems to see if they "require all their parts to function", I'll just say that there are at least two ways to falsify the idea of "irreducible complexity". One, is through observation of various organisms: the deduced process of evolution is well-represented among living organisms, so that you can find examples of nervous systems, for examples, at any stage of complexity. Some primitive animals have a few nerves which respond to stimuli (for instance, clams can open and close their shells), but no brain. As you examine more and more complex animals, you see more and more complex nervous systems, until you reach mammals, some of which have highly complex, organized systems. Another is the observation that a featureless single cell can, over the period of just a few weeks, develop all of the organs and structures characteristic of fully formed humans. If a system is not too complex to develop from a single cell, it is not "irreducibly complex".

Now, I will concede that some 6 day creationists would insist that this is the creator God of the Bible. But hey, I’ve spoken to others who are not Christians who leave the identity of this creator (or even creator(s)) open.

The problem with trying to leave open the identity of a creator, or of trying to present a scientific version that leaves out mention of a creator altogether, is that the literal creation story of Genesis becomes utterly ridiculous when divorced from the religious component. Everything just popped into being 6,000 years ago? Who thinks that is a legitimate scientific theory? Clearly, that is a thinly disguised religious story that does not belong in schools which are supposed to remain religion-neutral.

Even the atheist zoologist Richard Dawkins says that intuitively, “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

It is a characteristic of human beings to anthropomorphize just about anything. I used to grow mammalian cells, and I describe them as if they had real personalities. One cell line, for example, doesn't like physical contact, and the more cells there are on the plate, the more each cell tries to avoid touching other cells by pulling itself into the smallest space possible. Another type of cell doesn't like being alone, and when they are sparse on a plate, they reach out very long tendrils to try to find other cells; when they find each other, they crawl together to form little clumps. Although my descriptions imbue very human traits to those cells (and the cells *were* human cells), the fact is that they have none of those traits; they only respond to chemical signals and are incapable of thought or feeling.

I'm not going to say much more on the science of evolution, except to point out that the ToE is wonderfully coherent and consistent, and has proven to be a valuable tool for me and countless of my colleagues. Consistency is important, because the truth is always consistent. The number of scientists whose work directly deals with aspects of evolution (which would be mainly the life scientists and geologists) who do not accept the validity of the ToE is so small as to be statistically insignificant (~0.15%). It is also impossible to refute every single YEC pseudoscientific claim--it's a game of whack-a-mole, where, as soon as one pseudofact is shot down, another pops up to take its place.

You have to be careful with creationist websites or publications. They have no interest in science; they're trying to tear down science for their own reasons. Because of that, they present very little valid science, and a lot of pseudoscience. I suggest looking at other sources; Wikipedia is usually pretty accurate when describing scientific topics or any website maintained by a major research university would be fairly accurate. As a starting point, I suggest looking at this article and its links; it is not written by a scientist, but the author does have a good grasp of the issues.

18 posted on 06/16/2012 12:15:18 PM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: exDemMom

RE: The whole problem with this example is that it takes a preconceived belief and The whole problem with this example is that it takes a preconceived belief and interprets evidence to fit the belief. That isn’t science.That isn’t science.

Well, what is the ToE if not a set of preconceived beliefs to fit the belief?

By definition, evolution offers an explanation for how things got to be the way they are without any intelligence (I’m referring to what’s known as the “general theory of evolution”).

This is why it made such a splash. Do you think that if God could be worked into the evolutionary picture, then evolution would have taken off the way it did? Of course not.

Richard Dawkins, author of The Blind Watchmaker and one of the world’s preeminent evolutionists, was right when he said that Darwin made the world safe for atheism. But if Darwinism can be easily baptized with theism, how can it be that Darwin made the world safe for atheism? It’s precisely because evolution seemed to explain things that used to require the existence of God to explain them that Darwinism became so popular and accepted within ten to fifteen years after Origin of Species was published in 1859. It’s precisely because God is out of the picture that evolution is so appealing.

When you listen to evolutionists like Harvard paleontologist Stephen J. Gould, he’s very willing to admit you can believe in God and also be an evolutionist. No problem. But that doesn’t mean Gould approves of theistic evolution. Gould means that plenty of his friends believe in God, but their belief in God is a religious thing they do in their closets, inside their homes and behind the closed doors of the churches. They don’t mix religion and science, God and evolution, fantasy with fact.

RE: Clearly, that is a thinly disguised religious story that does not belong in schools which are supposed to remain religion-neutral.

If you read the creation science literature, you will see that they clearly state that they want public schools to teach all the scientific data, censoring none, but do not want any religious doctrine to be brought into science classrooms.

They are not even going to FORCE teachers who do not want to teach anything other than evolution to teach the creation model. However they OBJECT to CENSORING teachers who want to.

This includes the scientific evidence for a sudden creation of complex and diversified kinds of life, with systematic gaps persisting between different kinds and with genetic variation occurring within each kind since that time. The scientific model of evolution, in summary, includes the scientific evidence for a gradual emergence of present life kinds over aeons of time, with emergence of complex and diversified kinds of life from simpler kinds and ultimately from nonliving matter. The creation model questions vertical evolution, which is the emergence of complex from simple and change between kinds, but it does not challenge what is often called horizontal evolution or microevolution, which creationists call genetic variation or species or subspecies formation within created kinds.

RE: The coherence of ToE

An explanation can be coherent and consistent within its model and yet, be found wanting.

In my view, the genetic differences between organisms are mathematical show-stoppers for evolution. A simplistic comparison of human and chimpanzee DNA shows that the genetic divergence is at least 4%. (The difference is certainly much larger than this number which was derived from a technique not as precise as lining up sequences as in our example above. This “4% difference” does not take into account the different number of chromosomes in the two genomes, the different arrangement of genes among the chromosomes, and a lot of non-coding, but regulatory DNA that show significant variations.)

But let’s assume the measly 4% often quoted. How big is 4% in the DNA? It doesn’t sound big, does it? But the human genome has the information content of one thousand 500-page books. A 4% change would be about 40 large books, equivalent to about 12,000,000 words. We are expected to believe that random mutation plus natural selection (somehow driven by the right combinations of zillions of environmental changes) can generate 12 million words in a precisely meaningful sequence – just to get the “little” divergence between chimps and people.

Evolutionist always says that “given enough time – millions and millions of years,” such miracles can happen. But evolutionists claim that human evolution would have taken place over the last 10 million years, with creatures like humans and apes sharing a common ancestor. Is that long enough? Note that a human generation is about 20 years. You have to hope very optimistically for rapid mutation and natural selection. In fact, detailed population genetics calculations have shown that only about 1700 mutations could arise in a population over a 10 million year period. That’s only a “page or two” out of the required 40 large books.

Evolution – to qualify as a science – must provide evidence that these events have actually occurred! Not only is the evidence lacking, but any mathematical analysis shows that these transformations of species are impossible!

This is analogous to a district attorney hoping to convict someone, not only with no evidence, but with overwhelming data that proves that the suspect could not possibly be responsible.

You don’t have to tell me to be careful with creationists websites, I believe I am discerning enough to determine which argument is sound and which ones are not ( and this would include websites promoting darwinian evolution ).


19 posted on 06/16/2012 12:46:02 PM PDT by SeekAndFind (bOTRT)
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To: SeekAndFind
Well, what is the ToE if not a set of preconceived beliefs to fit the belief?

By definition, evolution offers an explanation for how things got to be the way they are without any intelligence (I’m referring to what’s known as the “general theory of evolution”).

This is why it made such a splash. Do you think that if God could be worked into the evolutionary picture, then evolution would have taken off the way it did? Of course not.

No one invented the ToE based on preconceived beliefs; that rather begs the question of where those preconceived beliefs arose. The observations of the fossil record and other observations predated Darwin and his contemporaries' and predecessors' various ToEs; even the ancient Greeks were observant enough to propose some variant of the theory.

Being a biochemical process, evolution offers no explanations of anything. The ToE explains the process, and, like any scientific theory, is religion neutral. I do not need to resort to calling upon God to explain chemical reactions; I need only understand how atoms interact with each other. Physical phenomena behave identically regardless of whether the observer is Christian, Muslim, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, or atheist. Evolutionary theory "took off the way it did" (as you put it) because it is a wonderful predictive theory; we have made incredible advances in life sciences using that tool. Our current state of medicine wouldn't be possible without it.

If you read the creation science literature, you will see that they clearly state that they want public schools to teach all the scientific data, censoring none, but do not want any religious doctrine to be brought into science classrooms.

Of course they say that. If they were to come right out and say they wanted one specific religious version of creationism taught in the guise of science, they would get no support at all. So they disguise their intent by claiming that they just want "all points of view" taught, as if scientific facts can be determined by democratic vote instead of by empirical observations.

The creation model questions vertical evolution, which is the emergence of complex from simple and change between kinds, but it does not challenge what is often called horizontal evolution or microevolution, which creationists call genetic variation or species or subspecies formation within created kinds.

The creation "model" is a subterfuge. Like any pseudoscience, it contains just enough real science or scientific sounding language to sound authentic to those who have little scientific training. It is neither scientific nor biblical.

In my view, the genetic differences between organisms are mathematical show-stoppers for evolution. A simplistic comparison of human and chimpanzee DNA shows that the genetic divergence is at least 4%. (The difference is certainly much larger than this number which was derived from a technique not as precise as lining up sequences as in our example above. This “4% difference” does not take into account the different number of chromosomes in the two genomes, the different arrangement of genes among the chromosomes, and a lot of non-coding, but regulatory DNA that show significant variations.)

Estimates of the differences between humans and chimps vary, but are generally between 95% and 99%. So, let's take the lower number, 95%, and analyze it mathematically.

The haploid human genome contains about 3.2 billion base pairs. According to this blog, written by a biochemistry professor, there are about 130 mutations per human zygote (the assumptions and calculations are at the blog). Humans and chimps diverged ~5 million years ago. Assuming 20 years per human generation, this (roughly) comes out to:

(5,000,000 years/20 years per generation) = 250,000 generations.

(250,000 generations x 130 mutations/zygote) = 32.5 million mutations [using a zygote as a proxy for a generation]

(3,200,000,000 base pairs x 0.05 human-chimp genome difference) = 160 million differences (mutations)

(160 million mutations/32.5 million mutations) = 5 (rounded up)

Thus, all you would have needed would have been 5 individuals in the ancestral population to account for all of the DNA mutations between humans and chimps. Since it's highly unlikely that such a small population could have survived, the original population was more than 5, and from a purely mathematical perspective, the difference between human and chimp genome is fully explainable.

As for gene duplications, rearrangements, chromosome breakage (chimps have one more chromosome than humans), etc., those are all fairly common occurrences. During the process of meiosis, extensive chromosome rearrangement occurs; except for the Y or X chromosomes donated by the sperm, no chromosome in an offspring is identical to any chromosome in a parent. (That's in mammals only; other species have other mechanisms for determining male and female, and, therefore, this mechanism would be different for them.)

Note that the websites I used gave varying numbers; I took the extreme number from each range so as to maximize the calculated number of mutations and minimize the amount of time for the mutations. Higher than 95% homology between chimps and humans would decrease the number of calculated mutations. A divergence more than 5 million years ago would increase the amount of time for mutations to accumulate. Even using the extreme range values, the mathematics clearly support the evolutionary model.

20 posted on 06/16/2012 3:34:38 PM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: exDemMom

RE: No one invented the ToE based on preconceived beliefs;

I’m sure Darwin did not have preconceptions. Unfortunately, his fans and followers DO.
This despite the many problems with Darwins theory that have been shown since he died.

Darwin of course described his theory as a species undergoing genetic change over time.

That is, over many generations a species can evolve into something quite different, and those differences are based on changes
in the DNA, which originate as mutations. The species of animals and plants living today weren’t around in the past,
but are descended from those that lived earlier.

Those were not preconceived beliefs, those were his theory which to his credit, he was willing to concede is falsifiable.

In The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin acknowledged that the fossil record presented difficulties for his theory.

Darwin knew that the major animal groups—which modern biologists call “phyla”—appeared fully formed in what were at the time the earliest
known fossil-bearing rocks, deposited during a geological period known as the Cambrian. He considered this a “serious” difficulty for his theory,
since “if the theory be true, it is indisputable that before the lowest Cambrian stratum was deposited long periods elapsed… and
that during these vast periods the world swarmed with living creatures.” And “to the question why we do not find rich fossiliferous deposits
belonging to these assumed earliest periods prior to the Cambrian system, I can give no satisfactory answer.”

So “the case at present must remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained.” ( That was in
Chapter 10 of his Origin of Species).

Darwin called The Origin of Species “one long argument” for his theory. I acknowledge that he was a fine scientist
willing to admit mistakes if evidence could not be uncovered to support his theory in the fossil records.

Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for many of his followers.

I have seen too many cases of academics trying to defend Darwinian evolution by rearranging the fossil record;
by misrepresenting the development of vertebrate embryos; by ignoring evidence for the functionality of allegedly vestigial organs
and non-coding DNA, then propping up Darwinism with theological arguments about “bad design;” by attributing some biogeographical patterns to convergence due to the supposedly “well-known” processes of natural selection and speciation; and then exaggerating the evidence for selection and speciation to make it seem as though they could accomplish what Darwinism requires of them.

The actual evidence shows that major features of the fossil record are an embarrassment to Darwinian evolution;
that early development in vertebrate embryos is more consistent with SEPARATE ORIGINS than with common ancestry;
that non-coding DNA is fully functional, contrary to neo-Darwinian predictions; and that natural selection can accomplish nothing more than artificial selection—which is to say, minor changes within existing species.

Faced with such evidence, any other scientific theory would probably have been abandoned long ago.

Judged by the normal criteria of empirical science, the evidence do not support Darwin at all.

RE: that rather begs the question of where those preconceived beliefs arose.

Richard Dawkins, a Darwinist the classical sense of the word, is one such person.

Where does Dawkin’s ( and his ilk ) get his preconceived beliefs? ANSWER: Hatred of religion and belief in God.

Unfortunately scientists like Dawkins DO exist. I’ve see so many of them to ignore their existence.

RE: Physical phenomena behave identically regardless of whether the observer is Christian, Muslim, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, or atheist. Evolutionary theory “took off the way it did” (as you put it) because it is a wonderful predictive theory; we have made incredible advances in life sciences using that tool. Our current state of medicine wouldn’t be possible without it.

I beg to disagree.

Our state of medicine would remain unaffected even if medical scientists did not believe in Darwinian evolution.

In fact, I am not sure if the great discoveries in biology and medicine over the past century depended on guidance from Darwinian evolution.

In 1978, microbiologist Werner Arber received a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (sharing the honor with Daniel Nathans and Hamilton O. Smith) for the discovery of restriction enzymes and their application to molecular genetics.

Arber conducted extensive scientific research in genetics, evolution, and related areas. In his Nobel Prize autobiography, Arber described his research as long but fruitless attempts to document evolution with experimental evidence. For this reason, he wrote that much of his work in this area remains largely unpublished.

Arber’s findings have been confirmed by many other scientists.

The most recent replication is by Lenski et al, who evaluated the changes in over 30,000 generations of E. coli, concluding that millions of mutations and trillions of cells were needed to produce the estimated two to three mutations required to allow cells to bring citrate into the
cell under oxic condition ( see Blount, Z., C. Borland, and R. Lenski. 2008. Historical Contingency and the Evolution of a Key Innovation in an Experimental Population of Escherichia coli. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. 105: 7899-7906.)

This corresponds with Lehigh University Biochemist, Michael Behe’s deductions that if one mutation is required to confer some advantage to an organism, this event is likely; if two are required, the likelihood is far less; but if three or more are required, the probability rapidly grows exponentially worse, from very improbable to impossible. Evolution by mutations for this reason has very
clear limits.

Based on this I am not sure I can agree with the statement: “Our current state of medicine wouldn’t be possible without it.”

Darwin’s theory isn’t the basis for comparative medicine. Comparative medicine antedates Darwin by several millennia. Aristotle developed a system of comparative biology, and Galen, the father of classical medicine before the Enlightenment, used the principles of comparative biology
in his dissection of Barbary apes and other animals as the basis for his system of human anatomy.

The pioneers in seventeenth and eighteenth century anatomy and physiology, such as William Harvey and William Hunter, based nearly all of their research on extrapolation from animal to human biology, which of course is comparative biology.

The father of modern comparative biology—the modern system of classification of species—was Carol Linnaeus, who worked a century before Darwin was born. Most of biological science before Darwin was comparative biology. Darwin offered one particular explanation for the similarities and differences between species, but the similarities and differences were known centuries before he lived. Darwin’s theory depends on our understanding of species similarity (and differences), but the converse is not true.

Our knowledge of these similarities and differences doesn’t depend on Darwin’s theory.

Comparative medicine depends on the actual study of human and non-human biology, not theories as to how these similarities came about.

Darwin’s theory depends on the data, but the data for species similarity and differences is independent of Darwin’s theory. And it is the data, not the conjecture, that is essential to modern comparative medicine.

Neither does our knowledge of genetics depend on Darwin’s theory of non-teleological variation and natural selection. Our knowledge of genetics depends on physics, chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, etc. The proposal that biological complexity is non-teleological, which is the cornerstone of Darwin’s theory, contributes nothing to the study of genetics.

In fact, by definition, virtually all experimental research in genetics involves genetic engineering (design) and artificial selection in the laboratory, both of which are quite purposeful and thus are examples of breeding, not of Darwinian evolution. Advocates for Darwin’s
theory of course use modern genetics in their work, but the converse is not true.

Molecular geneticists gain little or nothing from the assertion that all biological complexity arose by “chance and necessity.”

Genetic engineering, which is the real basis for most of our progress in molecular genetics, is, in a very real sense, the antithesis of Darwin’s theory.

RE: Of course they say that. If they were to come right out and say they wanted one specific religious version of creationism taught in the
guise of science, they would get no support at all.

And what would be deceptive about what they say? If this TRULY reflects their personal desires, I see no reason why we should attribute
deceptive inent on their part.

RE: So they disguise their intent by claiming that they just want “all points of view” taught,

Well, that’s YOUR VERSION of what you think they want. Not sure if it’s correct, but I would suspect some bias on your part.

RE: as if scientific facts can be determined by democratic vote instead of by empirical observations.

I’m sure they will agree with you here. All they want is FEAR be taken out of the classroom. If a teacher expresses his doubts
and would like an alternative view presented, LET HIM DO SO WITHOUT FEAQR OF REPRISAL. If his alternative view is found wanting,
I’m sure it will be discovered.

THAT is exactly what they want. How do I know this? I’ve spoken to at least 2 of them — Dr. John Morris and Dr. Carl Weiland.

Of course you don;t believe them and you use the word “subterfuge”... that is well within your personal rights.

I’m not going to waste my time changing your mind. I can only speak for what I personally see they want and we part ways in our views here.

This post is already too long. I’ll get back to your haploid human genome estimations later.


21 posted on 06/16/2012 6:46:38 PM PDT by SeekAndFind (bOTRT)
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To: exDemMom

RE: Humans and chimps diverged ~5 million years ago.

Hmmm.... this of course is the point of contention.

If the hypothetical divergence of humans and chimpanzees occurred about 5 million years ago (As your PBS link tells us, and I am paying for it with my taxes am I not? ) and given that a human generation is about 20 years (and a chimp slightly less), then 250,000 generations have passed from the time humans and chimpanzees diverged from a common ancestor ( that’s what your calculations show too ).

To get 150 million nucleotide changes in 250,000 generations, the two lines of descent would require 600 beneficial mutations fixed in each population of ancestral humans and chimpanzee per generation.

Here’s where the problem of ASSUMPTIONS and OBSERVATIONS come into play...

Nearly all mutations are NEUTRAL, having NO EFFECT and therefore are not selectable, or are slightly deleterious, causing genetic deterioration in a population of organisms.

*THAT* is what most observations show.

I will agree that a few beneficial mutations have been observed, such as mutations that confer antibiotic resistance in bacteria and sickle cell trait in humans.

But even these mutations are DELETERIOUS when the individual is returned to optimal conditions for survival and forced to compete with other individuals lacking the mutation.

In fact, Recognizing the high genetic cost of fixing any mutation in a population, J.B.S. Haldane, an evolutionist, determined mathematically that it would take 6 million years to fix just 1,000 beneficial mutations in humans through natural selection ( SEE : Haldane, J. B. S., 1957. The cost of natural selection. Journal of Genetics 55:511-524)

If only 1,000 of the mutations are beneficial, then nearly all of the 150 million mutations in the human lineage would be slightly deleterious or neutral. Deleterious mutations would lead to DEGENERATION of the genome resulting in extinction, and the neutral mutations would cause no change.

This does not lead to some “great leap forward” to a more adapted creature. Because there is no feasible evolutionary solution to this problem, this whole situation has been termed “Haldane’s dilemma.”

Even if the difference in homology of humans and chimpanzees is just 98.5% there still would be 250,000 beneficial mutations to be fixed in both populations in the last 5 million years, far too many than are feasible by Haldane’s calculations.

So, in my opinion, the differences between humans and chimpanzees cannot be determined simply by the amount of sequence homology. The regulation of genes is also an important factor.

Differential expression of proteins in humans and chimpanzees has been identified in brain and liver cells. In a comparison of 538 proteins expressed in brain and liver cells in both humans and chimpanzees, 31% of these proteins showed different levels of expression between humans and chimpanzees (See: Enard, W., et al., 2002. Intra- and interspecific variation in primate gene expression patterns. Science 296:340-343)

For comparison, two species of mice, Mus musculus and Mus spretus, also were analyzed for protein expression differences, but showed just a 7.5% difference in the number of differentially expressed proteins. The larger difference between humans and chimpanzees would support the position that they are two separate “kinds” while the mice, which are classified in the same genus, are likely one “kind.”

The differences in expression are not trivial either, as some of the differentially expressed proteins had more than a 10-fold difference in expression levels between humans and chimpanzees (SEE: Watanabe, H., et al., 2004. DNA sequence and comparative analysis of chimpanzee chromosome 22. Nature 429:382-388)

One likely candidate controlling the different levels of proteins in the brain and liver cells are differences in the DNA sequences of the gene promoters in humans and chimpanzees.

These differences might affect the binding affinity between DNA and the enzymes necessary for the expression of the gene that encodes the respective protein. Differential expression of proteins is one likely way the Designer (whoever he is ) specified some of the physical and behavioral differences between humans and chimpanzees. At least I am not CLOSED to that kind of explanation.


22 posted on 06/16/2012 7:55:44 PM PDT by SeekAndFind (bOTRT)
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To: SeekAndFind
That is, over many generations a species can evolve into something quite different, and those differences are based on changes in the DNA, which originate as mutations. The species of animals and plants living today weren’t around in the past, but are descended from those that lived earlier.

In The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin acknowledged that the fossil record presented difficulties for his theory.

First of all, Darwin and his contemporaries knew nothing of DNA. It wasn't until the 1950s, after Watson/Crick/Franklin determined the structure of B-DNA that it was finally established that DNA was the carrier of genetic information and how it did that function. He most certainly knew of the various theories of evolution, and was aware that they were missing crucial details which made them inadequate for the purpose of understanding biology.

Now, as far as Darwin's supposed admission that the fossil record presents difficulties for his theory: that is a quote often mined by young-earth creationists (YECs), who, unsurprisingly, leave out the rest of the passage in which he discusses the (then) current understanding of geology and sets forth a hypothesis as to why the fossil record is spotty. I'll put some of the passage here; there is another preceding paragraph that I am omitting, but you can read it at the link:

The case at present must remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained. To show that it may hereafter receive some explanation, I will give the following hypothesis. From the nature of the organic remains which do not appear to have inhabited profound depths, in the several formations of Europe and of the United States; and from the amount of sediment, miles in thickness, of which the formations are composed, we may infer that from first to last large islands or tracts of land, whence the sediment was derived, occurred in the neighbourhood of the now existing continents of Europe and North America. The same view has since been maintained by Agassiz and others. But we do not know what was the state of things in the intervals between the several successive formations; whether Europe and the United States during these intervals existed as dry land, or as a submarine surface near land, on which sediment was not deposited, or as the bed on an open and unfathomable sea. - Origin of Species, 6th Ed. John Murray, 1872, Chapter 10, pp. 286-288.

The bolded part is the quote most often cherry-picked by YECs.

I think of the fossil record as analogous to a series of snapshots. We don't have a movie that shows everything, but that doesn't mean that nothing existed in the unrecorded intervals (or that miracles happened in between the snapshots, as YECs claim). I should point out that the claim of some creationists that there were several creation events, and that is why the fossil record resembles snapshots, is also unbiblical. The Bible describes one creation story, in two different versions, neither of which mentions multiple creation events.

I have seen too many cases of academics trying to defend Darwinian evolution by rearranging the fossil record; by misrepresenting the development of vertebrate embryos; by ignoring evidence for the functionality of allegedly vestigial organs and non-coding DNA, then propping up Darwinism with theological arguments about “bad design;” by attributing some biogeographical patterns to convergence due to the supposedly “well-known” processes of natural selection and speciation; and then exaggerating the evidence for selection and speciation to make it seem as though they could accomplish what Darwinism requires of them.

Honestly, those do not look like conclusions anyone would reach after reading actual scientific sources. Those have every appearance of being pseudoscientific arguments lifted from some YEC website. I've said it before: you must take extreme caution when getting information from those sites. If the information is not referenced, it's most likely outright fabrication. If it is referenced, it's probably quote-mined (the Darwin quotes being a good example of that), and the original source says something quite different.

I beg to disagree.

Our state of medicine would remain unaffected even if medical scientists did not believe in Darwinian evolution.

In fact, I am not sure if the great discoveries in biology and medicine over the past century depended on guidance from Darwinian evolution.

First of all, it's not "Darwinian" evolution. I am quite aware that YEC websites use all kinds of language to make people think that the idea of evolution was a pure fabrication on Darwin's part. It was not. Darwin was one of only several biologists who were aware of the phenomenon and tried to explain it. Evolution would still proceed if no one had tried to explain it.

As for the belief that modern medicine would still be in its present state without relying on knowledge of the fundamental forces shaping biology: that is just plain wrong. Circumstantially, we can look at history and note that the state of medicine was fairly primitive until the last century or so. The great explosion in medical advances seems to have taken off only after Darwin proposed a workable ToE. And, since I'm a medical researcher and knowing this stuff is essential for my continued employment, I'll point out that understanding evolutionary relationships is fundamental to basic research, and absolutely crucial to many aspects of infectious disease research. None of our current knowledge even makes sense in the context of a one-time sudden creation event. Keep in mind that YEC creationist concepts of "micro-" or "macro-" evolution, or "adaptation" are nothing more than attempts to mash the real concepts of evolution into a YEC framework to make YEC sound scientific; they have no Biblical validity, and there is no passage of the Bible in which those concepts can be found. Taking the actual stories of creation from Genesis, we have no reason to assume any biochemical similarity between organisms that live in different environments (between sea slugs and camels, for example), and no reason to assume that a badger-lemur hybrid is any more or less possible than a horse-donkey hybrid. Thus, it would be impossible to devise any research plan; research on C. elegans (a nematode) would be absolutely pointless, since we'd have no reason to think such research is in any way relevant to human physiology. Yet C. elegans research continues, precisely because it *is* relevant to our physiology.

I’m not going to waste my time changing your mind. I can only speak for what I personally see they want and we part ways in our views here.

Hmm, although you mentioned a lot of other things that YECs love to misrepresent, I'm going to have to resist commenting on them (because I could write several pages fully discussing those). But I do have to comment on this.

I am a scientist. I have spent years studying biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics, as well as doing hundreds of laboratory experiments. PhDs aren't awarded on the basis of having memorized a ton of facts and learning to recite the party line; they're awarded to students who demonstrate that they understand the fundamental concepts underlying the facts, well enough to research and add new knowledge to the field. I'm fluent in the language of science, while you have the equivalent of a Rosetta Stone course. Of course you won't change my mind.

It is significant, BTW, that very few scientists believe in YEC, and when only scientists who directly work in fields involving evolution (geologists and life scientists) are considered, that number becomes so small as to be statistically insignificant.

23 posted on 06/17/2012 7:18:28 AM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: exDemMom

This is bluff. Evolutionary stories and mythologies exist to explain what *can’t* be replicated in laboratories and “can’t* be precisely explained because they apparently unfold over millions of years as opposed to human lifespans can’t possibly fuel modern medical science. Modern medical science is absolutely driven by what can be observed to occur in laboratories or in experiments designed where results can be measured in the lifetime of the researcher.

In short, evolutionary yarns which are essential to human understanding and to stave off the beast that is existential angst is a completely different species from research which is result-oriented and driven by the reality of the moment.

Fundamental forces shape biology...sure...but evolution isn’t a force, it’s a construct which we apply to biological diversity and the appearance and disappearance of species. It’s chance and luck driven by the forces of nature...those would be actual fundamental forces.

You suggest the modern medical breakthroughs were only able to occur in light of the general scientific acceptance of modern evolutionary theory. You can’t possibly prove that.

Everybody believes in some form of an evolutionary theory. A young earth creationist can accept biological change and diversity which has been witnessed the last few thousand years without accepting a narrative that lasts hundreds of millions of years.

I’m not going to defend young earth creationism as I don’t accept it. Whether your mythology extends back several thousand years or several billion years, we can all agree that unobservable and unrepeatable things happened in the past. The fossilized entities which are part of your pantheon are connected by the necessary intermediaries who must exist to create the unbroken chain of speciation, the nuts and bolts of which can not be explained (what base pair mutations led to what speciation?). It had to happen that way. Fair enough. And again, what the heck does that have to do with modern medicine?


24 posted on 06/20/2012 9:44:07 AM PDT by woolley
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To: woolley
This is bluff. Evolutionary stories and mythologies exist to explain what *can’t* be replicated in laboratories and “can’t* be precisely explained because they apparently unfold over millions of years as opposed to human lifespans can’t possibly fuel modern medical science. Modern medical science is absolutely driven by what can be observed to occur in laboratories or in experiments designed where results can be measured in the lifetime of the researcher.

Ah, yes, here we have the literal creationist's core strawman: since we can't show the *entire* evolutionary process, we don't have proof of *any* of it. Which is simply ludicrous. We can and do see the active forces of evolution in the laboratory all the time... whether we want to or not.

In short, evolutionary yarns which are essential to human understanding and to stave off the beast that is existential angst is a completely different species from research which is result-oriented and driven by the reality of the moment.

Right... because somehow, when life scientists form hypotheses and design experiments based in evolutionary theory, it's different than when chemists form hypotheses and design experiments based in atomic theory. "Hard" scientists are all trained in the scientific method; life scientists are not exempt from it.

Fundamental forces shape biology...sure...but evolution isn’t a force, it’s a construct which we apply to biological diversity and the appearance and disappearance of species. It’s chance and luck driven by the forces of nature...those would be actual fundamental forces.

Um... wow... maybe you should read this Introduction to Evolution and figure out exactly what scientists are talking about when they discuss the theory and process of evolution. Because that paragraph, as you wrote it, suggests to me that you *do* have some understanding of evolutionary processes (evolution is change over time), but you think "evolution" refers to something else.

You suggest the modern medical breakthroughs were only able to occur in light of the general scientific acceptance of modern evolutionary theory. You can’t possibly prove that.

I do basic research; without this fundamental research, there can be no medical breakthroughs. I generate and examine phylogenetic trees so that I can decide how to direct my research. In the field in which I got my PhD, much of the current research wouldn't even be possible without asking evolutionary questions. Other scientists apply the knowledge of evolutionary theory differently, but for all of us, it provides a contextual framework within which to work.

Everybody believes in some form of an evolutionary theory. A young earth creationist can accept biological change and diversity which has been witnessed the last few thousand years without accepting a narrative that lasts hundreds of millions of years.

The problem with young earth creationists is that they (sort of) accept evolutionary theory, but only after it's been mangled in such a way that it isn't scientific at all. Nor is any kind of evolution mentioned in the Bible--whether it is the real process as described by scientists, or the imaginary process invented by quacks. I have to wonder why people who are so eager to embrace a non-Biblical pseudoscience are so adamant about rejecting the non-Biblical real science.

I’m not going to defend young earth creationism as I don’t accept it. Whether your mythology extends back several thousand years or several billion years, we can all agree that unobservable and unrepeatable things happened in the past. The fossilized entities which are part of your pantheon are connected by the necessary intermediaries who must exist to create the unbroken chain of speciation, the nuts and bolts of which can not be explained (what base pair mutations led to what speciation?). It had to happen that way. Fair enough. And again, what the heck does that have to do with modern medicine?

Speciation does not occur by a single base-pair substitution. The process of genetic drift happens continually; the accumulation of base-pair changes over time leads to speciation. The effects of genetic drift can be compared either between two contemporary populations that have a common ancestor, or between a modern population and its ancestor. What this has to do with modern medicine is that we have to do research before any innovation can be brought into clinical practice; we can only do a very limited amount of research on humans, so our only option is to use proxies that we know have a certain evolutionary relationship with humans. Without taking evolution into account, we wouldn't know where to direct our research efforts.

25 posted on 06/21/2012 4:39:23 AM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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