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Tough Assignment: Teaching Evolution To Fundamentalists
Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette ^ | 03 December 2004 | SHARON BEGLEY

Posted on 12/18/2004 5:56:30 PM PST by PatrickHenry

Professional danger comes in many flavors, and while Richard Colling doesn't jump into forest fires or test experimental jets for a living, he does do the academic's equivalent: He teaches biology and evolution at a fundamentalist Christian college.

At Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill., he says, "as soon as you mention evolution in anything louder than a whisper, you have people who aren't very happy." And within the larger conservative-Christian community, he adds, "I've been called some interesting names."

But those experiences haven't stopped Prof. Colling -- who received a Ph.D. in microbiology, chairs the biology department at Olivet Nazarene and is himself a devout conservative Christian -- from coming out swinging. In his new book, "Random Designer," he writes: "It pains me to suggest that my religious brothers are telling falsehoods" when they say evolutionary theory is "in crisis" and claim that there is widespread skepticism about it among scientists. "Such statements are blatantly untrue," he argues; "evolution has stood the test of time and considerable scrutiny."

His is hardly the standard scientific defense of Darwin, however. His central claim is that both the origin of life from a primordial goo of nonliving chemicals, and the evolution of species according to the processes of random mutation and natural selection, are "fully compatible with the available scientific evidence and also contemporary religious beliefs." In addition, as he bluntly told me, "denying science makes us [Conservative Christians] look stupid."

Prof. Colling is one of a small number of conservative Christian scholars who are trying to convince biblical literalists that Darwin's theory of evolution is no more the work of the devil than is Newton's theory of gravity. They haven't picked an easy time to enter the fray. Evolution is under assault from Georgia to Pennsylvania and from Kansas to Wisconsin, with schools ordering science teachers to raise questions about its validity and, in some cases, teach "intelligent design," which asserts that only a supernatural tinkerer could have produced such coups as the human eye. According to a Gallup poll released last month, only one-third of Americans regard Darwin's theory of evolution as well supported by empirical evidence; 45% believe God created humans in their present form 10,000 years ago.

Usually, the defense of evolution comes from scientists and those trying to maintain the separation of church and state. But Prof. Colling has another motivation. "People should not feel they have to deny reality in order to experience their faith," he says. He therefore offers a rendering of evolution fully compatible with faith, including his own. The Church of the Nazarene, which runs his university, "believes in the biblical account of creation," explains its manual. "We oppose a godless interpretation of the evolutionary hypothesis."

It's a small opening, but Prof. Colling took it. He finds a place for God in evolution by positing a "random designer" who harnesses the laws of nature he created. "What the designer designed is the random-design process," or Darwinian evolution, Prof. Colling says. "God devised these natural laws, and uses evolution to accomplish his goals." God is not in there with a divine screwdriver and spare parts every time a new species or a wondrous biological structure appears.

Unlike those who see evolution as an assault on faith, Prof. Colling finds it strengthens his own. "A God who can harness the laws of randomness and chaos, and create beauty and wonder and all of these marvelous structures, is a lot more creative than fundamentalists give him credit for," he told me. Creating the laws of physics and chemistry that, over the eons, coaxed life from nonliving molecules is something he finds just as awe inspiring as the idea that God instantly and supernaturally created life from nonlife.

Prof. Colling reserves some of his sharpest barbs for intelligent design, the idea that the intricate structures and processes in the living world -- from exquisitely engineered flagella that propel bacteria to the marvels of the human immune system -- can't be the work of random chance and natural selection. Intelligent-design advocates look at these sophisticated components of living things, can't imagine how evolution could have produced them, and conclude that only God could have.

That makes Prof. Colling see red. "When Christians insert God into the gaps that science cannot explain -- in this case how wondrous structures and forms of life came to be -- they set themselves up for failure and even ridicule," he told me. "Soon -- and it's already happening with the flagellum -- science is going to come along and explain" how a seemingly miraculous bit of biological engineering in fact could have evolved by Darwinian mechanisms. And that will leave intelligent design backed into an ever-shrinking corner.

It won't be easy to persuade conservative Christians of this; at least half of them believe that the six-day creation story of Genesis is the literal truth. But Prof. Colling intends to try.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: christianschools; christianstudents; colling; crevolist; darwin; evolution; heresy; intelligentdesign; nazarene; religionofevolution; richardcolling; scienceeducation
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The article is a couple of weeks old, from the Wall Street Journal, but they only allow exerpts, and you'd need a subscription to read the whole thing. This is a reprint from another newspaper. The article I copied has a different title: "God made evolution, prof says." The title of the thread is from the WSJ's article. (The bold and underlining is added by me.)

I like this Richard Colling. He says what some of us have been saying around here for years.

1 posted on 12/18/2004 5:56:30 PM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: VadeRetro; Junior; longshadow; RadioAstronomer; Doctor Stochastic; js1138; Shryke; RightWhale; ...
EvolutionPing
Not a list for the creationism side of the debate. See the list's description in my freeper homepage. Then FReepmail to be added/dropped.

2 posted on 12/18/2004 5:57:55 PM PST by PatrickHenry (The List-O-Links for evolution threads is at my freeper homepage.)
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To: PatrickHenry

As a Catholic, I don't feel obliged to believe that God created the universe 6,000 years ago. Geology and astrophysics and the evident age of many species make that idea hard to support. But frankly, the Theory of Evolution is full of holes. It's not a matter of religious belief in my case, it's a matter of bad science.

Partial evolution of bird beaks, sure. General evolution right up the chain of being from primordial soup to man, no. It just doesn't make sense. The harder you look at it, the less sense it makes.


3 posted on 12/18/2004 6:05:13 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: PatrickHenry

I am one of those he speaks of.
He would have an easier time force feeding pork to a well armed muslim then selling me on this theory.

The most deceptive lie,is the lie that lies closest to the truth.


4 posted on 12/18/2004 6:12:11 PM PST by loboinok (GUN CONTROL IS HITTING WHAT YOU AIM AT.)
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To: PatrickHenry

Nazarenes are fundamentalist? News to me. Looks like once again the press doesn't know the difference is between fundies and evangelicals.


5 posted on 12/18/2004 6:12:38 PM PST by inkling
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To: PatrickHenry

I have no problem whatsoever with evolution. The Bible tells the "why" and science the "how." This past summer, I drove out to Nevada. While in western Wyoming, I saw the stratification of the rocks....and it showed me that the Earth was far older than the 5 or 6 thousand years the literalists would want us to believe. The sheer might of God was apparent in those rocks....and I came away with a stronger belief in the Almighty after seeing that.


6 posted on 12/18/2004 6:13:38 PM PST by Bombardier (Jihad, Nazism....Umma, Deutsches Reich.....no diff.)
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To: PatrickHenry
When Christians insert God into the gaps that science cannot explain -- in this case how wondrous structures and forms of life came to be -- they set themselves up for failure and even ridicule

He's on the right track but what's his evo-Freeper name?

7 posted on 12/18/2004 6:15:56 PM PST by balrog666 (The invisible and the nonexistent look very much alike.)
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To: Bombardier

It always seems to me that evolution is like moving from version 9.0 to version 9.1 of a complicated piece of software. It definitely happens, and 9.0 definitely eventually dies out and is replaced by 9.1.

But it doesn't say anything about where version 1.0 came from.


8 posted on 12/18/2004 6:17:10 PM PST by ReadyNow
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To: All
A bit of material from my ever-growing "List-O-Links" which is available at my freeper homepage:

Faith can never conflict with reason. The Pope's statement on Galileo and science/scripture conflicts.

In fact, the Bible does not concern itself with the details of the physical world, the understanding of which is the competence of human experience and reasoning. There exist two realms of knowledge, one which has its source in Revelation and one which reason can discover by its own power. To the latter belong especially the experimental sciences and philosophy. The distinction between the two realms of knowledge ought not to be understood as opposition.
The Pope's 1996 statement on evolution. Physical evolution is not in conflict with Christianity. Excerpts:
It is necessary to determine the proper sense of Scripture, while avoiding any unwarranted interpretations that make it say what it does not intend to say. In order to delineate the field of their own study, the exegete and the theologian must keep informed about the results achieved by the natural sciences.

Today, almost half a century after the publication of the Encyclical, fresh knowledge has led to the recognition that evolution is more than a hypothesis. It is indeed remarkable that this theory has been progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge. The convergence, neither sought nor fabricated, of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a significant argument in favour of this theory.


9 posted on 12/18/2004 6:18:10 PM PST by PatrickHenry (The List-O-Links for evolution threads is at my freeper homepage.)
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To: PatrickHenry
He finds a place for God in evolution by positing a "random designer" who harnesses the laws of nature he created. "What the designer designed is the random-design process," or Darwinian evolution, Prof. Colling says. "God devised these natural laws, and uses evolution to accomplish his goals." God is not in there with a divine screwdriver and spare parts every time a new species or a wondrous biological structure appears.

Unlike those who see evolution as an assault on faith, Prof. Colling finds it strengthens his own. "A God who can harness the laws of randomness and chaos, and create beauty and wonder and all of these marvelous structures, is a lot more creative than fundamentalists give him credit for," he told me. Creating the laws of physics and chemistry that, over the eons, coaxed life from nonliving molecules is something he finds just as awe inspiring as the idea that God instantly and supernaturally created life from nonlife.

It's a good approach, but here's a question:

If random is designed, and random-design is a process, and if random and chaos have laws, how is it all actually "random?"

10 posted on 12/18/2004 6:19:03 PM PST by Fatalis
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To: ReadyNow
But it doesn't say anything about where version 1.0 came from.

Microsoft stole it from Apple who stole it from Xerox. Xerox didn't copy it from anyone.

11 posted on 12/18/2004 6:20:40 PM PST by Fatalis
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To: Fatalis
... how is it all actually "random?"

Think snowflakes. Not truly random (little in nature really is), but not "designed" either.

12 posted on 12/18/2004 6:21:14 PM PST by PatrickHenry (The List-O-Links for evolution threads is at my freeper homepage.)
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To: PatrickHenry
Colling would call snowflakes another result of the "random-design process." If the process has a designer, then snowflakes aren't, as you say, truly random.

If random has a designer, then what is observed as random is actually "apparently random."

13 posted on 12/18/2004 6:27:57 PM PST by Fatalis
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To: PatrickHenry

Refreshing article, thanks for the ping


14 posted on 12/18/2004 6:31:02 PM PST by contemplator
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To: PatrickHenry
In addition, as he bluntly told me, "denying science makes us [Conservative Christians] look stupid."

Says it neatly. There is no good way to deny a thing for which science has accumulated massive amounts of evidence over more than a century.

15 posted on 12/18/2004 6:33:12 PM PST by VadeRetro (Nothing means anything when you go to Hell for knowing what things mean.)
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To: VadeRetro; PatrickHenry
"[E]volution is no more the work of the devil than is Newton's theory of gravity."

I'd have more confidence in the people pushing evolution if they wouldn't make the implied claim that the theory of evolution is somehow as valid or demonstrable as the fact of gravity.
16 posted on 12/18/2004 6:41:23 PM PST by BenLurkin (Big government is still a big problem.)
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To: PatrickHenry
Where to start?
evolution has stood the test of time and considerable scrutiny
It has not, it was almost immediately accepted by the atheist/humanist community because it filled a needed gap in the explanation of life.Any scrutiny has been derided as unscientific.

the evolution of species according to the process of random mutation and natural selection are "fully compatible with the available scientific evidence and also contemporary religious beliefs"
This is ludicrous.Natural selection (Darwinism)has been thrown out because it requires more time than even the evolutionist time frame allows ie;to be correct the sun would be exhausted before the process would get us to where we are.This was supplanted by the "hopeful monster"theory to explain how evolution could make huge jumps in a short period of time.In other word beneficial random mutation.
Neither abides by science or observation.
The two laws of thermodynamics say that 1)new matter is not being created and 2)all matter is in a state of decay.What this means is there is no scientific basis for a fish to grow claws,a reptile to grow hair or feathers.The gene that causes these traits would have to have appeared out of nothing and repeated the process again and again.
Mutations when occurring are almost always regressive in nature and are not beneficial to the original species.They are also usually sterile so that the mutation stops with that individual whether animal or human.

evolution is no more the work of the devil than is Newton`s theory of gravity
Evolution can no more be compared to gravity than a horse to a unicorn.Gravity is the name given to the force one mass exerts on another,call it anything you like but it can be demonstrated by anyone dropping a ball.Evolution cannot nor has been demonstrated by any means what so ever.That is no one has seen or found evidence of the vast numbers of "missing links" that natural selection or random beneficial mutation would require.

Evolution is the religion of those who would elevate man above God.That is why when challenged on the merits no rational argument is presented only assumptions and presumptions that require as much or more faith in the unseen or unprovable as intelligent creation.

17 posted on 12/18/2004 6:46:12 PM PST by carlr
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To: carlr
That is why when challenged on the merits no rational argument is presented only assumptions and presumptions that require as much or more faith in the unseen or unprovable as intelligent creation.

Okay, you sound like someone who has devoted a vast amount of study to this subject. Let's see your challenge on the merits.

18 posted on 12/18/2004 7:01:24 PM PST by PatrickHenry (The List-O-Links for evolution threads is at my freeper homepage.)
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To: BenLurkin
I'd have more confidence in the people pushing evolution if they wouldn't make the implied claim that the theory of evolution is somehow as valid or demonstrable as the fact of gravity.

I'd have more confidence in the people pushing creation if even one of their tired old mantras was true or even halfway defensible. It's all BS.

19 posted on 12/18/2004 7:15:23 PM PST by VadeRetro (Nothing means anything when you go to Hell for knowing what things mean.)
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To: All
Those who oppose evolution might achieve some credibility in these threads by making an effort to understand what they're arguing against.
The Theory of Evolution. (Excellent introductory encyclopedia article.)

It would also be useful to learn what science is: The scientific method.

20 posted on 12/18/2004 7:18:23 PM PST by PatrickHenry (The List-O-Links for evolution threads is at my freeper homepage.)
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To: PatrickHenry

Prof Collins is a brave man, and koodos to him.

Still, he should not so quickly dismiss all of ID as merely 'God of the Gaps' type knee-jerk.

There are still many gaps to our scientific knowlege and many gaps that have been 'filled' still fall into the miraculous category (IMO) despite science slapping a name onto it. The Big Bang for instance had matter/energy moving at faster-than-light speeds for a while shortly after everything in the cosmos came into existance from nothing within a milisecond. How is that NOT miraculous? How does scinece defining and labeling it rob it of its exemplifying Gods power?

Evolution is the same thing. It shows how finely tuned the entire universe is toward the existance of life, and has been from its inception.

That design speaks far more persuasively to me than some trivial reduction to 'God did it.' That isnt sciencel it is a slogan.

Science needs more than slogans.


21 posted on 12/18/2004 7:18:46 PM PST by JFK_Lib
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To: PatrickHenry
I think I just gave them.
We all have our beliefs and I don`t wish to anger or offend anyone.
Any time I have discussed evolution with someone they have to inevitably admit that they don`t know all the process that evolution has taken, but they still believe it to be true and all will be discovered someday.
That is fine and I can claim no more in believing in creation.I can not irrefutably prove that creation is the truth.

I do not know where you stand as such but I am satisfied in a faith in creation.Most evolutionists feel the need to state that evolution is a proven fact which it is not.

22 posted on 12/18/2004 7:23:14 PM PST by carlr
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To: carlr

Well said. Finally some common sense to all the nonsense posted on this thread.

With regards to Post 15, I was just about to ask what these 'massive amounts of evidence which science has accumulated over more than a century' were all about. There was a great story in Phillip E. Johnson's book 'Darwin on Trial' were some academic group of evolutionists (British I believe) were having a meeting and after a bunch of argumentative discussion, the director stood up and asked the question 'so can we name one thing for certain that we know about evolution and that we can all agree on?' The room went silent.


23 posted on 12/18/2004 7:35:58 PM PST by Asfarastheeastisfromthewest...
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To: Bombardier
I am curious are you a Christian? If so why don't you believe in the literal translation of the bible?
24 posted on 12/18/2004 7:39:41 PM PST by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: Asfarastheeastisfromthewest...
I was just about to ask what these 'massive amounts of evidence which science has accumulated over more than a century' were all about.

We're here to help:

29+ Evidences for Macroevolution. Yes, macro-evolution.
Transitional Vertebrate Fossils FAQ. Yes, transitional fossils exist.
Evidence for Evolution . Compilation of links.
Observed Instances of Speciation. That's right ... observed!
Ring Species. We can observe two species and the intermediate forms connecting them.
Fossil whale with legs. Land animal to whale transitional fossil.
Feathered Dinosaurs.
Archaeopteryx. Reptile-to- bird transitional fossil.
Archaeopteryx: FAQS . A true transitional fossil
All About Archaeopteryx.
Human Ancestors.
The Evidence for Human Evolution. For those who claim there isn't any evidence.
Comparison of all Hominid skulls.

25 posted on 12/18/2004 7:41:16 PM PST by PatrickHenry (The List-O-Links for evolution threads is at my freeper homepage.)
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To: carlr

I agree with you. It takes much more faith to believe in evolution. I place my faith in Intelligent Design (God).


26 posted on 12/18/2004 7:43:16 PM PST by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: PatrickHenry

Teaching complex numbers to Fundamentalists (inter alia) isn't easy either.


27 posted on 12/18/2004 7:53:06 PM PST by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: Fatalis
... then what is observed as random is actually "apparently random."

Personally, I'm inclined to believe that all random is apparently random. Random seems to be one of those concepts that are easy to understand (like "infinity" or "forever") but don't really exist. Even the randomness found in quantum theory disappears on a large enough scale.

28 posted on 12/18/2004 7:55:34 PM PST by forsnax5 (The greatest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.)
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To: carlr
This is ludicrous.Natural selection (Darwinism)has been thrown out because it requires more time than even the evolutionist time frame allows ie;to be correct the sun would be exhausted before the process would get us to where we are.This was supplanted by the "hopeful monster"theory to explain how evolution could make huge jumps in a short period of time.In other word beneficial random mutation.

You have no clue what you are talking about. None. Natural selection has been thrown out? By whom? Duane Gish?

The two laws of thermodynamics say that 1)new matter is not being created and 2)all matter is in a state of decay.

Militant ignorance.

Mutations when occurring are almost always regressive in nature and are not beneficial to the original species.They are also usually sterile so that the mutation stops with that individual whether animal or human.

It's been estimated that the average human is born with 2-3 unique mutations. We should all be sterile if you're right. You're wrong. There are tons of mutations floating around all the time. Some may be slightly harmful. Many are neutral. Some will be helpful. Only the immediately harmful are immediately weeded out. You don't have to be a genius to realize this.

Evolution is the religion of those who would elevate man above God.

The worst thing religious people seem to be able to say about evolution is that it's a religion. Funny that they should consider such to be an insult, but I guess it should be taken that way.

The people who think science is a religion also think science is argued with dishonest quoting and by attacking the founder of the "religion." We see that all the time and it's a hoot.

The situation is not reciprocal at all. All the attacks upon evolution by creationists are based upon absolute militant ignorance and religious horror of what evolution even says. By comparison, the people who defend science on these threads have become quite familiar with creationist literature. (Of course, it isn't very hard to absorb. The information content is virtually nil.)

We've seen everything you've got and it's all bogus. You don't even know what punctuated equilibrium is. One thing it definitely is not is Goldsmith's "hopeful monster" theory. Go to the back of the class.

29 posted on 12/18/2004 8:01:54 PM PST by VadeRetro (Nothing means anything when you go to Hell for knowing what things mean.)
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To: PatrickHenry

If the world evolved then it was set in motion by God and he planned it that way.

Problem solved.


30 posted on 12/18/2004 8:02:54 PM PST by DestroytheDemocrats (My screen name has come true!!!! W whipped the Dems ! Yaaaaaay!!!)
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To: carlr
This is ludicrous.Natural selection (Darwinism)has been thrown out because it requires more time than even the evolutionist time frame allows ie;to be correct the sun would be exhausted before the process would get us to where we are.

Oh dear. First attempt at presenting a fact and you present some common creationist nonsense. Still, I'm willing to entertain this amusing comment. Why would the sun be "exhausted" in the timeframe? Post facts to support your assertion.

This was supplanted by the "hopeful monster"theory to explain how evolution could make huge jumps in a short period of time.In other word beneficial random mutation.

Er, beneficial random mutation has always been a part of evolution theory. It wasn't something just recently posited.
The two laws of thermodynamics say that 1)new matter is not being created and 2)all matter is in a state of decay.

I'm not aware that thermodynamics covers "matter cannot be created or destroyed", but that's irrelevant because evolution does not propose that new matter is being created. I also know that it does not say "all matter is in a state of decay". Only someone who hasn't actually studied thermodynamics would think that it says such a thing (feel free to correct me by citing a scientific refrence that supports your side).

What this means is there is no scientific basis for a fish to grow claws,a reptile to grow hair or feathers.The gene that causes these traits would have to have appeared out of nothing and repeated the process again and again.

Appeared out of nothing? No. The gene appears as an imperfect copy of the gene of its parent(s), and that gene was an imperfect copy of the gene of its parent(s). Clearly you don't understand basic biology to assert that evolution claims genes coming about ex nhilo.

Mutations when occurring are almost always regressive in nature and are not beneficial to the original species.

Citation for this assertion? Word is that mutations are most commonly

They are also usually sterile so that the mutation stops with that individual whether animal or human.

1) Humans are animals.

2) Animals (including humans) are not the only organisms subject to mutation.

3) No, most mutations don't lead to sterility.

Evolution can no more be compared to gravity than a horse to a unicorn.

Evolution and gravity are both scientific theories. That you don't like this fact is immaterial.

Gravity is the name given to the force one mass exerts on another,call it anything you like but it can be demonstrated by anyone dropping a ball.

The theory of gravity would attempt to explain what causes this force. Thus far, that is less well understood than evolution.

Evolution cannot nor has been demonstrated by any means what so ever.

Now you're just demonstrating ignorance of current events in science. In addition to the evidence in the fossil record and DNA, evolution has been observed occuring.

Evolution is the religion of those who would elevate man above God.That is why when challenged on the merits no rational argument is presented only assumptions and presumptions that require as much or more faith in the unseen or unprovable as intelligent creation.

Oh, geez, not another creationist who dishonestly asserts that all who accept evolution are atheists.
31 posted on 12/18/2004 8:05:30 PM PST by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!Ah, but)
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To: Dimensio
I also know that it does not say "all matter is in a state of decay".

Oh, it's the usual hilarious Creationist misunderstanding of the second law of thermodynamics and entropy, of course.

Any summer you can see amorphous and disorganized masses of clouds "spontaneously" organize themselves into hurricanes with perfectly circular eyes surrounded by spiral bands. They 1) aren't even alive and 2) aren't being directed by any higher intelligence to organize.

The earth isn't a closed system and gets a net energy input from the sun.

32 posted on 12/18/2004 8:18:55 PM PST by Strategerist
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To: VadeRetro
By comparison, the people who defend science on these threads have become quite familiar with creationist literature.

Hey who doesnt like to read comic books?

33 posted on 12/18/2004 8:26:07 PM PST by RightWingNilla
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To: RightWingNilla
Hey who doesnt like to read comic books?

For pure entertainment, I take a Jack Chick over a Stan Lee any day.

34 posted on 12/18/2004 8:28:27 PM PST by VadeRetro (Nothing means anything when you go to Hell for knowing what things mean.)
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To: PatrickHenry
Among prominent evolutionary biologists (National Academy of Sciences members), 5.5% believe in a personal God and another 6.5% believe in a deist God. Evolution and religion are clearly not so much at odds as the fundamentalists like to claim. More here (pdf).
35 posted on 12/18/2004 9:12:10 PM PST by Nebullis
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To: PatrickHenry

Teaching science to creationists?

Better to teach algebra to a donkey.


36 posted on 12/18/2004 9:16:08 PM PST by Central Scrutiniser (I'll never see myself in the mirror with my eyes closed)
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To: VadeRetro
You gotta admit, Chick's literary works are much better at taking the reader to a place far removed from reality. By comparison, Stan Lee's creations seem not only credible, but likely.
37 posted on 12/18/2004 9:22:12 PM PST by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!Ah, but)
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To: Nebullis

I've seen two creationists already who are citing an article about Antony Flew accepting an intelligent entity that started up the universe that contains the line "He acceps Darwinian evolution" and claiming that he has rejected evolution. Clearly there are a number of creationists who don't care about reality. They've already decided that evolution == atheism, and any facts that would contradict their predetermined beliefs are completely ignored.


38 posted on 12/18/2004 9:24:46 PM PST by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!Ah, but)
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To: Nebullis

Hey, stranger. ;)


39 posted on 12/18/2004 11:59:36 PM PST by general_re ("What's plausible to you is unimportant." - D'man)
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To: PatrickHenry
He finds a place for God in evolution by positing a "random designer" who harnesses the laws of nature he created. "What the designer designed is the random-design process," or Darwinian evolution, Prof. Colling says. "God devised these natural laws, and uses evolution to accomplish his goals." God is not in there with a divine screwdriver and spare parts every time a new species or a wondrous biological structure appears.

Hear, hear! I will have to search out and read Prof. Colling's works. He says what I have been thinking for years. I myself stand amazed at the subtlety and omniscience of a God who can set these forces in motion and then stand back, content to let His forces roll along on their own until they produce His masterwork -- a creation who is self-aware and can (someday) hope to understand the universe on two levels -- the physical and the spiritual -- and who can love and revere the original Creator in the way He deserves.

40 posted on 12/19/2004 12:10:24 AM PST by Hetty_Fauxvert (http://sonoma-moderate.blogspot.com/)
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To: Nebullis

Hi, Nebullis! Whatcha been up to?


41 posted on 12/19/2004 12:12:58 AM PST by jennyp (Latest creation/evolution news: http://crevo.bestmessageboard.com)
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To: Cicero
The harder you look at it the less sense it makes

Lol! Where did God come from?
If there is no God, would evolution eventually evolve God?
Does any of this really matter?
42 posted on 12/19/2004 12:53:47 AM PST by mugs99 (Restore the Constitution)
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To: PatrickHenry

This article makes the assumption that creationists are just ignorant of the THEORY of evolution. The fact is, the whole country has had this crammed down it's throat in public school for decades.

Evolution is being rejected because of what people know about it, not because of what we don't know.

Similar mistake is made by the Democrats-- they think they just didn't get their message out. Right.


43 posted on 12/19/2004 12:58:34 AM PST by ovrtaxt (Political correctness is the handmaiden of terrorism.)
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To: ovrtaxt
Evolution is being rejected because of what people know about it, not because of what we don't know.

Hmmm... mind if I ask you some questions about the Theory of Evolution?

  1. How does the ToE say that the universe came into existence? Or is this a trick question?
  2. What is the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, and does it have anything to do with evolution?
  3. What is Punctuated Equilibrium? According to PE, how long does a "punctuation of the equilibrium" take? A single generation? Longer?
  4. Does the ToE say that a fish gave birth to a dog?
  5. According to the ToE, what's the most likely scenario for how a new species develops?

44 posted on 12/19/2004 1:47:56 AM PST by jennyp (Latest creation/evolution news: http://crevo.bestmessageboard.com)
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To: BenLurkin
I'd have more confidence in the people pushing evolution if they wouldn't make the implied claim that the theory of evolution is somehow as valid or demonstrable as the fact of gravity.

Why not? It is.

45 posted on 12/19/2004 2:12:49 AM PST by Ichneumon
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To: ovrtaxt
This article makes the assumption that creationists are just ignorant of the THEORY of evolution.

In my long experience, they are. They ridicule a "cartoon version" of evolution, not the real theory. I've had to correct literally *hundreds* of misconceptions that creationists on FR *alone* have had about evolution.

The fact is, the whole country has had this crammed down it's throat in public school for decades.

Then they need to do a better job, because most people don't really know how it works or what the evidence for it might be.

Evolution is being rejected because of what people know about it, not because of what we don't know.

Actually, in my experience evolution is being rejected because the creationists keep telling so many outrageous lies about it. See my profile page for a few hundred examples just from FR alone.

Let's try a test -- tell me why what you know about evolution that has caused *you* to reject it (presuming you have).

46 posted on 12/19/2004 3:40:17 AM PST by Ichneumon
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To: carlr
It has not, it was almost immediately accepted by the atheist/humanist community because it filled a needed gap in the explanation of life.

[...]

Evolution is the religion of those who would elevate man above God.

I see... And how does your little thesis deal with the fact that the majority of Americans who accept evolution are *Christians*?

47 posted on 12/19/2004 3:43:06 AM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Ichneumon
Let's try a test -- tell me why what you know about evolution that has caused *you* to reject it

That's good. Very good.

48 posted on 12/19/2004 3:53:46 AM PST by PatrickHenry (The List-O-Links for evolution threads is at my freeper homepage.)
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To: carlr
Natural selection (Darwinism)has been thrown out because it requires more time than even the evolutionist time frame allows ie;to be correct the sun would be exhausted before the process would get us to where we are.This was supplanted by the "hopeful monster"theory to explain how evolution could make huge jumps in a short period of time.

ROFL! You've been reading too much creationist material, I see. Sorry, but "punctuated equilibrium" is neither a "hopeful monster" theory, nor did it "throw out" Darwinism. Darwin himself described punctuated equilibrium, you nut. Are you sure you know what in the hell you're talking about?

Here's part of a post I wrote in response to yet another FR creationist who didn't actually understand punctuated equilibrium as well as he thought he did:

Furthermore, if you're under the mistaken belief that Gould's disagreement with "Darwinian gradualism" is the same thing as a rejection of "Darwinian *evolution*", you're grossly mistaken. While Darwin did lean towards a belief that evolution would usually proceed slowly, that doesn't change the fact that even though we've learned in the past 144 years that evolution can proceed at varying rates (sometimes rapidly by geological standards, sometimes almost coming to a standstill), the processes driving the transformation are still those which Darwin laid out. In other words, "Darwinian evolution" is vindicated even though a presumption of "nothing but gradualism" is not. Gould writes:

"We believe that Huxley was right in his warning. The modern theory of evolution does not require gradual change. In fact, the operation of Darwinian processes should yield exactly what we see in the fossil record. It is gradualism that we must reject, not Darwinism."
- Stephen Jay Gould, The Panda's Thumb (1980), p. 182, emphasis added.
Or:
"It [punctuated equilibrium] represents no departure from Darwinian mechanisms."
-- Gould and Eldredge 1977, Section IV, "PE as the basis for a Theory of Macroevolution", page 139
So much for Gould "agreeing" with you and disagreeing with "Darwinian evolution", eh?

Furthermore, Gould has long been faulted for overstating Darwin's belief in gradualism. The following quote from Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" makes clear that he fully expected sudden events to appear in the fossil record, *and* that evolution would proceed at varying rates at different times:

"Widely ranging species vary most, and varieties are often at first local, -- both causes rendering the discovery of intermediate links less likely. Local varieties will not spread into other and distant regions until they are considerably modified and improved; and when they do spread, if discovered in a geological formation, they will appear as if suddenly created there, and will be simply classed as new species. Most formations have been intermittent in their accumulation; and their duration, I am inclined to believe, has been shorter than the average duration of specific forms. ... During the alternate periods of elevation and of stationary level the record will be blank. During these latter periods there will probably be more variability in the forms of life; during periods of subsidence, more extinction."

Charles Darwin, "On the Origin of Species", 1859

Or even more succinctly:
"But I must here remark that I do not suppose that the process ever goes on so regularly as is represented in the diagram, though in itself made somewhat irregular, nor that it goes on continuously; it is far more probable that each form remains for long periods unaltered, and then again undergoes modification.
Charles Darwin, "On the Origin of Species", 1859
In fact, it's obvious that Darwin himself foresaw at least the basics of punctuated equilibrium, if not the full scope of it.

...

There you go again, going off the deep end. As even the above quotes should make clear, Gould hardly "split completely with Darwinian evolutionists". And again, anyone who has actually bothered to read his works couldn't possibly make such a bone-headed mistake about his position.

You would be well advised to read All you need to know about Punctuated Equilibrium (almost): Common misconceptions concerning the hypothesis of Punctuated Equilibrium. Table of contents is as follows, you might find some of the points familiar:

Much confusion has surrounded the concept of Punctuated Equilibrium (PE) as proposed by Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould in 1972. This essay addresses a few of the erroneous views held by many creationists and even some evolutionary biologists concerning PE. There are several main points I wish to make:

1. There are two common uses of "gradualism," one of which is more traditional and correct, the other of which is equivalent to Eldredge and Gould's "phyletic gradualism."

2. Darwin was not a "phyletic gradualist," contrary to the claims of Eldredge and Gould.

3. PE is not anti-Darwinian; in fact, the scientific basis and conclusions of PE originated with Charles Darwin.

4. PE does not require any unique explanatory mechanism (e.g. macromutation or saltation).

5. Eldredge and Gould's PE is founded on positive evidence, and does not "explain away" negative evidence (e.g. a purported lack of transitional fossils).

Care to try again?
49 posted on 12/19/2004 3:56:40 AM PST by Ichneumon
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To: PatrickHenry
"I like this Richard Colling. He says what some of us have been saying around here for years."

LOL, I like what 'God' says. Nothing Christian in placing a theory above 'God', who says HE created everything. He also says there will be problems BIG TIME 'if' little old flesh man does not listen!

E's better hurry up cause that hour glass of "GOD's" time is nigh on to empty.
50 posted on 12/19/2004 4:01:37 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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